Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine Issue 11

Page 1

MAINTAINING ACCOUNTABILITY: SEGREGATION BETWEEN BUSINESS AND OWNERSHIP Measuring Success:

A DIFFE RE NT TAKE ON ME ASURING ACHIE VE MENT 5 TIPS FOR

JUGGLING THAT NEVER ENDING TO-DO LIST

Building, Executing & measuring your strategic Plan with Micheal Lambie ISSUE 11 $8.95 CAN www.dreamer2creatormag.ca


CONTACT US DREAMER 2 CREATOR BUSINESS MAGAZINE

P:

(647) 955 3567

E:

articles@dreamer2creatormag.ca

W:

www.dreamer2creatormag.ca

20 Micheal Lambie: BUILDING, EXECUTING & MEASURING YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN

EDITORIAL K A R E N M. LOWE Executive Editor F R A N C I N E GREY Creative Editor K I M BL EY LOWE-B EN N ETT Editor N I C O L E LOWE Editor

6 STRATEGY: WHAT IS IT? AND HOW TO NOT BE A STATISTIC by Karen Lowe

12 MEASURING SUCCESS: A DIFFERENT TAKE ON MEASURING ACHIEVEMENT by Jenne Todd


44

RESOURCES

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 16 MAINTAINING ACCOUNTABILITY: Segregation Between Business & Ownership

8 SETTING GOALS AS AN ENTREPRENEUR by Sarah Olding

by Gary Wright

Page 32 COLLABORATION WITH OTHER BUSINESSES: Important & Successful Networking Tool or Group Projects by Michelle Elliot

34 5 TIPS TO SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE RELATIONSHIPS IN A BUSINESS

Page 42 5 Tips for JUGGLING A NEVERENDING TO-DO LIST

by Jennifer and Andrea Lee

38 GROWING YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS ON INSTAGRAM: An Illustrator’s Journey by Denise Foley

by Amanda Gobatto


editor’s note I

have a dream. That dream is to start my own consulting company to support education settings to provide access to quality education and support services for children, young people and adults with Special

Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). At a glance, that should be pretty straightforward for me to do. After all, that is my day job. I develop customized education programmes that meet the needs of children with SEND. To date, I have met and exceeded performance management targets everywhere I have worked in this capacity. Equally fascinating, employers have been keen to retain my services, despite the remunerations not being parallel to my performance. One of my greatest fears is failure. The dread of failing motivates and fuels my determination to succeed. My work ethic throughout my adult life enables me to succeed at every job, and in the career I pursue. Yet the fear that propels me in my career is the same thing that paralyzes my dream. Let us be analytical for a minute. Some PROS: √

I have the skillset, expertise and experience to deliver the service I

have on offer. √

I do not need start-up funding

Some CONS: √

I need a steady source of income.

The nature of my business prevents me from doing my 9-5 and run the business simultaneously. This means I need to quit my 9-5 or reduce my hours to get the business going.

Typically, businesses need the first two years to be established and start making a profit. Therefore, I will need enough funds to replace the deficit in my earnings for potentially the first two years of starting my business. You see before my editing role for Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine, I knew nothing about business. That compounded my doubts that I would ever be able to do it. However, through my journey with Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine, I garnered a wealth of knowledge about the principles and operations of a business. As a result, the barrier preventing me from going after my dream, fear of failure, is no longer a paralytic catalyst because the knowledge I have gained has replaced my fear with confident hope. Fast forward to 2022, I have registered my business, opened a business bank account, secured my website domain, Social media handles and email address and I am now refining my business model. Thanks to our contributors and the team at Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine. Your articles served as the links that connected the dots for nudging me towards my dream. They taught me about Business in a practical way I was able to engage with issue after issue. The knowledge, insight and inspiration I received and continue to receive have served me well, as it has countless others who engage with each issue. Be motivated; if I can do it, so can you. I have not given up my 9-5 just yet, but I am taking steps towards it. So my encouragement to you is Just Go For It, one issue at a time, one step at a time.

Kimbley Lowe-Bennett Editor


- ISSUE -

11 STRATEGY HTTPS://WWW.DREAMER2CREATORMAG.CA ISSUU.COM/DREAMER2CREATORMAG mail@dreamer2creatormag.ca

Copyright 2019 Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine.

ISSN 2562-5330 (Print) ISSN 2562-5349 (Online)

All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be copied, reprinted, displayed, edited or distributed without the written consent of Dreamer 2 Creator Magazine Inc. Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine is a Canadian Magazine, published and distributed by Dreamer 2 Creator Magazine Inc, located in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.


Strategy: What is it? And How to Not Be a Statistic

S

Photo Credit: Victoria Malanowski

trategy has been talked about a lot! Most, if not all, micro-entrepreneurs have been told to create a strategy, start a business plan of some sort, and we have spoken about business plans in multiple issues. So why do statistics keep saying micro-businesses fail at an alarming rate? My dissertation thesis is understanding why micro-business fail to achieve strategic goals. I was

recently asked what exactly is strategy and how to make it happen. First of all, understanding strategy is essential because researchers have proven that strategic goals drive behaviour. Specifically, we will be talking about business strategy.

What is Business Strategy According to my research dissertation, a business strategy is a set of initiatives and actions to improve a company’s financial stability. These actions are used to identify, drive, and execute the business’ vision and objectives position in terms of operational conditions and competitive advantage. In entrepreneur speak, a plan of action to improve the company’s financial stability. As a micro-entrepreneur, I start with the result I wish to achieve and work backwards (more on that later). Strategy is not just a simple plan. Strategy is how, when and who will execute so the destination can be arrived at.

How to implement and track results Think about strategy by starting with the big picture and breaking it down into categories, milestones, timings, and tasks, down to the most minute level. Below is a concept, scenario and examples all woven into one. What do you want to achieve in the next 1, 3 and 5 years in terms of money and market saturation? How do you want people to see your product or service, your brand? What do you have to offer that is different from your competition? How will this be achieved, and who will do the work to achieve it.

DRE A M E R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 6 -

I SSUE 1 1


Micheal Lambie of Micheal Lambie Interiors said no matter how talented you are; talent is not enough to succeed. First, where do you want to be in 5 years? $100k in sales or 100k clients? How can you achieve that? To get to 100K by year five, you need to be at about 50k or more in year 3. You need about 20k at the end of year one. Now how do you achieve that? Who are your demographics? Who will be doing the marketing to understand the demographics? If marketing is your strong suit great, you are the person who will be responsible. If not, find someone good at marketing who can attract the correct client to convert to sales—some tasks to consider.

“Think about strategy by starting with the big picture and breaking it down into categories, milestones, timings, and tasks, down to the most minute level.”

two farmers’ markets per month. What do you need, and what will be the cost of each event you attend? The product you sell is a passion of yours, but you need to spend time understanding changes in the marketplace. This means time. Consider weekly commitments such as: five hours on training (technical, marketing and financial); five hours researching the business you are in; three hours attending networking events; five hours working on the business’s financials; and fifteen hours developing your product or service.

