44 search results for “Lauren Marinigh”

10 Incredibly Inspiring Quotes from Extraordinary Women

10 Incredibly Inspiring Quotes from Extraordinary Women

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Inspirational and fearless females that are kicking butt in their careers and in life surround us, and everyone needs a little dose of motivation every now and then. Here are ten quotes from some of those dynamo ladies.

1. Barbara Corcoran on success

“The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.”

Barbara is businesswoman, investor, speaker, consultant, author and television personality on Shark Tank.

 2. Arianna Huffington on failure

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes—understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” 

Arianna is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post.

3. Sarah Blakely on competition 

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”

Sarah is a businessperson and founder of Spanx, an American intimate apparel company.

4. Mary Anne Radmacher on courage

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

Mary Anne is an author and artist and conducts workshops on living a full, creative, balanced life.

5. Michelle Obama on realizing your importance

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

Michelle Obama is lawyer, writer, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States.

6. Oprah Winfrey on living your life

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” 

Oprah is a talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist.

7. Estee Lauder on selling 

“I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.”

Estee Lauder was a businesswoman who co-founded Estee Lauder Companies with her husband. She was the only lady in Time magazine’s 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century.

8. Debbi Fields on pursuing your passion

“What I wanted was to be allowed to do the thing in the world that I did best—which I believed then and believe now is the greatest privilege there is. When I did that, success found me.”

Debbi is the founder and spokesperson of Mrs. Fields Bakeries, as well as a writer.

9. Sheryl Sandberg on leadership

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” 

A technology executive, activist and author, Sheryl is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook.

10. Rosabeth Moss Kanter on innovation

“To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings.”

Rosabeth is a business professor at Harvard and director and chair of the Harvard University Advanced Learning Initiative.

About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

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3 Ways to Improve Your Online Presence

3 Ways to Improve Your Online Presence

Your online presence is important to build a brand for yourself and your business as it can help with spreading brand awareness, which ultimately leads to potential customers and leads.

But where do you start when building your online presence? For starters, it’s important to remember that building your identity online is an ongoing process and it isn’t something that will happen over night and definitely isn’t something that once you’ve established a presence, you can forget about it and move on to the next thing. Here are just some things you can do to help establish yourself (and your brand) online.

1. Blog Your Way to Influence

Maybe this isn’t the best option if you don’t know how to formulate your thoughts and tips into written word, but blogging can have huge benefits on building your authority online. Blogging can also establish you as a thought leader in your industry too if it makes sense for your brand. For example, if you have things you could be blogging about, start a blog on your website. This will help draw new visitors to your website and keep people coming back for more, not to mention that it also shows that your business (or you) have something valuable to offer and share.

If you aren’t confident that you can provide enough content to your own blog to make it valuable, think about guest blogging on other people’s websites that may have the same audience as you. For example, if you are a retailer selling products for children, maybe you’ll reach out to a mommy blogger who is looking for guest posts. This can be a great way to get your brand out there and reach your audience in a new way.

Tip: Remember, if you’re going to build a blog, you need to be consistent with posting. Build out a content/posting calendar and stick to it! You should at least be blogging once a week to start out.

2. Be a Social Butterfly

Social media is meant to be social. Surprise! If you have social media accounts for your business, make sure you build out a strategy and are consistently using these channels. Even if your audience is small to start, the only way to build it up is to be consistent. Also, don’t forget to follow people and join in on conversations in your space. For example, if you’re a restaurant located in Montreal, interact with foodies or food bloggers in the city through Twitter, this can help you gain exposure through other peoples networks.

Don’t forget to also use your personal social media channels. Many entrepreneurs seem to think that their business channels can also act as their personal accounts, but in reality, having your own personal account is valuable too. A business account shows your brands personality (if done the right way) and doesn’t allow much room for sharing your personality. Using your personal account can help establish you as an influencer in your industry and also put a face to your business.

