Effortless New Revenue Streams

by Paula Pollock

There is something I really love about down economies: businesses really start thinking outside the box. I’m not talking about the big, layoff kings. Small and medium businesses start taking risks, looking for new opportunities and asking me, “What else can I do to get new business?” Some business models seem stuck in a cul-du-sac for most. The question I pose my clients is, “What non-competitive businesses want your clients?” This is where we find the FREE MONEY - affiliate programs!

Now, it’s well known that I came up through the ranks of corporate partnership programs. I saw first hand how poorly these mega-programs ran. A very few mega-agents or resellers made all the money and got all the attention. Hell, their executives dictated how the programs were run. It was as corrupt as a Blagojevich PR campaign. But, a smaller affiliate program run by businesses that have integrity could be your cash cow. Is there a service you always wanted to offer, but you don’t have the knowledge? Would products be a great addition to your service offerings? Or, do you have something others wish THEY can offer?

My Challenge or “Homework”: We all network or have preferred professionals we send business to and receive from. What can you offer their clients and how much can you incent them to always send those clients to you? Do they have something your clients would most certainly buy? Are they open to a paid referral program? (No? Send them to me - I’ll nudge them for you.)

Market to Your Potential Sales Staff - Do not ignore the shift in your target audience. When you discuss your program or talk to someone about their’s it’s still what’s in it for them. If you are intending a program of your own, be sure to offer a good incentive and easy access.

Think behind your usual boundaries. Those who do will find immense opportunities that will propel them well into the prosperity that awaits beyond the downturn. And, if you share my target audience - small to medium businesses - check out my Affiliate Program. It’s quite lucrative! http://www.paulapollock.com/Affiliates.html

Paula Pollock is Director of the Pollock Marketing Group: helping business owners attract consistent clients with less effort. To receive her quick-read, weekly marketing tips and her Special Report, “7 Client Attraction Secrets That Will Double Your Income,” sign up at: www.paulapollock.com

Wendy Weiss on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling, is an author, speaker, sales trainer, and sales coach. She is recognized as one of the leading authorities on lead generation, cold calling and new business development and she helps clients speed up their sales cycle, reach more prospects directly and generate more sales revenue. Her clients include Avon Products, ADP, Sprint and thousands of entrepreneurs throughout the country.

Wendy has been featured in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power, Sales & Marketing Management and various other business and sales publications. She is also a featured author in two recently released books, Masters of Sales and Top Dog Sales Secrets.

She is the author of the book, Cold Calling for Women and has also created numerous self-study programs including Cold Calling College, The Miracle Appointment-Setting Script and Getting Past the Palace Guard.

Wendy is also a former ballet dancer who believes that everything she knows in life she learned in ballet class.


How She Does It: Jewelry Artist Dyane Bradley

by Dyane Bradley

I'm a Jewelry Artist and I sell my "Artwear" at High-end Art Festivals. At my June ‘08 Show, however, I realized I needed to make changes in my inventory. I love creating "Art" pieces, but though creating them feeds my soul; they tend to starve my bank account. My inventory was low on "bread and butter" pieces. I’d made several unsuccessful attempts at creating less elaborate Jewelry. Each time I'd sit down to work, my Muse would begin to whisper ideas that weren't consistent with what I wanted to create. It frustrated me that the "visions" for these pieces would vanish as quickly as the appeared. Usually I'd end up putting the supplies away without finishing anything, leaving the table frustrated and discouraged.

On one of those days I decided to go to Borders Books in downtown Long Beach. There was a little stationary store in the area that I wanted to visit. Each time I'd been in the neighborhood it had always been closed, even though it was supposed to have been open for business. This time when I went I was delighted to find it open. I went in, not knowing that the answer I'd been looking for was inside.

As I wandered around, the owner, who is a Wedding & Special event planner, complimented my earrings. When I told her that I'd made them, she asked if I made "Bridal" Jewelry. I replied, "No," but then I added that since I'd been making jewelry for 12 years I could make it. When she saw photos of my Art Jewelry, I could tell that she wasn't sure what “kind” of Jewelry I'd make. So, I told her that I was on my way to Borders Books. While there I would look at a few Bridal magazines, create samples, and make an appointment to share them with her.