A Final Thought Ultimately, no matter how much information we get, if we do not take the time to focus on the back end of our business, we will fail. Micro-entrepreneurs operate in an informal scenario, and we need to formalize the way we do business to succeed. Once we decide on the destination of our business and how to get there, a good tool that should be utilized is efficiency programs and software. How well communication, productivity and documentation are tracked will impact success or failure. Check out our resources section in all our previous issues for some ideas. Photo Credit: Mike Chajeski

To make 20K sales, you need to sell 2000 products at $10 per item in 12 months or ~167 items per month or 42 per week. This brings us to financial projection. Are you good at financing? If not, get an accountant (inexpensive ones can be found or take an online course) and create a 1-, 3- and 5-year financial projection and track your progress weekly. Pivot when necessary to be able to achieve the goals. Back to marketing, how do you find the customers who will buy your products? Another goal is to align yourself with ten organizations or influencers who have relationships with your potential customers, attend five networking events per month, and attend

By: KAREN LOWE Founder/Owner of Epigram Consulting Email: klowe@epigramconsulting.com Social: @epigramconsulting

DRE A M E R 2 C R EA T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 7 -

I SSUE 1 1


3 Tips for

Setting Goals as an Entrepreneur

Stop thinking like an artist. You have to think like a

businessperson now.

This required revisiting my Clay & Sage goals with a new mindset, asking not only how my business could serve my demographic but how I could as well. As part of the review process, I ask myself a few questions to ensure I am fully showing up to my business.

DOES THIS RESONATE WITH WHO I AM?

Photo Credit: FELICITY SIEMENS PHOTOGRAPH Y

A

Creating work or offering services that do not resonate with you as a creative or non-creative will drain you. Believe me. And anything that drained you before you started your business will do so even more after. Not only this, but you are doing your customers

DRE A M E R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

Photo Credit: SARAH OLDING

t the beginning of my small business journey, this was one of the main pieces of advice that shaped Clay & Sage. I dutifully put aside who I was as an artist to “think like a businesswoman” and began filling out business plan templates, listening to podcasts, and (clumsily) making spreadsheets. After months of work, I had built a clear business identity but completely lost my own identity as an artist. I felt uninspired, drained, and disconnected from my work and demographic. It began to dawn on me that, while I had created vision and goals for Clay & Sage, I failed to consider how I fit into them, not as “Businesswoman Sarah”, but as myself, and how my values, creativity, and personality served my business. Slowly, I realized that, while there is undoubtedly value in “thinking like a business person,” the advice is limited. For Clay & Sage to thrive, I had to learn how to show up as a businesswoman and artist and creative and entrepreneur.

- 8 -

I SSUE 1 1


Read Dreamer 2 Creator Read Dreamer 2 Creator on PressReader. on PressReader. Everything you need to know about entrepreneurship, right at youryou fingertips. Everything need to know about entrepreneurship, right at your fingertips.


Valuing yourself as a creative can take many different forms. Below are some of what it looks like for me: § First, avoiding trends that fall outside of my interests, skills or niche. § Taking time and resources to develop my skills, knowing that this investment will benefit my business § Creating intentional space to play around with ideas (your inner creative needs pressure-free time to experiment) § Allowing my product selection to change over time as I grow as an artist

Whom does this serve? There is a reason that the advice I started this article with is so widely circulated. You have to think like a business person; you cannot avoid it. You have started your business to serve your demographic. If you are creating products that are not meeting needs, they are simply not products. If you are creative, you will understand the struggle of the million-ideamind. The trick is sifting through those ideas to find ones that you will enjoy creating and will benefit your business. Because if you invest your time and resources into something that does not meet a need or your demographic will not buy, it will hurt your business financially, strain relationships with your following, and eventually, lead to disappointment and discouragement. If you are unsure whether or not you have a product, ask your customer base! Take advantage of your social media (If you do not have one, start one. They are excellent platforms to connect with a wide range of people). My demographic is usually happy to tell me when they love a product, but if I introduce a product and hear crickets, I probably have an idea that my cat and I will enjoy.

Where do I need help? You are probably stronger in one area than you are

in another. Most people are. Maybe you are the visionary who can barely make a spreadsheet to save their life (me), or you are the finance guru who struggles to create vision. When I first started Clay & Sage and realized I had no idea how to keep books, I asked one of my spreadsheet savvy friends to set me up with something so simple; even I could use it. I still use it now. It is because it is genius and partially because I have no idea how to create another one. Recognize that you are just one person. Showing up to your business looks like showing up as you are: an amazing, talented, passionate, driven human being. You are not a machine, and you cannot be expected to do it all and retain your sanity. A massive part of planning for success is knowing your limits. You cannot help anyone if you are burnt out. However, you are worth the effort it takes to show up for both your business and yourself.

Photo Credit: SARAH OLDING

a disservice when you offer them less than your inspired best. Your business needs your creativity, unique voice, ideas, and passions.

By: SARAH OLDING Founder of Clay and Sage Website/Contact: https://www.instagram.com/ clayandsagehome/?hl=en Social: @clayandsagehome

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 10 -

I SSUE 1 1


“SUCCESS IS 20% SKILLS AND 80% STRATEGY. YOU MIGHT KNOW HOW TO SUCCEED, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHAT’S YOUR PLAN TO SUCCEED?” Jim Rohn, entrepreneur


MEASURING SUCCESS: A DIFFERENT TAKE ON MEASURING ACHIEVEMENT

A

Photo Credit: ANITA WATKINS PHOTOGRAPHY

s leaders, we pour our hearts into every nook and cranny of our business. We believe in ourselves and our ideas. We know what we are capable of but sometimes lack clarity around which business moves hold the most potential for success. Every interaction has the power to boost

taking too long to see results”. I was run down and frustrated by my inefficient strategies, which only seemed to widen the gap between output and results. I could not seem to budge my bottom line regardless of how hard I worked. I knew my numbers; I just did not know how to change them. I started looking beyond the sales to understand why I was struggling and why I was not gaining the traction I knew I was capable of. My solution? To become well-acquainted with the types of activities associated with the most favourable outcomes (for both my clients and me!). Before getting lured into more shiny things, I needed to understand and use my closing rates as a tracking tool before doing anything else for my business. I developed habits to improve that number and never looked back. This is start-up 101 - knowing how to assess your conversion rates so you can create systems and strategies to improve and scale continually. We must see some success in our first years in business to keep the passion and momentum that inspired us to start in the first place, alive.

our bottom line, yes, but also to build trust with our clients, elevate our brand and truly make our corner of the world a better place. To be sustainable, we need to know how to measure and track success effectively and efficiently beyond sales. Make efficiency your success language - here we go!

