What is YOUR Why?

Recently I watched Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk. He is a great orator and if you take the 18 minutes to watch, I think you’ll be inspired. (https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action#t-12943)

It’s easy to get caught up in the detritus of our daily grind and forget the reasons why we are in business. Watching Mr. Sinek’s talk was a good reminder to reflect often on why I do the work I do.

It has been no easy road to conclude my life’s purpose. I am here to support, elevate, teach, and inspire. These common threads run through all of my ‘jobs’ over the years – managing teams and projects with a personal goal of elevating all of those involved while supporting the overarching goals of the organization.

Within the context of my life’s purpose, I have created a business where I get to support, elevate, teach, and inspire holistic practitioners (for the most part…although I do have some clients in other sectors). I get to provide practical business acumen, strategic planning, operational suggestions, and comfort and laughter so they can focus on doing what they do best – use their skills and talents to move our community forward positively. This is the WHY of my business.

Why do I operate BEST Events & Other Stuff?

  • Because business should be fun and supportive to all involved;
  • Because I believe that the people I work with are moving our community forward positively and, with the correct business support, could be doing even more of the good stuff;
  • Because businesses need to be supported in the detritus of administration;
  • Because there is more to business than marketing;
  • Because I have skills that can benefit the people I think are doing great work and have the heart and compassion to help them succeed;
  • Because the work I do needs to be positive and reflect my values;
  • Because I love the flexibility and variety.

People have told me they feel relief, understood, and heard when working with me. I think these are by-products of the support I offer – and what a joy to be able to bring something like relief to someone else – but these aren’t my purpose. I don’t seek to provide these intangibles – I seek to support fundamentally. Do you see/feel the difference?

Why are you in business? Have you thought about the reasons lately? Ever? I encourage you to think about it. The ‘why’ can get us through rough patches – which every business has. If you feel compelled to share in the comments section, please do.

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Ownership and Discipline = GSD: Book Review – Jocko Willink & Leif Babin’s ‘Extreme Ownership’

I recently read Extreme Ownership and was blown away by both the simplicity and profound impact of the book’s message. What I learned was: every success or failure comes down to leadership. Was the message clear? Were the ‘workers’ motivated to succeed? Did everyone know the intended outcome?

The messages in this book are clear and concise. No fuzzy lines to blur your vision. It’s frank, honest, and guttural – in your face – Navy Seal wisdom condensed and reduced and applied to business settings.

There are so many poignantly insightful ideas in this book that I have bookmarked it more than many of the books I’ve read. Take for example this golden nugget: “….when it comes to standards, as a leader, it’s not what you teach, it’s what you tolerate. “ (p. 54) Shut. The. Front. Door. This wisdom can be applied to your business, to your children, to your committed relationships – to your LIFE. Think about it in all of these contexts for a moment and you’ll see how simple and HUGE this is simultaneously.

The concept that we, ourselves, are ultimately responsible for the wins and losses in our lives is simple and, yet sometimes, difficult to grasp. ‘If my supplier wasn’t always late, I’d have more sales.’ ‘I can’t work in such a bureaucratic system.’ ‘I am trying but the customers just aren’t buying.’ ‘If I had a dollar for every employee who stayed loyal to the work, I’d be two dollars richer.’ We play these games with our words, but at the end of the day, it is only us, as business owners that are responsible for the wins and losses.

I have taken principles I learned from this book and adopted them into my life. I have the tendency to procrastinate on small projects then sink with disappointment when I see they haven’t been done. That kind of vibe drains me a little bit every time. After reading Extreme Ownership, I have been motivated to do the little projects and it feel sooooo goooood. The concept of responsibility and discipline that reigns throughout the book really sinks in chapter after chapter. It’s a game changer.

I recommend this book. If you’ve read it, please comment below and tell me your thoughts.

5 Ways to Make Your Bookkeeper Crazy

  1. Invoice customers without GST. Add said GST to next invoice.
  2. Invoice customer and accept some cash, some gifts, and lunch as payment.
  3. Invoice customer. Accept partial payment. Re-invoice difference plus new charges. Accept partial payment. Subtract kindness offering of 10%.
  4. Make deposits for invoices paid plus some random cash you had in your pocket.
  5. Purchase supplies for goods to be sold and a cool, random gadget you saw on sale that you thought you could use when you go camping. Log whole receipt as an expense.

Repeat after me: “I will never do the 5 things that will make my bookkeeper go crazy.”

And again, in the round: “I will never do the 5 things that will make my bookkeeper go crazy.”

You never sounded better.

Pomodoro = Awesome

Say what now? Exactly what I was thinking. I came across this GSD (Get Sh*t Done) technique in a business development course I’m taking. (Yes, I always take new courses to learn. As should you.) Twenty-five minute bursts of work and focus on specific tasks. Fabulous. Just Divine. Those horrid tasks you don’t want to undertake (like tax prep or bookkeeping) will benefit from this kind of process. Take a look and implement! Reminds me of inspiration from my pal Colleen that I wrote about in 20 Minutes to Aaahhhhhh

Like minds, People. Like minds.

In other news, check out this pomodoro recipe!

 

No One Gets a Free Ride

It’s not easy -this entrepreneur thing.  It takes stamina, endurance, zeal, courage, and a little bit of crazy to have your own business and make it, and you, thrive.  There is no one that will love your baby like you do.  And no one who will work as hard to make it a success.

