Debt is The Master of Souls

Wholeness requires separation. In order for you to experience yourself as being whole, you spend most of your live experiencing being separated, trying to get back to wholeness.

One of your most creative ways of moving away from happiness has been through consumer debt. Your fixation with spending, gives you little time to contemplate being whole, until it hits you in the face with a debt load that you can no longer manage.

The Black Plague of the industrialized world is debt for consumer goods and services. No matter how you may reason it, going into debt to buy a big screen TV or stereo system, a new boat, or lawn furniture, just is not necessary. You have been taught that all of these things are necessary to be happy and successful. You have moved away from happiness in order to feel it again by learning how to be miserable. Now that you are up to your ears in bills, you think that you would be happy again, if only you did not owe all this money.

As adults, you spend one third of your lives paying of loans and mortgages, another third of your life paying taxes. The last third is supporting someone else. The fourth third you get to keep for yourself. Debt is the majour contributing factor in marriage and business break-ups. Where is there room for happiness in this chaos?

Consumerism feeds the fat pockets of debt. It is like bulimia, you eat and eat and eat, then puke it all back up, only to start over again. Consumerism is the industrialized world’s version of happiness. Because humanity has moved so far away from happiness, he no longer understands what it is, and believes that “things,” make him happy. He cannot live without things. Because he is unhappy and notices that other people appear to be happy with their things, he believes that if only he had one of those, he would be happy also.

The insanity is that you have been collectively doing this thing repeatedly for so long, you do not believe you can be happy without spending and going into debt. Humanity has not learned from this mistake. You cannot buy happiness. You must be happy first, and then your spending will reflect that happiness and will not be dependant on the spending.

Debt is the cancer that kills your happiness. Move away from spending and debt and get in touch with your true feelings and basic needs. When you begin to move to this place of wholeness, you will never do anything that could jeopardize that happiness. Money does not buy happiness in place of a failed belief system. At best it is only a temporarily relief like debt consolidation until you start the cycle over again.

Life lived simply, allows lots of room for happiness, it is the playground of happy people. Happiness comes naturally to all beings at birth; you then learn how to be unhappy before you can move back to the experience of happiness.

Roy E. Klienwachter is a resident of British Columbia, Canada. A student of NLP, ordained minister, New Age Light Worker and Teacher. Roy has written and published five books on New Age wisdom. Roy’s books are thought provoking and designed to empower you to take responsibility for your life and what you create. His books and articles are written in the simplicity and eloquence of Zen wisdom.

You may not always agree with what he has to say. You will always come away with a new perspective and your thinking will never be the same.

Roy’s style is honest and comes straight from the heart without all the metaphorical mumble jumble and BS.

Visit Roy at: http://www.klienwachter.com

Affiliate Marketing Secrets that You Can Use

Affiliate marketing is a very hot topic on the web right now. Not surprising when you consider the fact that a vast majority of successful online entrepreneurs make their money from affiliate schemes and programs. Since the early days when Amazon was being set up and founder, Jeff Bezos was establishing affiliates as key marketing tools for any online enterprise, affiliates and affiliate marketing has come of age.

The amounts of income being made have clearly transformed affiliate marketing into a very serious business. There are more and more affiliates comfortably raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars every month.

The first important affiliate marketing secret to bear in mind is the reason why affiliate marketing remains the most effective way of marketing any online enterprise. It is all about the power of the referral. It is rather awkward when a website is trying to promote itself directly to prospects. Actually very different from the situation where somebody else refers the business to others, including people they do not know personally.

This works out superbly for several reasons. Firstly the affiliate as a consumer themselves is able to quickly identify the strong attractive points of the business that will best attract others like them.

The other little known affiliate marketing secret is that most of the top-earning affiliates have their own websites and blogs. Having their own websites gives these affiliates a tremendous edge over others. The sites are usually very closely related to the affiliate program that they are promoting. By having their own site, they are able to harvest the email addresses of the traffic to their sites.

