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Why Positivity Matters

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Thursday, May 25, 2017


3 Tips for Staying Positive as an Entrepreneur

You know those people that always seem SO happy? I am talking always peppy, always smiling, and always nice. If that is not your typical demeanor, you have probably found yourself wondering how they keep it up. Surely not everything is always going well for them, and we all know that bad times are inevitable. It is easy to tell others how helpful it is to be positive when everything is going well. Why wouldn’t it be easy to be positive when you are in a position of success? You are achieving your goals, so you can easily be positive about at least that. However, we know that you are not always going to be in a place where you can see the growth that is occurring.

So how can you stay positive during those times that feel more like a valley than a mountaintop? Let’s explore some practical ways to practice positivity in your everyday life.

  1. Don’t let the little things slide by. When we fail to see the little things that are going our way, we can quickly fall into a state of negativity. Especially as an entrepreneur, those little tasks that you complete throughout the day snowball into significant, life-changing advances in your career. If you find yourself bored by the monotony of your daily agenda, do something to change it up that excites you. Not everything is going to be sunshine and roses. Nobody expects that. You do have the ability, however, to find the greater meaning and potential in the little things.
  2. Disassociate with negativity. Once you have reached adulthood, you don’t really hear anything about the power of peer pressure, but do not be fooled by thinking it no longer exists. Simply by nature, we tend to take on the characteristics of those we choose to associate with. This also applies to business. If the people you network with do not maintain the level of positivity that you need to thrive, it may be time to find new connections. Find business role models to look up to that produce an atmosphere of good energy and respect for others. Not only will this immediately raise your game, but it will also help you to model that same type of energy in your company.
  3. Gain the knowledge you need to succeed. Speaking of raising your game, there is nothing that will boost you up as an entrepreneur like accessing resources that provide you with applicable information for your company. Finding the right business coach to lead you in the right direction can certainly keep you from falling into a place of negativity. By having someone there to keep you focused or redirect your focus to a new area, you can train yourself to be more positive about your business. Another great way to increase your knowledge is by attending events that connect you with successful people. Fast Inc. Network’s Business Accelerators can provide you with instant connections with some of the most successful and positive entrepreneurs.

Sign Up Today for the Fast Inc. Network Business Accelerator this June 7-9 in Phoenix,

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Tags:  arizona  ASBA  business  business owner  business owners  entrepreneur  small biz  small business  success 

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Building the Perfect Team

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Friday, May 5, 2017

As small businesses look to grow and expand, hiring becomes part of the game. As a business owner, it’s often tempting to do everything yourself. But trust me, with the perfect team in place you’ll be able to scale and grow in a more sustainable and successful way.

Without sugarcoating it, there is a risk for failure when you bring new people into the fold.

Entrepreneurs are great at the thing they’ve created a business around, but they aren’t always as savvy when it comes to managing and hiring the right people. That’s why when I work with businesses; I emphasize the importance of finding the people who fit the culture, especially during the early hiring process.

With the perfect team in place and a commitment to creating synergy with that team, you gain access to growth. The biggest asset you have is your people, so building a high-performing team is one of the most effective mechanisms for growing your company. But how do you find those people?

Define Your Core Values

First, be truly committed to what your business is up to. What is your mission and what are your core values? Before you jump into hiring, you need to know what you stand for before someone else can stand for that with you.

Hiring for Culture

From there, you can look at what attributes and personality traits are most in line with your brand and develop a hiring strategy around that. Remember, you can always teach tangible skills, you can’t teach attitude and personality.

Pay Attention to Personality Types

As far as personality goes, there is a type of person that thrives in a startup culture. That person is hungry and eager to learn and grow. The person who displays initiative and is willing to take risks will prosper in the fast-paced entrepreneurial culture. Unlike traditional corporate positions, look for people who seek forgiveness and instead of asking for permission. Opinionated individuals who are willing to take a stand for their beliefs are the kind of employees who will stand up for your company and its mission.  

Keep Going!

Hiring isn’t easy. You might strike out a few times and have employees that don’t fit your culture or mesh with your core values. Don’t give up. Having a team and employees who keep you accountable, push you, and generate new ideas will make your business successful and help it grow for years to come!

