small business resources

2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Business Owners

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With the holidays quickly approaching I have once again updated the gift guide I have created the past couple of years. Take a look at this year’s gift list for the entrepreneurs in your life - because business owners are special!

If there's one thing business owners are always looking for, it's more time. The more organized they can be - the better. There are a lot of really fabulous planners out there, and here are a few I've used or know are really popular and people find a lot of success with them:

Help them plan

Planner Pad - This is a planner I've purchased several times over the years and works on a funnel down approach. You list everything you have to do at the top of the week and funnel it down to when it will actually get done. 

Passion Planner is a planner I haven't personally used, but know a lot of people who really love it. They like that it balances the personal side of what needs to be done with the business side, It also includes sections that help you figure out what you want to do and how to break down the steps to achieve them.

Self Journal is a planner that's also a journal. There is a lot of room every day to map out your day but also to map out how you're meeting your goals, your wins, your lessons and your gratitude. Each journal lasts for three months (I also haven't used this one, but it looks fantastic!).

Bullet Journal is a great concept because you can turn any notebook into a planner, and it's also great for non-linear thinkers (though I couldn't get it to work for me...). You can mix your brainstorms, your monthly plans, your weekly plans, your daily plans, and you can also buy one that is pre-setup for you. 

I love my Moo business cards!

I love my Moo business cards!

Productive! This planner is designed by business coach, Shelagh Cummins, and is all about figuring out what your power moves are and working towards them. Check them out.

Paper, pens and stickers!

Entrepreneurs like me, like pretty stationary and fancy pens. Like, we really love them. Whether it's a gift card or a pretty journal, these are almost always a great gift idea (with the exception of a few people who have fully embraced the paperless way of life. :) 

These vinyl stickers from Sticker Mule are super durable

These vinyl stickers from Sticker Mule are super durable

Scribe Delivery - My husband got me this for my birthday and I literally squeal when I get my package every month. So many fun notebooks and pens!

Stickers - I love stickers and you can get so many fun ones, including custom ones of your logo! Sticker Mule is one I've used a couple of times (you can get branded mailers and packing tape from them too. (Use that link to get $10 off your first order).

A gift certificate for the things they are regularly ordering - Vista Print, Moo, Staples, etc. - search gift cards if it doesn't seem obvious how to find them! 

Pens! Lots of pens! (I think I could get 365 new pens every year for Christmas and still have days where I can't find one). ;) 

Technology

Entrepreneurs use tech a lot, and if you're anything like me, it wears out way faster than you'd like. I'm going to admit to my Apple bias here, but I'm sure there are great equivalents in Android and whatever the other tech is that I pretend doesn't exist.

A new computer - last year I was ready to move away from my all-laptop-all-the-time computer ways and get an iMac for my desk and start using my Macbook Air just for traveling. What a difference that has made for me - no more issues with over full harddrives or rebooting a computer not designed to deal with the amount of video I was trying to get it to deal with. I can’t imagine going back to running my business from a laptop again!

A smart watch - I got my first Apple Watch last year too and it’s been nice, but I admit, I don’t LOVE it. I’d love to hear how other people feel about smart watches. My next watch might be a fitbit instead :)

Noise-cancelling headphones - I had no idea until this past fall what the magic of noise-canceling headphones is all about. I work at home and I'm all alone most days so I didn't think there would be any value in them for me. It turns out that the noise-canceling feature is incredibly calming for my ADHD brain and helps me be more productive, so you'll often find me wearing huge headphones with nothing more than a light whooshing noise being broadcast through them while I'm sitting at my desk getting work done!

No more cleaning, no more cooking

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A huge theme that comes up is having someone else take care of the cooking and cleaning (a lot of my examples for these are local, but I'm sure you can find something similar close to where you live).

There are all kinds of great local services for cleaning that you can look in to and you can also check out personal chef services (The Magic Fridge is a local one run by a friend of mine) that take the stress out of shopping, cooking and cleaning up after you cook.

There are also lots of services like Hello Fresh and Chef's Plate that will mail you all the ingredients for a set amount of meals per week, taking the stress of planning and shopping out of your weekly schedule and also making the recipes really easy to follow with relatively little prep required. There's also Supperworks where you can go and assemble everything you need for your own meals or pay a bit extra and they'll assemble everything you need.

