Jan 29

Entrepreneur Interview – Jude Holden

After acquiring a degree in biology, and then working 23 years at IBM as the first ever female Salesman in IBM Bristol, Jude Holden retired and became an entrepreneur. In 2014, she launched bluecondo.com. Her “best ever” achievement is being the proud Mum of 2 extraordinary sons (25 & 23).

Interview Q & A

Jude Holden

Jude Holden

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

In a nutshell, Bluecondo is intended to serve as a comprehensive and affordable Holiday Home Directory for IBMers, past & present, around the globe, with the added assurance that we are members of the same professional community. Bluecondo.com currently offers Holiday Home Rentals, Home Exchange, B&B, Timeshare and Sale opportunities, exclusively available to IBMers.

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

When I retired from IBM in 2009, I really wanted to see the world through fellow IBMers’ eyes, learning from their local knowledge and having peace of mind whilst I enjoyed staying in their holiday homes. 

I have always enjoyed working with new ideas and developing solutions to business problems. I am also a team player and as one of life’s ‘connectors’, I love the process of building new communities, combining many talents, to focus collectively on the business challenge in hand. Bluecondo is currently growing a new Travel Community, unique to IBMers, yet if (when?) it is a success, I should like to take the offering to other major corporations with similar cultures and scale.

3. What have been your biggest challenges? 

The first major challenge was finding the right website development partner. After 2 failed attempts, I was delighted to sign up with Label Media (Leeds, UK). The second greatest challenge was establishing my route(s) to market. Following a successful document-based (and free) Bluecondo pilot within an IBM UK location, I was offered lavish internal marketing support, yet this was immediately withdrawn when I launched my commercial website.  

4. What has been your greatest reward?

Continual and extremely positive feedback from IBMers who ‘get’ the Bluecondo proposition, plus, primarily making the first Bluecondo holidays in 2014 happen successfully!

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

I should like to have 4 words in small characters at the bottom of my homepage, namely, ‘in association with IBM’.

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

Allow plenty of time up front for detailed planning and market research. Also accept that you don’t have all the answers on day one and seek advice from those within your social / business network who you trust most to advise you.

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?

Yay!

8. How do you market your products?

Initially through my extensive IBMer network of contacts developed throughout my 23 years of tenure within IBM. More recently, via my growing Bluecondo community within LinkedIn.

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

Bluecondo is a web based service business offering.

10. What is unique about your business?

Bluecondo is the only online global ‘Holiday Home Directory’ available to IBMers (past & present).

11. Sell me your product/service.

Bluecondo is a unique (to IBMers) corporate service, offering a range of global travel residential options, rarely seen on external websites in this combination, and at a fraction of the market prices for such services.

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-jude-holden/

Jan 28

Are You Suffering From the ‘Groundhog Day Effect’?

We’ve all felt it. That strange déjà vu sensation; the feeling that you’ve been in the same spot or done the same thing before. It’s almost like an out-of-body or sixth sense experience. This is the same idea behind what people call the ”Groundhog Day Effect” – doing the same thing over and over again for your business and within your life and simply getting nowhere.

Groundhog-Standing2

Whether it is the same meetings or the same scheduled family time every week, being stuck in a routine can feel comfortable and predictable, but at the same time restricting your business and personal growth. If you find this is happening to you and your business, you’re not alone. Luckily this can be changed with just a few simple strategies to get out of your Groundhog Day spiral.

To get out of this spiral, you must regain passion – both personally and for your business – and this can be as easy as following these 4 effective tactics.

Start Small. Don’t change every part of your business and your life at one time. It can be overwhelming and can cause more harm than good. For changes in life and business, do a little at a time and slowly. The best way to do this is to think of everything that’s stuck in a rut and write it down in a place you see every day.

Start with either the most meaningful change for your life or your company, or start with the easiest change. As you go along, you may need to make other changes to modify part of your list. Don’t be surprised if you add more to your list as you go along – this will keep you from returning to your Groundhog Day life.

