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.

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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.

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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.

Books post img5

 

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.

Books post img6

 

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.

 

 

Have you signed up to Darren Daily?

Hi all!

A little later, I’ll pop up the post I promised about some useful books to read.

But do you remember in yesterday’s post I mentioned the Darren Daily videos from Darren Hardy? Well, I just watched today’s, and it was superb. Spot on timing as our business moves away from a time of some challenges, and a reminder about keeping things in perspective.

I just thought I’d share this with you, as these videos are a regular source of inspiration for me. They’re free, delivered by email each weekday morning, and refreshingly free from promotional spam. Go ahead and watch this one, and if you like it sign up to the free daily emails.

As I have done here, if you get some value from it, pay it forward and send the link on to someone else who might appreciate it.

Have yourself a great day, speak again soon.

Carl

The Tools of Personal Development

Hi Folks

So, I spoke in my last post about the need to invest some time and money on personal development. This is no less true for a homeworking business than it is for a more traditional business or job.

A doctor needs to commit to continuing professional development, going on courses of study and/or on the job training to stay abreast of the latest advances in medicine. The dustman’s job is not as it once was, there is the need to be able to accurately categorise waste, how to deal with hazardous materials, understanding which materials can be recycled, and the environmental impacts of those that cannot be recycled.

With your homeworking business, you’ll need to develop the correct mindset in order to capitalise on your opportunities and deal with challenges that arise. You’ll need to learn how to balance the books, or how to outsource such tasks to free up your time. If yours is an MLM business, you’ll need to learn how to manage sales and how to handle leads.

So, what will you need on your personal development journey? Well, lets have a brief overview of some options on this post, and then look at those options in more depth over the next few posts.

Books

Yes, books. Different sorts of books for different kinds of information. Books that deal with mindset and positivity. Books that deal with the nitty-gritty of the sales process such as dealing with objections. Books to help you with business planning including such things as how to pitch your ideas to a bank for funding. Books to deal with keeping records and taxation.

Some favourites of mine include Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, and Seven Strategies For Wealth And Happiness by Jim Rohn.

Audio

Usually, these are just the transcript of a book rendered into an audio format, whether that be a CD, a download, or something on a flash drive. But there is something about hearing a favourite author telling their stories in their own voice.

Some people, of course, might not be great readers. And these audio formats make the information more accessible if reading is not your thing. But even for those of us who do read, a few audiobooks can be useful for those times when you can’t have a book in front of your face. You can listen to your MP3 player while you jog or do the housework. Personally, I very often listen to Dave O’Connor, Andy Andrews, or Jim Rohn while driving, turning that otherwise lost time in the car into a ‘rolling university’.

And let’s not forget podcasts and similar kinds of broadcasts. Kerry frequently listens to a few minutes of Darren Hardy’s ‘Darren Daily‘ while sorting out the kids’ breakfasts.

Videos

Actually, those ‘Darren Daily‘ broadcasts that I just mentioned are videos, delivered by email each morning. While we both gain a lot by listening to Darren Hardy’s insights, neither of us feels it necessary to actually watch him sip his coffee.

But some videos contain informative graphics and explanations that do enrich the information given, and so we generally would watch those types.

If you are in an MLM business, it’s likely that your company has a range of training videos available. It’s well worth watching those a few times, they usually describe what is known to work well, so that there is no need for you to re-invent the wheel.

Webinars sit somewhere between a video and the next category. They can be a little more interactive than a video, but not usually as immersive as a meeting.

Meetings

Meetings can be one of the most immersive forms of personal development, when you can interact with team members, and more easily interact with the leader who is running the meeting.

Training exercises can be participated in, whether they are based on some of the books mentioned earlier, or on your company’s internal training protocols. Best practice can be shared, and solutions to challenges discussed.

But, more than that, they can re-charge your batteries, giving your business a boost if you start to flag. They are the glue that holds a team together, adding a chance for members who may live miles apart to get together socially and form strong friendships.

So, have a root around in your ‘toolbox’, and see what personal development options you have.

Next post, we’ll have a more in-depth look at what sort of books might be the most helpful.

To your success,

Carl

Have Your Cake AND Eat it!

Hi all

cupcake

Looks tasty, eh? But there is a saying that one cannot HAVE one’s cake AND eat it. And overall, it seems to make sense.

crumbs_saucer_fork1

After all, if you do EAT your cake, you no longer HAVE your cake. It’s gone! Exhaustive tests have been conducted by small children over a period of centuries that seem to bear this out. Of course, the experiment is always worth repeating another day 😉

But, the old saying does miss a vital point. One can learn how to make more cake. Maybe even how to make a bigger and better cake!

The point of all this is about how you view investment. Those with a poor-thinking mindset will eat that cake (or spend that money on ‘stuff’), and then mourn its loss. Those with a rich-thinking mindset will set about finding out how to make sure that there is a regular supply of cake (or money).

