Tag Archives: success

Planning for success in 2017


We’re just a couple weeks shy of the end of 2016. Even if the year wasn’t everything you imagined it would be; the New Year brings with it the opportunity for a fresh start. The question is: what are you going to do with yours?

If you didn’t accomplish everything you wanted to this year, it may be about more than just poor planning. Just like a house built on an unstable foundation won’t stay standing, we need to make sure that we have a solid mindset before pursuing our goals. If you pursue 2017 goals with 2016’s mindset, don’t be surprised when you get similar results!

Consider the beliefs or thoughts that held you back from doing things you knew were going to help your business. What would you need to do to shift them so that you can take those leaps of faith in the upcoming year? Whether it’s hiring a coach, attending a workshop or reading a book, there are many ways to work on your limiting beliefs.

Sometimes we’re not conscious of the beliefs that are holding us back because we’ve believed them for a very long time. Many of the limiting beliefs that we have were passed on to us by well-meaning family and friends. They too are unconscious of the fact that what they’ve shared with us causes limitations. It’s only when we start to question whether or not our beliefs truly serve us that we can identify the ones that need shifting.

If we don’t work on our mindset, we will struggle with the plan. If you are limited in your belief about what’s possible, it will undoubtedly affect the plans you put in place. Maybe you’re playing small when it comes to your goals because you don’t think you’re capable of achieving the amazing things you really want for your life. Whatever’s holding you back, know that it doesn’t have to be your reality. I truly believe that where there’s a will, there is always a way!

What are you going to do differently in 2017? What beliefs do you need to shift in order to make those changes happen? Who or where can you go to for the help you need so that you don’t sabotage your success and you can really make the New Year your best year yet? Whatever it is you need to do, write it down, give yourself a deadline and take action to make it happen!

If you’d like help with identifying your limiting beliefs so that you can pursue your 2017 goals with a mindset for success, book a complimentary, no-obligation 30 minute Clarity Session with me today!

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution. She has completed her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!






Want to plan your 2017? Enhance your planning with a Leonie Dawson Workbook


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3 Reasons Self-Reflection Matters In Business


In a life of business, it can become tempting to look forward and outward. You’re always striving for success, dealing with competition, and looking to better yourself, your company, or both. There are external forces at work, and there’s always someplace higher to climb. This is good. It’s a spirit of pursuit that drives some of the most successful people in business! But I’d also argue that it’s important for anyone who hopes to be successful in this kind of environment to learn the value of self-reflection. With so much focus outward and upward, here are three reasons I’d argue looking inward matters, too.

1. You Can Understand Yourself Better

The clearest benefit of self-reflection is that it can help you to gain a better understanding of your own personality or tendencies. This is true both in general and with regard to your performance in business. Self-reflection is the process of asking yourself questions to develop a deeper level of understanding about yourself, as stated in a blog post at a tech communications site. It’s actually one of the more effective definitions out there. You simply get to know yourself better, and you do so in a way that can allow you to better shape yourself as an business owner, employee, or entrepreneur.

2. You Can View Your Own Development

In addition to gaining a better understanding of yourself in a given moment or situation, self-reflection can also help you to better view how you’ve developed over time, and what that development might say about you. At an online coaching platform for MBA applicants, one student discusses the benefit of making sense of previous experiences while writing about himself. This in essence is another way of saying that through self-reflection, this student gained a more thorough understanding of what had driven him to a given point, including successes and failures. Feeling out your own history this way can help you to understand what works and what doesn’t work for you, and it can influence your actions moving forward in a very real way.

3. You Can Increase Your Leadership Capacity

It falls in line with the idea of understanding yourself and your own tendencies. However, an article at LinkedIn pointed out that self-reflection in a business environment can also help you to gain an increased awareness of problematic performance traits, the same way you might look to recognize them in employees or co-workers. With this in mind, you can actually approach self-reflection almost as a kind of performance review for yourself, particularly if you happen to be in a position of leadership. You can recognize problematic traits and address them so as to become a more effective leader and co-worker.

It’s always a good idea to look inside, perhaps particularly so when you’re in the middle of a fast-paced, competitive work environment. With too much focus on external forces and the drive forward, you can easily lose sight of what it is that makes you effective in your job, or what it is you might need to work on. Taking regular time for self-reflection can work wonders.

