16 December 2017

3 Tips for Surviving a Cash Flow Crunch

I have never met a business person who hasn't at one time or another had a cash flow crunch. There may be someone out there, but I've never met one. I know I have had one or two as I ease myself into this thing called business. You're not alone. Here are 3 lessons that I have learned where the rubber hit the road.

1. Don't beat yourself up over it. You got here because of decisions you have made. Accept it, learn from it and move on. No sense getting angry at yourself. It's counter productive.

2. You won't get out of one hole by digging another one.  As much as you may want to borrow from Peter to pay Paul, avoid the impulse. You're already overextended - think of ways to generate more revenue instead of looking for quick fixes. You're in a place of great learning - hard knocks are like that.

3. Get humble real quick.  The thing about good business people is that they're not afraid to humble themselves. Ask for an extension on payment if you need to but only if you won't inconvenience someone else. You need to get through this and keep your business going. Get humble real quick.

My two cents - something needs to change if this becomes a chronic problem in your business. Think long and hard about that.

Learn more about what we do at PeopleCan here.

10 December 2017

It's great to have a heart centered business but let's be serious, feeling good won't pay the bills.

My ideal client is just like me - or should I say -  how I used to be. 

They start a business with great big hearts and they just want everyone to have what they're offering because they care about you and YOUR well being, YOUR health, YOUR relationships, where you live or how your children are faring. Care and a heart to serve motivates them.  The heart to serve is great but it's essential to really get the profit motive that makes a business a business. 

I started PeopleCan Training primarily as a way to make money but I was highly motivated by an ethics of care and a heart to serve. I saw too many blue collar businesses out there working long hard hours at their craft while not bringing home enough to pay the bills.  I saw them slave over their amazing products without an ability to charge what they were worth - hence why I started using the word "charge large" which used to make me cringe I might add.

But a heart to serve won't pay the bills without some kickass practical skills around charging, collecting, professionalism and communication.  You can't live on bread alone, nor can you live for long on warm and fussy feelings. 

That's why I created drop in monthly coaching like Are you charging enough? and why I am offering a full day on the topic of money in the new year. People were out there learning about cash flow but there was a blockage in the revenue pipe that was caused by too much heart and not enough profit motive. 

Making money for your business lets you care more and give more and be better at what you do. That's why I ensure that each of my courses includes a piece about money mindset because frankly, I can't do a financial projection without talking about the elephant in the room.  If you're not comfie with the talk about cash - you're not going to last long in this biz.

So if you're ready to root out those cobwebs that might be holding you back. Stay tuned, the details of the full day program Big Bold 2018 will be coming out this week. Join us for a fully day of planning. 

Check out my candid story about my own Money Mindset evolution. 

18 November 2017

Is being nice hurting your business?

Business success takes a lot of mental toughness. It's a given - mental toughness and success go hand in hand. If you're like me, more often than not, you did it wrong before you did it right.

I'm a recovering doormat. I spent a large part of my life avoiding conflict and keeping the peace. You can imagine how that impacted my business - a venture where tough conversations are the norm especially when there is wiggle room for negotiation in price. Not a good scene!!!

I like to say I'm a  work in progress because the reality is that the tendency to be seen as nice still shows up on occasion and I have to stamp it out. It really is an ongoing battle.

In my classes, I talk about the internal workings that hold us back in business - being nice is one of those "driving with the handbrake on" moments. 

Enabling behaviour - helping someone to take advantage and mistreat us. It is often a taboo phrase - let's not talk about it in case we blame the victim. Well, I needed to talk about it because I was the only one that could stop it. 

In university, I encountered the term and it made me curious because it sounded so much like me. It intrigued me so much that I went looking for books on the topic. 

Books like Melody Beattie's Codependent No More and Beverly Engel's Nice Girl Syndrome  helped me to come to terms with the fact that 


Are you fired up yet? The mental toughness that it takes to be successful DEMANDS that we take a long hard look in the mirror and put our finger on the problem. It's not about letting anyone off the hook - there are jerks out there!! No objection here. It's about being honest with yourself. 

Enable: to make able; give power, means, competence, or ability to authorize;

We enable when we don't speak up to someone who disrespects us. We enable when we overlook again and again. We enable when we can't find our voice.

Being nice means keeping the peace a lot of the time. To the extreme in most cases. We can't keep the peace and have a difficult conversation at the same time. The problem with being nice is that even the most professional tough conversation can feel pretty scary. Well, breaking that cycle is tough for nice people but in order to be successful, you've got to learn to be professional and to be fair including treating yourself with respect.

