It’s National Smile Power Day

From the good morning greeting and the first “How may I help you?”, National Smile Power Day urges everyone to share the power of a smile.

No matter where you are employed, job seeking, retired or looking for new horizons starting the day with a smile is certainly more empowering than a pout or grump.  Besides, starting with a smile, is so much easier; because, when you smile at someone, you are telling them that they are valued. Smiles are morale boosters and confidence builders.

Research has proven that smiling really does increase attractiveness and likability between humans.  Smiling creates a greater trust and increased interpersonal cooperation. Smiling at someone can help them to relax and relieve their stress while at the same time, it will make you feel right.  Smiling (even if you do not feel like it) will lift your mood and can make you a happier person. So challenge yourself to smile more often today. Use a smile to disarm a tense situation, or simply smile during your daily tasks.

Helping Others Helps You

The fastest (and easiest) way to achieve your own goals is by helping others reach theirs. You’ve heard it said since you were a child, “it is better to give than to receive”. The article below from Forbes Magazine points that out in some detail.

Whether it is sharing the knowledge of how the products your company offers can help them or listening (instead of talking) in order to discover what is important to them or sharing the resources of a website that you subscribe to that can assist them in their business, these things all constitute helping them achieve their own goals.

You can also help others by making them aware of opportunities that they may not have considered. Giving them valuable feedback about your observations of their own activities, in a non-critical way can improve their effectiveness. Show them how advocating for their own company’s brand, in a whole-hearted way, can improve their own posture and that of their company, as well.

Don’t be reluctant to share your own networking connections. They may be able to nurture some new connections. And offer and give freely of your time, whenever you can. Remember, also, to recognize their achievements in a genuine way. Finally, keep your attention out for a particular “gift” (not expensive) that would be meaningful to them in a personal way.

Helping others can be inconvenient at times. It takes time and requires subordinating your own goals in the short-run. In the long run, it will pay significant dividends as you strive for your own goals. Never, never be reluctant to help, you will gain and you will feel better about yourself and that AWAYS makes YOU better.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2013/05/26/10-ways-to-help-others-that-will-lead-you-to-success/#3c9e72ac2bce

Success Factors your home-based business needs to succeed and grow

Do you want to create additional income?  You’re probably well aware that there are others like yourself who are seeking the same thing.  There are so many options available, but basically only four different kinds of business models, each having its own set of pros and cons. 
 
Conventional employers offer commissions or wages and small private businesses typically are all based on exchanging your time for ‘transactional’ revenue.  Neither of those allows much of a chance for you to ‘leverage’ or ‘scale’ your business. 
 
Franchise ownership typically requires substantial cash investments and expertise that most people do not have. 
 
That leaves a host of business opportunities that are very popular offering independent status as a ‘representative’ or ‘agent’ under the broad category of ‘marketing’ and requiring some degree of team building and leadership.

There are many questionable and unrealistic opportunities being pitched these days.  One of your first priorities should be to work with a team that has carefully investigated many of the various business models that are out there.  You should have a clear ‘roadmap’ to find and work with a successful business that brings proven value to the marketplace, fits one of your areas of interest and has developed a proven program for on-the-job training so you can earn income while you learn the strategies for succeeding at your business.

You’ll need to learn how to increase the number of people who say yes to becoming a life-long customer and/or decide to work with you as a business partner. That means you also need to find the ingredients necessary to have a sustainable product line that will generate passive income for a life-long business. Then there’s the most important question: What role does value play in a product line with a business attached to it and how do you spot it?

When it’s appropriate to talk with a business person about the search that many people are doing right now to find a reliable business opportunity, they will appreciate having this list of Success Factors. The logical question to ask next, after a thoughtful review of these 12 points, is my question at the end.

1. Company track record.  How long has the company been in business? What are the company’s annual sales statistics each year since they began their business? Does the company print average income statistics for business builders? It should and you should ask for them. Proof of long term sales, success and growth is critical in choosing any business.

2. Financially sound. Does the company have outstanding debt? Joining a company that is debt free is highly recommend to lessen any risk.

3. Strong management team. What are the backgrounds and credentials of the management team? Look to join a company run with integrity and strong leadership.

