Monday, April 23, 2007

Procrastination Killer

Success University sent me this amazing series of articles on procrastination. I am posting them here as procrastination can be the biggest business killer!

Jim Rohn's Sixth Pillar of Success: Time Management
Part Three - Breaking Through Barriers

Hello, this is Jim Rohn. This month we have focused on the topic of Time Management:

1. Developing a Philosophy of Time Management - Establishing your priorities and values. As important as the "how's" are, the "why's" are first and foremost. Because here's what's interesting, the "why's" are the force that pull us towards our dreams and that in turn determines the "how's". So first we will take a look at the philosophy of time management, and then how to determine our priorities based on the values that we believe in and hold in the highest place. We discussed these things two weeks ago.

2. Creating a Proactive Schedule - Allocating time based on your unique priorities and values. Once you know why you are managing your time and know the priorities and values you strive for, then it is important to understand where you currently spend your time and how to strategically budget for maximum performance. You see, something will always master and something will always serve. Either you run the day or it runs you. We took a deeper look into this aspect of time management in last week's edition.

3. Breaking Through Barriers - Eliminating time wasters and overcoming procrastination. Many folks know what to do, but it is often the things we shouldn't spend our time on that get us off track. And here's what we need to be watchful of:
don't mistake movement for achievement. It's easy to get faked out by being busy, but the key question is: Busy doing what? This week we will look at how to overcome procrastination and eliminate time wasters.

4. How to Gain More Time - We'll talk about time management pointers on how to add 1-2 hours a day through delegating, skill improvement, multi-tasking and improved focus. These are things that anyone can do to add more time to their day.

Yes, there are only 24 hours in each day, but we can maximize those hours by working "smarter" rather than longer, and employing other skills along with our time management. We will look at these ideas next week.

This week our focus is on eliminating time wasters and overcoming procrastination. Before we get started I just want to say that I hope you are making strides in developing and implementing your philosophy of time management as well as setting your priorities. You have also had a week to take an inventory of your time usage and begin working on budgeting your time. This should be proceeding nicely for you. Keep working on your time budgeting skills; it may not come overnight, but if you work on it--and yourself--you will get your life under control and see a whole new world open up.

With that being said, let's move on to this week's topic of eliminating time wasters and overcoming procrastination.

The key to all time management is to stay focused, have a plan based on priorities and actively follow that plan. If you do these three things, you will have your time--and your life--under control and moving along the way you would like it to.

But...just like every now and then when you are driving along and various things can slow you down, sidetrack, or distract you, there are many things that can do the same thing in regard to your time management. Have you ever been driving down the road when you come across a detour because of road work? Or maybe you see a store you would like to stop at... even though you have somewhere to go?

Managing our time is much like that. There we are, managing our time, knowing where we are going because we have our priorities set, and then a "time waster" presents itself. Or we waste time because we simply procrastinate. Either way, the same result happens--we don't get where we want to go.

So let's take a look at the issue of time wasters first, and then at the idea of procrastination.

What are time wasters? You may think they are obvious, but this isn't necessarily true. Time wasters are anything that keep you from accomplishing the proper use of your time based on your priorities and values.

Believe it or not, time wasters can be "good things". Now I don't mean they are good for you, but that they may masquerade as something "good". You may be able to look at them in a vacuum and say that the things you are spending your time on are inherently good... that is until you weigh them against your priority list. Then it becomes clear that these "good" things are actually "time wasters".

Time wasters fall into two primary categories: The urgent and the pleasurable.

The urgent: If we do not have a firm grasp on our priorities, and work hard to develop a schedule that keeps us working on the important things we want to achieve, eventually the "urgent" will be upon us. The urgent things cry out to us, telling us they are important, when in actuality they are not. The power of the urgent time waster is in the dramatic demand it makes on us. When it calls our name and appears to show us just how urgent it is that we spend time on it, it takes away from the very important things we should be working on. And I have found that urgent things can rarely be done in short order. They usually drag themselves out, keeping us even further from our true goals.
Perhaps the best way I have seen this demonstrated is in Stephen Covey's idea of the four parts of the time management quadrant. You have:

1. The important and the urgent
2. The important
3. The urgent but non-important
4. The non-important

The idea is to stay in what Covey calls "Quadrant Two". At first you may be in quadrant one (hopefully you don't spend much time in 3 or 4) but as you manage your time, you will see fewer and fewer urgent matters vying for your attention.

Always be aware of so-called "urgent" matters, because most of the time they are just time wasters. Have the courage to let them go. At the very least, take a serious look at your life and make sure you aren't constantly living in crisis mode. Crisis mode is a very dangerous thing when it comes to making good decisions and managing your time.

The Pleasurable. Pleasurable time wasters are extremely insidious. Sometimes when we waste time with urgent matters, we know we are wasting time and we wish we could get out of them. Not so with pleasurable time wasters. These are the things that we willingly and openly pursue. We know they are time wasters and yet we still pursue them. Why? Because they are Fun! They are pleasurable. We enjoy them, and that keeps us from disciplining ourselves to work on our priorities. It is much like the person who wants to lose weight yet keeps eating dessert night after night - they do it because it tastes so good.

As you think about time wasters, think about which are urgent and which are pleasurable for you. Work to get so far ahead in your priorities that you virtually eliminate urgent matters that call your name. In regard to the pleasurable, this takes brutal honesty with yourself. It takes a real ability to admit to yourself that you are choosing what is fun rather than what is important.

Remember, you don't have much time to waste in the first place. I realize now in the latter years of my life that time moves by quickly. It doesn't seem very long ago that I was only 30 years old! Time is a very precious gift, one that we can and should take seriously because once that moment in time is spent, it can never be retrieved. Stay focused on those very important things you desire for your life. Stay focused on those things that will build your business and fulfill your life's purpose. Stay focused on those things that will bring you a happy and joy-filled family life. Do not waste your time on those things that will quickly pass away and have relative unimportance.

Now, for procrastination. Paul of Tarsus said in his writing that, "the things I want to do, I do not do." This is a problem that is as old as humanity itself. I am sure that the wheel would have been invented and fire discovered much earlier if it weren't for procrastination!

Humans have two incredible abilities: First, they are able to become crystal clear about what it is they want.
Secondly, they are able to completely put off pursuing it!

So what drives procrastination? I believe there are a few primary things that cause people to procrastinate.

Fear. In my opinion, this is the biggest source of procrastination. People procrastinate because they are afraid. They are afraid of failure; they are afraid of success. They are afraid they will do a poor job or of what others will think of them. I want to encourage you to think about whether or not this is an issue for you. If so, do whatever it takes to deal with your fears.

Hard work. Some people procrastinate because they know that doing the work will be hard. Many people have an aversion to hard work so they procrastinate, putting it off indefinitely. Realize for yourself that being successful usually requires a lot of hard work. Sometimes it is physically exhausting, sometimes mentally or emotionally exhausting. But let me assure you of this, if you invest in the miracle of hard labor required to accomplish your goals, the rewards, the gifts, the feelings of increased self-esteem you will reap will far outweigh the pain of labor. For at the end of your efforts you will be able to smile with the deep satisfaction of knowing you have faithfully sowed and that now you can joyfully reap - and reap without complaint or apology! What a powerful opportunity to invest in the labor that creates miracles.

