Stay at Home Jobs and Home Based Businesses – Dream Come True or Nightmare

Stay at home jobs and home based businesses have never had as much appeal as they have today. Chucking the nine-to-five grind to stay at home is a dream that appeals to most of us. Really, you think, what’s not to like about not having to dress up, fight traffic, and endure bosses who lean over your shoulder every minute of the day?

It’s easy to think a stay at home job or a home based business would be a dream come true, and for many people it is. Realistically, though, a stay at home job is just like any other jobyou have to actually to work. And statistics show that people who have stay at home jobs and home based businesses generally work more hours per day than their counterparts who work in conventional businesses.

One problem that many people who work at stay at home jobs or who have home based businesses run into is what’s often referred to as “feast or famine syndrome.” They find their workflow is either too low or too high; in other words, they either have a lot to do or nothing. This makes it hard for people to budget their time and their money, and is especially hard for people just beginning stay at home jobs or home based businesses. It takes time to develop a steady base of clients for stay at home businesses, and even then there will be many times where everyone wants your product and/or service at the same time. This can be very stressful when there’s only one person, you, to do everything. So if you’re planning on starting a stay at home job or home based business, it’s good to have a plan in place to help you deal with what can often be a roller coaster workload.

The feast or famine syndrome of a stay at home job or business leads to another difficulty. When you’re feasting, you’re making moneywhen you not feasting, you aren’t. It’s hard. One week you’re raking in the money, and the next week you’re barely squeaking by. This is where a stay at home job or home based business can, again, be more stressful than a conventional job where you’re paid on schedule and know exactly how much you’ll be bringing in every month. To deal with this, first of all, you need to have some money in the bank before leaving your regular job for a stay at home job or to start a home based businessor to focus on that stay at home job or home based business that you’ve been working at part-time. Experts recommend that you have enough money saved to cover six months of expenses before leaving your job for any reason. This is especially important for people who want to stay at home and work or to start a home based business because it can greatly reduce the stress that comes with feast or famine syndrome and give you some much needed breathing room.

Too, people who have a stay at home job or home based business often run into payment problems. You’ve done your work or provided your service and product, but you don’t get paid. Collection can be a nightmare when this happens. And what many people don’t know when they become stay at home workers or owners of home based businesses is that people who hire you may classify you as an independent contractor and pay you as far out as 90 days. To make sure you don’t run into payment issues, always get everything in writing. It’s hard to wait 90 days to get paid, but it’s even harder not to get paid at all and perhaps have to turn to a collection agency in order to get your money. Because many stay at home jobs and home based businesses are Internet-based, you need to take special precautions to know you’re dealing with reputable businesses with a good track record of payment. So do your homework and get all payment terms in writing before providing any stay at home work or home based business product or service. The headaches and stress this will save you is immeasurableand ensures you’re more likely to believe that your stay at home job or home based business really is your dream come true.

Charles Fuchs
http://www.charlesfuchs.com/
http://charlesfuchs.blogspot.com/

I grant permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with a live link, and the article is not changed in any way.

Copyright © 2006, Charles Fuchs, President of Vision Management Enterprise Inc., is an established online marketer who specializes in helping people start their very own Work at Home Based Business.

Winning Teams on the Football Field and in the Office

Teams, teams, teams. They’re all the rage these days. Whether you love-em or loathe-em, you’ll have to learn to live, not only with them, but within them. You career will depend on it. Here are five strategies for building a high-performance team.

Manage by adultery.

It’s a term coined by Chaparrel Steel to describe its management philosophy of treating workers like adults instead of children. People are hired, not to do mindless jobs, but to put their brains to work. Management’s job is to give the team or work group a mission; see that they get the necessary resources, provide feedback and encouragement; and then turn them loose to be creative problem solvers.

Hire people who care.

When evaluating prospective employees, a major airline brings all job candidates together in a room and asks each person to make a presentation. Everybody thinks that the company officials are evaluating the person making the presentation. But in reality, the company is evaluating the candidates in the audience to see who are attentive and supportive as others are presenting. It is a strong signal that these people have the ability to care about others and are potential candidates to hire.

Make sure there is a scoreboard.

