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Business Tips from a Dragon

I’ve been a fan of the popular Canadian TV series, Dragons’ Den since it first began 14 years ago. It gives entrepreneurs across the country the opportunity to scale up their business with the help of a venture capitalist, aka “Dragon.” Maybe some how I knew when I was 19 I would one day become an entrepreneur myself?

One week ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Manjit Minhas, a Dragon on the show for the past five years. The Beer Baroness, as dubbed on the show, visited our community to speak to a group of entrepreneurs alike about her story of perseverance and performance under pressure. I love hearing about what it took for someone to get to where they are, or as I like to call it, the Grit Factor. How often do people view those who are successful as “lucky,” as if luck was all it took to get there! It’s like that meme with the ice berg where all you see is this piece of ice floating on the water, representing the here and now, but underneath is the true foundation for what you’re actually seeing, which has a lot more to it than what’s on the surface.

Me and my husband with Manjit Minhas of Dragons' Den

After hearing Manjit’s story, I have a newfound respect for her. She was a young woman with an idea in her mind and she did whatever it took to make her vision come to life. Now, as the diversified entrepreneur she is, I see a little of her story in mine, knowing it took a lot more than luck to get to where we both are today.

I won’t go on about her entire story because, let’s face it – you can Wikipedia that shit – but there are a few key things she said that really resonated with me.

I’ve been working with my coach lately to try and come up with a plan for my days…. This is a process I typically go through a few times a year, trying this and that and then stumbling into old habits of running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had such enthusiasm at the beginning of this year with a ton of dedication towards my plan for each day of the week, but as I headed away for training and disrupted my schedule, it all went downhill. One thing Manjit said that really made me think, is that it’s great to come up with a plan for your life and business for the next year or two or ten for that matter, but it all really comes down to mastering each day over and over again. Hmmm… she has a point there. Imagine if each day you operated with absolute intention and focus and ran your day instead of your day running you? I know, a lot easier said than done, especially in the life if an entrepreneur where each day is very different from the next. This past week I’ve been working on something a little different for my schedule, keeping her advice in mind. I’ve scheduled 5 hours of tasks each week day (leaving room for those invariable curve balls) and adding themes to my days. For example, “Marketing Mondays” and “Administrative Fridays.” Not only will this give me more focus for the day, it also breaks up certain tasks (some of which are incredibly tedious and mundane…i.e. anything that fits into Administrative Fridays) into manageable chunks of time to spend on each of them. Today was the first Marketing Monday, and so far, so good. One of the things I added into my Mondays was a little self-care, so today I headed to the book store to grab a new book, “Let That Shit Go” which leads me to my next point…

Another invaluable piece of advice she gave was to do something each and every day to get a little smarter. Personally, I’ve found that starting my day reading a book – the inspirational, business / self-help type – is one of the best ways to set your day up for success. Whatever you do first thing sets the tone for your day, so if you turn on your phone and fill your mind with emails, an impending to-do list or useless nonsense like social media notifications, chances are your day isn’t going to be as great as it could be. When I changed this one habit, it made a dramatic difference in my life. Now, I’m not going to sit here and act like this is how I go about each and every day, but I’ll tell you one thing, I definitely notice the difference on days when I start my day by reading and days when I don’t. Pack your brain with a little knowledge every day, whether first thing or not, and you won’t regret it.

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