Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lessons, Resume, Reflections


A Couple of Valuable Lessons Learned
My 10 year old grandson just asked "is anybody hungry?".  And then he offered to make me a bologna, cheese and butter sandwich!  Lesson: eat when you are hungry

"Aunt Deby, just be quiet and listen." my four year old great nephew when I was asking him what was happening on the movie he was watching.  Lesson: Just be quiet and listen

Nothing left to screw up. Thanks.  George Bush
Who's hungry? Let's eat. Let's talk.  Jeff Pulver
Fire it up. Ready to go. Barack Obama


Reflections
This last post of the year is a good time to reflect back on 2008 and decide what I want to carry with me into 2009.  

1. Blogging - it's fun developing your identity; looking forward to using my power for good
2. No TV - that's right, I went 4 months with NO TV.  I really learned how to concentrate.  Will I do it again?  Not anytime soon.  Will I turn off the TV?  Yes, definitely.
3. Travel with my team - Salt Lake City and Chicago this year.  It was incredible, life changing and will be repeated in 2009.  For sure: Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta.
4. work from home - full time.  I was laid off from the 'day job' and took the opportunity to work my part time business full time. Oh hell yeah - this IS 2009 for me! 
5. Twitter.  I found it in November and fell in love.  My world was twitter.  I yearned for that little sound he makes -- I got lost in twitter.  For about one week.  Then I realized that I had to treat twitter as a business tool, not a lover.  Yes I'll be a twitter girl, but I've learned how to say "gotta work guys' and .....shut it down.



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2 Things To Do in 2009


Chris Brogan wrote a post about 12 things to stop doing in 2009. He also listed six things to do in 2009. I've got two things for you to do.


Let's be positive. It's great advice to talk about what you want, not about what you don't want. If you need some direction along that line, visit http://www.abraham-hicks.com/ These are the people who REALLY know "the secret".


1. find your passion. Research, spend the time, write about it, ask people what they think your passion is. What do you just love to do? If you could get paid to do it, what would it be? For example, Erin my friend told me that my passion is: travel, writing, financial security, live on the beach, parents who are not broke.


2. Convert your passion into a living. My job involves setting up accounts for people who want safer better products in their home. I write about it. I encourage others to join my team. As my team grows (I help someone, they help someone ....)my check grows. I am already able to help my parents with some of their bills. I will be on the road about four times in 2009. I will own a house on the beach to live in the winter.


Okay - let's talk about the word job. I really don't have a job. Just Over Broke. Working for someone else. No opportunity to increase your income above a short level. I have a business. It's my business. I'm responsible for it. I work, I get paid. Fortunately for me, part of my income comes from residual income. That means, I don't work, I still get paid. Most entrepreneurs have some form of income tied into residual incomes. If you place ads on your site, it is a form of residual income. Smart business - residual income.


Now let's be clear about passion. dictionary.com says it is any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling. So what do you feel powerfully about?
My passion has to get me out of bed in the morning and keep me dreaming. Once you get to know me, you will know that I love to travel. I visit travel sites. I correspond with other travelers. I plan trips. My next big one is Machu Picchu. I am dreaming about 5 days in Paris in June. I'll be in Orlando in August. There are conventions and tweetups and podcamps I want to go to this year ( and will). I got a job managing a luggage store - and learned so much about travel! I made a lot of contacts and friends in that industry. Okay - I'm catching myself (I know, I'm rambling). I am now in my own business - and it's one that allows me to work from just about anywhere. So I can travel and still run my business. Do you see how passionate I am about travel?
What is your passion?




photo courtesy of Denis Collette...!!! from www.flickr.com

Monday, December 29, 2008

Convenience


I've been in Chicago since Christmas Day. I lived here 30 years and it feels like coming home. I've seen two movies (you MUST see Slumdog Millionaire), ate my favorite gyros at Daves Hot Dogs on 23rd and Western, had the mandatory dinner with Erin at Golden Nugget on Clark and Diversey, shopped the bookstores, had coffee in the morning at Dunkin Donuts on Halsted and Diversey, chicken from Popeyes and today going to Pier One to find the perfect desktop organizer.


Now I can do these things in Iowa, where I live. But not without driving over 50 miles. There is something to be said for convenience. Which got me to thinking....


What kind of convenience do I offer in my business? Is it easy to reach me? Can you reach and find just what you need quickly? Do our products make people's lives easier?


As I work on goals for 2009 this week, I'll be building in some things to create convenience for my customers and for my team.


What are you doing to make your business more convenient?
Let's talk about Slumdog Millionaire. This is a movie that should be required viewing for all entrepreneurs. If this kid can survive, there is no reason you can't. Just Go See It.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tweetup


I had my second tweetup today. (tweetup: where people who are friends/associates on www.twitter.com get together and meet up)  I have found that I like them very very much! My first tweet up was with Daniel Cline (@danielcline) and we talked about being entrepreneurs and great ways to conduct business in the networking industry. Dan is with Xango and I'm with Melaleuca.

Today I met up with Shawna Coronado(@shawnacoronado). First of all, I was at the wrong Starbucks. We met at Wheaton, I didn't write down the address and just assumed it was the one downtown. Wrong! I called Shawna and she just came over and met me.

Shawna Coronado is the author of Gardening Nude. Www.thecasualgardener.com I highly recommend you visit her website at the least, and order the book for sure. Shawna writes a local newspaper column, hosts a tv show and has written this book.

Shawna and I poured over the computer, put our heads together – and I took notes. We talked about the importance of helping others to connect; the Brown Brogan project, living green, directions our lives are taking – all over coffee.

