I understand the importance of physical and moral autonomy and the governing principles for the commercial use of personal information.

What I don’t understand is why businesses hide their address. Where are you? How do I send cards, letters or parcels?

Sometimes my clients ask me to send their clients a greeting. Sometimes a phone call is all it takes to get an address. Sometimes a different time zone, country, and language add to the perplexity—and the cost—of investigating.

Conventional postal services deliver more than notes, greetings, chocolates and gifts; they deliver thoughtfulness. Clients feel acknowledged. It feels rewarding to hear they were “wowed” by the surprise of old fashioned mail. But it can be hard to be nice when there is nowhere to deliver it.

Generally, I almost always find you, and wow, it makes the mailing that much sweeter.

So, make it easy. Where am I sending your card?

cartoon map

Heather’s business, Virtually Behind the Scenes, helps coaches stay organized, ready and on top of their game by providing administrative, office and business support to ensure “stuff”—or worse, connections— don’t fall through the cracks. Virtually Behind the Scenes is “here for you”, wherever you are. www.virtuallybehindthescenes.com


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Unfinished organizing projects, piles of paper, cluttered spaces and frantic schedules… Most of us deal with at least one of these on a regular basis, but when we allow chaos to become our way of life, we run the risk of affecting our health and our overall well-being. To keep burn out at bay and make the most of your precious time, here are three organizing tips to keep in mind:

  1. Start small. Tackle one small piece of a project at a time to avoid becoming paralyzed by the thought of trying to tackle it all.  By seizing small chunks of time, you will be done in no time and will not have felt like you “wasted” a whole weekend or evening on it. Some examples:


  • Do you have piles of paper everywhere? Just sort through one pile at a time.
  • Do you have a bin of photos that need to go into albums? Deal with one small stack at a time.
  • Has your bookshelf gotten out of hand? Sort through one shelf at a time.


  1. Don’t multitask! Many of us wear our ability to multitask like a badge of honour, but in actual fact, studies have shown that multitasking slows us down. The usual temptation when sorting through a pile of paper, for example, is to get up and “deal with” items as we go along (i.e. file it, recycle it, post it, etc.), or—worse still—we stop to read items discovered in the pile, which slows us way down. Instead, grab a stack of file folders and sort through the pile while remaining seated.


  1. Choose to be more aware. How often do we say such things as “I don’t have time”, or “I wish…”? Although this may seem to be true when we find ourselves constantly on the run from one thing to the next and wanting things to be different, we really are in the driver’s seat of our schedule and our life. How it all plays out comes down to the choices we make. For example:


  • Do you hit the snooze button or not? This may be the determining factor between a relaxed start to the day or a frantic one.
  • Do you bring your daughter’s lunch bag to school - again? By choosing not to, you could be on time for your appointment and also empower her to face the consequences of her forgetfulness – a golden learning opportunity for her.
  • Do you accept your mother-in-law’s invitation for Sunday dinner again this week when you are exhausted and looking forward to a quiet night at home? Notice what is driving your response, and be aware of how often you say “yes” when you really want to say “no.”

I challenge you to take control over your time by applying these three strategies. You’ll be happy you did!

Jennifer Neudecker has a passion for helping others create a life and an environment that fits who they really are. As a professional organizer and certified coach she helps her busy clients get organized and create customized organizing and time management solutions that they can maintain. To contact Jennifer and learn more about her work, please visit www.jenniferneudecker.com

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SWAN November Showcase & Shopping

It is not uncommon for women business owners to have occasion to doubt their value. It is natural for us to have ups and downs in business. During the 'downs' we often feel undervalued. The intention of this post is to give you a few tips on how to remain positive in your business even when you feel momentarily and monetarily undervalued!

It is really important to understand what YOU value in yourself and your business. You need to know how you equate your 'value' to your 'worth'. I often hear complaints from women I am coaching that their clients just don't see the value of the work they do; clients don't want to pay them what they are worth, etc. It is very common to associate 'value' with 'worth' in terms of money and not realize that this is only one part of the equation.

In researching the word 'value' I came across an article that talked about Aspired Values and Functional Values. See which ones resonate with your and your company’s values.

