Homepreneurs Talk: Proudest Business Accomplishments

business empowerment Here’s another Spark Bits Weekly where I ask a panel of homepreneurs a blazing question about running and growing their businesses from home. 

Today’s Q is:

What aspect of your business, products or services are you most proud of and why?

Stephanie Watson from Barry Publishing says:

Online BusinessOne of the things I pride myself on, is being on time. I’m not saying I am perfect, but 99 percent of the time, I am on time. If I am not, something horrible has happened. I believe that deadlines are very important to honor. If you find that half way through a project, that you cannot get something done, be sure and let your customer know immediately. Life happens, and most people are understanding about that, but it’s important to give your client a heads up when something might prevent you from meeting a deadline so that they can make other arrangements if needed.

I am also proud of helping new online business owners develop and implement their content plan. Content is arguably the most important aspect of building a business online outside of the actual product or service you are selling. Without content, no one can find you, and if they do find you, they won’t really get to know you, like you, and trust you enough to purchase from you. I’m super proud to work with people who have a dream and have the gumption to follow through on meeting their goals and realizing their dreams.

I’m also very proud that 90 percent of my clients have been my clients for several years. To me, having long-term clients is an essential component in being able to deliver the high caliber of work that I work so hard to achieve. The good thing about having long-term clients is the fact that they’re not as worried about giving me constructive feedback. The more feedback I can get the better job I can do. So, the longer I work with someone, the better everything gets. It becomes almost effortless.

I should mention that I’m not alone here. Without my current team of dedicated contractors who help me meet deadlines, no matter what, I couldn’t do this. Two of my team members happen to be my grown daughters — so that makes me super proud to know what an awesome work ethic they have. So often people around you might think you’re just sitting around at home doing nothing as a work at home entrepreneur, but I have children and a husband who get it, and are helpful to me. So, I’m proud of them too.

Alicia Jay from New VA Advice says:

Online BusinessThere are a lot of aspects of my businesses that I’m really proud of, but a couple of things stand out for me in particular.

The first is pride in my transcription business. That was the first business I ever had online. I started out 7 months pregnant and laid off with this little idea in my head of what I wanted my life to be like with my new baby. I had no prior experience running an online business and I had never even heard of WordPress. But I’m proud that I put in the time, effort and research, built my own website and figured out how to build a client list from zero, as well as starting out with zero online contacts. To go from that tiny idea of working for myself so that I could be home to raise my son to now having a full, regular client base that love my work still makes me really proud.

The other thing that I’m really proud of is the first training program that I ever created, General Transcription Bootcamp. I love that it came out of the real need of people coming to me to find a reliable way to learn transcription. I developed the course from concept to completion with input from mentors and a beta round. I have pride in knowing that I took a concept, created it into a reality and then shared it with others who really needed it.

Lastly, I think the most important thing to me is pride in knowing that both of my businesses benefit others, my honesty and integrity, reaching outside of my comfort zone and acknowledging that I can’t do it all alone.

Samantha Pointer-Foxx from Get It Together says:

Online BusinessI am most proud of my Weekend Organizing course. In my business I find that most people have a hard time just getting started with organizing. I can’t possibly be everywhere at the same time physically to help everyone, but I can provide a step by step action plan to get them started on their organizing journey. That is why I made Weekend Organizing. It is a step-by-step course that helps people get their home organized one area at a time in small weekend projects. I love the fact that it takes the overwhelm out of getting organized and you have a plan for maintaining your new space as well. I love sharing and helping people to get organized and this is my way of doing that. You can find out more at www.organizingguru.com.

Helena Bowers from Your Message Amplified says:

business empowermentI’m not much of one for singing my own praises, but since you asked, the piece of my business I’m most proud of is my graphic creations. I was never very visually artistic when that meant drawing freehand – my father used to say I couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler — but turn me loose in Photoshop and I can get lost for days.

One of the things I love most about it is that I get to use my intuition and really create something that I think my clients will love. So many times people have said to me “I want something blue and pretty” or “just make it simple”. The real challenge comes when someone says “I’m not exactly sure what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it.”  That one requires some serious meditation time to be able to visualize what I think they will want.