4. Unique consumable products. Are the company’s products products that people actually need, use, run out of and repurchase month after month? Do the products have any trademarks or patents allowing for exclusive rights (meaning no other company can copy them)? If the products are not consumable, meaning something that a person would only buy once, then that is a business that will not be viable long term. If the products are consumable but not necessarily a genuine need, that will reduce your chance for long term success. Products that are truly needed and consumed monthly make for a solid business model.

5. Wide market appeal. Are the products something everyone needs and uses? If the products are specific for a certain gender, age group or body size for example, you reduce your market potential.  It’s not something for everyone.  If you choose a narrow niche product, you must ask yourself if you are comfortable excluding customers that are not attracted to that niche.

6. Competitive prices. Are the products comparable in price or less expensive than the competition? If they are too expensive, this is not a business that will produce ongoing great results.  What will you do when you find competitors with equally high quality products that are reputably offered for a lot less cost?  You may be loyal out of sheer stubbornness but your customers will run to the competitors.

7. High customer reorder rate. Does the company share its reorder rate? This means one thing. How many customers that purchased from the company last month, reorder again the following month? If the re-order rate is low, the business will not be viable as new customers simply replace your old customers producing no real growth or a secure, residual income. Know that it will be difficult to find this information from most companies directly.  Don’t make a decision until you know this important piece of the business model you are considering joining.

8. Low initial investment. If the cost to join or start your business is too high it makes for more risk and difficulty in attracting customers and business partners.  If a start up fee is high and a ‘customer acquisition bonus’ is also high, beware of what might be a “Ponzi scheme.”  Many so-called ‘ground-floor opportunities’ have attracted many hopeful participants, only to tragically end in the loss of much time and money for the vast majority of eager business partners.

9. Low monthly requirement. If there is a high monthly requirement, customers and business builders may end up storing an inventory of products they do not need. If there is a low monthly product purchase requirement, then customers are getting what they need for personal use each month.  From a business standpoint, you know customers are purchasing each month.  That creates the freedom of true residual income.

10. Rewards for leadership development. Does the company reward you for helping others in your business succeed? If there is any way the company could remove business building partners from your business because of their success, be very careful about joining. There should never be potential for you to lose great partners.  Also, be sure that you receive a reward for the business created by all of the customers that you personally bring to the company.  There are many companies that cleverly take away productive customers and business partners from hard working people just like you.

11. Risk-free – Is everything 100% guaranteed? If not, could you seriously advise someone to join you?  Be sure the guarantee is long enough to adequately test-drive the product. Check to see how the company handles returns and refunds. You will be so much more satisfied with your company when you can confidently tell your prospective customers that you know from personal experience about their excellent customer service and refund policy.

12. Anyone can be successful.Is the business plan set up for anyone to be successful at any time? If it’s a company that says Ground floor opportunity, or Get in Now, be wary. If only the people who join at the beginning can be successful, then eventually people will get hurt.

The only real question after considering this list is this:
“which one of these factors would you take off the list if you were going to seriously consider working with the company?”
If anyone seeing this list knows someone they care about is considering working with a company as an independent representative, they might be wise to consider: “how does that company measure up?”  If we are honest with ourselves, nothing can match the conviction of ‘certainty’ that is backed up by verifiable data and experience.  All the above points are relevant particularly to the one who has a long term commitment in mind.  That’s why we should be just as eager to ‘prove all things’ in this part of life as we should be in any other.

If you are serious about researching further on this topic in preparation for making a decision about where to invest your valuable time, be sure to contact me at barbara@hayseedscreative.com or visit   for more information.

Challenges to Millennials

Millennials are facing significant and unique challenges as they enter the workforce, the housing market and attempt to construct their futures. An article in the Detroit Free Press illustrates the realities and the obstacles they face.

Many millennials have accumulated thousands in education debt. These 25-34 year-olds now average over $33,000 in education debt. Nearly 50% of families with the head of household under 40 years of age owe money for student-related loans.

Although the recent economic recovery, has helped, there are still challenges to finding decent jobs in this demographic. Many drop out of college because of anxiety regarding growing their debt—and indicators are that even those who have not accumulated debt by choosing higher education are facing the same challenges to their financial futures.

Millennials are bringing home significantly smaller paychecks, making it less likely for them to be able to own a home or save anything for their retirement. In essence, millennials are accumulating assets at a much lower rate than those only 25 years ago.

