Busy, Busy, Busy: A Way of Life

Being busy has become a way of life for many of us. So much so that we begin to feel guilty if we find ourselves not being busy or we feel uncomfortable if we find we have nothing to keep ourselves busy. If we see someone who is not being busy then we think they may be lazy or unwell. If we are not busy, we try to think of ways to look busy!

In our work, in our office, in our home, we like to be busy. We may complain that we have not got a moment to ourselves and yet, when we find that time, we feel guilty and feel we should be doing something!

In our minds we seem to be confusing being busy with achieving. Our efforts to keep busy seem to be replacing our drive to be successful. Perhaps we feel that if we keep busy, at some point our efforts will magically bring success. Or perhaps we keep ourselves busy to take our minds off thinking about other things.

Yet, if you were to ask people what sort of life that would love to lead, how many would say they dreamt of a ‘busy’ life? Most of us would dream of a calm, peaceful and successful life, which is quite the opposite of a busy life.

Being busy is not a virtue, it is not a goal. Being busy is what happens when we find ourselves adrift from what really matters in our life. Being busy is what happens when we find ourselves working to the values and goals of others in our lives; our boss, our line manager, the company, even our parents, partners, children and, yes, even the other people living in our street.

Someone who looks busy may have the appearance of being successful, powerful, and influential but do they really feel that way? Usually not. Usually, the person feels flustered, annoyed, pressured and stressed. They feel as if they are not in control of their own time or their own lives and feel they are working to the demands of others.

Keeping busy takes people away from their own thoughts and visions. It takes them away from working toward their own success or their own purpose. Busy people have little time to consider ‘the big picture’, they are busy working on a little piece of a puzzle without knowing where or whether it fits.

People will say that they go to work and keep busy to earn money. This may sound fair enough but earning money is only a ‘reason’ for going to work. Having a ‘reason’ is not the same as having a ‘purpose’. How many people would say that their purpose in life is to earn money? You may need to earn money, maybe lots of money, to achieve your purpose or live the life you want for yourself and your family but earning the money is not the purpose of life.

Being busy has effects upon ourselves that we do not realise. We stop talking to people; I mean really talking to them. Sure, we may talk about whatever thing we are each busy doing but do we really talk about anything else? How many of these people do we really know? We may know a bit about the work they do but do we really know anything about them as people? Do they know anything about us? Being busy takes time away from other things and from other people. How many of us have heard our partner complain that they do not see enough of us? How many of us would like to spend more time with our children or more time for ourselves?

Being busy has effects upon our health, how many of us have felt stressed as a result of being too busy? How many of us know we are under strain but fear to slow down in case we are seen as lazy or not pulling our weight? How many of us can find the time to book that urgent doctor’s that we know we need but are just too busy to fit it in?

So, now, ask yourself these questions;

1) When I am being busy, whose purpose am I working for? Mine? My family’s? The company’s?

2) When I am not being busy, do I ever feel guilty, lazy or devious?

3) When I am being busy, how many people do I talk to? What do we talk about? Do I really know the people I talk to?

4) If I were not being so busy, what else could I be doing?

5) In the last week, how many successes have I had?

6) Could I become more successful without being so busy?

7) What benefits could it bring me and those close to me if I stopped being so busy?

Entrepreneurs – Do You Want to Run Your Own Business? You Must Read This First!

Are you considering the life of an Internet business owner? Well before your eyes gloss over with dreams of endless free time and images of sitting on your couch with your laptop clicking away earning you thousands let me show you the reality of the situation.

A certain image has been promoted of the Internet business owner. It’s often glorified as the great dream, leaving your old job, with the long hours and annoying boss in exchange for a flexible lifestyle that you are in control of.

Well let me tell you – it’s all true!

Well sort of. It’s not by any means easy to do and you lose many things you might have not realised you valued in your old secure job. Let me point out the things you lose that you might want to think about before quitting your job.

1. Say good bye to a reliable and predictable income.

No job is 100% secure and there is a good argument that being in control of your income via your own small business is more secure than a job (you’re not at the risk of downsizing etc) however it doesn’t feel like that, especially when you start out. Even the oldest most established business cannot be certain sales will keep coming. From week to week you go up and down and are never sure when or where your next sale will come from. You can have great months and bad months and the only constant is unpredictability. A steady pay cheque feels a lot more secure than the ups and downs of your own business.

2. Your business is your life.

When you leave work you leave work. Most small business owners live and breath their business so they don’t ever really leave work. Now I’ve got it pretty good at the moment because I love what I do and I don’t *have* to work much though I choose to work online a lot. That being said I am trapped to checking my email day in and day out, 24 hours a day, which is not ideal. Chances are when you start your business you won’t be working 9-5 or even 8-6. Early on you will most likely carry the show and until you can justify hiring others your hours will be long and you won’t have a weekend. However if you are smart, set realistic expectations and remember life is a balance, then running your own business can definitely be less work than a normal job, if you choose it to be.

