Why You Need a Business Coach

When you’re not feeling well, you seek out advice from a doctor or health expert.

If your kids need help with math homework,  you hire a tutor to improve their skills and confidence.

Successful people turn to experts when it comes to managing essential things in our life. Why? Because they get results.

When you stop making excuses and start to take responsibility for what you want to change – change happens.

Small, consistent steps in the right direction make a significant impact.

There is a psychological factor that comes with being proactive and seeking out help to change an uncomfortable situation. When you go from “problem” to “solution,” the brain sends powerful messages throughout your body, your neurons start to open a pathway taking you from feeling helpless and confused to focused and confident.

You know that feeling you get when you start to take action towards healthy daily goals and habits? There’s a science behind that. Momentum dissolves guilt, and each step forward creates room for the next opportunity.

We live in a world where information is available all day, every day, with a click, swipe or Google search. There is no shortage of temptation for the latest business trend, sales funnel, social media strategy, fancy new software, and the latest lead generation tool. While many of these can be invaluable assets in our businesses, it’s also easy to get distracted with information-overload that can lead to inaction.

What do Tony Robbins, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk have in common? If you guessed multi-billions, you’re right, but they also have and know how imperative it is to have a business coach.

Since running a business can be a rollercoaster ride, the right coach will help you not only set your goals but outline the goals in increments so you can achieve them. Goals can be significant, actually, the bigger, the better, but the small steps and foundations are the vital things to build as you move towards the finish line of achieving that goal.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may be finding that you’re spending too much time and energy on counterproductive activities. Most entrepreneurs love to learn and are continually looking for innovative tools and ideas that will help them stand out from the rest at the risk of carefully filling day-to-day operations that are essential to revenue and growth.

If you’ve never made the connection – business and self-development are unanimous.

Limiting beliefs begin to creep in. Soon you’re asking yourself if you have what it takes to run your business. 

Are equipped with the right knowledge?

Are you ready without a specific training course?

Will people will like, trust and buy from you?

A coach will bring a new perspective and help you blast away any limiting beliefs you have about yourself.

According to the International Coach Federation, business owners who have hired a coach, have seen 70% increase in work performance, 86% have seen a return on investment, and an impressive 99% of entrepreneurs were happy that they decided to hire a business coach.

The House Wren offers an extensive business coaching program. If you’re ready to thrive and take your business to the next level, please contact us for more information. Take action today.

Discover the Secrets to Personalities

Have you ever wondered why some people “don’t get what you’re saying”?

Or have you ever thought “I can’t figure out why this person talks about same the details over and over”?

Do you have to “see”  or “feel” the question or task at hand before being convinced of its validity?

Or maybe you need to make sense of it before making a decision logically.

We decide if we agree with or reject ideas, people, or situations, in less than 4 seconds!

Neither is wrong or right – it’s just how different personalities respond to different environments.

To avoid conflict, you can refer to a powerful and straightforward personality tool to help you understand how you communicate when you’re at your natural best.

This tool also helps you understand how people with different personality traits also navigate the world.

By understanding DISC® you can build more cohesive relationships based on understanding the four predominant behavioural styles.

The DISC Model of Behavior was first proposed by William Moulton Marston, a physiological psychologist with a PhD from Harvard. His 1928 book, Emotions of Normal People, explains his theory on how normal human emotions lead to behavioural differences among groups of people, and how a person’s behaviour might change over time. His work focused on directly observable and measurable psychological phenomena. He was interested in using practical explanations to help people understand and manage their experiences and relationships.

Marston theorized that the behavioural expression of emotions could be categorized into four primary types, stemming from the person’s perceptions of self-concerning his or her environment.

And DISC® was born!

DISC assessments are used worldwide in thousands of organizations including governmental agencies, non-profits, start-ups, real estate teams, and Fortune 500 companies.

What does DISC stand for?

Dominance – direct, strong-willed and forceful

Influence – friendly, talkative and lively

Steadiness – gentle, accommodating and soft-hearted

Conscientiousness – private, analytical and logical

Keep in mind DISC profiling uses these four personality traits of human behaviour and even though we each have a prominent one, everyone has a unique blend.

If you’d like to take a free personality test, try out an online tool called Crystal Knows. After the test is complete, you’ll see a personality profile for yourself. You can then use the insights to communicate more effectively. We’ve tried it, and it’s fun and easy to use. (We are not affiliated in any way and do not receive compensation if you use it.)

Try it out here: Crystal Knows


Being a business owner, your own boss, in control of what you create can be wicked fun am I right?

However, there is a flip side that can be the complete opposite. Since reinventing and relaunching my business over three years ago I have learned a ton and continue to learn every day. Here are five of the biggest lessons I have learned and how they helped my company to grow.


