Feb 26

Entrepreneur Interview – Tammy Lewis

Entrepreneur Tammy Lewis is the Owner and Agency Director of a home care agency located in the Triangle area of NC. At Ideal Healthcare Services, their focus is on their patients and they are dedicated to delivering quality patient care.
Tammy Lewis

Tammy Lewis

Interview Q & A

1. What is your business/Business Name?  What does your business do?

My company is Ideal Healthcare Services. We are a home care agency centrally located in Raleigh, NC. We provide personal care and skilled nursing care services to our clients in their homes. There is the exception, whereas the client may be in a facility and just needing additional care. Families will then employ our company. Personal care services can include bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, ambulation assistance, etc. Skilled Nursing services may include wound care, medication management, medication administration, giving injections, etc. The services also include homemaker services and transportation assistance.

2. Why did you get into this field?  What opportunities did you see?

I actually got into the industry because as a child, I was mostly raised by my grandmothers. Both of them died from cancer only months apart. I was really young at the time, but I knew then that I wanted to be a nurse. I saw how caring the nurses were with my grandmothers. I started off in Long Term Care, later venturing out into the hospitals. That was short-lived. I realized that I had a heart for the elderly and eventually went back to Long Term Care. I found that a lot of the facilities were often short staffed. This posed a problem for not only the aides who were working, but also for the nurses and the residents. The nurses would have to pitch in while also completing their assignments, and many of the clients went without proper care. I saw an opportunity to make a difference, not just a living. This is when I decided to get into home care.

3. What have been your biggest challenges? 

The biggest challenge in the home care industry for me has always been making sure to employ the right staff. You always have to look at it like you are servicing a family member. Always follow your gut. I am going to say, the most recent challenge has been the Medicaid cuts. It’s difficult to employ quality staff with minimal resources. If this new “overtime” law kicks into place, that too will be a challenge.

4. What has been your greatest reward?

The greatest reward has been knowing that I am able to change lives, one day at a time. Not just the lives of the clients, but the CNAs as well.

5. If you could change something, what would it be?

I don’t think that I would change anything. I just think that I would have done it sooner.

6. If you could give a new entrepreneur advice, what would it be?

I would say to a new entrepreneur: Any business that you are in, you have to educate yourself first, but also take risks. Make sure that you have adequate resources starting out, so that you can put key people in place. You can’t do everything on your own, so do what you are good at and delegate the rest.

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?

I do have social media sites and I love it; however, I don’t have as much time to spend in that arena as I would like. There are some sites that I am totally behind on, just due to lack of knowledge.

8. How do you market your products?

I use the internet and print ads to market. I’ve also run some commercial ads, and I go out into the field. I will have to say that the majority of my clientele come from ‘word of mouth’.

9. Is your business a service or a product?  If you are a product, how do you handle production? 

My business is actually a service provided to elderly and disabled clientele.

10. What is unique about your business?

I think what make us unique is the fact that we have a Nurse Practitioner on staff who is able to go out and visit our clients in the comfort of their homes. She specializes in diabetic care. In addition to that, my business is owned and operated by a Registered Nurse.

11. Sell me your product/service.

Ideal Healthcare is a service that actually sells itself. As long as people know that you are there, they will utilize the services when needed. It’s like gas or toilet paper. You run out, and get it when you need it.

12. How can people get in touch with you?  What’s your website/Contact information?

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-interview-tammy-lewis/

Feb 25

3 Ways to Use Project-Based Freelancers More Efficiently As an Entrepreneur

It’s the end of the month! What does that mean for us as entrepreneurs? It means our business needs our attention – invoices to send, sales calls to make, a blog to update – and how are you going to get it all done?


You aren’t.

Well, you will, but likely not as well as you’d like to and definitely not as quickly.

You knew going in that owning your own business is a lot of work, so hard work is not something that entrepreneurs, like yourself, mind doing. The problem with owning your own business, however, is that you can’t be great at absolutely every part of business, no matter your degree equivalent. You may be an excellent graphic artist, but you may know nothing about how to balance your books.

To compete with other small businesses in your same niche or market, you’re going to have to get help at some point. Learning to delegate effectively and hire freelancers to help with your projects will help your business now and in the future.

Here are my 4 best ways to delegate more efficiently as an entrepreneur:

Figure Out Your Needs. What’s been holding your small business back? Are there areas that need the most attention: marketing, computer work, social media, something else? If you have a mentor or coach, ask her for their advice in how to grow in these particular areas of your business. They will be able to point you in the right direction to find the best freelancers to help your business as well.

