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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Rethinking Everything

You're still here, I see. How about this, are you still running a home business? Are you loving it? Does it pay your bills or provide what you need it to provide?

If you are unhappy, rethink your business. Do you need to reimagine your role? Is there a possibly the market was oversaturated and it's difficult to compete? Are you a lazy record-keeper?

There are a few things you can ask yourself to help decide if you should continue to push forward or if you should consider cutting your losses.

Are you in love with the idea of working from home, running your own business, or are you simply passionate with something that happens to be run from home? Chose one, two, or all three; it doesn't matter as long as you are honest with yourself.

Is it YOU that is faltering? Is it the economy where your product or service is falling short?

Whether you lack the passion or lack the skills there are so many things you can do but one of them is probably to stop what you are doing and change it. You see, if your way isn't working, you MUST try another way--even if it hurts a little.

Freelance Writers
I've gotta say this: Do not fall in love with your words unless you are only writing for yourself (have at it!). If your goal is to earn money, yes, you have to write what you know and it's also good to be enjoying it, but you'll sell nothing if you are not satisfying the market. And when I say "market" I mean what your market really is/who they are not what you believe it should/they would be.

All Others
It's a new year and a new you, make it a "like-new" business where you work harder to succeed where success lives.

Still here? I'm just rambling because I am so dang tired and busy trying to figure out if I should change that I tithe 90% of my work because you know what? My needs completely changed but my work and my business didn't. Time to grow up.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Beginning Article Writing

Choose a book in the public domain—one that interests you and is well written. Find something in the book, just one part of it, and rewrite the story but as an article. Discover your purpose before and while writing whether you are informing, entertaining, persuading, or serving some other purpose to the reader. When you are finished, read out loud. Fix anything that doesn’t sound right. Read out loud again.

Next, give it to someone you trust and who will follow through. Have them read it and answer questions such as did every word move the article forward, was there repetition, did you write down to the audience, and what did they get from the article—what service did they feel you were serving?

You can do this until you feel comfortable, but the best way is to write articles for real and you’ll know you’re doing a good job when you get that first check.

Other Things to Do:
Read articles

Make a list of subjects you love and write about them

Make another list of subjects that can be entwined with other subjects and write about them

Write articles regardless of having a market or audience

Find online websites, magazines, and publishers that need freelance writers and ask for writers guidelines—this shows you what they are looking for

Get Used to Seeing Your Name in Print:
Write to the editor of your local paper regarding something current that you are also passionate about

Review products—books, movies, etc. and post wherever you can
Write a blog—whether personal or professional

Share your success stories with highly niche newsletters, for instance, your company newsletter, a product or service newsletter

Article writing is fun and can be lucrative as long as push yourself—the writers who succeed do not wait for the check before writing—heck they don’t even wait for a green light from an editor or publisher—they write, send it in, write some more, send more in, write some more… and so on

Keep good records, not just on your submissions and paid work, but on your work itself

Do not be afraid to ask questions

Figure out if you are an independent contractor/freelancer and what the laws are about taxes

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Simple Works: Home Business Tips That Will Save Time and Money

Raising seven kids has taught me well in life and business. My husband and I each brought three kids to the table (his three boys, my three girls) and we shared an extra child we couldn't love more. To get along as full siblings is nearly unheard of, but as step siblings? Nearly impossible. Yet, they got along well. Very well.

People complimented them often and would ask us the secret; it was always the same:

Be consistent, accountable, and follow through.

Like raising good children, you could not choose a better formula for business success, in fact, it's so easy, people overlook it. And wonder why they fail.

Working from home is a blessing, but also a curse. You may find yourself putting off something until "later" and later forgets to show up. The next thing you know, you're searching for your receipts to show the bank that there was supposed to be a charge reversal or your phone service is disconnected but not because you have no money--because you forgot to pay the bill you can't find.

Being thorough and consistent can save on late fees, lost accounts, looking immature as a business, and a huge amount of stress. 

No matter what kind of home business you run or how much your business earns, these tips can change your life as you know it and keep in mind, I've cut it to the bare bones. Seriously, just do this if you are not already doing it.

Put your paperwork away in the same place. Every time. 
Home Business File Folder

Use file folders, even if you keep it in a cardboard box. You may end up with more folders than you really need, but as you are consistent in using them and putting them away, your mind will automatically be on the lookout for the best way to do this for you and your needs.

Your filing system is too elaborate if paper is piling up; don't work hard and loathe doing it, simplify. Some small businesses have only two files: IN and OUT. Whatever works BEST for your business and for the least amount of effort is exactly what you need.

Keep LIKE things together. Bills with bills. Receipts either stapled to bills or with other receipts divided only if you have so many it's necessary. Pens with pens all in the same place every single time. Get it?

Do not fight yourself. If you work better on the computer, scan your bills and keep in folders on your computer. Find an app for your phone that works with you. If you are a paper hoarder as I am, then stop trying to force making everything online. Go with what will make you get things done.

When you tell someone you will call... call. Follow through.

Work hard to make your day-to-day "normal" things--like filing and return phone calls--take five minutes or less. 

If you have someone else working with you, learn to delegate and only work on the more difficult things that must have your attention.

This is enough to get you going. Do you know why? Because simple works.