Lack of passion. In other words, whatever it is that they are doing isn't really something they are passionate about. Some people procrastinate because deep down they aren't really passionate about what it is they "should be" doing.
It isn't really a priority for them or for their life, even if they have called it one. This is an issue of going back to the drawing board and becoming clear about your priorities and values, then having the courage to live them out.

An inability to motivate themselves. Some people procrastinate because they do not know how to get themselves going internally. They wait until something externally moves them. You've heard me give the example of the guy who says, "I wish someone would come by and turn me on and get me motivated." Well, what if they don't show up? You've got to have a better plan than that, you've got to be self-motivated because that is ultimately the best motivation. Now, everyone is motivated differently, and it is your job to figure out what it is that really motivates you. And then do what it takes to get there and stay there.

Time wasters and procrastination are the roadblocks that will keep you from reaching your goals. This week work to become aware of what things you waste your time on and what drives your procrastination. As you come to realize these things, as you become fully aware, you will be better equipped to overcome them.

In the next section, Chris is going to give you some thoughts on some of the primary time wasters and some very practical tips on how to overcome procrastination, as well as some questions for reflection and actions points to follow through on.

Until next week, let's do something remarkable!

Jim Rohn

Hi there, Chris Widener here.

The Top 3 Time Wasters and the Top 3 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

I want to take my space this week to talk about what I believe are the top three time wasters and the top three ways to overcome procrastination. Some of these time wasters will be those you find at work and some at home. These are the things that I have found to be almost universal. So, let's take a look:

The Top Three Time Wasters:

1. Television. Yes, the old one-eyed monster. Now, before you write this off, saying, "Chris, I just don't watch much TV," let me have you do a short exercise. Think about how much TV you watch. Go through each day, from Sunday to Saturday. For example: Sunday (one hour on Meet the Press, 3 hours for football). Monday (Half hour morning show, one hour news, half hour sitcom), etc. Add it up. Be honest! Do you know what I found was the average amount of television watched per week in rooms full of "busy professional people who didn't watch much TV?" 20 Hours!

Now think about this. That is 1,000 hours a year or 25 full work weeks! What could you accomplish if you had an extra 25 work weeks a year?

So, how can you overcome this time waster? Here are a few

Get rid of the TV. Yes, that is exactly what I said. I did just that on January 1st, 1989, and have never looked back.
When people ask me how I get so much done I simply tell them that I have 1,000 hours a year more than they do!

At the very least, cut back on your TV viewing. Be proactive and take control of how much you watch. Budget your time.
Cut some shows out (believe me, most shows can be cut out and your life won't suffer!).

2. Telephone calls. The phone is what I call the "great interrupter". There is this very weird, almost magical effect that a ringing phone has: Like pre-programmed zombies, we "must" answer it. Try something the next time you have someone in your office and the phone rings. Just keep talking as though you don't hear it. Watch the person you are with nervously look over at the phone and then back at you before finally asking, "Do you want to answer that?"
Even though it would take away from them, they expect you to answer the phone!

The fact is that you do not have to answer a ringing phone.
Especially in this day and age of voice mail, you can let the phone ring through and schedule a time at regular intervals to return important calls (one side benefit is you will be amazed at how much time you save by not having to work your way off the phone with unsolicited sales calls).

How can you avoid wasting time on the phone? Here are a few

Don't always answer it. 'Nough said.

Schedule your calls into time frames. Make all of your calls during regularly scheduled times. This will keep you from "spur of the moment" calls that distract you.

Know before you call what you want to talk about, talk about it, and then get off the phone. When you call someone, say, "Hi there, I wanted to talk to you about XYZ." Then talk about it. When you are done, say, "Well, I know you are busy and I have some things to get done too, so I'll let you go."
Bingo - you're off the phone!

3. Email. Email is the new phone. Except much worse. Why? A few reasons. Some of it is spam, but the main reason is because people can't type as fast as they can talk. Many times when someone writes me an email that I know will take a long response, I either call them or write an email that says, "Call me. It would be better to talk about this."

Another reason is just the volume of email we get. And the forwarded jokes from your aunt in Omaha. Just sorting through this takes time. (By the way, the best way to get off of Aunt Margaret's email list is to politely ask. Just tell her that you are trying to cut down on email and ask if she will take you off the list. It works! I did it with my own mother and she still talks to me!)

Some ideas for cutting out email time wasting:

Schedule email reading and responding. Depending on how much you get each day, maybe you do it once per day, maybe three times. You don't have to jump every time the inbox chimes!

Be ruthless about what is important. Not everything is.
Delete it and move on. Especially delete anything from Aunt Margaret that says, "Fw: Very funny - you will love this!"

The Top Three Ways to Overcome Procrastination:

1. Overcome your fear. Jim made a great point about fear. He is right. Much procrastination is because we fear things. A lot in life can be accomplished as we dig deep into who we are and what drives us. Do you have fears that cause you to procrastinate? Do some internal work and find out what you are really afraid of. Then face that fear. Get some help from a coach or counselor if you need it.

2. Get motivated. Motivation is something we have to work at. Read books, listen to tapes, go to seminars, and hang out with exciting people. Do whatever you can to stay motivated. It is much easier to get down to business when you are motivated than when you aren't.

3. Just start. Just begin doing what you said you need to do. Tell yourself you are going to just do 10 minutes. Then you'll quit. What happens though, is that you don't quit.
Much of the problem with procrastination is just starting.
So, just start!

Hope these ideas help you this week in getting over procrastination and in avoiding the big three time wasters!

Questions for Reflection:

Q. What are your major time wasters? Why?

Q. Are your time wasters usually of the "urgent" kind or the pleasurable nature?

Q. Of the urgent kind, which come up most often? What about the pleasurable kind?

Q. What is the major reason you procrastinate? What can you do to overcome it?

Q. Of the three best ways to overcome procrastination, which works best for you? Is there a better way that works for you? What is it?

Action Points

1. List the ways you waste time, in the greatest to least order for the problems they pose for you. Spend some time this week being specifically aware of these and do what you can to say "no" to them, focusing instead on your priorities.

2. Take some time to look forward at upcoming things due and work a little on them so they do not become urgent later on.
As you do, work as little as possible on those things that are telling you they are urgent now. This will begin the process of eliminating the "urgent" from your life and moving you to the important.

3. Spend some time this week working against the "pleasurable" that you spend time on instead of your priorities. Specifically turn away from them in an act of discipline.

4. Take specific action this week to watch less television and spend that time on other important things around the house.

5. Work on how well you handle phone and email time. These are major time wasters, so get a hold of them!

See you next week!

Chris Widener

About the Author:

Working from home shouldn't be a distant dream. Make it a reality:

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Work From Home Business Requires Serious Effort

There are so many different circumstances that prompt people to start working from home ... and there are just as many of those businesses available.

What you need to ask yourself is whether you want a work from home business or a work at home business. The difference is the type of work you will be doing, but either way it should be something you are good at doing as well as something you enjoy doing. I can't underscore the importance of enjoying your choice. Lets face it: most people won't do things they don't want to do ... we will find a million excuses and other things to do instead and sure enough, the business will fail from neglect. Don't let that happen when making your choices.

Typically, most work from home business operations involves service-related jobs such as plumbing, electrical or some other form of home improvement. Consultants often develop a work from home business and this type of work can be done through telecommuting while working for someone else. While salaried work from home positions are few and far between, they are available on a very limited basis.

