Who is Sarah Millin?

Last weekend I tried to open my outlook and I got an error message telling me that there was a problem.  I know how to use the programs that I use all the time but that is about all I know about computers.  As chance has it, I was meeting with Sarah Millin of Make It Work Computer Solutions the next day.  Fortunately for me I was able to bring her my computer so that she could fix it for me.  Unfortunately for her, I wasn’t able to email her the questions.

The first thing I asked her was “Who is Sarah Millin?”

This question caught her a bit off guard.  “I don’t know; my family is insane.” Sarah joked.  “I like fixing things.  My psychologist says there is a reason for that.”  Her grandfather on her mother’s side was a shop engineer “so there’s something in the family about fixing things.”

Sarah’s mother was born in Canada and her father was born in England during the war.  Sarah was born in Vancouver but moved to Toronto when she was a little girl.  She did her schooling in Toronto and Ottawa before moving back to Vancouver to go to university.  I asked her what she took at UBC.  “Latin and Greek” she replied with a chuckle.  I said jokingly, “and that ties into computers really well.”  “Yes and no” Sarah answered “Because I read a lot of Plato and Plato is all about logic and everything about computers is zeros and ones.  It’s all logic.”

I asked her what got her interested into computers.  “I used to be a Commercial Credit Investigator at the Credit Bureau.  I was there for about 8 years, and I wasn’t really happy there.  I was thinking about going back to school and getting training in computers.  We had a computer technician there who was just horrible.  I thought to myself that I could do it so much better.  Then we got bought out by a multi-national and we all got let go and E.I. paid me to retrain.  That’s how I got into I.T.”

Sarah started her business in 1999.  “Literally the minute I got out of I.T. school, I had clients.  In 1999, demand was really high.”  I asked her what operating systems she worked on back then.  “The course I was taking was teaching us about windows 3.11, windows 95, NT4.  Windows 98 had just come out.  So I was literally supporting everything from the DOS based stuff to the present.  Windows 2000 came out shortly after that.  Then that horrible thing, windows millennium came out. “I told her that I don’t even remember that version.  She told me “it was a good one to forget.  They took the worst features of windows 98 and the worst features of windows 2000 and shoved them together.”

Now I started my post by letting you know that I had a bit of a computer problem.  Sarah took my computer with her after our meeting and I got it back the next day.  The bugs were all fixed and my computer is now almost as fast as when I first got it.  Thank you Sarah.

Shawn Bearman – The Businesswoman – Part 2

In my last post I introduced you to managing editor of Tidbits of Vancouver Newspaper and business coach, Shawn Bearman.

Seeing as this blog is about how business owners started their business we concentrated the bulk of this interview on her coaching business.  I am still getting to know Shawn but what I do know about her is that she is a tough, no holds barred coach who gets results.

I asked Shawn how she started her business.

“My coaching business I started in 1995.  Inside of coaching there is a whole world of  things that people just don’t know, and if they knew, they wouldn’t get stopped any more.  I did some really good work there but I put that business on hold to go and work for Landmark Education.”  Shawn put her business “on hold” for a year because this was such a great opportunity.  This year quickly turned into 7 where she got trained by some of the best coaches in the world.  “I was committed to staying there until I could go anywhere, do anything and work with anybody and be effective and powerful.”

After Shawn left Landmark, she restarted her business and she “created a whole new set of distinctions called ‘Reclaim Your Power’ to give people a plan of what to do when they are disempowered or in the blahs or when they are just not doing what they know they should be doing.”  When she restarted her business, Shawn realized that she wasn’t going to be able to run her business as she had in the past “so I created a distinction called the Dharma Added Effect where for every client that comes to us and pays cash, we allow ourselves one client who pays in hours which we then allocate into the community. So 50% of our clients pay in hours instead of with money.  There was one man who broke his leg and our Dharma clients went to his house and walked his animals for 2 months.”

Shawn Bearman is not only the founder and CEO of Radical Ideas Coaching; she also is the Managing Editor of Tidbits of Vancouver and one of the Community Partners with Rapid Time Networks (Burnaby).  “Just to tell you how Tidbits started, it’s a very interesting thing.  My business partner at Tidbits was one of my business clients when I started Radical Ideas and he brought me Tidbits to look at as a possible venture for him.  Clients were often asking me to review things about their business.  Because, as a business coach, it’s just one of the things that I do.  When we met (to discuss Tidbits) he said that the only way that I’ll take this on is if you become my partner.”

Thanks you Shawn for letting us get to know you.

