Wish Group

Failure as a Stepping Stone

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If you’ve failed at least once, you’re probably on the path to success. Most of us assume that success comes easily to a few lucky people, but it doesn’t. Lasting success is not easy. As an entrepreneur, you need to be ready to accept some failure along the way. Sometimes experiencing failure is the fastest way to learn how to improve.

Throughout my life I have typically seen two kinds of people, those who accept failure as part of the ride and those who avoid failure at all cost. The people who accept failure as part of life are able to learn from it, and those who avoid failure at all cost let it devastate them when it happens.

If you’re the type of person who avoids failure at all cost, entrepreneurship or leadership may not be the best path for you. If you are determined to move forward as an entrepreneur, you will need to learn how to accept stress and failure as part of life, and you will want to spend your energy learning how to move past failures with multiple plans.

You can learn to use failure as a stepping stone, or you can carry it around and let it weigh you down, the choice is yours.

Failure as a Stepping Stone

Learn to Embrace Failure

When the going gets tough, I encourage my team to see past the hardship of failure to find the lessons we can learn from it. If we gave up every time we failed, we would never have learned how to walk or talk. Babies are a great example of never giving up! They have incredible persistence and willingness to learn. While a fall might hurt us right away, what will hurt us in the long run is never getting up again.

Ask the Right Questions

It is human tendency to point fingers and play the blame game when something goes wrong. Effective leaders know that a time of failure is not the right time to blame someone, but to ask questions. “How did we get here?” “What went wrong?” and another effective question to ask would be: “What can we do to make this right?” These questions can be difficult to ask when you’re under extreme stress, but it is important to learn and evolve as a team when something goes wrong so that you can prevent it from happening again.

Grieve if You Need to

If you feel like you have failed at something, it can be a blow to your confidence. I don’t expect you to be able to move on immediately and learn from every failure you experience. However, some failures will seem harder than others. If you have failed at something and it makes you angry or sad or frustrated or any other emotion, allow yourself some time to reflect on why this particular failure has hit you so hard. Get your negative emotions out of the way so that you can move forward, and remember that “failure is something that happens, not something you are” (Patrick Allan,

Failure as a Stepping Stone

Change Your Definition of Failure

Why let the idea of failing hold you back when it can liberate your creativity and teach you lessons along the way. We have attached so much negativity to the word “failure” that we become afraid to try new things and challenge ourselves. Behind every great invention, there are millions of failures. Churchill believed that failure was part of the process and said, “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Believe in this idea and change your definition, welcome failure with open arms because it means you are trying something new and making waves. One epic failure could lead you to your next greatest success, but how will you know if you never try?

Failure as a Stepping Stone

Failure isn’t the end, and it’s not a bad thing when you can learn from it. Learning from failure turns it into your stepping stone towards success.


Now Among the Largest Private Staffing Companies in Canada

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People Store
Wish Group

Toronto, ON – June 1, 2017 – People Store Staffing and Peoplesource Staffing Solutions have entered into an agreement to merge as of June 2017, which will produce one of the largest private staffing companies in Canada.

John Nalli, President and CEO of People Store Staffing, and Frank Cianciulli, CEO of Peoplesource Staffing Solutions, are creating a partnership that will capitalize on industry growth opportunities, deliver continued ser-vice innovation, and deliver consistent reliable operational excellence. The merged company will yield import-ant benefits for suppliers, vendors, partners, clients, candidates and employees.

This merger represents “coming full circle” for John in particular, as he co-founded Peoplesource with Frank back in 2003. “The merger is somewhat of a homecoming for me, as I had left Peoplesource in 2009 to start People Store,” said John Nalli, President and CEO of People Store Staffing. “Achieving tremendous success in both companies has provided me with an opportunity to develop key business strategies, which sets up nicely to move the business forward. I’m excited to be in a position to see a combined company achieve the kind of success and notoriety that you only read and hear about.”

This merger has come about in order to leverage the strengths of each company and reunite the co-founders’ initial vision. “Back in 2009 we split the company into Peoplesource and People Store to navigate through the great recession,” said Frank Cianciulli, CEO of Peoplesource Staffing Solutions. “Our strengths complement each other, which means that our merge will allow us to serve our clients even better.” As a result of the merger, all temporary staffing functions including On-Site Services, Light Industrial, Logistics and Office Clerical will be facilitated by People Store. All Permanent Search and Contract Services will be facilitated by Peoplesource.

