21 April 2018

Men have been doing this for centuries.

Having someone say "You're like a man." isn't a bad thing unless of course they're referring to your face hair. 

This is exactly what a man said to me this week - I have learned over time that it is best not to react to odd statements. Instead I asked whether he wanted to chat about this a bit. and we did.

I knew he didn't mean it as an insult even though at first glance, it could be taken as one. I knew this because he is someone that I respect quite a bit and I know that he respects me - so we had THE TALK.

1. LEARNING ON THE FLY

Apparently for years the entrepreneurial space was dominated by men and they had certain characteristics that helped them to fast track success. For example, there is this tendency for men to jump in with both feet without having all the ducks lined up. Apparently this is something that women aren't known for. I hate to speak in broad terms or "extrapolate from a sample of one" but I have noticed that women do procrastinate more before taking action. Maybe I learned to "act like a man" from all of the years that I worked with men in the army - I do have a reputation for learning on the fly. Personally, I think that this is the way we need to roll in business - course correcting as we go as opposed to playing it too safe. 

Don't get me wrong or read into this more than there is - it's great to be prepared but there comes a time when you must take the plunge. Done is better than perfect folks. 

2. CHANGING THE SCOPE MEANS CHANGING THE PRICE

Ever had one of those contracts that changes halfway through? It's fair to say that we don't know what we don't know. We can get into a project and have the client want things done differently as time goes on. When this happens in business "when the scope changes" halfway through, you need to get the parties back to the drawing board and look at the cost again. When the scope changes, the hard (and soft) costs often change and that means that the price has to change. I have this discussion early with clients. That way it comes as no surprise when the time comes to up the price. This ensures that the client gets the value they were promised while I get paid what my service is worth. 

We discussed many other examples including things like the tendency for women to charge the right price and then throw in so many extras that they watered down the price and value. This looks like hidden money mindset issues. 

Apparently there are variations in how men and women do business. I have a few pretty savvy business women in my corner who are just like me so I hadn't noticed until he mentioned it.

So here's the upshot - I told him that I didn't think that I was acting like a man as much as I was behaving like a business woman who took this gig seriously. What about you? How do you act? 

19 April 2018

Be careful what you ask for - you just might get it!!!

Mindset is everything in business. You can ask "How can I make a nickel?" or you can ask "How can I make $25,000?" and your mind will find the answer. Where is it that you're playing safe in your business - holding back on what you're asking for?
The right kind of thinking makes a ton of difference everywhere in life. This isn't a new age way of thinking - books like The Little Engine that Could demonstrated that we need to think we can before we ever get out there and make it happen.
Ask for what you want and do be specific. I mean down to the very detail - what is it that you want? Don't settle for a nickel. Ask!!! I know it's a foreign concept for a lot of people but believe me when I tell you that this stuff works. 

As adults - we don't know what we don't know and once you learn something, you can't go back - you have that nugget of information forever - I was taught how to pay attention to what I was thinking and what words were coming out of my mouth. Monitoring what I say and understanding how what I think will impact the results I get matters a great deal - we generally bring about what we think about. If you want to know what you are thinking about, listen to what you are saying. 

Are you always complaining or what I like to call defining the problem or have you learned to focus on the solution.  I'm not talking about playing ostrich - sticking your head in the sand has no value. Things don't get better if you ignore them. 

I'm talking about creating a compelling vision of where it is that you're headed - you see that's what we're doing already - except that most of us are not paying attention. The compelling vision that you're creating on autopilot could be taking you to a bad place. 

What if we reframed our language for example instead of 

"We're a have not province" becomes "We're on our way to becoming a province of abundance." Pay attention to the energy that each statement brings. 

This new way of thinking feels foreign when we first start out. But most things do when we are new at it. 

Where do you begin you may ask? 

Suspend your disbelief for a moment. You have nothing to lose - open your mind to the possibility that there are things you don't know yet - and you don't know what you don't know. 

Changing what you think about is a two part process. The first step is to become aware of what you're thinking. Do this with a friend - for one day - monitor what you say to one another - is it positive or negative? Learn to tell the difference. 

That's step one. 

I'll talk about this in more detail in the 30 Day Sales Challenge in June. Hope you will join us. 

3 April 2018

When I feel frazzled, I write...

I've been writing for more than 50 years - as long as I can remember, I've put crayon to paper (not the pack of 64 that the guy sitting next to me had). We're talking little inch long nibs of crayon that I had to peel the paper off of first. Then I put lead to paper - sharpened with a pocket knife, edges uneven.

Then I put pen to paper and later on that turned into finger to key

...all in an effort to get my thoughts out there.

I'm not all that strategic with my blog - there's a ton of advice around getting people to sign up and have it delivered to their inbox - that would take too much work. I guess I write for me and when I do, it's a little more authentic but it always strikes a cord with a reader so that must count for something.