I kept it simple - I made a chart and used it faithfully. Then, I put my painted nails to the keyboard and cracked open a spreadsheet (using a CRM would be ideal!). I studied, reviewed and updated it before and after every conversation, initiative and offer I put out. The intention was to identify the touchpoints my prospects needed to self-identify with my services and pull the trigger. This offered an easy system to create a blueprint for success.

During my start-up, I remember partnering with the feeling of defeat and telling my husband, “I just need to quit trying to make this work and get a j.o.b...it is

My findings: I initially discovered that two of them became clients for every ten conversations I had. This was the insight I needed to take a more

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 12 -

I SSUE 1 1


intentional approach. Say I had a goal of acquiring four new accounts per month, at my current closing rate of 2/10, I needed to book 20 consultations, which

“I put my painted nails to the keyboard and cracked open a spreadsheet (using a CRM would be ideal!). I studied, reviewed and updated it before and after every conversation, initiative and offer I put out.”

is a LOT. There was an obvious need to close the gap based on the time that would take me. Once I started keeping track of prospecting activities, I determined which produced the best outcomes and utilized those methods to acquire new clients. I focused my efforts on improving this number and boosted my closing rate to 50% (closing 5 out of 10 prospects) and then to 80%, which in turn allowed me more time to blow the minds of my existing clients! I can add higher value than ever before.

clients say about working with me” as a database! You can even use these themes to create articles, conversation prompts and social media posts. My best advice is to resist the urge to do more, keep running faster, and keep learning and doing more. It does not work at first. Face the fear of hitting the pause button (briefly). Take a step back and evaluate how you interact with and close clients (either new or existing) and track. Sometimes we need to slow down to speed up. It is time to exit (and run the hell in the opposite direction) the hamster wheel of blind trial and error and start evaluating your success strategies. You did not come this far, work this hard or invest this much to keep guessing. I would argue that knowing our closing rates offers different and far more strategic information than knowing our sales ever will. So, if you are not satisfied with the results you are seeing, bet on yourself and give evaluating your closing rates a try. I guarantee you will learn so much about your business in doing so.

Here are a few questions to get you started on the right path. 1. How do potential clients find me - Which onboarding activities lead to the best results? Social media? Referrals? Website? Podcast? Engaging with one of my freebies/lead magnets? Joining a webinar or training? Enrolling in a course? 2. Once you identify where they are coming in, determine if the next steps (results) depend on how you interact with them. For example, do they prefer a Zoom call, telephone call, text, private message, email or in-person appointment? 3. What do your customers say about your business? (Hint: Keep a note on your phone called “things my

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

By: JENNE TODD Founder of Shift Collective Website: https://www.shiftcollective.ca/ Social: @shiftcollective

- 13 -

I SSUE 1 1



STRATEGY IS ABOUT SETTING YOURSELF APART FROM THE COMPETITION. IT’S NOT A MATTER OF BEING BETTER AT WHAT YOU DO – IT’S A MATTER OF BEING DIFFERENT AT WHAT YOU DO. MICHAEL PORTER, ACADEMIC STRATEGIST


MAINTAINing ACCOUNTABILITY:

SEGREGATION BETWEEN BUSINESS & OWNERSHIP

T

The great ideas give fruition to great innovators.

he aim of starting a business is to be successfully profitable, be independent, and expand an idea - a dream - into creativity. But it is of great importance to keep businesses and innovators separate, no matter the circumstance.

Keep a record of everything! Keeping a record of everything will ensure tracking is possible at any time. It is also easy to separate different aspects for tracking purposes and documentation in general. Create either a physical or a virtual record. Invoices and emails should be stored in files referencing direct elements of the business.

Start with your Bank Account Maintain a separate bank account; never combine business transactions with personal ones. Cash inflow of private wealth is often required to keep the business afloat. Having separate bank accounts where transactions are accounted for makes business growth easier to monitor, and growing the business easier to navigate and evaluate. This may mean transferring monies to a bank account before it is extracted for the business. Start-up capital injection should be categorized as owing to the owner/s of the enterprise. This transaction becomes an asset of the business with the corresponding transaction being Capital due to the creator and is to be recorded in a spreadsheet for accounting and tax purposes, balance sheet and income statements.

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 16 -

I SSUE 1 1


resources more significant than the agreed salary should be treated as an advance or loan to be repaid in the short term. This will guarantee greater success of the business, similarly its continuity. In layman’s terms, you cannot take profit before it is realized.

Continuous taking cookies or sweets from the jar and not refilling will leave the jar empty.

Items to consider in record-keeping and tracking to measure the progress of the business. Assets may be in the form of cash into the business bank account or purchases in the form of the following: 1. Inventory items for resale 2. Fixed assets - purchased items with long term use within the business 3. Operating transactions - payments of rent, utilities, suppliers or employees’ benefits Corresponding transactions for owners’ purchases from personal wealth should be treated as either a capital injection or a loan to the company. Capital injection is a long-term transaction, while a loan can be long or short-term. While the business is an ongoing concern, it must never be habitual to think all is well to pull business resources for personal gains. A business must be treated as an entity always separate from its owners. The owners should best be treated no different than that of an employee, just employees with authorized power of authority. Equally, if contributing service in the form of laboured time, owners should be salaried and pay respective taxes. With owners being salaried employees, there will be segregation between the business and its owners. The owners should draw from the business resources no greater than the agreed salary for services being rendered. Business

Owner’s Salary A business not paying salary to owners immediately upon initial start-up; should not be ignored or substituted for removal of the business resources. If there is currently no cash to pay employees, hours should be tracked for accounting purposes. However, the total owners’ salary, inclusive of all related taxes, should become part of the operation transactions, and correspondence entry should reflect a liability, owing to the business owners until the business can afford to pay. The best advice as a start-up company with limited disposable resources is that owners should have alternative resources to rely on before the business’ ability to pay their salary.

Ideas and dreams begot creators’ self-discipline that ensures the business is treated separately from owners will see success.

By: GARY WRIGHT Accounting Consultant at Epigram Consulting Services Contact: info@epigramconsulting.com Social: @epigramconsulting

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 17 -

I SSUE 1 1


1. The One-Page Business Plan 2. Financial Projection Plan 3. Product/Service Differentiation 4. "New" Product/Service Development 5. Portfolio Development 6. Marketing and selling of the final/new verver sion of your product or service

1. Realize Your Dream 2. Make Money 3. Create a Profitable Product or Service 4. Define and Attain a Successful Business 5. Customer and Client Awareness – Having clients who understand the quality and value of your product or service 6. New Differentiated Product and Service