I'm still feeling out my blog and where it's going. I see interviews, promoting shopping local and integrating my knowledge of network marketing (I work for Melaleuca) into the equation. Shawna had some very powerful ideas for me.

First of all, visit these sites/blogs:

http://gardenfork.tv/blog/ and http://green-house.tv a weekly internet video show – and a great primer on how to begin with video

www.craftynation.com Jim Long and Toni Lyn have created a wonderful site for crafters ( and wannabe's like me) to get their craft on

www.becauseisaidso.com mother of 6, Dawn Meehan started with a funny story on ebay and ended up with a book coming out in May.

Www.chicagorocks.com how can you use what they've done in your local community?

http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2008/11/looking-for-m-1.html How to get twitter followers

Add these people to twitter:

zemote – microblogger for education

jeffcoffee -mechanically inclined nonpracticing hacker

ev – twitter founder

bodizzle – makes firefox and flock look real cool

shileennixon – the wonder woman challenge

newmediajim – new media soul trapped in an old media body

Then --- once you've followed them, go back into their tweets and see who's talking to them, who's in a conversation. Follow those people! This is a great way to grow your twitter followers. (see above website from Guy Kawasaki)

I will also be working on setting up interviews with all these interesting people.

Then we talked about press packages (traditional media). The world is not all web 2.0 – we are working on it! Got something to say that the world needs to hear about? What kind of media kit do you have? Should we all have a media kit? I'm thinking we should.

The last thing you might want to put in your media kit is the question: What are the top ten stories you can write about me? And then list the stories. Give the press a reason to write about you! A couple of ideas for me would be: How I started a local free paper, Need Interviews? We got them!, I downsized and so can you, Do you use green products? Why not?, How are you using social media?

Shawna put me on notice to watch for 1 minute greening tips from her, to get some of my own videos on youtube.com. Join the video revolution! Contrary to the old believe, the revolution will be televised!

One last thing – local access stations are always looking for content. How many 2 minute interviews can I put together?


People are depressed in our country. It's changed my life to be more involved in the community.” Shawna could not have said it better!


Deb (@debworks)




Saturday, December 27, 2008

30 Days Sugar Free


I have been considering eliminating sugar from my diet.  Heart disease and diabetes run in my family.  Both of these diseases are adversely affected by sugar.  As synchronicity would have it, I ran into Dr. Scott Olson at www.olsonnd.com  He has written the book Sugarettes and I recommend it. 

Our local community has started a 30 Day Sugar Free incentive that starts January 15.  If you'd like to join us, email me at deb@debworks.com 

Please enjoy the interview with Dr. Scott!

Tell us a little about yourself please.

My wife, three children and I live in Denver, Colorado where we enjoy many of the outdoor activities that this state has to offer.

I have been studying health and nutrition most of my life and it was that passion and a serious illness that lead me to study naturopathic medicine. I am currently not practicing as I am focusing exclusively on research and education.

30 sugar free days – how hard will this be to do?

The short answer is that it will be very hard to quit, just like it is hard to quit any addiction. While stopping sugar is daunting, it gets even more difficult when you include all sugars and foods that act like sugars.

Most people, when they learn that sugar is harmful feel like they can remove white sugar from their diet, but when I tell them they have to include the so-called natural sugars such as honey, agave, maple syrup, or and artificial sweeteners they are not so sure.

I don’t say any this to scare people off, only to let them know that it can be very difficult to stop all sugars and foods that act like sugars. 30 days without sugar or foods that act like sugar is hard because you are going to run straight into your addiction and sugar addiction is particularly hard because you are surrounded by temptation. If you have ever struggled with, or known someone, who struggled with getting over addiction to alcohol, cigarettes or even hard drugs, you have an understanding of just how powerful sugar is to kick.

What are some benefits of going without sugar?

The health benefits to stopping sugar and foods that act like sugar are enormous. In the short term people feel much better, have more energy, sleep better and think clearer. Plus they avoid all the mood swings and fatigue that comes with eating so many carbohydrates.

The long-term benefits are even greater. Many diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and even cancer can be avoided by eating better. It is now estimated that our risks for getting diabetes some time in our lives is around 35 to 40 percent. That means close to 1/2 of the people reading this will become diabetic. That is a huge number! Diabetes alone is responsible for around 200, 000 people dying every year in the United States and diabetics are at a much higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, strokes, poor circulation, loss of eyesight and limb amputation..

Can you really be addicted to sugar?

It is funny that we even have to ask this question. I’m hoping in a few years people recognize sugar as an addiction similar to cigarettes or other addictions: just as hard to kick and just as harmful.

Sugar addiction is every bit as real as other so-called “serious” addictions. Animal studies show us that Sugar addiction has all the classic signs of other addictions: binging, hording, withdrawal symptoms. In fact, it appears that sugar addiction may be more powerful than addiction to cocaine.

How long before I’ll feel better after giving up sugar?

Most people feel pretty bad when they first give up sugar. What they are experiencing are withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include: headaches, feeling nervous or shaky, fatigue, restlessness and a host of other reactions.

It takes only a day or two for most these feelings to go away and people start to feel much better.

What if I backslide?

Sugar, I have noticed, behaves much like a magnet. Once you put some sugar in your mouth, more wants to follow. When you backslide, most people tend to binge and eat a lot of sugary foods. This is a normal addictive response; the same thing happens to people addicted to cigarettes or drugs.

When you backslide, understand it for what it is: a backslide. You don’t have to feel bad about it, just understand you are addicted and get back on your program the next day. Fight as hard as you can to not backslide during your 30 Sugar Free Day Challenge, this will give you enough tools to be able to handle backsliding and also create new habits.