Patti Conner

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5 signs success is on the way


Clients often come to me struggling to stay focused on their goals. They don’t feel like their making real progress on their goals and often feel like they’re spinning their wheels in mud. It’s easy to beat ourselves up about things – we can be our own worst critic at times. You might not be exactly where you want to be. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t making progress, or that the goal isn’t possible. Here are 5 signs you are making progress towards your goals:

  1. You’re taking daily action towards specific targets

This is really the only way you’re going to make any progress on your goals. If you have goals, but you’re not actually doing anything to make them happen, what are you waiting for? You can visualize and affirm all you want, but you actually have to get out there and do things if your goal is going to become a reality.

  1. You’re meeting the right people and connecting with the right resources

When you make the commitment to your goals, the universe conspires with you to make them a reality. I know this to be a fact. When you stop talking about what you want to do and actually start doing it, the right resources and connections will be made to take you to the next phase. The key with this is to keep an open mind and stay focused on the end goal rather than worrying about how it will all come together.

  1. You’ve encountered obstacles, and overcome them

When you can remain committed to your goal regardless of the challenges, you’re well on your way! Persistence pays off. When you want something bad enough, nothing can discourage you or make you believe that it isn’t possible. You’ve got the mental tenacity to make it to the finish line. This is one of the most important ingredients to anyone’s success!

  1. You’re constantly adjusting the plan

This one ties in with #2 and #3. When you have an open mind and the right people and resources are finding their way to you, you have more information that allows you to fine tune the plan. When you encounter obstacles in your plan, instead of giving up, you look for alternate paths to make your goal happen. When you’re monitoring your progress on a regular basis, adjustments happen naturally.

  1. You’re even more excited about the goal than when you started

As the light at the end of the tunnel begins to shine brighter, you’re bound to get even more excited about your goal. It’s moving from a simple idea to an actual reality! I don’t know about you, but it really doesn’t get any better than that! You know that the blood, sweat and tears were all worth it, and you’re not afraid if you have to give a little bit more to make it all happen. Ride that momentum to the finish line!

Any goal worth achieving takes time to unfold into reality. Little steps, daily action and a focused mindset are just a few of the tools that are going to bring you that much closer to realizing your dreams. Celebrate your accomplishments, keep an open mind, stay focused on the goal and watch the magic happen!

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution. She has completed her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!






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Stolen Moments


As entrepreneurs we are often overwhelmed with the day to day management of our business. It can be difficult to juggle the expectations of clients, family and for some of us, other work commitments. Perhaps you are still working full or part time while launching your business. Trying to find balance and live up to your own expectations is daunting. Today I remind you to take time to breathe and to take advantage of “stolen moments.”

Of course it is critically important to devote time and attention to your business and be fully committed to it while concurrently avoiding the dangers of multi-tasking. To be successful requires your full investment. The reality of life however, is that this is simply not always possible. So when it isn’t, take advantage of those stolen moments.  Today for example, I write this blog from the “parents room” of the dance studio my daughter attends. It’s actually quite quiet. Yes I could have run errands and been flustered as I flew around town trying to accomplish groceries, banking and prescription pick up in my two hours of “free” time but instead I chose to grab a coffee, bring the laptop and sit and catch up on some of my writing. With two blogs, an article and a draft vision statement for a non-profit agency all due on the same day (poor planning I know!) this is the perfect use of two hours of “spare” time. I’m actually sitting still for starters, enjoying a hot cup of coffee while it’s still hot and getting work done. If you are still dividing at least some of your time between work elsewhere and self-employment, this kind of stolen moment is sometimes, the only way work gets done.

At a networking event recently, I sat with a group of women who shared their stories of managing business and family life. Universally, a common theme surfaced. That is, women continue to berate themselves for just about everything, even success. My mother had an expression for this “With enemies like you, who needs enemies!” Wise up Women!  If we multitask we think we should be sole focused, if we have tunnel vision, we are “failing” at multitasking. We are told we must be 110% devoted to our business but don’t forget to build in downtime! Article after article says we need to find balance in our lives yet still others suggest we must eat, breathe and sleep our business or we will never achieve success. This mixed messaging is overwhelming, burdensome and unnecessary.

Today I suggest to you that whatever you are doing is okay, as long as it’s working for you. Your business, your success, matters most to whom? You, not anyone else, therefore it should not be subject to any other persons opinion of success. So take advantage of the stolen moments along the way, making them work for you in whatever way makes sense for you.  However, I would also remind you that taking advantage of stolen moments must apply to both your personal and professional life. After all, balance is important. Like they say on the airplane, you have to put on your own oxygen mask first in order to help others. For me, that means while this week I work from the Dance Studio, perhaps during next weeks two hours of “down time” I will do something just for myself and without any guilt. When you are managing a small business, you MUST take advantage of these stolen moments, whether it’s to be productive or to give yourself permission to take a break so that you can be more productive in the future. So breathe and take advantage of the stolen moments, where ever and whenever they present themselves!


