What season of business are you in? (and why it matters)

What season of business are you in? (and why it matters)

“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.” ~Gary Zukav For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, spring has officially sprung. And while signs of life and growth are everywhere in the natural world, we may not be experiencing the same signals in our own businesses. And that warrants asking ourselves the question, “What season of business am I in?” Business, like life, is cyclical. And as owners, we must navigate all seasons and stages with the confidence that no matter what season we’re in, it shall soon pass into another. We may stay in certain seasons longer than others but eventually, everything will shift and move forward. This is incredibly useful to remember, particularly when things feel stagnant or stuck. Instead of fighting against it, we can work with its rhythms knowing that there are gifts to be drawn no matter the season and that it won’t be long before it’s behind us. Conversely, if we’re in a season of prosperity and busyness, we may feel gratitude for the success, but exhaustion at the idea of keeping it up. Knowing that another slower season is likely upon us can give us the stamina to ride out the busy season until we can once again rest and restore. Here’s what’s important: our business seasons may not line up with the natural seasons, nor the seasons of our peers or...
How to create a personalized success plan (BPP #027)

How to create a personalized success plan (BPP #027)

“Not my monkey, not my circus!” As a business owner, sometimes it’s easy to jump on every bandwagon that comes along because we think it’s what we ‘should’ do, what will work and what will get us to success. While there’s always merit to learning from others’ experience and implementing proven tools, over the long haul it won’t be sustainable to simply follow someone else’s path. You have to define your own definition of success. And that’s what we’re talking about on today’s episode. Your business will only work if it works for you – in all aspects. Even if it doesn’t line up with the common and over-hyped success indicators we see online. A personalized success plan is tailored to you – your values and priorities – anchors into the whole picture of your life. The only way to live your life by your design is to get clear on what you truly want and then incorporate strategies, habits, checks and balances that support you. Enjoy today’s episode!      Recommended Resources Work, Sleep, Family, Fitness or Friends: Pick 3 The advice that changed my life (BPP #003)  CEO Fast Track – on sale until February 18 for just $25 My PRO Plan – a comprehensive planning system for small business owners Your business will only work if it works for you. Click To Tweet By design – not by default – that’s where your business sweet spot is! Click To Tweet Success is nebulous. Define it for yourself. Click To Tweet   Thanks for listening! I want to thank you for listening and to those that have...
My Sunday Night Planning Ritual (BPP #025)

My Sunday Night Planning Ritual (BPP #025)

It’s a fine balance, isn’t it? As entrepreneurs we struggle not to be consumed by our work, to spend time with our families and to make sure we have it all under control. It’s great in theory, but how do we live it out? How do we find that sweet spot that allows us to work on our success and our business, and also gives us the freedom to choose our own path? Suggesting a Sunday night ritual may sound almost hypocritical coming from someone who works diligently at being with my family when I need to be with my family, but part of what keeps me sane is spending the few minutes I do on Sunday evenings, getting a head start on my week. If I go to bed knowing that I’ve set up my week and I’ve got a handle on what’s ahead, I sleep better. I also wake up better, because the anxiety of Monday morning chaos combined with wondering what I’ll be facing work-wise has been removed. It’s not about being a workaholic, it’s not about giving up my Sunday evenings, but it is about working smarter. If we truly commit to a 15 minute jump start to get focused and create a plan, we are freed up to concentrate on other things. Keep in mind what will work for you, what will set you up for success. Maybe it’s end of day Friday or Saturday morning over coffee – whatever plan you know will work, work that plan. I look forward to having you join me on the podcast to discover that finely tuned...
How to gain more control by designing your ideal week (BPP #023)

How to gain more control by designing your ideal week (BPP #023)

Squirrel! Your phone vibrates as a text comes through, your email pings and your little one asks for a cookie while you’re speaking with a potential client on that phone. You feel pulled at from every direction, but as an entrepreneur you also feel that you are required to be available for every distraction that gets thrown at you in any given moment. How do you combat that sense of defeat before you even begin your week? Can it really be as simple as designing it ahead of time? What’s the point if the busy-ness of it all is just going to disrupt the best laid plans? Living life by design puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to solidify your own agenda before it gets taken over by the demands (or plans) of others. Think about it: why does someone else’s agenda or even lack of planning constitute an emergency on your part? Why do we live in the belief that it’s required of us to respond to the pings and beeps as they arrive? Gaining more control by designing our ideal week puts our priorities at the forefront, and therefore gives us pause to consider our actions or reactions before we succumb to the week in and week out hamster wheel of circumstance. After all, if we don’t execute on our own business goals and live our values, we pay the ultimate price of not experiencing the success that we started out to achieve. Join me on the podcast as I share how I set up my ideal week, along with how to get the...
Nothing is ever wasted, it is all useful (BPP #020)