One critical difference between a group and a team is that a team knows what constitutes a win. Players in sports know instantly where their team stands and whether they are winning or losing. This information then affects how they are going to play the rest of the game. But in most organizations, employees may work for weeks and months and never know where their team stands and if they are winning, losing, or just hanging in there. Like sports teams, business teams should also have scoreboards. Then team members would have some idea how close they are to a win and what they need to do to make it happen.

Don’t encourage employee dependence.

The Romans had an interesting practice regarding ownership. After building an arch, the engineer in change was expected to stand beneath it as the scaffolding was removed. If the arch didn’t hold, he was the first to know. Effective leaders also keep ownership where it belongsin the team. If the leader keeps running in and lifting the weights for his team, they are never going to build any of their own muscle. The trap in becoming a “hero leader” is that every time you pull a rabbit out of a hat, you generate more dependency from your team. Important: Astute leaders welcome their employees to discuss problems and solutions, but never let them leave their problems with the leader.

Set up your team to win, not be slaughtered.

If your team is faced with multiple tasks or problems, don’t always tackle the worst ones first. Conventional wisdom says prioritize your tasks and then begin tackling your most important problems, solve them and then move on to smaller ones. This approach ignores the fact that the biggest problem is usually the hardest to tackle. Therefore, if not prepared mentally, team members are more likely to fail, become demoralized, and give up. This is not permission for all of us procrastinators to put aside our tough assignment. Rather, it allows us to gain the confidence to first experience success on a smaller level before going for “the big one.”

If we don’t know it, how can we do it? Paul “Bear” Bryant, the legendary football coach at the University of Alabama, said winning team members need to know the following:

  1. Tell me what you expect of me.
  2. Give me an opportunity to perform.L/li>
  3. Let me know how I’m doing.
  4. Give me guidance where I need it.
  5. Reward me according to my contributions.

I couldn’t have said it better than Bear Bryant. Do you have a winning team?

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 Card Processing – 7 Things You Need to Know Before Opening an Online Merchant Account

When considering opening an online merchant account to accept credit card orders, there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind. The best thing to do is learn all about credit card processing before you open your online merchant account so you can handle everything from the beginning rather than having to go back and make many changes.

The following topics are things you need to know about credit card processing online before you open an online merchant account:

Topic #1 Security

When it comes to making online purchases you need to be sure your customers feel as confident as possible that your site is secure and there is a very small percentage that any fraud will take place during their purchase. In general, the credit card processing software takes care of the security for the transactions; however you can boost security on your own website to reduce the theft of credit card numbers, hackers, and general fraud. Also, consider using additional secure measures like asking for the numbers on the back of their visa card or the four numbers on the front of their American Express. Doing so ensures that the person ordering has the credit card in hand, and more than likely this is the owner of the card.

Topic #2 Fixed Rates

Before signing up with a credit card processing company you want to make sure you will be receiving fixed rates for the life of the service. Many firms offer this so don’t feel that this is not an option. When you set this up, it is important that you get this in writing to ensure your rates stay the same. Of course, your rates will rise if Visa or MasterCard increase what they charge for credit card purchases, but this should be the only condition. Don’t sign any contracts without addressing this issue!

Topic #3 Bundled Rates

Be careful with bundled rate offers. Frequently, credit card processing companies will mention bundled rates and how they will save you money. This may or may not be the case, depending on your products and the average price you sell them for. Do some research on this topic in comparison to the types and prices of products you sell to see if it will save you money or not. For most businesses it costs more.

Topic #4 Confidence

Before you open an online merchant account, be sure you have complete confidence in the company that is handling the credit card processing. If for some reason you do not, even if you don’t know why, keep moving on until you find one you do feel comfortable with.

Topic #5 Credit Cards and Debit Cards

You want credit card processing software that will allow you to accept a wide variety of credit cards as well as debit cards. Do not limit yourself to just Visa or MasterCard. Also accept cards like American Express, Diners Club, as well as all bank debit cards. Doing this will only increase your business.

Topic #6 Accept Credit Cards

Before opening an online merchant account you should know that most people are going to purchase from you using their credit or debit card. Sending personal checks and or money orders might be an option you provide for the small percentage without credit cards or who mistrust the Internet, but most people are going to buy with their cards so it is important to have secure software and an easy to use interface.

Topic #7 Save Payment Information

Many websites offer the option to save payment information. This means that more than likely, you will have a return customer who wants to save time when shopping next time by not having to type in all of their information again. Provide this option to shoppers on your website!

