Tag Archives: vision

Be Fearless


Typically in this space I touch upon issues of concern relative to communications in general or communications strategies for small business. Today however, I want to challenge you to face 2016 not just with improved communications skills but also with confidence, clarity of vision, a renewed focus and, this is the big one – fearlessly!

No doubt, at more than one point in your life you have been afraid. Maybe of the future, of failure at school, work or sports, afraid of giving birth (that’s a big one!) or of embarking on a new career.  What was it that helped you overcome that fear? OK, in the case of giving birth you kind of had no choice but in the absence of the onset of labour pains – what helped you to take the leap of faith necessary to move past your fears?

Perhaps your answer is “courage” or maybe “resolve.” Still others might say it was  “opportunity” or that the timing was “right.” Perhaps you were given the gift of money whether through a packaged buy – out or an inheritance. Whatever your answer, being fearless had to have been a part of the process.  This doesn’t necessarily mean to suggest you were without fear but rather, that you embraced your fear and forged ahead regardless.  So how can you encourage being fearless?

Becoming fearless involves strategy.  Yes certain elements like timing and opportunity are important but having a strategy in place that you can act upon for when the timing is right will help create potential success.  Have you, for example, made a list of the pros and cons for your potential action? Have you done research? Have you anticipated all the possible outcomes and planned for them accordingly? Have you considered getting some coaching to help you bridge the gap between your fear and your determination and resolve?  If you have a plan in place with clearly defined, specific and measurable goals this alone will help reduce your fears.  Proactive planning tools will help you to achieve your dreams and while they may not eliminate your fears entirely, they certainly help you anticipate and plan for them, reducing fear to something much more manageable.

So GET PLANNING! Be specific. Always remember however that a little bit of healthy fear is a good thing. It’s natures built in “fight or flight” response. It keeps you alert and aware to potential pitfalls but by planning for them, you can face your fears – fearlessly!

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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Name That Tune…


I may be dating myself but years ago a show on TV called Name that Tune asked contestants to “name that tune” in as few notes as possible. What you ask is the relevance of this memory? It brings to mind that moment your eyes begin to glaze over at a networking event when someone tells you EVERYTHING you ever DIDN’T want to know about their job, position, title, company and number of years on the job. I know you know what I’m talking about and I know exactly how you can avoid it. Just follow “The Rule of Ten.”

In Name that Tune, the music was so good and the “hook” so memorable that people instantly recognized the song. That’s what you want for your business.  An introduction that is catchy and memorable – your own personal “hook.”  The Rule of Ten is my personal guideline to developing a solid, short and simple introductory sentence that succinctly describes you and your product or service. It’s derived from the “Tenplate for Success” which includes ten critical communication tips for those in business. Taking ten means taking the time to distill your business mission statement or your vision into just ten words (or less!) using catchy lingo that will draw in the audience, inviting them to have a conversation with you. Isn’t that the whole idea behind networking? You don’t want the  “glaze over,” you want to encourage and enable a conversation. For that to happen, all you need is something catchy to get the conversation started.

So – what is the Rule of Ten? It’s simple: Take your main product or service, your goal or vision for your business and distill it down to the BEST TEN WORDS that describe your service and sound enticing to potential customers. Think it can’t be done? It can. Your first attempt might rival War and Peace but I assure you, with a little effort, some fine-tuning and perhaps a hint or two courtesy of Google Thesaurus, you CAN create a ten words or less elevator pitch that gets your potential customer talking to you not running from you.

Compare “I am a freelance writer and editor providing website content, editorial, blogging and advertising services for the small business entrepreneur” vs. “I help small business succeed using words that work!” or this one: “At a loss for words? I’ll help you find them!” In the first intro perhaps all you’ve heard is the word “Writer” and immediately images of a lonely, rumpled and wild haired women in front of an ancient typewriter comes to mind.  In the second or third example however, you’ve created the possibility of a conversation between you and your prospective client.  “Really,” they might say. “How do you use just words to help business?” There’s your opening, your invitation to have a conversation with a prospective client, without any pre-conceived notions that might possibly be associated with the word “Writer.”