There are many advantages to a work from home business, beginning with a low overhead and being able to use a portion of your home’s operating expenses as a tax deduction. There are specific rules governing business use of your home so be sure to check with a tax advisor before claiming it on your income taxes. If you end up being ineligible for this deduction it could cost you dearly in the form of penalties and interest.

Robert Kiyosaki talks about building a business team and your account or tax advisors are critical members of your business team. They are worth the investment, and often the costs of their services are business deductions.

By working from home you can usually establish your own hours and your own dress code. This is great when you are sitting at the computer, but when you are out networking or meeting with clients, a professional appearance is a must.

Motivation is another must ... which ties back into the need to enjoy what you are doing.

You will also have to have the motivation to get up and work from home even on those days you really do not feel like it, just as though you were working for someone else in their office. You have to show up in order to get your work done.

If you are thinking of working from home, and you still have a full-time job, you should consider starting your business on a part-time schedule to get started. This will involve giving up some of your spare time to start building a business that will earn you more money. As the business establishes, you can then decide to walk away from the full time job. It's a less risky way to start, but again, requires motivation and dedication to go to work when others are playing!

You will also have to remember that when you work from home you are generally treated as a contract employee and all matters pertaining to taxes will be your responsibility. Money paid to your self will require certain tax forms and your income taxes will have to be paid on a regular basis, just like any other business does for their employees.

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Working from home shouldn't be a distant dream. Make it a reality:

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Opportunity Is Knocking ... Are You Answering?

When opportunity knocks you should not be afraid to open the door. That is why the peepholes are so popular. Without being able to see what is on the other side of the door, too many times opportunities are available but they cannot be seen.

Numerous Internet business opportunities present themselves every day and unless you can see the chance to become part of something special, you will constantly be on the lookout for a different opportunity that may have already passed you by.

With every opportunity that arises, there is someone willing to take a chance. If you are going to succeed in any business, and in life, you need to take calculated chances (or what some people call risks) to gain real rewards.

If you are not a person who can take a chance, then finding the right opportunity will never come your way, and you will find yourself looking and wishing but never doing.

The Internet can be an exciting place in which to do business, but many of the Internet business opportunities will involve taking risk.

Business people will tell you that success is an attitude. Others will say that success is a choice.

By having the right, positive attitude you can choose to make your business opportunity grow or you can choose to allow it to fail. However, the first choice you have to make is in taking advantage of the opportunity.

Henry Ford once said: If you think you can succeed, you can, if you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you are right. What he is saying is you control your destiny but your outlook.

Not all opportunities are readily identifiable. What may seem like a fleeting thought may actually be a fledgling idea that if nurtured and thought completely through will emerge into an opportunity for growth and success.

There are some online businesses offering people the chance to create their own business, following their model and business plan, which could be considered an opportunity. Robert Kiyosaki says that a business needs a strong system to succeed and with these kinds of opportunities a system is in place. If you follow it, you can replicate the success of others.

But, some folks are reluctant to take them up on the opportunity to own their own business based on their unwillingness to follow someone else’s direction.

Franchises are one of the Internet business opportunities that people sometimes shy away from because they will not have complete control over the business. However, a franchise is based on a proven method of doing business and a successful business model. Without the need to re-invent the wheel, you can have a business up and running in short order, or you can go against the grain and attempt to start over from the beginning.

When you see what may be an opportunity, you should study it and do the proper research to make certain it is not one of the many scams online.

Once you have made the determination that the opportunity is genuine and you are willing to exert the energy and put in the time, then it is time to take advantage of the chance to see success.

Imagine where you would be today if the people from Microsoft, Apple or Dell Computers left the door closed to their opportunity. Not only did their lives change based on their actions, so has the lives of everyone with a computer.

Take a chance and start peeping through the security hole at the opportunities out there. You might find success is a mouse click away.

About the Author:

Working from home shouldn't be a distant dream. Make it a reality:

Monday, April 02, 2007

Find Legitimate Businesses To Earn Money From Home

You have probably spent a lot of time thinking of ways you can earn money from home while the baby is growing up, or the spouse is recovering or you recently lost your job. The decision to stay at home can be a tough one and it will take time to determine the best and consistent means to earn money from home before you completely commit to the idea.

It many areas of the country it is a tight job market and with specific, in-demand skills a lot of workers are finding themselves with few prospects. This often sparks the decision to try to earn money from home and, unfortunately, also can lead to making desperate decisions that may not allow you to make the most of your situation. Many companies prey on desperate job hunters and take their money when they do not have the cash to give up.

Searching for the right opportunity takes time and effort and a willingness not to let that voice of reason get lost in the chatter of lofty promises. Deciding to start your own business at home is a decision that not only affects you, it affects your family as well as your bill collectors. If you do not make money, they will not care that you had to pay extra for additional training and may not be long before you do not have electric to keep the computer up and running.

Look objectively at your skills and before you send money to join a million dollars a month opportunity that claims to require no education or specialized training.

You might want to ask yourself what you will be doing to earn that kind of cash and who is willing to pay it. The two answers are usually nothing and no one. That should tell you where your cash is going. One of the most lucrative means of making money online is scamming others into sending you cash and when the voice of reason is silenced, the scammer’s voice is often heard loud and clear.

Assembling products at home can be a good way to make money as long as you are associated with a legitimate company. Those making the offer requiring you buy specialized tools and parts in order to assemble the product are only selling the tools and the parts. There is a 100 percent chance that no matter how well your products are assembled the company will reject them for quality reasons, typically not being up to their standards.

There are, however many companies who will pay a third party to perform assembly work for them offsite, and depending on the product they may even want to inspect your facilities to insure they are not wasting their time with someone who can produce a few a week when they may need thousands.

Take your time and do you research. Remember the old adage: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

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Working from home shouldn't be a distant dream. Make it a reality:

Friday, March 30, 2007

Monitoring Your Business: Keep Affiliate Links Up To Date!

From a website owner’s point of view, affiliate marketing programs can add to your income as well as improve your credibility among your visitors. Signing up for affiliate programs should involve as much thought as the types of information you offer on your site, whether you sell products or services or simply have a blog site.

If you have a personal blog concerning dogs or cats and you place affiliate links for a pet products company on your blog, you are more likely to earn sales commissions than of your blog site promotes vitamin sales and you are linking to pet companies.

The products offered by affiliate companies should be related to the primary focus of your site.

With the number of affiliate marketing programs available, there is no doubt you can find an appropriate site with which to be affiliated. You will want to know ahead of time the commission structure and when payments can be expected. This eliminates future frustrations and disappointments.

Most companies will also keep you informed of any program changes, which would include changes to commission structure or other payment details that may affect your continued affiliation with them.

When you are working with companies as an affiliate, simply placing their link on your page does not end your involvement. Many offer seasonal merchandise or services and keeping your links up to date can make your website more credible to your visitors. The web is a dynamic marketplace and people notice if your site is static, or worse, out of date. If someone visits your site in March or April and you are still promoting free Christmas delivery, many will believe your site is no long active and may ignore your other links.

