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Saying Yes to Life: Masterclass Business Coach Trades Her Pen for A Paintbrush

Saying Yes to Life: Masterclass Business Coach Trades Her Pen for A Paintbrush

Masterclass Business Coach, Trish Tonaj, shares how she trades her pen for a paintbrush to re-connect with her passion, relieve corporate burnout and expand her creative potential.

Trading A Pen for A Paintbrush Getting to “Yes” - By Trish Tonaj

From master business coach to artist, Trish Tonaj follows her passion in trading a pen for a paintbrush. Trish is an author and speaker on the topic of mentorship and has published 2 books: Breaking Barriers 10 Entrepreneurial Women Share Their Stories and A Diary of Change 12 Personal Tools. Trish's botanically-inspired, outdoor art is currently on display at Langdon Hall, where she invites you to join her on Wednesday August 18th (details below).

In recent months, I have found myself in conversations with business leaders about the concept of hearing “Yes.” There seems to be an increased number of people regardless of industry that are in discussions that include “no, no thank you,” “not right now,” or “maybe.”

Often, it is not related to a sale but rather collaborating on an idea or initiative that would be win-win for both parties.

Based on the number of “no’s” we hear in a day, week or month, we begin to forget one fundamental concept…We forget to ask!

Sometimes when we ask for help or share an idea we will most often hear “YES.” 

It is a great connector!

Hearing yes, fuels our creativity and encourages outside the box thinking.

It opens the door to new possibilities! 

I believe, when we hear yes, it actually engages the happiness hormones that creates positive energy and just plain makes us feel good.

There are four hormones that contribute to happiness or positive feelings and they are: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. All of these are naturally created in the body and are engaged when we feel happy, satisfied or appreciated. They work in tandem with one another and are produced when we exercise, eat healthy and I believe hear… “Yes.”  

A positive experience that contributes to our wellbeing. 

We engage in conversations with the intention of collaborating and creating positive connections that in one form or another include the connector – Yes. 

Isn’t almost every conversation part of that process?

Yes, starts a whole new conversation that leads not only to collaboration but mentorship.  It is how we learn from one another and is a powerful tool that encourages future connections.  

I will take the idea one step further and suggest that we end a conversation with yes.  “Yes” to leaving the door open, reconnect and continue the conversation.

Here is a personal example:

I am currently trading a pen for a paintbrush and bringing my hobby to the forefront in my personal and professional career. I have been using the concept of “Yes” to collaborate.

Believe it or not, I have developed a unique process that will allow us to hang artwork outdoors.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I have been test marketing this concept for the last 4 years. 

I’m sure no-one knew, I’ve been painting since childhood and reconnecting with my passion over the years as a stress reliever.

In fact, I’ve had to lean in on my hobby when experiencing corporate burnout twice throughout my career. A pastime that creates an escape from the day to day routine of life and allows me to recharge my batteries.

I remember the day when I was looking out my kitchen window, it was dull and dreary and I thought geez wouldn’t it look better if there was a splash of colour! 

I literally went into my studio, picked up a painting, went outside and hung the painting on my back fence, stepped back and thought to myself - Wow that looks better!

It wasn’t long before I was gifting my paintings to friends and relatives asking them to put them on their house in the garden, patio or porch, on benches and balconies to enjoy while they helped me test market the idea. 

Everyone had a positive response with smiles and comments that all started with yes - Yes, they would gladly hang the artwork around their house and report back on the outcome.

Over time, I revised the technique and here I am today selling these works through special events and commissions.

Now, I will agree, these works are far from ordinary and have been created to enhance your outdoor space. Best described as abstract florals to be enjoyed, celebrated and admired in your personal space. 

After all of the test marketing, I asked for feedback and was able to create this definition to share with folks who are interested in the concept:

What is outdoor art?

“Each original work of art is treated to protect the canvas from  the basic elements. Best suited for protected spaces with overhangs and sheltered openings in your personal space.
The colour will remain vibrant for many years to come.
Avoid water sprinklers and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
Enjoy your splash of colour outdoors throughout the year.
I Invite You to Be Bold with Your Personal Space”

Pretty amazing isn’t it?  All by getting to “Yes!”

In fact, the current location for this art installation is at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa and came about by simply calling the Gallery Director, Jennifer Houghton and requesting a meeting to discuss my new concept.

Jennifer said: Yes!

She took the time to meet with me and by the end of the meeting we were both pretty excited to be collaborating on the show and began sharing marketing ideas.

A guest blog is another case in point, my VA, Keelin reached out to Graydon Skincare’s team to ask if we may be able to collaborate and share stories in our respective newsletters.  Giving us both the opportunity to expand our networks and share great ideas.

Guess what? Graydon and her team said, “Yes” and we are sharing stories.

Now, I will admit, that we don’t always receive a positive response with every connection but I’m sure you’ll agree a “NO” simply opens the door to another opportunity that may eventually become a “Yes.”

Here are a few things to consider the next time you meet with a colleague or friend to create opportunities for hearing “Yes.”

  1. Listen to the story
  2. Be authentic when stating your point of view 
  3. Identify an opportunity and discuss solutions
  4. Create a human connection through empathy
  5. Be positive and encouraging
  6. Say thank you 
  7. Share Your Stories

Feel free to share your success stories with me through social when you’ve been able to collaborate through hearing “Yes.”

Now, I’d like to invite you to join me at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa on Wednesday, August18 to stroll around the property and attend Meet the Artist. We are going to have a silent auction, featuring new works in the collection, share a nibble or two and just plain “have fun.”

Here is a short video to preview the collection:

I Invite You to Be Bold and join me by saying “Yes.”

I’d send my heartfelt thanks to Graydon and her team for the introductions and being part in this network.

I Iook forward to meeting those who are able to join us!

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask to hear “Yes.”

Written by Trish Tonaj, business coach, author, artist & founder of ShareYourStories series.

Visit Trish at or to learn more.


Image by: Trish Tonaj

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