Tammy Elliott of The Leadership Forum in Caledon calls this finding your passion and letting it shine through in your “5 second intro.” Using this technique helps you position your passion as a value statement and your client is much more likely to connect with you if you are like-minded and have similar values. Using words like “help” implies genuine caring, enthusiasm for what you do and again, it encourages a conversation over an eye-glaze. Try it. Throw a bunch of words on a page and then start working with them. Break out the Thesaurus or Google words.  Choose the best ten, formulate your catchy sentence and then give it a try at your next networking meeting. Have fun with it and hopefully soon your customers will be singing your favorite tune!

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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The Art of Finding Clarity


Have you had trouble finding the track that makes you unique? Not knowing what direction to take to fulfill your dreams and goals of being an entrepreneur? Perhaps you are thinking you are at a stage in life where doing a 9-5 job is frustrating? Or not knowing what direction to take to grow your business?

When it comes to achieving your goals and seeing great results, it is not enough to set the goals such as ‘Start a business this year’ or ‘Get more clients and grow my business’. We need to have clear and quantifiable goals.

There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it. – Napoleon Hill

One of the reasons we can easily struggle to achieve our goals is when they are not clear. When they are not clearly defined, it stops us from being laser-focused in the manner that is needed to see results. I love the above quote from Napoleon Hill, we must be definite in our purpose and clearly know what it is we want!

Being clear on your goals starts with ensuring it is strongly tied to our vision, personal mission statement or a strong ‘why’. The next step is to ensure our goals are SMART:

  • Specific: It should be less general, and clearly state what you intend to achieve.
  • Measurable:It should be quantifiable to enable you measure completion; how long, how much, how many etc.
  • Achievable:It should be attainable, and not so ‘pie in the sky’ that it is impossible to meet.
  • Relevant:It should align with your vision and ‘why’ it truly matters to you.
  • Time framed:It should have target dates for completion, and not be open ended

Determine what you want, why you want it, when you want it by, and how you are going to get it. By being more intentional, you become focused and more likely to see greater results. When you become clear on your “Why” and “What ” it become easier to work on your “How“.

Take these easy steps, and you are assured to be ready and all set to start seeing the results you want.

To Do: Revisit your goals, and apply the SMART rule. Be clear on what you want; and turn your dreams to goals, and goals to reality. Here are some tools to help you gain clarity and set SMART goals: Online Mission Statement Builder and Setting SMART Goals.

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: www.oliveblue.com . www.facebook.com/oliveblueinc . www.twitter.com/oliveblueinc.www.youtube.com/ChangeYouWantTV

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Taking the leap into the world of Business?


Are you thinking of starting your business? If so, join the millions of people who at one point or the other in their lives have considered whether or not to start a business. The thought of having a successful business, being your boss or doing something you are really passionate about sounds very appealing, right? And these, amongst other reasons are why people leave their jobs and decide to start their own thing. The familiar question is; do I take the leap? And if so, when and how do I take the leap?

One of the greatest challenges for some people in starting a business is the challenge of leaving the security of a paid job. For some it is the issue of choosing the right idea to turn into a successful business. Well, these two challenges can be easily overcome.

First and foremost before venturing into you own business, undertake some research on how viable the business idea(s) is. Are there potential customers? And what is the potential ROI (return on investment)? I’m sure you’d agree with me that it is not very wise to invest your time and money into a business that doesn’t seem viable on paper, or give up your job to start a business based on a whim. However, many people do.

Secondly, an approach to starting a business without giving up your Job is to actually undertake a pilot while still working. And believe me, doing this will require the skill of being able to multitask. To undertake a pilot means doing some test marketing in order to test the market or gauge how responsive people are to your product /service. This will enable you make better decisions on the idea and what to do next. I’ve got to warn you though that this could prove to be hard work juggling a business with your fulltime job, most especially if you have a family to take care of. It requires time management, focus, perseverance and more. These are only some of the requirements you will need both in the short and long run if you want to have your own business. So, as opposed to immediately taking a leap, consider taking long steady strides.