ASPIRED VALUES   - WHAT you aspire to have FUNCTIONAL VALUES   - HOW you attain aspired values
  • Achievement
  • Beauty
  • Contribution
  • Freedom
  • Health
  • Love
  • Partnership
  • Recognition
  • Spirituality
  • Wealth
  • Accountability
  • Autonomy
  • Competency
  • Creativity
  • Fairness
  • Flexibility
  • Honesty
  • Knowledge
  • Organization
  • Team

How Do You Stay Positive When You Feel Undervalued?  

A stager recently had an experience where she felt her services were being undervalued when a staging job went sideways. She had to ask herself why it went sideways, and she momentarily doubted that she should charge the monetary fee she had quoted. Eventually she realized that SHE was actually devaluing her expertise and came to her senses by asking herself some questions and talking honestly with the client.

You may find yourself in a situation where you are asked to provide a quote for your work, or someone is asking what you charge for your services. Here are a few things that might help you stay positive about your value and your worth when sharing your pricing for your services:

  • Look at everything that you bring to the table. You may be new to your business, or you may have been in the business for awhile. Regardless, you have many talents and skills you bring to the table along with the investment you have made in learning the services/work you currently offer.  Make a list of them along with your core values. Have them handy in your moments of doubt.
  • Ask yourself, “Is this 'fair market value' for my work?” You know if you are charging a fair price for your services or not. If your fees are fair, then do not justify them. This  may not be the right client for you.
  • If something does go sideways, how can you straighten it out? Breathe, step back, and think about what needs to be done to get back on track with the job. Perhaps it means making an adjustment to the original services offered or revisiting the client’s expectations.
  • Keep an open and honest line of communication flowing between you and your client. While you may think your business is about the service you provide, it really is about relationships! The only way to create and maintain great relationships is with open communication. When you are in the midst of feeling doubt, think about the value you know you are giving to this client. Let the client know what they receive from working with you; after all, they expect results if they hire you. What results will you give them? Great relationships are priceless and lead to more business opportunities.

The real bottom line comes down to you valuing yourself. The only way to really achieve what you want in your business is to honestly look at your Core Values and see if they equal your True Worth. If they do, then stay the course; if not, revisit them until they are in alignment with each other.

P.S. Everyone has their own money story, and if you have one that isn’t serving you, you might want to check out Jennifer Longmore’s Heal Your Money Story program.

Dana J. Smithers, President of SWAN Network is an author, speaker and Certified Law of Attraction Trainer and Success Coach. She is passionately committed to educating, inspiring and empowering women to achieve the success they want in both their personal and professional lives. Over 10 years ago she left her ‘secure’ 20+ year corporate job to start her own home decorating and staging business. She started one of Canada’s top staging training schools and now lives her passion working with women through Empowered Women In Business. She believes every woman deserves a joyful, healthy abundant life and through her coaching, webinars and workshop women learn how to shift their blocks to create more of what they want in their lives and less of what they don’t want!

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The Power of a Portrait

On January 1st, 2014, posted in: Latest SWAN Blog by

“Having an image that accurately represents who you are as a person is so important in the digital age we live in.’
mackie 1My client Jen Schaeffers said this, and it’s a very relevant sentiment among successful entrepreneurs and business people today. Jen is successful in business. She’s the Founder of Networking in Vancouver and heads up the CKNW Orphans’ Fund as Executive Director. She connects with entrepreneurs on a regular basis. She knows first-hand the value of a portrait and the power that a great portrait can hold for a business person in today’s world.

“Why do I need a portrait for my business?  I can just use the one my husband took of me with his iPhone and, boom, I’m in business!”

Well, you could. Maybe it’ll work for you; maybe it won’t. In my experience as a photographer for over ten years and a makeup artist for 10 years before that, I don’t like to leave things to chance. I don’t do my own taxes. I don’t do my own dental work. I don’t even take my own headshots—selfies just don’t really work!  I hire professionals to do professional work. To that end, I recommend you invest in a professional portrait, and for these reasons…

mackie 21. Ability to raise your profile and show you mean business
Nothing says I take my profile in the community seriously better than an “I mean business” photo. It shows you have taken the time and effort to show you care about how your personal brand is represented. Additionally, by hiring a photographer, you’re supporting another business professional in the process, and your network expands.


