September 2015 issuu

Page 1

September 2015 Vol, 22 No.7 $4.95

Vacations are Good for Business

how taking a break helps you and your employees

Will YOU Ring the Bell?

a matter of staying power and commitment

Soft Skills

improve yourself just by reading

Staff and Authors

Nancy Becher

Rachael Cooper

Executive Editor

Graphic Designer, Editor

Magazine Advertising Inquiries

Magazine Subscriptions

701 N. Prairie Street, Sturgis, MI 269.651.3555







Business Success Unlimited

BSU helps small businesses succeed through mentoring projects, networking groups, and entrepreneurial forums. From business knowhow to business networking, BSU has it all. For more information about our one-on-one consulting, business retreats or networking forums contact Nancy.


701 Prairie Street, 2nd Floor, Sturgis, MI 49091 269.651.3555

Nancy K Becher

As CEO I ensure that BSU is a trusted and caring service provider for the entrepreneur and small business owner in need of marketing and advertising advice, as well as a large networking group of businesses.

Vol. 22 No.6 Small Biz Forward Published monthly by Celebrate Business Publishing, a division of Business Success Unlimited. ISSN 2332-5887 No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted into any form by any means without written consent from the publisher. Unsolicited manuscripts and photographs will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All letters sent to Small Biz Forward will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication, copyright purposes and use are subject to SB unrestricted right to edit and comment.


Small Biz Forward

Nancy Becher has run business referral

MamaRed Knight Executive BizChef and

associations since 1983. First in Washington,

that keep you from doing what you love most

groups, training programs, and small business

DC metro area and now throughout Michigan

and Indiana with programs in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Niles, and Sturgis, MI as well as South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart, Granger, and Fort Wayne, IN.

ContentChef, in charge of Taming The Beasties and do best. My greatest wish is to help you be

a Legally Lazee BizOwner, one who uses the best tools, technology and processes stolen from my

days as a corporate consultant for the likes of Intel, Eli Lilly & Company and IBM.

Rivka Kawano is an author, speaker, and social

Linda Fitzgerald Visionary Partner,

people learn how to build real relationships

Women of the World, A Women’s Place

media consultant specializing in helping

online that result in real business results. She has worked with businesses in a variety of

industries. When not immersed in the world of social media she is loves yoga, a good cup of tea, and being with family.

Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Network, Inc. dba, Affiliated Women

International, Neighborhood BoutiquesOpen for your Business, Empowering Women to Thrive

Brian Howard is a noted Business Credit

Susie Oliverez is the Owner & Senior HR

of Credit Made Easy and Business Credit Made

Discovering Your X Factor.

and Consumer Credit Expert. He is the author Easy. He currently the Director of Credit Services at BKH Credit Group Atlanta.

Consultant at Iron Sharpens Iron —

Cindy Cohen is a registered nurse with 35

Adam G. Fleming is an account rep for

a hospital. She is recognized as an accomplished

trainer, and is the author of a stage play, A

years experience from the bedside to CEO of author, wellness expert, and corporate wellness

Worldpay, a leadership coach and coach

Pebble among the Rocks, and a novel, White

leader. As a health coach and wellness consul-

Buffalo Gold, © 2012 available on Amazon,

Your Health Team in helping others find their

tant, Cohen is the guiding force behind the C2

way to improved personal and business wellness.

Kindle and many other platforms.

Jerry Sarno is experienced in Fortune 500 companies and small enterprises. He

specializes in Project Management, ecommerce and Account Management. He managed high performance teams in

applications development, CRM and ERP software deployments and has worked in international project teams.

Small Biz Forward


June 2015 • Vol, 22 No.5

Contents 12 Vacations are Good for Business by Jerry Sarno

19 Are you Wasting your Money on Conferences? by Rivka Kawano

25 Will YOU Ring the Bell? by Nancy Becher

29 Is There a Work-Life Balance? by Susie Olivarez

32 Soft Skills

by Adam Flemming

8 Once Upon a Time by Nancy Becher

11 3 Common Myths about Business Credit by Brian Howard


Small Biz Forward

14 So You Want To Be Somebody by Ed Becher

16 STOP Trying to Write a Book, Right Now! by MamaRed Knight

22 “Finding Our Way” - Women and Micro-Business by Linda Fitzgerald

26 Be Strong – Commit to Health by Cindy Cohen

30 Worry and Stress Tips for Entrepreneurs by Charisse McCrory

39 Security and the Entrepreneur by Ed Becher

Every Month

6 Resources

7 Moment of Motivation

40 Book of the Month Club

41 Crossword Puzzle

42 September 2015 Events

Small Biz Forward


Resources Support and Answers We hear over and over how important it is to keep up with our training (yes, even if you’ve been a business owner for 30 years). Yet, we often don’t take the time to do anything outside of our day to day work. But if you have questions that you could use an answer for, there are some great sites on the Internet that may be able to help you. Here are three: There are many others out there that are great places to access. But, if you’re looking for hands-on support, one-on-one encouragement, accountability and growth, don’t forget to check out: They will help you take some of the things you read above and put them into effect immediately so that you see a higher level of income, more time to share with family and friends, and in general a higher bottom line!


Do you do your own graphics but stuck with using simple templates that everyone has seen and are old and worn? Now, there’s a new program that allows you to let the designer in you come out and play – and for the most part it’s FREE, with some templates being only $1 to use. Go to to see all the exciting things that you can now do with graphics and design. You can also sign up for its newsletters and get great design ideas and tutorials. What are you waiting for? Go now!

Uber Conference

Do you want to have webinars, phone conversations with a group, teach by showing someone your computer and how it works? There are a lot of different programs that allow you to do that, but one that SBF uses often, without incident (and free or almost free – depending on the number of people on the call) is: We highly recommend it.


Small Biz Forward

Moment of Motivation This month’s inspiration is all about courage, persistence and excitement. I knew exactly what I was talking about when I came up with that topic. But, interestingly enough, everyone had a different interpretation of what those words meant to them – and I guess that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? What do those words mean to you? As most of you know, I’ve been in some form of business since I was 12 years old. And up until recently, every day for the most part was exciting. Up until recently, because for the past year I’ve had a lot of issues that have brought me down, both personally and from a business perspective. One thing that is totally true is that the more discouraged I’ve gotten on my personal, private life, the more it has affected my business and thus the cycle starts. Round and round, until I even thought about just closing everything down and fixing my little corner up, and moving in. But, even during these days there are have been times of excitement where things have gone well and un-thought of proposals (options) have come into my world, getting me out of the dark and back working again. Right now, as a matter of fact, I’m sitting in my newly decorated back porch office, enjoying the sun and wonderful breezes wafting through while I work. This all has gotten me thinking over the past many years. Back when I originally started this iteration of my business was during a time when I had been injured and had lost my job. I needed an income and so what did I do? I started my own business. Now, even though I had been an entrepreneur for years, it was always more like a hobby. I didn’t need the income to live on: it was more like fun, giving me something to do with extra time. During college it helped to pay my school bills, and then after I moved to DC and had gotten married, it helped with the household bills. Now, though, I needed to make money. I had doctor bills and my husband and I needed the money to live on. But what did I really know about running a business? A BUSINESS, not a hobby. Not much, so, with courage and persistence I set out to make an impact in the world. And guess what, I did. That is until the next big trauma hit. I had signed a contract to work with a company who was starting an executive suite. My company was to run the suite for them and in exchange, all the tenants were to use our services for their admin needs. Well, that didn’t happen. Instead, I was paying full time staff to sit and twiddle their thumbs. Oh no. Did I give up? Nope. I reinvented myself again and started over in another location with different goals and strategies. Again, courage to step out into the unknown and persistence to see that it would make sense. The ups and downs have continued through to today. I’m sitting here with my foot propped up to keep the pain and swelling down. I can’t walk without a brace thanks to the car that got me in a hit and run a year ago. But not being able to walk or get around like before does not stop my brain from working – it just puts still another spin on the courage, persistence and excitement actions. We all have things in our lives that can be looked at through the eyes of good, bad or indifferent. How we deal with them is what makes or breaks us. What do you do when problems occur? When something great takes place, or when you just need to keep on keeping on? Think about it! Nancy Becher

Small Biz Forward


Once Upon a Time by Nancy Becher

Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a girl who loved the world of business. She worked from the age of 12 to build a business for herself with all kinds of ideas from crafts, to office admin, and even to becoming an executive suites owner. Over the years people started to rely on her and she hired employees as well as bigger and more expensive offices and the “toys” that went along with all that. Her biggest shared view was that no matter what you do, you’ve got to have fun doing it. Along the way somewhere, however, she realized that she herself was no longer having fun, and decided that she needed to rethink what she was doing. She knew that in order to do what she was meant to do (help others) that she needed to first figure out how to help herself, and then, most importantly, what it was that others wanted from her. She searched for a mentor, a group to be part of, and she found the perfect one... even though it met early in the morning, and more than an hour away from where she lived. She knew that they would help her to find her spot in the world, and so she started moving in that direction. After she had been part of that group for a while, her soul started to sing again with passion for what she was doing, and she began to focus on how helping herself was going to help others. She created meetings for people that let them listen (and share) with other like-minded individuals who had boots on the ground and were trying to build their businesses. Her Entrepreneurial Forums brought ideas like Customer Service, and Using Social Media, as well as Marketing Fears and How to Push Past It to the forefront, so that everyone would be able to take a message back with them to their own homes and offices, saying “Wow. This is going to help me now”.