3. Optimize for Search

SEO or search engine optimization doesn’t need to be that gibberish language that web developers talk that an average person would never be able to understand. In fact, there are things you could be doing right now to improve your SEO without having to hire an expert. For starters, publishing relevant content on your website (aka blogging regularly) is one thing that can help you become more authoritative to Google and make the search engines happy.

Another simple solution for those that don’t want to break their website (or the bank) is to see if there is a simple plug-in you can download with your content management system. These can allow you to easily plug in the data that will make you rank higher in Google overtime without having to mess with the backend (and scary side) of your website. For example, Wordpress offers several plug-ins but the most popular is Yoast that essentially almost does all the work for you.

Your online presence is critical in 2016. This is how your customers will not only find you but also build an impression of you and your business. Make sure you’re building one that you’re proud of!


About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

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4 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting a Business

4 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting a Business

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Starting a business can be full of highs and lows. No matter how prepared you think you are before starting up, you can’t avoid the many learning curves that lie ahead. Wouldn’t it be great to be two steps ahead of these challenges?

I spoke with Daniel Lewis, an entrepreneur based in Brampton, Canada, who started his own tea business, T By Daniel. Daniel shared with me the top things he wished he knew before starting his business, so he didn’t have to learn these lessons the hard way.

1. I wish I knew how important it is to have a REAL accountant!

A common mistake many entrepreneurs face when starting out is that they believe that they are capable of doing it all. It’s okay not to be an expert in everything and to accept help from others, and with finances being so important to not just a new business, but any business, this is a place where you shouldn’t cut corners.

“When I first started T By Daniel, it felt more like a really cool hobby rather than a business, therefore I didn’t see the need to hire an accountant or have someone responsible for my finances,” Daniel explained. Daniel found himself trying his best to keep track of his expenses but before he knew it, T By Daniel was taking off and growing and he began to lose grip of his finances all together. “After two years and thousands of dollars in sales and expenses, I was forced to fork up a ton of money to bring in an accountant to help rectify and make sense out of it all.”

2. I wish I understood how to price my products & services properly.

How do you really know your worth, and make sure you are not only breaking even but also making profit? This is a common question entrepreneurs have when starting out, especially since they don’t want to overprice and not make sales, but don’t want to lose money either. 

“I figured if I purchased the tea for a certain amount then all I had to do was sell it for a little more—maybe twice or three times the amount—whatever, as long as I wasn’t losing money,” Daniel shared his initial thoughts on pricing. What Daniel wasn’t accounting for in his original pricing was the water to make the tea, the tea bag to steep it in, the cup, the lid, and the labour, all of which went into making a single cup of tea. “This mistake caused me to have to change our pricing three times since launching.”

3. I wish I really understood the level of commitment that comes with personal branding.

When starting T By Daniel, Daniel decided he wanted to make himself the face of his brand. With his funky style, he was going to put his face and name on the packaging. From this, people started falling in love with the brand, and this meant that Daniel behind T By Daniel had to always be at the front of the line of work. “I could never again be found not working,” Daniel said. “When customers, followers and tea drinking fans see me in the grocery story, the doctors office, or even worse, sitting in a coffee shop, I receive all kinds of comments.”

Daniel quickly learned the importance of branding for your business, and personal branding, and now realizes the tremendous effect it can have on your overall business success. Branding is important, but he’s learned the hard way that your personal brand includes your personal life and although it can be fun, it means it’s hard to separate yourself from work or take a break.

4. I wish I kept my 9-5 job until I was personally debt free.

It can be tough to balance your new business venture and a full-time career, but when you’re just starting your business, this is often necessary in order to make ends meet. When Daniel realized his calling of becoming a tea retailer, he quit he job instantly. “I couldn’t spend another day building someone else’s dream when all I could do is fantasize about my own,” he said. 

“In some sense this was the greatest move for me, as it automatically tossed me into the grind where I was forced to make it work. However, on the other side I had little to no start-up money to put into my business and the little money that I did have, I had to use to pay down my personal debt.” Because of this, the process of starting and building a business was completely slowed down, preventing Daniel from putting very much money towards T By Daniel. Even when the business started generating income, he was using that money to catch up on debt that was putting everything at risk. Looking back, he wishes he better utilized his guaranteed paychecks from his 9-5 to help him scale his business more effectively.

