Intellectual Property is Your Business and “A rose by any other name …”

 

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I remember my first exposure to Shakespeare in high school and the stress it caused when I realized that somehow I had to understand what looked like English, but which to me, might as well have been written in Klingon. I have witnessed the same stress in business owners when the topic and lingo of intellectual property comes up. The way to get through it, like anything else, is to start with what does make sense and go from there. So, with that in mind, let me recount to you the gist of two conversations I recently had with business owners about intellectual property and their business.

 

Do I really need to bother with intellectual property?

The short answer to that question is IP is always part of your business, so why wouldn’t you? Let’s also consider, however, the context for the question.

The question was prompted after a business owner received mixed messages from her board of advisors about the relevance of intellectual property (IP) to her business, an enterprise focused on educating young entrepreneurs. The different perspectives of her advisors ranged from “forget about IP” to “worry about it later”; focus instead on your “value proposition and managing risk”.

This thinking reveals some common misconceptions about what IP is and the role it plays in a business. The first was that IP can somehow be disassociated from managing risk and is extraneous to the brand, content, and expertise, at the core of her business. In fact, in this case, content is her product, and so the value proposition of her business is all about IP.  Selling her brand of content fundamentally relies on working with her copyrights and trademark rights. Whether or not she chooses to register these IP rights is another question, but even if she does not, she will still be using those rights in her transactions with publishers, distributors and customers.

Then there is the idea that you can put off addressing IP issues until you have some traction in the marketplace and some cash to spare. While addressing IP issues early on can indeed pull on meager start-up resources, suggesting you can cut IP out of the business incubation stage is like saying you can add yeast to bread to make it rise after you have baked it. In reality, you can make the most of the bread (and butter) of your business if you take the time to consider the legal nature of your creative assets from the get go. To do otherwise, is to risk not achieving the very thing you set out to do.

 

If I am dealing with intellectual property in my business, I don’t know it.

The business owner who raised this point works with a number of artisans and was thoughtfully reflecting on how business relationships seem to work fine without bringing intellectual property into the conversation. I get it. The more you talk about “legal stuff”, the harder it can be to get folks on board. The thing is, at the risk of being repetitive, IP is part of the equation even if not seen or acknowledged, and the math generally will not work in the long run if it is not somehow accounted for. So knowing this, would you rather address IP issues before or after they become a problem?

While the language of IP is not the most prosaic, understanding and talking about what something is, instead of around it, makes for clear, transparent and informed conversations, conducive to building solid business relationships. You can also save everyone the trouble of investing in relationships which are not a fit to begin with.

Whenever I have had this discussion with small business owners, I am reminded of my early days as a gardener, going to the nursery, buying plants and overlooking some of the details about how to care for them in different seasons. During the summer, flowers bloomed and there was new growth. In the fall and winter I would bypass a few steps to help the plants weather the colder days, and then when spring arrived, there was not much of a garden to speak of. Out of pocket and starting over, it was clear that there is no substitute for having a few targeted conversations and paying attention to the details.

And so it is with IP and your business relationships –  a more thorough understanding of your creative assets is always a plus and with this knowledge, the options for cultivating business plans and relationships become more numerous, adaptable, sustainable and reflective of the real value of your business.

 

Ariadni Athanassiadis is the lead attorney of Kyma Professional Corporation, which provides intellectual property (IP) legal services to help your business develop and benefit from the creative efforts and assets that make it distinctive. Whether it is your brand, product, services, designs, technology or business processes, Ariadni can help design IP legal solutions which let you make the most of what you give to your business.

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Ariadni Athanassiadis

Kyma Professional Corporation

T: 613-327-7245

E: ariadni@kymalaw.com

W: www.kymalaw.com

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Are you spending your time effectively on Facebook?

 

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

Are you spending time looking at the right parts of your Facebook business page? It’s so easy to get distracted by “shiny things” on Facebook, but as a business owner it’s important to stay focused on your goal to connect with your followers. Having a strategy for your social media marketing should also include regular maintenance on your Facebook page to ensure that what you are posting and sharing is actually connecting with the right followers.

