Fascinating Women

Michelle Askew- proud mom & daughter- Adoptee who found roots- fearless sales woman, PEI & Irish girl

February 24, 2021 Michelle Askew Season 2 Episode 2
Fascinating Women
Michelle Askew- proud mom & daughter- Adoptee who found roots- fearless sales woman, PEI & Irish girl
Chapters
Fascinating Women
Michelle Askew- proud mom & daughter- Adoptee who found roots- fearless sales woman, PEI & Irish girl
Feb 24, 2021 Season 2 Episode 2
Michelle Askew

Michelle Askew is a sparkle from my deep past. She has had some novel twists in her life, She was adopted, adored her parents but did not feel connected to that full family bloodline, She found her birth mother followed the family string to Ireland. She connected deeply with all those relations. Ironically the cove of her heritage Irish family matches her PEI Cove.

We talked about Michelle's 14 year old start in sales, her approach to it as a lifestyle. We explored her values that tie back into what makes her so good at sales. Of course we talked about her daughter and her mom. Juggling those two loves. From that is how, in obvious and positive ways COVID has changed our connections.


Michelle Askew Bio
Michelle had travelled and worked overseas then called Calgary home. She worked in radio sales. She and her family fell in love with PEI and bought a cottage in 2008 they stopped living for a few weeks in the summer to become full time islanders.

Small places result in challenges so creating opportunities has been a full time challenge. The light in her life is her daughter Kennedy who is a well known Halifax DJ and car sales pro.

Covid has changed us forever. PEI has been fortunate with no hospital cases and no deaths but isolating on the island is challenging. Not seeing her daughter for a year despite being so close has been trying. Finding work, staying engaged, and focusing forward is a full time job as we all must adapt and be kind. We will get through this with kindness, integrity, creativity and love.

About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography.
http://innerspiritphotography.com

Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis  - myofficemedia@gmail.com
Reach out to Lee for your Sound Production

Show Notes Transcript

Michelle Askew is a sparkle from my deep past. She has had some novel twists in her life, She was adopted, adored her parents but did not feel connected to that full family bloodline, She found her birth mother followed the family string to Ireland. She connected deeply with all those relations. Ironically the cove of her heritage Irish family matches her PEI Cove.

We talked about Michelle's 14 year old start in sales, her approach to it as a lifestyle. We explored her values that tie back into what makes her so good at sales. Of course we talked about her daughter and her mom. Juggling those two loves. From that is how, in obvious and positive ways COVID has changed our connections.


Michelle Askew Bio
Michelle had travelled and worked overseas then called Calgary home. She worked in radio sales. She and her family fell in love with PEI and bought a cottage in 2008 they stopped living for a few weeks in the summer to become full time islanders.

Small places result in challenges so creating opportunities has been a full time challenge. The light in her life is her daughter Kennedy who is a well known Halifax DJ and car sales pro.

Covid has changed us forever. PEI has been fortunate with no hospital cases and no deaths but isolating on the island is challenging. Not seeing her daughter for a year despite being so close has been trying. Finding work, staying engaged, and focusing forward is a full time job as we all must adapt and be kind. We will get through this with kindness, integrity, creativity and love.

About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography.
http://innerspiritphotography.com

Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis  - myofficemedia@gmail.com
Reach out to Lee for your Sound Production

introduction:

You're listening to fascinating women. And now, Mark Laurie.

Mark Laurie:

Hello, everyone, it's Mark Laurie here from fascinating women. Usually I'm an inner spirit photography, photographing these incredible women in front of my camera, and in the all together. But this time I get to bring them up front and center. And we get to explore what makes them so cool and interesting how such an emerging force today. I have Michelle Askew. Now, Michelle and I go way, way back. Ironically, we haven't seen each other for a little bit. The marvel of networking on the internet has brought us back together again. And she is this force of nature powerful kind of individual girl that has already carved her own path. Welcome, Michelle.

Michelle Askew:

lovely to see you again, my friend.

Mark Laurie:

This is so great. So you've been residing in PEI the last little bit.

Michelle Askew:

13 years now, I can't believe that how fast that that 13 years has gone by.

Mark Laurie:

So how'd you wind up in PEI, that's that's kind of like the East Coast version of Vancouver Island, the place to be

Michelle Askew:

kinda like and I lived a little bit of time there too. I grew up in we were I was born in Saskatchewan. And we were transferred to Nova Scotia when I was a small child, and we spent most of our summers attend trailering in PEI, and fell in love with it and it stuck with me. So after many other travels around the world, I met my English husband brought him here for a trip. And that was it. We stopped and fell in love with the place and we bought a cottage and then we eventually decided that we would prefer rather than a couple of weeks in the summer that we would want to call this place a full time home. And we've never looked back. So we had an agreement that whoever got a job First, the other would follow. And my husband was picked up immediately with the urban corporation with Cavendish farms. And I was able to bring my sales job with me that was based actually in the West with me and nobody knew I was gone. which speaks volumes to building relationships.

