Sunday, September 30, 2012


Do you make resolutions every year only to find that your resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Research shows that most resolutions don't last past the second week of January. Why? That's what this article is going to concentrate on, and how you can keep your resolutions on track. The most popular resolutions are to lose weight, stop smoking, eat better, get a better job, start my own business, spend more time with my spouse/kids, you can fill in the blank with your resolution. One of the main reasons resolutions aren't kept is that we make too many of them at once. So, the first step in keeping resolutions is to do them one at a time. Especially for weight and smoking cessation, it is important to take little steps before you get to the main goal. For example, for those of you trying to quit smoking, studies show that long term smokers (10 plus years) have a hard time quitting cold turkey. So, what I did, was to keep a book and I wrote down every time I had a cigarette. Then each day I tried to cut one out. Did I slip sometimes, yes, but eventually I got down to 5-6 a day, and then quit from there. The patches work once you get down to 5-6 a day. Tip: Cut them in half or quarters and they last longer. The same principles work for diet changes. Eat the foods you like but cut down on the portions and eventually put some healthier foods in your diet. The big thing in weight loss is to moderate what you eat. If you eat dessert every night, try cutting out one night a week for a month, then two, and so on. Eventually cut it down to a couple of times a week or eat low fat desserts. Walking is a great exercise. Try it before you go to work, or during lunch, or after dinner. As for spending more time with the family. Try to make Sunday a family day. Have a special family dinner night, movie night, game night. Pick things that everyone likes or take turns coming up with themes. You will all have to be flexible. Ladies, your husbands don't like going shopping, any more than you like their sport watching. Everybody will have to compromise. While people have all kinds of excuses for weight, smoking, diet, and spending time resolutions, they even have more when it comes to making a change in their profession. When we talk to folks about starting their own business they have all kinds of excuses why it won't work for them - they don't have the time, it's too much work, it doesn't work, they don't have the money, they don't think it will work for them. Well, with all of those excuses, of course, it isn't going to work. If you go into something not believing you will be able to succeed, guess what? You won't.
Let's break down those excuses... Excuse 1 They don't have the time. Sure they do. They watch Television, play on the computer for hours each night, and for many hours over the weekend. Take a half hour each night or a couple hours over the weekend and you can start a business. Yes, in the beginning some of that time will be spent organizing yourself to get started, but once that is done you are ready to move forward. Excuse 2 ...It's too much work As stated earlier, once you set yourself up, 30 minutes of calling a couple nights or days per week to get a deal and possibly make $3500 to $5000 for under 10 hours, seems worth the work. Let's see that comes to $350 to $500 per hour. If you find this too much work, then stay with your day job for $10-$15 per hour. Excuse 3... It doesn't work Yes, it does, we are living proof, and so are the many other investors out there. Unfortunately we are too busy to try and convince people who don't have any motivation to do anything, to do so. If you wish to work a paycheck to paycheck job the rest of your life, so be it. However, those of us who have left that world will never go back because we like the control we have over our future, and yes, it does work, however, the secret is, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO WORK AT IT. Business is not going to come to you out of the blue. You have to look for it, and people have to know that you are there. Excuse 4... I don't have the money Yes, this can be an obstacle. However, there is a lot of educational material out there that is not outrageously priced. Rather than printed material, look into electronic format. It is usually substantially less. Read up on the various strategies. We have an enormous amount of material on our website in articles and newsletters that provide a wealth of information. Check out books in your library or buy used books. Check out coaching programs. Yes, many are expensive. However, we offer our Partnering For Your Success Program for a very affordable initial fee, and then we partner in your success. If you don't succeed, neither do we. We put our money where are mouths are. Excuse 5 ...It won't work for me With an attitude like this one, nothing will. You have to be willing to work. Short of winning the lottery, nothing is just going to drop into your lap. Even real estate takes work. Just running ads and sending e-mails is not going to make you rich. You have to have something to offer to people. You need knowledge and know how in order for people to work with you. So, if one of your resolutions this year is to start your own successful business, take a look at our website ( and contact us. Remember, take your resolutions one at a time, and eventually you will succeed with them all.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Creative, Inexpensive, and BIG Value Marketing Gift Ideas