Many times companies will have sales offering coupons you can place on your site as links, but you need to constantly monitor the coupons for going out of date or for offering products or services that maybe you do not want to promote on your site. For example, if the focus of your site is for children’s education, you may not want to promote an adult-oriented site or a gambling site. This can happen when some of the smaller sites lose their domain name and another company picks it up and promotes products other than what you were used to seeing.

It has happened where a company will go out of business and their name is bought by a gambling or a dating site and all links to that name now are pointed at the new site. If you are not keeping track of your affiliated sites you could unknowingly be promoting a site that goes against your primary business focus.

If you are going through an affiliate marketing corporation that manages the programs for many companies and one goes out of business, the links on your page will typically disappear. However, if you are affiliated with a company and their own program that goes out of business, the link may remain but will give your visitors an error message. Another indication that your site may be out of date.

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Working from home shouldn't be a distant dream. Make it a reality:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

How Affiliate Marketing Works

There are several companies in the Internet marketplace that are capturing a piece of the affiliate pie by bringing affiliate marketers together with companies offering commissions for sales. Their role is to manage the affiliate programs for the companies while ensuring the sites offering referral links are paid commissions in a timely manner.

While a few companies manage their own affiliate-marketing program, the use of affiliate marketing corporations is growing with the trend becoming more popular, freeing company resources to concentrate on customer service. It also allows the companies to use the information from referred visitors for lead generation.

The landing page for most companies contains requirements to register to use the site. Minimum, information is requested (as opposed to mandated), enabling companies to gather visitor information. This works well for companies offering items or services, which are not considered renewable. For example, shoppers for music, food items and other disposable items will be shopping for them frequently, while those seeking mortgage information or for re-mortgaging their homes will generally do so only once or twice in their lifetime.

By using affiliate marketing, these companies have thousands of other websites sending visitors their way instead of relying on expensive advertising and marketing, possibly limiting their exposure to potential customers specifically searching for that specific type of information. It can tap into additional markets where they may have been missing the boat.

Affiliate marketing corporations can also help review websites applying to be affiliates, reducing the possibility of a website offering services that is not in the company’s best interests from displaying their ads. For instance, a website that sells religious materials may not want to be affiliated with websites for gambling or adult oriented materials. Of course, this goes both ways, as a church may not want to place ads for gambling on their site.

Generally, a company signed with an affiliate marketing corporation will supply a variety of link styles, including text links, graphics links, banners, and even search box links for affiliates to choose from. These links rest on the corporation’s website and are gleaned by the affiliate for the best fit for their sites. The corporation will then track the activity for the link including the number of impressions, the number of clicks as well as the amount of purchases and commissions due the affiliate site.

Affiliate marketing corporations however, do not work for free. They often receive a cut of the sale in addition to the affiliates. While this adds to the cost of making a sale, the companies realize that without the additional exposure the sales probably would not happen, and they get the additional benefit of customer information for potential future sales.

About the Author:

Working from home shouldn't be a distant dream. Make it a reality:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Inside Affiliate Marketing

While work at home moms are often the favorite target for Internet scammers, website owners are a close second.

You own a website and are possibly paying a bit of money to keep the site running. Do you not wish you could make some money with the website you work so hard to maintain? Imagine how wonderful it would be if you could you’re your hobby into a real business that would not only pay for itself, but even offer you a few extras that could be put to good use for the kids, or your family.

To a webmaster, affiliate marketing is almost always the answer to this dilemma.

In and of itself, affiliate marketing is a wonderful opportunity share in the profits of a reputable company by displaying their links and banners, and allowing interested parties to visit those sites and perhaps purchase a product. When they do so, the company will often offer you a small percentage of the sale as a finder’s fee.

But, there is a seedy underbelly to the affiliate marketing industry that will actually jeopardize your good name as a webmaster and will also result in payouts that are pennies on the dollar.

For example, have you ever been surfing the web only to suddenly stumble across a website that touts an amazing nutritional supplement that does it all?

Weight loss for the overweight, hair growth for the bald, an increased sexual stamina for those lacking it and a host of other items are cured or corrected with a pill after breakfast, lunch and dinner. These miracle cures are touted on the website via a long list of testimonials, and you can almost always recognize the feel of these sites simply by the long list of text they sport, the varying fonts employed, and also the different colors these words are written in.

You may simply shrug your shoulders at such a site until – about halfway down – you see a copy of a commission check the webmaster has posted and suddenly he or she has your undivided attention. The check is small enough to be realistic yet big enough to have you consider what you could to with the money and how it could ease the tension at home from lack of disposable income.

When you are hooked, the spiel usually involves a site owner who is so successful that he or she has decided to take on two or three qualified novices and train them to do the business as well. This involves selling the miracle product to your friends and neighbors and then just sitting back and waiting for the money to roll in. Additionally, you will need to post banners on your website. What has just happened, in a nutshell, is an affiliate scam that ties your success directly into a multi-level marketing scheme.

While your links will attract more interested parties to the originator’s website, you might end up meanwhile alienating your friends and families.

Let's be clear: This is not what affiliate marketing is all about, and it is important that you understand the implications of your putting links or banners of any business on your website before you get started.

There are some very good affiliate programs out there. By doing your homework and picking good solid companies, you can see some positive revenues and good results coming your way.

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Working from home shouldn't be a distant dream. Make it a reality:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Dream Come True For Most Moms

It is something that many women dream of: the chance to be able to stay at home with their children and to not need to take their children to the babysitters so they can go to work.

It is hard to find a place in this world that will allow you to work and contribute to the family income, but that will also allow you to stay at home with your children. Luckily, if you are working online there are many opportunities for a stay at home mom that will help your family make ends meet.

The important thing about working from home and being a stay at home mother is that you can set your own hours. This is very important if you have small children that are going to need your time.

Instead of making your children wait until your work is finished, you can figure out a way to make your work wait until your children have free time you can spend at work. Being a stay at home mom and working is something that requires a little bit of structure, but once you have figured it out is something that is easy to do.

You are going to be able to stay at home and get your work done, and you are also going to be able to show your family that you care about them by being there for your kids all of the time.

There are many things that a stay at home mom can do to work from home.

The most important thing that you can do is to figure out what kinds of things you are interested in.

This is critical. It is very hard to motivate yourself to work if you aren't interested in it.

After all, working is something that is going to be with your for awhile and you want to be sure that not only are you doing good work but you are making ends meet for your family in a way that makes you happy.

You can find something that you love to do, and you can find a way to do it at home, so your children never have to be at home without you, and your family time can be spent as a family. Working form home is something that has become quite popular with families and with other moms.

Try to find a way that it can fit in your lifestyle as well.

The online community has opened up infinite possibilities to you. Your job is to find the one that fits you best and go for it. You'll be happy you did.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Taking Your Kids To Work: A Look At The Home Based Business

More and more women are leaving the corporate world behind to try their hand at traditional homemaking. Being a wife and homemaker is a considerable responsibility in itself.

Many women choose to work outside of the home to supplement their husband’s income and experience personal fulfillment through success in their chosen profession. The two income family is now the norm.

With the arrival of the first bundle of joy, comes many conflicting emotions and struggles. Although it sounds old fashioned, the reality is that mothers juggle multiple conflicting demands on her attention including children, husband, cooking, cleaning and careers. The desire may be to nurture and protect her children and husband but the expectations and time constraints imposed upon her often force her to compromise on all fronts. This can result in guilt and depression in the over-burdened woman.

