career

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.

Facebook: How to Set Up A Fan Page

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Yes,  Facebook is a fun way to keep in touch with your buddies and family and to reconnect with people you’ve lost contact with.  AND, it’s also a powerful marketing tool if you use it right.

Some people choose to set up a private page for just family and friends while creating a separate page for business.  I’ve chosen to blend the two on my “wall” so that potential clients/customers can get a feel for who I authentically am.

I’m in the process of creating a “fan page” specifically for my business (watch for a contest announcement in March!).  I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned with you.

1.  Some facts about Facebook. Think that your ideal client is not on Facebook?  Think again.  In 2009, Facebook had 350 million users and it keeps growing.  Facebook reaches 56% of people using the internet in the U.S. and many more in other countries.  Just over 70% of Facebook users come from outside the U.S.

11% of users are ages 13-17, 29% are 18-25, 23% are 26-34, 18% are 35-44, 12% are 45-54, 7% are 55-65.  Facebook is the #3 site visited by users 65 and older!

2.  Why Are You Doing This Anyway? Before you dive in take some time to set your goals and expectations of your Facebook Fan Page.  You may want to sell a certain number of books, you may want to get booked for a certain amount of speaking gigs each month, you may want to establish yourself as an expert, or you may want to fill up your coaching group.

3.  How to Create a Fan Page. Go to www.facebook.com.  Scroll way to the bottom to the fine print and click on “advertising”.  On the left hand side of the page, click on pages.  Then click on “create page”. Now you’re ready to create your fan page (it’s free!).

4.  Start a discussion. One of the great things about a Facebook Fan Page is that you can interact with your tribe.  You’ll see a “discussion” folder tab at the top of the page.  Post a question you’d like to get opinions or ideas about.

5.  Post some photos and videos. Everyone enjoys seeing you in “real life” situations.  It’s also great to post photos of you with experts or local celebrities.

6.  Invite people to join your fan page. Send an email to your list inviting them to become a fan.  Run a contest like I’m doing to encourage participation.  If you already have a Facebook profile page (this is different from the Fan Page) you can invite your “friends” to become fans.  On the Facebook Fan Page, scroll all the way down to the bottom left.  You’ll see a “share” button. Click on it and you’ll see your Fan Page Profile and your list of current Facebook Friends.  You can select who to send an invitation to or click “all”.

7. Promote your page with The Marketing Heaven.

You can post an invitation on your blog, you can twitter about it, if you have a profile on Linked In you can post an update about your new Facebook fan page.

Want a powerful, no cost way to build your list of raving fans? Get going on building your Facebook Fan Page!  When you get your Fan Page up, post a note and link to your Facebook fan page on my blog and I’ll become a fan of yours AND my blog readers just might also!  http://authenticlifeinstitute.com/blog/

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. Should I pick the ProCom insurance? How do I hire a bus? What to do to get the lost replacement card? 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!

Repurpose Your Way To Making More Money With Less Effort and Time

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What the heck do I mean by “repurpose?”  Well it’s when you do one thing and then spin that one thing into many.  Let’s take a look at how this might work.

1.  Write a top ten tip sheet.  My first one was called “Top Ten Ways to Live Authentically.”  I wrote it 10 years ago and put it online and I still get feedback from it!

2.  Flesh out each of your top ten tips into a few paragraphs and now you have an article.  Write a 400-600 word article expanding on your top ten tips.  You put a “call to action” resource box at the end of the article.  A resource box is the jargon term that online article databases use…kind of like a byline, only it’s much more. 

Don’t make the mistake of using the few sentences you have here by talking about your bio data.  Instead, give people a reason to go to your website and get something free, and of value, in exchange for their email address. 

That one article becomes a client list builder.  And the beauty of it is that article remains online for a very long time AND other website/blog owners looking for good content, may ask you if they can post your articles WITH your website, on their webs/blogs…this happens to me several times a year.

3.  Create an e-course out of your top ten tips.  Set them up in an autoresponder like Aweber or 1shopping cart.    Now you have something of value to give away in exchange for a person’s email address.  AND the best part is, they will receive 10 different emails from you, maybe one a week.  That helps build relationships.  If you’re really on top of it, you’ll have a call to action at the end of each of the weekly emails.

4.  Rework your article into a press release.  The key to getting your press releases published is to tie your content into something interesting and newsworthy.  An example from my biz might be to write about how self employments may be the key to turning around the economy and then add the content of my article. 

You can submit press releases to your local newspapers, business journals and online for free (or fee).  One free online source is http://www.1888pressrelease.com/.

5. Create a teleseminar based on your article content.   You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.  Your content can be used in many ways.  Teleseminars are a great way to build your list and to promote an upcoming fee-based teleseminar series.

6.  Create a video of you teaching some of the content and post it on YouTube.  You can do this easily with an inexpensive FlipCam.  It doesn’t have to be professional.  Just be you.  YouTube gets tons of web searches each day.  Some folks just plain prefer to learn by video. 

And that’s just the beginning!  The next time you decide to create something, brainstorm all the possible ways it can be used.

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!)

