in: SALES  | 


    “Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson, not the attitude of the prospect”

    This is a lesson I learned very quickly in my first year of ad sales. being a recent Saint Mary’s university grad and having just less than two years experience in ad sales, I quickly realized that the learning curve in sales is ongoing. knowing the customer, being consistent and persistent, and maintaining a positive attitude (especially towards clients) are some of the key lessons I have learned.

    A bit of advice for all of you recent grads and ad boys and girls: don’t think you’ll learn everything you need to know in school or in a textbook.You may learn the basics that way- teamwork, theory, ad models, but the key to being successful in sales is to find a good mentor to continue learning.

    My employer and mentor, Jeff brooks, once told me, “you have to make twenty-two calls a day to get five maybes, and out of those five maybes, you might get two sales”. This is another lesson that I would like to pass along tosalesnewcomers:thinkingeveryone will say yes, then getting discouraged when they don’t is counterproductive. knowing your customer starts with knowing yourself. Admitting your knowledge gaps (a hard concept to swallow) will tremendously improve how you interact with your clients.

    One last piece of advice: clients know what they want and they usually have a vision in their head. It’s your job to work with them. You can give them advice along the way, but trying to change their vision entirely will only frustrate your client and discourage you if they resist your suggestions.

    in: BUILDING UP  | 


    If the expression “beach bodies” conjures up images of sculpted, lithe physiques glistening in the sun, don’t chastise yourself. You are programmed to think that way; a lifetime of media-defined images is hard to ignore.

    You probably also imagine a health and fitness coach to fit the mold of buff parts and toned muscles, too. Molds, however, can be broken and Tara MacDonald is determined to bust that one. She is on a very public journey toward a healthier self and, no stranger to entrepreneurism, she sees possibilities for making the journey a profitable one, financially as well as physically.

    An important factor in having your own business is passion for what you do. Another is finding your market. Tara is passionate about getting in shape and, as a plus-size woman, she recognizes a plus- sized niche market she can tap into. If those of us who are average-sized are coyed by the nubile-looking, yoga-bodied instructors that urge us to push our bodies, what must it be like for those who have a very long way to go before ever being considered lithe or sculpted? Statistically, they are a large percentage of our North American population. In Nova Scotia alone, the rate of obesity doubled between 1987 and 1995.Tara is right about market potential, and she has first-hand knowledge of what is motivating that market.

    Tara graduated with a degree in english literature from Trent university, then did a six year stint in Toronto working for a publishing house. She came back east to do Marketing and Management at Mount Saint Vincent. While at the Mount, she came to terms with the fact that she was gaining too much weight, too fast. As she says, “size 26 went by, and passed”. She needed to do something. She had been strong and active through high school, playing rugby and other sports. however, too many years sitting in front of a computer for work and school, combined with unhealthy eating habits, had caught up with her. Determined to make changes, she started a non-profit for plus-size women called NSFIT4u. She had a trainer design a program for them, and made it available for free.They worked out for 6 weeks.

    When she graduated in 2006, she decided to go to banff to work for the summer because “everything was uphill”. She was 400lbs, and something had to give. The hills would force her activity level. It was while she was there that she came across the beach body® products. She and her friends were trying to get in better shape and saw the ads for the Turbo Jam® DVD on the Shopping Channel. She ordered the DVD and became a beach body® member.

    Losing her dad to a heart attack that same year was the first serious wake-up call. She came back to Dartmouth to go to film school and to start her film production business, Charlie Mac Productions, named in his honour. Tara invested heavily in it over the first two years, and while getting the business off the ground, she continued to try to get herself grounded.Through a combination of personal trainers, workout DVDs and new approaches to nutrition, she dropped 115lbs. Charlie Mac was doing well. She teamed up with a l.A.-based producer with whom she had connected through linked In, and they specialized in film shorts- videos, trailers, ads. She also had a direct selling business on the side, representing a Canadian jewellery line called Fifth Avenue Collection, and used her income from sales to finance her love of travel.

