self employment

Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs

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I am passionate about self employment and wish I had been nudged in this direction when I was a kid!

One of my coaches, from the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, posted this great blog (my contribution is #10).

Check it out here!

http://www.toiletpaperentrepreneur.com/blog/business-ideas-for-young-entrepreneurs

How to Make Money With Teleseminars

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Do you ever wonder how those folks offering free teleseminars ever make money?

I’ll let you in on three secrets. 

First, making money with teleseminars is a great goal…however, don’t overlook the importance of building your email list with teleseminars as well.  Many people from all over the globe have registered for my teleseminars and continue to receive information and promotions from me. 

Second, teleseminars are a great way to deliver good content that you can then repurpose (reuse) in other information products that you can sell.  Here are just some ideas to get you started:

1) Record your teleseminars and post the audios in a membership only library on your website or blog.  Members pay a fee to join.

2) Record your teleseminars and turn them into a CD that you can sell or send for free to people who will share their postal address with you.  Gathering postal addresses is becoming more important as people are inundated with emails that they don’t open.

When you have their postal address, you can send direct mail pieces like postcards and letters (monitor the change of address as well).

3) Have your recorded teleseminar transcribed – you can then combine the CD and transcript and sell them as an information product.  You might “beef it up” with additional bonus pages and reports.

4) If you have several related teleseminars or a multi-part teleseminar series, you can create several CDs with transcripts and create a home study kit.  These can sell from $97 to $997 depending on the topic and volume.

Topics that are targeted to a very special niche are good candidates for the higher dollar information products.  For example, you could sell a “time management for busy professionals” information product.  If you instead created “time management for dentists” you’d command more money.  You’d have to use their jargon and know something about the demands of their work to customize your content to them but you don’t need to be a dentist!

Third, teleseminars are a great way to gather information for a book or for a coaching group or a teleseminar series.  Hold a teleseminar on your topic area and leave plenty of time for participant questions. 

Have it transcribed and note your answers, in your words, to their questions.  You find out what your audience’s concerns are, how you provide solutions and where you might need to do research to get more information.

Now you’re on your way to creating your next information product –the biggest secret is that you’ll want to create several products –once someone loves your product they WILL want more.

Ready to get into action?  “Launch Your Teleseminar in 14 Days: Make $100,000 Income Sharing Your Interests and Passions” at http://authenticlifeinstitute.com/teleseminars.htm is a complete training in Teleseminars which opens the door to unlimited opportunities. My clients who use it say “I’ve been putting off using teleseminars because I didn’t know how to begin –now I know!” In addition to discovering how to create powerful teleseminars, you’ll get tips on how to leverage them into information products for profit, and free coaching with me to be sure you USE the information and much more.

Unemployed: Challenge AND Opportunity

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I spoke today at an unemployed support group sponsored by the State of CA.  My topic was “Turning Interests Into Income.”  There were about 100 people there.

Looking out at the sea of faces I saw pretty much two things.  Resignation or a spark of excitement as they considered ways to generate income without having a j.o.b.

My heart goes out to all folks who are involuntarily unemployed AND I was reminded that I’m not to work with everyone -because self employment is not for everyone.

So I focused on those with that beautiful “spark” of hope and possibility.  What a privilege it is to be allowed into someone’s life -even briefly -during their biggest challenges.

I am so grateful for the work I’m able to do and I’m so grateful for YOU!

P.S.  Here’s another Providence photo -that’s the gorgeous State House with the leaves just starting to turn color -I’m building a new website (a.k.a a new profit center) called www.Providencelover.com

state house small

Ask Ann

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Dear Authentic Lifers,

I just realized that the “Ask Ann” form we put on my webpage isn’t working…so…if you have asked me question in the last month or so…please know I’m not ignoring you -I never got it!

My web guy just fixed it -but in the meantime, I want to invite all of you to post a question here and I’ll give an answer next week (week of Nov 16 and beyond).

I’m leaving tomorrow on a vacation to celebrate my wedding anniversary, my birthday and my husband’s birthday.

So go ahead, got a question about self employment? Ask away. I look forward to supporting you because, if self employment would be your ideal lifestyle,  I want you to enjoy your life as much as I love mine!

