Be the CEO of your business and do a vision board

When I first heard about vision boards, I thought they were for people who believed unicorn poop is magical and money trees do really grow.   I was too busy sweating in the trenchesWhen I first heard about vision boards, I thought they were for people who believed unicorn poop is magical and money trees do really grow.   I was too busy sweating in the trenches.

  • Focusing on SWOT analysis and keeping the damn lights on
  • Finding new customers and keeping them happy
  • And my all time favorite, return on investment. Or as I like to think about it – will my blood, sweat, and tears today pay off tomorrow?

I didn’t have no stinkin’ time to be pasting pictures on a posterboard. I was building a business!

Until I realized recently how vision boards REALLY work.

Why you are not a CEO unless you do this for your business

Vision boards give you the opportunity to fully step into the CEO role. You get to dream big and set the vision for the company.

  • What is possible ?
  • What impact could you make if your product or service comes to market?

In the early stages of a business, this is a no brainer. You have plenty of time to do this. And this is often the FUN part of getting started.

When I talk to people who are still in the early stages, they talk in this language.   What they dream about. Being able to make a difference. Their goals.

But once you get started, it’s hard to think big. There are too many things to juggle. Like:

  • Accounting and dealing with the books
  • Legal issues
  • Harassing clients who “forget” to pay you
  • Learning new technologies to “save” you time
  • Finding good sub-contractors and employees to help you deliver quality work
  • Finding clients that you want to work with

These soul sucking tasks often take twice as much time as you thought and require you to constantly put out fires.

It gets hard to step away and think big.

Why you can’t do a vision board during your day to day routine

And even if you have the time, you often have a bigger problem


Yes. When you are dealing with big issues or stuck in a day to day struggle, it’s hard to think about possibilities, dreams, and ideas.

Yet that is EXACTLY the foundation that you need in your business.

Yes, you need to be solving your client’s problems. And providing a needed service that produces a profit.

But you also want to build your overall company on a larger vision. Something that gets people engaged to do business with you.


Because you stand for what they stand for.

So don’t overthink this.

If you are like me, you have stacks of notebooks and books about all things on how to run your business better.  You’ve been to dozens of conferences.  Attended enough networking events to win honorary degrees.

But if you haven’t taken time to step away from the day to day – plan for it.

The best way to start your vision board exercise

The best option is to take a few days and go out of town. Yes, I know it costs money. Honey, Groupon and got deals. And if you are into travel hacking, use the rewards from your credit cards.  (Which is one of the few ways I recommend using credit cards without hesitation).  Track flights via Google Flights or ITA.  Or use the new startup in town, Airfordable, that let’s you “lay-away” for your flights.

Yes, girl I can go there with you. #keepingitreal

And if you are complaining that you don’t have the time – figure it out. There are always ebbs and flows in your business cycle.

Honey, you DESERVE this. You NEED time away to refresh and recharge.

When you return home, you will be in a MUCH clearer state of mind.

You’ll be able to solve better solve problems your business is having.

Which translates into more profits.

I bet you’ll probably be willing to try new routines. I started going to bed at a decent time after a recent vacation. Yesssss!

You might even be in a different mental space that invites new people in your network.  People who have the tools to help you solve the “bigger” problems. It’s always much easier to hear tough suggestions after you return home with new eyes.

Smiling yet?

And if you can’t escape to do your vision board

I got you. Spend 1 day in a space completely different from your own. Go to Breather if you are in a big city. Or go el cheapo and squat at your local Starbucks and keep your cup refilled.

Honey, it don’t matter where.

Bring 1 or 2 other like minded friends or go solo so you can get more done.

Start first by reading or doing some journaling. Or take a long walk in nature.

DO not start with an action step or specific activity. Because you need time to decompress and refocus.

Then sit down and start to dream big again. Start to envision what is possible for you.

  • What is possible for your business.
  • What you want out of life.
  • What those who are impacted by your business will gain – ie. customers, vendors, employees.

Step back and dream big.


Put those pics down in your board.

And use those ideas to build your business model and long term business plan. You’ll create a business that makes you smile AND makes you money.

Why Walmart closing stores matters to your business plan

Low prices are not enough. What are you doing to show customers you provide value?

Customers want something new.

You might have heard  that Wal-Mart is closing stores in several small and rural communities.  It’s a tough blow for many of those communities.  Because their small businesses were hit hard  when Wal-Mart came to town.  And now that they are leaving, customers are stuck with few options.

My friends, that spells opportunity for you!

No, I don’t mean that you should open a retail store.

But pay attention to the trend.  When the world’s biggest store starts closing stores, something is shifting.  Even if it’s only a fraction of their stores.

It means something is not working.

And that my friends… Is a great thing for entrepreneurs.

How to get over your fear of writing your business plan

Smart entrepreneurs use measuring to blast through their failures.