If you don’t already have an experienced entrepreneur or businessperson helping you, you should find one. A great reference is SCORE. SCORE is a nonprofit that gives small business counseling. Also, be sure to take time to define the project and its scope distinctly, then schedule the project before you look for someone to help with completing it.

Appraise your business’ and professional strengths. The amount and type of assistance you’ll need depends on your abilities, weaknesses, and areas that you want to strengthen further in your business or professional life. There are freelancers available in many different areas from blog writing to tax preparation and public relations.The type of assistance you need depends on your abilities, your weaknesses and areas you want to strengthen in your business. Using a freelancer (or many freelancers) will allow you to focus on what you personally do best in your business, whether it’s writing blogs, selling, or coaching.

Start Your Freelancer Search. Where can you find good freelancers? There are huge freelancing companies, such as Elance, Guru and oDesk have tens of thousands of freelancers from across the world. Moving through these huge websites of freelancers seems like more work; they are complicated and only add to work that you already have to do. Depending on the site, you have to pay an escrow, there are bidding wars, it can be difficult to find a freelancer with the skills you’re looking for in the country you’d like, and you have to find one within your price range. Plus, the number of resumes to read can be overwhelming.

Take your time and find the one freelancer you’re looking for. If it doesn’t work with one, move on to the next. There are hundreds that are looking for jobs; no need to waste time with a freelancer that makes mistakes again and again.

Depending on the type of freelancer you’re looking for, look for niche companies that screen their candidates and require them to invest some time into the screening process. The niche sites have far fewer members. You’ll only have to review 10 resumes instead of over 100 applicants. This may lower your possibilities of success of finding the perfect freelancer by very little, but it will also cut your time invested as well.

To find the right niche freelancer website, just search for the specific work you need followed by the word freelancer. For example, you need graphics done for your Facebook page, so search for “graphic design freelancer”.

The worst mistake that first time employers make is to hire based on the freelancer price alone. The most inexpensive freelancer is likely to have zero experience in your niche or field. This isn’t a bargain price if you’re spending hours of our time training them to do work that isn’t up to par o should have been done in a quarter of the time by someone that charges only double the amount.

Review freelancer samples and portfolios (if available) before offering a contract. Be sure to ask for all references that were done during freelancing (not during out-of-the-home work time). Ask questions and have a phone or Skype interview to schedules and invite the freelancer’s input on the project at hand.

Get Started. Any good relationship begins with respect, and this is especially true of a client/freelancer relationship. If your freelancer promised projects with a 48-hour turnaround time, be sure that you communicate these expectations and they reciprocate with the project on time or beforehand. If your freelancer is an especially long distance be sure to review her work in 2-3 stages throughout the project so you’re up to date on the progress on your project. If your freelancer does a particularly great job or completes the project ahead of schedule, be prepared to pay an extra bonus to keep her around. Once you find the right freelancer, you’ll want to make more projects for her to save yourself time for other business priorities and do what YOU do best.

What have you found have been the best ways to use your freelancer? How many hours do you think you’ve saved in your business?


Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/3-ways-to-use-project-based-freelancers-more-efficiently-as-an-entrepreneur/

Feb 24

Having Problems Dealing With an Unfair Boss?

~by Susan McGuire~

Ever have an unfair boss who made your life miserable? What about a supervisor who had it in for you? These could be potentially damaging to your career… and to your health.
But what to do about it?

First, I shouldn’t have to state the obvious, but… managers are people too. Though you might disagree. And therefore, as humans, they are flawed, just as we all are. They may be wrong in some cases, but then, they may also be right… perhaps you were in the wrong?


I’ve had my share of “bad boss” issues, but one particular incident really stuck with me. To this day, I’m not only surprised at how well my own actions turned things around, but I’m also impressed that a boss who had been so against me, completely switched gears. Here’s my story:

My boss in this case, I’ll call him Theo, had it in for me. For reasons I was unaware of, he thought I was working against him. Though he may not have been my favorite person, he was my manager and deserved my best work. Despite my efforts, my standing within my department was plummeting. I was perceived as a low performer based on metrics they were using.

Concerned, I decided to do something about it. I knew management didn’t have their metrics straight, so I pulled together more accurate metrics to make my case. Other than this, I didn’t have a plan, but late one afternoon I marched into Theo’s office to talk openly with him. Rather than accuse my manager of treating me unfairly, I told him what he wanted to hear – with 4 simple words. It worked better than I expected, but that goes to show that Theo was at least a little open-minded.

What did I say to him?

I started off with, “I’m on your side”. I continued with, “I’m not working against you”. Once I knew Theo was willing to listen and that he would not be on the defensive, I presented MY metrics showing that those they had been using were missing a bunch of relevant data. After carefully reviewing my numbers, Theo realized the discrepancy, and showed valid concern – not only for drawing the wrong conclusions about my performance, but he started to wonder just how inaccurate and unfair their metrics were for his other employees.

