August 2020
Ladysmith Chamber Business Essentials


Hot August Nights Economic Stimulus Program
Downtown Ladysmith will be open until 7pm every Thursday in August!
Small Businesses have been hit hard. The Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre, the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association and the Art Council of Ladysmith have partnered to help small business in the downtown core drive revenue. This initiative is being made possible by a grant from the Town of Ladysmith. Thank you!
Shopping Locally makes everyone a winner. Supporting our local businesses also supports our community. Ladysmith has got you covered. Spread out, take a stroll on 1st Avenue and enjoy Dining, Shopping, Artists throughout our beautiful downtown.
Get to know your local merchants. Covid-19 Protocols will be in place.

Participating businesses:  Make sure you have a poster in your window – Rob Johnson is handing them out.

Below is a JPEG file you can add to your FB page. Right-click and “save link as” to download it here

If you are not a business that can remain open, please shop downtown on a Thursday evening in August and support fellow businesses.

Finding Business Clarity During Unprecedented Times


Finding Business Clarity During Unprecedented Times

Has COVID thrown your plans into disarray? Sometimes we run our business haphazardly; we wake up every morning and just see what the day brings. That is never a particularly good plan, but when life throws us into crisis then it's even more important to take a step back and find some clarity. It's critical that you evaluate where it is you want to go, where given current circumstances you can go, and whether the path you're on will take you there. Although we may all have had moments when that great "aha" hits us and we gain a new insight on some issue or problem, generally, clarity is not something that just happens. We need to be conscious about choosing to find it for ourselves, and for our businesses, if we want to succeed. No one has experienced anything like the current pandemic and the catastrophic economic downtown we currently face.

Management guru Brian Tracy said "the three keys to high achievement are, clarity, clarity, and clarity." He goes on to say "your success in life will be largely determined by how clear you are about what it is you really, really want." So how do you reach clarity?

Take uninterrupted time to reflect and evaluate.

Clarity is most often found when all other distractions are set aside. Take a weekend away from home – find a place where you aren't tempted to be busy (this is not the time to be a tourist). Rent a lakeside or mountain cabin. Anywhere that is remote enough for you to have peace and quiet. Then think about your response to these questions:

  1. What did you want to accomplish when you started your business?
  2. Are you there or did your path changed?
  3. How much has COVID affected your business and the path it was on?
  4. If you have strayed, or have been forced to stray from your business plan and your life plan, consider where you want to be (given what's currently possible). Think financially, relationships, psychologically.
  5. Are the same things important to you now that were important when you started your business? Has anything shifted (aside from COVID)? Why?
  6. What hasn't been working in your life or your business lately? Why hasn't it been working? Where do you need to make changes?
  7. Where do you see yourself in 3 years? 5 years? 10 years?
  8. What barriers do you see that may get in the way of being where you want to be? How can you address those barriers?
  9. What do you want to be remembered for? Are you actively working towards accomplishing those things?
  10. Where do you need to refocus, prioritize, change directions?

The answers to these questions will bring you closer to clarity for your life. They'll also probably instigate even more questions for reflection. Journal your answers, or at least jot down some notes so you have a concrete record of your thought process. Writing down your answers is as important as answering the questions. It gives you a record of your thoughts (you may want to access them at a later time), and there's something about the act of writing things down that increases your commitment to the process.

If you invest the time and energy to take a journey inward, you'll have a new and very clear roadmap for your journey. Getting where you want to go is all about knowing where that is, and planning how you're going to get there.

Finding Business Clarity During Unprecedented Times


When Procrastination Kills Your Productivity

According to Lionel L. Fisher, author of "On Your Own, A Guide to Working Happily, Productively, and Successfully from Home", there are four types of procrastinators. The first step in addressing your procrastination problem is figuring out which category you fall into.

Perfectionists – these people procrastinate because their sights are set so high they intimidate themselves into failing. They set enormous, complicated tasks for themselves, and knowing they can't accomplish them to their own exacting standards put them off until it's too late. They can commonly be heard lamenting, "I could have done it if I'd had more time."

Adventurers – Fisher says these people, "create continual crises in their lives because they're hooked on hairpin chases and hairbreadth finishes." They like the adrenaline of the deadline, so they allow things to push them right to the edge, then discover they're out of time to accomplish them.

Rebels – these are the folks who express their anger in a passive/aggressive manner – promising things they can't deliver and then procrastinate to ensure they don't. This allows them to vent without confrontation, and avoid dealing with the actual problem at hand.