I've had the best conversations with people as a result of something that I have written. So I guess that when I'm asked whether my blog is working for me, the answer is - ya, of course it is.

Self care has been front of mind for me lately because I have been feeling a little frazzled. I find that when this happens, I also notice that others are feeling the same way. I'll come across a tweet for example about overwhelm and it jumps out. It's the universe holding a mirror up for me.

Writing has been my go to tool for self care and lately I haven't been writing as much. I purchased a nice calligraphy pen lately - mindful writing there especially for a beginner.

I'm curious, what do you do for self care? 

2 April 2018

3 Simple Steps to an Awesome Life

Life is what you make it. Here are three suggestions for making life a little easier.

1. Forgive quickly. Holding onto a grudge takes energy. Energy that is better used somewhere else. Learn from each negative experience. Accept that the other person was likely doing the best they could at the time. Forgive quickly. Common sense says that you don't need to invite that person back into your life if you don't feel it's right - it's ok to let them go.

2. Stop worrying about what others will think. It's a given that there will be people who will judge you. Let them. While they're sitting at home judging, you can be out there living it up. There is so much life to live and if you're waiting for permission, you'll never get there. Think about a time when you have talked about someone else - it was a time when you were unhappy. Send them loving thoughts and get on with your life. They only have control over you if you let their opinion determine your next step.

3. Be kind. Randomly, be good to other people. There's a distinction between being a doormat and being kind. Know the difference and get out there and be kind. A simple test is to ask if you're doing this act of kindness to get something back, That's unhealthy. If you're doing it because you can and you want to, that's great. Another test - if you're being kind so that someone will be anchored to you - it's the wrong type of kindness. .Be kind.

Enjoy life!!!

19 March 2018

Claim the space - Expert in...

My 'word" for the year is "spotlight". I've been holding back and not claiming my space. A few years back I worked with a coach who encouraged me to claim an expert space. 
I dabbled in it...

Expert in New Entrepreneurship

Small Business Expert

or ....what

This year, when we were encouraged to select a word that would capture what this year would look like, I chose "spotlight". No more shying away from the spotlight, I chose to claim my space and step into it once and for all. 

Debbie Adams - Entrepreneurship Expert

Oh, people will chafe at the thought and some may even want to challenge me. 
Expert - really? 

Let's look at what it means to be an expert in any field. 

Dictionary definition of expert is "A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area." Yep, I have that in the area of entrepreneurship and I'm stepping into that space.  I've always resented it when people claimed the space in business just because they had the education but had never really done the grind. 

Back when I was a tradeswoman, I used to meet other women who were holding themselves out as expert on "women in trades" but they had never spent one hour on tools. They could not possibly have been an expert - they had never used toothpaste to get the grime out of their hands. How could they be expert? Expert is about learning and doing - knowledge and wisdom. 

I love it when #tradescontractors come in and ask me how to double their revenue. I love it when I get asked to develop a partnership agreement for two guys who are coming together to bid on a job. I especially enjoy it when I get asked to speak on a topic and share what I have learned where the rubber hits the road. 

Here's a question - what are you expert in? Where are you holding back and waiting for someone to invite you into the spotlight. What body of knowledge do you hold comprehensive and authoritative knowledge or skill in? Think about it - are you an expert?



7 March 2018

What you focus on expands!!!

I've always enjoyed Dr. Wayne Dyer and his profound teachings. We miss you Dr. Dyer. 

What you focus upon expands he said. 

I've had times in my life when I have had runaway thoughts - about how crappy the day is, how bored I am or other things that were going wrong at the time. All or nothing thinking was another common favourite. Nothing is going right. Everyone is mad at me. The list goes on. 

Does any of this resonate with you?

There's a whole body of study out there that says that if we learn to visualize what we want in life, we will see more of it. If we could just drag our minds away from what isn't going well and purposefully think about what is going well - then what is going well will expand. I like to use the analogy of a spot light. Take that big old spotlight and move it away from the negative and toward what is going well. Don't ruminate on things that are not going well. There is no benefit in this. 

This week in our chapter one of Pam Grout's E Squared, we're learning to ask the universe or God or whatever you want to call that power greater than ourselves to show us that it is actually listening to little old me. Yep, you matter and he/she/it will respond if you look for that sign. 

It's tough to change your mind. Set your stopwatch/timer to nudge you at any given time during the day and check in to tell us what you are thinking about. Will you be thinking about that thing that you wish would show up or are you thinking about that thing that is pissing you off right now. 

Which is it?

What you focus upon expands - worth thinking about.

27 February 2018

Let the Play Come to You

Every now and then someone uses a line and I think to myself "I'm soooo using that line."

Pastor Larry Levy of the Vineyard in Lower Sackville (fondly referred to as The Ice Cream Church in the local area) dropped in for a little visit today. Truth be told it's more of a banter with a belly laugh or two thrown into our existential musings - no kidding, this guy could do stand up.

