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2015 Mompreneur® of the Year

Andrea Iervella 2015 Mompreneur of the Year - Mompreneur Award of Excellence presented by TruShield Insurance

This past weekend marked a celebration of International Women’s Day, as well as recognition for the achievements of Mompreneurs across Canada! We are honoured and excited to announce the Grand Prize Winner of The 2015 Mompreneur® Award of Excellence, presented by TruShield Insurance:

Andrea Iervella of Calgary, AB – Founder of SchoolWorx

Andrea was one of 12 Finalists up for this year’s award – a collaboration between ParentsCanada and Mompreneurs®, and the only finalist based outside of Ontario. Her acceptance speech was moving, as she told of her struggles in running her business between naptimes and meeting the needs of her family. Andrea encouraged other attendees to ‘put themselves out there’, telling her story of attending the previous year’s Mompreneurs® Conference, getting outside of her comfort zone and aiming to make as many connections as possible, not knowing a single person in the room. She had set a goal for herself to be on-stage at the 2015 Mompreneurs® Conference & Awards, and told the audience that if she could do it they could too. Andrea was congratulated on stage by Tony O’Brien, Senior Vice President for Small Business & Personal Lines at TruShield Insurance, as well as given an emotional send-off from 2014 Grand Prize Winner Elaine Tan Comeau of Easy Daysies. We are thrilled at what this next year will hold in store for Andrea, and we can’t wait to share her story with other moms and entrepreneurs around the country! Find out more information on SchoolWorx >>

“It was my sincere pleasure to announce Andrea as our winner for the 2015 Mompreneur Awrd of Excellence; she absolutely epitomizes who a mompreneur is: smart, capable, innovative, and resourceful with a passion to make sure her family life doesn’t suffer for her work life. What Andrea has developed with SchoolWorx is unique and also intrinsically helpful to the broader community on so many levels; I’m excited at the many opportunities this year will hold for her, and look forward to helping Andrea push her business forward as Canada’s Official Mompreneur of the Year!” – Maria Locker, Founder & CEO of Mompreneurs®

Continue reading 2015 Mompreneur® of the Year

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Announcing Elaine Tan Comeau as Mompreneurs® Ambassador: Coquitlam, BC

Elaine Tan Comeau, Mompreneurs® Ambassador, Coquitlam BC

We are excited to announce our first official Mompreneurs® Brand Ambassador, and who better to welcome than our 2014 Mompreneur® Award of Excellence winner ELAINE TAN COMEAU of Coquitlam, BC!

Elaine will be helping us welcome members and supporters from British Columbia, and we hope to one day soon bring an event to the area to further help our network of women in business!

 

About Elaine

Elaine Tan Comeau is an enterprising mother of three young children, a wife, and a former elementary school teacher who is the founder and CEO of the multiple award-winning Easy Daysies, a visual magnetic scheduler to help children and families with their daily routines. Elaine was awarded the 2014 Canadian Mompreneur of the Year and has received the Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Business, as well as an Award in Teaching Excellence.  Her products are recommended by child psychologists, occupational therapists and educators.  Easy Daysies was named one of Dragons’ Den favorite deals by Mr. Wonderful Kevin O’Leary and was chosen by Ford Company as one the 2014 Dragons’ Den Driven For Success Companies that exemplified Ford’s Four Pillars of Success.

Elaine has been featured in the Financial Post, Maclean’s Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, Huffington Post, to name a few, all wanting to know her story about being a mom entrepreneur. Her products have been featured on CBC, CTV, ABC, Breakfast Television, FOX32 News, KCAL-TV , WPIX, WISH-TV, XETV.  Elaine has been published in Educational Psychology (Allyn & Bacon Canada, 2000, and Pearson, 2015 IV ed.) for her insight on teaching diversity. She has written and published several e-books (2013), and she continues to be sought after for her sell-out webinars and speaking engagements on educational strategies for both educators and parents.  Elaine is a frequent speaker on educational topics, entrepreneurship, and continues to be a guest blogger for Staples Canada, Scholars Choice, Mompreneurs® and Creative Teaching Press (USA). Elaine is also raved about in both Kevin O’Leary’s and Jim Treliving’s latest books.

 

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Think BIG – Tips to Help Your Business Grow

By Paul Gaspar, Small Business Director, UPS Canada
It’s no surprise, small businesses power Canada’s economy and supporting them is an integral part of sustaining a bountiful economy.