Mark Laurie:

Yes, it does. That's the power of people. Especially with technology today, we're able to reach out so clearly, people cannot tell you where you are. If you managed it right and some people do it badly. But you are looking good. For a lot of people it just dawned on me, I don't know, it can't be can't be thing getting around it. It is not a big island, is it?

Michelle Askew:

No, it isn't. It doesn't take very long but four hours to do the whole thing. And we have a ferry on one end and we have the Confederation bridge on the other. And right now we are in in lockdown. So you have to have a pretty good reason to get across that bridge. So essential service and and medical really is about the only way you can leave the islands right now. And we have fared very well in this pandemic simply because it's hard to get to us and we have an incredible woman who is our our spokesperson and our Chief Medical Officer for the province who has been phenomenal. This woman has been 24 hours seven days a week taking care of the island and we have had no hospitalizations. We have had no deaths. And we have had less than 150 cases. So yeah, and and she managed to get us all to behave ourselves so that people could come who owned their cottages up from the States last summer were able to come.

Mark Laurie:

Wow, that is impressive in this kind of thing. Now you've always been in sales. When I first met you, I should tell the viewers we owe you help us after your photo session. You helped us in our one of our tradeshow booths. And to this day it holds the record for the number of sessions sold and gone to follow through on track and we sell sessions and people get cold feet but they everyone came in and you and Jan are just working and I was was just writing them up. It was amazing.

Michelle Askew:

You know something? Jan and I both had the same experience. You go in initially with trepidation thinking what am I really going to do this and you leave feeling valued and feeling free and feeling empowered that your body and your body image is yours and you have to take care of that and nurture that and and explore that and that was how it was easy to sell your product because it's it's unique in the industry. Nobody does it as well as you.

Mark Laurie:

Thank you so much. That was really really sweet. So how long have you been in sales, you seen like to lifestyle few sales. When did you start

Michelle Askew:

14 years old, I got tired of babysitting for $5 an hour at best and, and started in retail. So I started in a shoe store and and then it moved on from there. And so really, it's it bodes well for me through everywhere I've been, and, and literally I've been lots of places and it was always ended up in sales. So went to university in NBC and worked in and worked my way through in sales to pay the bills. And when I graduated University and came back to Calgary and waited tables, by the way, which was also sales, I have the best ticket runs up selling those appetizers and desserts. And I decided that this was my opportunity now as a single woman to explore and I bought a ticket one way to England because I had right of abode, and was in England and worked in sales there with sorry, a computer company, where we did relational database. And, and that was fun for a bit. And then I decided while I didn't come here to work in regular businesses, and took a trip to Tunisia fell in love with Tunisia, applied for job interviews yet with a travel company where we were in, in flight in store or in resort. Salespeople really, you looked after your, your guests, but really, you were trying to make sure that they were buying all of the excursions and so on you were doing. And they discovered that as much as I had a little bit of French and I was great into knizia I would be much better in Cyprus where they sold cruises. So off to off to Cyprus, I went and I had insert people in and no, no surprise to you. I was the number one salesperson of the cruises where we took people on three day trips to Egypt and Israel.

Mark Laurie:

Sales is a scary thing for most people, especially Unfortunately, that's the age when you've got you're just playing with self doubt and insecurities and how tremendous the world what kind of personality traits or environment made you step so easily into sales.

Michelle Askew:

I think because I never thought of sales as a dirty word. I always thought of sales as there's a product or there's a service or there's something happening that people need or it wouldn't exist. And, and if it if that is the case, my job isn't to tell them all of the features, but the benefits and how it works for them. So you can list off all the things that they got that go with the product. But the truth is, every customer has has a need for whatever it is that you're selling, if you've profiled properly, and you've hit hit the targets in terms of how it's going to make them feel how it's going to make their life better how it's going to give them more time, how it's going to give them more money, all of the things that they want. But it really is the feeling. And it really is about making sure that you you listen to what your customers are saying.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, that's that listening thing. Of course, I also believe in sales in a good way. And I was a young kid as well. But I found you . . . in every moment of your life that people say I can't sell, they kind of go well, actually, if you want a cup of coffee, if you want to convince friends to go to a movie, you want to have your son wash the car they are alll sales jobs.

Michelle Askew:

Exactly.

Mark Laurie:

But you have to l ve life with it. through it. An that's that's the power of wh t we do communicate. Some peo le just recognize I can take t at in a larger scale, and they an kind of go

Michelle Askew:

I always say to my daughter who's just going into the sales world. Remember the words which means that so while you're while you're selling your your the attributes of Acura cars, what's in it for them? Why is this car gonna make them feel better than if they bought the Honda, what's going to make them feel like they've made the best decision and part of that is going to be they're going to have the privilege of seeing you on there on a regular basis and build a relationship with you that's trustworthy, and they will never leave your your sales team. They will always be with you. They will always come back. They will always go back to the dealership and buy another car from you because you made them feel valued.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, sounds cool. So you started traveling the world? What moved you to do that?

