Sunday, August 26, 2012

Internet Home Business Secrets That Payoff!

I can picture you exactly where I was just a few short years ago --
Sitting in another useless meeting organized by a group of senior managers that have a combined IQ less than your own child at 3-months old.
Around in circles you go, no progress again today and only those who play the game the best will collect the bigger paychecks - but even they can't outlast this game of roulette can they?
Listen - I get asked often, even by my own wife, "why are you so driven!"
It's true, these days I am passionate about just about everything I do - especially my internet home business.
Is it the thought of a new porsche sitting in my driveway that motivated me to succeed with my internet home business?
What about cruising up and down the Pacific Coast in my new yacht?
Maybe it's being able to take a dream vacation to Australia and New Zealand?
Nope! You guessed wrong.
In fact, what motivates me everyday is the thought of having my time, energy, health and family UNDER THE CONTROL of someone other than myself scares the heck out of me.
I mean all out spiders on my face, snakes in my bed and lizards in my pants scared!
When I hit 30 back several years ago - I was in a hotel, alone on business in downtown London, England.
Incredible city, but I realized that after spending 29 birthdays with my family - I was FORCED to spend this one alone thousands of miles from home.
Every day after, I became incensed each time someone at my old job controlled some aspect of my time, health, energy or family.
I don't mean a little upset - I mean DEEPLY ANGRY.
There's only two ways to deal with something like that in your life - curl over and die a slow death or take action until you change the circumstances
Trick was, to channel that anger in the right direction - positive instead of negative.
Then I discovered something incredibly powerful --
Anger and Pain Are Part of the Formula for Success!
Name me any highly successful person and chances are I can find a burning, gut-churning, unstoppable force within them that will not let them fail. That force usually comes from anger or pain.
Even with this incredible passion I had to control my own destiny, success didn't come right away.
I tried opportunity after opportunity, scam after scam, UNTIL...
THE HOLY GRAIL - Internet Home Business
Ever since the beginning of business, the same principles hold true - you must have;
1. Compelling product to reachable market
2. Competitive Advantage or Unique Selling Proposition
3. Operation plan that is profitable
4. Constant Plan, Do and Review process to increase profits
Whether you want to market other people's products online or create your own products or services, you must follow these fundamental business principles.
What's great about an internet home business is:
1. You can find reachable markets and compelling product ideas sitting in your office in your underwear
2. You can easily discover and communicate your Unique Selling Proposition without having to spend thousands on competitive intelligence
3. You can develop very profitable operational plans taking advantage of instant download, or build to order systems
4. It's easier, and less risky than ever before to continually test and improve your internet home business.
So - snap out of it!
Stop settling for whatever it is that is eating away at you!
Take action - right now!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fat Day

The other day I felt fat and flabby.  I was having a "fat" day.  My stomach felt bigger than normal, and I felt puffy.  My legs jiggled and seemed to spread to the corners of the earth when I sat down.  I must have eaten too much or exercised too little.  I must have been having a hormonal moment.  Discipline must have failed me.  I felt like my work wasn't working.  I must be losing my focus.  Oh no, I'll never get fit.  Why keep trying?
But wait!  I hadn't lost focus, except in my mind's eye.  My mind was playing a trick on me.  I couldn't see the strong me that I usually see looking back from the mirror.  My mind was showing me a flabby, ugly, fat woman.  What a dirty trick.  But haven't we all felt that way before?  Haven't we all felt the futility of our efforts and questioned the point of keeping on?
Here is what I have learned.  No matter how much we exercise and no matter how well we eat, every once in a while we will feel fat and flabby.  That magician in our minds - our emotions - waves a mean, magic wand, making us see things that aren't really there.  Our bodies don't have issues, our minds do.  The truth is that yesterday's exercises worked and tomorrow's will too.
Easy to say, hard to believe, right?  I struggle to keep my mind's eye focused.  I struggle to respect and acknowledge my emotions without letting them get in the way of my daily life.  I struggle to interpret them realistically and struggle to avoid seeing my emotions as a fat and flabby mind instead of as a fat and flabby body.  When my mind's eye gets blurry, I know it's time to step away from the mirror.  It is time to separate mind from body.  It is time to sort out the emotions that are manifesting themselves as rotten feelings about my body.  It is time to go to my journal.  I try to be honest and gutsy as I write down my thoughts and describe my feelings.  Wow!  I am always surprised when I'm able to come around to the realization that my feelings of "yuckiness" have nothing to do with my body.  Being honest with myself allows me to correctly classify my feelings as frustration, worry, or sadness, instead of disguising them as jiggles and rolls.  I'm able to admit that my physical efforts are good ones.  From journaling to jumping jacks, they are all good efforts.
The bottom line is that nobody is perfect all the time.  The goal is to continue to strive toward our own personal "perfection."  I always tell you to listen to your body, and I now want to encourage you to add a filter to that.  When you feel fat, flabby, or jiggly, use that filter to separate the emotionally charged feelings from your truly physical instincts.  Best wishes for good feelings of strength and beauty.
Molly Setnick graduated from Baylor University with a BS in Health/Fitness Studies.  She is certified as a Physical Fitness Specialist through The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, Texas and is AFAA certified to teach aerobics.  She co-writes a weekly column for the Texas Jewish Post with Jessica Setnick, MS, RD/LD called “Making Fitness Fit”. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Use Your Invoice to Increase Your Value

What does your invoice say?
Does your invoice simply list the products or services and the invoice amount? What about the application fee you waive? ...or the extra hours you don't bill your client?  My invoice used to simply list the products and services billed to my client and the rate. But, since I revamped my billing system, I've added the various products and services that I normally provide my client without charge. I list the retail rate and note "no charge" next to the rate. My client might have no idea I was providing products and services others would normally charge for unless I specifically list the various items.  Just to give you a few ideas... We have an application fee others would charge anywhere from $20 to $50. We choose not to pass this fee on to our clients, but instead note it as "no charge." If you process credit cards at your retail location, a backup imprinter (aka a 'knuckle buster') is an item that some businesses may charge anywhere from $45 to $75. We simply provide this to our clients, listing it on the invoice as "no charge."  If you provide a professional service, you may have made a conscious decision not to nickel and dime your client with lots of little fees. But unless you list those phone calls, or mailings, or extra hours you provided at no cost, your client won't have a true picture of the real value you provide.  Your invoice is one piece of communication your client is sure to read line by line, so use it to build value for your business and improve your cash flow.
Cheryl Cook works to develop business relationships where her experience, knowledge, and ideas can help improve the small business owner’s cash flow. As the Executive Director of Pro Money Inc., Cheryl conducts workshops with the Chamber of Commerce and teaches adult education classes on topics related to cash flow. Cheryl publishes an ezine every other week titled “Cash Flow Tips for Your Business.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Leadership Skills Coaching

The Old Way - Command and Control
Although workplaces and management styles have come a long way in the last decade, the command and control style of management remains common practice in many companies. This management approach basically means that employees are told exactly what to do, when to do it and even how it should be done. The manager is in charge, has all the answers, and fixes all the problems.
It's no surprise that plenty of people find this approach demotivating - and that workplaces with a command-control style are rated as pretty unsatisfying. When it comes down to it, none of us really enjoys being told exactly what to do, and neither do our employees. When people feel as though they have no say and are given no opportunity to contribute outside of their work tasks, then they switch off and become disengaged.
The command and control approach is being phased out for a more collaborative and engaging style - a 'Coach' approach or being a manager-coach. This is a positive shift - as long as we are clear about what the new expectations of managers really are.
Coaching - What does it really mean?
The coaching profession has exploded in recent years, diversifying across many different fields and industries. All of these people are dedicated to helping others achieve their goals, improve aspects of themselves or their business, or move forwards from where they are today.
In a work environment, the role of a manager-coach can be described as :
- achieving results and excellence through others rather than personally taking care of things, and
- focusing on developing employees in order to achieve business results rather than micro-managing their every move.
Adopting coaching as a management style requires managers to help other people unlock their potential and enhance their own performance. It's about supporting people to learn instead of telling them what the answers are.
The New Mindset
The mindset of the manager-coach is to create an environment that fosters learning, independent thinking and opportunities to contribute. The manager-coach doesn't want to be seen as a solution provider. Rather, they want to be seen as a facilitator, paving the way for team members to achieve their results.
Coach managers are a role model for others. They are excellent listeners and communicators, providing perspective and encouragement whilst setting high standards and expectations.
There are 8 ways to make coaching behaviours part of what you do:
Number 1:
Stop thinking about employees as people that need to be controlled or managed and give them the latitude to take actions and make decisions. Trust is a vital component of this equation. If you can't trust people to do their jobs well, then you either have the wrong people in the jobs, or you have the right people but you haven't trained them sufficiently. A third option is that the people are properly skilled, but the manager just can't let go.
Number 2:
Listen, listen listen. If there are unhappy or disgruntled people in your business, you can guarantee that at some stage they've tried to tell you what the problem is. It's likely you weren't listening (or didn't want to listen), or perhaps your initial reaction made the person think twice about bringing the problem to you. Truly listening is one of the greatest skills to develop, regardless of your role. Good listeners are genuinely interested, convey empathy, and want to find out what's behind the conversation. Great coaches are great listeners -without exception.
Number 3:
Focus on developing the strengths of each employee rather than managing merely for results. Identify each person's development needs and commit to following through on them. When people are growing and improving, their enthusiasm and effectiveness is greater. And they feel more connected and loyal to the company for supporting them.
Number 4:
Endorse effort and growth instead of pointing out failures or errors. As individuals, we all know how seldom we are given positive feedback, but how often we are reminded of our "mistakes". Instead of pointing out errors, the coach-manager accepts them as learning opportunities and uses them to develop their employees. The focus is on making sure the same mistake doesn't happen again by fixing the source of the problem.
Number 5:
Stop providing solutions. Managers often achieve their positions after being technical specialists, and so will have an opinion or view on how to "fix" situations or problems. The mindset is that it's usually faster to tell someone what to do, or do it yourself, than give your employees an opportunity to figure it out. By always providing the answers, managers take away the learning opportunity for their employees to come up with alternative (and potentially better) ways of doing things. If you catch yourself about to provide the answer, take a deep breath and ask a question like: "What would you do in this situation?"
Number 6:
As a manager, stop making all the decisions. You don't have all the answers all of the time. Engage those around you - your team and peers - when it comes to finding a way forwards. Involvement breeds ownership and engagement. The more you can find opportunities for people to contribute to the decision-making process and encourage people to have their say, the more your employees will feel connected and satisfied with the company.
Number 7:
Be unconditionally constructive - no exceptions. Don't patronise or be critical of others - take complete responsibility for how you are heard. If you catch yourself about to make negative remarks, take a breath and rephrase your words to get your message across without the emotional attachment. It is possible to phrase everything in constructive terms - even a negative sentiment. Practice makes perfect!
Number 8:
Create an environment where people want to work with you, and feel valued and respected. Make it clear to your employees what they are responsible for, but give them the latitude to go about it in their own way. In short, treat them the way you would want to be treated.
The Wrap-Up
The true success of a leader can be measured by the success of the people that work for them. When managers and leaders adopt a coaching style, the productivity, motivation and satisfaction of the employees increases, which filters through to bottom -line results. All this makes for an engaged workforce who are committed to giving the business as much as it is giving them. And as an extra incentive, adopting a coaching style of management results in a much more enjoyable workplace for everybody!