CONTACT Tel: 647-955-3567

E: mail@epigramconsulting.com

Web:www.epigramconsulting.com


advertise with us 647-955-3567 ads@dreamer2creatormag.ca


Micheal Lambie

Building, Executing & measuring your strategic Plan Who is Micheal Lambie, and what is Michael Lambie Interiors. Is there a difference? Yes, there is a difference. The company has grown, and I have taken on team members; it is no longer just a reflection of my thoughts and output. Even when I had one or two people assisting me, all the responsibility was on me. If you asked me that question three years ago, my answer would be no because I was a one-man operation. Since then, the company has hired, and developed teams, and each team has a different agenda and focus. Michael Lambie Interiors is the company, and Michael Lambie is a brand within the company. The company is my brainchild and initiative and revolves around who I am. The team members are there to support me and to enhance my ideas. I am an entrepreneur; I am processing innovative ideas, navigating crossroads of decisions or evaluating different opportunities. I bring it to the team, and we look at possible execution strategies and the current company obligations. Why did you choose to be a business owner? I inherited my dad’s entrepreneurship; consequently, many family members are entrepreneurs. I remember the day I really understood what was required of me, and that was right out of college. I went to Ontario College of Arts & Design, and I majored in communication and design, spending some concentrated effort studying fine arts. I got a job with a growing marketing advertising agency, wanting to utilize my communication, design and fine arts training; they hired me as an in-house designer and illustrator. They landed significant projects and were growing. They bought a new building, hired personnel and spent a lot of money on the company office and

cars. Within six months, they lost two major clients, and they had to lay off half the company. I was one of them. I sat in the parking lot stunned because I had never experienced this before and did not predict

I am an entrepreneur; I am processing innovative ideas, navigating crossroads of decisions or evaluating different opportunities. this occurrence, at least not at first. After some time, I remember thinking that this outcome was predictable. There were unwise decisions made and money illspent. As I continued to process, I questioned, “Why would I ever put my career and life in someone else’s hands when they can make silly decisions that will dramatically affect mine?” I decided that I was never going to do that again. I was 22 and determined to be in control of the destiny of my career. You did not start in interior designing. Was it a long-term strategic goal, or was it an opportunity pursued? It was an opportunity. I was the creative director and partner at a marketing and advertising agency. After working for 15 years, I knew I wanted a change. I gravitated towards real estate investing, specifically buying and selling houses.

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 20 -

I SSUE 1 1


Photo Credit: Josh Pereira DRE A M E R 2 C RE A T OR B U S I N E S S M A GA ZI N E

- 21 -

I S S U E 11


Photo Credit: Josh Pereira

That was the first time in my life, I was not being creative, and it was sapping my soul. Real estate was more about the deal than it was about making great homes. Someone mentioned that I light up when interior design is involved or when we get to reconstruct a portion of the house and make it fresh and new with tiles or hardwood and different elements. A lightbulb went off in my head. Interior design will allow me to be creative, and I can still be involved in real estate deals with focused attention on aspects that utilize my creativity. Twenty-four hours later, I started my company. What were your first actions once you started your company? The first thing I did was open up a Facebook account under my name. Within twenty-four hours, someone reached out for consultation and styling their condo. I jumped at the opportunity. I was confident that I could do this task and run the company because I had relevant experience designing flipped houses.

Being an executive partner for other businesses, I was comfortable with the administration and directing needed to run a company. I was aware of the building blocks that I would have to create and implement quickly, such as a portfolio, but I also knew, through my marketing expertise, how to drive business to the company. This new venture was exciting, and I felt like a kid out of college ready to take on the world. How has your company developed since your initial start? I went years without creating art pieces for my client; I wouldn’t even share it as an option. I wasn’t secure in my offerings. Once I identified that I should be offering all of me, I began to give my clients access to all of me. Now my branding represents me as an artist and a certified life coach. Sometimes I will stop and have conversations with my clients for 45 minutes, not about their space but life. These aspects of me need to be communicated, so there is no surprise when I show up at the door.

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 22 -

I SSUE 1 1


How does your passion impact strategy? Passion is the powerful motivator that keeps us going. The beginning of a business is hard, including long hours and discouraging moments. Every third day you question, ‘What am I doing?’ and ‘Can I do this?’. If passion is your why, it will motivate you through the hard times. When you are driven to do something, it is easier to work long hours and to put the time in to strategize and figure things out. My passion rewards me, and I can be creative, complete successful projects and please my clients. How much time overall do you spend on strategic planning? And how often do you do it? We meet once or twice a week for smaller-level planning as a group. We will discuss the workflow of the current projects that we have. We discuss the allocation of time and resources. It is small and shortterm. Large-scale planning is not structured and is

Photo Credit: Josh Pereira

Profit margins are critical. How do owners know when a business is running at a sustainable level or if the company is profitable to provide income for the owner’s lifestyle? engaged every couple of months or so. Sometimes I will do it on my own, with my accountant or a team member. It is always a small group of people. What factors should a micro-business owner consider when building a strategic plan? Timing. Businesses should realistically estimate how long they need to reach their goals. It is common knowledge that most businesses fail within the first year. Therefore, a micro-business should develop plans for the first, third and fifth years. Profit margins are critical. How do owners know when a business is running at a sustainable level or if the company is profitable to provide income for the owner’s lifestyle? Understanding your business’s finances is imperative to its success, and too many new businesses do not understand its weight until years down the road. In addition to profit margins, overall strong financial goals should be the top priority. Strategies. I think one of the dangers is getting so lost in your business that it becomes allconsuming and becomes your whole life, which is very dangerous. It will be draining and cause burnout. Therefore plan. Strategically plan what is required for your business to be successful. What skills are required? What positions need to be created and filled? In the beginning, a business owner may be doing five jobs but should recognize that as the company grows, those positions will need to be covered by someone else.

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 23 -

I SSUE 1 1


As mentioned, strategic planning will highlight financial needs. How would you direct microentrepreneurs who recognize their start-up capital needs but have little to no funds available? The first goal for a business that needs start-up funds is to obtain those funds. If you cannot raise the operating capital to move forward, that is a considerable hurdle that may be arduous to overcome. Include the ‘how’ as part of your strategic strategy. Business plans are necessary because they confirm the legitimacy of your business idea and forces owners to discuss all foundational elements. Business plans also prepare owners to articulate their needs and potentials to banks or private investors. If the business created cannot raise the capital necessary to execute the plans, it should be a red flag because money is what drives a company. It will be challenging.