Because of his earlier impressions of me, my job was in jeopardy. So starting the next day, Theo began jumping through hoops to reposition my standing with his management. He had to do some serious backpedaling, but he did it. He had revealed to me that I was targeted for their next ‘resource action’, or layoff. When that time inevitably came, I was not the one who got laid off. He had indeed fought for me. My metrics were so compelling, he completely changed his view about how metrics were gathered and how his employees were evaluated. He was grateful that I had presented this evidence, but he also appreciated my approach and attitude. This shift in our relationship was significant.

Here are my top 5 tips for forging a favorable relationship with your manager:
  1. Let your manager know you want to make them look good. Everyone wants an ally. If they know you’re on their side, then they’ll likely see you as a collaborator and  team player – someone they know they can turn to.
  2. Ask, “What can I do extra to help meet your goals?”. Now, this does not mean you shouldn’t think for yourself, but rather, that you are willing to go above and beyond. You can work on a project you enjoy, but if it is not in line with your manager’s goals or visions, it won’t help your career much. Ask to be put on highly visible projects.
  3. Give your manager the benefit of the doubt. Were they just having a bad day? Or is their negative behavior becoming a pattern? Handle accordingly.
  4. Deal with relationship issues directly. If your manager is exhibiting consistent and persistent negative behavior towards you, it’s time to talk. Do not start by going over their head. Give your boss a chance to explain and adjust on their own. If they aren’t willing, or if the situation gets worse or escalates, then it’s time to go to Human Resources or to their manager. Which one will depend on the circumstances.
  5. This is a big one.  Do not go to your manager with problems. Your manager has enough to deal with. The last thing they want is to be given more problems to handle, and worse yet, you’ll be like a thorn in their side. Instead, present solutions. You may have to first explain a potential problem, but then quickly go into your proposed solution. This shows creativity and initiative on your part.

There are many poor managers out there, and circumstances vary greatly. Often, it’s just a matter of misunderstandings, or possibly a personality conflict. These less complicated issues are easier to work through. By treating your manager with respect, and by having compassion for his/her human flaws, you’ll improve your chances for a better career and more fulfilling work relationships. In addition, challenging situations and difficult relationships are chronically stressful. So by improving your work relationships, you’ll reduce your stress levels and improve your overall health.

Have you ever had a challenging or difficult boss? How did you handle it?


Coach Susan

Coach Susan

Meet the Author: Susan McGuire

As a Holistic Health Coach and Lifestyle Guide, Susan takes a practical, comprehensive and personalized approach as she supports and empowers her clients to achieve their health and lifestyle goals. Coach Susan meets her clients where they are, and works with them to find the right combination of positive lifestyle and behavioral changes that they can implement with lasting results.

If you’re ready, willing and motivated to take charge of your health and transform your life, then consider talking with Coach Susan.

To take the next step towards achieving your health goals, schedule your complimentary Breakthrough Session with Coach Susan:

• Website: www.McGHealthCoach.com/contact-susan-mcguire

• Email: McG.HealthCoach@gmail.com

• Blog: www.HealthCoachSusanMcGuire.wordpress.com/

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/having-problems-dealing-with-an-unfair-boss/

Feb 23

Answer the Phone!

~by Haley Gray~

If I can give any entrepreneur one piece of advice, it is to answer the phone. You need to have a consistent way to answer all of the calls you get, and follow up on those calls. Ditto for emails that you may receive. Every time you get an email or phone call from a prospective client, treat it like gold.

Okay, so you have lots of calls coming in and they are preventing you from getting your work done, and you don’t know how to handle them. That’s a fantastic problem to have. You have to manage those calls, though. How you decide to manage the call volume can depend on what your goals are, and how you want the individual calls to be handled.

Good Customer Service Agent3 Ways to Handle Calls

  1. The easiest way to handle calls is to answer the phone yourself. Carry your cell phone and a calendar book everywhere. Make appointments and follow up yourself. 
  2. Get a live answering service. We’ve used Ruby Receptionist, and have been extremely pleased. Using and answering service ensures that calls are answered within a few seconds, and prevents them from being dropped. Because callers and clients reach a person quickly, they won’t be left wondering if and when their calls will be answered, and they’ll appreciate your business’s professionalism. Answering Service employees act just like a receptionist, and you can tell them exactly how to handle each type of call. Best points – they know when a call is ‘phone-spam’, and can treat it appropriately, because as a business owner, other people will try to call you and sell you lots of things.
  3. Get an assistant or Virtual Assistant (VA). One of the hottest trends right now is to hire a Virtual Assistant, or a part time assistant, to help with scheduling, returning calls, answering phones, and more. There are lots of people out there looking for positions, and this can be very helpful. You have an almost unlimited variety of people and different modalities to choose from. I’ve hired people who are just looking for part time work, moms, seniors, and others. ODesk offers Virtual Assistants, and there are other offshore assistants that can perform a huge variety of tasks to help keep you on track. You just have to decide exactly how you want your phone answered, and make it happen.