Want to Make Money While You Sleep? Start Affiliate Marketing

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I’ve made several thousand dollars this year through affiliate marketing. What the heck is affiliate marketing you ask? It’s promoting other people’s products or services in return for a commission. It’s easy to do and can quickly bring in extra income for very little effort. Your affiliate will give you your own unique “url” (that’s a webpage address). When someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, the affiliate records the sale as credited to you. Most send checks to you monthly.

I’m telling you…it feels so great to open my mailbox and see checks…that took little or no effort from me to get after the initial set up on my webpage.

Here are 4 simple steps to getting started. And in the interest of full disclosure…the affiliate links I’ve given you as examples are my actual affiliate links which bring me commissions.

1. Decide which products/services you’ll promote. I am very choosy…I am proud of the excellent quality of my products and services AND the amazing benefits that my clients/customers experience… flexible lifestyle, more income, and greatly expanded beliefs in what is possible in their lives. A good reputation is your most valued asset…so don’t compromise it.

Here are some examples of what I promote and why.

Site Sell’s Build It System. This system teaches you, with a very doable step-by-step manual (videos too if you prefer watching to reading) and website about how to create websites, around topics that you are passionate about, that are true profit centers…bringing in $3,000+ per month. I’ve bought it, and am building a new profit center for my business. I’m amazed at how easy it is, and how much I’ve learned about search engine optimization…painlessly…something I’ve been resisting forever. My work in progress is www.providencelover.com. Once I’ve got more content and my monetization methods in place, I’ll create a new website…this for me is so much fun…no kidding…am I officially a geek?

Amazon’s Kindle. I LOVE my Kindle book reading device. I gave myself the first generation Kindle as a birthday gift a year ago November…the new versions are way better but I just don’t want to part with my beloved gadget yet.

What do I love about it? Instant downloads (and gratification) of books when I want them and the ability to tote 200 books around without breaking my back (the latest generations hold 1,500 and 3,500!). When I travel or even just hang out at the Dana Point harbor, I love having all kinds of books with me. I dip into a business book, then a dose of spirituality, and then maybe a good mystery.

There really is no limit to the amount of Kindle books you can own…you can keep some on your Amazon website account and transfer them back and forth to your Kindle when you like.

I can’t go into all the amazing features here…but do know that you can bookmark, highlight and take notes. I save all these as “clippings” and then upload them to a Word doc and create my presentations from them.

I take it everywhere…and soon discovered that people are curious about the Kindle and want to hold it and check it out. At the car wash, the harbor, and airports, I ALWAYS have strangers ask me if they can check it out.

It finally dawned on me that I’m a walking sales person for Amazon…enthusiastically promoting their product…AND they offer a commission. So I wised up, joined their affiliate program and had biz cards made with my Amazon affiliate link on it. After I share my Kindle with a new person, I give them the card and ask them to purchase their first one there and then I tell them to set up their own affiliate link! You get 10%…you can receive between $20-$49 each sale, depending on the version folks buy.

American Writers & Artists Institute. These folks provide high quality, home study kits on several realistic ways to make money from home including resume writing, travel writing, copywriting and much more. I’ve purchased several of these for my own use and can highly recommend them. Here’s an example of their home study kits: http://www.awaionline.com/go.php?Clk=3363528

2. Create a blog or website where you will promote your affiliates’ products. You can start with a free blog using blogger.com or wordpress.com. If you’re serious about making money with your website, I highly recommend Site Sell’s Build It…they tell you why you need more than a blog.

SBI! Monthly Billing Option

3. Send regular notices to your client email list about your affiliates’ products. You ARE building a list right? If not, join our Success Circle now so you can learn how.

4. Write, and post on the internet, articles on topics related to your affiliates’ products and include a link to your affiliate webpage in the “resource box” of the article. Google “article directories” to get ideas about where you can post them (it’s free!).

Consider making affiliate marketing part of your marketing plan for 2010. You’ll thank me! Post a comment on our blog when you get your first affiliate check so we can all “Whoo Hoo” with you.

Gratitude is Good Medicine

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I’ve been following the relatively new field of Positive Psychology for the last few years –imagine studying people who are healthy and thriving and not just those with disorders and diagnosis –about time!

There are powerful research results coming out about the idea of gratitude.  Findings say that gratitude helps maintain close connections with others.  Gratitude is linked to more helping behaviors, high positive emotions, life satisfaction, increased hope and lower feelings of anxiety and envy.  Who doesn’t want that!

In a research study on happiness, people in one group were asked to write a letter of gratitude to someone, a 2nd group was asked to write down five things they were grateful for each day for one week, and a 3rd group was asked to write down five things they were grateful for on a single day.

There appeared to be more benefit to listing your blessings 1 day a week rather than everyday (I wonder if it was because it was easier to remember to do it once!).  All three interventions worked, providing people with increased happiness and hope.  And even more impressive –the benefits lasted up to 6 months.

Of all the happiness interventions to date– gratitude gives the strongest effects.

The affirmative prayer method that I practice daily has a gratitude component to it. Being grateful for what is right now and feeling what it’s like to already have what you have asked for.  When I practice affirmative prayer and get to the gratitude part, my heart always fills up so full…no matter what circumstances are appearing in my outside world…it is a wonderful feeling and always transforms me to a higher place.

Enjoy this season of gratitude, and post a comment on our blog about your experiences with gratitude…I’d love to hear them!

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.

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.”

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