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How to organize your conference materials

conference material

This is a three-part series with tips and tools to take the stress out of attending a conference.

You’ve returned from your conference with an armload of materials. You may be tempted to drop it in your office to sit untouched for months. Imagine what would happen if you immediately put the information to good use so your time at the conference could be considered time well spent.

Here’s your step-by-step action plan to make that happen. [Read more…]

3 Ways to Reignite Your Passion for Your Business

Another Valentine’s Day come and gone. Did you receive flowers from your business? How about a box of chocolate? Maybe a nice card?  Me neither. (Sigh.)

reignite passion for your business

Sometimes loving your business can feel one-sided

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. A few tweaks, mixed with a dose of productive habits, and you’ll be doing the Tango with your business in no time!

Here are three easy steps to reignite the passion [Read more…]

5 ways to regain the passion for your work

heart_treeIt’s time to bring back that loving feeling for what you do!

Remember the excitement you felt when you launched your business or started on your career path? Everyday was exciting and new. You loved it and you flourished.

But then something happened to stamp out that spark that used to burn so brightly.

For me, it crept up on me quietly yet deliberately.

I didn’t even know the passion was leaking out of me until one day I woke up and felt empty.

In that moment, I didn’t jump out of bed anxiously anticipating the workday ahead. Instead I pulled the covers over my head and tried to hide. It was then I knew I had burnt out.

That was 5 years ago when I was a web consultant.

Looking back at it all, this is what I know for sure. [Read more…]

A sure-fire way to accomplish your work

LucyI love autumn.

The air is crisp and cool, the trees are full of colour and I get to wear big comfy sweaters.

It’s a great season to take my dog, Lucy, for a walk in the park. Usually, we have an hour to romp and play, but this day was different.

I had a project to get done, so this walk was all about Lucy doing her business … and fast.

But as we entered the park, it looked like a squirrel party. They were everywhere and Lucy was in heaven. Her all-time favourite thing to do is chase squirrels.

As I watched her burst into a full sprint after a squirrel who dashed toward the nearest tree, I could feel myself getting progressively frustrated.

Couldn’t she just focus and get on with the task at hand?

And then I thought of you!

Are you wasting your time and energy chasing squirrels rather than getting on with your work? [Read more…]

Top tech apps to get you organized for the New Year

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.33.40 AMI was at the grocery store the other day looking for plain yogurt. Not Greek style. Not fruit on the bottom. Not fat-free. Not probiotic. Just plain old yogurt. It seemed like an eternity before I found the right type.

Have you ever felt that way when faced with choosing a technology tool?

Sometimes the simplest things are the most difficult to find.

Whether you’re looking for an accounting app or a task management tool, choosing the right one can be daunting.
This week’s Shortcut is going to cut through the crap and reveal 5 new tools I’ve welcomed into my business to keep intandem humming along.

Get ready to be more productive + efficient in 2015 with these top tech apps: [Read more…]

Close sales faster using eSignatures

Electronic signatureIn every business there comes a time when you need to get someone’s signature on a document. Whether it’s a proposal, approval forms, working agreements, contracts etc. the goal is the same: make the process of sending, signing and managing documents easy.

The truth is your business efficiency will come to a grinding halt the minute you need someone to sign a document. If you’re like most solo and micro business owners, you still rely on your clients taking time out of their busy day to print, scan and email or fax the document back to you. This is a colossal waste of time and effort. Not only is it time consuming and cumbersome, it often leads to delays.

Anything that takes a person more than a few minutes to complete will  fall to the bottom of their To Do list. Guaranteed.

Before you know it, you’re spending time and effort following up with emails and phone calls … that is if it doesn’t slip through the cracks.

Here’s how to make the signing process easier. [Read more…]

12 Days of Business Efficiency

snowflake_smallYou may have noticed this too … the Christmas carols have been playing in the stores for weeks. I asked the cashier if she was getting tired of hearing the same songs repeatedly, she looked at me and said, “I don’t even notice them anymore.

Have we all been numbed to the spirit of the holidays?

I love the holiday season. Whether the celebration is Christmas, Hanukkah or Winter Solstice, it’s a time for friends and family to gather and share food, laughter and gratitude.

In keeping with this spirit, I’ve put together my version of the 12 days of Christmas, from a business efficiency perspective. With all the love floating around at this time of year, it’s important to heap some of it on your business. [Read more…]

3 essential steps to avoid burnout

BurnoutI’m going to be totally honest with you. Sometimes, it’s freaking hard to run a business.

This morning, I woke up and I thought to myself, how I would love to play hooky from my work. Just “call in sick” and spend the day on the couch, or go for a long walk, or just do nothing. The little devil on my shoulder whispers: If you feel that way, just do it.

My problem is I can’t slack off

My work ethic stops me from goofing off whenever I feel the urge. Entrepreneur or not, I approach my business with all the dedication and seriousness I did when I had to go into an office and report to someone else.

That’s not to say I haven’t developed a schedule that builds in time to exercise, take my dog out for a walk and get some errands done. I have. Freedom and flexibility are two fundamental reasons I started my own gig. But my goal is to have a business, not a hobby.

So, how does someone like me avoid burning out?

Eating right, exercising and getting outside help a lot. But that’s not enough.

Sometimes the problem isn’t me … it’s my business. It’s about how it runs and how these things affect me.

So I perform the following diagnostic on my business. I encourage you to do this too. You may be surprised by what you discover. Here’s how … [Read more…]

Beat the bottlenecks in your business

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 10.40.07 AMBottlenecks in your business are like having a bad head cold. Just as your nose gets congested and your head feels heavy when you’re sick, so too does your business when experiencing a bottleneck. You’ll notice your workflow gets clogged and your business becomes sluggish and inefficient.

Symptoms also include piles of paper on and around your desk, tasks remaining undone and rising stress levels.

The first step in finding relief is to identify the bottlenecks. That’s not always easy to do on your own, so I’ve put together a list of the top five common business bottlenecks and what you can do to beat them. [Read more…]

5 ways I boost my morning routine

Stress - business woman running lateA couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about the benefits of getting up earlier (7 habits to help get your butt out of bed.) There’s no doubt many successful professionals prefer to get a jumpstart on their day by getting up at the crack of dawn. But, whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all have one thing in common … we all have to wake up and get our work done.

It used to take me a long time to get my sleepy head in the mood to work. The busyness of the morning would send me in a million different directions. If you can relate, then I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Actually, it’s more like 5 secrets. These are the things I do to streamline my morning routine so I can get on with my day and accomplish my work. [Read more…]