The thing that really fires me up is that first “I love it! You’ve nailed it!” from the client. I’ve always been more of a behind-the-scenes person, so knowing that I’ve created something that will help others achieve success makes me feel proud of myself and my business.

My Insights 

lyzqa.pngWhen it comes to accomplishing big things for your small home based business, nothing is too big or too small to toot your own horn for. Business is a big leap for most people. It’s an endeavor many don’t have the courage to proceed with. By itself, it’ s an accomplishment to be proud of. As you continue to evolve, you endure new courses.  You grow and progressively thrive.

Every new win is an invitation for a new challenge. And every new challenge has a potential to make or break your business. The odds are against you. Your chances of making it are very slim. It’s why only a small group of people can say they are entrepreneurs even though those who have entrepreneurial spirits, the ones who only dream, far outnumber people who have already reached that status.

So, when you’ve achieved a certain milestone, there’s nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back. Heck, you’ve spent a good part of your journey doubting yourself, over-thinking and perhaps even missing out on opportunities for no real good reason.

The Sparkplugging homepreneur panel shared their proudest accomplishments, serving as a motivational kick, and maybe even offering a competitive inkling for those who aspire to be in the internet home business space.

I find pride in stretching my boundaries…In leaping as a budding internet home business owner and acquiring Sparkplugging despite my lack of experience and in spite of the robe of anxiety I wore (I still wear sometimes) as I run it live. It’s all-good.

Go on and indulge in your proudest business moments. You have permission. And don’t be afraid to embrace change. It may lead to your most successful undertaking.

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How to Clarify Your Business Direction

Business DirectionAs I was combing through older content on the blog, I came across this blog post, Three Business Lessons Learned from a Robot. The analogy is funny but the tips where full of insight. It made me think about how important it is to have a sense of direction when it comes to your business.

I think it goes a little beyond steps to setting goals, especially for a small internet home business run by solopreneurs. Sometimes  fear, lack of clarity, limited support and having no sense of direction gets the better of us.

See, you and I were trained to fail in entrepreneurship because we weren’t given the tools to manage through the hardships, fight through the struggles and withstand the unpredictability that frequently comes with running a business.

When we were younger, we followed house rules and directives from our parents. In school, we were guided by lesson plans facilitated by our teachers. At a job, we were given a set of tasks based on a job description. So when it comes to taking risks in entrepreneurship, resistance sets in because we’re not given a “guide” to follow. Take a look at this inspirational yet informational video featuring Seth Godin – Failing Until You Succeed.

Overcoming Limiting Beliefs: Who’s In Charge?

Many people I’ve come across have fantasized about starting a business at one point or another. My sister, who has a business degree, has specifically admitted she is afraid of failing. My best friend has had a longtime dream of opening up a childcare center. She quit her job last December and got very close to closing a deal on a property several months ago. The deal folded and she became paralyzed by disappointment. She is she now back to working a job. Another one of my friends grew up with an entrepreneurial father. She has dreams of starting a horticulture therapeutic center but feels she is not “organized” enough to even know where to begin.

There’s nothing worse than the hopeless feeling of jumping around aimlessly and later rationalizing your “failure” to a set of circumstances you created a belief around. You either have an internal or external locus of control, meaning things happen because of you or to you. Your viewpoint can affect your success.

I’ve always been passionate about facing fears and making breakthroughs. I encourage my clients and patients to give themselves permission to be bold – it’s cliché but true. But if you don’t know where you are going, it’s much more difficult to stay focused and grounded.

Visualizing what you want

There’s a lot of research done about visualization. Some people swear by vision boards. I, for one, believe that it definitely helps to envision and image  and actually feeling what it’s like to get there. It creates this energy and momentum and keeps you zoned in, even when you are not consciously thinking about it. I use something similar where I place a description of my ultimate business vision on my bedroom night table that way I see it as soon as I wake up. Not in a Law of Attraction kind of way but I feel it helps to remind me while my brain cells are fresh of what I need to do to get one step closer.  Check out these tips I found on how to use visualization to achieve your goals.

Setting Intentions

Goals are very individualistic. There is a reason why you want to accomplish “that thing”. The tangible outcome is rarely what you are after. Not to get touchy-feely but normally it’s a search for a feeling (accomplished, loved, smart, sexy, free, etc.). Get to know yourself. Self-awareness can be fun. It’s almost like putting a puzzle together.