Respect is all about moving out of victim mindset and taking responsibility for your 
part in helping others treat you with disrespect.

"Enabling" let's raise awareness about this topic and end it today.

Join us on Nov 23rd as we take a deep dive in how it impacts our biz.  

4 November 2017

Entrepreneurship - Fixed and Growth Mindset and Visioning

Sit quietly for a few moments and imagine that its the end of the day (I'm assuming it's morning where you are). Now take a few deep breaths and think back on the day - what made it special? Did you spend time with friends? Was it the amazing round of golf in November or did you strike it rich at the casino? Did you enjoy a day on your own while the kids went on an adventure with grandma? Now.....


Fourteen years ago, when I started my learning journey, had I read this opening paragraph, I would have stopped reading. Not my thing. A little hocus pocus and foo fooy. 

But here I am today not only visioning as a regular part of my day but teaching others to vision as well. 

I used to be a Fixed Mindset gal. I can still remember Sister Mary - a nun who walked around with a stick, little black Oxford shoes, bushy eyebrows and a double chin hanging over her white wimple. She would stare at me sternly when we were caught climbing back in through the bathroom window after sneaking out for a smoke. 

We weren't taught to dream - we were taught to be obedient and to become great employees. That's what the public school system did. Entrepreneurial success requires that you be a dreamer - a growth mindset characteristic. If we don't know how to do that - we need to learn. 

I've had a few meetings recently where I had an opportunity to speak about three of the core competencies of entrepreneurship that I dabble in - communication, networking and MINDSET with the latter being the one that I enjoy speaking about most.

Generally I'm chatting with people who are old school fixed mindset - having a foot in each canoe helps me to bring the conversation to a place where they get curious about what I'm saying. That's all I want to do is start the dialogue. How do we teach fixed mindset people how to think like a growth mindset person? One part of that is teaching people how to vision. A clear vision of where you are going becomes a magnet, impacts your choices and gets you there quicker.

Here's how it looks for a 30 Day Sales Challenge.

- we have set a goal for what we want to achieve.
- we do a visioning exercise where we imagine that we're at Day 30.
- we visualize that we're looking back over the month to see what it is that we did to get here.
- use your imagination.
- what needed to go well.
- what people did we need to meet.
- what did we say no to?

Now get 'er done.

27 October 2017

Let's all teach people to fish - design for business training needs to get real.

Every time I look at this picture, it warms my heart. A friend had taken me out to the country and was giving me a lesson in fly fishing. I didn't do so well. This photo does not capture how incompetent I really was. We had a remarkable time - taking me back to the fun outdoorsy stuff that I miss.

There's an old adage that says  "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day but teach him to fish and he will never go hungry."

I was given an opportunity this week to speak with stakeholders about teaching people to fish (become entrepreneurs) and how important it was that they be supported in that journey. Not just supported, but supported in the right way.

In the early days of my own entrepreneurial journey, I was adamant that I needed money to become a business owner. I really believed that having an influx of cash would get me started. But I was wrong. I didn't know what I didn't know. With a lot of humility I have learned tough lessons where the rubber hits the road. Some of those lessons have been very painful including the one where I recognized that I needed skills and not money.
I was a reluctant entrepreneur so I had no real desire to learn to fish. I needed to learn to survive and if it meant fishing, then I needed to learn. I also needed someone with the patience to teach me how. Even though I ended up teaching myself, it's a tough model - it's labour intensive, it takes too long and can wear a person down. Fortunately, I lived to tell the tale and so it has also become a gift. It has allowed me to gain insight that I wouldn't normally have been privy to had I not had that experience.

Here are a few of the lessons that I have learned where the rubber hits the road that continue to benefit me in designing business training:

1. Stop giving people handouts without ensuring that you also give them the supports they need to leverage the handout. Throwing money at a problem does not resolve the underlying problem. Support has to be intentional - tackling the issues that are front of mind for the learner.

2. Design matters -  the first business course I took taught me how to do financial management in business. I had no finances to manage and it all seemed so abstract. I couldn't figure out how to make my first $100.00 and someone wanted me to plug numbers into a spreadsheet that were higher than any numbers that I had ever seen in my life.

Having the right learning objectives in a program is as important as providing support for transfer learning. It's OK to take a course in a classroom but if you're left to your own devices when the program is over, then you're in hot water because learning is a vulnerable venture. Change is tough - doing it on our own is difficult. We need to have well designed programs that meet people where they are and then couple that training with the right support for transfer learning. Often when people leave the classroom, they don't have the supports in their lives to support the change they need to make. Make sure you offer an opportunity for support. 