From the Forums came other advancements. The Peer Advisory Boards sprang into existence. Heavy questions like “What is our mission?” and “Who is our Ideal Customer and why do we need to know?” made heads hurt as people struggled with those answers, only later to realize that it actually made business much easier. People lined up to see just what the next question would be. Then, after 9 months of joy and pain, exhaustion and exhilaration, came the birth of this girl’s own dreams for her business and her success. Along the way she had come to realize that God had asked her to do this... He wanted her to be there to support those around her (although she had been in business now for over 35 years, she had never had the support and training of others, and this was her calling to do that so that new businesses wouldn’t struggle so much). By helping those others, she was, indeed, helping herself. And finally, the culmination of that gift was a national magazine, Small Biz Forward, that provided answers, ideas, values, information about other businesses, all in a format that allowed for people throughout the country and world, to read and put into use immediately things that would help them grow their businesses without taking years and thousands of dollars. It was her dream and her goal come true. I’m sure you have one (or two) as well. What are you going to do to create your own Happily Ever After? Nancy Becher

Small Biz Forward

Small Biz Forward


Meeting Every Monday


11:30a - 1:30p


$3 + 2 Business Cards

Ziano’s – Maysville Rd,

Northeast Indiana Innovation Ctr. 3201 Stellhorn Road, 46815

Great Lunch Specials


(Entrance at the Flagpole)



Randi Lincoln 260-312-7862

Randi 312-7862



Business Owners/Career Seekers Networkers/Social Media Builders

*Business Cards


* Door Prizes for Drawings

1st Time Attenders:

To Promote Your Business

Bring Minimum of 40 Business Cards +/Or Resumes to share

* Resumes / Flyers

* Career Seekers WELCOME!


Bring Lots of Business Cards +/or RESUME to Pass Out!

Door Prize Giveaways Promotes your Business!

Business Cards to Pass     

Relational Networking Gain Insights & Ideas

Promote Business/Learn More Bring Lots of Business Cards $3 admission + 2 Cards at door


   

Build Business Relationships Network + Learn 2 Network Bring 2 Business Cards + $3 Enjoy Ziano’s Lunch Specials

Small Biz Forward

3 Common Myths about Business Credit by Brian Howard

A lot of people don’t understand the consumer credit system, and many more don’t understand the business credit system. Today I’m going to cover a couple of common business credit “myths” and explain the truth that can be learned from them.

business purposes puts your personal credit at risk for the sake of your business. By using personal credit for business, you limit the resources available to you personally and to your business, and the end result could be disastrous. Imagine when your business credit needs exceed your personal credit capacity--and when Myth #1: Business Credit is YOU need to use your personal credit Just Like Personal Credit and can’t because it’s been tied up by This sounds like it ought to be true, your business. No matter how you but it just isn’t. Sure, the credit systems spin it, in the end using your personal are similar. However, there are some credit for business is a bad idea. very major differences that can seriously affect your business. For starters, the Myth #3: Business Credit and consumer credit system has, both in Personal Credit Are in no court and in congressional testimony, Way Related been demonstrated to be fairly While using your personal credit for anti-consumer. The system works business use is a bad idea, we can’t exactly against consumers in many cases, is separate business credit and personal prone to errors, and tends to resist the credit completely. In many cases, especorrection of any errors by consumers cially when starting out with business or their advocates. (In one example, credit, an owner of the company will be even after a credit bureau was sued required to provide a “personal guaranand lost in court, they continued to tee” for the business credit loan or line refuse for months to remove the of credit. When providing a personal incorrect information from the person’s guarantee, the company extending credit reports.) The business credit credit will not only check your business system is quite different. It is not credit, but will check your personal credit anti-business (or anti-consumer), it is history. While the business account less prone to errors, and when there won’t show up on your personal credit are legitimate errors, they are generreport, the personal guarantee could ally easier to get corrected. eventually affect your personal credit in the event that the business fails to Myth #2: It Doesn’t Hurt to meet its obligations. Obviously, you Use Personal Credit in Place should aim to avoid that scenario of Business Credit (and certainly can) by careful planThis is a problematic way of thinking ning and smart use of business credit. that can lead to big problems down the road. Using personal credit for Brian Howard Small Biz Forward


Vacations are Good for Business by Jerry Sarno

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. The sun is shining and visions of lounging by the water with a cold drink in your hand dance in your head. But you have work to do. Instead of giving in to temptation and booking a beach day, you hunker down and get back to the task at hand. Does this scenario sound familiar? What if not taking a vacation could actually be hurting your productivity? On average, Americans only take


approximately half of their available paid time off. Not taking full advantage of your vacation days, however, can be bad for your brain as well as the rest of your body. Creativity, performance and your overall health can all be negatively affected if you don’t embrace opportunities to step away from the office and relax.

Performance and Creativity

When you’re tired and there’s work left to accomplish, the most common instinct is to push through and get the job done. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the best course of action. Vacation deprivation can cause exhaustion, resentment and increased mistakes on the job. Pushing yourself too hard for too many hours each day will Taking time off can help to improve cause your brain to push back. Suddenly performance and creativity, and health. the simplest task feels impossible to complete. When this happens, the

Small Biz Forward

best thing to do is take a break. Pushing too hard is bad for your brain. “There is a lot of research that says we have a limited pool of cognitive resources,” says professor at Virginia Commonwealth University Allison Gabriel. “When you are constantly draining your resources, you are not being as productive as you can be. If you get depleted, we see performances decline. You’re able to persist less and have trouble solving tasks.”

to all types of business, not just creative fields. Giving the mind and body a change of pace and time to recharge can help employees return to work with more motivation and energy.


to relax while on vacation greatly enjoy their time away. While this feeling of joy dissipates over time, the overall benefits should not be dismissed. Jessica de Bloom, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tampere in Finland said “It would be like asking, ‘Why do we sleep despite the fact that we get tired again?’” The experiences we have on vacation are just as important to maintaining our brain’s physiological function as sleep is. Remembering the fun of a vacation can impact our current level of happiness.

Those who are seen to as working hardest in the workplace are the ones who are rewarded. Playtime is seen as lazy or unproductive, but all work and no play leads to burnout. Employees who regularly use up their vacation days and actively enjoy their time off can We all know the importance of getting benefit both mentally and physically. a good night’s sleep, but the same They tend to be less stressed and have The Framingham Heart study found principle applies to taking vacations. a lower risk of heart disease and vacations also significantly reduce the Research shows that an increased depression. Not taking time off work risk of heart disease. Men who went amount of down time can actually can pose serious health risks, and several years without taking a vacation help you work better. Taking breaks at there’s science to prove it. increased their risk of heart attacks by work and turning attention to a simple 30 percent. It is just as important to task can give a different part of your In order to adapt and thrive, it is regularly take vacations, rather than brain time to step in and solve probimportant to learn how to relax. banking them over the course of a lems. Taking more frequent vacations, Otherwise, you might not be able to couple of years. This same study found especially traveling to different locations, in the future. “Without time and that skipping holidays for just one year helps the brain refresh even further. opportunity to do this, the neural could increase the risk of heart disease. Time away from work, therefore, helps connections that produce feelings of us to perform at our highest potential. calm and peacefulness become weaker, The science is in: vacation days improve making it actually more difficult to shift overall health. Taking days off for The mentality that non-stop work is into less-stressed modes,” explains clinical vacation translates into less days off the only way to achieve success is what psychologist Deborah Mulhern. “What due to illness, thereby increasing overall keeps entrepreneurs and employees neuroscience is showing is that we productivity. Healthier employees are exhausted and, ultimately, reaping less require down time in order for our happier, more engaged and motivated rewards. “It’s not the amount of time you bodies to go through the process of to achieve their goals. spend working each day,” says author restoration. It is only when we are safe and Strategic Coach co-founder Dan from external stresses that our bodies In Conclusion Sullivan. “Entrepreneurs get paid through can relax enough to activate restoration.” Whether you are running a business problem-solving and creativity. You can or trying to impress your employer, create a solution in a shorter period of Vacations build resilience and taking paid vacation benefits everyone time if you are rested and rejuvenated.” time to play is necessary to make our equally. By encouraging employees to brains more responsive, flexible, skilled take time off and not feeling guilty Time away from the office and day-to- and social. Scientists have discovered when you take time off for yourself, day tasks allows for employees to find that depriving young rats of play caused efficiency and overall job satisfaction creative responses to larger business their cortisol levels to stay so high they can be increased while employee challenges. Think of the brain as a died. While this is an extreme example, turnover is decreased. So, book that machine. Quality output can only be it illustrates the importance of play in day off to frolic in the sun knowing achieved through regular refueling. building resilience and curbing stress. you are actually helping the overall Taking the time to relax in a non-work success of your company. environment can help you to see probTime away from the stresses of work lems from a fresh perspective. This type of boosts overall health and feelings of Jerry Sarno creative problem solving can be applied well-being. Workers who take the time Small Biz Forward