Decidophobics – these are the people who can't bear to make a decision because they're afraid of every possible result. This paralyzes them into stalling in the hope that eventually someone will take the responsibility out of their hands.

Fisher's list of the various types of procrastinators is excellent but there is another that he might have added and those are the wanderers. These are people who find everything so interesting and compelling; one thing genuinely leads to another while the task they're supposed to be paying attention to gets forgotten until they see it sitting on their desk.

How do you fight procrastination if you recognize yourself as one of these procrastinator types?

Perfectionists, you should set smaller goals which allow you enough time to meet your high standards. Buckle down and just do small tasks and you'll soon realize you're half way to achieving the bigger ones. Accept the fact that no one is perfect, not even you, and that your best is probably better than most other people's "perfect". Let things go. It's OK to have high standards, but they must be achievable.

Adventurers, take up skydiving or bungee jumping. Find other outlets for your adrenaline rush and you'll be able to settle down to work more easily. If you can't resist going down to the wire on projects and feel you work better when you're under a bit of pressure, create a schedule that gives you a little more than "just enough" time to complete it. Stick to that schedule and you'll find your work will get done – even if it's due in a few hours!

Rebels, there's something deeper you need to look at. Ask yourself why you commit to something you know you can't achieve. Ask yourself why you're angry at being asked to do it. Or, find a friend or a counselor who can help you get to the root of your behaviour so that you can get on track toward healthy work habits again.

Decidophobics, you are the most difficult to "cure" because the fear of making decisions is so enormous. However, you can often help yourself navigate situations by asking, "what's the worst thing that can happen if I do this?" Most often you'll realize that even if the worst does happen (which it usually doesn't) you will survive just fine. Make small decisions every day, and after you've had success with those, try a few bigger ones.

Wanderers, the only way forward is through sheer discipline. You need schedules, timetables, and organizers. The trick is to realize when you're wandering and to get back on track as quickly as possible. Set yourself a task, and then don't do anything else until that task has been completed. Focus on the task at hand – everything else can wait. Curbing wandering comes with awareness, so you might find it useful to keep a time-diary for a few days to detect any patterns you may be falling into. Then, organize yourself towards task completion.

Procrastination gets the best of us all sometimes. Fisher focused on those working from home, but procrastination has little to do with location and the tips above are worth trying regardless of your work environment. Understanding your own weaknesses in the area of procrastination, and having a few strategies to combat them, will help you overcome these productivity killers.

Finding Business Clarity During Unprecedented Times


Learning Styles

Often our difficulties or challenges with others, whether they are colleagues, subordinates, family members, or friends is a result of poor communication. It's useful to question whether what we think we have said is the same as what others heard. If we do this, we will often realize that our ideas and directions have been misinterpreted. Listening obviously plays a major role in some of our miscommunications and we cannot always ensure that others are listening and understanding as clearly as we would like them to.

The other way we can improve our communication skills is to understand other peoples' learning styles. Learning styles are essentially how people generally interpret the world. We each have our own dominant learning style and when we understand them both in ourselves and in others it will alleviate some of the problems arising in our communications.

The four most commonly known and understood learning styles are aural, physical, verbal, and visual. Aural relates to a preference of learning through talking and listening. A physical or kinesthetic learner is very much hands-on and tactile. Verbal learners have a preference for language that is both spoken and written. The fourth type is the visual learner, who best takes in information through pictures, videos, graphs, etc. Can you think of different people you know that gravitate to these learning styles? How do you communicate with them effectively?

Although the above four learning styles are the most commonly known, there are three others we may want to look at when we want to fully understand people we spend time with. These are best labelled logical, social, and solitary. A person who tends to be logical prefers systems and reasoning. The social learner finds learning within a group or team to be best for them. A solitary learner is comfortable working alone and very adept at self-study. Again, can you think of a person that fits into one or more of these styles? For instance, a person may be a visual learner with a preference to work alone, while another is a physical learner enjoying the social environment. How would you best accommodate their styles?

As a leader, it is advantageous to know how people learn. Think of it like being asked how we want to hear from a company – by phone, by mail, by email, or by text. By understanding how someone learns, or prefers to take in information, we can adjust our approach to them in our communications.

Paul Abra, Motivated Coaching


Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 598, 33 Roberts Street, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1A4
Phone: 250-245-2112