What you have to realize is that battling sugar addiction is a life-long event. Cravings don’t ever go away and there are things in your life that will change how much you crave sugars. Some people find that lack of sleep, or mental exhaustion can lead to backsliding, for others it is emotional upset, menstrual cycles, or other life events.

As many addictions, every day is a new day and you can just start all over again.

What are some other foods that are like sugar?

There are many foods that act like sugar in the body. This was discovered through what is known as the glycemic index. The glycemic index was created when scientists measured how much individual foods raise our blood sugar.

The most prominent foods that act like sugar in our bodies are the grains, especially grains that have been processed in some way (such as grinding to make flour). Other high glycemic foods are starchy vegetables such as potatoes and yams.

During the 30 Sugar Free Days Challenge, I suggest that you avoid all grains, sugars and starchy vegetables. When you are through the challenge and you want to try grains, try boiling them to eat them (as you would cook rice).

What preparations should I take before I begin (food buying, get your book, etc.)?

I find that the best way to be prepared and to continue a program is to constantly be learning more about sugar and the harm that it does. Yes, my book is a great resource for kicking the sugar habit, but there are others out there too, including Sugar Shock by Connie Burnett and Sugar Blues by William Duffy and any other author you feel can support you in maintaining your good health.

The other thing you have to do is to remove temptation. Clear your house out of all the things that you think will cause you to backslide. This can be hard if you live in a house where you are the only one on the Challenge, but it can be done.

Find or creating a group is another great step. Get as much support as you can.

What exercises do you recommend for those that are obese?

Exercise, for weight loss has to have three components: be consistent, have a certain degree of effort, and then last for a certain period of time.

Here is what it should look like:

· Consistent effort: the exercise you choose should keep your heart rate elevated over a long period of time. The exercises that do this best are running, walking, biking, swimming and cross-country skiing. Exercise like golf, basketball, tennis, soccer and others are good exercise, but not what you need for weight loss.

· Degree of effort: if you want to affect weight loss, you have to exercise at a certain level. This, in technical terms, is around 80 percent of maximum effort. If you are into measuring, a heart rate monitor can help you determine your maximum effort. There is another way to measure this though: When you are exercising, you should still be able to carry on a conversation with a friend, but not easily. You can talk, but have a little difficulty with talking and getting your breath.

·Period of time: 20 minutes is the absolute minimum, but people who are overweight should consider exercising for up to an hour or more. This can be split throughout the day.

So, it looks like this: you walk, but you walk fast enough so that you have difficulty talking (but can still talk) and you do this for at least 20 minutes a day 5 to 7 times a week.

Once again, please feel free to join our effort to go 30 days sugar free.  I'll be tracking my progress and sharing the ups and downs along the way!  And get the book Sugarettes!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Observations from my grown son


Boxing Day.  Traditionally the rich gave those in a lower social class a gift on this day.  They spent Christmas day at home - and the next day went out and delivered boxes -- boxing day.  In case you wanted to know.

Those diseases on House - are they real or just made up by the writers?  I vote for real.  Although - a hemisophere-ectomy?  Where they cut out 1/2 of your brain..... (looked it up on webmd, it's real)

Do those Smooth Away's really work?  We hope they do - that's why we don't order them.  Hope must remain alive.

I believe all black men will go to heaven, because they are in hell here on earth.   I don't think 70 years on this planet is enough to make a snap decision on whether you go to heaven or hell for eternity.  

All kids should get Christmas gifts. (He bought all his children, his neices and nephews many, many gifts - you'd think he was Santa Claus)

15 minutes spent at the breakfast table produced the above observations.  Thanks Moofi!  


photo by trialsanderrors at www.flickr.com

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Promise


Today is the anniversary of the birth of the Christ child.


We celebrate the miracle of this birth. Jesus was sent to save the world. He died for our sins. He told us the miracles he performed - we could do as well, and even better! (John 14:11-12)


I watched GaryVee on the Today show this morning. He was asked why the public thinks they have to spend so much money on champagne. The first words out of his mouth were "Low Self Esteem!". The big names are now branded - and unless you drink them, you are nothing.


So how about this Christmas, we take a look at the promises made to us - and let's just decide our self esteem is fine. In fact, it's fantastic! What I drink, do, say, be is just fine. After all, I've been promised greatness - and who am I to turn my back on Jesus?
picture from fast eddie 42 on flickr.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

God Is With Us

As we finish the Advent, the Season of Waiting, to welcome Christ incarnate into our midst this night, I wanted to share a reflection about this Emmanual,this “God with Us.” -

Mother Teresa said that we don’t rightly grasp the meaning of the Incarnation, because if we did, we could respond in no other way than to honor Him.

The verse for our reflection:

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased Him.”

-- 1 Corinthians 12:18 KJV

De and nuni are the Greek words translated“But now” in 1 Corinthians 12:18.De is rendered “But” in the King James Version, and rendered “And” in the New American Standard Version. It carries both meanings, and also something stronger: “Moreover.”

The scripture writer is trying to communicate that what follows is an important, emphatic point. Our English conjunctions don’t quite carry enough weight, but know that the writer is trying to get our attention. Nuni means now. Not just a “Now I’m ready to go,” sort of now; but a “Come here right now!” sort of now. Yes, it means “precisely now,” and “at this very moment.” It is locked forever in this present instance. It doesn’t look to the past; it doesn’t anticipate the future. It is now; and now; and also now.

As time passes, even as I write this, even as you read it, nuni means “right now.”

Theos is the Greek word translated “God” in this verse. Depending on context it can mean “a god” or “the Godhead.” Scholars have rendered it “God” in this case so let’s assume it’s the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and also the god and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So let’s reflect on this:

In this very moment God is acting. At this precise time God is actively doing something in your life.

