A Continuing Adventure

So, what’s this all about then?

Well, this isn’t my first foray into working from home. I dabbled with Network Marketing many years ago. I was one of those people who listened to the pitch, watched the presentations, saw the possibilities, and got all excited. Then I bought the business kit and did precisely…. NOTHING!

I knew so little about how to run such a business that I quickly felt out of my depth. In retrospect, the company I had joined was one of those where their products would probably have sold like hotcakes over in America, but not so much in my little corner of England.

One of my mentors, the late, great Jim Rohn would have shaken his head and said “Isn’t that interesting?” as I ran full speed back to my day job.

Fast forward a few years and I tried this thing called affiliate marketing. I could see how it worked, some people were making big money, and I got all excited. Well, I did make some sales, but I spent more on advertising. And I spent too long chasing my tail looking at free forms of advertising. Those already making big money seemed to hold all the cards, but I now think it was my own mindset that held me back. Back to the day job, then.

It is tempting to say that I failed at those things, but the truth is that I quit. You can only fail if you quit. If I’d carried on until I found a way that worked, we would call those times a success. One of the little understood things about success is the sheer perseverance that it takes to get there. See the success iceberg picture, there’s a lot of truth shown there.

But those attempts at home working were not truly wasted, the fact of the matter is that I learned a lot by doing those. F.A.I.L. stands for First Attempt In Learning, and so you only truly fail if you learn nothing from your experiences.

Fast forward a few more years, and I spotted a post on Facebook from an old work colleague saying how pleased he was with his additional income from his new work from home business. Curiosity got the better of me, and so I asked what he was doing. He showed me the business, and it turned out it was another Network Marketing business. This one, though, had a wide and varied range of products that I believed would meet the needs of many people. The start-up fee was minimal, and so, with a fair dose of scepticism, I signed up.

To my amazement, it worked. We made some good sales on a regular basis, and started building a little team. And we met people who were making a good living out of it, in some cases earning six figure incomes and more.

So, the point of this is to share some of the learning I have gained and continue to gain on this journey, and to learn more through the process of blogging. I look forward to conversations with anyone who reads this blog and feels motivated to contribute their own thoughts.

Also, the palest ink is far better than the best human memory, even if that ink and paper is of the electronic sort.

This should be fun.

Featured post

The Dreaded Lurgy

It’s been a few days, folks. I’ve been doing battle with that most devastating of diseases. Yes, the deadly ‘Man Flu’. You probably remember that last week we ended up having a dash to hospital with our daughter. She’s fine, and recovering very well now, but what happens if you put a healthy person in a warm environment among lots of unwell people? Ah, yes, that!

To be fair, I wasn’t the only one, and the Mrs ended up suffering the effects too.

But, as annoying as such illnesses are, we at least have more options available to us than most. We are able to spread the workload between us somewhat, and are able to attend to tasks that are not too onerous while feeling less than one hundred percent.

I have been able to take a close look at the proof copies of my book, and make some notes of changes I’d like to make. A cover image that was fuzzier than I would like? Dealt with! Now, that sort of thing isn’t so easy to squeeze in when you’ve got the 9-5, plus another one or two hours travelling at either end of the day.

A keyboard doesn’t much care how croaky your voice is while you type away.

And no having to convince the boss just how rotten you feel, when it’s time for a rest. Mind you, there is the urge to crack on when it’s your own bottom-line that might suffer if you don’t.

At least the turbos are spooling up now, ready to hit the ground running and make something out of this week.

Time to make some positive things happen!

Until next time,

Carl

An Enforced Break

Well, that was a crazy 48 hours.

Yesterday morning, our daughter was complaining that she still had a stomach ache from the day before. But overnight, it had got worse, she said. Oh, and it had moved to her right hand side.

We thought we’d better take her to the doctors, ‘Just to make sure it’s just a bug, and not appendicitis.’

But a dash to the hospital later, and it turned out it was appendicitis, and an operation was necessary.

She’s home and OK now, if rather sore, and we are thankful that it was caught early.

But, naturally, not much else happened during that time. I did manage to post a few product ads during a rather long wait, but my phone battery soon put paid to that idea.

