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As a business owner, what are your Windsprints?

What are your Wind Sprints?

Serious athletes know that wind sprints are a key tactic for conditioning. A wind sprint occurs when an athlete runs (or skates) a short distance as quickly as possible and repeats the sprint several times. If you’ve played a sport requiring good cardio, chances are you included wind sprints in your training. What makes a wind sprint effective? You give it your all. Sure, you could accomplish the same task by just going through the motions and jogging the distance. You don’t because you know that you wouldn’t be able to execute on game day if you didn’t put the effort into wind sprints. As a business owner, your routines are your wind sprints. Are you working the routines to get the most impact for your business? Are your employees? Are there opportunities to improve routines by finding faster and better ways to accomplish the objective? You get success from…

What Problem do you Want?

What Problem Do You Want?

Life’s never without a challenge or a problem. You have the opportunity to decide what problem you want whenever you are faced with trade offs. All of us make trade offs all the time. By saying “yes” to one choice, we are by default saying “no” to others, many of them good ideas or good actions. When you are in business with your family, saying “yes” to the family means saying “no” to the business. It’s all about balance. It is time to rebalance if you: feel your trade offs are getting you out of balance feel stuck or feel you’ve hit a plateau feel some distress in your personal relationships as a result of saying “no” to the family & “yes” to the business feel your health is being neglected, being told “no” too often feel unappreciated at home or in the business feel your significant other has his/her…

Match Making – Unemployment and Entrepreneurship

Match Making – Unemployment and Entrepreneurship

Low oil prices and recent wildfires will have some individuals making decisions to move away from the Fort McMurray region. Some will see this as a benefit with sons and daughters returning home to take up residence. For many years, we’ve seen our Saskatchewan farm kids fly off to work in the Fort McMurray region. As a result, farm operators have worked longer hours and looked to temporary foreign worker programs and immigrant workers to fill staffing requirements. Many sold their operations when potential successors moved away with no intentions of returning to carry on the business. They may now be having regrets. No one has a crystal ball that shows an end to the economic downturn and the return to a stable job and financial market. Statistically the rates of entrepreneurship increase with higher unemployment rates. When People cannot rely on corporate jobs, they create their own job. While…

Successful business with your spouse

Successful Business With Your Spouse

Successful marriage. Successful business. Neither happens without commitment, growth, resilience, grit and hard work. As I reflect on the value of the conversations we engaged in during our marriage preparation courses, I can’t help but wonder how useful a “business preparation” course would have been. My husband was in business when I met him. When we were married, I joined him in the business. As time went by, we invested and expanded the business and are now planning to pass the business to the next generation. In speaking with other business owners who are also married, it’s become apparent that many businesses that are owned and /or operated by spouses encounter challenges related to being married AND in business together.

Why Don't We Give Each Other A Break

Why we Don’t Give Each Other a Break

Managers and supervisors often struggle to understand the motivation and rationale behind employee behaviours. When those managers also own the business, the fundamental attribution error often drives decisions rather than the effective habit of “seeking to understand”. Communication, team work and collaboration are significantly enhanced leading to improved productivity from team members when the fundamental attribution error is kept in check. Give someone a break today and be more benevolent. What is the fundamental attribution error? In essence, when we look for motivations behind behaviour, we, as humans, attribute the behaviour to an underlying reason. When we think about others, we tend to overestimate the impact of personal factors (traits, abilities, motives, etc.) and underestimate the situational factors. We do the opposite when we think of ourselves. I always have a good reason for my behaviour. The devil made me do it; however, you have a personality defect. If everyone…

If you're like many children whose parents started a business or carried on a family business, you either want to jump in as a successor or you want to move as far away as you can from it.

My Sister. My Brother. My Friend. My Business Partner?

You think you know your sibling and that s/he knows you. You’ve already shared many common experiences that built trust. You’ve worked through conflict and know that your backgrounds, although different, were similar. You may think you can smoothly enter into a business relationship with your sibling with all the relationship protocols intact. Chances are you have no past experience in a business relationship with your sibling. There will be bumps along the way. “If you want to do really important things in life and big things in life, you can’t do anything by yourself. And your best teams are your friends and your siblings.” Deepak Chopra When you build a business with your sibling, you improve your success by being intentional about business topics. Talk about these five topics in your planning process. Come to agreement and play to both of your strengths. Write down your agreements! Don’t rush…

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Rethinking the Family Biz

If you’re lucky enough to have a business in the family, the local economic health might be prompting you to re-think your mindset about its value. If you’re like many children whose parents started a business or carried on a family business, you either want to jump in as a successor or you want to move as far away as you can from it. As layoff numbers mount, Albertans with family businesses are more resilient and see more opportunities to continue working than those who come from families of wage earners. They see opportunities to strengthen the business, perhaps through growth or through operational improvements. This is empowering! If you’re the founders of a family run business, you might be wondering how you get out of it, entice your children into it, retire, or sell it. This is a key learning moment to talk to your children, family members or…

5 Tips for Knockout Testimonials

5 Tips for Knockout Testimonials

It rarely works when you sing your own praises, but can be extremely impactful when others do. You have to earn a testimonial AND ask for it. Marketing experts agree that using testimonials is a great way to build credibility and trust with potential new customers or prospects. Many business owners have a tough time asking for testimonials and even fewer have a system that helps customers write effective testimonials. Earn One Do amazing work. WOW your customers by exceeding their expectations. Edit with Care Real language works best. You may correct some typos and make some grammatical improvements, but you want the testimonial to be authentic. Never fake it. Include “Negative” testimonials Nothing is more powerful that hearing from a customer who was not initially happy with a product or service. The testimonial shows how you responded to their concerns and converted them into a fan. Ask for a…

Leveraging Your Success