If a picture says 1000 words……

O'Canada clock

O’Canada clock

This week I had the great opportunity to do a vendor presentation at the North Vancouver Rapid Time Networks meeting.  The last one that I did I talked about our recent trip to Seattle to watch the Blue Jays play.  This week we decided that, seeing as my son was off school, I would have him help me.

I took Nathan and my wife out to the meeting.  Nobody knew what was to follow.  All that they knew was that Lucie wanted to check out RTN and Nathan wasn’t at school so he was a “Tag Along”.

When it came to my time to present, Nathan came to the front of the room with me.  I introduced him and said that as I set up, he would entertain the crowd.  Nathan started to sing O’Canada.  To my surprise and really to Nathan’s surprise, everybody in the room stood up and sang along.  When the anthem was over, I explained that Nathan started singing in public when he was just 4 1/2 years old.  I told them that I would never forget the first time he sang that anthem, or what he was wearing, or how he was holding the mic (which is said with tongue in cheek because he didn’t hold the mic the first couple times singing.)

I said “Because every time I walk into my office, I see this clock on my wall.  At Anything on a Clock we like to preserve memories ” as I held up the clock that was make out of a photo that was taken on Nathan singing the anthem.

I then continued my presentation showing a business application on a clock and then answered a few questions.  As I walked back to my seat, George Moen said “you are going to be a great salesman.”  I thought to myself, I wasn’t selling anything, I was telling a story but that was one of the best compliments that I think I could ever get from someone who is such an amazing salesman as George is.

How do you get noticed?

Blue Jays Clock

Nathan’s Blue Jays Clock

As I wrote last week, I recently joined Rapid Time Networks as a vendor partner.  As a vendor partner, I get to promote my business, Anything on a Clock to the network.  Mark and George have developed an amazing number of ways for their vendor partners to promote their businesses.  One of the easiest ways to promote your business through RTN is through Vendor Presentations.

At each of the meetings, they allow 4 vendor partners to have the spotlight for 4 minutes (and usually a short Q&A after).  This gives the vendors an opportunity to promote their businesses.  After all, people do business with people they know, like and trust.  Chances are if they just see your name in a directory without meeting you, they will most likely not promote your business.  What is unique about RTN is that they allow you to go around to as many of the chapters as you wish, as often as you wish.  I am going to, in the next couple weeks, do vendor presentations at as many different chapters as possible.

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to do my first ever vendor presentation at the Tuesday evening meeting in Port Moody.  I am a pretty outgoing person but you may not know about me is I usually get really nervous when talking in public.  You know… the pit sweats, speed talking, mumbling, forgetting my points.  Last week I thought that instead of memorizing a “speech” and forgetting most of it, I would tell a story.  

A couple weeks ago we went to Seattle to watch the Toronto Blue Jays.  My son, Nathan had a great opportunity.  He got to get a ball signed by my favorite player, Brett Lawrie.  When we were walking around the stands, we heard Lawrie being announced I took a photo of Nathan holding the ball with Lawrie in the background.  When I got home I looked at the photos that I took and thought that this would be a cool clock. 

For the first time that I could remember, I wasn’t the slightest bit nervous.  I actually enjoyed getting up in front of the group and tell my story.  If you would like to hear the complete story, come on out to an upcoming Rapid Time Networks meeting or tune into Wednesday’s RTN webcast “StRut Video Live” at noon.

What are you doing to change your bank account?

When I first started Anything on a Clock, I went to the Douglas College Self Employment Program.  This program was full of interesting people and fantastic information.  One of the more memorable instructors was the Big Picture Coach, Patrick von Pander.  Patrick taught us about networking.  a concept that was totally foreign to me at the time.

In the last couple of weeks, I have really enjoyed my time networking.  I joined various networking groups and Meet-Ups as well as attending numerous Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce meetings.  These events were great as a social event but I didn’t get much business from them.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine, Doug Anderson, introduced me to Rapid Time Networks.  Then newest brainchild of Mark Wright and George Moen.  When I started going to the meetings, I was a tad skeptical.  I thought that it was “just another networking group”.  I wasn’t prepared for what was to follow.

As I went to the meetings and met the people, I started to realize that these people truly interested and cared about the people who they network with.  A couple months ago I decided to join as an affiliate.  I was quite impressed that, although I was not a vendor, people were already starting to promote my business.  Almost 2 weeks ago I decided that I would join as a vendor partner.  Rapid Time Networks currently has about 27 tools for vendor partners to promote their business and the list is growing.

One of the tools is blogging.  Then I got thinking.  This blog is about businesses “In The beginning”.  So I am going to, along with profile business leaders and their businesses, chronicle my journey through RTN.

Stay Tuned

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