Antonetti has local tie

When one of North America's business icons, Amilya Antonetti, comes to Prince George she will be scanning the crowd for someone she knows well, but has never met in person.

Candice Manahan is one of the Chamber of Commerce's Top 40 Under 40. She is Northern Health's regional manager of decision support tools, with close professional ties as well to the BC Cancer Agency and UNBC.

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When Antonetti was speaking in Vancouver at an event with Ellen Degeneres and Suzanne Somers about five years ago, Manahan was present. Manahan was there to see Degeneres, so she was caught off her own guard when it was Antonetti who captured her attention.

"With her, I was on the edge of my seat," Manahan said. "She was talking all about mentorship in business and it was totally different than what I'd ever thought of with mentorship. She had a different perspective of what mentorship could be. It got me excited."

The excited Manahan undertook some online course work by Antonetti following that event. It led to conversations and a personal interest taken by Antonetti.

"She's adorable, and I think she will do great things," said Antonetti of her P.G. mentee. "I remember our conversations, I remember calling her for her birthday, and she's the kind of person who lets you know how meaningful that is to her, so she's exactly who I want to support - someone who responds well to having someone in her corner, just an ear of experience to talk to. Everything she does is all her, I'm just here to fan her flames if I can. I'm not the only one who does that for her, she's not the only one I do that for, and I expect she will be the one fanning other people's flames down the road. So it all fits together in a system."

Manahan said the appeal for her is Antonetti's holistic view of business development - how it is really about personal development. She has been able to grasp these concepts so strongly that she is now emanating them to her friends, and even her five-year-old daughter Cadence.

The reason these lessons and philosophies ripple so well, said Manahan, is their simplicity. But it takes some adjustment to live a life by design, rather than wait for things to happen. It takes visualization of your desired scenario, assessing the roadblocks and the miles that must be crossed to get there, and then implementing the plans. When inevitable challenges occur, address them in bight-sized chunks to keep from being paralyzed by their scope.

One of Antonetti's key messages for any business operator, from the Fortune 500 level to the mom-and-pop boutique, is keep your spouse in the loop on all the details of the business. Don't imagine they won't understand. With a happy, empowered, respected domestic partner, it is much easier to approach business with the mindset for success. Each person's work intrinsically affects his or her home life, so the domestic partner deserves to be in on the details.

Another way to keep on keel, said Antonetti, is to write your own headstone. It's only a few words. What would it say?

"That exercise will end your business ego," she said. "Every day, read it out loud to yourself. It will change over time, that's OK. Just ensure you're living to it. I doubt your headstone will be about the sales targets or the share prices. But you will be much better equipped to hit the sales targets and other business goals if you are living to the words on your headstone.

"Think also about the first two rows at your funeral. Who will be sitting there? Will they be sad you're gone? Do right by them each day, and your business will be fine."

Manahan is pleased that one of her mentors will be making a personal appearance here. The two have already made a plan for that first face-to-face meeting.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity, but I'm even more excited that all the people in Prince George get a chance to see their own personal celebrity mentor right in our own house," she said. "She just thinks differently than I did, and showed me how to think differently too, and that's what she does for people."

Anyone interested in personal growth and/or developing business sense can see Antonetti on Friday for a leadership luncheon at the Ramada Hotel. Tickets are $45 each, or a table of 10 for $400. Call 250-640-6670 for information.

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