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Fearlessness is NOT a thing.

Fearlessness is Bullshit. It's not a thing. By Leeann Froese

I have had fearlessness on my mind for several months now. A new year seemed a fitting time to let my thoughts out, and as a #winelover, I thought what better day than a Wine Wednesday?


It all started last August in Finger Lakes, New York State, during the Wine Bloggers Conference pre-excursion.

An event held at Ventosa Vineyards showcased women and wine – who gathered to speak and illustrate the varying roles of women in the vines, cellars and labs of this cool climate region. The theme of their event was Bold. Fearless. Original.

We heard from Marti Macinski, from Standing Stone Vineyards, who is arguably one of the pioneering vintners in the Finger Lakes wine region. She spoke of the roles she has played in the past and the ones she now plays as a farmer, hospitality manager and vintner, and how her work to establish a wine industry in an unproven region, combined with being a woman winemaker, required fearlessness.

By contrast in age and experience, Jenna LaVita is the 29-year-old winemaker and vineyard manager of Ventosa Vineyards. She has been earning numerous accolades at an early point in her career, working in a field ever-dominated by men. She shared how she had to behave in a fearless way to show her peers and also herself, that as a young woman winemaker she has the capability…

Liz Leidenfrost, the assistant winemaker and tasting room manager of Leidenfrost Vineyards, spoke of the importance of having a champion. In her case, her father is her cheerleader – he advised her that she could do anything, and she will make mistakes, but that is OK. His backing gave her to confidence to face her fears.

The partner and general manager of Three Brothers Winery & Estates, Erica Paolicelli, is also a young woman, and one of the only females on her winery team. She has to show confidence and bust it on a daily basis to make her way with the boys.

Chef Heather Tompkins is a chef serving Finger Lakes wine country, and co-owner of Opus Espresso and Wine Bar. A pioneer herself, she was one of the first interns to open The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, California.

From these Finger Lakes ladies, they share the traits of passion, being a risk taker, and reinventing rules on their terms. But are they fearless? But I'd prefer to NOT use that word.



“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.” - Maya Angelou


Towards September, the fearlessness theme continued for me; this time, I turned it inward.

A good girlfriend of mine, Ingrid, wanted to celebrate her birthday by doing the death-defying act of zip lining across a canyon in the Okanagan Valley. She asked me and other friends to join her. The idea of doing this was quite scary and took me out of my comfort zone. When I shared my nervousness, Ingrid said she didn't expect me to be afraid; because I am the most fearless person she knows. She said that it seems like I'm never afraid to do anything.

And even my own team members tell me they see me as somebody who is fearless; Sujinder at one point tweeted something about me being the fearless leader at Town Hall.

I found it so interesting that people saw me this way.

I think a friend of mine could relate. Lynda Steele, a Vancouver broadcaster, made a bold move by leaving a high-profile on camera consumer reporter role at CTV to take on an equally high-profile job with her own show on CKNW news talk 980. Lynda had no formal radio experience to speak of and the thought of making this bold career move after three decades in television was something that she publicly expressed great trepidation and fear about. In the week leading up to her big change, she shared on her Facebook wall that she had a restless night thinking about her move to radio. She said when she finally got up, that seemingly out of nowhere, this image rolled though in her iPhotos:


Lynda said this had to be a message from above. This led to a symphony of comments to follow, with Lynda’s friends cheering her on, stating how they felt she is bold and fearless, and also commenting about worry and fear and how it is healthy and can give you energy.

Lynda’s friends aren’t the only ones who feel that fear can fuel you. Dame Judi Dench has been quoted on this topic.



Within all of these anecdotal examples of strong women an amount of bravery was required, but to me, that is not what fearlessness is.

I actually think the idea of fearlessness is not a thing. It's bullshit. I think people are generally terrified when they get outside their comfort zone, and despite the fear they strive to move forward.

This fear: of failure, vulnerability, of evaluation by others, can be turned inward into an energy, a fire in your belly, that can help push you forward. This could be perceived as fearlessness, but I think it is just fear manifesting itself as strength.

We use the energy generated from fear to give us strength and propel us forward, despite the fact that what we are facing is terrifying, either on a physical, emotional or spiritual level.

In all of these examples of women that I shared, they talked about how they were pushed beyond their comfort zone in order to make some sort of a change; is the bravery required to do this considered to be fearlessness?

I don’t think so. I think fear is real, tangible, gives one physical symptoms, and in some cases can paralyze.