To learn more about how you can hire the right people and build the perfect team, join me at the Fast. Inc. Business Accelerator in Phoenix from June 7-9. Register now at


Rachel Scava is a lawyer and the COO of Fully Accountable, an accounting, finance and human resources full-service and software solution for small businesses. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and hire the right people on their team; she speaks at events as a Culture Expert.


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Tags:  arizona  ASBA  business  business owner  entrepreneur  small biz  small business  success 

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How to add value to your business without going broke

Posted By Kim England, Fast Inc. Network, Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A universal concept that drives all businesses can be summed up in one word. Value. Even at a young age, we can determine what things are of more value than others. We knew that we had “dress clothes” and “play clothes.” This told us that one thing is of greater value than the next. We knew that As in school were of more value than Fs. It doesn’t take a person long to figure out that most things in life can be ranked by their value. Not only is the concept of value elementary, but it also expands to how we do business. Our customers want to know that the services or products that we are offering to them are equitable to the cost. This is how typical exchanges occur. However, we create loyal, repeat clients when we find ways to pack in value that gives them “more bang for their buck.”

A good business person knows that while it is important to provide value to your customers, it is equally as important to make sure that costs to oneself stay at a minimum. So how can you deliver value to your clients without going broke? These simple tips can help!

  1. Provide knowledge to your customers. There are some things in life that cannot be bought. One of those things is your experiences. No matter how you try to recreate them, your experiences are unique to your situation and knowledge. You can provide that expertise to your customers to add value to your services. Instead of just selling a product to your client, provide them with your knowledge and first-hand experiences. Not only is this of no monetary cost to you the business owner, but it also creates a fan instead of just a customer.
  2. Offering services in exchange for publicity. You can have a great product or service that you provide, but what good is that if nobody knows about it? One of the best ways you can provide value without cost is by partnering with the media to promote your business. While there may be some initial cost, partnering with the right media outlets can increase sales in dramatic ways. What media outlets do you listen to? These are the people to partner with to get the word out about your business.
  3. Offering publicity in exchange for services. Once you have secured publicity through media outlets, use that as leverage for other vendors to work with you. To be successful, collaboration is essential. Join with other businesses by offering them potential media exposure. These types of symbiotic relationships that are mutually benefiting can add value to your business with little to no cost to you.

Learn applicable strategies like these and much more at the Business Accelerator this June 7-9 in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit to register.


Tags:  arizona small business  business  business owner  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  small business  success 

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What's in Your Luggage?

Posted By Terri Sinclair, ATD Greater Tucson, Friday, June 24, 2016

Yesterday, I purchased a new hair styling brush. I threw out the one I had been using for 13 years. (Yes, I did wash it regularly.) I do think of myself as being frugal; yet, some might say this was the extreme. The old brush worked alright. I didn’t see the need until a screw came out, which made the brush dysfunctional. As I’ve bee reading Marshall Goldsmith’s latest book: Triggers, I started to wonder: where else am I accepting ‘alright’ when better technology is available? It reminded me of the book by Julia Morganstern who talked about ‘what’s in your luggage?’ Am I packed for my future, or for my past?


If you’re reaching for higher levels of success, It would make sense to pack what’s needed, and leave behind what doesn’t work. You probably wouldn't need a bikini if you were traveling to Alaska in the winter. I’ve been pretty good at getting rid of outdated objects as I’ve moved through the years. For me and my clients, the harder baggage to let go of is the intangible. 


Questions I often ask my clients to help  “Who were you known as when you were growing up?” Were you known as the responsible one, the smart one, the lazy one? Does that definition still fit? Does it fit all the time? I’m not opposed to being known as the curious one, and are there times when maybe I’d rather be something else. It’s not that the definition is bad, it’s just that it can be limiting at times. 


And what if the label is perceived as negative by you or others? I often think of the Stephen Covey phrase, “Argue for your weaknesses, and they’re yours.” Especially when I’m coaching people on presentation skills, I will often hear, “I’m not good speaking in front of people.” How is that belief going to help you on your journey to being who you want?


There are a few labels I’m going to ‘unpack from my luggage’: I’m controlling and I’m impatient. These are not needed on my travels. I’m replacing them with: I’m accepting and I’m improving my ability to be patient every day. My luggage feels a lot lighter.