So You Want To Be Somebody Ed Becher

My career in the security world started with my time in the Marine Corps while assigned to Marine Security Guard Battalion and working Embassy Security. With having tours of duty in Amman, Jordan then on to Santiago, Chile I was able to see the security world in a different light. Providing security for visits of former President Jimmy Carter, Middle East Peace emissaries Phillip Habib and Morris Draper, then Secretary of State George Schultz changed my prospective on how security and protection should be handled. Being stationed in Amman when both the American Embassy in Beirut and the Marine Barracks there were attacked has a way of changing someone’s view.

new responsibilities. A need to learn new skills, liaison with licensing officials in Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire and other locations was then called for. With having officers in some 13 different states, you learn that not everyone sees security the same way. In 2007, I decided I needed a totally new change and left full time teaching and started to work on new adventures, Bail Fugitive Recovery, Service of Civil Process and oh yeah more curriculum development. In 2007 alone, training programs I had developed were in use by no less than 4 private security and hospitality training companies in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area.

Upon my return stateside and still a US Marine stationed in North Carolina, was my introduction to hotel and bar In 2008, a decision was made to move to Michigan, and a security. Now you can really talk about an eye opener. new start. While still working contracts I had with firms Keeping hotel guests and bar patrons happy at the same in Virginia, I was traveling back and forth to there for time took some of those diplomatic skills I learned earlier. over 6 months twice a month. If Amtrak had frequent From there it was off to Hawaii and some private security traveler miles I would be in good shape. in and around Waikiki. Sun, beach and bikinis, along with some very rich clients with Sumo wrestler bodyguards When I started Becher & Associates in 2005, a company and Rolls Royce rides. whose name has changed 3 different times to where we are now -- Center for Protection, Security and Personal Fast forward to 1999 and I retire from the Marine Corps. Safety -- many changes have occurred. We are now a In January 2000 I join the Uniformed Branch of the US provider of training programs in Executive Protection, Department of State and was assigned to the residence of Investigations and Bail Fugitive Recovery. We have been then Secretary of State, Madeline Albright. After 14 named a top Bail Enforcement school in 2013 and 2015 months of being in uniform I was chosen to move down by Collateral Magazine and We were to the training center and begin my new adventure as an one of 17 schools chosen and the only one in Michigan. instructor. Totally different shift from standing a post to teaching others how to do it properly and effectively. Has this made things easier in putting students into seats? Having stood those same posts and knowing many of the No, it has not and like many businesses we will still suffer in-service students I was teaching made for a very with the issues many of you deal with as well. Marketing, enjoyable time. When a change in training hours from sales, attracting new clients, cost benefit of what we offer 120 to 160 hours for a basic Uniformed Officer initial and a whole lot more. It has truly been a learning experihours was determined to be needed, it was time to master ence. Are there things I would change or modify, yes curriculum development and quickly. there are, and we are working on them. Not long after the change in training hours was implemented I was given the position of Chief Instructor with 14

Ed Becher

Small Biz Forward

Center for Protection, Security and Personal Safety Sturgis, MI

Do you take your personal security seriously? How well is your situational awareness? Are you your own bodyguard? Contact us for: Personal Safety Seminar, 2 hours Bodyguard for your Family, 8 hours Center for Protection, Security and Personal Safety 269-421-1735 Small Biz Forward


STOP Trying to Write a Book, Right Now! by MamaRed Knight

I mean it. STOP it right now. If you don’t want to write a book. don’t. No matter who tells you to write one. For whatever reason. With whatever “blueprint.” Or Process. Or System. Believe me, if your energy is wrapped up in “gotta get this done even tho’ I sure as hell don’t want to,” that energy is going to be part of the book and you won’t be very happy.

or one of those new fangled Kindle/ Nook/Tablet/Whatever thingies. Or... don’t know where to put the commas and your 3rd grade English teacher said you wouldn’t know a semi-colon if it bit you in the ass.

credibility and gets your name out there in a bigger way. And (and this is the biggie) you’re ready to look into the options. What if... your book could be a series of tips you’ve learned along the way to doing what you do?

Or... you don’t have thousands upon What if... a book isn’t a book in the thousands of dollars to print copies that traditional sense? What if there are so will sit in the back corner of your garage. many new definitions because of the new technology available? Or if you want to write on another Or... <insert your statement here> topic first, then do it! What if... all the new technology means So let’s look at this another way, you can print 1 copy of a book at a time You became a business owner so you whatcha say? If you really do want to instead of boxes full? could do what you loved, right? So have a book with your name on it, for you could be free to do what you love, whatever reason, let’s look at some What if... your book could be a audio right? Then WTH! do-able options. or video series (for those who prefer to talk their message)?

Is Your Current View of the Word “Book” Accurate?

Maybe... you’ve got the picture that a book has to be some big honkin’ huge “thang” that takes a hundred years to produce, has a gazillion footnotes, and makes the reader’s eyes glaze over when they even think about reading your amazing wisdom. Or... you believe you have to be someone special to write a book and you just aren’t that special. (Which, by the way, you most certainly are!) Or... you can’t spell well enough. Or... you’re don’t know how to get your wisdom packaged up like a real book 16

Other Ways to get Your Wisdom Packaged up Into a “Book”

Yes, it would be fantabulous if we could all be the next author of a Harry Potter series that makes millions and is seen around the world. I mean think of it! All that mula and adulation and spin off products. Wowser. And if that’s what you want to do, sign up for your Tame the ontentBeastie session (one to a Guest please) and let’s grow that bank account and spread your message!! Now, let’s say that kind of fame isn’t why you want to put your name on the cover of a book. And you’ve heard the rumor that having a book establishes

What if... you could hire someone to do the writing for you? What if... you could talk your book into being by recording it while you’re chatting with some friends (most phones, computers, and lap0tops these days have a record option)? What if... you could hire folks to take care of all the stuff you don’t know about and still reap the rewards? What if... you could do a series of teensy weensy books focused on a very narrow topic so you don’t overwhelm your often-overwhelmed readers? Small Biz Forward

What if... you could use a low-tech way to get started (index cards are a great way to capture ideas and then organize them different ways) and then get some kiddo who lives, eats, and breathes technology to take care of that for you for the price of a pizza?

There are Many Ways to get Your Message Into the World

What if... everything you are afraid of has a solution waiting in the wings?

There are many questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re on the

There are so many ways to get your message to the world these days and I agree, it can be overwhelming. until you:

right track and here’s a starting point list of them. Don’t let the number of questions discourage you! Take it one question at a time (remember, there is no wrong answer, only the right answer, for you!)

• get clear on what you really want to do with your message I would love to help you get your What if... you could write your content • create a big picture vision message out to those who need what up one way and then use it at least 48 • identify where your ideal reader you’ve learned through the School of other ways to get the word out? hangs out Hard Knocks, your formal education, • identify how your ideal reader likes to your missteps and regrets. So let’s do What if... you wrote a book like one I get information (it may surprise you!) this? How about we start with a saw one time called Everything Men • put a plan together “Tame the ContentBeasties” session Know About Women? Honestly, it was • identify the next do-able step to see what’s next for you? My treat! a book on the shelves at a local bookstore • take one do-able step, then the next a few years ago and when you opened it, • enlist the help of those who have May your day be igKnighted with there were nothing except blank pages! been there before you passionately powerful possibilities!

Small Biz Forward

MamaRed Knight


As we consider those greater than ourselves as our mentors in business, Winston Churchill comes to mind. How would this motivate you to lead the way to greater things? “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” In which color and size may I order this for you? It’s that simple!


Small Biz Forward

Are you Wasting your Money on Conferences? by Rivka Kawano

Do you have money to burn? A lot of people must. Or at least that is the only conclusion that is logical at most of the networking conferences I have been to in the past.

