#vizyourkids ~ keep kids safe

Halloween safety tips for kids

Mall Rat

Yup, I've been a Woodgrove Centre mall rat for the last 6 days. Early mornings. Later nights. Running out to the parking lot 4 times a day to get different sizes stored in my Ford. Artificial lights. Folding. Hanging. More folding. And a ton of Lil Worker love.

It's been a wild week and it's coming to an end. I need some solid IRL ("in real life") sales numbers to take back to Manjit, or a bank, or my great uncle to prove Lil Worker is worth investing in. So, if you're in the mid-Island area: Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Courtenay (maaaaaybe Campbell River and Duncan) and want to try some Gear on, today, October 29th, is the LAST day to do it.

On that note, it's PSA time. From the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia:

Compared to an average day, crashes spike by 25% on Halloween with 330 people injured in 920 crashes across B.C.

If you're like me and hate clicking out of e-mails, I'm going to paste ICBC's "Tips to Keep Kids Safe" at Halloween below. Some good points to keep in mind as you prepare for the big night:

  • Be bright to be seenMany costumes are quite dark, making your child less visible at night. Try to nudge your child toward a lighter costume. If your child insists on being a ninja this year, add reflective tape to their outfit and treat bag, and make them use a flashlight or headlamp to help them stand out in the dark.

  • Make sure the costume fits: A costume that's too big or small could cause a child to trip and fall, causing injury.

  • Create a safe route: If your kids are trick-or-treating without you, plan a safe route for your children and their friends. The best route should be familiar, well-established, direct and away from busy main roads. Set a return time.

  • Travel in groups: Organize a group to trick-or-treat together. Walking in a group will make you and your children more visible to drivers.

  • Follow the rules of the road: Always walk on sidewalks and cross only at crosswalks when travelling with your child. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far to the edge as possible, facing traffic. For older children that are trick-or-treating with friends, review the rules and remind them to work their way up one side of the street, instead of crossing back and forth.

  • Consider other ways to celebrate: Instead of traditional trick-or-treating, consider hosting a Halloween party for your child and their friends, attending a Halloween party if offered at local community centres, or taking your child to a local shopping centre that offers trick-or-treating opportunities in a well-lit, controlled environment.

Ok, I've already had to run to the truck once this morning. Here's what's sold out already:

Yellow Warm Lil Fleece, size 3

Orange Warm Lil Fleece, size 7

Look, even if you don't neeeeed Gear, I'd really like to meet you, too. Ya, in real life. Scary? Maybe. Cool? I think so. If you get a chance, swing by - I'm right beside People's Jewellers, here:

Lil Worker location at the Woodgrove Centre, right beside People's Jewellers

You might be thinking, "Good God, James, I'm in Ottawa, Ontario. There's NO WAY I could come meet you at the Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo, BC!"

Ok, ok, ok. I'm sorry but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to select specific geographic areas in my e-mail list. I don't even think that's possible. E-mail doesn't have an assigned address, does it?

Aaaaaand, technically, those wicked Halloween safety tips are applicable whether you're in Ottawa, ON or Nanaimo, BC, right? Just look at this guy, he's AWESOME!!!

Lil Worker Safety Gear + Halloween = WIN

Alright, I've gotta run - ttyl!

Let's keep our kids safe. Because growing up is tough work.

Thank you ~James

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Lil Workers VS the Dragons' Den

How did I do in the Den???

You may have heard I took Lil Worker Safety Gear into the Dragons' Den. Well, what did they Dragons say? You can find my segment here:

James Flawith pitching Lil Worker Safety Gear on CBC's Dragons' Den (pic taken before pitch...)

Well...? How did I do? Let shoot me a message to let me know james@lilworkersafety.ca, I've love to hear from you!

 Lil Worker Safety Gear high visibility vests, shirts, jackets and hoodies for kids are the best in Canada!

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Dragon Day is Oct 12th 8pm (8:30 NFLD) on CBC Television

What happens in the Den stays in the Den

I felt safe. You know that feeling, the one where you're perfectly content. Snuggled up and toasty warm. I had that 69 page NDA which prevented me from divulging what happened in the Dragons' Den. It also protected me from the truth, that nobody knew and nobody could know what happened in the Den. And then, I got the, a-hem [insert deep radio voice] "the call."

And then they stripped me naked on national television

That is "the call" where the CBC producers let me know that they'd be revealing my plush secret, stripping me naked for all of Canada to see. My pitch to the Dragons was actually going to hit the air. The CBC. National television.


"OH MY GOD," I yell, reading the e-mail from the CBC for the 13th time.

My world ends. This changes everything. Doesn't it?!? I mean, what's going to happen? To me? To Precision Tree Services Ltd? To Lil Worker Safety Gear?

Insanity. Nobody knows. The more people I talk to about it the less sure I get. And I didn't think I could get "less sure" was even possible.

