Welcome to deaneparkes.com, my new website!
I hope you’ve come here to brush up your skills in the building blocks of your natural health (or related) business, things like: leadership, sales, marketing, management, personal development and environmental issues. Why? Because these are the topics I’m going to be featuring here, and offering my thoughts, experience and advice on. Pick my brain! I’m here to share.
In case you don’t know me, there really isn’t an aspect of the natural food business I’ve missed in my 45-year career. I’ve been a retailer, a supplier, a distributor, a manufacturer, a sales rep, a broker, and an industry board member. With this kind of experience, it’s should come as no surprise that I am a longstanding natural health advocate and natural foods consumer, too. But I am also a simple human being who believes in sharing tips that are practical, and easy to both understand and apply in your own business pursuits, whatever they may be. While most of the content on this site will be developed by me, I am happy to pass along the wisdom of others whom I respect, in the form of links and recommendations for further reading. Explore!
It was 1973 when I became a natural health consumer. Two years later I became a partner in a health food store. Since that time, I have owned a variety of health food stores, worked as a sales rep across most of Canada, led sales and marketing teams creating industry-leading brands and promotions, and introduced new categories while providing products that prevent disease. Over the decades I’ve put on hundreds of community lectures, working with top industry experts to help raise awareness about the benefits of safe, effective natural foods and medicines.
I feel incredibly lucky to have spent my career doing something that changes people lives for the better…while working with and for so many gifted, talented, caring, knowledgeable, funny and passionate people! From the first customer I served at my first store — Mountainside Natural Foods in North Vancouver — I fell in love with the purpose of the natural health industry and those who participated in it from both sides of the counter. How could I not? Every day, in this tiny 600-square-foot space, I saw the incredible health benefits people were experiencing using natural foods and medicine. And, every day, in the same space, I encountered wholesalers, manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and others who were working tirelessly to ensure that my customers received the safest, most effective products available. And not just products! At Mountainside, we were the first to sell organic vegetables in our community, as crazy as that sounds in today’s Whole Foods / Amazon society.
Often people ask me for tips and advice — for the “secret of my success,” perhaps. Well, there’s a long list of things I intend to share here on deaneparkes.com. But the first bit of advice, the one that really underpins everything I intend to do on this website, is the power of daily study. In terms of both business success and personal satisfaction, nothing has changed or guided my career more than this simple practice, which I established as a routine in the 1980s.
The power of study. It worked for me and it will work for you. All you have to do is pick a topic or subject you’d like to be better at; then spend 30 to 60 minutes daily working on it. I’ve found that reading books works best for me, but you may also benefit from listening to writer podcasts or audiobooks, or watching lectures or discussion videos on DVD or YouTube. Through the power of this practice, I count as my mentors some of the world’s top performers, business leaders, marketers and sales gurus. I am so grateful to all these amazing thinkers and doers, people whose wisdom often seemed to jump from the page. Of course, whenever I say this, there is someone who will scoff, “Who actually reads anymore?” To that, I say…”C’mon. Bill Gates reads 20 or so books a month. If Bill Gates has time to read…what’s your excuse?” I know from experience: If you study 30 to 60 minutes every work day on what it is you want to be best at, your knowledge and expertise cannot help but increase. And you’ll see the difference — both in business and life!
Natural Health has been my lifelong passion. But at deaneparkes.com, my goal is to help you become better at what you do, no matter what you do. While the site is primarily focused on the natural health industry and its partners and practitioners, I feel confident that the content found here will pay dividends for anyone who chooses to spend time and attention on it. And if this proves to be true for you, the effort I’ve put into building the site will have been truly worth my while.