Photo Credit: Josh Pereira

Strategically plan necessary next steps. For example, if you lack presentation skills as the owner, consider hiring personnel who can communicate your messages for you. There are 1000 different ways to raise funds; be creative. How do you evaluate if your strategic efforts are productive? It depends on what you use to measure success. We have to make our financial goals for the company to be operational; so that everyone gets paid, and as the owner, you can maintain the lifestyle that you want. That is the first measure: am I putting food

on the table. The second measure, which I believe is just as important, is how rewarding is the work. Do I feel fulfilled? Or is something missing? If you are going to start and run your own business, you should enjoy it, and it should feel good. Am I successfully and positively impacting people? I remember one of my first clients with a beautiful condo by the lake. I redid their place as well as produced some paintings for them. It was quite the major makeover. At the end of the job, I was doing a photo shoot. I was looking through the camera at the pictures of the space, thinking this looks amazing; it was like a magazine cover. I was so pleased with myself. I turned to my left, where the client was standing. She was in the kitchen observing the photoshoot and writing my check. She looked at me smiling and crying, and I knew she felt the same way I did. The moment was so rewarding that the paycheck felt like a bonus. Marketing is a big part of business strategy. How do you brand yourself, and how do you brand your business? What marketing techniques do you use to push your business forward? First, the basic answer is knowing what you offer and communicating that clearly. If you are unclear, people are going to assume your intentions. Therefore you have to have your branding message extremely clear. What is the difference between your company and other companies? I am in an industry with much competition. I am sure most of them can do great spaces. So I have to communicate my advantage. I try to convey that there is something special about working with me. I listen well; I spend time learning about my clients. I am not there to put my stamp on anybody’s space. I help the client envision their space and take it to another level. My responsibility is to make sure that the message is public so when clients want what I have to offer, they can find me. Some people never call me because they are not in sync with who I am and what I am about - or at least the persona I am communicating. Other people call me, which is fantastic for me; it proves my marketing is accomplishing what I need it to be.

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 24 -

I SSUE 1 1


30% OFF WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE AT WWW.DREAMER2CREATORMAG.CA/SHOP


Evaluate the strength of your message. Ask people outside of your circle what impressions they receive from your messages. As I got deeper and deeper into my career, I noticed that I wanted to start levelling up my clientele. So the photos I was showing on my website started to change. As my messaging changed, I found that people’s language began to change and that the clientele that was calling was also different. I was in control of the work that I promoted. There are

not on Instagram, Tik Tok, or any other social media platform. Television is helping me tremendously, as well as referrals and word of mouth. However, this is still a challenge. How would you tell a micro-entrepreneur to find their clients or customers? Understand the offered product or service, and identify who else is doing successfully. Often enough, someone else has done it before and may be doing it on a larger scale. Study the businesses that are successful and probe into their client base. Make sure to identify the channels they communicate through and get in front of them. If your client listens to the radio, well, then you need to be on the radio. If your clients get together in social groups or play squash, then that is where you need to be. What strategic mistakes do you think many micro-businesses make? And how can they avoid these blunders? First, microbusiness owners think that they are the best to handle all the silos of their business. That is rarely true. Identify your weaknesses. The quicker you can identify it, is the quicker you will

Photo Credit: Josh Pereira

projects that I do not share with the public because it does not represent me or my focus.

Another challenge became very clear once I was confident in executing a quality service – how will people find me? How do I connect with them? My challenge was finding avenues to communicate with my perceived demographic or target market.

What challenges did your business encounter, and how did you use strategy to navigate them? The biggest challenge was working with “greatness”. I use a lot of different contractors and rely on talented individuals to make my vision happen. That was a challenge - finding great contractors and great manufacturers to deliver the desired level of quality. Finding contractors required a lot of research and trial and error. Another challenge became very clear once I was confident in executing a quality service – how will people find me? How do I connect with them? My challenge was finding avenues to communicate with my perceived demographic or target market. They were

achieve balance within your company. It is like having three good tires on a car. There is no point in checking the air on the three that are good; it is the one that is

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 26 -

I SSUE 1 1


flat that needs the attention. Second, a lack of goal setting. Not recognizing the lack of business progress or the need for change after two years causes many businesses to fail. Entrepreneurs must use objectives to measure the realities of business success. Be honest and self-aware. Do not waste time doing the same actions repeatedly, with no change in results. What training do you think entrepreneurs need to succeed on the business side of the business? Everything! Entrepreneurs should be knowledgeable of everything. Years ago, my brother was training to work for Super Clubs in Jamaica to be a manager. During his training, every three to four weeks, they made him manage a different department. There were eight different departments. By the end of the training, he had a good understanding of every division of the organization. Similarly, an entrepreneur needs to

Photo Credit: Josh Pereira

Don’t shy away from taking a business course. It’s essential to understand how to register a business, set up business accounts, and follow payroll and tax filing rules. When neglected, these components can become adverse to the future of the company and overwhelming. Utilize workshops and online courses. Then outsource to professionals who understand those different realms. Were you ever tempted to give up? From the business side of things? Yes, a lot of times! When I left the partnership, I made 10% of what I made the year before. At this time, I was single. I had two kids who were with me 50% of the time. I downgraded the house that I was living in to lower my expenses. I remember waking up many times with the idea of submitting my resume to get a job. Then I will have a healthy salary and not have to struggle. I considered my kids and how I’ve downgraded their lives and my own. I was concerned about ensuring that the clients and calls kept coming in. There were moments where I lost clients. I contemplated getting a job and returning to my life of comfort. I think it happens more times than people want to admit. As an entrepreneur, you need to expect that. Those moments do not happen so much now.

Photo Credit: Josh Pereira

understand all aspects of their business. For instance, you need to understand the basics of accounting and marketing; however, you do not need to be an expert. You need to understand those components of the business to have informed conversations about your resources or understand any shortcomings.

I was also tempted during COVID. Work stopped, and I went four months without income. I had just scaled up. I opened an office, bought another vehicle and hired two more people. Six months later, COVID hit, and I had all this overhead. I had no current clients and lost a lot of jobs. I remember thinking, ‘Who told me I could

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 27 -

I SSUE 1 1


DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 28 -

I SSUE 1 1


Rehoboth Electrical Services Inc

OUR TEAM IS READY TO SERVE YOU CONTACT US TODAY [289] 401-9742 Rehoboth Electrical Services INC. is an electrical contracting firm that values efficiency, quality and customer satisfaction. Our electricians can install anything from new security lighting for your outdoors to a whole home generator that will keep your appliances working during a power outage.

