October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As one of the co-founders of the SBCN I split my time between working on SBCN related tasks, and my other business Motivational Steps

October is my Birthday month, the month I got diagnosed with breast cancer, and also the month when my Mom and Father of my children passed away due to Cancer.

As a motivational speaker I am engaged to inspire, and inform by sharing my many real life stories. I once joined a local Toastmasters on the advice of a friend, but after three months I felt that I was not a typical speaker. I have no need of a script; I am confident once I get on the stage. But, I always feel nervous, and know when I leave the stage I can always do better. I felt being a Toastmaster would hold back my natural ability to be authentic and connect with the audience.

Here is a quote from a newspaper about me after I had spoken at an event last week in Sudbury Ontario: The 20th Luncheon of Hope. I feel it says a lot about my presentation style:

“We thought she was the perfect fit, especially for our 20th anniversary,” Laughren said. “Her message of hope, her kind-heartedness, her warmth just matches what this luncheon is all about.”

I tell only my own true stories, and I don’t usually need a PowerPoint presentation. If I do use PowerPoint it’s probably when I am sharing facts and figures and the screen acts as a backdrop as well as a handy visual when the audience wants to write stuff down. One of my most popular topics is small business, which includes branding, social networking and many other tips and tricks.

Before the conference Dave and I toured the Health Sciences North facility which is an academic health science centre in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. HSN offers a variety of programs. I always try to help in any way, and in this case bring awareness to the wonderful work this facility does, so by enjoying a tour I know a lot more about this particular facility.

I wear many hats, and someone commented about my ability to operate two businesses, as well as being the creator, co-host, and co-producer of The Small Business Show on Rogers TV. I am an author of three published books, but for the first time ever I have writers block! This is a challenge I can’t compete with because I write from my heart, it’s as if I am having conversation with my readers.  This challenge will have to be treated carefully, with tender loving care, and I will keep checking in to see if I can move forward with my goal to write my fourth book.

The other question I am often asked is “how do you stay strong all the time?” Well, my answer is simple: I don’t. I recognize when I need downtime, support, or a good cry. Looking after my mental and physical health is very important to me.

Being in business creates a lot of stress at times, especially when a family member or friend is ill, and you have to make the decision whether to let your clients down or have time off work to assist the person who is ill. I always consider the seriousness of the situation, if the person has no one to take them to hospital but me for instance. Business owners with children find it difficult not to be able to always stay with their children when they are sick, but that’s when the opportunity to work from home kicks in. But if that’s not possible, it is about personal choices.

October is a special month for me in many ways, and on the flip side a not so good month with sad memories. I share the fact it’s breast cancer awareness month in the hope that people are aware and also that they are not alone. This is very much like being in business, and when I support others via my mentoring, often as a give back.

Every month is special to me, and most months have awareness campaigns, but we can’t support them all.