Thinking About the Freedom of a Home Based Business?

THINK, THEN DO.
The recent demise of several companies that used network marketing (or a facsimile) to sell their products to consumers, led me to reflect on the reasons that these, and many other companies, like them, fail.

Having been associated with a Consumer Direct Marketing business (a successful one) myself for more than 10 years makes me, at least somewhat, qualified to share some of my observations. I became an independent marketing executive with my company after being introduced by my enroller to the 12 success factors that portend a successful company and personal career with that company. My company possessed them all, so I was encouraged.

But in reflecting on the companies that have failed in the past, both long ago and recently, I came to a conclusion that, if there were success factors, there must be failure factors, as well. Some of these are simply reciprocals of the success factors, which would make it easy. As you and I both know, nothing comes easy, so I’m sharing a few of “think out loud” thoughts here. 

First, if the company you are considering is a pyramid business model—where only a few early “fortunates” will prosper—it is, first of all, illegal and finally, destined to fail, just because of the structure. It’s not the shape, because most direct marketing businesses have the “shape” of a pyramid. The downfall of the pyramid model is that the preponderance of compensation is not based on product sales, but on signing up others at a significant fee or large unsold product commitments. Don’t go there.

Another failure factor: a company that offers one or two products (even if size and applications vary). A company with a large variety of products and product categories that embrace duplicated, family spending; budget allocations that are already being made; offer an opportunity to expand your approach market exponentially, and your potential for success, greatly. However, a wide variety of products aren’t enough—the products must be higher in quality or unique in valuable ways and they MUST be competitively priced with their alternatives. Unique, superior, competitively priced products are what make the Consumer Direct Marketing model work.

A start-up company is sometimes a good bet in the technology/software business, but is almost never a good bet when it comes to consumer goods. A company with no history is using YOU to test every idea. Unless you enjoy being a lab rat, avoid this environment.

Another factor to examine is the company’s balance sheet (you will have to source that for yourself since that likely will not be shared).
Next, is the company you are considering partnering with carrying bundles of unexplainable debt? If so, their future may be in doubt, and therefore, so is yours.

So a definite failure factor is unfunded spending in a business, as it is in our personal lives.

I’m happy to say the company I represent has absolutely no debt—as in zero—even in capital investments. So a definite “failure factor” is unfunded spending in a business, as it is in our personal lives.

Now let’s talk about the effort you invest in creating a consumer, it is considerable, particularly if you do a more than adequate job explaining your products and your business. If the association you are considering allows you to continue benefiting from those efforts in the form of continuing residual income, those efforts are (or eventually will be) worth it. But, there are many direct marketing models that provide breakaways, which simply means the money your consumer is still spending, is not enriching you any longer. Call me crazy, but that’s not a good deal, and certainly, qualifies as a failure factor.

So as you choose a business model to represent, use the above-mentioned success factors as a benchmark. For my choice, I was able to avoid all of the failure factors. The fact is that my choice was so sound that the only failure factor I had to overcome was myself!
Yep, I was the only variable. Was I going to try this business or was I going to do this business? In the direct marketing arena, once you have sorted the successes from the failures, it always comes down to that choice…TRY or DO. I am not going to attempt to influence your ultimate choice, but when you have made yours, commit yourself to the do and not the try or don’t make the choice at all.

Stay where you are, it may work out. Really… REALLY?

Can The Fear Of Success Cause Me To Fail?

The fear of failure is easy to understand. We all experience it, even if it
is only from time to time (but it is likely more often). Fear of failure is
right there “in your face”. It presents itself right up front and is obvious.
As I said, fear of failure is easy to understand.

But it may be that the fear of success is your biggest obstacle. It is much more insidious and more difficult to identify. The linked article below Lifehack can be very helpful in identifying that you fear success.

Try saying it to yourself, “I am afraid of being successful”, it doesn’t sound right. It sounds counter-intuitive. Check the behaviors, which indicate that you may, indeed, fear success. The article explains some things that you can do. You probably have heard that your subconscious mind is in charge much more than your conscious mind is.

Don’t be afraid of being extraordinary. Having a strong why can help you overcome the fear of success. Revisit your why often or, more importantly, write it down and keep it in front of you where you will see it often. You and what you can do for you is powerful beyond measure.

