Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Despite a wide array of books and courses on the subject of good communications, people are still struggling to communicate well within their personal and professional lives.

With the festive season fast approaching, this time of year can prove to be challenging if high expectations of spending quality time with loved ones are not met due to miscommunication which can lead to possible arguments.
Maybe higher stress levels due to increased workloads and fast approaching deadlines at the office have caused a break-down in communications among colleagues. Sounds all far too familiar?

Many books and courses have been created around the subject that one should think we are all masters in effective communication by now. Yet so much more work needs to be done. We all find ourselves daily in the midst of written and verbal conversations, trying to read and understand situations and then respond appropriately.

Sometimes these conversations start out harmlessly and seemingly basic in content. Suddenly one thing happens and a situation can escalate to the extreme. No more!  We all want to get along nicely and put our energies into the things that really matter. So how can you avoid disappointments or misunderstandings caused by communicating with others?

A really crucial part is to think before you speak and double think before you put something in writing. So much damage could be prevented if more people gave proper consideration to the power of the word. Therefore start with yourself and stop, consider and then speak with the right intent. A point can be made in many ways, but it is your choice of HOW you are going to make it.

Avoid to assume anything. Ensure you ask and check instead of making false assumptions. I am sure you can remember a situation that you have ‘misread’ due to not properly investigating but simply assuming. This can have a detrimental effect on you and your relationships with others. Therefore make it your mission to ALWAYS get the facts before reacting.

And last but certainly not least, never take anything personally. This is a tough request that will save you from much unnecessary heartache. Situations and people’s actions are self conditioned and not due to anything to do with you. So stop searching for a self defined reason, accept the situation for what it is and move on. If you ALLOW yourself not to take anything personally, you will be free.

Take those key lessons with you into the festive season and practice them on your loved ones. I trust you will find that this year, misunderstandings will simply not develop because you are practicing the mastery of good communication. Then take this with you into the New Year as you go back to work. If you think before you speak, assume nothing and don’t take anything personally, your 2011 will be blessed.

A peaceful Christmas & a prosperous New Year,
See you then,

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Recent events have led me to want to share this true story with you. Do enjoy the content but this time, your feedback is much needed. So read on and participate:

It happens from time to time that as an Angel Business Consultant to savvy female entrepreneurs I open my much cherished Rolodex to make an introduction to third party providers.  In my practice, I focus on my area of expertise in sales and marketing but bring on other professionals for services such as HR Consulting, Finance or IT. In order to provide a fully supportive environment for existing clients, these providers are offered the opportunity to complement and work within a strategic framework whilst assisting to stabilize and grow an existing business venture.

For me as the main supporter and long term partner to my clients, making those connections is huge.  A lot of trust and preconceived expectations precede the first introduction. Like any other business, my clients are much cherished and carefully looked after. Therefore placing them in front of another provider, the expectation of professionalism, top service and ongoing communication should be very basic requirements. Well and of course, a thank you is always kindly received and the reciprocal notion of offering something in return even more so.

One of my longest standing clients who have enjoyed a very rapid growth phase, needed financial control services and assistance with budgeting strategy. When your business grows at such a speed, getting the right professional assistance is most important and whilst we recognized this need, I introduced a person who I thought would fit the bill.

In the beginning it was agreed that the provider would get caught up on the financial details and make up of the business before any analysis and planning could be done. However after three months we still did not have the necessary financial information, essential for the strategic planning for the next quarter. When connecting with the service provider, there was reluctance and defiance with no intention of putting things right.

I was shocked! How could this be happening? Maybe I needed to properly intervene to get the promised results that had already loyally been paid for by my client? I decided to put in a firm but nice phone call to get to the bottom of it. Instead of an explanation or a desire to put things right, the provider refused point blank to assist or cooperate. They deflected all responsibility, had cashed in the $4,500 and failed to provide the service they had agreed to deliver.

Now what? I felt guilty for having made the intro in the first place and this third party provider let my client down and me as an alliance partner. What do I do?

Do I contact BBB to advise them of the situation?
Do I encourage my client to take legal action against this provider?
Do I stop making future introductions?
Do I from now on have to manage the relationships with third party providers?
Do I need to adjust my expectations?

I am at a loss and need your objectivity! What are your thoughts? Email me cmillard@mcgbusiness.com. You may even have a similar story to share. Either way I would love to hear from you.

Connect and share,
Thank you in advance.

