For years my husband and I have volunteered for different ski events which have created lasting friendships with the people that we see each year at these events. For the last few years he has been involved with the Ronald McDonald Ski Challenge and it is such a great cause! Companies come together for team spirit, to support a great cause and to make a difference in their communities. The bonds that you see created from having a fun activity like this is so important, and a great idea to do for you and your business.
This type of team building builds relationships, rapport, better working conditions with fun memories and it can even bring out leadership skills in people.
I recommend getting involved with at least one annual event with your team or clients, it will make for such a fun way to build great customer / team relations.
Pictured here are the “FIREBALL GIRLS” working on course in Whistler BC for the 22nd annual Ronald McDonald Ski Challenge!
- Inviting a friend to dinner sounds so special when you say you have hired a private Chef.
- You don’t have to hire a babysitter, or you can hire one babysitter to look after your, and your friends kids during dinner.
- It is more intimate and relaxing entertaining in your own home.
- You can always split the cost of the chef with all the guests. Knowing the price upfront makes it easy to do.
- If there are dietary or allergic issues with friends these can be addressed with the chef before the dinner to ensure that the menu is perfect for your group.
- A private chef will prep everything from appetizers to dessert, so you and your guests don’t have to worry about anything. The Chef will also clean as they work (chef’s don’t like to work in a dirty kitchen) so you don’t have to worry about the clean up.
- If you like you can even rent the wine glasses and plates so that all the dishes go back to a rental place so you don’t have have a huge clean up!
I took home so many great tips from the eWomen's Summit last week... Here is another one for you. As Sandra Yancey spoke about taking her small business that was run out of her home, to the multi-million dollar company that it is today, she said it wasn't until she had these 5 key people in her business that she turned the corner in making eWomen what it is today.
- A really good assistant or Virtual Assistant - Can't find someone? There is an organization out there called Elance that has all kinds of people looking for work. Remember the list that we talked about earlier this week?? You have the important things you SHOULD be doing, and then you have the URGENT things that your assistant should be doing.
- A Coach - Find the money and make it happen. A coach will challenge you, support you, be able to see things in your business from an outside perspective to guide you and perhaps even recommend you! Have a clear goal with your coach, and set a minimum of 3-6 months to work with them to see a difference.
- A Financial Adviser - Be sure you choose one that will tell you the best decision for you and your lifestyle.
- A Good Banker - Establish good credit for your business and know your banker well. Have their name and phone number programmed into your phone and create that relationship! Be sure they have a file on you!
- A Really Good Marketing Person - Need I say more? If you are not marketing your business, how will people find out about you? Expand your horizons!
Thanks Sandra for the wise words, I am going to take your advice as well!
Yesterday I came across this article by Mitch Meyerson* on why people purchase products or services from you. And it got me thinking about a few things, including the need to keep your own data base close at hand. Do you really need your own CRM (Customer Relationship Management System, which is just a fancy name for a tool that helps keep your data base organized!) if the company you work for offers one? I truly believe you do, and I am going to explain why having your own private client data base is so important.
According to Mitch Meyerson* people purchase products or services from you for six reasons:
Last week I met an incredible woman at the eWomen Network dinner with Sandra Yancey. I saw Moira and was automatically impressed by her elegance and poise in how she carried herself, how she spoke and how she interacted with others. Then I found out what she did and I can tell you it is a perfect fit! Moira is an image consultant, but with a twist as it is not all about how you look on the outside but as well how you feel on the inside about yourself and others. Her goal is to empower women through image coaching, beauty therapy and Bio Energy Healing. A real GEM this gal!
Moira and I had a conversation about our clients, and she was interested in trying out Fiitfu for her business, when we were speaking on the phone, this is the feedback that I received from her.
Mary-Jane, I have to tell you when I was using Fiitfu, I felt like my whole body is relaxed going through it! This is so different than other systems that I have used for as soon as I logged onto those I would get stressed out!
Fiitfu is so different, I love the colours, easy navigation and the fact that I can customize to my needs! I am just so relieved to have discovered a tool that keeps my "ducks in a row" and at the same time is very easy to use:)
Thank you Moira for this incredible feedback, I have never had anyone say that out Fiitfu, and it is such a GREAT testimony!