This strategic partnership will ensure the two companies are well positioned to navigate an evolving staffing industry and it will offer only best-in-class staffing services to clients throughout Canada. “The merger is an integral part of our high-growth consolidation strategy,” said John Nalli. “This fits very well with our clients’ increasing needs for a full range of HR solutions across Canada, and it will add considerable depth to our operations, allowing us to offer even more specialized services within a much larger network of offices.”

“A consolidation strategy is ideal for the highly fragmented staffing industry and we need to continue adjusting to thwart disruption,” said Frank Cianciulli. The merged company will continue to seek out prospective acquisitions that fit into the existing vision, integrity and company culture. Current annual sales of the companies are approaching $100 million and the improved alignment positions the companies well to be the largest privately held in the country within five years.

About People Store:

Unlike any other company, People Store provides a continuous partnership with its clients through a unique tiered approach to staffing: Diagnosis and Implementation. As workforce professionals, People Store helps companies efficiently deploy human resources to improve their bottom line. People Store views its relationships with its clients as strategic partnerships. By providing the industry’s widest array of services through a unique human resource business model, People Store retains expertise in individual service lines. The result is that People Store provides both superior customer service for specialized needs and comprehensive solutions for a variety of challenges; all offered through specialized and customized services.

About Peoplesource:

Peoplesource Staffing Solutions is a premier provider of recruitment solutions in Canada. They bring together fresh ideas and unique experiences to build valuable, strategic partnerships with both clients and candidates. Peoplesource does not just match people to jobs, through their partnerships they uncover what their clients define as success so they can exceed expectations. Peoplesource is proud to be 100% Canadian owned and operated, and is part of the multi-award winning Wish Group company.

About Wish Group:

Wish Group is a collection of companies anchored by entrepreneurial passion, run by hard work and growing because of integrity. We continue to focus on becoming the premier business solutions provider in Canada by providing diversified services to Canadian clients across industries. We strongly believe our people are the single greatest resource to success. When you combine great ideas with great people, you have an unstoppable force. The energy of our ambitious team combined with proven leadership excellence creates a cohesive organization that focuses on providing exceptional service to our business clientele.

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Constant Improvements are Key to Success

Constant Improvements are Key to Success

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Making it to the top is easier than staying there. Leaders who rise to the top need to be ready to continuously improve if they want to stay there. The world continues to change at a faster pace and changes to the business landscape happen daily. If you’re not trying to disrupt your own business model, someone else will.

Here are my top tips to continuously improve:

  1. Always be listening: Many leaders fail to listen to voices at the bottom, especially their employees. Employees may be at the bottom of a company’s hierarchy, but they are often more connected to the day-to-day of your business and they will have ideas about where the future of the business is heading.
  2. Learn from mistakes: When a competitor makes a mistake, it is the perfect time to learn from what they did wrong to keep yourself from making a similar misstep. It is also important to learn from any mistakes you or your employees are making. Mistakes don’t lead to failure unless you fail to learn from your mistakes.
  3. Plan your professional development: Outside of networking and trying to generate sales leads, conferences offer a chance to learn what is going on in the industry. Conferences are the place where you will find competitors discussing their best practices, which you can use to improve. In addition to typical networking, use conferences to build strategic partnerships.
  4. Teach others: Teaching is a great way to deepen your knowledge; you never really master a subject until you are forced to explain it in front of a group. I’m part of different entrepreneur and mentorship groups where I am able to learn from and teach others. Even if you aren’t being asked to present at big ticket events, seek out local opportunities where you can get started.
  5. Develop yourself: Learn more about yourself and analyse your strengths, weaknesses and biases. Understanding your personality and areas of personal development that you need to focus on will make you a better leader. You affect the people in your organization, so develop yourself every chance you get to improve your business from the top down.
  6. Engage with your peers: Every leader’s journey is different, but you can learn from others experiences. Other leaders can offer great insights on how to deal with the challenges that you’re going through or may go through in the future. While you may have handled certain challenges to the best of your ability, seeing other perspectives can improve your strategies for facing future challenges.

When you make it to the top, enjoy that moment, but don’t sit back for too long because “the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement” (Helmut Schmidt) and there is already someone working hard to improve or disrupt your industry.


