Posts tagged work from home

Do You Charge What You’re Worth?

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There’s a good chance you don’t. You may think you don’t have enough experience. You may fear that you can’t deliver high quality services. You may just not feel “good enough.”

If you are a true beginner you might want to charge a lower fee in order to gain experience; however, before you do this, I urge you to talk to a coach or a trusted advisor to do a “reality check.” You may not be able to see clearly all the life experience, knowledge and value you are bringing to the table.

If you are not a beginner, here are a few tips to effectively master the emotionally loaded topic of how to charge what your worth.

1. Pricing is an art not a science. There are no hard and fast rules. You can experiment. Establish a baseline by calculating the amount you absolutely must have each month to meet your expenses then double that amount to account for health insurance, savings, retirement and other business expenses you may not be taking into consideration.

You may want to triple your initial amount so that you’ll have money left over for travel and other enjoyments. Divide your total amount by 20 hours a week for 48 weeks (or the number of weeks you expect to work in a year). I say 20 hours because some of your time will be spent on marketing, administration, professional development, research, etc. If you will actually be delivering billable services more than 20 hours a week, adjust the formula to fit your situation. This amount is the minimum you need to be making during each hour of service.

Try a price on for size and see if you feel satisfied with delivering your service for that fee. If you feel resentment -you’re not charging enough. You can adjust your pricing till you find the range that fits.

2. When delivering services it’s always better to charge a project fee rather than an hourly fee. You are bringing value to the client -you are solving a problem -you are not trading dollars for hours of your vital life energy. Yes, I showed you in #1 how to establish an hourly rate -that’s so you would have an idea of how to price your project. Estimate the number of hours it will take to complete the project or deliver the service and you’ll have a project fee. Yes, sometimes you will find you underestimated and you will also find that sometimes you finish more quickly than you anticipated.

3. Expect the “gulp” factor. Each time I’ve stretched myself to raise my prices, I find myself swallowing, a gulp, as I quote the fee or write it into a proposal. But what a great feeling when the client says yes and you recognize your value. It gets easier with practice.

Deliver excellent service. Be reliable. Be honest. And charge what you’re worth!

I’d love to hear your thoughts – so go ahead and post them here.

Starting A Business

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Starting a business is exciting and scary at the same time.

I’ve got two that are up and running pretty smoothly so…I’m ready to start another one!  I like to call them profit centers.  I’m going to start a travel agency business from home.

This profit center combines several of my passions.  As many of you know my life vision is “Everyday A Vacation Day.” You know how you wake up with that feeling of excitement and anticipation when you’re on vacation. The day is a blank slate and you get to create what you want with it.  That’s what I want for each of you too -to enjoy most of what you’re doing…every day.  And, it’s a portable business I can work on with my husband.  Fun!

I thought it would be a great experiment to document my progress here in this blog. I’m thinking it may help you on your journey to creating your profit centers.

I’ll share what my next steps are, my progress, my bumps along the way and soon…my successes!

So here we go.

Step 1. I googled “home based travel agency.” I found a homebasedtravelagent.com website created by Tom and Joanie Ogg. I browsed it and read some articles.

Step 2. I went to FabJobs and bought a book on becoming a travel agent. I like this resource and have several of their titles on my website http://authenticlifeinstitute.com/how_to_guides.htm  (I receive a small commission for referring their products.)

I browsed a bit more, saw that Tom Ogg’s name came up a few times as a trusted, knowledgeable professional so went back to his site, purchased two of his information products and joined his forum.

Step 3: After spending about 3 weeks reading and gathering information I had the lay of the land and knew what my next step was.  I haven’t got a clue about how a lot of this works yet but all I need to know is the next step. In this case that is to decide whether to find a host agency or go it on my own.   I decided on the host agency route. I know I’ve got a big learning curve ahead of me and I want to learn from successful travel agents who are already where I want to be.

Next step?   Research five host agencies.    So for all of you thinking of starting a home based business.   The first step is like a research project.  You need information.

But  the very next step I’m taking  is a cruise to the Mexican Riviera.  I leave Saturday.  Got to do research you know 🙂

Star

Business Secrets from Richard Branson

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Did you know that Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Brand Companies, works from home when he’s not flying around on his jets?  I agree with his idea that in order to have a successful business you have to ENJOY it.  You’ll be putting in a lot of time and energy, especially during y0ur first years, so why not spend all your precious life force on something you love?