Many are seeking alternative careers. Some becoming entrepreneurs and experimenting in businesses of their own—searching for answers. But new businesses contain risks of their own, including significant up-front investments, which can begin the debt cycle all over again.

The company with which I am associated offers millennials alternatives that can help turn their frustrations into opportunities. It eliminates risk and is virtually at no investment. It gives millennials the opportunity to begin wealth creation and much brighter futures. There is hope, young people. 

www.freep.com/story/money/personal-finance/susan-tompor/2018/04/25/student-loans-millennials-generation/537227002/

Giving & receiving leadership

Good leadership is complex. At the same time, it’s simple. The “flow” of effective leadership is both up AND down. Mentoring your team is your responsibility as a leader. You are the leader because you have unique knowledge and skills, so you must share them.

In addition, there is another dimension to leadership, accepting feedback gratefully and willingly—the most difficult part for most leaders. A good leader recognizes all group members have valuable experiences and respects valid feedback from the group.

Saying you are open to feedback and really BEING open to that same feedback are two different things. Employees and team members can sense when you are genuinely listening and absorbing their input. The best leaders don’t just listen to feedback; they solicit it.

To get the feedback you want, you must build trust amongst your team. They must feel safe in giving it to you and that there will be no negative consequences. If you act defensively, constructive feedback will surely diminish. Remember, you and they are sharing wisdom and all will benefit from it. Balance your leadership with positive (when it is deserved; no fake stuff) and with constructive interaction.

This dialogue will enrich the culture of your business and it will gain momentum, so it will occur more and more often. After your interchange has concluded, be sure and thank the person for taking the time to provide this information. Sometimes it is an advantage to repeat what it was that you have counseled about so both parties are on the same page. Good leadership will pay considerable dividends to your business. The best news is that it becomes easier and easier as you practice it.

Fore some valuable perspective, check out this article inForbes magazine.

www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/01/16/being-a-great-leader-means-giving-and-receiving-feedback/#6a42c223ebc9

Simple formula for living

Live beneath your means.
Return everything you borrow.
Stop blaming other people.
Admit it when you make a mistake.
Give clothing not worn to charity.
Do something nice and try not to get caught doing it.
Listen more; talk less.
Take a 30-minute walk every day.
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Be on time. Don’t make excuses.
Don’t argue. Get organized.
Be kind to unkind people.
Let someone cut ahead of you in line.
Take time to be alone.
Cultivate good manners.
Be humble.
Realize and accept that life isn’t fair.
Know when to keep your mouth shut.
Go an entire day without criticizing anyone.
Learn from the past.
Plan for the future.
Live in the present.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
It’s all small stuff.

5 Critical Roles In Your Business

As you begin to establish your new business, there are critical roles that must be fulfilled in order to assure or at least give you a bigger chance of success. If you have the luxury of a large, quality pool of team members from which to choose, you may have these resources on your existing team.

Most new businesses do not have the advantage of having existing team members that can accomplish these tasks, so the alternative is that you must fill these roles yourself with an eye to recruit with these necessary roles in mind. The attached Forbes article tells us that these roles must be filled and identifies what they are and why they are indispensable.

You are the de-facto leader as a founder of your business. As its primary coach, you must lead in a way that creates love and respect for the way that you lead. Your first task is to find an expert who knows the industry, the market, and the products and is able to communicate those to the rest of the team.

The financial guru who keeps track of the income matrices and expenses that the team deems worthy of taking on. This person may be domestic to the team or be an external resource. Most entrepreneurs are busy with the everyday tasks of being leaders, so there is a need for a strategist who is skilled at navigating the future and guiding the enterprise into a profitable and fulfilling enterprise.

Finally, there is a need for the executer that takes ownership of the company’s plans and monitors their progress in the day-to-day operation. The executer understands, fully, the company’s expectations and how they are performing from one day, one week, one month and one year to the next. The executer knows what needs to be done, when and how.

As we have said, earlier, sometimes in start-up and new business endeavors these roles must be filled by the founder with an eye to the future as you recruit for your team. A lot of work in the beginning and the use of some outside resources that are available to you can fill those roles in the short or even the long-term and can lead to great things in your business.

Forbes Article