No matter how much planning you do, or how qualified in the industry you are, you can’t avoid the learning curves and lessons you’ll get when starting your own business. The path to a successful business is different for everyone, and the most important part of hitting a roadblock, is that you problem solve and find a way to overcome it.


About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

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4 Tips for Running a Business That’s On The Move

4 Tips for Running a Business That’s On The Move

Starting a business involves finding the perfect location. One that will be in the heart of where your customers are, and one that has everything you need to be successful. But at the end of the day, choosing a location is always a gamble, and one that is easily avoided by those starting mobile businesses like food trucks.

Mobile businesses allow for you to have the ultimate location because you can change it when something just isn’t working. Think of it like a pop-up shop, but more cost effective because your space is your truck. There’s also the benefit of having an easier to maintain business location, although a mechanic can be expensive, it can be cheaper than repairing a major water issue, or making sure the air conditioner is working for your customers.

Because of these benefits, and of course a few more, mobile businesses are becoming more and more popular. Gone are the days of only seeing ice cream trucks, in 2016 we’ve seen almost every kind of food truck we can imagine, and we’ve even seen businesses like In Pursuit Mobile Boutique which asides from having an online store, also runs a mobile retail establishment.

After spotting her first fashion truck in Boston, In Pursuit owner and operator, Dominique Leger had bells and whistles go off. “When you’re mobile, you’re in control. You get to go where the people are, there’s no waiting around and hoping they come to you,” she explained. But even though starting a mobile business comes with its many benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges, many of which, Dominique has had to learn the hard way. So here are her tips for those wanting to go mobile to help get you started on the right foot.

Know the rules

As a mobile retailer, rules and regulations will be the number one thing that stand in your way and they’re different everywhere you go. Dominique suggests reaching out to whoever you can that can give you the best understanding of the by-laws and regulations in your community. “This will ultimately make or break you,” she stressed. “You could have the coolest boutique concept in the world, but if you can’t open your doors when you park your truck, no one will be able to share your passion with you.”

Build a community

Dominique calls her customers “truck girls” and treats them like they’re her best friends. Without customers you wouldn’t have a business, so make them your most important piece to your company’s puzzle and let their feedback guide your business. Dominique has a 24/7 policy with In Pursuit which means that even if her truck isn’t open, customers can still find her products online and order them. She even offers emergency roadside service for those that can’t make it to the truck while it’s popped up and want to try something on. In a competitive world, it can be hard to stand out, so offering something unique can be what differentiates you from all the rest.

Don’t be afraid of trial and error

Look at problems as opportunities, as this will force you to think outside the box and come up with interesting solutions on how to make things better the next time. Everything isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Chances are, after a couple years in business, your business isn’t going to look the same as your original plans, and that’s okay. So learn from failures, try new things, and ask for feedback to help you adapt and grow.

Keep it unique


It’s easy to be swayed by what other people are doing, but it’s important to remember to be yourself and stay true to your vision. “Make sure to remind yourself of your why often, especially when you’re feeling like you’re heading off track or need motivation,” Dominique advised. What makes your business unique is what’s going to draw in customers and make you stand out from what everyone else is doing.

For Dominique, it may have taken almost a year and half to finally get an okay from her city to set up shop on the move in her community, but she didn’t let that stop her. With doing her research, staying true to her vision and idea, and being persistent, she made her business into a success on wheels.

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5 Challenges all Entrepreneurs Must Overcome to Be Successful

5 Challenges all Entrepreneurs Must Overcome to Be Successful

They say that a part of success can be determined by your mindset, and sometimes when we look at successful people, we forget about the many tears, hardships and roadblocks they may have had to overcome to get them to where they are today. But what sets some of the world’s most successful people apart from others is their ability to overcome these obstacles and push through even when everything seems to be going against them. The fears and challenges listed below are common among most of us, but to truly reach our full potential of success, we have to overcome them.

