Podcast 005: Q&A ~ Crazy is a Compliment!

In the end, mastering the art of entrepreneurship is not simply about starting a business. It’s about taking chances, overcoming doubts, managing risk, dealing with chaos, cultivating employees, coping with stumbles and successes, integrating work and family, and paying it forward to ensure that the next generation can dream big as well.  And it’s realizing that all those people calling you crazy are giving you a huge compliment! ~ Linda Rottenberg from “Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging when Everyone Else Zags”

Florist working on laptop

I am so thankful to the retailers who are listening to this Podcast, and appreciate the fact that they are willing to listen even while I am learning to “find my voice” as a new Podcaster.

My desire is to bring real world inspiration and education to retailers and entrepreneurs who may be struggling with different issues in their business.

This week a listener sent an email with several questions and I am honored to try to give some feedback. Here are a few of the questions along with  my responses.  You can read this synopsis, or just listen to the podcast.

What did you include in the goodie bags for the fashion shows ?
This time we had a cute Houndstooth Bag with Pink & Black Tissue, which tied into our table decor and the Vera Bradley lead up to the new Houndstooth pattern coming in December.  Inside we had a Thymes Frazier Fir votive candle (which we can only order once per year for promotional purposes. They are FABULOUS!  We had purchased some really nice necklaces/earring sets on clearance, then we included a cute scarf in each of the bags.  We also included a $10 off $10 purchase for the store Gift Certificate. 

Podcast 004: Ready for your next Opportunity?

© Rawpixel - Fotolia.com

© Rawpixel – Fotolia.com

Thank you for taking time to listen to today’s Remarkable Retailer Podcast. We’re going to look at Preparing for Opportunities that will come your way.

Which Comes First?
It’s always hard to know which comes first, the Opportunity or the Preparation. I think it always goes hand in hand. We are “given” opportunities because of preparation and follow through we have done on other projects. When one of your staff members really steps up to the plate and delivers an exceptional project or does a great job in a particular area, it is easy to open the door for additional opportunities to that person. In the same way, as leaders of our team, when we are given an opportunity, we need to go outside of our comfort zone, walk through those doors, and take the leap!

Recent Fashion Show = OPPORTUNITY for Growth
In this episode, we talk about a recent Fashion Show and Gourmet Dinner that our store hosted for about 165 ladies. There were some real challenges to hosting this event. First of all, our store is too small to host that type of a crowd, and in our little town, there isn’t a restaurant or venue that would seat that many people. We had to think creatively and “outside the box” and host this event in a neighboring town about 15 miles away. This provided lots of opportunity to be very well prepared by the night our event rolled around!

We had to coordinate models, a trailer to transport all of the clothing, decorations, goodie bags for our attendees, staff members and more. Because the private club has other events during the day, we had a limited time for setting up our event. This made coordinating and planning our schedule down to the minute even more important. Fortunately, this was the fourth time we have hosted a large event like this and we have learned a lot along the way! We still struggled with some last minute details! Fortunately, those were all behind the scenes and the night was magical for our clients!

Podcast 002: Top 10 Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

Top 10 Habits of Highly Successful-2

Thank you for taking time to listen to today’s Remarkable Retailer Podcast. Today we’re going to talk about 10 qualities & characteristics that successful entrepreneurs share.

  1. They get up early and make effective use of their time
  2. Leaders are Readers! They are voracious readers, – Never stop learning!
  3. They have learned the art of networking and asking questions, and are very willing to learn from beginners in their industry as well as seasoned veterans.
  4. They are list makers… A favorite tool of mine is the Wunderlist App. I personally love this simple app!
  5. They “Do the Work” which is also the title to a great book by Steven Pressfield. (I will include link in show notes).
  6. They are professional…this business is not their hobby, it is their profession.
  7. They lead with a servant heart.
    1. They care about their customers and their staff
    2. They freely credit others for their success
    3. They are givers – both with their time and their resources. Terri King
  8. Successful entrepreneurs schedule time away to work ON their business, not IN their business. (Carol & Nancy planning session)
  1. Remarkable Retailers and Entrepreneurs embrace change and know that how they did business last year or even last month, needs to be improved upon.
  2. Exceptional entrepreneurs surround themselves with others who are smarter than they are! Jim Rohm quote “You are the average of the FIVE people you spend the most time with.” Start your own Mastermind Group, Join a private Facebook group that is related to your industry, and be an active participant!