Get Out of the Office. Sometimes just going somewhere new to do your work or grab your morning coffee can refresh your mind. Getting a new literal view can give you a new figurative view of both your professional and personal life. This may be something to do every day, but make it spontaneous! Planned outings become part of the cycle of the Groundhog Day Effect.

Get Uncomfortable. It’s only natural to feel uneasy when facing change in any facet of our lives. To really get out of your rut, you must accept that feeling discomfort is normal, but it’s also necessary to get back on track. Whether it’s starting to make cold phone calls or applying to participate in an event, you have to get uncomfortable before anything will get better. Once you start doing more and more awkward things, the less nervous you’ll become with the next one.

Find a New Hobby. Or you can pick back up an old one. Being in a rut professionally can be caused by boredom in your personal life. Find something fun that you love to do, and actually DO IT. Don’t just pick up yoga as a new hobby and only for a week or because you feel like you have to. Do your new hobby because you deserve to have a fun and entertaining life besides running a business. Plus, worries and anxiety tends to be pushed aside while you’re doing something you enjoy.

Have you ever found yourself in a déjà vu or Groundhog Day Effected life? How did you find your way out of your rut? Share your strategies in the comments section below!

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/suffering-groundhog-day-effect/

Jan 24

Working Mom Interview – Nicole Bruno

Working Mom Nicole Bruno has 3 children. She is the co-founder of a non-profit organization called Guiding Lights, which provides support to family and professional caregivers.

Nicole Bruno

Nicole Bruno

Interview Q & A:

1. Do you stay at home, work at home, or work-outside the home?

Work.

2. How many kids do you have? 

3 children.  2 boys, ages 10 & 8, and 1 girl, age 2.

3. What’s your go-to dinner during the week? Do you care to share a recipe?

I try to prepare a home cooked meal every night. I think that comes from my mom being a stay at home mom.

Beef Stew 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, (cut into bite-sized pieces) and coated with a mix of minced garlic and flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6oz can tomato paste
  • 32oz beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups baby carrots carrots
  • 4-5 small red potatoes,cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can of beer

Directions:

  • Brown beef in a skillet then add to crockpot.
  • Combine beef, celery, carrots, red onion, potatoes, salt,  pepper, garlic, parsley, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, ½ can or bottle or beer and tomato paste in the crock pot.  Cook on LOW for 10 hours or on HIGH for 6-7 hours.  Transfer at the end to a regular pot, make Bisquick dumplings and enjoy!

4. What are your best tips for staying sane?

Work is an escape for me at times. I also enjoy the hours of the night when the house is totally at peace… when the kids are sleeping!  Making it through days-off equates to trying to arrange for play dates to keep the boys entertained and not fighting. I find it hard to find special alone time with the little one.

5. What are your favorite tools for time/household management?

I love the Google calendar!  I add when my kids assignments are due to my family calendar so they don’t miss a thing!  I also order my groceries online from Harris Teeter, it is worth the $4.00 parking fee, plus I can stay on a budget, and lastly, Amazon Prime… works great when I just don’t have time to shop.

6. Do you have pets?  If so, what kind?

Yes, 2 cats, 1 dog, and 2 gold fish

7. What are your hobbies? 

Taking photos of my kids and creating photo books via Snapfish

8. What’s on your bucket list?

I would love to travel the world some day.

9. If you work, what do you do?  How did you decide?

Yes!  I co-founded an area non-profit called Guiding Lights (www.guidinglightsnc.org). We provide information, referrals, education and support to family and professional caregivers. Entering the profession of working with older adults and people with chronic conditions just fell into my lap. I was planning on being a guidance counselor, but was then placed in an internship in a nursing home and fell in love with older adults! I later became a caregiver for my grandfather and realized that there were so many gaps in support of caregivers.

10. If you work, what’s the most rewarding part about it?

Hearing the relief in the voice of a caregiver when their journey has been made easier through our work. 

11. If you could choose any career, what would it be?

I am happy with where I am!  I don’t know what I am going to be when I grow up but I am going to enjoy the ride until I get there.