But if they do need to cook, they might love some cooking classes!

Pampering 

A gift certificate to their favourite spa or for a massage was high on the list for many of the entrepreneurs in my group.

A day away at a spot like Le Nordik or Scandinave Spa for example. A massage from a local clinic is also always appreciated, such as Byward Massage Therapy Clinic or the Massage and Treatment Clinic in Orleans.

Bring on the drinks!

Beer, wine, coffee, tea - we like a variety of drinks as entrepreneurs, whether it be for during the day or for when we put our feet up at the end of the day. Here are a few ideas when it comes to the drinks department. I'm a big fan of subscription services in this category. :) 

Beer subscription service - we have Brew Box here in Ontario but there are many great ones. 

Nespresso is a popular coffee machine with lots of varieties of coffees - even better if more comes to your door every month. 

How about a box of wine delivered to you every three months? If only I liked red wine this would be perfect for me. 

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Meaningful bling

A piece of jewelry that speaks to our goals and dreams is a thoughtful way to commemorate all the hard work business women do.

I know for one I would love a bracelet like this from Citrus Silver with your word for the year.

For the “geek” in your life - check out Geeky Delight necklaces! Perfect for the Doctor Who or Harry Potter fan!

The gift of creativity

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Unique, colourful and one-of-a-kind, Red Raspberry Studios creates art pieces that are as whimsical as the owner themselves! A piece of art from this studio will bring joy to whoever receives it - just check out the piece created just for me.

If the business owner in your life is creative, give them the gift of a full-day creative retreat experience! “Joyful Flow” is happening February 2nd, 2019. Includes light lunch, wine, guided meditation, intention setting, acrylic painting. No artistic experience required. Visit InDetail.ca for more information.

I had fun thinking of all the ways we could celebrate the entrepreneurs in our lives - maybe this sparked a few ideas for you. Leave me a comment letting me know if you'll be adding any of these to your shopping list!

To note: A few of these are affiliate links, most are not, but all are things I truly believe in and nothing is included just to make a buck :) 

My Favourite Business Books

I have a list of business books that keeps getting longer and I wanted to share a bit about some of my favourite business books with you. For each I’ve explained what the book is and who I think might benefit from it and why. As I find more books that I love I will add them to this list. 

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A couple of quick notes:

1)   I don’t read business books; I listen to them as audio books. I learned a few years ago to stop forcing myself to read business books (because that’s what all other successful business owners seemed to be doing!) since I just couldn’t get myself to focus on them. Instead I listen to audio books when I’m driving, cleaning and exercising. It’s a great way for me to truly focus on the content. So, always pick the way to ingest content that works best for YOU.

2)   Where possible I’ve included affiliate links. Feel free to grab the books elsewhere, but I figured if I’m sharing the links and it’s just as easy for you to grab the books from those, I’ll make them affiliate links. :)

3)   I don’t always finish a business book right away, but there are still a lot of great lessons and I come back to them and slowly work my way through them. Don’t beat yourself up if you need to do the same thing. Make sure you have a sense for why you’re reading a book and investing time into it before you start reading it – it will really help you stay on track.

Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck

Book description:

You already have everything you need for an amazing career. In fact, you’ve had it since day one.

Starting on the first day you got paid to scoop ice cream or restock shelves, you’ve had the chance to develop the four elements all great careers have in common: relationships, skills, character, and hustle. You already have each of those, to one degree or another.

Now it’s time to amplify them and apply them in a new way, creating a Career Savings Account™. This unique approach will give you the power to call a Do Over—whether you’re twenty-two, forty-two, or sixty-two. You’ll have the resources to reinvent your work and get unstuck. You’ll even rescue your Mondays as you discover how to work toward the job you’ve always wanted!

Why I like it

Sometimes we need a do over in life, sometimes we need a pivot, a change or an updated. Jon Acuff is amazing at coming up with simple stories and tasks to remind us of all we have available to us when we're ready for change - the support network, the skills, and all the things we think aren't there but actually are.

This book may seem like it's about changing your career but I think it's just as much about up-levelling your business.

Who is this for?

Anyone looking to up level their current business or change their career.