Time Traps!

If you have a dream and don’t have a team, your dream will die. But with a team, your dream will fly!
~Todd Duncan

Whether you’re a “solo-preneur”, someone who has an established team behind you, or a control freak, we want you to know that you don’t have to travel your entrepreneurial journey alone! There are gifted people all around you to help you and free you up to do your best work. Today we’re going to explore some options for finding these people and empowering them to help you build your business.

© Brian Jackson – Fotolia.com

Contrary to a belief held by many entrepreneurs, you can ask for and receive help along your journey to success.  Many of us started our businesses as “solo-preneurs”… i.e., we wore every hat in the company. From sales and marketing, chief cook and bottle washer, banker, accountant, custodian, receiving clerk, sidewalk sweeper, truck unloader, HR department head, and much more, it had to be done, so we did it! As a recovering “Multiple-Hat Wearer”, I can tell you that it is not easy to ask for help, train others to do what comes so naturally to you, and turn over responsibility to others…but I am learning to do so!

The Story Behind Your Success


Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere.

~Paul Ryan

I absolutely LOVE to hear the stories that business owners tell around a table in the coffee shop, standing in line at a conference or riding a shuttle between two buildings at a Market. Your conversation might start around a particular product or idea, but usually the question of “how did you get started?” comes up. Every one of these stories begins with a dream of entrepreneurship and most of them have very humble beginnings.

© labalajadia via fotolia.com

Maybe your parents were entrepreneurs and owning a business just feels natural to you. Or, perhaps in your previous career you worked for a large company and were just burned out with the corporate structure. Maybe you’re an accidental entrepreneur that suddenly found a hobby turning into a business.

Whatever your story, it is important to tell it to your family, your staff members, your clients and to those in your community.  We can all learn from each other’s “story” as we nurture and grow our businesses. Today, we’re going to take a quick look at five common story lines that successful small businesses share.

Doing your Homework?

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity!

~Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher

Each year I choose a “mantra” or theme that I endeavor to strive towards, and this Preparation=Opportunity quotation has been my theme for 2014. I had my iPad cover personalized with this quote, have it easily accessible on my computer, and it is posted at my desk as well. Lest you think that I have perfected this, and have arrived fully prepared at every meeting, ready to take on the world, I will tell you an unequivocal, NO! In fact, I think the more I have concentrated on this, the less prepared I have been!


© – Fotolia.com

So what does this quote really mean?
It means there’s no such thing as “luck” because being prepared when an opportunity presents itself takes conscious effort. It may look like luck… but it’s not. It’s because of careful planning. It’s the work that happens behind the scenes that makes it look effortless. The difference between lucky and unlucky people, is in our perspective, and in the effort and dedication we put into preparation. You have to “do your homework”, and come fully prepared to take on new opportunities.

Overcoming an Imperfect Boss

“He’s just an imperfect human being doing the best he can. Just like you.” ~Karin Hurt

I ordered a copy of this little book after coming across it on a google search for books that lead to being a better boss.  Its name caught my attention because like most every boss, I am imperfect in many ways, and thought I could get some pointers in how I can relate to my staff better.  I don’t think anyone sets out to be an imperfect, demanding, cold-hearted or unprofessional boss (Remember the movie 9 to 5?), but there are times when we could all use a little (or a lot) of coaching in this area.

Karen presents her book in a small workbook form with a paragraph or two about a “situation” between a boss and a staff member. She then follows it up with “Advice” for each situation.  Remember, this book is written to someone trying to deal with an imperfect boss; however, I believe that as leaders of our group, it helps to see ourselves through the eyes of our staff members. I found it to be very practical and enlightening.  Some stories are funny and some are very serious.