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Make your business vitally important

Something that is vital is:

  • critical, urgently needed, absolutely necessary
  • an important element of the plan
  • full of life, full of spirit

The air we breathe is vital for our survival.  Air is absolutely necessary for our survival, it’s an important element of the function of our lungs and we can only be full of life if we’re breathing.

If you have a home-based business, whether you work at home as a virtual administrative assistant; or you have a counseling service; or you sell something via a direct selling business…you are in business. Your business should not be treated like a hobby.  You might work at it on a part-time basis – perhaps you have a full-time, 9-to-5 job and you work your home business to fill in the cracks in your income.  Perhaps you’re a busy mom and only have about 10 hours a week to devote to your business.  Doesn’t matter.  To be successful you must make your business vitally important to you.

How do you do that?

You have to know why you have it in the first place.   Is it vital to the financial health of your family that you bring in extra income?  If it is, then your business deserves to be treated as precious and valuable.  Give it the time and energy and respect it deserves.  In so doing you give your clients and customers the time, energy and respect they deserve.

If having more income is an important element to an overall plan for lifestyle or retirement or helping your family, then your business should be given priority.  There is a certain amount of sacrifice necessary to make a home business successful.  You might have to:

  • give up television watching one or two nights a week
  • learn to talk to people on the phone
  • learn to use online tools and resources
  • learn to give presentations and talk to people about what your business has for them

Know why your business is vitally important to you.  You started it for a reason…remember what that reason was.  Once you breathe vitality into your business, it will start to grow and prosper.

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You really do have to advertise your business

If you are in business, you have to advertise.  If you hope to make a profit, you have to advertise.  If you want people to know about your business, your product or your service…you have to advertise.

Advertising is letting people know…it’s disseminating information that you think people need in order to:

  • find you or your place of business [whether a physical building or an internet address]
  • know what your business has to offer
  • make an informed decision as to whether to visit or purchase or hire…whatever it is you want customers to do

Advertising has little to no cost and has big costs:

  • word-of-mouth doesn’t cost a penny, but is extremely valuable – you need the goodwill of your current customers with the hope of getting referral customers
  • publicity doesn’t cost more than time, paper and postage: press releases, flyers, car decals, business cards, your business’s web address in your email signature, social networking online
  • ad space is where the money comes in: whether ad space online or in your local newspaper or other types of publications or radio and television

You could do billboards and sidewalk sandwich boards.  You could even hire those folks who’ll put on those costumes and dance on street corners.

Regardless of what your business is, you do have to advertise.  You do need to tell people what your business is all about and why they need your product.  Or service.

If you have a home-based, network marketing business or direct selling business…you do have to advertise.  Whether it’s face-to-face telling folks about your business or putting up ads online using Goggle’s adwords, you have to find a way to drive customers to your door.

So…what part of your current business plan addresses this all-important component?

**here’s my advertisement: for information about a great home-based business visit my website.

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Time and Money-great thoughts by Dr. Lloyd Watts

What if I told you I had just read a little book that tells you how to transition from Middle Class to Financially Independent? I’ve talked on this blog before about Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump’s book, “Why we want you to be Rich,” which postulates that the middle class is disappearing and that these fellows want you to join the ranks of the rich and why you ought to.  I’ve talked about Keith Cameron Smith’s “The top 10 distinctions between Millionaires and the Middle Class, ” where he gives coin sides such as:

  • “…millionaires have multiple sources of income, the middle class has only one or two….”
  • “…millionaires focus on increasing their net worth, the middle class focuses on increasing its paychecks….”

Dr. Lloyd Watts, in his new book, “The Flow of Time and Money…how to create a full and prosperous life,” chimes in on the same theme and goes you one better…he tells you how.

What could be more simple than understanding that the transition from Middle Class to Financially Independent is to:

  • “…Pay Yourself  First, Accumulate Capital, Buy Assets that produce Passive Income, until that Passive Income equals your expenses….” and to do this you:
  • “…find out that changing your flow of money requires effort, self-education, and consistent  daily action toward long-term goals. All of these relate to how you manage your time….”

This is where Dr. Watts’ book diverges from the others in my estimation.  He gives clear and concise diagrams and explanations for the flow of money – how the average middle class person’s income comes in and goes out in expenses – and the flow of time – how the average middle class person’s time is set but goes out in “expenses” related to income.  It actually all makes sense, especially when you look at his simple leaky bucket diagrams.

What I like is that he also shows how altering the flow of time and money can transition you from middle class to financially independent.  Changing the flow of money to include passive income gradually eliminates the need for a job which has a direct impact on the flow of time – what you do with your time.

