A New Morning Attitude with Marcus Aurelius

Transcript of the video above, recorded live on June 21st, 2017 in Whitecourt Alberta.

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Mindset Minute here at Community Futures Yellowhead East.

Our Facebook live that I do every morning to help inspire a positive attitude throughout the day. Because, of course, we know that a positive attitude can really make a difference as you’re going through challenges or struggles – as there are everyday fires in small businesses no matter how effectively you run things, there always little things that can disrupt your mood and take things off track. And so, having a moment to think about the nice things can be a great way to start the day.

My name is Patricia with a y and I am a business advisor and certified business coach here at Community Futures Yellowhead East. And we are a federally funded non-profit that does three things. Coaching, Training and Financing. We are a secondary financier and that is the primary purpose of what we do here. Of course, the whole purpose, our mission is to help our communities thrive by supporting entrepreneurs from start up to success.

And so that is everything from the those beginning stages of thinking about a business idea or seeing an idea for an invention or something that could improve processes – all of these are the beginnings of business and we take it right up to the end of business with sustainability plans and succession planning. I’m not the expert in succession planning but we do have resources available to help when it gets to that end of the business cycle. Hello viewer, thanks for joining me today.

The morning mindset minute quote of the day is “When you rise in the morning – think of what precious privilege it is to be alive. To breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

And the person who said that was Marcus Aurelius. And I first became aware of him as a philosopher by reading the Barb Stegeman book “The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen” And that was the name of her book – and I met her, of course, through a community Futures with the conference a couple of years ago and we’ve had the opportunity to see her a couple of times in Whitecourt.

Through the – oh what were those called- the galas and so on – the things that happen in October for small business week.

So that’s where I originally heard of this particular philosopher – Marcus Aurelius and the works that he’s done or that he did many many generations ago. And how some of those truths are still valid today and this whole quote goes to the purpose of that morning mindset minute.

That feeling of gratitude and that feeling of being blessed to be where you are, going back to the quote from yesterday “Bloom where you’re planted” well in order to bloom where you’re planted you have to be grateful for the place you are being planted in. And so that’s my thoughts for this morning. I will be back at eleven, very briefly for the Facebook live at eleven – and I’ll be dropping a few tips on networking – because of course today is a huge networking day here in Whitecourt.

With the last Whitecourt Business Support Network meeting before the summer break. And so if you have not heard about that and you have the time, this afternoon – I believe it runs from 11:30 to 1:30 – and you can get more details on that at the Whitecourtbsn.ca website. I think there’s still seats available and you can register for that at Whitecourtbsn.ca – I know that we’d love to see you there and you can tune in at eleven to learn a few tips about networking that I’ve picked up over the years.

So that’s what we’ll be doing through the course of this morning. Thanks so much for joining me for the Morning Mindset Minute. Until next time – have an amazing day.

Easy and Inexpensive Ways to be Spam Legislation Compliant in Canada

Easy and Inexpensive Ways to be Spam Legislation Compliant in Canada

If you followed the link on our Facebook page to the BDC article on Anti-spam legislation coming into effect in two weeks, you may be wondering what that means for your business and whether you have to change anything to be compliant with the legislation. (Well it turns out the changes have been suspended but good email etiquette still applies!)

The good news is – most small business owners have nothing to worry about because they are not sending unsolicited mail to customers who have not been in touch in over two years. That’s what spam really is, unsolicited commercial mail. The difference between spam mail and business email is simply consent and the ability of the consumer to stop the communications.

I can say that with confidence because I wrote my first article on spam compliance back in 2005! The article was inspired by a popular online marketer who was shut down for emails his affiliates sent (not even ones he sent himself but ones that other people sent promoting his product!) that were not spam compliant with the US legislation of 2004. For those who check out the archived link, you’ll not that the Canadian legislation is called CASL and the US legislation is called CAN-SPAM.

So if a prospect sends you an email asking about a product, it’s perfectly legal to continue the conversation about that product – it is not legal or acceptable to add them to a bulk mailing list without further permission being granted.The proposed (now suspended) changes are simply a new limit on the implied consent that comes through purchases and inquiries.

