Author: CareerPreneur Partners

Goal Setting for Business Success in 2017!

January brings with it the excitement of planning for the new year. People all around the world are discussing their new year resolutions and goals for things like weight loss, better health and even happiness. Lists, charts and plans are filled with ways to create the perfect resolution and stick to it.

As an entrepreneur, it is just as vital to consider the steps to take for your business in the new year.  Reflect on what you want/need to do to ensure continued business growth and success.

During our coaching process, we encourage clients to turn career stories and accomplishment statements into S.M.A.R.T. statements. As a business owner, this same principle can apply to setting your 2017 goals.

When thinking of your goals, keep the S.M.A.R.T. approach in mind. Set goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action-Oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time-Based

Running the day-to-day operations of a business can sometimes overshadow our goals for the year. It is easy to forget what our purpose is. This is where goal-setting and a positive attitude will help you on your path to success.

Visualize a more positive and brilliant future for your company. What does success look like to you? Hoping to win industry awards, publish a book, or simply generate more clients and revenue? What do you need to do today to set you and your company on the path to achieving this future?

With clear, measurable goals in play you become accountable for the steps you take each day, each month, and each year. Create a monthly, quarterly, annual, and even five-year plan. What do you hope to accomplish in these time frames? What steps do you need to take to achieve them?

Write goals down to stay on track. Each month, review and evaluate your goals. Are you on track? If not, consider revising and updating your goal setting plan to ensure success. There is always room to take a step back, slow down, and re-write your plan. Remember, the road to success is rarely linear!

If you are on track with your goals, give yourself a pat-on-the-back and know that you are positively guiding your business to new levels of growth and success.

As business owners, we are the back-bone of business success. Set realistic goals for yourself and your company. Trust that with clearly defined goals about your future and a positive belief that you will achieve your dreams, you will not fail.

Aim high and hit your mark on the world by believing in yourself and your company. Walk confidently in the direction of your dreams and face the fear of failure head-on with S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. Make this the year your business prospers. Embrace the journey of success!

 

Skye Berry-Burke is the co-founder of CareerPreneur Partners and Owner/Founder of Skye Is The Limit Resume & Career Solutions.  Reach out to her at: info@careerpreneur.ca with any business questions!

When Work and Life Get Overwhelming… Step Back to the Shore

It’s been almost 10 years since I became a mom and a business owner, back to back.  I tried my best to prepare, but each role involved a lot of “learn as you go”.  One of my biggest challenges personally was finding a way to meet the needs of both of these high-demand tasks, simultaneously.

When things got tough – and trust me, they often did – I told myself I needed to find a better way to achieve balance. I wanted to be a loving, caring mother while also performing as a kick-butt career professional.  I felt that with some time and effort I could reach an exact stability. Yet striving for perfection held me back.

After several years of precarious efforts I stumbled across an article by a mompreneur that said something along the lines of:

Raising kids while managing your own business is like standing on the beach near the ocean watching the waves roll in.  You want to be in there riding every wave of opportunity, but sometimes you have to sit patiently on the shore to attend to the things that need you the most.  Waves will continue to roll in; when the timing is right, jump back in.

This analogy hit home for me.  It rang true.  I didn’t have to chase and ride every, single wave.  It was ok to let some waves roll by as I tended to the things that mattered ‘on shore’.  There would be more waves; more opportunities.

With this in mind, I was able to let go of the relentless pursuit to ‘do it all’ and find that elusive perfect balance. I could ride the waves of highs and lows at a pace that worked for me, doing my best not to lose sight of the shore (the things that mattered most…my anchor).

Truthfully, balance is different for everyone and it doesn’t exist in any one perfect form. Some of my fellow colleagues agree.

Sharon Graham, the Executive Director of Career Professionals of Canada shares that: “I am most successful when I “blend” my entrepreneurial life with my personal life. I am doing what I love and so the lines between work and personal life are blurred.”