Heighten up your senses to what stands out for you during the course of a day. It helps you identify what’s important to you so you can factor those into your business journey. For me, it’s noticing children, happy couples, and people’s moods. I love to people watch and notice when a person looks sad. I take note of businesses that go out of business and speculate on the circumstances. I wonder, did the owners give up? You can almost always find something that will satisfy you and the needs of the people you serve.

A Measurable Contract With Yourself

In business, setting measurable goals can help your business direction and ultimately its success. Most people find business success using a combination of their interests, values, passions and skills. Write down the actions you will take and what behaviors will you change in order to get there. Make your it specific enough where you can see progress and allow you the opportunity to praise yourself for small wins that will eventually turn into larger ones. Writing it down also makes things more concrete and establishes a contract with yourself. You’ll keep growing, refining and expanding as you move along.

The Power of Masterminding

This point was brought up in Lynette Chandler’s post. She says, “Now to figure out, what or who can be the GPS for your business? I think the answer is fairly obvious. It is a good business coach or a group of like minded people like a mastermind group made up of people you can trust.” Think about the power of gaining the insights of an expert or group of experts brainstorming and networking together and gaining perspective at a much quicker pace. Plus, it’ll help you stay accountable. Here are a few I belong to Blogging Concentrated, Solo Masterminds, Lynn Terry’s Private Brainstorming Group, MyNams (some of these have free and paid memberships).

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Business Overwhelm: How to De-Stress And Achieve More Flow

stressedoutIf you have ever experienced challenges in your business (and who hasn’t), stress may have paid you a visit more times than you would like to admit. It’s inevitable. Stress is a quiet invitation to overwhelm and it begins to affect not only your business but also your personal life. When your state of mind is overwhelmed, it is almost impossible to achieve more flow and progress in your business.

Business Overwhelm is Flow Kill

It doesn’t matter that you have the relevant business and technical skills. It all goes out the window when your reaction to it is less than ideal. If you are unable to successfully manage the unavoidable surprises that come along with running a business, it can be difficult to engage in complete focus and concentration which are needed to implement actions that will yield both maximum growth and total enjoyment in your business.

Now, that is not to say that I am running a 100% “stress-free” and completely joyful business. Although I’d like to think that I’m pretty close. There have been times when “business overwhelm” has gotten the better of me and my house looks like it’s been ransacked; I lose my confidence; and, I begin to wonder if I was meant to do this business thing. From chronic worrying about too many things to do, to a general unease about something being missed, to catastrophizing trivial things – I’ve been there. But I am also keenly aware and make it my priority to make some mental shifts that remind me of why I went into business in the first place.

Tips For Less Stress

I’m not perfect but I try to follow a set of rules that I also share with my clients. Here they go. Feel free to devour and explore the following tips for less stress to help you achieve more flow in your business:

  • Put less focus on the money and more on people. Focusing on people alleviates the burden of making money as it puts more emphasis on the actual connections with others. As you connect, you increase a sense of achievement for yourself and loyalty from your customers. Research shows that building strong social connections elevates happiness; therefore, it decreases your stress levels and how you express it emotionally and physically. When you connect with people you’re more able to adapt to the changing circumstances of your business.
  • Sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body is working harder internally and your hormones become unbalanced affecting just about every part of your body – including your brain. You won’t have the stamina or adequate brain function to make solid decisions in your business. You end up working longer hours to compensate for things that aren’t getting done and you’re creativity will be stumped.
  • Learn to say no. Do you feel like you have to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way? Do you feel like you will miss out on an opportunity if you say no. Or, that you will burn your bridges or hurt somebody’s feelings? Taking on too much will damper your productivity and create more pressure. Learn to choose your opportunities wisely where you are managing less but with bigger outcomes.
  • Clean your car. Ok, not just your car but it’s a start.You can always tell the state of mind of person when you look into their handbag or see the conditions of their car. If your car is cluttered with piles of stuff that either has to be put away or chucked, take time to organize it. Many people spend a good part of their lives in their cars. The mess in your space (car, office, home) will send a message to your brain that you are not in control. This can elevate your stress levels and you will be in a constant struggle to try to gain control back. Gaining a sense of control will help you realize that you have more time that you think because you will spend less time perseverating over your to do’s.
  • Adopt a different work philosophy. You know that overworking destroys your sanity. Become more engaged in the things that matter most to you. You don’t need to be hard on yourself and out-perform all of the time. In fact, by being more compassionate with yourself, you’ll reduce the anxiety that comes with the pressures of being overloaded and overbooked.
  • Develop and stick to routines. It minimizes having to make decisions reducing the heaviness of having to come up with ideas on how to “handle” something. The more decisions you have to make on any given day, the more stress you are going to have. Your decision-making energy should be concentrated and not scattered. The less you have to decide, the more focused you will be. Making a decision on the time/day you are going to complete a task and sticking with it regularly at the assigned time increases your chances of actually getting it done. The less you have to check off, the less burdened you will feel.