Having looked at your business idea and undertaken some research, you may decide the business idea is viable and you’d like to take that leap into the business world. There are a few basic things that you’d need to do in order to take off. I very much believe in building solid foundations that will allow one to build much taller and weatherproof buildings. And to build a solid foundation you need to get either some business advice or coaching and write a plan.

The word ‘Business Plan’ seems to be such a dreaded word, many people think of it as long-winded and unnecessary. However, I promise you that it is one thing that will need doing either now or later for a more successful business, better now than later I say. Planning and building the concept in your head is not enough, pen it down on paper. The saying goes, “Write the vision and make it plain, that those who is it may run with it” and that includes you, your potential business partner or financiers. Writing the plan takes you through the process of developing and refining your idea, it is also very much needed if you plan on raising capital externally. Please note that it is not enough to just write a business plan for the intention of raising capital, you should also use it as a blueprint for successfully managing your business.

Another challenge often faced in starting a business is Capital. Sometimes, the bigger the idea, the bigger the capital required. Don’t let this hinder you if raising capital seems to be your own challenge. Instead, think out-of-the box in identifying ways to raise the capital required. Look for avenues to cut back on the initial capital required, some ways of cutting back on capital includes; offering trade by batter or buying second-hand instead of new.

The following options are available to you and all except for personal savings will require a sound Business Plan; Personal savings, Friends & Family, Bank loan, Government Initiatives, Private Investors and Venture Capitalists.

Having researched the idea, written a ‘Plan’ and raised the required finance, you are all set to take off. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained. Take the leap if you feel very strongly about it, but plan and prepare for it.

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: www.oliveblue.com . www.facebook.com/oliveblueinc . www.twitter.com/oliveblueinc.www.youtube.com/ChangeYouWantTV

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3 Reasons to Consider Hiring a Team


We’ve all heard it said that there is no “i” in team. Unfortunately, many of us entrepreneurs tell ourselves that we can’t afford to hire a team, especially at the beginning, however, there comes a point where were can’t afford not to.

  1. Few of us are great at everything

I know I can’t be the only one who has wasted valuable time trying to do something that was outside my expertise! I joke that I am a recovering control freak, but there is truth in that statement. It can be easy to think that no one understands your vision for your business as well as you do or that no one will care as much as you do, but that isn’t the case. It’s simply a matter of finding the right people. If you’re spending time doing things that don’t generate revenue, you’re cutting into your money making time. Hire people to do what they do best so that you have more time to do what you do best and money, not only to pay your team, but to pay yourself as well!

  1. Benefit from outside perspectives

We can be so attached to our plans and projects that we can’t see the forest for the trees. Working with others brings fresh eyes and new ideas to your business. Even if you’re not in a position to hire full-time employees, you can hire contract workers who have experience working with entrepreneurs. Working with others gives you the ability to learn from mistakes that you haven’t made. We don’t know what we don’t know, and it is amazing what ideas can come from letting other people in. I know that our businesses can feel like our babies and we can be so protective that we don’t want to let other in, but if it takes a village to raise a child, we definitely can’t grow our businesses on our own.

  1. Burn-out is real

When we try to do it all, the work is never done. There is always more to do. A business owner isn’t all we are. We are friends, spouses, partners, parents, siblings, and we have responsibilities that go beyond what we do to make a living. Working with a team isn’t just good for our business; it’s beneficial to our sanity, our health and our overall well-being. While there was a time when I used to feel awkward about admitting that I couldn’t do it all on my own, I know have no problem asking for help. When I do, it takes such a load off that I gain the clarity needed to create and connect and do the things that I love to do, and that inspired me to start my business in the first place!

