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Archive | July, 2007

Failure to Transition


Failure to Transition

Do you find it difficult to get ready and out of the house in the morning? Are you frequently late to appointments? Do you have difficulty making choices?Are you in awe of people who manage to get things done seemingly without much effort or anxiety? Do you keep lots of things out in the open so you won’t forget them? Have you been frustrated because you can’t seem to fix these problems? Well there’s good news. It’s not entirely your fault, and there are things you can do to improve!

The root problem is the failure to transition from one activity to another. This article will offer practical solutions to help you to manage your time better. If this doesn’t describe you, then chances are you know someone who could use this help.

Which Type of Person Are You?

There are two types of people in this world, monochrones and polychrones. Determining which one you are will explain a lot about yourself.

  • Monochrones see time in absolutes, are usually on time, and prefer to work on one project at a time.
  • Polychrones, on the other hand, see time as fluid, are committed to people not to time appointments, change plans often, and are usually working on more than one project at a time.

People who are polychrones have difficulty managing time not because they are lazy or inconsiderate, but because they are wired differently. It’s not good or bad. It just is. The key is for Polychrones to leverage their strengths and to learn skills that will help them overcome the challenges.

Leveraging Strengths

The strengths of Polychrones are their ability to work on more than one project at a time and their strong long term relationships. How can you leverage these? Seek out roles at work and elsewhere in your life that require these abilities. Try to stay clear of roles where you may get bored with only one or limited projects or lack of variety. You may want to find roles in which building long term relationships is important and avoid roles where you don’t have the opportunity to work with people over long periods of time, as this might be a source of frustration for you.

Solutions to Challenges

The main challenge for Polychrones in modern life is the ability to transition from one activity to the next. Polychrones are a perfect demonstration of Newton’s First Law of Motion: a body in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. If you’re a Polychrone, you’ve experienced this. You immersed in your work when the phone rings. This interruption causes you to “wake up” from your work and, looking at your watch, you panic as you realize you’re going to be late for a meeting. Argh! Is there any way to keep this from happening all the time? Yes and it’s all about learning how to stop, how to disengage. Here’s how:

1. Become Aware of Your Nature. By reading this article, you’ve probably had a light bulb turn on and you’re nodding your head saying, “Oh my, I had no idea!” Ok. Now you know why these things happen.

2. Decide You Want to Change How You Manage Time. If how you manage time doesn’t cause major problems in your life and you’re not motivated to change, then you may not need to. However if you want to stop: being late, letting people down, feeling anxiety when switching gears, and going into panic mode because you’re late again, then make a commitment mentally and read on.

3. Accept Transition Discomfort. For Polychrones there is mental discomfort when switching from one activity to the next and it can be as strong as a child reaching for his mother as she leaves him with a babysitter. Accept that this discomfort will be short lived if you allow yourself to become engaged in the next activity. Also the following steps will help minimize the transition discomfort as well.

4. Accept That Time Moves Faster Than You Realize. Yes, this is something you need to do. For people with many interests and for whom stopping is difficult, this is an important step. Accept that you can’t do everything you want in one day. You need to choose the things that are most important and then…go to Step #5.

5. Plan Your Day with Ultra Realistic Timeframes. Instead of simply jumping into your day, have a pen and paper near your bed. Plan out exactly what you will do today and next to each write down the realistic time it will take. This will help keep you from becoming distracted. Set leaving times 15-30 minutes ahead of when you think you need to leave. Carry your list around with you in the morning before you leave the house. Check things off as you go, and keep moving. Keep distractions at bay. Don’t watch TV or listen to the radio. Wait until you are commuting. You can listen to the radio or if on a train, read the paper then.

6. Nip Distractions in the Bud! As you are moving through your day and something grabs hold of your interest, ask yourself:

  • Do I have time for this now?
  • Is this important to me?

If it is important and you can’t fit it into 2 minutes, then WRITE IT DOWN and schedule it for later. Carry a capture notebook with you at all times. A PocketMod is a great tool for this because it is so small. Then each morning or evening when you plan your next day, you can schedule in those distractions for when you have time. And you may find that some of those things will not be important anymore. That’s OK.

7. Plan Your Transitions. Stopping is the problem. The solution is setting a plan in writing and in your mind where you can visualize how you will stop one activity before moving onto the next. This may sound very “kindegarten” to you, but it works!

Here’s an example: Here’s your a portion of your day:

  • 10am until 12 noon – Work on Project X.
  • 12 noon – Lunch Date .

Time estimates:

  • 15 minutes to walk from your office to where your lunch appointment is.
  • 15 minutes to pack your briefcase, check your notes and use the bathroom before leaving.
  • 10 minutes to wind down your work on Project X for noting where you left off and what your next actions will be when you work on this again.
  • Total Time Needed before your lunch appointment: 40 minutes.

That means you can only work on Project X until 11:20am.
Set a reminder that you will hear and respond to! Suggestions:

Plan how you will stop for all major transitions of your day. Watch how much of a difference this will make!

8. Trick Yourself with Pre-Planned Interruptions. These are interruptions you can’t ignore. It might be having a friend come by your office or home. It might be a phone call with your friend. It could be you put your child or spouse in charge of the alarm clock. When it goes off have your child or spouse tell you it’s quitting time. Make sure you listen to them and thank them so that they will help you in the future. Set the interruption time for 5 minutes before you need to start the next activity. Let your interrupter know ahead of time that you will be taking 5 minutes or less to close up shop after they tag you. To be best prepared for this, when you start the activity, think about the steps you’ll need to take to stop. Even write them down if that helps. Over time, try to make it a goal to close up shop before they get there!

9. Discover the Benefits of Being Early. For many people who are chronically late, in addition to having trouble transitioning, there is the dislike of being early. If you share this feeling, then here is a simple solution. Always carry with you something you can do when you arrive early. This could be a notebook, a book, magazine, knitting, your web-enabled phone or whatever you can do in small amounts of time. Or carry nothing extra, and make a habit of taking a mini meditation nap while waiting.

10. Celebrate Success. You can chart your success or just start noting mentally each time you are early or on time for an appointment. Smile for each successful transition you complete. Reward yourself with fun time where you can daydream, waste time at will and browse all the interesting things of life. Just remember to plan how you’ll stop! 🙂

Resources:

For more information on this see Martha Beck’s article called Transition Anxiety in O, The Oprah Magazine.

Test to see if you are Monochrone or Polychrone over at O Magazine.