P.S. I went back to my home state of RI in October -here’s my favorite beach in the world.  It’s called Galilee.

Dunes of Galilee

Fishing Boat

Living a Rich Life Without a Job

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My current coaching clients are all in the process of becoming self employed. They’re excited (and so am I). And they’re thinking about how to creatively make money doing what they love. Are you considering becoming a “free agent”? If so, here are some questions to ask yourself:

What topics/subjects really interest me?
How could I be paid to inform people about this interest?
How could I be paid to provide people with a service related to this interest?
How could I be paid to perform this interest for other people?
How could I be paid to create products related to this interest?
How could I be paid to assist people who are focused on this interest?
How could I be paid to learn more about this interest?

You may find that you have several interests. And if that’s the case you may want to pursue more than one. Imagine if you could live 5 different lives and in each you get to go deeply into different interests. Here’s my list (you can have more or less than 5 if you like!): I’d be a writer, traveler/tour guide, teacher, sex therapist, and singer. How can you indulge in all your interests in one lifetime? You can pursue your interests sequentially –doing one a time for a period of time. You can do some of them simultaneously. You may work on them in alternate blocks of time -6 months a year on one, 6 months on another. And, sometimes you can combine interests. For example, I may choose to combine my love of travel with writing and be paid for travel articles.

I’ve noticed that my clients tend to focus on their “options” and that these options are limited by their previous experience. Instead, I invite you to ask “What is possible?” You may want to have this conversation with another person to help expand your “possibility” thinking. Please know that you absolutely can earn money by providing value –not time.

As you begin this exploration, fear will most likely creep in. The best antidote for that is to remind yourself that you can only live one day at a time. Don’t try to forecast too far out in the future. You can take a step today towards fulfilling work and that step may lead you to a very unexpected, exciting place that you could never have foreseen. Just keep taking steps and moving forward. AND, get support! As Barbara Sher says, “Dreams Die in Isolation.”

Your Honesty is Your Originality

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I took a workshop last weekend (life long learning rocks) on writing and speaking with Barbara Sher –one of my heroes. She said something that immediately dissipated any lingering doubt I had about not having anything original to say.

She said “your honesty is your originality.” That’s it. HELLO…I called my biz Authentic Life Institute for a reason! My life has been about being very very true to who I really am and helping others to do the same.

So I hereby officially release any doubt that I have nothing new to say. Look out because my originality is feeling very free and ready to shake up a lotta lives. And I hope one of them is yours!

November is an important month for me –many milestones have occurred during November including my wedding last year on the 12th, my birthday on the 13th and my wonderful husband Ted’s b’day on the 14th!

I’d love for you to join me on a call –my birthday gift to you –where you can ask me anything you’d like about self employment –how to get started, how to choose an idea, how to get clients/customers, how to grow an existing biz, how to set up systems, how to manage team –anything at all. Open Q&A. Rare opportunity for 1-1 coaching with me.

No registration. No recordings. Be there live – November 16 3:00 pm Pacific/6:00 pm Eastern 712-432-3900 Conference Access Code: 117957

OR post your question here and I’ll post an answer.

PR Basics for Your Entrepreneur Success- Part II

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Are public relations a big mystery to you?  Have you avoided creating your PR plan because you just don’t know where to start?  Well the good news is most PR is free and I’m going to show you how to begin. Here are 3 more success tips (see last issue for the first 3 tips) that you can implement RIGHT now to get the exposure you need to be seen as an expert and to become a “go to” person in your field.

Success Tip #1.  Hold a Contest

Everyone loves a contest.  They’re fun, generate client interest and they can get attention from the media.  You can send a press release announcing the contest, keep the media posted throughout and then let them know about the winner(s). 

You can create a contest around your business birthday, when you release a new product or service, or to celebrate holidays.  You can use local celebrities to serve as judges to boost visibility.  Don’t forget to get contact information and email addresses for everyone who enters the contest.  It’s a great way to add to your marketing list.

Success Tip #2.  Use Social Media

I use Linked In, Facebook and Twitter.  The key to success with these tools is to establish relationships with people online –don’t just sell to them-especially when you first meet. 