As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed?  Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.

Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.

Writing Right For You

Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!

416-420-9415 Cell/Business


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New Year – Renew


Looking for your New Year resolution of 2016 and wanting new changes to your life?

Simple… do things differently.

Every year many of us set new year resolutions, goals or mentally think of how we would like to do things differently, and come end of the year we find ourselves in the same spot.

And this is often not for lack of trying; we set out with best intentions, we update our resumes, we join the gym or renew our memberships, we start writing our business plan… but somehow, along the way things don’t always pan out as planned.

Until we get to the root cause, come 2017, we may still have the same goals, and still be making the same New Year Resolutions.

If you want to see different results this year, you need to first ask yourself: What do I need to change about the way I think in order to set myself up for success?

Perhaps you are sticking to old thinking and yet want new results, which may make your quest very difficult to perhaps even impossible. You may achieve some success with your old ways of thinking, but you will find yourself back at the beginning again if you have not dealt with changing your mindset.Change Your Mindset and Change Your Life How can you ensure 2016 is different! Albert Einstein put it aptly when he said insanity is  “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

One other area worth noting that may be hindering us is our surroundings . . The people we surround ourselves with, and what we expose our eyes and mind to can so easily have an impact in the way we think and actions we take. When your mindset is interrupted with negative thoughts or contrary energy to your goals, it will affect the way you react to life, which gradually will affect your goals as well. We must find what hinders our way of thinking and change it to a positive mindset to experience positive results.

To renew our mind is to recondition our mind. We start by recognising negative thought patterns and purposefully replacing them with new and positive thoughts.Change Your Mindset and Change Your Life

To get different results we have to start doing things differently. How do we get to the root cause of what is holding us back to start get the results we want? This is where reflecting, shaping our mindset, planning and taking action, all come together to create the perfect recipe for success and a more wholesome lifestyle that will change our world.

Like one of my favourite quotes says : Change your thoughts and you change your world- Norman Vincent Peale

To learn about Yvonne’s latest book on Changing your Mindset for greater results,visit http://www.oliveblue.com/changeyourmindset/

Yvonne is an Author, Speaker, Change Consultant & John Maxwell Leadership Coach who is passionate about working with Individuals, Entrepreneurs and Organisations to help implement change they want and achieve their goals.

She can be reached at:  http://www.oliveblue.com/ https://www.facebook.com/oliveblueinc https://twitter.com/oliveblueinc.https://www.youtube.com/user/ChangeYouWantTV

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3 Reasons Why Passion is Vital to Business Success


There are so many factors that contribute to our success in business or in any part of our lives really. The Internet is full of articles about the success factors for entrepreneurs, so why not add one more to the list? I believe that we have to love what we do. While there are always things we don’t like to do in our day-to-day tasks, there has to be a burning passion that drives us. Here are three reasons why I think that being passionate about your business is vital to its success:

  1. It fuels you through challenges. We hear so much about “knowing your why” and there’s a reason. You have to be aware of what drives you, what you’re working towards and why it’s important to you. When you don’t have clarity on these things, challenges and obstacles can really become a major distraction and take you off course. When you’re really passionate about what you do, quitting isn’t an option. The saying that “where there’s a will, there’s a way” is the truth. When you’re committed to your goals, the universe conspires with you to make them a reality.


  1. It takes selling out the sales process. Cold-calling does not excite me. I’m sure that there are lots of people who have no problem picking up the phone and making those calls, I’m not one of them. The exception to this is when I’m working on a project that I’m excited about where making calls to complete strangers is the only way it’s going to succeed. When we’re passionate about what we do, the people on the other end of the phone can hear it and they’ll want to be a part of it (some of them anyway). If you’re selling something that you don’t believe in, you’re going to have a difficult time.
  2. Life is good when you’re doing what you love! When you’re living on purpose and doing what you love, things start to flow much easier. Things that once seemed like the end of the world are no longer a big deal. Challenges and obstacles are seen as tests to our commitment rather than cruel punishment from universe. You know why you do what you do and it makes your hear sing. There are so many people out there that are living unfulfilled lives. They have dreams that they think can never be a reality. The fact that you have the opportunity to do what you love is a blessing, and you know it.