Maureen McCann of Promotion Career Solutions agrees that she doesn’t balance. She also blends. In her post Don’t Balance. Blend!  she recommends that we “stop trying to balance a myriad of unconnected goals from different areas of life, whether they involve family, finances, fitness, career, or love. Instead, blend your goals into one incredibly fulfilling and rewarding life.”

The strategies needed to succeed in both work and life will certainly vary person to person, but to help ease stress Sharon recommends regular work breaks to spend time with the people in your life.  In addition she shares her personal strategy for keeping things well-blended: “I purposely schedule ‘tea time’ at the end of the day, just to relax and take a breather. When I feel happy and healthy, I find that I am vastly more productive. Blending work and life allows me to best meet the needs of my family and my community of practitioners.”

Janet Barclay, the founder of Organized Assistant, shares a similar strategy: “I manage work/life balance by stopping work at 5 pm every day and closing my office door. On weekends I often find myself at my computer by default, so I need to plan personal activities such as family visits, lunch with friends, or mini photography expeditions to keep that from happening. I also started a personal blog to combine my passion for my work with my leisure activities.”

Finally, Maureen reminds us all that we aren’t alone in this process: “People want to help you. It’s true. If given the opportunity to help someone close to you, you would, wouldn’t you?  Maureen further stresses that if we need change, or want change, it is up to us to make that happen: “It’s your job to make yourself happy. No one will do it for you – not your spouse, your kids, your best friend, or your boss. It’s you, just you.”

With these thoughts in mind, lessen your burdens and stop trying to reach a level of perfection that might not be attainable.  Instead, employ strategies to support goals and happiness that are in better harmony with your unique life and work situation.  Don’t be shy to take the reins and make decisions that work best for YOU, asking for helping along the way.

If the water is stormy today and you aren’t getting the results you want or need, step back to the shore.  There will be calmer waters soon. Watch for that well-timed wave …and jump in.

 

 

Adrienne Tom is an entrepreneur, mompreneur, and careerpreneur.  She owns and operates Career Impressions and is the co-founder of CareerPreneur Partners.

 

What Does Success Look Like To You? Career experts share individual perspectives

When we think of defining success in our business, we often lean towards measuring success by the number of clients/customers we have, the amount of revenue we generate and the size and location of our office space. With this kind of measuring stick, we can end up feeling frustrated by the constant chase. Instead of enjoying the ride of entrepreneurship, we burn ourselves out.

But, what if we craft our own definition of success?

Rarely do we examine success as a deeply individual experience. Yet, as entrepreneurs, our entire journey is individual. We each chose the life of entrepreneurship for different reasons, whether it be for family obligations or the idea of being our own boss and setting our own hours, or some other reason entirely.

When I first founded my resume writing and career coaching business, I did not have a true measure for success. At the time, the goal was simply to work-from-home, raise my two young children without requiring the assistance of daycare, and continue to do what I love – help people find and secure their career passion.

What I learnt over the year’s is that when we begin to define success on our own terms, achieve success by our own rules, and build the life we are proud to live, we become much happier and fulfilled in our journey as entrepreneurs. It stands to reason that this happiness brings greater joy, and in turn, more success.

With the idea that success is an individual experience, I asked fellow entrepreneurial CareerPro experts to weigh in on how they define a successful business. Here is what they had to say:

Maureen McCann, Senior Career Strategist at ProMotion Career Solutions (www.mypromotion.ca), states that a successful business is defined by a “successful life”.

What does a successful life look like to Maureen? She says that “as a career professional working virtually with clients, I am accountable for each hour of my day. The perfect day for me is to go for a run, spend the day developing an idea with a client, do some writing, design a new tool for a future project, then after a full day of work spend the evening with my family and/or friends.”

For Janet Barclay, Web Designer at OrganizedAssistant.com and Facilitator at MaximizeMarketing.club, “success isn’t about earning six figures, but about making enough to meet all my needs and a few luxuries without having to worry about next month or next year”.