Usually, most people you send to your affiliate site will not end up purchasing anything. However when you have their email addresses in your opt-in email list, you can continuously market to them and the affiliate will automatically end up with a much higher conversion rate from the traffic they generate as opposed to an affiliate without a website who just sends traffic to their affiliate website.

This is the affiliate marketing secret that makes a difference between affiliates struggling to pull in a good income and those comfortably making hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Lois S. is a Technical Executive Writer for http://www.websitesource.com and http://www.lowpricedomains.com with experience in the website hosting industry.

How to Manage Your Pipeline

How is your pipeline structured?

I assume most of you have heard about the sales pipeline. Your pipeline is what keeps your business going. It is a lot like a funnel: at the large end, you need to do lots of activities that will generate a slew of interested contacts; some of these move down the funnel and become coached; of these, a few get qualified, and even fewer go on to be selected and finally closed. Once you have a customer, the tendency is to spend your time at that end of the funnel fulfilling the work. When the job is done, you turn around and there is no more work waiting; you go back to the other end of the funnel and start all over.

The important lesson here is that you need to keep a balance within your pipeline so that you do not run out of clients at the end of the day. Have you ever been in a situation where you were working with one client that took up enormous amounts of your time and you had no time to do your marketing activities? And the client without warning cancelled the project and you were left without any work and nothing in the pipeline? This is the worst thing that can happen to a business. You should always have Plan B and Plan C and Plan D, etc., in the wings at all times.

There are several stages in the pipeline but you must remember to work on it to keep things flowing through. If you get a customer that tends to eat all your time, make sure the client understands that you must take one day or half a day every week to work on your own marketing efforts. You can suggest that they extend the project over a longer period of time so that your needs are also met. You will find that most clients want their project as a first priority and that you will need to schedule your time around your own marketing activities. The important thing to remember is that you must always fill the pipeline.

Your efforts to fill the pipeline while being tied up in other projects may seem difficult but you will find that a number of networking opportunities are either held early in the morning or in the evening. Some events are held at the lunch hour. Take advantage of this and set new client meetings around meal times. Don’t let your business dry up; always work towards finding other relationships that can lead to future projects.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people’s attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the “Networking Queen”. Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com

Your e-Book – 7 Best Reasons to Create Your First e-Book

1) Speed to market – One of the biggest problems with regular books in the book store is that you have to get the book in the bookstore (a publisher or distribution house) and then you have to get the book out of the bookstore (people buying your book). This process from conception of idea to sale of your book can take years. With an e-Book the process from conception to sale can be done in days.

2) Ratio of cost to profit – You can spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars getting your book
published. Then you may get $1 – $2 profit a book. Once you have the necessary software, the only
thing that creating an e-book will cost you is time and effort. Because you are selling information in the
form of electrons over the internet, you get all the profit.

3) An e-book increases your “expert-ability” – The written word creates credibilty and expert status.
Once you have written just one small e-book, you can include “Author of………………..” for the rest of
your career and life.

4) An e-book is a “gem” of a prospect generator – At BuildingYourIdealPractice.com we teach in the
Get Clients – Full Practice Training tele-classes the importance of having a gem to offer prospects. A free
e-book can become your signature call to action (your main gem) that encourages prospects will give you
their contact information in order to receive your information.

5) It’s simple when you know how – and easy to learn. Once you know the simple steps, you can do it as
many times as you want. You may have heard me say before that “if you can write a 7 – 10 item grocery list,
you can write an article.” It’s true. Here is what an e-book is, boiled down to the basics – write 7 tips in your area
of expertise – take a tip and add some meat to it with explanation, example, story and application – do this for
all 7 tips and you have a 7 chapter e-book, just add an introduction and conclusion.

6) An e-book never sleeps – Because an e-book is sold and delivered on the internet, you have a 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week, worldwide product. And as if that is not enough, when you include other ways to contact
you, engage you, and spend money with you, you then have a 24/7 international salesperson that never sleeps.

7) Massive leverage – Here are just a few of the products you can turn an e-book into – a CD package, an audio
on your website, small articles on your website and newsletter, and other peoples websites and newsletters,
an e-program, a workbook in a home study course, etc. And that’s just the beginning.

