Archive for August, 2010
Job laid you off? Can’t find another job? Tired of looking for a job? Maybe starting your own business is the answer.
79 million people will start a home business in the next three years according to this recent report in Forbes magazine. American forefathers left England and came to America to build their businesses. The entrepreneur has always been the backbone of America. Edison, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Ford, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Gates and so many others were all entrepreneurs. Every one of them started and developed their own business. Why not you?
Why start your own business? You control your income potential; you do not have a boss setting a salary or bonus cap on your earnings. You set your own hours; no one tells you what time to arrive, take your break, take your lunch or what time to leave at night. You no longer have to ask permission for a day off or a vacation. Your duties are also your decision. Sound good?
Even the beautiful petals of a rose and the heady perfume of its soft fragrance have a down side. A rose bush has thorns. Owning and operating your own business requires work. Yes, I know. Bummer. The price you pay for all of those wonderful benefits is the responsibility of accomplishing all of the tasks necessary to make a business successful.
Decision one requires that you do something you know. Either you already possess the necessary knowledge to be successful or you start learning. Unless you already know exactly what you want to do, it is time to start assessing factors.
Before I started Mountain Castles Property Management, I asked questions and listened until I discovered a niche which needed to be filled. Steamboat needed a property management company specializing in single family homes. They wanted to rent homes on a yearly basis, a vacation basis or an executive basis. An executive home does not rent; however, it must be cared for during the owner’s absence. In some cases, the home needed attention even during the owner’s stay.
My knowledge was grossly insufficient in property management. Reading books, attending classes and working for another property management company provided the training.
Decision two requires writing a detailed business plan. What equipment, facilities, and supplies will be required? How much will it cost? What is the income projection? What advertising will be used to achieve that income? What about office staff? The list goes on and on. Prior planning avoids being blindsided by expenses.
Be optimistic but add a dash of realism. You will not start out earning 20,000 income per month. You will have unexpected expenses. One of the jokes in building a new home is that it will take twice as long as expected and cost twice as much. If you do not plan carefully, starting a new business can follow that same scenario.
Accurate record keeping is essential. If you have a question about keeping a receipt or not, write every detail on it and file it where you can find it. The IRS loves paper. The steps to start a small business are quite simple and direct; however skipping any of them is not an option.
- Find a niche doing something you enjoy
- Either already posses the knowledge or acquire it
- Write a detailed business plan which includes every potential cost or situation
- Implement the plan. Knowledge without action has far less value.
- Keep a very positive mental attitude and keep moving forward
- Celebrate every little success on the way to the big successes
The steps to start a small business are not difficult. In a tough economy, starting small business may be easier than finding that magic job.
For specific, individual help, join me at www.Elaine4Success.com.
Over 79 million people will start a home based business this year according to Forbes magazine. Yesterday I wrote an article on Steps to Start a Small Business.
Starting a small business from home has positives and negatives.
- You do not have any additional rent for your business location.
- You do not have any additional utility expense for your business.
- You do not require any travel time or expense. A 30 second walk from your bedroom to your office does not count as travel time.
4. In the initial stages you will probably not have any employee expense
- You work from home. You have all of the distractions of home life which makes it more challenging to focus and concentrate on business tasks.
- You have to do all of the tasks. You place the ads, you call the people, you do the training, you do the record keeping, you do the short and long range planning and you do your own research to learn more about your new business
- Wow. After all of that you are probably thinking about a nap. No can do. Until you start making money in your new small business, you are probably still working your day job. Plan at least 20 hours a week for you new business.
Being health conscious and an exercise-a-holic, I am not telling you to give up your sleep, give up healthy eating, or give up exercise. It will be more challenging for awhile to accomplish everything.
Oh, your sanity is in the mix somewhere as well. I am not telling you to give up your spouse, your kids or even your tennis racquet. You WILL have to focus your time and energy carefully. No more wasted time. Carefully examine your schedule and make every minute count.
Weigh the time freedom, lower start up cost, convenience, and unlimited income potential against the discipline, time, initial investment and learning curve required for entrepreneurial thinking. Do you have what it takes to be successful?