Sometimes we get the idea that God is rather busy: It’s not that He doesn’t care about us, it’s just that, you know, we’re in the queue and He’ll get to us eventually. This scripture declares that our idea of a busy, distracted or distant god is in error. Because, “moreover, right now God . . . .”

Claim this truth for today: Even now, God. . . .

A Prayer

Oh, God: You’ve been here with me all along! I knew that. I can’t explain why I don’t act as if I know that. But here You are, right now with me. Wow! Lord, today I invite You to be noticeably present in my life. I love You, Lord. I’m ready to let others see You (right now) in me. Amen.

It’s Christmas. God is with us.


©Keri Holmes Guest blogger

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Does Your Company Match Your Client?


There are many companies in the network marketing industry.  Is the one you're looking at - or already working for - the one you really want? 

Let's take a look at two of the largest client bases out there.

Baby boomers are those who were born after World War II (1945 to 1960). Every market place they come into they have dominated. They have been responsible for the grand emergence of baby food, toddler clothes, fast food, better schools, cars and music. They want youth, health, longevity and better quality of life. More and more of them are losing their jobs to someone overseas. Boomers are not really big risk takers, but they are willing to take the risk if it does not cost a lot of money.

Then we have the stay at home moms. Generally, they are late 20's, early 30's. Most have a background in the corporate world and have made a decision to stay at home and raise their children. It's a trend that is growing. Smart women working at a better life for their families. Generally green, concerned with all aspects of childcare and well educated.

These two groups of Customers/consumers now want higher quality and convenience. They want the best service. The internet now allows them to be better informed. They are also more open to additional ways to generate extra income.

Do your due dilligence. 

Look for a company that:

  • is customer driven
  • has no volume requirements
  • is convenient (toll free or online ordering)
  • has 100% money back guarantee
  • has excellent service and timely delivery
  • has loyalty rewards
  • handles the products, not you
  • has bonuses that are in the growth of your customer base
  • has longevity in the marketplace (over 5 years)
  • handles their returns, not you

Be sure to get a good understanding of the company. Ask questions. You should be receiving a great introduction from someone about the company.

Your next step will be to determine what you want your initial investment into a home business to be. This is where the 100% money back guarantee is important. If you don't like it, can you stop without losing money?

Then, believe you can be a success and begin! 

Surround yourself with people who believe in you

Set your work hours

Create your own workspace

Always plan your day

Learn to recognize opportunity

Get trained and be consistent

Take responsibility

Final words: The lower your degree of blame, the higher your degree of success.



Monday, December 22, 2008

Here's What I'm Thinking


The year is almost done. 9 more days left. It's been a decent year for me. I've discovered:

- I CAN work from home

- I'm a bit bossy, so it's good I'm the boss and the employee

- twitter is my new best friend

- Erin makes me nuts sometimes, and that's why I love her

- one day, soon, people will read this blog like they read Seth Godin's or Chris Brogan's

- sick is no fun, even if you get the attention you want, it's still no fun


Next year, 2009, goals are already taking shape. This is good news! Here's a few:

- working with Dr. Scott on 30 days sugar free project

- working with Mark Hayward on being an armchair athelete

- taking my business to the Senior Director level

- teaching others to do the same

- writing, always writing

- interviewing incredible everyday people


What you resist, persists. That's why it's so cold and snowy here in Iowa. I hate winter. The more I say it, the more wintery it gets. So let's change that statement. How about "Winter makes way for Spring." Okay, it needs work. I'll get back to you.
I'm determined to spend 4-5 days in Paris in June. It's my 54 birthday on the 1st. I want to sit on the Left Bank, drinking espresso and read a book. Trips are a great reward for achieving a goal. I'll let you know what that goal will be.
That's enough for today. Lots of thoughts racing through my head and I'll capture them and put them down on paper (figuratively). I'm thankful for my health, my family, my friends -- and my life!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

What Are You Doing For Yourself?

We've got 11 days left in the month. Most of us are gearing up for 2009. Goal planning, revising methods of operation, creating schedules – all important activities.

Let me ask you this – what are you doing for yourself?

Are you working on self improvement? Do you know that the rate which you personally grow, will be the rate your business grows?

How can you expect to lead others, have conversations that mean something, and/or contribute to you and your friends lives if you are stuck in the same spot your were in last year?

Self improvement comes in many shapes and sizes. Here's a few suggestions:

Blogs:

1.follow Chris Brogan Insightful guy and someone who wants to be your friend.

2.Follow the Levite Chronicles  You don't have to be 'religious' to get something out of this blog.

3.Get on twitter and make new friends. Check out their sites and see what they are doing. Use www.search.twitter.com and look for common interests and read others blogs.

4.Look at someone totally different from you. I made friends with Dominick Evans – and his life is nothing like mine, yet he teaches me something all the time.

5.Stumble baby stumble. I have found some great sites at www.stumbleupon.com

Physical changes
1.just walk – around the house, around the yard, around the block – just walk

2.www.trainforhumanity.org I'm an armchair athlete – will you be?

3.Read a book – choose a method -try a different way to eat. I'm doing 30 days in January sugar free (blog is coming...............)

4.cut your hair, color your hair, shave your beard, tweeze your eyebrows, shave your legs – try something!

5.get a makeover. Barefoot executive did! Perry Belcher did. Give it a try!

Books
1.Malcolm Gladwell: The Tipping Point or Blink – both good books!

2.Endless Referrals by Bob Burg set yourself up to receive referrals all the time

3.Dare to Dream Work to Win by Dr. Barrett – every network marketer's must read

4.Tribes by Seth Godin

5.Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes This book will open your eyes to good cooking and travel

Finally, when you're making your schedules for 2009, be sure to include time for personal development!

first picture courtesy of cogdogblog at flickr.com
second picture my dream board


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Resolutions Again ....