I said it earlier, and I will say it again, you may thing think that you can’t afford to hire people to help you in your business. I challenge you to consider that it just might be that you can’t afford not to hire people. If you want to grow your business and expand your reach and the clients you serve, you’re going to need some help!

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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How to Network when Networking isn’t your thing


You’ve opened your own business. You have hopes and dreams of hitting the big time or maybe you just have a vision, values and a commitment to a product that you want to share with the world. The problem is – you’re just not that comfortable sharing. You believe in your product and that YOU are the subject matter expert but talking to others makes you tremble in your boots. How do you overcome this challenge and get out there to meet, greet and network?

It all boils down to this: GET REAL and BE R.E.A.L.! (Be Realistic & Reasonable, Manage your Expectations, Develop a positive Attitude & Love what you do!) Too many of us spend far too long trying to be something that we’re not. If networking isn’t a strength, that’s fine. Some of us are experts at writing words and some are great at speaking them. Either way, OWN who you are and be proud of it. This one act alone will help boost your confidence. Getting R.E.A.L. is about acknowledging who you are and what strengths you have, then setting targets that are reasonable and realistic. When it comes to networking these first two elements are key: Be Reasonable and Realistic about your Expectations. If you’re a wallflower, don’t schedule a conference with over 200+ attendees as your first venture into networking. Rather, find something local, check in with your Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Enterprise Centre and connect with like-minded local entrepreneurs where there may only be 12-15 people in the room. Log in to “MeetUp” and search for groups that are within your specific market and consider attending one of these meetings just to observe how others in your field interact. If you work up the courage to engage even one person in conversation, distribute a business card or two, consider that the first step in your successful networking career! There are also many organizations that cater exclusively to networking for women and while cutting off 50% of your potential clientele is not a good long-term strategy, it is an excellent place to start and feel comfortable – in a nurturing all female environment. Before heading out the door on your first attempt, practice on family members, heck speak to the family dog or sit hubby or your best friend down on the couch and practice your pitch on them until it sounds right. Writing something down vs. saying it “in your out loud voice” are often two entirely different things so don’t just write a great intro for yourself, practice saying it out loud to see how it sounds.

Along with Reasonable and Realistic, make your first few networking experiences memorable by adopting a positive Attitude. This might sound simplistic but if you’re nervous going in it will show. Attitude isn’t just about the words you choose it’s how you carry yourself and the face you show to the world. Stand tall, put a smile on your face, project a positive attitude out into the room and you will receive it in return. Put your cell phone away and don’t rely on it as a crutch. I once watched a women at a networking event as she arrived, “reading” email messages, checked in, found a seat and cell phone still in hand, never looked up once. As others joined her table she would glance up briefly and smile but no words were exchanged. I purposefully approached to chat with her and it was obvious she was very nervous. I understand but never looking up and attempting to make eye contact or engage with others won’t help improve your networking skills. No doubt her overall impression of that networking event wasn’t positive but she did nothing to help herself. A positive “I can do this” attitude while you are at an event will help carry you through the event.

For women networking here are some other practical tips:

  • Ditch the purse or invest in a crossbody bag that keeps you hands free.
  • Find a small, easily opened case to hold your business cards and in which to store those you receive.
  • Put your cell phone away – unless it’s your kid calling from school or jail chances are you don’t need to take that call. Cell phones are a distraction and make it too easy for you to appear busy and not focused on the reason for attending in the first place.
  • Likewise – stash your coat, your nerves will keep you warm enough!
  • Networking isn’t about the coffee – make your goal to meet people first then suggest to someone you’ve just met “let’s grab a coffee and find a table.” It’s a great way to extend a conversation rather than fumbling to balance that coffee and extend your hand for a handshake when you are first introduced.
  • If you are more comfortable attending your first couple of events with another person that’s fine but agree to split up when you arrive. Maintain eye contact for mutual support and you can always join up later to sit together. You’ll have the confidence of knowing someone is there with you but the opportunity to meet other people too. You might even double your odds if you both meet others and mutually share the contacts and introductions you’ve just made!
  • Recently, someone suggested to me that you make a specific goal for yourself like “Meet three people” or “Exchange 4 business cards” and then you can leave. Having an objective before you head into the event will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment when you achieve it.