But what sets some of the world’s most successful people apart from others is their ability to overcome these obstacles and push through even when everything seems to be going against them. The fears and challenges listed below are common among most of us, but to truly reach our full potential of success, we have to overcome them.

1. Criticism

One of the biggest mistakes people make is worrying too much about what others think of them, their business or their ideas. Instead of letting this criticism just roll off our shoulders or taking it as a way to improve, we let it stop us from moving forward and doing things we believe in.

Successful people use criticism and haters to fuel them instead of taking it to heart. Although feedback and criticism can be valuable when given constructively, it also has a way of knocking us down and second guessing ourselves. Grow thick skin, and push through even when others tell you not too. Imagine how great it will feel when you prove them wrong.

2. Failure

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, we all fear failure, because nobody wants to fail. Our natural instincts are to be successful, and to avoid failing or making mistakes, we constantly find ourselves asking the age old question of: “What if?” If we concentrate our energy on thinking about all the things that could go wrong, we often lose sight of all the things that could go right.

Successful people don’t concentrate on failure. Instead, they concentrate on success. Even though everyone will make mistakes and have roadblocks along the way, instead of dwelling on it, they reflect, learn from it, and move on.

3. Offending Others

The other day I was reading an article on how our generation needs to stop being offended by everything. We live in a world where people are always finding something to be offended about, and with the accessibility of reaching a wide audience on places like social media with our opinions, people are becoming more vocal than ever. But the worst thing you can do is to sit back in silence, or stop yourself from doing something you believe in because it might offend someone else.

If you want to find success, especially in entrepreneurship, you need to stop being so afraid of what other people think. If you work solely to try and impress everyone, you’re fighting an impossible battle.

4. The Past and the Future

You can’t change the past and you can’t control the future. Once you realize this, you are setting yourself up for success. Living in the present moment will not only allow you to make the best of life, but also set you up for success. You can’t focus on being successful today if your mind is constantly thinking ahead or behind.

Successful people make peace with their past and look at it as a part of you that will help create your future. They also embrace the uncertainty of their future, because constantly looking ahead will only prevent them from living in the moment.

5. Negativity

You have two choices in life—to either sit around and complain when something doesn’t go as planned, or pick yourself up, brush off the dirt, and keep moving forward. Getting hung up or complaining about how things could have been or should have been won’t get you anywhere. I always like to say that you can’t complain about something that you have the ability to change.

Successful people don’t sit around and feel sorry for themselves because something didn’t go their way, instead they look at what they are grateful for and radiate positivity, even when it may feel like they are faking it until they make it. They don’t have room for negative people in their life, or to be negative themselves.

So I challenge you—will you let yourself be overcome with the above challenges, or will you overcome them yourself?


About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

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5 Habits That Help You Learn Faster

5 Habits That Help You Learn Faster

Your brain is one of the most important parts of your body, but we’ve likely all had times where it’s failed us when it comes to memory. How many times do you recognize someone’s face but can’t remember their name or where you know them from? And as we get older, we often find it hard to absorb information like we were able to before, especially when we’re trying to learn something new.

But I have good news! There’s ways to train your brain to not only help you better remember things, but also learn faster. Here are five things you can incorporate into your learning that help. 

1. Adjust your learning environment

We all have developed times of the day where we find learning and productivity is at an all time high. We also all know too well what it’s like to feel like it’s not humanly possible to focus, or shove anything else into our brains. This is because we have biological rhythms for our mental state. So in order to be the most effective when learning, you need to identify those times you do your best learning.

How? Start tracking these times throughout a week to help identify high and low points in your week and what your environment was at the time. This will help you identify patterns. From there, you’ll be able to figure out the best times for you to be at your best.

2. Take notes

Taking notes helps our brains remember and analyze information we are learning. And no, this doesn’t mean making notes on your computer; we’re talking about the classic, old school hand written notes.