Monday, October 25, 2010


A very common challenge among business entrepreneurs is the ability to have a very clear focus on what they are specializing in. Many times I have met with business owners who run a company alongside seemingly unrelated sideline offerings.

For example, a personal coach providing budgeting services, a child toy retailer offering hosting & design services for e-commerce sites, a HR consultant offering social media training  and so the list goes on.

It is almost as if the entrepreneur is not fully convinced of their own ability to make the one business model work, therefore wanting to keep other options of potential revenue streams open. Or having to choose and then commit to just one model, they might be concerned of missing out on opportunities, they know they could also deliver and get paid for.

Whatever the reasons, running with a number of unconnected options simultaneously will put an entrepreneur into a tailspin, weakening their power to succeed by not focusing all their attention and impact on one business model.

The companies that grow rapidly and reap the most rewards are the ones with a very clear understanding of their core products and services, knowing exactly which markets they are specializing in.
Once they have created significant market share, they then consider expanding their offerings into existing channels with complementary solutions to the core or broaden the markets they are targeting. Either way it is always with a very clear focus on just the one business model.

For moms in business this is even more important as the demands on your time are already divided between family and business commitments. Therefore trust my recommendation of choosing just one business model that you love and want to grow. Target a minimum of two markets and a maximum of three at a time. Ensure you stick to a specialist selection of core products and services until you have created the market share you need and want.

And then..., watch how your clarity turns into prosperity!

With this wishing you all the best until next time,
Conny Millard

Friday, October 1, 2010


How often do you take the time to really research products or services you are about to chose for yourself, your family or your business? Are you typically led by a) gut feeling, b) someone’s recommendation or c) by marketing messages?

And does the significance of the purchase impact the thoroughness or the time you spend, to look into your options in greater depth? Have I got you thinking yet?

I have just conducted a search for my very own business adviser knowing how powerful and driven objectivity, strategy and accountability can be! Everyone who is determined to really achieve great things, will need a mentor or adviser by their side, me included.

In the past, I have had a couple of different coaches who came to me through recommendations. I respected the people who connected me up with them and therefore felt that it had to work. Big mistake!

Not only is each individual ‘business’, or ‘life’, or ‘both’ coach fundamentally different in terms of experience, expertise and market knowledge but also their methodologies differ greatly. So going by someone else's recommendation might not work out very well as they are dealing with their own challenges, looking for a great fit that suits them.

Considering to rely on marketing messages is equally difficult. Business advisers are like great school teachers. Depending on your learning style and personality preferences, you will like a certain PERSON rather then the entire establishment. Therefore the marketing materials promoting certain methodologies or tools are irrelevant as it really comes down to the individual who delivers the content.

This leaves going by gut feeling! Now the only way you are going to be able to make the right decision on the best partner to create your financial and personal wealth, is if you are happy to be very thorough in your research of the options that are open to you. There is no quick fix or make do attitude that will find you the perfect individual with the right tools, the most relevant expertise and a nicely gelling personality.

If you have decided that you really want to achieve great things and you are committed to investing into the necessary indulgence of an adviser, then you can not cut any corners!

Be very clear from the outset what you need and what you are looking for, then take your time to thoroughly research your options and give many advisers the opportunity of introducing themselves and their practices. And then....listen to your heart! It will tell you instinctively what will be the best fit for you.

So, GET CLEAR, RESEARCH WELL and then, GET GOING! See you at the start line.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


When was the last time you took some time out and indulged on a quiet, self finding journey all by yourself, very peaceful with the purpose of carefully discovering the inner you? Perfectly identifying your next steps, your own strengths and your personal and professional goals?

Well if you are like most people, you will not get much of a chance to claim this special time. Yet, without it, you continue on being very busy, emerged in day to day stuff and every now and then stopping to come up for a quick breath and realizing:” This is not the life I had envisioned for myself!” or “I feel stuck and unsure of my needs and wants!”

I know I am digging a little deep, here but I have just undergone the most self indulgent journey in the past three months. In the midst of my commitments, I had this AHA moment, that if I did not take the time to regroup, I could not identify or get to the place, I want to be!

I have now learnt that the only way we can deliver the results that we want, is by taking ourselves on that journey of discovery. However long and through whatever means, once you have taken it - you will be overwhelmed by the deep realization, clear vision and incredible energy that will be unleashed!

What does your intuition tell you? Do you have it all figured out? Or are you sharing the pain of fuzzy, even muddy vision? Then do something about it!