2. Invest in yourself!mackie 3
Yes, you could crop a family photo and use it for your Linkedin profile, but understand that first impressions are ingrained in people. As much as I loathe the thought of judging someone based on how they look in a photo, I do it. You do it. Everyone does it. Be honest with yourself. It’s often happening on a subconscious level, but it is happening. So, make a great first impression: introduce prospective clients to your personal brand with a professional photo of yourself – one where nothing is left to chance!

mackie 43.The future is digital – get on the bus, NOW.
How many social media channels require a profile photo? LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, you name it: Upload your profile picture, please! This isn’t going to stop anytime soon, so give in and ante up.


4. Showcase your personalitymackie 5
My clients want shots that convey who they are and how they feel about themselves on a daily basis. Well, who they are and how they feel about themselves when they’re at their best. As a professional photographer, I get to know a little about my clients before a shoot. I do my best to figure out what makes them tick and what sets them apart.  On the day of the photo session, I work with them and my team to bring those qualities to life in a fun yet professional way.


5. Be consistent with one or two great shotsmackie 6
I personally think it’s a bit of a faux pas when you use a different shot between Twitter and LinkedIn. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t these be the same? It can be confusing when searching out a LinkedIn connection on Twitter and you can’t locate them because you’re looking for that same headshot. The one common element of most social media channels is the profile photo, so please consider this when choosing which lovely photo of yourself to use. mackie 7


5. Choose a photographer based on the quality of their work, not on how much they charge
I hear it all the time, “X photographer only charged this much for headshots”, or “shoot for me for free!  It’ll be great for your portfolio!” All I say to comments like these is that I can only know my own work – my own experience, education, background and what I offer my clients. I have no idea who “X” photographer is nor what they do or cannot do. I only know the value of my work and what it brings for my clients, both personally and professionally. And, I have a pretty good body of work spanning almost 10 years, so I don’t really need another headshot to make a difference in my portfolio. That’s why I try to do regular creative shoots where I can push myself and create work that is different not already present in my book.

So, when you think about it, a great portrait is never a bad investment. Some of my clients are still using portraits we did together from 4-5 years ago and they still look as great and powerful now as the day we created them.

mackie 8

Linda Mackie is a Vancouver based photographer specializing in soulful and compelling portraiture for commercial, publicity, editorial, small business and non-profit clients, as well as personal portraits for family, kids, couples and critters. Linda gives and receives joy by creating beautiful and timeless images that reveal the soul, inspire connection and leave a lasting impression.  For a fresh and genuine approach to creating quality images that effectively and authentically tell your story with a caring collaborator, Linda is your girl!
To connect and learn more about Linda and her work, visit her website at www.lindamackie.ca

LINDA MACKIE PHOTOGRAPHY | Breathing Life Into Your Image
www.lindamackie.ca | linda@lindamackie.ca | 604-328-2903

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Kathy Suffel

If I were to say to you “Hey, it’s Christmas – THE best time of the year to buy real estate,” would you think I was suffering a candy-cane induced delirium? In my work as a REALTOR®, though, I’ve witnessed the proof year after year. The holiday season is definitely the best time of the year to be shopping for a new home or investment property!

There are several excellent reasons why you should not be a Real Estate Grinch this Christmas. Whether you are a first time home buyer or you already own a home and are sitting on a little nest egg to put towards another property, this is the time to get serious.

First, get your money working for you. If you rent, you may as well toss your hard-earned cash into the Shaw yuletide fire for all the good it is doing you. The only one benefitting from your money is your Landlord. Instead, put it towards a mortgage and start increasing your personal wealth. If your life is stable enough to commit to staying put for the next few years, now is the time to buy.

Perhaps you have a bit of money set aside – your savings or a small inheritance, maybe? Well I can guarantee you that regardless of the type of investment vehicle your money’s in, the interest you are getting paid to have it sit there isn’t significant. Take control of your wealth; invest it in real estate. It’s more secure than the stock market, plus you’ll be able to build equity even more quickly as you begin to improve the property.  Make your money work for you.

