I flipped my calendar over to May 1st by the warm glow of our Christmas lights, still shining brightly through my front window.
Hey, I’m not the only one still in the festive spirit. John, my new next-door neighbour, still has several strings of multi-coloured lights hanging in his tree - and they’ve been there since last November.
What does it mean to have a teenage business?
Well, if you’ve been in biz over ten years, you already know. If you haven’t, it’s this: you’re probably pretty good at what you do if you’ve lasted this long. You’ve seen a lot. And you’ve got a lot figured out.
So what about when your business enters it’s twenties?
I mean, what was I expecting from a place called The Orange Cat Cafe?
An orange cat, of course.
But I was pleasantly surprised by the sense of fun I felt as I entered this rural Maine eatery .
The Orange Cat Cafe is on our route to Ontario from New Brunswick - we take a short cut through Maine and come back into Canada somewhere in Quebec. (it’s a long but beautiful drive)
You could not surprise me as a kid.
Or so I thought.
I was TERRIBLE.
I searched every nook and cranny for hidden Christmas presents leading up to the big day.
I opened and re-wrapped gifts under the tree.
I. Could. Not. Help. Myself.
Do you remember the first word you ever said?
I don’t even remember the first words my kids said. Maybe Momma? Dada?
But I DO remember the first word that Melanie ever said.
Melanie was the young daughter of a photographer I worked for in my early twenties. Some days I worked in the darkroom at his photo studio, some days I was sorting negatives. And some days I looked after little Mel if her Mom got called in to work.
Those were the fun days.
38 years ago today, I joined my buddy June and her brand new husband (Danny) on their honeymoon trip.
Yes, I just revealed that I have friends that are way, WAY older than me.
The wedding took place in our home town, Brockville, and after the festivities subsided I needed to get back to Ottawa.
The newlyweds were heading through Ottawa to a honeymoon destination in Quebec that Sunday and they very generously offered me a ride.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I found out I was pregnant (with Joey, my first born) on my very first day of work at Shoreline Graphics. It was March, 1990.
Despite the inconvenient timing and the thought of the dreaded conversation I needed to have with my brand new boss, I was pretty excited.
I had left a sample at the corner drug store (because that's what we did back then) and on my way home for lunch (it was walking distance from home, a great perk of the new job) I stopped by to get the test results.
It was a fixture on Beechwood Avenue until Saturday night. Yes, our beloved New Edinburgh Pub closed its doors for the last time. I happened to be in Ottawa on the weekend of the closure and it took me by surprise.
I know restaurants come and go. But I was pretty sad and nostalgic about the loss of this well worn corner pub. It was the go-to place for many of our family gatherings - we celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and sometimes, nothing at all.
The booth by the window was the perfect perch to people watch and gab. And they'd happily pull a bunch of tables together to feed our big clan.
If you've ever taken in a show at the majestic Imperial Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick, you won't be surprised to know that, according to the Globe & Mail, it's the "most beautifully restored theatre in Canada". (And they should know, right?)
It doesn't matter what type of show I see there, whether it's live music, comedy, a musical or a movie, I feel kinda special just sitting in that plush seat, looking up at the chandelier, waiting for the show to begin. It's a very special place and sometimes I think for a second, do I belong here? (Then I realize I bought a ticket and they actually let me in the door).
The Small Business Guide
Kim Houlahan is a marketing consultant who loves helping small business owners improve their marketing.
Small Business Guide ~ Archives
How to stop fear from holding you back
See the light at the end of the tunnel?
Speak Volumes without Saying a Word
Why you need to be different
Surprising Advice for Budding Entrepreneurs
What are you doing all the way to the bank?
What a Mom of Twins does NOT need to hear
Have you got a Secret Sauce?
Have you Ruined any Surprises Lately?
What Story Are You Telling Yourself?
When the Rubber hits the Road
How is your Business like a Marriage?
The Right Place at the Right Time
Just Get Out There.
How Hard Can it Be to Describe What you Do?
What's Your Best Productivity Hack?
To Share or Not to Share
Relatively Small Efforts for - wait for it - Great Results
The Truth about Working from Home
What's YOUR Superpower?
6 Things You Can Do Now
Perspective is (Almost) Everything
Are You Sensitive to Customer Needs?
Got a Process for That?
Don't Get Attached!
Aim DIRECTLY at your audience
Know When to Ask for Help
3 Things you Should Never Assume
Avoid the Wild Goose Chase
Where do you Draw the Line?
Give'em a Memorable Experience