Posted on

3 Benefits of Estate Planning

By Debbie Stanley

Estate Planning

For a long time I put off my estate plan and any conversation that had to do with planning my legacy. If you had asked me, I would have preferred to go to the gym and awkwardly run on the treadmill while day dreaming about chocolate rather than discuss something so personal and scary. I had a will, my husband had a will…. this was enough of a plan, right?

Now I know you may be thinking, I am a qualified licensed professional who deals with Trusts and Estates every single day. Why would I have put this off? Well, to be honest it is a scary thing and even someone who dedicates their life to this subject is not immune to the fear. I found an excuse to do something else, change the subject, or work on my clients affairs instead of my own. Finally I decided that it was time to give myself some tough love and signed my husband and I up to walk through the process that I go through with my clients. We planned out all the details of our estate; starting with reviewing our wills, working on and organizing finances and lastly discussing our funeral wishes. After the exercise I reflected on some of the emotions I was feeling after such a deeply personal experience.

Estate Planning gives a sense of clarity. When we go through the motions of everyday life, we tend to get bogged down by all the daily details and tasks that call for our attention.  Stopping and making the time to speak with a professional (yes I know it was myself!) about my estate plan brought a sense of clarity to my wishes that I never knew I had. There are tough questions that are asked, and sometimes difficult decisions to be made and it forced me to admit things or look at things in a manner that I normally wouldn’t. While the subject matter is uncomfortable, gaining a better sense of understanding of all the moving pieces of my estate is a feeling that is pretty hard to describe. Continue reading 3 Benefits of Estate Planning

Posted on

Adrienne Winterhelt – Bed Bugs Dead Bugs

Adrienne Winterhelt is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Toronto, Ontario, and she is the Founder of Bed Bugs Dead Bugs. We’re excited to share Adrienne’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Adrienne Winterhelt of Bed Bugs Dead Bugs


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur, I just didn’t know it. As a young girl, my parents’ dream for me was to marry and that would set me on the path to happiness and a secure future. When I did meet the love of my life, his entire family were entrepreneurs and they encouraged me to take my ideas and run with them. When I failed, my husband would say, “Don’t worry Adrienne, Col. Saunders didn’t make it until he was 60 years old. You’ve got time.” If only he had more time. I wish he were here today to see me on the road to success. Every bump in the road is smoothed out by his belief in me. You could probably play a bingo game of different enterprises I have tried, from lamp making, jewellery making, seamstress, word processing tutor and cat minding to name just a few. Nothing was quite the right fit.
As the only parent of three kids, I went back to office work the very same week I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It became impossible to work, manage three kids and recover from surgery and undergo chemo and radiation. That’s when I took the last of my savings and bought an income property figuring that there would not be too much to managing another house. The very first month, the tenants called in a panic saying, “We’ve got bed bugs.” What did I know about bed bugs? Nothing. So I started doing research and discovered that they die at 45 degrees C, and that there were specially-designed heaters to do exactly that. I searched the internet for someone who rented the equipment. No one rented this equipment. September 22nd, that’s when the light bulb went off, and I thought to myself, “Why don’t I rent them?” That’s when I bought my first set and killed the bed bugs in my tenant’s place; I was now on the road to creating Bed Bugs Dead Bugs and renting heaters to people from all walks of life. My road to success has been filled with a lot of giant potholes but there is something inside me that sees potholes as things to jump over, splash through or work around. It doesn’t matter how crazy my girlfriends think I am; I know, somewhere inside me, that this is the right path for me.

Continue reading Adrienne Winterhelt – Bed Bugs Dead Bugs

Posted on

How To Lock Away Your Fear of Public Speaking

Written by Lisa van Reeuwyk

public speaking tips

Do you love public speaking? Do you aspire to stand in the spotlight and let your light shine brightly or does it send you into a cold sweat running for the lavatory in a state of panic? For some of us, a speech in front of a room full of our peers is an opportunity to connect, inspire and teach.

Recently I was invited to my 10 year old daughter’s classroom, where my introverted, big-hearted daughter took on the challenge of public speaking by embracing her love of the animal kingdom, and she impressed me with her dedication to her 4 minute speech written all by herself to educate her class on bears — in French; hand-crafted on cue cards; and memorized.

Now let’s rewind a few months earlier…

Somewhere on her way to school, my daughter took a big gulp of performance anxiety with a self-doubt chaser. Rather than proudly sharing her speech with her class, as she stood before them she broke down into tears, unable to get past the first word.