It may not be a coincidence that divorce has become more prevalent and children more delinquent since the rise of two income families. Women are often finding themselves drained emotionally and physically from the dysfunctional patterns of behavior that are imposed on them by today’s society. Many women are fighting back by starting a home-based business.

By working from home, women can now set their own hours, save time and money and spend more time with their children. With a little work and by choosing the right home business, this new opportunity can bring in a solid passive income with less hassles than the corporate world offers.

The benefits for mothers also include being able to hire part time nannies instead of full time sitters and arrange for childcare to be done in their own homes. This allows peace of mind for the mother and a chance to squeeze in quality time with the children during breaks, have picnic lunches on the lawn and never miss another chance to kiss away a fresh boo boo.

Hiring childcare help during busy seasons in your business can help you keep your sanity. On slower days, the children can do quite well if they are kept in a structured environment and on a schedule. This takes preparation. Plan quiet times around favorite television shows, set up crafts and activities that require minimal supervision and intervention on your part. Prepare snacks and sippy cups in advance so toddlers can help themselves when hunger strikes. By keeping mealtime and naps on a schedule, you can be better prepared to give an estimated time for that conference call or know when a meeting time is absolutely out of the question.

No mother wants a stranger raising her children. Deciding to work at home with your children can be a wonderful compromise that allows you quiet those conflicting emotions of being torn between work and motherhood.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Make Money Online The Easy Way

Making money is something that many people take for granted in this world. The go to work and bring home a pay cheque.

Today, there are many more ways that you can make money. Just surf the web and you'll see huge numbers of opportunities to make extra money. This is one way that people who work at home earn money ... and if you can find the right opportunity, it's better than a work at home job because it has the opportunity to build a stream of passive income.

There are many different options for work online businesses. You can sell products or services online and make money this way. If you have a basement full of stuff you want to get rid of, or if you know of some places where you can buy things cheaply that can be sold for more money, you can sell it online. Lots of times people take a long time to figure out what they want to sell on line but once they do they find themselves making quite a bit of money.

There are other things that you can do to make money online. If you have a web site with good levels of traffic, you can allow advertising to be on your site, and you can make a part of the profits for these ads. Some of the ads will pay you money whenever they are clicked on, and others will get you a small amount of money just for being on the site.

If you like the idea of a JOB, there are places you can get online jobs. Just make sure you are careful and do your research. Too many of the work at home programs are hooks for scam artists. If you can find some of these small jobs, you can quickly add them up to a bigger pay cheque. For instance, there are some jobs that will pay you for going to different forums and adding in on the discussions. If you like to go and talk online, this is a great way to get money because you are getting paid to do something that you might do anyway.

Try not to stress too much about making lots of money online right away. Remember, you are building a business and it takes time to gain traction. If you want to business to be sustainable, not a flash in the pan, build it on a solid foundation. Take the time to find the sites that will pay you to do things you are interested in, and take time to make sure that the work you are doing is not worth more than you are being paid.

Once you are established, you are going to find that making money online is much easier than you thought it was.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

The Joys Of Working At Home

In the fast paced job market, it might seem like there is never enough time to do what you really want to do – be at home with your families and take care of what you need to take care of while you are there.

Luckily, now there are many ways that you can work from home. OK, but you already know that or you wouldn't be reading this article.

Let's talk about the good stuff: There are many joys of being able to work from home, and make enough money to actually make it worth it.

First of all, if you have children, you are going to get to be there for them during the day when they are young, and after school when they are older. This is so important for families. You only get one chance to be wit you children because once they grow up, that's it. So, you should take every opportunity to be near them and take care of them when they are young.

By working from home, you don't have to pay for child care. Most of the time, people end up spending the money that they make working directly on child care, and unless they love their jobs and need to do their jobs, it simply isn't worth it for someone to work part time to get enough money to pay someone else to care for their kids. Think about how nice it would be to be able to actually make money, and not need to spend any of it on childcare.

There is a certain freedom that comes along with working from home. By being at home and staying at home you are there to tackle things that come up during the day. You can keep on top of household chores and take care of issues when they arise, without trying to squeeze them into an already packed day.

No more leaving in the dark and coming home after the sun has set for the day.
No more trying to do all of the house work and chores on the weekends.

When you work at home, you can simply allow yourself to be at home and enjoy the life that you are living.

Remember that the best part of working at home is getting to do the things that you really enjoy and getting to do them in your own environment. Nothing beats fact being able to stay at home with your family and with your house chores, and make just as much money (if not more) than when you were slaving away for someone else 40-60 hours a week.

Enjoy the perks. They are just a few of the joys of working from home!

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Working At Home Has Real Advantages

Many nine to fiver’s are bucking the system by starting a home-based business. Confinement to a cramped cubby hole in a perpetual maze of dividers and battling road rage heading to the office are things of the past for these entrepreneurs.

So what are some of the perks to having a home based business?

To start, you can keep your own hours. Your schedule is as flexible as you are. Need to see the dentist? Make your appointment for whenever. No more waiting around for that first appointment of the day or trying to find an office open after five. Kids have a mid-week soccer game? Not a problem. Better yet, you know that cable repairman that says he’ll show up sometime between 11 am and 4 pm? You can tell him, “That’s perfect.” and really mean it because you’re home all day anyways.

Working from home means that you can now embrace that chronic insomnia that made you late for traditional jobs and left you dozing off during meetings.

Here's one of the most startling advantages to starting a home-based business. Just think of all the money you save by working from home. (And I'm not talking about the tax benefits here).

There's no need to buy that new suit and impressive pair of heels. No more dry cleaning bills. Your cat doesn't care how professional you look. You can work naked if the urge strikes you, (just make sure the blinds are closed or you might get unsolicited visits from your neighbors).

You can save a bundle by eating last night’s leftovers for lunch and buying snacks in bulk at the grocery store instead of making trips to gas stations and fast food joints. Pay on average $0.35 for a a soda instead of $1.19 and watch the saving add up in a year’s time. You might even save enough to buy your own cappuccino maker and say goodbye to your local $5-a-cup coffee shop. I haven't even tallied the costs of buying lunch out which is so tempting when you're working in an office.

Remember the last time you took your car in for a tune up and the mechanic told you to start car shopping, immediately. Just think of how long your vehicle will last without those daily trips to and from work. Save gas money, get your oil changed twice a year, never replace your tires again! You don't want to know how much my gas bills have gone down since I started working at home four years ago.

These are all great perks of a home based business.

The government also gives home businesses fringe benefits in the form of tax breaks. Now, buying that computer you've been ogling for months is actually good for business, it can mean better tax breaks at the end of the year. Get money back for your telephone bill, rent, mortgage, heat, and other overhead expenses. And believe it or not, it’s completely legal. You will also have new tax breaks for travel and other perks. Talk to your accountant to make sure you qualify for, and are taking advantage of the benefits open to you.

The benefits of basing a business from your home are nearly countless. If a traditional office environment is leaving you stagnant, a home business may be just what the doctor ordered.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Getting Home Businesses Off The Ground - Tips

Now that you have made the decision to start a home business, you might think that it is all smooth sailing and that there is nothing you are going to have to worry about as you make your way into the work at home job market.

Sorry to say, that's just not true!

Working from home might be great once you get going, but in order to get to the point where it is going to be worth it, you are going to have to do some grunt work and do a lot of it, before it pays off.