Ok Jimmy, simmer down and keep your pants on

Relax. First off, I remind myself that I didn't actually get naked in front of the cameras, not to my best recollection [DISCLAIMER: I kind of blacked out during my pitch so you'll have to watch my actual episode to find out #SoTired]. Second, and more importantly, I remind myself that this is the choice I made years ago. When I started my own business, when I "leapt" and became an entrepreneur, I decided to do things my own way. It was a gamble. I felt like I could drive a business but I didn't actually know. How could I, until I was in my car ripping down Highway Entrepreneur @ 120km/h with warning lights blaring and my hair on fire?

Seth likes to talk about "dancing with the fear" of failure. At this point, I feel like a professional ballerina.

The dance

It's all a matter of perspective. I only fail if I let myself fail. I may not end up working forever in the first business I start. That is OK. I may not sell my company for millions of dollars. I will get over it. I might hit hard times. Cancel that, it's not that I "might" hit hard times, it's that I absolutely and most definitely will hit hard times. Guess what? I'll deal. The only thing I have 100% control of is myself.

It's not about how much I earn, it's about how much I learn. It's about how big of a positive impact I can make during my short time on this planet. If I focus on what's truly important, any fear melts away. Why? Because if I see every setback as a challenge to maximize my own personal development instead of a soul-crushing defeat, it's actually better for me when things go off the tracks.

Full circle

Necked? The fear dance? Earning vs learning?

"Do y'all need some bunny therapy?" you ask.

No. Well, yes (I hope you clicked that last link if you didn't go and do it now). You good? Ok, I'm good too.

My episode of the Dragons' Den airs on October 12th, 2017 at 8pm (8:30pm NFLD) on CBC Television. Mark the date on your calendar and tune in to watch, you won't believe what happens to me in the Den. I can't say much, but I can say that I'm glad I wore my steel-toed dancing boots. And I'm like 72.3% positive that I kept my clothes on.

UPDATE - the episode aired and it was CRAZY GOOD. If you haven't seen it, check it out here. If you have seen it, WATCH IT AGAIN!!!  http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/pitches/lil-worker-safety-gear

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10 wicked back to school safety tips for kids

Bringing safety back [to school]

Days are getting shorter. Christmas is starting to make its first appearance in retail stores. Yes, you heard it, I said the "C" word. Summer is winding down. Parents across North America have the bittersweet lemony taste of freedom in their mouths as they eagerly anticipate the greatest event of the year: back to school.

Lil Worker Safety Gear knows what it takes to make sure your kids are safe heading back to school.

10 wicked safety tips to help keep your kids safe!

  1. Dress kids in bright, contrasting, highly reflective clothing for their walk/bike/scooter ride to and from school
  2. Map out a route to and from school that avoids major intersections and super busy roads
  3. Make a game out of identifying road signs and the rules of the road with your kids while you're bopping around town
  4. Keep a schedule and make it a habit to have your kids check in so you know where they are (and that they're safe)
  5. Practice holding hands to keep children from darting out onto the road or outside of crosswalks
  6. Model safe road habits for your children.
  7. Travel in groups. Vehicles are more likely to take notice, slow down and make way for groups.
  8. When driving, make a game of identifying hazards and unsafe actions so kids become familiar with the view of the road from a vehicle's perspective.
  9. Check the weather before heading out and layer clothing accordingly.
  10. Keep slips, trips and falls to a minimum by ensuring your children are wearing footwear appropriate for the season.

Any suggestions?



I'm not about to drop the mic and walk out like this list is the be-all and end-all of back to school safety tips for kids. If you've got an idea I haven't covered, let us know in the comments!

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Lil Worker Safety Gear + Dragons' Den

Surviving the Den

A picture tells a thousand words (and they're all lies)

There you go. Evidence. I survived the Dragons' Den. What I'm not telling you is that they take your picture in front of this massive DD poster before you face the Dragons.

When you see someone on TV or anywhere else in the media you get to see them at their shiny best. Practiced. Polished. Primed. Perfect. Just like that picture of me. I want to let you know what really happens before all that.

Part of being an entrepreneur is dancing with fear so I'm going add notes below when I tackled something I had never done during this adventure. I'll highlight anything new like this: [NDT] for "never done this." 

Ok, time to rewind.


I decide to blast my trip to Toronto off in three days [NDT]. It's the kind of thing you do when you've got 3 young kids at home and a 2nd company to run. And if you're an entrepreneurial, "I love challenges" type of person, it's just how you do things.

Somewhere over Calgary I realize that I'm not actually going to Calgary and that the time difference may pose a challenge. There's nothing I can do about it so I shelve the concern and go back to running through my 60-second elevator pitch for the 2,392nd time. People around me on the airplane think I'm losing my marbles. They're probably right.