He also says to praise people -a lot.  Good advice and has worked well for me in my 10 years of business.

He shares a tip that I learned from Jim Rohn, motivational speaker…he carries around a notebook to jot down ideas, concerns and questions.  Don’t let your genius thoughts disappear into the wind!

And even though his business ventures are huge, he has managing directors so he can “run a large group of companies in the same way a small business owner runs a family business – keeping it responsive and friendly.”  There’s definitely an advantage to being small.

Here’s the entire article from Entrepreneur magazine -enjoy and thrive in your small business.  http://bit.ly/bransonarticle

Igniting Your Entpreneurial Spirit,
Ann

40 Day Focus

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I hope you’re enjoying some of these lazy, hazy days of summer…I know I am!

Many of you ask me how to choose from all your many ideas -which one should I work on NOW?

I also hear from many of you that you’re challenged by the “F” word (and I mean Focus!)

Here’s a powerful, easy 8 step system to choose your ideas, get them into action and completed.

1. Write down all your ideas.  You don’t have to DO all of them but if you don’t write them down, you’ll lose a lot of your truly genius, creative gems.

2. Let is percolate for a few days.  Come back to your list in a couple of days -some of those ideas you wrote down will seem downright wacky while others will take your breath away -I thought THAT? you’ll say to yourself.

3. Then ask yourself, what is the purpose for doing this?  Hint -it’s not always money. It’s probably one of these – list building, lead generation, cash generation, product creation (this can be information products too), or building credibility.

4. Rank your list of ideas from 1-5 on how much this idea will get you to your current purpose (or whatever scale you like) with 1 being this won’t get me to my desired objective at all, to eureka! this is a 5 -I’m going to lock the door, turn off the phone and email and not come out till I’ve got this baby cooking!

5.  Make a 2nd column with an estimate of what you think can happen if you focus on this for 40 days.  Why do I pick 40 days?  I like that there is a great significance to the number 40 in many spiritual traditions. And, I know how tempted I am to lose focus -in many spiritual stories, 40 days signifies temptation or a passage through something.

Next quantify your idea.  How many people could you add to your list if you focused for 40 days?  How many leads could you generate?  How much cash will that information product bring in?

6. Right about now, the buts should be kicking in -small buts and those dreaded big buts. Write down 3 of them.  Now write down 3 benefits of doing this focused project.

7. Now write down solutions to your obstacles or ways to prevent them.  Then write down, very specifically, about what you’ll get from the benefits.  Set dates for when you’ll experience these great things you’ll be, do or have from these benefits.

8. OK.  Now it’s time to get into ACTION! Write down 5 actions you need to take to achieve this objective. For example, I’m working on a book right now -some of my next actions are to write an hour a day, interview some folks for stories for the book, decide on a hot title…see?

Some of your steps will be done by you, others like graphic design of a book cover, transcribing interviews etc. will be done by someone else.

So what idea will you focus on for the next forty days (some of you will complete your project even sooner!) Post a comment at www.authenticlifeinstitute.com/blog and let us know -then you’re making a commitment which will make it much more likely that you’ll keep moving forward -don’t you want to come back in 40 days and post about your great success?  I’d love to hear them!

How are you intelligent?

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Now please notice I didn’t ask, how intelligent are you? That’s an entirely different question. Our culture puts a great deal of weight on assessments given to you when you’re in school…I.Q. tests, S.A.T.s, A.C.T.s…alphabet soup. This is unfortunate. These tests only measure a portion of the different types of intelligences including linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences.

Years ago, I was delighted to find Howard Gardner’s work on multiple intelligences in the K-12 school systems. He identified 8 different types of intelligences. They include linguistic (good with words), logical-mathematical (good with numbers and reasoning), spatial (picture smart), bodily kinesthetic (body smart), musical (music smart), interpersonal (people smart), intrapersonal (self smart) and naturalistic (nature smart).

Another author, Daniel Goleman, says we can also have emotional intelligence and that this kind of intelligence is an even stronger indicator of success than I.Q. Emotional intelligence can be learned, it’s not fixed at birth. The different emotional intelligences include self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy, and the ability to love and be loved.

Ok. So what does all this have to do with you being happily self employed, working from home doing work you love and making plenty of money? I find that many of my clients doubt that they are “smart” enough to succeed in their own business. They often don’t recognize the gift of their own unique intelligence and how that gift can solve problems for others.