Let me share a quick story to highlight:
A very good and young friend of mine has been in business by herself for over two years. Although struggling with typical entrepreneurship, she decided to open a facility. Something she had always dreamt off even as a little girl. The first time I visited her, she had broken down! She felt, that she had taken on more than she could handle and felt trapped by her own decision.

Eventually the only think for her to do, was to take a trip away, by herself, to get some objectivity and clarity back into her life. When I went to see her again, she was simply radiant. Her order book was brimming, she had taken on 2 new members of staff and introduced three new profit models, making her money hand over fist. 
She now takes off two days in the week. When speaking with her about this unbelievable transformation, she just responded:” The time I took out was a true journey of discovery. Once I encouraged myself to listen to the inner me and become quiet enough that I could finally hear that low inner voice, it all became so very clear!”

Now, this is your permission slip for yourself to do the same. The most powerful transformation and deepest clarity will come by allowing yourself the journey of discovery!

After that you will be ready to give me a call so we can build your business together!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Yes, I know what you are going to say... Of course profits are powerful, why would you want to write about the obvious? Because the obvious isn’t the ordinary!

Great people with great business ideas, passion and commitment does not equal profits. It is shocking yet true that most entrepreneurs are having difficulty making money with their business ventures.

Within the past two years I must have met at least 400 businesses of small to medium size with only 48% making any money.  Out of the 48% only a handful are generating profits. A gloomy reality and not in the least linked to lack of skill or capability.

So if this is the reality of entrepreneurs, how can you be one of the lucky handful of businesses actually seeing profitable returns on their efforts? Or better yet, how can the ratio be changed as a whole?

First, let me share the top 10 reasons why businesses are not making any profits:

    1.) Not knowing their own value
    2.) Not understanding their unique selling points
    3.) Not being clear on their target markets
    4.) Not managing staff effectively
    5.) Not managing their finances closely
    6.) Not having a plan
    7.) Not measuring anything
    8.) Not collaborating
    9.) Not outsourcing
    10.) Not making profits their #1 priority

Sometimes it only takes a little bit of tweaking here and there which can make all the difference in a business model. However, how do entrepreneurs know what they don’t know, until they know what they didn’t know? Because once they know, they can implement the vital changes to make their business profitable.

The only way to find out the essential tweaks for positive cash flow, is professional, knowledgeable, objective advice from a credible source. There you have it!

So if you are in business simply to kill time with no need of financial success, perfect! Continue with your hobby. But if you are really keen on making some good cash, don’t waste time on trying to work it out on your own, get professional advice!

What would YOU do with YOUR profits?

Friday, August 27, 2010


Imagine this, you get a card through the door as an advertisement for a new cleaning company in town. You have been contemplating getting a cleaner because of all those other commitments that are taking up all of your time. Getting some help with your home has been one of your priorities to sort out.

Would you pick up the card, dial the number and make the connection? Maybe.

Now imagine this scenario. You are sitting together with friends, telling them how you are so busy and that there is just not enough time in the day to take care of everything. You mention that you have been contemplating getting a cleaner. One of your friends mentions a company they have been using in the past and were very happy with.

Would you get in touch with that company rather than the other one who sent you some promotional materials?

The answer is pretty simple. Of course you are going to go with your friends suggestion! She has already had some experience and you fully trust her judgment.

The Power of a Referral is more than just the simple fact of first choice however. It typically becomes a win/ win situation for both, the customer and the business. Let me explain!

The customer will be referred to a company that has already proven it’s reliability and standard of products and services. The company does not need to compete on price anymore and because of the referral, the customer will probably be a pretty good fit, making it a pleasure to do business with.

If you are savvy, you will introduce a strong and compelling referral system for your business to get your GOOD customers not only refer MORE business but also the RIGHT business.

A Referral is The Biggest Complement and should be awarded!
Happy Weekend,

Friday, August 6, 2010


With less than 5 months left in the year I have been meeting with a lot of people recently who have been reviewing their progress on their ambitions for the year, only to find that they haven’t even really got started yet. In fact most could not even remember exactly what they had set out to do.

This means of course some are shrugging their shoulders with an ‘Oh, well...’ attitude while others are fueled to make the remaining months count. They have been asking for my input on where to start to get things moving in a coherent and focused direction.

I thought this would be the perfect place to share my advice to them as well as the broader audience. Here is what will get you on track for the rest of the year:

        1.) Don’t get hang up on what you SHOULD have done
        2.) Get clear on what you are going to do
        3.) Write it down
        4.) Set realistic deadlines
        5.) Get going
        6.) If you have a tendency to procrastinate, suffer with self doubt or have difficulty with being consistent - GET HELP!