To ensure that each task, each customer receives the same service, I ensure that I have a process for everything and a system to back it up. For instance, I set up an onboarding process that helps me get all the information I need from a prospect, provide them the information they need to get us up and running quickly and efficiently. This process saves everyone time and money. The same goes for accounting and invoicing. My Time tracking program integrates with QuickBooks to eliminate error and cut the invoicing process in half. “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rhon OR “You control your own wins and losses” – Maria Sharapova


Okay so I am a big tech geek and love learning and using programs, apps and systems that automate, help, reduce error, etc. Over the past three plus years I have come to rely on some amazing programs that help my business run daily. Some of them are TSheets for time tracking, QuickBooks for Accounting, Dubsado for my CRM, WordPress for my Website, Zapier for …well my Zaps and other integrations, Adobe Creative Cloud, Hootsuite for all our social and our clients, Google for Business, and the list goes on! So many cool systems. “Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.” – Franz Kafka


If you are a startup this might be difficult at first, especially if you’re a one-person show. However, you will reach a point when you will need help from others in order to reach your business goals. Some people find delegating a breeze while others will hold on to work thinking “by the time I explain it all I could have it done”. This type of thinking is detrimental to your workflow and your growth. If you are overloaded, get stuff off your plate. Take a half hour or an hour and get it off and done. Then you can focus on what is more important to you at that time. If you struggle with something, say web design, then outsource it to someone who knows. Don’t like blog writing? Pay someone to do it for you then you can do the stuff your passionate about. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” – Walt Disney


If you never step out of your comfort zone you cannot grow. I stepped WAY out of mine when I started up. I had already been down this road but this time I was going to pave it my way. I set goals for myself, attainable, over many months and broke them down into achievable actions. I took the risk of investing in my business and having it flop. I took the chance of loosing client’s when I implemented packages and increased my pricing. I took the chance of being successful and dealing with all the hurdles that would come from that success. Owning a business is all about chances, risk and reward. It is well worth it if you learn from mistakes and not missed chances. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”-Pablo Picasso


I would rather be honest about my business, my services and not gain a client rather than hard sell someone and lose them later. When I started, I made a vow to myself that I was going to pride myself on honesty and if someone did not want to work with my company because of it, then so be it. Over the years I have had my fair share of being asked to do things that are against my business and personal ethics and I’m proud to have stood up and said, “no thank you”. My business is successful because I have the trust of those I work with. We trust one another and they know that my business is an honest one. We do what we say we are going to do and if something comes up, we tell our clients we do not offer excuses.

The reason most of us become business owners is not only to realize a dream or a goal but to provide a balance that can only come from being your own boss. Now that being said, balance is and can be one of the hardest things in business to attain. I started this company so I could have more time with my family, freedom to work from anywhere, no more anxiety around how many days off I have left because my kid needs to go to the doctor. Whatever your reason is for balance always strive to keep it. Sometimes you will maintain it and others times you won’t. Remember your big picture, your Why, keep it honest and treasure your integrity. “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. – Carl Bard

Owning a business is like being in school every day, an opportunity to learn around every corner. Learn from everything, your successes, your misses and above all your mistakes. What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned in your business that you think other business owners could learn from?


Why would I want to run a business? What is it about running a business that makes me want to take the risks, work long hours and be vulnerable to the ups and downs of entrepreneurship?

Many people don’t understand, but, many people ask me WHY.

I can’t imagine my life any other way! It runs deep in my blood. It’s my passion and my life’s greatest pursuit.

Today I want to share my Why.

If you’re not familiar with the Why concept, it was made popular by thought-leader Simon Sinek and is crucial to explore if you’re willing to come to the table head-on and dig deep into WHY you do what you do.

You know WHAT you do and HOW you do it. But do you truly know WHY?

And when you figure it out, it will affect everything. In the best way possible, of course!

It will move your business and your purpose in ways you never thought possible.

Your motivation, your services, and the quality of your work will skyrocket.

It’s why you show up every day. It makes your victories sweeter and your goals non-negotiable.

My passion for the work I do as a Virtual Assistant is revolved around my client’s success. I have an innate talent to make things easier for people. Did I mention I LOVE organization? And I’ve been told I have an incredible eye for all the little details 😉

Giving 110% to the work I produce helps propel my client’s progress in ways they never imagined. It also brings excitement and new opportunities in unexpected ways.

No more overwhelm. No more unfinished projects. Dreams become realities. Joy and freedom appear. I love being part of that success.

Too many of us define our lives by what we do for a living rather than accepting that what we do for a living is a part of an overall purpose that guides our lives.

Have you explored your Why? If you haven’t check out this TedTalk. It will be the best 20 minutes of your day. I promise.


Over the years we have gathered up our most frequently asked questions and decided to write about them in hopes it will answer some of the mysteries surrounding Virtual Assistants.

