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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

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Why Should Your Business Expand to Another Country?

Ever wondered what it would take to expand your company reach into other countries around the world?

Thanks to our partners at UPS Canada, now you can print off these handy resources to help you learn exactly what opportunities are available and why you should explore expanding to countries like Germany, Mexico, China, and the U.S.!

Click the images below to view the full resource and download or print! Continue reading Why Should Your Business Expand to Another Country?

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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

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How to Boost Traffic at Your Trade Show Booth

Expert advice from the team at Entripy.com

Booking a booth at a trade show is just the beginning of your exhibitor experience. You’ve picked the right show with hundreds of attendees in your target demographic who are sure to love your product. Now comes the hard part. You have about four seconds to engage someone walking by your standard 10’x10’ booth. With so much to see at a tradeshow, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Here are our top tips for standing out from the crowd and drawing traffic to your trade show booth.

Use Social Media

Find out the event hashtag and invite people to visit your booth. But don’t just post: “come visit me at booth #x”. Give people a reason to want to visit you. What’s in it for them? You may want to offer an incentive, such as a free gift to the first 50 visitors or a product demo schedule. The event will often retweet or share your post, giving you even more exposure.

Dress to Stand Out

There’s a reason Entripy staff wear yellow t-shirts at our trade shows. Unless we’re attending a construction and safety trade show, we’re pretty well guaranteed that no one else will be wearing yellow, ensuring that we stand out on the trade show floor. Did you see those girls in the yellow shirts? How could you NOT? When getting custom t-shirts printed for your upcoming trade show, select a colour that will allow you to stand out, while still complementing your branding.

Provide an Experience

People aren’t coming to a trade show just to buy products and listen to sales pitches, they’re coming for a memorable experience, something they can Instagram about and tell their co-workers about on Monday morning. Providing interesting product demos or a fun contest gives people something memorable to talk about long after the event is over.  Continue reading How to Boost Traffic at Your Trade Show Booth

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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

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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

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What’s The Best Trade Show Swag for Your Brand?

Expert advice from the team at Entripy.com

You’ve booked your trade show space, you have your marketing materials ready, now what are you going to give out to attendees to make them remember your company?

Promotional swag is one of the top reasons people attend trade shows. Everyone loves getting free stuff! A well thought-out promotional item can enhance the event experience for attendees and boost your marketing efforts, yielding fantastic ROI for your company. Here are some great swag ideas attendees are sure to love:

A Custom Tote Bag

Trade show attendees love getting a custom tote bag to hold all their event swag, and you will love giving them out! A functional and stylish bag is sure to end up in the trunk of attendees’ cars, used time and time again for grocery shopping and running errands. Your custom tote bag can serve as a reminder of your brand many times over and gets your logo seen by others everywhere the attendee goes!

Entripy branded apparel and promo products for the Mompreneurs group

A Promotional Pen

Custom pens are one of the most useful giveaway items. There’s always a need for a pen! These small and convenient promotional giveaway items are also extremely cost effective for your company (a custom pen can cost less than $1) and are likely to end up on attendees’ desks, in purses, shared with co-workers and are used many times post-event, serving as a constant reminder of the interaction customers had with your company.

Seasonal Items

Why not tie your promotional swag to the season and deliver something memorable and useful to attendees? A custom toque is sure to be appreciated by attendees during cold, winter months, while a custom Frisbee (or flyer) is a fun giveaway item in the summer months. Continue reading What’s The Best Trade Show Swag for Your Brand?

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7 Tips to Create a Follow-Up Strategy

Written by Grace Moores

entrepreneur tips for follow up, from mompreneur Grace Moores

If you don’t have a follow-up strategy, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Most of my clients never returned my initial calls or emails, but they did with follow-up, which in turn has brought in revenue and resources over the years.

Follow-up is not hard to do and doesn’t take up a lot of time. For most of us it is the fear of rejection and coming across as too pushy. Not everyone is going to be your customer, and that is ok because realistically, you don’t want everyone to be your customer.

Here are 7 steps for overcoming the above, and developing a follow-up strategy that brings you revenue.

Keep a Call Log

You can do this in a CRM program or on an Excel spreadsheet. You only need 3 columns:

  1. Date – the date you called
  2. Who – who you spoke with
  3. Next Steps – do you need to follow up? If so, when, or are you taking them to the next step of your sales process?

The Right Person

Make your first call about identifying the right person. There is nothing worse than spending weeks following up with someone only to find out they are not the right person. Argh! Such a waste of time.

Schedule Follow-Up

Expect to follow-up. People are busy, and in case your email doesn’t jump straight to the top of their to-do list, schedule a date in your calendar or call log to follow up, just in case you forget! Follow-up calls or emails should be between 3 – 5 working days. If you are following up after an in-person meeting, try to aim for 1 – 3 days. Continue reading 7 Tips to Create a Follow-Up Strategy

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Top 5 Trade Show Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Expert advice from the team at Entripy.com

Tips for exhibiting at a trade show from ENTRIPY.COM

Exhibiting at a trade show is a costly endeavor. First, there’s the upfront cost of booking an exhibit space. Then there’s the cost of marketing materials and promotional swag to give away at the event. Finally, there’s the cost of your time, travel expenses and let’s face it, it’s a day when you’re not at the office making money. Trade shows can be a valuable investment and a great way to generate new interest in your products and services. But if executed poorly, exhibiting in a trade show can cost you.

When planning your trade show experience, take care to avoid these five costly mistakes:

Mistake #1: Having a Poor Display

Your trade show booth space is the first impression you leave on passersby. Your display should tell prospective clients right away exactly what your business is about. If potential customers can’t tell at first glance what your business provides, they will likely walk right by.

When designing your trade show space, make it inviting to encourage people to come and take a closer look at what you have to offer. Avoid putting a table between you and your attendees. If you have to have a display table for flyers or marketing material, push it off to the side or stand to the side of the table rather than behind it.

Mistake #2: Not Being Approachable 

Attracting visitors to your booth begins with you. When you’re trying to attract passersby, first impressions are everything. Don’t underestimate the value of your apparel. Wearing branded apparel with your company’s logo doesn’t only you a professional appearance, it also puts your logo in the faces of everyone you engage with, enhancing brand recognition.

One of the biggest mistakes trade show exhibitors make is bringing their cell phones to the event.  If you saw someone sitting behind a table, staring at their phone, would you want to talk to them about their services? “But I’m answering a client’s email. I’m working on closing an important deal,” you say.  All prospective clients see is that you’re too busy to engage with them. Avoid leaving the wrong impression on prospects and leave your emails and phone calls for after the event, or during a break when someone can take over the booth for you.  Continue reading Top 5 Trade Show Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Confident Mompreneur or Imposter Superhero? Take This Quiz…

Written by: Lisa Van Reeuwyk

mompreneur superhero quiz

A woman’s role in 2017 is full of contradictions. On one hand, women have made incredible advancements socially, economically and politically. In my opinion, it truly is the best time in all of history to be alive. We have more choice, more freedom and in many parts of the world, equality; and we have incredible appliances like washing machines and dishwashers that I personally express deep gratitude for in a way that makes my children think I am a bit odd, which I am… but that is another blog entirely.

To borrow a line from Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. Mompreneurs and emerging entrepreneurs have taken on all sorts of new and exciting roles with massive success, yet we often don’t ask for help with the traditional ones leaving us burdened, exhausted and frustrated. So let’s take a quiz to find out where you land on the scope of mompreneur as confidant communicative #bosslady or as an imposter superhero headed for burnout — it will depend on how many Y or N you answer with. Continue reading Confident Mompreneur or Imposter Superhero? Take This Quiz…