Entrepreneur Success Interview: Cathy Thompson

Shelagh Cummins
October 17, 2014
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Meet Cathy Thompson – the founder and owner of Beyond The Classroom. Watch this interview and learn why you and your knowledge is your most precious commodity – and how your money story influences your business. Cathy Thompson is the founder and owner of Beyond the Classroom Ltd. She began tutoring over 20 years ago, doing one-on-one sessions with students in their homes and noticed huge improvements in the students’ grades and confidence. Over time, more and more tutors have sought out positions at Beyond the Classroom Ltd. because of the philosophy of the company and because they believe that one-on-one tutoring is the most effective way to increase grades and confidence. Cathy has a degree in Psychology and Sociology from McMaster University along with a post-graduate degree in Continuing and Adult Education from the University of Saskatchewan. She also has diplomas in Addictions Studies from McMaster University and Accounting … Continued

Entrepreneur Success Interview: Kelsey Ramsden

Shelagh Cummins
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Meet Kelsey Ramsden – an award winning entrepreneur and media superstar. Watch as she shares her secrets to success, her journey to running several million dollar companies – and how she feels a business isn’t just a path to profits. It’s who you are. Bio: Kelsey Ramsden is Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur Magazine writer, ranked #1 by Profit and Chatelaine Magazines in 2012 & 2013. She has founded and run businesses as diverse as construction and children’s toys. As President of Belvedere Place Development, a land development and construction project, she wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and strap on some work boots and get down in the dirt. As founder of Spark Play, a monthly play subscription service – as much for parents as for their kids – she lands herself back on the ground. Formerly a wayward student, born of generations of true grit and determination, … Continued

Grow Your Business – Lead With Your ‘Why’

Shelagh Cummins
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People don’t buy what you do – they buy WHY you do it. -Simon Sinek The universe has a funny way of working sometimes. Two things happened almost simultaneously to make me stop and rethink how I run my business. 1.  Someone asked me a question which I couldn’t answer immediately. “Shelagh, why do you do what you do?” 2. I stumbled across Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk about Starting With Why. Both events stopped me dead in my tracks. I knew in my heart why I do this work, but I didn’t know how to articulate it. So I did what I always do when I need to figure something out – I drove, I walked and I percolated. And it came to me at a moment I was least suspecting it – when I was introducing myself on a coaching call. In fact it just flew out of my mouth, rolled off … Continued

Earn More, Work Less: Summer Sanity Savers

Shelagh Cummins
August 18, 2014
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  Are you surviving the summer months? Let’s face it – the minute our kids’ schedules change, our schedules change too. So how can we keep our businesses humming and continue bringing in income without having to be as connected and as hands-on as we are throughout the school year? Here are three key strategies to help you earn more, work less and stay sane this summer.  1.  Set Goals.  Since we’re talking about only a two to three month period of time, let’s set some micro-goals for our businesses. What do you absolutely need to have happen over the summer?  Get specific and stay focused.  If you’re concentrating on sales, how much do you need sales to increase by, or to maintain, to keep your lights on?  Once you have your goal in mind—that small micro-goal—break that down into two or three milestones to get you there.  If boosting your marketing efforts … Continued

3 Reasons Your Team Isn’t Working Out

Shelagh Cummins
July 23, 2014
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  So you hire somebody, and after a few weeks you get the feeling it’s just not working out.  It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem is, but you know something is off.  Learning these three C’s was such an “Aha!” moment for me.  They really enabled me to quickly and accurately evaluate the situation so I could get things back on track and headed toward success.  I hope they’re as helpful and powerful for you as they were—and still are—for me.  I take no credit for this – I was working Shawn Driscoll, a fabulous business coach, when she helped me see the light about leading a team. These are her teachings. The first C is CLARITY.  Remember, the people you hire are not mind readers, and they may be delivering exactly what you’ve asked for but in a different way than you would do it yourself.  Are … Continued