If You Want to De-Stress, React Less

I’ve learned that a big step in facing business overwhelm is having the ability to understand that you have a choice in how you react and respond to the circumstances. Aim to interrupt your habit in how your react to stress by practicing on being less reactive. Your body and mind will adapt to your new habits and ways of de-stressing and you’ll begin to allow more money-making flow states in your business. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of making simple and small shifts on a daily basis.

Related Reads:

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Criticism: Dealing With It In Business

dealing with criticismYet another Spark Bits Weekly where I ask a panel of homepreneurs a blazing question about running and growing their businesses from home.

Today’s Q is:

How do you handle criticism in your business online and offline?

Christa Jensen from ChristaJensen.com says:

dealing with criticismWhen it comes to criticism with my business the way I react really depends on how the person doing the criticism comes across and whether I invited it. There are times I have asked for input and received constructive criticism. It is also inevitable to come across people who feel the need to criticize what I am trying to build online without invitation.

For the ones who are in business both online and offline that offer constructive criticism I welcome that with open arms. I am completely open to those who genuinely want to give you advice and these are the people I seek out for input. I will also embrace it from successful business owners who just offer it up to me. It is not always easy to hear what people think you are doing wrong or what you can be doing better, but if presented to you in an honest non judgmental way it could help your business ten fold.

Now and again I have dealt with people that feel the need to criticize just because they think they can. I deal with this side of criticism on a person by person basis. I haven’t had to deal with this a whole heck of a lot thankfully but it can be frustrating even on a small scale. My general rule is to change the conversation if I feel the person is being overly critical of something they know nothing about. I rarely try to explain to what I call “know it alls” that don’t have any sort of business to base their criticism on. However, if they just seem a little misinformed or uninformed based on stereotypes of work at home moms, I will take some time to educate them about it.

So in a nut shell I deal with it as it comes and as gracefully as I can.

Samantha Angel from Advancing Steps says:

dealing with criticismCriticism is one of those things that is necessary for growth. I haven’t always been so open to it though. When I was younger, I had a very thin skin. I took every criticism to heart and rather than benefit from it I took offense. There is, of course, those out there that criticize without the intent to help you get better in your efforts. Over the years, I’ve learned that most of the time you can learn something from it, even when it isn’t intended to help. Even though it may hurt at the time there is always something you can learn from it. This is a sensitive but so important subject that I’ve written a couple of posts about feeling the heat on my blog: I Just Got My Butt Kicked and Constructive Feedback Sometimes Hurts.

My Insights

dealing with criticismYou’re on the path to success. And many times thinking big or unconventionally brings about a whole lot of talk whether it be from family, friends or random people who just feel the need to share their two cents – many times unsolicited. Entrepreneurial people tend to be magnets for that kind of chatter.  At some point, putting yourself out there will result in some fool saying something that’s not so hot.  It can be severely draining and sometimes even zap your motivation. But for the most part, when you jump into the entrepreneurial space it’s inevitable.

Feedback is not always meant to be hurtful though. I’ve learned to keep an open mind because there are times when you will not have all the right answers. A view from a different lens, especially from people who have been there, could serve some good. But still, it’s not always easy to digest. I can definitely relate to our Sparkplugging advisors on that.

