YCDBSOYA: Wednesday Wisdom from Francine Dick

Back in the days when men wore tie clips, my father had one with the letters, YCDBSOYA imprinted on it.  My father worked almost all of his adult life in the insurance business.  Shortly after his marriage to my mother, he left working in his father’s jewelry store and became an insurance salesman.  In the early years, he would leave my mother in Toronto and spend the week driving through small towns in the Ottawa Valley selling policies.  Eventually he was able to open his own brokerage.  I remember many nights when he would go down into the basement’s multi-purpose room to call clients.  Often he would have evening appointments.

 

My father was an amiable no-nonsense man.  Before there was LinkedIn, Twitter or any social media, he knew instinctively how to network and most importantly, how to work hard.  My inbox is filled with promotions on ways to get clients, how to network, how to use LinkedIn to generate hundreds of prospects and how to uncover my emotional relationship with money.  

 

I am not denigrating any of these ideas, but sometimes growing a business just comes down to hard work.  There is no magic formula.  In sales, you need to genuinely like people and want to help them.  You need to go out and find those people, you need to commit to doing whatever is needed to grow your business.  You need to sometimes take risks and you need to sacrifice.

 

My father grew his insurance practice into a successful business, allowing for a comfortable, although not wealthy, life for his family.  Despite his hard work, my father led a balanced life.  He volunteered in his community, took fishing trips with his buddies, and vacations with his family.  He was there for me with good advice when I asked for it, and sometimes when I didn’t. I am delighted that I inherited his strong work ethic, his sense of humour and his easy going nature.  

Oh, and YCDBSOYA? It stands for you can’t do business sitting on your ass!

The Main Pricing Mistake Entrepreneurs Make

Pricing means more than we think it does. It tells your potential customers if what you offer is truly valuable or not.

It is the answer to the question: Are you a commodity or a luxury item?

Our brains trick us into thinking that we’ll make more money if we have a lower price we’ll get more sales…WRONG.

Would you really purchase more of a product that you care about just because it is cheaper? What if it was an important beauty product (like shampoo)? What if it was a medication that you need for your migraines?

As you can see in the examples I gave you above, when you truly care about the value being offered, you won’t think that price is the most important or the only thing that matters.

If you have worked on your business plan and foundations, you have made sure that you have identified your ideal client: the one that truly wants and understands the value of what you offer. If this is true for you, those people will be happy to pay a fair price for it.

When you are getting price objections you are either talking to the wrong market or you are not doing a good job at explaining the value and benefits of what you offer.

What does truly happen when your price is too low? The truth is that you won’t automatically get more sales, in contrast, these 2 things can happen:

  • You’ll need to sell a lot more product to make more money. This means that you have to do a lot more work.
  • People associate a lower price with less quality, less value…less everything. This means that they will start doubting your quality and potentially go for your competition instead of you.

I’ve worked with probably 30 different categories of products at small stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets. Never the lowest priced product made more sales in $. The only exceptions were commoditized items such as toilet paper, that was sold around 80% on promotion.

The implication of being a commodity is that your focus on price vs. value makes your clients expect just that: the lowest price at all times. Your true price is no longer the regular one because like toilet paper, that is being sold 80% on promotion, the price that people buy at is lower than the regular one.

I talk a lot about pricing in my work because it’s one of the most important parts of your business, especially if you have a product since there are a lot of costs associated with this and it is a lot harder to change or adjust than with services.

People pay for what they value, period. They will pay more for what is offering them a better solution for their problem or a bigger opportunity.

The truth is that a lower price not only makes you automatically make less money, but it will also be associated with a lower value.

Instead of thinking “what a good deal” people will think “hmmm, there must be something wrong with this”.


This post was originally written by our member Leyla Razegh on her blog. Wisdom Wednesdays is a collection of content submitted by our members.

Leyla Razegh is a Consultant, Trainer, and Speaker known for her high energy, sense of humor and for her unique delivery that combines unapologetic honesty with kindness. As a Business Strategist, she believes that it’s possible to make money while making a positive impact on the world and society. To learn more about Leyla’s visit her website here.

Lisa Simone Richards (PR & Visibility Coaching)

Lisa Simone Richards

Business:  PR & Visibility Coaching


What is at the heart of your business?

I help health, fitness & wellness entrepreneurs go from unknown and underpaid to standing out and selling out.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I wanted to find a space of like-minded people on a mission to help others live their best lives full of health & vitality. Finding a women’s-specific community wasn’t on purpose, but it’s an inadvertent natural fit. Somehow there’s always been a female-only area of my life, whether that was Girl Guides, an all-girls high school, or being in a sorority during undergrad. So I’m definitely not surprised I stumbled into a women’s coworking facility!

What does thriving look like to you?

