Canada Business – Where to Now?

In “Canadian Economy Not Out of The Woods Yet” , John Morrissey from TheOTT-PeaceTower-flag_lrg Finanacial Post, tries to rain on my Canada Day, but I didn’t let him.

It is a reality that the economy contracted .1% in April, after a 5.4% drop in the first quarter of this year, but the whole tone of the article is incredibly discouraging, with the heaviest focus on how the American economy is going to effect us.

My question is always why are we only focusing on the American consumer? Let’s look back to a few weeks ago when Goldman Sach’s predicted the Australian, British and Canadian economies to be the leaders out of the recession.

The Americans are our neighbours, our partners, and I believe that we should fully support them through their recovery, but there’s enough Canadian to go around. If you’re an ad agency, are you going to wait for your American clients to start spending money again? If you’re selling t-shirts, do you think they don’t wear t-shirts in brazil?

Let’s of course not forget our cross-provincial business relationships. I sometimes think that we’re so used to crossing the border, that we can forget to cross the mountains, the prairies, and the lakes.

I knock on doors, all around the world, all day long, because when one time zone closes down, another opens.  This isn’t 1932 where I have to wait for the telegram to arrive.  We can connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

There are thousands of economies available to work with – someone needs what you’re selling.

The question is: are you going to wait? Or are you going to hunt?

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Ding Dong! It’s The Taser Lady!!!!

taser.jpgI absolutely love this. In “Forget Tupperware: Taser Parties Are the New Craze”, we’re introduced to Dana Shafman and her Taser Parties, where you and your girlfriends gather round for some coffee, cake, and a quick lesson on how to shoot 20,000 volts of electricity through someone.

For $349.99 you too can have the “C2” Taser. It’s as powerful as the one the big boys use, small enough to fit in your purse, and comes in a wide variety of colours.

So let me get this straight – we have a product that would normally be associated as a “male” product – not only marketed to a female market – but sold in “party style”. It’s pretty, it’s pink, you get to hurt the bad guys, and spend a couple of hours chatting it up with the girls.

Like I said, I absolutely love this – this woman is a genius.  She’s going to make a fortune.

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Social Networking – Next Big Money Maker

A report from The Financial Post – telling us that social networking is going to be the next big thing for everyone – some interesting numbers, some interesting anecdotes.

Personally – I think we’re going to be flooded with social networking in the next year – but at the end of the day, one or two sites will come out on top – not necessarily myspace or facebook though

just my two cents 🙂

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Getting It Together

You know that your ideal life does not include working 18 hours a day – 7 days a week. You also know that to start making the necessary changes in your life, you need to build a real support network. But you also need to make some real structural changes to how you handle your day.  You need to change the way you think. 

You might actually end up being very surprised at how much physical energy you’re going to have to exude just to put your brain waves on a slightly different path. Not because what I’m telling you is difficult, but because North Americans have been programmed that the only way to be successful is to work non-stop.  The real hard truth is that in reality, the truly successful people simply do not work every second of every day.   How could they when they’re always in the newspapers and magazines playing golf and going to parties?  They know how to set up barriers between their personal and business lives and they know how to use their down time for rejuvenation.   

Here we go though – I’m about to pull out hose two dreaded little words – you know the ones – time management.  Do not immediately scroll past this post!  I know that this phrase sends visions running through your head of yuppies with sweaters tied around their neck and releases the blocked out memories of long, boring seminars and endless piles of daytimers and colour coded calendars. 

The problem with time management though is that it became an industry onto itself that the message was lost in all of the marketing.  The message itself is important though and the implementation is actually quite simple. I’m going to  present it to you short and straight because it really isn’t difficult to master and the lessons you will learn will truly enrich your life.  

The first lesson of the day is:

Not today, not tomorrow, not next year – there is never going to be a moment when you’re going to sit down and think, “Gee, I have nothing to do”.  You own your own business and that’s just the way things are.  Finally realize that it’s o.k. if everything doesn’t get done.  What is the worst thing that could possibly happen if you don’t finish all of your invoicing today or don’t send out all of your company Christmas cards?  The world is not going to end if you don’t get everything done, because if it were, it’d all be over by now. 

So you now have a new mantra:

“It’s o.k. to leave things for tomorrow”

“It’s o.k. to leave things for tomorrow”

“It’s o.k. to leave things for tomorrow”

Good air in – bad air out

Seriously though, get used to running that thought through your head because as an expert multitasker, there’s a small drop of masochism in you that actually enjoys the drive of 16 hour days and full pots of coffee – but it’s time to let go before you have a caffeine overdose. 

Second Lesson of the Day

Remember Perfectionism does not equal profitability

Do you really need to colour code your files? 

There was a very lovely lady who ran a very clean office.  There was not a paper or paperclip out of place.  Every label for every file folder had to be typewritten and no letter was to leave the office until reviewed by her.  Every invoice was filed in triplicate and there were signs posted around the office giving instruction on how to make the coffee, how to organize the supply cabinet and how to keep the bathroom clean.  If ever a piece of paper was accidentally filed under “halo” instead of “haley”, there would be a full-blown hour long meeting reminding the staff of the importance of organization and the file clerk’s work would be monitored for at least a full week afterwards.   

Yes, you could definitely say that there had never been a more organized office in the history of offices.  This lady worked every day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (never venturing out for lunch), as she developed new spreadsheets, new forms and new procedures for keeping the office spotless.  

The only problem was (other then driving her staff insane), that even in her world of perfection, the business wasn’t growing.  She had the same clients for years and would occasionally attract a new client from the phone book ad but even though she was excellent at maintaining the status quo, just imagine what she could have done with all of that time she spent micro managing.  She could have been circulating business cards at chamber of commerce meetings.  She could have been attending tradeshows and she could have been taking the time to research potential new markets.  Instead, she worked incredibly hard to reach a plateau and then she stayed there until she finally retired.  If her energy and dedication had of been focused on growth instead organization, she could have been huge. 

Remember that book – don’t sweat the small stuff – well this is it.  Having the most organized desk this side of New Mexico isn’t going to make you a million dollars.  Having your pens colour coordinated in their holders isn’t going to help either.

Let’s stick to what is actually important