Posts tagged self employed

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!

How to Overcome Resistance in Your Home Based Business

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I highly recommend a book called “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield.  In it he examines internal obstacles to success and how to unlock your creativity.  Today’s tips are adapted from his book.

I am often asked how I get so much done…running multiple profit centers while still having plenty of time for exercise, reading, learning and play.  One thing I can attribute to my productivity is the attitude I took the very first day of my being self employed – I gave my home based business the same respect I had given my previous jobs. Here’s what I did, and continue to do:

1.  I show up every day.  When I first started my home based business, I decided I would work Monday through Friday –no weekends. I also decided I would make my commute down the hallway to my desk in real clothes.  Now, one of the joys of working from home is that I can wear comfortable clothes…however, I don’t show up at work in my pj’s. 

2.  I show up no matter what.  In my previous employment, I rarely stayed home –I’ve got great health and hardly get sick, I didn’t want to let my colleagues down, and I took pride in meeting my project deadlines.  I have the same philosophy in my home based business.  If I’m truly sick, I rest but other than that I show up.

3.  I stay on the job all day.  I decided my hours would be Monday-Thursday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Fridays from 9:00-2:00 pm.  And for the most part, I am at home working during those hours.  I gradually adjusted the tasks I would do at different times.  For example, I used to take client calls every day –now I don’t take them on Mondays or Fridays.  Mondays is a day when I work on projects and writing, and Friday is a project day and also a time for planning the upcoming week.  I now quit at 1:00 most Fridays.  Most days my husband joins me at home for lunch – so I have a midday break.

While working from home gives me the freedom to rearrange my hours if needed, I find that my regular daytime schedule works for me…I have plenty of time in the early mornings, evenings and weekends for relaxation and play.  Your ideal schedule might look very different.  The point is to have a schedule and stick to it.

4.  I accept pay for my work.  You accepted your paycheck when you were employed by someone else right?  You didn’t feel guilty for taking it did you?  Yes, I’m enjoying my work and yes it provides service that I feel compelled to give to the world and YES, I’m here to make money!   You’ll need to get over any discomfort you have about quoting your fees and asking to be paid if you are going to have a successful business and not just a hobby.

I’ve seen these 4 factors make or break home based businesses.  Commit to these things for 3 months and let me know what “magic” happens for you!

How Entrepreneurs Can Build Self Confidence

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It’s not my imagination. And it’s not just anecdotal evidence from my own coaching business. I’ve recently read several research articles that find women exhibit a lack of self-confidence in their own abilities as entrepreneurs compared to men; many women do not feel comfortable calling themselves entrepreneurs; and, fear of failure is higher for women compared to their male counterparts. Now the good news is that for some women in the research studies, entrepreneurial self-confidence grew over time in business.

It breaks my heart when I work with women who hold back and don’t fully share their gifts with the world –even when I can see that they are shining stars. And I can relate! I’ve been there. I had very little self confidence in my younger days (middle age has its blessings). Here are five tips to build your entrepreneurial confidence.

1. Act now. Procrastination feeds fear. With each success you have, you lay another brick in your confidence foundation. Choose an action that you feel you can accomplish -even if it’s a little scary –and get it done.

2. Keep an accomplishment log. Women often discount what they’ve accomplished, attributing their success to luck or other people. Keep a log of your accomplishments –read them when you start to feel self doubt. This is also a great tool to keep your resume or portfolio updated.

3. Save testimonials. I have a “testimonial” folder in my outlook email box. When someone sends me a thank you or a compliment of any kind, I save it in that folder. This serves two purposes: one, testimonials are a powerful marketing tool –people love to buy from someone who shows them testimonials that talk about specific outcomes, and two, reading them reminds me of why I get out of bed every day and do what I do.