Practice building mentor coach Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT is the President of BuildingYourIdealPractice.com, empowering private practice professionals to build, market and live the practice of their dreams. You are invited to subscribe to the free Getting Clients Newsletter and our free monthly Practice Building Tele-Seminar.

The New Five Truths of Employee Motivation

Motivation is a term that is so widely used, yet many managers know little about how it really works. But it doesn’t have to be confusingin fact, it’s quite simple. Treat your employees as valuable assets and you will reap the rewards. Here are five truths to pay attention to in motivating your workforce.

  1. Most managers think money is the top motivatorbut, it’s not.

    Sure compensation is important, but most employees consider it a rightan exchange for the work they do. Rather, they want is to be valued for a job well done by those they hold in high esteem. They want to feel what they do make a difference. Money does not do this; personal recognition does.

  2. You get what you reward’ is common sense, but not common practice.

    How many managers consider ‘appreciating others’ to be part of their job responsibility? Not many. They tend to be too busy and too removed from their employees to notice when they have done exceptional workand to thank them for it. Limited appreciation leads to limited motivation.

  3. What is most motivating to employees tend to be relatively easy to do and cost the least.

    For example, recognize a high performer in the company newsletter or website. Have her manager’s manager call to thank her for a job well done. Leave a voice mail praising. Distribute a praising e-mail to everyone.

  4. What motivates others is often different from what motivates oneself.

    When workers and supervisors were asked to rank a list of motivators from 1 to 10 in order of importance to workers, workers rated ‘appreciation for a job well done” as their top motivator; supervisors ranked it eighth. Employees ranked ‘feeling in on things’ as being #2 in importance; their managers ranked it last at #10. What is one person’s carrot is another’s ‘yucky’ orange vegetable.

  5. Managers don’t tend to focus on employee motivation until it’s lost.

    They are often too busy focusing on what’s urgent and forget about regularly motivating and recognizing employees. They forget about it until morale sinks, employees quit and then management must scramble to figure out what’s going on. At this point, responding to poor morale is much more difficult than doing little things along the way to keep it high.

When economic conditions turn tough or when the heavy work load seems never-ending, leaders tend to forget the “basics”-building commitment and loyalty beyond the paycheck. It’s the small things everyday that can bring down morale and it’s the small things everyday that can raise performance. A holiday party or picnic once or twice a year probably won’t do it. Rather, it’s a leader’s sincere recognition that employees are assets to be valued, not tools to be used up and discarded.

Marcia Zidle, the ‘people smarts’ coach, works with business leaders to quickly solve their people management headaches so they can concentrate on their #1 job

Credit Counseling Signs That You May Need Help

Credit counseling is a viable option for those who are feeling the stress of being overwhelmed by debt. Credit counseling primarily offers assistance with working out a credit and debt repayment plan for an individual to gain control of their finances by creating a structured budget for an individual to follow. Credit counseling offers an individual the option to repay their debts, if needed, through a credit counseling debt repayment program. This is where the credit counseling organization becomes in contact with an individuals creditor to ask for lowered interest rates and for the credit provider to stop any late and over the limit fees that may be attached to a particular credit card.
Credit counseling organizations that provide a no charge credit and money management education program for an individual typically have the individual consumer’s best interest on their mind.

Credit counseling may be needed if the following signs are present:

1. Are you using more and more of your income to pay your debts?
This becomes a problem if you are at the point where the money going out is less than or nearly less than the money coming in. Credit counseling would be a wise choice. Speaking to a credit counseling organization at this point can help because in a counseling session you may find that by sticking to a sound budget you may be able to avoid additional help. The best part is the counseling sessions should be at no charge, make sure of that before speaking to an agency.