It is very simple. If you are feeling that the year has been passing you by and you have not achieved anything tangible in your business or even personally, it is not too late to turn things around.

Professionally, get writing your short and simplified business/ career plan to figure out where you would like to be at the end of 2010. It only really needs to have 5 key goals with an action plan attached. Then start scheduling each action point into your calendar and stick to those ‘appointments’. Print your plan and stick it up on your wall or carry it with you. Every time you are stuck for the next steps, take a look at the plan and move forward.

Personally, not dissimilar to the above but perhaps not quite as formal. Take a nice blank sheet of paper, a cup of tea and pin point 5 key things you would like to accomplish or have in place on a personal level. For me things such as:

    1.) Book in pottery lessons - start end of September
    2.) Get back into my weekly swim routine - start now
    3.) Spend one weekend with each boy to do what they like - third weekend Sept/ Oct.
    4.) Have a 4 day romantic break away with my lovely husband - begin Sept.
    5.) Manage to ski a green run ;-) - by 31st Dec

(But psht.... these are personal)
We all know planning is essential but it is so much more than that - it is downright powerful and liberating. Especially when you look back and feel the pride in your accomplishment.

If you want, you can email me your business plan & personal list and I will check in with you at the end of the year to ensure you got onto it!

Happy Businessing!


Thursday, July 29, 2010


You are going to love this true, little story that highlights so well, how perseverance gets results. So read on and enjoy:

We went on a camping trip with a bunch of friends last weekend including all of our kids. Among us where 5 teenagers around 15 and 16 years old - very tough crowd! My 7 year old son wanted to play a game of ‘hide-and-seek-tag’ and approached the youths who had gathered around the fire pit, bored out of their minds, to entice them of joining him to play.

Standing in front of the first boy he asked:” Cam, do you want to play a game of h-a-s-t?” With the reply of ‘no thanks’ from Cam. So my son moved on to the next boy, standing in front of him, he again posed the question. He got another straight ‘No’. Moving on to the third guy, my son asked again:” Do you fancy playing a game of h-a-s-t?”

And yes, you guessed right. He had the next ‘No, not now.” answer. Anyone in their right mind would have given up by now, but my son was relentless:” Hey Jordie, lets play a game of h-a-s-t!” Unfortunately Jordie did not want to play, either. So with only Mitch to go, he went and stood in front of him and pleased:” Come on, Mitch. Are you up for playing h-a-s-t?” and there....finally! Mitch replied:” OK, but only if the others will play!”

So my little guy started from the beginning:” Hey, Cam! Do you want to play, Mitch will, if you do?” And so Cam was on board. Then the others were also persuaded one by one, until all of them joined in!

I watched this little scene unfold and could not help but smile to myself. What a great result. First none, then all! What I really loved was the fact that my son was undeterred by the ‘no’s’ he got, never dropping his enthusiastic, unshakable belief that if only he asked often enough, he would finally get a ‘yes’. Focussing on getting to the answer he wanted, rather than worrying about the ones he received!

To me this is the best parable to bring into our working world! Keep on searching for the ‘yes’s’ because you know, they are out there. You just have to stay positive, committed and believing enough to find them.

Happy Businessing!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


One of the key reasons why new clients come to me for advice is their lack of financial return from their business ventures.
This could be due to a number of challenges:
  • They don't know their markets
  • Insecure about their value
  • Difficulty of finding opportunities
  • Difficulty of closing opportunities
  • Lack of clarity & consistency
One should think that bringing in the money would be pretty straight forward. You've got or created a great product or service, you put the word out a little and people 'break your door down' to experience what you have to offer.
These new customers are now so delighted that they gladly pay you straight away and even leave you with a little extra to show their appreciation.

But by now you had to realize that this is more the making of a modern day fairy tale rather then reality! In your desperation you buy a business book to get some ideas. Or you are thinking that you must be missing a crucial piece of the puzzle. Maybe if you had a better website or you invested more time into getting on with a well devised Social Media Strategy, this will be the missing ingredient.

I can assure you that those are not the primary reasons why the cash isn't flowing. Working harder isn't it either!

