Teachers Deserve Better Pay

Did you know that 60% of teachers cannot survive on their salary! This video highlights several teachers who have had to take 2nd jobs just to survive. And this is true of many respectable careers that just cannot provide for a family these days without the help of a 2nd or 3rd income.

Have you considered seeking that additional job? Rather than have to add many more hours to your already stretched day, or change careers, there is an answer to helping supplement your family/personal income by helping others to be healthier from the comfort of your own home. One that I and many others are enjoying every day!  Sometimes it is just a matter of educating the educator!

Meet Some of Our Members Who Have Developed a Reliable Income From Home
 

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.

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?

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

What you should know if you use bleach

I don’t know about you, but I really am not a fan of those bleach commercials. You know, the ones where they tell you that to get something clean, you need to use bleach. Otherwise, you’re not cleaning properly, because bleach is the only thing can can get your house clean, fresh and bacteria free.

Common household bleach (sodium hydroxide) can be found in a variety of household products in both liquid and granular form and is not, technically speaking, considered corrosive or toxic, even if ingested. However, bleach exposure  is highly irritating and corrosive to the eyes, mouth and lungs. Fumes from bleach are very potent, as you can tell by the smell, and when inhaled can cause nervous system and brain damage, individuals with asthma or other breathing problems are particularly susceptible. In fact, inhaling the fumes is potentially carcinogenic.

Dermal contact of bleach can cause rash and burning. The longer the bleach is left on your skin,  the more likely it is that you will begin to experience burning, itching and other types of irritation. If the bleach is left on your skin for an inordinately long period of time, it can cause pigment lightening and permanent tissue damage.

Serious side effects of using bleach can include respiratory problems, skin burns, damage to the nervous system, asthma flares, extreme headaches, migraines, and vomiting. Inhalation of chlorine gas or drinking highly concentrated sources of chlorine (such as household bleach) can lead to vomiting, coma, and even death.

Athough it is not considered “technically toxic” stories abound concerning bleach and the side effects.

From the “Pharmaceutical Press”: A young girl had suffered episodes of vomiting, abdominal pain, and bronchopneumonia over a period of a year which was finally traced to her habit of sucking socks that had been bleached.

From Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products:  An 18 month old girl who swallowed a “few tablespoons” of liquid household bleach coughed, choked and vomited. Promptly thereafter she became lethargic and was admitted to a local hospital in a state of coma. Death occurred 19 hours after ingestion.

Why would you add a half cup of chemical toxins to your load of laundry?
Well, that’s what you’re doing when you add Clorox® Bleach to your wash. The culprit in Clorox Bleach is chlorine—that toxic chemical with vapors irritating to your eyes and damaging to your respiratory system. Products with the word bleach in its name obviously contain bleach, however; a variety of products contain bleach and it may not be obvious at first glance, or smell. Some examples are: Drano, Tilex, Palmolive, and Cascade.

The statistics are startling.

An estimated 61% of toilet bowl cleaners use chlorine bleach. Another 26% of adults use chlorine bleach directly in their toilets. That means 87% of all toilets are being cleaned with a known poison that is then flushed into city water systems. That water must then be treated with more chemicals before being released into our water ways.

Not only can bleach be toxic, but it can increase my risk of an asthma attack and make the condition worse, as well as lead to COPD or cancer. I admit it, I was an ardent user of bleach until I decided to spend time reading labels and go green 15 years ago when I discovered a manufacturer providing greener products through an online shopping club.

I now use an EPA-registered botanical disinfectant, powered by thyme oil and citric acid, which kills over 99.9% of common household germs—no caustic chlorine bleach or quats required. I admit disinfecting my home has never been easier! For toilets, there’s an alternative powered by organic cleaners and thyme oil that has the same environmental impact as
a bowl of lemons. It cleans beautifully, and smells great. I found a great way to get my home even cleaner than using bleach and my cleansers smell so much better! I know my home is safer too.

The link to the article below offers alternatives to using bleach in your laundry:
https://www.melaleucajournal.com/time-break-bleach-move-melabrite-plus-oxi/

Switching stores and switching from bleach allowed me to get rid of a lot more than just the stains and dirt, it got rid of Ammonia; Chlorine Bleach; Petroleum Distillates; Gloves; Toxic Ingredients; no special ventilation is required and I have NO WORRIES!

Facing Fear

Fear (and not facing it) can degenerate your ability to succeed, in life, in business, and in your personal relationships. Fear is not the enemy, your inability to face it and challenge it is.

This article from “Help Scout” helps explain how fear can actually be your friend and how facing it often can be one of the greatest tools to achieving all the things that you consider success.

You have heard the term “comfort zone” numerous times and it is understandable that we all tend to cuddle in its’ warm embrace. IT IS COMFORTABLE. At the same time, that feeling of “being OK” is not that at all.

Fear is actually your friend. We all feel fear. It is NOT unique to you. Conquering it is the gateway to business success and life’s quality achievements. The fearful are punished as often as the bold. The difference is the bold gave themselves a chance.

Fear actually makes us do the opposite of what is best for us. The pain that facing fear causes is nothing compared to the gratification that facing and conquering it generates. Facing that needle, so that I may be immune to an illness or making that phone call for the appointment that can convert a new customer are better for me in the long-run and the long-term benefits far outweigh the prick of the needle or the anxiety that your finger dialing that number cause.

www.helpscout.net/blog/do-things-that-scare-you/

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.”