INFO@RESINC.CA

WWW.RESINC.CA

ESA/ECRA #: 7009658


empower you and support your vision. But you also need to find people who make you better and challenge you. There are usually people ahead of you in this race to success. Those are the people you can turn to because they have nothing to lose or gain by telling you the truth. People behind you or those depending on you may be biased; they have something to lose or gain by insulting you and not telling you the complete truth. Having mentorship is beneficial as Photo Credit: Josh Pereira well. There are professionals out there, business coaching do this?’ ‘Who told me to scale up?’ It would be so easy networks, mentoring coaching networks. There are to shut down the business, release everybody and go groups of business owners and entrepreneurs who back to working with a couple of clients at a time from get together once a month to critique people; their home. But the other voice reasoned that 90% of the feedback could be valuable. If you are not getting world is going through, just like me. I think self-doubt reactions or feedback from others, you can’t have a will always be there, along with intimidation and fear. clear vision of your message. Business owners are too It is how we interpret these feelings and employ them close to the product and cannot be impartial. to influence our next step. What are your favourite books on strategy or How are you able to pivot with COVID? business in general? I pivoted with software. It forced us to rely a lot One book is the E Myth by Michael E. Gerber. It is more on communication software and organization a compelling must-read for any entrepreneur as it software to be independent of each other yet work as breaks down the silos and several of the concepts one. I started doing virtual consultations and sending shared in this interview. It helps entrepreneurs packages online. I felt there was creative energy that understand the three areas of a business needed the business lost because we were not all in the same to function: entrepreneur, engineer, or mechanic. room. I am tactile and think with my hands. Now I Once you identify which one you are, you will clearly have to be creative in a more visual setting instead of understand what role(s) needs to be filled within the touching and feeling samples. My presentations used business. The second one is Geoffrey Colvin’s Talent to be in person, and now they are through zoom. That is Overrated. That book was profound because I have connection to people has reduced dramatically. I now always been in the arts, I have received accolades for have clients I have never met in person. I think part of my work. It is assumed that talent will provide a clear what I offer, as the individual, is taken away slightly if pathway to success; however, that is often not the case. you do not get to meet me and we do not get to connect This book analyzes this myth. The most successful in person. It is one of my strengths. people, such as Michael Jordan and Bill Gates, were never the most talented. Successful people are the Talk to us about support systems. ones that have some talent but have to work harder You need to surround yourself with people that or differently.

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 30 -

I SSUE 1 1


Who are your favourite micro-entrepreneurs? I would say Scott McGilvery inspired me initially; he is an HGTV personality. When I decided to move from real estate investor to interior design, I watched his show a lot; Income Property. I am a minority in three ways in my industry. I am black, I am a male, and I am heterosexual. Scott was just a casual guy. He drew me in with how well he presented himself. He made me feel that there was space for me in the industry. What is the last thing you would like to leave our readers? I am an artist first - I am an artist who does interior design, as opposed to being an interior designer;

I am an artist who designs spaces. I paint original paintings for my clients. I approach decorating from a different set of rules than what was taught to many interior designers and me. I am there to make a space beautiful from an artistic point of view. I believe my touch or product is very different from what a lot of other designers would give because of my creative eye and background. People need to know Michael Lambie Interiors. I am an artist who makes beautiful spaces. I am a painter, a photographer. I renovate, and I invest. All of these factors together make my offering very diverse, very deep, and rich.

Photo Credit: Josh Pereira

MICHEAL LAMBIE Founder of Micheal Lambie Interiors Website/Contact: https://www.micheallambieinteriors.ca/ Social: @micheal_lambie_interiors

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 31 -

I SSUE 1 1


Collaboration with other businesses: in someone feeling overburdened and disappointed? Most times, work was completed disproportionately by one group member though all parties received a similar grade - ahh, the good old days. Collaborative business relationships can feel like that. But they need not if done correctly from the outset. MEEPhotography

Considering the increase in social selling, whether a business is creative, service or product based, most businesses have a horror story or two about a failed collaboration, especially when first starting. It is, however, possible to have a successful and positive experience collaborating with other likeminded brands or businesses, provided you spend an appropriate amount of time considering a few key elements.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: SABRINA DOMIZE

important & successful networking tool or group projects

C

ollaboration can be an invaluable marketing and promotion tool if done with considerable thought and planning. GoPro x Red Bull, Kanye x Adidas, Nike x Apple and Starbucks x Spotify are examples of highly successful collaborations that took months, if not years, of planning, negotiation and thought. While these are large-scale illustrations of popular brand collaborations, there are also a few large-scale lessons to be observed to avoid one party revisiting the stress and strain of an elementary school group project. Remember group projects? - Working together as a “group” to achieve a common goal, often resulting

n Identifying the common goal n How you intend to combine forces to achieve them n Creating a balanced list of tasks for each party outlining expectations and deadlines clearly and concisely n Scheduling regular check-ins These are essential considerations to ensure the project stays on track. Your common goal may be as simple as increasing exposure or follower count across social media platforms, and the method with which you intend on doing so could require a multi-faceted approach. Taking the time to parse each party’s task list will help keep the collaboration organized and balanced. Scheduling check-in meetings throughout the collaboration term will allow each party to express concern in real-time. Open lines of communication

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 32 -

I SSUE 1 1


Various apps and programs have been launched to streamline the process, allowing collaboration with other businesses that much easier. These tools enable parties’ communication, content creation, content sharing and organization to be easily handled.

Photo Credit:

The importance of an adequately constructed collaboration task list is crucial. Determining factors such as tone, timeline, responsibility for any social media content, and how any creators involved are credited are all essential. Creating this list ahead of the collaboration helps provide a framework to refer to throughout the collaborative relationship. Like a contract, each party involved will know what to expect and minimize the likelihood of a contentious altercation.

MEEPhotography

are essential to a successful collaboration. Upon completion of the collaboration’s timeline, a wrap-up discussion will provide a forum to reflect on the overall success and pitfalls of the experience. The particulars of this wrap-up discussion can then be used going forward should you decide to enter a collaborative relationship in the future.

reputable brand or business seeking a collaborative relationship with you should understand and respect the need for a mutually agreed upon method of proceeding. It is much easier to approach the collaborative conversation with confidence in your boundaries and comfort level; than to attempt to make changes once the process has begun. Being firm in your position from the beginning and implementing the tools and suggestions above can help keep your collaborative business or brand relationships on track.

Collaborations can be exciting, particularly during a business’ infancy. Being approached by a more prominent brand or business may result in feelings of intimidation but may also open the door to having a new audience experience your offerings that may have remained undiscovered otherwise. Sharing the workload proportionately is a fair and mutually beneficial way of making that happen. However, the increase in collaborative relationships can lead to some creators, businesses, or brands taking advantage of those who are unfamiliar with the collaborative relationship process. It is relatively easy to get caught up in the process, quickly resulting in feelings of discomfort or disappointment. You may feel concerned that excusing yourself from a collaborative conversation may result in lost business revenue or contacts. That being said, any

By: MICHELLE ELLIOT Founder of MEEPhotography Website/Contact: http://www.meephotography.ca/ Social: @meephotographylondon

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 33 -

I SSUE 1 1


5 TIPS TO SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE RELATIONSHIPS IN A BUSINESS

M

Photo Credit:

MEEPhotography

ost business owners would agree that managing relationships is key to the success of their company, though sometimes, when you are in the weeds of a project or a deadline, one may forget this core tenet. However, in my case, the relationship side of my business is something I rarely forget - because my business partner happens to be my sister.