5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire in Your Business

Shelagh Cummins
July 16, 2014
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  I think probably the biggest objection I hear when faced with the question “Are you ready to hire?” is “But Shelagh, I can’t afford to hire right now.”  My answer to that is always, always, always “Can you afford NOT to hire right now?”  Now I am a huge proponent of not going into debt, so don’t hear what I’m not saying—I am NOT saying it’s a good idea to hire at a detriment to your business.  But what I AM saying is we need to ask ourselves this clarifying question when we are deciding whether it is prudent to hire:  “Can I afford to do this myself?”  The following questions can help you decide if you can afford to do it yourself:1.  Is the position you’re considering hiring out a primary service or offering from your business?  In other words, is this your chief moneymaking talent?  Is it what’s … Continued

What Type of Business Owner Are You?

Shelagh Cummins
July 3, 2014
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What Type of Business Owner Are You? “Most entrepreneurs are merely technicians with an entrepreneurial seizure. Most entrepreneurs fail because you are working IN your business rather than ON your business.”  ~Michael Gerber If you haven’t read Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited, I highly recommend it.  I love how he talk about the different of business owner “personalities”:  technician, entrepreneur, and manager.  In the same way that we discussed the MONEY PIE as it relates to our financial systems, no one person is all technician or all entrepreneur or all manager.  Rather, we are a “pie” made up of different variables, some of which have a tendency to trip us up, and some that are our biggest assets.  But it’s that really knowing ourselves that helps us to better evaluate where we are in our business and how to take those next steps in pursuing our vision.Take a look at these three … Continued

Slice Your Money Pie

Shelagh Cummins
June 26, 2014
6 comments.

Let’s talk about two of our favorite things today:  money… and pie. Just like everything in business, having a solid plan when it comes to finances can be the difference between success and failure.  It is imperative that we align our financial plan with our vision and check back often to be sure we’re on the right track. I am a “percentages girl,” so my favorite way to allocate finances (AKA – revenue) is the “money pie.”  You get to allocate what the percent of each slice is – just make sure it’s not 100% income! Remember—just because you’re MAKING money doesn’t mean you get to KEEP it.  There is gross revenue, which is the whole circle of your pie, and there is net income, or what you get to pay yourself.  And that’s just one slice. When revenue comes in your door, one of the biggest mistakes is to use … Continued

What is Fear Costing You? #choosefear

Shelagh Cummins
April 14, 2014
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Whether it’s fear of failure or fear of success – fear is likely manifesting itself somewhere in your business. Perhaps it is keeping you stuck doing the exact same thing day in, day out. Perhaps you are avoiding or procrastinating something that will help you, but is out of your comfort zone. Perhaps it is making you play small by not being proactive in your sales and marketing. Who knows – we all manifest fear in different ways – just like we all are afraid of different things. This video has changed the way some entrepreneurs are facing their week. They are choosing the fear as opposed to avoiding it. This can be a game changer – perhaps this is the week you will increase your prices, or reach out to the perfect client for you. Perhaps you will choose to grow your community filled with ideal clients or be … Continued

Overcome Potential Obstacles

Shelagh Cummins
March 17, 2014
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The Girl Scout Motto:  “Be prepared.” Before we look at HOW we’re going to get to WHERE we’re going (your vision), consider how you can be prepared for the obstacles that will come up.  Because let’s face it—bad things happen.  And while it’s unreasonable, and perhaps even just a bit neurotic, to have the backup plan for the backup plan for the backup plan, a little preparedness goes a long way when it comes to identifying potential problems along the road to success and planning ahead for them. Brainstorm potential roadblocks—some things that may throw your priorities out of alignment—along your particular path to success for this year.  You should have a clear vision of where you will be at the end of 2014.  Take a good, hard look at that picture. What things could get in the way of that happening for you?  Remember—this is not WORRYING or FRETTING.  … Continued