Getting Ready for Maternity Leave as a Solopreneur

Our family is just days away from welcoming our second little bean into the world, and I am so. not. ready.

Maternity Leave Solopreneur

My awkward prego selfie at 36 weeks.

I mean, I’m ready to meet this little monkey who has been doing non-stop somersaults for the past three dozen weeks! I cannot wait for those cuddles.

But it seems as though I have a ridiculous to-do list to address before signing off on this delivery due date (slated for Nov. 2).

When thinking about what it takes to go on maternity leave as a solopreneur, I thought I’d put together my business-related pre-maternity leave list of things to get done before we double (over) in diapers. [Read more…]

Three Mistakes Business Owners Make when launching a Blog

And how you can avoid these same mistakesBusiness Blogging Mistakes

Business owners who want to take their online presence to the next level usually look to the blogosphere. They understand they need to be online for so many reasons, but they often stumble and make mistakes as they begin – and ultimately end – their short-lived blogging journey.

Here are three mistakes business bloggers make when they first launch a business blog, and tips on how you can avoid these pitfalls: [Read more…]

How to Write a Professional Email

This feels odd to state, but crafting a professionally written email is now becoming a craft in itself.How to write professional email

I teach a communications course at my local college, and teaching the email protocol lesson plan is by far my favourite class of the year. There’s nothing I love more than to see my students adopt email etiquette techniques that will get them noticed in a positive way from potential future employers.

My students may have differing opinions. [Read more…]

How do you stay motivated when working from home?

The Perth and District Chamber of Commerce recently asked me to host a workshop next month at its home-based business symposium.

The title? “How to stay motivated when working from home”.Pros and Cons Working from home

Apparently they figure I have some answers to this tricky question. I launched my home-based business 3.5 years ago and since that time, I’ve had a baby and there’s another one on the way. So I’ve definitely learned what works, what doesn’t work and what I still struggle with when working from my home office. [Read more…]

My Favourite Book Club Books

Good Tuesday morning! It’s a rainy day in my neck of the woods, and it makes me want to crawl back into bed with a good book in hand. We can all safely assume a nap would then follow.Cats Cove Communications favourite books from book club

To honour the in-bed-with-a-book desire, I thought I’d outline some of my favourite books I’ve read over the past four years, which is when I first joined a book club.

Six of us are part of the group and we meet every six to eight weeks and take turns hosting. For me, it’s a highlight getting together with a group of women to discuss…books? Well, more like our lives. We usually quickly touch on the book before returning to catch-up conversations about work, kids, recipes and life. My husband calls it Wine Club. Whatever. It’s a good excuse to read a book while having some social time. [Read more…]

Planning out your social media calendar: Lessons from a Porcupine Project

Cat's Cove Communications PorcupinePicture this: I’m in Grade 2 and eating my breakfast at the kitchen table one school-day morning. Suddenly, I scream at the top of my lungs and burst into tears.

Concerned about the sudden outburst, my dad and siblings ask me what’s wrong.

“I have a project due today and I haven’t even started it! I just remembered,” I stated through sobs.

The project? It was supposed to be about porcupines. So, with 20 minutes until the bus arrives at the end of our driveway, my entire family scrambles to help me put the project together. Adrenaline was running high. It was like a bad scene from Masterchef. [Read more…]

Five things to do to submit a press release that gets noticed

Earlier this spring, I led a workshop at the Small Business Advisory Centre. I sat down with a range of business owners and organization managers who wanted to learn about writing a press release and ensuring it gets noticed by the media.Cats Cove Press Release

It was so much fun hearing their stories and working on a way to make them feel more confident in their writing and taking the best steps to get their press release published or announced.

With that, here are my top five tips to writing and submitting a press release that gets noticed. [Read more…]

The night I won the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur Award

Cat's Cove Communications Perth ChamberSometimes, I still think I’m 22.

I like pop music, I can’t help but occasionally indulge in some reality television, and I love it when my parents make me dinner.

There’s the obvious reality that I’m not still 22. I’m married, own a house and have a toddler son with another little bean on the way. I pay property taxes, rake leaves on weekends and get nervous when I walk by a group of teenagers.

However, my age did get noticed recently by the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce. In October, 2013, I was nominated for and awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award. [Read more…]

Private I Column: July 10, 2014 Edition

Every other week, I write aPrivate I Tux column for my local newspaper, The Perth Courier. The column has been running for four decades, and I took it over in 2011. The Private I covers local issues, community events and features local residents thro
ugh storytelling. I always conclude the column with “Walks with Tux”, which is an avenue for discussion on what’s been noticed in and around town during my walks out with our insanely energetic dog, Tux. Here’s this week’s column:
[Read more…]

Why I changed my business name

Homer Simpson hard at work – In a muumuu.

Welcome to Cat’s Cove Communications!

Yes, I’ve changed my business name, and I’ll explain why.

I have crystal clear memories of my first day of work at Cat’s Cove Writing on Jan. 4, 2011. I woke up that morning, showered and got ready like I would for any regular work day. Except rather than heading to the front door to leave for the day, I took a 90-degree turn to the left and walked into my home office.

I felt like Homer Simpson on his first day working from home (although he worked hard to gain an enormous amount of weight so that he could stay home. Muumuus ensued for his daily attire – Photo Source). I didn’t know what to do expect to begin the process to start my at-home writing business. [Read more…]