But, one of the things we are thankful for, is that this type of business is very forgiving of moments like that. You can put it down awhile, and pick it back up again where you left off. I don’t think you’d get away with that for long with any sort of a 9-5 job.

There’s not the need to go cap-in-hand to a boss, in the hope that they will deign to allow you to deal with a family situation.

If it were going to be longer-term, I could have taken a phone charger and a tablet or laptop. I could then still have worked, while still being there to support our little girl.

So, not a cheerful couple of days, but plenty of reasons for gratitude, not least for the efforts of the medical team that do such amazing work.

Until next time,

Carl

Spreading Yourself Thinly

Wow, that’s been a manic weekend!

As I said in my last post, I recently published a book on Kindle. It then took quite a lot of formatting and other fiddling around to get it ready for publishing as a paperback.

Then you have to think about marketing. Now, obviously that’s a concept that isn’t alien to me, but it’s been a bit of a learning curve as to exactly how you use those skills as they relate to self-publishing a book. Turns out, there’s a lot to do.

I am a member of a Facebook group where we are all admirers of the work of the late, great Terry Pratchett. They are some of the smartest, most well-read, and (best of all) the most giving people on planet earth. So, I put up a post asking for suggestions about how you might go about promoting a self-published book.

Their response was the most staggering amount of support and ideas, even offers to link me up with author friends of theirs. I will be forever grateful for the response they gave me.

So, I now find myself following their excellent advice, with the net result that I now have TWO blogs, another Facebook page, more followers/followees on Twitter, a Goodreads account, and the need to arrange something along the lines of a book-signing type event. Phew! (Yes, I do know that ‘followees’ isn’t a word. It IS now, OK?).

But, what of our MLM business? What of the day job? And that’s sort of the point of this post. All the personal development gurus and their books say that you need ‘laser-focus’ in order to be successful. And I do believe that they’re right, but life does get in the way sometimes, doesn’t it?

It’s true to say that I haven’t done everything I should with the MLM business over the last few days. Thank goodness that Kerry is as much a part of that as I am, or I don’t know what state we’d be in. It’s very fortunate that it’s the sort of business that’s very forgiving of moments like this.

The day job has happened like it should, but I have found myself burning the candle at both ends, as well as filling up those ‘corners of time’ that we all talk about.

Somewhere among that lot, there are also those family needs, dinners to cook, the dog to walk, and the like.

Do you sometimes find yourself feeling sort of stretched, like too little butter over too much bread? How do you get back to some sort of balance, and find a little ‘me time’?

Answers on a postcard, please. Or just in the comments will do 🙂

Until next time,

Carl

 

A Different Kind of Homeworking

bible-old-bible-historically-christianity-159688.jpegWell, now for something completely different!

When we talk about ‘Homeworking’, we often mean doing something online, whether it be MLM, affiliate marketing, or perhaps online trading.

But, as the saying goes, oranges are not the only fruit. Actually, I really dislike oranges, but that’s not the point.

Yesterday evening, I joined the ranks of self-published authors.

I wrote the manuscript of a book a few years back, but there’s loads of editing, and re-drafting that follows that, and then the tendency for projects to be metaphorically put on the back burner. But finally, after a bit of jigging around to make the formatting suitable for Kindle, it’s actually out there in the wild.

Is this home-working? Well, the manuscript was written at home, and all the hoops you have to jump through to get it ready for publication were jumped through at home. The button to publish was pushed at home.

And, I sure hope that it becomes a revenue-making activity. It was fun to write (actually the most fun you can have with your clothes on), but it’s an awful lot of effort if there’s no return for your activity. One rather hopes that it will at least provide an amount of passive income.

And, doesn’t that sound rather like what we do in MLM, affiliate marketing et al? Expending some effort while within the comfort of your own four walls, in the hope of generating some income?

If you’re interested in having a laugh at the antics of a juvenile god, by all means take a look, here’s the link. It’s certainly a way to keep the Black Dog from my last post at bay.

But, the point of this post really is, what exactly do we all think ‘Homeworking’ actually is? How do we define it?

And do any of you have any other forms of homeworking that don’t fit in with what seem to be the expected norms?