Here are a few tips for those businesses who want to grow. Let’s break this down; there are three areas that all small businesses should focus on. These three things can assist in creating better customer experiences and of course boost revenue. Who wouldn’t want to strive for that?

1. Invest in tomorrow!

Constantly reviewing all aspects of your business to stay on top of the market is essential. Why? Because things change quickly – the processes and tools you started with may need to be upgraded to fit where you, your competitors and the market are now.

Tip: Use free online tools like surveys and social media polls to take the pulse of your customer base. It’s that feedback which will help you understand the impact of possible changes to your bottom line. These results are extremely valuable for you and your business goals. Continue reading Think BIG – Tips to Help Your Business Grow

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Effective Multi-Tasking for Mompreneurs

By: Barbara Viteri, CEO of “Viteri Style Management”

 

Many working mothers will admit that after having children they became better multi-taskers. I’m one of them. We all get the same 24 hours in a day and we all understand the word “balance” is as hard to achieve as our goal weight. But what is fascinating is how being a working mother trains you to be more efficient and effective with your time.

When I started my first company over two years ago, I was more sleep deprived than when I had my first child. My daughter was a wide awake baby ready to party all night and sleep soundly all day. She was close to being an only child as sleep was more important than sex at that time. Thankfully she did learn to sleep well as we did it all over again when our son arrived. No explanation needed on why we didn’t have a 3rd. This is when I had my other baby, my company.

There is much talk about how technology and increase life disruptions have us not functioning optimally when multi-tasking, but I don’t agree entirely. Yes driving a car and texting is multi-tasking, but is idiotic and extremely dangerous.

“I’ve learned to embrace effective multi-tasking

by defining what it means

and being proud with what gets accomplished.”

We are hard on ourselves when every item on that to-do list is not crossed off. We stress to manage both our personal and professional lives by trying to multi-task and not seeing great results. But if you can define effective multi-tasking that is achievable to you, you will learn to celebrate those accomplishments. Here are a few of mine:

Exercising with my children: I made a conscious effort to get healthier before my 40th birthday. Finding time to squeeze in a Zumba class is impossible, but exercising with my kids was not. I enjoy walking or bike riding with them. We even go to indoor parks with monkey bars and trampolines that adults can take advance of. This is effective multi-tasking for me.

I run my entire business from the palm of my hands: I’m a huge proponent of technology and innovation. I like that we have the capabilities of running our businesses remotely from any mobile device and location. Photo shoots and filming days are long. Having my company operate cloud base lets me run my entire business virtually from my cell phone. If you ever see photos of me with my tablet or phone, best believe I was conducting business at the same time.

Bringing back lunch meetings: I can’t believe the “Business Lunch” is not considered effective multi-tasking these days. I enjoy having meetings with clients and business partners over a great meal. It forces you to be present in that moment and builds stronger relationships. The rule is to leave your phones on the table for the duration of the lunch which seems to speed things up. Whoever picks up their phone first before the agreed upon lunch meeting time, will have to pay the bill. It works! Some of my best lunch meetings have yet to exceed an hour.

 
 
Barbara Viteri, blog for multi-tasking mompreneurs, 'designerlebrity'
Barbara Viteri is a 38 year old, wife and mother of two children, Anabella and Leonardo (ages 9 and 6). Barbara is the CEO of Viteri Style Management, a consulting firm that provides practical business management solutions to interior designers and Viteri Style Productions, a digital content producing company for the interior design industry. She is also an executive producer, creator and developer for the brand, Designerlebrity™ which consists of interior design shows and events featured through online media. Adding to her already full plate is the development of her own talk show which is currently airing season 1 on The Design Network and two new show concepts in the works for 2015. It is no surprise to witness her honesty on social media. From the highs and lows of building her businesses to her failed attempts to cook for her family, she shares it all with a great sense of humor. Barbara relies on “Effective Multi-Tasking” to keep her crazy world in order.  
Connect with Barbara on Facebook, Twitter, or visit her website:  www.viteristylemanagement.com(image courtesy of  ‘jesadaphorn’ via freedigitalphotos.net)

 

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3 Quick Tips To A Fresh Start

Better Family Communication, De-Cluttering, and Cleaning Up!