Can you relate? Has the adult version of you ever choked up or froze in the face of judgement?

Likely you didn’t break down into tears, but there may or may not have been a margarita and some emotional eating and some retail therapy behind-the-scenes. Success looks different for all of us.

When invited to present at a conference or lead a workshop my heart sings, “Ooh… YES! What an honour and blessing to speak to a room full of smart, talented interesting people and foster innovation, creativity and growth… YES!!!!!”

Most people who meet me as an adult are more than a little surprised to learn about my paralyzing shyness as a child. The 42 year old version of me talks to people everywhere I go, especially now that I market non-toxic shampoo that re-grows hair (crazy I know!).

Yet, the 10 year old version of Lisa broke into tears and ran away on the playground when a well-intentioned child said the unimaginable and horrific word, “Hi!” to me. A panic attack, not public speaking, would have been the only option for me.

What is this huge truth about public speaking?

Continue reading How To Lock Away Your Fear of Public Speaking

Posted on

Arti Sharma – Measure Marketing

Arti Sharma is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Milton, Ontario. She is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategist for Measure Marketing. We are excited to share Arti’s Success Story!

mompreneur Arti Sharma of Measure Marketing

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My drive to support and service many business owners while being available for my children as they are growing was my primary reason to start a business. As a natural coach (and being a business coach for a Franchise Organization) my natural style is to support, help people find answers and inspire them to take action. By being an entrepreneur I can do this and support my team, vendors and clients, while building a lifestyle that provides for my family, living my purpose to influence, inspire and impact.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
A common response to this question is “being your own boss”, however it isn’t exactly a true statement if you believe in a collaborative and respectful working relationship with your employee’s, from my point of view.

Owning a company with 18 employees means answering to the needs of those employee’s in whatever tools and education they require to help them do their job, and then provide them with direction, purpose, and inspiration to help them remain engaged in the business. You can be so amazed by the creativity and brilliance of people if you let their true selves shine.

Part II of III is the opportunity to educate my clients (owners/entrepreneurs) from a marketing perspective, which helps them grow their business in many ways. Knowing my team and I played an important part in their success journey is very gratifying. Continue reading Arti Sharma – Measure Marketing

Posted on

5 Myths to Debunk That Will Help you go Back to Work and Still Breastfeed

Expert advice from the team at The Womb (World of My Baby)

breastfeeding myths to debunk for women and mompreneurs going back to work

It would be so nice if we could continue to stay home with our little ones, but for most of us, going back to work is a reality. For many mothers in Canada, we are lucky to have one year of maternity leave before returning to work. But some need to go back sooner, and for those who do get the full year, they would like to continue their breastfeeding relationship. Many ask, “Do I need to wean just because I’m going back to work?”

The answer is no. It is hard enough to be separated from your baby, so being able to breastfeed when you are together benefits both of you emotionally and physically.

Here are my top 5 myths about breastfeeding and going back to work after the one-year maternity leave.

1. I need to stop breastfeeding when I go back to work.
Absolutely not! Yes, it may be a bit challenging at first to juggle getting back into the swing of things with working and continuing to breastfeed, but it is just an adjustment. Going back to work is an adjustment in itself anyway. The benefit of continuing to breastfeed, is that you can still renew that closeness and one-on-one time with your baby when you are home – which makes the adjustment of going back to work easier for both of you.

A side bonus is that many children who will go to a daycare setting when mom returns back to work, will come in contact with new and unexpected viruses and germs. When you breastfeed, you pass on valuable antibodies to your baby through your breastmilk. So, although it is inevitable that your little one may get sick, they will most likely recover sooner or not get as ill if you continue to breastfeed.

2. I will need to pump when you go back to work.
Many women have a love-hate relationship with their pump and many haven’t pumped for months. They often wonder “When will I find time in my day to pump? Where will I pump and where will I store the milk?” Of course, this is always an option and you can speak with your employer about setting up a room for you to pump and for you to store your milk (it’s their legal obligation to do so) but you don’t need to pump. Many mothers will simply hand express a bit while away if they feel too full and just breastfeed when they are with baby. Sure, the first few days when you go back to work may be tough and you may be a bit uncomfortable and leak a little. No problem, bring an extra shirt just in case, learn how to hand express and by the end of the week your body will adjust and you will be fine! Continue reading 5 Myths to Debunk That Will Help you go Back to Work and Still Breastfeed