    She was still losing weight, albeit sporadically, but her energy was more focused on her business than on herself or her health. Then came another wake-up call. This time it was the death of a beloved aunt, whom she describes as having been “a rock”. her aunt had been primary caregiver for Tara’s grandmother, and had been devoted to her. Shortly after her grandmother passed away last year (at 102 years old),Tara’s aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had denied the symptoms, and not gone for care or investigations. That was october 2012. She died a month later.

    This sudden death has been a huge motivator, not only for Tara but for many in her family, to be more proactive about their health.Tara had had her beach body® membership status for years when she discovered through her own coach that beach body® was bringing their direct selling business to Canada. She sold her Fifth Avenue stock, and signed on with beach body® .

    So now Tara MacDonald is a beach body® coach. beach body® is responsible for products like P90X® , Shakeology® , and Turbo Jam® . In her role as a coach, she reps the products and helps to keep people on track with their fitness goals. beach body® uses a team and buddy support system that Tara finds tremendously helpful. buddies email each other daily and are accountable to each other.

    She uses her website and blog, Facebook page and the beach body® coach site to reach clients. With the online buddy system, her clients can be anywhere. She knows that her market is with the plus-size men and women who find her approachable because of her own goals. The biggest obstacle her clients face is the same one many businesses face: not seeing instant results. but she advises “goals need to be measurable, there are always set backs. have a big vision goal.”

    There are the nay-sayers. When people say “you’re overweight, how can you call yourself a beach body® coach?” she’s ready for it.“Success stories” she says,“only happen if you start somewhere. I’m already a success because I’ve lost 5 pounds.”

    Last year Tara brought back NSFit4u, formalizing it with a board of directors and running a program through 360fit in Dartmouth. She hopes to keep it going. She still has Charlie Mac Productions but now has an employee run it. She says this is her “year to make it happen”.


During the work week, the majority of us spend more than half of our day in a chair. In doing so our leg muscles may not receive the attention that they should. Here are two simple exercises that will allow you to regain that strength and stay on your toes. A healthy body, much like a business, must always start with a solid foundation.

1. Stand with your back straight and your feet approximately 15” apart

2. Keeping both feet pointing straight ahead, slowly raise straight up transferring your weight to your toes

3. Slowly lower yourself taking the weight off your toes (be sure not to let your heels come in contact with the floor)

4. repeat until you ‘feel the burn’ in your calfs, repeat ten times, each time come to the burning sensation

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    Are you making sure that you receive all the tax benefits you deserve? It is not possible to produce a comprehensive list in this article, but here are a few things that you may want to consider:

    1) If you have earned income are you taking advantage of RRSP’s? The amount allowable each year to deduct from your income is based on the amount of your total RRSP room, which builds up each year at a rate of 18% of your previous year’s earned income.

    2) If you are a working parent, are you getting receipts for child care expenses?You can claim up to $7,000 for children under age 7, and $4,000 for any children from age 7 to 18.

    3) have your children who are under 17 been involved in active sports or arts? If so make sure you get receipts and claim tax credits up to $500 per child.

    4) Do you have a pension income and a spouse? For certain types of pension income you may be eligible to split up to 50% of that income with a spouse.

    5) Do you have any non-registered investments? If so you may qualify to claim carrying charges, including interest or professional fees.

    6) If you are attending a university or college you may claim tuition fees as well as an education and textbook amount. Also up to $5,000 may be able to be transferred from a child or spouse.

    7) If you make donations up to $200 you only get a total tax credit of 23.79%. On every qualified donation over $200 there is a 50% tax credit.

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    Stand with your back against a wall. Your feet should be 6 inches away from the wall and your butt, upper back, and head should all be in contact with the wall at all times during the exercise.

    • Stick your hands up overhead. Try to keep your shoulders, elbows, and wrists in contact with the wall at all times.

    • Slide your arms down the wall and tuck your elbows into your sides. This should bring your shoulder blades down and together. You should feel a strong contraction in the muscles between your shoulder blades, as well as the shoulder muscles.

    • Reminder! Try to keep everything in contact with the wall.

    • From the bottom position, try to slowly slide your arms up until they are straight and in a “stick-em up” position. Once again, keeping everything in contact with the wall.

    • The goal is to try to improve your range of motion in this exercise each week.