Tags:  bad habits  breaking habits  business owners  creating new habits  entrepreneur  habits  small business  stress  stress management  success  time mastery 

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Friday Fever: Keeping Your Employees Engaged at Work

Posted By Niki Ramirez,, Sunday, June 5, 2016

Employee engagement is important every day, but let's just talk about tackling Fridays for now.

You probably already know how it goes… It’s 2:30 p.m. on Friday and the far-away looks on your employees’ faces are easy to read. It’s only natural for employees to want to wind down as the week comes to a close. So there they are, sitting at their desk, thinking about weekend plans with family and friends.

Rather than look the other way and allow them to just "wait it out" on Fridays, here are three great ides to try to address this weekly downturn in engagement and productivity:

Make time to socialize and connect: when the afternoon lull hits, bring your team together in a more social setting to keep energy high and ideas flowing.

Gather everyone in a common area (like a training room, conference room, etc.) or head out to a local coffee shop or bowling alley to talk about what the next week holds, what folks are looking forward to, and what you can do to support one another. Share a snack, drink or other treat as well. Organizational psychologists agree that eating together increases connectedness and feelings of unity. Bottom line: time spent getting to know your employees, listening to their ideas and building relationships will always be time well-spent.

Just for Fun Friday: from ping-pong battles to chess tournaments, allow your employees to let loose and have some fun.

The human brain thrives on fun and novelty. We all perform better and are more successful when our lives are balanced with work and play – and it's not a new idea, we know that work and play CAN go together! I’ve read about teams that leave together (early) on Friday’s and employees go to the gym together and pump iron for the last 2 hours of the week. And here are a few other cool ways to end a Friday at work:

·        crafting and coloring time

·        bring in a yoga instructor or provide employees with chair massage

·        host a chili cook-off, parking lot BBQ, or cookie exchange

The easiest way to ensure that the activities planned really are meaningful and fun for your team is to allow a handful of employees to form a “social committee” – give them a budget and let them go to it, planning activities that they know everyone will truly enjoy!

Allow employees to set their own Friday schedule: this may sound pretty far out, but what if you just let your employees go home on Fridays when they felt they were in a good position to do so?

Employees who know they can leave when they are "done" will work diligently to knock out their to-do list in order to get their weekend started. If you do try this tactic, make sure you keep in touch with your employees throughout the week so that you have a pulse on what they have to get done before they call it a wrap. It goes without saying that this will not work for every employee, in every circumstance. Some positions will lend themselves to this far more easily than others.

Just Do It!

There is immeasurable value in making time to connect, have fun and socialize with your employees; and allowing your employees the autonomy to set their own schedule on Fridays (or any day, really!) can prove to be an equally powerful tool. 

Get organized, talk to your employees and start small. You'll discover that your team is more cohesive and productive in no time.

There are a wide variety of strategies that business leaders use to increase and maintain employee engagement, what ideas do you have? Please share in Comments.


About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned professional consultant, speaker and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders.  She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of local businesses to analyze current human resources and business operations with the objective of collaborating to design cost-effective training, employee relations programs, develop employment policies and procedures, and help business leaders exceed their goals.
Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly gorgeous, intelligent kids.  She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.

Tags:  employee engagement  employees  HRteam  human resources  management  managing people  small business  success  team building 

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50 Ways Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms

Posted By Gabriel Salcido, Arizona Small Business Association, Tuesday, January 5, 2016
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How to Make Your Small Business Succeed

Posted By Gabriel Salcido, Arizona Small Business Association, Thursday, July 9, 2015


The desire for independence is growing in appeal for small business owners. Author, Speaker, and Executive Coach Leanne Hoagland-Smith discusses the desire for independence growing in appeal for small business owners, along with some of the pitfalls that come with starting your business. Leanne shares some common mistakes that owners will make and how to avoid them.

Tags:  starting a business  startup  success 

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Use the 24 Hour Rule

Posted By Les Taylor, Outperformers International, Monday, April 6, 2015
Ever hear of the 24-Hour Rule?

Neither had I, until I read Harvey Mackay’s recent newsletter, in which he shared a concept he learned from legendary NFL coach Don Shula. After 32 seasons in the National Football League, Shula holds the record for the most career wins (347). In 1972, he led the Miami Dolphins to a perfect season, 17 – 0! Nearly 40 years later, that record has yet to be broken. Oh yeah, throw in a couple of Super Bowl wins as well.