It was then that I realized something amazing had stepped into my path! Here was a chance to create jewelry to fill my need for bread and butter pieces and give me something different to focus on.

I showed her the pieces. Once she got her mouth off the floor, she said she would send any clients seeking Handcrafted Bridal Jewelry to me.

Going to that stationary shop was like stepping through the door into a new world. I am very excited to have a new line of jewelry to sell and a new industry to conquer.

Artist Dyane Bradley creates and designs unique handcrafted jewelry. Visit her site www.NandiDesignsJewelry.com/ to learn more about her collection.

Faith Saunders on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Guest Faith Saunders started Keepsakes by Faith, a company that celebrates the craft of Paper Art by designing unique handmade greeting cards, invitations and other specialty items, in March 2007. She has worked in various management positions in both corporate and not–for–profit organizations over the past 20 years.

Her most recent position is director of a project that provides training and technical assistance to service providers in the mental health field. However, she feels that Keepsakes by Faith has been the highlight of her career.

Discover Your Passion, Change Your Career Now

with Annemarie Segaric

What do you want for yourself in this New Year?

Did you set an intention to finally, once and for all, do whatever you could to move into a career that feeds your passion, sparks your interest and allows you to use your talents and strengths... and make more money?

So, how's it going so far?
Look, it's easy to set an intention (or make a resolution) but we all need some help when it comes to taking action and making our goals a reality. That's why I'm thrilled that my friend Annemarie Segaric is offering a short teleseminar series that is guaranteed to kick-start your new year intentions into high gear... and move you into a career you truly love.

It's called: The "Discover Your Passion, Change Your Career Now" Program.

This 4-session teleclass series is designed specifically to give you the information, support and encouragement you need to get off your you-know-what and claim your ideal career... NOW!

And it's a real bargain! Annemarie has generously slashed the price so that anyone who really wants to make a change can take advantage of this opportunity.

Check out the details and sign up today!

In this 4-session teleclass series, you will learn:

  • The secret to taking those first essential steps towards work you love... even if you haven't an extra second to spare during your busy day.

  • How to eliminate the excuses (and energy drains!) that keep you stuck doing work you can barely tolerate and finally move into the career you've always wanted.

  • How to take action and get moving even if you don't have a clue as to what your passion or "dream job" might be.

  • How to comfortably move out of your comfort zone and reach for what you truly want and deserve.

  • The sure-fire steps to knowing your true purpose and motivation... in both your life and your work.

And so much more...
So, if you're ready to know your passion and finally have work you truly love in this new year, jump on over to the registration page and sign up now!

Register today!

To a New Year and a New Career!

A Change in Direction Can Help You Grow Your Business

business woman
by Deborah A. Bailey

Back before I started my business I had a different idea about what it would mean to be a business owner.

All I could think about was having freedom over my own time and my career. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I believed that being a writer could never be a very lucrative career. I also believed that I could never compete with writers who’d been out there for years.

Once I transitioned from my corporate job, I decided to start a virtual assistant business. I did that for a while and got a few clients, but I never felt completely committed to my choice.

About 6 months into it I decided to be honest with myself. I wanted to feel passion about what I was doing, and the one thing that really made me feel that way was writing. So, I changed my website, got new business cards and redefined my business.

Now that I’ve been in business for a couple of years, I’ve decided to make changes yet again. Though my writing business still exists, now I'm a coach and my writing is mostly used to market my services. However, from time to time I am still available to help other business owners polish up their communications.

There’s no rule saying that once you start a business you can never do anything else with it – or that you can never have multiple types of businesses or services. Having your own business gives you the freedom to change when you see new opportunities.

The changes in your business will also reflect the changes going on inside of you. As you evolve and gain confidence you’ll set your sights on new things that you want to do and achieve. It’s important to find that thing that you feel passionate about. Once you feel that excitement, you can take that energy and channel it into growing your business. That energy will also serve you when things aren’t going the way you’d like, or when you have doubts or are around negative people.

Don’t feel as though you have to stick to your first choices. As you discover your strengths and find the things that excite you, you’ll grow beyond what you initially believed you could do.

Positive effects of change in your business can include:

1. Opening up new streams of revenue as you add new products and services.
2. Becoming more of a risk taker and trusting your intuition when you have new ideas.
3. Reaching new customers you never knew existed.