So where is the disconnect? Why is it • Ask some of your best clients and that people go to these events and are connections on LinkedIn for a completely unprepared to take advanrecommendation on your profile tage of the opportunities afforded? • Ask your friends or family what your Sadly, I have been guilty of this at best qualities are times too. So let’s look at the most • Make a list of what you have to common traps and how to avoid them. offer others • Update your LinkedIn and other Trap: Low confidence social media profiles with your most It is really hard to confidently network, recent accomplishments enter conversations, and meet the goals • Regularly do things that increase you had in mind when you arrived if your confidence and/or stretch your you don’t believe in yourself. comfort zone

Escape Route: Know your worth

Trap: Fuzzy goals

There can be this magical idea that if While improving your confidence is we just show up and hang out around arguably a life-long endeavor here a all the awesomeness somehow it will couple things that can help right now. rub off on us. Of course, there is no magic, just clear intention and action Small Biz Forward

based on that intention. But many people walk into a conference really unsure of what they are doing there. Is it mostly to learn some specific piece of information? To meet or connect with certain people? To get new clients? Knowing what these goals are inform every single other decision you make from which sessions to sit in on to what to do on your down time. And life is, after all, nothing more than a series of choices.

Escape Route: Set clear objectives

Take the time to set goals and objectives now. Ideally these will be aligned with the goals you have already set for your business as a whole. Some questions to ask yourself: 19

• What are the most important objectives for your business/career in the next 6 months? • Who are the people that can help you get there? • How many more clients do you need in order to reach your goals? • Who is your ideal client? • What information do you need to move forward? • What other opportunities outside of the conference itself will there be? (Connecting with local clients or partners, scheduling your own meet up, local sights, etc.) Side note - make sure these are real goals that move you forward. Handing out 200 business cards just to hand out 200 business cards is not a great goal.

Trap: It’s all about me

Derek Halpern tells the story of someone who came up and literally shoved a business card in Derek’s mouth. That is probably the ultimate example, but we have all been around those people. The ones who are just all about their agenda, talk all the time, and push business cards on everyone. Not only is this ineffective, it is just plain rude. However, it can be really easy to be that person when we are nervous or unclear about what we are doing (see above).

Escape Route: Connect, help, and listen

People who will want to work with you are those who know, like, and trust you. Be confident in what you have to offer others and be generous with that time. Here are some practices to add to your interactions that will help: • Instead of offering a card always ask for theirs. Try to write a quick note on it to remind you of any follow up. • Ask questions. This will help you 20

Small Biz Forward

know what they need that you can help with and vice versa. • Count to three silently in your head when they finish talking before you start. This helps prevent interrupting and lets them know you are really listening. • Make introductions whenever you can. Never right someone off as unimportant, you never know what connections will lead where. • Connect ahead of time. Find people on social media who are also going to the conference and introduce yourself. • Do the little things that have nothing to do with your area of expertise like holding doors, making eye contact, smiling, and offering a seat to someone looking.

Trap: Not leaving time to prepare

The planning fallacy is basically a psychological term that says we always think things will take less time than they really do. The bigger the project (like planning for a conference) the more we underestimate the time needed. I was at a conference in Chicago last year and on the final day the host was introducing one of the speakers and asked how many people were familiar with this speaker. Only a handful of hands went up. At that point, everyone should have known if for no other reason than we had an event binder telling us! Preparation is key to be able to accomplish your goals and avoid putting your foot in your mouth when you ask the Facebook expert who is delivering the keynote if they use social media in their business.

Escapre Route: Do an internal audit and get ready

• Take a look at your website. Is it up to date? Is it something you can feel confident in sharing? Does it represent your work and abilities well? • Are your social media profiles up to date? Do you have an easily recognizable profile picture? • Anywhere you are online is it clear what you have to offer your ideal client and the benefit there is to getting to know you? • Check out the speakers. Do you know who they all are? If you met them tomorrow would you know what to talk about with them? • Event location - what is special about it? Do you know anyone in the area you should connect with while there? • What activities are going on outside the scheduled conference?

Trap: Losing opportunities after the fact

Where deals actually happen and business grows is usually after the fact. Follow up is critical to the success of your conference experience. Whether it is implementing new information, or connecting with new leads. So why don’t we do it? Well, other than planning fallacy at work again, we usually have put the rest of our business and lives on hold to come to this conference. When we get back there are any of a number of fires to be put out, tasks to do, and communication to catch up on that keep pushing aside that follow up.

e-mails to new people you met that day and add new to-do items to whatever system you use for scheduling (I love • Leave at least one full day completely clear on your schedule when you get back so that you can follow up from the conference. Just pretend like you are still at the conference, and add that extra day when telling people how long you will be gone • Make sure you delegate everything you can before you leave so that things don’t pile up back at the office • Add new connections to LinkedIn and take advantage of the tags and notes for each contact and even set a reminder for when you need to get back to them What about you? Which of these traps have snagged you before? What are your best tips for having an amazing conference experience? Rivka Kawano

Escape Route: Make a plan

Knowing that these things will be an issue allows you to work around it. And it starts before you even leave for the conference.

There are two parts to preparing for • Have an organized way to store a conference. The first is to get yourself notes and business cards ready to make the best possible impres- • Plan into your conference time sion, and the second is to become as 15-20 minutes each night right familiar with the event as possible. before you go to sleep to send Small Biz Forward


“Finding Our Way” - Women and Micro-Business by Linda Fitzgerald

What if I said that the growth we so eagerly desire - the kind that spells S.U.C.C.E.S.S., can quickly become a curse? I think the sound I’d hear would be a chorus of ‘NO’s’ that drowns out any hint of truth!

The obvious question: what good does it do to add huge numbers of new customers-clients if we lose old ones in the process because our customer service takes a hit as we grow? The challenge is to grow without dealing with commensurate attrition as we do.

Yet the truth is that growth - uncontrolled and unplanned, can definitely Therein lies the tension of which I’ve be the make or break point in any spoken in the last couple of “Women business. Especially for women who and Micro-Business” Thursday series! own or partner in a micro-business (4 employees or less). Let’s call this “growthitis”. And growthitis is more apt to enter the picture when We’re so eager to reach certain monewe own or partner in micro-business tary goals that when they appear on than when part of a large company in the horizon we rush toward them which someone else is responsible for without a thought as how to manage other aspects of the business - includwhat comes with them. ing customer care, data management, engagement and follow up. It’s equally And what comes with them is increased true that growthitis is most likely to attention to excellence - from database occur when the micro-business is an management to consistent engagement IBO of a large direct sales or multiwith folks new to our business to the level marketing company. best customer service we can deliver without missing a beat. . .

So how do we deal with growthitis? Again, in a need to be totally transparent, I’m not an expert in this malady. In fact, I’m more likely to be victim of the disease than the physician with the magic cure. But I’ll set forth what I’ve found to work - regardless of the size of the business or those in leadership or management:

1. Develop a Growth Plan

When you start out in business, regardless of what it is, develop a growth plan. Decide what financial goals you want to reach and the time frame in which you want to do so. One good initial goal I’ve used when in direct sales is to determine how much I need to fill a short fall in the monthly personal budget. That becomes my initial goal. Instead of trying to reach it month one; I determine at what point in the year achieving that goal is optimum

If you’ve been in the marketplace a while, you’ve probably heard the term “managed growth”. It’s a corporate strategy to align growth goals with the management of those goals as they are achieved. In other words, growth is planned and controlled rather than permitted to occur in topsy-turvy fashion. The value of course is maintaining high standards of customer care without breaking stride as new customers roll onto our bottom line. 22

Small Biz Forward

compared to the other aspects of the current customers and even the activities business I need to give equal attention involved in acquiring new ones. (customer service, customer retention, customer acquisition, etc.). Then the If these folks are truly desirous of plan spans what I need to do to reach joining you in either capacity; they will that monetary amount in the time wait! Especially when you explain the allotted and compares with the Growth Plan you have for your business. requirements for each growth level. In fact, such an approach lets prospects know you are a serious professional How’s this help? It permits me to plan woman who approaches business in a the growth I desire and match the systematic organized manner. That would experience I desire for my customers impress me. And I’m sure it will impress with the growth that is occurring. Most others when you ask them to wait until of all - it reduces the stress of fasteryou can provide them with the excelthan-I-can-keep-up-with-growth and lent service your customers and/or makes the growth that is occurring team members have come to expect! easily manageable. Here’s the secret “juice” in the waiting 2. Fear Not game: those who are seriously viable You may think I’ve lost my mental prospects will be there when you return marbles, but I haven’t. Don’t be afraid to bring them aboard. And they’ll be to say “no” to new prospects who rush even more likely to dig and in and do in to join you in business - as customer because they had time to assess you or team member. Remember, both and the business, your approach to require more time than maintaining the business and how you handle

Small Biz Forward

yourself and those you serve. Those who walk_ _ _ well they never were folks you really wanted as customers or team members because they were simply looking for the quick fix! Again, I haven’t scratched the surface and the word count grows. There’s certainly more tension relievers for us to consider, which is what I’ll do in next week’s post. In the meantime, take time to work out a realistic and feasible Growth Plan. Work it out and let others review it. Don’t shy away from getting input from those who want the very best for you. Then be ready to put it into action now... Warmly, Linda Fitzgerald


Business Success Unlimited (269) 319-­‐‑6041

Let Us Help You!