WHAT DO WE DO IN JANUARY? MAKE RESOLUTIONS!

I met Adam Erwin through a Google Alert. Google will inform you whenever anything hits the waves about any subject you are looking for. I have several Alerts, and the one Adam came in on was Melaleuca. I checked out the article, read his blog and gave him a call. Adam does personal training. January 1 is literally right around the corner, and the biggest resolution is always to lose weight. Take a listen to what Adam has to offer – and just maybe we can figure something out together!

Tell us a little about yourself. I've been freezing to death in Minneapolis for 10 years now...must be a slow learner. Family is in St. Louis...I miss my fam and Cardinal baseball!

How did you get into personal training? Through my years working at GNC as a store turnaround specialist (managing a failing store until it succeeded, then moving to the next failing store), I came across many personal trainers who were absolutely clueless on nutrition and supplementation. Since nutrition and supplementation is 90% of the battle for most people, I figured I should combine my love for weight and sports training with my nutrition background and provide people with a well-rounded trainer who could better assist them in body change.

Why do I (or anyone) need a personal trainer? Everyone needs a coach. Even professional athletes, who are the best in the world at what they do, have coaches. As a personal trainer, I provide know-how, focus, motivation, and accountability. Studies prove that people have more success in body change when they work with a personal trainer.

How do you incorporate Melaleuca products into your training regimen? For myself, I use their multivitamins, fat-burning bars/shakes, and protein. I recommend their cholesterol, blood pressure, and stress formulas to clients (in addition to the items listed above), depending on their health needs. Good company, great products.

What kind of programs do you offer? My main focus is individualized boot camps. I will fly/drive to a client, stay in their city for the amount of time hired, and build for them the perfect nutrition and exercise day. I help them execute their perfect day for as long as I am hired. The results are phenomenal.

I am also working on a virtual boot camp to be launched in mid-January of '09. These clients will be able to take advantage of my body change program and can have me walk with them through the program, minus my physical presence for their exercise.

What are some mistakes that people make when trying to get in shape? People tend to focus too much on exercise and not enough on portion control on foods and what their beverages look like. By simply tracking caloric intake for a day, most people are blown away at how many sneaky calories they consume. Consumption is 90% of the battle!

What are your websites - and what should I do with them? The main website is
www.keepyourbetterhalf.com. Look at the programs I offer (there is also room to create a unique program that is different from what is listed, depending on how a client's needs can best be met). Also, I blog at http://fatburnexpert.wordpress.com. I leave clues on the blog regarding how to lose fat, gain muscle, and finally fit into those jeans that have been calling your name since high school.

You've got an ebook coming out this month. Tell me more! The ebook is called "The Little Book on Fat Loss and Weight Loss" and it contains the pieces of the puzzle for effective and long-lasting body change. The ebook lays out how to build your nutrition day and how to exercise to maximize fat loss, weight loss, and body change. It is the equivalent of me calling up a client everyday to whisper very specific reminders in their ear. It is designed to get people on track and keep them on track to looking and feeling their best!

Adam, thank you for your time. Is there anything I've forgotten? I'd love to do a weekend boot camp in your neck of the woods and help as many people as I can at one time! I am curious to know if there is interest in that idea.

Oh yeah, how does someone get in touch with you? I can be contacted via my website and blog. Thanks Deb!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do You Follow Up In 48 Hours?

What is the 48 hour follow up? If you are partnered with a work from home business, you have clients/customers. They need ( and deserve) your attention. The 48 hour follow up is one of your most important first business meeting!

Here's how it works in my business. I set up accounts for a company. I work in the consumer direct marketing business. I'm always looking for people who want to work at home. I look for people who are engaged in their lives, that are excited to be living, that are entrepreneurs. They will be my business partners – so I need to like them too!

Once I meet a possible business partner, I either give a presentation, or connect the person to a live presentation via telephone or internet. They are ready to go – we do the paperwork and they have become my business partner. They receive a business kit, emails and a lot of information. I give them homework.

The next day, I touch base. How much have you read in your business kit? Are you keeping a list of questions? Have you begun your marketing list? I chit chat a little, ask after the family, and make an appointment for the next day to go over their homework, answer their questions and set up their game plan.

TOUCH BASES REVIEW:

  • its crucial to stay in touch in the very beginning

  • sometimes they are fuzzy the next day on what you told them in the presentation

  • the next day go over what they heard and answer the questions they now may have

  • set next appointment for 48 hours

What do you do at a 48 hour follow up?

Your new business partner has a ton of questions by now – at least you hope so! That's a good indicator they are active in getting involved in the business end. So you answer their questions. You also go over their homework (this will vary from business to business). Then the fun begins.

Determine what their goals and dreams are. Spend a lot of time here. Dig deep.

  • What are their goals? Get a better idea of what it is they are hoping to achieve and why.

    • The first response is usually a surface response, their why is more important.

  • How much time, how much income in 12 months from now – is it realistic with their goals.

  • What is their long term goal?

  • Start dreaming a little more – what will that income do to enhance their life.

    • The money is never the why, it's always deeper than that. The one who gets them dreaming the most wins the most.

  • The dreams start at the presentation and continues with the 48 hour follow up.

  • Create the belief they can achieve their goals. Have them see, feel their dreams to solidify it in their minds.

Create believe in

  • products

  • company

  • team

  • themselves.

    Turn visions into reality.

  • Make sure they have all your contact info,

  • get email and add to distribution list,

  • start their friends and family marketing promotion,

  • refresh the promotion,

  • tap them into company sponsored trainings – get the involved early and often.