  1. Update the “About” tab on your Facebook Business Page regularly. Take a few minutes at least once a month to revisit and revise the fields with important information about your business. In particular, ensure that the Short Description, Long Description and all contact details are up-to-date and accurate.
  2. Review the Insights for your Facebook Business Page often to analyze what posts are reaching your audience and are engaging your followers. The Insights can help you identify the best time to post and can provide you with more demographic information about the people who engage with your Page.
  3. Monitor the interaction on your posts and be sure to reply to all comments quickly! The average social media user expects a reply within 1 hour to a comment that they make on social media. Be considerate of the time someone took to make a comment, and respond in kind, even if just to say Thank You!
  4. Share your involvement in local or online events and be sure to create event listing for events that your business is hosting. Invite your friends and contacts to join your event page for updates and event information. If you are participating in someone else’s event, you can add that event to your page’s event listing without creating a new event. This helps to connect your business page with others, thus increasing your visibility!
  5. Know when to spend money on boosted posts and promotions on Facebook and allocate an appropriate budget for this purpose. Keep in mind that you should first set up target audiences in Facebook Ad Manager before spending any money on promotions. The more time you spend to target the right demographic, the more return you will see on your ad spend.

To learn more about how to maximise the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts, schedule a complimentary consultation with Teach Me Social. Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over four years. Teach Me Social offers effective social media services which include training sessions and consulting as well as full-service social media account management.

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Women On Top

 

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life as an entrepreneur versus life in the corporate world and how it has affected me as a woman. I am thinking in particular about my ceiling in both worlds.  How much success can women achieve in both worlds?  How far out of reach is the ceiling and have us as women found the magic formula to breaking that glass ceiling?

Let’s start with the corporate world.  In my case our corporate structure is that of the “good old boys club”.  Senior executives are the picture of corporate with not a woman in sight.  Middle management is made up of about 10 percent women.  On the bottom of the totem pole, the structure is as expected – a male dominated production group and a female dominated office group.  To excel in an environment as this takes a lot of game play and sometimes ruthlessness.  You cannot be too tough or else you are labeled as “bitchy” or “moody” and you cannot be overly nice or you can be deemed to office “harlot.”  You not only have to play the game, but you also have to continuously prove your knowledge and capabilities to the powers that be.  This part has me baffled.  Why?  I’m sure those powers would not have made you a part of the organization if you were not remotely qualified to do the job or if they didn’t feel you were well suited for the position and the company.  How far up the corporate ladder can women get in an environment such as this?  It’s a far climb for us and especially rough when obstacles are placed in our way.  My feeling is that we are fighting continuously for what we deserve – even when it is earned.  Not many of us know how to demand what we have earned.  In my case, I have set my goals to what my definition of success would be in the corporate world.  Do I want to be President of the company? NO!! What I want is what I have earned – nothing more and definitely nothing less!!

As an entrepreneur I have the opportunity to be the President, Owner, Assistant, Director, coffee runner, pencil sharpener…you name it, I am in charge of it.  More women are going down the entrepreneurial path without really understanding how much more work it takes to be successful. As a female entrepreneur, when I attend networking events that are male dominated I get a lot of pats on the back and “good for you”, “you’re a smart girl”, “you did this all on your own” from the male networkers.  It is as if I am not perceived of being capable of achieving all that I have or that I have or that it is a surprise that a woman can really be successful in their world.  There are also always a few men who are there to be the “saviours” or “messiah.”  I remember being told by one man in particular who came to a female dominated networking event that he was there to help the women.  Take note, he said HELP not SUPPORT. Now, I will be the first to agree that we all need to support each other, but what I do not like is the notion that women cannot find ways to help each other succeed.  We are a resourceful group and we find ways to dig our way out of a hole.  There is still that mental and societal influence that makes us feel like being solopreneurs is the pinnacle of success.  Why not strive to grow your business into a multinational corporation? Sky is the limit-not the glass ceiling.  It truly depends on what your personal goal is.

For me, I enjoy the challenges of both the corporate world and the entrepreneurial world.  Women will always have to work extra hard to break that glass ceiling.  For most of us, the ceiling is not made by others, but by our personal limiting beliefs.  Identifying what is causing these beliefs is the first step towards breaking the ceiling and allowing ourselves to strive for the highest of highs.  I know one thing – this woman plans to be on the top when it comes to the entrepreneurial game. I will not stop until my business is where I want it to be – Canada-wide.  I will not let being woman be a hindrance.  It is not a crutch.