3. Mindset matters - this is the hot button topic that permeates every class that I offer. It worked for the little engine and it works for us. What we believe matters. Learning is enhanced when we meet people where they are. Levels of oppression impact where the gaps are and how big they are. Money mindset, assertive communication, relationship building. All of these are core competencies in business. That's why I prefer to sprinkle every program with core competencies. It makes for a better, more engaged program. 

That's why people signed up for the 30 Day Sales Challenge after already being through it one time. They had results the first time around and when I offered the new and improved, they wanted to join again. I keep it real. We don't speak in abstracts - it's all about the hustle where the rubber hits the road. I like to meet clients where they are. This is essential to success in our industry. 

If you're in the business of supporting entrepreneurs, learn to give them what it is that they need not what you think they need - this takes courage. 

Want to book an appointment to talk about design?  

15 October 2017

Asking a stupid question is a very smart thing to do!!!

It took a lot of work to get a degree in my forties. As much as I enjoyed learning, it was a bit of an uphill battle most days. Dang, it was tough getting there - dropping my daughter off at the sitter before taking the bus 90 minutes one way. But beyond that, it was tough doing the double duty that my brain endured because....frankly, I had no idea what the professor was saying half the time.

It was hard enough to learn new topics like Statistics and Sociology but to top it all off, there were new words used daily that made no sense to me. One day, I remember feeling extremely frustrated as I tried to keep up with the topic that day and the teacher uses a sentence with the word "extrapolate" in it.

That naughty little voice inside me screamed "WTF. Extrapolate this you SOB." But of course I didn't say that. What I did ask was "Can you please tell me what extrapolate means?" She - the professor - looked at me with a look that said....well, it doesn't matter what I thought it said. She looked over the top of her glasses as she scanned the room. I knew she didn't like me interrupting her. She went on to tell us what it meant. When we left class that day - a few other students came over and told me that they were glad that I had asked that question. They were also struggling with some of the jargon.

My first year in university I purchased 3 dictionaries. No kidding - my sister and I used to share new words and they were coming at me fast and furious. I think I needed to take a separate course called "Unnecessary Words We Will Use So That We Look Smart".
"Why say marmalade when you can say jam?"
I still love plain language - oh, don't get me wrong - I can speak complicated language but I prefer to include people when I can. The words we use sometimes exclude people. Using too much jargon without explaining what it means is unnecessary. I also continue to be smart when it comes to asking questions that may make me look stupid. After all - asking those questions have opened doors for me. Some of the smartest people I have ever encountered have never spent one day in a university classroom. They don't use big words when we speak - but we get what they're trying to say.

Be the person who asks too many questions. As an educator, I take ownership of the lessons delivered. If the student doesn't get it, I like to deliver it in a new way. If I'm paying you to teach me something, I need to get what you're trying to say. I'm going to interrupt so that I can get it and follow the lesson.

They say there's no such thing as a stupid question - maybe/maybe not but I prefer to say that the only stupid question is the one you didn't ask.

7 October 2017

5 things to consider if you're planning to borrow money for business..

Are you thinking about borrowing money for business? If you are, I think there are a few things you need to consider before signing on the dotted line.

1. Do an accurate set of financial projections. This can save you a ton of grief. On the one end of the spectrum, without going through this exercise, it's possible that you won't ask for enough money. I worked with a client a while back who thought they needed X amount of dollars but when we looked at the project, they actually needed to borrow 3 times that amount to do what they planned on doing. Sometimes when we're acting from pure emotion, we don't have that level of objectivity to see the hidden costs. If numbers aren't your thing, work with someone who has strength in that area. 

2. Know thyself. If you're someone is so passionate that you just jump into all kinds of risk without even thinking about the financial cost - slow it down a bit. Knowing yourself is a good thing. If you're someone who spends frivolously on everything that catches your eye, you may want to rethink why you're borrowing money. 

3. Be honest with yourself. Don't kid yourself into believing that you're borrowing money for growth when you know you're borrowing money to pay down debt. If you're the last of the big spenders and don't pay attention to what you're spending, don't borrow. One of the problems that people have is that they're in denial about where their business is. If you are someone who never looks at your balance sheet, has no idea what YTD stands for or keeps everything in a Sobey's bag for 3 years, I'd be reluctant to borrow money just so you have cashflow. Don't lie to yourself.

