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Do you need more info to reach your goal?

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I want to give you a tip that will make it much easier to reach your goals.

At some point, in going after your goal, you are going to be stopped by a lack of information.

Now I honestly don’t like doing a lot of research.  But here are some of the techniques I enjoy using to get information when I’m stuck:

1. Tell people what your wish is and the obstacle you face.  You won’t believe how quickly people (even strangers!) will jump right into problem-solving mode and you’ll be given information or contacts who can give you the solution…try it…really…you’ll be amazed!

2. Go to the library (online).

I love libraries. When I was six years old, a friend took me on my first trip to a library. I was astounded and absolutely delighted to learn that I could take 5 books home and it was free!

Today, I can access mountains of popular magazines, scholarly journals, and databases on everything from history to science to health right from my computer.  All you need is a library card number.  Go to your local public libraries website and find their online databases. You will find information here that will get you unstuck. The only downside (if you want to call it that!) to this method is that you can spend hours happily sifting for gold in this treasure trove!

3. Got to conferences, association meetings and trade shows.

There’s nothing like hanging out with a bunch of people who share your interest.  The Encyclopedia of Associations lists every group and association that meets regularly in the U.S. and even worldwide. 

So, what’s a goal you’d love to achieve? Are you stopped by lack of information?  Try one of my favorite techniques this week and find out how great it is to get just the information you need to keep moving forward.

Drop a line on my blog and let me know how it goes!

Stinking Thinking

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Do you find yourself caught up in a lot of “stinking thinking?”  When you wishfully think of something, do you immediately stop yourself with a “I can’t have, do or be that!”

How about when someone presents an idea to you – a dream they have -and it totally seems off the wall.  Do you say, “well, it won’t be easy.”  Or, “you’ve got a long road ahead.”   Instead, why not say “great!  what would have to happen to make that come true?”

See the difference.  Once you start thinking about what the outcome would be, your brain will start getting creative and will begin to draft out steps you’ll take.  You probably won’t know every step needed to reach your dream.  But if you start in the direction your wise inner self guides you to, you’ll be led to the next step, the next person.

This is the power of planning.  To me making plans is like playing.  And to be honest, many of my plans go out the window.  The secret is, that while you’re following your initial plan, all kinds of unexpected and wonderful things occur. 

You meet just the right person who can help you with the next step towards your dream.  You stumble upon a book that has just the key you need to unlock some blocked area you had.  You stop into the “wrong” office and run into an old friend who can help you.

Planning in this way, loosely attached to the exact outcome, is the only way your dreams become real.  Action rocks.  You don’t have to create your entire dream alone…matter of fact, you can’t.  When you get in the game, and take action in the world, the world will meet you and give you more than you can imagine.

Would love to see your comments here.  Post a dream you have!  You never know who might have a missing link you need.

How To Solve Problems

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What do you do when you hit a problem in your business? Maybe it’s how to generate more income, how to build a client list or how to create an information product. Too often you might find yourself getting stopped by a problem and just giving up. Here’s what you can do to get past those problems and on to doing what you love to do.

Jim Rohn, the wonderful motivational speaker, said to go inside first and see if you can come up a solution. If that doesn’t work, go to a book or internet sources to see if you can find an answer. If that doesn’t work, ask someone else who is where you want to be. This is good advice. Let’s explore further.

1.  Go inside. You have an extraordinary amount of wisdom right inside yourself –from your past experiences and from your natural preferences. One great way to get your answers from within is to take some time to get quiet. Make a list of teachers you’ve had that made a positive impact on you. Some may have been conventional teachers; others may be people you met who were not in a classroom. You can even consider famous people, people who have died or you haven’t met in person but you learned something valuable from them. Now choose one that jumps out at you right now.

Now write out a dialogue between you and this person. Ask him/her for advice. I can bet you will find some powerful insights into how to solve your problem

2.  Get some more information. When someone tells me they’re stuck on a problem, I quickly assess whether it is a lack of information that is the real problem. It often is. I’m amazed at how many people don’t take the time to seek information through books and the internet. Often there is someone out there who has solved a problem similar to yours and you can quickly get ideas about how to solve your problem.

3.  Ask someone else. If you still can’t figure out how to get past your problem after going inside and doing some research…now is the time to ask someone else. Most people are willing to share information and help you IF you show them that you have done some research prior to asking them. It’s startling how many people ask me for advice and information and when I ask them what they’ve done so far to solve their problem…they say “nothing”.

I’ll give you a concrete example. You want to run a tour business. You don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed every time you think about this idea…but it just won’t go away.

First, you take time and journal with your teacher within. You have a dialogue and get encouragement from the teacher that you are on the right track. You even get some ideas about where you would like to lead tours and get a strong sense of the feelings of satisfaction and joy you’ll get when you achieve this goal.

Now you think, “I don’t know how to start. What insurance do I need? How do I hire a bus? What kind of outdoor microphone will I need so that people can hear me? How will I find people to enroll for my tours?”

So you go to Google and type in “how to lead tours”. You get nothing useful. So you try, “how to be a tour guide”. Bingo. You get a great article with lots of information and a link to an online course on the topic. You subscribe for the course. You then do an Amazon search and find a book that looks great on this topic so you order it.

After you’ve taken the course and read the book, you are about 100% confident that you’d like to achieve the goal of becoming a tour guide but you’d like to talk to some people who are actually doing it to get the real scoop on what it’s like and maybe ideas on how to break into the field.