I land in a sea of people. Toronto. 3 hours earlier than home on Vancouver Island. The best way to get from the airport to my hotel is on the train, so I hop on a train head straight into downtown [NDT]. 

The train is empty which is nice because it gives me time to relax and watch the scenery. Haha, riiiiight. I don't watch the scenery. I call Alicia Woods to discuss tips and strategy in the Den [NDT]. Alicia pitched her wicked company Covergalls on Season 9 of DD and walked away with a deal and multiple offers. I get pretty jacked talking with Alicia and she really focuses me on what my main priorities are heading into the Den:

  1. Make it to air - treat the show like a $1M commercial for your business and, for God's sake, don't be boring. If you are headed for a win, win BIG. If you're headed for a fail (and you'll know if your pitch goes this way), fail BIG. Many boring pitchers that get deals don't make it to air. Instead, pitchers that fail to get a deal but are entertaining make the air. 180 pitches are filmed and only 90 make the air each season. You want to make it to air.
  2. Make a deal - you spend all this time writing, researching, calculating, prepping, pitching, revising. The Dragons in the chairs want to see you succeed. Don't get greedy. Your business isn't worth what you think it is. Stuff the pride. Make a deal.

Hotel Time

The Fairmont Royal York is a ridiculously nice hotel. I have no idea how I end up staying here. That's a lie. It's my first time in TO and, well, when in Rome.... I almost put out a post to the Lil Worker Safety Gear Facebook page asking for a free couch to sleep on for a couple of nights, I'm glad I coughed up the extra cash to stay in such an awesome place.

You'd think a guy would be able to relax in such sweet digs. I can't. I've run through my pitch 3,038 times and counting. I'm a nervy mess. Not to mention that my planned bedtime at 9pm is actually 6pm PST. Ugh.

I'm going to skip the part of the story where I get lost looking for a place to eat and wind spending $30 on a hamburger [NDT]. Man, that's embarrassing.

Back to 9pm (EST).

You know that feeling when you just can't get to sleep? You start counting the hours until you have to wake up? And counting keeps you up longer? Here's an incomplete list of techniques I try to get to sleep:

  • pulling my hair
  • meditation
  • hitting my head on a wall
  • showering
  • reading
  • walking outside
  • yelling into a pillow. 

Nothing works.

Fresh as a daisy

I watch the clock tick from 5:29am to 5:30am and the alarm goes. Sleepless night number two. There's nothing that gets me more pumped than taking on a major life challenge after staying up for 48 hours straight [NDT]. I'm as fresh as a daisy.

Time to head to the CBC studio.

I arrive about an hour early. You never know what hurdles life is going to throw in your way. I get to meet some of the other pitchers in the hall waiting for security. An odd thing starts happening. We all just start pitching each other. I mean, why not, right? The Wike guys have a freaking amazing bike that turns into a stroller. The FUUD guys have a super cool food delivery company. Kenn invented sweet ODii grabbing tools. These guys rock.

The Resistance

Let me stop you right here. This is important. I'm having a great time talking with my fellow soon-to-be pitchers, learning about their inventions and businesses. All of a sudden, this crappy voice pops into my head.

"You don't belong here," it says. 

"Look, these guys made a bike that turns into a frigging stroller. All you have is hi viz safety gear in super tiny sizes. Save yourself the embarrassment and go home now."

"You don't have the numbers to get a deal. The Dragons are going to laugh you off the stage."

The voice is real. It's the Resistance. I can turn tail and run but I bet that almost every other pitcher in the hall has similar thoughts running through his or her head.

If you really pursue something you believe in, something you love, you're going to hear the Resistance too. Fight it. Just so you know, we're all fighting it in one form or another all the time. Don't give in. Persevere. 


Before the CBC security lets us into the studio, all the pitchers are required to sign a 69-page non-disclosure agreement. I'm exaggerating a *bit*. I start reading this titan and decide to just flip to the back and sign it. What, am I going to just leave, jump on the plane and head home...? No freaking way.

James: 1
Resistance: 0

The Den

Now, here's every detail of everything that actually happened behind the scenes in the Den....




Oops, sorry.

I know you want to know how my pitch went to the Dragons went. Believe me, I want to tell you bad. It went nothing like I planned. Things got crazy. Kids. Cameras. Dragons. [NDT]. I've said too much. Remember that 69 page NDA? My lips are zipped. You'll have to tune in for Season 12 of the Dragons' Den to find out.

Fingers crossed. Toes crossed.

UPDATE - the episode aired and it was CRAZY GOOD. If you haven't seen it, check it out here. If you have seen it, WATCH IT AGAIN!!!  http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/pitches/lil-worker-safety-gear


Now, how many times did I write [NDT] up there? A lot. Was I freaked out about doing some of them? Yup. Did that stop me? Nope. 

Don't let the NDTs stop you.

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