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Susan Eliuk – Travel Agents in Action

Susan Eliuk is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of London, Ontario. With Travel Agents in Action, Susan and her husband Rob are Group Cruise, Destination, and Dream Vacation Specialists. We are excited to share Susan’s Success Story!

mompreneur Susan Eliuk with Travel Agents in Action


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
The thought that I could present my ideas and accomplishments, and the freedom of setting up my own schedule so I can prioritize my family.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The fulfillments — you see your accomplishments and set your pace.

Can you describe a typical day? 
With my Travel days, I start with emails and responding to texts. Then I am always trying to finish a new Certification/Specialist course to enhance my knowledge so I am better informed for my clients. Most of all my goal is to enjoy my day!

Who do you count on for help?
I count on other team members within the Travel Agents In Action group. Their expertise and knowledge can always help you when you need advice or help in your business. We work towards all of us being successful. Continue reading Susan Eliuk – Travel Agents in Action

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How to get Clients to Pay on Time

Written by Andrea Henry

how to get paid - legal tips from mompreneur Andrea Henry

Let’s start off by admiting that as much as we love what we do, as small business owners, we do this to make money.

Let’s also admit that we have clients who have not really grasped this concept and who just don’t pay us on time — or at all.

How do you deal with it? As always, prevention is better than the cure. Here are my top three tips to getting paid on time.

Get it in writing.

Relying on verbal agreements and handshakes is for amateurs, and you my friend, are a professional with bills to pay. State your fees and payment terms in writing so that you avoid misunderstandings about payment expectations. Your written contract should also include, at a minimum:

  • a Scope of Work Clause which is a very clear, very specific description of exactly what you are going to provide to the client.
  • a Cancellation Clause which will tell your client if and when they can cancel and what, if anything, they will still owe you after cancellation.

Make it super convenient and easy to pay you.

In your intial meetings, ask the client what works best for them in terms of timing of invoices, credit terms and payment type. Instead of just accepting cash and cheque, consider accepting credit and debit cards, online payments, direct deposits and email transfers. Paypal, Square, Quickbooks and Freshbooks are just a few companies which allow you to send invoices that clients can pay with just a few clicks.  Continue reading How to get Clients to Pay on Time

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Cheryl Himburg – Key Element Solutions

Cheryl Himburg is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Kitchener, Ontario. She is the CEO and Principle Solutions Provider of Key Element Solutions, a one-stop-shop for all of your business needs, including assistance and expertise with Project Management, Business Development, Meeting Facilitation, Training, and more. We are thrilled to be sharing her Success Story!

Mompreneur Cheryl Himburg of Key Element Solutions


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I have always been driven with a variety of interests. Law was always my plan, but when that changed due to circumstances beyond my control, I fell in love with business. Having a broad skillset to draw upon I found people seeking me out for advice, yet I didn’t take the plunge into consulting. It wasn’t until after I was working in a job, after being downsized from a company and career I loved, that I began to consider leaping. I was going to work every day not enjoying what I was doing. I dreaded Mondays and started tensing up on Sunday afternoons. So, with the support and encouragement from my husband, I followed advice from my Dad after he asked a me a crucial question: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid”. I created Key Element Solutions, and never looked back.

The response has been incredible and I find myself excited for Monday mornings. Doing what I love has been the most uplifting and freeing experience ever. I am able to help empower others to succeed, and also be present with my family. Who said you can’t have the best of both worlds?

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
There are two things that are the best part of owning my own business. First, the freedom it provides me to be able to provide my daughter with the emotional and physical support she needs in her medical challenges. I am able to manage her medical appointments without the stress of not being “present” in the office.

Second, being able to do what I am passionate about and help others succeed has been the most fulfilling career opportunity I have ever experienced. Every day I wake up with a renewed sense of engagement and excitement.

Continue reading Cheryl Himburg – Key Element Solutions

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When It’s Time to Focus on Your Needs

Women are notorious for putting everyone else’s needs before their own; this can ring especially true for moms, as it’s part of the job. However, it can become a problem if your own needs are never being met. While you have to put your heart and soul into your family and your business, you can’t give so much that it hurts.

when it's time to focus on your own need as a mompreneur or female entrepreneur

Here are some indications that you need to draw a line:

You have nothing left to give

You would love to go outside and play with your child, or take time to do some research for that new client. The problem is that you can’t seem to will your body to get up off the couch. As difficult as this may be for you, either get someone else to do it or let it wait. You need to rest.