I want you to consider these questions:
1.) Who will benefit the most from your offering and I mean, truly, really needs it?
2.) How are you going about engaging with those markets?
3.) How are you making it compelling for them to buy?
4.) Do you understand your strengths in the sales cycle?
5.) How are you addressing any weak points?
6.) How consistent are you in engaing with your markets?
7.) Does your financial expectations match your effort?
8.) Are you recogninzing the current achievements or are you continuously focused on chasing the next big deal?

A lot can be identified and clarified in a few simple steps that will finally help you start to get the cash flow going. And once it flows, you will amazed how it just keeps on coming!

Happy businessing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Yes, I have just suggested it. The unthinkable, the irresponsible suggestion to take a break. Properly. Not just a tea break. Or a run! But some time out, away from the family and maybe even for a few days.

Not with a friend or a relative. Just you. Away from it all.

As women in business we are supposed to have very clear goals, the ultimate path to eternal happiness, health and success. Knowing exactly what we want, when we should have it and how to obtain it.

This applies of course to our professional as well as our personal lives. Many clients come to me with the same challenge: How do I know what goals I should set for myself that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timely) and run a smooth family life with household, husband and happy kids?

There is one very obvious response to this. STOP! Just for a while. So that you may sit down with a calm and empty mind, no chores or appointments to worry about and no improvised emergencies to attend to. Quietness, to listen inside of yourself.

As the new generation of SuperWomen, the only way you can get clear on who you truly want to be and what you want to create in your lifetime, is by allowing yourself time to figure things out.

And this can not be done as you are rushing to a meeting or putting on a quick load of laundry before picking up the kids from school. Therefore a trip away, just you, yourself and maybe a nice new notebook is necessary.

I can already hear your reply:

“Whatever is Conny thinking? This is completely unrealistic and impossible to even suggest! I have a family who wouldn’t be able to cope without me or even have the funds to go away anywhere. Besides there is just too much to do and I am not making enough money right now to afford any time off!”

Rubbish! If you can spend $500 in a weekend on home improvements or ‘essential’ entertainment equipment, you can easily justify spending this money on you. Claiming some much deserved YOU time, resting, re-energizing and planning.
By the time you come back, you'll be ready to implement the goals you have now been able to hear slumbering inside of you because you took the time to listen!   
To us!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I have just had the experience of a life coaching session with a new connection in Geneva. And it is funny how, when the tables are turned, one can get a feeling first hand of what it is like to receive rather than to share.

Strangely I was really kind of nervous to start with and found myself a little uneasy and unsure of what to expect. Once we dived into it, I felt indulgent to spend the time on myself and to be speaking to a stranger about my thoughts, successes and challenges. To a stranger?!

Whilst we were going through her routine, I realized how daunting my prospects must feel, when they meet me for the very first time; excited and curious, yet a little dubious about what they should be preparing perhaps and what they might get out of it at the end. A little anxious even about what may be uncovered...

I had entered the conversation with an open mind and eventually was blown away by the impact it had on my emotions as well as the realization of true clarity for my personal and professional  ambitions.

We set some homework to get going on next steps after a blissful hour of someone’s undivided attention to hash out a plan of how I can best go about achieving my goals. No judgments or expectations on her part.

Since the coaching session, I feel energized and ready to roll with nothing that can possibly stand in my way. So here I am, fully fueled and ready to rock!

Being able to put yourself in your customer’s position, will certainly help you to feel their desire and needs and maybe their insecurities about buying from you. With this insight, you can ensure you tailor your approach and service, to reflect your customer’s expectations and deliver peace of mind from the start.

Take the time and do the exercise. Replicate a customer experience to truly get to the bottom of what they want and then give it to them. Why would they ever want to shop anywhere else?

Thank you, Vanessa (http://simplyzest.com/sz/) for giving me the customer’s perspective. I will hold this true in my heart and make sure, this lesson will be a valuable learning experience to better serve my clients.

Happy Weekend ;-)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Can you remember the last time you received some form of communication from either a personal or professional connection maybe even via email and you thought to yourself: “What is that suppose to mean? I am not sure, I like the tone or content and don’t know what to do with this...?”

Or maybe you have an unhappy client that you are trying to dodge because you are unsure of how to diffuse the situation and make them happy again? Or a prospect that you don’t know how to proceed to successfully close?

Lots of different type of scenarios all with the same underlying current. What is the best way to move forward and what should you be doing next?

So where do you go for enlightenment? Do you talk to your partner/ spouse or maybe a friend or family member? Or even a potential business connection? And what kind of feedback are you thinking you might get from a person that is either very close to you or knows little about you and your circumstances?