So how do you manage criticism especially in the “social” age we live in? Face it. Your negative critics are not going away. So on that note, make sure to stay put and stand your ground. Just learn to equip yourself with some hardy armor and tough love and you’ll find yourself being less affected by it as time goes on.

Here are some tips I’ve collected along the way:

1. Keep pushing through it. If you are truly committed to your craft, this will be much easier to accomplish. There is less of a barrier to bounce back when you truly believe in what you and your business stand for. The more steps you continue to take forward, the more confident you’ll become.

2. Minimize impulsivity. Social media can be particularly scary because you’re absorbing a blow in front of a boatload of people. This could potentially lead to a crisis in your business that can negatively affect your  reputation. Gain some awareness in how you feel (defensive, angry, inadequate, etc.) but chill out. I’m sure you’ve heard about all of the Twitter rants. You can’t change your feelings but you can control how you react. You might make a bad situation worse by impulsively countering your critics in public.

3. Don’t internalize it. Keep an open mind in order to correct your course if necessary or simply ignore. Change your perspective on criticsm by viewing it as a learning experience. It minimizes the negative impact on your psyche and how it is expressed in your business.

4. Accept that it’s an integral part of success. The more successful you become in your business the more exposed you will be to criticism. Use it as fuel and validation that you are making big strides. Perhaps it’s a sign that you are moving in the right direction.

I asked this question because in addition to wanting to learn about how other homepreneurs manage criticism, I figured it would also serve to bring some empowerment in knowing that others have been there. I’ve learned to become well versed in resiliency because it helps with enduring the challenges and hardships that come with entrepreneurship. Most of the time, negative feedback is more about your critic’s baggage than it is about you. You are going against the grain, taking massive action and reminding others that they don’t have the guts to do what you’ve done or to go where you’re going.

**Webinar tomorrow, May 1, 2014 @1pm EST: Building a Super Successful Micro Subscription Program**

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Get Paid What You’re Worth in Your Business

Welcome to Spark Bits Weekly where I ask a panel of homeprenuers a blazing question about running and growingmo money their businesses from home.

Today’s Q is:

What is your strategy for pricing your offers so that you are getting paid what you’re worth in your business?

Christa Jensen from ChristaJensen.com says:

make more moneyThis is a very important topic and not one easily tackled when you go to set your prices whether it be a service or a product. Having a good strategy to get paid your worth is fundamental to the success of your business.

Everyone should, in my opinion, always follow these 3 strategic yet simple rules:

  1. Know the value of what you are offering. (What would you pay, not what you want people to pay. Choose at least 3 prices).
  2. Research. (Know what your competitors are charging and charge competitively without undercutting your value).
  3. Don’t be afraid to test prices (Start with your highest ideal price and offer discounts using other projected prices).

If you value yourself too low potential clients will not take you seriously. If you do not do your research you will not be effectively competitive. If you test your prices you could increase your sales dramatically (don’t price lower than your lowest valued price).

I have used these rules for years. The training on the value of a successful business I had to learn in the last time I worked in the corporate world stuck with me and now I apply them to what I offer!

Stephanie Watson from Monthly Content Helpers says:

make more moneySince 90 percent of the work I do is content writing, it’s not really very difficult for me to price my offerings. I price by the package or by the article and give discounts for bulk orders. The one thing I had to realize is that I am not competing to be the low cost leader.  I want to work with serious online and offline business owners who want quality content that provides value to their audience. I don’t want to work for people who only care about getting the lowest price without being concerned about quality.

Once I realized all that, it was simple to set my prices. While I have package rates, it all started with knowing how many hours I can work a week and how much I need to earn. That helped me create my goal hourly rate. Then I figured out how long it took me to research and write an average article. That helped me create my package rates. I also learned that if I have 5 or 10 articles to write on the same subject I can do all the research at once, and pass on the discount to my clients.

I receive inquires from all types of business owners seeking content, some do want to pay me less than I am worth. I have figured out my worth and I don’t accept positions that don’t pay me what I have figured out I need and deserve. That’s not to say I didn’t at first.

Sometimes you do have to stick your toes in, do a lot of low paying work in order to build up your resume and confidence. But, after getting experience and building a reputation, people start wanting to hire you for your expertise as much as the tasks that you do. Once that happens, you can command the fees that you deserve.

