Are You Working Too Hard to Make Any Money?

January 30, 2007

So…what about it? Are you working too hard to make any money?

It sounds crazy, but I’ve found that to be true in many people’s businesses. The owner gets so caught up doing the daily routine, working 50+ hours per week, and they forget to do anything that brings in the cash.

They’re simply too busy to make any real money. The worst part is that they could hire a minimum wage employee to do many of the tasks they’re doing on a daily basis. They providing their own customer support, answering their emails, sending out their articles, answering their phone, and shipping their products, etc.

If you do it all yourself, you’re going to drive yourself insane. I understand if you’re just getting started online. You may have to do a few of those activities right now, but your goal should be to outsource them as soon as possible. Do a search online for personal assistants. Find a fulfillment company. Use software to automate part of the process.

Always look for ways to eliminate your daily work. If you own a business, it’s your job to bring in the cash. Figure out what you do best. Outsource or hire the rest.

Start off by delegating activities you’re poor at. Then delegate things you’re good at. Eventually you’ll delagate all the activities in your business.

If you do that, you’ll find both success and the lifestyle you’re looking for. From day one, keep this goal in mind. You might have to do all types of work today. Your first goal will be to eliminate everything you do poorly. Then keep moving up the ladder until only your gifting is left.

The Ultimate Business

January 23, 2007

I have coaching clients in a number of different businesses, including: local businesses, online retail, network marketers, affiliates, and even seminar companies.  Being a coach, I get to see the ins and outs of just about every type of business you can imagine.

In my opinion, there is one business that excels above the rest.  It’s the information business. 

Here are a few of the benefits:

  1. You have extremely nice margins.  It’s common to sell information products for $100 that cost you $10 or less to produce.
  2. Your products are “unique” in the marketplace.  While someone may copy your ideas, they can never copy your product word-for-word.
  3. It’s easy to find joint ventures.  Someone doesn’t just buy one information product.  They buy multiple from different authors…so any author is a potential joint venture partner. 
  4. Very low start-up costs.  You don’t need to hold an inventory.  Your first product could even be an ebook hosted on Clickbank.com.  Your only costs would be hosting and low cost advertising (if you pay for ads at all).
  5. Built-In Backend Sales.  Everyone of my products mentions resources, tools, and other products.  Some of these generate additional income.
  6. Increased Credibility and Exposure.  I’ve said many times, “How do you become an expert in your market?”  The answer is write a book.  The moment you publish a book you’re immediately looked at as an expert.
  7. Easy automation.  You work once and get paid on it forever.  You get the product up and selling, and it can all be easily automated for you.  Consider it the safest retirement income plan possible.

This of course isn’t putting down any other type of business.  It’s just that the information business offers advantages I haven’t seen in any other type of business…especially for those who want to have a nice income without a large staff.

I’ve been in this business since I first started online 11 years ago.  In that period of time, I’ve probably made every mistake in the book and still profited.  Recently I had a group coaching series where I taught my coaching clients everything I’ve discovered in this business…and how to turn it into an automatic income in virtually any niche.

You can find out more about my Information Marketing Mastery course which is available at http://www.myinfomastery.com.

Look for more articles on how to start and run an information business in this blog in the future.

Passion + Hungry Market = Maximum Profits

January 18, 2007

By Terry Dean

Two business people buy the same online training course.  They both follow it to the letter.  They find a hungry market.  They develop a product.  They both write a direct response website.

They both profit.  We return a year later.  One of them is out of business while the other one has turned their small business into a seven figure business. 

What’s the difference?

It’s the passion.

You need two important elements to build a truely successful business.  First you must find a hungry market who already wants to and is able to buy something.

Quit trying to convince people to buy your product.  That’s how you go broke.  You want to find an easy to target group of people who are already looking for what you offer.

Some good tools to help you find these people are:

Wordtracker – Research what keyword phrases your target market is already looking for:  http://www.wordtracker.com

Magazines - Are there magazines around that topic?  This shows it’s a big enough niche to suport a magazines: http://www.magazines.com 

Paypal Shops – Are people already successfully selling online to that niche?  Check the numbers here: http://tinyurl.com/chlr

That’s only the first part, and it’s also where most people stop.  They find a hungry market and make a little cash.

You can build a business from targeting a hungry market.

You can build a lifestyle from combining your passion with a hungry market.

Money is a powerful motivator, and it can drive you to start and build a business for a while.