Larry, with his gift of encouragement loves to hear how I'm doing in biz. I shared with him that I had planted so many seeds lately and I was feeling that my internal guides were telling me to relax a bit. It's as if I needed to just hold back....I stumbled for the right word to describe the unique feeling I was experiencing but I  knew that what I needed to do was ........ NOTHING.

"Ah" Larry quipped. "Let the play come to you!!"


I love this term. He went on to explain how during a game of hockey, players often hustle hard to get to the puck. I love analogies. I never watch hockey but I trust the guy. I could see it.

Tony, a seasoned player going flat out skating down the ice, his throat raw from playing hard. All of a sudden the puck goes flying by his head just missing him. He puts the brakes on but can't stop in time and he smacks into the boards. He's riled up now! All of a sudden Larry skates up preceded by a fan of snow crystals as he comes to a dead stop and leans in. Hey Tony "Let the play come to you."

Yes.........that's it.

Think about it for a second though. Haven't you worked your ass off at times and still can't seem to gain any traction? Is it possible at times like this that what you really need is ease up on the pedal a little. "Hey, let the play come to you".

26 February 2018

Decision Making 101

When I have a tough decision to make, I struggle like everyone else - after all, it's called a tough decision for a reason. There are pros and cons to each side of the issue. When I get to that place where, I am tempted, very tempted to stick with the status quo just because making a decision is tough - I kick it into overdrive - I journal!!!

My tried and true system for decision making. It goes like this.

With pen poised to write, I ask myself:

1. What is it about the current state of affairs (CSA) that isn't working?

Many of us depend on the lure of the future state of affairs (FSA) to keep us motivated. But the reality is, it's much easier to stay stuck than it is to make a change even when making the change is attractive.  Change is hard. That's why there are so few really successful people - successful people make the real tough decisions quicker and more often. Don't gloss over this one  - dig deep in every corner to really look at what is not working with the current state of affairs that caused you to look at changing things up. We can often convince ourselves things are not really as bad as they seem. Now write.

Here's how Zoey, a seamstress with a storefront, answered the question when she was faced with the option to renew her lease.

I rushed into this lease without taking into account that the location wasn't perfect. The building is beautiful but there is no walk by traffic and it's difficult to get people into the store. The monthly bills are piling up and I'm regularly two months behind. In the months when I could be taking money out of my business, I have to worry about cash flow. I have always wanted to be in retail but this is very painful. I'm starting to resent the place. My husband doesn't get it - we took out a line of credit to start this business and we thought I would make more money here. When I was a home based business, I brought in a lot less money but I didn't have all these expenses. I don't like the bickering about money.

2. If you choose to make the change, what are you giving up?

There are benefits and burdens in both the CSA and the FSA. Dig deep and look at the benefit of not changing. There is a payoff. Take it out and look at it. This is why I love to journal. You can bull shite other people but you do not want to do it to yourself.  There's a reason you want things to stay they way they are. Get it down on paper. What is it that you feel you will have to let go of?

3. What is it about the FSA that is so attractive?

You've got this vision of what the future will look like if you take the leap. Paint a picture of how wildly attractive this can be. Let's say you made the decision. You're going for it. What is the IT that you're going for? Get detailed in this one. Leave nothing out.

4. What do you need to learn to make #3 happen?

Are you ready to roll? Do you need to take training? Do you need to stop doing that one thing that keeps you stuck? No one knows you like you know you. What do you need to learn to make it happen for you?

5. Make the decision. 

Congratulations!!! You're ready to make the decision. There are benefits and burdens in each decision - but you still have a decision to make. There's also work to be done to get over the middle space - the terrain between here to there. You won't mind doing what needs to be done when the decision is made. There's nothing as effective as a mind made up.


Now you try it. What decision are you putting off making?


Meet Debbie
Debbie Adams is the owner of PeopleCan Training in Lower Sackville, NS. She's legally blind but has a tremendous amount of vision in her business. She is a 3 time published author including the book Money Mindset as well as contributing author in Dreaming Big, Being Bold. Although she is a reluctant entrepreneur, she has won awards for entrepreneurship. She loves helping others move from misery to magic in Entrepreneurship. Debbie is originally from Newfoundland and she makes her home in Nova Scotia. 



25 February 2018

Law of Attraction - it's for everyone but it sure does feel weird in the beginning!!

Photo by Emily Murphy
My world turned upside down in  2009, I went from frying pan to fire after 6 years of trying to make a better life. I was a mess as I sat there on the step watching the truck pull away with all of my belongings. I had sold my home. 

Truth was, I got served with a notice to foreclose in the morning and an offer to purchase in the afternoon which meant that they didn't foreclose. 

