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5 Ways to be Healthier in 2015

tips for mompreneurs to stay healthy in 2015What’s your New Year’s resolution?  If it is to have a healthier lifestyle then it’s time to take action.  No more putting your own needs on the back burner while you look after everyone else.  Here are five healthy habits you can start with today:

Exercise.

Choose something that inspires you.  Whether it’s yoga, salsa, or boot camp; if you’re into it, you’ll stick with it.

Eat better.

Take a cooking class, follow food blogs, and make yourself a meal plan.  Create healthy meals that taste amazing.  Just getting organized is a great start.

Meditate.

Check out mindful meditation online.  Make it a part of your routine and it’ll change your life.

Work less.

Spend more quality time with your family.  Your children and spouse will love you for it.

Sleep more.

Audit your sleep habits and make sure that you’re doing everything you can to get enough rest.

Happy New Year Mompreneurs!

 

 

(Written by: Karen Bivand, image courtesy of ‘stockimages’ via freedigitalphotos.net)

 

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5 Ways to Give Back to Your Community

givebackDuring the holiday season, we often think about how we can make a meaningful contribution to the community that has supported us throughout the year.  As a business owner, there are actually many different ways to help.

Here are five things you can do to get started:

 

Volunteer your services.

Is there any way that a charity or non-profit organization could make use of your services?  Work for free for a day to support an important cause.

 

Support schools.

Provide donations at school fundraisers, offer co-op positions, and do anything else that you can for children and youth.  They are our future.

 

Hold a fundraising event.

Put on an event to raise money for a cause that’s important to you.  Make it fun and tie it to your business if possible.  For example, if you sell clothes or accessories, you could host a fashion show.

 

Mentor young entrepreneurs.

Starting a new business can be extremely intimidating if you’ve never done it before.  Join the chamber of commerce and other business networking groups in your community and help people who are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur.

 

Donate unused stuff.

If you have extra stock or office equipment sitting around, why not give it away?  That way someone can actually use it and you will free up space.

For an entrepreneur, giving back to your community is a win-win proposition.  It helps you build your company’s reputation and you get to demonstrate what your business stands for.  Let your heart lead the way and you can be proud to say that your company made a difference.

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5 Last Minute Holiday Preparations You Have to Do!

tips for entrepreneurs to tackle the holidaysThe holidays are upon us.  The question is, are you ready for them?  Most entrepreneurs spend mid-December just scrambling to get it all done.  Here’s a quick checklist to help you make sure that you’re well prepared:

Set your email and voice mail to ‘out of office’.

Let your customers know when and how they can reach you.

Pick up a few extra gifts for surprise visitors.

During the holiday season, you never know who might drop by.

Plan to take care of yourself.

Schedule a massage or a spa day with the girls.  Remember- it’s your holiday too!

Make a list of everything that HAS to be done before the holidays.

Limit the list to tasks that are absolutely necessary.

Grab a cup of eggnog.

Don’t let yourself miss out on the season, enjoy a break and make the most of it… work will always be there when you’re ready to get back to it…

Happy Holidays!

 

(Written by: Karen Bivand, photo courtesy of ‘stockimages’ via freedigitalphotos.net)

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5 Ways to Use Facebook Effectively

How Facebook can Increase Your Sales for EntrepreneursMany small businesses aren’t using Facebook effectively.  They sporadically update pages.

Schedule.

Use a scheduling tool to schedule your posts.  You might not have ten minutes every day.  You might not be able to be online at the key times.  Have a scheduled time when you are actually live to answer questions.  See what time of day your posts receive the most interactions and try to post at that time.

Relevant Posts.

Don’t over post.  Make posts unique to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Mix videos and interesting articles.  Not too much self-promotion.  Doesn’t have to relate to your business if it relates to your audience.  Content they will care about.  They find engaging and interesting.  Funny images, interesting content and facts will make them feel connected to you.

Engage.