12. If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?

Have more confidence; believe in yourself.  Believe in the power of your dreams.

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/working-mom-interview-nicole-bruno/

Jan 21

3 Ways to Embrace Negativity and Fear in Your Business

Whether you’re still debating about starting your own business, or you’re already established, two of the most common causes of a stalled growth are negativity and fear. Negative thoughts can come from a likely deeper fear of failure, and sometimes, even a fear of success. Instead of letting your thoughts become your future, embrace your fear and use it as fuel to keep moving toward your goals.

3 Ways to Embrace Negativity and Fear in Your Business

3 Tips For Moving Past Fear and Negativity

 1. Name your fears. Naming your fears takes the internal negativity and puts it outside of yourself. It also helps to make it seem less serious. This is much like when someone has a chronic illness. You start by recognizing that you are not your illness. You are someone with a chronic illness. For example, I’m Haley with migraines, not the lady with migraines, Haley.

You are not your fears. You are someone with fears. Overcoming them will be much easier when you realize that you are not defined by your fears, illnesses or anything else for that matter.

2. Journal. Journaling is a huge part of overcoming any emotional setback, but especially so in conquering fear. Buy yourself a journal or notebook that you can dedicate to Negativity Notes or something similar. Make it pretty and buy a nice pen to go with it if it will help motivate you to write in it.

When your negative thoughts make their appearance, write them down EVERY TIME. Once you collect enough Negativity Notes, you’ll get a better understanding on what is going on in your head and when. Likely it’s been thoughts you’ve had before and they repeat frequently. This clarity will help you to avoid situations when you have your negative thoughts and fears.

Be sure to keep track of your wins and revelations. This will help you track your progess. Being able to look back on fears you had, and how you overcame them and the good that results, will help keep you encouraged during hard times.

3. Face your fears. It may seem scary, but face your fears head on helps to move through them. We all need to step out of our comfort zones, but when we are faced with our fears head on, it’s painful. We naturally want to avoid any type of pain. When we face our fears and show them who’s boss of our lives, the pain will shrink and eventually disappear. However, if you decide to stay in your comfort zone to avoid pain, the fear will continue to fester and grow stronger. Fears don’t disappear when we ignore them.

Use this fear as an opportunity to grow and become empowered. There are many fears you will experience while owning your own business, accept that, and never don’t quit

As once said by George Addair, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” Once you accept and move through your fear, you will get everything you want. By implementing my tips to do so, you’re only 3 steps away from finally reaching your dreams!

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/3-ways-embrace-negativity-fear-business/

Jan 21

Entrepreneur Interview – Laurie Reid

Entrepreneur Laurie Reid, a Florida licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, has over 18 years of experience working with tweens, teens, couples and families. She is the Founder and President of Breaking the Cycle Consulting, Inc., (BTC) — the experienced voice on the topic of Parent Abuse internationally, known as Child to Parent Violence. BTC Consulting is a certified Minority, Women and Service Disabled Veteran small business based in Central Florida.

 

Laurie Reid

Laurie Reid

Interview Q & A:


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

Breaking the Cycle Consulting – Consulting, counseling, therapy. We focus on child to parent violence. We look at different avenues, how the violence happens, and how to break the cycle of teen abusive violence in the home, regardless of the cause.

We offer a 10-week program, which is evidence-promising, where both parent and child attend the program.

Sometimes law enforcement is called, and an arrest is made, but then 24-48 hours later the individual is released back home. There may be probation, they may go back to court, there may be fines, community service, etc.  But then the parent, who is the victim, is the one paying for it. Then the parent is held accountable for the child who is the abuser — and that puts them back into a powerless position.

Currently, there is nothing in place to protect the parent, or for helping the parent who is being abused. For example, the parent may to go the doctor covered in bruises, and get asked questions relating to domestic violence. Then once it’s revealed that the child is violent/aggressive/abusing the parent, the parent is told they can’t be helped.