2. Do you make only the minimum payments due on your loans and credit cards each month?
Look at your budget, that is review what dollars are coming in and how those dollars are going out. You may find that by tweaking your budget you may be able to avoid credit counseling by implementing a plan of savings through following your own plan. This should allow you to free up more money to be more aggressive in repaying your debt. Credit counseling may be needed if you have reviewed your budget and can’t find additional funds to pay more than the minimum amounts to your credit cards. Paying only the minimum to your credit cards will only prolong the length of time needed to repay your debt. Some credit cards may charge such a high interest rate that it could take years upon years to pay off with minimum payments.

3. Are you near, at, or over the credit limit on your credit cards?

Once a credit card is nearing it’s available balance or even worse if the credit card is over it’s credit limit it is time to take aggressive action to pay down the balance. If this is a situation you are finding yourself in try finding additional dollars to bring your balances down. It is recommended that when doping this you do not open another credit account or take a consolidation loan to repay these accounts as more often than not taking a loan to pay a loan will result in more debt being owed. If you can’t find the dollars to apply towards the credit cards try speaking to a credit counseling organization. They may be able to lay out a plan for you to repay the debt on your own, or through their own credit counseling services.

4. Are you paying your bills with money intended for other things?
If you find yourself “robbing Peter to pay Paul” with your credit cards it may be acceptable if you are replacing the dollars that are going to unnecessary items such as cable TV., cell phone paymentsetc. Just as long as those accounts have been paid and you are not accruing any more fees from them. However if you find yourself using dollars that are intended for necessary items such as a car payment, a house loan, food, etc. then you are most likely in a situation where credit counseling is an option you may need to look into. Look at speaking to a certified credit counselor that will offer a solution to your financial needs. Getting out of the red is very important, the sooner you take action the better.

5. Are you borrowing money or using credit cards to pay for things you used to buy with cash?

This can be very problematic when you are utilizing your credit to purchase things like groceries, fuel or other disposable goods. If you are currently in the act of doing this review your finances to determine if you can avoid making these purchases with your credit. If this can’t be avoided try speaking to a credit counseling organization. They should be able to give you the tools needed to avoid this costly practice.

6. Do you often pay your bills late?

There are a few reasons on why an individual may frequently pay their bills after the due date. One of the main reasons is that there isn’t a budget in place to follow, therefore rendering the payments of the debt to the instance of when a person gets paid. If a payment is due on the 25th and a individual is paid on the 30th this typically develops into a past due payment. This is due to the fact that the majority of people live from one paycheck to the next. Creating a savings account and a budget plan will resolve this issue for the most part. Paying bills late on a regular basis may also be attributed to an individual being upside down with their debts, meaning that there is more money going out regularly than coming in. Once this point is reached it may be time to speak to a credit counseling organization. It is urgent to seek help at this point in order to order to avoid long lasting damage to your credit.

Regardless of your situation it is important to seek help when feeling the pinch of being upside down or behind with your finances. Taking measures early will result in less dollars that go out in the long run. Taking action early will also result in a lesser need of bankruptcy which has long lasting negative impact on your credit worthiness.

Rick Munster lives in Boise, ID where he works as the Media Planner for Debt Reduction Services, http://www.debtreductionservices.com. When he’s not busy working with the media he enjoys writing, or getting away to do a little fishing.

The Thick Line Between Buddy and Boss

Q: One of my key employees is giving me trouble. He has started showing up late for work and has developed a bad attitude in general. The rest of my employees are complaining since they are having to take up his slack. I’ve tried talking to him, but he doesn’t seem to listen. To make matters worse, he has become one of my best friends since I hired him five years ago, so firing him is out of the question. What can I do?
– Allen B.

A: One reason I am so qualified to dispense sage business advice every week, Allen, is that I have made just about every business blunder you can imagine. I am like the Evel Knievel of the small business world, if Evel Knievel wrote a weekly column on motorcycle safety.

One of the more unpleasant things I’ve had to do is fire a good friend who was not doing the job I hired him to do. He needed a job, I needed an employee, so I thought I would give him a shot. It turned out to be a match made in business hell. He took advantage of our friendship by showing up late for work, spending time goofing off instead of working, and making a joke out of my complaints about his behavior. Because of our friendship I defended his actions to my other employees, but after a few weeks I knew I had to show him the door. We’re still friends, but certainly not like we were before.

