Archive for October, 2006

10 Signs that You are Ready to Start a Home Based Business

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

It’s days like today that I am MOST happy, thrilled and excited about the fact that I decided to run my own home-based business again. It’s been years since I was able to go to my kids’ Halloween parade at school. And I’m so excited for the rest of the holidays throughout the end of the year - I haven’t been able to bake cookies, do early Christmas shopping, or host Thanksgiving in years as well. These are some of the traditions that make my life joyous - and working at home makes it possible for me to have my cake and eat it too!

Some of you are still in a job outside of the home, longing to take the leap into home based business-land. Are you ready? Well, if you can say yes to at least ONE of the following, you had better start giving a home business some serious consideration. Three of them should be a wake up call. If you have more of five of them you had better stop reading this blog right now and start on that dang business plan!! (Come back later though for help along the way!! ;) )

Anyway, here’s the 10 Signs that You are Ready to Start a Home Based Business ::

Your work-life schedule has become unmanageable

You have a dream that has become an obsession

You are willing to do whatever it takes in order for your business to succeed

You dream of business plans and of marketing strategy

You are willing to start your new business in your off hours and give up some of your free time

You have the ability to go 2-6 months without any self-generated income [either by tapping into savings or by cutting expenses enough to live off of one income]

Your “I shoulds” and “I wish’s” are becoming “I musts”

You have a nagging feeling that you aren’t living up to your full potential, and you have decided to do something about it

You are getting little hints from the universe that it is time to put up or shut up

That little voice that used to say “I can’t do that” is now wondering “Hey, CAN I do that?”

[Hint :: yes, you can!! Do it now!!]

Job Posting :: Chicago-based Email Marketing Coordinator

Monday, October 30th, 2006

One of the other paying gigs that has landed in my lap recently is a recruiting job from one of my old clients (I used to do a lot of recruiting work in the online marketing niche for Chicago companies).

I’m working on behalf of my client to find an Email Marketing Coordinator to work in their Chicago-based office. The big “must” for this position is that they are looking for someone with html experience, and someone who loves social networking. It’s an entry-level position with some huge potential for growth for someone who is really self-directed.

I doubt many of my readers will fit the bill for this one - but if you know someone who would be a good fit or even interested, please have them get in touch with me directly, or send me their contact info.
My contact page is the best way to reach me, by the way - thanks in advance for helping to spread the word!

The complete job description is in the full blog entry (more…)

The Intersection of Blogging, Coaching, and a Life Purpose

Monday, October 30th, 2006


Last Thursday I had a reader dive into the rather intense values exercise I posted a few weeks ago called The Business Boxing Match :: Success Vs. Failure. I know the kind of personal shit that series can dredge to the surface (pardon the language, but it’s really the only word that fits!!). It can be excruciating. But if you see the series through to the end, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.

Well, I don’t think poor Steve got to the end of the series. In fact, he wrote me an email in quite a crappy state of mind, reaching out for help. The cool thing? It was the first time in his life that he had ever done so and he chose me. I was honored and felt blessed to take on the task. [This actually has always happened to me - even when I was in my early 20’s and living at my not-so-best self, people have always confided things in me they have never told anyone before. I actually don’t really know why it is - except that every time it happens, I am indeed able to help. It’s kinda cool, but onto my post…]
The hard thing about writing up this stuff online or on a blog is that a lot of the things that really need to be addressed need to happen in a more intimate setting - such as a phone conversation or in person. So Steve and I arranged to talk on the phone the next morning, because I wouldn’t be able to help get him to where he wanted to be via email.

Our phone conversation is not something I am able to talk about - I don’t talk about the details of my client’s sessions. Fortunately, it made such a huge impact on him that HE wanted to talk about it - and did so on his blog today.

I saw the link come into my WP admin panel this morning and before his page loaded my eyes were already tearing up.

You know, this Law of Attraction stuff is wonderful and I love the nearly instant increase in income now that I have finally cleared out the crap. I already have 5 people who are considering hiring me as a coach just in the last week (I haven’t even officially launched a coaching practice yet!!)
But it pales in comparison to when I really make a difference in someones life.

Now THAT is what gets me up in the morning and puts me to sleep every night feeling blissful.

THAT is what makes me feel as though I am fulfilling my purpose on this planet.

And THAT is the driving force behind who I am, what I do, and what I get to share with you.