    Help your business partner form success concepts.

  • It may be several days before they get their business kit so plug them in before that.

  • Get them on team calls and any business sponsored activities (we have calls, trainings, online information)

  • Reiterate the importance of realizing this is a business – not a hobby. (start here)

  • start them writing their mission statement (start here)

  • They need to hear the company info over and over – get them on presentations!

The 48 hour follow up is the single most important activity you can do.

  • They must see the benefits of partnering up with you to do business.

  • Good ideas must be driven into practice with courageous patience. They don't come automatically.

The 48 hour follow up must be adjusted according to your business. I do most of my 48 hour follow ups over the telephone - don't let distance stop your success! This post should get your started. Have you done all of your business activities before you try to teach someone else?


Picture info:

penguin picture courtesy of http://www.icanhascheezeburger.comPlease visit them - they are hysterical!

dream picture courtesy of alicepopkorn at flickr.com



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brown Brogan Project - You Game?

Chris Brogan at www.chrisbrogan.com set out a dare. Well, not really a dare – a plan to build a powerful network. I took up the challenge and have named the project Brown Brogan project (kudos to Chris for getting it started!).

I'm in the networking industry. One of the hardest part of our job is building our database (client list). There are the traditional methods, make a list of all the people you know. Most people, when they die, will have 200 people attend their wake/funeral. Stands to reason you'll get 200 people on this list of names. Then you take the yellow pages and go through them. Do you have an accountant, auto worker, banker, custom cabinet builder – add those names to the list. Start calling. So you are calling people you know – and kinda know.

Isn't there any easier way?
Maybe. That's what we are going to try to do with this project. The blue statements were taken from Chris Brogan's invitation to to build a powerful network.

First, think about your goals in 2009. Build the network with two purposes on mind: how you can achieve your goals, and how you can help others achieve theirs.  

So start thinking about your 2009 goals. My business goals aren't that difficult. I will reach Senior Director level in my business in 2009. That requires me to help 5 people become Directors. There's great joy in working in a business that requires you to help others in order to move up in status (and pay)!

My blog goals are shaping up as I write. Its beginning to look like I will be interviewing people on their viewpoint coming from a small business/small town perspective. I will also include articles that will help network marketing people. Those interviews are set up to answer specific questions that will help the reader.

My professional goals also include getting to a podcamp and setting one up in the Midwest. I'm sure these events will be helpful too!

You need authentication in a network. Start with a blog as a home base. Make it such that your about page tells people lots about you.

My blog is www.debworks.com This is where I have my interviews and networking articles.
A lot of companies have internet guidelines that must be followed. Mine is one of those companies. We are consumer direct marketing – and that requires me to actually have a conversation with someone, and not spam them with information not requested. It works for me, I'm customer service oriented.

I don't want to talk to the curious – I want to talk to the interested. This is where my about page is vital. I can put my work related websites there, and why someone would want to visit them. The overall information presented in the blog will be helpful to other companies and individuals, not just mine. Isn't that the point for a blog? To be helpful?
 
It doesn’t hurt to have a picture of YOU on the blog, as this will deal with building a trusted network. 

My face is prominent right on the top of the page. But why not create a post with different pictures in different settings – include a story! I will do that. Becky McCray did that on www.smallbizsurvival.com Brilliant idea!

Start a Google Doc spreadsheet with the following fields: name, twitter ID, cell, capabilities, notes. Think of this as your routing table, your database of records of where resources reside.

I've done that. My headings (and what I put in the first row) are:
name: Deb Brown
twitter ID: @debworks
preferred method of calling: home, 641-458-1114
email: deb@debworks.com
capabilities: interviews and Melaleuca
What I Offer: referral source for shopping for non-toxic products, interviews for blog/paper
Notes: please email or call me and let's have a conversation

If we are going to share this Google Doc, it needs to work for most people. I think this will do it! If you are ready to jump on board, email me at deb@debworks.com or give me a call. Let's talk!

Ask some probing questions on Twitter. If no one responds, ask again. See if there’s interest out there. What you’re doing at this point is sending out a signal that you’re looking for resources. (Like a computer, only you’re human.)

Ahh, here is the crux of the matter. We've set up shop and opened the doors. Now how do we get people to come in? So I asked if anyone is interested in a sharing network. I will post this blog and put it 'out there' (twitter and facebook) and see what the return is. I'll DM my fav contacts for their input. I'm asking you to make comments here!

Use Twitter Search to find some like-minded people. Work at this. Try all different kinds of queries until you find the right response. Send @ messages to these types of people. Ask them if they want to talk about collaborating.

I'm searching for network marketers and people who want to work from home. Utilizing twitter search – looks like network marketing pulled real well. So did work from home. I'll keep playing with this – and you will need to do so too. I'll follow some new people and check them out. Then I'll start sending @ messages asking if they want to collaborate! I'll be posting about that process in the next week or so.

From here, collaborate. Figure out how you can helpful. Understand each other’s needs, and share the resources. Try to build your goals and businesses together.

So this last bit of information leads me to think a little harder. I want to collaborate with people – not compete. So I have to think about who would be good partners. Maybe not other network marketings. I'm not looking to have people leave their company to come to mine. The person who jumps around from company to company – well, he/she's not for me. You know that old saying “if he left her for you, he'll leave you for someone else”.

 Now, someone who WANTS to work from home, and is not currently doing so, would be a great match for me! I'll keep looking for better matches - and better opportunities to meet possible clients online! Updates to follow......

photo of jazz funeral provided by howieluvzus at flckr.com 
photo of 3 women: three of my current business partners!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Becky McCray- A Real Entrepreneur

I met Becky McCray online. I'm sure happy I did! Becky owns a cattle ranch and a liquor store and www.smallbizsurvival.com  She sat down for an interview, and it's my pleasure to share it with you now.
HI Becky. There's a whole lot you do – why not start out and tell us what a normal day looks like for you.