None of these options have to be very expensive. Note that you can get support from an answering service for a couple hundred dollars per month.  A virtual assistant in the Philippines working 40 or so hours a week is also just a couple hundred dollars per month.  So research your choices, and choose something. Don’t over spend, but make sure that you answer the phone! Clients can’t reach you, and your business can’t grow if you don’t answer the phone!


Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/answer-the-phone/

Feb 22

Entrepreneur Interview – Vish Dutt

Entrepreneur Vish Dutt lives in New Jersey and is the owner of Smiling Snaps Productions, a DVD Slideshows business. After getting a degree in computer science, she worked in New York City as a web developer and graphics designer. Once she had kids, she became a stay-at-home mom. Like all moms, she took countless photos of her children. Soon, she became overwhelmed with her collection of pictures and decided to make musical DVD Slideshows with them. This eventually turned into a business… and that is how Smiling Snaps Productions was born… the rest is history!
Vish Dutt

Vish Dutt

Interview Q & A

1. What is your business/Business Name?  What does your business do?

My business is Smiling Snaps Productions. I transform my clients’ pictures and videos into musical Slideshow DVDs. The pictures are set to music elegantly, and I use sophisticated special effects to make my clients’ big celebration more special. I create a very personalized video of their lives and tell their story.

2. Why did you get into this field?  What opportunities did you see?

When my friends, family and acquaintances saw the slideshows I created with my kids’ pictures, they encouraged me to do it professionally. Once I did the market research and created my website, I got an amazing response. The opportunities are endless! With the ease of clicking & storing pictures these days, people are always going to have lots of pictures. I think, as humans, we tend to want to relive memories and to sort of rewind and watch parts of our lives again and again. My slideshows are a wonderful way to relive those events in life that connect to form a story that is very personal to my clients. There will always be Weddings, Sweet Sixteens, Mitzvahs, Anniversaries, Graduations, Memorials, Reunions and other celebrations every day. And Smiling Snaps has an opportunity to be a part of each and every one of them.

3. What have been your biggest challenges? 

My biggest challenge has been to have a balance between my work and family life. I have no fixed studio hours and, depending on the number of projects in production, it’s very normal for me to work late at night and through weekends. So I take special care to spend quality time with my family whenever the work pressure lessens.

4. What has been your greatest reward?

It is a great feeling to be a part of so many people’s family events and celebrations. After seeing their pictures and listening to their stories, I feel like I really know my clients’ families. The greatest reward comes after the event, when they email me or write on my Facebook page to let me know how much they loved the experience and went through a whole box of tissues while watching the show. It’s touching! That is when I give myself a pat on my back. It is a beautiful feeling to be appreciated.

5. If you could change something, what would it be?

I am very satisfied with the way I have grown my business and I do not think I would have done anything differently. Going forward, I always look for ways to improve the quality of my product to make sure my clients get the very best of what is available. I believe in using cutting-edge technology at all times. We introduced HD Blu-Ray Slideshows to our clients at a time when none of our competitors did and we intend to continue innovating to maintain our lead in the industry.

6. If you could give a new entrepreneur advice, what would it be?

It is important to have great passion in the work you are starting off with. There will be phases when you will give a majority of your time to work and unless you love it, you cannot give your 100%. And make sure you have a strong support system. My husband is a huge pillar for my work. On some days when I struggle to meet my targets, he stands by me to give me the confidence and support I need. Make sure you have that kind of support to fall back on when you need it!

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?


8. How do you market your products?

By word of mouth! My work and my amazing clients speak for me. I believe in giving my absolute best work and taking care of all the details. From the time I get the first communication from a potential client to the time when they receive their DVD, I make sure every request is met and that the experience is perfect. Once I do that, my clients tell everyone how pleasant the experience was, and I get a lot of referrals.

9. Is your business a service or a product?  If you are a product, how do you handle production?

Well, my business involves both. When a client places an order on my website, I discuss the music and design for the slideshow. I also gather information about the event to help me personalize the slideshow. Once I have everything I need, I create the show and send the client an online preview. The client gets to watch the show and request any adjustments or edits. When they are absolutely happy with the online preview, the slideshow goes into production and I master it on different kinds of media like DVD, Blu-Ray or USB Flash Drives. Each product is finished with personalized covers/labels and shipped to the client.

