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5 Sources of Inspiration

Sometimes you need inspiration and it is nowhere to be found. On those days, the savvy mompreneur just has to look a little harder. Here are five sources of inspiration that can help you get back on track when you’ve fallen into a bit of a rut.

Your Network.

The people in your network may be aware of opportunities that you’ve never even considered. When you’re talking to your contacts, always keep both your ears and your mind open. Get out and meet up with some fellow women and entrepreneurs in your network, it will lift your spirits!

Other Entrepreneurs’ Stories.

Only another entrepreneur can truly appreciate the challenges and triumphs of starting your own business. When you hear the stories of entrepreneurs who have overcome tough obstacles and built a successful business, it makes you wonder what you might be able to accomplish if you put your mind to it. You can read up on fellow Mompreneur member Success Stories right here on our blog!

Your Customers.

The success of your business will always depend on how well you understand your customers. Take some time to talk to them and get to know them – send out a survey, post a poll on Facebook, or record a Facebook Live video to interact directly! They will likely be able to provide you with a perspective that will help you make improvements to your business.

Your Children.

Nothing is as inspiring as envisioning your child’s little face looking up at you, no matter how much older they now are from that moment in time. Hold on to that image and bring it out on the days when you need to climb a little higher. It will remind you of how much you’ve accomplished as a parent, and how far you’ve come from those early days in your entrepreneurial journey.

 

Featured image via shutterstock.com

 

 

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Time vs. Money-When is it time to Outsource?

Sometimes business demands can over-run your schedule, no matter how diligent you are with creating a killer time map. So what is a busy mompreneur to do? Outsource!

when is it time to outsource?

Simply put, but not so easily done for those of us who like to be in control of every aspect of our businesses.  It really boils down to three questions:

1.   Where is my time better served?  

Are you better at selling than the mundane task of bookkeeping and paperwork?  Or are you internet savvy enough to rock your social media world and website, but not so good at the selling? Figure out what you are best at and do it well. Then hire someone else to take on and master the things that aren’t at the top of your ‘love to do’ list. Continue reading Time vs. Money-When is it time to Outsource?

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Brainstorming Sessions that Work

brainstorming ideas - sessions that work for mompreneurs and women entrepreneurs

What do you do when you have to solve a problem or you need a killer new idea for your business?  Many business owners spend thousands of dollars on consultants when the perfect solution is right in front of them tucked away in one of their employee’s brain.  How can you access your employees’ great ideas?  Why not try a brainstorming session?  Here are some techniques that will help you hold a brainstorming session that is actually effective:

Don’t allow criticism.

The fear of criticism stifles creativity and makes people unwilling to suggest unconventional ideas, which is the whole point of the exercise.  Focus on quantity instead of quality.  Make it a team goal to come up with 75 new ideas.

Invite the right people.

Ideally, you would want to have between four and eight people at your brainstorming meeting.  When the group gets too big, people start to get intimidated.  Include a mix of people from different levels and departments.  You want to invite people who are willing to think big.

Make it a comfortable experience.

The space that you are working in matters.  Try to find a different room than the one that you use for your regular meetings.  Make sure that the chairs are comfortable and that people have room to walk around.  Select a time for the meeting when your employees won’t be too distracted by other tasks, and don’t forget to provide food and coffee.

Have an official facilitator.

You need someone to keep everyone on track and make sure that there is no judgment or criticism of ideas.  It is best if the facilitator is someone other than the manager so that the team members don’t become intimidated.

Plan next steps.

Clearly communicate what the next steps will be.  After investing their time and energy into this meeting, it will annoy your employees if all their ideas lead to nothing.

When handled properly, brainstorming meetings can be an effective team building experience.  It can get people talking in the lunch room, which is where the best ideas will come from anyway.  Your real goal as a business owner is to create a culture of brainstorming at your company.  If your employees are always thinking and are motivated to develop and share their ideas, it will take your business to some amazing (and interesting) places.

 


Written by Karen Bivand

Featured image via shutterstock.com

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Dreaming Bigger Than the Fear

Written by Darlene Gudrie Butts

dream bigger than your fears

Do you have this huge desire to do something big?

Do you take a couple of steps and then stop, paralyzed by “what ifs”?

I can relate.

I have always been a big dreamer and if I am not a little scared I feel I am not living fully. But, this year I made the mistake of dreaming so big that the “what ifs” have been pummeling me in a heavy downpour.

I decided two months ago to go on this epic journey to travel across Canada to gather stories for Canada’s 150th birthday. The 150 best ones would be put in a book.

Not a bad idea.

What??? CANADA is HUGE! The gas alone will be insane.

Here comes the fear…

What if I run out of money?

What if no one submits a story?

What if the stories suck?

What if I can’t get people and businesses to sponsor books for grade fives and my big dream goes kaput?

Then, I turned it all around and sucker-punched fear to the floor.

What if I don’t run out of money?