I'm not sure I have a normal day! Some days I work the liquor store, other days I work exclusively from online, consulting for small towns and small businesses. Some days I'm helping round up calves or fixing fence. And some days I'm volunteering on a board or committee. Some days, I do all of those things! 

And don't tell anybody, but I love it. I like helping with the cattle, and then heading to a board meeting to sit next to some important attorney with his Blackberry and his tie. It gives me a sense of fulfilling work.

We like to know who our guests are. Tell us about yourself please.

I'm a small town gal, an entrepreneur, and a high tech geek. My husband and I live in the tiny town of Hopeton, Oklahoma, with fewer than 30 people. My store is ten miles away in Alva, which has about 5,000 people. Most of my family lives right in this area of Northwest Oklahoma, but while I was growing up, our family also lived in Oklahoma City, and Luling and Palmer in Texas.

Both my parents were entrepreneurs, so it's not surprising that I am, too. I started a car washing service in junior high, and it seems like I have had some type of business ever since. In the mean time, I've worked for my local Girl Scout council, my workforce development council, my local newspaper, and even as a city manager for a small town. You know how it is in a small town; you do whatever it takes to make a living.

Okay – we are Rural America here in Franklin County Iowa. What can Small Biz Survival do for us?


You can read and learn from hands-on articles on running a business, pick up some ideas for new businesses, hear other people's point of view from their small town, and even brag a bit on your success in our Brag Basket on Fridays. Small Biz Survival is written by rural small business owners, for rural small business owners. Our sole focus is to help your business to survive, improve, and grow. That includes topics we are talking about in this interview, like fighting brain drain, using interactive marketing, and promoting agritourism.


You might also want to download the free ebook, 20 Small Business Ideas for Small Towns,
http://www.smallbizsurvival.com/2008/05/small-business-ideas-for-small-towns.html
There's no fee, no sign up, just a free download. The content all came out of business ideas I shared on Small Biz Survival, and the free download is sponsored by Network Solutions. If you download it, you also get a discount code good for 25% off web hosting from Network Solutions, so that's a bonus.

Your an owner of a liquor store and cattle ranch. That sounds like an interesting juxtaposition! What four most valuable lessons have you learned from running those two businesses?

The most valuable lesson from running both at once is organization! This is one lesson I really have to work at learning properly. 

The store is all about customer service and experience, so I've learned to listen to customers and respond. It's also a terrific teacher of basic small business lessons. I'm always learning something that I can share with my readers.

The cattle ranch is all about working with nature. You can try fighting against nature, but that's a losing game. So the lesson is to pay attention to what works naturally, and use that to your advantage.


This whole social media thing is relatively new to small town America. Most of our businesses have a website. What should be their first few steps into the field?

Whether you are looking for customers online or not, you can benefit in huge ways from interacting with others. You can expand your horizons and your perspective, connect with vendors and other partners, and feel connected with colleagues literally around the world.


There are three places you could start. You don't have to do all three; you can just pick one, if you want. The first is Twitter. It can help you make personal connections with other people. It's kind of like a water cooler in a big business; it's the place you connect to just check in, share a little, or feel connected to the wider world. The second place you could start is publishing a blog to position yourself as an expert. Blogging is like a newsletter or regular article you put out for people everywhere to read. If you just started by answering the questions that customers ask you most often, you could probably have more than enough material to write about. The third is Facebook. No matter how small your town is, I'll bet there are some local people on Facebook. You'll also find colleagues from other towns, people who used to live in your area, and even friends from college. You can use Facebook just to connect and stay in touch with those people.


None of these services cost anything to use. You can create an account and put up your profile for free. Then just start making friends. Don't focus on selling. Treat it more like a party at someone's house. Make conversation and connect with other people on a personal level. Even then, these tools may not be for you. Everyone uses social media in their own way. My best advice is to just play around to learn new things.


African hunting safari – now how did you get into that?

My husband is a hunter, basically all his life. He also grew up reading the Robert Ruau rk stories about hunting in Africa, so he set a goal to do it. He saved and planned, and in 2003 we made our first trip to Namibia. We've been back three more times. Each time, we see more parallels between  our local development issues and the issues faced in Namibia.

Now, of course, we have friends there. And I have a small group of clients in Namibia that I help with websites and online marketing. It has really expanded our perspectives to have this kind of a global connection.

How can we get our kids to come back to the community after college? What do we need to be doing to help develop our community for them too?

Engage them. Put young people in charge of projects. Involve them in "adult" meetings, like Rotary or the City Council. Setup a job shadowing or mentoring program with local businesses. Do everything you can to make young people a vital part of everything in the community. It's not just about projects or assets. It's about building a sense of belonging and community. That will stick with kids long after they head to college, and that is what will make them want to return.

You can also go further to bring them back, with events focused on homecomings. You can hold all-school, all-year reunions. If you can compile a mailing list of interested alums, you can market not just your events, but also your town. Your city government might be able to offer inexpensive lots for building or other move-back incentives. You have to be creative about it.


I see that you have some pretty serious grant writing skills. Can you give novices a couple of places to start when looking to write grants? 

One good place to start learning is on Charity Channel. They have a pretty good list of internet resources, Websites every grants professional should have bookmarked:http://charitychannel.com/Articles/ArticleCategories/GrantsandFoundationsReview/tabid/138/xmmid/822/xmid/1980/xmview/2/Default.aspx

Several other free sources will email you grant leads. C. Lyn Larson with HUD in Oklahoma does an email list. You join by sending an email to
c.lyn.larson@hud.gov. Miami Dade County also issues a weekly grants email, and you can sign up at their website: http://www.miamidade.gov/grants/forms/gmail_page.asp. You can also sign up for updates fromGrants.gov. They have a regular newsletter, a blog, and a service that will email opportunities to you based on your keywords.

