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Business Ownership

hamster running on a wheel

Marketing Like a Treadmill? Hug the Hamster.

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We see jokes all the time about life or work – or both – feeling like a hamster running on a wheel. It’s the perfect analogy for constantly being busy but never seeming to reach our goals. I have to admit, I’ve always secretly liked … Keep reading…

woman holding face mask

One Word for 2021

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When 2020 arrived, I had recently split with my husband of 17 years, sold our family home, and moved into a new apartment. The problem was that during the year of getting the house ready and sold, I turned away work. And I started the … Keep reading…

easy button

Easy Solutions to Complex Problems?

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“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – Henry L. Mencken – Henry was not a small business owner. Instead, he was a journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar who penned that quote a hundred years ago. … Keep reading…

That was a Great Conversation But…

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Imagine you’ve just gotten off the phone from a lively conversation with a prospect that lasted an hour. Your purpose in having the call was to build a new business relationship or build on an established one. You both discovered you have much in common … Keep reading…

How Planning for Failure Can Help Ensure You Don’t Fail

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We all want things we’re working on to be successful. Nobody ever plans to fail… but wait, planning for failure can be a useful exercise. The term ‘premortem’ comes to us from the field of project management. According to the Harvard Business Review: “A premortem … Keep reading…

One Word for 2020

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I’m not sure what I was thinking when I decided on my one word for 2019. It was a week after my husband had told me he wanted to split up… and I chose EMBRACE as my guiding word for the coming year. At the … Keep reading…

That’s Not What I Wanted to Hear

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The best boss I ever had told me I was a crappy listener. Those weren’t the exact words he used, but Carlos was always blunt and to-the-point during performance reviews. I was young and confident… and completely surprised to be told I had this failing. … Keep reading…

We Must, We Must, Increase Our Trust

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You may not often think of trust in relation to productivity but there’s a very direct correlation, especially for small businesses. What is trust in a business relationship? It can be quite different than in our personal lives, of course. I’ve recently weathered the end … Keep reading…

What Would Your Hero Do?

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Survivor fans might remember WWMD – “What would Monica do?” – from Season 34 Game Changers. Brad Culpepper often reflected on what his wife Monica would do in a given situation. He considered Monica his hero as she had made it to the final tribal … Keep reading…

We Can’t Do It All So Let’s Choose Wisely

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My good friend and business collaborator, Anita Kirkbride, has been doing keynotes recently about how to embrace being #flawsome. It’s a hard lesson for someone like me with perfectionistic tendencies. But around mid-May, I made a conscious decision to let a few things suffer so … Keep reading…

Creating Your Own Networking Opportunities

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If you’re new to business networking, you might be discovering it can (and should) be much more strategic than just showing up. You might also be feeling some stress about it. I can remember being worried about how to start conversations and what to talk … Keep reading…

Where to Get a Haircut in a New Town

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A small business owner, let’s call him Bob, arrives in a small town for a meeting with a potential new client. Before his afternoon meeting, Bob decides he needs a haircut to get all spiffy. The receptionist at his hotel tells him there are only … Keep reading…

Is Planning Becoming Passé?

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“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower Planning is a noble task, full of focus and good intention. It’s always been one of my favourite things to do. Now I hear about the newest trend: the ‘anti business plan’ entrepreneur. Here’s a … Keep reading…

Trust and Your Reputation

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Your reputation is what people are saying about you behind your back. Shouldn’t you have some control over what is being said? Reputation and trust are two words that are often intermingled. There is a big difference though. Your reputation is a backward view of … Keep reading…

Resetting Expectations and Owning a Moment

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I recently had the pleasure once again of hearing Toni Newman speak about innovation and being different. If you haven’t attended an event featuring Toni, you won’t hear the energy and conviction behind her message, but an important message it is. Below is my attempt … Keep reading…

starfish

It’s Easy to Market to Yourself

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“People tell us who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.” – Donald Draper If my target market consisted of 1000 of me, my marketing efforts would be so much easier. After all, I … Keep reading…

5 stars on laptop

Audit your Reputation

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I know, I know! Doesn’t it sound dreadful? The Audit. Conjuring up images of spreadsheets, accountants and bad hair days. But wait… this isn’t about that kind of audit. This is much less stressful, yet just as important. We have talked about auditing your website … Keep reading…

10 Reasons to Love Being a Small Business Owner

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photo: Michael Lokner There’s nothing like a vivid reminder of your past life to cause you to take stock of your current situation and do a little comparison. That happened to me recently after having a catch up phone chat with someone I worked with 15 … Keep reading…

Finding Your Ideal Client is Like Finding a Mate

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Do you remember being single? Perhaps you are now. How do/did you find your soulmate? As business owners, I think we can use some of the same strategies to build strong work relationships, too. Hang out where they hang out If you’re looking for a … Keep reading…

women networking

Be the Customer You Want to Have

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We all have those favourite customers – the ones we’d bend over backwards for when they really need our help. Think about those things you most appreciate about your best customers and make a list. Draw a ‘picture’ of what your ideal customer ‘looks’ like. … Keep reading…

Make the Most of Masterminding

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If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably been a member of a mastermind group (although you might not have called it that). If you’re new to self-employment, start or find a mastermind group… fast! I’ve written about mastermind groups before … Keep reading…

You Reap What You Sow

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My garden was on the Gardens Galore tour in support of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada last weekend, so I have been spending a lot of time getting it ready for company. It was all very exciting and, while preparing, I decided my … Keep reading…

whiteboard

Avoiding False Assumptions

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I am not my own ideal client. Certainly, I fit within the target market I have so clearly defined. Being a small business owner, I can identify with all of my ideal clients – we share many of the same needs and desires. But there … Keep reading…

Getting a Reputation

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“Reputation is the currency of networking and referrals.” – Scott Allen A positive reputation is one of our most valuable business assets and is built mostly on one thing: happy customers. What if you don’t have happy customers yet? What if you’re new in business … Keep reading…