Michelle Askew:

You know, something? My mother still laughs about it. She said, you know, we used to sit with you guys at the table and say, we hope you'll travel we really hope you'll travel I sure hope you'll travel. And she said we never thought you bloody well would. And I was the first to go and a year later my brother came over as well. Now, Brad has has never come back. He's now in in Prague. And in fact, he thinks he may be one of the first people that contracted COVID in Vancouver. He came up for Kurt he as a curling coach and they got to Vancouver, and he and they had flown on air Italy. Right and when they got there he said I just felt really awful and stayed in my room and then the next day, they got back on the plane because they said something called COVID had happened and he had a rotten headache but that Was all flew back to Prague and literally collapsed. It collapsed at his door.

Mark Laurie:

Wow, wow.

Michelle Askew:

So yeah, he's recovering. And, and, but it's a hard it's a really hard time for him and he doesn't, he doesn't think he will ever be the same. He still has lots of pressure on his chest and so on from where it's been. And, you know, and again, he said, again, as salespeople, it's been a gift because he said, I'm a kinder person. Now I'm less worried about what I have. And when he moves back to Scotland, when his contract is up, he said, You know, I'm not looking for the house anymore. I'm looking for a small apartment, and I'm traveling every minute of every day that I'm going to be alive in this world. So yeah, features benefits.

Mark Laurie:

But I love traveling, I've photographed women in 16 countries. So it's, I excuse airplanes, so pretty good with me.

Michelle Askew:

It's a gift it is. And it's a gift, particularly if you don't go in about what's in it for you, you go in, in it for who you can meet, and what experiences you can you can have and it usually isn't the one that the tour guide sounds. It's it's usually these little secret restaurants or a little secret beach, or this wonderful place. That is not where the main attractions are. It's three blocks down. And when you realize that and and more importantly, it's also the local people you meet. Who will tell you things and tea.

Mark Laurie:

There we go. You're back. Yeah. Okay. There's a slight moment there. That's amazing. So what, what is the biggest thing you've accomplished, which is abandoned? Oh, yeah, that if I were to die today, that would be my Pinnacle.

Michelle Askew:

Oh, I just I don't think there's ever going to be a pinnacle. Obviously, you know, what my daughter is, is an amazing person. And lots of times as a parent, we tried to mold them. And she wasn't moldable she was her own woman from the minute she came out. And that's been a great learning experience for me and seeing her roll with the punches and be the person that she wants to be. She's a DJ EDM music and and dubstep and things that I don't understand at all. But she's good. And she's got the sales skills, and just watching her bloom into her own person, the woman that she is she's fearless. You know, she sees my photos and says I want to go to calibrate what I would experience with Mark. And I promised her that will happen one day. Because you know what any anyone that's photographed her doesn't even come close, doesn't even come close. And that speaks to, again, the relationship that you form.

Mark Laurie:

And we have a client in from Texas. She's just a high profile, how powerful and and she's been married for 20 years and her husband she had a photo session done as a surprise for him. He hadn't bought a gift photograph of her in all the time they've been married. And she is concerned about that. So we came to look at the images hearing bought like at 128 by 10s and albums and then he bought 30 wall prints and she said What is this sit up? There you look beautiful, but no one's captured that. So why would I buy something that's an imitation of how beautifully oh but this this is you felt really good.

Michelle Askew:

Exactly. And and you know my I've my photos are still on the bed stand where Kevin keeps them. And it just it reminds me of a time when in my life. I grew up it was my life. I wasn't worried about my mum. What my parents thought I wasn't worried about what my boyfriend thought it was for me.

Mark Laurie:

Oh, that is so interesting. That is really cool. So your time in Calgary here. That was really an individual time for you like everything around that whole moment was was definitively you. How'd you like it?

Michelle Askew:

Absolutely. Well, exactly. It was about me. And it was about me. shedding all of those insecurities that a young woman has and saying enough of this. I can do this. I am absolutely in infinite control of my thoughts of my body of what I care about where I'm going all of those things are. Were central to that. Because what I walked out of the experience it was Yeah, I got this. And I am anna and i am worthy of love and I'm worthy of the jobs that I want. And even though I'm competing with a lot of men to get set job, I'm strong and I can take this on. Dude, I think I think half the guys that I worked with and getting their, their their wives. Spirit.

Mark Laurie:

You're prolific I miss you deeply? What what three values drive you if you look back in life and so in these three values the top of the top of things that drive me or guide me.

