Category Archives: Must Have Resources

We’re Going Global, Baby!

Boy, do I have some delicious news.

I’m really excited to be sharing some BIG news with you. At this point, I can’t tell you everything just yet, but I’ll give you the preliminary information and what you can expect in the very near future.

You ready for it?! It’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

In addition to my current business – I have started another business with three other amazing people that are truly the coolest and most fascinating business savvy entrepreneurs I know. The four of us — we’ll be rocking the online world very soon. Seriously, watch for us in a BIG, beautiful way.

What’s the business you ask?

We started a LIVE streaming business. It’s called Events without Borders. We were able to test our services at a recent event (we streamed to over eleven countries!) – and now we’ve created a kickin’ business out of it. We’re live streaming from in-person events – to countries all over the world. Now you can be nice to your carbon footprint, be in the comfort of your own home — and attend an event!

See, I told you. It’s awesome.

My team at Solamar is creating our brand and our website right now. So watch for it. Trust me… keep tabs on it. This is a business not to miss. (The website will be found here when we have it live: – stay tuned for that!)

Technology. Yum.

More to come on this, I promise – very soon.

As I mentioned earlier… I am proudly working on this innovative (ground-breaking!) business with three other incredible people. My partners… Andrea J. Lee, Jimbo Marshall and Jeremie Miller. Just so you can get a glimpse of how cool this business is… here are some pictures of the Events Without Borders team.

We’re going global, baby.

If you happen to be interesting in a live streaming option, ping me at I would love to chat with you about it!

Oh, PS… I forgot to mention… I’m organizing a TEDx event in Vancouver, British Columbia on December 7th. Yes, TED rocks… and I’m thrilled to be organizing the first ever TEDxYVR event in that area with Andrea J. Lee. Watch for more info on this. I’ll send you to the website soon to check out the speakers, the sponsors… and just some really cool geeky stuff. AND Events Without Borders will be there, too! So if you can’t attend live – you can attend via video! More to come…

Okay, okay… I’m rambling. It’s 2:30am… and I’m damn excited. Talk to you soon! Ciao for now! -C


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Filed under In The News, Must Have Resources, What's up in my neck of the woods?

How To Think Like An Entrepreneur

[Totally digging this post by! I hope you take the time to read it. -Chels]

Think Like an Entrepreneur
Here are five ways to revive and nurture your entrepreneurial spirit.
By Joan Marques

We’re all entrepreneurs at heart. It’s just that many of us have forgotten how to think that way. The main reason is that the current structure of our civilization doesn’t really encourage the entrepreneurial mind-set. And that is easily explained: If we all decided to be entrepreneurs, who would work for large organizations? Who would serve us in stores? Who would fulfill the administrative chores for established business and nonprofit entities?

So that’s why entrepreneurship is not the most endorsed career path. Besides, being an entrepreneur is riskier than just accepting a job somewhere, because you never know whether your venture is going to take off and how long it will take. Those of us who have embarked on entrepreneurial journeys know how much patience, perseverance and inner strength it requires to stick with your initiative, even when your loved ones tell you to give up and find a “normal” job.

Yet it’s now more important than ever to think like an entrepreneur, regardless of the setting in which we are employed. I teach MBA courses at a university in Los Angeles, and on the first day of every workshop I present my students the concept of “Me, Inc.” I picked this up many years ago from Tom Peters’ book The Brand You 50: Or: Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an ‘Employee’ into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion!

I think it’s a powerful concept. If you see yourself as a supplier of services for your employer, you mentally and emotionally emerge from victimized employee to full-fledged, equal partner. Nothing changes physically, but psychologically the world has made a 180-degree spin. And no, your employer will probably not encourage you to think that way, because it’s not very advantageous to her if you start realizing that you have the same choice as she has to discontinue the relationship and pursue a more rewarding partnership. But no one has to know about this paradigm shift. It doesn’t matter how others look at you. What matters is how you look at yourself.

I perceive the institution where I facilitate courses as a preferred partner. I deliver my best product, for which I receive a pre-arranged compensation. Could it get more entrepreneurial than that? Thanks to this mind-set, I find myself engaging with much pleasure in a number of additional projects: I write books and articles, edit and publish scholarly and business journals, organize workshops for businesspeople, present a radio show in Europe, write a newspaper column in South America, and so on. The only limits for me are the length of a day and my restricted human energy.