I have to admit, I resisted Twitter for a long time after I saw that many people would post the trivia of their life –I really didn’t care what time they got up or what they ate for breakfast.

I’m now a convert.  Using social media is a great way to build your list and get noticed (you could also announce your contests here!).  I have had people refer my work to their “friends” (that’s what you’re called when you join someone’s facebook page).  I am reaching people I never would have through these amazing networks. 

No, I don’t fritter away my time.  I spend an average of 15-20 minutes a day nurturing these networks.  AND I don’t have to get dressed and drive anywhere to meet all these nice folks!

Success Tip #3.  Write Press Releases

You can use press releases to announce the launch of your website or blog, to draw attention to a new service offering, your contests, industry groups you’re joining, and pro bono work.  Make press releases a part of your marketing calendar so you don’t forget to do this.   Type “how to write a press release” into Google and you’ll see plenty of samples and formatting tips.

Do You REALLY apply the 80/20 Principle: Why ignore one of the most important success factors?

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I can’t remember where I first heard about the 80/20 rule – Pareto’s Principle –a powerful success factor. I do remember that it sure got my attention. True to form, first I researched it to see if there was truly evidence for it. There was. Then I applied it to my business and my personal life. And I saw results. It’s now 2nd nature for me to ask myself routinely –does this activity fit into my 80/20 rule? Maybe you’ve heard of it but forgot all about it…or maybe you’ve never heard of it. Either way, here it is:

About 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Joseph M. Juran, who studied quality improvement, suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Juran found that in quality management, 20 percent of product defects caused 80 percent of product problems.

Turns out this success factor applies in all areas (maybe not always 80/20 but close enough!). Picture your clothes closet. If you’re like most of us, you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. If you keep files, there’s a good chance you look at 20% of them 80% of the time.

In sales 20% of customers bring in 80% of sales. 80% of delays in schedule arise from 20% of the possible causes of the delays. 80% of customer complaints arise from 20% of your products or services.

Here are 3 tips for applying this rule to your success:

Tip #1:  For a few days, write down everything you do. Then pare down your list to the 20% of things that you see as most important. For example, if you find in the last 3 days, you’ve done 15 different things, which 3 things were most important to reaching your goals, or bringing in money, or serving your best clients? Now focus most of your daily time and energy on those things…when distractions start occurring…remember where to keep your attention…on YOUR success factors.

Tip #2:  Do you sell products? Even if you’re in a service business, I encourage you to have information products! Pay attention to how much of your profit comes from each item. Put your effort into the 20% that give you 80% of your sales. Sometimes it pays to bundle together and discount the others that aren’t bringing in 80% of sales.

Tip #3:  Most of the time, 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers- the ones who make the big purchases and are repeat-buyers. Make that 20% feel special. Give them advance notice of new services/products and offer them discounts. Give them exclusive services, available only to them. If you do business face to face –periodically host a breakfast or lunch for your best clients…don’t ask them for anything in return, just honor them.

For the next week pay close attention to what activities you’re doing. Ask yourself if they fit into your 80/20 success factor rule. This is one of the most powerful ways to moving away from working “hard” to make money to working “smart” to make money.

Hot Trends: Five Ways to Make Money From Home

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The first book I fell in love with as a child was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery…here’s a quote I could (and still do!) relate to: “There’s such a lot of different Anne’s in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”

Working with people who want to start their own home based businesses is pure joy for me –it allows me to use my possibility thinking to the max.  Once you start seeing all kinds of opportunities to make money…you won’t be able to stop!  Start by thinking of possibilities for other people you know…before you know it…you’ll start creating multiple profit centers of your own.

