For someone in the business of judging whether an idea will soar like the sweet tones of Bieber's voice or sink like Nortel stock, there was a time when you might not have banked on Arlene Dickinson, known across the nation as a dragon on CBC's 'Dragons' Den'.
Married at 19, Arlene had four kids by the time she was 27, and wound up divorced at 31. The divorce got her excommunicated from her Mormon church, but even worse: The family court judge told her she couldn't have custody of her children until she could prove she had the resources to look after them. Suddenly, Arlene wasn't just looking for work, she was on a mission.
But Arlene pulled it off. Today, she's the head of Venture Communications, a marketing company based in Calgary whose clients include Red Rose and Toyota. She's one of the country's most powerful business leaders, and she's now worth an estimated $80 million. So how'd she pull it off? The secret may lie in the title of her book. It's called 'Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds'. It's a guide to how you can influence people, both in business and everyday life.
And Arlene's also got a show of her own. (Take that, O'Leary.) 'The Big Decision' follows Arlene and fellow Dragon Jim Treliving, as they debate whether or not to help struggling Canadian business owners keep their companies afloat.