Posts tagged self employment

Change: How Do You Handle It?

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I’m on the roller coaster called change in my work life.  And I’m loving it.  After more than a decade of successful self employment, my work felt stale.

I was itching to do something new, something really fun.  I decided to walk my talk about “you gotta do what you love” by combining my love of travel, writing and speaking into a travel agency business with a focus on cruises.  The journey that began with research at the end of 2010 and started officially in March has been filled with lots of learning, plenty of joy and some moments of “I don’t know what I’m doing!”   With this change, I’m learning to manage my time in a new way so I can continue to bring in income from my current two income streams while investing enough time to nurture the new businesses.

Lessons learned so far (or I should say relearned!)

1.  Start where you are.  You might as well be happpy to begin right where you are and grow.   “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly” said Henry Bergson.  It’ s ok to move on to new things.  When an interest is calling to you -explore it.

2.  Get in the game quickly.   I realized that I would become an expert more quickly if I put myself out into the world and talked with people about their travel dreams.  It ‘s a much richer, quicker learning curve this way.  I know it’s easier and feels safer to hide behind the computer and take all kinds of classes -this is good  – BUT it needs to be combined with action in the world.  Each action I take is a bit scary and that’s ok.  I’m only 3 months into the “game” and have made my first sales and have several other seeds planted that are about ready to sprout.

3.  You don’t have to figure out all the hows in order to get started.  Start with a small step and take it.  The “hows” remarkably fall into place in ways you can’t possibly see when you’re sitting in isoloation behind your computer.  Take a look at what successful people  in the field are doing.  Particpate in online forums.  Attend trade events.  And keep taking steps that engage you with your ideal client/customers.

How do you handle change?  Do you embrace it?  Push down the urges to grow and express yourself more fully because it’s scary?   Let us know what’s changing for you!

Are You In The Game?

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I’m a sports fan. Last night I watched my New England Patriots football team roust their arch rival the New York Jets. Yay! (Sorry to you Jets fans!)

Something I see often in working clients, is that dreams often get stalled and even die because the person just didn’t get in the game.

What do I mean by that?

Here’s an example. I want to explore a new profit center in the field of travel. I’m not sure yet what shape it will take -I have plenty of ideas.

I could create a niche travel copywriting service.

I could become a travel agent and focus on a niche in spiritual travel or “pubs and people” travel or both!

I could become a tour operator and lead tours myself.

Now if I don’t take some kind of action -all those great ideas will be lost and I will be withholding some great services from people who are hungry for them.

So how do I get in the game? Here’s my first four steps.

1. Books on my shelf research.
I have some books on good careers for people over 50 -I checked out the resources they recommended for the travel field.

2. Internet research.
I looked up some of the authors that were recommended. I found some upcoming conferences for travel. I found a potential niche that fits my background beautifully combining academia, nonprofit, writing and travel.

3. Read. I ordered some ebooks from a well known author after reviewing plenty of free content on his website.

4. Social Media. I signed up for some Linked In Groups and twitter feeds. Now I can have conversations with people who are already in the game.

Next steps? Read and complete a workbook on how to be a travel agent. Choose a niche. Participate in conversations. Ask questions. Get a WordPress page up. Create an easy marketing plan. Make money. Have fun.

What game do you want to get in? These first steps are no or low cost so jump in.

What I’ve learned is you can’t see how it’s going to turn out. That amazing, unexpected things happen when you get in the game.

I’d love to read your comments about how you are getting in your game.

I already know you’re a winner!

Every Day A Vacation Day

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A quick story.

In 2001, I found Thomas Leonard online.  Thomas sparked the coaching movement with prolific writing, an online community and conferences.

I spent lots of time on his teleclasses and met him at one of his conferences in Vegas.

During one of his teleclasses, he talked about “vision” and not just your ideal day kinda vision but something so big it was impossible.  His was “Everyone has a coach.”  I came up with “Everyday a Vacation Day” and he liked it.  I want everyone to look forward to each day because they’re doing what they love most of the time.