Comedian George Burns once stated, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family... in another city.” I am often asked what it is like to work in a family business - how do you keep your work and personal life separated? How do you prevent family dynamics from overshadowing business dynamics? How can you and your sister spend so much time together? It is prevalent for friends, classmates, or peers to

venture out together to start a business in today’s start-up environment. Many of the situations and questions outlined above will seem familiar to those groups. However, the potential for conflict to disrupt an otherwise good relationship prevents many from taking the step. My sister and I founded our kids’ brand, Jenny & Andy, together in 2017. Our joint vision is to provide Canadian-made, developmentally friendly toys for kids, with a preference for natural materials. Our goal is to enable caregivers and children to play and learn with confidence across all denominations. Along the way, we have navigated many peaks and valleys that accompany entrepreneurship, all the while knowing that we will still come together on Sunday evening for family dinner with our parents, spouses and children no matter what transpires at work. Before starting our business, we both worked alongside our father. He has owned and operated a domestic apparel manufacturing business for over 35 years. Our guided experience allowed us to create a blueprint on surviving and even excelling at working together. In our father’s view, it all comes down to how you manage relationships: from our internal relationship to those with suppliers, employees and customers.

With this baseline, we established five guidelines on managing relationships in a business:

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 34 -

I SSUE 1 1


1

Managing family relationships Communication is key When problems arise, and tempers flare, communication is usually to blame. Sometimes, it results from over-communication: familiarity can break down healthy boundaries, causing disagreements and tension. Other times, it results from under-communication: we care about each other too much or just find it difficult to say what needs to be said. The key to overcoming these communication woes is to talk more intentionally about the right things.

Intentional discussions define relationships, clarify boundaries, and establish expectations for one’s work dynamic. While this may be particularly prevalent for family members working together in a business, I have seen this applied to more traditional business structures with much success.

2

Managing supplier relationships - Put it in writing Suppliers can sometimes get too comfortable and informal in their interactions with owneroperated businesses. This can mean that they rely only on verbal agreements or routinely try to undermine your staff in lieu of going straight to the boss, who is seen as an accessible figure.

Photo Credit:

MEEPhotography

Everyone is best served when everything is written down: from billable rates to delivery dates to expected responsibilities. For instance, if an informal side conversation happens with a contact or supplier, be sure to write an email copying all relevant parties and assign follow-up responsibilities to the right contact. Keeping everyone informed, with routine documentation, is the best practice that helps to avoid ego-related tensions and maintain smooth operations.

3

Managing employee relationships - Clearly define roles Set clear roles amongst management team members, so your team knows whom to go to with different ideas, problems, and advice. Defining roles from the start also prevents you from stepping on each other’s toes when it is not necessary, and it keeps everyone focused on their tasks and goals to make the business a success. My sister and I learned this firsthand when we launched our company – because we both took part in the planning, production, sales and marketing, there were a lot of unaligned expectations on deliverables and wasted time on redundancies. However, tensions and work effort eased as soon as we clarified our respective roles and divided efforts more purposefully.

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 35 -

I SSUE 1 1


4

Managing customer relationships - Be transparent Ask for feedback often and be transparent with what you are capable of. Do not set yourself up to over-promise what you can offer a customer, then ultimately under-deliver; this outcome is far worse than being honest with what you can and cannot do. If there is an issue or problem, try to deal with it immediately and inform the customer of the situation. Do not let issues fester - address them early and often.

5

And finally, our golden rule - The role of a leader is to listen without judgement. Every grievance demands an active ear but not necessarily an active solution. This is our golden rule when managing all our business relationships. As a leader, it is my job to keep calm and make everyone feel heard. Although no active

solution is often required in the aftermath, the main requirement is to be available as a sounding board. Whether it is praise for an outstanding achievement or having a difficult conversation about underperformance, as the face of the business, it is my responsibility to give and receive messages with open ears and an open mind.

W

hile George Burns may disagree with the proximity, for my family and me, by following these guidelines, we have been able to support each other as we grow our respective business acumen and set ambitious goals for the successful business we hope to build!

By: JENNIFER AND ANDREA LEE Founder of Jenny & Andy Website/Contact: https://www.jennyandy.ca/ Social: @jennyandy.ca

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 36 -

I SSUE 1 1


“FAILURE IS NOTHING MORE THAN A CHANCE TO REVISE YOUR STRATEGY.” Anonymous

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 37 -

I SSUE 1 1


Growing Your Creative Business on Instagram: An Illustrator’s Journey

I

magine walking into a big box store and seeing your illustrations on stationery and home decor. Now imagine taking your love for illustrating, turning it into a business and selling your artwork across the globe. Sounds incredible, right? What if I told you that this is possible with Instagram?

My name is Denise Foley, and I am the illustrator, designer and business owner of The Pretty Pink Studio. I became a part-time entrepreneur in 2015, right after I finished University. Although I started working full-time once I graduated, my goal was to begin my business in the hopes of staying creative while also sharing my artwork with the world.

Taking the Leap Instagram’s popularity had already surfaced around the time I created an account. I quickly realized that artists and business owners used Instagram to connect with their customers and a wider audience. As a result, I felt inspired and driven to use the app as a tool to not only share my work but to connect with other artists, build new friendships, and hopefully gain opportunities I never thought were possible.

Staying True to Your Brand Identity I immediately created a business account and named it @theprettypinkstudio. My account became a place where I share my journey as an illustrator. I have stayed true to my brand through the years because that is what separates me from other illustrators and stationery brands. A strong account stands out from the crowd because it shows who you are and your understanding of what your clients want.

Creating Friendships My relationships with other artists and business owners on Instagram are honestly my favourite part of the app. I had never known another person so

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 38 -

I SSUE 1 1


Sending Emails I followed plenty of stationery companies on Instagram for some time, particularly companies that license artwork and then sell them on products found in big box stores like Homesense and Marshalls. I came across a company profile and instantly fell in love with its aesthetics. Before, I had seen their products in-store and thought how wonderful it would be if they sold products with my artwork. I would engage and leave comments on their profile frequently to increase the chances of them seeing my account. One day, I decided I

passionate about creating and building a business like myself until I began using Instagram. At first, it was intimidating to reach out to other artists to ask questions and seek feedback. What I have learned is not to be afraid. You would be surprised by how many artists are open to sharing their resources and understand the struggle to begin a creative business. I continue to stay connected with those artists, and we are constantly sharing our celebrations and struggles. It is nice knowing that you are not alone in your entrepreneurial journey.

would send them an email. I was a little heartbroken when I did not receive a response. However, several months later, I woke to an email from that very same company querying my interest in becoming one of their licensed illustrators. I have learned a lot from this entire experience: 1. Connect with companies who align with your art and business.

You would be surprised by how many artists are open to sharing their resources and understand the struggle to begin a creative business.

Connecting With Your Followers I value the connections I have made with my followers, who are not all artists and entrepreneurs. These relationships usually begin with a simple like and comment on my posts. It is essential to try your very best to respond to your followers’ comments and private messages. It proves that you value their time and engagement and shows that a genuine person runs the account. Getting to know your followers more personally is an excellent way for them to get to know you and effectively turn followers into longterm customers.