4. Include the family in decision making. Here's a trend that is happening more often than we like to think. One person is the business owner - the spouse takes a hands and eyes off approach to what they are doing. Often there's overspending going on - borrowing from Peter to pay Paul until one day, the well dries up. Then the shit hits the fan and there's no option but to come clean. Sad when it happens and marriages have failed as a result. So, if you're new to business, don't go down this path. I'm not certain what the solution is but mis-representing your cash position to a spouse is not a good thing. Maybe including the family in decision making is a good idea. Maybe not! You get the idea. 

5. Know when it's time to wind up. This is a sad reality. Sometimes when you hold that mirror up to people and they get a good hard look at the realities of their business -- the writing is on the wall. You don't need to borrow money. You need to think about a new line of work. It's a hard pill to swallow for sure!!!

If you take all of this into consideration before you borrow - you may make a better decision. 

4 October 2017

Don't let your mindset undermine your hard work!!!

Are you out there pounding the pavement trying to sell your products and services only to look at that balance sheet at the end of the month and wonder why you even bother?

You're not alone - there are many entrepreneurs out there working way too hard to make a living. Ever wonder why that is? Ever wonder whether your mindset supports your success goals?

A sinkhole happens when the ground under a paved section can no longer support the weight. No matter how much asphalt you put on this hole, the hole will keep coming back until you deal with the underlying issues - erosion, lack of preparation etc.

That's like mindset - you can write the best copy, have unlimited financial resources to put into your business, but if you don't have the right mindset - the results are inevitable. Your mindset determines results.

Congruence between your actions and your mindset is key to achieving your goals. It takes work to change a mind that has been operating on autopilot for decades. It takes reflection, challenging your own assumptions and sometimes working against the majority. Mental toughness is needed to change a mind but if you want to achieve success, you can't ignore it. You have to take action or you'll continue to get the same results.

Check in today - what's going on below the surface?

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19 August 2017

"Card Laid, Card Played" works in a card game but has no place in business.

Newfoundlanders love a good game of cards. We had a lot of fun during a recent game of 120. Hearts were trump and Marg led with the deuce of Hearts. Ian played the Ace because he wanted this trick. Ken didn't see the Ace go down, so he played his King and by the look on his face, he was certain he was getting this trick.  He spotted the Ace as soon as his fingers dropped the King and he reached to pick it back up. "I meant to play the seven".

Suddenly, she was all in an uproar as they starting yelling


They all started laughing and banging on the table because they now knew where the King was and that was a game changer. They loved watching Ken squirm. He hates messing up.

The rule "Card Laid, Card Played" works in cards.But don't get fooled into believing that the same rule applies in business. Not at all, the rule in business is that you can change your mind or course correct at anytime. It actually makes good business sense to do so. When you play the wrong card, you pick it back up.

If you've made a decision to start a business in one area and noticed that there's no real market  - it makes good business sense to cut your losses and try a different product, service, or location. It's the equivalent of laying one card and picking it back up because it's not the right move.

Now, here's a warning - people will talk!!! People will have an opinion and some may even want to tell you "I told you so!"

But who cares? This is business - do what's right for your business - the stakes are higher. A better rule for you is "Play your cards right!"

Join us for our 30 Day Sales Challenge (Learn from home)

PeopleCan Website

18 August 2017

Protecting Emotional Capital - Nipping Worry in the Bud

They say that there's no ROI on worry but don't kid yourself. Failing to get a grip on out of control worry does indeed impact your emotional capital. It can also impact your ability to make good financial decisions and this can lead to an impact on financial capital.

It's important to put worry into perspective and that's exactly what I did this week. As entrepreneurs, we wear many hats and this creates a fertile ground for worry. It happens to me and I have no doubt that it happens to you as well.

I'm at decision time in my business and I have found myself worrying about whether I was making the right decision. I really needed some assurances that the path I was taking was the right one. I mentioned my own business concern this week in a conversation with my business coach Michelle Pippin of Women Who Wow and she really got me thinking.

Michelle reminded me that no matter which road we decide to travel in our business, we have options. We can turn back or course correct at any time. This conversation helped me to put my own concerns into perspective. It helped me to see that I was worrying unnecessarily. I was able to go away and feel much better about the decisions I had to make.

When you're facing a stressful situation and you find yourself consumed with worry, there are steps you can take. Having someone to share your concerns with is key but do be selective. It's important that you choose a person who has some insight into the matter you're struggling with. Sharing a concern can look like complaining when shared with the wrong person.

Shining a spotlight on what you're worrying about and doing a mental check in is a great way to keep it real. Are things really as bad as you think they are? Worse case scenarios rarely ever happen you see.

We need mental toughness in business - taking steps to protect our emotional capital is key.  If you find yourself worrying - find someone to help you put it into perspective. It will free up those resources for something more productive.