On Feb 12, 2003, I had a dream while sleeping. In the dream, Thomas came to me and I was gently holding him wrapped in a soft blanket.  He said a few things that I can’t remember and then he was gone.

When I woke that morning, I got my tea and checked email. I was stunned to learn that Thomas had died that night of a massive heart attack at the age of 46.

Another wake up call reminder that we need to do what we love! (Those of you who have been part of our virtual community for a long time know that I’m not a “whoo whoo” kinda gal -this was definitely an unusual experience for me!)

I was walking this morning and suddenly remembered that phrase:”Everyday A Vacation Day” and got excited. I’m thinking of creating a training program around that title this fall.

What do you think about the title? I haven’t come up with a sub-title yet -if you’ve got an idea, I’d love to hear it. Is it something you’d be interested in?  Would love to see your comments on this blog.

Ideas to take from this musing:

1. Life is short -live it YOUR way.
2. When you get a creative thought -listen, let it percolate a bit and then act!

Got Blog?

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I resisted having a blog for years. I asked my virtual assistant to set one up for me in 2007 and promptly forgot about it. But now I’m a believer. Last month Google launched a new new web indexing system called Caffeine. According to Google,

“Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered. Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before.”

So what does this mean? Well one, your blog is an even more powerful marketing tool than ever. And two, you need to get posting twice a week. That’s ideal for keeping web traffic flowing to your website. Blogging lets you connect with your ideal clients or customers in a very human way.

It’s easy to get started. WordPress is free. The best way to go is to have an integrated blog and website. If you’re a non-techie like me, you can hire someone for a few hundred dollars to create this for you.

So get started. Drop a comment here about your new blog -there are people waiting for your unique message!

What Are You Convinced Of?

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What are you convinced of? What do you hold as true for you right now? Are you convinced that work is hard? Are you convinced that you’ll never be able to work from home? Are you convinced that, on some level, it’s wrong to be prosperous? Or are you convinced that you are always at choice and the past has no precedence…you can start right where you are. How unalterably convinced are you? This is your faith. You could be making money from home.

Think about this. When you think about one of your convictions, does it make you smile inside or shrive? Do you feel bolder, stronger, or do feel small, diminished.

I’m living proof that what you are convinced of is often a lie. I was convinced for a long time that work had to be hard -look at my parents’ life! That was powerful proof to me. I was convinced for years that I was “not smart enough” to be successful in creating my own work in the world…I should of looked around a bit -there are plenty of “not so smart” people who make plenty of money in their own business! Here are three ways to alter those big convictions you have that are keeping you from waking up to your unique gifts, to honoring the human treasure that you truly are and to living a prosperous life, in which you are experiencing peace, health and plenty in your world.

1. Ask yourself if your conviction is really true. Is it true for everyone? Do you know someone who doesn’t hold this conviction and is thriving in an area of life that you are not? If one person can do it, you can too! Play with the idea of “what if this weren’t true about me?”

2. Allow yourself to move forward even if you can’t see the entire “how”. Your inner compass lets you know when you’re on the right track. You’re scared AND excited at the same time. You feel good. What you’re working on will be a positive thing for others. Martin Luther King said “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” So do some planning. Planning leads to action. Action gets you “into the game”. And once you’re in the game, all kinds of unexpected things happen that absolutely couldn’t have happened if you hadn’t jumped in! And then, you might find yourself facing…

3. Doing the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “you must do the thing you think you cannot do.” If you’re afraid of a certain action that is moving you towards your dream, do it anyway. This will bust through your limiting convictions, maybe causing your family and friends to think you’re nuts, and you might even be rocked by the fact that you are shaking your very identify (albeit limited!) to the core. That’s ok. Do it anyway!

4. Get unstuck. Katie Byron has a masterful technique for getting past your yeah buts. It feels weird at first, but it’s powerful.