What happens when you have money, and it no longer motivates you everyday?  You might say this would never happen to you. You might be right, but I’ve known quite a few wealthy people I couldn’t stand being around.  Everything they did was about making more, and having more than the next guy.

Who cares?  Do you know who is really fun to be around?  It’s that entrepreneur who is passionate about what they do. They love their business. They love their customers.  And it shows in everything they do.

They make great money, and they have a fun lifestyle to go along with it. 

At times it seems they have the magic touch.  Everything they do turns to gold.

Combine finding a hungry niche with finding your own passion and interests.  What is a mission you can get behind?  What would you love to share with others? 

What is it that you just can’t quit talking about when you’re with your friends? 

Take some time and write down everything you love to do. Imagine living your perfect day.  What would you do?  Where would you go?  Who would you work with? 

Now take that…and combine it with finding the right easy to target niche market. 

The difference between the two business people is one found a business while the other one find a lifestyle.

You can make money even when you hate your business, but you can’t build a life you love that way. 

Combine the two.  Now you have real life.

The Web Is Going Local

January 11, 2007

The web is constantly changing.  That’s a constant.  Everywhere you look people are talking about web 2.0, social media, etc.

One of the trends I’ve been paying careful attention to is the rise in Internet use for local businesses.  I’ve been working with several local clients, and the results they achieve online is nothing short of amazing.

Just this morning I read an article about a restaurant with an email list of 1,667 subscribers who regularly has 300 people respond by using a coupon in their email offers.  That’s close to an 18% sales conversion rate for one email a month.  You can read more about that here…

Most “expert” online based businesses would be hard pressed to get an 18% sales conversion from an email list. 

The web is moving local.  Local businesses who are getting in early are dominating their marketplaces using local pay-per-click and pay-per-call strategies. 

If you’re new to looking at local online marketing, pay-per-call might be a new term to you.  It’s simply a pay-per-click strategy where you only pay per phone call to your company instead of per click to your website.  Most local businesses are more comfortable with the phone than the web, so it’s a quickly expanding option. 

As this is definitely one of my interests, you can look forward to more updates and articles on local online marketing in the future.  In fact, I’ve even teamed up with Sharon Odom Fling from http://www.geolocal.net/blog/ to put together an upcoming CD training series about this subject. 

On it, we’re even covering how webmasters and online marketers can get into the local action and take advantage of this trend.  A large number of people looking to start their own business go after “internet marketing” which is the most crowded overhyped market there is in my opinion.  Local online marketing is virtually untapped in many areas.

So while everyone is talking about Web 2.0 and how the overall web is changing, don’t miss the changes that are taking place on the local level.  The results are often surprising if you haven’t been paying attention.

Blogs You Can Use

January 9, 2007

My goal today is to provide you with a list of useful blogs to help you in your business and your life.  When I went through all my feeds and favorite blogs, I quickly discovered this wouldn’t be as simple as I thought.

Some blogs publish great material, but then they just quit.  They haven’t updated in months.  I definitely didn’t want to list those here.

Others do good for a while, and then they fall into the hype filled world of marketing, where all their posts are “hidden selling” for someone’s overpriced $1,000 product. 

So my “quick posting” quickly became a long journey of visiting each and every blog I’ve favorited and seeing what they offer right now. Let’s just say this list became a whole lot shorter than I expected.

Here are a few of the blogs that give great value and information…

Robert Bly’s Copywriting Blog
http://www.bly.com/blog/index.php

Marketing and Branding Your Small Business
http://www.smallbusinessbranding.com

Problogger’s Advice for Making Money with Blogs
http://www.problogger.net

Copywriting Tips for Online Marketing
http://www.copyblogger.com

Web 2.0 from a Christian Perspective
http://microexplosion.blogspot.com

Shaune Clarke Copywriting Blog
http://www.shauneclarke.com

Online Marketing Blog
http://www.toprankblog.com

Personal Development for Smart People
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog

Writing White Papers
http://www.writingwhitepapers.com/blog/

Humorous Home Based Business Blog
http://successfromthenest.com

Unusual Business Ideas that Work
http://uncommonbusiness.blogspot.com

Duct Tape Marketing
http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/weblog.php

Did I forget some?  I’m sure I did.  Feel free to leave comments with suggestions for other blogs that should have been listed.  Make sure to include why you like the blog! 