In my bathroom there hangs a poem written by Nadine Stair when she was 85 years old. It is a poem that I saw in another friend’s home, and when I expressed how much I loved it, he bought one for me and my husband years ago. Wise words to live by, I wish I could have met Nadine Stair and asked her more. Enjoy!
If I had my life to live over
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had it do over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.
We work hard for a reason. To pay the bills, to send our kids to school, to be able to give back to others, and to do the things we love to do on a daily basis.
Therefore it is so important do the things we love! How many weekends do you spend running around doing errands? Not so much fun to waste your weekend hours going to the dry cleaner, cleaning your home or grocery shopping! I purpose each weekend you have an Adventure Day! It could entail trying something you have never done before like kite surfing, or a knitting class, to gathering a group of friends to go skiing, hiking, biking or having a themed dinner party! Have you ever heard of Geocaching? This is another Free Fun adventure you can do with your family or on your own... no matter where you are.
The days fly by, don't let the days go by without having memories of them... the best way to do this is to put work aside for ONE DAY and go make an adventure... if you don't your life is going to pass by and you are going to wonder what happened.
Imagine the memories I will have from this glorious day on the ski hill with some of my ski buddies! THIS is why I work so hard!
I told you I was going to write this week little snippets of what I took away from the eWomen’s Summit I attended last week. This one was a good one, as I am sure we have all felt this way at one point or another in our businesses.
About 2 years into launching eWomen’s Network, the business model that Sandra Yancey (CEO and founder of eWomen Network) envisioned was not working out; she was behind on bills, overworked and couldn’t see things changing. She was desperate and thought this was it, time to get out of this gig and get a job.
She called her mom, and her mom’s words to her where powerful, and ones you may want to think of the next time you feel this close to quitting.
How do you know you aren’t quitting 5 minutes before the miracle begins? I am not saying don’t quit, I am saying just don’t quit until you KNOW it for a fact that it will not work out.
Sometimes our gut feelings keep us in the game for a purpose… what does your gut say about your business? Your miracle just may be around the corner.
It is Sunday night and you are making your "list" of things to do for tomorrow... it is Monday morning after all and you want to get off to a GREAT start to the week. So what do you do? We all have the things that take up our time, and we all have the things we need to do to make us money... so what do you do first?
Take some advice from Sandra Yancey, CEO of eWomen Network and start your list with a "T" on the page and prioritize it in the following way:
We always love to hear back from our users with ideas, suggestions and most of all testimonials. This morning when I opened up my computer I was so blessed to see this testimonial from an amazing gal Michelle Panzlaff. Michelle owns a company called Tidy Tiger Solutions and she is truly an expert in her field. Not only will she come into your home or office and do a complete overhaul for you, but she also offers up ideas weekly on how to better organize your home/office with resources to help you get organized.
Thanks Michelle for this following testimonial!
It is with pleasure that I write about Mary-Jane and her business, Fiitfu. I have met Mary-Jane several times networking and liked her instantly. Yet, it was not until I took a closer look at the product she offers that I truly appreciated her talent and vision.
I signed up for Fiitfu and gave it a test run to see how it operated. Come on, a free 30 day trial makes it easy!!
I found it very functional and beautifully simple at the same time. It can serve as a CRM for different types of businesses depending on which features you take advantage of, but I must say it is very well set up for business owners with a product offering.
The big ‘value added’ service for me was that Mary-Jane made time for me to explain how certain features worked, and she really came through on that call. Impressive! Mary-Jane, Thank you for creating this great tool to help business owners organize their follow up, and nurture their valued clients. Indeed ‘The Fortune is in the Follow Up!’
Tidy Tiger Solutions
Last night myself and 16 other women had the honor of having dinner with the founder and CEO of eWomen Network Sandra Yancey. An amazing woman with an incredible story and a thriving multi million dollar business. Sandra shared some great business advice last night and I am going to give you "snipits" this week of last nights conversation as well as from the eWomen's Summit from today.
One of the first things that Sandra said last night I loved because Fiitfu is all about Follow Up and creating relationships.
So here is your "snipit" for today.
You can make a sale and earn a commission, or you can build a relationship and earn a living.
Be sure to read Sandra's complete Bio here... oh and be sure to get involved with eWomen's Network. What an amazing group!
Be the change you want to see in this world.