Life can be beautiful or dull, depending on how you look at it. Two people can look at exactly the same situation and have entirely opposite opinions about it. That’s because of our personal baggage and the mind-set we choose to nurture. Entrepreneurs nurture a mind-set that entails an immense internal locus of control: They first seek fault within themselves when things go wrong. Yet when things go right, they usually realize that there were many links involved in the chain of performance, and they give credit to those as well.

This is where leadership steps into the picture. Entrepreneurs are leaders–not necessarily of other people, but definitely of their own lives. I disagree with all those sources that claim leadership is only possible when there are followers involved. Leadership starts with the relationship you have with yourself. A real leader carries herself in a way that inspires others to be the best they can be. This definition eliminates those who sit at the helm of large corporations but mismanage them. So you can be a president or CEO of a company and not be a leader. Similarly, you can be a janitor, office assistant or entrepreneur and be a great leader. When people approach you for advice and admire you for your attitude in life, you are a leader.

I think there’s an important link between being a leader and seeing yourself as an entrepreneur. And if you are attracted to this idea, here are five ways to revive and nurture your entrepreneurial spirit:

  1. Shift your perspective from victimized to victorious. You can do this by continuously looking for the positive side of anything you experience. Difficult people on your path? They are there to teach you an important lesson. Lost a contract? There’s another big project coming your way. Times slow? Your creativity is being tested. And so on.
  2. Don’t just accept everything as a given. The problem with most people is that they don’t consider alternatives. They are so well-trained to accept rules, regulations and especially limitations that they allow their sleepwalking state to turn into a nightmare. Entrepreneurs are people who wanted to make a wrong right, and decided to do it.
  3. Talk to different people, read different books and visit different places. Nothing triggers the creative mind as much as exposure to something different. Dullness is a product of repetition. If you always do the same thing in the same place with the same people, you will not easily think of anything new.
  4. Accept responsibility. Everything that happens to you is an ultimate result of the choices you make. So in the end, you are responsible. That being said, you can change it. How? By making different choices from now on. You could upgrade your education, discontinue relationships or change your attitude, for instance.
  5. Dare to dream and follow up on it. We easily discard our dreams because many people around us tell us they won’t fly. Ignore them. Just dream realistically, and then think of all those people who made things happen when others were satisfied with the status quo.

However, a point of caution here: While dreaming and working at realizing that dream, you should also focus on alternatives. For example, ask yourself what else is possible within the scope of my dream? What other directions can I go with my skills and ideas if my first option doesn’t work out? What other people or places could I approach if my currently targeted associates, suppliers or market don’t buy into my dream?

Keep in mind that when you obsess over something in one particular, inflexible setting, it usually doesn’t materialize. It is therefore better to create two or three options for yourself. Then life will present its surprise.

No day is better to start adopting an entrepreneurial mind-set than today. Why wait?

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Why You Need Everything Google In Your Business

This post is a long time coming – and I’m really excited to profess my love for Google once again! Ready?

I’m always talking about Google and why it’s so amazing… and why Google Business has made my business so much better by increasing productivity – and simply keeping me (and my team!) organized. Awhile back I wrote a blog post for my partners and members at Collective-Eon basic Google Mail and how their filtering rocks. And now I’m going to expand and explain that there is life after the free Google Mail (aka Gmail). And it gets much, much better than the basic Gmail. Brace yourself!

First, let’s start with your business domain. I’ll use for an example.

A good business practice is to use an email platform that is branded to your business. It’s just good business practice in general. But, like most of us, we’re hooked on how awesome Google Mail/Gmail is. We love how it works, the bells and whistles… the whole kit and kaboodle. But, of course, you don’t want your business email accounts to end in It just looks a little shady. Especially in this crazy spam world. Who knows if you’re real – or if you’re really running a REAL business.

I know there are ways around this by still being able to use your free Gmail account. But they are quick fixes. You want the real deal, trust me.  I’m sure you get my drift.

Well, if you haven’t heard already, Google has a solution. Google Business Apps allows you to take your domain ( and utilize the Google Platform for your email. Same look and feel as Gmail, you can use your own domain – and SO much more.

I run multiple business platforms – and all of my domains are connected with Google Business. So when you see or or – yep, all Google Mail. And it’s not because I set them up in the basic Gmail – it’s because I’m using Google Business Apps. The Cadillac of Gmail.

Today, more than two million businesses run Google Apps.