Michael Turner reveals step-by-step how you can increase search engine traffic in his free 7 part mini-series. Grab it now at http://www.powertraffictactics.com/

Executives and Emotional Self Awareness

A major problem impairing an executive’s performance is his Emotional Blind Spots. Emotions, whether we like them or not, have a significant impact on one’s decisions. An example is the Enron case where executives ran into severe ethical and legal consequences after falling prey to the destructive negative emotions of greed and self-interest. It is perplexing how many success driven executives, choose to fear addressing the impact of negative emotions on personal and organizational performance.

Helping executives become aware of the Emotional Blind Spots that cause them to steer into perilous decision making territory has helped them make better decisions and feel powerfully more secure in themselves. To help achieve emotional self-awareness we use a powerfully new coaching tool, the Mind Resonance Process

What Exactly is Spam

Spam, as defined in the context of computers, the Internet and electronic messaging, is a term used to designate unsolicited bulk electronic messaging and communication. In particular, spam is unsolicited bulk mailings that are commercially oriented. It is most commonly used in advertising, but it is also used to perpetrate religious, political or other types of messages. Spam is, often times, considered the electronic equivalent of junk postal mail, telemarketing or broadcast faxing. Spam got its bad name and reputation from the advertisement of ill reputable and questionable products, such as pornography, pyramid schemes, fad products, pump-and-dump stocks, etc.

Spam is delivered via several mediums, to include:

Article Length Thoughts For Online Article Marketers

It is recommended by the leaders in the field in online marketing thru the use of informational articles to keep them short and tight. They recommend keeping the articles between two hundred and five hundred words. As an article writer I agree with these gurus in online article marketing and most of their points in theory, as smaller articles get picked up on the Internet faster. However, in practice I can say that my large articles have been picked up too, although it is true not to the degree as the smaller tighter articles do, but all my articles seem to have been picked up on websites all over the world now.

The hotter the subject the faster the articles will spread across cyber space; hot topics do help that is for certain, that I had noticed right away. Some of my larger articles, which are into the maximum allowed on this site by making, the cut off by only 10-100 words were picked up. Now then for Ezines, they were not picked up, but my articles often, have punctuation; ‘issues” and the occassional speling airor y’know? But for the most part these Internet Article marketing professionals are right, and we should advise on the fundamentals.

Now then taking all these facts into consideration, I would say those who create many smaller articles do better in Internet article marketing and the gurus of the industry are correct. Now then EzineArticles.com has Education categories and in those categories larger articles are more relevant in many cases. I just think that point needs to be understood. Also I have noticed that many of my larger articles spider better under the key words and get higher rankings here. And to that point get read and seen by more people here. Some have over 500 article views on this site and are 1500-2000 words. So whereas I agree with these marketing experts, I am also dissecting this issue into complete scrutiny. Think on this when using article marketing on the Internet as part of your company’s growth strategy.

“Lance Winslow” – If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; http://www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

Are You Mentor Material

Q: I’ve been approached by a young man who asked if I would be his mentor. I’m flattered by his interest, but I’m not sure I’m cut out to be a mentor. In your opinion what makes a good mentor?
- Kenneth P.

The mentor/mentee relationship is very much like that of a parent and child. The younger, less experienced child mentee will look to you, the older, more experienced parent mentor, for guidance, wisdom and advice. They will come to you with questions and expect you to have all the answers. They will bring to you their problems and expect you to solve them. And if you don’t give them the attention they think they deserve they may pout and complain about you to all their friends.

In short, if kids get on your nerves, Kenneth, don’t even think about being a mentor. Buy a goldfish or even better, a rubber plant. They require far less attention and everyone will be much happier in the long run.

Typically, there are three things every good mentor should have: time, patience, and a genuine desire to help another person succeed without expecting anything in return. If you have an abundance of those things, then being a mentor can be a highly rewarding experience. If not, please see the rubber plant reference above.

Why do some people make excellent mentors while others do not? It’s all about motive. Are your reasons for being a mentor unselfish or are they self indulgent? Are you considering becoming a mentor because you truly feel that a mentee might benefit from your wisdom and experience or is it because you like being the center of someone else’s adoration?