Posted on

Tara Kanerva – Inspired Outcomes SHE

Tara Kanerva is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Guelph, Ontario. She is the Co-Founder of Inspired Outcomes SHE, a branch of coaching and teaching that focuses on the inner sense of being a woman in a world that is changing so radically in it’s expectations, it’s definition and it’s understanding of women. Tara and her husband have built Inspired Outcomes over the last three years to become a busy, successful, ever evolving epi-centre of growth and inspiration in the city.  Building on that success, Tara launched IOSHE – the female divine energy of Inspired Outcomes all wrapped up and packaged in fierce feminine intention. IOSHE is her response to work with the most beautiful part of every woman, whatever and however that is for her, and teach her how to use her mind, her spirit and her physical body to project her own light out into the world however near or far she chooses. We are excited to share Tara’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Tara Kanerva of Inspired Outcomes


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

I had three children in five years.  With an extensive background in higher education and international work, I found myself uncertain that I wanted to return to the word of academia, and knew for certain I couldn’t return to international field work quite yet. So I chose to follow my current passion of natural child birth and became a birth coach with a very, very small goal of finding a few clients a year. Soon I ran into a frustration that I couldn’t help those women who most needed it – those who suffered from anxiety, depression or phobias with relation to the hospital or pain. I researched and learned how I might best be able to offer even the most challenged women real help, and so I trained to become a certified Neuro Linguistic Practitioner.  My new skills blew my own mind, as well as propelled me into much bigger success (by referral) than I ever expected. Within the next year I became a Master Practitioner, started the company, worked with over 60 clients and have never, ever looked back!
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Owning our own business is exhilarating in it’s limitlessness! There is nothing like knowing that when we explore the merits of an idea, turn it into a goal, break it down and get it up on the big white sheets in our office, there is no doubt in our minds that it will become a reality. The difficulties and challenges of being responsible for every moving part of the business is directly balanced by the ability to adapt and shift to every changing need. Being in the line of work that is directly, overtly and often visibly changing people’s belief in themselves, their confidence and their own personal success, it’s hard not to get excited about every single aspect about owning our business, because literally everything we do contributes to us, our students and our clients becoming bigger and better!

Continue reading Tara Kanerva – Inspired Outcomes SHE

Posted on

Michelle Faulds – Sly Fox Digital Media Marketing

Michelle Faulds is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of London, Ontario. She is the Co-Founder of Sly Fox Digital Media Marketing, and we are excited to share her Success Story!

mompreneur Michelle Faulds of Sly Fox Digital Media Marketing

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
After suffering years and years of depression and pain from a car accident, I started assisting my husband Mike with his freelance based web design business to help him out. My 20 years of experience in sales became very valuable to him and I very quickly realized that networking and quick results from my efforts created a passion that all but cured my depression. Changes in diet and lifestyle have minimized pain. I have met so many wonderful people through SlyFox and I can truly say that my clients have become my friends. I really do care about everything that I do, and that shines through with what we deliver.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Passion. Owning my own business has renewed my passion for life and relationships. It has helped me create professional and personal goals. I think of new creative ideas for my clients on every day that ends in ‘y’ and I love it!

Continue reading Michelle Faulds – Sly Fox Digital Media Marketing

Posted on

10 Ways to Reduce your Tax Risk as an Entrepreneur

Written by Linda Spencer

“The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax”
~ Albert Einstein

tax risk for entrepreneurs

As a 20 year veteran of practicing Canadian corporate and personal tax, I have to agree – tax is complicated!  The basic principles are simple, but the interpretation and application of the ever-changing complex laws are not.  As one of my mentors in tax pointed out years ago – one could specialize in an area of tax for a lifetime and still not completely understand all the rules.

My intent here is to highlight the top 10 income tax risks faced by entrepreneurs (specifically from a Canadian tax perspective, but similar issues apply in other countries), to create awareness so that you may seek the appropriate guidance and advice from a qualified tax professional to ensure that you are appropriately managing those risks.