10. What is unique about your business?

We are unique because all Smiling Snaps slideshows are totally custom-made. The slideshows are interesting and keep you glued to the screen till the end. They have personality and are not “cookie cutter” slideshows.  The show tells a story by perfectly synchronizing the pictures to music and has stunning special effects. No one else in the market gives that much thought to how each and every picture is treated.

11. Sell me your product/service.

Smiling Snaps Productions is America’s favorite Photo Slideshow and Montage company – go to our Facebook page to read for yourself what our clients are saying about us! If you have a special event coming up, Smiling Snaps is the place to get your very own personalized Slideshow DVD made – we promise to deliver you the best possible product at the most reasonable price.

12. How can people get in touch with you?  What’s your website/Contact information?

I look forward to hearing from readers of this blog!

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-interview-vish-dutt/

Feb 19

Entrepreneur Interview – Lynne Klippel

Best-selling Author and Entrepreneur Lynne Klippel has been an author, publisher, ghost writer, and book coach since 2003. She’s taught thousands of aspiring authors who rave about her ability to remove overwhelm from the process of writing and publishing.

Her company, BusinessBuildingBooks.com, focuses on the marriage of internet marketing and publishing so that her clients not only create great books, but related products and services to extend their brand and create additional revenue streams. The books Lynne publishes are known for their quality, professionalism and contribution to the author’s business income.

Lynne’s been featured on Lifetime Television, Working Mother magazine and scores of radio interviews.

In 2012 Lynne fulfilled a life-long dream and moved with her family to the Andes Mountains in Ecuador where she writes and works with aspiring authors from all over the globe.

Lynne Klippel

Lynne Klippel

Interview Q & A

1. What is your business/Business Name?  What does your business do?

BusinessBuildingBooks.com helps smart people write, publish and market great books, and then use them to grow their businesses. We help coaches, speakers, consultants, and healers of all kinds to create books designed to grow their expert status and share important messages with the world.

2. Why did you get into this field?  What opportunities did you see?

In 2001, I was a struggling new coach who could not attract paying clients. I wrote a book and suddenly my phone was ringing with speaking engagements and potential clients. I saw the power of being an author as well as an entrepreneur. Since then, I’ve trained thousands of people from six of the seven continents to write non-fiction books. I’ve enjoyed being a best-selling author myself, and published 182 books for other entrepreneurs.

3. What have been your biggest challenges? 

Book marketing has changed a lot over the last few years. The market is glutted with some crummy books, so authors of good books need to be more creative to stand out and attract the attention of book buyers.

4. What has been your greatest reward?

My clients cry when they open up their first case of books; even the men.  Birthing a book is a lot like birthing a baby. It is a thrill for me to assist in such a creative process.

5. If you could change something, what would it be?

There are some people pushing the myth that writing a good book is easy and something you can do in a matter of hours. If I could remove that myth from the world, many aspiring authors would not be so shocked to learn that writing a good book takes time and effort. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme, no matter what you read on the internet.

6. If you could give a new entrepreneur advice, what would it be?

Besides the normal advice of not giving up and hiring a coach or mentor to help guide you, I’d suggest that you keep your day job for as long as possible, so that your new business doesn’t have to pay for health insurance and your living expenses. It’s time to quit and work in your business full time when you have money saved up for expenses and a full client load. This will save you lots of worry and help you become an excellent time manager.  Slow and steady wins the entrepreneurial race.

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?

Yes, it is essential for all entrepreneurs, even those with local businesses. I don’t know how you could succeed without it.

8. How do you market your products?

I’ve had great success with webinars/teleseminars and training programs as a way to market my business, as well as email marketing. I also try to ensure all my clients are delighted with their books and happy to refer others to me.

9. Is your business a service or a product?  If you are a product, how do you handle production? 

I am primarily a service based business. I have a few information products which are delivered as digital downloads. I used to make physical home-study kits and use a service to produce and ship them, but find digital downloads are easier for me and my clients.

10. What is unique about your business?

Writing, publishing and marketing a book is a huge personal journey with lots of emotions. I help my clients with the fears, anxiety and doubts, as well as help them craft a book that people want to read. Then, my team and I produce the book with outstanding editing, design and professionalism so that the author can be proud of her book for the rest of her life. We are a small boutique agency, not an impersonal big agency where you can feel lost in the shuffle. We spend a lot of time working directly with the authors on their books and their businesses.

