Thursday, September 30, 2010

Progress depends upon what we are, rather than upon what we may encounter. . .

Just sharing this quote with you:


Progress depends upon what we are, rather than upon what we may encounter. One man is stopped by a sapling lying across the road; another, passing that way, picks up the hindrance and converts it into a help in crossing the brook just ahead. We are too apt to think that our progress in a given case will depend solely upon the obstacles we may run against. It is more likely to depend upon what runs against the obstacles. ~ Henry Clay Trumbull


I like this quote and I just thought that I will share it. After reading it, I thought that our achievements are to a greater extent dependent upon our perception, belief, self-concept, confidence, tenacity, determination and our spirituality. Who we are and the strengths that we possess go a long way in how we respond to challenges, and how we utilize them to overcome those moments: It depends upon how we respond to stimuli in our environment or that which comes in our path, as we seek to acquire what we desire. Often time, we are confronted by situations and or conditions, but how you respond to it and the weight that you placed on them determines whether they are obstacles or an instrument of motivation.


The obstacles that you face can often serve as a catalyst for success. They can be used as a motivating and inspirational force in your pursuit of your goal. How you use adversity to achieve your goals is strictly subjective and it is generally unique to you. How we perceive a situation or experience, is strictly up to you. It is not necessarily a common occurrence but rather an atypical one. Everyone does not respond in the same way. What one might find as a hindrance is often perceived by another as a driving force. As Henry Clay Trumbull says, “a sapling lying across the road” can be seen as an obstacle that hinders ones crossing, and at the same time can be seen as an aid to facilitate another in crossing a brook. It all depends on how a stimulus is perceived by you. It depends upon if you see it as a hindrance or as a motivational force. Although you might have encountered what might seem to others as road blocks, obstacles, trials or persecution, given the experience, your response and perception facilitate the outcome.

What are your thoughts? Would you share it, it just would be nice. Let's hear it!


Author:
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is an Educator, Instructional Technologist and System Analysis. She is the founder of Cottle’s Professional Consulting a multidisciplinary consultancy. Her business website is at: http://drcottle.com/ Dr. Cottle is also the creator of two online forum for women entrepreneurs, Women in Business on Facebook and CPC Women in Business.
Copyright © 2010 by Dr. Cheryl Cottle of Cottle’s Professional Consulting

Some best practice that you can adopt to develop your business!

By: Dr. Cheryl Cottle
Knowledge is power and while you may have the skills and knowledge needed to manage your business, you can experience burn-out which translates into time away from your business. As a small business owner, your role is often two fold, being the entrepreneur that you are, as well as being the manager of your business. These two roles can be rather daunting, because in some instances while you may possess the qualities to be a successful entrepreneur, you may lack the skills and knowledge to manage the daily operations of your company. Rather than being jack of all trades, which some of you can do quite effectively, it is often great to delegate some of the tasks in your daily operation to someone else within your company. You can also outsource some of the activities necessary to meet the operational needs of your business. Seek expert support also. It will also prevent burn-out and help you to find a balance.


Resisting change is a common attribute of a large number of people. We are often resistant to new things. With the advent of computer technology and its integration into business practice, particularly with the emergence of social media, small businesses must position themselves to remain competitive in the market place or they will be left behind. Remember the world is no longer insular but it is rather global with the advent of computer technology, therefore how we know business traditionally will change, and it will change rapidly.

Empower yourself with the skills, knowledge, and attitude to keep competitive in the marketplace. Education does not have to be formally achieved; you can gain it through various informal learning methods. There are great resources that you can gain access to including books, videos, workshops and seminars. Take advantage of these resources to acquire the knowledge that you may lack in making your business a success.

According to this quote by Brian Tracy “people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” Be the mover and shaker that you need to be to keep your business in business. Education is vital to the sustainability of your business.