4 Practical Steps to Achieving Your Goals

January 5, 2007

If you’re like me, you probably have set a lot of goals in your life. 

The question isn’t whether you’ve made goals.  The question is whether you’re regularly achieving your goals or not.

Early on in business I was told to make goals.  So I made them.  The problem was I never seemed to reach any of my goals.  Basic goal setting as I was taught never seemed to work for me.  I’d set one goal, and I didn’t reach it.  I’d set more goals, and I didn’t reach those.  It was a constant discouragement to the point where I gave up on goals altogether for quite a while.  

Right now is a season when many people have made New Year’s Resolutions.  They’ve also set their goals for the new year.  You might have had the same experiences I did with goal setting.  You might even have given up on one of your goals already this new year. You might have become so frustrated with goal setting that you’ve given up on setting goals altogether like I used to be.

It’s not Goal Setting that’s wrong.  It’s that most of us have only learned a portion of what we need to know about it.  I’ve laid out four quick practical steps to help you set goals and achieve them below .  Please don’t leave any of them out if you’re serious about moving forward in your business and personal life.

1. Set Long-term and Short-term Goals.

A lot of people set the end goal, but they forget to set little milestone goals.  For example, let’s say someone wants to lose 30 pounds or increase their income by $50,000 this year.  Those are longer term goals. 

You might decide that 1 pound per week is a safe and practical amount to lose.  So you give yourself 30 weeks or more to reach that goal.  You should also set your monthly goals of losing 4 pounds per month. 

One of the biggest problems I’ve had with goal setting in the past is the discouragement of comparing myself with others.  Watch TV or read ads online, and you’ll see “success stories” surrounding you of people who blow your results out of the water. 

They might lose 15 pounds in a month, and you get discouraged with your 4 pound weight loss.  That person increased their income by $100,000 in less than 30 days.  What’s wrong with you when you only increased by $1,000 in that same 30 day period? 

I’ll have to admit here also that I tried to lose weight and get in shape by joining some of the fitness challenge systems such as Body for Life.  Within a couple of weeks, I always got discouraged and quit, because their “examples” always did so much better than me. I’m much better off setting reasonable long-term and short-term goals. 

There is the old saying, “You overestimate what you can accomplish in one year, and underestimate what you can accomplish in 5.” 

Set weekly goals, monthly goals, yearly goals, three year goals, ten year goals, and lifetime goals.  You will overestimate what you can accomplish in the short-term goals, but you will underestimate just how much you can accomplish in those long-term goals.

Set those long-term goals high, but set manageable short-term goals that you can reach and succeed with.  Ignore many of those claims you hear about extremely fast results.  Because if you’re like me, you’re better off setting practical goals you reach short-term. 

They’ll empower you to keep reaching for the long-term outrageous success you’re looking for.

2. Make sure you’re deeply motivated to achieve those goals for yourself.

A lot of my early goals were set because of others expectations of me. Your mother wants you to graduate from that college.  Your father wants you to become a doctor.  Your spouse wants you to lose weight.

You might even set goals based on keeping up with the neighbors.  Your next door neighbor got a raise and bought a new sports car.  So you decide that’s your goal as well. 

That’s fine until you come to realize you don’t want or even like sports cars.  To you, they’re a pain to drive and you get tired of using a clutch.  You’d prefer more time hiking or relaxing in the woods.

What is it you really want?  That’s what you should be looking at when you’re doing your goal setting.  Who do you really want?

I suggest doing something else when you first write your goals as well.  Write down at least two to three reasons WHY you want it.  A goal without a reason why will soon be a goal that isn’t reached. 

What is going to motivate you to reach that goal?  What is it inside of you that will make you put down that donut when it is calling out to you?  What is that can make you get up one hour early to work when that bed feels so warm and comfy?

Why do you want to achieve that goal?  Do this exercise for every goal on your list.  Below each goal, write at least 2 to 3 reasons why you want to achieve it.

3. Always write your goals in positive present tense.

Don’t write negative goals.  For example, don’t write, ”I want to quit yelling at the kids.”

Your subconscious mind is a powerful tool when you use it correctly, but it doesn’t understand giving it negative comments.  Your mind is based on images.  For example, don’t think about a golden retriever. 

I’ll bet the first thing you did with the above sentence was think about a golden retriever.  Didn’t you?  Yet, I told you not to.  Did you do it because you’re rebellious or because it’s simply hard coded into you? 