Being an entrepreneur one of the toughest things is figuring out every step of the way without anyone else in the same boat! Whilst in a corporate environment, you have plenty of relevant people to help you identify the next best move when it comes to business strategy.

Unfortunately this ‘luxury’ does not apply, once you start out on your own.

Retaining an objective vision of the facts can be tricky when it is you and only your own interpretation of circumstances and best next actions.

I have seen people acting emotionally, leaving themselves open to substantial damage that could have been prevented if only they had requested some objective, qualified third party input prior to reacting without considering all aspects of the wider effects.

Get savvy and save yourself from potentially initiating wrong measures or missed opportunities due to lack of objectivity or emotional interpretation. We know, we all need it and better have the right person by our side to provide us with the second sober thought.

Happy Businessing!
Yours, Conny

Monday, April 19, 2010


In a recent survey, business women were identified as powerful individuals that could wipe the floor with their male counterparts if only they stopped trying to improve their own efficiencies as a way to improve their business success.

Women will continuously streamline their own processes, get trained and educated on whatever subject they are not very confident in, in order to increase the growth of their business.

As women, mothers and partners we have always had to be very resourceful within ourselves. This has been elementary in providing for and fulfilling all tasks demanded by our personal stakeholders. Naturally we are trying to replicate this mind set into our professional environments and this is where our male counterparts outsmart us.

They in turn have been ‘trained’ to use other people’s resouces and are happy to pass on all or any part of their workload if it helps them get rid of pile-on work tasks that keep them from focusing on immediate results.

This is the main reason why men are getting ahead in business quicker then women.  Men are naturally inclined to let others take care of areas they don’t enjoy or have no competency in. All the important tasks are taken care off while they can focus on their own areas of strength and passion.

So my fellow women preneurs, it is time to break the mold! Passing on part of your business processes to a qualified third party will free yourself, to bring in the BIG money. When it comes to business, you need to be selflessly selfish! Concentrate on your strength and fill the voids by collaborating with professionals who will get the job done in half the time, leaving you to do what you are great at.

This is the true meaning of efficiency!

Letting go isn’t a sign of weakness but proof of clever, savvy business sense. So go on girls, it’s time to quit playing small and start acting big.

Happy Businessing!

Friday, April 2, 2010


It drives me insane when I listen to business owners complaining how sales are down and how the bad economy makes it impossible to stay profitable. Yet I continue to witness cringingly how tens of thousands of dollars in revenue potential are passed by due to pure negligence, lack of training and/ or urgency by the sales force!

I want to share with you three real life examples of ‘The Sudden Business Death Syndrome’ that I have experienced only in the last two weeks. Bad salesmanship, no follow up, terrible listening skills and massive waste of company marketing dollars have been the cause for major loss of business opportunities.

Example 1.)
Lack of Motivation
A customer visited a new Toyota showroom in town to purchase a $25,000 truck. With an immediate need to purchase a vehicle, he met the sales person who referred him to their website instead.  The sales person did not take any details from the customer or spend adequate time to understand the exact needs, budget and timeframe the customer was looking for.

Well guess what? The customer went to Ford the following weekend and purchased a $30,000 truck because there the sales guy was helpful, considered and found what the customer needed. Toyota’s loss of an easy $30,000 revenue!

Example 2.)
Bad Training
At a trade show, a customer visits a potential supplier booth to explore the possible expansion of their services. The sales person at the booth launches into a fully fledged 20 minute spiel on products and company overview without once asking the visitor what her business is, what she is looking for or see how their portfolio would match to suit.

Again the sales person did not take down details or make arrangements to meet again. Instead he alienated the customer, wasted her time and lost massive revenue potential for a possible new sales channel. Order value approx. $15,000 per month!

Example 3.)
No Follow-up
A company looking to find the perfect promotional item, finally sees exactly what they have been searching for. Handmade ware from Italy that could be personalized with the company logo and details.

The shop assistant takes the business card and does a great job selling the concept and design to the customer. Two weeks after the meeting, the customer still has not been contacted to finalize their order and have now found an alternative due to the lack of follow up by the shop assistant. Initial order value approximately $5000!

It is not bad economic times that are causing businesses to hurt financially but the inability and complacency to close each sales opportunity as it presents itself. Therefore read & learn and get a tight handle on your sales process, regardless if you are a big company or a sole proprietor. With the right attitude there is tons of money to be made.

Happy Businessing!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Do you sympathize when I tell you, that every once in a while I have a V8 moment? This is what I call it, when I did not do the obvious and it comes to bite me in the butt.