4. Faith it till you make it. I know…you’ve heard “fake it till you make it”…since this is Authentic Life Institute … we say “faith.” I have said “yes” to requests that are in alignment with my business and values even though, at the time, I wasn’t confident I could meet the request. I knew I’d figure out the “how” if I made a commitment. An example was the first time I was asked to give a radio interview…my first internal reaction was a big gulp and a “I’ve never done that and don’t have a clue what to expect” fear.
My external reaction was a confident “yes, thank you for the opportunity and what date are you looking at.” In this case, the interviewer was experienced and sent me questions ahead of time…yes, I was nervous and no, I don’t think listeners knew it. With experience, I’ve learned to have a few “talking points” I want to be sure to work into the interview, regardless of what questions the interviewer asks…I didn’t do this the very first time and it was just fine.

5. Don’t Dwell on Mistakes. Do you ruminate over your mistakes…playing the scenario out in your mind over and over again? That’s a habit to drop. Instead, learn to become a gentle, reflective, observer of yourself. For example, after I give a workshop or presentation, I reflect on the experience. I consider what I might do differently next time and then I spend more time reflecting on all the things that went well. Most of all, I congratulate myself, for “getting out of the way” and remembering that the purpose of the presentation was to inspire others. Yes, learn from your experiences, but keep the big picture perspective.

Walk tall today. Know you have unique gifts to share with the world. Confidence is attractive…let yours shine!

The Top 30 Ways How to Conquer Entrepreneur Fears

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Anyone starting  new business is bound to have some fears.  That’s healthy!   Women are growing new businesses in larger numbers.  Here’s how these women over 40 conquered their entrepreneurial fears and got into action to start their business.

1.  Have a Support Team.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Have a support team that you contact weekly and have at least 5 people that you can contact 24/7 who love you and are honest with you NO MATTER WHAT.

Thanks to: Amy Lynn Frost of  Nonprofit Sector Foundation

2.  It’s All In Your Hands.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Naysayers and the economy are completely irrelevant, so put them out of your mind. Opportunities ALWAYS exist!  Following-through on what you commit to goes a long way with clients. Nearly all of my business from repeat clients or word-of-mouth.

Thanks to: Catherine Davis of Azure Consulting Services

3. Believe and Receive

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Believing in yourself is more than just a nice idea. When you take the plunge into business for yourself, it’s imperative to believe deep within your soul that you are doing the right thing and that you know how to do it right. My fear was that I may not have enough clients. Had that fear ruled, I may have tried to work outside my niche and passionate interest in women’s careers simply to get clients. I did not. The more clear I became about my client profile and my services, the faster the referrals came.

Thanks to: Kathleen Johnston of Kathleen Johnston

4. What Will They Think?

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I started an alternative newspaper,printing articles that touched my heart, inspired me or gave me new information on how to live a more fruitful life. “They” read the paper and found value in it. In fearing what others might think, I almost missed out on doing one of the most rewarding things in my life.

Thanks to: Joann Turner of The Messenger

5.Stepping Out From Top Corporate Position to Entrepreneur as a Single Parent was Scary

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Stepped out of the box and believed in myself. Looked at what talent I brought to the table. Showed up everywhere. Surrounded myself with positive people and believed in myself that I could do it.

Thanks to: Robbie Motter of Robbie Motter

6. Ask Yourself 2 Questions

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I asked myself 2 questions. 1. Did I want to be free? 2.What did I have to lose? Now I love what I do.

Thanks to: Pamela Fill of
Peacefully Uniting Girlfriends

7. Submit to Your Authentic Voice

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. #1 Allow your voice to Scream out what it desire’s, #2 Pay attention to subtle signs that will guide you in the direction of your dream, #3 Trust your inner wisdom, and #4 Name your business and get a business license

Thanks to: Carla Burrows of U-Inspired

8. Divorce, Death, New Biz

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Divorce proceedings had begun when death came at his doorstep. Went from wife of a successful managing partner of venture capital firm to a mother of two (one in rehab, the other on the break of teen years) who had to jump back into the work force. Built a successful consulting firm, film production company, and international event planning company. That was all in 8 years.