Nothing is ever wasted, it is all useful (BPP #020)

Here’s a couple of patterns I see play out again and again at this time of year. Pattern #1: To completely ignore all past business missteps and hard knocks, in favour of focusing on the bright shiny future and possibility. Pattern #2: To completely dwell in the past, get locked in a story/personal narrative, and never go beyond it. Naturally, neither are constructive. Pattern #1 misses the critical opportunity and gift of past experience to shape the future direction and decisions we will need to make in business. Pattern #2 keeps us stuck, miserable and never moving forward. It does a number on our self-confidence and worth, and becomes a never-ending destructive cycle of doubt, shame, fear and guilt. I want you to embrace a third pattern. One that holds the perspective that nothing you’ve done is ever wasted, and contains valuable inside to drive your business forward, while not keeping you locked in past mistakes or regrets. The idea of making New Year’s Resolutions has come under fire the past few years because they simply set us up for failure. Why is that, do you think? We talked last week about implementing an intention for the year and how it differs from goals or resolutions. Along with setting an intention, reflection is a necessary tool to replicate more of what works and to learn lessons from what didn’t. As you review the past year, regardless of when you’re starting, do so with a perspective of curiosity rather than judgment. The past is the past, and the future still awaits your design. Learn from the triumphs and the challenges...
The key ingredient to have a stand-out year (BPP #018)

The key ingredient to have a stand-out year (BPP #018)

in·ten·tion·al inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/ adjective done on purpose; deliberate; done in a way that is planned. I know, I know. We hear repeatedly how ‘this one thing’ will change everything, but when we peel back the layers it becomes apparent that ‘this one thing’ consists of a thousand other steps before we can bring it all together. The reality is that there will always be steps we need to take to get where we want to go. But how can we possibly maintain our grit and determination to get there when we are constantly bombarded with distractions and circumstances? All you need to do is have a couple of kids to realize that the road ahead is anything but straight and narrow, so how can you help yourself stay on that winding road without sliding down the slippery slope of living an average year? As Robin Sharma says, “Postponing your greatness is a recipe for heartbreak; and being casual about the life you deserve leads to casualty.” Do you feel yourself heading towards heartbreak because you have postponed yourself or your business too many time? Is this the year you decide to stop postponing the possibilities, realize your dreams or experience a slam dunk in your business growth? You know you are in charge of your own destiny, but you feel the need for something more – an injection of some kind to breathe excitement into your planning. Well, ‘this one thing’ could possibly make all the difference for you, in order to have that stand out year you so desire. “Done in a way that is planned.” That’s how the...
Behind-the-scenes: Why I switched from Aweber to ConvertKit

Behind-the-scenes: Why I switched from Aweber to ConvertKit

After more than eight years with Aweber, I decided to make the switch the ConvertKit. This was a decision I had been considering for some time (making a switch in general), and more recently by debating the merits of ConvertKit. Just in case you’re new to the whole email marketing landscape, Aweber (along with MailChimp, ConvertKit, InfusionSoft, Ontraport and countless others) are email marketing systems designed to allow you to capture subscriber emails and then send them direct messages straight to their inbox. Some are very basic doing only email marketing, and some are full service systems that also include commerce and CRM capabilities. Email marketing is such a critical component of business for most companies (with the rare exception) because you able to communicate with your audience in the place they spend a good chunk of time (their inboxes). You also have the added benefit of building an asset (an email list) that no external platform (I’m talking to you Facebook) can mess with. And they want to hear from you! By subscribing, they’ve raised their hand to say that they’d like more information about you and your business. Today, I want to take you behind-the-scenes as to why I made the switch from Aweber – a long-standing, popular solution, to the new up-and-coming ConvertKit. Because switching everything and everyone over is not an insignificant undertaking – so I want to be sure you make that choice wisely. Let me say right out of the gate, that I would still recommend Aweber to business owners. It’s a great solution and is well regarded in the industry, particularly for their rigour...
Behind-the-scenes: How I use CoSchedule to manage my content 