With writing we are forced to make quicker judgments about the information we are hearing, where as when we type, we often aren’t thinking about or processing the information since we type faster. So start taking notes in meetings, classes, webinars, etc. to allow yourself to absorb more information.

3. Exercise your brain

Just like the rest of our bodies, your brain also needs exercising. Start by forcing yourself to learn something new or even utilize technology in a way that works in your favour. Technology is famously known as the solution to help us think less, but in reality, it can also help our brains too. Several apps exist out there that will challenge our brains and keep us healthy like Lumosity and BrainHQ.

4. Get out of your routine
 

Doing the same thing day after day reduces the brains ability, but when we challenge ourselves to get out of our routine and do something different, our brain reacts in a different way too. Your brain will begin to wire new pathways and help you do new things better and faster. For example, if you’re a procrastinator, the more you don’t procrastinate, your brain will change its ways and not want to wait last minute to make things happen. Remember, starting small is critical in making these sorts of changes.

5. Watch your diet

Eating foods that contain protein and fiber make your mind healthier. Food like fish, fruit and vegetables will all help you perform optimally and helps boost and produce dopamine, which assists in learning and memory. Avoid foods like juice, cheese, white rice, as these contain saturated fats and sugar. 

You need to stop blaming your terrible memory on your brain, and start trying things like the five habits above to help boost your brains functionality, which in turn will help you learn and absorb more!


About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

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5 Habits That Make You Unlikeable in the Workplace

5 Habits That Make You Unlikeable in the Workplace

You can’t live your life in hopes that everyone is going to like you, we all know that, but at the same time, as humans, we naturally want people to like us. But what if you’re doing things without realizing it that are making you unlikeable? Here are some of the most common things you may be doing that’s rubbing others the wrong way.   

1. Bragging

Regular bragging can be pretty obvious, you likely know when you are trying to show off or are saying things that come off as being self-centered, but humble bragging is a whole other ball game. For example, joking about how people recognize you in real life from social media, to show off just how popular you are or how many followers you have. People catch on to humble bragging, and you can’t mask bragging this way because they’ll see right through it.

2. Being too serious

No matter what your job is, your goals or your passions, being too serious and taking life too seriously makes it hard for people to really see the human side of you, which in turn, makes it hard to like you. Yes, there is a time and place for seriousness, but you can’t take life too seriously.

Likeable people can balance fun and seriousnesss, they get things done, but also can be personable and let things go. Do you notice people joking around and having fun with others but not you? Maybe it’s because they don’t feel they can have that sort of relationship with you.

3. Complaining

We all are guilty of complaining about different things in our lives outside and inside of work, but complaining too much, especially to the same people, can be dangerous. You don’t want people to see you as being the person who is never happy and always complaining, and that can often come when you are always venting and complaining around the same people.

Start paying attention to how many negative things or complaints you are saying each day. If you notice that one of the first things that comes to mind is negative about a person or situation, this usually means other people have noticed too.

4. Gossiping

Being someone who talks about others behind their back is a dangerous act, and one that will likely make you less likeable and less trustworthy. If you are someone who acts like you like someone, and then behind your back talks about them to others in a negative way, how do you expect anyone to trust that you’re not doing the same with them? Soon you’ll realize that you’re pushing people away by doing this, so do yourself a favour, and keep these thoughts to yourself.

5. Not having an open mind

Closed-minded people don’t get very far in life. Open-minded people are approachable and more interesting to others. I mean, who wants to talk to someone who is so set in their ways, isn’t open to hearing out others or trying new things, and already has opinions on everything? In the workplace especially, being approachable is a big strength, it brings new ideas to the table and makes people feel they can ask for help. So quit passing judgment on everyone and their options and start with an open-mind that is ready to listen.

No one wants to be unlikeable, so start paying more attention to your actions that may be turning other people away from you.


About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

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5 of the Best Pitches from ABC’s Shark Tank

5 of the Best Pitches from ABC’s Shark Tank

Shark Tank first premiered in 2009 and has taken the start-up world by storm as fans watch pitch after pitch of incredible (and not so incredible) businesses, all hoping to land a deal with an investor. The panel of shark’s includes Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec and in later seasons, Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner.