What We Do

Let us help you grow your small business!

It’s All About You!

Business Success Unlimited is

successful entrepreneurship.

part teacher, part consultant,

Our training and

Business Success Unlimited

part friend. We’re here to help

educational programs allow

takes pride in the work we

you when you just don'ʹt know

committed business

create. We enjoy tailoring

where else to turn. As

individuals to work on their

our approach to your

providers of practical training

business instead of in their

company’s needs and goals

material to assist

business, with others who

and watching success

entrepreneurs achieve success,

have the same shared goal.


Business Success Unlimited nurtures and educates

“Nancy is both professional and highly creative in her methodology. Being a member of her

• • •

Long gone are the days of ‘cookie cutter’ business, where customers needed to find where they fit in. Now are the days of creating a

mastermind group concept in Business Success

business that reaches their

Unlimited, we've learned a great deal of

customers and shows them

entrepreneurship and effective marketing techniques, as well as had the opportunity to meet other professionals from the area.”

About Nancy Becher, Owner of Business Success Unlimited Nancy Becher is a small business specialist and has had over 5,000 small business clients within her 35 years of service. She is a Michigan native, but has also lived for 10 years in Washington D.C. She is now expanding her expertise to consulting and teaching small business so that they too can become successful.

how their needs are satisfied by your organization. Here at BSU we look forward to the challenge of connecting with, cultivating and empowering consumers within your organization. Call us today to sign up for one of our many programs, personal consulting or take part in our online seminars!



Small Biz Forward

Will YOU Ring the Bell? In the military there are different training regimens that the candidates go through. And for many it is grueling. Using Navy Seals for instance, the program is months long and requires extreme physical and mental challenges.

The average United States Navy SEAL spends over a year in a series of formal training environments before being awarded the Trident. If there comes a time when the service member can no longer see their way to completing the

by Nancy Becher

program, they ring a bell, signifying that they quit. This is a real bell and sounds throughout the compound, letting everyone within hearing range know they have ended their struggle to meet the demands of the Seals program. Those who make the grade are not the strongest men, nor the fastest swimmers, but those with burning desire to be SEALs. Their instructors have observed only one true predictor of which candidates will ultimately succeed – it’s those who want it the most — you can see it in their eyes! This is not so different for those of us in business who really want to be a success. We can tell they’re going to make it by the passion in their voices and the drive to accomplish their goals and dreams. True business professionals may have to choose to miss a party or a get together because they have to complete a project for a paying client. They may have to say, sorry I’ll have to catch up with you next time you’re in town when a friend visits because there’s a business invite that is very important to their growth prospects. When asked to choose between spending money on eating out, or going to a networking meeting where your ideal clients will be, choosing the networking over the dinner is a sign of a business professional. Ask yourself this question – are you willing to go the distance to become a business success or are you reaching out to ring that bell? Nancy Becher

Small Biz Forward


Be Strong – Commit to Health by Cindy Cohen

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face … we must do what we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt When it comes to your health what’s getting in your way? Work? A habit? Or both? I say both. Do you stay at work too late, work past lunch, meet in restaurants? These are all habits that contribute to unhealthy work habits that contribute to your poor health. Just because you may not be experiencing sickness or disease right this moment it doesn’t mean your body isn’t collecting the ingredients to create cancer or some other chronic disease. Our work environments may differ however we all have unhealthy food close at hand. Many work-sites have vending machines, refrigerators, microwaves, food trucks, convenience stores and fast food joints nearby so you don’t waste any time getting your lunch. Or maybe you are one out of five Americans who work from home? Even though healthy foods could be as close as your refrigerator I’m thinking what I will find are frozen pizzas, chicken nuggets or cheese sticks in your freezer. Let’s not mention the food cupboard filled with those fast, processed foods your family likes. You know the ones: chips, cookies, snack cakes and candy. Or maybe it’s this? Wherever you work it’s been another hectic day. On impulse, 26

you grab an extra-large candy bar during your afternoon break. You know it’s not good for you so you plan to take just a few bites. But before you know it, you’ve polished off the whole thing. Remind you of anyone? You maybe? All these choices make you feel better at least temporarily. Then remorse sets in along with a good dose of stomach upset, foggy thinking, low energy and a few more pounds. All of this is followed by thinking “I can’t believe I ate that, I’m bad”. Is this the story of your life? How do you make those healthy food choices in the face of all the obstacles?

Here’s how to Start With Recommitting and Find the Courage to Persevere.

Does it take courage to make healthy food choices? You bet it does! When it comes to your health it takes courage to hold yourself accountable for your actions. By accepting responsibility for your decisions, honoring your commitments you become courageous and will find new resolve to move forward. And what a wonderful sense of mastery and accomplishment you feel! It’s never too late to get your courage up. Are you ready?

The First Step is Resolve. Re-commit. Be Courageous.

It takes courage to let go of the literally thousands of thoughts in your head that sabotage your actions and goals.

It takes courage to not follow the crowd and speak up for your health. It takes courage to change your daily habits. It takes courage to stand up for you to face the fear of joking and teasing from your peers for choosing health. And it takes even more courage to persist and recommit every day. Here’s the thing: the more courage you use the more you have, the better you feel and the closer you are to healthier life you desire and deserve.

Are you ready? Try these.

Release your emotions that are attached to food. Food is neither good nor bad. It’s just food. Some foods are healthier than others and some of your food choices are better for you than others. I like to think of food choices as good, better, best. For example apple juice is good, apple sauce is better, a fresh apple is best. Your goal is to shoot for the best choices more often than not.

Ask your friends to help you. It’s always easier to make healthier choices, lose weight or exercise when your friends are doing it too. Studies show people who are overweight and or unhealthy are surrounded by people who are likely to be overweight and unhealthy too. Associate with others who are on the road to better health. Not an option? Encourage your employer to start wellness programing or hire a health coach to help you with healthy strategies and be accountable to your health goals. Make a plan and persevere. Just like work projects it’s easier to keep track Small Biz Forward

of what you are doing if you have a plan. The same is true with food. The plan should include these food breaks breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. A quick, affordable, easy solution for breakfast are fruit and vegetable smoothies. These are great options for any time of the day. Make sure each food break is spaced throughout the day and includes a total of 2 whole grains, 5 fruits, 4 vegetables, 2 oz. nuts and seeds. Trying to lose weight? Add in more fresh fruits and vegetables. Did you know if you are eating mostly whole foods you can eat up to 2,000 – 2,500 calories? Check out the USDA website healthy choices and for weight loss Transform 30 Forgive yourself, let it go, move forward and reward yourself for making good decisions. The faster you can forgive yourself and let it go the better you will feel and the more likely you are to stay with your healthy eating program. It’s when you start telling yourself how you’re never going to make it is when the fear sets in. Good news! Get your courage up. You get to restart with every food choice so it’s never too late to restart! If you are looking to lose weight stop making yourself crazy with the scale. It’s not all about the number of pounds you’re losing or gaining. It about celebrating your accomplishments big and small. It’s more about feeling great, filled with good positive energy, sleeping and waking up better. It’s about choosing health instead of sickness. You’re never too young, too old, too healthy, or too sick to follow the road to better health. If you get lost, that’s OK – ask someone who knows the way to take you with them. Your partner in health, Cindy Cohen Small Biz Forward


Visual communication is a powerful medium. Small businesses don’t have in-house graphic designers at their beck and call. However, you can still afford designed materials to promote your business by hiring a freelancer. Whether you need a big branding project done, or something small that just needs to be fixed, I’m your answer.