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

I am a therapist and have been working with Teens for almost 20 years now. I was a coordinator, and when I went to conferences, I was got a lot of questions in this area.

Family Driven needs – Meet the family where they are, with no judgement.

Child driven therapy. Because the environment is different from where we were years ago, there is now the constant threat of violence in our lives (e.g. lock-downs in schools). 

Working with kids to understand that their behaviors were unacceptable, but keeping in mind that that is where they are, and accept them as they are. Give them tools and coping skills to change the behavior, rather than trying to look for the roots.

Evidence based. “Are we reducing abusive violence in the homes?”.  Each family that comes to us has its own family culture. We accept that person’s culture. 

If the family speaks another language, then we work with the family in that language. We ensure that even if the child speaks English, the parent’s voice is heard.

Trauma informed care practices and principles. Everyone who comes through the door is going through some sort of trauma. Our staff is very welcome, open, and inviting. This sounds simple, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. Everyone comes in with their own biases; this strips away those biases. Support through peers and consumers.

Working under a collaborative model with peers, family, trainings to work on their care. 

3. What have been your biggest challenges? 

  • Funding — because this is a for-profit, not a non-profit. As the owner, I want to ensure that the principles of the company remain and are not guided by the board of directors.
  • Because this is innovative, and on the cutting-edge, there is the associated myth and stigma of parents who are being abused. Parents are often blamed for the child being non-compliant.
  • Parents have a hard time raising children who are global-minded and pluralistic-focused with worldly views. Children today have more influences from the world than previous generations.
  • There are many challenges getting people to really listen, and to think about this different approach. 
  • Getting funding for new and different programs that can show evidence of success.

4. What has been your greatest reward?

There have been so many…

  • Personally – the deep emotional change and shift in how I view families today. It has a profound impact on how I interact with individuals without thinking that I am the expert on the individual.  – The profound shift of mind that individuals are humans.
  • My relationship with the director, who has constantly and graciously helped me with my mind-shift to see families differently. This has been instrumental in breaking the cycle.

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

I learned through humility that change is always occurring. Change is inevitable in an organization. And accepting that change will occur has been key in my business.

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

Make sure that this is what you really want to do. Because it will take all of your energy, time, brain and emotions. Make sure those who are around you, like your family, are behind you. You cannot do this by yourself.

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?

No. Because the constant bombardment and expectations of what you “have” to do for social media can be overwhelming.

But the connections through linked in, Facebook, etc, are powerful.

8. How do you market your services?

Website, Groups within a county. But marketing is where I need help.

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

Service – Child to Parent violence.

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

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-interview-laurie-reid/

Jan 20

Entrepreneur Tip – Get an Office

- by Haley Gray -

One of the lessons I learned the hard way is that if you have an employee, or there are two or more of you, having office space is invaluable.  There are business incubators that offer a variety of office packages, including a single office with a phone, and that will give you a mailing address.

People working as a teamReasons You Need to Get an Office:

  • Accountability – You will have a much better idea of how long people are working, and what they’re up to. If you don’t see people in the office, then they could be out on calls with clients, or they could just be not working at all, but do you know which it is? Having an office makes it much easier to tell.  Got an employee routinely coming in late, and leaving super early? How will you know if they’re working from home? How do you know if the time that they are working is the least bit productive?
  • Team Building - Have you ever had a team that was located all over the place, and with no-one in the same building? Was it terribly hard to work together? I believe that humans need to be face to face to work together optimally.  Otherwise, you will have mistrust and miscommunication. To get people to come together, you have to get them together.
  • Remove Redundancy – When we moved into our office, we found that we have a 5 year supply of all of our printed supplies, multiple printers, and more. By consolidating in a single location, you can remove redundancies in the workplace, and in your life.


Still not convinced?
Are you still thinking that it’s best to work remotely? That’s fine.  But have you asked your employees what they think? Or what environment they want to work in? Chances are, if they are a go-getter, then they will tell you that they need to work in an office.