What if I do run out of money and don’t cover every province in person? Can I still write the book? Hell yeah!

What if the site crashes because so many people are submitting stories and I make the national news because of it, which in turn causes another crash?

What if I meet the sweetest, most amazing people and get to tell the stories no one would hear if I didn’t share them?

What if I get to inspire a whole generation?

Dreaming bigger than fear is easy. It is all about perspective. If you concentrate on all the wonderful things that can happen versus the negative, they will happen. I promise.

Whenever I get overwhelmed, by this project I stop and picture an email sent by a ten-year-old telling me how she read a story in 150 Canadian Stories and now she is inspired to do something big for herself and her country.  Her life will be forever changed by one story. Then, I take the next logical step.

Take that fear!

Mic drop.


mompreneur Darlene Gudrie Butts of 150 Canadian Stories
Darlene Gudrie Butts
is an acclaimed author and speaker as well as a very proud Canadian and Elite+ Mompreneur member. She wanted to celebrate this country’s upcoming 150th birthday with her power skill, story-telling. Willing to leave her business, city and friends behind, Darlene is embarking on a three-month tour of this incredible country looking for ordinary people with extraordinary stories. Her big dream is to be able to get enough books sponsored to be able to gift them to every grade five student in Canada so that the next generation has the love and pride she has for this country! Find out more about Darlene’s journey at 150canadianstories.ca


 

 

featured image via shutterstock.com

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How to Identify Your Style Personality

Written by Christina Proctor

how to identify your style personality - written by mompreneur Christina Proctor

Personality types can be divided into five unique styles: classic, creative, dramatic, natural and romantic. To determine where you lie, read the descriptions below and take a tour in your closet. Can you see any trends in your purchases? Which category do they fit into?

You may find your style personality falls into several different types. You are a unique individual with a diverse lifestyle. Your style personality will reflect this and may change depending on the environment. For example, your style for work may differ from your style for play. Further, you may find your style has changed as you aged, as you changed careers, or as you altered your lifestyle in some other way (e.g. by having children). Determining your preferences will help you narrow in on the person you are and who you want to be, so you are better able to dress for yourself. Now that’s a beautiful thing!

“The Classic”

This style is traditional, elegant, and timeless, with items in tailored cuts. You may find an abundance of structured suits, jackets, pencil skirts and trousers in your closet, in classic colours like black, cream, brown, beige. Fabrics such as light wools, fine cotton, and silks make up the majority of your wardrobe and are easily mixed and matched. Accessories are made of traditional materials like gold, silver, and pearls, with simple designs. You choose a timeless hairstyle, accompanied by a safe and predictable makeup routine. Quality is valued over quantity and investment buying is preferred. Your style is best described as “understated,” “refined,” and “sophisticated.”

“The Creative”

This style values uniqueness and trend-setting above all else. Interested in runway looks, but always adding a twist, you combine interesting colours, textures, and themes into your outfits. You may find unusual silhouettes in your closet, with garments from a collection of different decades. Fabrics are glittered or shined, with exotic or geometric prints. With this style, you aim to stand out, as the dressing is considered a true art form. Jewelry is bold, costumed, and eye-catching. Your hairstyle is often long and curled, or short and dramatic, which is combined with an experimental and ever-changing makeup routine. Your style is best described as “eclectic,” “unpredictable,” and “one-of-a-kind.” Continue reading How to Identify Your Style Personality

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To Go “All In”

Written by Danielle Joworski

author Danielle Joworski - go all in

To go all in
Means to not look back
To fear what was, could be, or never will know

To have a belief
So strong in its roots
That shelters, supports, pushes and grows

To accept that life
Will present gifts of few and plenty
All in time, aligned with your true desires

To move from
Mundane and routine
To something that gives you a sense of passion and fire

To bring a dream
From ideas and thoughts
Into something you crafted, nobody else has built

Never knowing if a plan
Thought, checklist, or note
Will be what pays the bills, debt or guilt

Continue reading To Go “All In”

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How I Gave Away 1,000 Business Cards & Still Failed at Networking

Written by Tessa Kampen

networking tips

When I started networking, I was the best card dealer you have ever seen. If I came home with empty pockets, I thought I was a Rockstar because that meant I gave out 20 cards!

I don’t know about you, but for me that is what I assumed networking was – getting my business card into as many hands as possible. I want to show you why I was SO wrong and the 3 key things I learned about effective networking and how to win every time!

KEY TIP #1:

It’s Not About You

You know when you meet someone at an event and you introduce yourself and ask them what they do… and immediately they pull out their card and tell you all about the company they work for and how amazing it is? That was me. Another big no-no is going around to all the tables and slapping your postcards on all the place settings. Don’t do that!