Changing the Lives of Toronto Youth

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Canadian Telecommunications and Collaboration for Business

I pride myself on connecting people with their calling—but there are kids in Toronto who haven’t even had a chance to figure out who they are before facing huge challenges. The Pinball Clemons Foundation has an Ambassador School Program here in Toronto that helps kids who have been plagued by destruction find the opportunity to finish high school and set their lives back on a successful track. Children are the future, they are the next generation, and they are the bright minds of tomorrow. The Ambassador School Program provides a safe space for kids to discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose.

In partnership with the Children’s Aid Foundation, the Pinball Clemons Foundation Ambassador School Program is empowering youth in Toronto to discover hope through the completion of high school, valuable life skills, and goal setting for a brighter future. Each year, this partnership ensures that 15-20 students aged 16 to 24 have access to a safe learning environment that provides a curriculum unique to their needs, career counselling, tutoring, nutritional education, financial literacy, adult and peer support, and public speaking opportunities.

The Victory Charity Ball is an event that raises money to support the Pinball Clemons Foundation Ambassador School Program. Last year’s event was sold out and raised a total of $234,000.00, which funded one full year of the program and started a scholarship fund. Victory Charity Ball 2017 will be on June 1st this year and a Wish Group associate, Kevin Lawler, will be one of the business boxers fighting at this event. I am proud to work with incredible individuals at Wish Group each day, and Kevin is no exception. He puts 100% into everything he does and he has been training hard to put on the best fight/show of his life. Matt Ley from The Streaming Network caught up with Kevin to do an interview where you can learn more about the event, the Ambassador School Program, and how to get involved.

Watch the interview now to learn more about this unique event and program that is changing the lives of Toronto youth and cultivating the leaders of tomorrow.

Canadian Telecommunications and Collaboration have Changed

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Canadian Telecommunications and Collaboration for Business

The Canadian telecommunications and collaboration space has changed. As of May 1, 2017, three of the most distinguished companies have merged together to create a truly national powerhouse. Momentum Conferencing, The Streaming Network (TSN), and Evolve Collaboration (Evolve) have been providing highly specialized services in telecommunications and collaboration for years. This merger allows each brand to move to the next level, expand further into the Canadian market and offer even more benefits to clients.

Momentum Conferencing will join TSN and Evolve under the Wish Group umbrella with Matthew Ley as the President of all three merged companies. Although the companies have merged, they will maintain their individual brand identities.

Read more about the merger here: Press Release

Growth Hacking Your Way to Success

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Growth Hacking Your Way to Success

There may not be a shortcut to success, but there are techniques that can make the path a little smoother.

Entrepreneurs are usually bootstrapped in terms of their time and money. A fallout from this can be the lack of marketing know-how or the ability to hire a marketing professional. This is where growth hacking can come in handy.

What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is the use of out of the box thinking and technology to achieve massive growth in a short time.” It involves a lot of experimentation with marketing and product or service development to identify the best ways to grow your business as quickly as possible. You will want to try a lot of ideas, track their progress and move quickly from one to the next if one isn’t working.

There are some things to keep in mind before you try growth hacking:

Make sure your product or service solves a problem

An example of this is Uber and their ability to offer people who don’t have cars an alternative to the traditional taxi system.

Offer something for free

When Dropbox got started, they offered free storage to each person who joined and they continue to offer 2 GB of storage for free. People love getting things for free, and when you need them to try a new product or service, you want to remove the barrier of cost so that they try it and then realize it is worth an investment.

Make your product or service easy and fun to use

In today’s world, we have choices for everything and people tend to prefer a product or service that is easy and fun to use.

Be the best

There may be a lot of competition in your space, but your chance of survival depends on your ability to be the best and to communicate your differences to your target market.

Use competition to your advantage

Collaborating with your competition can give you an edge. Airbnb used to advertise on Craigslist to expand their reach, and Instagram allows cross promotion on other social platforms to maintain their position as the go-to photo sharing platform.

No customer is too small

Keep all of your customers in mind and cater to the small ones because they are key for your growth hacking strategy. Eventbrite continues to show support for their smallest customers by offering free service for any event that is free to attend.

Be scalable

Before you try growth hacking, you need to be prepared to grow. If your business isn’t ready for growth, it can have a negative effect on the quality of your product or service, which can negatively affect your brand and drive customers away.

Growth hacking won’t work for every business, and it may depend on the stage your business is in. There is no one size fits all formula, so have your goals in mind, try growth hacking strategies and continue to learn as you grow.

Focus on where you’re going, not where you are.

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Focus on where you're going, not where you are.

