Author page: Kim Vallee

Redesigning Your Website? Put Content First.

put content first

Last week, I felt sad for a business owner —it’s someone I don’t know. I noticed that he happily announced its brand new website on LinkedIn. He posted a very nice picture. So I clicked on his link to see the rest. The layout was modern and inviting. But I couldn’t believe what I read. The copy was horrible. I couldn’t have imagined reading something worst than that.

I’m writing this post because I don’t want you to make the same mistake. I used to run a Web design & development studio. We handled the technical side and the user interface side of their web site. When we received their copy and pictures, I was often chocked to see the lack meaningful and compelling content. Each time that happened, it made me sad.

Why I Love The Work I Do

My secret is simple. I love my job because I tailored it to my passion, my wants and my needs. I created a business that fits the person I’m today and where I want to go professionally. At this point in my life, this is what being my own boss means to me. I feel lucky that I had the luxury and the freedom to create a work environment and structure that fit my lifestyle, my skills, my passion and how I want to contribute to the world. I didn’t want to waste that opportunity.

My little secret to throw business events that people want to attend

There is only a small number of business events that people don’t want to miss. Apple events fall into that category. But for most of us, we have to work hard to get the word out. I’ll share with you where most business events fall short of expectations.

The answer came to me while my husband and I talked about the party we hosted yesterday for the fourth birthday of our son. He told me something that made me proud. He pointed out that there were no slack periods; that the kids always had something to do.

Finding Time is My Biggest Challenge as an Entrepreneur and a Mom

I said it! In a coaching session this week, I mentioned the need for business owners to integrate in their stories a failure, an element that shows their vulnerability as a human being. I decided to admit my biggest challenge.

There are days and even weeks where I get things under control. I feel that I conquered the whole work life balance thing. Then, something happens, something that disrupts the fragile equilibrium. The feeling of stress returns to haunt me. Despite the fact that I’m not the first women entrepreneur who feels like that, it makes me feel like a failure. I’m fully aware that juggling life and work is a balancing act for any entrepreneur.

It’s a question of trust

As I followed what’s happening with the measles outbreak, two things that matter for business owners came to my mind. What I want to discuss here is the need to establish trust and the power of beliefs, fears and anecdotes. The need for trust and the power of a compelling story is essential whether you want people to be a part of a cause or to convince customers to do or continue to do business with you.

A Simple Tip to Leverage Your Interview

A new habit that I took over the last months is to listen to work-related podcasts. It’s a better use of my time than listening to the same tunes on the radio. This morning, I listened to the 4th episode of the marketing podcast from my friend Lara McCulloch. Lara interviewed Marsha Shandur of Yes, Yes Marsha.

Marsha is a networker. She did something that anyone who is interviewed should do. Marsha created a landing page specially for Lara’s listeners and announced it at the interview.  

Life, Work and Happiness

These three words summarize what 2014 brought me. I recalled how I felt at the same time last year. At that time, owning and living in a house that would be perfect for our family was only a dream. Then, we found a house perfect for us.

We became home owners in spring. Then, we renovated our home over the summer to fit our taste and our needs. Although I co-founded Sproutive last year, I devoted more time on the life side of the work-life equation. The process brought nice surprises. It’s funny how everything fits together sometimes when we work together towards a common goal.

Our homes are getting smarter but there is still a long way to go

nest thermostat

When we bought a house this summer, making our house smarter was on our agenda. The idea is to ease our life by controlling many devices from anywhere in the world with our iPhone. Since I know that many advancements will happen in the next few years, I don’t want old technology in my home. Unfortunately, it meant that I had to delay the addition of some convenient features.

The Good

The first tech thing that we installed was the Nest learning thermostat. We love the ability to control the heating and our A/C with our iPhone, even when we are not at home. We’re pleased with our Nest so far. If you aren’t familiar with it, the Nest thermostat does more than save on our energy bills. After a 1-minute setup, Nest starts to learn your schedule. Over time, it’ll program itself according to your habits. It’ll help you manage your energy savings while keeping you and your family  comfortable when you are at home. There is also an auto-away and an away function. My husband likes to check the stats on his iPhone.