Archives for October 2014

The best 25 Cents I ever spent

In my twenties life was very different than it is today. I had very little belief in what is possible and how powerful our thoughts are.

That is until I found a book at a garage sale called The Magic of Believing. magic

With very little money in my pocket, I reluctantly parted with a quarter for the book.

In hindsight, this was the best 25 cents I ever spent. My life would never be the same.

Until then, I carefully guarded my victim mentality, barely held down a minimum wage job, partied way too much and woke up each day dreading what was ahead.

The insights I learned from the author were beyond anything I had ever known.

Originally written in 1948, this was my first exposure to the mindset that thoughts become things. Devouring the information, my life would never be the same.

Since then, I've been an avid student of life, a voracious reader and someone who craves living fully. I want to make sure when all is said and done I've played full out.

It's likely you've had books that changed your life and put you on a better course than before you read them.

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Are you getting your share of “mailbox” money?

Does your business allow for “mailbox money” and a lifestyle you love? If not, what would it take for you to create this?

Let’s start with the definition of mailbox money. This is money you receive in both your inbox and your physical mailbox.

Just today I got an email about money that had been sent to me via PayPal. It was for a small promotion I did for another expert.

money_001

I first heard the term from Mary Morrissey. When I heard her definition I realized I have had mailbox money for years.

Based on how you have your business set up you likely have a general idea of a minimum amount of money that will arrive daily whether it be a few hundred or a few thousand. Beyond the baseline, you likely won’t know from day to day how much cash will arrive. The reason? Multiple streams of revenue that fluctuates from day to day.

Multiple streams of revenue is exactly what it sounds like; money that comes from various sources. One way to create multiple streams of mailbox money is with information products; yours and those you sell for others.

The more information you have to offer that your market has an interest in the more revenue you can generate.

If you have no products of your own you can start by becoming an affiliate seller. Make sure whomever you sell for and whatever you make available you are selling an outstanding product or service you are proud to make available to your market. Never, ever, ever sell anything you can’t put your personal stamp of approval on.

Keep this in mind.
Don’t sell simply to make money. Making money simply for the sake of making money may be short lived. Start from the point of, “What would create the greatest value and truly serve my market?” When you think in terms of being of service, the money will follow for a long time to come.

You may have to test a few products to identify your markets’ sweet spot both with the type of information you are introducing and the price point.

Some online  entrepreneurs are very successful by selling other experts’ products. Others prefer to create their own. Still others like a combination of the two.

I lean towards the latter.

If you’re planning on developing your own products now is the perfect time to begin.

However, you will be well served to plan out what you introduce.

Follow these simple steps to move you in the right direction.
• Identify what your potential customers are interested in. A survey can help considerably in this area.
• Determine what knowledge you have that people would be willing to pay for.
• Decide the format for the information product; video, audio, MP3.
• Determine method of delivery; ClickBank, autoresponder, other.
• Determine method of payment; PayPal, credit card.
• Develop the product.
• Develop a landing page. If you’re not qualified you can find plenty of eager designers on www.elance.com or get a free or low cost template program.
• Market.

Obviously, there’s more detail I could cover, but this will be a great place to start. I can assure you that when you have several things to offer your market, both yours and those of other experts, you’ll get very used to watching your “mailbox money” arrive on a daily basis.

So much in fact, you will know what it means to have a lifestyle business.

What’s your experience with mailbox money? Are you getting your share?

Do you cry Woe Is Me in business?

Do you wear “working on weekends and long hours” like a badge of honor?

“Woe is me!” is the battle cry of many entrepreneurs. “Look how hard I am working!”

I used to do the same thing as did many of my colleagues. That is, until it almost killed many of us. Not only were we wearing down by the long hours, we had no personal life.

The reality is, running a business, especially for a solo-entrepreneur, does not require we personally work so many hours that we end up despising what we do.

Nope, running a successful business means we are doing what we love, we are willing to let go of some of the detail work we do through delegation and we make great money. Lest anyone think money is not part of the success equation, you can’t run a business without money. Simple as that.

One of the greatest lies we’ve been told is that we have to work our butts off in order to succeed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Do we have to work? Absolutely. Yet, it’s about working smarter, not harder.

I’ve owned my business for over 20 years. Early on, I was in the camp of working 14, 16, 18 hour days. I truly thought this meant I was giving my all to my business.

It was when I got very resentful over having a business that I recognized something needed to change. The change came in the willingness to delegate those things that absolutely needed to get done but I had no business doing.

So how do we know what to hold on to and what to let go of?

Before answering this, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that you absolutely must treat your business like a business. This requires planning, investment, delegation, training, skill building and the willingness to build a team that is representative of what your overall goals are.

It’s amazing how many “wanna be” entrepreneurs think they have to do all the work themselves. It is in this attitude they become a bottleneck in their day to day operations.

This also keeps them in the Failure To Launch mode.

I do understand this thought process. I was the same way.

The shock of shocks came when I found I could (and would) get more done, make more money, enjoy life more and be able to more fully serve my market when I had the right support team in place.

If you’re among those who say, “I can’t afford to hire anyone,” you are definitely locking yourself into a behavior and belief that is not serving you.

It’s not that you have to go from doing everything yourself to managing a fulltime team overnight. Nope, you can grow into it. There are so many great resources available that there’s no excuse not to outsource a bit of the work.

Start with determining what you absolutely must do that you don’t (or can’t) delegate to others. List those things that need to be done, but you may not be the best person to do the task. It could be graphic design, developing your social media systems, scheduling interviews, etc.

I love writing and this is a big part of what I should be doing. I’m good at it, it allows me to position my message and it helps me build my community.

What I’m not good at is graphic design. I have two choices with this knowledge. I can spend a lot of time trying to make something look good, or I can delegate the design work to someone much more qualified than me to produce something that looks great.

Now lest you think, “I can’t afford to hire an expensive designer,” just know there are countless resources available who can do the work for an incredibly small investment.

Ever hear of www.fiverr.com or www.99designs.com? Both offer services for very little.

Granted, not everyone on Fiverr is someone you would trust with your business needs, but some of the resources are perfect for someone on a limited budget.

For a few bucks you can free up a lot of time. Time to do those things you absolutely must do and time to enjoy a personal life.

A huge part of running a successful business is getting really honest about how you are spending your time. Focus and discipline are huge factors to consider.

Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. One of the best processes I’ve implemented is what I call my Hour of Power.

This, by far, has been one of the greatest game changes for me.

Before putting on the cape of Woe is Me, get really honest about what it means to run a successful business. Decide what you will and will not settle for. Put pen to paper and map out your success.

A bit of time upfront will free up the energy, time and space to have a balanced life. After all, don’t you deserve this?

What are you doing to balance your time and energy? Comments welcome.