Tag Archives: advice

Putting Your Health First as an Entrepreneur

Before I had my son, I would often spend 12 to 14 hours a day at my computer working on my Stethoscopebusiness or completing work for a client. After my son was born, I had to become more efficient in managing my time and I cut those hours down a bit. And then I started to get tonsillitis every time he got cough or cold. My productivity obviously took a hit whenever that happened and I didn’t enjoy being on antibiotics all of the time.

So, earlier this month, I made a tough choice to prioritize my health over making more money. I decided (with much trepidation) to get a tonsillectomy. Apparently, a tonsillectomy for a kid isn’t that big of a deal. But for adults, it requires weeks and weeks of recovery time and it can be a much riskier procedure. Still, I knew that I needed to take care of myself so that I wouldn’t be sick all of the time – to benefit both my family (my poor husband had to take care of my son alone every time I got sick) and my clients (who were nice enough to give me deadline extensions when I had to take a day off here and there). This meant that my revenue would take a hit in March. But I know that it was the right thing to do.

It has now been 14 days since I had the operation and I am so glad that I never have to go through that ordeal ever again! What I am even happier about is how supportive my clients were through the entire process. It makes me feel very fortunate to work with great people and I am thankful for the decisions I have made over the years to prioritize clients who I enjoy working alongside and who treat me with respect.

The lesson that I have taken away from this experience is that entrepreneurs and small business owners should never ignore health issues in favour of finishing one last client project, or making even more sales for their business. I urge you to consider what is most important in life. Over the long term, you are doing your friends, loved ones and your customers a favour by taking care of yourself. The money will always be there. But you need to maintain your health and well being in order to be the best entrepreneur that you can be.

Image source: By Stethoscopes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Tips on putting together an investor pitch

Last week, I worked with one of my clients to put together an investor pitch. I thought I’d share some best practices based on feedback that was provided by various entrepreneurs and investors.

1. Make sure you are able to describe the “who” or “what” your company is on one slide – in 30 seconds or less. Make sure your audiences gets it right away.

2. Define your customer, their current problems and how your company solves those problems.

3. Identify who your competitors are and how your company has an advantage over the competition.

4. Make it clear as to how you will make money and what you will do with the investment funds (i.e marketing, product development, operational costs, etc.).

5. Explain who your management team is and what their experience has been to date – make it relevant to your business.

6. Provide an executive summary on one page, which highlights the key elements that your potential investors will want to know.

Overall, make sure the presentation is clear, concise and that you stick to around 10 slides. Get to the point early and continue to edit your slides down until there isn’t a lot of “fluff” left over – you can always speak to the fluff instead of having it on the slide.

In addition, here is a video of Guy Kawasaki speaking about what he, as a potential investor, would want to see from a pitch:

Listen to your gut – you already know the answer

While I am dedicated to writing about digital media and online advertising trends in Canada, I had to share this personal story with you. Last week, I went for coffee with a former colleague of mine who is currently at a crossroads in her career. She wanted some honest input and advice on what I thought about her situation. I told her that the one thing that she must ultimately do is listen to her gut.

Too many people ignore their instincts and end up disappointed with their decisions because they did not listen to their gut in the first place. I had to learn this lesson the hard way about a year ago when I made a decision to take a job that I knew was the wrong step in my career. I’m glad that I took the chance but soon realized that I had ultimately ignored what I knew was a wrong step. I made the bold move to quickly get out of that situation – a decision that my gut was very happy with in the end.

Looking back, the hard lesson that I needed to learn was ultimately necessary for me to move on to another path that I had never even considered. I have also learned to never ignore my gut again because it definitely knows more than I give it credit. Although I am taking a big chance to become a freelancer and explore a few avenues that I am passionate about, my gut is truly happy with the risk that I am now taking. Therefore, I know that it is the right decision because my “all and powerful gut” is happy.

My wish for anyone who comes across this blog is that you make the same decisions that satisfy your instincts as well. You are wiser than you think!