Passion is what keeps us going as entrepreneurs. It’s the fuel that drives us and our business. If you’re not passionate about what you do, you need to ask yourself why you’re doing it. If passion was what started it, then it’s just a matter of reconnecting with it. If you were never passionate about what you do, it’s time to figure out how to add passion to what you do or do something that you are really fired up about. If we want meaningful success in life, passion is a must-have.

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution.She has completed her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!






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For Women on the Move

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JDC met Heather and Nicky from Women on the Move at the start of summer. Friends since 1981, they have shared successes, challenges and many adventures. As serial entrepreneurs they now join forces to bring an unparalleled depth of knowledge, understanding, experience and passion to help women start and grow prosperous businesses. Women on the Move is Heather’s third business startup and Nicky’s second. Prior to her first startup, Heather climbed the corporate ladder and was VP of Sales and Marketing for Lucent Technology before she was 35. Nicky fast tracked her entrepreneurial path within a franchise structure. She started with Arthur Murray Dance Studio as an instructor at 30, two years later becoming a sales manager and shortly after that a successful franchisee.  As we learned more about these wonderful women’s individual and collective successes, we just had to share their experiences and learnings with you. Here are 4 great pieces of  advice from Heather and Women;

  1. Best piece of advice for women struggling with sales: Invest in yourself and get some training. Sales is a skill and like any other skill it is acquired, and that takes time and training.  You need a process so you can look back and see where you made a wrong turn and where you made good turns.  Otherwise you are just shooting in the dark. Learn to drive sales and develop strong closing skills and excellent communication skills. Make sure you know how your product is relevant to your buyer and make sure you know how to present your product as critical.
  1. Women are by nature more collaborative than competitive. Community and teamwork are part of how we are wired. We thrive on community and confidence, which is a key factor in sales and entrepreneurship, that soars when women work together towards a common goal.  We love to contribute to one another’s success, it is our instinct to nurture and that sets us apart from men.
  1. More than I have from my success! Failing forward is important. When we fail we examine where we went wrong and where we can improve next time. One rarely looks at one’s success with the same intensity. I always say that Olympic medalists have failed more than anyone else on the planet.  They kept getting up when everyone stayed down.  If you keep on keeping on regardless of failure, at some point you will be the last one standing.  That is one of the key secrets to success….keep on keeping on.
  1. Never, never, never give up. It always takes more money and more time than you think it will. And always marry your passion with your skills. That is a winning combination.  Never stop learning.

 For more information on Women on the Move.


Written by Marisol and Silvia Fornoni, Founders of JDC.

JDC supports socially conscious organizations with finding sustainable ways to tell their stories using visual design, engaging content and non-traditional media. We help you with anything from organizing fundraising campaigns to web design and social media management.



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How to Build a PR Campaign


Now you know all about PR and what it can do for your business, it’s time to put together a fabulous campaign so you can start seeing great results. But where do you start?

Here are nine steps to building a great PR campaign:

  1. Set goals: What do you want to achieve?

What does success look like to you? Once you decide what the end game is, then you can decide how to get there. There is no point in putting together a strategy if you don’t know what you want to accomplish. In fact, you will find that your strategy will lack direction, which means you could end up doing things that aren’t right for your brand.

  1. Decide on your budget

This always seems to be the toughest thing for any business to do, especially small businesses or start-ups. There are a couple of things you should do before setting your budget. First, conduct a bit of research to determine industry best practices. If you plan to hire a third party to help you put your strategy together and execute, that also has to factor in. The two most important things to realize are that you won’t get anything for free and you need to be honest with yourself. Even if it’s time spent knocking on doors and you want to do it yourself, that is time spent away from your regular business operation – time is money. When you factor in a third party (like an agency), they usually base their fees on an hourly estimate. The cheapest is not always the best option, but neither is the most expensive. Find an agency that will work with your budget. You have to make sure that you are honest with how much you can spend and work within those parameters. If you are working with an agency, it’s frustrating for both parties if you say there is no budget and then you complain when you see the proposed quote that it is too high.

  1. Decide on your timeframe

Depending on what your campaign’s objectives are you can determine when you would like to start/finish your campaign. Make sure you are giving yourself enough time to get all the prep work done at the beginning!

  1. Identify your target audience

Is this campaign meant to target a niche audience? Perhaps there is an audience that you think your brand would be perfect for, but you haven’t really had the opportunity to tap into it yet. Decide who you want to reach and then make sure you learn everything you can about them – where do they go online? Who influences their decision-making? How do they like to learn about new brands? Etc.