Here’s a roundup of just a few home based business ideas to get you started:

writer1.  Writing.  I’ve made six figures in a year from writing for the last four years.  There are all kinds of ways to make money through writing: grant writing, technical writing, copywriting, resume writing, travel writing, website copywriting, and creating blogs that attract ads are just a few of the ways you can enjoy your writing skills while bringing in the bacon.

computerrepair2.  Computer repair.  I’ve often wished I had someone reputable (a good sense of humor would be a bonus) I could call who would make home visits to repair my computer.  You can serve consumers or small businesses or both.

housework3.  Senior Services.  This industry is exploding.  You can provide all kinds of non-medical services.  You could specialize in one or create different service packages. Some ideas:  caregiver who keeps a person company while doing light housework and maybe cooking, provide transportation to appointments, shopping, yard work, or pet care/grooming/boarding.

va4.   Virtual Assistant.  I’ve had the same VA, Pat, for several years.  She lives in Texas and I’m in Southern California…and we work together beautifully.  There are online schools that will provide training, certification and a listing on their websites.  Pat recommends AssistU where she got her training. 

web_design5.  Website/Blog Designer.  This is another fast growing field.  Most people are overwhelmed at the thought of creating a website or blog…if you come in with a “Do It For You” service that keeps it simple for them, you’ll have more business than you can handle alone (not a bad problem to have!).  You might want to team up with a marketing coach who can help the client decide on the overall focus of the website and the copy that describes specific benefits about their products or services.  Or maybe you’re talented in copywriting and can do it all!

Keep on looking for those opportunities that are a great fit for YOU.  They’re endless.

Put Money In Your Pocket With Sizzling Sales Copy

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Every self employed person needs to learn how to write successful sales copy.  Sales copy is a different style of writing. Just as I had to drop the academic boring writing to the more conversational writing you’re reading now…I had to learn to spice up writing when I wanted to sell something. 
For each product/service you would like to deliver to your customers, you’ll need to write a sales letter – start out with about 1,000 words, as you get practice, you can make them longer.

Here are my four best tips to get you started:

1.  You gotta get their attention with the headline: 

Would you bother reading a page about this?  “5 Ideas for Home Based Businesses.”  Maybe.  How about this one?  “Why Home Based Businesses Are Raking In More Money Than Ever Before.”   Or, “Smart Tips When Eating In Airports” compared to “What Never to Eat Before Boarding a Plane.” 

Your headline must get your readers attention.  Then it can get them curious, introduce a compelling idea or make an offer.

You don’t want to “trick” the reader.  Be authentic.  But spice it up with power words.  Here are some to get you started:  “You owe yourself a _____.”  “Straight talk about _____”.  Here are some power words you can use anywhere in your copy:  energizes you, relieves stress, a smart buy, knocks your socks off…are you starting to get a feel for it?

2.  Focus on the readers “pain” or problem that you can solve.  We all make purchases from emotion.  Then we justify them with logic.  A good sales letter moves the reader from emotion to desire to action.  Want proof?  Think about the purchases you’ve made lately, particularly those in response to a sales letter you read.

Even better…start collecting those sales letters that get you to take your credit card out of your pocket and buy.  What is it about the letter that appealed to your emotions?  What pain/problem were you looking to solve?

3.   Why you?

What makes your service/product unique?  What is your Unique Selling Proposition? This is what you will build the sales letter around. You must make the reader know that YOU or your product can solve their pain/problem. 

Maybe you’ve have had a similar pain/problem and have turned it around, perhaps there is strong research evidence available about the product you are selling. 

Testimonials can also boost credibility in your sales letter.  If you use them be sure they are specific, address only one benefit and have a full person’s name, city and state.

4.  It’s All About the Benefits NOT How You Deliver Them

Here’s where most of us trip up.   Many of my clients focus on the features of their products/services rather than benefits.  For example, in a home study kit on “How to Make Money Online”, the features may be a 100 page workbook, 2 audio cds, 5 worksheets and 2 bonuses.  That’s nice but what do I GET if I buy it?  What problem do I solve?

Benefits are the specific advantages your customer/client will receive from your products or services.  In the online home study kit example benefits might include: make money from home with no commute, create passive income that brings in money while you sleep, pay off your debts putting in only 3 hours a week online.

If you can show that your product or service will: make someone money, help them lose weight, get them healthier, make them more popular, improve their appearance, save them time, or make something more convenient for them, you’ll get their attention.

People don’t care how you are going to fix their problem…they just want to know you can.

What service or product are you ready to offer?  Go ahead.  Write your first sales letter.  Sure, it will feel like riding a bike for the first time…you’ll be wobbly…it’ll take time and a few revisions.  But after you’ve written five or so, you’ll be able to crank these out in no time AND you will put money in your pocket while serving others in your unique way!

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