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    “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

    In defining our goals and dreams, a few friends and I decided to start a Think and Grow Rich workshopbased on the book written by Napoleon Hill back in 1937. Hill was hired on a 20 year contract to interview 500 wealthy business people to determine what made them successful. As a result of that study, he wrote Think and Grow Rich, in which he outlined 13 principles. The book remains a best seller today, over 70 years later.

    The first step focuses on how to take your dreams and map them into goals. The workshop has been very helpful to us and has given us the tools to follow our dreams. For example, one of our group was selling jewellery part time at a local market. When she started the workshop, her best day had been about $300 in sales; halfway through the course, her sales were over $1,600. She is making her dreams a reality.

    I hope everyone is enjoying the fabulous weather that we are having this summer. It is a great time to relax and quietly reflect on whether we are living the life we want, something we don’t always get the opportunity to do.

    If you would like to find out more about the Think and Grow Rich workshop, please email me for details. It is free for Mingle readers.

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    For most of us, whether it is at home or at the office, working those countless hours all week takes a toll on your body.

    One of the main issues most people have is backache .When you experience back pain you may begin to slouch causing shoulder and neck pain as well.

    If you don’t have that perfectly ergonomic desk/chair set up and you work all week, here are some stretching tips to help get back into the swing of things.

    1. Start with laying stomach down on the floor

    2. Put your hands directly under your shoulders, shoulder-width apart

    3. Slowly lift your upper body, arching your back, toes facing the wall behind you, looking up towards the ceiling

    4. Slowly come back to original position and repeat

    Tip: Do not over-extend the arch, simply bend until you feel a good stretch, but not so it is uncomfortable.

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    Got a hankering to revisit the childhood wonderment of a homemade snow fort? Willing to pay to  bed down on a block of ice? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to stay in one of several grand ice hotels around the world. You could travel to majestic mountainous or riverside settings in Sweden, Finland, Norway or Romania but there’s no need to voyage so far because North America boasts ice hotels in both Montreal and Quebec City. Romantic, adventurous, and unforgettable.

    Wrap your head around this- these icy masterpieces, resplendent with ice furniture and artwork, are newly constructed every winter because they do indeed melt every spring. What an amazing annual feat of craftsmanship and artistic vision!

    An ice hotel is generally part of a larger snow village complete with ice restaurant, ice bar, and even an ice chapel for a totally unique wedding experience. The debut year for the Montreal Snow Village had a Montreal city theme, but next year they plan to take on a New York City vibe. And you needn’t stay the night to visit.

    How cold is it? Not as cold as you would think. The insulating properties of the structure keep the ambient temperature between -2 to -5°C. For the outdoor enthusiast, it’s a novel winter vacation. In Montreal, you can spend the night in a prestige room, a standard room or an igloo. Quebec City’s Hotel de Glace has a premium deluxe suite with a fireplace and private spa. Wherever you choose  to indulge your icy whims, a well-insulated sleeping bag is guaranteed to top a deerskin or mattress, on a bed carved from ice. You toes will stay toasty.

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    For those of you that haven’t heard about it before, Nest -“The learning Thermostat”- is exactly what it says on the tin. No more waking up freezing cold, trying to avoid frost bite while running barefoot to the thermostat, in an attempt to avoid the high and sometimes crippling costs associated with heating your home.

    Nest Thermostat learns the way you live your life: when you leave for work, when you come home, when you go to bed and (more importantly) when you get up in the morning. It learns as you control it, changing the temperature until it knows your schedule.What makes it even better is that it can be controlled from your phone! Okay, maybe not the most exciting thing anymore, being able to control something from your phone (are there even just phones anymore?), but we’re talking about complete control over your heating. being able to jump in the car after work and, if the weather is colder or hotter than expected, changing your in-home thermostat with the touch of a button on your phone.

    And DIY fans, according to Nest “If you’re comfortable installing a light fixture you can install Nest yourself. Three out of four people install Nest in 30 minutes or less”.

    So what can you save? Well according to Nest, if you properly configure the Nest Thermostat you can save up to 20% on your home heating and cooling bill. Not something to be sniffed at. And Nest works with different heating systems. Most thermostats are made for forced air systems but with System Match “Nest activates custom energy saving features, depending on the system you have”.

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