You’re feeling resentful

You spend so much of your day looking after everyone else that you never do anything for yourself. That would make anyone feel resentful. Your needs matter just as much as everyone else’s, and it’s important for you to feel cared for and respected.

Nobody considers your needs

Have you started to notice that nobody seems to even recognize that you have needs? Don’t be too hard on them; others around you have become so used to depending on you, that it probably doesn’t even occur to them that you’re just as worthy of attention as they are.

Picking up on the signals that you are in need of some important self-care time, and helping those around you to understand how you are feeling, is not necessarily an instantaneous revelation – old habits die hard, as they say. It may take some strategic planning, focused conversations, and honest open-mindedness to not only share your thoughts, but also have those in your circle understand and appreciate them.

Once you have identified that it’s time to start drawing boundaries, you need to find a way to do it without hurting the people around you: Continue reading When It’s Time to Focus on Your Needs

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Caren Funnell – Thirty-One Gifts

Caren Funnell is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Mount Hope, Ontario. She is an Independent Senior Director with Thirty-One Gifts, and we are happy to be sharing her Success Story!

mompreneur Caren Funnell, Senior Director with Thirty-One Gifts


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I have always done a little something on the side (i.e. wedding invitations, paper party decorations, crocheting, pattern design) but they were really just a hobby. The Universe knew I had the drive – it was me that didn’t quite get it. One day my friend asked me if I wanted to try selling Thirty One Gifts and I laughed it off.  But I started to realize that I might NEED this. Maybe this is my sign and I should just try it. I didn’t want to go back to a thankless job. So I didn’t!

What’s the best part about owning your own business? 
The freedom of time. Although I don’t take it for granted – I know I have to work. I show up to work even though it is at home most of the time, but I love that when my kids need me to get them from school I don’t have to ask anyone permission. Or when I feel like taking a break – cause Lord knows we all need one sometimes – I don’t have to schedule in vacation time around other people’s seniority.  After all, this is MY life. I want to live it they way I want to.

mompreneur Caren Funnell, Senior Director with Thirty-One Gifts Continue reading Caren Funnell – Thirty-One Gifts

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5 Tips That Will Give You More Energy

Written by Karen Bivand

5 tips for more energy - mompreneurs

It’s 6:30am – time to wake up!  How do you feel?  Do you jump out of bed eager to take on whatever challenges today has in store for you?  Or do you stagger around like a zombie until your third coffee?  If you are chronically exhausted, here are a few tips that will help you get that spring back in your step:

Analyze your sleep habits.
How much sleep are you getting each night?  It is recommended that adults get at least 7 hours.  However, just devoting the time to your sleep isn’t enough; you also need to pay attention to the quality of sleep that you are getting.  Other people, noise, light, stress, and caffeine can all interfere with your quality of sleep.  If you are sacrificing sleep time to get more work done, it may actually be counterproductive.  You are more efficient and effective in your work when you are well rested.

Accept a challenge.
Your low energy could be as simple as a lack of motivation.  Could it be that you just aren’t feeling enthusiastic about what you are doing?  There’s a quick fix for that; try to find a challenge that makes you feel excited.  Aim for something that’s a little outside of your comfort zone.  You may find that getting out of your monotonous routine is all you need to do to get your blood flowing.

Take care of the basics.
There are many reasons that you could be lacking energy and your physical health is a big one.  When you are running a business and taking care of your family, it is easy to fall into the trap of neglecting your own health.  Make it a priority to eat healthy food on a regular basis, drink plenty of water, and try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.  It may also be a good idea to visit your doctor to rule out any medical conditions that may be making you tired.

Plan a vacation.
When was the last time that you did something just because you wanted to?  When we overextend ourselves for a long period of time, we all burn out.  Re-charge your batteries by planning something fun.  If possible, book a trip somewhere exciting.  If that’s not feasible, a day at the spa or even a shopping and lunch date with a good friend may do the trick.

Take care of your appearance.
Nobody is suggesting that a bright shade of lipstick can make up for three nights without sleep.  However, if you invest some time and energy into making yourself look gorgeous, you may feel a little more capable of conquering the world!    