Try to engage with your audience.  Ask them to post stuff on your wall.  It may not directly relate to your business but show that you’re aware of their interests and that you are trying to connect with them.  Let them give you feedback.  Ask them to weigh in.  When someone posts on your wall you want to get back to them quickly.  Maybe go mobile.

Use pics.

Photos drive engagement on Facebook.  Don’t need a fancy camera.  Find photos that will engage and that are funny or interesting.  Relevant images.

Evaluate.

Measure analytics and Google Analytics and Facebook analytics.  See what response you get and adjust accordingly.

 

 

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Performance Metrics: Useful Tool or Dirty Word?

What are you keeping track of to ensure that your company is reaching its potential?  Performance metrics can be a powerful tool to help guide your decision making within your organization.  If you’ve never even thought about performance metrics, then now is the perfect time to try it out.  Here are some tips to help you get started:

Figure Out What to Measure.

When you’re setting up performance metrics, the most important decision that you have to make is what to measure.  If you are measuring the wrong thing, your metrics will only serve as a distraction and could possibly point you in the wrong direction.  Focus on what is key to your organization’s success.  You want to make sure that your organization’s performance is aligned with its mission, vision and goals.  Most performance metrics focus on best practices, efficiency and critical processes.  These metrics are most effective and most useful when you are measuring specific and quantifiable outputs.

Find a Process that Works for Your Company.

When developing the process that you will use to measure your organization’s performance, you need to find one that meets your specific needs.  For an evaluation strategy to be successful, it must take your industry, your organizational culture and your company’s readiness for measuring performance into consideration.  If you try to do too much too quickly, your efforts will be doomed to fail.

Talk to Your Employees.

To get their buy-in, it’s important that you involve your employees in the decision-making process right from the beginning.  Have a meeting with them and ask what they think should be measured.  When you come up with a process, ask them for their feedback.  Make sure that your employees understand that it is the processes, not their performance, that you are evaluating.

Revise and Refine.

After you get feedback from your employees, re-examine your evaluation process to determine whether or not any changes need to be made.  Are your performance metrics meeting your needs?  Is the data accurate?  Are you measuring the right things?  Remember that the way you measure your performance needs to evolve in order to keep up with your organization’s growth.

Since you’ve invested so much of your time, effort and money into your business, you want to make sure that you’re achieving your desired results.  By measuring certain aspects of your organization’s performance you can allocate your resources in a way that will allow you to meet your goals.

 

(Written by: Karen Bivand, image courtesy of ‘2nix’ via freedigitalphotos.net)

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5 Ways to Conquer Insomnia

Sleeping-Business-Woman-198x300You’re done for the day and the kids are asleep.  You head hits the pillow and…nothing.  An hour passes and you are still up tossing and turning.  It is the absolute WORST!  Here are some tips that will help you relax and get to sleep faster:

Decrease your caffeine intake.

If you have a coffee after 3pm, you might regret it later.

Reduce your stress.

Stress is one of the biggest enemies of healthy sleep.  Make decisions that will lighten your load and give be sure to give yourself some down time each day.

Control your thoughts.

Left to their own devices, your thoughts can resemble a runaway train.  Refuse to get carried away with it.  If your thoughts are spiraling off into a negative direction, bring yourself back to a more positive and relaxing place.

Stick to a schedule.

Our bodies work best when we keep a consistent schedule.  If you go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, your body will anticipate and crave the sleep.

Let it go.

When you’re having trouble getting to sleep, the worst thing you can do is stress about it.  Don’t count the hours that you have left until you have to go to work.  Just take the extra time to watch trashy television and catch up on some light reading.

If it’s 3:30am and you’re still wide awake, you know that tomorrow is going to be rough, but if you start to practice good sleep habits on a daily basis, you won’t have to endure the sleepless nights for long.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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5 Bad Excuses for Not Starting a Business

Have you always dreamed about starting a business but are too afraid to take the leap?  There are a lot of good reasons not to start a business, but often it’s just fear that stops us.  Remember, it’s the things that we don’t do that we usually regret.  If you are resting on one of these five lame excuses, then it might be time to get out of your own way!