 

Dwania is the Founder and Executive Director of Canadian Small Business Women Contact Canadian Small Business Women:

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5 Ways to Make Your Audience Love Your Brand

CHuntly

Without an audience, it’s kind of hard to run a business. A growing customer base will drive your business growth. There are a lot of other brands out there, so how do you get your customers to choose you over your competitors? And once you have their attention, how do you build a loyal, long-term relationship with them?

Here are five ways for you to create a strong and loyal relationship with your audience. Five ways to get them to fall in love with you.

  1. Be authentic: If you are constantly selling and trying to put a spin on your sales pitch, you will come across like a pushy and dishonest salesman who will say anything to get the sale. Your brand should have characteristics that are attractive to your audience – values and ethics that show what you stand for. When you communicate with your audience, find ways to make personal connections with them that go beyond selling. Once they are loyal to your brand, the sale is inevitable because what you are offering will be top of mind.
  2. Talk with them, not at them: Many brands get stuck in a rut where they are constantly pumping out content, but they don’t take the time to interact with their audience. It should be about generating meaningful dialogue on your marketing channels, whether more traditional or digital. In many cases, brands could put out less content if they up the engagement factor with their audience. It becomes a case of quality vs. quantity. And if you are a small business owner wearing multiple hats, it’s about finding efficiencies in your marketing strategy that will get you higher returns on your efforts.
  3. Tell them you appreciate them: That feel-good feeling is pretty contagious. If your existing customers are happy, they will tell their friends. Create opportunities to show your appreciation through loyalty programs and content that is directed towards customers. The brands that do well are as grateful for an audience of 500 as they are an audience of 500,000. You will find that once you start appreciating each individual customer they will start multiplying pretty fast.
  4. Create an experience: You should showcase the positive experiences your audience can have with your brand through your blog, social media, and other channels. Take it a step further and create those experiences through public stunts and events where they can’t help but get involved with your brand. Not only will this showcase what you have to offer, but it will generate an emotional connection with your audience because you are making a direct impact on their lives.
  5. Love yourself: Self-hype can be detrimental if you ignore things that should be improved. However, you can’t make someone else love you if you don’t love yourself. You should always start out looking internally, getting to know your brand, and pointing out everything that is great about your brand. This will jumpstart any successful marketing strategy.

Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.

Connect with Candace

Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/email/Website

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Listen to Hear not to Respond

 

Sheralyn

When I speak to groups of small business owners and entrepreneurs on the topic of communication, my message is consistent. Of the three elements needed for effective communication to take place; listening, writing and speaking, the most important of these is listening. Why? Because it is in the listening that we ensure there is understanding.

Listening isn’t just about opening our ears either.  It’s about being open and receptive, in principle, to new ideas, suggestions and considerations. Listening is ACTIVE. We must lean in, participate, nod our heads to encourage continued conversation and we need to ask questions to ensure clarity. Most of all however, we need to listen to HEAR not to RESPOND. What do we mean by this?

Listening to hear is about patience. It concerns the principle that we must be actively engaged in the conversation from the perspective of gaining understanding, not listening for the sole purpose of formulating our own arguments in response to what is being said. Listening to hear is about waiting for the “whole.” Waiting for the speaker to complete his / her thoughts, pausing to think about those words and then responding. Too often we are each of us poised and ready to pounce in response to something we heard at the beginning of a sentence, to the exclusion of all that came after it. That’s not listening, that’s debating. It’s a “point – counterpoint” approach to speaking that suggests a “Who will win this conversation” point of view.

Listening to respond is also about remaining IN the moment. Connected to the speaker and not connected to any of our many devices. Few of us can actually multi-task effectively and most of us are much better off to focus on one task at a time. Active listening means put your phone down. It’s time to be connected, to each other rather than our devices. Finally, from a customer service point of view it’s about listening to what your customer is actually asking for, rather than telling them what you think they need.

Active listening and listening to hear, not to respond, help bridge the gap between you and your intended audience. It is the key to effective communication. Let’s all put our devices down for just a few minutes and practice #beinthemoment. Make it your personal mission, starting today, to actively listen – whether to your kids, co-workers, spouse or customer. Drop the constant need to hashtag your conversations or to answer back in defensive mode.  Instead #GiveActiveListeningATry. (Oh the irony…..we just couldn’t resist!)