But no matter what we do, even when we are terrified, we need to come to the realization that we need to take risks, do something we are afraid of, so we can stretch and learn and grow.

So as a new year is upon us, and so much has yet to unfold, I recognize that I am terrified every day. Am I doing the right thing as a parent? Is my young business going to be OK? Will my clients be happy? Is my team going to stick with me? How do others see me? All these things creep in as fear and self doubt. There is no way I am fearless.

Despite all this my approach is to feel the fear, and do it anyway. I'll rise to the challenges life hands me, knees shaking, and do the best I can.

And with that in mind, I wish you all a great year, filled with fun, courage and optimism. As I love to say: #gogetit!

Do Good Work: Town Hall does 30 Days of Kindness with 30 Day Adventures

  Do Good Work - Town Hall does a kind act for 30 Days of Kindness.

by Leeann Froese

Those that know me, know that each day I ask myself and my world: “have you been as kind as you can be today?


So when blogger, friend, and client Marc Smith of 30 Day Adventures called for people to get involved in his latest blog series called 30 Days of Kindness, I leaped at the chance.

Presented by CHIMP and Provence, the second annual 30 Days of Kindness series sees Marc work with people and companies to spread 30+ acts of kindness.

For our act of kindness I asked my Town Hall team what they wanted to do; I said I wanted help those who are constantly helping others.

Honour House

It was Andrew & Felicia from our design team that suggested we visit and recognize those who volunteer at Honour House.

So we went to Honour House. See the 30 Day Adventures blog post by Marc Smith on our act of kindness here.

It just so happened that Marc posted our kind act on World Kindness Day! How fitting. CTV spoke to Marc about his series, World Kindness Day and Honour House. If you want to watch the CTV coverage go here and check it out!

Honour House is a home away from home that offers temporary housing for Canadian Forces and Emergency Services personnel whose families or loved ones are receiving medical treatment in Greater Vancouver. This special refuge is almost 100% volunteer driven, and seemed like the perfect place to visit and show some kindness to the volunteers.

Honour House Tree of Honour

The house opened in 2010 and is a completely renovated heritage home in New Westminster that has 20 guest rooms, peaceful, brightly lit common areas and a shared kitchen. Craig Longstaff is the general manager, and Patti Graham, who looks after finances, are the only two paid staff members. Maintenance, upkeep and fundraising events are all managed by a group of dedicated volunteers. Craig gave our team a tour and we learned a lot about this unique facility.

A lot of care and love goes into Honour House on a regular basis; for example a group of quilt makers has sent over enough quilts for the entire house, as well as many child-sized quilts, which young guests of Honour House can take home with them when they return home.

Hand made quilts are supplied in each room at Honour House



Town Hall’s act of kindness was to take the volunteers some kind of a treat and help with some of their regular duties. Sally Koldenhof, owner of Custom Cookies by Sally, heard what we were planning, and made amazing maple leaf sugar cookies to fit Honour House’s theme. We then gave these to the volunteers and staff upon arrival.

As we learned more during our visit to Honour House we realized that this special facility needs more volunteers. Like any accommodation or B&B, when guests leave, things need to be cleaned and organized for the next set of people who will be staying.

With a number of VIPs set to visit Honour House on Remembrance Day for the parade and event to follow after in New Westminster, our timing could not have been better. The Town Hall team, along with Marc, spent a few hours working at Honour House on Friday November 8th.


I, Andrew, Felicia, Sujinder, Ali, Ben, and Marc raked leaves, made beds, vacuumed & mopped the floors over the course of an hour and a half alongside their volunteers and we were able to get the house cleaned from bottom to top.

After that was done the group posed for a photo and enjoyed the custom-made maple leaf Cookies by Sally. The volunteers, staff and the Town Hall team were super happy with the cookies.

During our time at Honour House we realized that the Honour House volunteers are amazing. No job was too big or too small, and they did everything with a smile. The ladies whom I helped were laughing and having fun pretty much the whole time. Their passion for Honour House is clear and they do whatever it takes to make sure the house is comfortable and clean when new guests arrive.

Craig was impressed with how much our team accomplished. He noted that they need five or six people to help them on a regular basis, to bolster their existing group of volunteers.

So, if your company, or you and a group of friends want to help those who regularly help others, check out the Honour House website at They would be very grateful for your help and so would the Canadian Forces and Emergency Services personnel, who stay there.

I especially send this note out to other companies - as a small business owner, if I and my team can find the time to do an afternoon of good work: I challenge you to do the same.