And for that I just want to thank you - all of you - for continuing to make it possible to reach and help more people every day.

I wish I could hug each one of you! :)

MVPs for Friday October 27th

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Ah, you Most Valuable POSTers, where would my Fridays be without you? I THANK you for adding such value to the blogosphere and to my week. It’s because of you that blogging is such a grand, grand thing!

With my renewed focus on product development, I have taken my precious little reading time and spent it solely on things that will 1) Help me build awesome products and services that will create an impact and 2) Bring in revenue! To that end, the posts have helped the most on this topic are… [d.r.u.m.r.o.l.l . p.l.e.a.s.e…]

For anyone who is writing an eBook, book, presentation, or /fill in your writing project here/, Kathy Sierra wrote an astonishingly good post entitled Better Beginnings: How to Start a Presentation, Book, Article… (she writes astonishinly good posts a lot of the time, anyway - I just found this one to be extra-special-astonishingly good). Some good Ah-Ha’s for me were her oh-so-wise reminders:

  • If you have to TELL your audience that they should care, you’re screwed.
  • You already HAVE credibility going in… you don’t have to earn it, you just have to make sure you don’t lose it.
  • And the biggest “I should have thought of that one” was Do NOT start at the beginning!

Brian Clark at CopyBlogger wrote a GREAT post on bullet points. Bullet Points?! Well, if you don’t know why bullet points are so important, then go read the post to…

  • Understand exactly why bullets are so effective and how they can influence your readers to take action
  • Ensure the most important message of your piece is actually read
  • Create a hypnotic fascination within your readers, steering them to read everything you wrote
  • Ensure everything you have learned from Brian on sales copywriting actually helps you make the sale

While enjoying myself at CopyBlogger, I was reminded that I have been meaning to check out Bob Bly’s blog, who is practically the Copywriting King. I was so glad to finally do this, and get the chance to study his writing style. I was fascinated to see his mastery of the use of questions. The use of questions, you ask?

Could the reason he is sooooo good be because he doesn’t tell you things?

How is it more influential to get you to tell yourself things?

How can you use the power of questions in your own blog, to engage your readers at a deeper level than ever before?

And what can you learn from these three copywriting greats that will absolutely ensure that you to take your business and your blogs to new levels of success as you apply what they teach?

The Results of Putting my Own Advice into Action = $$

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Holy cow. I mentioned yesterday that I have removed more limiting beliefs in the last three weeks than I have in the last 3 years combined. Also, thanks to my NLP skills, I was able to bring a whole new level of clarity, intention and purpose to my values, including eliminating old inner conflicts and a complete overhaul of my priorities.

I really was doing well before I did all of this - I was making great progress towards my goals, enjoying life to the max, and was making a big difference in the lives of the people in my life.

But I was rather shocked - floored, even - to experience the results I have experienced recently by ‘fine-tuning’ my personal growth strategy.

I knew I had lingering limiting beliefs around money. Once removing those, I found that money simply wasn’t that important to me - I valued so many things more than it that a paycheck could come or not come - I didn’t really care either way (strange, I know, but true!).
I also have always made ‘contribution’ a very high value - and recently saw that it was working a bit to my detriment.

So with my new tools and skills in hand, I put a simple process into action and created a new set of values - one that served both a need for income AND a need to help and impact the lives of others.

The result?

Within 36 hours of making this values change, I already have a check in the mail (with a copy of the check request already in my inbox!!) for 150% more money than I have made in the last 6 months off of this site.

The beauty of it is that it wasn’t just my work that brought this into fruition - I can honestly say it was also the law of attraction at work. The law of attraction is something I have been working to master for over 10 years - and I tripled my income over that time, but the roadblocks I just mentioned were holding me back from going any further.

I’m amazed with the nearly instant results of putting the law of attraction to work now that my values and beliefs are all aligned. It took me a while to get here - but now that I get it - wow! Look out world!

More on this to come - and I’m thinking that this will be what I break out into a separate blog/business - but now I have so much paying work that I must cut out and get to work!!!

Yippie! :)

Newbie Blogging Forum is LIVE!

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

I promised I would do it.

I even had some steep leverage in place!

And now it’s done, ahead of schedule!

The eMoms Blogging Forum is LIVE!

Come to ask blogging questions you are embarrassed to ask!

Come to figure out this whole BlogJolt thing once and for all!