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2n8U35M

Thank and Grow Rich

Book description:

Thank & Grow Rich is for anyone interested in hooking up with the magnanimous energy field of the cosmos. Author Pam Grout, who likes to call herself the Warren Buffet of Happiness, says it all starts with getting on the frequency of joy and gratitude. Thanking (rather than thinking) puts us on an energetic frequency—a vibration—that calls in miracles. Science has proven that when we observe the world from a place of gratitude, when we use our attention to spot beauty and gaze at wonder, we develop the capacity to radically rev up our day-to-day experience. Brazen gratitude, it seems, provides a portal—an entry point—straight into the heart of the field of infinite possibilities described in Grout’s bestseller E-Squared. This book also offers an updated perspective on abundance, which goes way beyond financial capital. It shows readers how to grow and expand their creative capital, their social capital, their spiritual capital, and much, much more!

Why I like it

I'm all about gratitude in my life and business right now and this book is an amazing reminder to appreciate what we have, be thankful for all that is going well, and to put our brains and hearts and selves on the frequency of receiving.

This is a book about the law of attraction, miracles, and tuning in to the possibilities of the universe. Definitely higher on the "woo woo" scale than most of my recommendations, but I think you're going to be seeing a lot more of that from me moving forward.

Who is this for?

This is for you if you're looking to feel more connected to your business, to all that you do and to letting more good and abundance flow to you.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.ca/Thank-Grow-Rich-Experiment-Shameless/dp/1401949843

The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate

Book description:

In THE MYTH OF THE NICE GIRL, Fran Hauser deconstructs the negative perception of niceness" that many women struggle with in the business world. If women are nice, they are seen as weak and ineffective, but if they are tough, they are labeled a bitch.

Why I like it

I was excited to read this book because this is something I have struggled with. I often feel that all the steps to success given to women are done so that they should be more like men. That women can't be respected if they're too nice; that they can't get ahead if they don't have a more of a cut throat attitude.

While this book didn't have tons of new information for me, it was really nice to have my feelings on this reinforced by a very successful woman (and other women she knows). You can be kind and nice and still get ahead. That doesn't mean you can't be aware of how to make sure you're being compensated fairly and it doesn't mean that you don't still have to be a good boss (a good boss isn't always happy with everything and asks a lot of their employees). You still need to do those things, but you CAN do it while feeling good about yourself and not feeling like you have to be harsher and gruffer and not show that you care about people (and this is the messaging I feel is more prevalent out there).

Who is this for?

Ambitious women who want to succeed without losing themselves in the process.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.ca/Myth-Nice-Girl-Achieving-Becoming/dp/1328832953

Audible link:  https://www.audible.ca/pd/Business-Money/The-Myth-of-the-Nice-Girl-Audiobook

It Starts with Why

Book description:

 START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

Why I like it

As a coach, I’m regularly asking people WHY they do what they do. It’s a question my coach asks me many times, and to be honest, one I struggle with.

This book goes into figuring out the why in you that helps you stay interested and motivated; the why in you that ties your life together. The why that helps you understand what opportunities you should take and which ones you should skip in your business.

Simon Sinek has a great TedX talk that is a good primer for the book.

Who is this for?

If you haven’t gotten clarity on what your purpose is, who your ideal client is, or how you’re going to decide what comes next in your business, this book can help you start to figure that out.

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2hCGSu8

Audible: http://amzn.to/2znItYE

Finish

Book description

According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. You’ve practically got a better shot at getting into Juilliard to become a ballerina than you do at finishing your goals. 

For years, I thought my problem was that I didn’t try hard enough. So I started getting up earlier. I drank enough energy drinks to kill a horse. I hired a life coach and ate more superfoods. Nothing worked, although I did develop a pretty nice eyelid tremor from all the caffeine. It was like my eye was waving at you, very, very quickly. 

Then, while leading a thirty-day online course to help people work on their goals, I learned something surprising: The most effective exercises were not those that pushed people to work harder. The ones that got people to the finish line did just the opposite— they took the pressure off. 

Why? Because the sneakiest obstacle to meeting your goals is not laziness, but perfectionism. We’re our own worst critics, and if it looks like we’re not going to do something right, we prefer not to do it at all. That’s why we’re most likely to quit on day two, “the day after perfect”—when our results almost always underper­form our aspirations. 