As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed?  Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.

Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.

Writing Right For You

Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!

416-420-9415 Cell/Business

writingrightforyou@gmail.com

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Hanna Guerra: Canadian Small Business Woman of the Month of August 2016

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Hanna has a deep and varied skill set in the local and digital marketing arena where she specializes in putting together marketing strategies and implementing and executing lead generation activities for various franchise systems. Hanna is the Founder and CEO of 24/7 Virtual Marketing (www.247virtualmarketing.com), a company that helps entrepreneurs, small to medium sized businesses, franchisors, and franchisees get more leads and convert those leads into sales. Hanna is also a certified Get Clients Now! Facilitator and is excited to launch her Get Clients Now! 28-Day Program in mid to late September 2016.

A couple of years ago when Hanna dove in headlong into the exciting – and sometimes frustrating – world of marketing and business development consultancy, she’s already had years of experience building her own successful brick and mortar business from the ground up. Her early success was due to consistent analysis and adjustment of marketing activities as well as implementation of systems and processes.

While Hanna enjoyed the crazy busy hours of business ownership of a brick and mortar business with high six-figure annual income and double digits monthly expenditures, she felt the pull to change for her growing family. Hanna has a son and a daughter who are growing way too fast! With her current business development and marketing consultancy business, she enjoys flexible hours working in her home office and in a quaint office near Square One, Mississauga.

Though she believes that one can’t truly achieve work and life balance, Hanna is okay with that…as long as she is there for her kids and the kids know that no matter how busy business and life gets, they are her priority. For more information on Hanna’s marketing consultancy and group coaching programs, please visit her site: www.HannaHelps.com.

Our Q & A with Hanna:

*What inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by business owners who show commitment and grit to do what it takes to move their business, their vision, their goals forward.

*As a small business owner, what achievements make you most proud?

The day I started saying “no” to the wrong clients was the day my business started to really move forward!
*What advice would you give to other aspiring small business owners?

Know your strengths, know your weaknesses and find a way to develop processes and systems that address these strengths and weaknesses. And, truly, don’t undermine yourself.

*What new things can we look forward to from your business in the upcoming year?

I am truly excited to launch my group coaching programs as a Get Clients Now! facilitator. My 28-Day lead generation marketing programs for entrepreneurs and small business will truly help them understand what they need to do and develop a consistent way of generating leads for their business.

 

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3 Reasons Self-Reflection Matters In Business

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In a life of business, it can become tempting to look forward and outward. You’re always striving for success, dealing with competition, and looking to better yourself, your company, or both. There are external forces at work, and there’s always someplace higher to climb. This is good. It’s a spirit of pursuit that drives some of the most successful people in business! But I’d also argue that it’s important for anyone who hopes to be successful in this kind of environment to learn the value of self-reflection. With so much focus outward and upward, here are three reasons I’d argue looking inward matters, too.

1. You Can Understand Yourself Better

The clearest benefit of self-reflection is that it can help you to gain a better understanding of your own personality or tendencies. This is true both in general and with regard to your performance in business. Self-reflection is the process of asking yourself questions to develop a deeper level of understanding about yourself, as stated in a blog post at a tech communications site. It’s actually one of the more effective definitions out there. You simply get to know yourself better, and you do so in a way that can allow you to better shape yourself as an business owner, employee, or entrepreneur.

2. You Can View Your Own Development

In addition to gaining a better understanding of yourself in a given moment or situation, self-reflection can also help you to better view how you’ve developed over time, and what that development might say about you. At an online coaching platform for MBA applicants, one student discusses the benefit of making sense of previous experiences while writing about himself. This in essence is another way of saying that through self-reflection, this student gained a more thorough understanding of what had driven him to a given point, including successes and failures. Feeling out your own history this way can help you to understand what works and what doesn’t work for you, and it can influence your actions moving forward in a very real way.

3. You Can Increase Your Leadership Capacity

It falls in line with the idea of understanding yourself and your own tendencies. However, an article at LinkedIn pointed out that self-reflection in a business environment can also help you to gain an increased awareness of problematic performance traits, the same way you might look to recognize them in employees or co-workers. With this in mind, you can actually approach self-reflection almost as a kind of performance review for yourself, particularly if you happen to be in a position of leadership. You can recognize problematic traits and address them so as to become a more effective leader and co-worker.

