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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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Save 15% as an Exhibitor at The National Women’s Show!

Become an Exhibitor at Canada’s Largest & Best Attended Event for Women – and SAVE 15% off your Booth Fees* as a Mompreneur member!

National Women's Show - mompreneur booths

Over 500 exhibitors found great success at the 2016 show as over 30,000 attendees shopped ‘til they dropped to find the best selection of products and services to hit the market. Featuring food and wine sampling, fashion shows, celebrity guests, complimentary makeovers, health, wellness & beauty secrets, cooking demos, home renovation and decor advice, travel ideas and MUCH, MUCH, MORE, the show entertains and engages thousands of women!


*15% discount applies to Mompreneur members who are registered and active at the Elite and Elite+ levels only!


This is Canada’s largest consumer show for women. Don’t miss exhibiting at the show if women are your target demographic!

Please fill out the following information to receive further details on applying as an exhibitor at our exclusive Mompreneur® Member rates!

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Thank you for your interest in being part of our Mompreneurs Pavilion at The National Women's Show! Once you press "Submit", your registration request will be reviewed, and you will receive details within 24-48 hours. For further information or questions, please email info@themompreneur.com

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Shannon Bloomfield Cox – Incisive Marketing Inc.

Shannon Bloomfield Cox is an Elite+ member based out of Coquitlam, BC. She is the Chief Strategist with Incisive Marketing Inc., as well as a Marketing and Management Consultant, and Business Coach and Educator. We are honoured to share Shannon’s story of success as an entrepreneur!

mompreneur Shannon Bloomfield Cox of Incisive Marketing


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
To be able to work with a variety of people, organizations, and projects. I am drawn to the challenge of new and changing projects, developing innovative solutions, and supporting a variety of business owners and leaders. More importantly, as I stepped into parenthood, being an entrepreneur enabled me to work around raising my children, allowing for more flexibility.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Never being bored! It’s true. I have a terrible sense of curiousity and really love the change and challenge that comes with working with new clients and situations. The privilege to develop solutions, help others, and share in the development of others’ business goals brings great job satisfaction for me.

Can you describe a typical day?
I am always juggling marketing consulting projects, facilitating, teaching, and writing.  Most of my days start the night before because I find that I need the quiet and low activity of late evening/night to get organized, produce work, and be ready for the next day.   Continue reading Shannon Bloomfield Cox – Incisive Marketing Inc.

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Top Ten Legal Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask

Written by Andrea Henry

10 legal questions for business owners, provided by mompreneur Andrea Henry of Vox Law LLP

Can I protect my name and my brand?

Choosing a name and establishing a brand can be the most fun part of starting a business, but it can also be fraught with difficulty. For most entrepreneurs, part of choosing a name for their new business is doing a Google search and then searching the business name database to ensure no one else has registered that name. With your Master Business Licence in hand, you feel sure your business name is protected and no one else can use it but not so fast… have you checked to see whether the name has been trademarked?

I have had clients who started a sole proprietorship, registered a business name and happily used it for a few years before realising, only when they applied to register their trademark, that someone had beaten them to it. The problem is, the business name database and the registered trademark database are not the same things, and obtaining a business name registration does not mean that you have the exclusive right to use that name to distinguish your business in the eyes of consumers. The only way to make sure that only you can use your brand name, your logo or your tagline is to register it as a trademark.

If the owner of the trademark you want has not used it for three or more years, you can request the Registrar of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office to, essentially, strike the registration from the list, but that requires a long and expensive court battle.

Avoid long and expensive court battles; search the trademark database before you start using a name and apply for trademark protection as soon as possible.

Am I too small or new to incorporate?

This is a conversation you need to have with your accountant AND your lawyer. At any stage of its life, there are many ways a business can benefit from becoming a corporation. Just a few of these are:

  • Limited Liability. This advantage is the one everyone knows about – if you carry on business as a sole proprietor or a general partnership, your assets are at risk if the business incurs any liability. That means that if a client sues your business, really, he’s suing you, and your house and car and bank account are all at risk. A corporation is a separate legal person with its own assets. That means if a client sues your corporation, he can get at the corporation’s assets, but not your personal assets.
  • Increased credibility. Seeming bigger and more established than you really are is crucial when you’re the newest one in the pool.
  • Ease of raising capital. How do you sell a part of your business if your business is you? While maybe some investors would take a kidney, issuing shares in a corporation is the easiest way to exchange a share of your business for that influx of cash you need to grow.
  • Tax reduction or deferral. A big reason why people incorporate is to reduce or defer the tax they pay and to provide flexibility in finances.

Continue reading Top Ten Legal Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask

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Company Profile: The Princess and The Whale

As featured in our Mompreneurs Marketplace at The 2017 National Mompreneurs Conference


In December of 2016 I released my first book, The Princess and The Whale. I wrote it for my daughter when she was 7 years old, after she had experienced an episode of bullying that forever changed her. But I published it for me.