The number one thing you need to do is set up your email signature in your business email with your full contact information, if you have not already done so.  That way anyone who doesn’t want you emailing anymore simply has to contact you to stop the emails. This works for those who conduct all their email transactions through an email account with no automation. This provides the opt-out that has been part of the anti-spam initiatives in Canada for the 20 years I’ve been dabbling online.

For those who have an email list (and those who follow modern marketing best practices really, really should!) you’ll want to make sure it is double-opt in and that you’re very clear in any opt-in invitations that they will be added to your commercial contact list. This is easy to do with most mailing list service providers, including the two I recommend most (Mailchimp and ConvertKit). 

Don’t let the new legislation keep you from jumping in to start building a list for your small business. It really is one of the most amazing, powerful and inexpensive tools you can use to promote your business and share your passion. And anti-spam legislations is just common sense that had to be legislated because spammers are scammers and rules make it easier to identify the creeps. Just be respectful of your readers time and interests and you won’t go wrong with your email marketing.

Want to learn more about marketing your small business? Sign up below for the occasional email newsletter known as Futurescape below.


Rock Bottom and Looking Up –

Transcript of today’s video:

Good morning and happy Wednesday my name is Patricia with Y I’m a business adviser and certified business coach here at Community Futures Yellowhead East. And each morning I like to bring forward a quote that helps to start the day off on a positive note and today’s quote comes from J K Rowling. You may know her as the author of the Harry Potter series and as the writer of…

What was it?  Oh yeah, I believe it was a detective or mystery series that she wrote after Harry Potter. But of course she is known for Harry Potter.

And before she wrote that incredible seven book series she hit rock bottom. And she shares that story and the story of how she came from rock bottom to success several times and you can always look that up on the Google.

The quote I’m bringing forward today is “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

And this is so pertinent to small business owners out there who maybe struggling or facing challenges that they feel that they have hit rock bottom…well the one thing that they always say about the bottom is that it is always up from there.

And as long as we can keep looking up and you can get up.

So that’s a positive thought of the morning. It starts on a little bit of a “you gotta hit the rock bottom” but it’s a positive thing because there is no such thing as the end when it comes to achieving success.

And some of the biggest successes that that we hear about today began with really tragic stories or at least really challenging stories. Many people don’t know that the founder of Walmart, Sam Walton, actually had two stores that failed prior to starting Walmart.

So even though Walmart is considered a success story of note today – in some circumstances – at least from the corporate ability to earn money sort of angle…They are certainly noted for that and for their ability to expand.

And with those things he had those two failures before!

So if you’re facing challenges you can certainly take a positive spin on things and know that it may be here that is the bottom of things and it may be turning up from there and if you need help turning things around, readjusting things so that you can move forward… toward a successful path..

Well that that is definitely what we are here for.

We help with business planning, business training, business coaching and, of course, business financing.

We are a secondary funder, which means you do have to be turned down by a traditional banking institution or Credit Union before being able to apply. But you do need a business plan and 10 percent of what you’re looking to borrow in order to do that.

And I have all the resources here to get you to where you want to be next.

Whether it is starting a business, growing a business, learning how to manage a business…

Because one of the biggest find things grow too fast and not being able to keep up andproblems that a lot of small business owners don’t anticipate is being oversubscribed or starting to then getting on that hamster wheel where things are good but not getting better.

Where you feel like you’re running in circles.

And we definitely have sources for those of you who might feel that way out there.

My next live is going to be at 11 and on live at 11 today I’m going to be talking about pictures –

Your graphic image in business.

This is an area where restaurants, hotels, and retail outlets can really up their game and really attract more customers simply by doing things a little differently in how they take pictures and how they approach the graphic image that they put out there into to the world.

Because I have seen over the last couple of days – some really bad images and they don’t do what you want them to do for your business. Imaging is very important and the techniques are fairly simple, but they do have to be applied every time. Or you risk losing the perception of your business so I will be talking about that at 11 – how to decide which pictures are going to represent your business best and how to avoid a bad pictures online that can turn off your customer if they are too gross.

So that’s we’ll be talking about 11.

I hope that you can join me. Grab a coffee and join me for that 15 minute learning session where I share a little bit of the knowledge that I gathered over the past 20 years as a small town small business consultant. We’ll to see you then and if you’re watching the recording feel free to use the comment section get in touch with me because even if you aren`t  watching live but we can definitely work together to help your business grow on your schedule.