15 August 2017

3 lessons I learned on my journey to learn the laws of attraction.

Let's set the stage here - when I first began studying the law of attraction, I had a ton of crap in my life and absolutely nothing to lose. I was also a sceptic. But guess what, my current recipe for success wasn't working - I may as well try this. The learning curve is always steeper in the early days but as we get better at it, we forget those early lessons. I wanted to share some of those while it was still fresh in my mind. Here are three huge lessons that come to mind for me.

1. Be grateful for the lessons - This was a bit of a tough one. Having experienced a few real ugly events in life, I resisted the urge to be grateful for my experiences. But I did find that if I tried to find the lesson in each experience, I could be grateful for the lesson. In the early days, I would jokingly tell people that the only thing I have to be grateful for is that the cat did her business in the litter box. But after a while I got it - we need to be grateful for the lesson that is embedded in everything that happens. If you come from a background of bad experiences, the only real way to manage this is to ask  "What have I learned from this?" Sometimes you may have only learned that you're strong or graceful under pressure. Over time, I've been able to revisit some of the events in my life that were more painful and find the lesson in them as well. Stick with it - it's a process.

2. Be very clear in what you're asking for - "I want a better life." is not an example of being clear in what you're asking for. In the early days I just wanted a "bit of peace" or "something good to happen." These kinds of statements are vague and ambiguous - they are certainly open to interpretation. Many people are afraid to ask for exactly what they want. I know I was. I had to deal with a ton of guilt around asking for too much blah blah blah. ASK FOR EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. Try it - clarity is key. So when you ask for "something good to happen" don't be surprised if the only good thing that happens is that your partner puts the toilet seat down. That's good isn't it?

3. Get rid of the guilt. Now that you're asking for what you want, don't keep it small. You deserve the good life too. Does the good life feel out of reach for you? Think about it, do you ever feel guilty asking for too much? Were you raised to believe that you're greedy if you ask for too much? If this is something that you're struggling with find a way to get rid of it. Admitting that it's an issue is the first step. No one benefits from you playing small. Seek and ye shall find - yes, all of ye.

Bonus!!! I had to unlearn a lot of stuff that I had learned along the way - some of these lessons I learned from parents, some from the church, the school and others. I continue to find remnants of this early teaching as I continue on this journey. Life is as much about unlearning as it is about learning. Go for it.

8 August 2017

Housekeeper and Bookkeeper - Money Well Spent

My housekeeper loves what she does. How do I know? Every two weeks I walk in the door and I stop for a moment to breathe in the "smell of clean". She is amazing and having a clean and tidy home are important to me - I don't particularly enjoy doing it myself (nor am I very good at it) and I make no excuse for my lack of domestic passion - my gifts lie in other areas. My housekeeper makes my life so much easier and makes me so much happier. 
My bookkeeper also brings a ton of value into my life. I could go on forever about the value in having a bookkeeper - how could I ever course correct in my biz if I couldn't check in regularly to see how I am doing? Collecting receipts and putting them aside until the end of year is a recipe for leaving money on the table. You can't map out a plan for where you want to end up if you have no idea where you are. A good bookkeeper will keep you on top of all that.

I like to expend all of my energy in the places where I get the most joy - neither of those have anything to do with keeping a tidy home or tidy books. But don't get me wrong - I do appreciate the value that each of these bring. They both help me to show up as the best business woman I can be.

Some folks say they can't afford it but the truth is, in both cases, it's money well spent. They free me up to do what I am good at and they keep me happy. I feel so grateful to have these two people in my life - they're amazing at what they do.

I must remember to give them both a big hug when I see them again.

2 August 2017

Living with an invisible disability

I've been challenged - on the bus, boarding early on a plane, all kinds of places. 

I live with invisible disabilities - not only am I "legally blind" but I also suffer from anxiety and depression and I think that those disabilities were acquired as a result of trying to live with the vision loss. 

So I get challenged all the time - as recently as lately when I flashed my CNIB card which allows me on public transit - and the driver says "Is that yours?" As if.... I look like someone who would f&#N pretend something like this.

I know I look cool and for the most part I'm a pretty happy person. But truth is, I'm living a life I didn't plan on living - it's difficult for a lady about town to stay in every evening and weekend because I don't drive. No night vision and messed up depth perception challenge my ability to be mobile.Taking a bus to networking events in the rain is very tough. Some days I feel downright sorry for myself - but then I give myself a kick in the arse and get over it. I have that privilege. 