The story is an allegory for life, and has brought so many life lessons that I continue to learn from it, even now. While it was a story originally for a little girl, it’s become a story of my life. It likely mirrors the life of almost everyone at some time or another.

We’ve all been on an island, metaphorically, at some point. While many of us may crave change, change can be crazy uncomfortable. It could end us up in a place we did not intend or could foresee. Sometimes, a major life change, such as being bullied, the death of a loved one, or divorce, pulls us out of our complacency. It forces re-examination of our life. But first, it often drops us smack dab onto the island of FEAR… it leaves you feeling very lonely.

The Princess and The Whale book written by mompreneur Bobbi Wright

Continue reading Company Profile: The Princess and The Whale

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Connie Peters – Modern Mama

Connie Peters is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Vancouver, BC. She is the CEO and Founder of Modern Mama Inc., where the goal is “getting moms out of the house” by offering services for expecting and new moms, and being a resource for moms in five major Canadian Cities through the first years of motherhood. We’re excited to share Connie’s Success Story!

mompreneur Connie Peters of Modern Mama Inc.


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I had quit my job in software technology to be a stay-at-home mom, but within a few months I was looking for ways to use my creativity and get out and meet other moms in my new city at the time, Edmonton. I started hosting events for new moms in early 2008 and have since grown across Western Canada through licensing, print resource guides and our website.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I knew before I even started Modern Mama that my business had to be something I could do from home, because being at home around my girls and being able to be flexible around their schedules was my main priority. Nine years later, I still love being able to attend field trips, pick them up from school, and be here for them before and after their school day.

Can you describe a typical day?
While I get the girls ready for their day by making three school lunches, emptying the dishwasher, getting them breakfast, and feeding our three pets, I also quickly check in on my social channels and emails. After I get the girls off to school, I usually exercise and then sit down in the kitchen and tackle a few to-do’s like writing a blog post, coaching a new licensee or sending off sales emails. A few times a week I’ll have meetings or attend networking events out of the house. Continue reading Connie Peters – Modern Mama

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3 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

By Ruth Ann Hogue

get your website noticed - small business tips from godaddy for mompreneurs

A website without traffic is like a knickknack on the shelf — pretty to look at, but otherwise nonfunctional except for collecting dust bunnies.

Now, imagine that same knickknack on a shelf with hundreds, thousands, even millions of other curiosities, each vying for attention. Which ones will get noticed, and which ones will be virtually invisible?

The simple answer is that it depends on who is looking, and what their purpose is in viewing the collection. A potential buyer who is focused on original Hummels will be able to spot them immediately, whereas someone else might be drawn to anything remotely shabby chic as inspiration for their next crafting project.

Much like in the world of collectibles, the traffic a website attracts will vary, based on a few simple factors. The good news is that there are some controllables, and despite the overwhelming competition for eyeballs, even small websites can boost performance by optimizing for search engines, using social media channels, and implementing a paid advertising strategy.

Be searchable

It all begins with Search Engine Optimization (SEO, which has always included having a good website, complete with an uncluttered, organized design and a sitemap to help search engines crawl and index your content. If the bots can’t find your content because spiders are blocked or pathways drop off suddenly in unexpected places, your-otherwise amazing site will likely fail to get the attention it deserves.

In 2017, effective SEO includes making your site user-friendly — especially for mobile. Because a high percentage of online buyers research their purchase using a smartphone, it makes sense to design eCommerce sites for mobile first, with desktop usability being secondary.

Other SEO tips include securing your site with a Secure Socket Layer Certificate (SSL). While the certificate itself provides a minimal boost, its presence can provide assurance to potential site visitors, making it less likely that they will avoid your site for security reasons. Continue reading 3 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

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Erin Bouchard – Once Upon A Time Weddings

Erin Bouchard is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Strathroy, Ontario. She is the owner of Once Upon a Time Weddings, where her bridal store is set up for the ultimate gown shopping experience! We are excited to share Erin’s Success Story!

mompreneur Erin Bouchard of Once Upon a Time Weddings in Strathroy, Ontario


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
From a young age my parents instilled in me a strong work ethic. I grew up knowing how to work hard whether it was delivering papers, helping my dad out, or babysitting. I learned what it took to complete a job and learned the importance of following through. I have a very dominant personality and so I always enjoyed being my own boss. I wanted to control my own destiny and my own pay cheque. I wanted to work in the bridal industry because I so enjoyed being a small part of a bride’s most important day. I’m a fairly creative person and wanted a job that was different each day.

What’s the best part about owning your own business? 