A theme I find in this book is the idea of leaving a legacy.  He says in his section on The Flow of Life:

  • “…It’s no coincidence that Time and Money have the same structural form…Some people call it Life Energy, or Life…But, if they are really the same thing, how does one get converted into the other? The poor and middle class do it the easy way. They spend their time working for money, and their employer does the conversion for them…We get our 168 hours/week, which is spent sleeping, eating, bathing, watching TV, commuting and working. Our employer pays us for that work, and we spend money on taxes, food, shelter, entertainment and toys. At the end of a life, what do we have to show for it?….”

Dr. Watts is obviously a bit of a philosopher. Although his book is short and to the point, it invites thought and contemplation. He takes us from a discussion of the flow of money and time and how we can transition from middle class to financially independent – and how to get there – but also he concludes with what I call Life Questions:

  • “…there is more to life than just financial success. Other important aspects of a person’s life can include their relationships, health, spirituality, artistic endeavors, community service, contribution to the world, etc. Ultimately, we may ask what kind of a legacy have we left behind….”
  • “…Try asking yourself this question: ‘What is the biggest problem in people’s daily lives that I can meaningfully address?’…Help even one person solve a problem, and you make a difference to that person. If you can generalize your solution method and share it with a lot of people, you will make a contribution to the world….”

I find that this book hits at a good time, given the current global economy and the fact that millions of Baby Boomers are beginning to ask those legacy-type of questions of themselves.  Understanding where we are financially and understanding how that standing effects how we spend our time is valuable information.  Add to that Dr. Watts’ explanation of how to get from middle class to financially independent and what that would do to how we spend our time gives us some ammunition to change our situation.  I’ve always believed that information is key.

If I had to give a negative comment it would be that I see an omission in his list of Sources of Wealth – that of developing passive income through a direct selling or network marketing business. I personally know a few people who are now financially independent because their leaky bucket no longer leaks – their passive income, gained through a direct selling business, is allowing them to explore the world and their part in it.  One man, in particular, is living the legacy he’s leaving.

A thought that just occurred to me – in my parents’ day, their goal was to be middle class.  They wanted nothing more than the comfort of a house, at least the one car, a steady paycheck and food on the table.  Now, we can’t even be sure we can keep the house we have, cars are expensive to keep and maintain, our paychecks are no longer a sure thing and food prices are continually rising.  My goal is to have financial freedom.  What is yours?

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2 sure-fire ways to kill your home-based business

Doubt and Inaction.  The two fastest and deadliest ways to kill your home-based business.

Let me ask you a question: are you your business’ #1 fan?  Do you use your own product?  Do you talk about how wonderful it is?  Do you buy it, use it, buy it again on a continuous basis?  If not, why not?  How will you expect anyone else to want your product if you don’t use it and be excited about it?  I think that if you aren’t your product’s #1 fan it is because you doubt its value.

Doubt will kill your business.  It will cause you to second-guess yourself and rob you of opportunities to succeed.

Replace doubt with positive thinking“At the beginning of any task, more than anything else, your attitude will affect its successful outcome.” Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer also says, “In business, your positive thoughts and lifestyle choices lead to your personal success and your career success.”

Which leads me to the 2nd business killer…inaction.  I know of people who have a home-based business and they complain that their business is not growing.  They complain that they have no customers.  A close look at their business reveals why: they aren’t doing any activities that would generate business.  You actually have to do something to achieve success.

Yes, believing in yourself, your product and business is important.  Having a positive attitude is important.  But if you are not pairing that up with action…you’ll just spin your wheels and dig a rut.  You actually have to talk.  You have to share.  You have to communicate.  You may have to travel.  You have to give presentations.  You have to make it known that your product is awesome and if people want to try it they must purchase some through you – then you must tell them how to do that.  If someone expresses interest in your business you actually have to follow-up with them…call them.  Not once, maybe not even twice…follow-up until you and they are satisfied that all the questions have been answered.

Having a home-based business is challenging…but you won’t stand a chance of meeting those challenges unless you banish doubt and inaction.

*As a demonstration of what I mean…I have a home-based businessI am my product’s #1 fan – I buy it, I drink it, I buy it again…continuously.  In fact, my mornings are not complete unless I have my glass of MonaVie.  Yes there are other very good nutritious juice products out there…I happen to love MonaVie, believe in its nutritional value and wouldn’t think of starting my day without it.  It energizes me.  I tell everyone about MonaVie because I want people to know there are choices in this niche market and that my product is a valuable one.