Until next time.

Beta Testers Wanted

Beta Testers Wanted

Your feedback could help revolutionize the business plan

  • Fact: Businesses with a formal business plan last longer and make more than businesses without
  • Fact: Only 35% of small business owners complete a business plan

Conclusion: There has to be a better way!

To support business success in our region, our goal is to have more business owners in the region complete a business plan. Even if a business doesn’t need outside funding, it still needs an internal roadmap to guide operations. A business plan doesn’t have to be fancy or comprehensive to be effective, but it does have to exist.

We’re experimenting with a new business plan writing and presentation system that we’ve been calling “The five page business plan” and we need testers to make sure that the process and the plans work in the real world. So, if you’ve been putting off writing a business plan because it seems too complicated and time consuming and you meet our requirements below, sign up to become a beta tester for the Five Page Business Plan.

Beta Testers must:

  • Live or work in the Yellowhead East region
  • Score 50 or more on the Entrepreneurial Aptitude Survey
  • Own a business or have a desire to start or expand your business in the next 6-12 months
  • Be willing to provide timely feedback on lessons and process
What's a beta tester?

A beta test is an external pilot test of a product or service. In a beta test, the product is released to selected customers for testing under normal, everyday conditions. This process helps spot the remaining flaws and identify areas needing improvement. The participants or selected customers are called beta testers.

In this case, you’ll be testing a new system for developing business plans that we’re hoping will simplify and streamline the process. It’s in the form of an online self study training course that walks participants through all the elements of developing a five page business plan.


How much does it cost?

Nothing. There is zero cost to you other than your time and your feedback.

Business planning is one of our core services and we never charge for help with business planning for any of the business owners or prospective business owners in the Yellowhead East.


How long will it take?

That depends on how much time you are able to devote to the plan. The program is currently formatted as an online self study workshop that can take one to five weeks to complete. Though it may take longer depending on your circumstances, part of the testing is to see how long it takes with real schedules and real business ideas. Both of the source training programs that these were derived from took five full (6-7 hour) days to cover the content, but this is unrealistic for most people. Which is one reason why we’re testing this style of delivery.

Other questions we’ll be asking include:

  • Can we maintain the quality and the flow of content without the live interaction?
  • Will the resulting business plans be sufficient for assessing a business for loan consideration?
  • Is the process easy to understand and navigate?
  • Do participants enjoy the process?
What kind of feedback will I need to give?

Each lesson will be followed by a brief survey – generally looking at whether it was easy to understand and easy to apply to your own five page business plan. At the end of the series, you’ll be asked to submit your business plan so we can score it for completeness and you’ll be invited to participate in an interview for your thoughts on the plan and the overall process.

More Questions?

If you have any more questions before signing up, please email me at pkorchinski@cfyellowheadeast.ca

Fox Creek Spring

Fox Creek Spring

Small Business 101: Condensed

Monday, April 3rd, 2017




Register Now

Customer Service 101: Condensed

Tuesday April 4th 2017


Register Now

Price Yourself Right Workshop

Wednesday, April 5th 2017


Register Now

Registration is now open – Register to reserve your spot by clicking one or more of the Workshop Choices Below.

All the workshops:

  • Are free but require a $10 deposit to hold the space due to limited seating.
  • Located at Timber Ridge Inn and Suites in Fox Creek
  • From 7pm – 9pm

Small Business 101 Condensed

Monday April 3rd

By the end of this condensed version of the Small Business 101 workshop, participants will understand how to:
· start a business
· develop a business plan
· get financing for your business

Customer Service 101 Condensed

In this 2 hour condensed workshop, we’ll cover the customer service basics that will bring your customers back for more.

By the end of this session, participants will know how to:

  • Recognize how attitude affects customer service
  • Identify your customers’ needs
  • Use outstanding customer service to generate return business
  • Build good will through in-person customer service
  • Deal with difficult customers

Price Yourself Right Workshop

In this workshop, participants will learn how to juggle multiple variables to determine pricing that works for their product and service and the market they serve. Great for start-ups and expansions to determine the right pricing for satisfaction and growth.