Having self –confidence also goes a long way in making your dreams materialize. According to this quote by an unknown “an individual’s self-concept is the core of his or her personality. It affects every aspect of human behavior: the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change. A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life.” I just thought that this quote was fitting in addressing the need for self confidence in business success. As in everything that we want to achieve, having self-confidence, helps to make our wishes and dreams become a reality. If you have self doubt, that will defeat your purpose. You must be positive, believe in your self and capabilities and potential; and don’t give power to negative thoughts and influences to affect your actions.

I hope that you will think about these essentials to business success. I also felt that I should end by sharing this quote with you!

The task is to recognize that you are uniquely special, have something to give, some talent no one else shares in quite the same way. This gift needs to blossom so we can appreciate and enjoy the benefits of it and acknowledge you for it. You owe this to yourself and to all of us to honor your gifts, for only when you share your unique joy with the world does the entire world benefit. Every advance mankind we have known, has come because of someone's effort. Don't let shyness rob you and the world of the power and the passion that lies within you. No one can be all that you will be except you yourself. Follow your passion. ~ Joel Garfinkle
Continued success in your business!
Stay tuned for more business best practice!

Author:
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is the owner and manager of Cottle's Professional Consulting a multidisciplinary consultancy. She is also the manager of Women in Business on Facebook a networking, advertising and marketing group. Dr. Cottle also manages CPC Women in Business an exclusive group for women – a global business network.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do you think that home-based business owners should create a space in their home that is dedicated for their business?

In my women forum on Facebook Women in Business I asked this question a couple of week ago:

Do you think that home-based business owners should create a space in their home that is dedicated for their business? Do you think that it allows the individual to be more business-like; focused, innovative, and professional? Can you describe your ideal home-office?


This is my response to the question:

Throughout my life I have always found that a nice space for working at home creates a feeling of relaxation and comfort. It is a great landing space where I am able to function creatively to my maximum capabilities and potential. It serves as a space where I can absorb, create, critically evaluate, reflect, process, create and generate new ideas, thoughts and viewpoints. As a young student, it was very important that I had a space for me to study – a place to do my home work and engage in any learning activity. Later in high school, the same applied and as I got older and I went on to higher learning, creating a space to work and study was always of paramount importance to me. When I decided to become an entrepreneur, creating a space was very critical to my success. I needed a space where I could work diligently and effectively. Therefore in addition to having the entrepreneurial and management skills to strive to be a successful entrepreneur, I knew that I must create a space that is dedicated to work.


Creating a space that is dedicated to your work in your home has many implications. Firstly, creating a space that is exclusively for work can have great psychological impact upon you. It creates a boundary between your work and your personal life. Generally when you work for someone else, you have set hours when you work and time when you go home. A home office can help you set time lines when you work and when you do other activities that is related to the holistic development of your life. A space dedicated to working also puts you into the proper mind-set that although you are at home, it reminds you that this is my office, and I am here to work. Secondly, research shows that by creating a space within your home dedicated to business also have financial benefits, in that it allows you to make home office deduction for your taxes.

Some of the responses from people who participated were:
I do think that home-based business owners should create a dedicated space. A dedicated space can make you feel "grounded" in your business, perhaps better organized but also creates a space differential between work and home life. It's also really important to maintain some kind of balance, and not let one (work or home life) take over the other.
Absolutely! Even if it is just a corner in a room absolutely! Even if it is just a corner in a room! Just so long as it is a space dedicated to your work as your office. Sometimes this is all that you can do because you have a small apartment. However, I believe that it is essential. It is all about mindset. It gets you in the right frame of mind. Also, whenever possible, stand up when you are talking on the phone with people. Sounds funny, but it gets your blood flowing and the excitement in your voice comes through.
This is a must. You need private concentration to devote to the business and you can do this only in a dedicated space. In order to use the many tax deductions that are available for home based businesses, you do have to dedicate some space to the business. This makes you legit. So set aside whatever you can for it. As the business grows, expand the space. Be professional and you can do this well when you are not mixed in with your recipe books, sewing and kids toys.
What are your thoughts on it? It would be great if you can share it. You just might positively impact at least one person.