"Tis the season to be jolly!" A great attitude is easy to have when you design your gifts with a lot of thought and don't allow the experience take you to the cleaners.
One of the traditions I like at this time of year is remembering all the people that were there for me this past year. Especially those that didn't receive anything in return for it -- in the smallest or largest way.
Meaningful gift giving does not have to be expensive. In fact, some of the most precious gifts are the ones that cost very little, but mean a great deal because of the time and effort it took to select, or create, and mail.
Here are eight ideas I have used over the last few years. You can use these as Christmas gifts; add them to your "leave-behind" marketing package, a referral thank you, or "thanks for helping me" gift.
It does make a difference if your logo or advertising information is on the gift. It does affect the perceived value on their part and can make a difference in your relationship. Make the choice to add your information or leave it off with their perception in mind. Remember, marketing is all perception and not product or service.
1. Purchase discontinued note card sets from Hallmark and other card shops during the year. If you call and ask your nearest store as to the time of year when they discount "previous season" items, they will gladly tell you. You can save from 50% to 75% on these items.
2. Create a logo candy jar. You can purchase candy jars with different seasonal markings. Then create a stencil with your company logo or web site address (I prefer the web site address). You can buy the stencil supplies and the empty candy jars at your local craft store like MJ Design, Michaels, or online. They sometimes have the mailing boxes to match. Add a bow with your business card. Keep the jar nice so they want to keep it out in the open for that season. Jars for the Easter season are great with the miniature eggs in them and are not likely to get completing jars from other suppliers. After dinner mints are great for the contents. If you return frequently, bring a refill with you.
3. Give a business journal. Borders and Barnes and Noble have all sorts of sizes and designs. For business journals or marketing journals, I usually buy the 8 ½ x 11 size (usually under $10) at Borders and then I write three or four marketing ideas in the journal that specifically apply to them.
4. Give a gift they can take home to their child(ren). Most business or marketing gifts are for everyone at the company or for them. Sometimes giving without a "marketing angle" attached increases the impact. Especially if you remember their child's birthday.
5. Create a family cookbook with 10 or so of your favorite (or personal family) recipes. Add your contact information on the back. Use the software, Clickbook ( to transfer it from your word processing software into a real nice booklet fast and easy.
6. Give them a subscription to one of the favorite magazines. I love writer's magazines and writing, so receiving something I am so passionate about along with the gift of learning is perfect for me. If you get two, call the company and turn it into a two-year subscription. You can add to your card this idea if they already have a subscription. Do they have a hobby? Do they have a goal or working on a particular project? There are tons of magazines out there. You can also add to the card a list of web sites they can find more information on the topic. You can send a card with the subscription information in it separately so they know to expect it and to contact you if they don't receive it.
7. If you have great penmanship or creative on the computer, buy blank note cards and add their name on the front of the each card, like "From the desk of..." "A personal note from..." The fact that you took the time always makes an impact. Want to add a little more? Place a stamp on each envelope for them.
8. If they have a home office and you are into crafts, cross-stitch a wall calendar holder. It has a hook, nice border that shows past the large calendar size and business card sewn in with a place for them to hang their favorite wall calendar or you can send them a calendar with it the first year.
It is normal to value the gift to the value of the client/customer. You can just send everyone the same gift or you can match the gift value to the value you received from him or her.
Don't forget your bartering exchanges or the people that just "opened your doors."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Make your Writing or Marketing Projects your Top Priority

When you finish your eBook or print books, you have a product you can sell. After you finish the book be sure to write the all important sales letter. The sales letter is the key to sales flooding in. Each book will market another book. Books help promote your service as well.
Like a messy room full of clutter, you just want to close the door on your project. If you really don't want it now, then make it OK not to do it. Or, if you are blocked in some way discover what that means and keep taking baby steps toward your dream.
Or, if you are like me you may want to look at the consequences/results of not doing it. These are some of the consequences that pulled me to finish my latest two books:
1. If your book doesn't get read by thousands of people this year your unique useful message goes unheeded. I know you want to make a difference and your book is your legacy and lasting gift to give.
2. Your business will just amble along, and you'll still be an hourly worker having to be present or even travel while you earn money. A book creates a lifelong income for you, and when you market online, you don't have to travel or speak. It's the easiest and most profitable way I know..
3. You miss the chance to build your creditability and become the expert in your field. The side affect of publishing your book is that it is your billboard, your business card, that builds your clients' and customers' trust and support. These people are your best sales force. Don't limit your expansion and success by not including them.
4. You won't enjoy the most ecstatic feeling of accomplishment, exhilaration, and adventure that creating and completing a writing or marketing task can bring you.
Take my lead. Treat your project as urgent! No matter what reason you have for not doing it, do as professional speaker and friend, Rita Kahn, says, "So what, do it anyway!"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Seven Pricing Pointers

Find the right figure to make the highest profits.
1. Don't shy away from charging a fair price for your offerings--you deserve to be rewarded for your time, talent, risk and investment.
2. Keep your price within the range of what customers are willing to pay.
3. Remember that prices for the same products and services vary dramatically by geographic location. Remember the end user manuals for buyers and sellers. Some students with reprint rights sell them for $50 and others for $100. It all depends on the area of the country they live in.
4. The price you can expect to receive is determined in part by your distinct background, talents and skills.
5. Check out the rates of local competitors before settling on a price.
6. When estimating your expenses, consider costs associated with bookkeeping, travel, research, telephone calls, mailing and delivery.
7. Don't set a price so low that it endangers your financial well-being or your sense of self-worth.
Remember your time, knowledge and energy has got a dollar figure, and you want to get what you deserve. You have to make a living just like everyone else. You have bills to pay, a family to take care of, and yourself to take care of. So be sure to take all of this into consideration when you set your pricing. If you are still not sure on how to do that see our 5 part article on Setting Your Fees.