Finally, you hear a great deal about passion these days. That is – hopefully, if you are a small business entrepreneur trying to grow your business, you LOVE what you do. If you love what you do your passion will shine through and that’s going to help you in terms of your positive mental attitude and your confidence level when walking into a room for networking purposes. Here is the most important tip – if you LOVE what you do, fine-tune your introduction so your love, commitment and passion shines through. We’ve talked in this space before about your “pitch” or “elevator speech” or introduction. Whatever you call it, it will only work for you if it truly resonates and you are comfortable both saying it and believing it. In my Communications Course I talk a lot about the rule of 10 and this can be applied to your introduction as well as any other areas of your business. Take the time to identify the top ten words that best describe your business and what it is you want to convey to potential clients. Once those words are on paper, play around with them to create one short sentence that acts as a great introduction of yourself and your business. Most importantly – it should be a sentence that invites and encourages conversation through questions. I learned a similar technique several years ago while attending an event hosted by The Leadership Forum in Caledon. Conversation engages and encourages and is so much better then throwing a business card at someone hoping it sticks. Engaging in a great conversation is what just might lead to future business.

In the end, being R.E.A.L. about who you are will allow your integrity to show. Trust and integrity are an enormous part of why someone chooses to do business with you. If you are not great at walking into a room – that’s fine – practice some of these tips and be passionate about what you do and that will help significantly. Maybe even admit your fears when you’re having a chat – chances are, the person you’re speaking with might be feeling the exact same way!

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


LinkedIn / Facebook / www.writingrightforyou.weebly.com

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Stephanie Lowe: Canadian Small Business Woman of the Month of March


Stephanie Lowe, the founder of Destiny Wellness Centre, is a Registered Kinesiologist, Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher.   It was during her undergraduate years that she developed her passion for health and fitness while working with Varsity sports teams, the Toronto Track and Field Centre and the York University Fitness Centre. Stephanie also experienced her own transformation during her personal health journey to  successfully lose 70lbs through a balanced regime of healthy eating and exercise.  She designed and taught her first “Women on Weights” Fitness class and has since then continued her passion for empowering women through health & fitness.

It was following her employment with various physiotherapy clinics, Hospitals and Rehabilitation companies that she saw need to provide an environment where people could address their health needs in a Wholistic environment. Many people looking for a fitness program suffer from chronic pain, repetitive strain injuries and the like. People with serious health conditions also have a need for strength and conditioning programs that assist in increasing function following a rehabilitation program; it was here Stephanie decided to bridge the gap. After pursuing a post graduate degree in Clinical Kinesiology and Orthopaedic Assessments, Stephanie was inspired to open the Destiny Wellness Center in 2014 an expansion of her personal training studio opened in 2009.  The clinic is where she is able to merge her passion for fitness (i.e., personal training, yoga and nutrition) with her love for rehabilitation (i.e., exercise therapy, aquatic therapy and therapeutic group classes). The centre also offers massage therapy, naturopathic medicine and other wellness related services.

Stephanie works within the local community providing rehabilitation services to individuals suffering from:

  • musculoskeletal & soft tissue injuries
  • arthritis and diabetes
  • rehabilitation from motor vehicle accidents
  • strokes

These services are delivered in a variety of settings such as in-pool, in-home and in-facility exercise therapy.  Fitness services are promoted via a number of formats including personal training, a Ladies ONLY boot camp, community events, and seminars, DVD’s, online coaching and corporate wellness programs.

Her passion for yoga has inspired Stephanie to create a unique fusion class called YogaCise (a combination of stretching and toning exercises) to help people stay fit using yoga. She also uses yoga and relaxation techniques to facilitate the rehabilitation process in her private Yoga Therapy sessions.