There are reasons why a business that gets started in a garage becomes a massive success. One is that they are unapologetic about being a start-up.

Apologizing for where your business is at as you’re building it can distract you from reaching success. You want to make sure your organization stays disciplined in bootstrap or start-up stages.

Watch Episode 3 of Boot Strap: Don’t Apologize For Yourself to learn more.

A Successful Company Has Asked “Who” before “Where”

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Who Before Where

As an entrepreneur, you probably like taking on tasks and doing things to move your business forward. Recruiting talent is one of the most time consuming processes. If you’re not enjoying it, or not as proficient at it, it’s a good idea to start a partnership with a recruiting company. Jim Collins, author of the book Good To Great, compares a business to a bus and the company leader as a bus driver. He underlines the importance of asking who you need in each specific seat when it comes to identifying the talent that you need to grow your business

Strategy Play

I think of my company like a sports organization. There is a difference between teams that are in a rebuilding phase versus teams that are very close to a championship. The talent you acquire will be different based on your goals to make a run for the championship or to rebuild your team. A start-up company is similar to a team that is in a rebuilding phase; it’s not a 9am-5pm environment, you’re developing systems and processes, you’re creating infrastructure, and players on the team are wearing a bunch of different hats.

The role that recruiters play in an unfunded start-up is to identify passive talent, people who aren’t necessarily on the market looking, and to do the time consuming work of screening applicants for job positions. Peoplesource Staffing Solutions is part of the Wish Group portfolio, and they are the best resource when we’re looking for more talent to join our team. Recruiters will already know where some of the top talent is specific to your industry. You can set up a partnership with them where they are identifying and funneling in talent for you to review, or they can be more heavily involved throughout the entire process.

When you identify and acquire who you need to have in each seat, you won’t be as worried about where your business is going, you’ll be able to see how far your business can go.

Watch Episode 1 of Boot Strap to hear more of my insights about People, Recruitment and Hiring Best Practices. Let’s see how far your business can go!

Boot Strap People Recruiting And Hiring

5 Mistakes Leaders Make

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5 Mistakes Leaders Make

There isn’t one right way to be a good leader, but there are a few mistakes to avoid.

1. Losing the 10,000-Foot Vision:

As the leader, your vision needs to be the main source of inspiration for your company. In the Boot Strap series I talk about stepping back from your company to get the 10,000 foot view. Sometimes being too close to your company can cause you to change or lose your vision to accommodate short-term goals. Take the time you need to get clear about your company’s vision, and return to work with renewed power.

Toronto, Entrepreneur, Frank Cianciulli, Wish Group, Business, Vision, Boot Strap

It’s common for employees to get consumed by their tasks of completing short-term goals and lose track of the company vision. One of the most important jobs as a leader is to create time to remind team members about the long-term company vision and show them how their day-to-day short-term goals are contributing to the overall vision.

As the leader, your vision sets the tone for your entire company.

2. Building a Lopsided Team:

All teams are built from employees who have strengths and weaknesses. We are all human, no matter what we say in a job interview, we have areas that we are trying to grow in. If an employee thinks they don’t have any weaknesses or areas to work on, they’re not going to grow within your company anyway. So accept that your team has strengths and weaknesses, and focus on building a team that is filled with employees who can support each other.

Toronto, Entrepreneur, Frank Cianciulli, Wish Group, Business, Vision, Boot Strap

On sports teams, players are brought in to fill specific roles. While your company may be a start-up that requires employees to fill multiple roles, you need to recognize each employee’s strengths and weaknesses as they relate to their roles. As the leader you need to manage the strengths of your team to maximize productivity, and you will also need to manage the weaknesses of your team to understand where your team has opportunity to grow, and the skills you will need to acquire to fully round out your team.

3. Being too Business Formal:

As the leader it makes sense that you want to leave your personal life at home, but our workplaces are such a big part of our lives. You cannot be impersonal with your employees and expect them to enjoy where they work. You need to allow for some personality to grow within the company and make employees feel valued for what they bring to the workplace.

Toronto, Entrepreneur, Frank Cianciulli, Wish Group, Business, Vision, Boot Strap

Acting too impersonal can also keep a barrier between you and your team, which makes them hesitate to bring important matters to your attention. As the leader at Wish Group, I like to walk around the office and speak with everyone. These interactions allow me to connect with Wish Group associates; they’re informal so we’re able to talk about work or personal things, and they open up a two-way dialogue that lets my associates know they can approach me about anything.