For example, I’ve met many interior designers who downplay their talent and under charge for their services. Now being someone who has had to return just about every piece of furniture I’ve ever bought on my own, I recognize clearly the gift of spatial intelligence in these designers. And that’s one intelligence I sure wasn’t blessed with! I save my self (and the sales clerks) lots of time and frustration by hiring designers.

Another example, I never knew that I had a natural ability for writing until I got to college. I assumed it was not difficult for anyone to write. Wrong! A college professor had us take an exam to determine if we needed to take a basic writing class. Of the 15 people who gave a writing sample that was judged by 3 teachers, mine was the only one that “passed” so I didn’t have to take that writing course. That’s when I had an aha moment of “oh, so this isn’t easy for everyone.” Prior to that, I just had no awareness of this gift. And now I am able to serve others with and charge well for my services.

So how are you intelligent? Don’t downplay your interpersonal and/or intrapersonal skills. Those are often even more important than some of the others. They allow you to build rapport and relationships, to empathize with others and to be a good listener. These are some of the strongest skills you need in business and sales. Would love to hear about how you are intelligent -post a line or two here on my blog: http://authenticlifeinstitute.com/blog/ and how you are starting to honor your unique intelligence. I can just about guarantee that you have far more capacity than you give yourself credit for!

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!

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.

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

Deliver Powerful Teleseminars That Bring In The Money

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People can think about four times faster than a person can talk so it is easy for your participants’ minds to wander during your teleseminars.

In our society it is the norm to multitask even though research shows us that multitasking is not effective. When you have someone on the phone, you can’t see them and it so very easy for them to check email, do dishes or the laundry while they’re on the call.

Now, the fact that they took time out of their busy schedule to be on the call with you tells you that you’ve got their interest. Now how do you keep it?

Through my 10 years of giving teleseminars, I’ve learned some effective strategies to keep folks engaged:

1. Give them a “roadmap” at the beginning of the call. This creates expectation for what’s coming up and also shows you’re organized.

Example: Today you are going to learn how to easily master the art of giving teleseminars. You will learn 3 things: how to choose your topic, how to create the content and resources where you can list your teleseminar.

2. Modulate your voice. No one wants to listen to a droning, monotone voice. Slow it down for emphasis and speed it up too…remember they can listen faster than you can speak. Also vary your volume.

3. Use NLP. There is a model of interpersonal communication called Neuro Linguistic Programming. While I’m no expert in the field, I have found one technique I learned that is effective in teaching teleseminars.

Most of us have a preferred way of taking in information – audio, visual, kinesthetic, or audio-digital. When we hear words from our preferred format, it gets our attention.

For example, for the folks on your call who have a preference towards visual, when you say: picture this, or can you see that, or is that clear…they will pay attention.

For those with an auditory preference: give me your ear, does that sound right, does that resonate with you?

For those with kinesthetic: are you grasping that, does it feel right, are you getting the hang of it?

Audio-digital is the only one that does not use sensory words: You can ask does that make sense, do you understand, do you like this process?

My natural style is auditory-digital. I easily can fall into the trap of asking the group on the phone frequently “does that make sense?” When doing this, I get the attention of some of the group but not all.

I’ve learned how to naturally mix up the words that appeal to all four types of information processing and encourage you to try it also.

4. Have them build lists. For example, say, I am going to give you 3 main tips on how to incorporate more vegetables in your daily diet. Under those 3 main tips, I have 3 simple suggestions for each.

So take out a piece of paper and make a list using the numbers 1, 2, 3. Leave space between them and under each number, write a, b and c.

5. Call on people by name. This works when your group is not larger than 12 and you want interaction. If you’re looking to purely give them info and have them all muted, obviously this technique isn’t suitable.

But it sure keeps people’s attention, knowing you might call on them at any time.

Now, it is not my desire to ever put someone “on the spot.” On the other hand, I have often found that the introverts on the call have brilliant things to share and never do, if not invited by you.

Here’s how I handle it with grace:

At the very beginning of the call, set the “rules” of the call. Use your own style -here’s mine:

I tell them that this is a safe learning space and that I get so excited about this topic, I often want to hear what others on the call are thinking…if I call on you by name and you’d like to share -great -if you’d rather not -just say “I’ll pass” and I’ll honor that and move right along. That gives me permission to call on them and keeps their attention!

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