Thursday, June 30, 2011

5 Great Ideas for Your Business

5 Great Ideas for Your Business

A super post from Zeke! He always has great tips and ideas.
I especially like his note on 'the harder the decision, the quicker you have to make it'.
Happy reading.

FuEL Awards

I received this letter via LinkedIn this morning from Ian Portsmouth (Editor & Associate Publisher at PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success) - what an awesome idea.  Especially after attending the Young Entrepreneurs event at the Art Gallery in Windsor earlier this month, there is so much to be said about encouraging the next generations to take see entrepreneurship as a primary career choice that will take them to global markets, global thinking  and global + local leadership.

As leaders, one of our main roles it to develop the future.  It starts here.

Please nominate or vote for a Canadian Young Entrepreneur.

Date: 6/29/2011

Subject: Please help me find a young entrepreneur (or three)

As you know, I'm a huge supporter of Canadian entrepreneurship. I believe it's the key to bolstering Canada's flagging economic prospects in the face of increasingly intense global competition.

Young entrepreneurs are the key to the key. We need to educate and inspire more of them. We need them to be more innovative. We need them to think global.

So I ask for your help with the FuEL Awards, a new program I've launched at PROFIT in celebration of young entrepreneurs. We're going to identify, profile and reward the top 20 young entrepreneurs in Canada, thus inspiring other young Canadians to make entrepreneurship a primary career choice.

The application deadline is July 15, so please help asap in one of the following EASY ways:

>>nominate a deserving young entrepreneur at or encourage someone to apply directly (nomination is not a prerequisite for application)

>>Post a note encouraging applications on Twitter (#fuelawards), Facebook, your blog or website

>>Drop by and cast a vote for your favourite candidates (public votes count for 20% of an applicant's final score)

>>APPLY yourself if you are under 30!

If you have any questions or would like a copy of the FuEL Supporters' Handbook, then please drop me a line.

Thanks so much for your help!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Best Place to Work

There are surveys and studies for the 'best place to work', but how do you know everyday that your place is e best place to work? you have happy employees -like truly happy, genuinely engaging with others, whether clients or colleagues and ready to help for the love of the work and the company? you have a productive workplace where work actually gets done, on time or in advance, exceeding your customer's expectations

...does your team take pride in the fact they work for you or do they hide it? Do they proudly wear the company t-shirt or logo...or do they make sure to put it on after they get to work?

These are only three indicators, there are many more. Check out Happy Staff Happy Company... they provide cool survey....for free that can help you figure some of this out and more.

Don't forget people leave leaders, not companies....when they where the colours, they are wearing the brand, they are representing YOU.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Leadership and Culture

I work with numerous leaders. One common topic in the first six months of this year has been culture. Developing one, enhancing one, changing one....culture becomes top of mind when companies are in start-up, some cultures simply evolve. Some are deliberately developed and some are deliberately changed based on the needs of the business and it's development. (If you want to read a great culture story, check out Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh from!)

The leaders that focus on culture can see that culture is the direct outcome or output of their mission and values (those of the company too). It is how activity takes place, how relationships start and a built, how all decisions are measured....."does it match our culture?"

So why is it that leaders in emerging companies are only just now recognizing that they actually hold the keys to culture or perhaps better said, the tools to sculpt the culture?  To me this is leadership 101. Build the business with the mission and values that are displayed in the culture.

Organizations shifting priorities or specialities or niches need to take the culture and help it adapt to the new priority. Shifting a culture is about changing the processes and interactions of people. Not easy, but can be done. It takes a measured plan, key outcomes that can be measured and of course a lot of leading by example.
How has your organization evolved over the last few years?
What culture shifts have occurred or are you spotting that need to take place?
As the leader, what are you waiting for?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mentor VS Coach

Here is another question I get asked..."what is the difference between a mentor and a coach"?  And that question leads to this one:  "why do you have one of each"?

To me, a mentor is specifically focused on the work or job at hand and has experiences that you may want or will be going through soon.  They point out opportunities for development, provide feedback about perceived strengths, gives organizational information - structure, culture, politics etc., advises on how to deal with roadblocks - perceived or otherwise, points out development opportunities.  This is a more directive conversation from a role model, who sees the individual in action.

Working with a coach is a collaborative relationship.  While the subject matter may overlap with that of a mentor, with a coach, the discussion is to coach the individual to find their own next steps and work through their own actions as they relate to their goals. The coach most likely will never see the individual in action - at work or otherwise.

Now, why do I have both?  Looking at my mentor, who has been a fabulous woman in business for over 15 years, I want to operate a business that is as successful as hers. (See it here - Blazing - THE Agency).  She is open, honest and we relate well to each other.  She has gone through the transitions I am experiencing and her sharing and feedback helped me to look at my business and make changes in anticipation of what could come next.  While we see each other less often now than when I started my business, I know that we have developed a solid relationship and that she will always be there for me.

I have coaches that help me with moving my business forward.  One for social media - because I need to learn too...and I check in with them periodically now.  One for marketing copy - this coach is a coach in development, so we share a great deal and her talent at selecting the right words is incredible!  And I need these people in my life - the solo-preneur life can be lonely if you don't reach out to others who have what you need.  The capacity for sharing is wonderful. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Why Do I Have a Coach?

Funny, I was asked that today. In fact I have more than one. I have one for my business, and one for marketing + I have a mentor. It helps me develop my skills in these areas. These coaches still ask questions and invite me to shift my thinking and my ways to move my business forward....being an entrepreneur and a coach, I need help with these perspectives too. And it works.

It is funny when clients wonder why I have a coach. I may not be an expert in everything, except I am an expert in creating the shift for you with questions, challenges, options and new perspectives. I am also really good ( I am told) at putting your challenges and goals into succinct phrases that encapsulate your thoughts. It's how I work.

So the answer is...just like a coach makes an athlete better through specific and measured focus, so do I need this specific measured focus and it is what I will do for you and your business.