Michelle Askew:

Number one is honesty. And that's a tough one. A lot of people question that sale while you were sales you probably lied through your teeth. No, I didn't. If you're honest with people, you you win them over and, and your relationship with them is then absolutely concrete and safe. So that would be certainly number one. And t there's lots of lots of abiding, fearless, fearless, there is nothing that can desperately harm you. I remember as a little girl, hearing about the Vietnam War and being afraid about that. And I remember when the when the towers came down holding Kennedy as a baby, and thinking, Oh, now what? And you know, here we are, again, and all this silliness in the states that has been happening. We have these defining moments that are quite frightening. But at the end, we just simply have to trust. And if it's over, did I did I live my authentic life? Was I kind enough to the people that I that I loved? And was I somebody that that people could trust? Was I somebody that that people could count on that I wouldn't let them down. If I if I gave them my my word I would I would stand by it and that I'm not a liar. And sometimes they'll be tough love and tough. Sometimes they'll say things you don't like. But I promise. It's promised. It's authentic. Yeah. And I think that's that's where where my success has come. And sometimes I've had some failures because of it. I don't, I don't suffer fools and I don't suffer, cheat.

Mark Laurie:

And that all aligns up with the authenticity, Authenticity, fearlessness, and honesty. Because you if you're going to be honest, you and authentic, you've got to be fearless. Like you just those are too tough battlements to kind of hold station on

Michelle Askew:

there. Exactly. Exactly. And you know what, if you can dish it, then you better be able to take it. And, and you know what, occasionally I've been pulled up on a cart on the carpet. And again, those things where you realize the power of an apology, a genuine apology, and an agenda and the reverse a genuine acceptance of of what of what you have done. And, and, and forgiveness. Forgiveness is rarely for the person you're forgiving. It generally is forgiving for you. And and that is that is a big lesson. And it's a tough one. But boy, I'll tell you once you realize that, and I'm sorry is not something that you should be afraid to say. Things change, and you're and the authentic relationships that you build, have much more staying power

Mark Laurie:

they do if people start to believe in you that they know that whatever you say, good. I don't know, I'm sort of the same way we give our word carefully. Because I want to know whenever I say something that I can stand behind, it's not a casual Oh, yeah, we'll get that done for you. It's like, if I'm in Dallas, he will give me a few minutes I want to confirm that this can happen for this isn't count thing. And then you're you're out you're always left with an easy path. Once you've done that, it's a pretty simple thing to do when you're squared away. And then if something goes south people say, Well, I'm supposed to be off because normally he behaves this way. So we had to have with the thing yesterday where a client were photographing her and it all fell apart the boyfriend and so on and we had to help her. And so the stuff we're also working on kind of fell apart the girl knew there's something going on. So so we had mentioned your failures and I find with salespeople they're not really viewed as failures. That alert is just viewed as massive learning options but what describe your biggest one that you had to get through

Michelle Askew:

for me was was definitely leaving radio. It was my passion. I loved it. At the time there was there was lots of of interesting things going on in the industry. And and it was it you know, there was one one man who really ruined it for a lot of us and and he was dangerous. That said again, when I talk about the forgiveness thing people will say well look at look at him now he finally finally fired him they you know all of these things and see you all got your revenge and said You know why? Nobody wanted revenge because in my mind, he was one of the smartest men I've ever known. He knew the industry better than anyone I ever knew. He was a tremendously talented salesperson persuader all of those things. He just wasn't. He just wasn't particularly good to women. And, and that was unfortunate. And I've always said, shame, not just on him, but on his boss and on the company, for not getting him the training and the help that he needed. so that he could have been a better person and a better boss and a better manager, because they lost a really good guy in terms of his skills. And, sure, it took me many years to be able to say, I forgive how awful he was to me. But he also made me stronger. And he made me able, maybe that's part of the reason that it was so easy. To be fearless in starting over and in taking new jobs and trying new things and, and moving and, and all of those things that I've done, and encourage my own daughter do try it.

Mark Laurie:

What can go wrong kind of thing is always you when you've got someone who believes in you, I found that takes you a long way, even if it's even if it's a mild thing that someone looks back and goes, Well, they think I can do this. So they might see something I don't I believe in that. And then continue through.

Michelle Askew:

Exactly. And and it's those people that get us through those times. Because they do see that and and they're the people that you can sit down and have a 15 minute coffee and feel like you're walking on a cloud. Yeah. When you when you leave the room, because because the dialogue and the conversation has been real, doesn't necessarily mean it's, here's the Kleenex, and I'm going to listen to you sob and yes, everybody's mean, no, it's just listening. And just validating.

Mark Laurie:

Often it's asking questions, asking the right questions, people start to come to their own realizations, like, you know, some of you can see their skill set, and you know, their troops. And you see that they don't quite get that. And then a couple of questions that suddenly go Oh, yeah, they, you know, they supply the answers, they hit the realization, which is so cool to see.

Michelle Askew:

Is it really is and and, you know, again, going through university with my daughter's experience, and so many of the courses haven't changed since I was in university. And it just, it absolutely it gives me concern for these kids. Because what our experience was, isn't necessarily relevant these days, they have to live in, in a completely different Society of where the rules are. And they they're dealing with so many more things than we did. I didn't know who was gay or who was straight, or whether it mattered or not, because we just didn't know. But they're walking a politically correct line that is so much harder than the ones that we did. And and I worry for them because I think that that they will be judged and they're judged on social media and they're judged in and and their entire reputation can be destroyed in one text. Yeah, in one story,

Mark Laurie:

no, be irrelevant to them as well. They just get caught into it. And I'm back. And I'm 66 now so that drive looking back really far. But growing up I'm there's so many things, I'm so glad that the world couldn't see the youngest the dumb things growing up. And now you say something, you do something, someone's caught it and your history comes back, people say well, you know, 15 years ago, you said this, as if he couldn't grow as if you couldn't change that.