To give you an example, whenever I have a new connection and I arrange to meet with them, their contact details go directly into my Blackberry. Makes perfect sense, right? And every so often, I get busy or distracted and forget to update my phone with people that I am scheduled to meet.

Guess what happens when I urgently need to get hold of them to change our arrangements due to unforeseen circumstances? That’s right, I scramble! Now I am late and flustered and giving the wrong impression! It already puts me at a disadvantage which could have been so easily prevented if only I had done the right thing which would have taken no time at all.

This is when I have to hit my forehead as they do on the advert! How could I be so careless and not even check before I left the office?

It comes to show that having processes and systems in place and sticking to them religiously, will eliminate those horrible V8 situations! So why do we do it? Why do we set ourselves up for the self instigated sabotage?

It seems pretty silly that we know what works best, it has been proven, yet we are still not compeletely committed sticking to the process?

So I put it to you - lets reveal our V8 moments publically so that we may never default but stick to the things we know work so well! No more sabotage, no more excuses!

I want you to come forward with your V8 moment! Email me cmillard@mcgbusiness.com and I will provide you with the absolution to let go of past examples of bad behavior and promote the new and reformed YOU!

Jointly lets eliminate V8’s for a stress free better business future!

Happy Businessing!

Monday, March 1, 2010


In my career I have the opportunity to attend lots of events with a variety of speakers. It is always most surprising to observe, how few presenters are truly messmerizing and how even the most exciting topic gets boring, when it is badly prepared and never rehearsed.

Typically people pay good money to hear a specialist talk on a topic in order to educate themselves and deepen their knowledge on a subject matter. Courses, seminars, webinars and workshops, there are plenty of well paid speakers trying to deliver content, to expand the horizon of professionals. 

So how come that the quality of the delivery is so often very questionable and frustrating to the audience? I suppose this is a two folded answer:
1.) The presenter is highly qualified and technically minded but lacks the ability to speak at a normal level
2.) The presentation has been badly prepared, without a clearly defined path or objective and possibly never rehearsed. And yes, it shows!  It can be annoying to the audience and discredits the individual almost immediately.

In the first instance, you somehow can’t blame the speaker. However perhaps the question should be raised to the organizer for ensuring good quality content and delivery beforehand.

In the second instance I can think of a number of reasons why the presentation was not adequately prepared - lack of time, procrastination, maybe even due to lack of self confidence and/or lack of topic knowledge. Whatever the reason the speaker will allianate their audience and potentially damage their reputation.

The lesson to be learned here is simple. Get prepared! And this does not just apply to public speakers or lecturers but to all entrepreneurs as well.

Don’t leave it up to chance to deliver a strong message. Think well in advance about what you want to get across and than rehearse this with objective professionals to get it just right. Practice until it becomes embedded into your mind and feels like the powerful reality that you deliver. Now, enjoy how your audience will hang on your every word.

Suddenly your value can not be measured in dollars!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Meeting so many business entrepreneurs all of the time, one commonality is becoming very apparent, perceived challenges or events are used as justified reasons why business cannot be done.

Some claim the bad economic times are to blame for slow or no business. Others declare that the Olympics have caused pretty much all business activities to stop. The next find that summer holidays are a tricky time to do business because everyone is away on vacation. A different group thinks that winter is too cold and dark for people to want to do business and autumn is a time when many seek sanity in warmer climates. And as for moms in business, lets not even get started on school holidays, children's sick days and ProD days.

Yes, lots of reasons why business development could be a challenge. So how about looking at creating a more sustainable business model whereby you will not be heavily affected by seasonal changes or perceived downturns. Impossible you say? Then it is time to find yourself a professional adviser who can show you how you can be sustainable in any market at any time of year.

So stop making excuses and start taking control of your business!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