Getting Things Done by David Allen is a great system for anyone including Polychrones.

Getting Things Done Daily Guide in PocketMod format.

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25

Have You Been to Truemors Yet?



What is Truemors?

This is a cool, new, online, information sharing medium, co-founded by Guy Kawasaki, Will Mayall, and Kathryn Henkens. If you like Digg and similar sites, but would like a little less negativity, you’ll probably want to check out Truemors. It’s like a cross between Twitter and Digg, but so far without the nastiness that you see on Digg. They are looking for true rumors or stories that will democratize the spread of information.

Here’s how they describe themselves: “Truemors is a web site that enables you to “tell the worldâ€?—within the bounds of good taste and the law anyway. You can post your rumors, news, and sightings, and anyone with web access can read and rate them within minutes.” They are not looking for “crap” (although they do have a heading for it). The crap they don’t want is defined as “profanity, pornography, bullying, libel, slander, and advertising….(and) gossip.”

The content they are looking for is “true rumors that is relevant, helps you make sense of the world, and also possibly entertains you. Gossip, by contrast, is less urgent, less useful, and almost always deals with people’s private lives.” Gossip is not what they are looking for.

Truemors for Friends (TFF)

This is being tested on Facebook currently if you want to check it out. They are looking for beta testers. It sounds pretty cool. You can share information with just your friends, and only the ones you select. The information on TFF won’t post to Truemors.com which is for “sharing with the world.” TFF is for “sharing with your friends.”

Here’s how to get started with TFF:

  1. Sign-in to your Facebook account.
  2. Go to Truemors for Friends and click on Add Application.


Usefulness Value

You can browse or search for new information in the following categories: Auto, Business, Crap, Entertainment, Food, Gaming , Health, News, Odd, Politics, Science, Sex, Sports, and Tech. The information on this site currently seems to be living up to it’s name. Information here seems to be reliable. The idea is that if it is true, it will get voted on more. And if stories are real “crap,” not the category “Crap,” then anyone can email them to notify them of that it should be reviewed.

You can post your own information that you discover by phone, email, text message, or online form. You don’t have to register to post a truemor. But if you want to register you can and then you’ll be able to add pictures and videos too.

Entertainment Value

There is a high level of entertainment value with this site. You can discover many interesting stories and bits of information to mentally chew on. Here are some examples:

The Final Verdict

Head on over there today! This is a cool place to share information that is true. Since Truemors is so new, as a contributor you have a chance to make a name for yourself with the truemors you post. As a commenter you can share your opinion and leave a link to your website. As a reader, you can pick up some cool new information without the hype and negativity you might see on some other information sharing sites.

Please Share!

What do you think of Truemor? How do you use it? What would you like to see changed on Truemor? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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15

How to Be a Great Salesperson


How to Be a Great Salesperson
This article is for everyone, even for people who are not technically in sales. Why? Because we are all in sales. Anytime you are trying to influence someone’s actions or thoughts, then you are selling. The best selling happens when you are trying to meet someone’s needs. This is when you will be most successful. This guide will outline the top ways to become a superstar sales person.

I’ve condensed my greatest sales learnings from 17 years of sales experience and combined it with the very best tips from the best sales books all into this one article. I’m a big fan of reading books and I reference several of them at the end of this article. At the same time I’m a bigger fan of absorbing some quick basic information and then immediately applying it in real life.

Sales Concepts for Success

1. Be Organized. This is very important. Planning is absolutely crucial to success:

  • Establish your Yearly Goals (free guide) and break them down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals so that you know what you need to be working on. Post your Goals in plain view so you see them all the time, especially your daily goals.
  • Be sure to do a Weekly Review of your Sales Funnel. Check to see that your results are matching up with your goals. If they’re not, then it’s time to recalibrate your strategy.
  • Plan your day everyday for maximum productivity and success.
  • Very Smart Practice: On a yearly basis (and quarterly basis too if you can), analyze what activities or clients brought you the most business? What activities were the least effective? Adjust your plan to do more of the high revenue producing activities and spend more time with clients and prospects who bring you the most business. Eliminate the less effective practices. Work smarter, not harder. Reviewing your results and adapting your strategy over time brings the sales process full circle.


2. Planning is Good, But Remember to Be Action Oriented. Makes your calls. Set appointments. Meet with clients. Have lunch with power networkers with whom you can learn and work for mutual success. Inspire prospects to take the next action. Be bold. There is no failure, just learning experiences. Balance your planning time with action time. Your plan doesn’t have to be A+ perfect. You can hone it over time. Plan and then get moving!

3. Uncover Needs. This is your most important task. If you don’t understand your prospect’s needs, you’ll never sell anything except by accident. So much could be written on this one point alone. But here is what you need to know in a nutshell:

  • Start with more open-ended questions where the prospect can talk a lot.
  • Make sure you keep quiet while the prospect is talking!
  • As your meeting is closing down ask more closed-ended questions which will be answered with one word such as yes or no questions. Be creative with uncovering needs.
  • Be direct when you can and be indirect when you sense resistance.
  • Don’t hold back because you think you’re prying. Remember you’re here to help. You can only do this if you understand your prospect’s needs.

4. You’re Here to Help: Meeting Your Clients’ Needs. The reason sales people get a bad rap is because of the ones who try to force feed their clients. That is not selling. That is bullying. Your true role as a sales professional is “Needs Consultant,” helping your clients meet their needs, solve their problems, ease their pain, and bring them joy. Sometimes you need to help clients become aware of what their true needs are. Many people go through life thinking they want X. Sometimes you need to help them turn on the light to illuminate their real needs which may be better served by product/service Y. Always confirm that you understand a need. Then match it with a benefit from your product or service that solves your client’s need.

5. Match needs with benefits. How do you do this? Complete this exercise so that benefits roll off your tongue easily when talking with actual prospects. Here’s what you do:

  • Title a sheet of paper horizontally or use a spread sheet with the columns: “Features” “Benefits” “Needs” “Benefit statement.”
  • Write down all the features of your products/services. Next to each feature, write down the answer to this questions “So What?” The answer to that will be your benefit. (You’ve heard about doing this before, but have you really done it? Don’t rely just on what the company puts out either. Be creative and come up with lots of benefits.) Example: Feature: Web access on your phone. So What?! => Benefit: You can access any information from anywhere.
  • Next take tiny yellow stickies and write down all the different problems, pains, desires, your clients and prospects have.
  • Under each problem write down what the need is. Example: Problem: Getting lost finding addresses when showing clients real estate. Need: Instant direction information.
  • Next take all your clients problems and match them to the appropriate benefit.
  • Write in the needs in the “Needs” column.
  • Last, write out a Benefit Statement for each feature that you can practice. Example: “You’ll never get lost again with the XYZ phone because it allows you to get information anywhere anytime.”

This exercise takes some time but it is one of the most powerful things you can do to prepare yourself for success. The best salespeople I know do preparations similar to this.

6. Tap into Feelings. Many people will start with a rational approach to making a decision, but in the end, how a person feels in their gut will often determine their final choice. Make sure you find out how they feel in addition to their rational needs. And it is important to use the language of feelings and to demonstrate that you understand. Examples: “How does it make you feel that your current advisor never calls you?” or “What was your feeling about that house we just toured?” A handy phrase is “I know how you Feel. I’ve Felt that way too. And what I’ve Found is..(insert helpful advice here)…” I call this the 3F’s.

7. Get a Read on Your Prospect. Here’s where you need to listen to your intuition a bit.

  • It’s helpful to assess the level of desire a client has for meeting their need. Where do they fall on the spectrum from desperate (will buy anything) to confident (their awareness and feeling of need is not high enough to spur action)? Use this analysis to decide how much time to spend with them. Don’t knock your head against a brick wall trying to convert someone who feels no pain. But if you see a need that they don’t, then be sure to follow up with them in the future. Be there when they start to feel the pain of their need. Example: Prospect who is looking at new cars, but is very emotionally tied to his old clunker. You can see that he needs a new car, but he can’t see it as clearly as you yet because of his satisfaction with his current car. Be in touch with him so you can be there when his beloved car bites the dust.
  • The other thing you want to read is your prospect’s personality and style. You will do well to somewhat mirror that style so that he or she will feel comfortable with you. Be too bold with a conservative person and you’ll lose them. Be too “soft-pedal” with a type-A person and they’ll be gone before you can blink. Be yourself, but be aware of how your prospect likes to interact and accommodate them.

8. Know What Your Goal is with Each Sales Interaction. This is important so that you will know when your interaction is finished. In sales you need to be efficient for both your sake and your clients’ sake. This will keep you from wasting time. The best way to do this is to actually write down your goals ahead of the meeting.

Example: I want to:

  • confirm my client’s top 5 “must haves” in a home.
  • get their 10-scale rating on each home I show them today.
  • know their favorite and least favorite thing about each home we see.
  • schedule our next meeting.
  • If there is a home they love, I want to establish next steps to keep the momentum moving forward.
  • ask if I met all their needs for this meeting.

9. Asking for the Sale and Closing. Closing is not just about asking for the sale, but continually moving towards that point. An example is asking for the next appointment and setting mutually agreed upon next steps for both you and the prospect.

Closing, of course, also means asking for the sale. It is amazing how many sales people climb the sales mountain and then fail to take this last crucial step. Don’t be one of them! Ask for the sale! What have you got to lose?

When should you ask for the sale? Once you’ve confirmed that you correctly understand a client’s needs and you’ve explained how the benefits of your product or service meet their needs, then ask for the sale. There are many ways to do this. This is where the art of sales comes in. Read your prospect and ask in the way that will get you a yes. This takes practice. So go ahead and practice, practice! Consult with other top sellers to learn how they speak and then use what will feel natural to you.

If you get a “no,” find out why. Are you dealing with a misunderstanding, an objection, a concern, or perhaps indifference? Explore the root reason for saying no. If the client still has a need and wants to meet it, and if you have a product/service that meets this need, then continue on. If one or more of these elements is found to be missing then it is time to move on to the next prospect. But at least you tried!

10. Follow-up and Service. Follow-up is your continued communication with prospects. Service is your continued relationship with clients.

  • Follow-Up: Unless there is no need to meet or unless the prospect tells you to not contact them anymore, make sure you find a way to follow-up that not only keeps you in contact, but also provides value, whether via phone, email, newsletter, etc.. This is almost like your audition to show how you will provide service once they become a client.
  • Service: Once you’ve made the sale, the relationship is just beginning. Make sure that your client gets the best service. Set reminders for staying in touch. It’s easier to make a new sale to an existing client than a prospect. And with a happy clients, you’ll be more likely to earn a referral.

11. Ask for Referrals. The 80/20 rule applies here. 20% of your clients will provide 80% of your referrals. Find those 20% and cultivate them. There are certain people in this world who really LIKE to help others with referrals. You can ask every satisfied client for a referral, but usually it will only be a handful that actually refer you business. That’s ok. And don’t be afraid to be specific about the types of referrals you are looking for. Treat these clients like gold and watch the referrals stream in. There are many ways to ask for a referral. Here are some ideas:

  • Actually ask for a referral upon completion of a meeting.
  • Offer an incentive for referrals. Put this on your website and all your marketing materials.
  • Send out a survey to clients asking their opinion of your service and would they refer someone, “if so please fill in name or call me. If not, how can service be improved? What would make you want to refer business to us?”
  • Host a seminar for clients (make sure it is valuable and serve food!) and request, encourage, or invite them to bring a friend.
  • Offer an affiliate program.

12. Perseverance. Sales is a numbers game: SW³ = “Some Will. Some Won’t. So What!” You won’t win them all, and that’s ok. We all know the baseball analogy of how even the best batters miss the ball about 70% of the time. So don’t sweat the individual sales loss. Just move on to the next. With that said you do want to analyze your result patterns over time and adjust your strategy when you want different results. The idea here is to stay disciplined especially on bad days, stay focused on meeting needs, and keep evolving your strategy, tactics and skills. Slow and steady wins the race. Stay upbeat and when you’re down get rest and/or seek out positive people to help lift your spirits.

13. Look for Opportunity. Always be analyzing situations. Is there a local event you can leverage? Watch the news. Always ask yourself, “Is there a need for my business in this that could help me reach my goals? Can I fit it into my schedule? Will it be more or less effective than other activities I have planned?” Look for opportunity, analyze it’s potential, and if it is worthwhile then strike while the iron is hot! If you observe yourself shying away from a high potential idea because it’s something you’ve never tried before, challenge yourself to do it! Seek out helpers or partners! Go ahead, amaze yourself!

14. Become a Networking King. They say eating lunch alone is wasted time. Depending on your field, you should set a goal for 1-10 networking lunches per month. You should attend at least three networking functions per quarter. They don’t have to be obvious things. It might be going to a golf tournament. It might be going to an art gallery opening. Go to where your prospects and industry colleagues hang out. Include networking goals in your overall goals. Like any of these elements networking takes time to build so take it slow and build upon your successes. And by all means, have fun with it!

15. People Buy from Positive People. Be enthusiastic in your own way. Be authentic. Take responsibility if things go wrong. Watch how you speak in front of clients. Don’t blame others. Don’t complain. Don’t trash the competition. Life is Good! Life is challening, and that’s what makes it fun! Let your passion show! And, of course, on the inside, believe in yourself. You can do it!

16. Be Driven. Tap into what motivates you and connect to that everyday. Is it helping people? Is it helping your family? Is it a lifestyle you desire? A home, a car? Find ways to to get your energy flowing. The best way to do that is to move your body. Do some jumping jacks, do some stretching up to the sky, do some crazy facial exercises, and then laugh. Now you’re ready to tackle your cold calling block, or your seminar, your meeting, whatever.

17. Be Your Own Toughest Critic. Be brutally honest with yourself. Are you making real progress? In sales, the numbers don’t lie. Of course at first you need to build, but make sure you’re getting some wins. If you’re not, then don’t get sad or mad, just figure out a new way. The best sales people I know are always tweaking their strategy. Don’t let yourself get comfortable. The only thing that should stay the same is that you constantly seek better ways to improve your results.

18. Seek Guidance from Top Dogs in Your Field. This is one of the most important items. Leapfrog your knowledge by learning from those who’ve already made some mistakes. Offer to take them out to lunch. Ask to “ride-along” on their sales meetings so you can observe firsthand their magic. Ask them the secrets to their success. And offer to help them out in some way to repay their guidance.

19. If I Trust You, I Will Buy from You. Honesty, Integrity, Credibility. Build this with your actions. Do what you say you’re going to do. Answer the phone promptly. Return calls ASAP even if to say, “I got your call and I will be free to talk at this specific time.” Write down questions you don’t have the answers to and then get back to them promptly. Saying “I don’t have the answer to that right now” is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of honesty. Following up on that question later is a demonstration of reliability. Use these opportunities well.

20. What is Your Unique Selling Proposition? What is your “elevator speech?” This is the 1-2 minute answer to “What do you do? And, why should I do business with you?” Be outrageously creative. Be memorable. Be concise. Continue to work on this over time to get it just right. And have fun with it!

21. Use the Simplest Method Possible for Tracking Your Sales Funnel. You will have Unqualified Prospects, Qualified Prospects, Best Few Prospects, and Closed Sales. Most likely your company will have a system for this. But if they don’t or if you have your own business, find the simplest system that will do what you need. There are two major players ACT! (software based) and Salesforce (online). And now there’s a new online player from 37 Signals called HighRise. It is free for 250 contacts or less. Above that there is a monthly fee. Make sure you’re constantly feeding your sales funnel and that prospects are moving along through to closing. Analyze what is working and what is missing in your approach.

22. Stay on Top of Your Field. People like to buy things that are shiny, new, and sparkly. If your product or service isn’t new, make sure it is “sparkly” in your clients’ eyes. How? Simple. Make sure that you are meeting their most current needs. Your product or service doesn’t need to be new, but it does need to keep up with customers’ ever evolving needs.

23. It’s Not About Price, It’s About Value and Relationship. People want to solve their problems and fulfill their desires and they want to feel good about how they accomplished that. That’s value. Value is also giving extras to your clients with no extra cost and no expectations. There’s value in a relationship too. People like to be comfortable and trust the person they do business with. Show them how your product or service will meet their needs and give them something to brag about with their friends. Bragging Example: “I bought my new car at ‘Medium Priced Cars R Us.’ Anytime my car needs servicing, I get a free loaner car. And this dealership has been ranked 5-Stars by it’s clients consistently for the last 5 years. The sales person was helpful and patient with us insisting that we take our time. And when it came time to negotiate, they were very fair. And since we’ve bought the car, our sales person has called us to see how things were going with the new car.”

24. Please, Don’t Be Afraid. Really! If you feel the fear or hesitancy inside you, break through it! You have nothing to lose! Remember you are here to help. If someone doesn’t want your help, if someone is rude to you, no problem. Just move onto the next prospect. There’s billions of fish in the sea! Don’t be afraid to fail either. Learn from your experiences. Analyze them. How can you do things better next time? Sales is a big puzzle. You don’t fall apart when two puzzle pieces don’t match, right? Neither should you with sales that don’t pan out. Sales is fun! Enjoy the ride!

25. Celebrate Success and Cultivate Balance. (Balance? What’s that?) No really. Take care of your body, spirit, and personal relationships too. This can be difficult for real ‘Type-A’ personalities, which many sales people are. Make this part of your plan. Schedule it in. If this is hard for you, then enlist the help of people you know are good at this. They’ll love it and it will help you.

Getting It All Done


How do you accomplish all these elements? To quote Ghandhi, “Go slow to go fast.” This means focus on a few concepts at a time. Once those are firmly entrenched habits, then move onto the next few. Work on those until they are habits, and so on. And keep this reference handy. Refer back to it often and brush up on the ones you think could give your sales results the boost they need.

Resources:

Recommended Courses:

  • The Quantum CookbookAs a salesperson, just like a pilot, knowing where you want to go is the surest way to get there. Having a plan and taking action every day consistently is key. This course keeps your mind focused on your goals, using the power of intention to ensure you always follow through. And it has a 200% money back guarantee. (Yup, that means they’ll refund you twice your purchase price if you don’t find value in the course! You risk nothing!)

Online:

  • HighRise – Brand New!! Free Contact Management System from 37 Signals. Service plans for over 250 contacts has a monthly fee. The free program includes tasks with categoires and contacts with tags. There’s more and you should definitely check it out!!
  • BackPack – basic account is free. This is a to-do list program with multiple pages (each with multiple lists), calendar, reminders and whiteboards that are a group-type project application. There are so many uses for BackPack it’s pretty much limitless. For a sales person you could have a page for Networking Ideas, Marketing Ideas, Goals page, Funnel Summary page and so on. You’re only limited by your creativity.
  • ACT! – software based (CRM) customer relationship management application for tracking your sales leads and client relationships.

Books:

Please Share!

What are your best sales tips? What are you selling? Leave a link! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, please SHARE THIS below with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

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70

Hit the Shuffle Button

Hit the Shuffle Button

I have a new post over at Lifehack.org today.

Do you find yourself living the same routines over and over? Need some variety? Well head on over to this article for some different ideas on how to expand your mind, opportunities, and horizons starting today.

Lifehack.org: Hit the Shuffle Button

hit the shuffle button

Please Share!

Hope to see you there with some comments! And if you like it please take a moment to give a thumbs up on Stumble Upon or your other favorite social networking site. Thanks!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

Important Programming Note: “How to Be a Great Salesperson” will post on Thursday! Stay Tuned by subscribing!

 

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1

Your Most Productive Week Ever!


Your Most Productive Week Ever!

Do you long for the elusive “productive week?” I do. And what I have found is that it can be achieved with some very simple steps. Follow these and you’ll see your productivity soar. to-do

1. Get a Jumpstart. Plan your week early, either on Sunday or early Monday morning before you can be interrupted. To successfully get up early Monday morning, set a target bed time for Sunday. If you don’t plan, you might end up staying up late. If you’re reading this at work on Monday morning, instead of diving into your tasks, take the next 30-60 minutes to plan.

2. Weekly Review. The first thing to do is to review your inbox (physical and email), all your projects, goals, and all your to-do lists. Scan for items you need to get done this week. See “Resources” at the end of this article for guides on weekly review.

3. Choose Next Actions for Upcoming Week. Write down, type, or highlight the tasks you want to accomplish this week. Don’t worry about dates or priorities yet. Just choose the ones you think you need to get done this coming week and which you’ll have time to complete.

4. Assign Dates and Priorities. Schedule each of these tasks to a date and prioritize tasks for each day. You can use your calendar, to-do list, or whatever works for you. For this exercize I use a sheet of paper with M T W T F Sa Su written on it. I can either work off this list directly or enter them into electronic calendar or to-do list, whatever seems most appropriate. Success Tip: Only schedule 60% of your day. If you work 8 hours per day then only schedule approximately 5 hours worth of work. The rest of the time will be naturally taken up by interruptions, breaks, and unplanned tasks. The idea is to set yourself up for success. Experiment with scheduling the percentage of your day that works best for you. Be sure to take into account times estimates for each task. Be as realistic as possible.

5.Tasks that Don’t Fit into This Week Stay on the Shelf. Cross them off your weekly list and leave them on the list they came from. You’ll get to review them again next week.

6. Do. Work on your tasks. Remove distractions. Try not to multi task so you can be most effective. Identify and avoid time wasters such as checking email frequently. Check it only twice a day for efficiency. Each day conduct:

  • Mid-Day Check-in on progress
  • End of Day Review
  • Plan Your Next Day – make any adjustments necessary to what you set out in your weekly planning.

7. Dealing with Setbacks. Analyze how they happen. If they come from procrastination then find a way to mentally align your tasks with the pleasure of accomplishment, and consider getting a “goal buddy.” If setbacks stem from interruptions and unplanned events, analyze whether there is some way to avoid these. If not, then you may simply need to set more realistic time expectations to avoid frustration. It’s helpful to realize that you’ll never cross off everything from your to-do list. That’s ok. Just make sure you take care of your highest priority tasks  first!

8. Celebrate a Little Each Day. At the end of a full day, do something that you enjoy and that rejuvenates you!

9. Dealing with Failure. If you feel like you’re failing, most likely the best thing you should do is get some rest if you are feeling down or tired. This could be a break, a nap, or a good night’s sleep. After resting, get your body moving with some exercise. This will get the blood pumping and give you the momentum needed to start anew. Approach failure rationally. Failure is an opportunity to learn. What can you change going forward? The past is gone. Learn from it and let it go. The future is yours to mine for gold!

10. The Mid-Week Start Over. If you’re having a bad or mediocre week, don’t wait until next week to start over. Start Today. Go to Step #1. Start Now!

Wishing you a super productive week!

Resources:

Please Share!

What do you hope to accomplish Today and This Week? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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32

A Game That Will Improve Any Relationship


Getting To Know You

One of the best ways to improve and deepen a relationship is mutual understanding. What’s the best way to achieve this? Asking questions, really listening, and then sharing your stories too. I originally developed this idea as a way to grow your relationship with your child, and then it occurred to me that this communication game could benefit all relationships. How well do you really know your child, spouse, mate, or friend? Sometimes we take our closest relationships for granted. This game provides the spark to create a richer relationship!

What follows is a game you can “play” with another person to learn more about each other, have a few laughs and deepen your bonds. It can be “played” one-on-one or in a group. Some examples of where this could be beneficial:

  • Parents & Children
  • Parent & Child
  • Newly Dating Couples
  • Married Couples
  • 2 Friends or Group of Friends
  • Grandparents & Grandchildren
  • Parents and their Adult Children

The Relationship Game

Take turns asking and answering the questions below. There are no exact rules. The idea is to have fun mostly with just the conversation. You can modify questions for younger children. You can introduce drawing or painting, singing or charades. You could throw a bean bag back and forth each time you do a new question? You can do this standing, sitting, or walking. It can be played inside, outside or over the phone. It’s not a competitive game. It’s a game of fun, warmth, and relationship building.

Print out the questions below. (OR CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FREE PDF OF The Relationship Game) You can either take turns asking questions you like from the list or you can randomly choose numbers, whatever works for you. If other questions follow naturally, all the better. Let the conversation flow! Let us know how you modify the game for more fun!

The Questions (for any age – feel free to modify)

  1. What is your favorite color?
  2. Who do you admire most?
  3. Who is your best friend?
  4. What is your funniest habit?
  5. What do you dislike/hate?
  6. What was your favorite dream ever?
  7. What was your scariest dream ever?
  8. What famous person would you like to have dinner with? What would you talk about?
  9. Have you ever dreamed you could fly?
  10. What is your favorite smell?
  11. What is your favorite song?
  12. What do you like to do when you’re bored?
  13. What’s your favorite adventure you’ve been on?
  14. What are you most scared of?
  15. If you could live anywhere and bring anyone you want, where would you live?
  16. What place are you keen to visit? Far away and nearby.
  17. What are you most proud of?
  18. Did/Do you have an imaginary friend? Tell us more.
  19. What is your favorite holiday? Why?
  20. What is your favorite holiday memory?
  21. What was the best and worst day of your life?
  22. What is your favorite food? Least favorite?
  23. What is your favorite word? Least favorite?
  24. How do you express your creativity?
  25. Where do you believe we come from before birth?
  26. Where do you believe we go after death?
  27. What is something that always makes you laugh?
  28. What person always makes you laugh?
  29. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  30. What would be the consequences if you got your wish?
  31. Do you collect or live simply? Explain.
  32. What drives you crazy?
  33. What makes you smile?
  34. What do you know about your heritage? Grandparents and back.
  35. Do you have a favorite story from your family history?
  36. What’s the most shocking thing you ever did?
  37. What would you like to have a “do-over” on?
  38. What is your favorite story to tell?
  39. What’s your favorite animal? Why?
  40. What is your favorite season? Why?
  41. What is your favorite hobby?
  42. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
  43. What one thing do you want to change in yourself?
  44. When did you feel most alone?
  45. When did you feel most happy?
  46. What do you do to cheer yourself up?
  47. With whom would you like to trade places for a day?
  48. What makes you mad?
  49. Do you want to have children?
  50. What’s your favorite thing you own?
  51. What do you wish you could do?
  52. What are the colors of the numbers 1-10? Letters?
  53. What are you afraid of?
  54. What would your dream house be like?
  55. Do you believe in angels?
  56. Are you ticklish?
  57. What is your favorite place?
  58. What’s your favorite place in nature?
  59. Which do you like better: hot or cold?
  60. What was your favorite Halloween costume?
  61. What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?
  62. What is your favorite memory from high school? college? grade school?
  63. What makes you sad?
  64. What does your name mean? Why did your parents choose it?
  65. What are your favorite clothes?
  66. Who is your favorite person to talk to? Why?
  67. What’s your favorite hiding place?
  68. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  69. What do you want people to remember you for?
  70. What is your most annoying habit (to others)?
  71. In your most difficult relationship, what makes it so?
  72. How do you show compassion?
  73. What are you always curious to learn more about?
  74. Whom do you miss?
  75. What do you like to teach?
  76. What is your favorite gadget?
  77. What do you like to write about?
  78. What is your favorite “bad” thing to do?
  79. What is your favorite movie?
  80. Favorite book?
  81. Favorite band? Song?
  82. Do you like to go camping?
  83. What fascinates you?
  84. What makes you special?

Questions Especially (but not exclusively) for Young Children

  1. Do you remember being born?
  2. What’s your favorite story about when you were a baby?
  3. What’s your favorite game?
  4. Who is your favorite hero?
  5. Who is the worst villain?
  6. What can you do better than mommy, daddy or sibling?
  7. What are you really good at?
  8. If you could have any pet, which one would you choose?
  9. If you have a child someday, what would you like to give to him/her?
  10. What’s your favorite thing to cook with mommy/daddy?
  11. What color are your eyes?
  12. What color are you inside?
  13. What word do you think is really funny?
  14. What do you like to draw/paint?
  15. What songs do you like to sing?
  16. What is your favorite book/story?
  17. Can you play music? How?
  18. Where were you before you were born?
  19. Why is the sky blue?
  20. Why is there day and night?
  21. What is mommy/daddy really good at?
  22. Whom do you like to cuddle and kiss?
  23. Where do fruits and vegetables come from? How?
  24. If you were King/Queen of the house, what would you change? Rules, things, etc?
  25. What wish would you ask of the wishing star?
  26. How do you make people smile?
  27. How do you make people laugh?
  28. Is there anything special you can do with your body? (jumping, dancing, funny faces, etc)
  29. What do you hope never happens?
  30. What do you think is scary?
  31. What do you notice when you go outside your house?
  32. Which do you like better, sand or snow? Why?
  33. What’s the scariest animal?
  34. If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why? What would you do?
  35. Do you have any secrets to tell?
  36. What is something you do every day?
  37. Can you name all the people in your family? Extended family too.
  38. What toy would you like to make?
  39. What color is a smile?
  40. What’s your favorite bug?
  41. How do you know when you are tired?
  42. How do you know when you are hungry?
  43. What games do like to play when you’re alone?
  44. Can you tell if an apple is good by how it looks on the outside?
  45. What’s the funniest looking fruit or vegetable?
  46. What are the morning sounds you hear?
  47. What are the night sounds you hear?
  48. What is your favorite park?
  49. What do you like to do at the park?
  50. What’s your favorite thing to do at the beach?
  51. Can you see underwater?
  52. How does a fish breathe?
  53. Can you make a rhyme? Can you add a tune to it?
  54. Which do you like better: the woods, the beach, mountains, field, etc?
  55. What’s your favorite thing to do in summer? Winter?
  56. What was life like in the old days?
  57. Tell me about the dinosaurs.
  58. Tell me about your brothers/sisters/cousins/friends?
  59. What’s your favorite baby animal?
  60. Do you ever fight? With whom? Why? How?
  61. How do you show love?
  62. How do you help someone who is sad/hurt/sick?
  63. What ways do you help out with chores?
  64. What does mommy/daddy/grandpa/grandma always tell you not to do?
  65. Did you ever have a hard day? Why?
  66. What is the most fun?
  67. What is sooo funny?
  68. What is your favorite thing to feel?
  69. What rules do you get to make?
  70. What is a star?
  71. What is the moon? Why is it there?
  72. What mysteries do you want to know?
  73. What mysteries have you solved?
  74. Did you ever track an animals footprints? Tell me more.
  75. What’s your favorite game?
  76. What do you always do before bed?
  77. Describe yourself. Looks, type of person.

Want More Life Improvement Tips?

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Further Resources:

Are you looking to change your life for the better? Your relationships, finances, career, health – could they be improved? Check out this highly recommended program to help you finally realize your dreams:

  • Life Makeover– We all have things in our lives that we want to change. Our relationships. Our finances. Our energy levels. Our stress. Our weight. Our self-esteem. Our fears.
    Now’s the time for you to transform your life into the Life of Your Dreams! I highly recommend this program and it even has a 200% money back guarantee. (Basically if you don’t find value in the course for any reason they will refund you double what you paid! You have nothing to lose!)

Please Share!

What are your favorite questions? What’s your favorite modification for this game? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this article valuable you can thank us by passing it along to your friends! Thanks!

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61

100+ RSS Feeds: How Do You Eat an Elephant?


How Do You Eat an Elephant?

Of course the answer is one bite at a time. If you find yourself with too many RSS feeds in your feedreader, as I have lately, you have two choices. You can either pare it back or try to manage the list somehow. I am a bit of a pack rat and RSS feeds are no exception. When I find a great website or blog that I want to come back to I add it to my reader.

What follows is a list of ideas on how to manage your RSS feeds to make it more manageable. As you implement these, I recommend doing some pruning of RSS feeds that no longer hold your interest. Keep in mind as you read this, that this is for people who want to be able to read all their feeds, but need a way to manage it. If this seems like too much work for you, then by all means, purge and simplify!

Days of the Week

With this idea create a folder for each day of the week. Go through your feeds and put them into these folders. Then each day read just the ones that are in that folder. If you like to make comments this will be a little more efficient too you’ll get all your comments in for each blog on that one day.

Numbers

Here you can use the same idea as days of the week, but you can lengthen out the time frame to say 2 weeks or 1 month. For example if you want to spread out your reading over 2 weeks you could have folders numbered 1-14. Or for monthly reading you could have folders numbered 1-30.

The Combo Platter

If you really want to customize things you could have the following folders:

  • Daily Favorites Folder– for your top 5-10 A+ blogs that you like to read daily.
  • Weekly Folders – M,T,W,T,F,Sa,Su. This would be for your B list blogs to be read weekly.
  • Monthly Folders – Folders numbered 1-30 for your C level blogs that you would read monthly.
  • Quarterly Folders – Folders labeled Fall, Winter, Summer, Spring for D-list blogs that you’d like to check in on less frequently.

How to Keep Up with the Combo Style

  1. You don’t have to keep up! Your feed reader is for your entertainment, education, leisure. If you have ones you must read for work or some other obligation, then create a “Must Read” folder.
  2. Whenever you feel the desire to check your reader, only go to the folders for the day you are in. For example if it was June 21st of this year, you would read the following folders only:
  • “Daily Favs”
  • “Thurs”
  • “21”
  • “Summer”

Important Success Tips

  • File as You Go. Every time you add a new RSS feed file it in the appropriate folder(s).

  • Purge as You Go.  Every time you read through a folder, if there is a feed you don’t like anymore, unsubscribe. If you’re a real packrat and you can’t make the cut, then change it to a folder called “Six Month Purge” that you check twice a year.

  • Make It Actionable. If you want to do something with the information you’ve read then find a way to capture that idea now. Some suggestions:
    1. Star the item. Be sure to have a routine in place to remember to check these items either during daily planning or weekly review.
    2. Write it down in your Capture notebook.
    3. Enter the action directly into your electronic calendar or to-do list.
    4. Use Google Notebook. (Add the Google Notebook Firefox extension first or you could add Google Notebook to your Firefox Sidebar ) Google Notebook can be used for GTD implementation. Here’s what you do: As you read your feeds, highlight the part of the article you want to clip, then click on the Google Notebook extension in the lower right hand corner of your Firefox browser. Click on “Clip” inside Google Notebook. The highlighted text will appear. Then you can add a “add a comment” with the action you want to take. Once you’ve done that then unstar the item.

  • Scan and Read Later. If you only have time for scanning during the day, then create a folder called “ToRead” that you can read on your commute (bus, train, or car if you’re the passenger!) or that you read when you have time later in the day or evening

Resources


Please Share!

What are your favorite RSS feed reader hacks?! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, please SHARE THIS below with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

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9

Complete iPhone Links: Apps, Hacks, and Reviews


Complete iPhone Links: Apps, Hacks, and Reviews

I have a new guest post over at Lifehack.org.

If you have an iPhone and want to find all the latest applications and hacks or if you are considering buying an iPhone and want to find all the best reviews on the iPhone, head over to my article. It has links to everything you’ll need.

Lifehack.org: Complete iPhone Links: Apps, Hacks, and Reviews

iPhone

Please Share!

Have you found any great applications or hacks for the iPhone? Please share! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, please SHARE THIS below with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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13

Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?


Work at Home: The Dream

Ah, the dream of working for yourself out of your own home! What could be better, right? Well it turns out there are major pros and cons to having your own work at home business. This article will provide the elements of working from home that you should consider before making the leap. I have been working from home as a freelance writer and blogger for 3 years now so I have personal insights that you will hopefully find valuable.

Work at Home: The Reality Pros and Cons

1. Work in your PJ’s.
Pro: This is the ultimate, right? Getting up and doing your work in your PJ’s and slippers. Sounds good and sometimes it is good. Being able to do work anytime in any clothing is convenient.

Con: The reality for many people is that your level of productivity is often influenced by how you are dressed. Yes, you can work in your pajamas, but once you’re doing this for a while, you’ll probably find that you get a little more motivation from getting out and exercising first, showering, and putting on clean clothes before starting work.

2. No Boss.
Pro: It’s true that your boss is not in your home looking over shoulder.

Con: However, we all have a “boss,” someone that we answer to:

  • Bloggers have their audience to please.
  • Freelancers and service providers have their clients to please.
  • Product sellers have their customers to please.
  • Writers have their editors, publishers, and readers to please.
  • Inventors have their end-user to please.
  • We all have ourselves, family, and financial needs that we must live up to.

3. Flexible Schedule.
Pro: This is a major benefit. You can decide when you work. You can take time off whenever you wish. Doctor appointments? No problem. Your child is sick? You’re already home to take care of them. But there is a catch.

Con: You need to make up the time somewhere. The work must get done. You can make it up on nights and weekends, but then balancing work and home can become quite challenging. If you have a family you might run into resentment of the extra time you spend doing work. If you’re single, this is less of a problem in terms of people putting demands on you, but you certainly run the risk of work edging out your personal time. So you need to think about how you will define the line between work and home life. And it’s not as easy as you might think.

4. No More Office Politics.
Pro: You won’t have to schmooze for that promotion. You will make your own promotions. You won’t have to watch Suzy-Q and Dapper-Dan get ahead because they are good at working office relationships. But….

Con: You may watch competitors get ahead for the same reasons. You may lose clients, contracts, readers, deals, etc because you are not working smart enough on the relationship building front. The bottom line is politics is not good or bad. It just is. By definition it exists as part of all human interactions. The only question is how you navigate and leverage it. Politics is human relations. It doesn’t mean you have to bend your morals. But it may mean that you need to work with someone you’re not crazy about in order to bring about a mutually beneficial outcome.

5. No Limits on Income.
Pro: No longer will you have to wait some silly prescribed timeframe in order to be eligible for a raise. The quality of your work will determine your income. By working hard and smart, you’ll have unlimited earnings potential. Really.

Con: It’s not easy. You will need to have a smart business plan. You will need to adjust your plan as you progress, especially when you hit roadblocks and plateaus, which will inevitably happen. You will need to be super organized, focused, and persistent. Income is especially hard in the beginning, so what you gain in upside potential you lose in security of income, retirement plans, health insurance and other benefits.

6. No More Interruptions.
Pro: You won’t have to worry about Chatty Cathy stopping by your cubicle every day, interrupting your productivity. You won’t have to worry about endless non-productive meetings anymore.

Con: But you’re not entirely off the hook. There’s still two potential challenges:

  • First, if you have family or roommates, inevitably there will be interruptions. When you’re using some of your flexibility to work nights or weekends, they’ll be there either getting miffed about you working again or they will be tempting you to slack off. If you have children, forget it, especially if they are young. It’s a real challenge. You need to establish boundaries and you will likely find times when you want to keep working, but you must stick with your promises in order to keep a happy family.
  • Second, if you live alone, then you will face the problem of isolation. With isolation you have no “local” colleague with whom to bounce ideas, ask advice, or consult. You will need to develop these types of relationships elsewhere. No man is an island. You will gain strength from having a virtual “team” of people you can go to for guidance. The other problem with isolation is you must provide your own motivation. Whether we like it or not, we all need to be pushed from time to time. Without interruptions or a boss you must create this for yourself. Yes, interruptions can serve as a motivator at times! And they force breaks on us too which is good for productivity. You’ll want to consider how you’ll ensure that you take breaks.

7. I’ll Work Less Hours. It Will Be Easier.
Pro: Perhaps eventually you will work less and it may be easier down the road. Maybe you’ll become like Tim Ferris and design your life so you only work 4 hours per week. Or it may be that you choose to live on a lower income. In that case you might work less sooner rather than later.

Con: For most of us, starting a business means hard work and long hours! Of course those hours are all for your business so that’s a beautiful thing. But it’s also your time and money at stake too. Work is work and it must get done. The other good thing is that if you are choosing the right business, i.e. something you love, then the work will feel like play. That’s a great thing. But at the end of the day, you will be tired, you will struggle at first and wonder “Did I make the right decision?” You’ll need to stick with it, adapt your plan when necessary, and smile even when you feel like you’re not making any progress.

8. More Creative License.
Pro: You will be in charge. You’ll make the decisions in your business. Your creativity can run free and wild. There are, however, conflicting forces at work that you’ll need to content with.

Con: You must please someone in addition to yourself in order to make money. So you will need to balance your income goals, your desire for creative authority, and the desires of your clients, readers, vendors, users, etc. It may be that your creativity is right in line with what your clients want or it may be that you’ll need to sacrifice your creative freedom a bit in order to meet your income goals. The bottom line is that for most, the client’s needs and desires will highly influence how our creativity manifests in our product, writing, services, inventions and so on. It’s a matter of prioritizing your income goals in balance with your desire for maximum creative license.

9. No Selling Things I Don’t Believe In.
Pro: There will be no more product/service of the month that you’ll be required to sell. Sometimes you like the company you work for, but occasionally you squirm at the thought of selling this quarter’s featured product. Ugh. No more of this! Hurray!

Con: No matter what your business is, you will still need to sell. And boy will this be important to your success or failure. Selling is not hard if you believe in what you are selling. Presumably this will be the case with your own business. If not, then maybe you don’t have the best business idea yet. True “selling” means helping people meet their needs. Focus on meeting clients’ needs and you will sell a lot. But of course there is a lot more to it than that. Stay tuned by subscribing for an upcoming article on How to Be a Great Salesperson.

10. No More Nightmare Clients.
Pro: If a client is beligerant, unreasonable, or otherwise unattractive to deal with, you will have the decision power to say, “Bye, bye!”

Con: At the same time, you will never be free of difficult client circumstances. And in each of these circumstances you will be required to decide how to handle them. Some examples:

  • Freelancers: Your biggest client turns difficult with the addition of a new general manager. What do you do?
  • Writers: Your editor seems to have turned sour on your writing, finding fault all the time. How do you handle this?
  • Bloggers: How will you handle mean comments, blog hecklers, and the like? How will you handle a negative campaign against you?
  • Selling products: There can be shipping problems, returns, complaints, lawsuits and more. You’ll need to deal with all of these.
  • Inventors: If you produce your product, you’ll need to manage relationships with manufacturers, distributors, and marketing companies where you will face issues of trust, control, and quality. If you sell your idea, you will likely face tough negotiations if you want to get the most value for your invention.

How to Meet these Challenges

Two words: Business Planning. (Subscribe for an upcoming Business Planning article) The best way to meet these challenges is to have a business plan. It doesn’t have to be formal if you’re not sharing it with financiers, but you’ll do yourself a favor by having as much detail as is necessary to be ready to take the plunge. See the resources below for links to business planning help, most of which is free!

The Bottom Line

This article is not meant to discourage you from pursuing your dream of starting your own work at home business, but rather to prepare you for the realities, both good and bad, so that you can decide whether you’ll be comfortable with this decision. If you do make the decision you’ll be able to plan how you will handle these challenges. Having a home based business can be wonderful, but it’s not for everyone. The other thing to consider is that if things don’t work out you can always go back to working for someone else.

Further Resources

Here are some helpful business planning resources if you decide to move forward with plans to start your own work at home business.

  • SBA – The Small Business Association has many online resources, services, and tools to help you with your new business.
  • SCORE – check out this resource in your local area. They usually have free business planning seminars. Retired business people provide free guidance and consultation to aspiring entrepreneurs. Don’t pass up this free resource!
  • Free Business Plan Templates
  • Fast4Cast – a free online business planning tool.
  • Govt of Canada Interactive Business Planner – a free online tool that will help you create a 3 year business plan.
  • Links to several Business Planning Freeware
  • Business Plan Pro Business Plan Pro (highly rated by PC Magazine and Inc. Magazine.) There is a cost with this program. I have used it and it is excellent. It makes the process very easy. And it is handy to have it right on your own computer.

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Going to the Beach Checklist!

Going to the Beach!

Going to the Beach

Make sure you don’t forget anything! Click below for a free Beach Checklist (pdf file).

Beach Checklist (pdf file)

beach checklist

Enjoy!

Please Share!

What do you always forget when you go to the beach? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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