Michelle Askew:

And, and, and, and we've got to do something about this. And and again, maybe this COVID reset, has some value to the degree that you were hearing more people saying, stop doing that just behind just because you know what, people are gonna make lots of mistakes. And in a pandemic, just trying to get through the day, let's just not judge everybody, maybe they didn't understand maybe, maybe there was something else going on. And if they didn't go into the store that day, even though they weren't supposed to, sorry, they were bringing medicine to somebody, or they're in a crisis. And if we can learn to be kinder to each other, that's really important. We live in on PDI, where we're having a lot of new immigration, lots of people are coming here from from India, we have lots of Chinese coming lots of people from you know, countries and some people are good with it and some people are not. And you know, P is a small island. And and it's hard for a lot of people who who have been here for centuries. They forget that they weren't the First Nations so they have to factor that Because you weren't first. You know, to me, the one thing that the that all of the newcomers from India do is to shake your hand, instantly. Now, they're not allowed to. But when they, when they first arrived, the handshake was the first thing that that all of them gave. And that was so wonderful to see. Because, again, you're looking at people that are coming from a country with huge population issues and so on. And I'm telling you, these kids that have come here, are educated and bright and, and excited to be here, and they want to build a life here. Both the men and the women and they shake hands, and they are absolutely driven to deliver. They really like the life that they're that they're here for. And I find it infectious and wonderful. And we have a community here, where we have the newcomers to PDI. organization here. And you know, what, it's a whole bunch of people, not just foreigners, who have just come to the islands, but but islanders who don't really want to welcome these people and and embrace what their their knowledge and their skills and the things that they bring to the community. And if we can do more of that, you know, we can heal the world.

Mark Laurie:

Oh, we can. That's what is nice about Kobe. I mean, it's sort of hard to say nice about it, but everybody in the world is in the same boat. And so we're all having the same isolation experience the same sense of adjustment. It's not like one second, but six seconds doing it. And this was not like, everybody's in the same thing. And it speeded up for a microphone magnified these different things to work with. And it's, it's been really rich that way.

Michelle Askew:

It is and, and, and to some degree, I don't, you know, people say, Oh, I can't wait till we get back to normal. This is there is no, no, no. None of it, we aren't and, and chances are, we'll be wearing masks, as they have in China for many years now. And we're going to have to learn that. And we may have to learn to take care of ourselves a little bit better. You know, I maybe you're not going to be able to snap your fingers when you want a doctor's appointment, and maybe you're going to have to really invest in in meditation and self medicine and, and Ancient Medicine and, and simply making healthy decisions and communicating with people. And and really, that it isn't the telephone and this and these damn cell phones may not be so important. And maybe that will be the change that we step back and turn off the phone. And, and go and see people and take that walk and and do those things I can tell you at the beach walks of this year have been epic, we're on the beach every day that we can be walking and just really counting our blessings that we live in a place that we can do that

Mark Laurie:

is so wild. I yeah, we've got a lot of people on my feeds tonight, and they photograph a scene from the same place and they're acquiring this amazing body of work is really kind of cool. So what personality trait Do you wish you had?

Michelle Askew:

Oh, I need I need much more patience. I want things I want them. Now there's no question. And I'm not a patient person. And, and maybe again, part of my COVID training here is, is suck it up, it's not going to go fast. And you're gonna have to take two steps back here and and, and just breathe. And you can't maybe fix it today. And it may not even be fixed in two months or even two years. So you're going to have to live with it. And yeah, so that's, that's something that that I'm working on. And I think I think we're all a working project. And yeah, I'm learning and and I remind myself on a regular basis. Yes, I haven't seen my kid who's all of three hours away for almost a year. But I didn't see my parents for two years when I buggered off to Tunisia and Cyprus and, and other places. My mother was sure I was going to be sold into slavery. There you go. And they have to, we have to we have to let our kids live their lives. And we have to forgive their mistakes. And we have to praise them more than ever because they're in a much more competitive world than we were. And, and and pets are important now. Do you still have puppies?

Mark Laurie:

No. We lost her. We had actually had three years of just every every Christmas we lost a pet from cancer and old age. We have a kidney we got the kidney Lissy. As for Jan she decided to we had a look at it was the last one to go. And the kitty comes in and the first couple of weeks. She just loved Jan and then she decided that Jen was was the enemy And I was so in way we found out in her history that she had for a long time spent with the family had two teenage girls were usually my store but randomly very mean. And the boy was always nice to her always saved her. So at some point, she figured, I'm the guy. And she has sort of like then she behaves like a dog. She scratches the back door when she wants to run about the same time my dogs used to. And so that's, that's where we're at with them. I got a friend of mine who's got corgis and I made a lot of me to pieces, I got treats, I go to the dog park and all the dogs that I walk remember me to get swarmed. And so we go quite a walk and quite regularly with your dogs. So I get my dog fix.