First, say what it is you want to do and your “but”. I want to travel to (put your favorite location here), but I can’t afford to.

Now say it as if you are choosing. “I’m choosing not to take a trip to paradise because of the belief that I have to spend a lot of money on this trip. The trip isn’t the problem, my perception that I can’t afford it is.”

Finally, “my true self can find a way to take the trip without going into debt because it knows that not having a lot of money isn’t the problem -my belief about not having enough money is.”

It’s also powerful to take your desire and your obstacle to some supportive people. Tell them what you’ve done up till now, what you want next and what obstacle is in the way. You’ll be amazed at the creative options you haven’t thought of. But look at your convictions first and get clear that they are alterable, otherwise, you’ll drive your friends crazy with yeah buts at every turn!

Would love to hear about a conviction you have that is not supporting you and you are ready to give up. Post  yours here.  It’s a powerful to put your commitment out to the world.

61 Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs

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RT @TPEntrepreneur A list of 61 Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs http://bit.ly/EntrepreneurMarketing

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!

Post Resolution Hangover Remedy

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It’s a one-of-a-kind event … yet couldn’t be more timely!

Whether you admit it or not, the word resolution goes hand in hand with the start of a new year.  Whether you make your resolutions in the form of business goals and priorities, or actual resolutions …. By mid to late January, you’re likely tired of forcing yourself to follow-through on what you set out just a few weeks ago.

In comes Terri Z at Solo-E with the Post Resolution Hangover Giveaway. This isn’t your typical giveaway…each item is a true gift, not available anywhere else for free! The value of each item is the price at which it sells today. How cool is that?!  (You can get my Create your 2nd Life After 40 Home Study Kit Here at no cost!)

The gifts include ebooks, audios, home-study packages and more, on topics including: 101 Ways to Attract Clients, 7 Things You Must Do to Get More Clients, The Facebook Fan Page Intensive, The Online Video Playbook, 5 Psychological Triggers to Turn Prospects Into Clients, Abundance in Business, and The Finding Time Quick-Start Guide.

Solo-E has partnered with several key experts to offer these incredible resources for online based business owners.  For 12 days only – January 25 to February 5, you can download all these gifts at absolutely no cost (and no strings). That’s right…you don’t even have to give up your email address!

An incredible group of Experts are participating in the Post Resolution Hangover Giveaway, including:

Alicia Forest, Ann Ronan, Loren Fogelman, Tracey Lawton, Allison Babb, Tina Forsyth, Rebecca Zwar, Christine Gallagher, Lou Bortone, Heather Dominic, Laurie Weiss, Laurie Mandato, Zahra Efan, Hazel Palache, Laura West, Eva Gregory, Alicia Smith, Michele PW, Nina East and Paula Eder

Take a few minutes to see what all the fuss is about, and cure your Resolution Hangover! You’ll get access to fantastic resources that you can download and review at your convenience.  Visit http://www.solo-e.com/PostHolidayHangoverRemedy

Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs

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

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

Check it out here!

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

One of My Biggest Success Tips

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I got this one from Erich Fromm a German-American psychologist and author: “people never think their way into new ways of acting, they always act their way into new ways of thinking.”

Every successful client I’ve coached is an action oriented person. They have a vision for their life, are clear on their goals and have a plan for ACTION!

The clients I’ve worked with over the last 9 years who don’t succeed, who remain frustrated, who spin their wheels…spend too much time THINKING.

You’ve got to know what matters to you and then take persistent action to achieve it. Small step by step…it’s the consistency that counts.

This time of year is a great time to take some time to yes, think…think about what you would like your life to look like and then, write it down, put the actions needed to achieve your goal on your calendar. Do one of your actions first thing each workday, even before you look at email!

Do this and I know you’ll have the fulfilling, beautiful life you deserve.

Would love to see your comments, particularly if you try this and have success!

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