Why I like IT

If you've ever beaten yourself up about not finishing something you started....

If you've ever created all kinds of reasons to put off starting something until you've done a long list of other important things...

If you've ever given up on something because you can see how you're never going to get it right anyways...

Then you might also want to read a book I just finished :)

First, let me tell you that while I try to read a lot of business books, I have a hard time with them. I don't have a lot of extra time to listen to audio books and I don't have the capacity to sit down and read them on paper.

So when I finished this entire audio book in 3 days the irony that it was a book on Finishing didn't escape me :)

Finish by Jon Acuff hits you right in your perfectionist tendencies and makes you realize that you may need to let go of your desire to do it all, so that you can actually start accomplishing more.

Plus he does it while being funny, which is my favourite.

Who is this book for?

If you've been struggling with getting started on projects, or finishing them, I highly recommend this book.

And if you, like me, struggle with reading paper versions of self help books, check out Audible. It's made me the biggest difference for me, and Acuff touches on why that might even feel like cheating in this book, when it really isn't :)

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2xSPVKd

Audible link:  http://amzn.to/2znItYE

Confidence Code

Book description:

Working women today are better educated and more well qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence.

Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition—with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business—Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to "lean in."Instead, they offer the inspiration and practical advice women need to close the gap and achieve the careers they want and deserve. 

Why I like it

Whether you realize it or not, as a woman you may approach decisions and your life differently then men when it comes to confidence. I really enjoyed this book because it made me understand how women deal with confidence and gave me tips and ideas on how I can make changes to increase my confidence.

Who is this BOOK for?

If you struggle with sales, with negotiations, with making yourself heard, with reaching out to new people or any of the main things I hear small business owners struggle with, I encourage you to read this book and see where you can start making small changes that can have a big impact in your business.

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2vxD2rY

Audible link: http://amzn.to/2znItYE

The E-myth Revisited

Book description:

An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the phenomenal bestseller dispels the myths about starting your own business. Small business consultant and author Michael E. Gerber, with sharp insight gained from years of experience, points out how common assumptions, expectations, and even technical expertise can get in the way of running a successful business.

Why I like it

Most of us start our business because we’re good at a thing, as opposed to ‘good at business’. The thing is, we need to be good at business and not just the “thing” if we’re going to grow a successful business. This book helps you understand how to shift your mindset from one of doing the work, to one of running the business. One of the most important actions to take after that mindset shift is the creation of systems. 

I fought against creating systems for a long time – mostly because my personality type isn’t one to refer back to systems, but for other clients I work with I see them resist because they feel like it’s silly to write down systems just for themselves when they know what and how to do things without one.

Systematizing your business is one of the best ways to make sure that your business stays on track and is set to grow.

Who is this BOOK for?

If you have visions of growing your business beyond just you, if you have visions of selling your business, if you know you’re going to be ready to start outsourcing soon or if you feel like you’re always overwhelmed and never have time to get all that you want to get done (or need to get done) done, then this book is great at explaining why you may need to shift your thinking and what steps to take to be poised for the next steps.

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2hDqjOO

The Big Leap

Book description:

Why I like it

The Big Leap was a game changer for me. It helped to identify where and how I was getting stuck in my business. There are times that I self-sabotage when things are going well and there are times that I self-sabotage before things are going well. Understanding that I’m doing this and looking for the solutions to stop myself from doing it was THE most important first step I took in seeing my business go from just okay to really taking off.

Who is this BOOK for?

Do you ever find yourself in a place where you feel stuck? You want more, but you never seem to be able to get it?

Or do you ever feel like things are going really well, but then they start to fall apart?

This book will help you identify where you’re getting stuck and why – and awareness is the first step to making changes.

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2wmKW56

Queen of Distraction

This is not a business book so I’m sneaking it in because it spoke to me personally.

Book description:

Do you rule the realm of disorganization, clutter, and chaos? Are you constantly battling to get things done? Are you ready to give up and toss your day planner into the dungeon (otherwise known as your closet)? If so, you might just be The Queen of Distraction . And whether or not you've been formally diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you probably already know that something's got to give. The Queen of Distraction presents practical skills to help women with ADHD achieve focus and balance in all areas of life, whether it's at home, at work, or in relationships.