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-tip-get-an-office/

Jan 17

Working Mom Interview – Rachel Withers

A busy Mom of two boys, Rachel Withers blogs about Fitness, Faith and Family at FitTriangleMom.com. A North Carolina native, she likes to share local activities happening in the Triangle region. When she’s not playing with her kids, she enjoys writing, reading, running, and date nights with her husband.

Interview Q & A:

Rachel Withers

Rachel Withers

1. Do you stay at home, work at home, or work outside the home?

I stay at home with my kids and blog part-time at FitTriangleMom.com

2. How many kids do you have? 

2 boys, ages 3 & 6.

3. What’s your go-to dinner during the week? Do you care to share a recipe?

Spaghetti and meat sauce.

Choose a pasta – We use ziti because it’s easy for the kids to eat.

Boil water, add a bit of canola oil, add pasta once the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes. Drain. Stir in some butter, add a couple dashes of Italian Seasoning and Garlic spices.

Meat Sauce – Brown 1lb of ground beef, squirt a bit of lime juice in beef, once browned, drain grease, pour in your choice of sauce, add a can of sliced mushrooms. Serve when warm.

If I have the ingredients, I’ll make a salad. Grab a bottle of wine and Enjoy!

4. What are your best tips for staying sane?

Planning date nights with my husband and girl’s nights. Blogging and writing relaxes me. Exercising regularly. Running the trails near our house.

5. What are your favorite tools for time/household management?

I create a meal plan chart to help me schedule our dinners.

The calendar on my iPhone, keeps me updated on appointments and events.

A calendar on the fridge keeps me up-to-date on birthdays.

I schedule my cleaning/laundry tasks, daily. A little bit each day so I don’t feel overwhelmed.

6. Do you have pets?  If so, what kind?

Yes, 1 dog, Dart. He’s a Lab/Beagle Mix.

7. What are your hobbies? 

Writing, Reading, Fitness, Running

8. What’s on your bucket list?

Get a tattoo, take a trip to Italy, write a book.

9. If you work, what do you do? How did you decide?

I write a blog. Before kids, I was a writer for the News & Observer. Blogging allows me to continue writing while staying at home with my kids.

10. If you work, what’s the most rewarding part about it?

Having people tell me how a post encouraged them to start exercising, eat healthy or try an activity I suggested.

11. If you could choose any career, what would it be?

Philanthropist and volunteer

12. If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?

Take your time. Don’t rush. Enjoy every minute because it goes fast!

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/working-mom-interview-rachel-withers/

Jan 15

Self-Nourishment Lesson #3: Lemon Water

by Susan McGuire

Are you properly hydrated? Do you drink plenty of water? What about lemon water? What’s the difference?

 

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

 

Water is the most essential element on this earth for our survival, aside from air. We absolutely cannot live without it. 

These days, more people are drinking lots of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Some get enough, some don’t. Some may be getting more than they really need.

We’ve heard many times over the years that our bodies are composed of mostly water. In fact, adult bodies are made up of about 50-65% water, on average. This is an important reminder of why it’s so critical to stay hydrated. If our bodies have such a high percentage of water, then when we lose our hydration, our bodies cannot perform optimally.

Isn’t it wonderful how we were designed to feel a sense of thirst when our water levels get depleted? That sense of thirst typically kicks in at around a 2-3% loss of body water.

What if I told you there is a way to improve your chances of staying adequately hydrated?

One easy way is by drinking water with a squirt or two of lemon or lime juice. But how is this different from pure water?