Our Q & A with Stephanie 

What inspires you?

I am deeply inspired by the people I work with and the amazing life changing transformations they achieve. I LOVE knowing that I am helping people live healthier more fulfilling lives. The confidence they build, the challenges they overcome… it’s amazing what people can do when they start believing in themselves and start reaching for the things they thought were completely out of their grasp!

I am also  inspired by my passion to serve women. I have always had a special place in my heart for their health needs and personally identify with the weight struggles of younger girls. I feel as women we are up against so many odds and I want to empower them to develop self love, good health, confidence and community. When we come together in love there is little we cannot accomplish.

As a small business owner what achievements make you most proud?

I am most proud of the culture and community that the Destiny Wellness Center has created in our 6 years of business. Our boot campers, yoga students and personal training clients have collected toys and raised funds to assist orphans in Haiti. We sponsored 4 orphans through our YogaThon in Oct 2014! We have also held events to support the Breast Cancer society and other local charities within the Oakville/Mississauga community. It’s wonderful that so many people have been able to develop long lasting friendships while also transforming their health and lives through fitness programs and charity events at Destiny Wellness Centre.

I am also proud to have developed “a voice” in our community. I had the opportunity to hold a 1 year fitness segment on Rogers TV that provided fun fitness solutionsto the community. Short 10 minute routines addressing yoga for pregnancy, family/group fitness, how to stay fit during the holidays and more. In addition, Stephannie has given seminars to hundreds of women and hundreds of teenage girls as a guest speaker on topics of health and fitness in various venues including women’s workshops, local businesses and schools across the GTA.

What advice would you give to other aspiring small business owners?

I would advise to clearly create a “vision” of what you would like your company to look like; and how would you like it to run. All of your processes, efforts and investments should consistently lead you to your end goal, building your vision.

I would also encourage entrepreneurs to enjoy the journey! You will make mistakes along the way, things will certainly go wrong. Take those bumps in the road as learning experiences to build upon instead of viewing them as failures and dead stops.


What new things can we look forward to from your business in the upcoming year?

Destiny Wellness Centre holds monthly events for the community that encourage a sense of community and health. Some of these events include a vision board workshop, “Yoga on the Beach, a “Yoga and Wine” charity fundraiser and a Paint night! The vision board workshop help women set a clear vision and purpose for their lives, we incorporate meditation and yoga to prepare for the session. “Yoga on the Beach” is an annual event. We meet along the beach for an afternoon of sun, yoga and relaxation. Our Yoga and wine events feature a guest speaker and we address topics such as fear, forgiveness, menopause; whatever topics I hear are of interest to the Destiny Wellness Community.  The paint night will be a new charity event to raise funds for a microfinance initiative in Haiti for women.

This spring and summer you can expect our usual fun and exciting programs such as our Ladies ONLY Boot Camp, YogaCise (yoga with weights) and the launch of our two new therapeutic classes on Osteoporosis and Maintaining a Healthy Back (therapeutic classes designed specifically for individuals suffering from Osteoporosis and chronic back pain).

Connect with Stephanie

Web: Www.destinywellness.org
Address: 1115 Clarkson rd N, Mississauga


Social Media:



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6 Tools to Help You Prioritise More Effectively


If you are looking to effectively manage your workload or personal goals; or a manager with many priorities to juggle; or a business owner with decisions to make on what product, service or market; it can seem slightly overwhelming at times trying to make the right decision with limited time and resources.

The following are six tools from simple to technical that can help you make better decisions, manage your time, and prioritise more effectively.


