Gift Books for Entrepreneurs and Creatives

Gift Books for Entrepreneurs and Creatives

It’s that gift-giving time of year. Are you scratching your head as you stare at your list? Out of ideas? A great book is always a good option, whether for a coworker, friend or family member – and if you buy from a local bookseller, so much the better!

We’ve decided to help you out by interviewing some of the most avid readers in our ACE Coworking community. We asked for their recommendations for the best books for creatives and entrepreneurs. Here you go…

Essentialism, by Greg McKeown

“Do you have friends who always answer ‘super busy’ when you ask ‘how are you?’ This gift is for them. In this amazing book, McKeown explores the conflicts of identifying what is actually essential in a world full of things to-do. It provides effective solutions for anyone who feels that 24 hours are not enough!” 

– María Virginia Anzola: Co-founder, The FlipSide Plan

The Surrender Experiment, by Michael Singer 

“This is not your typical business/entrepreneurship book. Of course, there is the requisite story of how Singer built a billion-dollar public software company from scratch. But the real impact comes from the author’s spiritual awakening and willingness to let life’s flow help determine his business decision-making. Throughout, he demonstrates how a very successful external life is perfectly consistent with achieving profoundly deep states of inner peace and freedom.”

– Mark Fornasiero, Meditation & Business Coach 

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

“This is the book I read and re-read regularly, talk about too much, and think about often. It’s about creativity, but it’s also about a philosophy of living. It inspires me to move beyond fear and see my life as a creative adventure guided by my curiosity. Anyone I’ve ever gifted it to feels the same way.”

– Diliana Popova: Copywriter/Founder,  Spell Book 

The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle

“We are either living in the memories of the past, or worries of the future. In both cases we attract the emotions of these thoughts, which eventually affect the present moment. The Power of Now tackles the idea of how to live in the moment and stop worrying about the future or regretting the past. This transformative book has actionable strategies to start living in the present – everyone should read it!”

– Moatassem Moatez: CEO, MYCourier Inc.

Play Bigger, by Lockhard, Ramadan, Maney & Peterson

“If you have a true entrepreneur or innovator in your life, then I’d recommend Play Bigger. Written for those who want to build legendary and enduring companies. (Yes, we’re talking about companies like Apple, Salesforce, Blackberry…) The authors teach about the new discipline of “category design” for companies that are creating new market demand for products or services where none existed before, and show how to keep those customers wanting more. The Kindle version is great so you can easily highlight and download the numerous insights scattered throughout this book.”

– Rina Carlini: CEO, Optimal Innovation Group

Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson, M.D. 

“This book has been around forever, but is still a classic. I’ve given it many times, and there’s even a version called Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens, which I’ve gifted to my own kids. It applies not only to career situations, but also to the ups and downs of life itself. How will you react to the inevitable changes you’ll face on your journey? In this enlightening parable, Spencer describes 4 types of “mice” who are challenged in various ways – any reader is sure to identify with one (or more) of them. Bonus: it’s a quick read!” 

– Kevin Palmer: CFO, Greywolf Animal Health 

If you’d like to get more inspiration and education from the staff and partners of ACE Coworking, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You’ll also stay up to date on the events we run and the amazing promotions we often offer!

3rd Annual ACE Golf Tournament

3rd Annual ACE Golf Tournament

Oakville Small Business Award Winner

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 brought ACE Coworking members together for a day of outdoor recreation and bonding at Milton’s Wyldewood Golf & Country Club. Our annual best-ball tourney always results in new friendships being formed among our members, and this year was no exception. (Plus a few members brought along their kids, so we got to meet them too!)

Aside from the fun of golf and friendly competition, we are always impressed by the way events such as these give us a chance to flex our collaborative muscles: member Thom Leiper (Deluxe Canada) coordinates the event; member Peter Pereira (WHYDEA Inc.) procured the venue and printed the materials; Taylor Wade prepped our prizes; Charlene van Niekerk took photos; everyone pitched in to make it a fabulous day! Thanks to all.