To me, thriving is living in a space of full abundance and possibility – financially, professionally & personally. And of course, having the freedom to enjoy all of those things.

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Collaboration definitely resonates with me the most. I’m a big believer in collaboration over competition, and as a natural connector, I love to partner with others on certain types of projects.

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

I know that a lot of women in the space are entrepreneurs and it’s totally my passion to work with health, fitness, and wellness entrepreneurs – the kind that really wants to make a big difference in the world. However, a lot of the time entrepreneurs can’t afford traditional PR agencies or publicists, so I hope to help the women in the Shecosystem community learn how to stand out in their industries, get known as the experts that they are, and magnetically attract their ideal clients right to them.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

Middle of the day naps. Lots of ’em 🙂

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Don’t wait for permission or perfection. Also, persistence without being a pest is *key* – everything I’ve ever wanted and gotten is because I haven’t been afraid to be persistent, go after, and claim the things I want.


 

CONNECT WITH  LISA!

Website: lisasimonerichards

Twitter: @ellerich

Facebook: Get Seen Get Clients Get Paid

YouTube: Lisa S. Richards

 

Opening Your Day With Positivity

Being an Intern at Shecosystem I found out pretty quickly the importance of taking time during the workday to honour one’s body and mind. Shecosystem is like no other coworking space in Toronto. As a 21-year-old intern, I am constantly thinking of what I can learn, how I can improve, and implement new strategies into my internship.

Many interns my age also have these thoughts racing through their head every day. Luckily for me, I got the opportunity to intern at Shecosystem. Emily, the founder and Chief Community Cultivator of Shecosystem mentioned to me that at 10:00 AM, every morning at Shecosystem we do something particularly different. Something that other coworking spaces don’t do: we have an Opening Circle. It’s a time to gather in the Studio and check in with ourselves and connect with the community before we get back into our work. During this time we take a moment to reflect on our five senses: this might include breathing exercises, picking a reflection card, or getting into our bodies with a self-expression dance. The limit is endless when it comes to possibilities for opening circle!

The positive impact it makes on the rest of the day is amazing:

– Taking just 20 minutes in the morning to clear the mind of any negativity allows me to focus on my work for the rest of the day.

-This is also a way we get to know the members, unlike the conventional cubicle office where you’re sitting at a desk without interaction with other colleagues.

-Opening Circle gives guests the time to acknowledge that our life does intertwine with work.

-Members get a chance to see each others’ personality, give support, and uplift each other.

For instance, today at Opening Circle Emily played us a song about water. This resonated deeply with me. For the past few days in Opening Circle I’ve randomly pulled out reflection cards that keep telling me to spend some time near water. As the song played, I began to express myself with dance. My mind drifted away to the trip I took to Mexico a few months ago. I started moving as if the tides were hitting my back and then pulling me in. It was astonishing, the deeper I got into the music the more vivid my memory became, to the point where I was able to even smell the salt water and recall the feeling of stepping on wet sand. During these sessions we all experience something different, we are listening to our soul and giving it exactly what it needs. It is truly a deeper connection with oneself.

After Opening Circle is over, members are much more comfortable with each other.  This is also a way to network with others within Shecosystem. I can personally say that after our Opening Circle season my mind is no longer foggy, I’m much more focused on my work, and coffee is not needed. These circles we offer are not mandatory, but many of our colleagues make an effort to come in at 10AM so they can start their day off with this moment of intention.

At the end of the day the community gets together again for a Closing Circle. This is a time to reflect on how the day went. Even after my internship is finished, I want to continue taking time out in the morning to do something similar to an opening circle. There are so many benefits to this and I’m excited to share this idea with my friends and family.  

 

Want to experience Shecosystem’s Opening Circles? Book a free tour any morning and join our community to set your intentions for the workday!

 


Christina Melaku is a fourth year student at Michigan State University, studying Economics and International Relations. Her interest in entrepreneurship has landed her here at Shecosystem as a intern for the summer of 2017. Looking forward to learning the ins and outs of running a business. Christina’s post undergrad plan includes continuing her education through a MBA program and launching her online business.  

 

Wisdom Wednesday : How to delight in your mistakes By Shari Lash

“Blend a little levity into your mistakes and learn to laugh with yourself next time you stumble”

 

My recent vacation to London, England was a long overdue change of scenery and a chance to deposit myself into a familiar cultural setting. With English being our common language, I thought I would fit right in. That wasn’t quite the case, however. I learned quickly that the bathroom was called a toilet, the elevator a lift, and fanny, well, fanny is not a polite word for butt, it’s slang for another part of a woman’s anatomy.

