Do you find yourself going through the daily routine of life and have yourself thinking that there must be something else out there? Does part of your day find you out on the freeway going in the same direction with thousands of other people and instead of seeing cars you think you are gazing at an endless stream of rats?? Have you ever wondered what the outcome would be like if you decided to break out and try something new??
This blog is designed with the purpose of discussing various aspects and experiences that can be had for those who are in the process of setting out to do something on their own and out of the ordinary. I hope you find the information useful and informative. If there is anything you would like to share concerning your experiences in entrepreneurial endeavors, feel free to contact me and discuss having what you would like to say included as a guest post!
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
I recently had the pleasure of getting to read “Success – One Day At A Time“ by John Maxwell. Not a large book but it comes packed with an abundant supply of useful information. Chapters in the book deal with material ranging from the amount of work involved in the attainment of success, just what it is that constitutes success and why failures can be a good thing.
One of the more interesting passages in the book told a story of the flocks of seagulls that inhabited the section of the seaside town of Monterrey, California known as Cannery Row. This part of the book described how during the era when the fish cannery’s were in full swing, the seagulls would feast on the abundant supply of fish scraps that were discarded in the canning process. There was no need to keep their hunting skills fresh, all the birds had to do was show up and the meal was there for the taking. But one day, the cannery’s closed and guess what, the bird’s meal ticket was gone! It was soon noted that by the locals that the birds were starving; they had forgotten how to fish on their own! Someone finally suggested that seagulls from outside the Monterrey area be imported and intermixed with the local flocks. This way, it was hoped that the local birds would once again catch on to what was necessary so that they could once again rely on their own skills.
The idea worked! Seagulls that were facing a pending death from hunger watched what their new neighbors were doing and soon their self-reliance was restored and the threat was averted. How about this as an example of “Birds of a feather………(you know the rest).” It just goes to show once again that if you wish to pursue success, do what the successful people are doing. Also of importance is that you become clear in your mind as to what constitutes success for you; money isn’t always the answer.
In closing, I would like to list the “Seven Steps To Success” that Mr. Maxwell has listed in his book:
1. Make a commitment to grow daily.
2. Value the process more than events.
3. Don’t wait for inspiration.
4. Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity.
5. Dream big.
6. Plan your priorities. (This can be tough but it is oh so important!)
7. Give up to go up.
Don’t read this jewel of a book just for the seven steps listed above, there is plenty of other good chapters as well!
Now I like to consider myself one who has read a fair amount of books dealing with the subject of success. But I can say that without a doubt, ”Success – One Day At A Time” by John Maxwell definitely ranks as a favorite and of course it comes highly recommended.
(Is this an affiliate link? You bet it is!)
Here’s To You!
At some point in our lives we all experience a feeling of doubt as to whether or not we can accomplish something. More often than not, we hear “No you can’t!” than “Yes you can!” People also tend to be inclined to accept the negative influences that come their way instead of standing up to them and focusing solely on the positive.
Back in 2002 I had the experience of watching a movie titled “Door to Door” with William H. Macy. This is the story of a remarkable individual named Bill Porter who would not take no for an answer. Stricken with cerebral palsy, Bill Porter was basically faced with the prospect that he would not have a normal life. Undeterred by his physical obstacles and with the unending support of his parents, Bill was determined to make his own way in life. Landing a position with the J.R. Watkins company, Bill began his career as a door to door salesman promoting the company line of culinary, personal care and home cleaning products.
Did he get the door shut in his face? Oh I’m sure it happened many times! Did he worry about what people would think when they saw a physically handicapped man knocking at their door trying to sell them stuff? Actually I don’t know but either way, Bill Porter was determined to succeed. Over the course of time, he went on to become the top grossing salesman for the company in the United States. With relentless determination and a positive outlook, Bill had made a life for himself as an individual. Just reading about the obstacles that he faced just made my jaw drop and say “Wow”! The man couldn’t drive, could barely walk and spoke with difficulty.