Written by:  Elaine Tan Comeau, Founder of Easy Daysies, 2014 Mompreneur® Award of Excellence Winner

tips for a fresh start for entrepreneurs in 2015A new year is here and let’s kick start it with quick tips to improve a busy family’s home with easy strategies you can use right away to get your family to communicate better, and have a cleaner, more organized home! Try these quick and easy strategies that will make your house a breath of fresh air within a week!

 

1.  “The Busy Board”

When a family is busy and sometimes feels like no one knows where anyone is going and coming from or what is even for dinner, have a family centre where everyone can see what everyone is up to! Make a quick and easy “Family Tweet Board” (DIY white board where mom or dad starts it with a 140 character or less statement about the day and everyone else can walk by and comment) or pick up an Easy Daysies® “Peek At Our Family’s Week” board so that everyone in the house can quickly communicate to each other in a fun and easy way!  It is so important to keep communication open in a family and why not start it in now to set the tone for the rest of the year!

 

2.  “The Ten Minute Tidy”

Who doesn’t love a clean house?  Here is a fun strategy to get everyone up and cleaning each week to make it a tidy home all year long!  This is a great ten minute block to make a part of the family routine every Saturday morning for the whole entire year!  The strategy here is to do a little each week so that it does not pile up to be a big unbearable job.  a) Create an awesome ten minute dance music CD for the whole family to shake their booty to while cleaning, b) Create a fun personalized clean up bin for each family member with everything they need for their ten minute tidy, c) Choose a consistent time and day each week for this ten minute tidy to occur, best is Saturday Morning.  When something becomes a regular consistent routine it is easier to get kids to cooperate and do it regularly because they know it is going to happen and is expected of them, and when the whole family is doing it all at the same time, it is easier to be motivated to do it as well!  This is a great strategy in the classroom as well that I used to do!  We all looked forward to it!

 

3.  “Everything Has A Place” with E.H.A.P. Bins

Everything Has A Place!  Now is the perfect time of year to get organized and start decluttering that home of yours!  It is also a great time to start new habits! First, “In” and “Out” Bins.  These bins are to help sort and organize all the paper work that comes into the house, weather it is bills to pay or field trip notices and permission slips.  Empty those school bags as soon as they come home and put it in the “In” Bin! Same with the mail!  When they are signed or ready to be mailed, it goes in the “Out” bin!

Second, I love this one too.  Each closet should have a “laundry bin” and a “give away bin”!  So this makes it easy to immediately sort out and declutter right away those clothes that automatically get shoved back into the closet or drawer that we just can’t wear or don’t like any more.  Toys and books can go here too!  You will love this quick strategy all year long too!  When bins are full, it is time to drop off or call for Big Brothers or Salvation Army pick up or drop off bins!

 

Follow these three steps and enjoy the happy and decluttered home you always wanted!

Warmly,

Elaine

 

 

Written by Elaine Tan Comeau, Winner: 2014 Mompreneur® Award of Excellence

Elaine Tan Comeau, Mompreneur of the Year 2014Elaine Tan Comeau is an enterprising mother of three young children, a wife, and a former elementary school teacher who has just been awarded the 2014 Canadian Mompreneur of the Year.  Recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Business, as well as an Award in Teaching Excellence.  She is the CEO and Founder of one of Dragons’ Den favorite pitches, Easy Daysies, which incited a bidding war among all five Dragons.  Her products are recommended by child psychologists, occupational therapists and physicians.  Easy  Daysies was also chosen by Ford Company as one the 2014 Dragons’ Den Driven For Success Companies that exemplified Ford’s Four Pillars of Success.   Elaine has been featured in the Financial Post, Maclean’s Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, Huffington Post, to name a few, all wanting to know her story about being a mom entrepreneur. Her products have been featured on CBC, CTV, ABC, Breakfast Television, FOX32 News, KCAL-TV , WPIX, WISH-TV, XETV, and CBS.  Elaine has been published in Educational Psychology (Allyn & Bacon Canada, 2000, and Pearson 2015, VI ed.).  She has written and published several e-books (2013), and she continues to be a sought out speaker for webinars and speaking engagements on educational strategies for both educators and parents, as well as entrepreneurship. She is also a guest blogger for Staples Canada, Scholars Choice and Creative Teaching Press.  Elaine is also raved about in both Kevin O’Leary’s and Jim Treliving’s latest books.

(image courtesy of ‘Stuart Miles’ 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 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 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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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)