💡 Where Do the Best Ideas Come From? (and Check Out This NEW Event I’m Hosting!)

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Those sparks of inspiration can come from nowhere, and likely at the most obscure time, when we are doing a mundane task, or something completely out of scope from our work.
 
But, what do you do when you feel stuck, having exhausted all means of solving a problem?
 
This is a common problem, and I am often asked “where do your ideas come from?”
 
Ideas are bedfellows to intuition.  As we become more reliant on either, they appear more frequently.
 
Some of the best answers and ideas I’ve seen have come from brainstorming sessions with groups, or students.  Posing a problem to a group ignites a collective imagination, laser-focused on solutions to any problem.  
 
Napoleon Hill addresses the power behind Masterminds: A group of trusted individuals, coming together to solve problems, collectively.

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
— George Bernard Shaw

We are hosting a Mastermind Brainstorming session on June 14 - You're Invited!


This will be a facilitated Mastermind Brainstorming session, with only 24 people accepted in the first session. 
 
How to participate: 
Register – bring a problem you would like solutions and ideas on and have some fun! This may be the most inspiring, creative afternoon you’ve had in a while.

Here are the details: 
     Mastermind Brainstorming
     Date: June 14th
     Time: 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
     Cost: only $49+GST.
     Location: SPARK - #116, 2257 Premier Way , Sherwood Park, AB (See map by clicking here!

Registration closes on June 11th. 
Go here to register
(Remember there are limited spots so register soon!) 
 

🌷 Three Lessons from the Flower Counter 🌷

I was walking through the desert in Palm Springs last week, taking in the sun and beauty of a sparse landscape displayed in hues of brown. The only colour this landscape offered were occasional florals, in clusters of alstrameria and birds of paradise. Since we can’t grow these beauties here, my mind wandered back to the time when I owned my (unintentional) flower shop.

5 Keys to Unlock the Heart of Your Business

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🗝 Key 1. What is in it for them?

Operating a business is synonymous with being of service. The most successful businesses have a core value cemented in service and what they can do for their clients. I heard an entrepreneur say today, “I want 25 clients, that’s all I need and I’ll be good.   When we remember that the purpose of the business is to serve a need in the market, the emphasis is put back where it belongs; what can we do today to be of service to our customers?

🗝 Key 2.  Show them don’t tell them.

When I see a business card, or sign that states, “We provide quality Service” I want to giggle. What’s the alternative to that?  They would probably attract more attention if they said,

“Our service is getting better and better, thanks to your feedback”.

Consumers expect the best in quality, they assume they can trust you when you are running a business, and if you happen to go above and beyond, good for you, and good for them. You want them to brag about you. Do it, don’t say it.

🗝 Key 3.  What are you building from?

What values are important to you? When you build your business from the same set of values, you attract like-minded people, and customers that are like you. When you can articulate your values, you are one step closer to knowing your differentiator, regardless of your industry, and the number of competitors you have.

🗝 Key 4.  Share your authentic you.

Be yourself.   Long gone are the days of walking into a prospective client’s office and planting a bottle of scotch on their desk, hoping to create a connection, and a sale.  Business isn’t conducted like that any longer. If you read my last column, “Gossip from the Avenue”, I mentioned how gender biases and intimidation was used as a tool in some circles. 

Consumers want to do business with real people. Businesses want to work with genuine collaborators, and connectors. Authentic people get noticed.

🗝 Key 5. Love the shoes you’re in!

Do what you love, and love what you do. When we are consciously serving others by doing what we love, creativity flows freely, ideas present themselves along with opportunities, and we attract more of what we want.

Happy Valentine’s day,

Shauna

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Shauna Madsen has been an entrepreneur since 1988. She is a business planning and marketing specialist, an author, artist and specialty framer. Since 2005, she has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with their marketing strategies, business plans, as a coach, facilitator, mentor and designer.  She received international Gold and Platinum awards each year from 2011 to 2014 for creative excellence with the design and production of Womanition magazine. In 2017, she was honoured with the Womanition Supearlative Special Skills Award, and a Marcom International Gold award for the design and production of "Mentoring Women Leaders II", a compilation of stories by women in business, mentoring others to achieve success in business.

Gossip from the Avenue

Madsen Avenue works with clients to articulate their “why” and create a foundation for a strategic, authentic plan.  The first post in the series, Gossip from the Avenue,  Delain Witzaney shares her “why”, as a boudoir photographer.

 

Are Creepy Crawlers Causing a Distraction?

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How many ads do you see on Facebook with a promise to show you how to do something in your business that will earn you six or seven figures? Some of the online marketers say they have been down and out, lived in their car, or in the basement of their grandparents until they discovered the holy grail to online marketing?    There is a consistent flavour across most of these infomercials, one of “rags to riches”. It’s currently the flavour of the year, and it works for them because, there are so many entrepreneurs searching online for answers, unsure what to do next in their business.  

The infomercials are enticing. After all, who wouldn’t want to triple their revenue while they sleep.  

The noise gets louder if you do any online research. If you haven’t noticed the increase in the ads you see on Facebook after doing an online search, I invite you to try it out.  Some people think it’s a little spooky, or down right creepy. Those algorithms are creeping around back there, tracking every little thing you do, see, and search, and will also tell the creepy crawlers how long you’ve hovered over a certain paragraph on any page.

All the noise and infomercials become a distraction, and can lead you down a rabbit hole, eating up hours of your precious time -  time, you could have spent on the things that will work for you and your business.

How to avoid the distraction of the Creepy Crawlers.

Writing your strategic plan is a preventative and proactive measure.

When you know HOW you will accomplish what you want, you marketing plan is set, along with the action steps to make it happen.   

You will no longer be swayed by infomercials, or the snake-oil salesmen, disguised as the experts promising first position on Google.  You will know what you are doing in 2018.

The more you know about your business, your industry and what’s going on, opportunities present themselves – you see more because you have a new perspective on the world around you.

You position yourself to CREATE rather than COMPETE, because your offering aligns with YOUR personal values, and your company core values, you don’t need to compete. Your ideal clients buy your WHY before they buy what you are selling – making your offering unique.

If you spend the time planning your business now, 2018 will be your best year yet.

I’d love to hear about your business and what you’d like to accomplish. Please, give me a call. If there’s a fit, we can get you going on a plan for 2018.  You can sidestep the noise, avoid the distractions and move forward in a direction of your choosing.   

Happy Planning!

Shauna Madsen

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Shauna Madsen has been an entrepreneur since 1988. She is a business planning and marketing specialist, an author, artist and speciality framer. Since 2005, she has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with their marketing strategies, business plans, as a coach, facilitator, mentor and designer.  She received international Gold and platinum awards each year from 2011 to 2014 for creative excellence with the design and production of Womanition magazine. In 2017, she was honoured with the Womanition Supearlative Special Skills Award.