Author:
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is the owner and manager of Cottle's Professional Consulting a multidisciplinary consultancy. She is also the manager of Women in Business on Facebook a networking, advertising and marketing group. Dr. Cottle also manages CPC Women in Business an exclusive group for women – a global business network.




Monday, September 27, 2010

How important is having a succession plan for your business?


Succession planning for small business owner is a question that must be addressed sooner than later by small business owners. According to research there is benefit to having a succession plan, because as you get older you will think of retirement, and having an adequate income to support your life style after retirement is of prime concern as you prepare for the next stage of your life. Having an effective succession plan also puts you in control of your future and the future of your business. It removes you from being dependent upon your adult children and help to address some of their interest and concerns. It also helps to reduce possible conflict that can occur due to inter-generational value system. Therefore to maintain control and financial independence, after you are no longer able to manage your business, think about a plan that will enable a seamless transition from being a busy entrepreneur to a financially secure retiree.


There are some options for business succession, including transferring the business to a family member. Research shows that more women entrepreneurs than men are including their daughters into their business, and are more likely to have them a part of their succession plan. In cases where the business owner may not have children, nieces and nephews are often considered as prime candidate to take over the business after retirement, and he or she is generally groomed and taught the inner workings of the company’s management and operations.

Another available option is selling to a partner, an employee, or a group of employees, generally referred to as management buy-out. In this situation, the employee or the group of employees of the company may see it beneficial to them to continue the growth and development of the company. They have been a part of it; some from the inceptions, and they are familiar and very knowledgeable about the company’s operations. They know the business and do have a vested interest in seeing it grow and prosper. In addition to the sentiment and financial benefits, they are also familiar with your already established customer-client base, suppliers, and potential clients and investors. In making the decision to sell to a partner or employees, you should consider whether the employee or employees have the vision and the management capability to assume an ownership role through the transition period and run the business profitably long-term?


Last but not least, is the option to sell your business to an outside buyer. If this is the option that you choose to take, it is important to ask the question, should I sell the whole business or part of it? It just my be prudent to remain part ownership rather than giving up total control. You can look towards your customer-base, suppliers, a competitor, or people from the business community overall for a potential buyer.

I asked this question on my Women in Business forum on Facebook during the week of September 20th to 26th 2010: Below are also some of the responses.

 Discussion Topic:

How important is having a succession plan for your business? Is this something you have thought about in the design of your business or you have thought about as your business grows?

Research shows that more women are inclined to include their daughters into their business than men are willing to bring their son’s. Do you see your business as a venture that you will like your daughter (s) or children in general to continue?

I recently met a business woman who has a business in partnership with her husband, for over forty years and today their three adult children also work in the business. There has been a succession plan where by the children has been taught to appreciate the business early on in their development. Do you see your business as a legacy you will like your children to continue? Or do you see your business as a venture that you will like to grow in the distant future overall?

 Responses:
  • One of the respondent pointed out that she plans to sell her business, as she plans to go on retirement, because she does not have any children to supersede her.
  • Another noted that, “this is an important matter to me.” “I am teaching both my son, who is a single-parent father, and my daughter, who knows the value of being at home with her children, the "non-location specific" business that I enjoy. It is not only a wonderful way to their own financial well-being, but also their own personal growth, both in business skills and people skills. I wish I had had that advantage. I will never have to worry about my children or my three grand-daughters being homeless!
  • Another pointed out that it is a great question that allows one to think about the future of his or her business and his or her life.
Every week, I post a new discussion topic with the intention to facilitate ones thoughts; to put you in a reflective mood where you think of the possibilities. It is an opportunity to actively engage in meaningful discussion that would be helpful to all. It fosters the sharing of ideas, thoughts and perspectives.

 What are your thoughts on this question? It would be nice to hear your ideas, thoughts, and perspectives!