You hear a lot of hype about work at home options that earn thousands in days or weeks. It is hype. Don't fall for it. It's important to know that working from home is like building any other business. It takes time to earn a sustainable income.

Some tips to streamline your business.
1. Decide what you are going to be
2. Determine the right market
3. Identify ways to target that market
4. Set a plan for building your market (including investments, timelines and strategies)

Once you know what it is that you are going to do, you need to begin to be able to market yourself. Whether this means advertising your business or taking care of your portfolio, you need to make sure that people know what you can do and that you can do it well.

Don’t expect to be able to simply start in at a large paying work from home job on the first day.

It might take you awhile to fully get a grasp on what the job market is, what people need, and to begin to make some connections when it comes to your field.

The most important thing that you can do is to make sure that you have a good example of what you can do and that you have it accessible online. Whether this means that you are going to develop a website or build an online portfolio, you need to get that done right away so you can start to apply for jobs or to find customers.

One of the most important thing about finding work at home is to make sure that you have a place where potential clients can look at what you can do and can hire you if they’d like.

However you decide to market your business or your company, you need to get your name out there and to get started.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Time Management: An Illusive But Essential Tool

Working at home to earn some extra income is a blessing for most, but for
some it can become a nightmare in very little time.

It is far too easy when you are working at home, to allow outside influences (dinner, laundry, kids) to infringe upon potential earning time. While you don't have to travel to get to the workplace, it is essential that you schedule structured time for work, rather than working when the mood hits ... trust me, the mood won't hit when you need it to.

Let's face it, if you are not on top of your schedule, and using some of the management tools available to us, you might quite possibly find yourself at the end of the day with precious little to show and huge deadlines looming.

Miss a few deadlines, and the odds are that you will lose that wonderful business opportunity that allows you to earn extra income while working at home.

Time management tools are greatly varied, depending on your needs and habits. It is possible to create a plan that works well for you (but won't work for someone else.) We are all individuals with different habits and needs. For example, I dedicate time in the morning to writing. It is when I am the most creative.

To this end, quite possibly the most important technique that will help you to remain focused while earning the extra income is to set an objective for each day that you have work to do at
home. Define your goal for the, identify which projects need to be completed and how you need to pace yourself to see them through to completion. The easiest way to achieve this is simply by breaking down your project into its varied components, assigning time values to them and then meeting these deadlines one at a time. The small sense of accomplishment you will feel when you achieve one or more of the deadlines will go a long ways to ensuring that you do not suffer from burnout or other frustrations which will take the joy out of earning extra income.

Do not, create a huge list of every to do you have. This will do nothing but make you feel overwhelmed. Instead, identify one or two priorities per day and do nothing else until they are complete. Then move on to the less important items on the list. The next morning, revisit the list and assign a new priority. It is easy to get distracted by emails or phone calls. Don't let them. Focus on the priority then work through the niggling other requests on your time.

One of the most overlooked time management tools for those working earning income is the schedule and calendar. It is not enough to simply block out a period time that you will use to work, but you will need to augment this block with reminders, as well as frequent breaks. No one can keep working to earn extra income when they are burning out. You were likely seeking extra money by working at two jobs, not headaches and frustration with no rewards. Take a few rewards, an afternoon walk, an evening out. Whatever reward fits your circumstance.

Adding frequent breaks also gives you time to you to interact with friends and family who will not mind the extra income you are earning as long as it does not interfere with your ability to also spend time with them. In the long run, this form of scheduling will benefit you as much as it benefits them.

As a final note, working from home or taking on an additional home based business to earn extra money is a great way to set the path towards a more profitable financial future but you need to treat it like a job and a business. Time management is one of the most overlooked aspects of business but it is one you can't ignore.

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Make The Most Of Your Opportunity

The Internet is home of the business opportunity ad. While some are not legit, others have the potential of netting you a pretty penny.

Once you have found such an opportunity, it is important that you make the most of it. That doesn't mean sitting back and complaining that a system doesn't work. But is does mean to be wise about how you pursue this opportunity to help you earn money, and protect you from losing your hard earned cash in the process.

When you are starting out in pursuit of your business opportunity, you will need to juggle your full time job and your extracurricular pursuit. While it might be tempting to throw caution to the wind, quit your job and pursue the opportunity full time, it is extremely unwise to do so.

Let's face it. If the business is legit, it will take some time to build up the revenues to the point where you can replace your income. And, the bill collectors will still expect to be paid while you are building this new business. If you have a family, it is unfair to expect them to suddenly make do without the little extras they have come to appreciate.

Instead, continue to work your regular job while expanding on your business opportunity and spend your spare time working the business. This will prevent you from having to give up after a few unsuccessful months with maxed out credit cards.

Building a business takes time. There are many marketing opportunities out there to help you build the business and if you are seriously building the business, you won't be harassing family, friends and everyone you meet to buy your product. Your family and friends can provide other kinds of support while you are growing your business.

There's a great expression about this industry: you are in business for yourself, not by yourself.

If you have chosen a good opportunity, you will have coaching and mentoring support. Use it. The people who have been in this business longer than you have some good advice on how to build the business. Learn from them, and others around you.

Your business opportunity requires exposure, yet there is more to advertising than paying for a three by five ad in the local rag.

Instead, attend trade shows, hand out flyers, print up business cards (not the free ones that carry another company’s logo on the back) and network with other entrepreneurs.

Use the Internet, there are so many opportunities on the web to legitimately promote your business (and numerous marketing systems to give you a systematic approach to Internet marketing).

Go to where the business world is located and get out the word! This ensures that you will truly make the most of your business opportunity without having to spend money you may not yet have earned on costly advertisements that may not be as effective as you had hoped.

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Where NOT to find work

In the world of working from home, sometimes people choose to take jobs that they find on the Internet. It is hard to open your email these days without being flooded by offers from a wide range of different people and places.

It is also very easy to do an Internet search and come up with several options for places that claim to have work at home jobs. Some of these are perfectly fine and legit, but some of them should be avoided at all costs for many different reasons.

First of all, you should avoid any job board or market that wants you to pay a large amount of money in order to have access to the jobs. This applies for many different situations, but especially for work at home freelance writers. Most of the places that will ask you to pay for your own job listings are probably not places you want to accept work from.

There are many places online where you should be able to search for jobs and to apply for jobs without having to pay for this service.

If you find that you cannot find these types of jobs, you should try to look in a different place or try to broaden your search because there are indeed several places which will post jobs that do not require you to pay to search for them.

Another important tip is to make sure that you are avoiding jobs where the person offering you the work only has a free email account, or doesn’t provide you with any company name. You are going to want to be sure to stay away from these jobs, because the possibility that they will be scammers is quite high.

You want to look for work from reputable companies that provide you with a contract, or at the very least, company information that you can use to track them down if payment is not made for the job you do. The best thing for you to do is to join some job boards or discussion boards and ask questions about which different options are legit, while sharing your experience with others.

After you have been doing online work or working from home, you are going to want to develop a portfolio so that you can showcase your work for others. There are many online sites that will help you with this task.

Being online and having your material readily available for viewing is a huge benefit for you. You can be sure to get many different job offers if you can get yourself some sort of online portfolio so that people can see what you are really all about.

Remember that this is one of the good things about working from home, you can market yourself successfully.

