Irene Becker

Irene Becker Hangs Out with WLS to Conquer Online Overload

Tuesday evening, 2/25/14, we were honored that Irene Becker joined us at Women’s Learning Studio for our inaugural monthly Women of Worth Google Hangout. At the Studio, we believe all women have worth, and Irene took center stage in showing us how truly valuable she is. Her wisdom, humor and enthusiasm radiated from frozen Toronto to warm our hearts and lift our spirits.

Irene was the first woman CEO of a multi-million dollar steel company in Canada, and she was the first Rotarian in Canada. Today, she is the president of Justcoachit and an online dynamo with over 25,000 Twitter followers. She is included in more than 2500 Google+ circles.

Although the topic for our E-vent was Conquering Online Overload, it was so much more. Irene talked about Online Overload, but she filtered it through her unique and insightful lens. Read more

Sharing and Marketing my Paintings using Digital Tools


Our guest blogger Jill Finsen has realized her dream of being a full-time artist. Painting is her passion! But she also has to pay attention to the business side of her art.  Please join us  in welcoming Jill and learning how she is using digital tools to manage the business side of her dream. Visit the Tools resource page on this site and be introduced to digital tools that can help you manage your dream business, too. 


After a fulfilling career for many years at a non-profit organization, I switched gears five years ago to become a full-time painter. And with my new full-time passion came the opportunities to exhibit and sell my work.

Vased Leaves

Vased Leaves

How did I approach this? I started to look at galleries and venues where I liked the approach and thought I might get some exposure. I reached some success with galleries and spaces in which I could exhibit for a specific period of time. It is still a work in progress. Getting the word out directly about my work meant that I needed to educate myself and learn from others how to use the tools of the trade in an increasingly digital world. When I began to exhibit my paintings, I sent postcards to my clients and interested-party base. Converting to a digital approach has yielded many advantages albeit with some disadvantages.

Some of the tools that have helped me to become digitally present include: Sitewelder, Mailchimp, Facebook, and Flick/Arawak. Read more

Online Training

Is Online Training a Waste of Time and Money?

I was interested to read an article from CNBC discussing how corporations are embracing online courses as a way to significantly trim personnel training and certification costs.  The author, Ellen Lee, cites a report from Bersin, a unit of Deloitte Consulting, indicating that corporations spend approximately $130 billion each year for those costs.

Lee mentions businesses such as AT&T, Yahoo! and Bank of America that are using Massive Online Open Classes (MOOCs) and other online formats to train their workers. The professional development efforts and costs for small businesses are just as significant to their employees and their bottom lines.

I believe these companies are going in the right direction, and I believe we have entered a time that will forever change professional development.

However, we must approach this opportunity with care and deliberation. Knowing how to do online training is more than just having the equipment, creating a video and making the time. Just as all in-person professional development is not created equal, all online learning is not created equal. Read more

Does Your Valentine Need the Gift of Your Presence?

The theme for Women’s Learning Studio this month is Online Overload—naming it and taming it. As I thought about Valentine’s Day this week, I began to consider how online overload and overuse can affect relationships and how people can ensure that relationships do not suffer because of the time spent in a virtual world.

We have all seen people sitting together with each of them focused on a mobile phone or laptop. Maybe we have sat at a restaurant table as a companion answers “just one more email” on his cell phone.

With some research, I found that in 1995 Ivan Goldberg, M.D.1 proposed “internet addiction disorder” as a satirical hoax. However, since that time, some researchers have taken it more seriously. They refer to the problem as problematic internet use  (PIU)2  or compulsive internet use (CIU)3. Read more

10 Digital Messaging Tips for the Online Overloaded

This week I had a day with a list of to do’s so long it stretched into the next day. As I was multi-tasking my way through it, I was monitoring my emails and received one from someone I responded to without really thinking. You guessed it, my response, intended for one person, went to everyone on the list. I know that most everyone has done this at one time or another, but  not only is this embarrassing and unprofessional, it gives the impression that I am a careless, unthinking person. I like to think I am not.

What is an overloaded, overwhelmed woman to do to prevent this from happening again? Read more