Thoughts from The Queen Bee

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End of the Year Panic

October is the first month of the last quarter of the year, and a time to look back on the year to see how many of your goals you’ve accomplished, and look forward to determine your path for the rest of the year.

If you’re like most of us, you had grand plans at the beginning of 2015, maybe in the form of New Year’s resolutions like losing 25 pounds or quitting smoking. If you’re an entrepreneur like me, you may have had ambitious business goals, launching a website, opening a bricks and mortar locations, or perhaps increasing sales on existing platforms.

Many of us are now looking back, thinking “where did the year go?”

The reality is that setting goals is not enough. We need to set realistic goals with measurable results. If your ultimate goal is to lose 100 pounds in one year, how are you going to achieve that? You need to lose 2 pounds per week….that is a realistic target, but how are you going to do it? 

In order to reach your goal, you have to take that goal and support it with a workable plan. For weight loss, that would include some form of physical activity every day, and cutting out the daily pumpkin spice latte that has 8 teaspoons of sugar in every cup, or the evening junk food binge in front of the TV. However, that’s still not an actionable plan. You have to open up your calendar and schedule every visit to the gym, then actually meet those commitments. 

That’s the difference between setting a goal, and setting a goal supported by a plan to make it happen.

My goal to open a bricks and mortar location? Needs an actionable plan that would include scouting a viable location, and determining all the costs required to get the door open. An actionable plan requires that each step in that process have a specific timeline.

Look back on the plans you had for 2015, whether personal or business, and don’t just lament the fact that time got away from you, and you didn’t reach your goals. Ask yourself, “did I make a plan to reach the goals that I set?” If the answer is no, take this last quarter of 2015 to set realistic goals for 2016, supported by actionable plans, and you will not be in this same position at this time next year.

Now I’m off to make some plans….

Hallowe’en RoundUp Part Three!

So, I originally intended to do one post featuring Hallowe’en themed goodies from my fellow handcrafted entrepreneurs, but that somehow became two, and now three! 

This is absolutely, definitely, without question, the last in this series…well, for this year anyway! Can’t promise I won’t repeat the process next year, because it has been quite popular. Apparently people love Hallowe’en:)

Witches In The Woods Cold Process Soap from PumpleDaisy Soap Factory 

An earthy scent, and witches’ accessories; you can almost hear the “Double, double, toil and trouble” drifting out of the woods…

 Hallowe’en Collection Nail Polishes from Turtle Tootsies

Colours to coordinate with any costume you can dream up!

 Witch’s Brew Soy Candle from Candle Moments

Pretty sure no witch’s brew smells as good as these candles!

Apple Jack Cold Process Soap from After the Rayne

If you like to celebrate Hallowe’en, but aren’t into spooky, ghoulish decor, why not add a touch of Halloween colours instead?

Hallowe’en Limited Edition Melt & Pour Glycerin Soap from L’Aura Botanicals

The fun, whimsical side of Hallowe’en! Perfect for your guest bathroom…

 Psycho Hallowe’en Bleeding Cold Process Soap from Three Changos

Channel your inner Norman Bates with this creepy selection!

Creeping Horror Glycerin Soap from Paintbox Soapworks 

Don’t warn your guests about this one, and wait to hear the reactions…

Hallowe’en Roundup Part Two

 I’ve always enjoyed Hallowe’en, but growing up in rural Northern Ontario where houses can be miles apart, trick or treating was not a big part of my life. 

When I moved to Toronto, I lived in apartments where I never really thought about giving out candy. Then I started to help my friend decorate her house for Hallowe’en, and the rest is history. We did it for several years, and by the time we stopped, it was a major production that involved prepping for at least two weekends in advance, and took us most of the afternoon to set up. 

We dressed as witches, and delighted in the wide eyed wonder of the littlest ones, and successfully getting a rise out of the “too cool to be scared” preteens with black spider webs, artfully hidden!

My friend’s large Victorian house has been sold now, and it has been several years since we “did” Hallowe’en, but I have a feeling that one of these years I will be dusting off my witch’s hat and giving it another go.

In the meantime, I delight in all things Hallowe’en on the web, and wanted to share some that I’ve found this year.

Black Lipstick from Kiss Freely  

No Hallowe’en is complete without the perfect black lipstick, and this creamy delight is vegan and paraben free.

unDead Sea Mud Cold Process Soap from Emerson Handcrafted Natural Soaps

It might not keep the unDead away, but you’ll smell great while trying to avoid them!  

Evil Eye Cold Process Soap from Daily Repose Handcrafted Soap

Not sure if this one is supposed to ward off the Evil Eye or inflict it, but it’s downright creepy!

What A Tangled Web Cold Process Soap from Honest Roots Farm

This fun and yummy scented soap is the perfect touch for your guest bath during your Hallowe’en party!

Rat Tail Cold Process Soap from Sun Basil Garden Soaps

Okay, I am totally creeped out by rats and refuse to accept that they live in our cities, but this is just too well executed to ignore.

Graveyard Cold Process Soap by Hell Flower Soap Co.

Always a good idea to stay out of graveyards on Hallowe’en lest you run into one of these creepy critters!

Hallowe’en Roundup Part One

Each year I’m determined that this will be the year I make some spectacular Hallowe’en themed soaps and potions, but each year the short period of time between end of market season and start of Christmas season defeats me, and I am once again theme less ūüė¶

However, I truly love Hallowe’en, and am in awe of the creativity that abounds among my fellow handcrafted bath and body artisans.

So this year I decided to feature some of their amazing creations in my blog, and link directly to where you can purchase them. They are all awesome, so in completely random order:

Candy Corn Soap from A Slice of Delight

This fun glycerin melt and pour soap perfectly captures the colours of Candy Corn, with no calories!

Hallowe’en Natural Lip Balms from Wunder Budder

Full Moon, Black Rose, No Tricks, Just Treats or Samhain…..hard to choose just one so why not grab all 4?

Zombie Repellent Cold Process Soap from Halo Soap

Don’t leave home without it!¬†¬†!product/prd2/4320244515/*special-edition*-zombie-repellent

Finally, chasing zombies and ghouls is no excuse for a bad manicure so check out:

LeHallowee’en Mani Fizzes from Paint Box Polish

Add a little fun to your Hallowe’en grooming today!

Stop The Merry-go-round!

imageI’m told that a natural part of aging is noticing how quickly time seems to fly by. When we were kids, summer lasted FOREVER! These days it seems like the season has barely begun before it’s over.

With this perceived hastening of time, comes our sense of panic at not being able to fit everything we need to do into our day. How many of us dutifully sit down and draw up our To Do List, which we’ve been reassured is the key to organizing our lives and Getting Things Done, only to look at that list with a sinking feeling, realizing that there is too much list, and not enough us!

This leads us into the ever so popular coping strategy known as Multi-Tasking. Some tasks are ideal for multi-tasking: folding laundry while watching TV or chatting on the phone with a friend, unloading the dishwasher while your coffee brews. This is how to use multi-tasking effectively. How not to use this strategy? Telling your significant other “of course I can stop and pick up your dry cleaning on my way home”, when you have already committed to picking up the kids, stopping to grab takeout for dinner before the kids hockey practice, and dropping by Staples to pick up the brochures you ordered for your next show.

The reality is, there are a finite number of hours in a day, and you can only fit a finite number of tasks into them. Trying to do too much leaves you exhausted, irritable and stressed, which leads to a depressed immune system, and ultimately any number of illnesses, which will bring you to a full stop.

As entrepreneurs, we may be filling multiple roles: businessperson, wife/husband, mother/father, girl guide/Boy Scout troop leader, friend, daughter/son, and so on. With so many diverse responsibilities demanding our attention, it is very easy to get shoved to the bottom of the list of priorities. There is always something more important to do than take care of yourself.

This can’t continue indefinitely. Ask yourself:

Am I ways exhausted?

Am I irritable?

Do I constantly have a headache?

Do I catch every bug that comes my way?

Am I depressed?

Your body is trying to tell you something: I’m in distress!

If we don’t learn to carve out some time for ourselves in our schedule, time dedicated to keeping us strong and healthy through physical activity, meditation, or just downtime to recharge our batteries, eventually we will be accomplishing nothing, because our bodies will force us to shut down.

So, what’s it going to be? 30 minutes a day of “me time” (an hour would be better, but you have to start somewhere), or a week in bed because your depressed immune system couldn’t fight off that nasty flu that’s going around?

Dear Teenage Girl….


How many times have you heard the saying, “if I knew then what I know now”…followed by any number of endings?

I started thinking about what advice or knowledge I would pass along to teenage girls that would save them the painful process of learning it for themselves, and came up with the following, in no particular order:

Being Shy Will Get You Nowhere.

I was painfully shy as a child and teenager, and it was only once I left school, started my first job and was forced to put myself out there that I realized most of the people who seem to have it together and exude confidence are really just better at hiding their insecurities. Next time you’re in a situation where you don’t know anyone, take a deep breath and look around. You’ll probably see someone else lurking on the sidelines looking as uncomfortable as you feel. Walk up and introduce yourself….trust me, they will be very happy that you did, and now it’s two of you against the world, not just one!

Beauty Really Is In The Eye Of The Beholder.

Don’t waste time comparing yourself to women on TV or in magazines. TV and movie actresses have a whole army of makeup and stylists helping them to look good on screen. Those women don’t look anywhere near as good in real life, and magazines air brush photos to remove every blemish, wrinkle and bulge. If you ask 10 men (not hormonal teenage boys) to point out the most beautiful woman in the room, you’ll probably get 10 different answers, and they won’t all look like supermodels. They may have a gap between their teeth, wear glasses, carry a few extra pounds, or snort when they laugh. Happiness is beautiful, intelligence is beautiful, being interested in the people you meet is beautiful. Be strong, be healthy, and be happy, and you will be beautiful, inside and out.

High School Is Not Life.

Truly….for most of us high school was the worst time of our lives. Shy, self-conscious, afraid to be different, to be ourselves. There is a great, big, beautiful world waiting for you, where you can be yourself…be whatever you can imagine, without worrying about what the “popular” crowd thinks of you. Unlike high school, where you’re trapped with the same group of kids from year to year, in the real world you get to pick who you want to have in your life!

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff!

Seriously…. 5 years from now no-one, most especially you, is going to care if you had a pimple on prom night, or if you got invited to the party of the year, or if you only got 95 on your exam instead of 100. Be kind to yourself….you don’t need to be perfect, just be the best you that you can be. Just you is more than enough.

Your thoughts?


Good morning, all! BumbleBee Lane SoapWorks is in the thick of Christmas planning, and we could use your help…

Please leave us a comment telling us which of these fragrances you would like to see under your Christmas tree this year in our Deluxe Body Butter and Sugar & Shea Scrub…


Chocolate Mint

Sugar Cookie

Pumpkin Pie

Candy Cane


We will be randomly selecting one commenter to receive a Gift Set in the winning fragrance.

Thank you and happy Saturday!

Mike Michalowicz

Thoughts from The Queen Bee


Thoughts from The Queen Bee

Indie Business Blog

Leadership and Personal Development For Small Business Owners

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