In the past 24 hours, the much anticipated Olympics made itself felt in our town. We have celebrated the arrival of the torch on Thursday night with some great entertainment, Loggers show and stunning fireworks.
Lots was on offer and the family had the opportunity of free photos with the torch through an initiative by Coca Cola, short personal recordings which will be shown in the background all the way through the Games and of course not to forget the lighting of the cauldron!
The following day, we cheered on the torch bearers which were within arms length coming through our neighbourhood and all the school kids, parents, teachers and neighbours came out, to see the spectacle unfold. 
The craziest thing was, that we met one of the torch bearers in person as she was waiting to be handed the flame. She was a young girl from Pemberton who had won a competition and there she stood quite alone, nervous and excited, ready to write history, wondering why she should be one of the chosen ones. She confessed that she didn’t feel ready for such an important and monumental task.
And that’s when it struck me that many of the women that I meet in business have the same feeling. Professional moms who after a successful career and some time out to become a mom, they find it hard to recognize their own worth when trying to re-enter the work force. Female entrepreneurs wondering if they are taking the right step into running their own businesses, because they don’t feel quite ready or not well enough prepared.
The truth is simple for the torch bearer as for my fellow women in business. Take leadership without questioning your worthiness. We have all been created equal and it is the ones who, in spite of their fears are prepared to leap forward and make things happen. There is no failure in trying and be assured in the know that you are as ready today as you will ever be. 
Be inspired as I am, love life and have faith in yourself!
Until next time,

Monday, February 1, 2010


One of my pet hates in business is, when people don’t get back to you. You send nice emails following some great conversations and then.......nothing!
You have meetings with people at their request, you follow up and then.......yes, you guessed right, nothing!

You are ready to place a large order or want to make an inquiry on behalf of a client, or have a small question following a purchase you have made and then.........nothing!

I come across this time and time again and so do lots of my clients and friends.

So initially one can’t help but thinking, that it must be a personal thing. Maybe a business cultural thing, I must have missed during my immigration! Because where I come from, businesses will always (!) respond to you, it is not just good manners but plain decent business ethics.

What gets me the most is, that everyone talks about business slowing down, or not enough opportunities or not sure how to continue to grow. Well guess what, if you ever bothered looking into your Inbox and dealt with all the people within, you would be surprised about the value that is locked up right there!

So here is some food for thought for people who have come across this strange phenomenon that has taken hold of business on the West Coast, if this irritates you as much as it does me, lets make a pact! Lets set a new standard of good communication!

Because you never know; the person who is trying to communicate with you, could hold the key to something great, exciting and valuable and if not right away, then certainly in the future.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I have just completed my certification as a Donald Trump Associate and I must say it was intense! It has been a steep learning curve and I have met a number of incredible people on the way.

The interesting thing was, that in an audience of about 80 people, one of our tasks was to stand up and briefly introduce ourselves. Everyone had about 30 seconds to state who they are, what they do and what their goals are. How do you think that went? One would imagine that 80 professional and educated people have got this simple task right down to a ‘T’. Likely that they would need to do this on a regular basis in their chosen fields.

Interestingly the majority had to write their introduction down and read it straight from a piece of paper. Others tried it without and failed to deliver a powerful or even coherent message.  This really surprised me. However I could see that lots of my clients are challenged with the same apprehension, struggling to clearly state the introduction about their businesses and benefits.

If this rings true with you, consider how important the first impression is and how you can set yourself apart from the rest of the competition with a carefully orchestrated and practiced introduction.  Take the time and understand who you are targeting, what your unique benefits are and why you are the perfect and only choice to new prospects.

This sounds an easy task however most people find it incredibly difficult. So if you are one of those people, take control now and if necessary get professional to prepare a strong and powerful message.

The first impression is everything!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Kicking it to you!

Wow, first week of the New Year already behind us and I am sure you, have been busy getting back into the swing of things. The time to put New Years resolutions into action, making things better, working smarter, living healthier, being more present, spending more quality time with loved ones, achieving, creating and enjoying. Phew!

Why do we think, we have to be able to do it all, and all at once? Who has been given us the impression that we must have the first million in the next 12 months? Life coaches and counsellors have never been more busy trying to patch people up, when they are not coping well, with all the pressure that they are either putting themselves under or feel from outside sources.

Being the best at everything, well that is just plain impossible! Being the best mom, wife, cook, hostess, business entrepreneur with the highest standards of a healthy, loving, intellectual lifestyle with a twist of perfection.

I ask you, how is this all going to be achieved without a huge pre-programmed f*** up?

So here is the cure for my clients this year:  We are carefully looking at the Must Have’s first. Setting priorities in the beginning and writing them down together, is the first step. How much time will you be spending on yourself, your family and your business?

Divide it up and then set realistic financial goals and business milestones. Make them timely and together review at regular intervals. With those identified, we then break down objectives on how to get there, how much of that we can do together and what external resources and relationships we need to put in place.

With accountability thrown in, support & objective advice, my clients will have a professional advisor to keep them on track as well as sane!

Make your business manageable and therefore enjoyable in 2010!