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Where to Find Work

When you are looking for work from home, you have several different options.

That's the good news! It used to be that the only way to work from home was to work it out with your boss so that your work could be done at home and you wouldn’t have to always be in the office.

Today, everything is different. Many employers are making it easier for their employees to work at home and only come in to the office every once in a while. This is a great benefit to many people who have been working for a long time on certain projects or who have been working for a long time at a certain career and want to continue doing what they do well and what they love, but want to, at the same time, be able to do it from home.

However, now you don’t even have to worry about finding an employer who will eventually let you do your work from home. Now there are many ways that you can actually start a business, a career, or even part-time work, straight from your home computer and you can go about getting a job online just the same way you’d get a regular job. All of these jobs that you can find are going to provide you with money and a full time job, but the trick is knowing where to look for them.

There are many places online that offer work from home jobs. BUT, some of these places should be avoided because of obvious reasons.

A good rule of thumb is that you should never have to pay anything to find jobs. If you do decide to subscribe to a service it should be one that only requires a small start up fee or a once a year fee. Don’t pay by the month or pay a lot of money for access to jobs boards, because there are plenty of job boards out there that you can access for free.

Once you have weeded out the jobs "opportunities" that require payment just to apply, you still have several options. There are very few careers out there that don't allow you to work from home. And, your location shouldn't matter either. Technology is making a global marketplace available to you.

Start by doing an online search for your job, and then get looking. You might have to look at several sites before you find some with a good lead.

Remember that you need to market yourself exclusively by email and online sources, so your portfolio online should be very good.

Next: Where not to find work!

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Tips For Finding Work At Home

So you want to work from home. Congratulations. There are some real advantages to working at home.

Now that you have made that decision, you might think that it is all smooth sailing. You might even believe that there is nothing you are going to have to worry about as you make your way into the work at home job market.

I'm sorry to say it's just not true!

Working from home might be great once you get going, but in order to get to the point where it is going to be worth it, you are going to have to do some grunt work and do a lot of it, before it pays off.

Like many things in life, success at a home business takes effort.

The first thing that you need to do is make a clear decision about what exactly you are going to be.
* You need to have a clear idea about what market you are going to go after
* You need to make a decision about how you are going to get that market
* You need to determine the best way to conquer that market

Once you know what it is that you are going to do, you need to begin to be able to market yourself. And thanks to the Internet, there are a myriad of marketing opportunities that will open up new markets for your business. Whether this means advertising your business or taking care of your portfolio, you need to make sure that people know what you can do and that you can do it well.

Don’t expect to be able to simply start in at a large paying work from home job on the first day.

It might take you awhile to fully get a grasp on what the job market is and to begin to make some connections when it comes to your field. The most important thing that you can do is to make sure that you have a good example of what you can do and that you have it accessible online. Whether this means that you are going to develop a website or an online portfolio, you need to get that done right away so you can start to apply for jobs or to find customers.

To recap: The most important thing about finding work at home is to make sure that you have a place where potential clients can look at what you can do and can hire you if they’d like.

After you know what you want to do and have taken steps to begin that process, you need to start to apply for jobs or contracts. To do this, you might visit many different job boards each day and apply for as many of the jobs that you think you can do as possible.

Or, it might mean that you visit job boards and other boards and recruit clients for your business. Whatever it is that you need to do, the important thing is to get your name out there and to get started.

If you decide to build an Internet based marketing business or start a network marketing business from home, much of the above business tips still apply. You need to market your business and you need to get your name out there. It's hard for people to buy from you (albeit services or products) if they can't find you, don't know what you do ... or worse, can't buy your products simply and easily.

There are numerous resources online to help with each of these steps. Take your time and do your research but above all ... stop waiting and get started. You business will only succeed once you actually start doing the work!

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Staying Sane While Starting A Home Business

Starting a new business can be a harried experience.

There are a myriad of decisions to be made. Personal and business budgets get stretched. The new secretary quits before the end of the first week.

At times, you feel the struggles are endless.

When starting a business from your home, you can add a slew of unique challenges to the list. But, being aware of the potential pitfalls, and preparing for them can preserve your sanity.

Challenge # 1

Friends and family members frequently assume that if you are home, you are available. Nothing can set your work back hours, faster than an unplanned visit from your mother.

Solution: Set clear boundaries regarding your schedule and availability for phone calls and visits. This will go a long way in preventing misunderstandings early on in the life of your business.

Challenge #2

If you are choosing to keep your small children home with you while you work, that carefully planned schedule can quickly become fodder for your three year old.

Solution: Get up early is often the best way to increase your productivity while those little angels are still slumbering away.

Challenge 3#

There are always days when work piles up and you need more time than you were projecting.

Solution: Have contingency plans for days when the work load requires more attention than usual is an excellent way to head off disasters before they happen. Find local babysitters who are willing to come to your home to help out when needed. Recruit friends and family to provide occasional entertainment for short periods of time to allow you to work without interruptions.

Remember, when you are working at home, anything that helps you keep focused is a good investment in preserving your sanity.

Challenge #4

You need office support, supplies or other experts but don't know where to look. Business directories, Internet advertisements and even newspaper ads are clogged with scams and incapable providers.

Solution: Finding service providers that are both competent and trustworthy is a lesson in perseverance. Seeking the advice of a seasoned home business veteran can be your salvation. I have always relied on referrals. Word of mouth will reveal strengths and problems with service providers.

If you find that you have chosen poorly and end up with a full sized, ten year old copier in your den instead of that sleek, all-in-one model with all the bells and whistles that you paid for, don’t despair. Don’t back down either. You can explain your dissatisfaction firmly and politely while explaining that the services were not acceptable. If after bringing the blunder to the business’ attention, you are still left feeling cold, you can report the offender to the Better Business Bureau and call for legal advice.

Don't forget the perks!
While there challenges associated with working at home, running a business from your home has a few perks, especially at tax time. Consult with a tax expert or accountant early on will arm you with the knowledge necessary to save you time and money when filing your first year’s business taxes.

Using good old common sense, a little street smarts and a lot of charm and honesty will help your achieve your business goals, while allowing you to keep your sanity and your home life intact.

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Company Perks: Telecommuting

When discussing the many benefits of telecommuting, it is almost always a foregone conclusion that it is the employee who benefits from this new mode of doing business.

The highlighted points usually involve not wasting valuable time being stuck in rush hour traffic, and the fringe benefit of being home when children are coming home from school.

While these facts are undeniably true, some of the benefits that are associated with telecommuting do not just have to do with the employee, but also the employer, including:
* the ability make do with less office space
* put the employee into a mutually ownership position of her or his work, so that customers and clients will receive a greater level of service.

Very often the many benefits available to the company at large are overlooked. While the employer itself may only be one dot on the map for a large company, the overall benefits to a company makes telecommuting a company-wide opportunity for qualified employees cannot be overlooked. When one small satellite office of the company succeeds, it is always a good time to see what works there that might work in other markets as well.

Productivity is almost always the first litmus test that must be met for a satellite office to be considered successful, while fiscal savings rank as a close second.

A company will benefit from telecommuting workers on a number of levels.

1. Employees no longer feel chained to their desks by an eight to five schedule. Sure, a worker may take a longer lunch, stop by the neighbor’s fence to chat for a bit, and perhaps even mow the yard during regular working hours, but on the upside this same worker is much more likely to remain at his or her computer and continue working until a project is finished than will be the worker who still has to fight traffic on the way home.