I might fail.

It’s true, you might.  But you might succeed passed your wildest imagination and even if you do fail, you will likely learn something in the process.

I don’t have time.

Think about the most successful business people that you know.  They have the same amount of time as you do.  The question is what you prioritize and how you spend the time that you do have…and yes, a lot of them are mothers too.

I’m not ready.

You will probably never be ready.  It is always going to be scary and overwhelming.  You just need to take the plunge.

I don’t have the money.

Just start small and grow slowly.  What’s the rush?

I don’t know where to start.

There is a multitude of resources available for new entrepreneurs.  You can start by signing up for some workshops.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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5 People You Should Count as Your Friends

ID-100171728When you’re trying to move mountains, sometimes you need a little help.  That’s why the savvy mompreneur has brigade of professionals that she keeps on speed dial.  Make sure that these five people get a box of chocolates this holiday season.  You never know when you might require their assistance:

A good caterer.

You’ll be glad they’re on your list when you have to put an amazing lunch together at a moment’s notice.

Your printer.

10,000 brochures by the end of the day?  No problem!

Your daycare provider.

Having someone you trust who is always willing to take your kids for a few hours; priceless!

Your dry cleaner.

Someone who understands that you need your favourite skirt to wear to your client meeting (which is in three hours).

A computer expert.

When your files start disappearing, your computer expert is your knight in shining armour.

(Written by:  Karen Bivand, image courtesy of ‘stockimages’ via freedigitalphotos.net)

 

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Join Us on Nov. 22 – Be a SOCIALIGHT

SociaLIGHT Logo with Tagline

This November 22, join 1,000 entrepreneurs, startups, community leaders and innovators at the SociaLIGHT Conference, an event promoting leadership and business as a force of good.

Learn from internationally acclaimed speakers including Bob Proctor from the movie “The Secret” and Forbes Top 20 Most Disruptive Millennials, Miki Agrawal and more! Meet with over 30 of the top brands, organizations and businesses committed to your ongoing success!

We are proud sponsors of this event and our community gets a special rate!

Celebrate with “MOMPRENEURVIP” and get tickets for $97 or 2 day All Access tickets for $197. Hurry, this will be a sold out event!  www.socialightconference.com

socialight conference november 22 2014 with bob proctor, mompreneurs
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Are You Out of Touch?

Are you at risk of becoming a dinosaur?  It can happen more quickly than you might think.  One minute you are at the top of your game, but then you blink and suddenly feel as if the world has moved on without you.  When you are an entrepreneur this is more than an annoyance; it can have serious implications on your business.  Here are some tips that will help you to stay ahead of the curve:

Spend time on social media.

Social media is everywhere and it is current up to the minute.  By investing half an hour online each day, you will keep yourself up to date on recent news, events and trends.

Keep current with technology.

Read blogs and industry publications to get a sense of the technology that is being used by your customers and your competition.  Take a look at your work processes and see if there are any areas where more advanced technology might benefit your business.  If you are not naturally a ‘techie’ person, find a friend or a networking contact that is and see if they have any suggestions for you.

Network

The best way to find out what people are talking about is to get out there and talk to people.  Ask them what’s going on in their business.  Those with strong networks are the first to find out about everything.

Join professional associations.

Become a member and actually attend events such as workshops, trade shows and conferences.  These are all opportunities to make connections and to find out what’s hot in your industry.

Read the newspaper.

This one is obvious, but when we’re busy running a business and packing lunches for school, it might not be your top priority.  Catch up on the news whenever you can; you never know what possibilities might be hiding in those pages.

When you are an entrepreneur, there are opportunities all around you.  The problem is that if you are not plugged in, you could miss out on all of them.  Keeping yourself current should be a priority that you work at on a daily basis.  Don’t let the world pass you by!

(Written by: Karen Bivand,  photo courtesy of ‘stockimages’ via freedigitalphotos.net)