3 little words

I came across Chris Brogan doing this a few years ago. http://www.chrisbrogan.com/my-3-words-2014/

I’ve been doing it ever since. My words are my theme, my overriding reason, my ideas of how things will turn out.

Last year my words were Epic Adventures! I threw myself into the year with great plans for big epic adventures I would take! The biggest was a Cross Canada Odyssey with the Kids. I would, of course, meet up with people, do workshops, sell books and, oh, by the way, research rural coworking spaces.

That one didn’t work out. I did do the research, but from home and at a couple of great and relevant conferences that I went to instead. Not quite epic, but adventurous none the less.

File it under ‘reach for the stars and get the moon’.

2013 was a year of change; of transition; of moving from being the owner of a bookkeeping business to being a business strategist. I wish that the chiming of a new year meant that the tribulations of the old year were automatically over.

Change always takes longer than we think it will. But, like a hatching bird, the time it takes is necessary for the feathers to dry before the chick is ready to leave the shell. ‘Helping’ the bird only hurts it. It’s all part of the process, right?

My words for 2014


This is one of my values, too. It is about highest and best use. It’s about reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s about making our environment help us rather than hinder us.

I choose this word on several levels.

The home/permaculture level because there is a part of me that loves the whole homesteading thing – in fact I did it for 10 years, complete with chickens, milking goats, pigs and meat rabbits. I picked up a carton of coffee cream last week that is good until Feb 14 – that’s over a month and a half! for a carton of coffee cream! Why? How? A carton of coffee cream in the dairy section. Ingredients: milk, cream, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, dextrose. When Michal Pollan says eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables, he admits that’s very difficult to do. Things like this cream is why it’s so hard. I’m harping on this because it’s an example of why I feel a need to do more ourselves.

I’m also thinking about ecosystems. I see. think and work most comfortably at an ecosystem level. I will continue to work on building entrepreneurial ecosystems.


Nilofer Merchant talks about air sandwich in her blog post here http://nilofermerchant.com/2013/12/16/how-to-tackle-the-new-thing/

…the gap between strategy and execution is a persistent one. It happens in organizations, it happens in our lives. In my 1st book (do you know about it? Published in 2010, it’s called The New How), I describe this gap as an “Air Sandwich” – the persistent void between the big idea and the execution. I called it the Air Sandwich because all the stuff that matters — the thing that makes it complete — is missing. To fill it is about making the necessary tradeoffs, making tough decisions, and aligning resources.

I have several very cool projects I need and want to take through that air sandwich.  They have been languishing there for far too long. I want to focus this year on building on these existing ideas.


This past year has had me pretty inward-focused. Transitions start from the inside. Like a vine-ripened tomato, it happens inside before you see it on the outside.

This past year’s transition has been hard financially, so I haven’t participated in community events as much as I would like. I want to do fun things like this. https://www.facebook.com/events/416558458472982/438145019647659/ One thing I did learn this year is that it is possible to participate without money, with some effort. Focus outwards and participating in life!

The common advice is to build a big list, provide tons of value to deepen your relationship and then sell by providing great value in the ways your tribe is asking for. I have resisted! and resisted. I think I’m more comfortable with the idea of helping a few people who are close to me, then a few more, then a few more. In other words, starting close and building outward.

Some people at this point in their careers have helped 1000’s of people. I may have, but I’m more interested in the 100 or so I have helped over the past almost 20 years by working very closely with them.

I’m building outward.

My 3 words for 2014. What are yours?



Week 4 – Getting Paid Well

This week we will examine our business model; we’ll talk about pricing and tie that in with our marketing.

Our business model is what our business is about – who we help, what results we give them, how we do it and what it costs. We clarify these things so we can test to make sure we have a market and that they want what we are offering at the price we are offering it. We look at how we deliver, what it costs and what people will pay. We test to make sure we can produce enough to make as much as we want. We look for the resources we need to make sure we can do what we say we can.

Pricing isn’t just about covering costs (although that is essential) it is an important part of our marketing. Our price tells people what kind of service we offer and it tells them whether this offering is for them.

Last week Seth Godin posted this:

Seth Godin's Circles of Marketing



What we offer is at the core of what we do. How we deliver (usability and support) is next important. Price, our story and the community of people who care are the reason we are doing what we do. The outer ring represents the tactics we use to get our story out.

Everything about how we do our business and how we market starts at the centre. We need to be passionate about what we offer; we need to care about our customers and we need to be good at what we do.


This week we look at what we do, for whom and how that makes us enough money. This week we look at getting paid well for what we do.









Regain Your Passion

Love your business again

Get your passion back

I’ve been playing with this tag line as I think about

  • who is part of our customer team
  • how we can make what we offer predictable and work for you
  • our story and our web environment
  • the sustainable economic model to build

What are we trying to do here? The Sweet Spot of Business

Help you, yes, but what is the unique way we can do that for you? What do we have to offer that fits our strengths, passions and capabilities?

What will bring you so much value, you’d be nuts not to jump on it?

How can we bring you so much value you’ll pay us well and be happy to do it?

It is at the convergence of these three places that the sweet spot of business occurs.


Taking a page from Simon Sinek: what is our why? It is no less than saving the world, because you, yes, you, the small business owner who will save the world. In order to do that, you need to be in a place where you can. We can help you get there.

I’ve worked with enough people to know:

When you have passion you are energized, excited and creative.

When you banish the mundane you clear the way to do the work that matters.

You CAN build a business that’s part of the lifestyle you want to live.

After that, you help those around you. That’s inevitable. You already do help in the way that uses your strengths and interests. I want to support you in your business so you can do even more.

We’re talking about regaining and again and getting it back, because that is who we love to help. People who know that they have a great business, but it’s not working the way it should and could and it’s draining them now.

Your Effortless Business book is only the starting place. But it isn’t information you need. If it were, you’d be where you want to be already.

It’s sustained effort that will get you there

and a focus on what’s really important

It’s a belief that you can, otherwise you won’t even try.

It’s simple, but not easy.

It must be predictable, within a nurturing environment, with a group of people supporting you and the business model must be sound.


So how about it? I’m asking you. What do you need? How can we help you? How can we deliver what you need? We have it, we’ve done it before, but what’s the best way for you to receive it, so it works for you?

What will it take for you to regain your passion and build the business of your dreams?


Who’s on Your Team?

This is a partial list of all the people in your life who are invested in you and your business. I hope this makes you realize you are not alone in your business, even if it’s only you.

Cafe staff
Stationary Store Owner
Postal Carrier
Rotary club
Chamber of Commerce
Lions Club
Networking Associations
Hobby clubs
Culture organizations
Sport Teams
Sport Facilities
Yoga Instructor
Sign Maker
Neighbours (We’re Canadian, eh?)
Industry association
Operating Staff
Staff admin/reception
Customers (Our Business Owners)
VA – research
VA – admin
Facebook Friends
Twitter Followers
G+ Circles
Website designers, hosters
Graphic designer
Local Small Business Organizations
Phone company
Radio Stations
Newspaper reporters
Payroll company
Mastermind group
Boards you are on
Other Business Owners
Bigger picture person
Shoulder rubber
Financial Advisor
Town Council

Each of them brings a piece you need for you, for your business, or for your community.

Who else is on your team?