Week 5 – Patrick von Pander

This week I had coffee with a friend of mine, Patrick von Pander, The Big Picture Coach.  I first met Patrick when I was in the self-employment program at Douglas College.  He was the instructor who taught me the art of networking.

Who is Patrick von Pander?

Patrick grew up in the South Okanagan into a household that was a family business.  Both of his parents were German immigrants.  Because of this, he learned systems, processes, and a strong work ethic at a very young age.  Their business was a fruit orchard where he learned lessons in business at an early age.  “I also learned that small town living and farming was not for me.”

I asked Patrick what fruit his family grew.  I was expecting a simple answer.  Instead I got a golden nugget.  “We had a real variety.  Mostly it was peaches and apples, which was about 80% of the orchard but the other 20% was a variety of cherries and apricots and pears and plums and nectarines and prunes.  Ya, it was a real diversity, and I learned some things from that as well.  And that’s never put all of your orchard into one crop.  Don’t just have one source of income for yourself.”

Now on to the questions….

Q:   Which is most important to your organization—mission, core values or vision?

A:   “This one is really easy for me.  Personal values, number one.  If you are not working and living in alignment with your personal values, it’s expensive on you.  It’s expensive on you mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally.  You want to live in alignment to what your personal values or core values are.  When you are in alignment with your personal values, it seams more effortless

Q:   Can you explain the impact, if any, that social networking to your business when you were just starting up?

A:   Well how do we define social networking?” he asked “If it’s live, then I would say it would be foundational for me.  If it was online, when I started my own business, it had little or no role to play.”  I pointed out that when he started his business, social media wasn’t really popular yet.  “So really, social media had little or no impact on my business when I started up.” I asked him if he did most of his networking face to face.  “You bet yah.” he replied.  “I was attending two, three, four networking events a week, 50 weeks a year.  And I was building my data base like my mentor taught me to.”  I said “now that’s social.”  His response was “That very social.  So that’s why I make the distinction, live or online.  Live, it was absolutely foundational and critical.  It was all about building relationships and credibility and trust.”

Sean Stewart of Sean Finally Fit Training asks

Q:   What was your biggest fear or failure and how did you deal with it?

A:  “My biggest fear would be whether or not this new profession, coaching, would actually get traction.  Every sense of me said this is an up and coming profession, the trends are heading this way and it will come to Canada.  When I first started, because people just were not familiar with what coaching was, you had to go through a great deal of explanation to describe what (coaching) was and people were still having trouble wrapping their head around what that was.  The fear was, is this going to take hold and will it be valuable enough and excepted enough in the market place to allow there to be a sustainable business and professional practice out of it.”

In conclusion…

I had a great time getting to know Patrick.  We sat at Waves Coffee for what seemed like 30 minutes or so.  By the time we looked at our watches, we were there for over 2 hours.  The one constant thread in everything that we talked about was the “social” part of social networking.  It is cool to sit in front of your computer and talk to people online, but to get out there and meet them face to face is invaluable.  Thank you for spending the morning with me Patrick.

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About KevenMcTaggart
I own a small business called Anything on a Clock. I started Anything on a Clock in 2007 when my son was about a year old.

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