Honest Work & Your Integrity

Be Honest I recently stumbled upon a website of a company offering similar services. They ‘liked’ a picture on my company’s instagram account, my curiosity set in and I clicked the link to their website. Their site was well designed and professional. I selected the services/solutions button on their menu and what happened next was not only a complete fluke, it left me speechless…

They had copy & pasted my ENTIRE website. Every word. Every definition. Everything- word for word. Even the organization of information… everything. It was like I was reading MY site on theirs and I instantly felt sick to my stomach. A few phone calls later and the issue was resolved with apology and I know that I am very lucky. Things could have taken a turn for the worst. I can honestly say that the feeling of having your hard work duplicated without your consent is one that I don’t wish on anyone. You feel helpless, angry, empty and numb. It’s a whirlwind of emotion.

This event really got me thinking and a friend suggested that I write about the importance of having an honest work ethic. That plagiarism in any form is nothing to be proud of and that in the end you are only disgracing yourself and your work if you decide it’s better to get credit for someone else’s labour. You embarked on your professional journey because you feel like you have what it takes to succeed. That you are an expert in your field or that you have created a unique product/service that people can benefit from… so shouldn’t you be able to use your own words and communicate your vision? OF COURSE YOU SHOULD.

Maybe you lack the confidence because you are just starting out and you are inspired by someone or a company? That’s normal! We all have people/places/things that inspire us- but you should never pass someone else’s hard work off as your own. It isn’t fair and at the end of the day? It isn’t going to help you either. You will never memorize someone else’s work enough to pass it off as your own for long and people will quickly discredit you and BOOM there goes your reputation.

If you had what it takes to embark on the entrepreneurial journey- you have what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. Have faith in yourself. Give credit where it’s due, ask for permissions and remember that (at the end of the day) copyright infringement IS against the law.

Honesty and integrity play a huge part in success. We can never forget that.

”Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”

 –Oprah Winfrey

BEATING THE WINTER BLUES

winter blues

Is it over yet? Is it spring?

I am not usually the type to linger on the weather, but man… This season has been a doozey!  It doesn’t seem to want to end! If you are like me and are solar-energized then you are feeling the drain of this cold, dreary winter.  I am finding it hard to get up and get motivated to get anything done! (My toddler and infant help- but it still isn’t easy)

So what are you gonna do about it?! What am I gonna do about it!?

I didn’t really know either… so I looked it up.

Here are some of the tips I found helpful:

  • VITAMIN D: During the winter, we don’t get enough vitamin D, which can cause a decline in our immune systems. Without this vitamin our body’s T Cells — which work to ward off foreign pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses — are weakened and cannot do their job. Taking vitamin D supplements and consuming foods such as fish, mushrooms, eggs and meat will help keep us healthy throughout the season.
  • DON’T BE A HERMIT: Make a concerted effort to not withdraw from social situations. Resist the urge to bail on plans with friends just because it’s snowing and you don’t want to leave the warmth of your apartment. Being around people you enjoy is a way to get laughing and elevate your mood, which will also release endorphins and make you a happier, healthier person. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
  • VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME: Gandhi once wrote that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Positive psychologists like University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman and Dan Baker, Ph.D., director of the Life Enhancement Program at Canyon Ranch, believe that a sense of purpose–committing oneself to a noble mission–and acts of altruism are strong antidotes to winter depression
  • EXCERCISE: As if we needed another reason to get fit! Exercise isn’t only for maintaining your weight and staying healthy. It’s great for relieving the stresses of life. Plus, the effects of a good workout can last for several hours after you hit the showers. You’ll have more energy throughout the day, and your metabolism with stay elevated too. Exercise also helps your mind by releasing those “feel good chemicals” that improve your mood. 
  • ADD SOME COLOUR TO YOUR WORLD: Bring in fresh flowers, add brightly colored accents or pictures to your home or paint a room with a bright color. Having bright colors around can improve mood.

Do you feel better already?
There are more tips where those came from- check out my reference links below!

HAPPY ‘ALMOST THE END OF’ WINTER!!!

-Crystal-

REFERENCES:

http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/adult-adhd-274795-5.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oz-garcia/seasonal-affective-disorder_b_809056.html

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/01/04/12-winter-depression-busters/

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=341

The Launch Party & Why I love it.

Launch Party!

Everyone loves a party- right? It brings people together, creates memories and celebrates an occasion… that is exactly why I believe a launch party for your business is so important. Now there are some nay-sayers and that’s ok! Some people may say they are a waste of time or money, that they are pointless or a thing of the past. Well- You can’t please everyone all of the time now can you?

You don’t need a huge budget.

It doesn’t have to be a black tie affair. It can be in your living room! In your workspace! Places that you already have so you aren’t paying fees. Even restaurants will allot side-rooms if they have them available (and if you have the budget to order their food).  Get a cake- you can have your logo printed on icing and placed on it- your supermarket may do it, I know Dairy Queen does. Grab some branded coloured balloons and dollar store streamers, some finger food and a bottle of champagne. VOILA! A party under $150 that is going to set the tone for your new adventure. An enthusiastic and motivated tone.

Now, if you can afford more? By all means. Make the party yours. Rather than email or facebook an invitation? Maybe you will have them printed? You can have a raffle and draw prizes? Maybe instead of celebrating with your friends and family you can invite clients/customers (If you are launching a re-brand I do recommend you invite your larger accounts). You can have a themed party if the shoe fits or have a sit down dinner if you prefer. THE POINT IS- Have something. Be excited. Make it branded- it is meant to reflect your company’s style and don’t forget to have a small speech ready- you want to address your party from a personal standpoint.

SO who should you invite?

At the bare minimum- your close friends and family.  Ideally? You want to invite existing or potential clients as well- but that isn’t always realistic when working with a small business budget. If you want/can you could reach out to the local media and hope for coverage. A simple press release could be picked up especially in a smaller town where a new business/service is beneficial to the community.

Some inexpensive launch party ideas:

  • Bring your laptop & have your website open so that people can browse your site
  • Have printed material for people to bring home & share with their circles (Business Cards, magnets, brochures or branded pens)
  • Informative postcards for takeaway (vistaprint.ca has great prices)
  • Make sure you have background music or some type of entertainment to alleviate any awkward silence
  • Perhaps you took pictures to document your start-up journey? Why not show them in a slideshow
  • Create a hashtag for your event and encourage guests to post on their social media
  • An inexpensive “swag” takeaway for your guests! Something as small as a branded stress ball or paperweight… again- check online, you can find deals!
  • GAMES! Networking games, Bingo type games- conversation starters are fun for large crowds who may not know each other.
  • Take pictures & share them with your social media community! Get them excited too.
  • Maybe have a branded photo-op backdrop on a wall for a red carpet experience!

Overall I believe in positive energy. I believe that you get from this world what you put into it and that if you maintain a realistic upbeat energy aura- you will become contagious. I believe that energy is infectious and that when you are excited about something, it shines through, it radiates! So why not throw a party (no one said it has to break the bank) to showcase your excitement, get that positive energy on the tail of your business and ride with it?! Start your adventure with positivity, excitement and be proud of what you are about to embark on. Show the public that you believe in your vision and they will believe in it too.

-Crystal Lengua