I sold my house because I couldn't afford to live there. Not because I wanted to upsize or downsize but because I hadn't paid my mortgage in months - I needed a new place to live. It was a shit year.

Someone had mentioned the Law of Attraction stuff to me. It sounded a lot like blaming the victim - "You're responsible for the world you're creating - you've brought this on yourself." That was a tough pill to swallow - vision loss, loss of career, failed marriage and eventually bankruptcy didn't feel like things that I had a ton of control over at the time. 

It took me two more years before I got into practising the universal laws of attraction full time. I needed to go down that tragic road a bit further before I decided that I had nothing to lose and a lot to learn.

Invited to listen to Nova Scotia's Own Eddie Lemoine speak about his new book "Bring About What You Think About" opened the door a crack. His own story of loss and reinvention and the role that a positive mindset played in his journey inspired me to want to learn more about the topic. Hard luck is relative - I didn't think that his bottom and my bottom had anything in common but he definitely took a hit or two in life. I liked the dude and so I decided I needed to know more about the concept. I started studying other people who were writing on this topic.

I read everything I could get my hands on about Law of Attraction. I started reading books by Joe Vitale, Napoleon Hill and listening to Norman Vincent Peale. I was in pain and nothing that I was doing was working so I felt that I had nothing to lose. 

It was tough but I was determined. I took baby steps - gave up complaining, took up gratitude even when there was nothing to be grateful for.  (Read my blog on how grateful I was that the cat pissed in the litter box ). It was a slow start at first but eventually I gained momentum. 

Truth was, it took a lot of energy to gain some traction. I limited my time with folks who would gossip and did a lot of journal work. I surrounded myself with people who had already enjoyed success with this new way of looking at things. Sometimes I was inspired. Other times I was jealous and frustrated by my own lack of progress but I didn't give up. I was a work in progress and I knew it took time.

Oh, the rest is history - but it isn't really history. I went from there to owning a business, writing 3 books, travelling to teach and now I'm here mentoring other entrepreneurs who want to learn this stuff. What seemed like foo foo in the beginning has turned into a staple in my life. 

Recently I had a setback - something I hadn't planned for that I would have considered a piece of bad luck in the past. I was pissed for about a day and then I reminded myself of how all of the bad luck that I have experienced have transformed into blessings. Yep!! You heard me say it. It is true and I'm sure that this event will also have value in my life. A different mindset helps  me to have a healthier attitude about setbacks. I've learned to put things into perspective and I will more quickly get back to healthy thinking. This is where the magic happens. 

Know what? What you focus on expands. It's so true!!! It isn't reserved for the chosen few. Just as the sun sets for each of us - this way of thinking is available to everyone. What are you focusing on?



Meet Debbie
Debbie Adams is the owner of PeopleCan Training in Lower Sackville, NS. She's legally blind but has a tremendous amount of the kind of vision that you need to be successful. She is a 3 time published author including the book Money Mindset as well as contributing author in Dreaming Big, Being Bold. Although she is a reluctant entrepreneur, she has won awards for entrepreneurship. She loves helping others move from misery to magic in Entrepreneurship. Debbie is originally from Newfoundland but makes her home in Nova Scotia. 

Website: www.peoplecan.ca


21 February 2018

The Status Quo is Predictable. Making Tough Decisions.

I've got a tough decision to make this year. My lease is up on my building and I need to decide what my next steps are.  Will I sign for another 3 years here or move to a smaller location? It's a tough decision.

I understand the process of  decision making - I have coached hundreds of people in decision making - weighing the options - checking out the scenarios. What if you do? What if you don't? That's the easy part. I also understand why we get stuck in places that sap our energy.

Knowing how and doing it are two different things.

The status quo is often the easier choice because you don't have to do one thing and you're already there. I'm not saying that sticking with the way things are is the right choice but it is definitely the choice that takes the least amount of energy.

An object at rest tends to stay at rest. Change.......that takes work. You've got to actually do stuff. If I give up my space, I need to decide what to do with my furniture for example. Moving to a smaller space means I have work to do.

The status quo is predictable. In all likelihood - if you're at decision time you get it.

The easy choice is to let things remain the way they are - you've got this routine down pat. Not changing may not make you jump for joy but at least you don't have work to do.

But change and the uncertainty that comes with it, now that crap can freak you out.

When I fear getting tripped up in the fact that it takes energy to change, I pull out my pen and paper.

I journal about everything. I solve all problems by writing.

What's the current situation? What is it about staying that is not appealing? I start here because I know what's appealing about it. Let's take off the rose coloured glasses and look at why the status quo is not working. Then I absorb this information - get a real feel for it. No BS here - what don't you appreciate about the status quo? Don't hold back - get it all down on paper or record it so you can listen to what you're saying.

Then I look at the other side of things. If I do make the change, what can I look forward to? In my situation I look at the benefit of changing locations for example. I look at short term and long term benefits of change.