Second, let’s talk interest rates. While they may be a bit higher this year than last, you can still get an excellent rate depending on the mortgage product you choose. As I write this, rates are in the 2.79% – 2.89% range for a 1-3 year closed mortgage, 3.29% for 4 years, and the 5 year rate is sitting at 3.45%. The best variable rate I could find was 2.50%. Also, do shop around, even if your first inclination is to borrow from your day-to-day banking institution. Consult a mortgage broker who can typically offer a greater variety of lending institutions, types of loans, and better terms.

Third, you have lots of choice right now. We are at the tail end of the fall market, and many properties remain available. Sellers are anxious; they are tired of always having to be ready to show their place, and prices are going down, down, down. If you are looking for something brand new, there are currently 23 condo buildings in development in North Vancouver. To attract you, developers are offering significant upgrades, lower interest rates, tax reductions, etc. As a buyer, you are in the driver’s seat right now, and with demand down and inventory up, you are less likely to find yourself in a multiple offer situation.

So while everyone else is distracted with holiday parties, shopping, baking, entertaining, and kids’ recitals (As the Grinch would say, “All the noise, noise, noise, noise!”), be smart and let’s get out house-hunting.  You CAN start growing your personal wealth through real estate this Christmas!
Kathy Suffel is a North Shore REALTOR® with Sutton West Coast Realty.  She is an Accredited Buyers Representative®, and is also certified to provide Seniors Real Estate Services®.

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Dana Smithers - PRES Staging Resource Center



If you are planning on taking part as one of our fabulous SWAN SHOWCASE vendors in November I’d like to share some of my TOP TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SHOWCASE. Over the years I have participated in hundreds of tradeshows in both the corporate and in the entrepreneurial world.  Participating in tradeshows can be a very profitable marketing tactic if it’s done well!


  • Arrive early so that you have plenty of time to set up and get organized – if you need someone to help you set up make sure they arrive early as well
  • Bring lots of positive, contagious exciting energy and set your intention before you arrive
  • Make a checklist of everything you need to bring with you
  • Create an attractive display – we supply a white table cloth but you can decorate anyway you like
  • Have an exciting gift as your PRIZE  - something attendees would like to win (think ‘women’)
  • Have a box/bag/bowl where attendees can drop in their business card
  • Have lots of great marketing materials – business cards, post cards, flyers, SWAN specials, etc.
  • Bring some cash and put together a float to make change for anyone wanting to purchase your services
  • Wrapped candies are always a nice treat - women like chocolate

And once the showcase event is over…be sure to FOLLOW UP with everyone who showed an interest in what you have to offer! Best way to do this is through a Thank You email, a Send Out Card or even a phone call thanking them for stopping by at your table.

PS Several years ago I wrote 7 Steps to a Successful Trade Show mainly for home stagers yet most of the information applies for anyone participating in a tradeshow.


Dana J. Smithers, President of SWAN Network has been an entrepreneur for over 10 years. She is a published author, has appeared regularly on television, international radio, podcasts and is considered one of Canada’s home staging experts. As a Law of Attraction ‘Gap Closer’ business success coach, she loves sharing her experience and all the tools that have helped her create a 6 figure income.  She is passionately committed to inspiring and empowering other women entrepreneurs She invites you to sign up to receive her Law of Attraction e-newsletter at Empowered Women in Business for her real-life ‘How To’ Tips to attract what you truly want in your magnificent life whether you are in startup or stuck mode.

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Five Ways to Support a Friend or Family Member Who is Experiencing Violence

Every so often, the news covers a story about women who experienced violence in their intimate relationships or were murdered by their intimate—or former—partner. Yet there are many more cases that most often go unreported or unrecognized.