One day, the tour bus (or, known in the UK as a Coach) took us outside of London to Henry VIII’s summer palace. During lunch, I decided to try a kale and strawberry smoothie. I brought it back to our too small table and before long the drink was on my lap leaving sticky greenness everywhere. Our day was only half over and I had dinner plans with relatives that evening. I was aghast.

Back on the bus, I sat in the front, next to our tour operator, Rose. In front of us was our bus driver, George. “How did you like the Palace?” Rose asked, innocently. “I loved it,” I replied, “except I spilled a vegetable smoothie all over my pants.” George, who never spoke a word before, started to snicker. “I can’t even wash them or rinse them out until I get back to the hotel tonight!” I lamented, to which George lost his composure completely. He and Rose had a healthy chuckle and I was a little surprised by their response.

“There’s something you ought to know,” said Rose with amusement. In England we say trousers. Pants are underpants.” Even though to me, trousers is a word I associate more with my grandmother, I thanked Rose for clarifying, and we all had a good laugh. Not 24 hours later, I found myself in a Notting Hill clothing shop asking if I could try on a pair of pants in my size. When I noticed the grin on the saleswoman’s face, I caught myself and rephrased my question. Later on that evening I did it again when I “showed off” my new pants at dinner.

Now, back at home, I might have been embarrassed, impatient, or even ashamed by my slow learning. But the fact that I was on vacation, making mistakes was a source of delight. Most importantly, I laughed at myself while others lovingly laughed along with me.

We’ve all found ourselves in situations we’re unfamiliar with. We don’t know the rules and we have to learn to adapt. So many of us go through life being fearful of doing the wrong thing. We don’t try to stretch ourselves lest we feel embarrassed or judged or foolish. Whether we’re starting a new job, learning a new subject, or trying to navigate a new social context, is it possible to embrace challenges with a vacationer’s mind and even delight in our mistakes?
Mistakes are an opportunity for connection and even empathy. In fact, chances are that you’re kinder when pointing out someone else’s misstep. Before you entertain a punishing thought, try to catch yourself and lighten up. When Rose corrected me, and George was laughing, I laughed at myself too. I didn’t blush with embarrassment. From our group chuckle, we all became closer. Rather than feeling vulnerable, hurt or resentful when someone points out a mistake, try receiving new information with some gratitude and a willingness to apply it. Even when I forgot myself several times, trousers became my favourite souvenir word! Holding onto our mistakes — remembering that stupid thing we said over and over again is not going to change a thing. You said it, you did it, you learned something new, now keep moving. Even though I had to spend a whole day in sticky green pants, once I let go of wishing things were different, it didn’t matter to me anymore. In fact, it became a conversation starter!

Confidence comes when we open the door to making mistakes, whatever they may be. And when that door opens and hits us in the pants (or the fanny), we can smile, get back on the bus (or coach) and delight in the fact that we learned something new. Happy trails.


This post was originally written by our member Shari Lash on her blog. Wisdom Wednesdays is a collection of content submitted by our members.

 

Shari Lash is a certified Life Skills Educator, she brings a unique approach to her leadership and program designs. Shari writes for a variety of creatives, academics, coaches, and entrepreneurs, both locally and internationally and her workshops and presentations are offered to groups and organizations across Toronto.  Learn more about Shari at http://wholestep.ca

 

Wisdom Wednesday: Crystal-Marie Sealy on Pricing & Self Worth

Be everything to everybody and you’ll be nothing for yourself.”  – John Rushton

 

We’ve all heard this, but after we “nod, smile and agree”, for the hundredth time, how and where do we actually apply it?

 

Service Pricing Application

Have you applied this to your Pricing as well?  A few quick steps, if you’re still losing time and revenue-generating hours to “negotiators.” The big step many of us have yet to take in cementing our pricing is understanding, ourselves, why we’ve set these prices. If you’re simply following the market visible among the low-hanging fruit, ask yourself,  “How many business survive with these prices, in this industry, in the long term?” Do the research. What’s the answer?

1. Get clear, internally, on what it takes for you and your business to #thrive in the long term — sustainably.

2. Find the market, the community, that:
• Already knows it’s needed.
• Values that offering as you do.

3. Walk away from anyone else. Put that energy into staying focused on those who want and need what you offer.

These 3 simple steps are more likely to keep you grounded in, focused on, Why you do what you do at this price, removing the illusions of guilt, fear and defensiveness that arise when you run into those who can’t afford you. If nothing else, you’ll wind up with a better client base.

 

Need a hand?

It is often easier said than done, for some of us. This is not a popular path. Whether you don’t know where to start, or you know exactly what you have to do, but need a safe space to return to occasionally to help you stick with it, I’m here. If you need a quick session, a moral boost through my monthly e-newsletter or those weekly uplifting reminders on social media (see icons below), let’s connect and get you to the next step. Let’s chat! 