This famous quote by Gandhi says it plain and simple. We need to start doing things differently to make a difference.
Here are 10 great ideas for random acts of kindness that just may make a change: There is one deed you can do each day to make up for the days I am behind in the blog with a couple extra as well…
- Cut out complimentary newspaper articles about people you know and mail the articles to them with notes of congratulations
- Buy a coffee for the person in the Tim Horton’s Line up behind you
- Buy a coffee for the volunteers at your kids school
- Don’t waste a compliment today, if you see someone with a beautiful smile, great ideas or a lovely outfit, be sure to let them know!
- Offer child care to a family or couple that you know could use a night out, or just some time alone.
- Bake cookies and take them to your neighbors.
- Buy a homeless person a sandwich or a hot drink or soup.
- Deliver one or more bags of Dog and Cat food to your local shelter.
- Deliver your old magazines and books to a doctor’s waiting room, or other waiting room that may need them.
- Walk a dog from your local shelter, it not only is good for the animals but it is also good for you!
I found a website called The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation… check it out!
Yesterday our blog we talked about being ready for holidays with more delegation...
But this is easier said than done. When you are used to working on your own it is very normal to be hesitant in delegating. An entrepreneur's mindset can simply be "no one can do it as good as I can, so I will do it myself" But you have to remember to grow to a larger company, you are going to HAVE TO START DELEGATING. No large company is a one man show, and the saying there is no I in TEAM is so try.
So here are some quick tips to start delegating and doing it right.
- Start believing in others ability; do this and you will see they just may rise to the occasion.
- Be clear and specific in your expectations on the tasks that you delegate. Explaining the importance of them can help in those enlisted to ensure that it is done correct.
- Make a list of the most important things you want them to focus on... "If you could only get one thing done a day it would be this, the second would be this task" This ensures the most important tasks are done well.
- Set a time line for when you would expect each task to be done. For Example: "This should be done daily and should take you only about one hour."
- Have a trial run a few days before you leave, so if there are any questions you can answer them while still at the office.
- Before you leave ensure that the person you have delegated work to is confident that they can fulfill the expectations, or do they need some help?
- Be open to suggestions on how things could be done different, you never know you may get some great suggestions to streamline your business.
- Be very generous in recognition and bring back the person doing work for you a small token of your appreciation from the place you spent your holidays!
Delegation puts you on the right track to enjoying your holiday and to empowering others. Who knows perhaps one or a few of the jobs you delegated can now be done by someone else all the time so you can concentrate on other projects that will bring more revenue into your business!
After spending an incredible eight days in Whistler British Columbia with my family for spring break, skiing in amazing powder snow, being with friends and family and trying to unplug for a few days I thought it would be fitting to bring up again the importance of "downtime" and preparing yourself for your holidays.
For those of you that are self employed or employed but take ownership in your work, it is so important to make sure that you take holidays and really leave the work behind... If you don’t it may just take you 5 days before you even feel like you are on holidays, then before you know it the holidays are over!
Now this is easier said than done... I couldn’t do it, but I did come up with some ideas that will help me do it much better next time:
- Delegate you work! Leaving the office can be hard, but the more you give others to do, the easier it becomes. If you truly are a one woman/man show, look at hiring a virtual assistant for a couple of hours each day you are gone.
- Have one person check your emails for you while you are gone. Try not to open the emails!
- Be ready to leave the office behind. REALLY leave it behind. When you do this, you not only have a better more relaxed holiday, but you also empower those that you work with.
- Leave the guilt behind. One of our friends said to me this week, “it is not like we are surgeons saving lives, our business is important but it can take a break for a bit”. Good point to put it into reality
- Have a contact number people can reach you just in case of emergency. This way you know that if they really needed to get a hold of you they would.
- Organize your office before you leave so you know nothing was left undone, and you have an organized office to come back to.
- Understand that you can catch up! It is easy once you prioritize yourself! Check out our blog on Catching Up for some great tips.
If you are in need of a virtual assistant, or other resources please let us know. Our FRC (Fiitfu Resource Centre) is almost complete and we will be launching it soon to help you run even smoother in your business.
Last week on Monday I suggested scheduling in exercise each day for a number of reasons.