When I decided to add new services to my business, I was afraid that I would have to start all over again. I’d put time into my business and I didn’t want to give up what I’d gained in order to start fresh. Fear of change can keep us stuck even when we want to go in a new direction.

If you have a new idea, or want to create a new website or new marketing materials, go for it. Have a new product idea or new services? Start working on them. You never know where that idea will lead you. Go ahead and start that blog or create that podcast to reach new customers.

As your business changes, don’t be afraid to change your marketing strategies. Making changes in my business has given me a lot of new ideas and has re-ignited my passion. When we look at change as a positive, we can see opportunities for continued growth and reasons to stay excited about our businesses.

Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life .” She's also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly podcast. For more information about Deborah and her books, visit her site: http://dbaileycoach.com.


Kathleen Stockham on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Kathleen Stockham is the Co-Owner and "Rebel Baker" for The Laughing Elephant Southern Bakery just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

After nearly 20 years as a Senior Executive in e-commerce and marketing, Kathleen elected to "Log Off" of corporate life and open a business with her husband. After writing a popular political book on ideology in corporate life in early 2008 she wanted to "put her money where her mouth was" and try doing her own thing. She has held executive roles in e-commerce for some of retail's largest and most powerful brands. She is also widely recognized by the media as well, and has been interviewed and quoted in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, iMedia, Forrester, and the New York Times among others. She was also a regular on the keynote and lecture circuit at numerous industry events each year all over the country.

Prior to all things internet, Kathleen enjoyed a 5-year stint in television in the Southeast where she won 2 Regional Emmy awards for Individual News Excellence in live reporting and writing. Kathleen and her husband are quite active politically and are regular fixtures on various political circuits for candidates and efforts both locally and nationally. Kathleen was recently honored with a lifetime membership into the prestigious U.S. Senate "Inner Circle." Kathleen is also an original National Founding Partner for WIPP (Women Impacting Public Policy) and has been dedicated to helping further the advancement of Women in Business. Kathleen and her husband make their home in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia and are raising their two children.

Networking Tip for the Week!

business woman
by Vicki Elam

Good morning Ladies. Here are 10 simple tips to effective networking!

N- Meet new people and nurture your current network relationships.

E- Have empathy when you meet and work with people, look them in the eyes and know when it is time to exit.

T- Trust is critical. No one will help anyone else unless we have established trust and respect, something that takes time. Also, talk less and listen more.

W- There is work in the word network. Work pays off. Remember to stay in touch by writing notes or emails.

O- Organization is crucial. Everyone you meet is a new opportunity to learn and be a resource.

R- Reputation is also important when networking both online and offline. We want to establish rapport and build on the relationships we develop. Learn to reflect. When I introduce two people, I want to make sure they reflect well on the relationships I have already developed.

K- Knowledge is power only with execution. Kindness, as my father would always tell me, is a true strength.

I- Integrity is everything. Become truly interested in those you meet.

N- Sometimes we have to say “no.” Reputation is everything, along with trust. There are times when we have to go with our gut.

G- Set goals for yourself as you continually network. Be generous with your time and help. It will come back to you in the end.

Have a Fabulous week!

Vicki Elam is a consultant with Scentsy www.Scentsy.com/NonWick and founder of Women in Business Networking. WIB Networking www.WIBNetworking.com is a non-profit business organization catering to women business owners, whose values include business ethics, creativity, respect and caring for each other, in a joyful and supportive environment. WIB is committed to helping women business owners grow both personally and professionally. Our mission is to empower women to achieve financial, business and personal success through support and networking.

Selling Yourself and Your Services: How to Feel Comfortable with Self Promotion Teleclass

with Bonnie Marcus

Selling Yourself and Your Services: How to Feel Comfortable with Self Promotion

What would your business/career look like if you were confident and comfortable promoting yourself?

This interactive teleclass series examines the common stigmas and limiting beliefs professional women have around self-promotion and offers a simple yet effective way to create and deliver an authentic compelling message about yourself and your business.

Four one-hour sessions Tuesday evenings 7-8 pm, starting February 3rd.

Cost: $199 (25% discount if you mention Women Entrepreneurs - The Secrets of Success)

Visit www.womenssuccesscoaching.com to register online.