You will get a visceral reaction with both of these exercises.

Now it's decision time - to remain with the status quo or to change. If I decide to change then I have determined that the work is worth it. I've made one too many bad decisions in my life because I got stuck in looking at the energy it would take to change instead of looking at the benefit of changing.

There are benefits and burdens to every decision - try this exercise and see if it gets you closer to a decision. It works for me

EDIT - Pay attention to the feelings that come up as you write the list. How does each option FEEL. We often discount this valuable evaluation tool. Logical and Emotional Decision Making.

17 February 2018

Periodic Pivots Etc.

I've taken a liking to the word PIVOT

Pivot: That thing that you do in business when plan A isn't working out.

I believe that pivoting makes good business sense. In the military we would often to a "recce" - a reconnaissance of an area that we were going to move into to see what resources we would need. Then we would move forward with Plan A.

Sometimes even the best laid plans aren't enough - unforeseen circumstances show up that 
make Plan A no longer appropriate. So we pivot - we change direction to get around the obstacle or scrap Plan A altogether and come up with a new plan.

Pivoting is a good thing in business. 

With one caveat....

don't let it be something you do because you're resisting the difficult stuff. There's no excuse for facing the reality that you're scared for example or that you need skills.

I know people who never gain traction in a business because every time it gets stressful, they pivot until all around them people are asking "What does he/she do?" That's not pivoting - that's confusion.

Where are you hanging onto something that needs to be let go of? Where have you fallen out of love with a process but you're sticking with it because you're worried about what others will think? 

Is it time to pivot? 


16 February 2018

I'm grateful that the cat pissed in the litter box!!! It all started there.

When I first heard someone say "What you focus on expands." I was sceptical. I didn't quite believe it but at the same time they challenged me when they said " If you don't like what's happening in your life right now, what do you have to lose? Give it a try. 

I didn't like what was happening in my life so I did as suggested and decided to give 'er a go. 
I suspended my disbelief for a while and decided to be grateful.

My life was a shit storm - a series of unfortunate events as it were. A bankruptcy close on the heels of divorce, downsizing before I was ready, living below poverty with a ton of debt, a single mama who was continually a disappointment to my daughter and no real prospects for change. The thought of jumping out of bed, doing a few fast fist pumps while expressing gratitude seemed like a pack of...... 

But...

...what I was doing wasn't working. What did I have to lose? I eased into the new routine. 

Step one was writing in a journal as soon as I awoke. Those first thoughts of gratitude needed to get down on paper. The writing prompt.....

"I am grateful......"

I wrote the first thing that came to mind.

"I am grateful that the cat pissed in the litter box."

The rest of my life was a shit storm. I was putting all of my chips on that cat keeping this up. 

My mind kept wandering back to "what you focus on expands."

My mind wanted to wander back to the fact that I was avoiding my friends because I couldn't afford to buy a coffee and I had no money for the laundry machine in the new apartment - the one that I had to move into when I could no longer live in my house. Did I mention that I had a foreclosure notice on the same day that I got an offer? Phew!!! These things are not accidental - don't get me started about real estate agents with agendas. 

So here I was with my journal and it was a chore. I had one sentence. 

"I'm grateful that the cat pissed in the little box!!"

Then I drew a picture of the cat in the litter box. After all what you focus on expands. I didn't want to fall back into old patterns and if I looked up from the paper I might notice that I was drinking no name coffee and that would really piss me off.

So I drew the cat and then I started thinking about the lady at the bus stop who was telling me about her cat one day. She loved her cat - I didn't really get this. I was one of those mamas who purchased a cat because her kid liked cats - this woman cherished her cat. She would pull out her cell phone and show me pictures of this cat. That got me laughing. 

"I am grateful for belly laughs."

Of course, I stuck with it because if I didn't I might think about how I was legally 
blind and almost 50 without a pot to piss in so to speak. No job prospects 
in sight living in a place I detested.

There's a theme here - cats and piss.

That woman at the bus was weather beaten, she had been taking that same bus for more than 20 years to a minimum wage job. I thought about my life and how I had enjoyed so many 
magical experiences in the army and how blessed I was to not have had to do what she was doing. 

You're wondering where I'm going with this story? 

I seem to be meandering.....but it is going somewhere. I'm telling you that if you want a better life, you're going to have to control your thoughts. I have gone from the cat, the litter box to 
owning two businesses and wondering when my fourth book will come out. Yes, I
 did take many action steps in between then and now but it started with gratitude when I could hardly find a thing to be grateful for...

...except a cat pissing in the litter box. 

12 February 2018

Moving from Alberta to Nova Scotia - it's bad enough I can't claim certain expenses related to the move and on top of that I owe a bucket of money to the government. Why don't they tell you this?