If you work hard doing results producing activities, becoming successful is inevitable. You will have your share of failures. It is just part of life. Believing that you deserve or even are entitled to success can make it all happen. It all begins with you. Don’t fear to become rich, standing out or change. Don’t avoid doing two things every day that will lead you to become the awesome you that is within you.

Lifehack article:  Can the fear of success cause me to fail?/


Inspiration vs. Motivation

Many of us use the words inspiration and motivation interchangeably as if it were the same word. In fact, the words and the emotions they evoke are distinctly different.

Inspiration is an external, driving force usually associated with some newly discovered information. Motivation, on the other hand, is an internal, pulling force that can only come from inside you. 

In many ways, these concepts seem to conflict because we “feel” inspired, which comes from within and motivation has some elements of external factors, which cause us to take action. There is an external need that requires us to take action.

A great speaker at a convention can inspire us with the information they provide, but the call to action comes from inside of us and we are responsible for taking that action. Motivation is when you get a hold of an idea and take it to a conclusion. Inspiration is when an idea gets a hold on you and drives you where you intend to go.

So, create your motives (and your motivation). You will get your inspiration from your spirit. Keep exposing yourself to new information and you will continue to “fill your tank” with inspiration. Your motivations for initiating your actions are YOUR responsibility. Don’t shirk it; embrace it and it will soon become a very good and successful habit. Habits are activities that duplicate themselves.    

Stuck in your comfort zone?

Monday thoughts.

How many of you are stuck in your own comfort zone?
You feel safe doing what you have been doing every day, but question when you don’t get the results that you desire.
This can pertain to any aspect of your life: health, fitness, relationships, business, etc.

Have you ever had a conversation with yourself?
I don’t mean just talking out loud like some people do. I mean really dig deep inside and pull out what it is that really scares you.
Only you can find out the true answer.

Now, don’t lie, because you will only lie to yourself and you are the one person you never want to tell lies.
Once you identify your fear, ask yourself if you take a step towards conquering it, will it physically or mentally harm anyone? 99.9% the answer will be no. The only ‘harm’  might be palpitations and cold sweats.

Identify the fear that makes you stuck in your comfort zone, take a deep breath and just go for it! What is the worse thing that can happen?
You dip your toe in the cold water and after the initial shock, you breath and say to yourself, ‘that wasn’t so bad! I got this!’
Little steps like this will help you step outside your comfort zone and positive results will happen!
Remember, FEAR is Face Everything And Roar!

Can The Fear Of Success Cause Me To Fail?

The fear of failure is easy to understand. We all experience it, even if it is only from time to time (but it is likely more often). Fear of failure is right there “in your face”. It presents itself right up front and is obvious. As I said, fear of failure is easy to understand.

But it may be that the fear of success is your biggest obstacle. It is much more insidious and more difficult to identify. The article below from “Lifehack” can be very helpful in identifying that you fear success.

Try saying it to yourself, “I am afraid of being successful”, it doesn’t sound right. It sounds counter-intuitive. Check the behaviors, which indicate that you may, indeed, fear success. The article explains some things that you can do. You have often heard (probably) that your subconscious mind is in charge much more than your conscious mind is.

Don’t be afraid of being extraordinary. Having a strong why can help you overcome the fear of success. Revisit your “why” often or, more importantly, write it down and keep it in front of you where you will see it often. You and what you can do for you is powerful beyond measure.

If you work hard doing results producing activities, becoming successful is inevitable. You will have your share of failures. It is just part of life. Believing that you deserve or even are entitled to success can make it all happen. It all begins with you. Don’t fear to become rich, standing out or change. Don’t avoid doing two things every day that will lead you to become the awesome you that is within you.

www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/what-you-have-fear-success.html

Benefits Of Mentoring

Mentoring is a practice that is touted by many contemporary companies. You have probably also heard it referred to as “coaching”. No matter what it is called, it is a practice that, obviously, is an asset to those being mentored (mentees).

But, have you stopped to think that there are also significant benefits to those doing the mentoring? The article below from “The Chronicle” helps point out some ways where the benefits of mentoring not only flow down to the mentee, but up to the mentor. You see it is not a one-way street.