Thanks to: Anne Davis of AED Events

9. Remove The Naysayers & Get Over It

At 45, knowing that “jobs” are never guaranteed, I decided I needed to help secure my future and start my own business. I kept saying to myself “I can do this” so “just do it.” However, the one thing I did that took me to the point of getting over my fear and just doing it, was to literally remove any and all people I associated with that are negative and naysayers. It’s the basic law of attraction.

Thanks to: Bonita Guerrero-Boutin of Bonita Botanicals

10. I just did it.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. In 2004, when I was 41 years young, I decided that I must either make it happen or never discuss “wanting to own a business” ever again. And so I did. Bought a franchise, learned the ropes, got rid of the franchise, rebranded my company and never looked back. I finally quit my day job after 4 years (at GM) in 2008 and I love, love, love being an entrepreneur.

Thanks to: Nipa Shah of Jenesys Group

11. Jump!.

My biggest fear was and still is a fear of not being the success that I am convinced that I can be. Prior to launching my store, that fear stopped me from doing this for over 2 years and finally I decided to jump. It was the best decision that I have ever made even through these challenging economic times it has tested me to the limit, forced me to learn a tremendous amount of information and I am finally happy to wake up each day and go to my office.

Thanks to: Ellen Hart of Career Bags

12. Don’t Stop Before the Miracle.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Stay focused, keep going for the gold.
Do what you love. Love what you do. Don’t ever give up. Remember to breathe!

Thanks to: Rosanne D’Ausilio, PhD of Human Technologies Global Inc.

13. Army to Artist

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I did a major about-face at 42 and launched a successful art career. My fear-I didn’t know if I was talented enough. My motto-“Failure is not an option.” Now I have a great business and was featured in MORE Magazine “She got Rich doing What?” and have been on HGTV, ABC Craftcorner, NBC, FOX, and 20 top magazines.

Thanks to: Adrienne van Dooren of Faux House

14. Embrace Your Fear.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Fear can be a great motivator, if you learn how to harness the energy and make it work for you, not against you. You don’t have to go it alone. Look for people to partner with on projects. Establish strategic alliances with others for mutual benefit. Delegate. Recruit college kids or even high school kids to work as interns.

Thanks to: BJ Gallagher of What Women Need 2 Know

15. One Step At a Time.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. My biggest fear about becoming an entrepreneur at age 47 was how I was going to START the business. I had a great idea – fun feminine baseball caps for women, but was so fearful of getting it off the ground. So, I took it one step at a time. It was much easier to handle starting a business if I broke it down into manageable steps. Now, I have a successful business and I still like to tackle things one step at a time!

Thanks to: Carrie Bell of Mad Capz

16. The Illusion of Security

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Why it’s better outside the fence:
The illusion of security kept me tied to corporate jobs, like an animal on a game preserve. Once I got out of the corporate environment, I realized I could control my own destiny and create my own security.

Thanks to: Gail Z Martin of Gail Martin Marketing

17. Fear vs. Guts.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Starting a business after 40 is scary – I know because I did just that. Walking away from a great corporate corner office and all the perks – friends and family thought I had hit a mid-life crisis and proceeded to tell me so.

I didn’t listen to them – I listened to me. I was so frightened of becoming something I didn’t want to be a part of that I decided it was time to create my own future – I accepted the fear of the unknown and stepped into unfamiliar territory – that of being fearful and taking action anyway. I listened to my gut – rather than my fear.

Thanks to: Susan Bock of Susan Bock Solutions

18. Surround Yourself With Talent and Your Business Will Suceed.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. My biggest fear was not knowing if I had the right skillset to succeed as an entrepreneur. My solution was to enlist the aid of independent consultants (mostly other moms) who specialized in areas where I felt I needed additional help in. EdibleGiftsPlus.com is now on track to do $500,000 in sales in its third year.