Now, if you don’t already know someone in the field, it’s time to look up a few people in the field, approach them by email to request a 20 minute informational interview by phone. Send an email that says that you are interested in entering the field, you’ve taken a course and read about the field and now want to get some real world information.

Tell them that you’ll have 5-10 questions prepared before the call and that you’d be happy to email the questions to them prior to the call. You might want to ask what the best part of their work is and what the worst part of their work is. Don’t ask specific salaries, though you may ask what would be an expected range of pay for a beginner and for someone advanced in the field.

People are generally very happy to help out, happy to share information about work they love AND they will be impressed that you did your research prior to seeking them out.

So go ahead. What’s a problem you have? Try the 3 steps above and get unstuck now!

Why Blog?

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When I first heard of blogging, I said to myself –that looks silly and time consuming and how the heck could it help my business?  And I buried my head in the sand for a couple of years.  And then, one of my coaches started nudging me and showed me some practical reasons to blog.  And now I’m hooked.  Today I ‘m going to share with you the top reasons to blog and how to get started.

1.  Internet interaction is here in a big way and is here to stay.  With the advent of social media (linked in, facebook, twitter) and smart phones, people now expect to be able to interact with you online.  Your website is a one way street.  You give out content. Your readers receive it.  With a blog, people can comment on what you post and a dialogue occurs.

This is great because it builds relationships AND it’s great for driving traffic.  Search engines and blog directories are notified of your updates and they love that!

2.  Google Loves New Content.   In the past, google would find your web pages and if they hadn’t been around for 9 months or so, it was considered too “new” to land high on the search engines list.  Now, fresh content is queen.  Google loves it.  I use “google alerts” to keep an eye on several keywords I’m tracking.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  I’ll explain!

Go to google and type in “google alerts”.  You will be taken to a google tool that allows you to put in words you want to track that are being picked up on the internet.  For example, I track Ann Ronan, @anncoach (my twitter address), self employment, and Providence, RI (to get new content for my www.providencelover.com site and to see when that site is mentioned).

Each day, google sends me a list of websites and blogs that have used one of my articles, or mentioned my name or keywords.  Often when I post a blog, google picks up the content the very next day.  It’s not so quick at finding my website content. This is powerful for bringing readers to your website/blog.

3.  It’s Easy To Upload Content.   For years, I had to rely on others who were expert at html language (don’t ask!) to update my website content.  Now, I can easily type in what I’m thinking and click a button and it’s done!  I recommend using WordPress (it’s free and powerful). 

I also recommend having an integrated website/blog –don’t worry… I didn’t want to learn the technical aspects…and if you don’t either I have a resource for you.  Thomas Usborne (his dad is my coach on the website projects my husband and I am working on). 

He can be found at http://www.midnightdonkey.com/.  His email address is thomasusborne@gmail.com.  He gives a quick turnaround, a reasonable rate and a high quality product –if you like the looks of my www.authenticlifeinstitute.com site, thank Thomas! 

(I am not an affiliate with Thomas –I just want you to have the resource you need so you don’t put off getting your blog up!)

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.

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

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.”

Client Attraction: 3 Keys to Getting Ideal Clients

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Getting clients and customers is the #1 need I hear from my clients. If you don’t have your client attraction system in place, you have no business!

Strategy #1. What do you do?

You’ve got to have a short, great answer when someone asks you this question. Start by knowing who your ideal client is so you can identify them with your answer to “what do you do?” You have to know who you are talking to every single time you write an email to your list, or create an ad, or write website copy. Who are you talking to?

Create a composite person who possesses every great quality all your ideal customers have. Then, every time you write or speak or do other marketing activities, you are speaking to that ONE person. This is the most powerful client attraction magnet –so you must master it.

You can start with demographics like age range, income levels, geographical area where they live but then expand it to how they are thinking, what they are feeling, what do they want from you. Write it out. Say it aloud to your coach or trusted buddy. Change your marketing materials if needed to speak directly to this wonderful person who you can’t wait to serve. And watch the calls/emails come in!

Strategy #2. What Makes You Different?

Here are some of the ways I am different from many business coaches. I love my clients and am not afraid to tell them so. I value relationships and it shows -I have long term relationships with many, many clients –many have worked with me for nine years or more.

I have been in my client’s shoes and know what they’re feeling and know how to express that to them while giving them a vision of the possibilities of their future along with practical action steps to take in the present.

I have invested a ton of money and time into learning how to create a portable and prosperous lifestyle and share all that I have learned freely with others.

I bring a consciousness of spiritual principles to all I do –including business.

I am introverted and love working alone from home, AND have challenged myself to bust through perceived limitations and fears to bring my work into the world in a big way through speaking, creating information products and facilitating coaching groups…thus I serve as a role model for others with similar doubts and fears.

So give some thought to all your unique quirks. What makes YOU different? I’d love to know –leave a comment in the blog section so we can all see it!

Strategy #3. What is the Outcome Your Clients Get?

Big, big mistake I see in just about every new business owner (and I did it too!). They talk about the FEATURES of their service or product and not the BENEFIT to the client.

Example –my Success Circle –features include a monthly teleclass including laser coaching with me, audio recordings, weekly audio coaching minutes and a weekly online journal.

Some of the many benefits of the program are that participants take action more consistently and quickly resulting in increased clients and money in their business. They have support and are able to ask those questions that may feel “dumb” in a safe space.

What is the outcome your clients get? Get clear on these 3 things and you are far ahead of most business owners.

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.

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.

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