Michelle Askew:

Yeah, there you go. Okay. Daddy, we you show yourself your app. Look, that's Abby. Abby. She's our she's our main squeeze these days. She's pretty special. Her name's Abby and our daughter has a black cat named Lucifer right and and Lucifer was was a biter while which is a wonderful charity and cat Hallifax cat. And he's he's six years old. She brought him we saw him for the first time and he ended up sleeping with our dog on top of her the whole time. Never snarl, not not a single snap it I couldn't believe it. Wow,

Mark Laurie:

that is neat. kindred spirits. You're kind of what they used, I think what they call now the sandwich generation, the sandwich family, you've got a younger like this. And then you're going through all that useful stuff that your mind you and it's sometimes a jarring way with your youth. Those right? And the other side, you've got an older mother that you're trying to balance with. How's that fitting in your life?

Michelle Askew:

Well, I can tell you that the 22 year old is a lot easier than the 85 year old. And she's a going concern and getting her to follow COVID is the hardest thing seniors are struggling with it. She would like to have company every day and and she has her her her guy. And when the first epidemic started, everything was closed and they were ignoring all the rules that we were not supposed to be on the roads. And she had her guy around the boats and said Mom, there's not even anywhere for you to go to the bathroom. Oh, it's okay, we just go to pee in the in the graveyards. Oh, you have it see. And, and she's just, she's a force to be reckoned with smarter than anyone I've ever met. And a wonderful role model of being, you know, a strong businesswoman. She was a nurse, but but really, she taught nutrition and all of those things. And at 85 years old, she still looks like a million bucks. And she dresses beautifully and you know, some memory issues. But other than that, I'll tell you what she's a force to be reckoned with. And, and I'm far more afraid to her than anything that my 22 year old can do.

Mark Laurie:

That is that is so well, I just heard you daughters carve your own path quite well, it must be challenging for you to be so close. And so far at the same time.

Michelle Askew:

It is and and and there's lots of emotion in that at 22 years old. That's really hard finishing University, with, with no not being able to see your professors. You know, doing it all online, that was hard. You know, I saw, you know, being being interested in music and doing it in her case should be the DJ world. Suddenly, you know, from playing at five bucks a week, and her star was really rising. And she had gone all over Canada, they were right out to Vancouver, you know doing things and then suddenly it was done. And it still is done. They're not playing and the club and the boat and the clubs are closed and they can't even bring in a DJs for small boats. So she she's kind of your way again, chip off the old block. She has opened some gyms when they were open to give them some things and she's done a few private parties and with with all the right distancing and those sorts of things. And then she she called the other day and said, You know, I think I could probably sell cars. I think that's what I'm going to do. She drove up to the best to the best dealership, being an Acura dealership and walked in the door and said, I'd like to sell cars and they said, I think you'd be great. You're in. There you go. So she's embarking on her new bit new business and power to her because you know what? You got to keep moving.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, you do. The DJ thing. Interesting. I was doing photography in Italy. And I arranged a bunch of models and one girl decided was kind of cool. She was 22 I guess the same age as your daughter. And no one knew what she was with us. She'd certainly her manager didn't know that she was doing this nude modeling with us. And so we finished up her time and she said you need me for tomorrow Mark and I go no or why is there something special happened while she says my fans have tracked me down You know, I'm in the area. And they want to know if I could hold a, you know, a DJ concert, you know, tomorrow, late afternoon. So that sounds pretty exciting. Jesus, yeah, it's not gonna be as big as usual. But it will be there. So how many people expect, he says only 2000 I don't think you'll get much more than that, because you've only got a day and a half to promote it. And she's the first DJ I've ever met to actually have a backup band.

Michelle Askew:

It's amazing. And the industry is, and that industry is booming. Because they can make the music in their, in their living rooms now. And, you know, as long as they've got the board, they can do what they're going to do. And, you know, Kennedy has was a step dancer one of the things that happened when we came here, she had always done ballet and that sort of stuff and and did a little bit of, of Celtic when we were in Calgary. But when we got here, she really embarrassed it. And she ended up the eastern Canadian dance championship. We won those three times. And she's she's danced on the Disney cruises, and she's danced at Disney, and she's, you know, and created all of these great opportunities for herself doing that. And then, in the process when everything was really bad, and they were starving and Halifax, she could ask, and she said, you know, the EDM wasn't so hot, but if I took out the shoes I got I got dinner.

Mark Laurie:

You know, it's and she's so he's got a nice diverse lifestyle, but it's the experiences that expand your world. I fully believe that the more you people you interact with, the more diversity You see, the more accepting I think elements you are.