Honestly the best part of owning my own boss is knowing that I have created something to be proud of.  At the end of the day I can control my mindset, my salary and how my day goes.  I enjoy the ability to work hard and to see the rewards of that hard work.  I love that I am teaching my kids the value of hard work and that you can follow your dreams.

Can you describe a typical day?
In the bridal world, every day can be very different. For me, my day starts early. I start my day at 6:15am by reading and having some quiet time. Then I hit my big rocks; the things that will have the biggest impact on moving my business to success. Once my kids are up I put my mom hat on and get them ready for school and out to the bus. Then I continue my day with a walk and some stretching.  Then it’s on to my to-do lists. Some days I am working with staff, leading and guiding them. Some days I am coaching other bridal stores, holding them accountable and helping them reach their goals. Other days I’m tucked away in my office working on finances and strategical planning. I absolutely love what I do and that makes a huge difference. I try my hardest not to work late into the night as I know my best work gets done first thing in the morning, and I want to be refreshed and ready to tackle those tasks.

mompreneur Erin Bouchard of Once Upon a Time Weddings in Strathroy, Ontario

Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call? 
I have a close friend who also happens to own a bridal store in the US. She is someone I can FaceTime when I’m struggling or when I need to vent. I also have a very close relationship with my mom {who also works for me} that I can rely on and count on for help either in my personal life or with my business.  Continue reading Erin Bouchard – Once Upon A Time Weddings

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Important Sleep Facts

The key aspects to a healthy lifestyle, as most of us know, include a healthy diet, daily exercise, and getting enough sleep so that your body is able to recover and restore itself effectively. Sleep is one of those things that many of us use as a crutch or even as an excuse, especially when it comes to our lives as entrepreneurs and/or as parents.

Having a late start to your day because you stayed up until 2am to complete some work on your desk? Taking the day off of work because your toddler had a nightmare and you didn’t get enough sleep? We’ve all been there, but it’s important to make sure that you consider your sleep habits to be as important as your positive eating, working, and healthy living habits.

sleep tips for mompreneurs and women in business

Thanks to Elite Mompreneur member Madelaine Golec of ECO Physio, we’re happy to share these 10 things you need to know about sleep:

No one’s sleep is broken. Unless you have a tumour in a very specific spot in the brain, everyone has the potential to improve their sleep

Treating sleep apnea is of utmost importance. If left untreated, it can result in an enlarged heart. When the airways close during the night, this causes your heart rate to slow down to conserve oxygen. The brain eventually detects a decrease in oxygen and causes your heart rate to increase. It is this increasing and decreasing of heart rate over time that causes the heart to enlarge. Why is this bad? Because it can cause irregular heartbeats resulting in heart attack, stroke or death.

How much sleep do we really need? About 7-9 hours daily. Each person can accumulate a certain amount of sleep debt, meaning the amount of sleep you can lose while remaining functional at the level you want. The amount of debt will depend on age, gender, genetics and medical conditions. It is important to note here that debts must be paid in order to maintain that optimal function.

What are the consequences of not sleeping? Decreased decision making, decreased memory, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, increased stress, increased pain, slow reaction time, decreased sexual function, weight gain and more. All of this can be reversed by improving sleep. Continue reading Important Sleep Facts

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Win Customers With Your Blog

Your blog can be a valuable tool in engaging your customers, but it takes time to develop and maintain…

tips for a successful blog

If you are using a blog as a marketing strategy, you want to make sure that you are using it effectively. Here are some tips that will help you create a blog that actually brings customers through your door.

Content is key.

People are going to visit and revisit your blog because of its content.  If you post information that is useful and relevant to their lives, readers will flock to your blog.  Get to know your target audience and try to determine what motivates them.  Remember, you should be educating and entertaining at least 70% of the time and promoting your business no more than 30% of the time.

Be strategic.

You need to be clear with yourself about what you are trying to achieve with your blog.  Are you building your brand?  Are you engaging your customers?  Are you establishing expertise?  While these goals may all sound good to you, your social media strategy will be more effective if you zero in on one or two goals at a time and have a clear plan for how each post will contribute to it.

Engage.

Social media is supposed to be about people, so make it human.  Respond to comments and comment on other blogs.  Post pictures and allow your readers to see the person behind the voice in the blog.

Be consistent.

As you begin to build a following, readers will start to anticipate your next blog.  If you have a regular schedule for posting, you make your blog a lot more reader friendly.  You can post every day, every other day, or on set days of the week.  The key is to be consistent with it so that your readers know what to expect.

Make it attractive.

Blogs succeed or fail based on the way that they look.  If a blog is not visually appealing, most people will just click past it.  Allow for enough white space and include pictures in your blog.  Blogs with photos tend to get a lot more hits than those without them.  If you’re not sure about how your blog looks, solicit feedback from people in your network. Continue reading Win Customers With Your Blog