When you attend an event, go with the sole purpose of serving other people. Instead of thinking to yourself “what are you going to do for me”, think instead about what YOU can do for THEM! Try this out at your next event – start up a conversation with someone about who THEY are and try to find a common ground. Ask them if they ever attended this event before, where do they live, compliment their outfit or earrings. Then ask them what they do and be genuinely interested in what they have to say. Make it about them, not you.  Continue reading How I Gave Away 1,000 Business Cards & Still Failed at Networking

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The 5 W’s of Outsourcing

How to Increase Your Revenue and Fall Back in Love with Your Business

Written by Michelle Callipari

The 5 W's of Outsourcing, tips from mompreneur Virtual Assistant Michelle Callipari VA

Hey You! Yeah I’m talking to you! Stop trying to do it all yourself!

I’m not saying this because I am a Virtual Assistant, but because we all have our strengths and we all have those things that we aren’t meant to be doing. We only have 24 hours in a day and at least 6 – 8 of those hours should be spent sleeping.

And let’s be honest here… there is at least one thing in your business that you absolutely loathe doing. Go on, tell me, what is it? Is it bookkeeping? Graphic design? Is it blog writing? Is it HST or taxes?Newsletters? Invoicing? Emails? I know, it’s Social Media isn’t it?!

I know there is something… and THAT thing is the thing you should be outsourcing right now!

Let’s take a quick walk through my version of the 5 W’s of Outsourcing… and I’m gonna throw in the How as well:

Who to Outsource To

Anyone who has a business or is in business has the opportunity (and need) to delegate and outsource.  To whom do you delegate, you ask? Well, typically a Virtual Assistant is a good place to start. Most VA’s have a specialty or a niche, or some are “generalists”, which means they do a whole lot of everything. Some freelancers don’t call themselves VA’s, like bookkeepers, graphic designers, web designers etc., so it’s best to have an idea of what you’re looking for.

What to Outsource

That thing that popped into your head just a moment ago! That thing that you despise doing or that thing that takes up way too much of your time. That thing that must get done, but is non-revenue generating. That thing you keep pushing to the bottom of your To Do List… Yeah, that thing! Continue reading The 5 W’s of Outsourcing

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Direct Sales 101

Written by Deborah Hilton

shutterstock_599744417

The basics of sales are the same within any industry around the world: you must be committed and consistent. Within the direct sales industry, there are a few key areas that will help you build your empire. There will always be other consultants out there that do exactly what you do, so don’t be the reason they look for someone else to buy their product from or build a business with! Future growth is waiting for you with a few small steps.

  1. Invest the time to develop a tracking system that you regularly check in with. Even a basic spreadsheet can provide you with a key spot to track your customer’s purchases, their favourite product, and when you last connected with them. Be consistent. We hear it all the time in direct sales: without follow up, you will lose business.
  1. Set aside dedicated time to follow up. And, pick up the phone! If a customer filled out a draw slip at a trade show, or placed an order with you, set aside the time to pick up the phone and call them. Texting and messaging is very convenient, but you can engage easier with them when you have a personal conversation. Sure, you might get a voice mail, and that’s okay. Leave a message. Even if they don’t call you back, it’s your desire to serve that will shine through. If you dedicate an hour or so each week to connect with your customers,, repeat business will be waiting for you. It might seem like a waste of time, especially when there are many points of contact, that don’t lead to an immediate sale. Direct sales is all about relationship building. It takes time. Be patient. It will come.

Continue reading Direct Sales 101

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Self-Care & Why You Need More of It

Written by Dawn Mucci

self care tips for mompreneurs - woman happy and grateful

 

Self-Care may seem obvious and necessary to most, but did you know that many of us could use way more of it than we are currently getting? We’ve all known someone or heard stories about business people and parents who end up burning out or having their health compromised because of unhealthy expectations, striving, coping mechanisms or lifestyle choices.

It is not uncommon for women to strive to do it all, manage it all and be it all.  “Super Woman syndrome” is alive and well, especially in the society we live in today. We are bombarded with distractions and extra pressure through social media and technology. Women bear most of the work load not only at home, but also in the work force; as a mompreneur and being the owner of your own business, you can easily imagine how much stress you are under on a daily basis.  Stress and being overwhelmed is a common thing among working women and it is not something that is often spoken about. The same holds true for men, but one thing women can count on is their ability to ask for help and to recognize when they need help.

I know from personal experience how hard managing a business and family life can be. I have had my fair share of sleepless nights, heart palpitations and anxiety. I was under a lot of pressure to succeed and achieve, and I had a lot of responsibility. My desire to strive for success and my high expectations caused much of the stress and symptoms I experienced. I will admit that I went down some wrong roads while in the midst of dealing with my own stressors. The expectations I put on myself as a mother and business owner were way too high and my health suffered as a result of it. The price I paid was high: I smoked too much back then and perhaps had a bit too much wine sometimes at the end of the day. I forgot to eat most days and I hardly took time to take care of myself. I was always “go, go, go!” — until I was literally gone. Eventually my poor choices became more of a problem than the problems I was dealing with; I was at a breaking point, but fortunately I recognized this, and I asked for help.   Continue reading Self-Care & Why You Need More of It