Or just come to hang out with other work at home parents and interact with adults for a change!! :)

On Becoming a Top Blogger Vs. Building a Successful Business

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

I’ve been really blessed to have a fairly successful blog - and I have really, really enjoyed growing it and finding new ways to add value. I am a true learn-by-doing person, meaning I love the thrill of just jumping in and winging it - faking it until I make it, I guess!

At the same time, I have found that building a blog is quite different than maintaining a blog - and there are new challenges to be faced if I want to take this blog to the next level (which I do, and if you wanted to help me with that, would you please add me to your Technorati Favorites list? Nudge, wink?!). Additionally, I have found that having a successful blog can be both a blessing and a challenge.

And I think I am going to really enjoy writing this post, because I don’t have a clue as to where it’s going to go - these tend to be my favorite posts because I usually get a few Ah-Ha’s along the way!

So I am sensing I am on the cusp of a transition - not in topic or content, but more of how I approach working on this blog. It started as a fun side-thingy, took off, and then I was left wondering where to go with it. I made my decision, the blog really took off, and then I was again wondering :: what the heck do I do with this success?

In other words, I was shouting, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”

To be frank, I did this whole blogging thing backwards. I didn’t plan on it being my business, so I didn’t have a revenue plan in place for it - then I switched gears and my monetization strategies started working… but to nowhere near the degree it needs to in order to even come close to what I used to make when I worked outside of the house. (To be fair, I am saving about 30K a year already while working from home by eliminating day care costs and travel expenses)!

So back to my topic here - I have a great blog, even greater readers, and I need to change my growth strategy. More like tweak it, because everything I did right before will still continue to grow my blog.

So here’s my list of transitions - things that will need to evolve if I am to take this blog, and my business, to the next level:

  1. Transition the following mindset:
    From :: “I run a Work at Home Parents Blog”
    To :: “I offer products and services that maximize revenue and productivity for work at home parents, which is supported by a popular blog on the subject”

    I hated to admit this to myself, but the backward-build wasn’t really working - I was trying to take something that inherently doesn’t make a lot of money and turn it into something highly profitable. There are great revenue-generating blogs out there - but as I have stated before, niche is KEY.

    I have had to let go of the Blog being the business - and once I did that, I found that a floodgate of ideas opened up to me. The Blog is now in its proper place in my business, a PR and lead-generation tool.


  2. Transition the following belief:
    From :: “I need to have and maintain a successful blog”
    To :: “My blog is just one of the many tools I use to grow my business”

    It’s too easy to get caught up in the whole blogging ego thing for me - I just love the attention of incoming links and the fun of traffic spikes soooo much. But they started to work against me when I would get caught up in the effect rather than stay focused on the cause.

    The effect is traffic and new readers
    The cause is a solid business plan and great content


  3. Transition the following approach:
    From :: “Seek to consistently give value”
    To :: “Seek to consistently share value”

    The wording is subtle, yes, and might even sound like the same thing. But the shift in mindset for me was huge. I used to approach this blog as a vehicle to give - but I wasn’t getting anything in return for my long hours spent on the site development.

    I believe that I am not adding value unless I am also receiving value. Now, I am talking in a true business sense here. And as a woman with a tendency to give, give, give, I realized I was taking my life approach - “give without expecting anything in return,” and transferring that in subtle ways to my business approach.

    (I think I need to break this out into a new post - I could go on and on about it!)

    The bottom line is that people who do a lot of giving need to be wary about how they give in business. I’m still ALL about making sure my readers and customers take away something truly valuable - AND I’m also ALL about making sure I receive something of value as well.


  4. Transition the following priorities:
    From :: “I must add X because my readers will love it [”X” being a podcast, an interview series, etc.]
    To :: “The projects I take on must build my business”

    Oh, this one is so hard for me to type! I simply love putting together things that I know you will love!

    Yet, my lesson learned from the BlogJolt project is that while it is immensely rewarding, it is a huge time drain for a new business to handle. I’m committed to maintaining it because I love doing it, and because I will force myself to find a way to justify it in a business sense - but be ye not so silly as I was, putting the cart before the horse.Business initiatives should have a strong foundation in a revenue generation plan and will hopefully be fun to implement. It’s not exactly business savvy to find fun things to implement that you then need to figure out how to monetize. (HHhhmmm, sounds a little like blogging, eh?)