The blunder I made was hiring a friend in the first place. I let emotion, i.e. the desire to help my friend gain employment, get in the way of my business sense. That’s what you are doing now, Allen, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are going to have to deal with this situation soon or your entire operation may be affected by the actions of this one person.

The blunder you have made is that you have befriended an employee, which is something you should never do. I’m not saying you can’t be friendly with your employees, but you have attached a considerable amount of emotional baggage to the employer/employee relationship and the result is the situation you are faced with today.

Friends expect preferential treatment simply because they are your friends. The workplace, however, must be a level playing field for all your employees, friends or not. While employees deserve your respect (if it is earned), giving one employee preferential treatment over another is never a good idea. This is a problem experienced by many business owners and managers who allow themselves to become too close to their employees.

I understand that he has become your friend over the years and you’d rather eat rocks than fire him, but you have to consider how his behavior is impacting your business over all. What effect is he having on employee morale, on work schedules, on customer relations, on time spent fixing his mistakes, and most importantly, the bottom line?

You have two options: get him back on track or get him off the payroll, period. That may sound cold and politically incorrect, but those are your only choices. Either way, you must be his employer first and friend second. He may have personal reasons for his performance, but as his employer you are legally limited as to how much prying you can do into his home life. As his friend, however, I expect that you already have a good idea what the problem is. If you can help him return to being a productive member of the team, then do so. If not, wish him well, let him go, and move on.

Here are a few suggestions to help you establish and enforce the boundaries of the employer/employee relationship.

Define the relationship. Keep your seat, Dr. Phil, this won’t take long. The employer/employee relationship should be well-defined from the outset and the parameters understood by all parties. Some call it “defining the pecking order” or “establishing the food chain.” Whatever colorful term you use it all boils down to this: You can be their boss or you can be their buddy. You can not be both.

Don’t hire friends or relatives. This rule is certainly bendable if you are the owner of the business and you hire your children to work for you. Chances are your offspring already accept you as the ultimate authority figure and managing them in a business environment is second nature. However, even this situation could have a negative impact on your business as non-related employees often expect the boss’ son, daughter, or best buddy to work less, make more money, and be treated better than everyone else. Whether that’s true or not, nepotism and cronyism can create an underlying tension among the ranks.

Establish and adhere to company policies. It’s a good idea to have published policies concerning every aspect of your business, including employee behavior and performance expectations. By it’s very nature the employer/employee relationship is prone to favoritism. Managers can’t help but favor those employees who work harder, longer, and faster, but when it comes to adhering to company policies, there should be no preferential treatment of favored employees. Every employee should receive a copy of your published company policies and sign a form stating that they have read, understand, and agree with the same.

The Bottom Line: treat everyone the same. It does not matter if the employee is a vice president or a janitor; everyone in your company should be treated the same when it comes to adhering to published company policies and performance expectations.

While it is true that a vice president may be of more value to the company than a janitor, it is also true that a vice president who is running amok can do far more damage to your company than a janitor who lets a toilet back up every once in awhile (there’s an analogy there that I will let you figure out on your own).

It’s not personal, it’s just business. This is what the movie bad guys say to one another right before the shooting starts. “Hey, Paulie, it’s not personal. It’s just business.” BLAM! BLAM! This is the dating equivalent of saying, “It’s not you, it’s me.” These kinds of statements are not going to make anyone feel better when they are getting dumped or fired. Just ask any former employee or old girlfriend you’ve used this line on.

If you have to fire an employee – even a friend – do it by the book in a professional manner.

It won’t be easy, but you have to remove the emotion and do what’s best for your business.

Here’s to your success.

Tim Knox

Small Business Q&A is written by veteran entrepreneur and syndicated columnist, Tim Knox. Tim serves as the president and CEO of three successful technology companies and is the founder of DropshipWholesale.net, an online organization dedicated to the success of online and eBay entrepreneurs.