Michelle Askew:

It's crucial. If you cannot live and and experience other cultures and experience other other experiences, and and understand just how diverse Our world is, you really miss something and you lose some of that humanity that's so necessary right now. When you see how other people live, you value so much more how blessed we are to live in this country and how blessed we are with the opportunities that we are able to provide for all ages. And and that ultimately, Canada remains a pretty kind place to be.

Mark Laurie:

I had met a guy that used to be a former router's editor. And so he was traveling the world hotspots a little bit. And he's from Vancouver is where he settled down in. Like, why would you even have the whole world why Vancouver he says I have seen the worst of the world. I want a place where nothing happened. I want to go someplace where it was devoid of tragedy and mystery and just unexpected horrible things that he says the most boring place the most safest, sedate place in the world is Vancouver.

Michelle Askew:

Not so much now. Okay, at one time. And I loved it. I was that was that was one of the reasons I went and and I loved UBC I had a ball.

Mark Laurie:

I got some friends up there. I visit it fairly often. Do you have any quotes and inspirational quotes that guide you that springs to your mind?

Michelle Askew:

You know what? There was a time that I probably did, and and really seize. Seize the day. Yeah. And again, as I said behind it, you know, it bodes well in anything you do. Two years and I can't believe it's been two years ago, we went to Ireland. I think you and I talked a lot about me being an adopted child and and wanting to find my roots. And I did find my birth mother in Saskatchewan and we have a nice relationship we have yet to physically meet. And my birth father had died. Very young. And there was I think they were probably pretty Maverick Irish. And anyway, we went to Ireland and a neighbor introduced us to the area. And funnily enough, the beach at portsalon. in in in Donegal area looks almost the same as senator Kofi h MPI. And I have never had an experience where and and may and when you cry, but the entire eye cries you know that completely sobbing wet? No. Hi, that I knew I had found my home. Right and my roots because when you're adopted, you have family and they are family. There's no question my mother's my mother and all of those things. But your history stops right there. And sometimes family will inadvertently say something I remember an aunt one time saying telling off my cousin, you know, you know, it's a damn shame that, you know, you couldn't get someone like Michelle like Michelle while you could be with Michelle because you know really you're not really related. And she didn't mean it mean shit at all. But to me that was that heartbreak of I'm never really going to be anything other than my immediate family. Everyone else knows you were adopted, you're not part of this history. So finding my history was was beyond magic. And and it stays with me and and it was, it was it was pretty funny to the degree that we you know, we said how do we find them I know the last name, they said, oh god, this is just fine, just knock on any door just because it'll be gone. So the door first Derby, not gay I gave the the the birth name and off we went and they took us on a tour of the of the area. And, and we were able to, to find our my roots. And to me. Again, it speaks volumes to the fact that that we all need to belong somewhere. It doesn't have to be blood, but we have to belong and we have to know who we are. And I think that that is a lifelong learning that we have to embrace and embrace the experiences that that come to us whether it's read read something in a magazine and we're drawn to it then go see it there has to be a reason for that and and and exploring the things that make you you

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, that's kind of one time that said you know, the number of people have passed in front of us from TV bus stops eateries, asst enormous number of people don't even pay attention to every now and then a person stands out, you just notice them in this whole sea of people, this person pops out. And then a bit later another person come up. So he says, you have to pay attention to that, because there's a reason why your brain notices them. And you should look I will look into why that is like what made them for so how did being an adopted child impact your journey your life?

Michelle Askew:

Like I said, there's always a missing piece. When Pete when you're at when you're at events and say, Well, you know, you don't look like your mom, you don't really look like your dad, what do you take after? When some of the things that that we my brother was adopted as well, not we were not we're not related, so to speak. And and he has would say some of the same things of, you know, people would say, gosh, you know, Brad So, so musical, Where'd that come from? Right? artistic, the things that we like to do didn't match, I had no interest in to go in being a nurse and my mother is tied to her. And her life as a nurse that that defined her. And, and then again, these funny things that happen, the Irish connection that really resounded. My birth mother is is loves horses, those sort of things. It's just it's interesting, just some of those things, and you know about me and the horses and being up in the

Mark Laurie:

media who attended.

Michelle Askew:

So those are the things that that I think, is generational and is something that's historic, that follows you. And it is interesting, and you read about that, you know, the the the graves now that they're finding of the winner of what they thought were Norwegian and so on and discovering that most of the most of them can work equally. There are as many, many people from Africa on those ships as and and not as slaves. But they were norseman and they were all looking for new worlds.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah. So do you feel that your life kind of fell into place a bit, but when that missing piece kind of came in, it just suddenly made sense of your life?

Michelle Askew:

Well, I can tell you when I stood on that beach and knowing that that we were tied to PGI, and lots of people obviously from Ireland did come from PGI, chances are there's probably some here at some point we'll figure it out. But when it wasn't like as I said, the entire I cried. And as I stood on that beach, and I knew this was my heritage, and this is my home. And that was something that I that I really longed for. And and it's and I think that we do we we all need to know where home is. And it isn't about it isn't necessarily about the people. Sometimes it's about the history that we don't even know.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, the stuff that jumps generation or it just runs deep in your blood so to speak. It's a sort of absolutely Catholic,

Michelle Askew:

I think it is yeah.