Bonnie Marcus, M.Ed., C.E.C.
Certified Business Coach and Consultant

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom…”–President Barak Obama

Don't Be Afraid of Competition

by Vanessa Torres

Often times, the first instructions you receive as a budding entrepreneur is to make sure you've done your research on what, if any existing competition is currently in the marketplace.

Right here is where I bet a lot of you get discouraged. Step 1. Finito.

Recognize the competition, but don't be afraid of it

Remember that most ideas are not original. However, that doesn't mean they are any less valuable. If you discover that there are five other companies/individuals doing what you'd like to do, don't automatically shut the lights and go home.

Maybe you have a different spin on something that's already hit the marketplace. Maybe you'll be serving a specific geographic region; or offer a product for much less money than anyone else.

Regardless, don't let the fact that Idea or Product X already exists discourage you from trying to do it your own way. But remember, "your own way" must stand out from the crowd. If this means re-tweaking your original idea, don't be afraid to do that. Don't be stubborn and insist on sticking to your original plans if that's no longer the best way to go.

Flexibility is one of the most important characteristics of successful people and successful ventures. Plans change. People change. Money ebbs and flows. Learn how to roll with the punches or you'll get knocked out in the first round.

If it means waiting a bit until you find what your "hook" will be, don't worry, that will be time well spent. If it means reworking your logo because it looks too much like something that's already out there, then rework it. Put your head down and think. Think about what makes you special. Utilize your natural skills in the way you present, plan and sell your ideas/products. This will automatically make you stand out from anyone else out there. For better or worse, you're the only you. Use that to your advantage.

Examine and Analyze

Figure out the difference between competition that's not really relevant and businesses that are. Some projects are on such a smaller or larger scale than you are planning for that it's completely irrelevant right now. Acknowledge and move on. However, if you come across something that seems not only like a similar idea, but one created in a similar spirit, pay attention. Instead of thinking competitor, think companion.

How might you two work together? Is there a way for you to complement each other, share resources or otherwise serve each other? I've had great (and surprising!) success by reaching out to people who might have been perceived as my direct competition. However, I chose to look at their presence in a different way; instead of trying to beat them, I tried to join them.

It's been a remarkable way to expand my network, and double my resources, with almost immediate results. Many of the relationships I've forged were not at all a part of my original plan, but I was open to the fluidity of my project. My passion was great enough that I believed that there was room for all of us. I now have several projects in the pipeline that I never anticipated, but are available to me because I saw competition as an opportunity, rather than an obstacle.

Don't Get Bogged Down in Minutiae

Okay, I'm revisiting the concept I introduced earlier about rethinking your original business plan or reworking a logo. That concept is "don't get bogged down in minutia." It's important to draw a line between reworking and obsessing. Who cares if your website is a little "too red?" Can you read it? Is the content good? Does it clearly express your mission? If so, make it live and move on. You may find that in 6 months you need a whole redesign anyway, so don't obsess over it now.

Don't stay up nights wondering if you should have put your name in all caps. Whatever. Don't worry what your grandma will think. Chances are whatever you are doing will not be appreciated by your grandma. That's OK, she still loves you anyway.

Don't rehearse your pitch too much. Make sure you know what you're about because it's who you are through and through, not because you're a good memorizer. Then put on a great outfit and leave out all the fluffy adjectives. People will remember you.

Vanessa Torres is the founder and president of www.ThatHappenedtoMe.com

New Year….New Career For You!

Sydni Craig-Hart, one of our partners and a guest today on the show is offering a 2-session teleseminar series that will give you all the information, evaluation tools and step-by-step start-up strategies you must have before you take action and leap into the Virtual Assistance industry.

There’s nothing like a New Year to inspire you to take action
and make a change!

Like going for a new job… or even a new career. One that allows you to do what you love while giving you lots of personal freedom, professional satisfaction…and lots of money, too!

So… if you’ve been thinking about finally breaking free of your 9 to 5 job to launch your own successful Virtual Assistance business, this New Year is the perfect time to go for it!

BUT… you don’t want to leap before you know you can succeed. Right? You want to:

1. Fully evaluate whether the world of Virtual Assistance is right for YOU.

2. Know what to expect (and be prepared!) as you begin your new career.

3. Have a step-by-step plan that allows you to start strong and succeed.

Well, you’re in luck, Sydni Craig-Hart, one of our partners offering a 2-session teleseminar series that will give you all the information, evaluation tools and step-by-step start-up strategies you must have before you take action and leap into the Virtual Assistance industry.