After our rounds, we gathered on the Wyldewood patio to for some “cold ones” and to enjoy their delicious pizza. (Great food and service at Wyldewood, btw!) Prizes were distributed to the winners. Highlights: David Love (Nacora Insurance Group) took the prize for closest to the pin, Mike Rodger (Auberge Resorts) took longest drive for men, and our staffer Charlene had the longest drive for women. 

Here are just a few photos to give a taste of the day. (Are we creating FOMO for you ACE members who couldn’t make it out this year?) We’re looking forward to seeing even more of you for the 2022 event!

If you’d like to learn about more events run by ACE Coworking, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You’ll also stay up to date on the the amazing promotions we often offer!

International Coworking Day 2021 – Giveaway

International Coworking Day 2021 – Giveaway

by Nancy Fornasiero

Every year on August 9th, coworking space operators all around the world celebrate International Coworking Day. It’s a chance to appreciate our members, educate the public, and amplify our message about how great coworking is.

In the past here at ACE we’ve marked the occasion in several ways, most notably by opening up our doors to offer free Hot Desks all week long to anyone in the area who wanted to give coworking a try. We’ve also hosted an open house breakfast, a member appreciation lunch, and invited our community partners to come by to help us celebrate (see above). There was lots of great food, fun door prizes, and amazing in-person connecting. You can guess where this is going next….

Last year, sadly, all the above wasn’t possible with the COVID situation not yet under control. So in 2020 we hit pause for our Coworking Day activities and promised to be back in 2021, better than ever. Here we are, though: close to the pandemic finish line, but not quite all the way there. With our safety measures in place – capacity restrictions, screening protocols, physical distancing – our traditional Open House just isn’t possible. 

That said… we do love a good “pivot”!

So, this year we’re celebrating in a new way: by organizing an AWESOME GIVEAWAY!

Grand prize is ONE YEAR of Community Membership at ACE, value: $1200

This type of membership includes a year of discounted prices on our meeting rooms, access to our exclusive members’ online portal, mail handling, and entry into our amazing community of professionals and entrepreneurs. More details about the membership here.

PLUS, we have 4 other amazing prizes donated by our members and partners:

  • Printing Services: 500 premium stock business cards or postcards, Courtesy of  WHYDEA Inc.. Design service included. Value $400
  • Entrepreneur’s Bundle: Website Audit by Piece of Cake Digital Marketing + 2 ACE Hot Desk Day Passes + Office Supplies. Value $375
  • Floral Inspirations! Framed mixed media illustration by local artist and ACE Coworking member, Cleo Lant. Value $120
  • Oakville Gift Basket: Gourmet teas from Christa’s Tea ShopThe Treasure You Seek, by local author, Siobhan Kukolic + Oakville tote bag & mug. Value $70


If you’re already receiving our news and updates by email, then do this: invite a friend or colleague to sign up and let us know who you referred. (Text 289-801-8731) If they subscribe, you’ll both be entered to win. The more people you refer, the more times you get entered!


No purchase necessary. Items won are transferrable. Open to Ontario residents until August 12, 2021 at 11.59PM EST. Not open to current ACE Coworking members. Winners will be randomly selected and contacted by email by August 13, 2021 at 8PM EST.


We’re excited to be celebrating our industry’s 16th birthday along with our coworking friends around the world. Curious about how this holiday was born? It marks the anniversary of the day Brad Neuberg first brought modern-day coworking into the world. You can still see Brad’s original blog post announcing the first North American coworking space here. Coworking has come a long way since then, but the spirit of collaboration and connection is as strong as ever!

How to Overcome Writer’s Block

How to Overcome Writer’s Block

In this monthly series, Ask an Acer, we invite one of our talented members to share their expertise with you. February’s post comes to you from Amanda Lee, a skilled freelance journalist and copywriter.

When you have content to create (and don’t we all these days?) you might have a budget to hire a pro like Amanda, but very often we find ourselves facing that blank page on our own and we just don’t know where to start. In this post, Amanda explains three reasons why we might be experiencing writer’s block and gives her pro tips about how to beat it.