11. Sell me your product/service.

If you feel that call in your soul to write a book, if you know it’s time to share your knowledge and experience with the world, and if you want to attract a higher level of client with more ease and joy, you need a mentor who cares about your book, your business, and you. From writing, to publishing, to book marketing, BusinessBuildingBooks is here to support you in creating a book you can be proud of and use to market your business for years to come. We do that with industry knowledge, thirteen years of experience, high standards, and a secret ingredient… love. We love books and we love helping authors create the success they dream about.

12. How can people get in touch with you?  What’s your website/Contact information?

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-interview-lynne-klippel/

Feb 18

3 Proven Tips for Working from Home… With Children

When you have your first child, many women want the best of both worlds – stay home with baby and be able to contribute financially to the family, while working from home. This sounds like the ideal situation… that is, until you actually try to do the work with children present. If you don’t set a realistic tone for your work-at-home venture early on, this will turn into frustration fast.


3 Tips to Actually Get Stuff Done

Set Reasonable Deadlines. Since you’re working from home, all or most of your work will be done online, which is super convenient. Make sure to choose the best schedules and deadlines that work with your family’s (read: your children’s) lives. Always build in a buffer for getting projects done when possible, in case of last minute emergencies,  like sick children or snow days.

Buy “Work Only” Toys. Depending on the age of your children (obviously outside of infancy), your children will understand the concept of special time and special toys. Buy them special toys for when you’re working. Only pull the special “work toys” out when you’re working and be sure they never play with them during non-work hours. Buy quiet toys, books, and educational tablets that will give you some uninterrupted time for calls and last minute projects.

Set Realistic Expectations. Even though you are working from home, it’s important to lay some ground rules for your family so they take your business seriously. Explain to everyone that your work is just as important as a job outside the home, that it’s important to you and to the family as a whole, and that you’re going to need a realistic amount of time alone to get your work done and be productive.

Set up a reward system for young children to help with learning the correct behaviors for when Mommy is working. For the first couple of weeks, praise the correct behaviors so they understand what you expect and where your boundaries are.

Working from home is absolutely doable. The important thing is to stick to a routine as much as possible, set boundaries and expectations from the beginning, and don’t forget that your children are the reason you do this. Flexibility and understand are key to successfully working from home.


What other ways have you found keep your children entertained while you work from home? Share your ideas in the comments section below!


Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/3-proven-tips-working-home-children/

Feb 15

Entrepreneur Interview – Michelle McGlade

Entrepreneur Michelle McGlade is an accelerator for holistic health practitioners. She is passionate about furthering the industry of holistic health care and believes her expertise lies in her ability to coach and inspire others to accomplish greatness.


Michelle McGlade

Michelle McGlade

 Interview Q & A

1. What is your business/Business Name?  What does your business do?

I founded Bellacu in 2012. It is a holistic health clinic offering natural medicine alternatives for women and their families. Our current service offering includes: acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, custom and dermaplaning facials, infrared sauna, naturopathic medicine, and massage.

I am currently preparing for the launch of my next entrepreneurial undertaking – Michelle McGlade, Inc.  I am authoring a book entitled “The MBA Holistic Health Practitioner: Aligning Business and Passion to Manifest Your Dream Practice”.  It will be released in the Spring of 2015. I am extremely passionate about furthering the field of holistic health care and believe helping other practitioners be successful is how I am uniquely positioned to contribute. This business venture will focus on leveraging my business expertise to accelerate business growth for practitioners in the field of holistic health care.

2. Why did you get into this field?  What opportunities did you see?

After working 15 years in Corporate America, I became unhappy with the lack of momentum in my career, while at the same time gaining belief and confidence in myself. This was a perfect storm to say goodbye to my “old” self and embrace my passion for holistic health care. I had struggled most of my life with migraine headaches, and discovered nutrition, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic in my teens and early 20’s. I not only wanted to help people as a licensed acupuncturist, but also leverage my business expertise to create jobs for other practitioners.

Building a successful clinic was not enough of a challenge for me, and I quickly saw that. It became evident during my first year of building my clinic that I had not dreamed big enough for myself. I saw a clear opportunity to share with others what I had accomplished through writing, speaking and coaching. I am finally able to marry my business knowledge with my passion for holistic medicine, and take it to a level of true influence in my industry.

3. What have been your biggest challenges? 

Personal challenges during the time of transition from corporate to practitioner  - “grieving the dream” of who I was. I attached a lot of importance to my title and salary. I had to let go of who I was so I could become who I am today. 

Another personal challenge during school was breaking my tibia ice skating.  It required a major surgical repair which was my first and only. This was a personal challenge in overcoming fear, but ended up being a gift in that I became a much more generous, soft and connected practitioner.

In my first year of business, my father became ill and passed away. This was a great challenge. I was taught the fragility of a small business owner and the importance of having a strong network of team members around you. It takes an army, and you cannot be successful with an army of one. I also became intimate with the process of grief.