2. Telecommuting workers are much more likely to pick up the work again after family obligations have been met in the evening than it is likely for the office worker to once again get
into the car and return to the office to complete a certain project.

3. Another savings opportunity presents itself when you consider the reduced employee turnover your company will experience. After all, telecommuting jobs are hard to come by and it is not surprising that these employees will work harder to ensure that the company will be satisfied with their performance to ensure that their position itself is safe.

All in all, telecommuting is truly a win-win situation for the employer, employee, and the parent company.

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Try Telecommuting: Employee Benefits

As an employee you know how much time is wasted each day, often before you even set foot inside the office.

You are stuck in traffic for hours on end. Instead of being on the telephone talking with
customers and clients you are forced to inch at a snail’s pace closer to the exit that will take you to yet another clogged highway.

It is therefore no surprise that so many employees clamor for a chance a telecommuting. If you have what it takes to work diligently and without direct supervision of others, then this mode of work will most likely yield great benefits for you.

While there are many benefits to this form of work, the one stated most often is the ability to spend time with your family.

There are a few other benefits that might not be as obvious, such as the fact while working at home, you are often building stronger ties with customers and clients. These important relationships ensure future growth for the company, which will help you to personally reap greater profits by establishing that one on one relationship so many consumers crave.

Add to this the heightened productivity you will experience as a result of no longer being subject of the traffic congestion that is so frequently found everywhere, and you can see how your personal sales will begin to take off!

Some wagging tongues will attempt to belittle your efforts, and quite possibly even make you feel guilty for taking a coffee break, taking Rover for a quick walk, or simply for doing a load of laundry in between assignments. As long as you are not taking more breaks than working, ignore these slights. Short breaks and a change of scenery are akin to the trip to the kitchen at work to refill your coffee ... and I'll bet those back at the office take breaks here and there as well!

The benefits of taking a break are many: You get away from everything for a bit, exercise, and then return quite often with a fresh perspective and ready to give it even more of an effort.

Interestingly, one of the greatest benefits to telecommuting for the employee is rarely mentioned: the fact that disturbances by other employees are all but eliminated. You know how frustrating it can be when suddenly someone enters your office to chat, or to ask for your help with a task, or simply because they want to discuss an aspect of a project with you. The time it takes for these briefings can be greatly curtailed by telecommuting, thus allowing you to complete your assignments faster and with much greater efficiency. This in turn might allow you a bit of leisure time toward the end of the day that you would not have been able to realize otherwise.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Dial Up Telecommuting: Employer Benefits

In a few previous posts, I've written about telecommuting as a work at home option. If that appealed to you, this next three part series should be of interest to you. While it is based on the employer perspective, consider these benefits when presenting telecommuting to your bosses. If might make the option palatable to them.

What could your employees do if they were not stuck in traffic every single day for two or more hours? I'll bet you are probably stuck in that same workday traffic. There are plenty of executives, data entry personnel, and others who are clogging the roads every single day. But think about it, is physical presence at your company really required?

Sure, you need a data entry clerk, but does she have to sit at a desk every single day to receive her work assignments? Could they not just as easily be delivered by courier or mail? Perhaps you could cut down the amount of time that she spends in the office while giving her the opportunity to work at home.

If your mind is working in that general direction, then you are probably ready to contemplate telecommuting for the people in your office. As an employer, you know that there are numerous benefits for you. While almost everyone thinks about the many advantages this mode of work has for the employee, the other side is rarely considered. Here are some of the most obvious benefits to your operation – and bottom line!

1. Save on space.
Space equals money, and instead of expanding your operation every few years when new personnel needs to be hired on to keep up with the growth of your business, you will be able to continue leasing the same space without making costly renovations to cram more people into the small space.

Having a number of telecommuters working for you enables you to stagger the times when they come in and thus three to five workers can share one work station (A concept that used to be called hoteling)! While the initial cost of setting up several of your qualified employees to telecommute might be off-putting, consider the money you will save in facility related costs, and
you will break even very soon.

2. Software makes connections easy.

With the many software innovations, you will no longer have to attend long and drawn out meetings that take time away from the many tasks you could be performing. Instead, online meetings, conference calls, and group emails will permit you to continue your supervision of the projects that are outstanding while at the same time freeing up time for everyone who would
normally have to travel to meetings and take up time that could be better spent working on a task.

These are but two of the many facets that make up the advantages telecommuting can offer to the employers. Do not make the mistake of dismissing the idea immediately.

Here's another benefit that you might not considered: telecommuting may enhance hiring. With more and more people seeking a work life balance, you can offer them the option of office or home based work and attract better/more qualified people to your company.

You will need to make sure that the person to whom you entrust this kind of work is disciplined enough to handle it, but once you have found them, you will be sure to reap great benefits.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Want To Work At Home: The Possibilities Are Endless

The typical dream image of the person working at home almost always involves
pink fuzzy slippers, an over-sized coffee mug, and a relaxed atmosphere.

While I can admit I've been known to work in my PJs and slippers, it's important to realize that "all that glitters is gold". There are some very serious pitfalls that have to be avoided in order to make working at home a profitable reality for anyone who is willing to give it a try. To this end, there are usually two avenues available to anyone ready to give it a go: self employment and telecommuting.

Before we move ahead, lets explain the differences between the two. First off, telecommuting means you are still employed by a company. You might be working at home but you are technically still an employee and bound by the company rules. As a self employed person, you are running your own business (and responsible for all aspects of the business including invoicing, accounting, managing workload and client relations).

While both of these options will allow you to stay at home in pursuit of profit, they each have their pitfalls. Before you decide to embark on either one of them, make sure that you weight the pros and cons!

For example, while so many late night commercials are filled with smiling
mothers who are seeing their little ones off to school only to return home
at a leisurely pace to sell a product for an international company. It is important in this situation to remember that you are selling a product and you will be required to handle customer concerns, complaints and even compensation if the product doesn't work for them as claimed. Before starting in this kind of a business, understand what the product does, how it does it and most importantly what the return policies are like. When you are starting any business, understand the legal ramifications. When you own your own business, you open yourself to potential law suits if things go wrong. Make sure you consult both an accountant and a lawyer to ensure you and your assets are protected.

While this may make you now consider telecommuting, keep in mind that this field has its pitfalls as well. For example, while your boss in the office will appreciate your hard work and dedication when she or he sees you burning the midnight oil to get a project finished, she or he will most likely not have the same appreciation for your efforts when you do the same thing at
home. Remember there are still bosses out there who believe if they can't see you working long hours, you must be slacking off (even if your results tell a very different tale.) Conversely, if you do manage to achieve the almost impossible deadlines while telecommuting, the odds are good that you will be facing tighter and tighter deadlines. Since you are most likely not an hourly employee, this means that you may end up working 20 hours in one day, and still only get paid what you normally would. As am employee, you earn a salary which does not always translated into profits when you are working long hours.

So, what should you do?

Sit down and find out exactly what it will take to make your work at home dream a profitable reality. Weigh the pros and cons of each option and make sure you have a clearly defined plan for your business or telecommuting solution. Do not too quickly lunge at an opportunity that at second glance is little more than an anchor weighing you down.

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