When you're considering a move back home, it's worth it to do a little research before choosing the date for the move. I learned this lesson the hard way when I moved back home after retiring from the army.

Joey  is a fictional character

Joey moved from Alberta to Nova Scotia in October of 2016. He purchased his first home in Nova Scotia in November and came to see me when it was time to do his income tax.

Apparently someone had told him that he could claim the costs related to the purchase of his new home. He wasn't pleased when I told him that this claim was only available to people who had sold a property at the old location.

He was irritated but we got over it. Sometimes there's a tendency for people to shoot the messenger but Joey was graceful.

That is....until I told him how much he would have to pay the government this year. Let's talk about provincial marginal tax rates.

Joey made  $130,000.00 in Alberta (between Jan - Oct).  Joey's employer collected tax based on the assumption that he would be filing taxes in Alberta which makes sense. But, when it comes time to do your taxes, the government expects your the taxes based on where you were residing on December 31st of that year.  On December 31st Joey was ringing in the new year in his new man cave in Nova Scotia - therefore, so Joey would be taxed at the Nova Scotia tax rate.

Nova Scotia 17.5%

Alberta 10 %

Joey was in for a shock - he wouldn't be getting that new boat this year. I get it! I get it! I get it Joey! I'd be pissed too. But I have to follow the law.

My advice to anyone considering a move, be strategic about the date.  Check your marginal tax rates, hold off and move in the new year if it is more beneficial to do so!!! Sometimes we have no control over this but at least you can do a little planning. 

Joey just called to make an appointment to get his 2017 taxes done - I'm glad he realizes that I don't make the rules.







10 February 2018

"When someone is honest - thank them for the gift."

Even though the big gurus talk about the 360 analysis and how important it is that we get feedback from the people around us, the reality is that we all love the positive feedback but...
who wants to hear that they're not doing so hot and that other people can see our flaws?

No one - not me, not you, not the guy who has parsley stuck in his teeth.

And about the guy with parsley, most people won't even tell him that it's there or that he has toilet paper on his shoe. Folks would rather let you go around looking stupid than tell you the truth and run the risk of you not liking them. 

I can hear some of you right now saying "I would tell you if you had parsley in your teeth!!" Ok, I'll give you that but would you tell your best friend that there is no market for her products or that she isn't a great yoga instructor? Would you tell them that they can't manage people or that the staff are laughing at them behind their back? Would you want someone to tell  you all of this if it were you?

Having a tough hide in business isn't optional.  If we don't start asking for feedback from others and accepting the feedback that they are offering, we are going to be waiting too long to become profitable if it happens at all. If we only seek out the compliments and continue to ignore the tough lessons, we won't be in business for very long. When someone with a good heart offers you an opinion about what they see, don't ignore it. There could be some truth in that advice. 

My first attempt at business - teaching women how to manage the power centres of the non-traditional world, was a flop. I had a course that was only half baked, had no real idea how to sell to corporations and had barriers to success that I was in denial about. Instead I walked around as if I was ready to go when that contract arrived. Truth was, I had no idea what I didn't know until I hired my first coach. 

I had a good person in my life who wasn't afraid to tell me what I needed to hear. I listened when she told me that I was never going to sell one of my programs unless I learned how to market correctly and if the course wasn't ready to go, no one would want to purchase it. It was one of the toughest things I have ever had to listen to. But I did listen - went out and got certified as an adult educator and hired a coach to help me market my services. I was a little peeved at Sherri but truth is, I needed to hear this. 

I got over it!!!

If you're not having the results you are expecting in your business, take a giant leap. Ask someone in your circle whom you trust and respect to give you some honest feedback. Ask more than one person to see if others feel the same way as well. Call it market research or call it common sense. If you're not gaining any traction in your business - it might just be YOU!!! Are you ready for that?

3 February 2018

Save time and money - market to the ideal client.

Imagine someone trying to sell you something that you are not in the market for. Recently someone tried to sell me a cutting board. I wasn't in the market for a cutting board but that person continued to tell me all about the features and benefits including a big spiel on charcuterie boards. It was extremely annoying. Almost as annoying as the time someone tried to sell me a $2000 set of pots and pans - me, who hardly ever cooks and who understands the importance of knowing your client. 

Contrast that with my experience today when someone offered me a sample of hand cream. I have dry skin and love a great hand cream that can get me through the long dry winter.  Sell me hand cream; sell me a great training business coaching program - I'm a knowledge addict and I'm always investing in my craft. These are my values - we always purchase those things that we value.

Know your client.

If you're selling a luxury item, you need clients who have the disposable income to be able to pay for them. That's a given.  They also have to link with what they value. Don't try and sell and all inclusive to someone who values time at the cottage. 

If you're selling a holistic product, it's an easier process if you don't have to first define the term holistic. Let's say for example, you're selling the option to learn more about the Ayurvedic Food Lifestyle, I know right away that selling to a meat and potatoes guy is not your best bet. Reason being, you have to first convince him that altering his food choice is necessary.  That is a labour intensive sell. 