Self-Nourishment Lesson #3: How Lemon Water Can Nourish You

  1. Detoxes the Liver – Lemon juice enhances enzyme function, stimulating the liver and promoting detoxification.
  2. Aids Digestion - Lemon juice promotes efficient digestion, which helps to reduce heartburn, constipation and indigestion.
  3. Balances Your pH Levels – The Standard American Diet (SAD), which most people in the U.S. consume, is highly acidic. So we need to consume more alkaline-forming foods. That’s where lemons can help. Lemons are a high-alkaline food. It may seem that lemons are acidic because of their taste. But because of how it’s metabolized in the body, lemon is an alkaline-forming food.
  4. Aids in Weight Loss - Lemons help keep hunger and cravings down, thanks to its high level of pectin fiber. And a diet lower in acidity and higher in alkalinity can help you lose weight faster.
  5. Good for the Skin – Lemon juice has a good amount of Vitamin C, which helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. And thanks to its detox properties, it helps keep your skin clear.
  6. Freshens Your Breath – Often times, bad breath is caused by dry mouth. Drinking lemon water will keep your mouth feeling moist and fresh.
  7. Refreshing Taste – Water tastes better with a squirt of lemon or lime juice.
Tips for Drinking Lemon Water
  • Drink lemon water first thing in the morning when your body needs rehydrating after a long night without water. You can enjoy your morning tea or coffee after rehydrating.
  • Your lemon water should be warm, so as not to shock your system.
  • Use fresh lemon. Bottled lemon juice often contains sulfites, which can be toxic to our systems, and a lot of people are allergic to it.
  • If you’re concerned about the citric acid eroding your tooth enamel, just rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking lemon water. The saliva in your mouth is alkaline, and if you give it a chance, it will help protect the acid from eating away the enamel.
Stay nourished; stay hydrated.

Water is restorative and critical for our health. Insufficient hydration can cause a whole host of health problems: toxic buildup, stress, adrenal fatigue, constipation, muscle aches and pains, bad breath. In fact, a decline in mental performance and physical coordination occurs at only 1% dehydration.

Whether you are busy building your business, working 60+ hours a week, raising a family, all of the above, or none of the above, you need to nourish your body in every way possible. The simple act of drinking lemon water daily can help keep you hydrated, nourished, feeling good and feeling good about yourself.

What tips do you have for staying hydrated?


Meet the Author: Susan McGuire

Coach Susan

Coach Susan

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 lifestyles 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:

 

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/self-nourishment-lesson-3-lemon-water/

Jan 14

Entrepreneur Interview – Chrissy Liu

Entrepreneur and Personal Shopper Chrissy Liu is currently in the process of a private launch of her on-demand personal shopping business for men, which promises “Clothes delivered to you only when you need them”.

Chrissy Liu

Chrissy Liu

Interview Q&A:

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

2Maven is a web based personal shopping service for men. This is how it works:
Log onto our website, fill out a profile, and give some info on style, fit, info, and when he needs clothes, then he fills out an order for what he needs (event, or general shopping). He can be sure what he orders will look good, because we get to know him better and better and can predict what he will like. 

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

I always had a passion for the retail fashion world, and always loved it. In college I majored in finance, then in corporate finance. But my real passion is combining both fashion and business, based on a customer’s needs. 
I got my MBA at Virginia – What is the intersection of fashion and business.  I did an internship over the summer at a fashion conglomerate. Then I did a lot of research on the fashion technology industry. I discovered that there are very few that cater to men — because men just don’t like to shop. Most shopping is catered to women, and browsing, and just having fun shopping.

3. What have been your biggest challenges? 

The biggest challenge has been encompassing a lot of areas of entrepreneurship – navigating the ambiguity, building a team. There are no right answers, and there is so much ambiguity. Taking the time to step back and do that self-reflection, and not being afraid to ask questions.   

4. What has been your greatest reward?

Finding and working with my current team — they are people I work with on a daily basis, and they are people who have a full time job too. Everyone is on the same page and coming together as a team…  and making customers happy.

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

Changing something would imply that there is an element of regret. Yes, we do make mistakes. But we have who we have in terms of people and resources, and we do the best we can with what we have.

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

Just do it. You get caught up in your own thoughts. And think ‘what if?’ Every step along the way, the more I see, the more I learn about how I’m viewing life, and I’m giving it my all. How many people in their lifetimes can really say that?  You have to have the right pieces and stepping stones, but you also just have to do it.

7. Social Media.  Yay or Nay?

Absolutely. Because we are a web based business, we use social media to build brand, attract customers, etc. Facebook, Instagram, and maybe Twitter. 