There will be fatigue; overwhelming fatigue.  Coupled with self-doubt, anxiety, procrastination, lack of focus, and fear – you have the recipe for failure.  The most profoundly stunting emotion you can experience as an entrepreneur is freezing.  The state of being frozen, as a business owner, is the Grim Reaper.

You can deal with fatigue, self-doubt, anxiety, procrastination, lack of focus, and fear.  They all have solutions – most of which look like digging deep, kicking yourself in the ass, and getting back on the proverbial horse.

But if you are frozen – in fear, in overwhelm – then you are at risk of staying frozen.  Freezing equals death in business.

It’s hard. I know it’s hard.  BUT – you MUST take steps.  Every single day, you must take steps in the direction of your success in business.  Make a call.  Send an email.  When you’re in the flow, there will be calls, clients, appointments – WORK.  If you are cold, nearing being frozen – you MUST take a step.  Even a little one – in the direction that will lead to your business success.

No one will believe in you as much as you need to believe in yourself to make your business a success.  This is your deepest dig – to the depths of your strength – to get out of the cold.  Surround yourself with believers in you, your business, and your success and then take a step.  Every day.  After a few days you’ll have momentum and can build and thaw.

You’ve got this.

 

 

20 Minutes to Ahhhhh……

my officeThis is my office desk.  Those white blobs are stacks of papers I need to deal with.  That hat will be part of my son’s Halloween costume – once I take apart a pillow and hot glue the fluffy pillow bits to the hat to make it crazy hair.  (why do I have these ideas?)  I have been avoiding my desk piles.  They feel overwhelming.   My desk feels like hours and hours of work and I shudder thinking about it.

I have a friend – let’s call her Colleen (mostly because that is her name) who gave me this fantastic idea.  She listened to me whine about my taxes and all the paper I had shoved in an envelope for a year – the ones I had to organize to do my taxes.  “Do it for 20 minutes,” she said.  “Set a timer and work on it for 20 minutes and then walk away.”  Now this might not sound like much but let me tell you, I have used this 20-minute-timer-trick repeatedly since and IT WORKS.

You can do pretty much anything for 20 minutes.  Clean the garage for 20 minutes.  Fold laundry for 20 minutes.  Work on your marketing plan for 20 minutes.  Cold call for 20 minutes.  It’s so simple, it’s brilliant.  You just bear down, hunker down, brace yourself, and get ‘er done – for 20 minutes.

And you’d be surprised how much you can get done in 20 minutes.  No joke.  And then you feel a sense of accomplishment and before you know it, you’re doing another 20 minutes and another 20 minutes.  My much-avoided taxes took me about 3 hours in 20-minute increments.  It was bliss.

If I can do 20, you can do 20.  What are you avoiding?  Give it 20 and let me know how it goes.  I’ll be posting updates on my office –  in 20-minute increments.

Hey Colleen, thanks!  😉

Are YOU an Evolving Crone?

I was moved to create an event around my evolution as a woman. So many things have changed in my being since turning 40.  Physically I tend to have muscle aches after exercise more than when I was younger.  I also have these lovely little wrinkles in wonderful places.

Emotionally I am stronger than I have ever been and kinda fierce sometimes.  I have a wonderful-BS meter that never lets me down.  I know who I am and am content with myself.  I want to celebrate being an evolving crone!

Check out my event on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1476359349291117/

 

 

Circle Around What You Believe In

If you know me, you know I love all things local.  I know my farmers by name.  I buy locally as much as possible.  To that end, I support local initiatives and entrepreneurs.  Check out some writing I’ve done for The Local Good and support these businesses!

http://www.thelocalgood.ca/mirepoixs-vegan-pop-ups-allow-for-growth-recipe-experiments/

http://www.thelocalgood.ca/mirepoix-trio-nooish-create-vegan-culinary-adventure/

 

 

 

Setting Boundaries in Business to Get Sh*t Done

I have a friend who’s phone message says: “I’ll return your call AT MY EARLIEST CONVENIENCE.”  The first time I heard this I thought: “well, don’t let me inconvenience YOU!” and laughed at how sassy she sounded.

Then, I paused and thought:  “Brilliant.”

With that one little phrase she set boundaries.  And, while I, personally, might use something more gentle like: “I will get back to you when I’m able,” the point is that boundaries are set.

Too often I have played slave to Facebook (where I conduct business sometimes, making linkages, sharing events, etc) and my Iphone to the detriment of productivity.

We live in an age where instant communication equals instant gratification but I, for one, think the pendulum has swung wwwaaayyy too far towards the ‘instant’ and less towards the ‘gratification.’

When I have work to do that requires my attention, I turn off Facebook and my Iphone.  So far, no one has died.  No one has spontaneously combusted.  Everyone is okay.

What I accomplish by turning off the distractions and focusing is just that – FOCUS.  In those moments of digital silence, I am able to dedicate my thought, creativity, and talent, and focus on the matter at hand.  This, I believe, keeps me in integrity to the work I am accomplishing in those moments of digital silence.  It also makes that work happen far more efficiently than if I were being pulled away by texts or posts.

Give it a try!

P.S.  I’m am also a BIG fan of being upfront with communication.  People feel safe when they know what is going on – less ambiguity equals more comfort.  If you are super busy and cannot respond to phone calls or emails, then have your message and your auto-response say so respectfully and with an estimated reply-to date.  Set boundaries and expectations and everyone is clear!