 


 

This post was originally written by our member Crystal-Marie Sealy on her blog.

Crystal-Marie Sealy, MBA, is a speaker and business strategy consultant focused on pricing, social media and feasible schedules, for established small businesses, entrepreneurs and executives. As founder of Successiory, Crystal-Marie works with professionals who want to build sustainable (livable) business models around their lifestyles and create sustainable client community on social media. Connect with her and subscribe at www.successiory.ca

Wisdom Wednesdays: How to Make Walking Meetings Work + Walking Wednesdays

We found this article on our friend YouInc’s site and thought you would find it as useful as we do. I had just recently read an article about way to eliminate procrastination by coupling activities you put off with ones you love.  I am not a fan of meeting in general but if I can couple it with an activity I like such as walking then the outcome is win win for everyone. After meeting face to face with clients I always feel better – it is stressful talking time out of my day but once I get out and connect with someone I like and share a similar passion with then the time away from the office is well worth it.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN MAKE TIME FOR LIVING HEALTH AND REDUCED ENTREPRENEUR ISOLATION BY CONDUCTING A WALKING MEETING:

Why? Being cooped up in an office all day when the weather is perfect can feel extra cruel, not to mention distracting.

Fresh air is a known mood booster, and physical activity tends to spark new ideas. So it’s no surprise that a number of people are trying “walking meetings” as a way to be more active while still getting the work done. The math is compelling: Turn two 30-minute meetings per day into walking meetings, and you’ll score five hours of aerobic exercise per week. That’s double what the CDC recommends.

People who’ve tried walking meetings also note that there are benefits beyond physical ones. “A meeting room is all about business,” says Chris Kay, managing director of the Los Angeles office of 72andSunny, an advertising company. He says of walking: “I think it knocks down a barrier. It’s quite personal. You’re just having a chat with someone.” You stay connected, even if the conversation is open, honest, or intense.

But just because the walking meeting has a lot going for it doesn’t mean it can replace all meetings. There are logistical challenges. Here’s how to make a walking meeting work:

Plan The Route For The Length Of The Meeting

First, think through some good routes. Beth Kanter, a social media and nonprofit expert who frequently advocates for walking meetings, recommends plotting out walks that are the typical length of calendar slots: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, maybe even a 60-minute one. Avoid noisy or crowded areas if you can. Sometimes it helps to have a destination (hesitant types might be more amenable to “walking to get coffee” than just “walking”). And check the weather. If it’s unpleasant enough that the weather will be a distraction, you’re better off indoors.

Walking Meetings Work Best For One-On-Ones

Julian Berman, director of platform engineering at digital ad tech company Magnetic, says, “Anytime people aren’t walking astride, they’re going to break off onto other tracks.” In most places, it’s pretty hard to walk more than three abreast without ticking off anyone else on the sidewalk. A nine-person meeting would quickly become three three-person meetings. So the best options for walking meetings are regular one-on-one meetings with direct reports, or informal catch-up sessions. Kay says he likes to interview candidates on walks. “I think you can have a more open conversation,” he says, hopefully easing what is often a stressful encounter. “The lack of formality is helpful.”

Mind Your Partner’s Pace

Unless agreed to in advance, think pleasant stroll, not Olympic speed walking. You’re probably wearing business clothes. The goal is not to break a sweat. (Save that for “sweatworking”: See “Networking Is Over. Welcome Sweatworking?“)

Read more on Youinc


Women in Biz Network and Shecosystem invite you to get healthy and happy with us! Join us every Wednesday at Shecosystem for a walk in the Bloor & Christie neighbourhood. Enjoy some laughs, get some fresh air and watch your network expand!

Timing/Location: We will meet at 10 am at inside Shecosystem at 703 Bloor Street where we will enjoy an opening circle and from there we will go for a walk for up to 1 hour.

Want to work from Shecosystem for the day? Free to purchase day-pass for $25 for WIBN Members and
for Non-Members for $30

Why should you join us:

  • Working in isolation is lonely, so getting to know other like-minded business owners & professionals expands your support network.
  • Sitting at you desk all day isn’t good for your creativity, health, productivity or sanity!
  • When you spend time with other business owners and professionals you get “known” and more opportunities open up for you.


This post was originally written by our member Leigh Mitchell on her blog. Wisdom Wednesdays is a collection of content submitted by our members.

 

Leigh Mitchell is mentoring women to thrive in their careers. Leigh is a facilitator, marketer, #ThriveinmyLife podcast and content creation specialist. Her wish for you is to build a life where you feel complete as a parent, friend, professional, entrepreneur and member of your community. Remember, It is not about perfection it is about awareness. Let’s thrive together.  Learn more about Leigh at womeninbiznetwork.com