Sharon Graham, Executive Director of Career Professionals of Canada (www.careerprocanada.ca), defines success in terms of her member’s success!

When Sharon was presented with the question of how she defines success, she replied with: “I define success by the success of our members. When I hear that someone I have mentored, trained or supported has achieved a goal, it truly warms my heart. Sometimes we get lost in our day-to-day work or our business goals. However, as career practitioners, we have a much more altruistic purpose – helping our clients attain their goals. By honing in on this, we can truly realize a sense of satisfaction and achievement. After all, isn’t that why most of us are in the business?”

Success is an individual experience…

Success, for Maureen McCann, Janet Barclay, Sharon Graham, and even Adrienne and I, is not about chasing more clients, more money, more of this or that… but about loving the work we do while being able to virtually connect with amazing people.

At the end of the day, I encourage you to consider what your definition of success is. Ask yourself: what does success look like to you? Is it having more clients, more money, more of this or that? Or is it more about loving yourself, being passionate about what you do, and enjoying how you do it?

As CareerPro’s and entrepreneurs, we need to stop using other people’s measuring sticks to rate our success. Instead, design your own measure. Do what feels right for you. Reach for your own stars to establish the happy and fulfilling life you are destined to create.

 

 

Skye Berry-Burke is the co-founder of CareerPreneur Partners and Owner/Founder of Skye Is The Limit Resume & Career Solutions.  Reach out to her at: info@careerpreneur.ca with any business questions!

How to Brand Your Business for Success

These days, most people recognize the importance of branding as part of both a personal and professional strategy.  Many businesses provide branding support to clients but sometimes forget to give their own brand the required time and attention it deserves.

Solidifying and fostering a strong business brand is a key component to business success.

According to the Small Business Encyclopedia on Entrepreneur.com, branding is defined as “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. Simply put…your brand is your promise to your customer.”

So how can you achieve a solid business brand that communicates value and promise?

Start by developing a branding strategy which includes the “how, what, where, when, and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages”.

Here are 5 steps to help you build a business branding strategy:

  1. Nail down a mission or vision statement that summarizes the unique focus and value of your business. Again, what is your promise to your clients? Clarifying offerings will help services better connect to, and resonate, with a target audience.  A mission statement can also help illuminate expectations: i.e.  what you do or do not do.

 

  1. Identify ‘right-fit’ clients. Knowing who your target audience is will help better refine branding messages, aligning services and offerings with select personal requirements.   For example, are you looking to provide job search support to new career professionals?  This offering would be a great fit for new graduates, so perhaps post-secondary students are your right-fit clients.

 

  1. Compile strong and succinct messages. Messages roll your brand and promise into value statements that can be shared across a variety of platforms.  Many businesses use memorable taglines, like Nike’s “Just Do It” or Skittles “Taste the Rainbow”.  Other companies use consistent brand messages such as Folgers: “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup”.  Aim to compile similar, succinct messages or a tagline to represent your services or products.

 

  1. Research where your target audience ‘hangs-out’ or is likely to see your messages. Again, if you want to connect with new graduates then building a presence at colleges or universities makes sense.  Identify what medians are available to share your messages at select locations.  Today, most people use social media and the internet to research products/services so a strong online presence is important for branding purposes. Find out which platforms most relate to your audience and get visible there.

 

  1. Get your messages in front of your audience. Once your brand has been clarified; your right-fit client identified; and your memorable branding messages compiled…it’s time to get your messages distributed.  Websites, social media accounts, blog posts, networking efforts, emails, newsletters, association directories, etc. are all opportunities to share brand messages and your unique ‘customer promise’.

 

Two final thoughts to help support branding success.

The foundation of many brands is a company logo.  Spend appropriate time developing a clear and memorable image to support your brand.  Consider the colors and images you want to represent your business.  Stemming from this will be a website and all promotional materials which will incorporate this logo.