3. You may never make real money until you sell your business.

An unfortunate situation in many small businesses is that the owner often doesn’t make much more than an average salary, sometimes less. Now if you are evaluating starting a small business based purely on financial rewards then you might want to change your assessment criteria. Many small business owners don’t make a big windfall until they sell their business and often by the time they are making the sale they will be using the money for retirement. Although it is also true that the only way to become really, really wealthy, besides inheritance and lotto, is by starting your own business.

The reality is that only a small percentage of businesses make their owner really wealthy, the rest stumble along earning an average wage. Of course many of those business owners earning an average wage love their lifestyle and only work as hard as they want to. Running your own business has the greatest potential to make you rich and may never make you rich, but here is the important part, your own business is very likely to make you a happier person if you keep your goals simple and aim for lifestyle over riches. Anyone can get rich but the contented people are rich without material wealth.

4. There is no superannuation, paid leave or sick leave.

You may not think about superannuation very much but it’s nice to know that when you have a job your employer is planning for your future by contributing to your superannuation. As a business owner your employer is you and besides looking after your employee superannuation you are also in charge of your own retirement. This is an added worry that you don’t have when you are working for another business.

Having time off is a concept not familiar to many business owners. Being paid when you have time off is like a dream for a business owner. There are some common myths about business owners working 7 days a week even when sick. If you do things right your business should still function without you when you need time off because of illness or even if you dare to take a holiday. However that being said most business owners find themselves as the most critical wheel in the business system and if you remove that wheel things fall apart. The important skill to learn is that the business owner should work on the business, not in it, but that’s easier said than done and especially early on when funds are tight it’s very like you will be working in the business. Don’t expect a paid holiday.

5. Workmates

There are no work mates for the solopreneur. You can hire employees that may hopefully become friends but the dynamic is always you the boss and them the employees. If you have been used to working in a busy, lively, talkative office full of peers that share the same perspective as you, with Friday afternoon drinks, group functions and shared time complaining about the boss — you can kiss all this goodbye.

Okay, that’s not entirely true.

Things are definitely different from working in someone else’s business but I’ve seen many small businesses that have great working environments. The difference is as the boss you have to create your own socialisation. You can do this by creating an amazing business culture where all employees are mates and the office is like a party that happens to get work done too. Of if you do not require employees then it’s your job to make sure you don’t turn into a lonely home based business bum. This means flexing your socialising muscles and organising events with other business people (if that’s whom you like to associate with), making sure you stay actively involved in groups and clubs and that you leave the home office now and then to interact with real live people. Much like everything else with running your own business, you are in charge of your social life too.

A day in the life of an Internet Business Entrepreneur.

Now you are familiar with what you lose when starting your own business. Tomorrow I’ll be posting an article about a typical day in my life as an Internet business entrepreneur so you can see what sort of lifestyle you can attain if you choose to start your own business. I’m not saying mine is an ideal lifestyle and there are things I’m working to change, but my example does provide you with a working model of the home based business owner.

10 Keys to Creating a Profitable Online Business

Starting an online business is not always as easy as it may sound. But, running an online business has many benefits over its offline counterpart. First, and the most appealing, is you’ll most likely be working from home from your own computer, and working the hours that suit you. And secondly, you have the potential to make a lot more money than you would if you were working for someone else.

Before embarking on an online entrepreneurial quest for the perfect home-based business, it’s advisable to look at the array of online business opportunities available, and decide which would be the most suitable for you. While it’s quite conceivable, that the most profitable and legitimate type of online businesses can be operated successfully by one person, most involve a collaboration of skills and input.

For the individual, making money online is a very real prospect, but there are some important factors that should be considered before taking that first vital step.

1. Should you sell a service?

Unless you have a well-developed skill such as, web design, graphics design, writing or some other creative or artistic flair, you’ll have to concentrate on finding or creating a product.

In selling your services, you must first determine whether a paying market actually exists for your services. Initially, you’ll need to do some research and look at similar services being offered. A good indicator is usually when there are numerous similar services available. This would suggest a buoyant market, but it’s not always the case. A friendly yet inquisitive email sent to a few established service providers in the business you’re considering, should give you an insight.

Take a good look at the existing competition. Look at the quality of their work. Could you do it better? What prices are they charging? Could you do it cheaper? If you can effectively do either of these you’re on your way to building online wealth.

2. Should you sell a product?

More people than ever buy products online, but the main thing to consider is whether you want to sell a tangible product or a virtual product.

As with selling a service, you must first determine whether a market exists for your product. Look at similar products then decide whether there’s room for another player. All products will have to be sold through a website, from which an order can be taken and a payment can be processed. If you have the knowledge and necessary skills, you can easily build the website yourself. Otherwise you will have to pay a professional.