Thanks to: Frangoise Shirley of Edible Gifts Plus

19. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. Our fears, which can paralyze us from taking action, are often unfounded. It took me several years before I actually took the plunge to start my online business. What was I waiting for? Best tip: Start now, start small and build!

Thanks to: Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD of Kidlutions(tm): Solutions for Kids

20. Don’t Hesitate; You Have to Keep Moving.

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. One of the many things I learned serving in the XVIII Airborne Corp at Ft Bragg is that you need to keep moving; hesitation can be a life or death situation. Years later, when I designed and trademarked the Yum Yum Dish, I momentarily got caught up in ‘over-analyzing’ my marketing plan. Finally the ‘soldier’ in me kicked in and I realized that I was letting fear hold me back, I was doubting my plans. Women want a good plan in place and they want to make sure they’ve covered all the bases… but there comes a point where you just have to jump. You can always modify the plan while it’s ‘in action’.

Thanks to: Tracy Adler, MBA, CSP of Yum Yum Dishes

21. Overcome the Fear of Selling

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I overcame the fear of selling, which is like riding a roller coaster by taking a deep breath, and then just being myself. Because I believe in my product and that it really has the potential to help save thousands of lives.

Thanks to: Karen Klayman of Student at the Wheel

22. Fear of Financial Insecurity

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. When I found myself laid off at age 50, I worried that I’d have to choose between work I loved and financial security for my family. Last year, after over a decade working in someone else’s family business, I found myself unemployed for the first time in my life when that business closed. Fears about being unable to help my kids with their college costs made me hesitate to go into business for myself, but the realization that a salaried job is really no more secure than self-employment changed my mind. I saw that a woman with her own business actually has more control than one depending on someone else for a job.

Thanks to: Rebecca Haden of Rebecca Haden Quality Copywriting and SEO

23. Get a Partner

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. My biggest fear in going out on my own in business was, of course, that I/we would fail. Having a business partner with experience has been great. When I get freaked out he is calm and sometimes vice-versa. And when one of us is overwhelmed, the other can pick up the slack.

Thanks to:Joanne Parrent of Parrent Smith Investigations and Research

24. Stay Connected

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. One of the biggest fears I had was losing the social connections that you develop in the corporate world. I am using Facebook to stay connected with friends, reconnect with old friends AND promote my consulting business.

Thanks to:Sheila Burkett of Tuxedo Park Management

25. Follow Your Dream

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I left a high paying stable job and started my own business at 46 years old. I felt I needed to follow my dream before it was too late.
At that age I felt a strong sense of confidence in my abilities and was willing to take the risk. My business is thriving in spite of this difficult economy.

Thanks to:Sandy Smith-Tankin of Design Interaction

26. Follow Your Dream

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. I left a high paying stable job and started my own business at 46 years old. I felt I needed to follow my dream before it was too late.
At that age I felt a strong sense of confidence in my abilities and was willing to take the risk. My business is thriving in spite of this difficult economy.

Thanks to:Sandy Smith-Tankin of Design Interaction

27. You’ll Never Have all the Answers, But if You Have the Passion, You Have to Jump!

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. My biggest fears were Do I have enough contacts? Where will my clients come from? Will I make any money? What if I lose money?

There will never be a definitive answer to any of those questions, so you have to want to have your own business more than anything, and then you’ll have the drive and determination to do whatever it takes to survive and thrive.

Thanks to:Robin Siegerman of Sieguzi Interior Designs Inc.

28. Look Fear in the Eyes!

How to conquer your entrepreneurial fear. When the fearball rises and tells you ‘You Can’t Do This’, just take one action to move your business further ahead. Have a timeline showing all key milestones and celebrate each one as it’s accomplished.

Thanks to:Carol Margolis of Smart Women Travelers

29. OMG I am in yet another home Business at 54 years old

I am a retired hairdresser with aches and pains from all the standing for so many years yet my family needed money plain and simple. I signed up to sell a product that not only cured my need for money it was based on what is happening to me and many people when you just are not 20 anymore. It has been easy to do… all you do is talk about how much better you feel. This had taken away all my fears I am selling something I believe in that works.This has cured my need for money too. I never thought it possible at 54 to start a business, make money and find so many new friends.