 

 

featured image courtesy of shutterstock.com

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Bobbi Wright – Blue Whale Moon Publishing

Bobbi Wright is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Ontario, and founder of Blue Whale Moon Publishing. She is the author of the children’s book  “The Princess and The Whale”, a story about Princess Hannah who gets lost and strays far from home. Princess Hannah is like all of us; lonely, afraid, stuck. There are 4 characters that come to her aid that represent the voices we all hear in those difficult moments; the voices that tell us we are too much, not enough, too small,or too big. There are multiple layers of lessons in this story that are good for all of us to be reminded of. We are honoured to share Bobbi’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Bobbi Wright of Blue Whale Moon Publishing


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Oh this is a long but good story! I actually wrote these stories years ago and they got lost for about 10 years; out of sight and out of mind. A series of events occurred, starting with a dream, which turned into a painting, which then landed in a massive “Aha moment” when the stories were rediscovered. The similarities between the dream, the painting, and the story The Princess and The Whale were so full of synchronicity, it couldn’t be ignored; I knew I had to publish. Regular publishing deals are few and far between these days, so I did my research and decided to self publish.

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
When I write, or am creating something, it’s when I feel my most authentic self. When this story reappeared after so many years of being completely gone, I was feeling lost and alone and very small, and had no idea what to do with my life. The path I was on to become a holistic nutritionist was no longer ringing true for me. Discovering the stories (Princess Madison and the Land of Nohitum is coming this year!) and putting this book together made me feel the most alive I’d felt in years… and holding the finished book in my hands? Priceless.

The Princess and The Whale book written by mompreneur Bobbi Wright

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The flexibility and balance are pretty cool at the moment. And I own the story – in a typical publishing deal a publisher would have more rights to make changes, which could change the vision I have for the book. Continue reading Bobbi Wright – Blue Whale Moon Publishing

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Cynthia Green – Leading Pathways to Mindful Living

Cynthia Green is an Elite+ Mompreneur  member based out of Guelph, Ontario and owner of Leading Pathways to Mindful Living. As a certified meditation facilitator, Cynthia courageously shares her life lessons, and guides participants in corporate settings, retreats, and local studios on their journey to deeper self awareness and calmness. We are honoured to share her Success Story!

mompreneur Cynthia Green of Leading Pathways to Mindful Living


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Honestly, years ago it was for the tax advantage. I’d been a single mom working a corporate job and when my son turned 18 I didn’t have the dependent write off. That was many years ago but it always stayed with me. After being restructured, downsized, reorganized and burnt out I realized that the only real security in life is knowing what we are truly capable of. In 2009 I made the decision to join the leagues of women entrepreneurs changing the world full-time.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The pride in saying I’m helping change the world one person at a time.

Can you describe a typical day?
A typical day – there isn’t one. In the morning my first thought is ‘do I have a presentation today’. If the answer is yes, my mind rehearses the content. If the answer is no, then it’s meditation, workout, healthy meal and prep for the next seminar.

Who do you count on for help?
I’m reminded of a quote ‘the story begins with family’ and then there are the friends that become part of our soul family. I have an amazing circle of women who I can count on, and of course my husband Tony whom I lovingly refer to as “Teflon Tony” because my stuff doesn’t stick to him. He reminds me everyday of what I’m capable of.  Continue reading Cynthia Green – Leading Pathways to Mindful Living

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Business Card Mistakes to Avoid

Insights from The UPS Store

business card mistakes to avoid, tips from UPS Store for mompreneurs

It’s no secret that a great business card is an essential tool for any small business owner. Whether you’re handing one to a contact in a networking situation, or attaching it to a new customer’s order in the hopes of generating repeat business, the ideal card conveys valuable information about your company, and expresses something about its personality.

Of course, not all business cards are created equal. Some are a cut above, displaying relevant details while also being unique and creative. Others, however, fall victim to several common mistakes that can diminish the overall message. Concerned your cards might be selling you and your company short? Take a look at this list of business card blunders and make sure you’re not an offender.

Too much information/Illegible text

It’s tempting to cram as much text as you possibly can onto your business card, so anyone who takes it can get all the information they may be looking for. The problem? Your finished card is liable to end up looking cluttered, or has a font size too small to read comfortably. It’s best to stick to the basics: your name, title, the name of your business, and basic contact details such as a telephone number, email address, and website info. If you’ve still got space to include a mailing address, and think it would be a valuable addition, go ahead and include it. A more valuable choice for many businesses, however, are your social media handles.

Be careful what you put on the back

Business cards have two sides for a reason, so make the most of both of them. Some printers may offer a discount if you allow them to put their logo or information on the reverse side. However, this could lead some recipients wrongly assuming you are connected or affiliated with that company, which isn’t what you’re looking for. Resist the temptation to save a few dollars on printing costs and keep the back of your business card your own. Use it to include information that didn’t fit on the front, such as social media contact info or the address of your brick and mortar business, a brand promise or tagline, or simply a space for notes – new contacts may want to jot down a few words about you after receiving your card to help them remember you later. Continue reading Business Card Mistakes to Avoid