Successful grant writing combines careful research, detailed planning and budgeting, creative writing, and attention to detail. If you don't have all of these skills and qualities yourself, start putting together a team who can work with you. That's how I do it; I work with a team.

What is this collaboration with US News and World Report? Tell us more please!

US News added an Outside Voices project to bring in independent bloggers. Matthew Bandyk writes at US News, and he follows me at Small Biz Survival. When they started this project, Matthew invited me to join. You'll find articles from me that focus on hands-on small business advice. And it just sounds cool to say that I'm working with US News from small town Oklahoma!

One last thing, agritourism – what advice do you give towns looking to promote agritourism?

Agritourism means more than guest ranches or hay mazes. It means opening up and sharing part of what makes life here special. Make sure you know what your cultural assets are. That includes everyone from your cheese maker to your corn husk doll artist, and your old-fashioned farmer to your winery. Then find ways to promote those assets. Check with your state tourism group. I've found that Oklahoma's Department of Tourisms exceptionally helpful to both individuals and communities. Your state organization can help you find out how to attract group tours, how to get into the state publications, and how to improve your attractions.

Promoting online is an absolute requirement, and for bonus points, use audio and video in addition to your text and pictures. For example, create audio tours; shoot short video clips of attractions, or interview interesting locals. Share that slice of life online. I did a whole workshop on this at the Red Carpet Country tourism association annual meeting, and I think it opened people's eyes to the potential that's out there. It's all about telling a story about your country life to people who want to share in that story.


Thanks Becky – you have no idea how helpful this will be to our community. I think this interview will be a casebook example of the domino theory (knock one down, the rest will fall).

The best of luck to all of you in Franklin County!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are You An Entrepreneur?


Entrepreneur Magazine gives us these facts:

Average annual income of an employee in the USA is $26, 000.
Average annual income of a successful home-based business in the USA is $50,250.
20% of home entrepreneurs reported that their businesses grossed between $100,000 and $500,000 last year.

Are you the kind of person who is psychologically unemployable? I simply mean, you need to work for yourself – not for a boss. Can you work like an entrepreneur? Wikipedia describes an entrepreneur as:

An entrepreneur is an individual who efficiently and effectively combines the four factors of production. Those factors are land (natural resources), labor (human input into production using available resources), capital (any type of equipment used in production i.e. machinery) and Enterprise (intelligence, knowledge, and creativity.)

Entrepreneurship is often difficult and tricky, as many new ventures fail. Entrepreneur 

is often synonymous with founder. Most commonly, the term entrepreneur applies to someone who creates value by offering a product or service. Entrepreneurs often have strong beliefs about a market opportunity and organize their resources effectively to accomplish an outcome that changes  existing interactions.

Some observers see them as being willing to accept a high level of personal, professional or financial risk to pursue that opportunity, but the emerging evidence indicates they are more passionate experts than gamblers.

Dr. Tom Barrett, author of Dare to Dream, Work to Win gave my organization a live telephone training. Dr. Barrett trains people on how to think, work and live as an entrepreneur. Dr. Barrett asked us to take our pulse.

What is my pulse?

Ask yourself - Do I really know what I have in this work from home business? Will it provide me:

  • The privilege of living as an entrepreneur.

  • The ability to see my life change as a result of this business.

    • Life is too short to be small – Disraeli

  • the acceptance of the invitation to think big, live big, grow big.

    • Sometimes in order to see what others will never see, you've got be willing to do what others will never do.

  • An opportunity to be at the bottom of the Grand Canyon?

    • Grand Canyon analogy: thousands of people work all year to get 2 weeks vacation and they come here and look over the rim and then they go home. We get the chance to go to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and raft and play! That is the difference between worker and entrepreneur.

Ask yourself: Do you know what you want out of your business?

  • Why are you doing this?

  • When you look at your choices, are they a world class work from home business?

  • Can you think like an entrepreneur

  • Can you work like an entrepreneur

  • Will you experience the privilege of living as an entrepreneur

  • Your business should give you more of what you want out of life or less of what you don't want

    Finally, Dr. Barrett explains the ten levels of commitment. Where do you see yourself?

Ten levels of commitment

  • level one: got in on a lark, realized they could use the products

  • level two: just dabbling, dinking around, no serious commitment

  • level three: jumped in as a hobby sounds like fun hobbyist mentality what will they do when it becomes work: two choices – exit the business or adjust expectations

  • level four: a cute little business – isn't that nice? So simple, so hokey absolutely clueless about the business

  • level five: view it as a small home based business, created 2,3,4,500 bucks a month their joy/peace level could be dramatically changed with that kind of income

  • level six: this may be a business – it is A business that could have a profound impact on my life

  • level seven: this is a serious opportunity

  • level eight: this is MY BUSINESS

  • level nine: I'm done looking. This is MY OPPORTUNITY

  • level ten: like Texas hold em – there comes a time when somebody in the game pushes all their chips into the center of the table and says I'M ALL IN.

Consider these levels today – don't make a decision, you need time to think. How do i keep my head and heart engaged? Are you full of absolute quiet confidence? Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?

Websites to visit

www.daretodream.net  www.debrareneebrown.com  www.entrepreneur.com 


purchase Dare to Dream Work to Win at one of the following locations:

www.ourfocusisyou.com 

www.amazon.com 


picture of pulse provided by ArcoJedi at flickr.com