  1. What is your story?

Determine what story you are telling. That means finding the unique sweet spot that will make your brand stand out from the rest of your competitors. You need to be able to identify why this is important for your target audience.

  1. What channels do you want to utilize?

With so many options available to you, you need to reign yourself in a bit. Don’t spread your budget and time too thin by trying to target too many channels at once. Once you have identified your target audience, then it should become clear as to what channels you can and should use. Keep in mind that your channels may be determined partially by your budget!

  1. Research

At this point in your planning, you need to research different aspects of your strategic choices. If you are having an event, what other events are on the same day in your city/industry that would conflict? Have any of your competitors done similar things? Did it work for them? How can you make your idea unique? What are the costs associated with what you would like to do? Educate yourself on what you need to know before putting your strategy into action.

  1. Create a critical path

A critical path is just a fancy name for a timeline. Work backwards from your end goal and note major milestones you would like to hit in your campaign. Then flesh it out by putting in tasks and who is responsible to get each task done. The best way to track this is to set up a chart. I like to work in weekly increments. I identify the date, the task, and who is responsible in the first three columns. Always add one last column for “status” so you can get the satisfaction of writing “complete” when you have finished a task – it just feels good.

  1. Hit the ground running

Once you feel comfortable with your critical path, you are good to go. It’s time to set your strategy in motion. Don’t be afraid to track results along to way to see if you need to tweak your approach as you go!

Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making it unique to you.

Connect with Candace


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Doing What Matters – because……..


It’s time for a little reality check.  This is a business blog but it’s really about the business of life.  Haven’t we all occasionally spent just a little too much time trolling the internet, facebook and LinkedIn for advice on how to live our lives, succeed in business and be happy, healthy and well- adjusted? We are locked in an inevitable search for meaning in life, for how to “add value” and how the understanding of these will provide meaning to our existence and therefore also, presumably, business success.  What we may not have done however is really figured out how to do what matters, when it matters and for whom it matters because we haven’t figured out our “because.”  The “because” is UP TO YOU and the “because” is the only thing that matters.  Whether you do what you do because you want to be successful, make money, be a great provider for your family or be recognized in your industry as a leader is, in the end, all that counts.

Doing what matters means embracing your destiny, career, business or even (if this is your choice) your decision to be a stay at home parent. Embrace this decision with full force, with no doubts, no questions, no reservations and no limitations. Let it settle in and become a part of every fibre of your being because if you don’t – it won’t. You will question your decisions, your abilities, your commitment and your competence and then your business will suffer. Quite possibly you will suffer.

It doesn’t matter what you are doing right now as long as you enjoy the doing and that you are confidant. This isn’t just a blanket suggestion to “be happy” as if life really was that simple.  No, it’s not a Law of Attraction kind of thing either.  It’s just common sense. It doesn’t need to be labeled anything other than what it is. I don’t know about you but I am tired of all the current buzzwords around being “authentic.” Buzzwords set us up for failure as we fall short of these often false and pretentious expectations.  We judge both ourselves and others by the standards of these new (and constantly changing) “realities.” The reality of our daily existence is simply that each of us has to do what we do for reasons that matter only to us. For the most part these coalesce nicely with an overall “raison d’être” that makes the world go round. In other words, by each of us doing what matters to us, enough people do enough good things to help others and to offset the people who do bad things (because unfortunately, there are people who by doing what matters to them, do bad things.)

So stop worrying about the labeling and naval gazing.  Stop reading every site you can find that will help you determine your “brand.” I don’t care what your brand is. Are you a brand? Are you a box of cereal? Seriously? We are human beings not brands and who you are as a person, as an individual, this is what matters – not who you are as a “brand.”  A simple search on Google will tell you that a “brand” is “a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name” or, even better, that a brand is “an identifying mark burned on livestock or…former criminals or slaves…”* Is this what you aspire to be?

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are PEOPLE not an inanimate object manufactured for the express purpose of a corporation. While we may occasionally feel like a “slave” to the corporate machine, we are not.  We are reimbursed for our efforts and if you go back to my earlier point – hopefully you are doing something you love and that has meaning and purpose to you, thus negating the feeling of enslavement. This is ever more true if you have chosen the path of an entrepreneur. Be who you want to be and do what you want to do and your sincerity, drive and passion will naturally flow because it is founded in confidence and in being true to yourself. So do what matters. Do it because it’s what matters to you.

As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed?  Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.

Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.

Writing Right For You

Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!

416-420-9415 Cell/Business


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