Until next time,

Carl

The Bite of the Black Dog

Black Dog

Well, isn’t he a handsome chappie? It’s been a long time since my last post here, for a variety of reasons. Some are excuses, some are more proper reasons, and we’ve also been hammered by a bout of what can only be called by downright bad luck.

Now, I could sit here and write out my list of excuses and reasons, and hope that some people will join me in wallowing in a bout of self pity. But I’m not going to. It isn’t right to bring other people down into the mire of depression just because things haven’t gone quite your way.

Anyway, like the strapline says, this is all about the ups and DOWNS of home-working.

We all have times when the so-called Black Dog of depression snaps at our heels. We all experience various set-backs, challenges, and other disappointments.

But what is important is not so much whether or not you experience set-backs and the like, it’s how you then deal with them. You have to discipline your disappointment.

It’s about keeping your recovery time from your problems as short as possible, saying “Okay, this wasn’t a great situation, but it’s just how things are right at this moment.” Recognise your situation for what it is, it’s difficult to make any sort of plan to move on if you can’t accurately state how things are right now.

Having stated the current situation, you now have to say “This is the situation right now, but I DON’T have to STAY here. THIS is what I am going to DO about it.”

For example, if a series of events set you back to the tune of several grand in the hole, recognise that it stings, and then start looking for ways to make several grand quickly.

Could you simply work some more hours? Maybe you could look at getting a few more team members into your business? Could you sell something?

A quick brain-storm on the above showed those options, plus the fact that I have a book that’s not too shabby that I can publish via Kindle and Amazon self publishing. I can develop my team building. I could do some gigs on Fiverr if i so choose.

There’s even a thing known as no-risk matched betting that has piqued my attention, I love the idea of getting a return when the maths shows for sure that there’s no risk attached.

And then for a silver lining, I keep getting notifications that you good people are liking my old blog that I need to remember.

And if I see the dog in the picture? Well, I would firmly tell him to ‘Sit’. And then to hold out his paw to get this delicious biscuit I have for him. Is the Black Dog gonna want to bite my arse? No way!

You’ve got to show him some discipline is all!

Until next time, and that won’t be so very long now.

Carl

All Change!

Hi folks!

I mentioned in my last post about TED talks. I think they can be a useful part of your personal development programme, but the subjects they cover can be very diverse (and thus interesting, if not always relevant).

If you’re considering starting your own homeworking business, or even just curious, here’s a TED talk I stumbled across earlier that offers an interesting perspective on how the world of work is likely to change over the coming years and decades.

Over to David Lee.

To your success,

Carl

Sound AND Vision!

From my last couple of posts, I would think it’s fairly clear that there are some videos that I am a fan of. It’s also true that I don’t always watch a video, sometimes just listening to what is said. As I mentioned, Darren Hardy’s words always have value to hear, but it’s not vital for me to observe exactly how he sips his coffee.

But it does depend on the nature of the content. Some videos may well include a visually based tutorial that you might miss out on if you don’t watch.

For example, I recently watched a tutorial on how to grab a YouTube video and add it to your own YouTube channel (with the relevant permissions, of course). Now, if I hadn’t watched, I wouldn’t have seen where to click to access certain functions, rendering the tutorial useless.

Or, watching a TED talk where the speaker might use some props on stage, or perhaps they might draw a quick diagram to augment what they are saying.

As well as videos there are, of course, webinars, slideshows, and even a few films (such as  ‘The Secret’) that might provide some learning value. Once weekly, the team leader of our own MLM group provides a webinar, and I simply won’t miss any of them. Although the messages are sometimes ones we’ve heard before, it’s good to get a reminder and a reinforcement of that information. Also, webinars are a little more interactive than a plain video, usually giving the opportunity to share ideas via the group chat.

Should you choose you can, of course, create your own videos or webinars to assist your own homeworking business or your team members. There are numerous ways to record a video these days, including most smartphones. And there are many platforms to present those videos or to host a webinar. In terms of training, it’s good to remember this mantra:

‘What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand.’

So, what videos are you an avid fan of? Would you feel comfortable using video as a tool for your business? And do you have a preference for one platform compared to another?

Until next time,

Carl

 

Wired for Sound!

Wow, that last post all about personal development books turned into a bit of a marathon. I’ll try to keep this one a little shorter, but personal development is a bit of a passion of mine. Can you tell?