We can more easily identify examples of relationship violence if we know it takes many forms, including:

  • Physical assault: hitting, punching, choking, etc.
  • Sexual assault: any forced sexual contact
  • Threats: e.g. threats to harm the woman, her children and pets, and/or other family members
  • Emotional abuse: insults, intimidation, neglect, control, isolation, etc.
  • Financial abuse: e.g. withholding, stealing, or controlling money
  • Murder

(Source: Ending Violence Association of BC)

Many of us might have a friend or family member that is experiencing violence in an intimate relationship. Here are five ways that we can support a friend or family member who is going through relationship abuse:

1. Listen to and validate her experiences in a non-judgmental manner  
Listening patiently to what your friend is going through in a non-judgmental manner is the first step to supporting her. Instead of denying, blaming, or downplaying, be sure to validate her experiences and understand her needs. Often times, it takes more than one attempt for a woman to leave an abusive relationship. There are many reasons why, but the following are some examples:
She may be financially dependent on him. Women’s income usually decreases after a relationship ends, and many women face extreme poverty.
The abuser may have threatened to harm her, her children, other family members, and/or pets if she leaves. He may have threatened to commit suicide or kidnap her children.
Violence often continues even after a relationship has ended, through ongoing emotional and physical abuse, stalking, or protracted custody and access disputes.
(Source: Ending Violence Against Women of BC)

2. Familiarize yourself regarding the dynamics of healthy versus abusive relationships, cycles of abuse, and resources for support
Being well-informed and understanding the dynamics of abusive relationships and cycle of abuse is very important. Take a look and compare the power wheel diagrams for a healthy relationship based on equality and abusive relationship based on power and control.  For a list of resources and programs and services for women who are experiencing violence and abuse, take a look at the North Shore Women’s Centre’s online directory.

3. If she decides to leave, help her to create a safety/exit plan
When she decides to leave, there are many things to prepare. Be aware that violence often worsens when a woman attempts to leave the relationship. Help her come up with a practical safety plan using the Fact Sheet: Safety Planning for Women.

4. Offer concrete ways to support her
Being there for your friend and offering concrete ways to help her is also a great way to offer support.  For example:

  • Helping to store belongings
  • Looking after children
  • Providing transportation and/or accompaniment to errands or appointments

5. Establish your own boundaries and methods for self-care
Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the situation and burn yourself out.  Remind yourself that you cannot "rescue" your friend, but you can provide support. You also need to look out for your own safety if you are supporting someone who is at high risk of experiencing relationship violence, and set limits for what you can give.

Please consider assisting the North Shore Women’s Centre to continue offering support to women and their families by joining us for our 40th Anniversary Fundraising Gala on Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 7:00-10:00pm at the stunning new Gordon Smith Gallery for Canadian Art. The event will be an elegant, fun and memorable gala celebration featuring local wine, cheese, and chocolate tastings alongside music, prizes, and a silent auction. One hundred percent of proceeds raised will go to the North Shore Women’s Centre’s programs and services. For more information: www.northshorewomen.ca. To purchase tickets: http://northshorewomen.ticketleap.com/40th-anniversary-fundraising-gala/.

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SWAN Executive



Two Frequently Asked Questions about SWAN

by Your SWAN Executive

The Executive continues to make changes to improve your SWAN experience.  Here are two commonly asked questions we receive:

Why join SWAN, when I could just attend as a guest?

Whether you are a prospective new member, or have a membership coming up for renewal, here are the member benefits to consider. They are all part of your $95 annual SWAN membership:

  • Business networking at monthly events, promoting your products and services
  • Business support from North Shore women who support you and your business
  • Preferred rates at meetings and other SWAN social functions
  • Professional keynote speakers sharing smart business ideas and offering new ways to grow your business
  • Generously discounted ‘Special Offers’ from our professional keynote speakers to help you grow your business
  • Business and member profiles listed in the SWAN Member Directory
  • Access to preferred advertising rates in a local newspaper
  • Business exposure in the SWAN Member Spotlight profile
  • Conversations, blogs and interviews posted on the SWAN News and website
  • Business promotion through SWAN Social Media sites
  • Members’ annual Shopping and Showcase of products and services
  • Member events and notices posted on the SWAN monthly bulletin board
  • Creating opportunities to establish relationships outside of business; collaborating to keep the creativity flowing - PRICELESS!

Becoming a member in a great organization and community like SWAN has immense value on other levels, as well.  It’s a great antidote to the isolation we can sometimes feel as business owners. When you make the commitment to membership, there is a pull to attend meetings and participate that is much stronger than having a casual relationship with the group. Simply by coming out each month, your relationships will grow with other members -- who understand the challenges you face as a business owner – and with whom you can exchange wisdom and resources.