Finally, consistency is extremely important to brand success.  Consistent messaging and promotional efforts not only ensure your brand remains clear and identifiable, but also ensures your audience is kept engaged.  Make time each year to re-evaluate your business brand strategy and strengthen any of the above steps to help keep your brand strong and respected!

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Need help developing a brand strategy?  We can help! In addition to brand planning we offer logo creation, new business support, and website development for small businesses and independent practitioners.   Reach out to us at: info@careerpreneur.ca to learn more!

Join us at the CareerPro 2016 Virtual Career Development Conference!

CAREERPRO 2016 VIRTUAL CAREER DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE

We are warmly inviting you to join us and other Career Professionals from across Canada and beyond to this year’s CAREERPRO 2016 Virtual Conference which takes place November 7– 11, 2016.

You do not need to be a member of Career Professionals of Canada to join this event. It is a virtual conference that is open to all Career Professionals from across North America. Whether you are a resume writer, interview coach, job search coach, or recruiter, there is a topic of interest for everyone.

It is an excellent opportunity to gain professional development experience and network with other professionals. Some are self-employed practitioners, others work for colleges and universities, non-for-profits, and still, other attendees are in government career development services.

Become the voice in the industry. Learn how to become a myth-buster and trendsetter in today’s careers industry.

Best part – because we are personally inviting you and your colleagues to attend we will provide you with a SPECIAL SUPPORTER CODE so that you can receive a discount on the registration fee! Email us at info@careerpreneur.ca to receive your special supporter code.

 

Some of the topics of discussion at the upcoming conference include:

Working Through Client Barriers and Limitations

Creating Effective Client Action Plans

Tips & Tricks for Ensuring Business Success

Staying Current with Resume Design Trends (presented by our co-founder, Skye Berry-Burke)

Labour Market Trends

Client Stories and Narrative Assessments

Career Coaching by teaching clients to identify and research challenges to solve

Career Development and Public Policy

Helping “Third Age” job seekers maximize their efforts

 

And so much more….

Over five days, you’ll participate in many content-rich presentations, forum discussions, and facilitated chats in a collaborative online format. You can attend whenever your schedule best permits. During your lunch hour; in the evenings; as a group in a conference room!

The conference features a keynote presentation from Lisa Taylor of Challenge Factory entitled “Career Truth and Dare: The Role for Career Professionals in Today’s Freelance Economy.” Listen to her discussion as she leads us through some of today’s leading workforce trends and challenges us to re-examine outdated career thinking.

Self-employed? Learn the 6 ingredient recipe to ensure business success as Lotte Struwing discusses being the CEO of your business as you learn how to define success in your own terms.

Help clients with resume writing? Listen to our co-founder, Skye Berry-Burke, as she examines how to go beyond the ATS resume to create a networking/marketing resume.

Provide career coaching as part of your service? Let JP Michel and Mark Franklin walk you through creative strategies to help ensure client success.

Work with military clients? Help military members, and their spouses, transition to civilian careers as you listen to Maureen McCann discuss going from the battlefield to the boardroom. Work through client barriers and limitations after listening to Lee-Anne Geseron as she walks you through how to create effective client action plans.

Need to gain an international perspective? Watch a presentation by Valérie Roy as she shares the role of emerging technologies on career development and public policy from a global perspective.

 

Because this is a virtual conference, your only investment is the registration fee itself – no need to pay for travel, accommodation, meals or new clothes. This will be a wonderful opportunity for us to connect, collaborate, and co-create!

Whether you are in sunny and warm Florida, or snuggled under a warm blanket in Northern Ontario, this is a professional development opportunity you do not want to miss.

To learn more about the program and register, visit http://careerproconference.ca/.

Don’t forget – email us at info@careerpreneur.ca to receive your special supporter discount code.

Space is limited, so register now to confirm your spot.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s CareerPro 2016 conference as we all learn how to become the myth-busters and trendsetters of the careers industry!

 

CareerPreneur Partners is a proud CareerPro conference event exhibitor.