Why I like it

I was diagnosed with ADHD close to the age of 40 and listening to this book really helped me to realize a couple of things.

1)   A lot of the shame I feel around my inability to do certain things is self-created and really normal.

2)   My brain works differently than other people’s brains – that doesn’t make it wrong, it just makes it different. Embracing other ways of doing things, the best way for YOUR brain, is key to decreasing frustration and finding success. Also, you just need to cut yourself some slack. 

Who is this BOOK for?

If you find yourself feeling perpetually disorganized or suspect you might be a woman with ADHD, this book is great at helping you accept your differences and move forward to solutions. This book can help you move out of “this is how I SHOULD be doing things” to “this is the way I can do things.”

Amazon link: http://a.co/cN0m9Au

How learning I have ADHD helped my business

This may sound obvious, but if we were all the same, life and the world would be really boring. We NEED people who are different, who think differently, and who don’t fit into the regular mould of things. Yet… when many of us don’t fit into the mould we often feel badly about ourselves. We get stuck thinking we should be able to do things exactly the same way as others. We beat ourselves up about the things we can’t get done without looking for other ways it can be done.

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I’m here to tell you how my brain is different than your brain, and how I’ve learned to embrace what’s awesome about that. My hope is that what I have learned will impact the potential for you to see and do things differently in your life and business.

How learning I have ADHD has helped my business

I have ADHD and I was only diagnosed in the last few years. ADHD causes me to get distracted easily. I don’t complete things once they get boring. I’m often really bad at detail-oriented tasks. I have a hard time gauging how much time something will take, and I tend to feel deadlines are not real until they are in panic/almost due mode.

Before my diagnosis, I felt a lot of shame about those things. They were things that were hard to deal with in my business and often slowed me down. When I realized that a lot of it was because of how my brain works, SO much of the shame disappeared, and I stopped beating myself up (or at least beat myself up less). Embracing ADHD is what made having ADHD fantastic for my business!

ADHD means I am used to trying new ways of doing things, to complete tasks and to finish things without it always being last minute.

Jessica McCabe from How to ADHD recently wrote a song about how people with ADHD think differently and how it means that sometimes we just have to reframe how we’re thinking. It’s simple: when things don’t work out how we want them to “try different, try again,” and that’s been the key to my life and oftentimes how I coach people.

Over and over again, I talk to people who have a plan of action that they're not getting done. Months and months of not doing the task is only met with, “I just have to do it.” But here’s what I ask, “Do you? “Why will that work now?”

When something isn’t working I challenge you to try something different – what could you do instead to get you to the same goal? I bet there’s something really great that could work. You just need to give yourself permission to think that way.

I have Aphantasia

Every time I’m at an event or participating in an activity that starts with, “close your eyes and picture in your mind… a beach, your best life, how it would look, feel, smell, sound...” the room can probably hear my eyes roll back into my head.

Why? Because I am thinking, great… another activity I can’t do because I have aphantasia and can’t picture/hear/smell anything in my mind’s eye.

But here’s the thing – I’m super creative. I have a great memory. There’s a distinct chance I could tell you what you were wearing and where we were the first time we met, especially if you told me a story. Not being able to hear, see and smell things in my mind doesn’t hamper my ability to do most things in life (other than being able to pull things up in my mind, which sounds kind of amazing and I won’t deny being a bit sad I can’t do it).

What it highlights to me is how differently the brain works for different people. We all have different brains… we have different ways of learning, processing, and creating. That means that there can’t ever be one way to teach people, to ask them to do tasks, to motivate them, etc.

We need to find the right way for each individual person! So again, I challenge you not to get discouraged when something isn’t working for you, but instead ask yourself, what DOES work for you?

For example, I need to write things by hand and keep them in paper folders for my clients. It sounds kind of archaic, but if I don’t have the ability to write by hand I don’t remember things as well.

The brain is a fascinating thing and we need to recognize how differently it works for all of us.

Your brain and my brain aren’t the same, but we all have the ability to find the awesome in what makes us uniquely us and what works best for us.

If you want to talk more about the places you struggle with in your business – where you find yourself procrastinating, not getting things done, or beating yourself up, then book a consultation with me. I’d love to chat about how to find the different ways to make things awesome for you, because I 100% believe it’s possible!