In life and in business, we transact with people we know, like and trust. As a member of SWAN, regularly attending our meetings, you can quickly build a new network of trusted business partners and friends.  Membership fosters a sense of belonging, while increasing your visibility in the North Shore business community.

You will be contributing to the ongoing improvement and success of the SWAN network. SWAN uses the money from memberships to keep our events affordable and when necessary we subsidize many events so that everyone can attend. We give generously to our local charities through fundraising events such as the SWAN golf tournament and our November Show Case event.

Having a strong membership base is the cornerstone to all of this. So we hope you will consider joining and becoming an integral part of this dynamic and unique women’s group!

Why do I need to pre-register for SWAN meetings and why does it cost more if I don’t pre-register?

The Executive requires advance notice of numbers in order to ensure that enough food is provided and that the room is set up to accommodate the numbers who come.  While there will always be some drop-ins, it is essential to have a close-to-accurate head-count prior to meetings, as Cheers requires advance notice on the food and set-up. The failure to make accurate predictions results in not enough food and coffee (which is upsetting to those attending) OR paying for more food than we have received payment for.

This reduced fee for pre-registration acts as an incentive to get those confirmed numbers in advance and it offers a significant saving to members who plan ahead. (See the SWAN website for details:  http://swannetwork.com/events-2-2/swan-rsvp/ Pre-registration closes at 11:45pm of the Monday prior to the SWAN meeting.)

A pre-registration and drop-in rate is a policy of most networking meetings, along with the no-refund policy if you don’t show.  As volunteers, the Executive’s ability to make quick and accurate predictions of expected attendance is critical to both their time-effectiveness and a great SWAN meeting experience for everyone.

Thanks for helping SWAN (and saving yourself some money in the process) by pre-registering in advance!

Visit your SWAN website for more information www.swannetwork.com


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Dana Smithers - PRES Staging Resource Center



You are not alone if you are struggling with charging what you think you are worth and/or raising your rates. Your 'negative money story' may be causing you blocks towards attracting abundance. I know that if you follow these 7 steps you will attract more money because you will see your true value.



    Every result starts with a single thought. Your thoughts are energy and negative thoughts carry a very low vibration -- keep thinking those thoughts and you will continue to attract clients you don't want and people around you who also have a negative mindset. Every time a negative thought enters your consciousness -- STOP IT! and look for evidence in your life where you can turn that into a positive thought. Showing gratitude for what is working in your business carries one of the highest vibrations so practice that daily. Reread your client testimonials if you need a reminder about how much of a difference you made to someone!
    Have you determined how much money you want to make? We all have our unique definition of success and money is usually one of those measurements. Believe it or not, most people do not have a set goal of what they want to earn in the year. Set your monthly goal and your weekly goal. Take a look at how much time in the year you want to take off and factor that in. Be realistic and set your prosperity meter.
    You may not be acknowledging just how fantastic your services are. Look at the monetary and emotional gain your clients achieve by the work that you do. What you have to offer meets a need that someone else has -- or you may be the solution to their problem or some salve to their pain. If you are not valuing what you are doing, no one else will. And if you really don’t see the value of your work – please find something else to do that you are passionate about and that meets a need. We are all here to serve and use our gifts to make changes in the world.
    It is most important to know what you want and focus on this and quit grumbling about what you don't want!  You attract into your life whatever you put your attention, energy and focus on, whether wanted or unwanted. Your thoughts lead to your feelings and your feelings lead to your actions and your actions lead to your results. Take some time and set some goals about the number of clients you want to have, the money you want to make, the number of hours you want to work in a week and the time off you want to have for your family or just for yourself. Be very specific and realistic and then 'allow' this to come into your life. Notice every single time you get the smallest evidence that you are getting what you want and you will get more of it.
    It is good to start with an hourly rate but you can make more money by creating packages – usually 3 and start with your basic package and expand from here. It's a good idea to make a list of your 'Standard Services' and then create a list for your 'Value Added Services'. Give each package a memorable name and keep your client groups in mind. Start by offering your lowest price package first and then continue to add ‘value’ services to what meets your clients’ needs. As a business coach for women in small business I offer 3 packages that my clients can choose from and I also love to ‘throw in a few freebies’ that are not discounting my services. This could be a ‘free report’ or an ‘ebook’ – something that took time to create once and yet I can use it over and over. Value is all about perception so make sure you know what is 'valued' in your market by asking your clients.
    Many of us cannot make a bold claim that we have the ‘cure all’ but we all do have some form of guarantee that says we will provide the services we offer to the best of our ability. With products it is standard to offer a 90 day guarantee, but for services make some kind of guarantee that assures clients you are not a ‘fly by night business’ and you will honour your commitment to the service you are providing. When I am coaching women I cannot guarantee that they will double or triple their business yet I can guarantee that they will shift their business in a positive direction if they implement what we have discussed to move them forward. Use your clients’ testimonials to offer social proof that they have achieved what you promised to deliver to them.
    Now that you have a better understanding of how your own thoughts were holding you back take some time to set your new rates. Start with how much you want to make annually and work backwards from that to your monthly and weekly sales targets. For you to raise your rates you need to look at the evidence that you have about the value that you have been giving your clients. You also need to give your clients a reason that you are raising your rates so think about what 'extra value' you can give them. It may be as straight forward as you becoming so much better at what you do as you have gained more experience and/or more training. Let your older clients know you are raising your rates and say nothing to your new clients – just tell them the rates. You may decide to leave some of your 'preferred' long-term client rates for a longer period of time and let them know this. When it is time for the new rates for them they will have had a price break already!