After being hit by a car in 1997, Bill Porter was no longer able to travel on foot to meet with his customers. He then resorted to keeping the business going through contacting his customers by telephone as well as having his own website on the Internet. With the help of an assistant, he is able to get the tasks done that he is not able to complete himself.
What made me think of writing this? I had been thinking about the “demons” that we sometime have within ourselves that hold us back from achieving or doing what we want. For some reason, the name Bill Porter came to mind and I realized that often the biggest obstacle we have is ourselves. For me, the life story of this truly remarkable man makes me realize that with the right mindset, anything is possible. Take a look at the links below to learn more about someone who can be a source of inspiration for all!
p.s. The Watkins Company looks like they have a pretty interesting product line; you should check it out!
 From http://www.who2.com/bio/bill-porter
 “Life of a Salesman” by Susan Horsburgh, People Magazine ; Vol58 No4, July 22,2002
With the crazy pace of daily life, it’s no wonder that people are looking for ways to get their lives in order. It is so easy to get sucked into the routine of get up, eat, go to work, go home, eat and go back to sleep only to start over the next day. People (especially me) want to be able to do things in such a fashion so that they have clarity, meaning and fulfillment in their lives. If one is not careful, time will fly by and then it will be time to be “six down and six across” at the local cemetery.
For those of you whose time is at a premium, there may be a solution available to where you could engage in a pursuit of incorporating greater balance and productivity into your life. Keep in mind that this soon to be released product has yet to reach the pre-launch stage but here is your chance for a preliminary review. The product that I am referring to is called the “Inspired Living App” and it can be thought of as your own personal life coach that will be available through your mobile phone. It basically boils down to being a resource that is designed with personal growth and development in mind. In today’s age, personal growth and development is something we can all benefit from.
To find out more about this mobile app and the personal opportunity that can be yours from it, click the link below.
I wish you nothing but good stuff!
My wife and I ended up seeing “Atlas Shrugged” Part II. Earlier this year she finished reading the book and mentioned how eerily similar today’s economic circumstances are to those that were in place during the time the author wrote the book back in the 1950′s. Much of the book has to do with the increasing encroachment upon business in America by government. In the book, author Ayn Rand depicts a society where the leading minds of the country are becoming increasingly burdened by taxation and governmental regulations. As a result of an exponentially increased level of government meddling, the overall economic situation in the country takes a ever increasing downward spiral which results in massive civil chaos.
A main character in the book, John Galt, strives to show what would happen in a society if people were not free to use their creative energies which in turn propelled the country forward in various ways. Without such freedom of creativity as a result of the government’s intervening, things would basically grind to a halt. Also portrayed in the book doing battle with government bureaucracy are three leading industrialists who seek to keep the ideals of free enterprise alive.
What really struck me about what the book said (this is based on information shared by my wife who read the book) as well as the movie is its prophetic nature. Written back in the ’50′s, Atlas Shrugged describes circumstances that are readily apparent today in the 21st century. To get a gauge on the level of governmental regulation, all one needs to do is enter “new regulations” on Google. Some of the regulations imposed by the Federal Government deal with school lunches (and a whole lot more!). My wife (who is an elementary school principal) informed me that as per the feds, seconds are not allowed to be given to students. Supposedly this is due to some anti child obesity campaign in effect. So, instead of giving extra food to those who ask for it such as the 12 year old sixth-grade boys, it gets tossed out. Yep, toss out the food instead of giving it to hungry children or wait, maybe even a local homeless shelter. What is the government doing being involved with school lunches anyway?? The list of examples of governmental involvement go on and on.
So in essence, take the chance to either see the movie (you will probably have to get it on video or read the book) or read the book. Afterwards, take a look around you and you decide for yourself whether or not governmental involvement while portraying itself to have the national welfare in mind is in fact stifling the very growth of this country. As former President Ronald Reagan said; The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ” I’m from the Government and I’m here to help.”
