May 1, 2009
As business owners, we know that life is always VERY busy. And sometimes it is so easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day routines and forget to give back to the community.
That's why every year, we help sponsor a 5K race called Fun Run 4 Kids. 100% of the proceeds from the race participants are donated to children in Africa in care of the Reach the Children non-profit organization. It is being held this Saturday, May 2nd at Canyon Glen Park in Provo, Utah. All participants need to be there between 8-8:30 am and the race will start at 9:00am. It is a fun family event with a 5K run/walk race for the adults and then several races for the kids based on their age groups. It is a great time to get together, get some fresh air & some exercise, and give back all at once - now that's multi-tasking!
For any one that will be in the area, we hope to see you there!
For more information, or to register, click here: www.funrun4kids.org
"That QuickBooks Girl"
Quote of the Day: "People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes." - Abigail Van Buren
January 21, 2009
Sharpen the Saw
I just got finished reading Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book and wanted to discuss his 7th Habit - Sharpen the Saw. He relates this habit to the following story:
Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.
"What are you doing?" you ask.
"Can't you see?" comes the impatient reply. "I'm sawing down this tree."
"You look exhausted!" you exclaim. "How long have you been at it?"
"Over five hours," he returns, "and I'm beat! This is hard work."
"Well, why don't you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen the saw?" you inquire. "I'm sure it would go a lot faster."
"I don't have time to sharpen the saw," the man says emphatically. "I'm too busy sawing!"
I love this story...mostly because it totally illustrates our prior lives as business owners. We didn't work out, didn't eat healthy, didn't take time for ourselves; all because we didn't have time! Well, after two years of this, we found ourselves in the most unhealthy state that we had ever been in. We didn't feel good about ourselves and didn't have the energy we needed to get everything done in a day.
So, one day, we decided it was time to start "sharpening the saw" again - because guess what? it wasn't going to sharpen itself!
So, now, we work out an hour a day, find time to eat healthy and take time for ourselves - all while running a business and raising a family. And do you know what we've found out? We DO have time to do all of these things after all. We just have to make it a priority and MAKE the time to "sharpen the saw".
It has made a WORLD of difference in our own lives and I would encourage everyone to look at their saw and find out ways to sharpen and rejuvenate it. You really will accomplish A LOT more, feel so much better about yourself and have SO MUCH more energy when you stop to take the time to do these things!
"That QuickBooks Girl"
Quote of the Day: "Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things...I am tempted to think...there are no little things." - Bruce Barton
December 2, 2008
The other day, I posted a question on LinkedIn for all Coupleprenuers (husband & wife business partners). I asked them the following question:
"What is the biggest struggle you face running a business with your spouse?"
It was interesting to hear people's responses.
One person said, "Managing Expectations". I think that this applies to ALL business partners, but especially husbands and wives. Anytime there is a partnership where expectations aren't clear and plainly written, there is a problem - because somebody didn't do their part; yet, they may not have know they were supposed to. It is SO IMPORTANT to address expecations BEFORE a partnership is made in order to minimize conflicts. And when the conflicts do come up, they need to be addressed and resolved immediately.
Another person said "you must separate business from personal life." This is very good insight for couplepreneurs - I know because Brooke and I encounter this issue everyday. Owning your own business is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is more flexibility and being your own boss and the curse is more flexibility and being your own boss. Because you run the show, it means you can work ALL THE TIME and AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY, and nobody will tell you to go home. And then you get home just to talk about business. Being coupleprenuers, you definitely get to spend more time with your spouse and it is nice to be working towards the same business goals - but at the same time, you are still husband and wife and need a PERSONAL relationship in addition to a BUSINESS relationship. So, make sure you MAKE TIME for your personal lives and it will help your business lives!
So, Southern Utah Coupleprenuers, what is your biggest struggle running a business with your spouse?
-Troy B., Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach
Quote of the Day: "Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today will curse tomorrow; only one thing endures - character." - Horace Greeley
October 28, 2008
Thinking of Starting Your Own Business - READ THIS FIRST!!!
