Are you Being Realistic about Starting an Online Business?

So many people think they want to start a business and then change their mind when they find out that a real, legitimate business requires much learning, working and allowing enough time for things to develop after they implement them. You know, logic.

work to win

There is really no magic here or instant riches for anybody. When advertisements appear to say otherwise, people really need to get real and read between the lines. It is not that the ‘hype’ is necessarily a lie – It is just telling us that it is POSSIBLE to earn money “quickly”.

Perhaps there are proven examples of people who have ‘made a killing’; and others who are just enjoying a nice supplemental income. Someday they may actually build the business up to the point where they can quit their day job and just work from home.

So let’s qualify the word ‘quickly’. It is subjective what ‘quickly’ means to different people – but in this context quickly when compared to starting a business offline is absolutely true – Just like everything else on the Internet, it’s a lot faster than offline to deliver messages, find information, process transactions, etc.

You really can be in business in 24-hours by joining an affiliate program. For example, where everything is done for you and all you need to do is start advertising and marketing the product or service using the resources the program provides to you. They will handle your sales transactions and even service for your customers. Then they will pay you a commission.

However although it is still POSSIBLE it is not likely you will be earning money within 24-hours. So you see they didn’t lie but if you just stop and think about it, if it was possible to be a millionaire within 24-hours then why wouldn’t we all be millionaires? What it actually means is within 24-hours you can START the process.

It’s funny because some people liken starting an Internet home business to the lottery rather than to a job or business – That is the only way to make money instantly is to win the lottery – It’s a fantasy and we won’t mention the very tiny chance of winning there. Your chance of winning the lottery on a single ticket is one in 175 million. That seems tiny, and it is.

It is actually incredible how many people think that the results of an Internet business should be IMMEDIATE! Or else it must be bogus! We are done! No magic here (either), let’s move along now and find the next shiny object! Guess what? They usually pronounce the whole Internet a sham and don’t trust anybody or anything they see. All because they don’t really want to work and don’t realize that everything is a gamble. However you will hedge your bets if you are willing to actually work at developing your business seriously.

Affiliate Marketing – No Program Works Unless We Make it Work

There is no program that does magic tricks or makes people wealthy unless THEY seriously work at it. When you see words used like ‘easy’ or ‘fast’ you must be logical about these because both are subjective – What you think is easy others may think is hard – or what you call fast others may think is slow.

it only works if you do

Affiliate marketing programs do a lot to help you get started and most provide several different kinds of resources toward that end. However nobody has the responsibility to make it work for you except YOU! Whether or not the program ‘works’ for you depends on how much effort over time you are willing to invest. Nobody can guarantee your success. Success is about what YOU do with everything over time to develop your business!

If you have some money you can pay for services to help you with the work in building an affiliate marketing business from home online. If not then you need to do your own marketing and advertising. You will generally find that using the Internet is 10 times cheaper, faster and easier than anything you can do offline – for example you don’t need supplies or equipment like paper, ink, postage, or printers to send sales advertising messages to your prospects.

In either case you would however, need a mechanism to capture leads online to send your messages to and/or you can pay for list building services. In general a combination of both usually works best as capturing leads can take a long time, although they are typically more interested than those on a purchased list of ‘leads’. The list of course is much faster and easier if you have some money to invest.

Although working from home online is a great deal more enjoyable just in that you make your own rules about what time you work, how long you work and even how you do things, it is still, none the less, work. Not sure really how people get the impression that they can become wealthy by osmosis or just by joining a program that somebody else earned substantial income from. Certainly that points to the possibility existing, in that someone more or less just like you succeeded – and so it follows that you can do the same! (That is if you work as much and as long as they did).

There are usually no excuses to fail – It is really pretty simple – If you want to earn money, you need to do the work and spend the time. In fact you have to remain very engaged in your business at all times. If you slack off in your efforts or sit back resting on your laurels and wait, you may wait a very long time for nothing to ever happen. You and you alone are responsible for either your own success or your own failure. Just like real life!