Whenever we put effort into something we ask ourselves “What’s in it for me?” This boils down to what will you get in return for the efforts that you put forth. In some instances, we need to have long term vision and be aware that what we desire may not result in fruition as soon as we would like. Or we may get our attention drawn to something less important but yields a dividend (gratification of some sort) sooner than activities which may be more important but not have the results manifest as soon as we want.
A current example relating to myself is this: For about the last year I have been somewhat “hooked” on playing an online WWII aviation game that yields such prizes as various virtual gifts dealing with warplanes as well as “yellow-chickies” which can be turned in for items that you would otherwise have to pay for. Along with this you get to advance in “levels” and get a variety of doohickies that go towards enhancing the overall experience of the game. But when it comes down to it, none of this stuff that is obtained by playing this game really matters other than it provides a form of entertainment.
In the online ventures that I have been involved with, a more consistent and prolonged effort was required before desired results (such as sales) began to materialize. Weeks if not months at times would elapse before things started to take place. But that was okay because I knew that time and consistent effort would be required in order for payoffs of any type to emerge. But herein lies the good thing; as Wallace Wattles mentions in “The Science of Getting Rich,” this is a cause and effect world. By this he means that specific actions are required to achieve specific results. Right now I am enjoying being able to pick delicious oranges off of the tree in my back yard. This came about from my pruning the tree, applying fertilizer at the right time and making sure that the tree received an adequate supply of water. All of these measures were carried out over the course of a twelve month period of time and I have been performing these same steps year after year since I moved into my current home. I can be confident that once this current batch of oranges has been picked, I will once again be able to enjoy a new crop of delicious oranges when the next season arrives, barring no unforseen circumstances of course.
The same type of long term focus needs to be applied to business. This in addition to doing the proper research (such as verifying that there is a demand for your product or service as well as if your customers want to do business with you) as well as patterning your actions from those who have already proven successful in your type of business can go a long way to your success. If your business ventures are not manifesting with the results you want, ask yourself (and be honest!) if you are doing what it takes to really succeed. Are you putting in the required effort as far as the appropriate actions are concerned toward doing what you need to get done? In his book “Outliers”, author Malcolm Gladwell makes mention of the prolonged effort that the Beatles put into their music and the time (we are easily talking 10,000 hours) that Bill Gates devoted towards computer programming. Yes, in order to get really really good at what you do, it may take that much time to get where you want to be. Of course, as with anything there will be those who disagree with this and this guideline is not absolute.
So if you are working on something and things aren’t working out as quickly as you would like, you may need to stop, do an assessment and ask yourself why that is. By the way, “Outliers” is a really really good book! Highly recommended. To find out more, click the link below:
When it comes to success, by all means Go For It! and don’t hold back.
The business world is full of individuals touting their opportunities as “sure-fire” ways of making it big. For the unwary, such a “sure-fire” way of making big poses a great chance of causing a multitude of problems. That’s why it is so important to take the time to evaluate such opportunities prior to committing to them with full effort.
Now as form myself, I have had my fair share of experiences with such opportunities and yes, I will say that they did not yield the results that I was hoping for. But rather than look upon these experiences as failures, I choose to view them as lessons on how not to do things in the future. With the lessons that are learned and the knowledge gained over the course of time (from talking to lots of people and reading lots of books), I have gained more confidence in how I approach such opportunities and am willing to take full responsibility for my actions.
So what are my recommendations for the path one should follow when pursuing such a venture? There are several:
a) Does the opportunity involve something that you believe in? Can you be sincerely passionate about it? People can sense when you are being fake or not on the level! Take the time to research (is there a niche?) to see if a demand for your potential service/product exists.
b) Are you willing to take the time to do what it takes and commit to making it work? Are you able to accept that results probably will not come overnight?
c) Will you let a “failure” stop you dead in your tracks or will you bounce back and keep on swinging?
d) Is the product you are promoting something that you would be willing to talk to a prospective customer about face to face?
e) Is your knowledge level on the product such that you would be able to offer assistance and support to any customer who is having a problem with it? Are you the type of person who would buy something from yourself? ( I know that sounds strange) Will you give your customers a feeling that you will be there for them if needed or will you drop off the face of the earth after the sale?
Something else to consider is the relationship that you are experiencing with the company as you are contemplating the establishment of a venture with them. Do the people you talk to seem genuine or are they coming across like snake-oil salesmen? Are they giving you honest or canned responses to any questions you have? Also take a look at the tech-support that is offered. You don’t want to be in a situation where one of your clients has an issue you can’t solve and no resources are available for you.
Don’t let fears or apprehensions get in the way of making an educated decision. Be willing to get your feet wet to some extent but also pay attention to your inner feelings (“Use the Force!”). In my next post, I will start to share my experiences with a company that I am currently evaluating. I would welcome any comments you would be willing to share on the topic of evaluating online business opportunities.
Here’s to you “Making It Happen!”
Related articles (provided for information only, not to be interpreted as an endorsement by me.)
For the past couple of weeks, I have been finding myself continually succumbing to the tendency to allow myself to engage in activities that have not been productive as far as my online work is concerned. I have found myself spending a lot of time playing a WWII aviation video game that I like and looking back, I know I could have gotten so much more done with regards to achieving my online business goals.
I was lucky enough to stumble across an article written by another blogger that I know where he makes reference to a book that I read a couple of years ago titled “Outwitting The Devil” by Napoleon Hill. In Hill’s book, mention is given to a mental state known as “drifting.” A person who is drifting is one who finds themselves going throughout their lives with a lack of focus, direction and purpose. Now I am not going to go into too much detail about this book but I would definitely put it on every entrepreneurs “must-read” list. The whole precept behind this book is nothing short of fascinating.
What benefited me most from reading this blog post was up until then, I was not aware of what I was experiencing except that I knew I was certainly suffering from something that was cluttering up my brainwaves. But after reading this reference to “drifting” I knew right then and there what I was going through. With this new awareness being suddenly bestowed upon me, I immediately set on a course to realign my thoughts and behaviors so that I would set out upon a more productive path. One thing that I make sure I do with more regularity is to write a list of what it is I wish to achieve and then put myself to task to get those things done. As a result, time is spent more efficiently and results are more likely to come to fruition.
I also read another great post written by the great blogger John Chow titled “100 Ways Rich People Think Differently.” In his post the author gives 100 (yes one-zero-zero) examples of beliefs and attitudes that rich people have in their lives with regards to their dealings with money. One of my favorites on the list alludes to instead of money being the root of all evil is that poverty is the root of all evil. This list is just another example of how people are ultimately responsible for the reality that they create for themselves.
This two articles gave me a good reevaluation of how a person can make sure they stay on track and how to be aware of what is taking place in the event they find themselves milling about aimlessly. So if you find yourself at that mental stumbling block and aren’t getting much done as a result, you may very well be drifting so snap out of it and get back on track!
Here’s to you “Making It Happen!”
I have been finding myself lately in need of a reality check. A lot has been going on both in my personal as well as professional life that have I been finding myself feeling a bit less than optimal on. There were some situations that took place at work involving personnel conflicts which really had me worn out by the time things were over. I found myself wondering how much more of this would I be willing to handle.
In one of the several books by Donald Trump that I have read this year, he mentions that one should be of the mindset to expect that problems will occur. If you know they will occur and are set on finding a solution, you will be more in a frame of mind to deal with them. Another situation I have been allowing myself to dwell is the fact that I am not the spring chicken I used to be and lately my body has been getting adjusted to the change in weather now that fall is here. Also, the apparently increasing numbers of homeless as evidenced by seeing more people on street corners holding up signs can really be a downer to say the least.