I also love to tell people about the MonaVie income opportunity.  I love to give presentations and show people how they can get involved.  If I didn’t think the potential for serious income was real I wouldn’t waste my time…I’d just be a customer.  But I have the best of both worlds – a wonderful nutritious juice and a valuable home-based income opportunity.

I have no doubt about my business; I’m with MonaVie for life.*

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5 ways to become rich

In their book, “Why We Want You to be Rich,” Mr. Trump and Mr. Kiyosaki both have an answer to How To Make Yourself Rich [chapter 4]:

  • Everyone has money problems. If you want to make yourself rich, solve problems. Identifying a problem creates the opportunity for creating a solution.– Mr. Kiyosaki
  • Robert’s and my message is, with the proper financial education and planning you can ride out the turbulence of what is happening in our financial world today and through this education you can become richer by finding ways to solve the problems. – Mr. Trump

So, how do you become financially rich?

  1. You could invest [said tongue-in-cheek] in the lottery.  Budget “x” numbers of dollars each week to spend on lottery tickets and hope your number(s) comes up. But consider: You have better chances of getting into a car accident, plane accident, or struck by lightning, than to win your lottery.
  2. You could inherit millions from a rich relative.  How likely is this?  Do you have any rich relatives?  Is there any particular reason they would leave their money to you?  How confident are you that estate taxes wouldn’t eat up the majority?  Do you really want to bank your financial future on someone else’s demise?
  3. You could play the stock market.  Right now?  Have you checked the latest headlines? “Wall Street Bracing for Bad News.”
  4. You could sit tight in your current job and hope for a raise.  This will certainly not take you on a path to becoming financially rich…if you are even among the fortunate to keep your job.
  5. You could do as the book advises: “….If you are committed to being one of the 10 percent of people who earn 90 percent of the money, then it takes focus and commitment – your focus and your commitment!…” [page 290]

What do you focus on and commit to?  These gentlemen offer some advise in investing in real estate and becoming involved in a network marketing business.

  • Mr. Kiyosaki– “…Why do I invest in real estate?…There is no other investment I know of that gives me so much control over the many aspects of making money and keeping my money…There is very little control over savings, stocks, bonds and mutual funds….When I first heard about network marketing, I was against it. But after opening my mind, I began to see advantages that few other business opportunities offer…A network marketing business is designed to bring you up to the top, not keep you down at the bottom. A true network marketing business does not succeed unless it brings people up to the top….”
  • Mr. Trump– “…more reasons I like investing in real estate: It’s exciting. It’s complex. It’s multi-dimensional. And it’s tangible…If I’m going to invest my time and money in something, I have to be proud of it at the end of the day…Like Robert, I did not know much about network marketing or the direct sales industry…I had to open my mind and look into it. What I found surprised me…Network marketing has proven itself to be a viable and rewarding source of income, and the challenges could be just right for you….”

2009 is presenting us all with challenges in keeping our financial feet.  The United States is in a recession, many thousands are looking for work, many dozens of companies may still close or be forced into bankruptcy…the picture is not a pretty one.  But it doesn’t have to be gray for you.

For me, real estate investing is not the option I choose.  Network Marketing offers the challenges I can handle and income potential that can put not just me, but those I work with, in an advantageous financial position this year, even in the midst of all this negative “stuff.”

Think about your options for the year and see if you can’t open your mind to something new. 

**MonaVie is an exciting, growing [even now, in this current economic climate] company offering exciting potential as a home-based income opportunity.  I’m excited that it is being offered now in Mexico, as well as Israel, Japan, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and of course the United States.  You have the opportunity to build a successful international business from the comfort of your own home.  Join me today.  Send me an email at linbistwo@sbcglobal.net and let’s talk about it. **

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Residual Income…what is it?

We all know what income is…money we get paid for work we do.   Most of us earn active income.

Do you know that residual income is passive income…money worked for once, with residuals continuing to come in?

Passive, or residual, income is exactly that: you do the work once and then receive income over time that was/is generated by that initial work. One of the best examples of this is a direct marketing business. [there are others, but for this article direct marketing will be the example]

A truly golden direct marketing business (there are many of them with products that range from candles to perfume to soap to vitamins) is one where you invest (usually) a small amount for sign-up and then sell the product. You use the product, love the product and tell others about it. You generate retail income – however this is not passive income – retail income is active income.

The other element of a direct marketing business is that some of the people you tell about your wonderful product will either 1)desire to become a distributor so that they can purchase wholesale from themselves thus saving money, or 2)they like the business model and want also to generate residual income.

The income generated that is the “residual” income is the commissions from sales from everyone you sponsored as a distributor, everyone they sponsored and so on. In a really good direct marketing business model it is possible to see unlimited potential.