Your Home Business – Work Smarter

It is a real good idea to become an affiliate of the programs that you use for advertising and marketing. No matter what your main business might be, it is always wise to add multiple streams of income. Selling the programs you are using is a natural. It is direct and not only financially but psychologically you will like the idea of paying for your own services straight from the commissions.Your Home Business – Work Smarter

work smarter not harder

If you devote some time and energy to promoting these services to your downline in your main programs, then it is doubly good as there is your ready-made market. It is all a neatly tied package that ends up with less money seemingly going out of your pocket to run your business. Further it is a natural to sell services or products to people who you know need them for their business. It is always good to make natural connections as things flow more gracefully.

Building relationships is important and helping people is a wonderful thing. If you can offer advice and information to your prospects and customers that will assist them in building their own businesses, it can be ‘clear sailing’ for you down the line. You can speak with confidence about the services as you have actually used them yourself, know how they work and recommend them. There is nothing forced or artificial about what you are saying.

Hopefully you can be the type of sponsor who guides and coaches your customers both before and after the primary sale; and again it is very natural for you to advise them on what you know will help them to achieve their goals. There is nothing that speaks louder than direct experience. However if you are also new to the business, it may take you a while to reach a place where you can actually say you have seen the results.

This is okay and there are always ways you can be perfectly honest about this if you use actual reviews and information from the site, quoting people, studies or research and actual statistics. You could actually say that you are using the product or service yourself and detail the reasons that compelled you to try it, without saying you know for sure it works from first-hand experience.

Again, if you are building a relationship of trust they will appreciate the advice of a friend, and may be willing to take a chance because you are and they respect you. In any case people always appreciate well-meaning advice and just the fact that you would take the time to try to help them along the way. Certainly they are more likely to follow your recommendations than a total stranger that sends them an offer out of nowhere.

A Successful Home Business: Are You Standing in Your Own Way?

There are a few conditions, which are largely psychological, that really keep people from realizing their full potential when it comes to actually getting their home business started. Obviously most things require more than a desire or a ‘vision’ to materialize. We have to make it happen.

One of these self-limiting conditions has been referred to as ‘paralysis by analysis’. This is where people get stuck in the learning curve. They just keep reading and searching and researching. They never feel that they know enough to actually take action with any of the information they have gleaned.

Paralysis by analysis is somewhat like stage fright, but then again it can also be an excuse to avoid doing the work; and even to feel insulated against potential failure. Of course we will never know if we will win or lose unless we try. If people have been beaten down by negative people in their family or working lives, then they are likely to feel a little insecure.

The way to ‘cure’ this condition is to take action – Whatever excuse your mind tells you that supposedly would preclude you from doing what you need to do – just blow it out of the water by just doing it. Then you will have the self-confidence to know that you can do it and in fact you did do it. Don’t worry about if it isn’t the best thing you have ever written or created. You will learn as you go along and gain experience.

Outside of something really scandalous there is no sign on your name that tells people you wrote a boring article or posted a bad looking advertisement in your secret past! If you don’t feel you have any experience you can truthfully write about, then find something written by someone who has, and review that or even quote them. Something along the lines that it ‘appears’ to you AND so-and-so is quoted as saying ‘blah-blah’; and so that really allows you to believe in your first impression.

Another condition that is somewhat related is the person that perceives a million problems. If they are actually real errors then they can be corrected. Follow the logical path – contact support, contact someone who would be willing to help you, find out what you need to do to get past the problem. Then move on. If you really can’t resolve the issue – still move on but make a note to revisit the issue at a later time. The point is don’t allow whatever it is stop you.|

Some of these problems people see may not even exist in reality, like, ‘well I just don’t have the money’; well, then learn a strategy that you can do for free or at less cost than that you feel you can’t afford. If you understand your own priorities, you could sacrifice something that is not essential in order to be able to do something you want or need to do for your business.

It is most likely you need to really want or need to start a business to consider it a top priority. What could you do without in order to have the money? Is it possibly a movie, trip, outfit, DVD, or dining out? Are they more important? Then go ahead and do that and forget starting a business. Hopefully you will prefer to focus all your energy and resources on your business.

Working From Home – Don’t Be an Online Workaholic

It is very easy when you are working from home to just keep working endlessly. However, if you don’t take breaks – periodically during your work time and for normal days off you may start to feel unhealthy and even burned out.

When you feel burned out, you will be less motivated to conduct your business as you may have started out to. You may start spinning your wheels – that is you are not really accomplishing anything for all the time you are spending.

You may be determined and dedicated to your business and these are good things, but you need to be realistic. You are ‘only human’. Humans need a balance in their life – work, rest, play. If you do any of those to the exclusion of the others you are creating an imbalance.

You may scoff at this until you start noticing problems with your eye site, or you are having stiffness and pain. You may begin to dislike what you are doing – who likes a rut, after all? It is no joke though and it is only a toss up as to which system will fail first – mental or physical.

So work hard to build your business but remember to take breaks. Every hour or so focus your eyes on something as far away as you can. Then close them for a few minutes. Get up out of your chair and stretch about the same time. Even go and walk around your building to really get a good stretch.

Make sure that you take a day completely away from your computer – ideally you can do something out of doors for some healthy fresh air and sunshine. Take a drive, or go to the gym for a good workout. Go somewhere and have lunch or visit with friends.

If you are in the middle of some big project and you really can’t be away for a whole day, then make sure you take frequent breaks. You may have to force yourself – but if you make it part of your day’s plan and do it regularly you will get used to it.

It has long been known about the health issues like eye strain and discomfort from sitting or doing repetitive movements with your hands. Now they are saying you can even develop Type II Diabetes from chronic overwork. How much more serious can you get than that?

There must be something about working from home that is so much more enjoyable than working in an office, that causes people to become workaholics from home! Really, though the biggest reason is just that you do not come and go in the same way as when you travel to and from a job. It’s just too easy to stay glued to your monitor!

Working at Home in Your Pajamas? Better Get Dressed

It used to be really ‘glamorized’ to have such a simple, easy lifestyle that you can just stay at home and work in your pajamas. In Internet marketing you saw many ads to that effect. However if you try it you will find it gets old real fast. Depressing even, especially if you had formerly enjoyed ‘dressing for success’ in your career.

It will make you feel more business-like and it is easier to focus when you are in a business frame of mind, when you get up and get dressed to begin your day. Unless you use a web cam it is true nobody will know the difference – but you will.

There are many things you can do to stay ‘psyched’ to get to work and focus on the tasks at hand. Taking a nice shower is stimulating and while you certainly don’t need a suit and tie to work from home, just some clean clothes will make you feel like you are ready to go!

The same thing can be said for your work area. No matter how repugnant organization may seem to you, it will help you to focus and think more clearly if your work space is clear, clean and organized as possible. At the very least get a box where you can push things off so that at least at eye level your immediate space, is conducive to ‘clear sailing’.

The most important things to keep organized are your login credentials and links so that you can always find them, (even if you save them online, you should have a paper trail in case you need to recover from a computer disaster); your tax records, including both your receipts for business deductions and your income or payment information.

Staying organized throughout the year will make it much simpler when it comes time to put your taxes together. This way it is less likely that you will miss anything that you will regret later, such as a deduction you could have taken; or income you missed reporting that may come back to haunt you if you are ever audited (a real possibility).

There are many things you can do to help yourself stay focused, such as making lists of what needs to be done and including any dependencies such as things that need to be done before you can do something else. It works best to have a few different lists, at least one for the short term and one for the long term goals. It is fairly important to keep your list neat and organized as you can so that it helps you rather than hinders you.

Working at home you can still ‘get away with’ working your own hours (as long as you do the work the needs to be done); putting your feet up on your desk, watching TV out of the corner of your eye, listening to music, taking naps, breaks, etc., so no need to wear PJ’s or bag lady outfits. Start styling at home!

Thinking About Starting a Home Business

One of the things that really comes in to play when you are just starting a home business is you need to create structure. Part of that process sometimes means you have to force yourself to focus on one thing at a time and especially to stop procrastinating if you are.

It is likely a new environment for you where you are only accountable to yourself. It is really easy to put things off, saying you will do it some other time and then to just not do it at all after you keep pushing it back. This is dangerous.

We have to start out with and maintain some organization and this requires discipline. Even if you have to pretend you have a deadline or a boss to be accountable to, just do it. Likely you are a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information and all the strange terminology and concepts if you have not worked online before and/or have no marketing, advertising or technical experience.

You don’t have to know everything there is to know on day one. You will learn more and more as you go along gaining experience and skills. Do what you can. It is important to take action. Maybe your first action should be creating some lists about what you have to do. It is best not to ‘bite off more than you can chew’ with regard to lists.

Just make a few – one for today – one for this week or month and one for long-term goals. The reason you don’t want them all on one is that they get really messy with things crossed out and checked off; and it just looks like more chaos. As well you may begin to beat yourself up when you don’t get everything done.

So if you make the ‘to do’ lists short and sweet with realistic expectations about how much you can really do today or this week, you will stay more organized and motivated. It should give you a feeling of accomplishment when you do complete a task.

Anything you can’t complete for whatever reason – not enough time, need to do some things on the periphery before you can actually do whatever it is, waiting for a paycheck, etc., put it on a new list. You may even want to get slightly complicated with a flowchart arrangement outlining something with multiple steps to complete.

Some people think working backwards is the way to think about this – in other words you have the target and you know what that (result) is, and then you need to back track to do everything from A through Z to get your target met. Some things can be done out of order, and others may have dependencies so that you can’t do C until you do A and B first.

As important as it is to get things done in an organized, structured manner, without procrastinating, it is also important not to beat yourself up. If you don’t make a deadline you have given yourself – just put it on a list for going forward. Try to feel good about what you did accomplish and always try to do better each time.

The Theory That We Can’t Lose Unless We Quit

It is really pretty simple to realize that unless you quit you keep trying. So the only way you can truly lose is if you quit trying. Something here reminds also of the sayings about ‘losing the battle but not the war’, and that ‘the road to success is littered with failures’.

The key must be not to beat yourself up to the degree that you just give up. It must be that we need to observe what has happened for better or worse, to note the actions that lead to the result; and if the result is failure, then we need to know how to do it differently so that we produce victory. So failure should only be seen as a lesson.

Quite possibly we need more information and experience all along the way, even if we are not flat-out failing, just to perfect our style. A healthy person enjoys are hard work to achieve something. The more they want that something, the more energy and time they are willing to invest.

In particular people say they really want to start a home business. They may feel this way because they realize they are not happy with their circumstances. Whether that indicates they are not earning as much money as they want or need, or that they do not enjoy some or even all the aspects of performing the job they have.

It can be particularly disheartening if one really strives to go above and beyond what is expected so that they excel, but there is no reward. They may have an ignorant or poor manager who feels they are already paying the person a fair wage. They may pay the same wage to people who just show up and take up a chair for 8-hours, barely scraping by to get the minimum done on time.

Some people will just stay in a miserable situation because they believe they have no choice. This is really sad since our working hours take up such a large percent of our lives. It is actually unhealthy to believe being unhappy and dissatisfied is acceptable. So this may be why when people see there are alternatives that they are attracted to them.

It is particularly advantageous because it is easier to work at home part-time while supporting yourself with your job, than to either get a second job or to look for another position while employed full-time. One does have to take into consideration the necessity of supporting oneself while they are developing a business. Online may be easier, more convenient and less expensive, but it is still reality where things take time and effort to achieve success.

Starting a New Home Business – Taking Stock of Assets

You may feel like a ‘stranger in a strange land’ even at the thought of starting your own business. You have likely worked for someone else during your career and as such could assume many things would be provided for you that now you will need to address for your own home business.

Assets

First of all you should take stock of your skills and experience. It might help to get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle – you can list the job name or the task and then outline briefly what skills you used to accomplish the tasks you were required to do.

The point here is that you know how to do a lot of different things. You have skills and you have experience. Most any business-related skill or experience may help you with your home business.

Perhaps one or more of the companies you worked for over the years provided some ‘in-house’ training. Sometimes they will do this to introduce a new software application to the staff. Sometimes they will train people to enhance skills they may already have; such as taking someone who has basic skills in a program used for the job and teaching them intermediate or advanced level skills.

It is very possible that you will feel more confidence to take a short course in something related to your new endeavors and there are plenty of free and inexpensive resources online. You may find specific courses in various Internet applications such as HTML, or basic courses in computer skills or creative writing. It could even be something like English as a second language if that would help. These are just some basic suggestions but there are unlimited possibilities.

Look for online community colleges and see what they have to offer that doesn’t involve going in to the school (so it can be anywhere in the world on your PC). You can actually do the whole course “hands-on” online and even take the tests online. Some involve actually getting certification and/or college credits and particularly community colleges are very inexpensive.

While $100 may seem like a lot, if what you will learn will really help you then it is a legitimate business expense to take the course and as such may be a self-employment business tax deduction.

Other assets (and tax deductions) that you will need to consider when starting a home business are tangible, such as computer, printer (ink cartridges/paper), software, desk, chair, light, phone, etc. Make sure you have reliable equipment as ‘down-time’ can be expensive if you are unable to run your business.

So if you have something held together by tape or a computer that keeps crashing, you should take steps to find out how to fix things up that you have and if not to purchase what you need. You may wish to wait until just before tax time for more expensive investments, so that you can recover the money directly.

Keep track of every penny you spend (as well as what you earn) so that you are not scrambling to get it all together in time for taxes; and that you do not overlook something that you could have used for a deduction. Be sure to consult your Federal and State agencies online to be fully aware of all that is required for self-employment and home business every year.

Internet Marketing – Finding the Market First

If you really think about a brilliant theory, you are sure eventually to see possibilities from many different perspectives. Sometimes the most simple things are the most profound. Or conversely, the most profound things are often purely simple (natural/organic).

Find the market

If you meditate on the concepts for an extended period, you may discover some priceless ideas that you can employ to assist you in developing your internet marketing strategies. Really try to visualize where this is coming from.

Think about this statement (which goes something like this): “Most people get attached to (the idea) of finding a product to sell. Great but then they need to chase people down and convince them they need or want what they are selling. It really seems natural that we would enjoy selling something that we ourselves use. However, unfortunately many times what we like or think is best, is not what even our friends or family really like – let alone something called the ‘market’.

However, the way they should be looking is to “Find the Market, and give them what they want” (and are looking for). You may be able to see how the position that you are in is very different in this dynamic. People would come to you to see what you have. They would be INTERESTED. Interested enough to take action (for real, and to actually process a transaction) aka convert to a direct sale.

If you find out what people are looking for already and then supply it you have a much easier time than trying to convince people to buy something. They should already want it, need it, or at least be curious about it. Then by providing the information they are looking for, you get an opportunity to approach them about your interests coming from a foundation of a relationship of trust.

So if you let things ‘sell themselves’, you can spend your time and other resources (effort, money) on developing and/or having a good service or product; rather than to spend everything doing marketing and advertising, and anything else that may include, so that we can generate a sale.

It’s real money whether the transaction is a direct sale, or even merely lead capture or creating a prospective customer and thereby a possibility for a sale. As well, you can have variable models for income sources. For example, maybe a combination of Residual Income and OTO (One-Time-Only) Sales/Commissions;

Your income sources may be some affiliate programs; and then also maybe some services you may want to provide as a ‘second income’. For instance if you discovered something in learning Internet marketing techniques, and being able to do the tasks yourself to promote your business, rather than to pay for services. You are on the right track, if you don’t mind doing ‘little things’ and in fact think it’s kind of fun? (You could use the extra money). If there’s nothing you are crazy about doing, then think about going shopping (with the extra money) to motivate you to take on another project to get the money.

Along the way, in finding the market, you will learn what other people need and/or want and as such you may discover more things that might be a source of income. For example you see a bunch of people who claim not to like and/or may not be able to do things like writing; or they don’t know much about using a computer. So maybe you could offer some coaching on the basic things that you know, that have come naturally to you or you have been trained to do maybe in your former career.