Sunday, June 17, 2012

Behind the scenes in a Mompreneur household

In the mompreneur world, there is lots of talk about outsourcing, getting help - everything from a virtual assistant, nanny and cleaning lady so that you can focus on your business and do what you do best. Entire businesses, webinars and seminars have been created around this topic. But Entrepreneurial Moms of Toronto leaders DoinaOncel, Bonnie Chan and I, Tereza Kumric found is that with all the help in the world there are still some days when kids and responsibilities may overlap with business. Our recent Entrepreneurial Moms conference call is a funny example.

The call was set for 9pm. The plan was that the kids would be asleep, other work done and we could dedicate a half hour to strategize. Hmmm, not so easy.

Picture this.

Bonnie's husband had a client over. Bonnie's 2 year old son was still up. Bonnie, her husband and the client were entertaining the 2 year old while doing business!

Doina is on the call too. She is interrupted by her two daughters - also failed to go to sleep on time. Doina is firmly trying to deal with her daughters while also focusing on the call.

Me -  I was successful at getting my little ones to bed but I still had two attention seeking, needy teens lurking around asking where this is and where that is and when I was going to be off my call. What did I do? The only logical thing... I locked myself in the bathroom.

Did we have a productive call... absolutely! How?

We were honest with each other. We are moms. We made sure that we were all on the same page. We knew there were going to be some disruptions, we came with an agenda and we did the absolute best we could.

How can you make these situations work?

1) Same as above. If you are faced with a situation like this and meeting with your team or even a client - be honest. 
2) Don't force it. It if just "aint gonna work", don' t force it. Reschedule rather than appear totally unprofessional and unproductive and waste everyone's time.
3) Whenever possible, have a back up plan. Someone else to watch the little ones or find a hiding place like me! 
4) Whenever possible, schedule at a more convenient time!

I'm all for getting help. I believe that when doing business you need to be professional and that sometimes business needs to be business but sometimes when stuff happens that you really can't control, make the best of it and roll with the punches.

Tereza Kumric

Tereza Kumric is an entrepreneur and founder of The Inspira Connection. , on the leadership team  of Entrepreneurial Moms of Toronto . She is also part of a thriving Mortgage brokerage at  Tereza is all about those outrageous goals and providing you with the tools and resources to achieve them!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hate technology but still want clients?

Do the words social media elicit a sneer from you? Have you set up your LinkedIn profile out of guilt and never logged in again? If your passport picture is more recent than your Facebook profile shot, you might just be a tad opposed to using technology and social media to get clients.

There is hope
Yes, there is a world out there for you—the tech challenged-wanna stay in the old world entrepreneur. You too have many potential clients who feel exactly as you do and shun the internet.
Your personality and skill set is exactly perfect for the right kind of client who is looking to meet you face to face or by the good old fashioned phone. There is no stigma to that, it still works!

What you do need
As a small business growth coach, I’ll give you a pass on having to market yourself on social media but there are a few rules you still need to follow so you can get clients:

Fish where your fish are
If you’re not speaking, networking or reaching out in some way to your target audience, you are missing the client boat in a big way. How are they supposed to know they need your help if they don’t know you?

Have a clearly defined niche
If you help everyone and offer them every service, you don’t have a defined niche. Ruthlessly focusing on a specific segment of the population (ie. I help service based solopreneurs) and talking about only one thing that you can offer them (ie. I offer them marketing coaching) will ease the crease between the eyebrows (ie. confusion) of those who were kind enough to ask “So what is it that you do?”

Speak to your target’s pain
If the minute you open your mouth and your ideal client thinks “this guy gets me and can help me”, then you’re probably talking about your client’s pain and how you can help relieve it instead of just talking about yourself. I don’t care if you’re not on social media but if you’re not talking about your client’s pain, you’re just using up air.

Be visible
Social media and technology allows us more access to people’s lives, so if you’re going to cut off this channel for your visibility, make up for it by being everywhere that your target is—on the radio show they listen to, in the magazine they read and in the trade show they attend. Be ubiquitous.

If you’ve got all these above bases covered, I’m sure you’ll find that even tech haters and nay sayers can have a thriving and booming business and will put those bloggers and tweeters who never come out from behind their computers to shame.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let's talk!

Bio:Chala's mission is to help entrepreneurs overcome fear and embrace the joy of marketing themselves to share their gifts with the world. Chala is the person you go to if you want to jump quickly to the next level of your business potential. A certified business coach, she cut her corporate teeth as a marketer at companies such as Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Frito Lay, Diageo, Playtex and lastly BIC Inc. With a lifelong desire to use her corporate experiences to help managers and business professionals to increase their productivity, Chala has a practice supporting small business owners who want to get more clients through marketing and branding more effectively

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Snack Attack

There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack.  Views on snacking differ.  Some feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain.  Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight.  If there were only one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!
To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body.  Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals.  You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored.  Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.

Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters.  Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars.  When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious.  Here are some tips:

*Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter and fruit spread.
*Make your own signature trail mix
You can also try “upgrading”:
*If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole grain crackers
*If you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit
*Instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea

Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satisfaction and fullness; you won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you’ll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours.
Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthy goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy.  Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.

 Milissa Harding is a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She works with busy women to provide health and wellness support in a variety of areas, such as: improving nutrition, increasing energy, decreasing stress, managing sugar and coffee cravings and weight loss. She shares a weekly newsletter, “Time Out For Health” filled with lots of healthy tips and recipes, and she offers complimentary Health & Wellness Strategy Sessions. Milissa offers a variety of personalized Health Coaching programs, which are customized to meet individual needs. For more information, please visit: or email Milissa at: