Author Archives: Debbye Cannon

Long Weekend Projects

Long Weekend Projects

White clock with words Time for Action on its face

Got time? Maybe a long weekend isn’t bringing you some exotic get away, but instead a great opportunity to refresh yourself and your space with some long procrastinated project. Here are some tips for working moms to consider that will pay off big time. Balancing work and family just got simplified.

  • Paint a room. A fresh coat of paint is the least expensive thing you can do to update and “renovate” the appearance of a space. The new color matching computers available in home improvement stores can take the stress out of selecting the perfect shade.  Just take in your fabric or other color inspiration and let the pros create a perfect match.  My favorite painting combo is a large rectangular Glad food storage box to pour paint into. Just snap on the lid when you need to take a break and the paint says moist. A disposable fuzzy paint pad w/ a Styrofoam handle will fit right in (you can even leave it in the box on your break). Don’t forget to use the blue painter’s tape to mask off the baseboards, ceilings, outlets, etc.
  • Clear a closet (or two). Just “let it all out”! Try on the clothes you haven’t worn. Separate those to give away, repair, have cleaned, or trash. Buy matching hangers. This is an inexpensive way to freshen the appearance of your closets. It takes one foot of rod for 15 shirts, 12 jeans/pants, 6 jackets or suits. Estimate what your closet will realistically hold and reduce your wardrobe to fit your space comfortably. You may be more willing to put things away if they fit easily & aren’t all crammed in!
  • Purge some paper. Go to and search for publication 552 for guidance on what paperwork to keep. Much of what you have is probably too outdated or useless or available on line (owner’s manuals, etc.).
  • Have a FIX IT UP spree. Haven’t taken the time to fix those minor irritants around your home or office? Grab the tool box and “attack” them or call someone to help. Quit being frustrated daily by the closet that won’t close, the burned out light bulb or the loosey-goosey towel bar that falls on you every day!
  • Reward yourself for your efforts-although your nice space will probably be enough!



Enrolling Clients

Natasha AllrichNatasha Allrich of “Enroll from the Soul” was our recent guest expert on SMARTcut Radio show. If you missed the live show you can access it at

As you are improving your enrollment skills, here are a few ideas to consider:

Start with WIIFH (What’s In It For Her/Him). Listening skills play a big part in this approach.

Start with some key questions that will get your prospect talking about THEMSELVES.

Some possible conversation starters might be:

Tell me about yourself and what you like to do.

What do you like most about what you do?

If you could change one thing about your current situation what would it be?

What would you like to know about (my company/program/products)?

The most important thing is to remember to make your prospect feel important and heard. Listening can be a power tool for enrolling your ideal clients!


Time Gobblers


Here are 10 of the TOP TIME GOBBLERS…

1. Lack of urgency/procrastination.

2. No clarity/focus.

3. Inadequate or inefficient tools.

4. Spending “dollar time” on “penny tasks.”

5. Using distraction to create avoidance.

6. Interruptions from lack of boundaries.

7. Chaos and clutter.

8. Internet and social media addictions.

9. Negative thoughts and people.

10. Fatigue from poor personal care.


Presentations and Exhibits

Pack SMART if you do presentations or exhibits you’ll appreciate these SMARTcut Solutions to reduce the stress and load of showing your business and/or products. It will save your time AND make more money when your presentation is easy to manage and professional looking.

We use laminated posters and easels. Shopping bags for drawing entries. Place mats for branding color. This entire display including CDs to sell fits easily into a rolling “carry on” sized bag.

The two posters on the back corners are color copies on card stock, laminated and supported by folding easels (from Hobby Lobby). They can be easily carried in an unfolded, flat Priority Mail box and will fit in a carry on luggage for undamaged transport.

FullSizeRenderThe round straw place mats are available at Bed, Bath and Beyond as well as other table linen departments. We have 6 which make for an easy “no wrinkle” way to add our brand color to the table. It’s also easy to stretch or shrink the display to fit different sized tables with these mats.

The prize drawing container is a folding gift bag. Also easy to carry! Don’t forget to have some slips with complete contact info for entering your drawing.

Whatever you need to pack, make a master list to re-use. As an added bonus, you can now delegate the packing and restocking to a team member.

Have a re useable packing list. Here’s ours.



Event Planning

Having just returned from the Rock Star Marketing Boot Camp in Los Angeles, the details of organizing for an event or a trade show are fresh on our minds. If you have some visibility opportunities coming up read on for some of our favorite ways to “save time. make money. and create freedom!”

Use the “Sticky Note Brain Dump technique to organize all the little pieces and see ways to delegate. It’s a free video on the top of our home page. Here’s a photo of one Debbye did for re-vamping our marketing funnel and website.


This makes it easy to see and track progress with you have a major undertaking. I first began using this system for our military relocations. There were always LOTS of details to include. Best SMARTcut, if this is a recurring event save the sticky notes and use them next time!


Clear Your Mind

DreamingWomanMost of us struggle with the “little voices” that fill us with self doubt and low self esteem. Even if you feel you are the most positive person around, this short audio recording will deliver some valuable mentoring tools you can use yourself and share with those around you. Try ’em. They DO make a difference!

Download Recording

To download the recording, right click on the link above and select Save Link As to download to your computer.

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Cost of Paper Disorganization

How much is being disorganized costing you?

 One the most common requests we hear is, “Help me organize my paper!”

It is said that the average person spends over 150 hours per year, just looking for lost information.  Some estimates are even higher than this! Based on a 260 day year (not considering holidays, personal days, etc., and let’s say you never look for lost information on the weekends…), that is almost 35 minutes per day, 2.9 hours per week and 12.5 hours per month!

Check our favorite filing solution!

Polishing Personal Style

I had a great time today  guiding my Style Client on her Shopping Experience! As a Librarian and Adjunct Professor, she wanted to polish her personal style.
Corporate Speech Solutions reported, “The social psychology department of Fairleigh Dickinson University conducted a study researching the affect of personal appearance on individuals’ starting salaries. In this study, a group of identical resumes were sent out to the human resources departments of over 500 companies. Each resume was accompanied by a photograph of the supposed applicant. One half of the companies received resumes with pictures of individuals sporting their typical, day-to-day appearances.
The other half received pictures of the same individuals after receiving appearance upgrades by outside professionals. Each of the companies was asked to determine a starting salary for the individuals represented by the pictures and resumes. The results indicated that personal appearances can most certainly affect your bottom line: the resumes accompanied by the more polished, professional appearances were quoted starting salaries 8 to 20% higher than the “before” pictures. Since the content of the resumes was identical in each condition, this indicates an important, if somewhat disconcerting point: appearances do matter, often in very concrete ways.”
This client, like others, has a large body frame and is also quite tall. Two of her biggest take ways were recognizing how to use body proportion to her advantage and how to extend her limited wardrobe with accessories. I’m excited to see how her next work evaluation goes and if she lands that promotion she’s seeking.
But does an entrepreneur need an image boost? You bet! YOU are the company so opinions of your business competence weighs heavily on your appearance.
Check out our radio shows on iTunes.

Personality SMARTcuts

Multi Generation Family Celebrating Thanksgiving

Family  and business gatherings bring their own set of personality challenges. This week’s SMARTcut Radio broadcast was focused on understanding personalities so your relationships will be more positive.

Michael and Debbye explained the DISC model to help you identify the needs of introverts vs extroverts. Understanding which people are task oriented vs people oriented will also help you know what to expect from family members and colleagues. After all, getting along well with others will greatly reduce stress and improve results.

Listen or download the audio recording here.

Find more at

Escape Overwhelm Radio


We are excited to announce our new internet radio show, SMARTcut Radio which airs on the Rock Star Network on Wednesday mornings at 11 am ET, 10 am CT, 9 am MT, 8 am PT. All shows are archived and available on iTunes pod casts.

Find our shows at

SMARTcut Radio

From business to the bedroom, SMARTcut® Radio,  featuring Michael and Debbye Cannon, will deliver solutions to Winning the WAR on Overwhelm.

Feelings of overwhelm can come from uncontrolled mindset. Michael creatively mentors SMARTcut® listeners with his toolbox to get (and keep) your thinking from “stinking.” Before you know it, you’ll be achieving your dreams day in and day out.
Are you frustrated trying to find and maintain “balance” at home or in business? Debbye’s expertise will show you how to establish an ideal rhythm so you can create prosperity and serenity each and (almost) every day.
Tap into her unique brilliance for creating a “house of order.” Her signature system will show you how to “CLEAR, CREATE and CONTINUE” maintaining your home and business environment. It’s not about perfection, but about making progress!

Oh, and if that isn’t enough reason to listen in…. Michael is inviting a variety of guest experts to help you Win the WAR on Overwhelm!
Debbye is the author of PEACE of PAPER®, Organizing Without Agonizing®, Wardrobe Wisdom, and numerous audio and video recordings. She has had a wide range of experience ranging from Girl Scout Leader/Trainer to Army Wife to Radio Personality. She is the mother of two children and the grandmother of three, all of whom bring her great joy. Debbye has traveled extensively in Europe and the United States.
Michael is a retired Army veteran and served for 21 years in positions all over the world in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He has been a university professor, published author, web developer and speechwriter for the commander of the largest organization in the Department of Defense. He’s a fount of historical knowledge and a lover of inane trivia! His greatest joy has been to have been married to his lovely wife and high school sweetheart for over 39 years.

Father’s Day Special


Bronze warrior

“Warrior Born: living as a man in today’s world.”

Michael W. Cannon

We have a problem in our society today in that we have lost contact with what it means to be a man. More important, men have lost touch with how they can live successfully in the world in a man’s role. If we are accessing the Warrior side of man appropriately, we will be energetic, decisive, courageous, enduring, persevering, and loyal to some greater good beyond our own personal gain.

In this training you’ll learn the answers to the following questions:

What’s changed over the past century and how has it affected the role(s) of men today?

What roles is a man expected to play and how are they unique to this gender?

Why is the role of Warrior so important and why are men reluctant to play it in today’s world?

What does Imagineering have to do with being a man?

What components make up the nature of a man?

How should we as men channel anger and why do men handle anger differently than women?

Why should leaving a legacy be important to men?

When we are accessing the Warrior side of man appropriately, we will be energetic, decisive, courageous, enduring, persevering, and loyal to some greater good beyond our own personal gain.


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Mileage and Expense Tracking

Beautiful girl enjoying her new carIf you aren’t keeping track of your business miles to deduct as business expenses, you are missing the boat!

In the US, beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven.
  • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The problem is that it’s a hassle to keep track of it in a verifiable form the IRS will accept.

Hand holding smartphone on white background. Generic mobile smarLast year, one of my clients connected me to this app that is a sanity saver! It tracks your mileage with bullet proof documentation. To top it off I can even take snap shots of my related expense receipts and it will keep tabs on each type of category. So it’s a great book keeping service with a low cost monthly fee. It was so simple last year to print off (or save digital copies) of my expenses for my tax return.

If you are not great at keeping up with this vital information, delegate it to an office assistant, teen or BFF that is detail oriented. I just pop the receipts that I didn’t take time to photo on the spot into a folder of my ACTION File discussed in my paperwork training (updated product available next week).  It’s even possible to save screen captures of on line purchases and have them added into this app. Truly a “one stop” place to keep track of business expenses (or personal ones for that matter!). The categories can be customized so they are ready to pop the totals right into your tax return! Love this!

I can even offer it to you at the rate I got, just $9.97 a month. Just be sure to use my affiliate link and we’ll both get a free month.

Lighting SMARTcuts

light timerWhen the days get shorter I enjoy using my automatic timers on lamps and display cabinets. It’s so nice to have your home light up at dusk and turn off automatically at bedtime. You’ll be pleased at the warm, cozy feel it gives to  your home during the fall and winter months! Just be sure to grab them early. I know they are often sold out early when holiday decorations get underway!

While you are making your lighting changes….consider using a dimmer switch in TV rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. I always used them in my children’s nursery!

Yes, I also have ’em on my Christmas tree lights and exterior lights too. In fact, I pack the tree light timer and extension cord right in the box with the tree decorations so I  have it handy when we set up our tree.


Space Savers

One of the best uses of your time the next few weeks is to have some “fall clean out”. Between now and Halloween why not take care of a few “high use” areas of your life that could use some refreshing. Whether it’s your handbag, jewelry drawer, lingerie, or kitchen it is sure to save you time for the rest of the year to have things “IN ORDER”. So often, I find my clients struggling unnecessarily wading through too much stuff, or managing daily life without the tools and supplies they need. Here are a few areas I’ve been working on and what I’ve done in just minutes to make things better….

zipbag Snack size zip bag in each currently used handbag. Contents: small fingernail file, folded tissue, tiny zip bag (Hobby Store for beads) with folded Band-aid, and OTC Rx (aspirin, allergy, etc.), business cards in another small zip bag, breath mints and click style pen or mechanical pencil (not shown).
belts Make wardrobe accessories convenient. Using removable 3M hooks I hung my frequently used belts on the wall of my closet. Now I wear them more often because they are not “out of sight, out of mind” and quick to pop on the outfit of the day.
 DSCF1229 Are your kitchen drawers crammed? I decided to use vertical space on the backs of doors for storing entertaining serving utensils. (3M removable hooks). These inexpensive serving tools are by Oneida (at Wal-Mart) and are out of the way during everyday life.
towels Is it time to get some new towels for your kitchen or bathrooms? You may feel like you got a total makeover by just replacing those old worn out towels. I use smooth woven cotton for dishes (no lint) and fuzzy towels for hands. This way we know which ones are cleanest for drying dishes.

Project Filing


You may already be using my Action File to control the daily incoming paper. Another area of concern with paper is “projects”. Those things that are in process over several days or more. To keep these projects (and the paper involved) organized I use “Universal Clear Project Files” available from Shoplet. This is an economical resource for office supplies. They have quick shipping and small minimum orders. These come in packages of 25 for $4.51 and come in handy for so many uses!

These clear pockets are open on two sides (8.9 x 11.4 in)

  • I have put some in my car to organize ads and coupons by location.
  • I have a couple on my desk top to keep notes of my coaching clients (or other active projects) in order.
  • One is in my Action File to hold checks I have deposited on line until I am sure the deposit went through.
  • How about using one for organizing greeting cards by event?
  • I used one for all the paperwork involved in a business transaction.
  • I find them handy for the handouts for speaking presentations.
  • Keep the documents you purchase for business presentations clean and neat in a file box in your car.
  • By cutting one down it’s handy to keep small coupons or business cards in my handbag.


Appointment Scheduling

Young woman working with pc and speaking on the phoneMany of my clients make appointments to coach, present products and services or network with other business people. This can be a  time bandit! You call. Get Voice Mail. They return the call….get your voice mail. “When works for you? No, I can’t do that one.” And the process drags on.

Wouldn’t you LOVE to have an efficient way to schedule appointments by giving the other person YOUR calendar of available times to choose from? Here’s a great way to “get it done!”  If you only need to schedule 5 appointments a month, it’s FREE! For unlimited use it’s just $49 a year (with a month of free trial!).

Click here to learn more!

15 Minute Dinners

meals front cover

Nobody wants to spend the summer slaving over a hot stove! Summer is a perfect time to implement simple suppers. Salads, cookouts and garden feasts are the order of the season. Since it’s summer and you want to relax, here’s a SMARTcut(R). You can create simple meal plans using “your meals. simplified.”

This guide will serve you throughout the summer and beyond with tips to save time in the kitchen while you serve your family quality meals….all in 15 minutes or less! By popular demand I collected my own family’s favorite fast recipes in the SMARTcut Recipe Collection. Oh, and don’t forget that summer is a perfect time to start (or continue) teaching your kids to cook.
By having easy meals planned ahead you will have even more time to spend at the pool with the kids.

Now that’s what I call a VACATION!

Financial Prosperity-Guest Expert

MoneyClampHave you ever felt trapped, where it almost feels claustrophobic even though you’re not physically in a tight space? Ever feel like you were destined to be stuck in the same state forever? Have you ever been in a situation where you kept doing the best you could but it seemed to get you nowhere different? Ever experience the kind of trapped feeling where it seemed like the only direction left was out of this earth?

No woman should ever have to stay in a demeaning relationship because of money. No family should ever feel trapped in a run-down home because they think their fate is to be poor. No man should ever feel trapped by a job that drains the life from him and robs him of time with his wife and kids. No one should ever have to make important decisions based on lack of money. No one has to feel trapped when they awaken to the abundant truth hiding in plain sight!

Abundance is a real thing to be tapped into. To be rich means to have options. Adhis helps create options and guides women and families to freedom.

Enjoy this Guest Expert interview with Adhis Boucha, The New Money Mama.

Here’s Adhis’ 30 Day Tracking Sheet promised in the interview:

30 day Tracking Sheet

Abundance IS already. Will you claim it?



Emergency Preparedness

Our current information age keeps us all too abreast of current events, not the least of which are emergency situations around the world. Since no one is exempt from inconvenience to tragedy, it only makes sense for us to be as prepared as we can. Here are just a few area you may want to check and/or improve to keep you and yours safe.

1. Fire Extinguishers and smoke detectors. Key areas might be garage, kitchen and AC/Furnace room. Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors 2 x year. Set a reminder on your computer or phone.

2. Emergency water. Will you be “up the creek” if the water supply is contaminated or interrupted? Why not stock a few cases of water bottles. Do it for free by rinsing empty 2 liter soda bottles. As long as the water you store is “potable” (means good drinking water, even from the tap) it will be safe. Recommend storing out of contact with sunlight. How about the hard to reach areas under the sink? Make sure NOT to put food/water storage containers directly on concreate floors (toxic). Goal is 14 gallons( 2 week supply) per family member. Store unscented household bleach to purify other water as needed.

Emergency Heat Can3. Emergency heat/power. Ever been long without power? Get some long burning candles or flashlights (maybe the crank powered ones?).  This is an inexpensive  and safe DIY project. Use a clean quart paint can (home improvement stores sell ’em). Smash in a roll of toilet paper and soak with alcohol. Replace lid. Tape on a BIC lighter and paint can opener. Once used refill the alcohol. The paper doesn’t even burn. Weird! Great to keep in the car in the winter. Butane stove burners are also very inexpensive and can even be used indoors. Be sure to get BUTANE and not PROPANE. Mine is a one burner and I have 4-8 bottles of butane. I could cook for several days/weeks on this if needed.

4. Emergency food. Gather up some meals that require no refrigeration and little or no cooking. Here’s my a list of breakfast foods I can keep on hand. All can be prepared with at least my butane stove (above). Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Pancakes, Rice, Cold Cereal. For lunches or dinners: Packaged/canned soups, pasta dishes, canned meats, beans, and of course, classic PBJ and crackers. Be sure to add in some candy (especially CHOCOLATE) and canned fruits. When you and yours are under stress, familiar favorites will taste pretty darn good.