  1. What the heck is a Virtual Assistant anyway?
    When people ask me “What do you do?” and I tell them “I am a Virtual Assistant,” nine times out of ten they ask me “What the heck is that?” Well, let me explain. A highly valuable self-employed individual who provides professional administrative, marketing, and consulting services (just to name a few) to Entrepreneurs, Solopreneurs, Small-Medium Sized Businesses remotely from a home office. Virtual Assistants (also referred to as VA’s) are becoming more and more commonly used and are an absolute hidden gem. They can handle the same tasks as an in-house assistant with many added benefits. VA’s can work with you on a contract or freelance basis and can provide a wide variety of, sometimes specialized, services. With technology today, there is not much that you cannot outsource to a Virtual Assistant.
  2. What do you do?
    Each Virtual Assistant company will have their own unique offerings. Our company offers Administration, Marketing and Design, Consulting and Coaching. We specialize in Real Estate but have clients from all types of businesses as well. Variety is the spice of life –  right?! We cover everything from spreadsheets to social media marketing to branding and business coaching.
  3. What don’t you do?
    Our company does not take incoming calls (receptionist), handle bookkeeping, accounts receivable or payable, invoicing or accounting. We are happy to recommend trusted businesses and our partners to help you out with these services.
  4. Where are you and your Virtual Assistant’s located?
    We take pride in being a 100% Canadian company. All our Virtual Assistants are in Canada and serve businesses and individuals across our country. We support local business and love to support Canadian entrepreneurs and companies.
  5. How does it work? How do we work together?
    First, we have a call to discuss your unique requirements; we provide a custom quote then if we decide to move ahead, we sign our contracts. Once all the paperwork is done, and out of the way we have our onboarding call and discuss how we can provide you with solid support for your success! You can learn more with 6 Easy Ways to Work With A Virtual Assistant.
  6. What are the benefits of using a Virtual Assistant?
    The benefits of a Virtual Assistant are that you can use our services on an as-needed basis, on-going or for a one-time project you need to get done. No worries about filling hours, keeping someone busy. In a pinch? Just reach out, and we can help take some of the stress out of your day and put time back on your side. You can save $1,000’s in business expenses by hiring a Virtual Assistant versus an in-house employee. Read the cost comparison on our blog.
  7. What do you do to ensure the privacy and protection of information and data?
    We have all clients sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement. All private information including passwords, login details, credit card info is all stored in a secure database that you have control over your data. We share information via Google Drive or DropBox for Business. The House Wren is covered by insurance for both Errors and Omissions as well as Cyber Insurance. We take your privacy very seriously.
  8. When should I hire a Virtual Assistant?
    If you find you’re so busy working “in” your business rather than “on” your business, there’s a good chance that’s it’s hurting your bottom line.  If you’re drowning in to-dos, missing deadlines or just have a wish list, let’s get it done and move your business to the next level. Make a list of all the most important items you would like off your plate this and will help you to prepare your game plan on getting your business back to a productive and well-performing machine (Read: To Do’s Before Hiring A Virtual Assistant). Still not sure? Read 7 Signs Your Small Business Could Use A Virtual Assistant.
  9. How do you charge?
    Each Virtual Assistant company will vary, but ours offers packages, a-la-carte options as well as hourly. We will have a call with you, assess the most economical option for your business needs and provide you with a quote. Each quote includes a scope of work as well as costs.
  10. How am I billed? How is time tracked?
    Our company bills monthly for hourly and packages, one-time projects are 50% of the cost before the project commences and the remaining 50% upon completion. Payment methods include e-transfer, credit card, cheque or cash. HST applies to all charges. Hourly work is timed by the minute, no minimum and no rounding up.

So, there you have it our top 10. Is there anything we haven’t covered? If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re more than happy to answer your questions! Should you be interested, we also do in-office education seminars on what a Virtual Assistant is and how to hire your own. Give us a call today to find out more!


IMG_7266Have you ever wondered how gift giving affects your clients? The benefits of giving business or corporate gifts are plentiful. These days, giving gifts as Entrepreneurs, REALTORS and Small Business owners to clients are no longer seen as “nice to” but rather as a business imperative. Gifts help businesses to create goodwill, strengthen relationships, enhance your company’s image and create an emotional connection and positive perception of your brand.

Here are a few dos and don’ts for gift giving for the holiday season or any time of the year. There is a distinction between promotional gifts and corporate gifts. Both are valuable marketing tools for specific purposes in business. Promotional items are typically branded items of a lower cost, used as giveaways in large quantities as an extension of advertising efforts. Corporate gifts, on the other hand, are typically higher value items which are given with the intention of showing gratitude and strengthening relationships. They increase brand loyalty and encourage recipients to interact favourably with your brand.

IMG_7273If you are giving a gift to an existing or potential client, do find out what their company’s gifting policy is first. Banks, auditing firms and multi-national companies have strict rules around gifting. Feel free to ask your client upfront if they have a “No Gifting” policy, then at least your client will know that the thought was there. They will probably give you suggestions on what are acceptable ways to show your appreciation. Don’t go overboard with lavish or intimate gifts.

Your heart might be in the right place, but a gift that is excessive or a little too personal can make your recipient feel uncomfortable. Avoid outlandish gifts like jewellery. Try to stick to gift baskets, chocolate and sweets, coffee or wine and their accessories if in doubt. Don’t guess how to spell your recipient’s name. Getting their name wrong on a gift is a no-no. Instead of having warm, fuzzy feelings, your recipient will feel embarrassed or think that you are careless. That’s the opposite of what you are going for. Finally, do have your gift professionally wrapped. Great presentation increases the excitement of receiving a gift. Professional gift-wrapping also adds to your message of how much you value your recipient.

Don’t be shy to add a personal note and a gift card too!

Donna Hartrick,
My Shopping Diva