Author:
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is the owner and manager of Cottle's Professional Consulting a multidisciplinary consultancy. She is also the manager of Women in Business on Facebook a networking, advertsing and marketing group. Dr. Cottle also manages CPC Women in Business an exclusive group for women  - - a global business network.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How debilitating procrastinating is!

Dear Readers,
Just sharing a quote with you and my thoughts after reading it!

Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the "someday I'll" philosophy. ~ Denis Waitley
After reading this quotation my thoughts on procrastination has changed. I always thought that to procrastinate meant to put off doing what you can do today for tomorrow. I just thought it was the inability to do, or act in the moment. However after reading Waitley’s quote, procrastination has taken on whole new meaning for me. He has broaden my perception of the word.

Waitley also postulates, that it is easier to live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy; rather than discovering whether you have the tenacity to endure success. Move on, act, do, and stop procrastinating, greater responsibilities aren’t so bad; the world and you would be better for it. If you are stuck in a mode of ambivalence, between moving forward and staying stagnant, think about this quote. Taking action, and coursing your life and facing the great things to come are your responsibility and no one else. Remember that you are responsible for the direction that you life takes.

What are your thoughts after reading the quotation? It would be nice if you can at least share your perception of the word “procrastination”.

Courtesy,

Dr. Cheryl Cottle
CPC Women in Business Administrator
http://cpcwib.ning.com
e-mail: ccottle@drcottle.com

First published on Saturday, August 07, 2010 in CPC Women in Business at: http://cpcwib.ning.com/

The dichotomy between Happiness and Misery!

Dear Readers,
I just want to share this quote with you as well as my thoughts after reading it.
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life. ~Alexandre Dumas

My thought after reading this quote, is that happiness and misery are dependent upon our perception. How you respond to circumstances in your life impacts your state of mind. It helps to determine your state of happiness and state of sadness. I also thought that "happiness" should have been compared to "sadness" and not “misery”. Misery in my view is a much deeper and self degrading emotion. I think that dealing with misery requires great inner strength, very high self concept, and deep spirituality to come out of. Misery is a very dark place, I think.

According to the quote, he who has felt the deepest grief is better able to appreciate life both the good and the bad. I have found that sometimes it takes a life threatening experience to make us come to the awareness that just being alive is reason to be abundantly happy. After getting over sickness, I am happy for each day that I receive from my creator, for just being alive. Every morning that I come out of my bed, I am grateful that I am still given the gift of life. I also know that each day I get, I have the chance to change my life to make it more meaningful; with great abundance, good health, happiness, great people around me, and continued hope for more tomorrows. It is also an opportunity to fashion a better and grander life, filled with great satisfaction, contentment, happiness, laughter and joy!

What are your thoughts? It would be nice of you to share it with us.
Have a great day and a wonderful week!

Courtesy,

Dr. Cheryl Cottle.
CPC Women in Business Administrator
http://cpcwib.ning.com

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It had seemed to me that life was about to begin - - real life!

Dear Readers,

I just thought that I will share this quote with you!
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, and a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. ~ Alfred D. Souza
According to Alfred D. Souza, people put up obstacles, real or imagined as roadblocks to their accomplishments.  Obstacles are a part of our lives. Some of us wait for when our children are no longer babies, or when our little boy or girl goes to school, or after the mortgage is paid, or when I have more money; to do.

Some people also say I will have a baby after we purchase that beautiful house in the suburbs, or when my husband get a promotion; and many such excuses for so many things that we dream about. These are some of the excuses that are often used to justify why we don’t do. Waiting for that right time may never come. When is the right time? How does the right time looks like? You don’t know. Live your life in the now in spite of the obstacles that you face and experience.


Many of us experienced this – waiting for the right time to do, but the right time never seems to come. The right time is now! If you have something that you always wanted to do, do it now! This is my advice to anyone who says to me, "I will like one day to become . . ." and don’t. Life ends with many lost dreams and ambitions because you just don’t be. Go ahead and achieve your dreams, pursue your ambition and don’t hope that what seems like obstacles would go away. They are there, and you have to work them through, but in spite of their presence, if you have some thing that you want to do, do it. 