Contact 403.606.2572

48 28


SmallSmall Biz Forward Biz Forward

Is There a Work-Life Balance? by Susie Olivarez

There have been a lot of changes in my life since having children. It made me ask “Is there such a thing as “work-life balance?” I have to admit that before having children in our home I was so focused on my career, having more time for those networking after hour events where I was able to really get to know the individuals in my community, working late at the office, and coming in on the weekends. With children, we have additional responsibilities; which may not allow us to do all those extras. A huge wake up call happened to me a couple years ago when I called my boss and let him know I would be in late about 30 minutes due to my step-daughter having seizures that morning. Once I got into the office I was yelled at and told I wouldn’t be given any more exceptions for my step-daughter’s illness. I was devastated. I was never late, always early, even coming in on weekends and picking up work projects from my coworkers to help them complete their assignments on time. With all of this, I received a comment like this from a man who had children himself. I never reported it to Human Resources, in fact that day I made up in my mind: “this person isn’t going to change, so I must change”. This was the big push I needed for me to become an entrepreneur. I’ve always had it in my heart, it was a dream of mine and now I was going to make it a reality.

together everything I needed to start my own business. Together we created an LLC, made contacts with insurance companies, created independent contracts and much more. This lawyer truly helped me make everything “legal” and I am forever grateful for him. I was fortunate that I made so many connections in my early years and built a strong name for myself in the community I was a part of. This was key for me as I began my own business. Through this, I received a lot of word of mouth referrals which took my business throughout southwest Michigan. I realized that you can have “it all” as the saying goes. I’ve been able to raise a beautiful family and maintain a great business. Now, are there times where it is hard? Yes. Anyone who says no

to that question is lying. I have to work every day at maintaining the customers that I have and attracting new business. I have an extremely supportive husband who has encouraged me along the way and has given me ideas that have launched the training side of my company. Lastly and most importantly I believe in the power of Prayer. I didn’t make this decision in a day, but through much time of prayer and meditation I came to realize that I had something great to offer the world. Believe in yourself ! There really is a Work-Life balance out there! Remember, we truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Susie Olivarez

With that being said, I met with my lawyer a couple days later and put Small Biz Forward


Worry and Stress Tips for Entrepreneurs by Charisse McCrory

A recovering worrier myself, I’ve learned a thing or two about the damage worry and stress can cause. As an entrepreneur, I’ve worried about things like cash flow, making dumb decisions, or disappointing clients with my service. I have worried launching programs that nobody will show up for. I’ve worried about my health, and my work/life balance. See? I’ve been a champion at worry. How has all that worrying paid off for me? Well, logically speaking, it has done nothing but cost me. All I can say, on a positive note, is that I have learned some things in my quest to squelch my worry habit. I now understand the power of my thoughts. I understand the impact of a life filled with excessive worry. I recognize that I come from a long lineage of expert worriers. Not much of a claim to fame, right? A long time ago, a friend shared a thought with me about worry, that has stuck. It was this:

Worry is not only a lack of faith that everything will work out as it’s meant to, it’s also one of the most abysmal wastes of time and energy. Worry causes stress. Think of a time when your worry ever had a positive impact on a situation. See? You can’t think of one, can you? And yet, our monkey mind allows us to believe the doom and gloom thoughts, and in the process of that, our physiology reacts. We shift into fight or flight mode. Our stress hormones kick in, and our body readies itself for the internal war that is sure to come. Our body suffers. Our state of mind suffers. And our precious energy is squandered.

1 2

Focus on serving someone else. It’s impossible to worry about yourself when your focus is not pointed in your own direction.

Meditate. Your monkey mind will at least slow down when you get intentionally quiet. You can take on the practice of 5 minute meditations, and use them when you feel worry and stress creeping in. It’s helpful not to judge your ability to get quiet during these meditations.

3 4 5

Take a walk. Your brain loves oxygen, and so does your heart. Taking a walk energizes you. Focus on all the parts of your body receiving oxygen. It’s like a walking meditation, if you want it to be. Give it all away to your higher power. Surrender it. Picture your worries as a balloon filled with helium, that you’re releasing. Watch it rise up in your mind’s eye, gracefully moving out of your control.

Know that you’re stronger than you imagine you are. You are perfectly equipped with everything you need to navigate any situation you may encounter. Really. And if you ever feel like you aren’t equipped, there are lots of people around you who would love to help you, if you just asked.

Worry and stress are life killers. I know this intimately, and I personally practice each of the above 5 tips. The worry monster is scared of these practices I choose, because it then dies a slow and methodical death. You’re worth the effort. Charisse McCrory

We can agree that worry is futile and unnecessary. But how do we actually stop doing it, especially when it’s become so much a part of our personality? 30

Small Biz Forward

committed to your success KeyBank is your single source for total financial solutions. As one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services institutions, we offer an extensive array of products and services delivered personally and objectively through professional advisors. From personal to commercial banking, to wealth management, investments, and small business solutions, we offer individualized plans for growth, access to capital, and strategic financial planning. Find out how a bank with nationwide resources combined with local insights can help you in your business, personal, and professional life.

STURGIS PLAZA 713 South Centerville 269-651-4925

Banking products are offered by KeyBank National Association. Securities products and services such as investment banking and capital raising are offered by KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC. Securities products and services: Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value. All credit products are subject to credit approval. ©2015 KeyCorp. KeyBank is Member FDIC. ADL3304-48183

Small Biz Forward


Soft Skills

Want to improve your empathy? Stop reading this article and go read a novel.

by Adam Fleming

Once upon a time, there was a simple garden gnome named Bill. Bill was the kindly looking type of gnome, with half-glasses he used for reading. It wasn’t so much that he was looking down his nose at you, as he was looking over his cheeks. You know the type. Of course he wore a red cap and a green vest, except on Tuesdays when he wore his plaid one. Bill the Gnome knew all the woodland creatures by name. Hubert the Turtle, Wally the Rabbit… Bill even had tea with Guinevere the Red Fox on occasion. One sunny morning, as he walked along, he came across an old copy of The Wind in the Willows, upside down in a patch of ferns. “I know,” said Bill, “I’ll take this over to Nancy the Field-mouse. She’ll love this story.” So off he waddled, to find Mrs. Nancy, without even stopping to wonder who might have lost this beautiful book. And so his adventure began. I have for some time this year had a theory that reading fiction would make one a better listener. But now I’ve found some exciting research that proves it, so don’t take it from me. When it comes to social sciences, I’m no academic. I’m just a simple practitioner of empathy and fiction. But some folks discovered that fiction does indeed increase empathy – and even more importantly, reading non-fiction is a negative indicator! Of course the volume was something Old Gravel-Pit the Snow Owl had dropped one night. He’d been reading by the light of the moon when he saw something far below his treetop perch 32

that caught his attention. It glistened as though it were a very large rodent with one eye open and the other eye closed. Was some cheeky woodchuck winking at him? How dare he? And so, forgetting his book, Old GravelPit (we have long forgotten how he came by this name, I suppose that somewhere along the line they added the “Old” part, though perhaps he was born with it, being an Owl and all) and … Where was I? Oh – and forgetting his book he swooped down to take what was rightfully his; that is, anything he sees, as far as he is concerned, be it a woodchuck or a pocket-watch.

absorbed in a story also predicted empathy scores. Participant age, experience with English, and intelligence (g) were statistically controlled.

Of course it turned out to be a pocket-watch some careless gnome had dropped; it would go nicely with a plaid vest. Gravel-Pit the Snow Owl was disgusted to find that it was both inedible and also useless at telling any sort of story. He went in search of his book again the next evening as the sun went down, and it was just as Bill the Gnome turned out of the woods and into the field, that Gravel-Pit finally saw his book waddling along. Here is the Abstract from an October, Without thinking how the book might 2006 paper by Raymond A. Mar, et al, be moving on its own, he snagged it in in the Journal of Research in Personality: one talon. Poor, surprised Bill forgot to let go of The Wind in the Willows as it While frequent readers are often lifted off, and soon he realized that he stereotyped as socially awkward, this didn’t want to let go of it anymore, may only be true of non-fiction readers now, being so high off the ground, and not readers of fiction. Comprehen­­­­ and up he went, higher and higher, ding characters in a narrative fiction sailing towards the Great Wheat Field appears to parallel the comprehension where one could get lost, and beyond! of peers in the actual world, while the comprehension of expository non-fic- Do you feel for Bill? What would tion shares no such parallels. Frequent you rather do, read more about Bill, fiction readers may thus bolster or or go find this Study online and read maintain their social abilities unlike it all? Did you really read the abstract, frequent readers of non-fiction. Lifetime or just skim it? Did you just jump exposure to fiction and non-fiction ahead, absorbed in the story, to read texts was examined along with performore about the silly gnome? (If so it’s mance on empathy/social-acumen a good sign for you as an empathetic measures. In general, fiction print-experson and for me as a writer!) Now posure positively predicted measures I’m not saying that this little story I of social ability, while non-fiction slapped out in a few minutes about a print-exposure was a negative gnome and an owl contains any sort predictor. The tendency to become of literary brilliance, but the truth is, Small Biz Forward

we hunger for story (which gives us something to think about), more than we do for non-fiction (which is where we get told what to think). Chances are you aren’t reading this article while on a date. No, you go to a movie! Today I was working with a new coach, who was trying to get a visual picture for himself of what he wants to become in this next phase of life as a coach. I asked him to think of characters in movies or books that he admired, and he came up with Gandalf the wizard, (for how he’d like to be) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (for the types of clients he wants). The key is becoming deeply involved in reading a story, not in movies. Movies don’t count for developing empathy (at least not as far as the research shows.) Still, asking people about movie characters is an excellent way to help them visualize. Fewer people are reading fiction all the time. And we wonder why we’re lacking soft skills? You could go read the report, or you could take my word for it and go grab a novel. Adam Fleming

