Author page: Laura Bechard

The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Irish folklore is full of stories and fables about leprechauns, fairies and other wee people who are responsible for mischief and miracles as people embark on journeys to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Has anyone ever discovered that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Can you even find the end of the rainbow?  Science folks explain that rainbows are made in the sky and never touch the ground so finding the end of the rainbow is not possible (The Naked Scientist https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/questions/where-does-rainbow-end) Many business owners are also on their fantasy path seeking a pot of gold when they eventually exit their business. Is this pot of gold a mirage too or is it more tangible and realistic?  Only time will tell. In any market, prices are a factor of supply and demand. Anyone who has taken an introductory economics course has learned the…

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Why Should I Concern Myself With Exit Planning?

No one likes to think about planning for an eventual exit. Either from a job, a business, a volunteer role, or even the final exit, death. For many people, it’s on the “someday” list. Someday, I’ll get a will done. I’ll pay more attention to my health, I’ll work less and enjoy other aspects of my life more. Someday… We have learned many things throughout the Covid 19 pandemic, one is that “someday” may come out of the blue and catch us unprepared. Many of those who were hospitalized or passed away “before their time” were people who had not planned to “exit”. Some were business owners. Some were business owners who still managed and worked in their own businesses; whereas others had achieved “hands-off” status and were still owners. As in many areas of our lives, the more prepared we are for different scenarios, the faster we can respond…

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How to Build a Successful Business Without Sacrificing Personal Relationships

You know how you thought that owning a successful business would give you the freedom and lifestyle you wanted for you and your family? And now you’re having doubts that you can make it a reality. You aren’t ready to give up, but you’re feeling guilty about the toll it’s taking on your family. You’re afraid that your partner is going to throw in the towel, and you’ll lose everything you’ve worked for – both your family AND your business. You feel guilty about missing family events, never having time to tackle the “honey-do” list, you miss special moments (like putting the kids to bed) and you don’t even discuss vacations anymore. Sound familiar? You feel stuck in your business, and unable to scale it in such a way that would allow you to focus your time on strategy.  You’re feeling unappreciated at home, misunderstood and frustrated.  And that was…

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Vaccinate Your Business from COVID-19!

The nasty flu season impacts people around the world. It’s a sober reminder that people drive our economies, businesses and communities forward. The truth is that all business owners need to lead considering the impact of potential events on the bottom line – whether those be events within their control, or those similar to that of the recent corona virus outbreak; which are outside of their control. We hope that your business is able to weather the impacts of the COVID-19 virus! Businesses can get hit hard in several ways when flu season hits. As we’ve seen first-hand here in Alberta – when people stop travelling, the demand for fuel slows. Without a demand for fuel, the price of oil is lowered and shares in oil stock decline. And, unfortunately, us Albertans know what that means  – layoffs! In the case of COVID-19, we are also seeing a decline in overall business…

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Your Mind is Out to Get You!

Mindset. Beliefs. Psyche. Whatever you call it, it’s what makes you tick. Beliefs propel us forward. Beliefs hold us back. Great business leaders continually question their belief systems searching for those that no longer serve them, need to be tweaked or outright abandoned. You’re human, right? The toughest obstacle you’ll face on your way to achieving your goals is YOU. You’ll need to battle your own mind (cue the scary music). Our mind has several tricks up it’s sleeve to convince us of things that are not really true. You believe your mind is your friend. And as our friend, it has our best interest at heart, right? Nope! Remember, your mind also tricks you into creating bad habits, takes you down the road to temptation and can’t resist brain crack distractions like social media! You might be wondering, “How’s my mind out to get me?” Here’s how: Your mind lies to…

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Tactic-itis and Its Symptoms

    Your firm might be suffering from tactic-itis and you don’t even know it. How can you diagnose what ails your firm?  The primary symptoms are lots of action without corresponding results. Success is elusive. What’s missing? Great packaging of your products/services? Focused resources on key priorities? Effective prospecting activity? Targeted outreach? Great sales process? Leverage? Nope, you’ve on the right track with all the areas listed above.  Still not sure?  The missing link is STRATEGY. Without a clear competitive strategy there is lack of alignment. Unlock the success your firm was created to generate for your customers, your team, your suppliers, your community and your shareholders.  Time to start is today.  Book a complimentary consultation with us: your trusted business advisors. What are you waiting for?