According to Mackay, one of the secrets to Shula’s incredible success in football was the “24-hour rule.” This rule stated that his team could only relish a win, or brood over a defeat, for 24 hours. After that, it was back to work preparing for the next game and the next series of challenges. During the 24 hours of reflection, Shula encouraged his team to deal honestly with the emotions conjured up by the win or the loss but, at the end of the allotted time period, it was back to work preparing for the next game.

So, what can we learn from the 24-hour rule?

Let’s start with failure. How easy is it to throw in the towel after we lose a big contract, a long-standing client, or maybe just dealing with the daily struggles caused by a rough economy? Too easy, right? I think it’s one of the primary reasons so many small businesses fail, and why so many dreams for a better future go unfulfilled. We allow ourselves to dwell too long on the things that didn’t work. Statistics show that most of us give up, just a few feet short of the finish line.

Every day offers new opportunities for success and personal improvement. If we’re focused on what didn’t work yesterday, instead of what could work today, we’re whipped before we start. Allowing ourselves 24 hours to sulk is more than enough time. Getting over it and getting on with it is a better way to go.

When all the feathers hit the floor, we’ll experience more success than failures in our lifetime. So let’s not let our pity parties last more than 24 hours.

To be successful, you have to believe you can change the conditions of your life. In fact, you have only got two choices: let someone else determine the outcomes in your life, or accept responsibility for doing it yourself. I’d opt for the latter. Shouldn’t you?

Guy Kawasaki, the former Chief Evangelist for Apple, says: “You’ll wait by a river a very long time before a roast duck will fly into your mouth.” We can choose to wait and blame or we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move on. Success is a choice.

The other side of the coin is how you handle those spectacular victories in your life. Closing the biggest account of your career, winning a sought after award or degree, or coming up with an idea that turned your company around.

Think this is a good time to coast? I don’t. Celebrate the success or the accomplishment for about 24 hours and get back to work. You’re on a roll. Take advantage of the momentum. Success breeds success. After a short break to celebrate the victory, use what you learned, and what worked, to generate more of the same.

Winners don’t quit after one victory. They figure out how to stay motivated and make sure their success is repeatable.

The 24-hour rule means you get a brand new start every day. Remember, we can learn from the past, but we can’t linger there. As Mackay says: “Build on what you know so that you don’t repeat mistakes. Resolve to learn something new every day. Because every 24 hours, you have the opportunity to have the best day of your life.”

Tags:  dealing with defeat  Failure  Losing  Success  Winning 

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Why it's time to ditch the blankety-blank self-worth?

Posted By Carine Dieude, Biostress Imagery LLC, Monday, March 30, 2015

In sociology and psychology, self-worth reflects your overall emotional evaluation of you own worth. It is a judgment you have toward yourself. It is made of certain beliefs such as "I am worthy", "I am incompetent", and emotions ranging from pride to shame, glory to despair.

Why it's time to ditch the blankety-blank self-worth

The problem is that to appreciate self-worth we focus on measuring it, which automatically involves measuring yourself with others and evaluating your every moves instead of focusing on your intrinsic values. There will always be someone taller, richer, more eloquent...Your notion of self-worth goes up and down, bouncing like a ball. A study at the University of Michigan found that students who base their self-worth on external factors such as academic performance, appearance and approval from others, reported more stress, anger, academic problems and relationship conflicts. They also had higher levels of alcohol and drug use, as well as more symptoms of eating disorders.

Instead of listening to your inner critic, shaped by your childhood experiences, you can challenge his/her point of view, separating yourself from how you are seen by your family, your friends and coworkers, and begin to understand your own thoughts, desires and values.

Author: Carine Dieudé, C.Ht., Biostress Imagery LLC

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Tags:  professional development  stress  stress management  success 

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What is there not to love?

Posted By Carine Dieude, Biostress Imagery LLC, Wednesday, March 25, 2015

STOP hating yourself for everything you aren't, START loving yourself for everything that you are.

You are a limited edition. What is there not to love?

Every morning when you wake up, find one thing (positive) that you are. And everyday pick a new thing. It's call self-affirmation! It will boost your optimism level, and gradually, sprinkle your day with joy as your brain oozes dopamine, the pleasure hormone.

So what is there not to love?


Author: Carine Dieude, C.Ht., Biostress Imagery LLC

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Tags:  stress  success 

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