Related Links:
http://www.prosperityandprofits.com
http://www.smallbusinessqa.com
http://www.dropshipwholesale.net

New Uniforms Could be the Gold Charm for the Golden Arches

New designer uniforms could be the gold charm McDonald’s needs to connect their new hip marketing campaign to their fast-food restaurants. This possible gold charm for the fast-food chain has the ability to let the actual fast-food restaurants reflect the image they are portraying in their advertisement campaign. The new “I’m lovin’ it” marketing campaign has attracted a youthful audience to the fast-food chain. However, when this trendy younger crowd comes to McDonald’s, they do not see the same fashionable place that they saw in the commercial. Instead, they see the same thing that they would see at just about any fast-food restaurant. McDonald’s hopes to further entice this target market into their restaurants by updating their restaurants with new employee uniforms.

This gold charm could definitely be the factor that distinguishes McDonald’s from other fast food chains. Instead of having their young workers dreading to wear their uniform to work, the goal is to have a uniform that actually appeals to the employees, something that they would wear even if they didn’t have to. With over 300,000 workers, this will not be an easy change but almost certainly a change that will be worth it for McDonald’s.

For the last five years McDonald’s has been struggling to revamp themselves in order to appeal to a younger audience. In quest to become more “cool,” McDonald’s introduced the “I’m lovin’ it” campaign with pop favorites Justin Timberlake and Beyonce Knowles of Destiny’s Child singing the jingle for the commercials. These superstars help give validity that McDonald’s must be a good place to eat if Justin Timberlake and Beyonce Knowles of Destiny’s Child will go there. Along with this, McDonald’s has also improved their menu to meet the needs of this younger, en vogue consumer (this includes low-carb options to match the current rage of the Atkins’ Diet). This new marketing campaign has proved to be very successful for the fast-food chain, improving sales in their targeted audience.

As new and hip as these commercials, radio ads, and billboards maybe, little change has occurred in the appearance of the restaurant itself since its beginning. While the company has changed its branding strategy away from children and families by no longer using Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar in their commercials and advertisements, they still have not done much to bring their facilities up with the times. These new designer uniforms could possibly be just what they need to begin the improvement of the McDonald’s actual restaurant facility.

Yet, what maybe a gold charm for the golden arches, could possibly be a horrible disaster to a clothing line. Something that certain clothing designers need to worry about is whether or not they will look like a “sell out” if they decide to do a fast-food restaurant’s uniform. Labels like Abercrombie and Fitch have worked hard to be the top of their line and not something that is worn by fast food employees and covered in grease. This could definitely be a risky move as far as branding goes for some clothing companies.

However, these designers could possibly be motivated if the price was right. It is estimated that these gold charm uniforms can cost up to $80 million for McDonald’s. These uniforms are certainly not cheap for McDonald’s. While a designer for the new uniforms has no been chosen, the golden arches are looking at designers such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and even from Sean P. Diddy Combs. Although these new uniforms may seem like an unnecessary expense it might just be precisely what they need to connect their restaurants to the image they are portraying in their ads.

Kaitlin Carruth is a client account specialist with 10x Marketing – More Visitors. More Buyers. More Revenue. To learn more about other types of target"_new" href="http://www.harrismichaeljewelry.com/learning-center/resources/gold-charm.html">gold charms, please visit Harris Michael Jewelry.

Writing A Trading Plan

All professional traders have a trading plan. Trading futures is a zero sum game and those with a plan (and the discipline to apply it) will succeed over those that have no plan. A plan details the particular market anomaly that you intend to exploit – your edge. Human emotion creates anomalies – essentially, the fear and the greed of those that have no trading plan.

Creating a trading plan and rigidly applying that plan allows the professional trader to eliminate emotional responses from his trading.

Let’s look at what your written trading plan should cover:

Trading concept – What anomaly is your trading strategy intending to exploit?

Timeframe – The shorter the timeframe the more trades that can be made. However short term trading leads to lower reward:risk ratio’s and higher commission costs.