Brenda Trott from Done4UMedia Marketing says:

make more moneyI let people know what my highest prices are and then ask for their budget. Then I build a plan for them that might offer less services but still be as valuable for them and their business. The idea is that once I get them more customers, they will be able to afford to scale it up.

My Insights

make more moneyThe topic of money is a sensitive subject for many people and can be a huge stressor for an entrepreneur who may have a predetermined expectation of having the hard work pay off big time. It is particularly pressure provoking when factoring in supporting a family or when frequently entertaining the thought of making enough to pay the bills. Money in general evokes feelings of many colors. So having all things to consider, is there a way to price your products and services so that you’re making what you are actually worth?

A huge point shared by some of the Sparkplugging advisors was the caution of undervaluing yourself. As I agree with this view I also believe pricing may be influenced a bit by your viewpoints and personal relationship with money.  The task of pricing can become quite challenging and it is a task that is of superb importance for the success of your business.

Think about when you had to slap a figure on one of your products or services. Were you ever worried about things like, “My customer won’t be able to afford the price?”  Or, “My customer won’t want to work with me if my price is too high.” Or, what about, “My competition will steal my customer?” These and similar thoughts will most likely be reflected in your pricing decisions.

So what is your worth? In addition to factoring in your internal money dialogue, here is a summary of some of the ideas presented by our Sparkplugging panel. Plus, a few other tidbits I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Have a clear picture of your priorities, personal goals and vision for your business. However, take an honest look at where you’re at right now. If you need money immediately you might have to start on a less than ideal end, work your customer through your sales funnel and scale up as you progress.
  2. Be honest with your value and provide real justification by demonstrating how your product or service will be beneficial to your customer. Don’t assume your customer is clear about the benefits of your product or service.
  3. Figure out who your customer is and what particular market you are serving. I figured this out when I was running my cleaning business several years ago and realized that our service didn’t just provide cleaning. We provided aesthetics too as it included detailing, organizing and de-cluttering living spaces in the homes of people in affluent communities. It was a service that our customers proudly paid a hefty amount for because many of them had a certain image to maintain and they had the financial means to pay for the service.
  4. If your customers are always haggling for discounts, are you working with the right people? For example, my husband, a graphic tee designer and seller, is frequently approached by high school and college kids requesting discounts or freebies. Offering discounts is tempting because it’ll bring in some money and exposure but clearly, not all markets are a good fit for what you have to offer. Choose your customers wisely and consider your positioning and messaging.
  5. Factor in your costs and what you want to earn. You’ll want to cover your expenses plus take in a profit at the end.

Although you may have to consider many other factors in your pricing depending on the type of business you’re in, when it comes to getting paid what you’re worth also take into account your wisdom, skills, and creativity. There is no one in this world that has a replica of all your personal assets and your expression of them.  Therefore, put them to use, accept your worth and gain the ability to proceed with confidence to strut your stuff.  After all, don’t you deserve it?

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Here’s How to Get Inspired When You’re Feeling Stuck as an Entrepreneur

Welcome to Spark Bits Weekly where I ask a panel of homeprenuers a blazing question about running and growing their businesses from home.inspiration

Today’s Q is: 

Where do you find inspiration when you feel like you’ve hit a plateau in your business?

Helena Bowers from Your Message Amplified says:

headshot-dec-2012-100When I hit a plateau in my business the first thing I try to do is get out of my own way. I know that I have the tendency to make things harder than they have to be, so the first place I look for inspiration is outside in nature. I’ll often take my camera and head to the river for a long walk and some quiet time communing with the ducks. The stillness gives me the space I need to get out of my own head and let the ideas flow. More often than not I end up coming home with a pretty good idea of what my next step should be, as well as a fresh batch of pictures to work with!

Brenda Trott from Done4UMedia Marketing says:

BrendaFunky_me.jpgI’m not sure if I ever run out of ideas. The reason is because I get them from my clients. They come to me with new questions before I even know I have an answer.

 

Jessica Lee from Psychic Readings Guide says:

jessica-leeI love this question because I think it’s so important to feel inspired when working.  When I feel like I’ve hit a plateau, I know it’s because I am over thinking things and not letting the business flow organically. That signals me to step back and take a few hours off doing something enjoyable that is unrelated to business, such as taking a ride or baking.  Usually, once I get into a relaxed state, ideas will quickly start to flow again.