  1. Meet Deadlines
    Missing tax filing deadlines can be a costly mistake. In Canada, late-filing your income tax return when you owe will land you a 5% late-filing penalty (plus 1% per month filed late), along with late payment interest which is compounded daily. The penalties are doubled for repeat offenders. Be sure you are aware of your filing and payment deadlines. Personal income tax returns are due April 30 (June 15th for individuals with self-employment income, but your taxes are payable by April 30th). Corporate income tax returns are due 6 months after fiscal year-end, with balance of taxes due 2 months after year-end (3 months if you are a small business corporation).
  1. Document EVERYTHING!
    Lack of documentation remains the largest tax audit issue in Canada. Poor record keeping and lack of documentation can lead to missed and denied deductions, inefficient tax audits and costly tax assessments. For some small businesses, this could lead to business failure.
  1. Report All of Your Income
    Recently, I asked a friend about her business… she said she didn’t make enough to report it. Of course, I cautioned of the potential risks she was incurring as a result – YIKES! Tax authorities have made cracking down on unreported income a top priority. The underground economy in Canada is estimated to be about $42billion or 2.3% of GDP. At an income tax rate of 25%, that’s about $10billion of lost tax revenues. While the high rate of income tax along with a 13% sales tax rate in Ontario make cash transactions and “under-the-table” payments an attractive option, it should be noted that unreported income not only carries stiff penalties (up to 50% of the understatement of tax, as well as criminal charges for tax evasion), but can severely impact your reputation and your business.

Continue reading 10 Ways to Reduce your Tax Risk as an Entrepreneur

Posted on

Finding Your Anxiety Antidote

Expert advice from The Womb (World of My Baby)

anxiety

A lot of my work with women revolves around the powerless, and sometimes overwhelming experience of feeling anxious. My clients worry about making mistakes, they worry about being good moms, good employees, they worry about their health, they worry about missing out — they worry.

Women often feel robbed of the ability to enjoy the moment, despite a deep longing to feel joy.

There is a difference between worry and anxiety, and we can move back and forth between them. I want to tell you that you deserve to feel happy. You deserve to feel good enough. You deserve to be free of the debilitating anxiety that comes from constant second guessing, and self-criticism. Your children and family deserve to have a mother who doesn’t carry the world on her shoulders. You are so worthy, my loves…. so worthy.

How is worry and anxiety affecting your life?

What would your family notice if tomorrow morning, your worry brain took a rest. What would be different?

I help clients find their personal anxiety antidote. I don’t suggest that you just try some generic relaxation or meditation or even just “think positively”. There is a reason that anxiety is there. Anxiety happens when something inside of us is asking for attention. Something inside is asking to be heard, seen and addressed. Sometimes we think we know what it is, so we solve the first thing that comes to mind, but we still feel anxious. I call this the anxiety treadmill! How the heck do you get off without making yourself crazy?

I want to tell you my approach to anxiety. I treat it as a super power. We use this obsessive focus and intense drive to create good feelings!  Did you know that NASA often prefers to hire anxious people? They are great people, with lots of focus-power. But imagine if they could never turn off that ability? What a terribly stressful existence. Continue reading Finding Your Anxiety Antidote

Posted on

Samantha King – Fempire Builders

Samantha King is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Barrie, Ontario. She is a Business Consultant and Mastermind Facilitator with Fempire Builders, where the core purpose is to support the growing number of women entering the world of entrepreneurship by creating a community of women who empower and support each other through mastermind groups, education and mentorship as we all build the lives of our dreams while creating the work/life balance we crave. We are excited to share Samantha’s Success Story!

mompreneur Samantha King of Fempire Builders


Tell us about your business!
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, so to it takes village to build a business. Whether it’s clients, suppliers or just fellow entrepreneurs to hold us up and help us see the way forward, there are many people involved in the successful growth of a business. Through our mastermind programs and online training, we bring our tribe together to collaborate, empower, and hold each other accountable as we aim to stay focused while balancing working and “life-ing”. At the end of the day my business is about community. By bringing all the Fempire Builders together, we can all help one another achieve what we are looking for. To me, that’s powerful.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I have always wanted to be my own boss, so to speak. Time freedom and being in charge of my own destiny were the BIG drivers initially. But it wasn’t until my then 4 year-old daughter, Penny, was diagnosed with autism, after 2.5 years of going through the motions leading up to that diagnosis, that I finally took the leap into entrepreneurship. Fempire Builders really came out of my need for something different. A need for more flexibility along with more of what I wanted, after receiving Penny’s diagnosis combined with a bad bout with post-partum depression. I wasn’t going to spend my timing doing things if they didn’t make my heart sing. That just wasn’t me anymore. I couldn’t bare it.

mompreneur Samantha King of Fempire Builders - daughter Penny

Furthermore, I was now officially a special needs Mama, and what would be required for Penny’s care would make me effectively unemployable to most employers – a fate many special needs parents face.

When my maternity leave ended in May 2016, I took my 8+ years experience in teaching, telesales, corporate sales and marketing, and client service management in the small business world and started my business and now here I am. Continue reading Samantha King – Fempire Builders