A tangible product is something that can be held in the hand, therefore it will also need to be packed and shipped. Processing orders is very time consuming, but more importantly you may have to keep inventory, which can be very expensive plus you’ll need to find storage space.

An alternative is to sell virtual products. These include downloadable e-books, videos and information products. You’ll still need a website with ordering and credit card processing facilities, but you will not need to keep any inventory and it won’t take up any space (except on your computer’s hard drive) Many successful Internet marketers use this method to maximum effect.

3. Selling someone else’s product

Some of the best online business opportunities are very simple to set up and run. The first of these is affiliate marketing. You simply find some existing products that are being successfully sold on the Internet, and sign up for their affiliate program. Basically, this is straight-forward process. You complete an online application form and you’re given a reference number, which you can embed into your marketing links. The host company will also track your sales and pay you commissions. All you have to do is sell their products.

Some people go overboard on affiliate programs, trying to sell anything and everything they can sign up for. It’s advisable to concentrate on a few related items such as e-books on a similar subject. When that enterprise begins to make money online, start all over again with a set of different products. With careful consideration and clever marketing, affiliate programs can be the perfect way of making money online. A good place to start is http://www.clickbank.com

4. Buying a business or franchise

If you’d prefer to buy a readymade business, there are many to choose from. Some established and profitable Internet businesses will gladly sell you a franchise. This will most likely be a clone of their existing business, but beware! Owning a franchise business on the Internet will prove useless unless you have territorial rights. The problem with online franchises is your limitations on what you can sell. You must sign an agreement with the franchisor, that you, the franchisee will only sell their range of products. Check out the various franchise opportunities at [http://www.usatoday.franchisesolutions.com]

5. Online investment opportunities

Not strictly a business opportunity, but investing in real estate or stocks and shares has become big business in itself. The Internet has opened up all kinds of opportunities for investors, and it’s so easy to go online and find stock brokers willing to advise you where to put your hard-earned cash for the maximum return. The big consideration with investing is to remember that prices can fall just as quickly as they rise. For all the information you need on investments, visit http://www.investorguide.com

6. Finding the right market

Whatever service or product you decide to offer your online customers, you must first establish whether there’s a need for it. If there is, you’ll have to work on an effective strategy of getting your product in front of your prospect ahead of the competition.

It’s been proven time and again that small is big. The small or niche market has been responsible for many people making a nice profit from the Internet. It’s as well to remember, that a niche market on the internet could number well over a million potential customers. Just 5% of a market this size, each buying a product with a $10 profit margin, would return $500,000 in profits.
A few examples of niche markets might be: Holidays for singles over 40, sports and fashion wear for children 6-24 months or easy car maintenance for lady drivers.

7. Online Auctions

The phenomenal success of online auctions, eBay in particular, is unprecedented. Not only are the online auction companies making large profits, they give everyone an opportunity to sell something to anyone anywhere in the world. From fashion accessories to collectibles and sports equipment to memorabilia, there appears to be a market, although limited, for everything.

The key to success here is to buy wholesale and sell volume. When you’ve got to the point of making good money from online auctions, simply write a book and tell everyone else how you did it. To get started in online auctions, go to eBay, click on wholesale, buy some stock and resell individually back on eBay.

8. Paid Surveys

Some people might not consider clicking boxes alongside questions a valid business opportunity. But if you consider it work, and the survey companies are willing to pay you, then it must be a form of business to be considered. It’s something almost anyone can do, doesn’t require any specialist knowledge or skill and can be done from anywhere.

The downside is, it’s tedious and won’t make you a fortune. However, it’s the ideal part-time opportunity for people with a few hours to spare or to run alongside a new venture during the ‘quiet’ periods. To sign up for online surveys visit: http://www.surveyclub.com

9. Enthusiasm, Commitment and Self-Discipline

Looking at the various online business opportunities and how you should evaluate them is only part of the equation for online wealth building. Working for yourself in your home-based business will require real enthusiasm, commitment and copious amounts of self-discipline. Whichever route or opportunity you consider, all will require a degree of ‘do-ability’.

Be prepared to spend more time at your computer, especially in the early months, building your business and getting your products in front of likely prospects. If you do it right, an online business can pay you big monetary rewards.

10. Accounting the costs

If you plan to set up and run an online business as your main source of income, beware! The tax man cometh! An online business is no different to a bricks and mortar business, in the eyes of the IRS. If you establish an online business and you’re making a full-time income, don’t forget to inform the authorities. You must have a business name, although this could be your own name, preferably a business bank account and you’ll need to inform the IRS.

You’ll need to keep records of all your business transactions for accounting purposes and you’ll need to set aside a percentage of your profits to cover taxes. Microsoft’s Excel program is perfect for keeping records of this nature, but don’t forget to keep a back-up of your files, just in case. The message here is to play it straight and keep it legal.

Of all the things you should consider, when planning to start an online business, the most important is undoubtedly marketing. Marketing strategies can make or break a business.