2. Do not be afraid to send an email because you never know the outcome. 3. Be patient but be a little persistent too.

Learning to Say No, but Say Yes too! I have had many opportunities come my way over the last 6.5 years. Often, the options did not align with my creativity, business or brand. While saying no to

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 39 -

I SSUE 1 1


prospects is a challenge, sometimes saying yes can be too! For example, I received an email querying whether I would be interested in illustrating a children’s book. After searching key hashtags, the author had seen my illustrations and felt I aligned with her vision and story. I was fearful of accepting the project, but I said yes because the story was beautiful and the author was lovely too.

Growing with Instagram Instagram is constantly growing, and for accounts to reach a larger audience, users need to utilize all the tools provided. It is essential to be consistent, especially when posting your photos and videos, writing and speaking to your followers, and showing up to stay engaged with your followers. Let your audience get to know you, and remember never to be afraid of being yourself.

By: DENISE FOLEY Founder of The Pretty in Pink Studio Website: https://theprettypinkstudio.com/ Social: @theprettypinkstudio


“IN REALITY STRATEGY IS ACTUALLY VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD. YOU PICK A GENERAL DIRECTION AND IMPLEMENT LIKE HELL.” JACK WELCH, BUSINESS EXECUTIVE

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 41 -

I SSUE 1 1


5 TIPS FOR

JUGGLING A NEVER-ENDING TO-DO LIST thing about people who identify with this type is that they often crave more flow in their life. So, you can see this is where the “grass is not always greener on the other side” phenomenon comes into its own. What we must remember is that we are all human. We all have many tasks, and to-dos and each of us has our own unique needs when it comes to keeping organized and moving forward. The key to finding your most aligned workflow to tackle your never-ending to-do list is to: • meet yourself where you are at • learn what works and what does not work for YOU • determine your unique needs • create a plan to move forward As small business owners, we are inundated with tasks, to-dos and juggling many different balls at any given moment. I have yet to find one client who does not wear more than one hat on any given day. Can you relate? Throughout the past 16 years, I have learned that most people fall into one of two categories regarding how they tackle their projects, tasks and to-dos. The FLOW type people get overwhelmed easily with structure, yet ironically, they also crave it. Their struggle is often that they do not know where to start. The STRUCTURE type people need systems and structure to help them get organized, and without that, they are often completely lost. The interesting

This all sounds simple, yet so many people continue to struggle. If this is you, I would like to invite you to give a test drive to the Heartledpreneur Five-Step Sequence to Organization, Productivity and Workflows so that you can feel streamlined, efficient and most importantly, effective.

The steps include the following:

1

Reflect – Take time to pause and look back on the past six months or so, perhaps even longer. Think about the tools you have used to help you stay organized. What has worked and what has not? When have you felt in flow, and why? When have

DRE A ME R 2 C RE A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 42 -

I SSUE 1 1


you felt overwhelmed, and why? Can you think of a time when you dropped the ball on a task, project or client? Is there anything you could have done differently?

2

Realign – With this awareness, it is time to realign yourself. Start by realizing anything and everything sitting in your mind is a task, to-do item or project.

3

Organize – Start at a high level and create “containers” or “categories” where all your items fall. For example, I start with the highest levels, “Personal” and “Business,” and sub-categorize from there.

action by starting at number one and do an in-depth reflection. If you need to write down your plan in a simple checklist form to help you stay on track, make that your first step. And be sure to have a means of prioritizing your items so that you know which ones you must take action on next. Listen, I hear you; life can get overwhelming at the best of times when you are wearing many hats and juggling all of the tasks. My biggest tip is to build the opportunity to pause and reflect often to consistently evaluate what is working well for you and what needs to change. This way, before your tasks and todos, get out of hand, you will have the opportunity to handle them and make sure that your system is working FOR you, not AGAINST you. I build a weekly reflection into my routine and a monthly, quarterly and annual. I like to be aware of tasks that stay on my to-do list that never get done. These are the tasks to re-evaluate because they do not belong on my daily or weekly list. Instead, I have a special place where those items go off to the side but are not forgotten. This ensures that my current list is just that: CURRENT. This way, the tasks that stay on my radar are organized in a time-relevant way, and I can stay focused on my priorities. You have got this, Heartledpreneur.

4

Plan and Strategize - Determine which tool or tools you will use to help you stay on task. My favourite task organizer and to-do list combined is Todoist. On the other hand, you may prefer a paper planner. Whatever you choose, include in your plan how to hold yourself accountable to using it and how you will create a new habit or routine for yourself. I find habit stacking to be quite effective.

5

Prioritize, Implement and Take Action – There is no time like the present. If your current system is not serving you, start today. Take

By: AMANDA GOBATTO Founder of Digital Girl Consulting Website/Contact: https://digitalgirlconsulting.com/ Social: @digitalgirlca

DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 43 -

I SSUE 1 1


BUSINESS: THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE


resources This article is intended to get you started in the right research direction. There is a lot of information to sort through, and exact information will depend on several factors, location, age, business type, industry and more.

Grants

Business grants in the traditional sense of the word are very hard to find. For example, an employment grant means you will be reimbursed some of the money used to pay your employees. The government sponsors this program, processed by third parties and have caveats because the government is trying to reduce youth unemployment and provide jobs for immigrants. Links to start are: https://innovation.ised-isde.canada.ca/ s/?language=en&lang=eng https://skillsforchange.org/employers/canadaontario-job-grant/

Loans

Futurpreneur Canada helps entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39. Futurpreneur Canada partners with BDC to provide up to $60k. https://www.futurpreneur.ca/en/ You may also go directly to BDC for loans and grants https://www.bdc.ca/en/financing/pages/ default.aspx https://www.bdc.ca/en/bdc-capital/venturecapital/pages/venture-capital.aspx

Community Grants

Access Community Loan fund gives to the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an option. The mistake many persons make with crowdfunding is not putting their money in first. Persons are less likely to commit to being the first investor. Make sure your profile is also compelling. www.kickstarter.com https://www.indiegogo.com/en https://www.patreon.com/

Pitch Competitions

Dragon’s Den is an example of pitch competitions, but many smaller ones are easy to get in and can yield $500, $10,000, or more. Most community organizations now offer pitch competitions as a away to add value for its members and non-members. Use eventbrite.ca and social media to start your search

Labour Costs

Using university and college interns will also give you help with labour costs. This requires time to mentor the intern, but you will both grow from the experience. You are sometimes required to pay a stipend. Schools have programs for paid and unpaid interns as well as reaching out directly to students. There are also programs from the government for summer students but application deadline is usually January/February. I recently learnt that Facebook groups offer internship opportunities as well.

Community grants tend to be local to you so you will need to research this yourself. Start with your local credit unions. Alterna Savings gives loan to Ontario businesses only. DRE A M E R 2 C R E A T O R B USI N ESS M A GAZ I N E

- 45 -

I SSUE 1 1


A FANCY WORD FOR COMING UP WITH A LONG-TERM PLAN AND PUTTING IT INTO ACTION IS...

Ellie Pidot, Strategist



BOOK AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT AMAZON.CA & CHAPTERS.CA


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.