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Business Owners

With the holidays quickly approaching I updated the gift guide I created last year with ideas for what to get the entrepreneurs in your life - because business owners are special!

Help them plan

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Business Owners

If there's one thing business owners are always looking for, it's more time. The more organized they can be - the better. There are a lot of really fabulous planners out there, and here are a few I've used or know are really popular and people find a lot of success with them:

Planner Pad - This is a planner I've purchased several times over the years and works on a funnel down approach. You list everything you have to do at the top of the week and funnel it down to when it will actually get done. 

Passion Planner is a planner I haven't personally used, but know a lot of people who really love it. They like that it balances the personal side of what needs to be done with the business side, It also includes sections that help you figure out what you want to do and how to break down the steps to achieve them.

Self Journal is a planner that's also a journal. There is a lot of room every day to map out your day but also to map out how you're meeting your goals, your wins, your lessons and your gratitude. Each journal lasts for three months (I also haven't used this one, but it looks fantastic!).

Bullet Journal is a great concept because you can turn any notebook into a planner, and it's also great for non-linear thinkers (though I couldn't get it to work for me...). You can mix your brainstorms, your monthly plans, your weekly plans, your daily plans, and you can also buy one that is pre-setup for you. 

Productive! This planner is designed by my business coach, Shelagh Cummins, and is all about figuring out what your power moves are and working towards them. Check them out.

Pretty paper and pens

Entrepreneurs like me, like pretty stationary and fancy pens. Like, we really love them. Whether it's a gift card or a pretty journal, these are almost always a great gift idea (with the exception of a few people who have fully embraced the paperless way of life. :) 

I love my Moo business cards!

I love my Moo business cards!

Scribe Delivery - My husband got me this for my birthday and I literally squeal when I get my package every month. So many fun notebooks and pens!

A gift certificate for the things they are regularly ordering - Vista Print, Moo, Staples, etc. - search gift cards if it doesn't seem obvious how to find them! 

Pens! Lots of pens! (I think I could get 365 new pens every year for Christmas and still have days where I can't find one). ;) 

These vinyl stickers from Sticker Mule are super durable

These vinyl stickers from Sticker Mule are super durable

Stickers - I love stickers and you can get so many fun ones, including custom ones of your logo! Sticker Mule is one I've used a couple of times (you can get branded mailers and packing tape from them too. (Use that link to get $10 off your first order) iArtisans is run by a member of the Biz Studio Community and she has all kinds of fun and custom stickers that are perfect for using in our planners. Use code MAMBI5 for 15% off.

Technology

Entrepreneurs use tech a lot, and if you're anything like me, it wears out way faster than you'd like. I'm going to admit to my Apple bias here, but I'm sure there are great equivalents in Android and whatever the other tech is that I pretend doesn't exist.

A new computer - this year I'm ready to move away from my all-laptop-all-the-time computer ways and get an iMac for my desk and start using my Macbook Air just for traveling. It's going to be such an exciting change and improvement when it comes to the power of my machine to deal with all the video I now deal with in my business.

A smart watch - I always notice when people are wearing these and they just seem tech forward. I'm SO ready for my first Apple watch. :)

Noise-cancelling headphones - I had no idea until this past fall what the magic of noise-canceling headphones is all about. I work at home and I'm all alone most days so I didn't think there would be any value in them for me. It turns out that the noise-canceling feature is incredibly calming for my ADHD brain and helps me be more productive, so you'll often find me wearing huge headphones with nothing more than a light whooshing noise being broadcast through them while I'm sitting at my desk getting work done!

No more cleaning, no more cooking

Magic Fridge.png

A huge theme that comes up is having someone else take care of the cooking and cleaning (a lot of my examples for these are local, but I'm sure you can find something similar close to where you live).

There are all kinds of great local services for cleaning that you can look in to and you can also check out personal chef services (The Magic Fridge is a local one run by a friend of mine) that take the stress out of shopping, cooking and cleaning up after you cook.