Well, their features. Moreover, the power behind their applications – and how they allow you to run a business by being organized and efficient through your inbox. Just to name a few gerneral things that make Google worth the switch:

1) It can work with any size business
2) The power behind the applications (I’ll get to this in a second)
3) Cost savings – look ma! no hardware or software! All web-based. Ah, a dream.
4) Storage, storage, storage (more than 50X the industry average)
5) Security and Trust
6) And best of all – 24/7 customer support
7) The whole platform is on a completely different server than regular basic Gmail. Nope, you won’t have any problems with Gmail being down any more!

Okay, I could go on and on and on…

Now, to tell you what makes my head really spin – and makes me a HUGE fan of Google Business Apps…

The power of the intuitive applications like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs. How they all work together (especially in a virtual team environment) while creating a seamless and painless experience for all. It not only helps reduce costs, but it helps my team and I to collaborate more effectively.

If you’ve ever used the regular free Gmail, Google Business Apps is like Gmail on crack. 😉 Do you get my point?

Envision this with me for a second. (This is how my business is setup when it comes to using Google.)

I login to my inbox which is web-based (yeah, baby – I can access it anywhere!) and right away I see my regular inbox, and then a chat window on the right which includes my whole team and Solamar clients. On the left is my calendar and what’s coming up for the day, along with another gadget that shows all our past google docs that were most recently updated by my team. At the very bottom, I’m reminded of security – as it shows me if I’m signed in anywhere else and that IP address, along with storage and a few other tid-bits of info. Here’s a quick and dirty screen shot. I know you can’t see much, but take my word for it. It rocks!

And here’s my calendar (which I’m in love with, but I now have my assistant be in love with it!). Oh, and excuse the insane-ness:

And lastly, how amazing it is to share Google Docs?! No more attaching and reattaching, and revising and the reattaching. You share a Google Doc, that person edits it and then you can edit, all without sending an email (and being able to use chat while editing a doc or while other people are looking at it, too! Amazing!):

Now, are you ready for my favorite?! Google Labs – they rock my world! I have so many favorites that I can’t even begin to list them out and explain why I love them and how they help me in business. You need to check them out for yourself! A-mazing!

Jeeze, what will Google think of next. Thrilled.

Okay, I’m off my Google soap box now. But I’ll leave you with this. If your business isn’t using Google Apps, you need to make the switch. I’ve saved money from an internal perspective, created a better work flow, and a centralized way of working with a virtual team. There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t use it. Truly. Make the switch. You’ll be much happier you did. Promise.

You may be thinking “oh my, it’s a lot of work to switch over”. That’s a lie. Just sayin’. And there’s a free trial – only $50 per user every year thereafter. Brilliant, right?

Go for it. Report back to me. I’d love to hear how it goes!  And if you still have reservations, comment here and I’ll help you out!


Filed under In The News, Must Have Resources, What's up in my neck of the woods?

There’s something about those North Dakotan’s

Since I’m all about where you came from… and The North Dakotan that I am… I thought I’d tell you a little about my experience with running a business and having a virtual team – and how that ties into where I came from.

Now, running a virtual team is no easy task. Nor is running a business. But there’s a key to success and happiness in both.

First, running a business – virtually.

Well, one perk is… I’m heading to the Bahamas next week – and I’ll be working from there. I travel a lot. I travel for work… I travel for pleasure. But it doesn’t matter where I am. I am still running my business from somewhere. Of course, there are a TON of logistical things I can tell you about, but my point is – I can be anywhere, and my business doesn’t change. I just pack along my office in a laptop bag – and I’m set. So while enjoying the Bahamas next week with my significant other  – I’ll also be running a business, too.

(And just for the record, my SO is not a North Dakotan. He’s from New York. And boy, does that make our life interesting. Total opposites when it comes to our roots! But I’ve learned a lot about big city living and I love him for that. More on this later! Stay tuned.)

Ok, moving along…

Secondly, the people you hire.

Currently, I have six people within my company (me included). But I haven’t always had the same 5 people. I’ve been through a few that weren’t quite matches for me – and my business. But I found out really quickly… the midwestern work ethic knocks my freakin’s socks off.

No joke.

I mean… I know I have it. I am one of the hardest workers you’ll ever meet. And it has a lot to do with where I came from. But THREE of my Solamar gals are from North Dakota. And let me tell you, it was the best decision I have ever made. They are rock stars… and they allow me to run a successful six figure business.