Thanks to:Teresa Figley of Teresa Figley

30. Set a Time Frame

How did I overcome my biggest fear about becoming an entrepreneur? In 1993, at 40, my company went Chapter 11 and my position was eliminated. I took my severance and gave myself a 6 month time frame. In this time I needed to launch my a line of accessories and generate enough revenue so that I could take a salary. Within 2 weeks, I was on a plane to the Far East. Within 8 weeks, I had my samples in showroom in NY and by 12 weeks, I had my first order from a major retailer. I then got bank financing so that within 6 months I was drawing a salary and growing a business.

Thanks to:Corinne McCormack of Corinne McCormack

Creativity: The Successful Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon

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Your creative powers are infinite. Yup…think about it.  You come from the same source as all of nature around you.  Look at fruit trees.  How do you think those fruit push themselves up the trunk, through the branches and then hang themselves like beautiful ornaments in just the right place?  Well we don’t really know how it works, but we know it’s creation.

You cannot not create.  I know…many of you just don’t feel creative.  Maybe your definition of “creative” has been too narrow.  Creativity isn’t a gift given only to artists, sculptors, musicians, or dancers.   It’s something you do naturally.  Question is…what are YOU creating?  You are always creating with your thoughts.  Every product, every service in the world started first in someone’s mind.  So “mind your mind” and direct your thoughts to things you really want to create…like abundance and good service and joy.    

You are absolutely unique.  There is no one quite like you.  So the way you look at the world, through your eyes, your mind is different than any one else’s.  Successful entrepreneurs embrace this uniqueness.  Even though there are many people who cut and style hair, each does it in their own way –haven’t you had a favorite hairdresser or barber who just always got it “right”?

So don’t waste time worrying that you have nothing new to offer.  You do.  Yourself.  Discover what it is that you enjoy about yourself and incorporate those qualities into your business.  When you do, you’ll love your work and your customers and clients will love you.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist has written extensively on the topic of creative flow.  He says when we are engaged in an almost effortless yet highly focused activity we experience “flow.”  Here are the characteristics of being in “flow”:               
1.  Completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated.
2.  A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.
3.  Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.
4.  Knowing that the activity is doable – that skills are adequate to the task.
5.  A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego.
6.  Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present,  time seems to pass by in minutes.
7.  Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward.

When have you felt that?  Whatever you were doing at the time, do more of that!  I celebrate and honor your creativity. Don’t hide it from the world…let it shine.

Successful Self Employment: How to Create a Profit Center for Your Home Based Business

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I’m in the process of creating a new profit center for my business.  And I thought it might help you to read about the four steps I’m following to create a successful (and fun) profit center.

1.  Write out a vision for it.  I know…I know.  You don’t think this is important.  I’m telling you…if you’re not willing to do this step then you are, 1) not committed to creating this profit center and, 2) setting yourself up for failure.  Albert Einstein was no dummy when he said “Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”
You are able to relive a past experience vividly in your imagination, can’t you?  Well you can also get a preview of upcoming attractions with that same mind.  Denis Waitly, one of the great speakers on the topic of success says, “The more vivid the image, the more real the design for the future.”

You can use a beautiful journal notebook dedicated to your new profit center or you can create a Word document journal.  Take time to write out this vision.  Get a picture of where you are working in this vision, the time of day, who you are working with, activities you are engaged in, and how you feel at the end of the day.  What will having this extra income do for you?  Imagine how it will feel when you pay off debt, or have a dream trip, or buy some things you’ve been longing for.

2.  Decide how much money you want to bring in from this profit center in the first year, then the 2nd and 3rd.   Now double those figures.  I know from experience that most of you shot too low in your first projection.  I recently went to a conference where most of the audience were self employed men.  In a conversation with one guy, I shared that I was doing ok…I was making six figures…he didn’t miss a beat and said to me, “each month?”  Ok – money isn’t the only measure of success but I KNOW that you can bring in more than you think.