Finally, as a true entrepreneur, I’ve had to learn to let go of my first business venture to embrace my next. Letting go as you grow. This can be a very difficult lesson.

4. What has been your greatest reward?

The self-confidence I have earned. My increased ability to take risks, my willingness to not be influenced by what others say or their limiting beliefs, the growth in relationships with those who have believed in me. HELPING OTHERS.

5. If you could change something, what would it be?

Nothing, it all makes me who I am today, which is a women I respect and admire. I could always be better at self care.

6. If you could give a new entrepreneur advice, what would it be?

Get to know yourself and leverage your strengths. Do not build a business on what you see others doing, build something based on what you are great at and passionate about.

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?

Absolutely. Early on it provides social proof, and as you become established, it is a marketing tool to be leveraged.

8. How do you market your products?

Online marketing and referrals.

9. Is your business a service or a product?  If you are a product, how do you handle production? 


10. What is unique about your business?

Bellacu delivers an exceptional customer experience that is unmatched in the market. It has allowed us to command a higher price in the marketplace despite years of experience.

Michelle McGlade, Inc. will offer the competitive advantage of working with a woman who is not only a proven and successful practitioner and entrepreneur in the holistic health care industry, but also a seasoned business professional who is well-educated and offers expertise in accelerating businesses.

11. Sell me your product/service.

Bellacu – we transform desperation in to wellness. Many individuals arrive at   our clinic as a last resort. We offer not one pill or one modality, but a tool box to leverage, and a lens that considers the whole person. We do not promise you will be better in one treatment, but we do offer treatment and support during your healing process. We understand that educating you on your condition and getting you engaged in your health will not only produce results, but lasting results. We have proven this time and again with our clients. We believe you should be empowered in your health care decisions and will support you. If this is what you are looking for, then we will be a perfect fit.

Michelle McGlade, Inc. – I am an accelerator for your business. I have an unmatched instinct for people, process and profitability. I am not only a practitioner in holistic health care, but also a successful entrepreneur who has built a six figure clinic from the ground up. In addition, I have professional business experience and education that is unmatched in our industry. I am passionate about helping you. If you would like to end the cycle of fear, feelings of overwhelm and get focused on what to do and how to do it, then I am ready to JUMP IN with you.

12. How can people get in touch with you?  What’s your website/Contact information?

Michelle McGlade, Inc.

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-interview-michelle-mcglade/

Feb 12

Entrepreneur Interview – Megan Drane

Entrepreneur Megan Drane is an international award-winning photographer with a successful photography business in the suburbs of Chicago. She is nationally known for her work with special needs children.
Megan Drane

Megan Drane

Interview Q & A:

1. What is your business/Business Name?  What does your business do?

Firefly Nights Photography (www.fireflynightsphotography.com). 

We are a high-end portrait studio catering to maternity, newborn, children, high school senior, family, and athlete photography, both in studio and on location.

2. Why did you get into this field?  What opportunities did you see?

I sort of fell into this by accident. While I did take formal classes in film photography, I am self taught for editing. I became interested in photographing my first child. When my best friend had her first child, she asked me to do newborn pictures for them. Well, they shared those pictures with everyone, and then their friends were asking me to take pictures, etc.  It very quickly grew, and after a couple years, it was a full-fledged business. During my seven years in business, I also saw a gaping need for working with special needs children, especially with those on the Autism spectrum. Having a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, I have an intimate understanding of the challenges inherent in taking pictures of these children, and have found that families are incredibly grateful to finally have a positive experience.

3. What have been your biggest challenges? 

Pricing myself to truly make a living. There is a big difference between doing something for some extra money and making a living. It was also a huge step when we opened a retail location – that required a lot of faith that this business would continue to thrive

4. What has been your greatest reward?

Being able to do something creative while still making a good living – better than when I was in the corporate world. And I won’t lie – it is very rewarding and validating to be named “Best Photographer”. Emotionally, my greatest reward is being able to give back to the special needs community by offering special needs sessions.

5. If you could change something, what would it be?

Less competition. ;) — I would love to have a bigger studio, but there is nothing better in my area that wouldn’t be drastically more expensive. I also wish I didn’t work as many hours as I do.

6. If you could give a new entrepreneur advice, what would it be?

Respect your industry. This means not undercutting it by pricing yourself so low. It devalues the industry as a whole. Business ethics are important, but can be lacking when you are just starting out and wanting to gain clients. Also know how much work you really do — all those odds and ends, emails at night, etc.  Keep track of how much you really work to determine what you should be making to make it worth it.

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?

An absolute necessity in this day and age.

