Waiting for the light to change at an intersection I was entertained by a murder of crows.  One had what I presume to be food and the others were engaged in wanting what it had.  At one point the crow dropped the object, and it landed in the middle of the intersection.  Opportunity!  The only issue was the changing lights and ensuing traffic!  They tried to out-maneuver one another and every now and then, one would try to pick up the prize only to be overtaken by a vehicle and have to leave.

This reminded me of business.  Opportunity sometimes drops in unexpectedly.  In spite of what some say, opportunity is never lost.  An individual may miss it, but another will take advantage of it.  Like the changing traffic patterns, there will be obstacles that get in the way and others waiting in the wings to pick it up if you don’t hang onto it.

Business, like the crows, can risk too much for the opportunity.  The crow can take high risks and get the prize, but might risk its life in the process.  But, some risk is required in the game of survival.  In business it can be the life of the business that is lost if the risk is too high, or if no risk is taken.  If you hesitate too long, competitors may seize the opportunity and your advantage is lost.

Unfortunately, my light changed so I don’t know which crow claimed the prize.

“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” William Arthur Ward

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Never too Old to Dream!

Working with people who have a business idea they want to bring into reality is extremely rewarding! Some are simple, small and would not create a business large enough in themselves to be a sustainable business but could supplement other work and give them an outlet for their desire to create. Some are complex, big ideas that require financial investment that may be hard to obtain, but it does not stifle the dream.

Although there are those who are simply wanting to create a job, most have had a burning desire to do more than just work for a pay cheque.  These are the ones who have a passion to present a new and different approach to their product or service to their market.  The market may be a community, region, province, country or the world.

Entrepreneurship knows no particular age although it is generally those who have had considerable experience in the workforce.  They have developed the knowledge and experience in a particular occupation or hobby and have the desire to turn it into a business where they get the rewards and have control of the decisions.  I have had clients from their twenties to their eighties realizing their dream.

The dream will only become a reality if there are actions to accompany it.  The action steps require ongoing research to determine if there are sufficient customers or clients in the market area and methodology to reach them with advertising and promotion.  Understanding the market is crucial!  It forms the basis for the business plan.

For those who take the steps, the rewards are many.  Dare to dream, you never know where it might lead!

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Clients, Coaching, Communication, Community Futures, Customers, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, self-employment | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Truth, the Whole Truth

Businesses need to be vigilante in today’s world of Social Media.  There is no accountability for someone to check the validity of the information they are posting.  Incorrect or misleading information posted on a website can do irreparable damage to the business or individual.

If something defamatory has been posted and it is false, no matter how tempted you are, do not respond to it.  Instead, consult a lawyer and a public relations specialist.  Responding the wrong way can escalate the issue, not resolve it.  If the information is correct, but damaging, I would still recommend engaging the services of a public relations specialist.

Those who post or repost articles that are defamatory and have nothing to verify that they are correct need to understand the consequences of their actions.  Once it is posted it is there forever.  I see ones that I know are out-and-out lies being reposted year-after-year on Facebook.  Misinformation can severely damage the reputation of an organization.  If the organization is a charity or not-for-profit, it not only affects the organization but can seriously affect those that are supported by the charity because of reduced public support.

Online, you can find lots of examples of businesses that were hurt by erroneous information streamed on Social Media.  This does not take into account those who have taken their own lives as a result of what has been posted about them.

Before posting or reposting, verify the information and ask yourself, “Would I want this posted about me?”

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Clients, Coaching, Communication, Customers, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Entrepreneurs, FaceBook, Life coaching, LinkedIn, self-employment, Social Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Edge

Whether you are a performer, a speaker, an artist, or an entrepreneur, you need the edge.  The edge may be a unique voice, a special message. Unusual approach, or a product or service that is meeting a need that is not currently being met.

What they all share is a need to have a butterfly in the pit of their stomach when they do their thing.  Some call it nervousness, others fear, yet others call it excitement and passion!

Whatever you call it, you need it.  It keeps you on your toes and alert to your audience.  Science says this is part of our psychological ‘fight or flight’ stress response.  Some researchers refer to the stomach as the ‘second brain’.

I have witnessed presenters who were too confident when approaching the audience.  They lost their focus and consequently got lost in their presentation.  The same happens with actors – overconfidence can result in forgotten lines and nuances in the delivery of their part.

Seasoned actors and performers will tell you that they still get that feeling in the gut just before they get start, and that they need it to centre themselves in what they are doing.  You might call it a passion response.

Check with yourself before you do whatever it is you do.  If it is just routine to you, if it doesn’t put a tickle in the gut and inspire you, making you want to do it better, maybe you have lost your edge.