  1. Clearly stated vision and goals

Knowing what to prioritise starts with having a clear vision or picture of what you want, where you want to go, and why it is important to you, and also ensuring your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time-framed). This will help keep you focused what is important in line with your goals and making the right decisions.  Get more information Business Goals Setting or Free eBook on Setting SMART Goals


  1. Pareto Principle and Analysis

This principle – also known as the 80:20 Rule – suggests that by focusing on your topmost (20%) important items, you are able to gain the most benefits or results (80%). A simple approach to applying this principle is: List of all items that need to be done, prioritise in order of what is most critical and important, and focus your effort on the top 20% or more of your list. For more info on Business Application or for Personal/Business Application


  1. Action Priority Matrix

This one has always stuck in my mind – not everything that is urgent is important, and not everything that is important is urgent. And that is why prioritisation is important. Both individuals and organisations are able to use this tool to can quickly spot critical items, quick wins or low priority items to help best plan and allocate their time. For more information on Business Application or for Personal/Business Application


  1. Decision Matrix Analysis

This can be used in a variety of ways to make decisions on what tasks to focus on or decision to make.  With this tool, you can prioritise a list of tasks that need to be completed while at the same time taking a variety of factors i.e. cost and time into consideration. Get More Information


  1. Ansoff Matrix and the Boston Matrices

This is mainly a marketing and management tool to help prioritise the right business service, product or market to focus on. And can also be used to make career type of decisions. Both are extremely similar in nature and lead to similar types of result. It can help you:

  1. Evaluate and prioritise opportunities based on level of risk
  2. Prioritise opportunities based on the attractiveness of any particular market and how likely you’ll be able to take advantage of it

For more information: Business Application or Personal/Business Application


  1. Your Trusted Calendar and Task List

This can either be a physical paper calendar/task list or smartphone function that provides a physical reminder of what you need to focus on a daily basis. Smartphones come with a task list app such as ‘Reminders’ that can help you manage and schedule your activities. Some of the popular apps today are Evernote (free and premium plans available), Any.Do (free), and Remember the Milk (free).

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 provide the tools and help implement change, drive results and achieve their goals.   She can be reached at: www.oliveblue.com . www.facebook.com/oliveblueinc . www.twitter.com/oliveblueinc.www.youtube.com/ChangeYouWantTV




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What’s in a name?

Jennifer J

We spend countless hours trying to figure out the perfect name for our business. It is important. The right name can help you be the talk of the town. A bad name can fade away and lead to obscurity. So how do you pick the perfect name? Do you name the business after yourself? Do you pick a name that describes your service or product? Or, do you create catchy new words like ‘Google’ or ‘Zappos’?  Determining what to name your business comes down to three things:

–          The industry your business is in;

–          What is the vision you have for your business; and

–          Your long term plan for your business.

If you plan to be the main commodity of your business, e.g. an expert in a particular field, a coach or a speaker, than you should name the business after you. Should you go on to produce books, products and pod casts, the only thing that isn’t changing is you. Naming your business after yourself allows your customer and clients to identify your expertise. You also have the flexibility of creating different products whilst not having to be locked in to just one.

Should your long term plans include selling your business one day, you should consider a name that describes your product or service. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. There are many businesses where the owner became the brand and the business was subsequently sold.  However, remember that if you intend to sell your business, the name is likely trademarked which prevents you from using the name for future ventures. This includes your own name.

When considering the name of your business, it is important to determine what it is you are trying to communicate. This can be determined by using your mission statement as a guide. Once you have this clearly defined, it is important to consider the following when creating a name:

–          Pick something that appeals to your niche and that your niche will identify with;

–          Something that is not too long and confusing;

–          Don’t use plain language that won’t stand out in a crowd;

–          Avoid clichés;

–          Avoid unusual spelling; and

–          Try and adopt a name that gives some information about your business.

Once you have picked a few names make sure to check whether your names have already been trademarked or are in use. You want to ensure you are not infringing on anyone else’s rights.Failure to do this could lead to legal battles down the line and significant money spent when it could have been avoided.

You also want to check if the domain name you’d like to use is still available. There’s nothing worse than coming up with a brilliant name only to find someone else has already purchased the domain.

Happy naming!

Jennifer Jampala is a budding entrepreneur, traveller and yogi. She is passionate about building businesses, relationships and experiences. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferJampala

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