You should not become a mentor just to feed your own ego because you will be doing your mentee a great injustice because there will be no give and take to the relationship. I know many successful entrepreneurs who consider themselves mentors, but truth be told they simply revel in holding court and having younger entrepreneurs hang on their every word as if its gospel. They care less about hearing their mentee’s questions than they do about hearing the sound of their own voice.

As my mama would say, “If you talk just to hear your own head rattle,” then mentoring is not for you.

One of the keys to a successful mentor/mentee relationship is to set some ground rules and stick to them. Sit down with your prospective mentee and discuss the expectations of both parties, i.e. what do you and the mentee expect to get out of the relationship? It’s a given that the mentee is seeking your time, wisdom and advice, but if you as the mentor don’t also get some kind of mental satisfaction your interest in the relationship will quickly wane.

Discuss how often you will get together. Will you meet for lunch once a week or for an hour in your office several times a month? It is important that you create an actual meeting schedule and stick to it. Without a set schedule life will get in the way and you will cancel more meetings than you attend.

Next, set some guidelines and limitations. How often can your mentee call? Is it OK for them to call your cellphone or should they go through your secretary? Can they drop by the office anytime? Can they call you at home after 5pm?

Set some goals for the mentee. Assign them homework, give them a task. The relationship must be more than just chewing the fat. The point is to help the mentee grow, personally and professionally. Give them a list of books to read. Recommend seminars they should attend. Have them outline their business goals in writing, then you set milestones and hold them accountable for reaching them.

From your side of the fence, don’t be afraid to share your successes and failures. Let your experience be their guide. Help them identify opportunities and avoid pot holes that you may have hit along the way. Don’t be embarrassed to tell the truth, especially if it can keep your mentee from making the same mistakes you did.

As a mentor you should also introduce your mentee into your circle of friends and associates. Sponsor them into Rotary, take them to luncheons, and introduce them to others who might also help their careers.

Being a good mentor also means that you are a confidant; your mentee will share not only his business problems and goals, but also his personal feelings, his secrets, his plans, and his angst. Respect the mentee’s privacy. Your discussions should not be fodder for your next poker night. When something is told in confidence, respect that or get out of the mentor business.

One final point, a successful mentor/mentee relationship should not be a temporary relationship, but one that in ongoing, that grows and evolves until the day you are no long mentor and mentee, but peers.

My own mentor, who probably has no clue that he holds that spot in my life, started out as an investor in one of my companies. As our business relationship grew so did our friendship and I found myself calling on him many times for advice. We eventually became business partners and today we are peers.

I tell him he is the entrepreneur I want to be when I grow up.

He tells me to shut up and pay for lunch.

That’s how the process should work.

Here’s to your success!

Tim Knox

Tim’s latest book is “The 30 Day Blueprint For Success!” We asked 58 Top Internet Money Makers: If you lost is all tomorrow and had to start from scratch, what would you do to be back on top in the 30 days? Their answers just might make you rich!

Related Links:
http://www.prosperityandprofits.com
http://www.dropshipwholesale.net
http://www.30dayblueprint.com

To Buy A Fat Pig

What does buying a fat pig have to do with your business? Stick with me and all will be revealed.

Does your business have a tactical and a strategic way to go to market? Let’s go down to Mr. Hoover’s butcher shop to see how it’s done.

Mr. Hoover has been selling bacon and other pig products for years. That’s pretty tactical, but can result in a good continuing income stream. A lot of customers come in week after week to buy their bacon and ham and pork loin, after all.

But Mr. Hoover wants to develop another income stream. What, he wonders, if he could get people to buy the whole pig ahead of time.

And, maybe, he also could get customers to pay for a pig on the installment plan.

Then, Mr. Hoover could afford to buy more pigs basically for nothing. Customers would be paying for the upkeep. And, Mr. Hoover could even own a stud pig that he “rents” to other pig farmers. Yet another income stream. Sweet!

My tactical tool – or bacon – is email newsletters and marketing programs aimed at customer retention and loyalty. Once I’m in the door with email, I can develop a client relationship that later allows me to sell the whole pig.

I designed my business this way from the start so I’d have a continuing income stream. Then, I could concentrate on what I really like to do: selling myself as a strategic partner who can help a business develop its positioning statement, fully define its audiences and develop and implement a more comprehensive communications program that has bottom line impact. That’s my fat pig.

Have you thought about your business that way? What’s your fat pig?

Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR. He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Focus Four, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, TeamHeidi, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX, and Verbatim.

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.