But no one gets to ask if I'm pretending. It's no ones business. I don't need to go around looking a certain way. I won't sit on a street corner and weave baskets just to make you trust me. I'll do what I can for as long as I can without apology and without explanation. 

This is my life and I live with disabilities and there are many days that I feel like I'm rocking it. 

When I visited Newfoundland recently I had the good fortune to speak with a group of entrepreneurs who were as pissed as I was to have acquired a disability - we all talked about the need to look disabled. We ended up laughing and crying over the whole mess. 

If you're someone who wonders if "they're really disabled" - bite your tongue - someday it could be you. Disability does not discriminate. 

I needed to get that out. 

21 July 2017

Is the Shame of Failure Holding You Back?

My epic failure happened at Law School in 2006. It was a humiliating, fall flat on my face, embarrassing and life altering event that easily falls into the category of failure.

I have also referred to it as a blessing, a privilege, the catalyst for change that catapulted me into a new profession - one that I grow more grateful for each day. 

It is one of those things that is defined by perspective. Not everyone will see it the way that I do. 

There is truth is the quote by Dorothy Herman "If you're fearful of failure, you'll never succeed." But I would even take that quote a step further. There are many people out there who have failed miserably and allowed that failure to stop them dead in their tracks.

I believe that "If you fail to mine for the gold in failure, you'll never be successful." Failure is the ultimate "School of Hard Knocks". It's a privilege to have been given the opportunity to learn from this perspective. The lessons learned there aren't available in any theory. It's about as custom as custom training gets.

I believe as a result of my event that the harder the knock the higher the potential for learning. The risk inherent in failure is in allowing the event to stop you dead in your tracks - failure does not have to be the end of the road but failing to learn will put you at risk of just that.

Do you have something that you're stewing over - a failure that brings you shame? Have you failed to process this lesson? The time is now - don't let it hold you back one second longer.

If you are afraid to failure, you will never succeed.

2 July 2017

Lessons We Learned When We Were Young - Women, Money and Unlearning

This morning I set out to write about "money mindset" considering that we're one week away from our Book Club. We're going to be studying Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" again. It's one of those books that I consider a staple. 

Even when I know what I am going to write about, I always like to do a bit of reading before I sit down to write - this helps me to get focused and usually inspired. That is exactly what happened this morning as I chose to read a couple of short articles from  Sibyl Magazine - an online publication that is written "for the spirit and soul of woman".  Every time I read the tagline, I feel the love. 

I'm grateful for the beautiful Kathy Eckhardt and her gift that keeps on giving. Kathy is not only a contributing author but she also gave me a subscription a while back. I cherish these wonderful nuggets of wisdom for women. 

When we set out to understand our money mindset, which is what we do when we study Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich", we are often getting geared up to challenge our own assumptions. We are going to put our well ingrained beliefs under a microscope. The first time we encounter this information, we may feel a little uncomfortable - I know I did. 

The people who shaped our young minds did the best that they could with the knowledge that they had at the time. When those lessons are no longer serving us well in life, it may be time to let them go.  Letting them go is a process not the flick of a switch. That's why I read this book over and over - there's always something new to learn today. 

In Kathy's article this morning, she speaks about women being "people pleasers".  How many of you can look back at the women in your life and identify one or two who may fall into this category? I know that I can and I can also remember a time when I would have described myself as one. I'd even go so far as to say that I still have times when I need to push against this desire to please. This has happened from time to time when I speak with someone about making money. Not everyone feels comfortable speaking about revenue for example. 

Want to know a secret? I am getting over this last one - I like making money in my business and sharing how to do that with other people and I make no excuse for enjoying that. 

As dedicated lifelong learners, we spend a tremendous amount of time unlearning that early conditioning and finding our own way through life. Nowhere is this more evident than with our beliefs around money. 

"Money doesn't grow on trees."

"Do you think I'm made of money?"


What about that cringe you feel when you have to put a price on your product or service that makes you uncomfortable? This is evidence of money conditioning at its finest.

I'm reminded that it wasn't that long ago when I had my own struggles with making money. It showed up in many ways. First of all, I didn't have any. I was judgemental and envious of others who had more than I did. I'd even go so far as to say that I would make assumptions about their character based on how much money they had. Does this resonate at all? I'm not proud of this but neither do I beat myself up over it. 

Thank goodness when we know better, we do better. Thank goodness we align ourselves with other people who are on a learning journey and as imperfect as we are. 

Money isn't good or bad on it's own. Money in the right hands can do wonderful things in the world. More on that topic in the program - but you get what I'm saying about  this "unlearning" that we must take part in. 