It’s always a good idea to look inside, perhaps particularly so when you’re in the middle of a fast-paced, competitive work environment. With too much focus on external forces and the drive forward, you can easily lose sight of what it is that makes you effective in your job, or what it is you might need to work on. Taking regular time for self-reflection can work wonders.

Patti Conner

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When to follow technology trends in social media

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

There is a big difference between jumping on the bandwagon just because “everyone else is doing it” and adding a new tech trend as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. The rate of change in the world of technology, especially for business, is extremely fast-paced and keeping up with the new apps, website trends and social media features can be a very daunting task. Despite the challenges that come with keeping up, it can be very beneficial to be an early adopter of new technologies and digital shifts.

 

First come, first serve

The first users on many new platforms, websites or apps are usually privy to special offers and features. On social media, the early arrivals are almost always the first to develop a large following of other early arrivals, who also tend to be more engaged and loyal than new followers later on.

 

Work out the kinks

Getting on board with a new feature or platform also give you ample time to work out the kinks, a time when making mistakes are part of the game and adds authenticity to your brand. Part of social media is the allure of being able to see behind the curtain of a logo and glimpse the authentic personality driving the message. Working out the kinks and figuring out a new platform with other early adopters also sets you up as a leader and expert when the rest of the crowd follows you.

 

Staying Current

If your brand stands for ingenuity, creativity or innovation in any way, then getting on board and being part of the initial phase could play a huge role in setting your brand up as a leader in forward thinking. When your brand shares their enthusiasm by joining in on trending topics on social media, it shows your followers that you are current, relevant and engaged.

 

Beware of shiny things

All that being said, the biggest danger with new technologies is the “shiny things syndrome”! It’s happened to the best of us – like children, we are easily attracted to new things and can get sucked into spending hours playing with new features and testing out new toys.

 

To avoid getting sucked into new technologies that are not going to see an overall benefit for your small business, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Will using this tool attract new customers to my business?
  • Is my target demographic already using this tool?
  • Will my business benefit from being part of a trending conversation online?
  • How much time can I afford to spend daily using a new technology tool?

 

If you weigh the pros and cons of each new tool, it becomes easier to identify trends that will have a positive impact on your business and ones that may not be worth your time investment. In most cases, it is always a good idea to get advice from an expert or other small business owners. Attending networking events and joining online communities (like Canadian Small Business Women) are great ways to know what other entrepreneurs are doing online and where they are focusing their energy.


Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over four years. Teach Me Social now offers services ranging from training sessions for small business owners and their teams to full-service social media account management. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more about our service offerings or to book a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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How To Move Forward With Your Real Estate Investing Goals!

Amina

As a real estate investor, I took the time to get educated in various aspects of real estate before proceeding with my first investment property purchase. However, at some point I knew that getting educated was only part of the process – at some point I would have to pull the trigger, so to speak and actually purchase the property to meet my investing goals.

Everybody has reasons for starting their real estate investing career – mine started because I thought it would be a great way to supplement my income. I never expected to evolve and learn what I have learned to date. I keep expanding my goals and hopefully this post will inspire to keep expanding yours as well. I am now involved in residential, commercial and private lending for other investors and with so many different ways to invest the overall goal is to not only grow my own passive income but to also enjoy the journey.

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I love going to different meetup groups or getting out and meeting other investors – mostly to see what they are doing with their own portfolio’s and to learn about what path they took to achieve their goals. But today I am more picky on which ones I go to and how much I spend to attend a meeting. Factor in parking and gas, it can be a very expensive night with little or no return.

It can be advantageous to learn from others. Investors are a great group of people because they love to share their achievements and their struggles to get to where they are and so you get to learn for free. At the beginning of my real estate journey, I took the time to meet with investors I wanted to emulate and am grateful for those individuals who took the time to share their experiences and knowledge with me.

I have also met so many would-be investors who have attended every course available (some that cost thousands of dollars), will go to every meetup or investment club across Ontario, will speak to many investors and still not have the courage to pull the trigger and purchase that property – we commonly refer to this as analysis paralysis!