Mark Laurie:

But the stuff that drives there's a friend of mine, Scotland and his his he's a photographer, he started falling back and he's something like a 10th generation photographer. It's sort of a it's deeply ingrained in how you kind of work with it. That is just like so, so amazing. What would be a perfect day for you? Oh,

Michelle Askew:

well, we are very blessed because of Senator COVID our beach We get, we get to experience the perfect day quite often, and walking our beach and usually on on the shoulder seasons when it's very quiet. And there's not another soul on the beach and the dog can run and, and, and play with other dogs and we walk for miles, and you know, sit by a fire at the at the cottage in the evening with friends, those are the best times because those are the there, it's just peaceful. It's PDI and, and that beach in particular just has an ability to take the worst day and, and send it out to sea. And we just move on from there. It's just, I've never experienced anything quite like it. And we are so blessed. And anytime anyone comes to see us, they say you you bought in Paradise, you have this incredible little place. And it's nothing fancy, it's just a little cottage and we don't want anything bigger, it's not going to be another mini mansion. It's just a place where we have to share a bathroom. And everything is is pretty basic. And we enjoy that time more than anything else. And it is pure magic. You also know that we're Disney junkies. And I think that one of the reasons that we're Disney junkies is more to do with what I call the Disney way, right. And in my sales, Career Career, Disney helped a lot. And the book The Disney way, I highly recommend simply because it's about making magic for people. And magic doesn't have to be huge. It's just that little thing that makes all the difference and how they train their people, how they train the kids that work, the rides or who are are just you know, picking up the garbage, any of those things that Disney, they teach them that they have an opportunity to give magic to somebody every day. And whatever that is, is what their their goal is. How do I make some magic for someone today? And

Mark Laurie:

also, how can we know that book, it sounds fascinating.

Michelle Askew:

It is and it really breaks down how they did what they did and why they set themselves apart from any other amusement park to something else, because it wasn't about the rights. You can have as much fun in the lineup to get to the ride than the ride. Why is that people will stay in that for hours and make friends. When if you go to another amusement park, you wouldn't speak to a soul. And that has to do with how they how they move people how they really treat their staff as well. A friend of ours worked in her University here and she said, you know, we worked hard, and we were tired. And she said and then and then you would get the call. You have to be at the Canadian pavilion in Epcot at six o'clock and no is not accepted. So you have to be there. And they go racing out there thinking there was, you know, going to be a big deal. No, it's Canada Day. We're celebrating you. Look, we've got all of the Canadian stuff. And you're and you're going to say all night long. And the music's here, and this is for you guys. And it's after hours and have a nice day and making people feel valued. And it doesn't take much sometimes. Thank you today. The first one someone's had in a month. Wow.

Mark Laurie:

That is that's phenomenal. Oh, see, damn, there's a creek I can talk to you for hours on end.

Michelle Askew:

It's I know, weekends, all kinds of questions, and I'd be naked and getting pictures. So there you go. See?

Mark Laurie:

Interesting, one of the things we're starting to experiment with is remote photography.

Unknown:

Where it's great

Mark Laurie:

you, you sound for backgrounds and have you position the camera and then have someone take could remotely fire. We're still working on some of the details. I did my first author that way is a friend of mine. And he's I we all made a pact that when he wrote his first book published I'd do the headshot for him. And he's lived on a boat on the island. And his publisher says this is great. We're going to print on Friday, it was Tuesday. They give us a print. And so we had a friend down there and he's it's a great photograph. So it's some awesome so it moves around the oldest girl we photographed was 91. And we've had the one who was quite amusing with 70 the photographs are so much fun for sure not to come out in the sun. That said 70 someone looking for like a man purpose mutual spoiling and within three months of perhaps got her married, which he wasn't expecting and looking for.

Michelle Askew:

That's awesome.

Mark Laurie:

I just have so much fun. I really live

Michelle Askew:

and Mark it's not necessarily even the picture. It's the experience. Yeah. It's not like going to any other studio. The experience is is about shedding Fear embracing life's laughing and and not taking yourself so seriously, but it's also about capturing that period of time where for whatever reason, you really need to feel empowered. And that's what inner spirit does.

Mark Laurie:

Thank you so much with that I'm gonna close it off. Thank you for joining us everyone that we some notes at the bottom of their of their force. bottom of the box there for you so you get a bit more bio from from Michelle, and I hope you enjoy this conversation. I certainly did. Bye. Oh,

introduction:

this has been fascinating women with Mark Laurie. Join us on our website and subscribe at fascinating women does he a fascinating women has been sponsored by inner spirit photography of Calgary, Alberta and is produced in Calgary by Leigh Ellis and my office media.