  • Are you having panic attacks thinking about writing your business plan?
  • Hearing the voices of former  teachers telling you how bad your writing is?
  • Freezing up when you try to plan out what goals to focus on?
  • Or just B.O.R.E.D. out of your mind staring at the blank page?


Then you’ll be all ears when I reveal a secret about writing your business plan.

#No2016Resolutions for your business

#no2016 biz resolutions

Don’t bother making New Year’s business resolutions this year.  Make a two month or three month goal.  Super busy and can’t see that far?  Develop a  two week goal.


Because New Year’s resolutions don’t work.  You’ll lose focus too easy.  Or find new goals and get distracted.  And once you miss the target, you’ll lose valuable momentum.

I have been guilty of this myself.  I sat down to plan my business goals this year.  I tried a few times to visualize what I wanted for my business this year.  And something kept coming up to distract me.   And I couldn’t think big picture. So it hit me:

Want more sales? Start listening

Listen closely.Now build your company.

If you find selling hard, let me offer a suggestion which could make it easier:

  • Stop talking
  • Start listening

Yes, stop telling people what you do.  Don’t tell them your title.  Or what your service offers.  Or how many different colors, sizes, bells, and whistles your product comes with.  And definitely don’t use industry terms to describe your business like everyone else does.

Curious about how it works?  

3 Tips to Grow Your Biz

My recent podcast on DogTrainersConnection with Bonnie Brown

Want tips on how you can earn more money in your micro-business while doing what you love?  Then you’ll enjoy this podcast interview.  I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Bonnie Brown, Founder of The Dog Trainers Connection.  She asked a very powerful question for dog trainers who love what they do but want help in growing their business.  Podcast interview by The Dog Trainers Connection and Malla Haridat


Dog trainers – like most service professionals – have to juggle the dual task of serving their clients AND serving their OWN business – aka finding more clients and juggling the many roles of running a business. That’s not easy!!!

So I shared three powerful tips on how dog trainers and other service professionals can grow their biz.

Send me any questions you have after you listen!

Your sucky time management isn’t the problem with your business

Your sucky time management isn’t the problem with your business.  You don’t have a time management problem.  You haven’t even scratched the surface.  The real problem is

Your sucky time management isn’t the problem with your business. You haven’t even scratched the surface. The real problem is

It always seems like time is the enemy.  You aren’t making enough money because you can’t seem to get everything done?  There is too much “to do” and not enough time.

I hear this scenario all of the time from entrepreneurs.  I woke up motivated, Malla.  I had a PLAN!  A few marketing tasks.  Some sales calls.  And a list of operational tasks.  I knew it was going to happen.  But I fell off after:

  • one too long visit with my accountant and a reminder about taxes
  • a no call/no voicemail prospect who told me she was interested but has ignored all of my calls
  • and the three hours I spent messing around with that plug-in which still isn’t working on my website.

I get it!  But you don’t have a time management problem.  You haven’t even scratched the surface.  The real problem is

Do this 1 thing during the busy holidays for your business

Before you sit down to the holiday meal, do this one thing that will take NO time and help you build your business next year.

Take a moment to congratulate yourself on everything that you accomplished this year.

Whatttt? I’m not telling you to:

  • Review your marketing and tweak who you your ideal client is
  • Update your website
  • Work on your long things to do list
  • Revamp your website
  • Get to work on your sales plan (Which btw these are all good ideas if you’ve got 30 min or more!!)

Nope. I want you to take some serious well deserved down time. Ignore the fact that you are not earning the money YET that you’d like. And spend quality time with family, friends, and doing what makes your heart happy this holiday season.

Start 2015 On The Positive!

Are you freaking out about the business goals that you wanted to achieve this year….and haven’t tackled?

Are you freaking out about the business goals that you wanted to achieve this year….and haven’t tackled?

Trust me, I can relate. It’s easy to get distracted from running your business:

  • Family obligations
  • Social events
  • Answering crazy emails
  • Bills
  • Serving current clients while you stress trying to get new ones

So if you glanced up in panic mode but are ready to take action, I’ve got two ideas for you:

Two ways to earn more money this year

So did you start the 30 day challenge of writing down your patterns and habits? Oh my friends, if you have not gotten on board, I encourage you to try it!

I started it myself and ended up with an aaaammmmzazzzzzing solution.  I decided to shorten one of my workshops and offer it for free.  Why?  Because I’ll gain much more interest if I use it for gathering new friends and fans rather than charging for it.  Once people attend, I know they will get the value and want more.  And I get the double win-win of delivering a message I am super passionate about!!!

When this revelation hit, I thought about other ways that you could earn more money.  After you finish your “non resolutions” time, what else can you do to earn more money in your business?  I’ve got two ideas for you: