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“Own” Your Workspace

Many full-time employees spend 40 to 50 hours per week in a cubicle or small office environment. When a person spends that much time in one place, it would seem the decor of that space would reflect their personality and personal style. Not true for most workers.With “political correctness” naturally setting the tone in most corporate environments today, decorating a common work space to personal taste has been severely limited. But with a little creativity and grouping of small items with common themes, one’s personal decorating style can be introduced in subtle ways.Here are a few tips to get you started:
choose a theme for your area (i.e., ethnic, tropical, etc.);

wall calendars come in a menagerie of styles — chose one reflecting your imagined theme;

find a mouse pad that reflects the look for which you’re vying;

purchase decorative stationery and matching envelopes that compliment the setting;

frame small pictures of family members and/or pets in coordinating styles;

your coffee cup need not have the office logo — choose a bold pattern that suits your personality and your decor theme;

even your screensaver can boast a thematic background — scour the web and find the perfect one for the look you’re creating!

“A small item can make a big statement when strategically placed,” says Cassandra Black, partner of EthnicHomeDecor.com, an online retailer of home decor with ethnic themes. So as not to offend anyone, Ms. Black says a basic rule of thumb is “when in doubt, don’t.”There’s no harm in tastefully coordinating a few small items on your desk or in your office that subtly tout: “This space belongs to me…” According to some experts, it may even increase productivity.Have fun decorating your work space to personal taste!

I Found the Secret to Getting Rich on the Internet!

Does that headline sound familiar? I’ll bet it got your attention. I know everybody makes outrageous claims for quick Internet success. Well I am going to tell you what that secret is and it won’t cost you a dime.The truth of the matter is there is no secret. Let me repeat that “THERE IS NO SECRET”!I hope I didn’t burst any bubbles out there or ruin a fantasy that has been hyped by marketers on the Net trying to get you to buy their products in the hopes that you would think theirs is the KEY, the MAGIC FORMULA to success and untold riches.Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not Mr. Doom and Gloom. After all, I am on the Internet and I am selling or representing others selling products and services. You can make money online. There are a lot of people doing it. What I am saying is that there is nothing SECRET about it. Be realistic in your approach to your own business. It requires long hours, hard work, dedication, drive, ambition, common sense, a monetary investment and other things I probably neglected to mention.The “bottom line”. “There ain’t No FREE Lunch!” Let’s face it, you only get what you pay for and/or in this case what you WORK for.Now I speak from experience here. Some of it rather painful and expensive. I’ll be the first to admit that I bought into the hype, not only emotionally but financially. I’ve tried several business ventures. Many of them with promises of quick riches. It’s not going to happen. Now I don’t say you can’t make money with these programs. What I am saying is that it is not fast and it is not as easy as they would like you to believe. Like any other business you must work at it to have it succeed. In addition to the modest registration fee required to join, YOU must make an investment in time and money too.As I checked into both offline and online business ventures, I soon came to realize that the only people getting rich were the people selling the HYPE. It sounded so good to people like me and perhaps like you. Hoping that each new opportunity held the SECRET we all are looking for. What’s that old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Well we all hoped that the next opportunity was the one that was TRUE!Much wasted time and many dollars latter, I figured out the SECRET. It wasn’t what they were selling that was going to make me rich; but how they were selling it, that was going to make me rich, or at least successful. The light went on. Now if I hadn’t wasted all that time and money, I could have been working on this SECRET formula for wealth a long time ago.
Have a good product.

Market it well.


You will make money.
The not so simple part of this SECRET formula to success. It is NOT easy. It requires:
Hard work.


A good product/service.

Customer Service.

An ongoing investment in time and money.

Some common sense and some LUCK!
So in conclusion, let’s make a new “bottom line”. You can make money. You can be successful. You can enjoy life. You can be your own BOSS! Just don’t fall for the HYPE. Use your common sense. Learn from people you trust. Those who have gone before you. Do your homework. You don’t have to learn the hard way. As P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”. You don’t have to be one of them.

Networking Tips For Home-Based Business – Creating Connections

Networking is as much an attitude and a way of thinking as it is a skill. It is something that many people do naturally while others can find it quite daunting; but it can be learnt. When you acquire the mindset and master the skill of networking you will boost your personal productivity.There are any number of different networking groups and events that you could choose to attend to help lift the profile of your home based business. To make the most effective use of your time and energy, it’s worth investing effort in identifying and sampling groups that look like they might suit your personal and business needs – here’s how:Choose the network. Decide what you’re looking for from a networking group and ask around. Find out what groups are available and ask for recommendations and opinions from people you respect.Contact the network. Phone the organiser of the group or event and ask questions such as these to help you decide whether this is a good place to invest your time.
What industries are represented at this event?
How long has it been established?
What three words best describe this group?
Is there an opportunity to promote my business?
Does this network have membership?
If so, how does it work?
What does it cost?
Visit twice before deciding to join. Allow yourself at least two opportunities to evaluate the network and to decide whether it is worth your time and energy. Sometimes your first experience may not be pleasant, and you may feel nervous, so give it at least two tries.Commit to the events. When you do find a network you enjoy, schedule the time to attend and become one of the regulars. This is a great way to establish connections with people as well as to let others get to know you.Get involved. Volunteer to help – serving on a committee or helping with an event is a great way to get to know people: help on registration, collect business cards, offer to be the MC or help to arrange an event.

Are You Cut-Out To Own a Home Business?

Now that I have my own home business I realize that I am cut-out to do this kind of work. The shoe fits and I wear it well. But I also realize that some people are just not cut-out to do this kind of work.I often dreamed of having a business where I could make my own hours, take the day off it I needed to, work in my pajamas, and make the kind of income that would provide me the financial freedom to purchase things that I wanted to, instead of limiting them to things that I needed. My most depressing moments were thoughts of working until I was 70 before I could retire. What quality of life would I have at 70? Would I even live until then? If I did, would my health allow me to enjoy retirement?When I answered an ad on the Internet that claimed that I could make a six figure income from home, I had no idea whether I would be cut out for this type of business. I didn’t even know if the business was legitimate. But I knew if I hid behind my skepticism that I would never find out, and I could be giving up the one opportunity that could help me retire before I was 70.So I jumped in head first and did all of the things that was suggested. I ran ads on free advertising sites, passed out business cards, got involved in some surf for clicks programs, ran pay per clicks, took out newspaper ads, and have been involved in virtually every kind of low cost and free advertising campaign that was ever thought of. Some of these ideas worked and some didn’t, but I didn’t let the advertising failures deter me in the least. I simply dropped the campaigns that were not generating any traffic and kept the ones that did. Eventually, I had a business plan that was working for me and that was generating enough traffic to sustain a home business.I have signed up and trained over 800 people during the last two years and early on I was amazed by the high failure rate. I’m less surprised now because I know this is not something that everyone wants to do. Many people today have the mindset that by having an Internet business it pays by the hour, and I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t.You will work long hours for months building your website, setting up your advertising campaigns, exchanging links and getting listed with the search engines before you see one cent. Because in order to succeed on the Internet, you have to have traffic, and it takes some time to build it up. But when you do, the money will flow consistently and daily for the rest of your life with very little effort on your part.Many of the people I have met on the Internet have jumped in full force for a few weeks or a month and then just kind of burnt out. The first few months are always the hardest because if you have never made money on the Internet, it’s very hard to keep yourself motivated to keep working towards something your not sure is going to pan out. But I assure you it will…Some people are under the impression that it takes a huge investment to start an Internet business. It can if you want to pay for advertising, but if you’re willing to wait a few months, you can get started for as little as $20. I built my first website for $20, and spent the next few months doing nothing but exchanging links with other webmasters, submitting my site to directories and writing articles. These three things are huge traffic generators and they are free.I’ve meet people who were close to heart failure at the thought of spending $20 to build a website. In this day and age, I find it really hard to believe that anyone is really that financially strapped. In my most financially strapped times, I know I spent $20 a month on things that I didn’t need. You have to keep in mind that this is an investment in your future. It will come back to you many times over.And the hardest thing that I think that people deal with is the isolation of maintaining a home business. You won’t be going to the office and chatting with your co-workers, there is little to no phone conversations, and I have never had any human contact with any of my customers on the Internet. I do however send a lot of emails.But that is fine with me, and I love it. I love the quiet times working alone. I love the fact that I am not interrupted by the phone every five minutes or by employees and co-workers running in and out of my office. I love the fact that I don’t have to commute any farther then to my home office.So, as you can see there are many perks to owning a home business, and there are things that may not fit with your lifestyle or expectations. The shoe must fit in order for you to succeed.If you believe that you’re cut-out for an Internet business, visit me at: http://www.home-business-opportunity.biz and let me help and guide you towards owning a successful home business.Sincerely,

How the Home Business Industry Is Changing

Back in the early 1990′s, not too many people used the Internetfor a home business. There was an explosion of companies showingup everywhere by late 1998. Ever since 1998, home businesses have beeneven more popular than ever.Many of the Internet companies of the 1990′sdid not need to do all too much to get people to join theirprograms or buy their products. Life was very easy going.People did very little work and saw quite a reasonable paycheck.Many people were being bombarded by different Internetopportunities left and right. The people selling these opportunitieswere playing a numbers game by flooding everyone possible witha chance to cash in on the Internet Marketing Revolution.These people enjoyed a very comfortable period of timeup until about 2003 even when Internet Business was going bad.We saw more and more businesses pop up with the hope ofmaking money out of nothing just over night…Well just like the fall of the dot.com’s there has been a fallin Internet marketing businesses. If you are going to stay in the race, you have to regroup and follow what people want today…Internet business marketers of 1998 to 2003 had an easy life. They put up their site, paid for marketing and had people join. They didn’t need to pay all too much attention to details because if you had a “website” people would buy from that website. Cashing in on the Internet Gold Rush was a dream come true.Many Internet marketers saw instant results and thought that is how life is going to be…The American population as a whole got into this mindset as well, much like the dot.com boom.The time is now 2005 and many of these people have dropped out.In order to stay, you need to be unique to survive. Most importantly,you need to follow some of the same techniques that worked forpeople before the Internet. Just as those pre-internet people have followed the same marketing techniques used in the mail order business.Internet Marketing Techniques for the year 2005 and beyondhave changed.If you haven’t already figured it out, there is a bit more workinvolved to get customers. People already have the “what is in it for me mindset” before even going to your web site…So you must provide them specifically with that type of information…Here are a few guidelines to follow:Providing original helpful free content is key.Provide your visitors something of value.Make sure you stay up Internet technology.Provide your readers with something that keeps them coming back.Provide your readers with good, timely customer service.Most important, teach them what you have been taught.You must truly want to help others achieve success.Lastly keep it simple. Don’t reinvent the wheel or do something new.You can get what you want if you help others get what they want as well.You want to look for a system that has leadership, customized recruiting tools and the directional leadership to get you off running smoothly.

A Presidential Debate

Talk about a controversial topic!The recent debates were something else.The interesting thing is this, if you’re like me, you’d probably already decided who you were gonna vote for, long before election day ever came.And then, as you watched the debates, the guy who ain’t gettin your vote tended to get you a little riled up.Yesterday afternoon I was reading an article that really got me going.Try as I might, I couldn’t figure out where in the heck this guy was coming from, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.Here’s the content I’m referring to, in his own words.= = =There is no need for my readers to get more out of life by doing less.To start with, this is a ridiculous concept. We all know that the more you put into anything, the more you get out of it. For instance, if Bridget Jones had not put that blue string in the pot, all she would have had was soup.I say, cram your agenda. Cram. Cram. Cram. Put as much as you can into life, so you can gets lots out of it. Never mind wasting your time eating, sleeping or showering…OK, maybe showering, but get as much done as you can today. You would not want to die with windows unwashed now, would you?= = =Now…I don’t know how you feel, but let me tell you my thoughts.I used to be a serious workaholic. I spent seven years fishing in Alaska prior to owning my own business, which I began in 1996.So trust me, I know what it’s like to cram your schedule full.I also know what it’s like to work your fingers to the bone, putting in long hours for very little pay while you get your business off the ground.The whole time you’re holding out hope that you’ll figure everything out and things will improve soon.But meanwhile, you know the statistics.You know that most businesses fail within the first few years.And the fact is, in the back of your mind, you keep wondering if yours will succeed.Now, lest you think I’m getting off tack, I tell you this to make an important point.Working hard has absolutely no correlation with how successful you are (although I firmly believe it affects your health, in a negative way.And working hard has absolutely no correlation with how much money you make.Most people would tend to argue this fact with me, and who can blame them.I used to think there was a link myself.Why else would I work so damned hard?But here’s the truth…I now work only a fraction of the time I used to, yet I make more money than I ever have in my life.Now don’t get me wrong, I do put in my time, and yes I have to be disciplined.But the fact is, many days I now quit working around 2 in the afternoon.I no longer work weekends.I take more time off to enjoy life.I take no less than 8 trips each year, because I love traveling.And as a result, I’m a much happier and healthier person because I have so much less stress in my life.So here’s my theory…The concept of getting more out of life by doing less is far from ridiculous.It’s too bad more people don’t understand the theory.I have to admit, I wish I’d picked up on it long ago. But even at that, I sure am glad I understand it now.I’ll be sharing more with you in the coming weeks and months, and who knows, I might just show you a thing or two that will drastically improve your life, and your health.

Tuesdays Were Bad. Now They’re Up 122%.

Tuesdays were bad.I just checked my sales statistics using Excel and pivot tables (more on that later). Over the first 40 weeks of this 2004, I increased sales for my “bad Tuesdays” by 122%. I used Microsoft Excel to compare the sales for my first 20 weeks over the last 20 weeks. The sales are up 122%.Do you have a bad sales day that need’s fixing? Here’s my short advice on how to improve your bad sales day.
Keep excellent sales data (by day, by product, by sales price).

Analyze your sales data using Microsoft Excel’s pivot tables to understand what your worst sales day happens to be.

Keep your sales lists and auto responder lists in excellent shape with Excel and a service named 1ShoppingCart.

Mass email useful information and sales offers on your “bad sales day”.
#1: Keep excellent sales data (by day, by product, by sales price).However you sell your e-book, software, or service, keep track of the data using something, preferably Excel. I currently use http://www.clickbank.com for my e-book sales and whenever I receive an email sales notice I capture the sale, process it through Excel, and add it to my Excel sales database. Here’s a non-technical translation.ClickBank sends me an email notice of a sale. I then Edit – Copy the sales information from my email. Then I switch over into Microsoft Excel. I then Edit – Paste my sales data into Excel. Then I format my sales data in Excel so I can use it in my database. Life is good.#2: Analyze your sales data using Microsoft Excel to understand what your worst sales day happens to be.Even beginning Excel users have used Data – Sort in Excel to sort things and then count the results of their sorts. Unfortunately, when they count they do so manually. I don’t use that technique; I use an Excel technique called a pivot table.Explaining a pivot table in one paragraph is too difficult. Let’s just say that Excel pivot tables are like simple databases on steroids. They sort AND THEY COUNT. Great stuff. You must learn them if you are serious about your sales. I can teach you pivot tables with a two page write-up of mine. Even if you hate math, you’ll love Excel pivot tables.Using Microsoft Excel pivot tables I was able to sort AND COUNT my sales for all days Monday through Sunday. That’s when I discovered that Tuesday was clearly my worst corporate sales day.#3: Keep your sales lists and auto responder lists in excellent shape with Excel and 1ShoppingCart.All of my e-book sales are currently stored in my Excel e-book sales spreadsheet. All of my opt-in visitors (1000+ and growing after one month) are kept in a service named 1ShoppingCart. I use 1ShoppingCart for my auto responders and other services. If you are serious about using auto responders effectively (and integrating auto responders with shopping carts) I recommend you click on [http://1shoppingcart.24by7success.com] .#4: Mass email useful information and sales offers on your “bad sales day”.Point #4 is pretty interesting: Send out mass emails with useful information and sales offers on your “bad sales day”. Yesterday, on my “bad sales day”, I didn’t send out any sales special. I just sent out a free PDF file with educational Excel information for my customers and visitors. The result? My readers rewarded me with even more purchases.So to summarize, if you want to change your worst sales day into a good sales day follow this advice. First, keep excellent sales records in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Second, analyze your sales data with Excel so you can identify your worst sales day. Third, keep your sales lists and auto responder lists in great shape with Excel and 1ShoppingCart. Finally, send out useful emails and sales offers on your worst sales day.Yesterday I set a normal sales day record. It was the best normal sales day ever. Would you care to guess what day it was?Best wishes from Chicago, IL, USA, for setting records with your “bad sales days”.Copyright 2004 Richard Kraneis

Identifying your Niche

The Internet has become a valuable source of information and purchasing tool for today’s consumer. With the click of a mouse you can find almost anything from products to services on the web, and you can shop for the best prices and values all hours of the day from the convenience of your own home. For some of these same reasons, mail order businesses are also on the rise with consumers finding better values from companies that don’t have the overhead associated with a storefront.With everything at the consumers’ fingertips, the home business owner can also benefit from today’s market culture. Just as consumers can shop from their living rooms and kitchens, business owners can conduct business in the convenience of their own homes. If you are looking to set your own hours, have less commuting time, and enjoy the general freedoms of working for yourself, starting a home business may be right for you.One important business plan to attend to when you first start developing a home business is to invest time in finding your niche.So what does this mean, finding your niche? Identifying a niche is about finding a distinct segment of consumer interest, then capitalizing on it. It means finding that particular spot in the business world where you can stand out amongst others. For example there may be hundreds of booksellers out there, but how many specialize in books on a particular interest of yours? If your home business focuses on selling books, you may be competing with the hundreds of other sellers. But if your home business focuses on selling books about outdoor sports, you may find yourself in direct competition with fewer businesses.Now that you know what a niche is, how do you go about identifying yours? You can start by asking your self a few important questions:What am I good at?Take an inventory of your skills. Are you a good mechanic? Are you a wiz with home decorating? Do your friends all come to you when they have computer problems to fix? Do you know almost everything there is to know about a particular topic? Find the things you already have some skill in, and start a list. You may be surprised where your talents lie.What do I enjoy doing?What things do you love to do so much that you would probably do them whether there was a profit involved or not? The best place to start with this question is to look at your hobbies. These are often the things you pay a fairly significant amount of money to be involved in. Why not check it out to see if you can make a profit at these very same things? Starting a home business can take a lot of time and effort, and having a passion for the focus of your business can be a great source of the stamina necessary to make it through the difficulties in the beginning.What is there a need for?After you jot down what you are good at and what you love to do, it’s time to assess the market for these things. Are you always looking for supplies for your hobby, but can’t ever seem to find what you need? It’s very likely others are having the same difficulty, and a home business that supplies this need would be very well received by this segment of the market. Or maybe you love to decorate your kids’ birthday cakes, and your neighbors would rather pick theirs up at the local grocery store but can’t stand the small selection. This is a market for which you already have the skills and interest to meet the needs.—–Side Bar—–If you are planning to do your business entirely on the Internet, one great tool you can use to check whether there is market for your idea is the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool: http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/You simply enter the keyword that people might use to search for your product and it’ll return the number of times that term was searched on last month. Amazing isn’t it?—–Side Bar—–But don’t be afraid of markets where you may have some skill, but have a lot to learn. As long as you have the willingness to put time and effort into becoming an expert in your niche, you will be able to develop the specialization you need to be a leader in the market.Once you answer these questions and find the distinct area that will set your business apart from others, you have identified your niche and are ready to develop your home business.

Are You The Worst Enemy of Your Business?

My 14 year old son attends classes at a martial arts center. The martial arts center is run by a 30 year old man. He is by all means a successful business man for his young age. He stood in front of his class and asked them if they knew what the most powerful muscle is in their body was. There was not an answer. My thought was he would say your brain. When the 10 year old in front of me popped up and said “My brain!.” We all chuckled. He went on to explain that the tongue is the most powerful muscle in your body.This instructor is a man who works out in martial arts 6 days a week and he is a tower of power and flexibility. So it was strange to hear this response. So this grabbed the audience’s attention. He went on to explain what he meant to the young adults. “By your own tongue you can tell yourself that you will fail or succeed. It is totally up to you.” He continued on to tell the kids that he believes much of life is what you tell your brain. He added “You can choose to tell yourself that you can and you will or you can’t and you won’t.” He went on to say “Believe in yourself. Set goals for yourself and you will achieve them. You can achieve anything you set your mind to. It is totally up to you. So set your goals high and work toward them.”It is customary for the instructor to give a motivational speech at the end of the belt test. This instructor has always impressed me. He takes the time to greet each person by walking person and shake their hand firmly. He smiles and speaks positively to the kids and their families about their lives and dreams. He is encouraging and has been a mentor for many young adults in our community. When I see him, I can not help but think positive thoughts. Do you know someone like this?It was important for me to hear his message. As I was sitting in the audience, I was playing a negative tape. So as I sat there I thought about how I could start replacing my negative thoughts with positive ones. You can begin simply by writing out sentences that turn the negatives in your life to positive. What are you beating yourself up about?If you have debt that you are working on paying it off, I have a plan to become debt free. I am working every day to gain control of my spending so I can become debt free.I decide to create a positive affirmation to review about what I want out of life.Here it is:I have a plan for the success of my business. I am working my plan everyday. I know what I want and what I must do to get there. Every day I get closer to my goal. The steps I am taking today will ensure my success tomorrow. I am healthy and choose a healthy lifestyle. I am happy with where I am right now. I am growing stronger in conviction everyday. I choose to believe that I can and I will accomplish my goals. I will make more contacts everyday to help my business grow. I will not allow anyone to steal my dream because I can make my dreams come true everyday. My attitude is a choice and I choose to be positive. I feel like a million bucks and nobody can take that from me.Have you been letting negative thoughts about your business creep into your head? Do you have a plan for your success? Sit down today and write out what you want with how you are going to get there. Place the affirmations in a spot where you can read it daily. It will make a huge difference in your life and your business. It will remind you of what you need to do next!When you find yourself saying, I will never succeed. Review your positive affirmation plan and do something positive for your business today!

To Have Your Own Product or Not To Have Your Own Product? That is the Question!

If you’ve been working online very long you’ve probably noticed different people will give you different advice for earning money and building your business.Some will say you have to have your own product to sell. Others will claim you absolutely *don’t* need your own product.So who’s right? In this case, I’d say both!I’m sure you’re wondering what I mean because that doesn’t seem to make any sense. How can both be right?It’s simple. Think of it this way. Let’s say you create innovative software to help internet marketers increase their profits by automating their businesses. You have a great product and your sales are decent.But, what about the potential customers who visit your website but don’t need your product because they don’t yet have a business? They’re still exploring the marketing world. Maybe they’re trying to find products to sell or learn how to build an online business. Away they go! After all, they don’t need software to help them with their business if they don’t have a business, right?Wouldn’t it make sense to offer other products to benefit them? Maybe you don’t write e-books about how to market on the internet, but other people do. Why not offer some of those at your website to entice your visitors?If they purchase an e-book today and learn how, where and what to market, don’t you think they’ll return to your website and order *your* software that will now help them automate their brand new business?Makes sense, doesn’t it? Having your own product is great. But offering other helpful resources to your customers builds your sales even more. You’ll make money from the e-book, then from your own product. Two sales to a visitor who almost left!Offering products and resources that compliment your own products makes your website an invaluable resource for your customers.This is why so many internet marketers say you *need* multiple streams of income. There are those who swear by it. And maybe they’re right.