I teach people to make money - their subconscious beliefs can really keep them from being successful. It's as important to talk about this as it is to have a business plan. I'd love to hear your money story or any story where you had to unlearn something that didn't serve you well. 

Join us next week as we learn more about this topic. 

17 June 2017

I didn't need cash, I needed skills.

As a cash strapped new start up I was convinced that what I needed was money to get my business off the ground. I applied for a $500 loan at one point and was very disappointed when I didn't get it. My coach at the time didn't take it too seriously. He wanted me to go back to the drawing board and get more creative in finding money. 

Fast forward about 6 years and this is what I know to be true. Getting turned down for that loan was a blessing - I didn't need cash, I needed skills.  At the time, I had earmarked that money for a video I wanted to help market my service. But, that would have been a big waste of money -- I didn't know how to sell. I realize that now. Just as I realize that many of the obstacles along the way were blessings. 

Soooooo, ask yourself this - do you know how to sell your product or service? A good measure is ... have you sold one? A prettier website, a great video and a new suit won't get you closer to that sale if you can't close. Think about it, do you really need the cash or do you need skills? 

10 June 2017

Military Entrepreneurs - How Balancing a "Heart to Serve" with a "Profit Motive" Can Be a Recipe for Entrepreneurial Success for Veterans

This has been a week filled with emotions as I found myself meandering down memory lane. The years I spent serving my country were by far the best years of my life. Reinventing myself as an entrepreneur is definitely becoming a close second in terms of career satisfaction.  The satisfaction level of owning a business may have happened sooner if I had acquired the special sauce "profit motive" early on.

The "profit motive", an absolute essential in business is often a difficult topic for veterans to embrace. After all, the "heart to serve" is generally the number one motivator for them in the  military. The good news is that it will also serve them well in entrepreneurship. But failing to integrate the two will result in more than one failed endeavour.

When I was invited to be a navigator for the Prince's Operation Entrepreneur hosted by Dalhousie University this week, I was all over it. This week long intensive entrepreneurial program brings serving and retired military people together for a week of learning about business. The program was impressive and the soldiers and veterans who took part were inspiring.

There's a lot that takes place in the classroom and I'm a proponent of teaching Business Essentials to new entrepreneurs.  Let's not forget that there are certain lessons that  can only be learned with boots on the ground  - the topic of "profit motive" is one that I hold dear. I know that when I bring it up in the early days of entrepreneurship, I can literally see the discomfort with the topic. But the truth is, when we learn to balance that "heart to serve" with the "profit  motive" that business requires, we elevate our chances for success.

Entrepreneurship is an excellent choice for many veterans. They already have many of the core competencies necessary for success in business - that "heart to serve" is definitely the icing on the cake.

Soldiers have excellent skills in adaptability, we can stay the course even during the tough times. Communication, leadership and networking come natural to us. We not only set goals, we get the job done.

The one where I had the biggest learning curve was adopting the "profit motive" essential to business success. This week as I spoke with these new entrepreneurs I saw the same reaction that I had experienced in the early days. When asked whether I charged for my coaching - I said that I charged what I was worth.

Some struggled with that as they responded with "I'm not in it for the money." to which I responded "You won't be able to live your passion for long if you don't balance that big heart to serve with some practical common sense business motives around profit." That has been the biggest learning curve for me.

It's ok to want to make money. We all need money to survive. Money is just the medium through which we exchange service or as my friend reminded me - it's a measure of the pleasure you give your clients. It isn't some social evil. If you offer something that people want and appreciate, they understand why you get paid for that service. You are worth it. 

Want to know more about what we do at PeopleCan? Check out my website .

3 June 2017

There's nothing like the wrong environment to take the sizzle out of your entrepreneurial dreams