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Stop Wasting Time

Imagine you won the lottery that deposited $86,400 into your bank account each morning and emptied it each night regardless of whether there were funds remaining in the account. No carry over.  You could spend or invest the funds as you liked. The same happens each day. You get 86,400 seconds to use each day. How much of that time is wasted? How much is effectively invested in activities that bring you closer to achieving your goals? Every day you and your employees waste time looking for documents, resources and information. Time is wasted with re-work, extra trips and unproductive meetings. A McKinsey study reported that 1.8 hours on average is spent each day looking for information. Let’s cut that down! Quit Wasting Time Tips Document your processes – make them easy, fast and effective. if they’re not documented, they don’t exist. Onboard and effectively develop employees – Firms often…

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why celebrating wins makes you a better leader

Why Celebrating Wins Makes You A Better Leader

Why Celebrating Wins Makes You A Better Leader Sure, you’ve heard it at every goal-setting and leadership session you’ve attended… “Celebrate WINS”.  But do you know why it makes you a better leader? If you pay lip service to your team’s successes without recognition, what does that say about you as a leader? How do you think employees feel about a leader who doesn’t appreciate their efforts? Those perceptions may also reflect on the company’s ability to attract and retain the talent it needs. 7 Reasons Why Leaders Should Celebrate Wins It reminds you why the goal was important in the first place. When people apply themselves to the task at hand, they may forget why it was important at all. Taking time to celebrate the win reinforces the WHY behind the activities. It reminds you that a good goal-setting process works. Success inspires individuals to repeat actions that led…

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Becoming — in 2019!

The Beginning.  The End. The In-Between. Get a pen and paper. Ready? As quickly as you can, without thinking, jot down everything that ENDED in 2018.  What was over? What did you give up on? What did you just plain STOP doing? What habits did you break? Make another list.  This time jot down everything you STARTED in 2018.  What began? What new habits did you adopt? What decisions did you make? What relationships started Which list makes you happiest?  Why? We are HUMAN BEINGS.  We are forever in the process of becoming the being we were meant to be.  We are getting closer and closer to fulfilling our life’s purpose. As one year comes to an end, reflect on the achievements, however big or small they may seem. Dedicate some time to creating a list of 10 or more positive, affirmative statements that you are becoming in 2019.  We…

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7 Keys for Succession or Sale

A lot of self-employed individuals never give a thought to succession or sale of their business. Often sacrificing resources, personal relationships and health to grow a successful consultancy or practice, the end of the business arrives with little fan fare and, unfortunately, often without their families by their side.  It doesn’t have to be this way! I’m using a parent – child analogy to illustrate the 7 keys.  Even if you are not a parent, at one time in your life, you had parents or caregivers who looked after you and raised you until you become 18. The “coming of age” is a similar process to starting up a business and growing it to the point of “18” – with grown up responsibilities. 7 Keys for Succession or Sale: Prepare for the experience from day 1. Keeping in mind that one day you will not be around, you have a vested…

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Going Solo

You feel lied to, deceived, betrayed. They said it would be easy and fast. But making money from consulting or coaching has been anything but easy. Instead, you’re exhausted, discouraged, disillusioned.  You feel like you’ve failed yourself and your family. You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating your programs and courses. Your friends and family said it was a great idea.  Your awards and accolades attested to your expertise in this field. But when you opened your online shopping cart, they didn’t buy. Everyone keeps saying, “Facebook is the place to sell. It’s like printing money.” And so you created your ads. You gave it 3 months and a modest ad budget… only to get just a handful of clients. That was nice. But not enough. Not nearly enough. You’re not quitting your day job yet. Are you ready to start your consulting or coaching business?  Are you ready…

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Family holding hands against a sunset

Yes, you ARE in a Family + Business!

What’s a family business? A family business is a commercial organization in which decision-making is influenced by multiple generations of a family—related by blood or marriage. They are closely identified with the firm through leadership or ownership. Owner-manager entrepreneurial firms are not considered to be family businesses because they lack the multi-generational dimension and family influence that create the unique dynamics and relationships of family businesses. … Wikipedia Other definitions are more general, describing a family business as one that is owned OR operated by one’s family.   Business families and family businesses fit into the 3 circle model shown below. Note:  We introduced the 3 circle model in a previous article FAMILY CIRCLE Family / Owner Intersection (4) – these members own shares of the business and are members of the family but are not involved in operating or working in the business.  They may have inherited shares, own shares…

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Leveraging Your Success