The lessons you teach can serve as a relearning experience for the mentor. As you increase the confidence and the posture, it improves your own and reinforces the skills that got you to where you are. So as you remind your mentees to have confidence in themselves and their personal resources, take an inventory of your own realizations.

Mentorship forces you to step back to when you were being mentored. As they ask questions you will be faced with your own past experiences that will put their questions in the context of your experiences. How did I learn that? What helped me when I was in their position?

Just because you are now the mentor does NOT mean you are all-knowing. Keep perspective on the perceived hierarchy and remember you can learn from those that you mentor, as well. So keep an open mind and be willing to learn from them. They are usually younger than you are and have a much more contemporary perspective than yours.

Let your mentoring experience make you a better leader. Bear in mind that, as you help them, you should be helping yourself increase your leadership skills. And always be aware that the mentoring journey is all about them. What you get back is collateral knowledge. They are happy to share with you because of what they have gleaned from your relationship.

The company, with which I have associated myself, has established the mentoring (coaching) process as the cornerstone of owning and growing a healthy business that will pay “lifetime” dividends.  It is so integral to their culture; it has been incorporated into the Mission Statement. I keep it on my desk so that I am able to review it every day.

chronicle.umbmentoring.org/four-ways-mentoring-benefits-mentor/

Five 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 below article from Forbes 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.

www.forbes.com/sites/alanhall/2013/03/30/five-critical-team-members-for-business-success/#1f775e42ad90

Lessons to learn from water

Water a most important resource. Important because it is needed for life to exist. Yet only 2.5% of water on the Earth is fresh water, and more than two-thirds of this is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. That means almost all of the water on Earth, more than 97 percent of it, is seawater in the oceans.

Water is also quite powerful. Longtime coastal community residents know the danger of water and storm surge all too well. If you ask coastal residents, ones who’ve experienced dozens of ocean storms, what their memories are of the most destructive storm surge or water events, you likely won’t hear them rattle off any hurricane names. It’s the large winter ocean storms that release a flood of bad memories.

Water can be a deadly enemy, yet it still serve as an essential component in our lives because over 70% of our body is made of it and we can’t survive a week without it.

Since  it is a vital part of life, we can learn a few lessons from water to apply to our everyday lives. Here are six of the best:

    1. Boiling water softens potatoes and hardens eggs.
      Its about what you’re made of; not your circumstances.
    2. Don’t water the concrete. Nothing grows there.
      Stay focused on doing what matters most.
    3. Don’t water yourself down, because you’ll be less palatable to yourself and cheating those who matter. Don’t water yourself down, simply because someone can’t handle you pure, undiluted and 100% proof.
    4. At 211 degrees fahrenheit, water doesn’t do very much, but at 212 degrees its boils and produces steam which can power trains weighing over 500 tons. That’s a change in temperature of less than half a percent. Small differences in behavior can create huge changes in results.
    5. Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. They sink because of the water that gets in them. Be careful who you let into your head.
      And finally…
    6. When life pees on you, remember the words of Billy Connolly who said, “Todays rain, is tomorrows whisky.”

Inter-independence

From the time that we were children, we were encouraged to learn and BE independent (self-reliant). As we move forward in our professional lives we may find that it doesn’t work as well as our parents intended.

You may want to explore some alternatives that actually make your search for business success and satisfaction more efficient and effective. Inter-independence is the combination of being independent while also being interdependent. The new economy, as the below article from “Authentic Organizations”, is discussed in some detail.

Even if you only examine the contemporary phenomenon of social media, you will find that we always depend on others and their input and information. It is a matter of the “you” and the “me” are becoming less important and the “we” is becoming the emphasis. In order to achieve your goals more effectively, it becomes more important to work WITH each other and HELP each other.

The company I’m associated with regards the dimension of helping others as so important it has incorporated it into its’ mission statement. In today’s new economy, even for a small business, independence is a myth and self-reliance is a bad strategy. I am an “independent businessperson”, but I am totally reliant on other independent business people with whom I work doing their job so that I can achieve my goals.

http://authenticorganizations.com/harquail/2012/06/15/self-reliance-versus-interdependence-in-the-boost-economy/#sthash.phsOMvIF.dpb

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

http://www.workingwhileliving.com/?barbarahay

 

Whether it is sharing the knowledge or listening, you can assist others in their business, to achieve their goals.