Lol, well all those books are great! But, what about those times when you can’t lose yourself in a book? And what if you’re not a great reader?

Well, there are various types of audio information that might come to the rescue. An iPhone and a set of ear buds means that I can listen to Darren Daily while I mow the lawn, or Eric Worre while I vacuum the house.

My car doesn’t have a CD player these days (how very last year!) but a USB stick can contain all that stuff that I used to listen to and then some, creating an easy to access moving university.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I never listen to The Beatles, or Aerosmith (showing my age now), but about a couple of times a week I like to listen to Dave O’Connor or Jim Rohn.

Those golden phrases go in like little ear-worms while I drive. From his time in the car, even my nine year old can tell you about Jim’s 70%/10, 10 and 10% strategy for what to do with a dollar. How many nine year olds would even know the phrase ‘active investment capital’?

If you are actually driving, mind, you do have to be a little careful about what you listen to. It’s not wise to be listening to Paul McKenna’s hypnotic ‘I Can Make You Rich’ while circumnavigating the M25 during rush hour. It’s fantastic in the bath, though.

I listen to Darren Hardy’s ‘Darren Daily’ most days (it’s actually a video, but I tend to let it play in the background while I do other things, not really looking at the visual element. As handsome as Darren Hardy may be, it’s his words that are important and not how he drinks his coffee. I do similarly with Eric Worre’s ‘Network Marketing Pro’ videos, although they come through less frequently. I also find some TED talks stimulating in a similar way, although occasionally it can be desirable to see the visual element of those presentations.

My favourites in the car are Jim Rohn’s ‘The Day That Turns Your Life Around’ CD set, Andy Andrews’ ‘The Seven Decisions’, and Dave O’Connor with ‘How to Win The Inner Game of MLM’.

CD's

Do you have any favourite personal development audios, or a podcast that really gets you inspired? Please share them in the comments.

To your success,

Carl

 

Time To ‘Do The Books’.

No, not book-keeping in the accountancy and taxation sense (although that is important).

As promised, this is about what sort of personal development books might be the most useful to you in your homeworking business.

I’m not quite like Hermione Grainger of JK Rowling’s excellent ‘Harry Potter’ series, which has got so many youngsters into the habit of reading, but I do know that the value of a good book goes far beyond it’s cover price. And I have a fair collection of books myself, which is constantly being added to.

So, what are the best types of books for a homeworking business, then? Well, they fall into several categories, so let’s take a look at those. Of course, there is some considerable overlap between the categories, and some books might be difficult to pigeon-hole, but I’ll do my best.

This is going to be a super-sized post, feel free to consider a chunk at a time if that works better for you, but I wanted this info to be all at hand rather than in hard to re-visit fragments

Business Mindset Development Books

These books are not so much to do with the nitty-gritty of running a business, but are more to do with developing what is sometimes called ‘rich thinking’, although there are often areas of overlap.

Rich thinking would include such ideas as what to do with a pound or dollar once you have it, paying yourself first and making investments on payday, and then paying for day-to-day ‘stuff’ from the residual income that your investments provide. Goal setting and planning would also be an example of rich thinking.

These books also tackle ‘mindset’, developing a state of mind that looks for opportunity, and avoiding the type of self-limiting beliefs that are instilled in many of us from a young age.

Some of my favourites from this type of books include ‘Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness’ by Jim Rohn, ‘The Compound Effect’ by Darren Hardy, and ‘How to Create the Mindset of a Network Marketing Champion’ by Dave O’Connor.Books post img1

 

Business Structure and Time Management Books

These books are much more to do with the nitty-gritty of running a business, and have much more of a ‘how to…’ sort of approach. They also cover aspects of how plan and manage your time, and how to leverage time by employing other people, either delegating or outsourcing some of your more mundane tasks, freeing up your valuable time to concentrate on ‘big picture’ aspects of running your business.

If you have an MLM business or a franchise, your company’s guide books and manuals would most likely fit into this category. I’ve never worked in a McDonalds, but I would imagine that they have a number of manuals relating to expectations when running one of their franchised restaurants, such as food safety, or staff uniform requirements. Those would fit in this category.