Get out there and talk with your people on the ground floor to build personal relationships.

4. Discouraging Innovation:

Many leaders claim they foster innovation in the workplace, but when you look into their culture you don’t find any room for innovation. It is one thing to say that you want your team to be innovative, but if you don’t give them room to tinker, try things out, and make mistakes, you are not fostering a culture of innovation. Not all innovation will succeed, so you need to motivate your team to keep striving when they don’t achieve instant success.

5. Forgetting to Celebrate Milestones:

You may not think it’s a big deal to forget a birthday or work anniversary, but to many employees it is important to be recognized. These milestones will be important to your team members, so get creative with how you alert the company. Celebrating birthdays or work anniversaries builds a sense of belonging, company morale, and motivation.

Sending out e-cards for birthdays is a good way to get started!

Toronto, Entrepreneur, Frank Cianciulli, Wish Group, Business, Vision, Boot Strap

Remember that there isn’t one right way to be a good leader. The best way to improve is to be open with your team and accept their feedback. As your company grows, new employees will be added to your team that require unique leadership. The job of a leader is never done and it is always changing.

If you have any tips to use or avoid as a leader, share them in a comment below.


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How Company Culture Creates Big Success

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How Company Culture Creates Big Success

We can talk about the importance of company culture and the type of culture you want to build into your business, but the only way to establish and build your company culture is to work on it.

That’s a big reason for our annual Kick Off meeting. Wish Group gets together as a whole company, we talk about what happened in the previous year, we celebrate accomplishments, we talk through what we’re working towards in the New Year, and we spend time connecting with each other. Kick Off is about building connections and building the culture of Wish Group together.

Kickoff 2017

Leadership is about leading by example, and serving others by bringing the best out of them. As a leader, my focus is on finding the right people who will excel in the Wish Group culture, providing them with avenues to grow within the company, and empowering them to be part of the culture. I am not the type of leader who needs to be seen daily to drive results; my company is filled with people who are self-motivated and strive to be better than they were last quarter.

“Good people are not just crucial to a business, they are the business! Finding them, managing them, inspiring them and then holding on to them is one of the most important challenges a business leader faces.” – Richard Branson

One of the keys to Wish Group consistently appearing on the Profit 500 list and winning other company awards is the way my people build and drive each other. I work each day to grow the company and connect with people who will benefit from Wish Group, and it is the people I have working in the business who help keep the day-to-day momentum going. Kick Off and Summer Reunion are the two big events at Wish Group where I work to motivate the whole team, reinforce the vision I have for the company, discuss what’s been working or hasn’t been working, open the floor for direct feedback, and recognize all of the individuals who make this team what it is. I find these events are just as motivating for me as they are for my team!

If you’re a business leader, and you’re not connecting with the people in your organization regularly, you’re not going to see big success.

My experience at Darome Teleconferencing, before it was bought by Bell, is what inspired me to start my own business, and what continues to drive me to build the company culture at Wish Group.

Company culture is not something that happens organically, it requires hiring the right people who will fit in with your culture, managing people in a way that motivates them as individuals and a collective, inspiring them to want more for themselves and their colleagues, and holding on to people who not only fit your culture but embrace it and work to build onto it.

At Kick Off this year, Wish Group celebrated employees who have been with the company anywhere from 6-10 years! I am so proud to have these people as part of the team. While I understand and support employees who leave for other opportunities, I continue to work towards building a company culture that makes my employees excited to get up on Monday mornings, encourages them to learn and do more, and is open to feedback from employees who are living the culture.

Frank quote for Monday Mornings

I believe that you get what you work for, and Wish Group supports each employee to grow as much as possible. It is those employees who take the opportunities for growth that continue to work with us and some even develop their own business to grow within Wish Group.

We have a unique environment here with amazing people. You can build your company culture into a thriving environment as well, but it takes hard work and constant improvements!

As the leader of Wish Group, I am visible, but I’m not the star of the show. At Kick Off I sat at the front of the room to take notes and ask questions. I learned from my people because they are the ones I hired to be the best in their area of expertise. We learn from each other, we learn from our successes, and we learn from things that haven’t gone as planned.

Building a company culture based on transparent growth and a learning environment fosters more creativity, more opportunity for employees to take control of their own destiny, more growth and more happiness.

What are some of the ways you work to build company culture? Share them in a comment below.