3.   What will you need to do to make this happen?

Danielle Steele, the prolific fiction author, wrote many of her books during the night hours –she and her husband have eight children between them and she vowed to give the kids quality time during the day.  If she can do it, you can too.  If you are working full-time and want to grow a profit center on the side…you might just have to stop watching some t.v. or playing computer games or checking email 20 times a day…you know what your time wasters are.  Find one you can live without or cut back on and use that time each day, five days a week to grow your profit center. 

What will it take to bring in the level of income from your new profit center in the first year?  Get specific and concrete.  In my new profit center, if a certain type of writing project typically brings in $5,000 and I want to bring in $50,000 in the first year, I know that I’ll need approximately 10 projects in the first year. 

Then break it down further –I’d need 1 project a month.  Then what will it take to get the projects?  Do some research; find out how to reach the clients/customers you’re looking for.  Then create a plan to find them and get the projects/clients etc.

Ask yourself, what do I need to do this month toward my goal?  What do I need to do this week?  And what can I do TODAY to move this goal forward?  Create YOUR plan!

4.  Who will support you in this profit center?  Remember…dreams die in isolation.  So share your plan with at least one supportive person.  And, get help if you need it.  Don’t let the lack of a piece of information stop you –use the internet or pick up the phone and call someone to ask for help. 

Research your idea on the internet; find professional associations dealing with it, read articles about it.  I found an information product through a trusted source that was created by someone who is already successful in the area – so I purchased it –it will save me incredible time in research and will save me from making some mistakes.  I am in coaching groups where I can get support, ideas and be held accountable.  I know I’ll succeed and have fun in creating this new profit center.  As Dolly Parton said, “When I’m inspired, I get excited because I can’t wait to see what I’ll come up with next.”  I’m excited for you and look forward to hearing about what you come up with next!

Attracting Ideal Clients/Customers

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You will have the best results in business if you create your vision first.  Then you can take “inspired action” consistently and persistently.  Without vision you may find yourself in the same boat as many unsuccessful business owners who dash madly from one marketing effort to another –never giving any of their strategies time to produce results –results that came from the vision.

This article focuses on one important aspect of your business –who you serve.  Here’s an exercise I did when I first got started and if I find myself attracting people who are not ideal for me to serve, I revisit my vision to get clear again. 

I encourage you to do this process (or call it a game if you like!) in a chair where you would typically work.  If possible, have a 2nd chair next to yours. Now think back to a client you’ve had in the past who is ideal for you or at least as close to ideal as possible.  Consider all the interactions you had with this person.  What was it you enjoyed about serving this person?  What are the positive qualities, attributes, and characteristics of this person?

Take out a piece of paper or computer document and write a list of all these qualities, attributes and characteristics of your ideal client. For example, mine include:  has a sense of humor, is interested in their spiritual development, takes action, values my time as well as their time, possesses and demonstrates mental well being, intelligent and has common sense, understand and demonstrate that they deserve to be successful, has a financial cushion allowing them to buy my products and services, they want me to be successful and make a profit, they subscribe to my weekly ezine, they enjoy referring my services to others, they have realistic expectations about what can be achieved and when, they have clarity and focus, they are open-minded, they are heart-centered, they are learners, and they are true to themselves.

Now, if you can, switch chairs –put yourself in your client’s chair.  Ask your ideal client these questions: What are they struggling with that brought them to you? What is the biggest change they experienced as a result of the wonderful work they did with you?  What are the results they have now as a result of their work with you?

Next, make a list of at least 10 problems your ideal clients/customers want to solve.  What change/breakthrough do they want to experience and are they willing to pay you to help them get there?  List 10 results they could get from working with you.