Don’t get me wrong, I have two amazing gals that are from out of state – and they are TRULY amazing. Maybe deep down… they have ancestors from the midwest. 😉

Anyway, I’m a proud North Dakotan that no longer resides in North Dakota – but travels the world, running a business from wherever I land. And I know that a great deal of my success in running a rockin’ business – has a lot to do with my roots.

The midwestern work ethic and surrounding myself with great people. Perfect combination.

Now that’s good stuff right there.

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Are you buying an iPad?

Hell, yes… I know I am (surprise, surprise, right?!). I’m definitely on the waiting list… and when I receive it, I’ll be sure to write my own review. But for now, check out this review done by Ben Patterson (a great guy to follow!). Stay tuned for my iPad write up… soon, baby, soon… I can’t wait! EEK!

The iPad arrives, and it’s basically a big iPhone
By Ben Patterson

The long wait is over, the rumors are over, and at last, the Apple tablet is a reality. Armed with a 9.7-inch display, just a half-inch thick, and weighing just a pound and a half, the iPad is … well, it’s essentially just a big iPhone, albeit with a price tag that’s a lot cheaper than I was expecting. Not bad, but if you were hoping for a revolutionary new product, prepare to be disappointed. To read the rest of Ben’s post, click here.

Thanks for the write up, Ben. Always love to hear your opinion (even when I don’t always agree, I still love it!).


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I Can’t Help Myself…

I’m a lover of everything Apple.  And I will admit – I have over 200 apps on my iPhone. Gotta love it.

I’m a geek. I know… I know…

Check out this Mashable list of top iPhone Apps. While you read, I’m off to download the ones I don’t have. Oh! Be sure to follow Mashable on Twitter.  He is full of good stuff!

Enjoy it… I know I will! 😉


iPhone Apps List 2010: 700+ Apps Reviewed by Category
By Matt Silverman

As we begin 2010, there are over 100,000 iPhone apps available for download — an overwhelming array of choices, but plenty of gems if you know where to look.

To help you out, we’ve compiled all of Mashable’s (Mashable) iPhone app reviews in a definitive list to kick off the year. From social media, to business tools, to just plain cool, the iPhone does it best with these App Store standouts.

Put your downloading hat on — there’s a lot of awesome in our iPhone Apps List 2010!

Click here to read the whole article:

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Overworked & Overwhelmed? It’s a choice you make.

The challenge of life balance is one of the most significant struggles faced by most people. Some are overwhelmed by the day-to-day demands of our careers, families, cell phones, internet, etc.. We often feel there is not enough time in our lives to do the things we need to do, let alone to do the things we want to do!

Enjoy the little things... everyday!

Enjoy the little things... everyday!

But you do have a choice and you must recognize that. You don’t have to be overworked and overwhelmed.

So many people ask me “how do you do it” and my response is very simple. I have a balanced life. I know when to say no and I know what I can handle. I also know what I need to fill my soul and be content. It’s a work/life balance. It’s a choice I make everyday. I know what’s most important to me in life and I hold that close to my heart and give it the time it needs. Everything else simply follows. It’s true, I work hard – and play harder! I have fun with it, business and personal. All I’ve ever wanted is a life full of laughter – and I remind myself that every day.

Truly, it comes down to twenty four hours. And it’s up to you how you use those twenty four hours.

No scientist or philosopher or great individual of the past has ever gotten more. 24 hours… That’s all we get. No amount of wishing, complaining, or creative time management will ever change that.  No matter how many personal productivity techniques we master, there will always be more to do than we can ever accomplish in the time we have available to us, no matter how much it is.

If you’re busy, overworked and overwhelmed – you chose that lifestyle.

It’s not really time management you should be looking into. Even though much has been written about proper time management, the advice is more focused on making more efficient use of time. Too much emphasis on time management makes one obsessive, always watching the clock and thinking about what task is scheduled next.

So perhaps it makes more sense to give precedence to choice management over time management?

Decide what comes first.

Living a balanced life is about integrating components of your life that are truly important to you and realizing that sometimes you need to make choices about what has to come first.

By choosing what comes first, sometimes there are sacrifices. But living a balanced life doesn’t require you to give 100 percent of yourself 100 percent of the time. There will be times when personal/family life and work collides but by knowing what’s really most important to you and making choices based on this criterion, you’ll be better able to balance your decisions.

Finding a balance in your life is an ongoing process. Life is in a constant state of change… a work in progress. Allow yourself the time to regularly reassess the direction in which you are heading. Are you on track, or have you temporarily derailed?

Again, everything is a choice. Do what makes you happy. Remember that.

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