You may be thinking, “What if I fail?” The best way to overcome your fear of failure is to make your desire for success more powerful than you fear. What is your “why?” What is your powerful reason to push through any obstacle until you reach success?
Every business requires a powerful “why,” but a home based business seems to require an even stronger why than a brick and mortar business. Maybe it is because there is a lower investment or because it is easier to quit. You do not have a lease to break or contracts to renegotiate or transfer. Work from home business ideas sound great and they are great. The catch is the follow through.
If you have the discipline, determination and “why,” your odds of success just skyrocketed.
If you would like individual coaching or more personalized guidance on your steps to start a small business, contact me at www.Elaine4Success.com.
How many hours did you spend preparing for that presentation? Entrepreneurial success requires preparation, presentation and review. If it was a major client, it was probably several hours. You wrote, rehearsed, tweaked and worried. You probably picked out just the right outfit to make a favorable impression. The time arrived and you gave your presentation. How did it go?
Preparation is absolutely important. Delivery is also very important. What happens next? “It has been 2 days since we met, Mr. Buyer. What do you think?” Regardless of the words chosen, you probably made at least one follow up call.
What did you do about your presentation? Did you review your own performance? Reality indicates that less then 1% of the salesmen ever review their own presentation. Entrepreneurial success is epitomized by the Toastmasters speaking and leadership tracks. Toastmasters encourages every member to record a video and an audio of every speech. Just recording the speech is not enough. It is important to actually watch and listen to the recording.
How many salesmen, male and female, ever record their presentations? Out of thousands of sales professionals, you could count the number on one foot with toes left over. No wonder so many salesmen put their foot in their mouth during presentations.
A wise friend of mine, Ed Tate, recommends using debriefing questions after every presentation. (Ed Tate was the 2000 world champion of public speaking for Toastmasters.)
What happened? List the good points and the “lets do that differently next time” points.
Why did that part work or why didn’t that part work? Break the entire presentation down into small parts and review each one. Don’t beat yourself up, but do be honest. The growth is in the struggle to improve. I recently had a speech which did not go nearly as well as I would have liked. I don’t know if you ever talk to yourself, but I had a serious heart to heart with myself over that performance. “Elaine, you stayed up all night working on the last minute changes. You were not rested and refreshed.” “Elaine, you spent the time running off new handouts instead of eating breakfast. Your energy was low.” “Elaine, you drank black coffee in an attempt to boost energy all night and early in the morning rather than drinking water to stay hydrated.” “Elaine, you self sabotaged your own performance.” Even though staying up all night working, running off copies and coffee seemed like good ideas at the time, in retrospect, they were self defeating.
How many college students have crammed all night for a test and almost fell asleep during the test? Common practice but not a good idea.
What worked? What parts did not work? In any speech or presentation some parts work better than others. Unless you take the time to dissect the entire presentation, you do not know what parts to keep in for the next presentation and which parts to tweak. In order to maximize entrepreneurial success, a debrief of the presentation is essential.
What did you learn? Debrief all parts of the presentation and make concentrated efforts to strengthen the most effective parts and revise the weaker segments. Examine carefully what you learned. The growth is in the struggle.
For more tips, techniques and solid business practices, join me at www.Elaine4Success.com.
You will always be more productive, more profitable and more emotionally satisfied when you are working in your passion. When you are passionate about what you do for a living, it is easier to get out of bed in the morning. You are actually eager to get to the office. Does that feel like traveling in a foreign land without a map to you? If being happy about your career is totally foreign to you, then it is time to seriously examine your career choice.
Remember as a child how you had wild and wonderful dreams about how life could be when you grew up? What happened to that childish wonder and excitement? As a child did you imagine yourself as wealthy?
Examine your wealth builders blueprint. Did you forget to even make one or is it covered with years of dust? Unfortunately, it is probably not gold dust. Time to dust it off and reinvigorate your dreams. Your dreams are the first step in your wealth builders blueprint.
What is a dream anyway?