I like to say I did it wrong before I learned to do it right. In the early days, I thought my business coaching was designed for "all business people" but I've changed my mind about that over time. 

 Generally speaking my 3 month coaching product is best suited to someone who is interested in making six figures. That person must be already hustling at that level and have the means to pay for the program. That person is highly motivated and has the means.

I generally don't waste time marketing that product to new entrepreneurs but I do "plant seeds" so that when they are ready to scale they will consider me. I also don't market to those folks who don't feel a certain urgency to make the money. Although I don't always just coach the primary breadwinner, the people I coach like a good lifestyle and their contribution to the family income is substantial. 

When there was a downturn in the economy in Alberta, a lot of men were laid off in Eastern Canada - men who had been given a taste of the good life; men who were attached to their toys and men who wanted to quickly bring their income level up to the 100K+ level real quick. 

Finding a J O B in Atlantic Canada wasn't going to do it for them. I saw this as an opportunity. I put on an info session as a way to market my program and only invited men who fit this category. 

These men had big lifestyles, golfed regularly, had big trucks, skidoos, cottages and .... they were determined to hang onto this lifestyle. 

Getting back to the Ayurvedic Food Lifestyle, wouldn't you be closer to a sale if you spoke with people who already had an understanding of Eastern options? I'm assuming that this person needs to have a bit more disposable income than those of us who have Kraft Dinner regularly. This person should also have health and well being high on the priority list. Would this person likely be at a Yoga Studio? Or using alternative medicine like accupuncture. I see open minded written all over this. Where do you find open minded people? What are some of their habits?

This gets me into a chat about cross marketing so I will end here. But think about it - it's much easier to sell to the ideal client - the person who is waiting for the solution you are delivering. 

21 January 2018

I'm freaking out because it's time to take myself off the front line and hand it over to someone else!!!

Did that title sound like it had your name on it? If it did, welcome to the club.

This is serious stuff. If you're at that stage, you're not alone. I'm doing the exact same thing and the same kinds of worries are coming up for me.

This isn't just our business, this is our baby and if we take ourselves off the front line, things could fall apart. Isn't that what we are thinking? We're likely also thinking..

What if they do it better than I did it? 
or
What if I can't find a manager who can manage to maintain the brand I have established?

Then if you're like me you might be thinking..
 I don't really want to manage - I'm a leader and we all know that leaders and managers are not the same thing.

The most painful part starting a business with barely enough money and not enough skills is that we have to do all of the tasks ourselves.

We know that there are certain parts that get us all fired up and other things (like bookkeeping) that are like a damp rag. Get that damper off your plate as fast as you can.

I can work 20 hour days doing the parts of the biz that I love. I need staff in order to scale but I have no desire to even try to figure that part out. I don't want a manage. I am not a manager, I am a leader. I do  not like to manage at all. I'm not good at it. So the options are....stay where you are or find a manager.

Then there's that other little niggling thing....letting go. Yep, I said it out loud. It's not easy letting go. But it is necessary for growth. I get that.


I know you love your baby. I get that it was your sweat equity and tears that got you to this place - letting go is not easy but you do have a limited supply of energy and right now you're spending far too much time on this decision. 1, 2, 3, JUMP

But you know what? That next level, it's there for you and it needs you - if your plan for the future needs your undivided attention, you need to giddy up go.

I have spoken with so many people who have arrived at this stage - decision time. Many of them were held back because they couldn't make that decision.

Letting go wasn't an option for them and they didn't get to live that dream. I could detect a little regret in the way they reminisced. Their passion got dampened somewhat. One person told me that she makes a good living but she turned down the opportunity to make a great life.

I don't want to be one of those people
and I have a feeling that you don't either.

So, 
one of the things that you can do is look fear in the eye and tell it you're onto it. Look at that worse case scenario (it doesn't happen as often as you think) and then weigh that against not acting - which one makes you cringe at the thought. Staying the same can often be a de-motivator. It can suck the life right out of you.

Is it time to act? It's up to you..

14 January 2018

Are you a planner or a doer?

There are benefits and burdens in being at the extremes - are you a planner or a doer? When I need a plan written, I love giving it to an extreme planner - they don't miss anything. I can write plans but they're labour intensive for me. I like to get 'er done.
On the other end of the spectrum, if I need something done, I'll find a doer to pull that off. They may not dot every "I" or cross every "T" but they will get the job done.
When you own your own biz, you're often both people, the planner and the doer.
Being at one or the other extreme can work to your detriment. That's why we have to put systems in place to protect ourselves from our own proclivities.
I'm big on execution "done is better than perfect in my opinion". But...I also see the benefit in reading the instructions, I run my ideas by people. I ask others for advice like what to watch out for. I have learned that this DOER in me can land me in hot water at times.
My entrepreneurial friends who are big on the Planning end of the spectrum report that the plan can bog them down. They can get lost in fine tuning the plan. Sometimes they take longer to achieve something as a result. To overcome this, they will bring in someone to manage projects and to provide the proverbial kick in the behind that is needed to get 'er done.
Are you a planner or a doer and what strategies do you have in place to save you from yourself? Just curious?

