Gabrielle Bourne SMARTWomen

Archive for the ‘Empowerment’ Category

One of our favourite films of 2016 was The Hundred-Foot Journey, directed by Lasse Hallström. The film’s title comes from the distance between two rival restaurants in a rural French countryside.

Our favourite quote from that film was, “Asking for a discount doesn’t mean I’m poor. It means I’m thrifty.” This line was stated by “Papa,” the Patriarch of the Indian family who owned one of the competing restaurants,  in his response to Madame Mallory, this restaurant rival.

In some cultures, “haggling” in the marketplace is the norm. Requesting a better price is not out of the ordinary, as it might be in “Western” or “Anglo” societies. Being frugal is often mis-characterized  as having no funds, when in fact, it could be the exact opposite.

It is ironic that society ignores the fact that celebrities get “free stuff,” but are critical of “average” people receiving the same. It might not be a $100,000 gift bag from the Oscars, but scoring a free meal or getting a great bargain for clothes, travel, hotel or special events is a wonderful feeling!

Some of the wealthiest members of society are very frugal, but no one ever made light of their frugality. Rose Kennedy, for instance, shopped at the five and Dime. Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett does not need a fancy address, designer clothing or bling. He plans to give his billions away when he passes onward.

The secret of being the “The Millionaire Next Door” (reference: Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko) is no secret at all. It is to know the value of your wealth and how to maintain it. TRUE net worth never make excuses for why we prefer sensible $50 shoes over an $800 Jimmy Choo; but then the latter could be a $50 “value” for those who could truly afford it.


©2017  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

The Hundred Foot Journey.png


Hi Peeps,

There is a lot to be said about the “Human” condition. We all strive, to some degree, to manipulate and control the outcome, as in achieving our dreams of being on stage, starting a business or graduating from university. A pod of Dolphins would work together to capture fish, by striking their tale on the sand and encircling their meal. In both instances, manipulation and control was used to fulfill a goal or objective in a productive way. The main difference between animal species and humans is the former is about survival and we are about preservation.

Humans are predatory creatures that mostly hunt for sport, not for survival; whereas most animal species hunt to survive. We have a longer range plan, whereas other animal species take one day at a time. Other animal species manipulate and control to build resources and product such as food, shelter and off springs. Humans, however, have learned to use it as a coercive mechanism to sway opinion, gain power and take resources.

Humans have the capacity for “Self Control.” This learnt behaviour is not a natural occurrence. Those that lack this trait believe they are always right and everyone else is wrong. They waste so much time creating one outcome, forcing their view and will upon others, they miss the important outliers. They work diligently to prove their point, but cannot produce the evidentiary data when requested. Even when the data is clearly against their argument, they choose to ignore it.

In some instances, they “Over-work” to discredit someone else because they lack the abilities to succeed themselves. Their manipulative and controlling behaviour has no bounds; but their personality traits become more evident, with time. These personality traits include The Multi-tasker, the Interloper and; the Over-sharer. We call them, “Too Busy,” “The Fixer” and “Loose Lips.”

  1. The Multi-tasker strives for control outside of their “Too Busy” environment. They are also resolved to force the control on others, if necessary, because they feel out of control most of the time. They are bolstered by their self-involvement in keeping “busy” for busy sakes and ignore the fact that it is a diminishing return. They excuse their lack of involvement in other areas because they believe what they are doing is more important than “Showing up.”
  2. The Fixer wants to make things right, by meddling in other people’s affairs, even when s/he lacks the knowledge or resources to make it happen. They get all flustered when you refuse their help. Most times, they come “Uninvited” and like a bad guest, overstay their welcome. They compensate their lack of success by lashing out and; fail to understand that not everything can be fixed.
  3. The Loose Lips is responsible for sinking ships. S/he is the go to person to spread rumours but not to keep secrets. Both the Fixer and the Multi-tasker have the propensity to be the Loose Lips, through their lack of regard for other’s opinions, time and energy and; their consistent vigilance to their own task despite their lack of success.

People who use manipulation and control as a coercive mechanism to sway opinion, gain power and take resources,  DO NOT offer choices. They want everyone to see it there way or no way at all. People who cannot provide evidentiary data for their “Argument” should be viewed as “Dangerous” and “Egotistical” fools…plain and simply. The best course of action is to cut them off all together. It is more fruitful to take your business, your money, your resources and yourself elsewhere where it would be appreciated and valued.

The manipulative and controlling personalities will be one sided…their side. Regardless of what agreement you had with them, they will work to change it to their advantage. They will be closed to all argument but their own.


©2016  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

Related: Interpersonal Communications Data & Privacy

“I don’t need a Prince,” she stated

Screened and reviewed: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 

Theatrical release: Friday, December 25, 2015 

Joy is a revelation more than a “How to manual” for young girls with big dreams. We can also undo the mistakes that often trap us in a mundane and unfulfilling life cycle.

Joy tells the story of real life inventor of the “Miracle Mop,” Joy Mangano. You can Google her name and read more about her. She is quite the interesting personality.

Just like any other average CEO of her household, Joy too had challenges, such as mopping. Her mind went to work and her heart built useful products that addressed every day life and household challenges. Voila! The “Miracle Mop” that cleans floors, wrings without touching dirty water and; can be thrown in the wash and reused. It was billed as “The only mop you will ever have to buy.”

The film revealed Joy’s dysfunctional world. This included a mother who was trapped in her recorded soap operas; a father looking for a “love” connection and; oh yes, she was divorced too, with her ex-husband living in the basement. Life was further complicated by a dead-end job; a house that needed constant repairs and; life/life balance as a divorced mother of two.

One evening, Joy was reading to her young daughter about Cicadas, an insect with a strange life ritual. She was struck by the revelation that they spent 17 years of their life underground, then emerged above ground. This revelation was so “unsettling” to Joy. How could anything stay hidden for 17 years? Joy found the number too “random.”The book did not provide a reason why.

Could this life cycle mirror her own existence? In a related “dream” sequence, her younger self says they had been “hiding out for 17 years.” She continued by stating they used to make things 17 years ago and asked “What happened?” The “funny thing about hiding is that you are even hidden from your self.” Joy graduated Valedictorian of her high school but; her current job barely paid the mortgage.

Joy had several revelations throughout the film, an emotional roller coaster with a satisfactory resolution. The guiding force and narrations by her grandmother complemented Joy’s journey.

Joy was less a story of a dreamer and more about an activator. She learned from her first business mistake that when an idea comes, take it to market quickly. As a teenager, she failed to patent her fluorescent flea collar for dogs, which Hartz Mountain did the following year.

Joy is a pure pleasure of a film. It is a testament to resolve; celebrates creativity and; applauds fair trade practices! The film is also a guide on how we ALL should conduct business; where adversaries become well-intentioned “friends” and where we help each other to get ahead.

“I know what it feels like. I know what it feels like to be in that chair,” Joy stated knowingly to a fledgling inventor during a pitch meeting. Joy indeed understood!


©2015  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

Joy Jennifer Lawrence 122315