An investment in your financial education will reap rewards in a similar way to learning how to make more cake. You are learning how to make more money. You must learn about how to read the numbers, not just how much your investments may cost upfront. What is the expected return on investment (ROI), and over what period? How can you manage the risk? What is the risk/reward ratio? Are the figures you see realistic or pie-in-the-sky, and how can you tell?

Of course, you will then also need to invest in some raw ingredients and expend a little time and effort in order to secure your regular supply of cake. Similarly, whether you invest in a business, property, stocks and shares, or whatever, you will need to part with SOME of your money in order to make MORE money.

And there, in a nutshell (or a cake case), is the biggest difference between rich thinkers and poor thinkers. Deferred gratification. On payday, poor thinkers immediately use their money to supply their needs.

On payday, rich thinkers immediately use their money to invest in assets that will create even more money. Some of the extra money generated is then used to supply their daily needs. And some of the extra money can be used to buy even more investments, thus ensuring that their money grows even further still.

So, to join the rich, we must learn not simply to earn more (although that’s always a good start), but also to spend smarter so that we get to eat that bigger, better cake another day.

Over the next few posts, we’ll look at some of the tools you can use to improve your financial education.

Just some food for thought.

Carl

Guard the Gates!

Hi everyone!

‘Guard the gates of your mind’ was one of Jim Rohn’s most important lessons. Over this past week, I have seen a number of social media posts from some former members of the company I work with, who have an axe to grind, and a clear intention to spread fear and rumours.

Perhaps they’re right, it’s time to abandon ship and save ourselves from the inevitable fallout of a few issues that we have recently faced. And then, naturally, we should all hearken to their wise council and join them in their new venture.

I have equally seen posts from stalwart members of our current company, portraying the folly of these former friends, and decrying the business that they have joined. And naturally, extolling the virtues of staying put, as we should all feel the benefits of a business which is past all those problems.

So, which should I listen to? One or the other? Both? Neither? To be honest, I’m not sure that it really matters that much. What does matter is that I don’t allow either to drag me down with negativity, not allowing them to distract me from my purpose.

If you allow rubbish into your mind, then rubbish is what will come out. Far better, I think, to concentrate on my own personal development, improving my business acumen so that I am equipped to deal with whatever challenges my business will face.

Of course my business will face challenges, all businesses do. That’s when you learn. Life itself is always a mixture of difficulty and opportunity. Sometimes the difficulty leads to the opportunity. And if you do take advantage of an opportunity, don’t be surprised if it throws up some difficulties along the way.

Whether the ramblings of others fill my mind with rubbish, or whether I can learn something from what they are saying, is all about how I interpret the information, which bits I choose to take on-board. And which I choose to discard.

I am the guard to the gates of my mind, and like the guard in the picture, it is for me to discern who is friend and who is foe.

Is the guard to the gates of your mind at the ready?

Until next time,

Carl

The Demon of Distraction

Hello Folks!

This morning I made the mistake of checking Facebook first. It’s a bad habit that I need to change, and I know it. I should set aside a particular time slot each day for checking social media and emails, and then I should stick to it.

So, why am I telling you this?

Well, the tagline of my blog says that it’s about the up and downs of working from home. Too many blogs of this kind can make it seem like a land of milk and honey, all advantages and no challenges. Not so with my blog.

All businesses have challenges, and distraction is a major one to look out for with homeworking. There’s the kids, the dog, the relatives who have the impression that you don’t actually work, and the lawn that needs mowing. And then there are the very tools you use for your home business, your phone and your computer.

So, how did my day go? Did I get my basic tasks done? Yes. I made my target for calls, and we made some sales. So, not a total wreck, then.

Could I have gone the extra mile and done more? Um, that would be a yes. I could have called a few more people, and I could have strengthened my advertising efforts, and probably a few things besides. Should I have done more? YES!

Why didn’t I do that bit more? Because I saw an amusing opportunity to increase my Facebook activity levels (which is actually important if you do a lot of work on FB), but I allowed it to grab hold of me and take up too much of my time.

The amusing post asked for glaring issues with film and screen shows, such as hiding behind a car door in a shootout, or the interior of a house not matching up with the exterior shots. Some of the comments were hilarious (including some of mine, I hope), and I had a whale of a time getting hooked up in the general banter.

Now, I wouldn’t say the time was entirely wasted, it has left me with a working idea for a book that I could write (not the first), and a concept about how that book might work as a film. But, while that sounds great, did it move me towards my homeworking business goals? Er, that would be a no.

So, what weaknesses do you have that get in the way of reaching your goals? And what sort of things drive you to distraction as you try to avoid being distracted? Answers on a postcard, please. Or just in the comments section will do.

To your success,

Carl

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