Behind-the-scenes: How I use CoSchedule to manage my content 

I’m a big believer in using technology to help your business run better. In fact, I put together an entire PDF download of all the tools I use to power my business. You can find it by clicking here.  And while there are many great tools out there, there are a few that are too good not to bring extra attention to. That’s how I feel about CoSchedule. Welcome to another behind-the-scenes post showcasing a few of my most beloved tools and exactly how I use them daily. This week I’m showing you the amazing power of CoSchedule. Missed last week’s post? Click here to read about my love for Evernote. When I discovered CoSchedule, my first reaction was, “Finally! I have been waiting for this for years!” After using, or more accurately, trying to use a number of tools to manage my content – from Excel to the WordPress Editorial Calendar to a paper version to even my beloved Evernote – I simply wasn’t happy with the way any of them worked in my business. Some were clunky, some required I use tools I loathe (anyone else hate Excel as much as me??) and some just weren’t robust enough to be entirely useful. That all changed when CoSchedule entered the scene (and it’s only gotten better since I first signed up!). CoSchedule is a complete editorial and marketing calendar tool to enable you to plan out all of your online marketing efforts – from blogging to social media to podcasting to videos and more. And it’s visual. This is one of the main reasons I was attracted to it – I like...
Behind-the-scenes: How I use Evernote to be more efficient and stay focused

Behind-the-scenes: How I use Evernote to be more efficient and stay focused

I am constantly asked how I use Evernote. So today, as part of a three-part series, I’d like to take you behind-the-scenes and show you exactly how I use Evernote to power my business. Stay tuned next week for a behind-the-scenes look at how I manage my content marketing, and then the following week for a look into why I switched from Aweber to ConvertKit. Evernote has long been my favourite tool, and the one I use daily. The way I’ve used it has changed over the years, but its value to me never has. In fact, as I set up new systems and advance the way I use Evernote, it’s value to my business only continues to increase. First, know that I am a tech lover and often an early adopter. I’ve been using Evernote actively since July 5, 2009, and my use has only grown over the years. And while I’m often a loyalist to tools I love, I won’t continue to use them if they don’t integrate and work across all my business platforms. This is one of the many things I love about Evernote – it integrates with many of the tools I already use. So let me show you the way I’ve set up Evernote for my business (and life).  I don’t intend for this to be an Evernote tutorial, but rather a glimpse into how Evernote can actually be applied. I often can figure out *how* to use something, but love to see how other people are putting it to use. That’s the purpose of today’s post. If you are looking for a comprehensive step-by-step users manual, I highly...
Break free of your addiction to possibilities (BPP #017)

Break free of your addiction to possibilities (BPP #017)

Is there a way out of the rabbit hole? The old Chinese Proverb that says, “He who chases two rabbits catches neither,” rings true still today. We are tugged at and bombarded by everything new – new ideas, new products, new courses, new connections – and they can immobilize our ability to get anywhere. What rabbits are you chasing? Have you caught any of them? Have you fallen down one of those rabbit holes? On today’s podcast we discuss the idea that being addicted to possibilities traps us into doing nothing. In the land of possibilities, information overload and new, shiny courses, we are bombarded with endless possibilities. How do we end the madness? Escape the trap? “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few.” ~ Suzuki Roshi 3 Big Possibility Pitstops we uncover and focus on: 1. I’m worried I’ll make the wrong decision. 2. Fear — as long as I don’t pick a path, I’m not open to criticism, failure or even success. 3. Lack of focus and clarity, leads to major distraction and rabbit hole finding. Experiencing next-level living requires we acknowledge, reflect, make necessary changes and take focused steps to become experts in the land of possibility. I provide actionable steps we can all take to ensure we don’t stay trapped. Enjoy today’s episode!      Recommended Resources Taking fear out of the equation with Tiffany Han — episode #016 Unemployable Podcast with Brian Clark The comfort of your chaos (my tough-love love letter)  CEO Fast Track — tool to help you create time for what matters most The One Thing by Gary...

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