D – Decide what you truly want
R – Refine it down to a specific goal
E – Examine all of the factors involved in making it come true
A – Action plan to achieve
M – Maintain consistent, persistent, focused action
Deciding what you truly want can be accomplished by paying close attention to your energy. When do you feel the most invigorated and inspired? What are you doing when time just flies by without glancing at the clock every five minutes or having the overwhelming urge to jump up and get another cup of coffee? When do you feel the greatest sense of satisfaction? Where does your mind wander to in your daydreams? All of these are clues as to your passion – your area of highest productivity, profitability and satisfaction.
Refining all of these thoughts, activities and “what if” ideas into the one most important goal is a process. Be careful not to talk yourself out of your dream by saying it can’t happen. Approach the process as if EVERYTHING is possible. When you want something badly enough and really focus on it, there is usually a way to achieve it. Napoleon Hill said, “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Examine all of the factors involved. Do you need more training? Do you need to tap into a positive mastermind group who share your quest for achieving a dream? Careful, no bar room benefactors, they tend to be negative; they are dream stealers. Look at finances, education, and skills. You will have to move. Move your mind in a new direction; move your time priorities; move your seat off the couch and into action.
Form an action plan with step by step activities to move you constantly toward your goal. It may not be fast but keep checking to be certain you are on course. Revisit the plan frequently and be certain you have not veered off course.
Maintain consistent, persistent and focused action all headed toward the achievement of the goal. This means daily. Your dream becomes a 24-7-365 focus. You dream about its accomplishment at night, take action on it during the day and daydream about how your life will feel when you are successful.
A wealth builders blueprint starts with a dream. Live the life you desire and deserve.
Life isn’t perfect. You always have a choice of attitude. Choose to view the situation as a problem, a calamity and whine about how unfair life is to you. Choose to view it as fate which is totally out of your control; be a helpless victim. Or choose the viewpoint of a challenge, an opportunity for change, and a potential for improvement.
All 3 scenarios are exactly the same set of circumstances. Your attitude represents the only variable.
Have you ever wanted something very badly, almost had it within your grasp and been disappointed?
If you had been with me in that tiny little farm town in June when I was seventeen, you would have felt the hot Kansas sun. You would have smelled the sweet scent of fresh cut alfalfa hay. You would have seen me run into our farm house so excited that I almost tripped over the rug at the front door. “Dad, they gave me a full college scholarship. I’m going to go to college.” You would have seen the flush of heat and excitement on my face as I handed him the papers. “Elaine, you’re a girl. You don’t deserve a college education.”
I watched in shock and disappointment as he threw the papers on the floor and walked away. Under my breath, “It would not have cost you anything. Why wouldn’t you sign the papers?”
Decision time. Whine, curl up in a ball and cry about being a victim, or seek a solution. Attitude becomes the only variable.
Facts: scholarship received, scholarship becomes invalid without a parent’s signature, scholarship is no longer an option for me to attend college. I was so close to having my dream of a college education within my grasp only to have the hopes thrown on the floor.
When have you faced a situation in your life when you were so close, but denied at the last minute?
Solution based attitudes, determined individuals, and goal oriented thinkers find an answer. An entrepreneurial mindset or a millionaire mindset will focus on the potential solution.
Ask any man and he will confirm the mindset of a determined female. The circumstances remain exactly the same; the shift in the end result comes in the attitude. Attitude will get you everywhere; choose positive or choose negative. The entrepreneurial mindset, the millionaire mindset or the determined female mindset all revolve around a positive attitude.
After dialing numerous friends, acquaintances and friends of friends, a ride to college was located, confirmed and finalized. No job, no money and no parental approval. Remember that focused positive attitude? Three years later, my college diploma was firmly grasped in those determined female fingers. A positive attitude backed with action accomplishes amazing feats.
Even though he never told me, I heard that my father told others that he was proud of me.
Attitude will get you everywhere. Determination, a positive attitude and action achieve goals.
For more inspiration, motivation and practical techniques for success, join me at http://www.elaine4success.com/.
When your attitude shifts, your life follows suit. Everyone reaches that magic “decision time.” You know the time. You look at your life or a situation and determine “that’s enough; something is going to change NOW.”
A firm decision results in an attitude shift. Your attitude will get you everywhere. The relief associated with a major attitude shift is phenomenal. The trauma and stress are all previous to the decision. Once the decision is made, the attitude turns positive and progressive. The stress comes from the “should I” or “shouldn’t I” dilemma. Stop shoulding all over yourself and get with the program.
So many people spend so much time getting ready to get ready that they never actually make a decision. What is it in your life right now that is holding you back from making a progressive decision, a progressive attitude? Wealth builders and self-made millionaires all make decisions.
Self-made millionaires possess decision oriented habits and positive attitudes. Wealth builders know that a positive attitude will get you everywhere. It starts with a dream and builds to a goal. A plan forms designing the process to reach the goal. Absolute laser focus is applied to the implementation of the plan. Frequent benchmarks or checkpoints are established to insure the plan is on course. Will there be adjustments? Yes. Even a jet airplane does not go from San Francisco to New York without a few minor tweaks and turns.
The entire process starts with a firm decision and an attitude shift.
If your life or plan is off target, check your attitude. Queasy attitude probably means there is a decision in limbo. Clear the roadblock by determining what decision you have procrastinated about making. Make the decision. Feel the relief and the positive attitude shift.
You can never make forward progress and remain sitting on the fence. Make the decision. Establish a positive attitude. Set the goal and the plan to achieve it. Establish the course correction checkpoints and prepare to celebrate victory.
For more positive attitude tips and techniques, join me at http://www.elaine4success.com/
Poor me. Boo Hoo. Whine Whine. Maybe you will hear this attitude from a quitter, but never from an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs never quit. We may alter the course or even change directions, but never quit. Quitting simply does not exist with the entrepreneurial mindset. Does that mean that we never get discouraged or face challenges? No. Of course we do. The difference between the entrepreneur and the quitter is that an entrepreneurial mindset never quits.
|Goal Oriented||Today Oriented|
|Written Success Plan||Mood of the Moment Activity|
|Determined||Maybe and If Thoughts|
|Consistent||Sometimes – Infrequent|
|Compelling Reason to Succeed||Luke warm desire to succeed|
|Researched and Planned||Impulse of the Moment|
Goal Oriented means you have specific written goals. Each goal has a time frame to be accomplished, measurable criteria and is a stretch but yet possible. Without specific written goals, it is just a daydream or a wish.
Entrepreneurial mindsets require a detailed written success plan with each element defined. What financing will be needed? What marketing method, budget and specific marketing action steps are required? What specific benchmarks must be reached by what date to know that the business is on target toward the goal rather than wandering aimlessly. Excellent written success plans are composed in weekly, monthly, quarterly, one year, five year and ten year time frames.
Rock solid determination is not optional. One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur is the unwavering commitment to reach their goals no matter what the obstacles. This determination is frequently based on a “why.” Why will you never give up on your goals? What is so important that you will persevere through any obstacle? Go over it, around it, under it or through it; the obstacle must yield.
Consistent and persistent actions are typical characteristics of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs know that focused action is required each and every day.
Entrepreneurial mindset remains crystal clear on their “why.” Thus reason becomes compelling and long term.
Another characteristic of an entrepreneur is researching the ideal business fit for them and planning their success with a detailed written business success plan.
Entrepreneurs are never quitters. Entrepreneurs succeed partially because they never accept any other outcome.
Is your net worth sinking from the black into the red? Is your wallet shrinking right along with your confidence while you eat out of tension and your waistline goes the other direction? What you want is a tensionectomy? I’ll let you in on a little secret. Shhhh. Having the right non-conflict of interest information at the right time and knowing what action to take plumps your wallet and strengthens your self confidence.
Wealth creation strategies require passion, perseverance and a commitment toward permanent improvement. Get rich quick schemes are for the foolish, lazy and perhaps unethical. Serious wealth creation strategies require a mindset change. If your current mindset would create a path toward wealth, you would already be rich.
Millions of people invest hundreds of thousands in college, various schools and classes every year. Americans, and now the world need solid, accurate financial information. How much are you willing to invest in yourself to receive honest, non-conflict of interest education about how to earn more money and make better choices with the money you do have?
The alarm bells are ringing all over the world now. The euro is screaming in terror as its debt level rises to flood stage and it is swimming in a sea of red ink. The US Dollar has been drowning in its own red ink for months now and the massive bailouts are causing it to go down for the third time. Pouring in more debt, red ink, to an already overflowing debt level only intensifies the problem.
Now since we are doing such a terrible job of managing our own economy, we have decided to expand this disastrous flood stage economic model to Europe, Portugal, China and any other poor soul who decides to listen. Increasing debt far beyond what can ever be repaid makes no sense.
Hello, bankruptcy. When your debts far exceed your current and future income, you are bankrupt. Running the printing presses to flood the market with deflated dollars is like tying a big rock to your wallet and expecting it to float to the surface. What are we doing to ourselves? Even worse, what are we doing to future generations?
Wealth creation strategies require making wise decisions with current money and becoming wealth builders for the future.
- Stop buying things you can not afford with money you do not have to impress people who do not care.
- Start taking your financial education from people who want to educate you rather than sell you the latest and greatest “get rich quick” scheme. Real wealth does not happen overnight. It is a mindset of wise decisions at the right time backed by action.
- Stop jumping on every fad that floats through the media. Pet rocks are long gone.
The US economy and the world economy are changing rapidly. If you go with the flow of the masses, you will go down with the masses. By the time information floats down through the spin artists from the top of Wall Street through the media and talking heads down to main street, it is far too late to act on it. Come learn the facts.
Join me at http://www.elaine4success.com/ and get honest non-conflict of interest information.
Gold dust in the air is an attitude backed by action. Maintaining a positive attitude is the key to success in any endeavor. Not a key, but the key to success….entrepreneurial mindset. Your attitude screams so loudly that it drowns out the sound of your words. When you respond with a smile on your face, a glint of mischief in your eye and enthusiasm, people choose to be around you. Have that same smile, a glint in your eye and a grumpy tone of voice and people shy away. No one wants to spend time with Grumpy. A gold dust attitude expects and projects prosperity.
Grouchy people focus on the crisis. Positive people focus on the future. The sure fire test resides in the eyes. You can force a smile on your face even if you have gritted teeth but the eyes throw up red flags. Genuinely happy people smile with their eyes as well as their face. Eyes are the mirror to the soul. When your eyes smile and twinkle, the feeling is projected. Say anything you like; however, if you are not genuine and honest, your eyes will reveal your deception….entrepreneurial characteristics.
Ever notice when people openly gaze at your eyes and hold the connection? You feel closer to them and feel their sincerity. When they avert their eyes and avoid direct connection with your gaze, use caution. Positive, upbeat and genuine people enjoy connecting with you. Granted, some are shy. A shy person warms up as they become comfortable with you; they will meet your gaze as they get to know you.
Gold dust attitudes project optimism. Entrepreneurs display gold dust attitudes because they focus on opportunities; entrepreneurs focus on the future. Leaders are entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs are leaders. The tone of the entire organization takes root in the attitude of the entrepreneur. When the leader displays an attitude of gold dust in the air and backs that positive attitude with action, the followers duplicate the positive attitude.
In a challenging economy, it is even more important to maintain a positive attitude. Zig Zigler said it best, “a positive attitude will not let you do anything, but it will let you do everything better than a negative attitude.” Everyone prefers to thrive and progress forward; however, a negative attitude locks the emergency brake in place to halt all progress. If you are not going forward, you are going backward. Nothing stands still.
Gold dust in the air attitudes smile and know that opportunity exists in every economy. 16 of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial average started in a down economy. Down economy is another way of saying economic decline; also known as the D word – depression. Now before you go into panic mode at the D word, return to the gold dust in the air attitude. When the economy is down, so are the prices. This is a great time to do any remodeling, equipment replacement, or hire highly qualified personnel; availability is up and prices are down. Gold dust in the air attitudes capitalize on opportunities for future growth. Entrepreneurs who internalize the gold dust in the air attitude know that there are excellent opportunities in every economy….entrepreneurial opportunities.
Gold dust entrepreneurs look in a mirror and take responsibility for the future rather than looking through a window to the outside world for results. Remember the picture of the cute little yellow kitten that gazes into the mirror and sees a massive male lion? That cute little tabby cat understands how to look within to the future. It may be a kitty cat now but the future holds promise of bigger and better results. Entrepreneurs gaze into the mirror of now and see the vision of the future. Grumpy looks through the window, sees the down economy and focuses of the crisis. As Wayne Dyer says, ‘when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Your choice. Are you a gold dust in the air attitude entrepreneur or do you have a grumpy crisis focus? Entrepreneurs maintain a gold dust in the air attitude and back that positive attitude with action.
For specific tips and techniques to develop yourself as an entrepreneur or to develop your gold dust in the air attitude, join me at www.Elaine4Success.com.
Visionary leaders serve in the local community with food drives, clothing for the homeless, educational support through scholarships, and health and water projects on a global scale. What is your passion? Where will you carve your niche of service? Visionary leadership means seeing a need and serving others. The highest quality visionary leader is also a giver; they give of their time, talent and resources.
As a fellow successful entrepreneur and visionary leader, I absolutely subscribe to service to others. None of our lives are one dimensional. We also have our families, our careers and our spiritual life. As a Rotarian, we have a 4 way test. We have at least 4 major life areas which also demand and deserve our time attention and money.
If you ever think that your children are out of the nest and on their own, try sending one to college. “Hi, dad and mom, please send money.”
Children fall into various groups,
Baby birds – they are still in the nest
Touch and go flight patterns – they leave but return for laundry, raid the pantry and financial assistance
Circle flight pattern – they left and were out of the nest and then move back
homeFlight squadron – they leave but return with spouse and your grand children
Not that any of these are bad, but to say that children are inexpensive or maintenance free would be a gross error.
Our careers are also emotional, financial and time consumers. Our careers require our passion. Every successful person owned, lived and breathed their passion. Olympic athletes, concert master musicians, inventors and corporate moguls were all consumed with passion for their chosen mission in life. Whether you have chosen an entrepreneurial mindset or a corporate mindset, employing visionary leadership remains consistent.
Steve Jobs, the icon and founder of Apple Computers, credits his passion as his key to success. “You’ve got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to Love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
When I first started Mt. Castles, Property management, I got up early, stayed up late and had an insatiable drive. The creativity flowed and every day was an opportunity for a new adventure.
I read every book I could get my hands on about property management; I went to Inc. conferences to learn from other successful entrepreneurs. I interviewed female entrepreneurs to determine the specific challenges they encountered. In fact I published a white paper “Gender differences in Conflict Management Style in the Workplace.”
I picked the brains of every successful property manager I could interview. I took them to a long lunch and asked questions. I interviewed second home owners, tourists and long term renters. What is it you need? What is it you would like to have that you do not have available now? I looked for niches to fill.
Look at your career right now. Are you fired up to hop out of bed every morning and soar with the eagles or are you content to walk the same circle on the ground as the chickens?
How many books have you read lately about your chosen field?
When was the last time you reached outside your industry for creative ideas which work in other industries but have not been utilized in your industry yet?
When was the last time you took a successful business colleague to lunch and tapped into their mindset for success? Do you belong to a “hold your feet to the fire” mastermind club?
When was the last time you interviewed your customers, vendors, and target market to ask what they needed? Ask what they like now and what they would change if they could.
When was the last time you did a blind test and shopped your own customer service?
Tap into your passion and you will find your genius, your productivity and your enthusiasm. Tap onto your passion and take focused action and you will find your profit.
Join me at http://www.elaine4success.com/ and lets mastermind together to focus your time, energy and financial resources in your passion.