What if I said whatever you do, don’t click this link.

I’ll bet you’d like to click the link above. If you set a goal of not yelling at the kids, then you’re constantly thinking about yelling at the kids.

Set your goals in the positive.  You’re a caring parent who encourages your children at least 3 times a day. 

The goal, “I want to earn an extra $50,000 this year,” needs to be changed to present tense also.  If you’re currently earning $50,000, then your new goal would be, “I earn $100,000 a year by January 1st, 2008.” 

4. Write Daily Action Steps to Reach Your Goals.

The fourth step is that you must write action steps to achieve your goal.  It’s great that you made goals.  Now what are you going to do about them daily? 

What will you change in your life to reach these goals?  Write at least 3 or more steps you’ll take to reach toward your goal this week.  Write 3 steps you’ll take this month. 

You might like it when a self-help speaker tells you to make big and lofty goals.  Then they tell you to constantly write them down and say them.  That’s all good, but it’s only a portion of the whole picture.

A goal without action is only a daydream.  What action will you take today?  What action will you take tomorrow?  This is especially important for your short-term goals.  How will you reach each step along the way?

A goal without action is only a daydream.  Well written and motivating goals with action is a life.

3 Steps to Becoming a Guru

January 2, 2007

I think it’s funny that people seem to worship “their guru.”  Instead of thinking for themselves and building their business based on their own talents and skills, they want to rely on the “guru of the month” to tell them exactly what to do. 

I think the whole guru mentality is kind of funny.  I know that guru simply means “teacher” and I’m personally even listed in the Internet Marketing Guru Index.  So it’s not the word itself that’s the problem as we should all have teachers and constantly be learning as much as we possibly can.  You can help shortcut your path to success by finding out about the success and failures of others.

What I have a problem with is the concept of infallibility that many people seem to have for their guru.  Because such-and-such said something, it must be true.  Also, they don’t imagine changing or modifying whatever system they’ve been taught. 

I’ve learned from a lot of individuals…including such people as Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, Fred Gleeck, Corey Rudl, etc.  Yet, I don’t remember taking and using anything exactly as taught.  Something has always been modified slightly for my own personality and skills.  Learn from gurus.  Don’t simply follow them blindly.

I recently showed people at an Internet marketing seminar that becoming a guru took 3 simple steps.

Step One – Fail a Whole Bunch of Times.

Anyone I’ve seen that’s extremely successful today has failed in their past.  They’ve tried many different things before they found what worked for them.  Look at any inventor and you’ll see they had 1,000 failed experiments before they find out what works.   

Step Two – Accidently Stumble Upon Something that Works.

While you’re failing, you accidently find what works for you.  You try 10 different things and you find 3 of those work well for you.  So you create “your system.”  While there may be a lot of different ways to do something.   This system is the one that consistently works for you and helps you to succeed.

Step Three – Tell everyone what a genius you are.

Forget about the hundred things you tried and failed.  Tell everyone what a genius you are because you discovered the system that works for you.  Have you ever noticed that most gurus don’t mention most of their failures.  They only talk about their successes in an effort to lead you believe they succeed 100% of the time.  They take on that attitude and appearance of being an expert who has all the answers all the time.

The Truth About Great Teachers

Remember, a guru is simply a teacher.  What’s the difference between many of the people we perceive to be a guru and a real teacher?  It’s in their approach.  Most gurus present themselves as having all the answers. 

Yet, a great teacher isn’t someone who tells you they have all the answers.  I’m sure you’ve had a few teachers like that in high school or college.  They give you their appearance that they’re above you, and you’re there to learn everything from their greatness.  I’ll bet you didn’t like those teachers, did you?

A really good teacher is not someone who has all the answers.  They’re someone who knows how to ask the right questions.  Think back in your life to a teacher who has really helped change your life.  You’ll find without fail that they’re almost never someone who claims to have all the right answers.  They’re simply someone who helps you discover the answers for your self by asking you the right questions.

With my coaching clients and my coaching groups, I’ve found one of the best ways to teach them is through “worksheets” and “action plans” of questions about the subject.  Instead of telling them exactly what they should do, I help them discover the effective techniques which will work correctly for them.

You’re a unique individual.  What works for one person may need a few modifications for you. Always keep in mind that you can and should learn from “gurus,” but the best teachers will always be those who help you discover the truth for yourself – instead of simply force feeding you a bunch of information.