What are your thoughts after reading the quote?
Are there things that you will like to do and haven’t done? Are their places that you will like to visit and haven’t gone to? Share your stories and experiences!

Courtesy,

Dr. Cheryl Cottle
CPC Women in Business Administrator
http://cpcwib.ning.com

Nothing External can have power over you unless you permit it . . .

Dear Readers,
I am just sharing a quote with you for the week. Read my thought on it also. It would be nice to hear your thoughts on it. It would help if not every one of us, but one person may be positively affected.


Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealously, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces. ~ Og Mandino

When I read this quote by Og Mandino it made me think of the power that we have to define our life and live it to our best. We often give others the power over us to make our decisions to define who we are, and what we should do, rather than standing up and saying I am, who I am. I am what I want to be. I am going to be what I want to do, and I will be who I want to be. The quotation by Og. Mandino reminds me that we are the tower of our strength, the designer of our lives and the creator of our destiny. He suggests that each day, we should make our mark and do what we feel in our heart to do; and that we should allow our love and our passion to guide us.

He also advices, that we should also treasure and protect the gift of life that we have been given by our creator; a gift that is often envied by those who hold malice against us: and strongly reminds us that we should guard and protect that gift from the unscrupulous. Know yourself, believe in your potential and achieve your full capacity. Love you and you will flourish into that wonderful flower that you are and in the end you would have lived your life fully, and leave a beautiful legacy for those your love.

What are your thoughts? It would be nice if you would share!

Dr. Cheryl Cottle
CPC Women in Business Administrator
http://cpcwib.ning.com

CPC Women in Business Profile of the Month - - Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby

CPC Women in Business Profile of the Month is Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby. Yvette-Michelle is the designer and owner of Verona Collections. Verona Collections is a fashion and accessories company located in Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.

Yvette-Michelle has been in business for over sixteen years, first starting off as a home-based business, and subsequently launching a store front in 1999, in downtown Toronto's trendy fashion district. “Going back a little, Yvette-Michelle says “I first started Verona Collection after many years of making jewelry for myself, friends and family members. After doing so for many years, I decided that I will transform my hobby of jewelry and accessories into a business idea, and after a few months, with a business plan, I registeredVerona Collections.”

The goals of Verona Collections, is to "design and create quality jewelry, accessories, clothing and home decor items, utilizing the finest materials and craftsmanship." Yvette-Michelle also added that she will like to establish a successful brand, refine her work and successfully manage her own retail outlets, while contributing to her community.

Verona Collections is a sole-proprietorship; and started as a way of creating a creative environment to express Yvette-Michelle's creativity. She also stated that she wanted to be independent and have a job that will afford her with the flexibility as her family grows. "Over the years I have had others work with me in the production of my designs; however, I continue to wear all of the hats."

Yvette-Michelle says, “one of the challenges that I have faced since starting Verona Collections, is getting my products in front of the right clients. I make unique, limited-edition and one-of-a-kind designs, and not everyone wants a unique product.” She also adds, "my biggest challenge was finding my niche market of people who are interested in hand-crafted designs and who appreciate what goes into its creation.”

One of Yvette-Michelle’s best business strategies, is having passion for what she does. “Although I have experienced some challenges, I have always stayed with Verona Collections. I love what I do, and continue to create my designs. I just love beautiful jewelry and textiles. My passion for what I do, together with creativity and strength of purpose, are what has kept me focused. I also involve my clients in the process, and have found great success with this."

Verona Collections has gone through many changes over the years. Yvette-Michelle has recently introduced a social media marketing strategy to facilitate her business development. Her online presence includes a website, blog, facebook profile and Etsy shop.

Yvette-Michelle pointed out that technology has been a part of her business since its inception. She uses a combination of computer technology, including multi-media software, video-based technologies, desktop publishing, writing, data base programs, spreadsheet and accounting software. She also designs and creates the marketing materials using Adobe design suite. Over the years Yvette-Michelle has also developed her skills in photography, and takes many of the images that feature her products.