8. How do you market your products?

We are IN process of a private launch right now. We want to take a focused, careful approach to attracting clientele — all based on word of mouth. We want to figure out what’s working and what’s not. 

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

Our business is a service selling products — working with brands and retailers to get product.

10. What is unique about your business?

If we think about the world of consumerism – there are waves going on.  In the beginning, people went online to do research. Then there were discounting websites, some for luxury goods, some for others. Now, online, there is a lot of online consumerism and customization. 
What can we do that will contribute to the next wave? Really making the person’s life much easier. Most men see shopping as a chore and a hassle, and they don’t like shopping online, and there are too many choices. This website will take care of that aspect of their life for them by looking at what he orders, exchanges, or tells them. He’ll never have to worry whether the clothes will look good on him ever again.

11. Sell me your service.

Since we know that men don’t like to shop, we want to take care of this chore for the end user. That way, they don’t have to shop. We pay attention to details, like fit of shirts, and more, so that he never has to worry about shopping for clothes again.

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

Currently we are in a private launch, and taking a select number of individuals. If someone is interested in being a client of the private launch, then send me an email. If you sign up now, you’ll be first ones notified when our national rollout comes around.

2 Maven

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/entrepreneur-interview-chrissy-liu/

Jan 14

How to Stay Motivated Throughout a Long, Cold Winter

by Haley Gray

After the holidays are over, winter starts to drag on. The cold makes you want to just curl up under a blanket and the short days of hardly any daylight make you sleepy. Winter takes a toll on everyone’s mood and motivation, which can be especially difficult while running a business. You’d be surprised to discover that winter can be one of the most productive times of the year if you know where and how to focus your energy.

How to Stay Motivated Throughout a Long Cold Winter

Whether you own a business or just a blog, here are some tips to keep your business and your enthusiasm for its operation continuously running at its very best during these long winter months.

Stay On a Schedule. Make sure you’re going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Once you’re in bed, do not open your phone or check emails. Check out for the day and go to sleep. Before you go to sleep, however, make sure you’re set for the day ahead by creating a to-do list. This will keep you from laying in bed awake, running all of tomorrow’s tasks through your mind. If you work from home, it will make you feel better to get up and shower, get dressed, and get ready as if you were going to an office environment. It helps to wake you up and get your brain ready for the day ahead.

Set Attainable Goals. Make a list of tasks for both short term and long term goals. In addition to a to-do list, creating small goals to help you reach each of the items on the list will help maintain productivity and your motivation in your current projects.

Already feeling worn out? Start small. If you feel you won’t ever finish a specific item on your list by the end of the day, choose a small, more attainable goal to feel less overwhelmed. Once you complete the goal, this little win will help keep you motivated and ready to manage larger tasks at hand.

Celebrate Successes. Using positive reinforcement, even on yourself, can be reassuring and motivating during dreary winter weather. Reward yourself for a job well done (or even competed at all)! This can be simple, like a cup of coffee or a short phone call with a friend. If your accomplishment is much larger, treat yourself to a spa day or a new pair of shoes. Knowing these special treats are within arm’s reach will help keep you moving toward the finish line.

Get Out and Network. Sitting in the office gets old and can add to the winter blues. Get out and network. Engaging in conversation, having a great meal and just being surrounded by new scenery will help rejuvenate your spirit and get you raring to go again.

Create a More Enjoyable Work Environment. You’ll be shocked by how much more work you can get done when you’ve got a comfortable, inspiring workspace. Reorganize your office, rearrange your desk, add a few family pictures in frames or trinkets on the walls, as well as some inspiration quotes. Create an office environment that screams positivity— your attitude about your business shows in your work, and having the right attitude can start in the very office in which you sit down to work.

What other ways have you found to help keep you positive and motivated in your business day in and day out during a long winter? Share in the comments below!

Permanent link to this article: http://leadershipgirl.com/stay-motivated-throughout-long-cold-winter/

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