Another thing I do is keep inspiration boards on Pinterest.  I pin blogs that I admire and articles that I have enjoyed reading.  When I go back and reread these pieces, I remember what I loved about them, and this often gets my creative juices flowing.

I also have several book excerpts highlighted on various Kindle books.  Sometimes, one great quote or a few paragraphs from a chapter is enough to inspire me.  For me, it’s all about not fighting the current.  Trying to force things when they’re not happening naturally is not fun.  Relaxing, taking a step back, and having inspiration boards that I can refer to works really well for me.

Reba Collins from PLR One Stop says:

profile-reba100x100I find inspiration in almost everything, every person, and everywhere I go.  I try to look for the good and ignore the bad, so I watch for the little things from which I can draw ideas. Family is big in my life and there’s always someone telling of how they found a great item or need something to make their lives easier. I try to apply those conversations to my business.

Since my business is an online business, I’m a member in a lot of Facebook groups and forums with others in my niche. I go to those places every day and never fail to learn something new. Everything new thing I learn I can apply to my business, so honestly, I’m never short on inspiration. In fact, I have so many ideas; I don’t have time to handle them all. It’s rare that I hit a plateau with such great people touching my life on a daily basis. [Read more…]

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Passion In Business Won’t Pay the Bills. Or Will It?

A few years ago, my husband and I drove out to Ocean City, Maryland for a mini vacation. I admit, I wasn’t completelymonster01 present in the moment of the experience. I felt almost guilty for immersing myself in a pleasurable activity when my thoughts were wrecked and lost with the “would haves” and “should haves” of my life. It’s as if I had unfinished business to do (literally) and I was wasting time by not attending to it “immediately.”

What would my life look like if I had stuck it through in 2002 and not sold my very modest sized business?  Would I be feeling fulfilled professionally? Would I have wanted to get up every morning oh so vibrantly and ready to take take on the day?

Have you ever experienced an intense feeling of knowing you were meant to do something else?

Something bolder. Something better. Something that screams PASSION.

Granted, I am immensely grateful and proud to have collected  degrees that have afforded me the opportunity to earn a decent living. But in that journey, I failed to realize that I had spent a decade searching to fill a void and I was looking to fill it in all the wrong places.

What the heck is blogging?

Prior to my decision to venture out into the online world, I had been following one blogger – Pat Flynn. Of course, I didn’t realize he was a “blogger” back then. I didn’t even understand how blogging worked. I’ve always been sort of a laggard when it came to technology and online trends.

But I just knew that somehow, with my limited knowledge of technology, I was going to figure out how to start a business online – one that I intensely connected with.

So when I got home from my trip, I began to fanatically search for ways to start a business that I could fall in love with. And there were a few things I learned in my old offline business that allowed me to be crystal clear about what I wanted. Here they go:

  1. I wanted to start a business from home.
  2. I was passionate about business, personal development and wellness and wanted to find a way to inspire people.
  3. I wanted to earn a full time income.
  4. I wanted to stay healthy and sane while doing it.
  5. I wanted enough time left to engage with the people who matter to me the most.

Passion vs. Customers

There is much to be said about giving your customers what they want.

However, I’m really feeling the idea of doing what you love, then finding the right customers.

I read a great article by Jonathan Fields recently. My takeaway was the notion that often times other areas of your life compensate for the dysfunction created around a business that is ultimately not a good fit for you.

In retrospect, that’s exactly what happened with my old business. In essence, I bought myself a J-O-B. My customers became my bosses and the situation was possibly the equivalent of my worse job yet.

Why? Because I was responsible for creating it.

Black or White?

There are various schools of thought in entrepreneurship. There are some who say passion won’t help you create a successful business. Yet others who beg to differ.

I go with the latter.

I believe passion will keep your engine running. It will also sustain your thinking on your feet and motivate you enough to keep you moving forward. As you progress, you will learn to find solutions to obstacles that will come, and these will enhance the skills necessary to help you reach your vision.

There will be forks on the road… [Read more…]

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