As well as those types of manuals, some favourites of mine include the ‘For Dummies’ series from Wylie, who have various authors writing on how to do any number of things that could be relevant to your business (there’s even an ‘MLM for Dummies’ among them). If you do a lot of work on Facebook and other social media, then ‘Network Marketing for Facebook’ by Lupkin & Carter is excellent.

Books post img2

Books on Dealing With Other People

Human beings can be difficult creatures to handle. This category is all about how to read different types of people, and how to work out which buttons to push.

I don’t think business is about trying to manipulate people, but if we are serious about helping people to get what they want, then it does help to be able to speak on their wavelength. Remember the phrase that you can get anything you want if you’ll just help enough other people to get what they want.

This is a category where I definitely need help, as my own personality type are not usually what you might call a ‘people person’, although we love to learn about how to get better at these things.

My favourite books in this category are ‘The Four Color Personalities For MLM’ by Tom “Big Al” Schreiter, ‘Questions are the Answers’ by Allan Pease, and ‘Skill With People’ by Les Giblin.

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Sales Oriented Books

These are books related to the process of generating and carrying through sales. We are not all born salespeople, and those that are naturally gifted in this area are not necessarily great at running a business. These books should help to bridge that gap.

For an excellent narrative of someone learning about the sales process, and creating a great business while experiencing all the highs and pitfalls, take a look at ‘The Greatest Prospector in the World’ by Ken Dunn.

I have not read ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’ by Og Mandino, but I have read and heard great things about it, and it is certainly on my must buy list.

I don’t have any other books directly in this category, as many of my books in other categories overlap this one. And I am still building up my library. Og Mandino features heavily in my wish list for books.

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Books Related to MLM

There are some books that are directly aimed at the MLM industry, some of which I have already touched on above. In some cases, they may fit in a series along the lines of ‘The best book about …..(insert relevant subject)….. for MLM ………. for Retailers ……….. for Managers etc.

But here we have those that are all about the MLM business itself. If you’re new to the business, and you have questions such as ‘What is a downline/upline?’, or ‘What is the difference between network marketing and a pyramid scheme?’ then these books are certainly for you.

My favourites are ‘Go Pro’ by Eric Worre, ‘Your First Year in Network Marketing’ by Mark and Rene Reid Yarnell, and ‘The Zen of MLM’ by John David Mann.

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Books Meriting a Special Mention

The books in this category could well fit into any of the other categories, but they are here because of the way they present their information.

Not everyone is a great reader, and by any measure most factual books relating to business tend to be a bit of a dry read. They don’t necessarily do a great job of holding the reader’s attention, and so their message may be lost however important or worthy it may be.

These books present their information as a story, more like a novel than a manual, and that somehow makes them far more accessible and enjoyable, while they still get the message across.

‘The Greatest Prospector in the World’ mentioned above would fit into this category too. It presents it’s information via the developing story of Laura, from her start as a young, orphaned gold prospector, through working in sales for the Singer sewing machine company, onto running her own successful sewing machine company.

Jim Rohn gets another mention here for ‘Twelve Pillars’, co-authored with Chris Widener. Here, a character called Michael pays several visits to the enigmatic Charlie, after he breaks down in his car outside a mansion known as ‘Twelve Pillars’. Charlie dispenses several valuable life lessons related to success and business during Michael’s visits.

And in ‘Rich Habits’ by Thomas C Corley, several lives are touched and so improved by the teachings of a man called JC Jobs, their interwoven stories presenting a series of valuable lessons.

If metaphor works for you where a full-on story might not, then ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy is a humorous way to present ideas about time management, and avoiding procrastination.

None of these books are going to be recognised for their intriguing plots or the beautiful, sweeping scope of their narrative. But they do a great job of provoking thought, and helping to see the wood for the trees when it comes to the barrage of information relating to success in business.

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Wow, that’s a marathon post. Do you have any favourites among these, or do you perhaps have other recommendations to pop in the comments?

To Your Success,

Carl

*All links go to Amazon bookstore, simply for ease of use for readers. Other UK sources include Knowledge is King, Ebay, or high street bookstores. The author of this blog receives no renumeration for these links, and they are included simply to make the learning quickly accessible to readers.

 

 

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