Biz Kid o’ the Day!

Being an entrepreneur has many benefits.  You can achieve financial and lifestyle freedom.  You can be of service to others, while steering your own course.  Perhaps best of all, you can have a powerful, positive impact on your kids.  Entrepreneurs teach children this priceless lesson:  You can manufacture your own money.

Emily Ridgeway has great mentors…her entrepreneurial parents.  Ed and Stacey Ridgeway own Mason’s Chimney Service Company.  We’ve worked together for a few years.  They have put their business plan together and participated in our Biz Plan Challenge program.  Along the way, their kids have picked up a thing or two about making money and living the dream.  Stacey sent me this email the other day.  It inspired me!  Hope it does you, too.  Here’s an excerpt… […]

By |November 27th, 2012|Business Planning, Family|1 Comment

5 Easy Ways to Rekindle the Passion for Your Business

Daylight Savings Time just ended. It’s 5 pm and dark outside.  All you want to do is go home and watch reruns of Modern Family.  I get it.  It takes energy and fizz and a sense of purpose to get up off the couch. It takes a passion for something bigger than eating mac ‘n cheese and searching for cat videos on YouTube.

Sometimes business sucks the life out of you.  You started a business because you have a passion for something.  Maybe its the day-to-day craft.  Maybe its the lifestyle that having your own business creates.  Regardless, life happens and your business may lose the luster it once had.  The passion that once drove you fades.  So how do you rekindle the fire?  STOP. Take a deep breath and try these 5 easy ways to re-energize your passion for your business. […]

By |November 6th, 2012|Making Sure, Running|5 Comments

Should He Stay or Go?

Even as you read the title of this blog, did someone come to mind?  Is it time to decide about the person “on the bubble?”

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, was asked at the end of his remarkable career, “What would you have done differently.”  He responded, “I should have moved faster.  There were times I had already made the decision and then took too long to act.”  This is interesting coming from a guy who is known for his decisive action.  The GE culture is to be number one or number two in every market they participate in…or they get out of that market.  People produce or they go.  Yet, even Jack wished he had moved faster.

You are responsible for two things. You are the leader.  As such, you have two responsibilities that you can never delegate: […]

What NOT to Say

Have you seen the TV show, What Not To Wear?  In one hour, they perform a fashion and grooming make-over on a disheveled woman (baggy sweats at the mall) or a way-too-casual man (tank top out to dinner.)  The show demonstrates how, with a little education and practice, you can transform from schlubby to sensational.  Really, it’s just a few tips.  Wear nice clothes that fit.  Accentuate your best features.  Put on a little makeup.  Stand up and smile.

I have a fantasy about the “hidden video footage” segment of the show.   Prior to the transformation, they film people out in public – looking awful – without them knowing it.  Horrors!  If the What Not To Wear folks show up at Know It All Lane, they are likely to find me and my husband, Hot Rod, less than dressed for success.  I will probably have enough fuzzy-sports-wear on to cause the stylish and sarcastic host to comment, “Wow, that head-to-toe fleece is so professional.”  Hot Rod may or may not have a shirt on (Gasp!  In the office!) and even the most hard-boiled reality TV viewer will have a hard time with his bright orange cargo shorts!  […]

By |August 28th, 2012|Employees, Getting it Sold, Human Resources|12 Comments

How to Create a Profitable Business Plan

Pull out your business plan and take a look at your mission, your vision and your goals for this year. How’s it going?

What? No plan? No problem. Just consider how last year went and that’s what will probably happen this year. Only a little worse. Or maybe a little better.

This year is moving fast. Your life is flying by! If you want a quantum leap, or at least a major change of momentum… […]

5 Financial Survival Tips for the Suddenly Single

Perhaps you’ve opted for the stay-at-home lifestyle. You can get by on one person working and you are prioritizing children and family. Very cool! However, are you putting yourself at risk financially? Stuff happens. What if you were suddenly single? Would you be just fine? Or would you have to dig yourself out of a hole? Here are some tips for making sure you don’t leave your money outside when you choose to stay at home.

The Five D’s… Death, Disaster, Divorce, Disability and Debt are the big life changers. Be willing to have the conversation with the other breadwinner about what to do should one of the Five D’s strike. Now, the key is…don’t get all wound up about it. Just have the conversation. Too much energy around disaster leads to disaster if you subscribe to the Law of Attraction. Just consider, what would each of you do if you were suddenly single? Here are a few tips for getting through it. […]

By |July 23rd, 2012|Business Planning, Debt, Family, Making a Business Plan|1 Comment

Why Go Green?

See these handsome fellows to the left?  No, it’s not a poster for the film Benjamin Buttons.  It’s Max and Hot Rod, my son and husband.  These two are the “green-est” guys I know.  They love to save energy.  They love the technology.  They love to tread lightly on the earth.

Me?  I like all that and I love to make money!  So, is there any green in green?  Listen in and find out!   They share… […]

By |July 18th, 2012|Clean Energy, The Challenge, Webinar|0 Comments

Unleash Your Beast

It has been a hot week, topped off by a scorching Sunday afternoon.  I emerged from the air-conditioned office to find Hot Rod working in his shop.  He didn’t notice the heat or the humidity, and barely noticed me.  He was engrossed in creative effort, making something out of something else…a beautiful, multicolored, hand-crafted bowl.  For him, the artistic expression is as important as air.  He will work long into the night, thinking about, planning, working, reworking, abandoning and revisiting an objet d’art.  I’m convinced that’s why he is such a great hydronics mechanic.  He plays with the components.  He builds affinity with the materials.  He is one with his craft, his trade.

“Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life.”  ~Henry Miller

As children, we revel in our imagination.  As we grow up, we have the creativity beaten, bullied or criticized out of us.  It’s still in there.  Sometimes it comes out in our work.  My intent here is to encourage you to let your creativity loose.  Julia Cameron is a screenwriter, a kooky Hollywood type.  She helps writers get unblocked and painters put paint on canvas.  Have you ever sat and stared at a boiler and not had a clue as to what was wrong with the darn thing?  That’s got to feel a lot like staring at a blank Word document or stretched canvas.  Julia offers exercises for getting unstuck and tapping into your unique creativity.  Check out her website. I warn you, you will encounter some fairly “groovy” advice.  For instance, Julia maintains that, “Spending time in solitude with your artist child is essential to self-nurturing.”  Hold your inner critic in check and try a few of her exercises. […]

By |July 10th, 2012|Family|0 Comments

Grow Your Own Wonderful Team

Record unemployment?  You wouldn’t know it from the number of business owners I hear from looking for employees.

“You just can’t find good, qualified help.”

Well, that’s just whining.  And it’s not true.  The world, your market area, is full of wonderful people.  If you are willing to create a great, honorable place to work, you will […]

By |July 5th, 2012|Building the Team, Human Resources|2 Comments

Publicity is Like Marketing…Only Better.

Publicity happens when someone other than you talks about you.  So, it’s more credible, right off the bat.  And it is usually free, which is really neat.

You can increase the odds that someone else will notice you. And you can leverage a publicity hit into more than your fair share of exposure.

Dean Rotbart calls this […]

By |May 28th, 2012|Marketing, Webinar|2 Comments