Over the many years of the show, the sharks have seen several amazing pitches that struck many deals, but these five were some that have stood out.

1. Kisstixx

In season three, Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo pitched their innovative lip balm to the sharks. Presenting the problem that we all know too well, having chapped lips, combined with the gross taste of chapstick, does not make you too kissable.

This pair created Kisstixx, lip balm that comes in two compatible flavours that create a chemical reaction between the kissing pairs. They even got O’Leary and Corcoran to kiss during their pitch to show them just how it worked. Turns out, the taste test worked, and the business partners landed a deal with Cuban for an investment of $200,000 for 40% of their company.

2. Breathometer

Founded by Charles Michael Yim, Breathometer was the first to get all five sharks in the tank in on a deal. Breathometer is a breathalyzer for your smartphone. When all sharks jumped on the product, Yim told them that regardless of what happened he was going to be looking to raise $1 million in the following two months and was happy to get more than one shark in on the deal.

After hesitation, and a bidding war, eventually Cuban agreed to invest $500,000 for 15% equity and John, O’Leary, Greiner, and Herjavec split another 14% for $125,000 each.

3. Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs

Al “Bubba” Baker made his Shark Tank debut in season five. The 1978 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year gave an impressive pitch of his business, Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs. The idea came to Baker when his wife wouldn’t prepare his favourite dish, ribs, because they were too messy and took too long. Desperate to be able to eat his favourite food, he created a boneless, pre-cooked alternative.

John loved the product and was quoted in Business Insider saying that for someone who built a career in fashion, he never expected his most profitable investment would be in a rib business. Baker walked away with a $300,000 deal in exchange for 30% equity in licensing and rights to his company.

4. Cousins Maine Lobster

Cousins, Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikies developed their idea for Cousins Maine Lobster when they realized the food truck industry that was taking over Los Angeles was missing tasty Maine traditions they both loved. From there, they pulled together their savings to create a food truck celebrating Maine.

Corcoran loved the high-energy, clear and concise pitch, combined with their ability to answer every question that was thrown their way like geniuses. Because of this, the cousins landed a deal with Corcoran for $55,000 in exchange for 15% of their company.

5. Lumio

Another one of the few entrepreneurs that had all five sharks fighting each other for the deal, Max Gunawan, founder of Lumio, a foldable lamp company, wowed the sharks with his pitch. Lumio is a multi-functional lamp that conceals itself in the form of a hardcover book and opens to 360 degrees.

Gunawan won over the sharks as he was trustworthy and dedicated to his product, after he explained that he spent four months living in a Chinese factory to ensure his products were high quality. The pitch ended up landing a deal with Herjavec for $350,000 in exchange for 10% equity.


About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

A lot of people don’t know whether or not they’re actually ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship. It can be hard and impossible to have everything figured out before jumping into starting your own business, but asking yourself these five questions can help you determine whether or not you’re ready.

1. What problem am I solving? 

What are you trying to solve with your business idea or product? If you can’t answer this question, you may want to go back and take a harder look at your idea. By having a business that solves a need, you’ll be creating something valuable for people.

The problem you are trying to solve may have to do with functionality, like a water bottle that keeps your water cold even if it’s in direct sunlight, but you can also be solving something less obvious like how FitBit lets you track your health on the fly and encourages people to get out walking more.

2. What makes me better?

What makes you better than your competition? Remember, everyone has competition in some way or another, even if it’s not directly obvious. Figure out what makes your product or service special. What makes it stand out from the rest?

For example, it could be where or how it’s made, the pricing, or a social responsibility aspect. Think about what it’s going to be that will make someone purchase your product over others? Always keep your answer top of mind in everything you do, especially in your marketing.

3. How much do I know about it?

You’re not going to be an expert in every aspect of business, but it is important to be an expert in your industry. For example, if you are opening a Mexican restaurant, you likely want to know everything there is to know about Mexican food, and have experience working in the restaurant/food industry.

Starting a business comes with a lot of learning curves, so being an expert and knowing as much as you can about your industry is critical in order to succeed.

4. How will I finance this?

We all know that starting a business requires money, and you are likely going to have to have a change in lifestyle going from a full-time career to starting from the ground up with your business. So before you jump in head first, work through your cash flow. How will you finance your business and what are your sales forecasts? Also take the time to explore all possible options for financing to figure out what works best for you, or maybe you’ll realize that starting a business just doesn’t make sense for you financially right now.

5. What is my exit strategy?

No one wants to start a business with the idea in their back of their head that they may fail, but it’s important to realize that failure is possible. Think about what defines failure to you and when you will know it’s time to give up. Would you regret taking the leap and risking it all if you failed? If the answer is no, then entrepreneurship may be the right path for you. 

Asking yourself these questions before jumping into entrepreneurship will help give you a better idea if you and your business idea is ready.


About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

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5 Signs You Need a Break from Work

5 Signs You Need a Break from Work

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With the evolution of technology in the workplace, it’s hard to shut ourselves off from work beyond when we leave the office for the day. We are tuned in 24/7, and although this is great in some sense, it also can be horrible for our own wellbeing.

We as humans need a break. We need to take time for ourselves, and we need to make time for those things we love in life, and no, even if you love your job, that doesn’t count. But how do you know when you’re long overdue for a break from work? Here are five telltale signs.

1. You can't sleep at night

Spending your evenings tossing and turning because you can’t shut off your brain and relax enough to fall asleep? It’s time for a break. When we’re constantly on the go and don’t have time to take a step back and regroup, or spend time on ourselves, we often find ourselves lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, running through a million things in our head that we have to do.

As adults, we need around eight hours of sleep every night to allow our brain to recharge and our body to repair itself. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you likely aren’t getting your best work done anyways, so take some time to let yourself catch up. Your body (and your work) will thank you for it.

2. You are lacking motivation

When our lives are go, go, go, and we lose touch with spending time on ourselves or finding a balance between work and life, we tend to be significantly unhappier. Unhappiness leads to loss of motivation, and a loss of motivation doesn’t do any good for yourself or your work.

If you find yourself dragging yourself out of bed to get to your job, where you don’t feel motivated to do anything every day, this doesn’t always mean you need a new job. In fact, it probably just means you need to take a break, regroup, have some time to reflect, and come back afterwards recharged and refreshed.

3. You don't have time for the things you enjoy

Work-life balance can be more important than you think. Having a balance between work and life helps not only motivate you in your job because you’re giving yourself time to just do you but also makes you a happier person. Taking time for yourself and things you enjoy is important and can help you be more productive in the hours you do spend at work.

Make time for the important things in your life like family, and exercise, and when I say make time, I don’t mean be on your phone working the whole time instead of being present in the now.

4. You're irritable

You start to realize that even the regular actions and behaviors of your colleagues are making your skin crawl and the thought of your day-to-day at work makes you moan with dissatisfaction. Your mood is notably grumpy even if nothing or no particular event has really happened to you.

This is a red flag that you need to get yourself on a plane or a beach, or somewhere that will allow you to regroup, and recharge. Overworking doesn’t help anyone or anything, and the last thing you want is to lose a job because you reacted to something in an unreasonable way. Do yourself a favour, use up those vacation days you have. They give them to you for a reason.

5. You constantly feel under the weather

We all get into that slump every now and then when the lack of sleep, motivation, and everything in between is just making us feel physically ill.

Do yourself a favour and make a list of the things you love and things you’d love to do and get done (outside of your work duties), commit to taking time off or finding time in your schedule to do these things for yourself. Remember that you need to take care of yourself, and life is too short to be unhappy. It’s amazing how doing something simple that we like can instantly change our perspective and mood.

So do yourself, and everyone else around you a favour, and put yourself and your health first for once and take a break.


About the Author

Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.

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