There are also lots of services like Hello Fresh (that link will give you $50 off your first order) and Chef's Plate that will mail you all the ingredients for a set amount of meals per week, taking the stress of planning and shopping out of your weekly schedule and also making the recipes really easy to follow with relatively little prep required. There's also Supperworks where you can go and assemble everything you need for your own meals or pay a bit extra and they'll assemble everything you need.

But if they do need to cook, they might love some cooking classes!

Pampering 

A gift certificate to their favourite spa or for a massage was high on the list for many of the entrepreneurs in my group.

A day away at a spot like Le Nordik or Scandinave Spa for example. A massage from a local clinic is also always appreciated, such as Byward Massage Therapy Clinic or the Massage and Treatment Clinic in Orleans.

Bring on the drinks!

Beer, wine, coffee, tea - we like a variety of drinks as entrepreneurs, whether it be for during the day or for when we put our feet up at the end of the day. Here are a few ideas when it comes to the drinks department. I'm a big fan of subscription services in this category. :) 

Beer subscription service - we have Brew Box here in Ontario but there are many great ones. 

Nespresso is a popular coffee machine with lots of varieties of coffees - even better if more comes to your door every month. 

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How about a box of wine delivered to you every three months? If only I liked red wine this would be perfect for me. 

Meaningful bling

A piece of jewelry that speaks to our goals and dreams is a thoughtful way to commemorate all the hard work business women do.

I know for one I would love a bracelet like this from Citrus Silver with my word for 2017 stamped on it (my word for 2016 was Thrive, my word for 2017 is Open).

Health, fitness, and wellness

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For the business owner who wants to stay fit but doesn't have the time to make it to the gym a lot, a one-year membership to the 15 Minute Workout Club is one way to easily in sneak those effective workouts.

Help one of your favourite business owners celebrate their creative side and send them off to this weekend women's retreat (I'll be there!) in February where she can play and connect and create in the peaceful country air. 

I had fun thinking of all the ways we could celebrate the entrepreneurs in our lives - maybe this sparked a few ideas for you. Leave me a comment letting me know if you'll be adding any of these to your shopping list!

To note: A few of these are affiliate links, most are not, but all are things I truly believe in and nothing is included just to make a buck :) 

Social tools for business

Social Tools for Business

I'm at the cottage and I am thinking about all the online tools out there and how valuable they can be for businesses. Now, more than ever before, business owners can communicate with their clients and potential clients quickly and effectively.

If you are a business owner who continues to struggle with how to make social media work for you then I encourage you to read through five of my favourite blog posts that offer up valuable social media tips on some of my favourite social channels:

1)   Should you be on Instagram?

If you are a business owner who doesn’t understand the value of posting pictures on a regular basis, then read this post to find out if you’re missing out on a tool that could be helping you reach an audience you didn’t even know existed! If you are a visual business, you should most probably be on Instagram. Click here to learn more.

2) The Value of Recommendations and Endorsements

LinkedIn is a professional social channel and is the best place to showcase your accreditations, skills and accomplishments. It is also a place to connect and network with new professional connections and prove that you are worth working with. It is for this reason that you should learn and use the recommendation and endorsement features on LinkedIn. These features allow people to see what you are all about and have to offer without having to connect with you first. To learn more about the value of LinkedIn, click here.

3)   Why should my small business use Facebook?

Believe it or not there are still small businesses who are not on Facebook – or they are on as a personal profile or group and do not have a business page.  There are advantages to being on Facebook as a business and this post goes back to the basics – for those who still need convincing. To read the full post, click here.

4)   The Twitter Rules of Thirds

If you are new to Twitter, or you have an account, but instead of using it for business use it for news updates instead, this blog post will help you understand what you should really be using this conversational social channel for. Twitter is not as time consuming as you may think! Used correctly for about ten minutes a day can help grow your audience substantially. Click here to learn more about Twitter.

5)   Periscope – What is it and why should I care?

This is a new social app and it is taking the world by storm!  Periscope allows you to live stream from your cell phone and it’s free to broadcast and view. There is a lot of potential in this simple app, and I have seen business owners use it to share tips, product reveals and more!  It’s a quick and easy tool that can be used to connect with your audience in real time – from anywhere in the world. Click here to read more on Periscope.

So, as I connect with you miles from my office I hope you find these highlighted posts helpful as you continue to explore the endless possibilities social media brings for small businesses.