Many people dream of owning their own business, and "being their own boss". What many of them don't realize is it's not your typical 9 to 5 job, in fact, it's much, much more.
Let me introduce you to a little activity we call "2nd work". Instead of getting off work and getting to enjoy the evening relaxing together, we get to "go back to work" - aka attempt to get SOMETHING done that we weren't able to accomplish during the day.
2nd work can involve a number of activities - normally everything that is easy to put off during the day. We will work on our marketing system, catch up on emails, post on the blog, finalize presentations, update our books, the list goes on and on.
It never ceases to amaze us how much you don't get done during the day. So much happens each day that it is just hard to keep up without regrouping at second work. One thing that we have started implementing into 2nd work is our daily planning meeting. Once we put our kids to bed, Troy and I will sit down with our planners, discuss the events of the day and then PRIORITIZE what needs to get done and what can wait. This planning meeting has really improved our thinking in "putting first things first" and letting the more unimportant things wait.
This "putting first things first" concept is straight from Steven Covey's book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We are currently reading this book, along with Peter Drucker's Effective Executive, in hopes that it will help us become even more effective.
Once we can accomplish that - becoming Highly Effective, then we may finally be able to stop going to "2nd work". But, until then, we will keep on working away!!!
-Brooke, That Quickbooks Girl
Quote of the Day: "Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life." - John F. Kennedy
October 21, 2008
We just got back from a business trip in Kansas City, Missouri (note that it is NOT in Kansas - you'll get in trouble for saying that there). We were there for the Annual Duct Tape Marketing Coaches Gathering. Brooke was the only Coach Spouse there and I was so glad that she was! I love owning a business with my wife, especially when we get to travel to events like these and really take in the information. I call Brooke "the sponge" because her brain can hold SO MUCH information.
But seriously, it is so beneficial to have a spouse at an important business conference because then you can discuss things when they are still fresh in your head. There is NO WAY that I could explain to her everything that went on without here being in the room. I like to attribute it to the "Master Mind" principle - and who better then the person closest to you - your spouse!
Have any of you had similar experiences with your spouse contributing to your business?
Quote of the Day: "You can't be truly successful with other people if you haven't paid the price of success with yourself." - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, page 185
October 16, 2008
Welcome to the Affordable Business Solutions "Couplepreneur" Blog. We are a husband-and-wife team that focus affordable and effective marketing and accounting solutions that help small business owners build great businesses. Because we are believers in the "Master Mind" principle introduced by Napolean Hill's Think and Grow Rich book, we have tooled ourselves wiht the best marketing and accounting resources/companies in the nation.
On the marketing side, Troy is Utah's Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach. Duct Tape Marketing, also known as "The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide", is a book and a company created by John Jantsch around the concept that marketing is a SYSTEM, not an event. The Duct Tape Marketing system is customized for each small business and gives them the tools, resources and plans for marketing and building their company effectively. It is the most comprehensive marketing tool out there and we are excited to be a part of this amazing community, company and brand.
On the accounting side, Brooke is a Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor in the St. George, Utah area. She focuses on really helping small businesses truly understand and learn how to utilize their numbers in making better business decisions. Quickbooks is the clear dominating leader in the small business accounting world and for good reason, they have the tools to make your accounting most effective in today's world. And with the help of Quickbooks and other technology, we are now able to help our clients get numbers on a much faster turnaround - even as quick as the next day. Talk about better decision making!
And lastly, being small business owners ourselves, we truly know (and live) the struggles, challenges, opportunities and dangers that most small business owners face. Being married, raising children and building a business are not easy tasks in themselves and are even more challenging when combined together. We would like to discuss some of these topics and would love feedback/comments and also your stories and examples of what you are facing and how you are coping in the ever-changing world we call small business.
Troy Braithwaite, Utah's Duct Tape Marketing Coach
Brooke Braithwaite, That Quickbuicks Girl
Quote of the Day: "Human beings are perhaps never more frightening then when they are convinced beyond doublt that they are right." - Laurens van der Post