I recently met such a person and sometimes I can be very direct – mostly because I hate to see somebody waste so much money and not have anything in return. I met this person at an investor meeting and the charge was $20 to attend. I understand that sometimes investors who run these groups have to pay for the rooms so that is not a problem, however if you are attending a different meeting 2-3 times a week, that cost can add up.

So I met this gentleman at an event and we started talking! This specific gentleman thought that he could purchase a few properties and retire from his job within 6 months – unfortunately a myth that is perpetuated by many of these courses that charge thousands of dollars. We finally got around to the topic of the many courses he had taken to date over the last 3 years – in total he had spent close to $60,000 (one year’s annual salary) and had still not purchased a property.

I asked him what was holding him back and he said he did not feel ready and that he did not feel he had learned enough. I asked him what else he needed to know and he could not answer that question. He said he was taking another $10,000 course the following week that should give him the information he needed to proceed. I felt sorry for him because this is too often a reason I hear when people don’t feel ready to purchase a property yet.

Are you an investor who has yet to purchase your first property, even after attending many courses and seminars? What information are you lacking? What is holding you back?

By reaching out to an experienced investor and asking them the questions you most want to know, it might just give you the confidence you need to push forward. I recently did that with a new investor and one month later after taking my advice and doing some research on two markets we focused on, she is ready to pull the trigger on her first property!

If you are a successful investor and you come across somebody like this, please do them a favor and break down the myths for them; such as owning a few properties will not allow you to leave your job and retire; taking so many courses and spending so much money may or may not prepare you to purchase that property and finally being stuck in analysis paralysis will not prepare you to purchase your first property.

If you are a successful investor, don’t be afraid to share your experience with somebody like this – it may result in their success as well as yours!

I can be reached at amina@aminas-ms.ca or 416 697-5443.
To Your Wealth! Amina

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3 Reasons We Have to Learn to Say No

sandra

I’ll admit that there was a time when saying no was a problem for me. As a chronic people pleaser, I was always saying yes to things I should have been saying no to. It led to overwhelm, frustration and often times, resentment. This is why I feel pretty confident in sharing these three reasons why we have to learn to say no.

  1. You risk becoming a bitter b-tch

When we don’t have boundaries, there are always going to be people who take advantage of the situation. If you don’t want to feel like you’re constantly being treated like a doormat, you’re going to have to put on your big girl panties and start saying no. Sure it will feel uncomfortable at first, but if you don’t learn how to say no soon, you’re going to end up bitter and resentful. When it gets to this point you run the risk of saying no to things you should actually be saying yes to.

  1. There’s always someone else who will say yes

Many times we choose to say yes because we worry that if we don’t the person asking will be left stranded. Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re playing the martyr in a situation like this. We feel like we have to sacrifice our time and do what’s asked of us because if we don’t the world will come to a complete standstill. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but as wonderfully special as you are, you cannot possibly be the only go-to person for every favour request. Believe me when I say that even if you say no, it will get done – eventually🙂

  1. You’ve got your own empire to build!

I’m sure you have your own list of things to accomplish, goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to make a reality. If you spend all your time taking care of everyone else’s needs, when do you find the time to get the things that are important to you done? You’ve got to find a way to balance it all. If you haven’t reviewed your priorities lately, then there’s no time like the present! If we don’t identify what’s important to us, then we don’t know where we should be focusing our time and energy. When we lack focus, it’s so much easier to get pulled in many different directions, none of them serving our needs in any way.

It’s okay to say no sometimes. Know that NO can actually be a full and complete sentence. You don’t have to give an explanation or justify it. If you feel you need to, go ahead. I’ll give you this warning though – no matter what the explanation is; there will be those that don’t want to hear it. Especially those who are used to you saying yes all the time. Some will even consider this change in behaviour a bit selfish. The good news is that most will respect you for it in the long run and your relationships will benefit as well. Like TD Jakes says, “greatness is contagious”. You might as well focus on your greatness so that you can lift those around you to the same level. If you don’t have the time to focus on you, how will you ever become the rising tide that lifts all boats?

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution. She has completed her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!

Connect:

www.embraceyourdestiny.ca

www.facebook.com/embraceyourdestiny

www.facebook.com/embraceyourdestinythebook

www.twitter.com/sandradawes

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