Discussing her business philosophy, Yvette-Michelle, says “I believe in quality; and creating the finest and the best product.” “I also believe in staying true to who I am and I don’t subscribe to the adage, ‘fake - it till you make it.’" Yvette-Michelle also states, "I am also open to new knowledge. I am always eager to learn from the experiences of others, as well as from books and every source of media.”

When asked the question what advice would you give to other business women; that you have learnt along the way? Yvette-Michelle says, “my advice to other women who are involve in business, is if you love what you do, continue to do it. Do it to your best. Always manage your business in a professional way, and maintain proper records; including, tracking sales and business transaction. Your records will assist in marketing and forecasting, and will reduce the stress during tax time." Her other advice is to "have fun." “Working for yourself can and should be a liberating experience" and "keep in mind that self-employment means that the efforts you are putting out is towards your own growth and development.”

In the future, Yvette-Michelle will like to re-open a store. "I will also like to expand and develop other aspects of my business, including the “Sewing and Creative Design Program, which I currently conduct in Barrier and Toronto, Ontario.” I will also like to further develop Verona Collections to include a line of clothing for children.”

Contact Information for Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby
Email: info@veronacollections.com
Website: http://veronacollections.com
Blog: http://veronacollections.blogspot.com
Shop: http://etsy.com/shop/VeronaCollections







About the Author:
Dr Cheryl Cottle is the designer and administrator of CPC Women in Business an online social networking forum for women internationally. To join go to: http://cpcwib.ning.com Dr. Cottle is also the Founder and CEO of Cottle’s Professional Consulting, a multidisciplinary consultancy. For more information contact her at: ccottle@drcottle.com or visit her website at: http://drcottle.com

Copyright © 2010 by Dr. Cheryl Cottle of Cottle’s Professional Consulting

First published, Monday, 20 September, 2010 on CPC Women in Business at: http://cpcwib.ning.com 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Review! Do What You Love: the Money Will Follow - - Discovering Your Right Livelihood

Do What You Love: the Money Will Follow - - Discovering Your Right Livelihood by Marsha Sinetar
I was afraid to cross uncharted, unconventional waters to get to a more desirable place in life, afraid that – when truth be told – I would not have the requisite strength and competence to accomplish what I so dearly wanted.
These lines resonated with me because they reflect a common emotion felt by so many people who think about embarking on something new. "Do what you love the money will follow" is about choice – the choice to live your life as authentically and as purposefully as possible. It is also about transformation, from material to spiritual. It is about people who do the work that they really enjoy and love.

According to the author in her introduction:

Do what you love the money will follow is a handbook that shows readers “How” to follow their own hearts to the work of their dreams. It is at its core a “comment about the spiritual aspects of work.”
The author examines “work” not just from a mundane and vocational activity but also from a deeper spiritual experience. You can identify with the stories and experiences that the author draws from to illustrate her thoughts, ideas and perspectives to get her message across.

The book is well outlined, very easy to read and comprehend because it is situated in real-life experiences and set in modern day experiences. The stories are relevant and authentic. After reading the Introduction of the book, I selected a topic or chapter; read, moving my way to another topic of my choosing, going forward, backward until I finally read the whole book.

The book overall is about how to build inner confidence, self esteem, and how to listen to your inner voice – “the way of the heart.” Interestingly enough,  the final chapter that I read, was the last – That was where my reading journey took me.





About the Author:
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is an educator and the Chief Consultant of Cottle's Professional Consulting. Cottle's Professional Consulting has a multidisciplinary portfolio including, education, organizational development, professional and business development.  he is also a coach and mentor in areas of professional and business development. Dr. Cottle also manages online forum for business women globally at CPC Women in Business at: http://www.cpcwib.ning.com To learn more about her consultancy and to contact her go to: http://www.drcottle.com/
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