So herein lies a key ingredient that can help one overcome inclinations toward self-negativity. First off, being grateful for the blessings you have (you probably have more than you consciously realize!) is a great way to get you back on the right track. Instead of lamenting about your age, be glad you are still here! Be glad that you have the eyesight required to read this blog post. Can you walk? talk? care for yourself? Those are things which a lot of people are not able to answer yes to. Are you smart enough to consider how to find a possible solution when presented with an obstacle? Think of the numbers of people you know who will complain but not try to see what can be down about it. Talk about a real downer to be around!
So as you go through your day to day journey, strive to as they say “look on the bright side of things.” I know it’s not always easy but it can make such a difference. If things aren’t quite going your way in your entrepreneurial pursuits, be oh so thankful for the opportunity to strive for them. So many people are in situations where they are stuck where they are at in life and would just jump at the chance for a sliver of opportunity. Opportunity is an immense blessing that all need to be aware of. Now you may not find this easy at first but give it some time and the results will come. Make it a point to avoid things that can prove to be “downers” for you. Hang out with like minded positive people and their collective positive energy will manifest within you.
Earlier today I read a guest post by Michael Chibuzor in John Chow’s blog (www.johnchow.com) that showed how positive thinking makes a difference in the lives of entrepreneur’s. I thought of it as a wake up call for me to get my thoughts back in order. It was good reading for me and I hope you find the same goes for you!
How To Attract More Money Into Your Life (by Michael Chibuzor)
Here’s to you “Making It Happen!”
When I began experimenting with putting blogs together, I wanted to have a blog and a website on just about everything I could think of. I became fascinated with the idea that you could put something together that dealt with a topic of interest and people would read it. I also liked the idea of all the extra stuff I could add such as banner, affiliate links, Adsense ads and things that were written by other bloggers.
Over the course of twelve months, I must have between two to three dozen various sites together on a plethora of topics. I soon came to the realization that these sites required a fair amount of upkeep and maintenance. There was content to write, links to test, pictures to add and traffic to generate. Oh yes, don’t forget the backups of the blog files and databases. On top of that, having a day job often left me on many days where my mind was in a “mush-state” by the time I got home. This along with the flood of emails I would get as a result of being on just about anybody’s and everybody’s list made me realize it was time to scale back. Learning how to put all this stuff together was fun but I could tell that the quality was suffering.
Having this in mind, I decided I would “let go” of quite a few of the sites I had started and begin devoting more attention on a select few. I figured that doing a few things well would outweigh doing a bunch of things in slipshod fashion. After finding things on other people’s sites such as expired links, I knew that I needed to do my best to make sure people would not experience this on anything I put together. If the blog/website is difficult to navigate, your readers are going to go elsewhere.
So here are some things you can do:
a) Make sure any of the links you have work and take your readers to where they are supposed to go. If any of them take your readers to sites that have since expired, they may send you a vibe that says “You are the weakest link, Goodbye!”
b) Review your posts to make sure that there aren’t any strange characters in the body of text. Proofread or have a friend proofread your content. Nothing says “ICK!” as much as bad spelling and grammar.
c) Ensure your version of WordPress as well as that of your plugins is current.
d) If you have any videos included, take time to check them out to make sure that they still work or that there are no other issues. I recently was reviewing a video where the screen did not display the full body of text that was on the slide. A comment was made from another reader sometime back and it still had not been fixed.
e) In the event you receive feedback from your readers making you aware of an issue, acknowledge the comment and get the issue resolved quickly. Be “Johnny on the Spot” when it comes to fixing your site or blog.
f) After you complete the construction of a blog or website, give it a test-run. You want to find out if there are any “hiccups” and get them taken care of before you release your work to the public.
With these tips in mind along with following the concept of not spreading yourself too thin, your blogs and websites will have an approved appearance overall. They will be more appealing to those who come to visit and with some word of mouth coming into play, you may even see some increases in the amount of traffic to your sites. Take a look at the sites that successful bloggers put together (John Chow is a favorite of mine) and see if you can implement some of their techniques/methods on your blogs. Always be on the lookout for improvement and be proud of what you create!
Best Wishes & Here’s to you “Making It Happen!”