8. How do you market your products?

I have built my reputation, so now I have a strong online presence through good SEO and Facebook. I do monthly ads in two magazines. I also have a referral program. I have tried direct mailings and silent auctions in the past, but those were not profitable for me.

9. Is your business a service or a product?  If you are a product, how do you handle production? 

Photography is considered a service industry even though we do have products.

10. What is unique about your business?

Firefly Nights Photography is known nationally as the premier special needs photographer. One of my passions is working with children who have special needs, especially children on the spectrum. With my own son who has Asperger’s Syndrome, it is a personal interest of mine. I understand the special needs involved when working with children who have sensory issues, physical limitations and behavioral challenges, and love providing pictures for their families. My assistant also has a child with severe special needs – cerebral palsy and brain damage.

We are a high-end boutique studio catering to clients who want something more than they can get elsewhere.

11. Sell me your product/service.

Megan Drane, of Firefly Nights Photography, is an internationally award-winning portrait and commercial photographer. Firefly Nights was originally created to capture the magic of childhood – the laughter, the mischievousness, the beauty, and the joy. While we started off as a baby and young child photography company, we evolved and expanded our unique look to also include high school seniors and adults. By capturing people’s true essence, in combination with mastered lighting and experience, we create true pieces of art. Our goal is not to provide you with pictures that will be on your desk until the next milestone, but to provide art that can stand the test of time.

Firefly Nights Photography is a licensed photographer and a registered member of Professional Photographers of America, as well as with the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. We were named the 2011 Director’s Choice by Stories of Autism; the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Best Photographer by Naperville Magazine; and 2014 Best Photographer by Glancer Magazine. We also won Best Image in the 2012 international NAPCP image competition in the high school senior category. We have been featured on Chicago’s ABC News and had articles published both locally and nationally. Our work can be seen in doctor’s offices, calendars, international magazines, national advertisements, catalogs, and countless homes.

12. How can people get in touch with you?  What’s your website/Contact information?


Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-interview-megan-drane/

Feb 11

Give Your Business Extra Love for Valentine’s Day

As they say, Valentine’s Day is for lovers, and much like your significant other, running a business requires a lot of love and patience year after year. It can be love at first sight or it can take months or even years to finally end up together.  If you don’t give your business enough love though, it will eventually fall apart, causing your business to close.  Whether you’re brand new to entrepreneurship or you’ve been your own boss for years, use this Valentine’s Day as an excuse to reignite your passion (and focus) for your business.

Give Your Business Extra Love This Valentine's Day

Remember Your Business Plan? Remember when you started your business you wrote out a business plan of everything your business was about and what it was going to accomplish? Pull it out and reread it. Take note of how far you’ve come and also, make a plan to get those incomplete activities accomplished. Add to it, edit it, but overall, try to feel the inspiration and motivation you had when you originally wrote your business plan.

Give it a Day at the Spa. Sometimes when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, you tend to let yourself get “comfortable.” You let yourself go and your look gets a little dated. It doesn’t bother you, but other people notice – and this is exactly the same in business. Take a look around and really look through the eyes of your clients and prospects. Give your business a modern makeover where needed. Get a new look for your website, update your social media site pictures, and get new business cards to reflect these modern and up-to-date changes.

Show Some Love to Those That Have Helped Your Business Grow. Even though you put the most work into building your business, there is a high probability you had help from someone along the way.  Whether it was volunteer help from friends and family, paid assistance, tangible aid or not, use the upcoming holiday as an excuse to show some love to those that have helped you and your business along the way (not that you need an excuse to do this sort of thing).  You can show your gratitude with gifts, lunch, or even just a thank you card.

Blog About Your Love For Your Business. Do you blog about your business? Then this is a great way to talk directly to your customers, and why not use this medium to explain how much you love what you do and the impact it has had on your life and those you serve. You can write your business a love note for Valentine’s Day from the heart – literally or figuratively. It’s your blog, so you decide which fits your blog’s personality. If you don’t blog, then write a loving Tweet or Facebook post about your never-ending love for your business. Your followers will appreciate your honesty and find your post genuine.


What are some other ways you can give your business some love for Valentine’s Day? Share your ideas in the comments area below!



Leadership Girl is looking for Women Entrepreneurs and Working Moms to participate in our online Interview Series.

Please visit our website for more details and to contact us.

Women Entrepreneurs Wanted! 

If you would like to be featured in our Women Entrepreneurs Interview Series, please visit our Entrepreneurs Wanted for Interviews page.

Working Moms Wanted!

If you would like to be featured in our Working Moms Interview Series, please visit our Working Moms Wanted for Interviews page.

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/give-business-extra-love-valentines-day/

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