Dana J. Smithers, President of SWAN Network has been an entrepreneur for over 10 years. She is a published author, has appeared regularly on television, international radio, podcasts and is considered one of Canada’s home staging experts. As a business success coach, she loves sharing her experience and all the tools that have helped her to create 3 successful start-up businesses. She is passionately committed to inspiring and empowering other women entrepreneurs whether they are in start up or stuck mode. She is in the process of updating her website ‘Empowered Women In Business’ and can be reached at either Dana@PresStaging.com or Coaching@DanaSmithers.com


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Monica Noel


Monica Noel
Mary Kay Cosmetics


When looking good and feeling better really counts

Having been a part of Mary Kay cosmetics for over 30 years, I’ve learned that when we as women put on a little lipstick or some blush we instantly feel better. This becomes even more important when women are faced with a cancer diagnosis and are undergoing treatment.

Although the effects that the treatment often has on the skin and the hair are temporary, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with it emotionally.  This is where the Look Good Feel Better program comes in.

The Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CCTFA) Foundation have been empowering women through this charitable program for over 20 years.  Since Sept 1992, over 130,000 women who have been diagnosed with cancer have participated in the program.

Through a report “Lives Affected by Cancer”, 800 women across Canada who have been diagnosed with cancer were surveyed and the results showed that over 50% of them do not feel supported in their cancer journey.  The LGFB program aims to support women through this difficult time by boosting their morale.

The program is a free 2 hour hands-on workshop that comes complete with a complimentary cosmetic and personal care kit.  At the workshop women with cancer learn simple cosmetic techniques, nail and skin care tips, cosmetic hygiene and hair alternatives, to help them look a little more like themselves again.

As a volunteer for the last 7 years, my job is to facilitate the program and work with my team to make sure each woman that participates, leaves with extra knowledge, resources and of course has enjoyed a fun evening with other women going through similar experiences.

In 2010 the CCTFA Foundation launched their Facing Cancer Together program, whose first initiative was as an online community, www.FacingCancer.ca.  This website allows women with cancer and those connected to them an opportunity to share their stories and find support in others who may be experiencing similar journeys.

Almost all of us know of someone who has had cancer or is going through treatment right now.  We are all affected by it in some way.  By spreading the word that these resources are available, you’ll be helping these women feel uplifted and supported.

Who would have thought that a little bit of lipstick could do so much good!

Monica Noel is an Independent Mary Kay Sales Director, offering women complimentary skin care & makeover sessions and heartfelt customer service, as well as enriching the lives of women through the Mary Kay business opportunity.

604 986-1711


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