Instrument – There are many different ways to trade essentially the same idea – options, futures, exchange traded funds etc. Which offers the most reward for your trading concept?

Entry – How will you open your trade?

Exit – How will you close your trade – A stop loss should be placed at a point where the trading concept become invalid, this could be a specific price or a certain length of time. A profit exit must also be established – again either a certain target price or a timed exit.

Money Management – How much capital is required to trade the strategy and how much should be risked on each trade to maximise returns whilst minimising the risk of blowing the account?

End of Day Routine – At the end of each day every trade should be compared to the trading plan and any variances should be addressed. Remember the plan is their for a reason and you must trade it exactly. If a change is required then it should be properly tested before being added to the plan. No decisions should be made whilst a trade is live.

Brokers – Which broker will you use and how will you trade? Automating a trading plan through the broker’s API will help to eliminate any emotional responses.

Your plan will require constant revision as the market dynamics change. If you have noticed a market anomaly then it’s very like that many of your competitors have as well.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Lewis Carroll

Tim Wreford runs Online Futures Trading, a website that provides information and resources for traders. Tim also provides a free day trading system, the results of which are updated daily on the site.

A Common Frustration When Operating A Home Based Business

The source of frustration addressed in his article may be all
too familiar if you happen to work at an Internet-based home
business which relies on personal relationships and/or teamwork.

I am often contacted by members of my business team with a tale
of woe regarding a lack of response from their affiliates. It
typically goes something like…”I send out lots of emails to all
of them and I very rarely get any response. What am I doing
wrong”.

If your particular internet business involves selling well known
branded items, personal feedback is not an issue. Visitors to
your website (potential customers) are primarily interested in
selection, availability, and price. If it is a returning
customer, then you can also throw customer service into the
equation. Once the desired item is selected, your mouse does
all the “talking” without any human interaction involved.

However, there are many types of internet-based home businesses
where feedback and interaction are quite important and getting an
affiliate or business team member to communicate with you is a
definite objective. It’s not at all surprising that this can be
a challenge when you stop to think that what you are trying to do
is initiate a dialog between two complete strangers who have
never even seen each other.

Heavily branded websites like walmart.com or amazon.com are
household names and carry an implied trust with visitors.
However, the vast majority of websites are not well known and are
found and visited as a result of searches performed by search
engines. In these instances, the visitor is probably arriving at
the website for the first time and human nature often dictates a
sense of fear or suspicion of the unknown which is manifested by
a reluctance to respond to email messages from an unknown party.

It seems that there is no pat answer as to the best way to elicit
an initial email response from a person. I have tried several
approaches with varying degrees of success. Individual styles
will vary, but the following four points should be kept in mind:

  • you need to build trust & credibility with thorough knowledge of your business and with straight forward talk about realistic expectations
  • don’t over-sell or indulge in hype as many people are expecting this and it can be an immediate turn-off
  • send messages with at least one open-ended question that requires a response
  • keep the messages fairly brief, long winded messages that go on and on quite frequently will not be read

One other thing to keep in mind is that your messages may not
even be reaching the intended recipient and they have no
opportunity to give you a reply. At the end of your messages
you might want to ask the recipient to send you a return email
just saying “got it”.

We all agree that spam is a very serious problem. These days,
many email providers and ISPs have appointed themselves to be the
“information police” and are employing various schemes to try to
recognize and block messages that constitute spam.
Unfortunately, these mail filtering or blocking techniques are
often very inaccurate and many messages that people actually want
to receive are arbitrarily being sent off into the ozone.

I have some first hand experience with this situation. Not long
ago, the ISP that my mother was using suddenly decided that she
would not be allowed to receive messages from me! It took us a
while to figure out what was going on, but once we did, that ISP
was going to soon become history as far as my mother was
concerned.

In the final analysis, all you can do is give it your best shot.
Some people will respond, some won’t…and the beat goes on.
Remember, it’s nothing personal, just human nature at work.

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Kirk Bannerman operates a successful home based business and
coaches others seeking to start their own home based business.

Visit his website at Legitimate Home Based Business for more details.