Are you a massive dreamer? Do you have a dream for your business that you only take out when no one is around? Tell the truth - does your dream scare you on occasion? I love big dreamers but not everyone does.
I'm a dreamer - I dream in technicolour. I also take bold action to make those dreams a reality - which irritates the heck out of people sometimes. I've been accused of being like a man when it comes to business. I prefer to call myself a women who is driven to succeed and I'm blessed to have surrounded myself with enough like minded people that the trolls can't really distract me now.
I've been busy this week planting a small garden in front of my house. I've claimed this piece of stubborn earth to create a space that I find appealing. It's been a task and a half. My first attempt to put the shovel into the ground sent a vibration to my skull - nothing could grow in this clay that was as solid as concrete. With my few tools, I managed to turn the dirt, add manure, rich soil and peat moss and I am proud of the fertile spot I have created. It's only been a week but I see evidence that the perennials are taking root.
Environment is important when you plant flowers..............and it matters even more when you plant dreams.
Look at the environment where you are trying to plant your big dream - are you planting in fertile ground? Will adding a few ingredients make it a "fertile patch" into which your dreams can flourish?
Or, is it time to find a new environment?
Had I struck bedrock when I put that shovel into the ground that day - I would have known not to waste my resources or my valuable time.
I've known tough environments. "Crabs in a bucket" is a term that is used to describe an environment. I love this analogy because I've lived in a bucket of crabs. In this analogy, one crab with a dream tries to get out of a bucket and all the other crabs jump on his back and try and climb over him - resulting in all crabs staying in the bucket.
It can look like this example that a client shared recently.
You open up shop in the community and people drive right past you to visit your competition in the next community. That's one example of what crabs in a bucket looks like. The message is all about lack of support that is necessary for growth. Planting your dream in an environment that isn't fertile for growth is a waste of valuable resources.
Take time to evaluate the environment before your take bold action.
Sometimes you can get the ground ready - add a few ingredients and turn the environment into one that is very supportive. My little flower garden is a good example. as is the place that I have chosen to grow my business this time.
There's nothing like a poorly chosen environment to take the sizzle out of your entrepreneurial dream. Take the time to choose well.

29 May 2017

A crowbar and a shovel and $500.00

Memories of growing up in rural Newfoundland are rich and vivid. Sometimes it feels like something out of a storybook. My daughter was often enchanted with stories of watching the porpoises from the living room window or walking through a herd of cattle to get to school. Rural living with few paved streets also presented challenges.

We lived in a lane that was built on the side of a hill.  Our house was about halfway down. It gave us an amazing view of the ocean but when it rained things could be challenging.

Long before they paved the lane, heavy rains caused a lot of washout and being below the level of the road, our house was always at risk of flooding. The heavy rain coupled with a ferocious wind meant that it rained sideways. It didn't just rain cats and dogs, there were often chickens and the occasional small child in the mix.

During the heavy rain, you could always find my father out in the lane with a crowbar, pick and shovel. He fought what appeared to be a losing battle - diverting the water away from the house so that we would not be flooded. It took a ton of effort, elbow grease and help from neighbours.

Retrenching is all about results - the reason they exerted so much effort was because they knew the writing was on the wall if they did nothing. Flooding was imminent.

I learned about hard work from my father. First of all, you must be results driven. You dig in and do what needs to be done so that you achieve the results you want. He didn't shy away from a task just because he might get wet. Retrenching is a tough job - but then again, any change is hard. The easiest thing to do is......nothing.

When you're results driven, you don't mind doing what needs to be done. Think about your business for a second. If you're like most people, you want to make more money. You'd love a different result. There are very few people who are willing to do the hard work. You see, change is like retrenching, it takes concerted effort and determination to change.

Retrenching is a word that I came across in a university women's studies course. They were using it to speak about public policy. Retrenching was about doing it differently. Sometimes change is tough and it requires retrenching - where in your business can you see yourself putting up with something just because you're not ready to do the hard work?

Each week, I come up with a question to stimulate discussion in the groups I lead. Generally, it's around profits. This week the question is "Can you make $500.00 in new money in the next 30 days?"

How long will you put up with the status quo before you attempt to retrench?

My father will tell you that it's not easy to divert water - you don't just dig a furrow one time, you have to do it over and over because that water remembers the path and the ease with which it flowed for a long time. That's why they had to spend a lot of time out there digging and watching and digging again.

Our business efforts are no different. It's easy to get up and do what we did last week. But are you ready to take responsibility for the results? Are you ready to retrench?

28 May 2017

Privilege and Lack Of: Benefits and Burdens in Each

It's not uncommon to feel envy when you come from a position of disadvantage. When people all around you are doing well, thriving, travelling and laughing lots while you struggle, it takes a lot of discipline to not feel your own disadvantage.  But there are benefits and burdens on both sides of the coin.

The benefit of age is wisdom. When you know better, you do better. Having been down a tough road, I picked up skills and resources I never would have learned had I started a few rungs higher on the ladder.

I meet so many clever people who have had to be creative to survive.

Envy drains you - criticizing people because they have a better start in life is a waste of time. Sometimes when they fall on hard times, life gets real tough real fast. People who had a rough start often maintain their cool when the going gets tough.

Talk to anyone who has walked on both sides of that road and they will tell you that there are advantages in a disadvantaged start and there are disadvantages in a privileged start. There are benefits and burdens in each.

Make YOUR journey matter.