Once you are clear on their challenges and results you deliver, you will not only be setting into motion the attraction factor –you now also have plenty of authentic words to use in your marketing materials!

The New World of Work

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In a brilliant book entitled “Job-Shift: How to Prosper in a World Without Jobs,” William Bridges says we are living in a jobless society.  What you ask?  There are no jobs?  Let me explain.  In the U.S., the concept that we have of jobs has only been in existence for about the last 150 years. 

It was at that time that the industrial revolution took us from farms and craft work to “jobs” in the factory.  It completely changed our daily lives.  It made traditional crafts obsolete and undermined the time-honored ways of interweaving home and work life. 

We are now facing another shift -just as transforming.  With so much change in our economy and technology, old job descriptions are blurred and organizations must be able to adapt and change on a dime.  Old style jobs get in the way of this new world of work in which temporary and contract jobs often make the most economic sense. 

What’s happening as a result is that many Americans feel betrayed.  No longer can you count on a job for life or a paternalistic relationship with your employers. Your sense of security has been shaken.  So how can you best deal with this?  Let’s just take a look at some of the possibilities of how your work may look in the future:

– you can start a business of your own
– you can become a consultant
– you can become an artist
– you can work part-time
– you can create a “portfolio” career performing two or more types of work
– you can work with organizations on a full-time basis under very fluid arrangements with your tasks and working hours and location changing with each project

There are plenty of opportunities that come with this societal change. There are many more career choices open to you.  Many of you have shifted your priorities so that you now want more family time or flexibility in your time, the ability to make a difference in your community, the chance to be your authentic self in your work.  These options are more available now.

To effectively manage your career you must 1) embrace the concept that everyone is a contingent worker – your employment is contingent on the results the organization can achieve from your work; 2) develop a mindset, and way of managing your career, that is more like an external vendor than that of a traditional employee; and, 3) expect to move from organization to organization more frequently than in the past.

Have you experienced this in your own work life?   Do you feel prepared for this change in our society and work?  Is there any goal you’d like to set to be more prepared? 

Know that you are truly in charge of your destiny – why not create a work life you can love?

Top Ten Benefits of Being Self Employed

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1. Freedom! Set your hours to suit your natural body rhythms.
2. Money. There are no limits -I remember job “steps” that limited my income no matter how much I produced. No more!
3. Following my passions. I get to choose what I’ll focus on each day.
4. Multiple profit centers. Money comes from more than 1 stream -no need to worry if one runs dry – you develop another one.
5. Work from wherever. East coast visiting family, West coast home office, coffee shop. at the harbor -depends on the weather and my mood.
6. Work with people I like. I get to say “no thanks” to difficult people AND I’m not stuck in the cubicle next to them.
7. Teach others what I learn. I learn something new about business/marketing and then teach it to others -how cool is that?
8. Become slightly famous. I’m known in my community (and beyond) as the “go to” person when someone wants to become self-employed. It’s fun being a “celebrity.”
9. Help the economy. Entrepreneurs will be the key to building our economy -and I’m contributing!
10. Freedom! Did I say that already? Well it is the biggest benefit in my mind. Freedom to choose how I spend my days, where I spend them and who I spend them with!

Top 5 Reasons I Love Being Self Employed

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I’ve been self employed for 10 years and coach others over 40 to enjoy the life first/work second lifestyle. My top 5 reasons:

1. FREEDOM! I enjoy and choose to work 30-35 hours a week AND I get to choose when I write, teach teleseminars and coach.

2. FREEDOM Part II: I get to choose WHERE I work. My home office, the local funky coffee shop or at the harbor overlooking the Pacific ocean.

3. Working alone most of the time. This is perfect for me! I love several hours a day in complete silence. But do know, you can get out to coffee shops and networking meetings and have as much interaction as you like…your choice!

4. Choosing projects and clients I love. I get to say no.

5. More vacation time. No more 2-4 weeks of vacation time. I take 4-6 weeks a year in addition to 3-4 weeks of professional development conferences.

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