  5. Transition the following intention:
    From :: “I want to take my blog and business to the next level”
    To :: “There is ALWAYS another level :: What can I do to consistently prepare for and foster growth?”

    This one may sound anal and like I’m being too much of an overachiever. And it sounds like a lot of work. But one of the biggest lessons learned in my NLP course is that change is so simple and so easy, if you can 1) access the right resources and 2) you have a recipe for success.

    In fact, after spending nearly 3 years working to rid myself of limiting emotions and beliefs, I was able to clear out more “garbage” in the last two weeks than in the last 3 years combined! Which leads me to wonder… what if we are making this much harder than it needs to be? What if success really is a simple process, if I just knew the recipe?

    To that end, I am working more closely with my mentors, taking time to master NLP, tapping into the minds of very successful friends, and rewriting my business plan. I am still a one woman show - so I must make every working moment count.

    My most successful moments have come from very simple ideas and processes. It boils down to staying focused, keeping the outcome in mind, and planting seeds for future growth at every opportunity.

So, what’s my outcome for this post? I’ve actually written it for myself more than anyone else - to remind myself of where my energy needs to be spent, and to put my business and blog back into perspective.

And also to plant some seeds for future growth… I’ll let the soil rest on those for now. ;)

Want to Have a Better Blog?

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Well, so do I! ;)

10 Days to a Better BlogActually, what I am really referring to is my 10 Days to a Better Blog eCourse. I have been receiving very positive feedback from the people who are taking the course - and remember - they are all improving their blogs for FREE!

Anyway, I’d like to share with you some of the things people are saying. I don’t want you to just take it from me that it’s a good course - I want you to take it from people who have completed the course and have seen some results!

From Randy at My Mom’s House, an Entrepreneurial Experiment

“I took the 10 Days to a Better Blog eCourse offered by eMom and have been pleasantly surprised by the results. While I have not completed all of the steps to the fullest I have seen an increase in my traffic and expect to see a significant increase once I follow all of the steps completely. The course provided a great framework for developing a plan to execute to and great suggestions for continuing to grow your traffic. I especially liked the choice links lesson (Day 4) from other blogs. I could have gone to these sites and combed through them to find these prime posts, but it would have taken me a weekend and I may or may not have found these great posts.”

From Tony at Success from the Nest

“I really like the format. I think the way you build on the past lesson each day helps solidify what you’re talking about. I like the examples and resource links you provide. Seeing what others are doing is really helpful.

I think the practical advice offered from your own experiences makes it more personal. I’ve taken email courses before where it was all rote and no real substance. Though I’ve been reading blogs for years, Success from the Nest is my first real attempt at my own daily niche blog. I found several of your tips to be things I may have either overlooked or didn’t consider when getting started…”

From dear Katiebird at Eat4Today

“It’s a wonderful course. I feel a strong sense of renewal since starting it.

Your lessons are right-on and take just the amount of time.

I know that if you look back at my posts (and interactions at other blogs) you can see the differences. I feel like my brain is bubbling with energy and enthusiasm.”

I’m honored to have such great readers - and great commenters! Thanks to everyone who took the time to write me with your eCourse feedback AND thanks to everyone who continues to offer feedback in the form of comments - seeing an email come in with a new comment is the highlight of my day! :)

Can Tiny Interactions have Big Consequences in your Business?

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

I just received a scathing email from an old friend of mine - which really threw me off, because I wasn’t upset with her and didn’t think she was upset with me. Her email was filled with presuppositions and assumptions - things she had created in her head and believed to be true about a situation between her and a group of our friends. Yet as I read her words I was saddened to see all of the meanings she had attached to our actions. And I had to ask myself - if she had a higher self worth, could she have EVER made these assumptions about a group of friends that always had and always will love her?

It reminded me of a stark example I once saw about the meanings we attach to things  - and how our interpretations can either empower us, or we can rip ourselves to pieces in the blink of an eye. It was during a rapport building exercise that we have done in the sales training event I frequently mention. We split the room into two groups - and give each group different instructions:

Group 1 has to tell their partner a compelling story for 5 minutes or so - about a great moment in their lives. They have NO CLUE as to what the assignment is for Group 2.
Group 2 has to simply match and mirror them for the first part of the story. By that I mean that they need to use the same facial expressions, stand and gesture in relatively the same way, breathe at the same pace, etc. It’s sort of like copying them - but in a subtle way so that it’s not obvious.