Small Biz Forward


Dream Big Retreat: Speakers We’ve been hearing about the Dream Big Retreat over the past couple of months – and it’s getting closer and more exciting as the days go on. We have a phenomenal group of people who are giving of their time, talents and money to share with the attendees. Are you interested in how you can use the ideas of entrepreneurship to make change in your business? Join others who are making an impact to discuss innovation, the ins and outs of launching a startup, and how to keep your employees engaged in your company (thus saving you money on hiring, training, firing, and more). This group of presenters is there to share their expertise with you on these topics and so much more. Let me introduce you to this great group, begining with our keynote speaker Deb Sanderson:

“From Rags to Rubber to Riches”

Deb Sanderson keynote Co-Owner of a multi-million dollar manufacturing company, Treadstone Rubber Products and a Beauty Consultant Brand Partner of Nerium Anti-aging Products, one of the fastest growing beauty businesses in the world.

Deb Sanderson


Jason Rosada

With a unique skill set and extensive business background that took her from being a Buyer for Belk, a large Southern Department Store Chain to Human Resources to the Corporate Customer Service Manager for Bloomingdales to Banking before launching her business, Deb Sanderson is comfortable in her own skin. She’s knowledgeable, well spoken and genuine in her desire to help others succeed.

“Motivational Speaker” Jason Rosado

“Would You Consider Driving Your Car Without a Steering Wheel?”

Kim Bontrager An established financial professional with executive leadership experience serving both for profit and not for profit corporations. Her past roles include Vice President for Finance and Controller at SunGard Higher Education, an international company located in Orlando, Florida providing technology service solutions to the higher education market. During her tenure, the Managed Services Division grew from $10 million in revenue to over $150 million.

Kim Bontrager

Mary Lu Saylor

Kimberlee has also acted as Vice President of Finance at Lincoln Memorial University; a non for profit university located outside Knoxville, Tennessee. Her accomplishments at LMU include contributing to annual revenue growth from $50 million to over $100 million.

“Positioning Yourself as a Media Expert”

Mary Lu Saylor An Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. At the Dream Big Retreat she will show you how you can become an expert to the media in your community. Mary Lu will explain who you need to know, how you can connect with them, and why this is an important skill for any business owner to have.

“Keeping Your Employees Engaged”

Costco is known as one of the best employee centered businesses in the United States.

Costco, TBD

Robert Mannino

Small Biz Forward

“Branding and Marketing”

Robert Mannino Robert is the founder of the New York based branding agency Numax Media. Robert will be discussing brand strategies and defining your target market. He will discuss craetive ways to get your brand message in front of your potenital clients. He will also touch on self branding and how in today’s technological world there is a fading line between your personal brand and business brand. Personal brands play a key roll in how your potential customers view you, and view your business. Learn how to maximize your personal brand and feel confident about promoting your self as an expert in your industry.

“Getting Real Results with Social Media”

Rivka Kawano Most businesses are on social media, but are not getting the results that they want. If it seems like you spend all your time on social media without seeing any return on your investment, or if you avoid social media because you don’t know where to start, then you won’t want to miss this session. Rivka will share an action oriented approach to building relationships that move your business forward in measurable ways.

“Lessons Learned”

Karen Bachert Karen Bachert is one of the talented business leaders presenting at the Dream Big Retreat who believes

that there’s no such thing as a bad idea . When attending the Dream Big Retreat she’ll encourage us all to keep track of every idea we hear or think of, every contact we make and every person we meet. Then at the end of the day, Karen will facilitate a large group activity guiding us in a process designed to help us see how we can apply the thoughts/ideas we’ve heard throughout the conference to our own businesses. We’ll be challenged to grasp the opportunity of making new contacts and creating relationships. You will be amazed at the discoveries we’ll make during this session.

“Putting all the Pieces Together”

Trudy Meneke According to leadership expert John Maxwell, everything rises and falls on leadership. And self-leadership is where it all begins. How will you take all that you learn at this year’s retreat and trust yourself to implement it? What’s going to make this year different? Trust Trudy to guide you through your fear, past potential rejection and into self-belief so you follow through on the success you deserve.

Two Days

The two day event is packed with great events and workshops and one of the most powerful, and unusual parts of the weekend will be the dedicated time given to each participant to work on their own business, with others having similar issues right there beside them sharing and working together.

If this sounds at all intriguing, please go and register at We are keeping the group small and intimate so that we can make sure that each and every participant gets hands-on training and can be assured of receiving great support to help them build their BIG Dream into reality.

We also have a wonderful group of sponsors: Karen Bachert and her business “Your Business Needs Fans” Ed Becher “The Center for Protection, Security and Personal Safety” Worthy Recovery Tracy Barse “Find Great Companies” Rob Mannino “NuMax Media” Key Bank Ellen Mann of “Ellen Mann Consulting” Will be around as a resource to help with Saturday’s workshop as well. Rachael Cooper “Diomed Design” COSTCO

There will be more sponsors yet to come.

Rivka Kawano

Small Biz Forward

Karen Bachert

Trudy Meneke

Nancy Becher


Dream Big Retreat Essenhaus Conference Center, Middlebury, IN October 2 & 3, 2015 Nancy Becher, Retreat Host, Owner of Business Success Unlimited consulting company and Publisher of Small Biz Forward magazine, believes that “our best work is done when we are relaxed and able to think out of the box”. To that end, the 6th annual Dream BIG Retreat is a unique event bringing together speakers who have “been there and done that” and have a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience to share within a business retreat format that lends itself to learning, unlocking creativity and guiding participants to effective, business-building transformation. Speakers & Workshop Facilitators Deb Sanderson, Co-Owner of Treadstone LLC,. a multi-million dollar company, and brand partner in one of the fastest growing beauty consultant businesses in the world. Kim Bontrager, President of Locey CPA and former Vice President of Finance for Lincoln Memorial University, who’s annual revenue growth went from 50 million to 100 million during her tenure. Jason Rasado, Business Coach, Motivational Speaker and Owner of Distinctive Coaching for Business Success, earning the title, the Business Breakthrough Coach. Mary Lu Saylor, Grow Great Companies of Virginia, an Emmy-award winning journalist with thirty years in the television news business. Rivka Kawano, internationally-known social media expert Robert Mannino, Numax Media of New York, Marketing and Branding Consultant Trudy Menke, CEO of Reframing Leadership, an expert in Leadership and Sales (John Maxwell) Karen Bachert, Owner of K Enterprises & Your Business Needs Fans, an accomplished Group Facilitator, author, entrepreneur and founder of “Voice of Your Business’ Speakers Group. Agenda Friday, October 2, 2015 8:00-9:00 9:00-9:30 9:30-10:15 10:15-11:45

11:45-1:00 1:00-1:15 1:15-2:45

2:45-3:00 3:00-4:30 4:30-5:00 5:00-6:30 6:30-9:00

Breakfast Buffet and Networking Welcome, Introductions, Prayer Keynote, “From Rags to Rubber to Riches” Deb Sanderson Breakout Sessions I: Would You Consider Driving Your Car without a Steering Wheel, Kim Bontrager Positioning Yourself as a Media Expert, Mary Lu Saylor 5X Your Effectiveness, Jason Rosado Lunch and Table Top Discussions Break Breakout Sessions II: Social Media, Rivka Kawano Marketing and Branding, Robert Mannino Keeping Your Employees Engaged, TBD Break Lessons Learned, Karen Bachert Day One Closing Remarks Dinner on Your Own Hospitality Suite for Open Networking and Relaxation (Bring the family)

Saturday, October 2, 2015 8:00-8:45 8:45- 9:15 9:15-11:00 11:00-11:45


Breakfast and Networking Motivational Speech: 5 X Your Effectiveness, Jason Rasado Working On YOUR Business Motivational Speech: Putting All the Pieces Together, Trudy Menke

Closing Remarks, Nancy Becher, Retreat Host

For more information, and to register, contact Nancy Becher, at 269-651-3555, or


Small Biz Forward

Sponsorship Levels & Application Diamond level, $1000 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

To be the title sponsors; only two positions available or one position @ $2000 Recognition in title of the event in all advertising- printed and on-line Recognition in all our internet marketing ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter Opportunity to speak during the opening ceremony Introduction at Hospitality Suite Three free tickets to the event A full-page ad in Small Biz Forward (value $400) Your logo on event banners

Gold level, $500 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Recognition in all printed materials Recognition in all our internet marketing ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter Publicly recognized with a “thank you” at the beginning and closing ceremonies Half-page ad in Small Biz Forward (value $75) Two free tickets to the event

Silver Level, $250

1. Recognition in all printed materials 2. Recognition in all our internet marketing ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter 3. One free ticket to the event ____ Yes, we’d like to be a sponsor of the “Dream BIG” event. Sign us up at the level noted. ____ Diamond @ $1000 ____ Gold @ $500 ____ Silver @ $250 Company name ____________________________ Phone number ______________________ Company address ____________________________________ State____ Zip ___________ Contact person _________________________________________________________________ Method of Payment ____ Credit Card Name on Card ______________________________ Exp date ____/ ____ Card number ______ ______ ______ ______ Security code _______ ____ Paypal (we’ll send an invoice; email address ___________@ ________. ______) ____ Check. Makes payable to Nancy Becher. Send to : Business Success Unlimited, 105 S. Maple, Sturgis, MI 49091

Small Biz Forward


Internship Reporting to the Executive Director, the public relations intern will actively participate in a variety of special projects related to public communications as an educational experience.