This week as I skied with my 71 year old father, and his wife in her late 60's I wish that I had a video camera to show you how they can still out ski us on any run on the hill. Then this video was sent to me yesterday and I thought it was incredibly fitting for staying fit and the incredible week we just had in the powder snow! It is not my parents, but all those that ski with us would say it is a close match! It goes to show that keeping up a regular routine will not only benefit you now but in years to come!
Enjoy the video, and visualize yourself in your late 70's doing the same.
If you liked the sticker on the back of the ski helmet, let us known on our Fiitfu Facebook page and I may just have one to send to you!
Did you know that by taking the stairs today instead of the elevator or escalator when you are visiting your clients you will start building muscle mass and burn calories? NYC Health Officials even create an Icon to help support the mission of getting Leaner and Greener! Here are some benefits they outlined of taking the stairs:
- Stair climbing burns almost 700% the number of calories you burn standing on an elevator.
- Just two minutes of stair-climbing each day burns enough calories to eliminate the one pound an average adult gains each year.
- Men who climbed at least 20 floors a week (about 3 floors a day) had a 20% lower risk of stroke or death from all causes, in one study.
- Stair-climbing has been shown to raise good cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health
- Stair use also advances the city’s GreeNYC effort to reduce energy consumption. An escalator that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, can use 28,000 kilowatt hours of energy over the course of a year. That’s enough to create 43,000 pounds of carbon dioxide – more than three times the amount a car produces.
So when you are running around today, (doing all your follow up) be sure to take the stairs and make a difference for yourself and for the environment!
Source: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Monday morning, you have lots on the go and to catch up on. Friday you left your desk in a rush to start the weekend, or perhaps you have been working all weekend long on some great ideas for your business. You have SO MUCH TO DO...
I don't care, take an hour on your calendar, and mark it off for exercise today... then do it EVERY DAY THIS WEEK for a minimum of 30 minutes. Go for a walk, do some weights, climb the stairs or do a yoga class. Just do something. (I am asking you to do it all this week to perhaps get you into a bit of a routine!)
Here are 7 benefits of doing these activities this week as highlighted by The Mayo Clinic:
Tonight I saw this post on Facebook by Mike Klingler and I thought it was fitting for our last two days of blog entry on Imagination, vision and dreams… keep the momentum going!
Inside everyone, there is awesome, jaw-dropping potential to do BIG things. The kinds of things that get noticed because everyone knows, and is inspired, by the determination required to do it. No one can make you want to do this. No one need judge you if you decide to do less, to take it easy. But it's interesting that when we see people persevere to reach high and give more of themselves to an idea than they had to, we collect in large audiences in awe. And we become more hopeful that we can live our dreams. That in itself is an awesome gift. I like to encourage people to consider giving it. It's in you to give it. It's pretty cool to ponder the option.
You can find him at http://www.facebook.com/mikeklinglerfans
My daughter came home from skiing today saying that the gals in her class where talking about how they could make the world better (now these girls are between the ages of 5 - 7), here are a few of their ideas: The world would be better if no one forgot anything, if everything they ate was nutritious nu food, if no one ever made any mistakes. There were more, and I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to hear them all as my daughter forgot after those three what else they were thinking of!
So why do I tell you this? This is imagination, and how changes all start. Adult or child we all imagine different things. Here is the thing, I truly believe that all great visionaries where challenged by others on their ideas. Think of Walt Disney and the nay sayers that he encounter along the way, but what would our childhood have been like if Walt Disney didn't follow through on his dream?
Would you be using your computer, iPad, iPhone or iPod, if Steve Jobbs didn't push through those that said "it can't be done"
And thinking back to things like your television, cell phone, even reading this on the internet, Google, Facebook, airplanes and cars. All of this created because of one persons (or a groups) imagination, and then driving to make that imagination reality.
If you have a few nay sayers that say it can't be done... put them aside, and go for it.
You have one life to live, and unfortunately it is shorter than you think.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.
Let your imagination run wild, with reckless abundance, excitement and belief. Imagination is an important part of our learning, dreaming and driving ourselves forward. Imagine how bored children would be if it wasn’t for their imagination.
Today sit down and start imagining where your business could go, what great heights you could reach in your work. Now imagine with that success, what would that mean in your life, in your family’s life? Imagine the ways you could celebrate success. Imagine the ways you could give back to others. Imagine the way you would feel knowing you have created a legacy.