Yet here’s the catch: Group 2, upon seeing the “silent signal”, must stop matching and mirroring the other person. They must put their hands in their pockets or cross their arms, stand differently, and consciously work to use their body differently than their partner. That’s their only assignment - mirror their partner, then stop.
You may think it’s a silly exercise in which everyone catches onto the big secret. You may think this even more so when I tell you we do this exercise with the participants directly after we teach them about building rapport with matching and mirroring!

But after 2 and a half years and doing this exercise with hundreds of people, only three people in Group 1 have ever caught on!

Here’s the amazing thing that happened about a year ago - one that really taught me that I had better be darn mindful of the meanings I attach to other people’s words and actions - because I could truly take one event and allow it to make me or break me if I allowed it to:

In the middle of this matching and mirroring exercise, two women got very uncomfortable with the fact that things had suddenly shifted as they were telling their story. They both noticed a big difference in the response they were getting from the other person, but they didn’t understand why. They both made very similar, but drastically different conclusions about what was happening.

In one moment, one woman built up her self worth and the other one tore herself down.

“Woman A” noticed the change and said to herself “What’s wrong with this OTHER PERSON; why aren’t they listening to me?”

“Woman B” noticed the change and said to herself “What’s wrong with ME; why aren’t they listening to me?”

You may think something different happened to each woman - yet they didn’t! It was the exact same exercise, the exact same shifting point, and the exact same changed in each conversation - the ONLY thing that happened was that both listeners stopped matching and mirroring. The funny part is that in and of itself, this really doesn’t mean ANYTHING about the storytellers at all, good OR bad!
But just imagine the experience of the two story tellers - one woman felt empowered, or at least, didn’t feel bad about herself. The other felt insignificant and made herself wrong, which could have spiraled into a self-worth nightmare if she didn’t realize the truth of the exercise.

Which brings me back to my friend who sent me that email today - she took a few things that have happened, and attached the meaning that something was being “done to her”, and that it meant that she was “being outcast”. Ironically, a similar set of circumstances happened to me about two years ago - with the very same group of friends. I attached a completely different meaning to it: I took it as an invitation to grow and become a better person and a better friend - which I did, and now this group of friends is like my second family.

So I leave you with the question - what meanings do you attach to the interactions between you and your customers, your clients, and your own friends and family? Do the meanings empower you? Do the meanings empower others too? Do you ask to clarify what something means when you aren’t sure - or do you make assumptions based on what you think the person means?

And how do the meanings you attach affect your home based business? Do they work to hold you back  - or do they work to bring your business to the next level? :)

MVPs for Friday October 20th

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Ah - I know it’s been a good blogging week when I have been able to post daily, change my header photo, AND get to my MVP post! It’s GOOD to be back in the game!!

But this post isn’t about me - it’s about the wonderful bloggers out there who put out really great stuff - so without further ado - please enjoy visiting the Most Valuable Posts of the Week!

Suzanne Falter-Barnes put together an entertaining and enlightening chronicle of the Highs and Lows of her 7 years in Building an Internet Business. Part I and Part II.
Read. Learn from her victories and mistakes. Go create your own victories and mistakes! [Suzanne’s blog is one of my faves for getting inspiration and ideas to take my own business to the next level - check it out!]

For all of you Stay at Home Dads who visit regularly (and I know there are quite a few of you!!), Steve at InsideFatherhood spread the word this week that the 11th Annual Stay at Home Dad Convention is being held on November 11 in Kansas City, MO. It’s close enough to Chicago that I am even tempted to go!! (Thanks to Liz for letting me know about this great new blog!)
Pylones! Too Cool!!Thanks to Popgadget I have a whole new definition of the term “Eye Candy” - as evidenced by this unbelievably cute broom and dustpan set from Pylones. Wow…



And on the personal side of things, I have been a minor fan of the Dove campaign for beauty - until today when I decided to be a big fan of the campaign thanks to a post over at FunnyBusiness. Many years ago I used to weigh 50 pounds more than I do today - and I truly used to crucify myself while looking at photos of thin beautiful women in magazines. Go watch the the Evolution Video over at FunnyBusiness - I want to both laugh and cry realizing the crucifixion was all for nothing… ALL for NOTHING! (And, by the way, I love the way I look today, stretch marks and all! ;) )