What makes the potential for income unlimited is a combination of factors including the marketplace in which the product sits (market share), the viability of the corporation/management team behind the distributors, the quality of the actual product, the timing of the product into the marketplace and the business model itself – how aggressive is the compensation plan – how much of the corporate profit goes back out to the distributor force?

The “truth” about residual income is that in today’s economy, it could be the retirement plan many of us simply don’t have and won’t have available to us. The “truth” is that passive, or residual income, can make dreams come true.

Joyce Penner, [Coach, Mentor and Trainer –  www.myspace.com/mlmmentoring ] shares this story/definition of residual income:

—There is a bus driver we’ll call him Joe, who drives his bus on his regular route every day, five days a week.  He works hard and he gets paid for every hour he works.  But, when he hangs up his hat for the day, he also hangs up the income.  While he’s at home, while he’s sleeping, what is happening to his income?  It stops!  The only time he makes money is when he is working. 

 

That’s called linear income and we can all relate to that! 

 

In another example there is a surgeon, we’ll call him Dr. Bob, who goes into surgery on a regular basis five days a week and sometimes on the weekends for emergencies.  But when Dr. Bob goes home to eat, sleep, play or relax what happens to his income?  It stops. The only time Dr. Bob makes money is when he is operating.

 

So we’ll all agree that the income difference is huge when you compare Joe, the bus driver to Dr. Bob, the surgeon…but, in essence, they are in the same boat.  When they are not working, they are not getting paid.  That is the definition of Linear Income.

 

Residual income (or as I’ve heard it referred to as RocknRoll income) is when you do the job right, once, and you get paid for it over and over again. 

 

Here’s an example: There is a famous basketball player and his name is no surprise to most.  Michael Jordan!  Michael negotiated a contract, posed for a few photos, did a few commercials and now he is collecting a nice residual income.  Every time you buy a product with that special logo on it, Michael collects a check.  A residual income or RocknRoll check! 

 

Example #2 – Do you know who Lisa Marie Presley is?  Well her dad, Elvis Presley, many years ago wrote, recorded and performed some songs and his daughter, Lisa Marie is collecting those residual income checks every time one of her dad’s songs sell.  That is residual income! 

 

Doing the job right, just once, and getting paid for it over and over again equals residual income.  There are many, many more examples of people who are living off of, and making a good income from, work done right, just that one time. 

 

At first this depressed me as I have no talents like Elvis or Michael.  I can’t sing (anyone who has heard me will confirm that for you) and my slam dunk is dismal.  But then I realized that network marketing would allow me to do the job once, do it right and I, too, would be collecting a residual or “RocknRoll” income!!  Then I got excited. —

 

Keith Cameron Smith, in his book, “The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class,” [quote used with persmission] in his discussion of net worth says:

 

“…Millionaires look at assets as the things they own that have value and earn passive income for them.  A middle-class person may have small assets that have some value, but these assets typically don’t produce a passive income….Working for a paycheck is not wrong or bad, it’s just hard work for most people – and it is risky….”  He goes on to describe ways of building passive income, one way is by starting your own business “…One way of doing this is to join a network marketing company.  Direct sales or network marketing companies are a great way to start your own business….”

 

 

Residual Income is income you earn from work done now.   You build the business [write and sell the song, sign the licensing agreement for the use of your name, purchase real estate…there are other ways to earn residual income], you follow the plan and you reap the rewards of continuing income.   

 

Entrepreneurial success story

I loved the front page of my newspaper today.  That is frequently not the case as most days it is filled with war and high prices and troubles everywhere.  But not today.

“Immigrant women mean business” story by Matt O’Brien.  What an awesome story of “…six women who were awarded $2,000 grants…from CEO Women, an Oakland-based organization that helps low-income immigrant and refugee women launch or grow small businesses.”   According to the article by Matt, these women have used their grants for such things as purchasing a catering truck, web site development and paying the first month of storefront rent.

How many people would read this story and think initially that $2,000 isn’t a lot of money?  That how much can $2,000 actually do to help someone kick-start a business?  For those wanting to start a home-based business, something like $2,000 would mean paying for the business sign-in fee [in the case of a network marketing business], pay for a cell phone, pay for business cards, a business license and maybe signs for their car

Grants and micro-loans for small business start-ups is the heart-stone of entrepreneurshipKiva.org is one such organization that pairs people with money with small business people who need start-up money – in the case of Kiva, depending upon where on the globe you are talking and what the business, even $25 in U.S. funds is valuable.

Hats off from this reader to reporter Matt O’Brien for this story of entrepreneurial success.