Imagine your BEST DAY EVER, and start now.
Partial description from the Wikipedia Encyclopedia: Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability of forming images and sensations when they are not perceived through sight, hearing, or other senses. Imagination helps provide meaning to experience and understanding to knowledge; it is a fundamental faculty through which people make sense of the world, and it also plays a key role in the learning process.
Girls raise your arms and celebrate! It is International Women’s day! Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
Organisations, governments, charities and women's groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues.
"Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures" is the 2012 theme
In August of 2011 Forbes Magazine came out with The WORLDS 100 Most Powerful Women and it is worth the read.
If you are one of the top 100 Powerhouse women, a house wife, mother, or business woman we all deserve to be recognized and celebrated not just today but everyday!
Never underestimate the power of a Woman, check out these statistics:
Everyone has to start somewhere… if you are looking at running your own home based, small business or network marketing business, here is a word of advice. If it feels right, you have done your research, you like your products or service and you have defined your target audience and feel there is a need for your product or service, then go for it… don’t spend your life wondering “What If” instead spend your life living your DREAM…
Imagine what the brothers Dick and Mac McDonald were thinking when they opened their very first restaurant McDonalds Bar-B-Que in 1940. They saw a need and had a passion and today that vision McDonalds sells approximately 4.2 million Hamburgers in the United States a day!
What is your Vision, and what is stopping you from going for it?
Personal space, it is a “touchy” subject for all of us. Ever had someone talk so close to you that you can feel the condensation from their breath hit your face… not so nice. What about a hug in a professional environment? Like the personality style indicators, we must be cautious of who we are doing business with, what their ethical backgrounds are and even what country they are from (or what country we are doing business in).
It seems like North America, and the UK don’t like to have any real form of physical contact other than a hand shake, and yet if you are doing business in France, Mexico, Italy or Greece you would more than likely be greeted with a double kiss or a hug. So with Canada and many parts of the US becoming more multicultural by the day, how do you find a happy medium?
The answer lies in your relationship with your clients, and as you get to know them better through effective follow up and relationship building, you will begin to know their culture, beliefs, personality style and comfort zone when it comes to being “touchy” in a business environment. Always start with a hand shake, and go from there.
Another thing to consider is the type of business you are in. The Creative Group www.creativegroup.com in California did a survey of 500 marketing and advertising executives nation wide. When asked if they would embrace a client 41% of advertising executives said they would embrace a client, versus only 24% of marketing executives.
When I as a woman, am dealing with other women and we have made a strong connection, I have no problem with giving hugs, and many will gladly accept, but I do make a point of asking the first time if I can give them a hug.
A college said the other day that she also uses the “fake touch”. This is the act of reaching out towards someone like you are going to touch them, but you never do place your hand on their body. The perception is that you are still welcoming and engaging, but it doesn’t encroach on another’s personal space. Give it a try, it is a good start!
If you are travelling abroad and want more information on dealing with different cultures and countries be sure to google proper etiquette.
In sales were are taught about MIRRORING your client, we all have different personalities and it is important to remember what may be important to you may not be important to others. Some of you may have heard of a Personality Style Indicator test that you can take to determine your personality style and how to adapt to others that may have different beliefs and values than you. (Thus being able to mirror them)
In my last career in the corporate world we had years of training and succession planning so I consider myself to be very fortunate. However in having a conversation with a local coach here, I realized that not everyone may be familiar with these styles and so I wanted to highlight what I think is to be the easiest way to remember the styles. Each style is so important, it is imperative that we all have different styles so that each of us will be drawn to different positions within a company or a relationship which in turn will complete the circle and make the unit a whole....
The DOPE test was founded by Dr. Gary Couture who further developed the DISC (D-dominant, I-influencer, S-steady, C-compliant) Personality Style Indicator test.
Here are the Four DOPE Personality Styles by Dr. Couture:
Procrastination is the attitude's natural assassin. There is nothing so fatiguing as an uncompleted task.
- William James
In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority or important actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time.
In doing this, we build up stress levels knowing that we have a high priority task to complete and work under pressure to meet eventual deadlines.
So today, make your list with your high priority activities at the top. Now work your list from the TOP DOWN and make this week the most productive week yet!