Essential Job Function:


• Provide tactical media relations support

• Looking for a self motivator with high energy.

as necessary including arranging media interviews,

• responding to editor requests, preparing press releases and other publicly disseminated materials.

• Leverage content for online press room (Internet and Intranet) and assist in the management of posting materials and routine maintenance.

• Ability to multi-task and work under tight deadlines. • Ability to write clear concise content. • Strong proofreading skills. • Attention to detail and organization skills a must. • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Outlook, MS Office Applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and other software needed for job).

• Update and maintain PR Image library. • Monitor traditional and non-traditional media (online and offline) for BSU news.

• Assist with external distribution of press releases and assist in the management of media contact lists.

• Assist in organizing and maintaining the PR

This position is a “for credit, non-paid” internship of 15 hours per week for the semester.

Shared drive.

• Work closely with PR team to support tradeshows and special projects

• Provide general support including creating press kits, ordering materials, answering phones, photo copying, filing securing conference rooms, arranging meetings, etc.

701 Prairie Street| Sturgis, MI |269-651-3555 | 38

Small Biz Forward

Security and the Entrepreneur Ed Becher

Summer is coming to an end, vacation’s over; schools getting ready to start back up, the politicians have started to get us thinking of 2016 elections. But as entrepreneurs and business owners this just adds to our everyday stressors of kids off to schools, making sure they get home safely, did they lock up the house before leaving, will they be safe getting to school, well you get the point.

attacks in public venues has increased as well, requiring us to be more vigilant and maintain our situational awareness at higher levels.

What does all this have to do with courage, persistence and excitement? Each one of us as business owners has a passion, a passion to succeed in our

chosen profession. It takes courage As business owners we not only have for each of us to go and attend that a responsibility to our businesses, but meeting in an unknown environment to our families, employees and our and location, it takes persistence for us clients and vendors. Their safety and to keep going back each time to make security is our responsibility when they that sales pitch to an unhappy client. visit us at our businesses, whether this And then it takes excitement to know is a store front or our homes. With the we have succeeded in getting that sale, holiday season all too soon upon us, Hacking of government, banking and gaining that new client. But with all of we need to be extra vigilant. Carefully personal information is rampant. The this have we stayed safe, have we kept review what you put out over social number of personnel affected by recent vigilant and aware, have we practiced media, if you list an event at your home, attack on records of those holding our situational awareness skills? Have at the start of the event, delate the security clearances has still not been we changed the passwords on our address information. This goes for our fully counted. Those responsible for Wi-Fi, only taken the needed children as well; we should be watchthese hacking attacks have gained access documents with us to the meeting to ing what they are posting as well to to some of the most secure systems in ensure we do not lose them. Make sure ensure their safety. If you are hosting the United States. These attacks along our co-workers or family know where a meeting at a public venue, know who with those of banking have increased the meeting is and how long we will is coming, greet each visitor, not only the fear of technology for some. be there. Our laptops, tablets, smartwill this make them feel welcome but phones are all password protected to it will help establish if they are part Now let us look in the sky, is there a prevent unauthorized access, right? of your event. drone flying over your home video taping you or your family members as Remember, ‘you are responSome of us will need to be traveling, they sun bathe by the pool? While the sibilbe for your own security either domestically or on an interna- use of drones for commercial ventures and safety’! tional level. Do your research on your is a valid and good one, their use for destination. How many of you are illegal activities has also increased. The Ed Becher aware that Phoenix, AZ is the number number of close calls involving aviation two location for kidnapping behind and drones has also seen an increase Mexico City? The number of violent over the last couple of months. Small Biz Forward

Violence in the streets has seen increases as well in the major cities of the United States, over the July 4th weekend alone 82 people were shot with 14 losing their lives in Chicago. The number of mass shootings in July alone resulted in 49 deaths and over 150 wounded.


Book of the Month Club I’m reading a great book right now -- written by one of the better known marketing experts out there – Dan Kennedy. Most of what he talks about is made up of tried-and-true marketing strategies, it is great for those that who are just getting started and serves as a super reminder for those who have been around for a while. Do you have a unique selling proposition for example? Do you even know what that is? In this book Kennedy shows us what it is, why we need one and how to easily craft one to help us with our business growth. It is a highly recommended book and in the newest edition, there are updated examples, new products and possibilities.


Small Biz Forward

Crossword Puzzle 8/13/2015


Word Search / Word Find ­ Edcreate

Passion and Patience l v l w s p q h m w r g k t x h c k r t l v j r k w v k t l b b w w a n t p d j w p g o l w q h t t s k n r e e f x v q u r b n c o c p z z c s d x p g c l v j a r a h l u n a v m h w c t e b e a s z r t m u v b u g o v o i r e m k h k p w g y w x z e h t t r t a j t f f a e j g f k z e c t i s k e i r g w o s r j l x e u h t w v q n m n r u s n l r s v s p l x a o a l h e i d i m g g o a l s u r r f r t w t n n e d e y n q m f i w c c m g i q k t g p a g h r e y y v k q c n f o b k f n r n r m e p u c j s a d e q n n u d t e c c z w o q a t n h u y s f t t q j s e g v l r b y i s c e n d s s f e v s w s p z m s z i g q s u i p b o v u i i l e p h q g i p p v s i r t h b x o d x p t x b l w k s m a t b o t a v n n k h s z o i g w x v r q d s n n s p h q d a n e m k p e w p x y k l j r e i structure














From Small Biz Forward


September 2015 Events Sunday




















Exit 25 Networking

Center, Fort Worth, IN


Ziano’s, Fort Worth, IN


15 Exit 25 Networking

Center, Fort Worth, IN


Northeast Innovation

Ziano’s, Fort Worth, IN





Georgetown Plus

Exit 25 Networking

Premier Women’s

Center, Fort Worth, IN


Dots Eatery in Auburn

Northeast Innovation

Ziano’s, Fort Worth, IN Network Michiana




29 Exit 25 Networking

Center, Fort Worth, IN





Georgetown Plus

Northeast Innovation



Georgetown Plus




Georgetown Plus




Northeast Innovation



Ziano’s, Fort Worth, IN

Small Biz Forward

Business Success Unlimited

Just A Reminder… The BSU MastermindProgram has started back up online the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the Month.

Every Monday

Georgetown Plus Networking, Northeast Innovation Center, Forth Worth, IN

• Meets every Monday at 11:30am • Join us for free lunch and a new way of networking • $3 and 2 Business Cards gets you in! • Bring promotional materials and be ready to share about your business! • RSVP for a display table for $15 during the group, contact Randi at 260.312.7862 • Come Early & Stay late & NETWORK

Every Wednesday

Exit 25 Networking, Ziano’s, Fort Worth, IN

• Meets every Wednesday at 11:30am • Join us for RELATIONAL Networking & Promote each other to Success! • $3 & 2 Business Cards gets you in! • Bring promotional materials and be ready to share about your business

Premier Women’s Network Michiana

• Meets every 4th Thursday of the month 4pm-6pm • Even numbered months: Moose in Angola on N. Martha Street • Odd numbered months: Dots Eatery in Auburn at the Sixth Street shops • Contact Mary Jo Smith at 574.514.5193 • no meeting in December

Women’s Business Bureau

• Kalamazoo Country Cub, MI 49006 • Contact Jan Murphy at 334.560.6955

Small Biz Forward


Small Biz Forward Advertising Rates














Full Page






Half Page






Quarter Page






Business Card









Small Biz Forward