1) You’re not a writer 

Here’s something I learned through spending years writing everything from press releases to snappy tweets to feature stories: Writers are rarely born, they’re made. In his book, The Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell explores the 10,000 rule – the key to success in any field, including writing, is to practice.    

Solution: Start now    

If you feel compelled to write, that is all the reason – and permission – you need to put pen to paper to fingers to keyboard and share your thoughts and ideas with the rest of the world. Don’t be put off by thinking you have to put in thousands of hours of practice before sharing a blog post.  


2) You’re self-critical

Expecting words to flow onto the page like maple syrup on warm, fluffy blueberry pancakes is unrealistic. Sure, sometimes they do. Writers get into the zone and the words do flow. Other times it’s as frustrating as trying to squeeze the remaining ketchup out from the bottle. Author, Neil Gaiman said, “Perfection is like chasing the horizon.” Self-criticism is a sure path to writer’s block.  

Solution: The sh*tty first draft  

In her book, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott makes the case for the sh*tty first draft. “All good writers write them,” she notes. I was first given this piece of advice by another (real life!) author I met years ago at a reading. Professional authors embrace the sh*tty first draft. As Lamott says, “This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts.”  So get some words down on the page – any words. You’ll improve on them in later drafts.


3) You have nothing to say

Chances are, you’re an expert in your field. You know things about the real estate industry, or branding, or creating a sales funnel that your clients don’t. You may think you have nothing to share, but you do. We all do. 

Solution: See writing as an act of generosity 

To quote Lamott again, “If you give freely, there will always be more. …This is what the writer has to offer.” Inspiration can hit in the shower or while walking your dog. Jot down any ideas you have for a blog post, an e-booklet, or to share on social media. Write about the things that interest you. Write about the things your clients want advice on. Share your knowledge and your unique perspective on the world generously. 


These tips should get you started on your own – but if you want to hire an awesome copywriter instead, then Amanda would be a great choice! Besides writing magazine pieces on topics such as travel, parenting, finance, arts, and culture, she has experience writing content for businesses in every sector imaginable. (This native Australian has also earned an MFA from The University of King’s College and is working on a narrative non-fiction book called Finding Opal.)

Check out Amanda’s writing samples here.

Passionfruit Communications Website


Expert Hiring Tips You Need to Know!

Expert Hiring Tips You Need to Know!

In this monthly series, “Ask an Acer,” we invite some of our talented members to share their expertise with you. February’s post comes to you from HR expert, Craig Bissett, a long-time ACE Coworking member and president of Hire Results Ltd. He’s also the creator of the Hiring Assessment Web Enabled Tool which allows organizations to test-drive candidates before hiring them.

Craig has just published a book called My Worst Hire & What I Learned From It, in which he interviews 50 business leaders who relate their stories of hiring mistakes and the lessons they learned along the way. Here Craig shares with us a few vital nuggets from the book – tips that are sure to help you in your next hiring moment!

Beware of Compromises

When hiring at the management level, never ever compromise. If your #1 candidate turns down your offer, resist the temptation to hire your #2 candidate. Instead, you should go back to square one and search for the next #1 candidate. The cost of hiring second-best, if that person is not the right fit, will be multiplied throughout the team.

Culture is Key

If you have a company mission and culture/value statement, don’t leave it hanging on the wall. Rather, take it into the interview process. Assess the candidate based on what your company believes in. Keep in mind what you want to promote in terms of culture at your company, and make sure you address these topics in the interview. A candidate may have all the required skills for the role, but if they don’t fit your company values, you will end up with a major mistake on your hands.

Size Matters

Be extremely careful when hiring someone who is from a different sized operation. For example, if you are a small company and the candidate is coming from a large, well-financed firm, make sure that person is ready to roll up their sleeves and do the grunt work required for your growth plans. Whether they are transitioning from a large operation to a smaller one, or vice versa, it’s your job to ensure new hires know what they are getting into. 

If these tips have left you wanting to learn more about making a great hire, you can get more info about Craig Bissett’s book here: or reach out to him directly on LinkedIn. He would love to hear from you! 

(Special launch pricing on the book lasts only until Feb 2, 2021)