11 January 2018

How do you creatively market your business?


What a great day!!! Eight business people coming together to share a lunch that had a strategically random flavour. How did this happen? I am always trying to think of new ways to market my business - events that pack a little punch and are more than a sharing of business cards. A way to build a relationship. 

Like the quote "A rising tide lifts all boats!" I enjoy sharing the glory and getting in one another's slip stream.  

Good food, good people and an opportunity to showcase what you do. 

I took out my LIST of inspiring business people and I drew random names until I had a group of eight. That's a good number for lunch. Everyone said yes when invited and that was the start of our first month of #LetsEatTogether and #CreativeMarketing. 

We shared stories of how we ended up in this business place. We talked about our big plans, the importance of jumping in with both feet, the hustle and grind and we laughed. We really did laugh especially when stories were shared about......oh you had to be there.  

Somewhere near the end someone said "What about our business cards?" 

Oh ya, we had so much fun that we forgot to share those. Isn't that novel? We spent so much time building relationships that we forgot to try and make a sale. 

In February we will do it all over again - I love meeting new people. 

How do you get creative with your marketing? What do you have in mind for 2018? I'd love to hear all about it!

10 January 2018

Tax Time Tips: Sorting the Shoe Box

It's that time of year. Let's face it, not many business people love TAX TIME! 

After all, we get before tax dollars!!!! Duh!!!

If you're facing the proverbial shoe box filled with crumpled receipts and packing slips, you need a plan. 

If your receipts have not made it in from the glove box yet, you need a plan. 

If you're forgetting about your digital expenses and you seldom print a receipt when you do the email transfer, you need a plan. 

Here's the plan!!

Don't get overwhelmed. I suggest tackling the beast in one hour chunks. 

Take a deep breath all the way to the soles of your feet and breathe all the way out. You're ready - oh ya, you're more than ready. 

Set aside one hour a day so you don't get overwhelmed.  Did I say that already? What do we do when we get overwhelmed? We kick the shoe box into a dark recess in the closet and don't do our taxes at all. DON'T DO THIS!!!

As much as we don't love tax time, let's show it the respect it deserves.
 If you think that shoe box is intimidating - you should see what it feels like when you get that knock on the door. Know what I'm saying??

...back to the plan

Breathe......

Collect those digital files and put them in one place. Don't miss out on write offs just because you hate doing the leg work. Bring the receipts in from the car and dig through your pockets - they're everywhere. 

You won't notice gaps in expenses until  you get it all sorted. So start sorting. 

Check those dates. Make sure it's dated for this year. Is the receipt  for advertising? Don't put it in the pile where you put your receipt for snow tires and car repairs. You get it?  CATEGORIZE your mess.

Your tax preparer will give you a handy dandy set of handouts to get you sorted. I know this for a fact - oh ya, we do taxes.

Entrepreneurs (at least the successful ones) do hard stuff every day - this is hard stuff!!!  But believe me when I say that you're going to love the weight that will be lifted when you're finished. 

Of course, if you really don't like it, you can get someone to do it for you. Give us a ring - we can hook you up. 

8 January 2018

My Pet Peeve - Poorly Designed Curriculum for Business Courses

I've taken a lot of business courses - some  were extremely helpful but there are a 
lot of programs that are poorly designed. 

There is a hierarchy of skills that business people need to develop. I see people out there with mad skills in communication, networking and growth mindset who are hitting it out of the park revenue wise. People who have never taken a business course. 

Could they be doing better? You betcha but....

They have the core competencies in the bag. 

I've also met business people with a binder filled with certificates - wait a minute - that's me. I had a binder filled with certificates. Someone gave me a grant for a business plan when I had no idea how to make my first dollar. I couldn't have communicated properly to a prospect had they fallen in my path gasping for air. I didn't have the core competencies needed for success. 

The learner will also be given opportunities to communicate. 

The learner will also develop some kick ass networking skills by 
interacting with the other participants.

The learner will be introduced to the concept of mindset - fixed and growth.

The instructor will be trained and effective in adult learning principles.

There's a reason why we need pre-requisites to take certain courses in university. There's a reason why kids learn particular strands in math at certain times. 
Information needs to be layered in a certain way. 

There's a reason why the success rate for new business owners is so low.  Core competencies are being ignored. The time to do something about it is now. 

It's not enough to have a pet peeve - I see it as an opportunity in business.