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Career professional, Coaching, Communication, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Facilitator, Leadership, Life coaching, Listening, Managing stress | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Not About the Money!

While it is true that some retirees need to work as they are struggling financially, many return to some kind of work as they need to feel useful and would like to pass on their knowledge and experience to the younger generation.

There is a wealth of knowledge in our retirees and it is poorly utilized by businesses and organizations. Many have ‘been there, done that’ and that knowledge and experience can’t be found in textbooks.

We are living in a time when up to four or five generations can be working together.  From an organizational perspective, this requires leaders and mentors, not managers.

These retirees are not wanting to take over the business, they simply want to pass on their expertise and experience and feel useful in the process.  Most are very interested in learning from the younger generation as well.  Mentorship goes both ways.  The young workers have a knowledge of technology to pass on to the older worker.

Organizations have flattened over the years, losing middle management and, for many organizations, valuable knowledge and experience about the industry.  One way of gaining part of that back is to employ the retirees who have the experience.

The retirees have a good work ethic and, contrary to popular belief, take less sick time away from the job.  Many are content with part-time or contract work which may suit your particular organization.  The snowbirds don’t want to work in the winter so they will be available when your other staff are off on holidays the rest of the year.

Do your business and yourself a favour and the next time you are looking for an employee, consider a mature worker!

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Entrepreneurs, Leadership, Life coaching, Older Worker, Retirement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


On Vancouver Island, as in the rest of the province, I encounter those who would prefer to work for themselves.  Some have found through experience that they work best on their own, while others have a hobby or trade that they would like to turn into a business.  Others have no idea what it would look like, the appeal is controlling their destiny.

The important part is the research into the feasibility of having a market share that will give you the customer base needed to cover your costs, give you a profit, and provide a living.  Sound simple?  It’s not, and it requires dedication to find the answers.

Success will depend on:

  • Market Research
  • Knowledge of product or service
  • Business knowledge
  • Access to suppliers
  • Access to financing
  • Financial living supports in place for at least first six months
  • Competition
  • Location
  • Timing
  • But, most of all, PASSION!

If you don’t have passion for the business you are embarking on, a burning in the gut that is a cross between fear and excitement, then you may not be on the right path.  It will take dedication and long hours, at least at first, to build the business and get a sense of what ‘normal’ might look like.

Continuing research is essential as change is inevitable and you need to stay informed as to customer needs, wants, and expectations, as well as the ever-evolving business community.  New regulations, innovations, and competition mean you need to stay on your toes to maintain and grow your market share.  Customers will come and go for a variety of reasons and you must always be building your base.

If it is your path it can be extremely rewarding, both mentally and financially.  Pursue it with passion!

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Today’s Island Life

To say we live in interesting times hardly describes what is going on in our community, or for that matter, in our lives in general.  We live in a time of changing retail habits.  The online presence of many retailers has challenged the traditional ones.  People can and do check online before buying products and if it is cost effective to shop online, they will.  Retailers need to constantly be aware of what consumers can obtain their products for through these outlets and respond accordingly.

In Nanaimo, we have seen the demise of Nash Hardware, Fletcher’s, Woodwards,  Eatons, Future Shop and most recently, Zellers, to name a few.  For the most part these took place during questionable economic times for many reasons, including inability to read the market.  Today we have Wholesale Sports and Sears who are leaving not only the community, but in the case of Sears, Canada.

One could look at this and draw all kinds of negative assumptions if it were not for the fact that we are in the best economic position on Vancouver Island in years.  The island has been discovered!  Our population growth has never been higher.  We are seeing an influx of talented people from all parts of Canada, but mostly from the lower mainland as they are able to either afford housing here or they are able to cash out on their property on the lower mainland and have a retirement nest egg, yet reside 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver.

Construction is at an all-time high.  We have 3 new hotels ready to build in Nanaimo with apartments, condos and houses being built at an ever-increasing rate.  The vacancy rate in most parts of the city remains at less than 1% with waiting lists to obtain rental accommodation.

What opportunities does this present for you?  The tech field here is rapidly expanding and we have seen an increased presence of film projects on the island with the announcement of a film studio in Parksville to attract even more.  Staffing has increased at many businesses in order to fill the needs.  This bodes well for our young people as they are more likely to find employment and stay in the communities.

I think we live in positive times.  We have never had the opportunities that exist in the community as we do today.  Do you have to work to find the right ones for you?  Of course!  That will never change, you always have to do your homework.  Make use the resources in the community and find your niche!

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Coaching, Communication, Community Futures, Customers, Economy, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Entrepreneurs, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Retirement, self-employment, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment