What Was I Thinking?

By Joanna Track

I love starting businesses. Yes, I do. While some people find that less palatable than root canal, for me, the inception is my sweet spot (see what I did there?). And the recent launch of my latest brain child, The Bullet, makes it my fourth time at this particular rodeo.

While I’ve relished in the adrenaline rush I get from developing the idea, bringing my team together (I’ve already got two Sweetspot alum back in the fold!), and breathing life into the concept, I can admit that there are moments when the words “What was I thinking???” are raging through my head (usually at 3am).

This is the voice inside of me that rolls all of my fears and insecurities into one lovely giant ball of anxiety. This is also the voice of the skeptics and naysayers. They (and I) want to know why I would put myself on the line again, take a chance, dance with potential failure, make more work for myself, and so on.

But then the more philosophical, mature self takes over and reminds me exactly what I was thinking, and feeling, when I decided to give it another shot (see what I did there?). And that is…

  • I needed to feel the love, again – While I’ve met some great people and done interesting work over the last three years at Good Eggs & Co., at times I felt like the overqualified water girl – very supportive, but not part of the action. I needed to flex my creative muscle and get back in the game!
  • I wanted to practice what I preach – I’ve spent over a decade building content platforms and strategies both for my own brands and for clients. I tell people that content development is not easy, but it’s simple. What does that mean? It means it’s not rocket science, but requires dedication, commitment and passion for a subject. So consider developing The Bullet kind of like a dare, to myself.
  • I like to be uncomfortable (for those of you who missed it, I came to this realization a while back). When I started Sweetspot I had never worked in digital or publishing, so I learned it. Now I find myself writing about the news. And I mean WRITING about the news. While I have an incredible team, I’m deeply involved. Why is this uncomfortable? Because I spent the early part of my life getting degrees and jobs that limited my requirement to string a sentence together (that may seem like an odd reason to major in mathematics, but it’s true).
  • I like to make things simple – in all of my businesses (and my experience as a tutor, and teacher) I find great joy in taking information and dishing it out in a fun, accessible and, hopefully, enjoyable way for my students/clients/friends. Think of it as part of my personal brand.

So here I am. Now I get up at 5:45am to watch and read the news, edit copy, update HTML, and send the Daily Bullet into the world. Could it be a colossal failure? Possibly. But I’ll survive. I’m still here, aren’t I?


5 Simple Steps for Putting Passion Back Into Your Business

By David Lester, Financial Coach & Good Eggs Ambassador

After working on your own business for a few years it’s easy to forget why you got into it in the first place.  Years of working all hours, passing on dinners out with friends or family time, and always being “on” it’s easy to lose some of your momentum.   But what’s a better cure for a lack of momentum than passion?  It’s what got you to start your business in the first place and can get you the “Go Go” juice to help you take it to the next level.  Here are FIVE ways you need to honestly ask yourself to bring your momentum back five fold.  Go grab and pen and paper and work through these questions with me.  I’ll wait for you to get a pen.  Ready?  Let’s get it.

  1. What will your ULTIMATE business look like when you have crafted it to perfection?  Will it generate millions of dollars?  Will you sell it off for millions of dollars?  Do you want it to be an annuity and be able to sip Bahama Mama’s by the beach while you business is on autopilot with a well trained staff?  How many people will it employ?  Describe it in colourful detail and feel your motivation coming back.  How much will you pay yourself and what level of revenue do I need to hit to be able to get that level of income or valuation to sell it for millions?!
  2. Why do you want that perfect business?  Is it to provide for your loved ones and family?  Is it to make a name for yourself in your chosen industry?  Is it to provide security for the future?  Ask yourself if you had your business in its perfect form, what would you really have?  Wisdom? Security? Freedom? More time to love your family? Education? A sense of peace? Is it something else?  Whichever value word gives you “sparks” when you read it, that’s why you are working on your business. Write the word on a business card and when you open your wallet it should always be there to remind you what is behind your passion and to keep going!
  3. What do you have to do next?  Find an open boardroom or move everyone off a big table at Starbucks (I do this all the time) and start plotting where you want to go with your business.  Take five pieces of paper and write “Year One, Two, Three, Four and Five” across the top of the paper.  Now take the piece of paper with “Year Five” on the top of it and write what you want your business to look like then.  What are your sales?  What are you selling and the break down?  What customers do you have?  Work backwards through the next five years.  It will train your brain what you have to do next to get your business firing on all cylinders.
  4. Budgeting for your success.  The three ways that companies fail are 1. Running out of money 2. Running out of money, or 3. Running out of money.  So don’t run out of money!  To reach your next level of success go through your expenses and cut anything that isn’t necessary.  Do you have lots of overheard?  Move to a cheaper place.  Do you have an expensive car that you don’t really need?  Get a one that does the same job but costs less or take the ever so efficient metro!  Are there ways to barter your services for other services?  Try to run your business for free and bank all of your savings.  There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you have an account for of cash for slower times.
  5. Put your Plan in Action!  Believe it or not after working through these questions with me you not only have a renewed passion BUT also have a new plan to implement.  Evaluate your plan with these final questions to work out the kinks.
  • Is your plan achievable?
  • Is your plan realistic?
  • Does your plan have a timeline?
  • Is the plan specific?
  • Are you enthusiastic about your plan!?
  • Is the plan natural to you?
  • Does your family know about your plan?
  • Are you ready for the journey?

If you can answer the above questions with solid and confident responses, you are now officially passion packed again.  Go through the questions one more time and make sure you feel the “sparks” of excitement.  Re-ignite your drive and commitment to your business and enjoy the renewed motivation.  Use your passion as your fuel and thrive!

David Lester is a personal finance writer and financial expert. He has written two books, for the Huffington post, and his popular money blog, Iheartmoney.ca. He’s also a repeat guest on CBC, CTV, Breakfast Television and more.