Check it out now!

This teleseminar series is called “GET A STRONG START AND SUCCEED! What You MUST KNOW Before Starting Your Own Virtual Assistance Business.”

Sydni is an expert Virtual Assistant who started her business after an outstanding career in corporate America. She now runs a highly successful, international Virtual Assistance firm and has more than tripled the salary she made at her last job. And now, by means of EAtoVA.com, she shares her secrets, tips and strategies with Administrative Professionals JUST like you, so that you can escape the corporate rat race too!

Sydni has guaranteed that by the end of this information-packed teleseminar series, you will know:

  • If Virtual Assistance the right path for you.

  • A step-by-step checklist of what you must have in place before you quit your job.

  • What skills and technical smarts you need to compete in the Virtual Assistance market… and where to get additional training now!

  • How to make the transition from your corporate job to self-employment smoothly and securely without compromising your lifestyle… or bank account!

  • What your start-up costs will be and where to get financial assistance.

  • How to cover all your bases and avoid any unpleasant surprises or hidden costs.

And so much more! Check it out and sign up now!

If you’re ready to know whether Virtual Assistance is right for you, OR if you’ve already decided to go for it but want to know what it take to make a strong start, then the “Get A Strong Start And Succeed” teleseminar series is perfect for you.

But space is limited, so act quickly. Register today!

Wishing you success!

Sydni Craig-Hart on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

About Sydni Craig-Hart, Your Virtual Assistant Mentor

Sydni Craig-Hart liberates Executive Assistants from the corporate world by showing them how to become savvy, self-employed Virtual Assistants. Her company, EAtoVA.com gives Executive Assistants the support, tools and information they need to successfully transition into a profitable career in Virtual Assistance.

She is also the co-founder of Craig Hart Consulting, LLC, a full-service marketing coaching, consulting and implementation firm that specializes in helping entrepreneurs boost their revenue, maximize their Internet presence and run productive, efficient businesses. Because of her extraordinary work as the founder of EAtoVA.com and co-founder of Craig Hart Consulting, she was nominated for the AssistU Virtual Assistant of the Year award in 2008.

For Sydni’s FREE special report, “The Liberated Executive Assistant: How to Break Free From the Corporate Grind and Become Your Own Boss,” and FREE subscription to her bi-weekly newsletter, “EA to VA Insights,” and FREE "Get Ideal Clients Now!" Quick Start Pack visit www.EAtoVA.com. You’ll find out everything you need to know about the Virtual Assistance industry, what steps you need to take to get started and run your own successful Virtual Assistance business.

Sydni enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, wine-tasting, and anything spa related. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, she currently lives in Emeryville, CA with her amazing husband and business partner, Wil Hart.

Quote of the Day

"Hope is like a road in the country. There was no road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." -Lin Yutang

Former CNN Anchor, Daryn Kagan on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Don't miss Monday, January 19th at 12pm EST when we welcome Daryn Kagan to our show. Daryn is an inspiration, successfully transitioning from lead news anchor to entrepreneur!

Daryn's Biography

Daryn was a sports and news anchor with CNN from 1994-2006. She was one of a few women on the national stage covering sports on television, reporting live from events from 1994-1997 that included the Super Bowl, the NBA playoffs, and international figure skating from Russia. At the end of 1997, Daryn became one of CNN's main news anchors, serving as the mid-morning anchor for almost a decade.

In this capacity, she traveled the world to report on the stories that have shaped our world today, including war zones in the Middle East, across Africa with U2's Bono, Washington during the DC sniper attacks, and from numerous Academy Awards red carpet events in Los Angeles. Daryn was also the main news anchor on the air live the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and she brought that news of terrorist attacks against the U.S. to millions around the world.

In January 2006, Daryn was faced with what hundreds of thousands of Americans face today -- unemployment. After 12 years with CNN, the network decided not to renew Daryn's contract, which was to end on December 31, 2006. Daryn was also told that she would remain on the air each day until her bosses decided otherwise. For nine months Daryn showed up each day not knowing if that day would be her last on the air.

But Daryn was grateful because CNN had given her a gift -- time. As she thought about her 20+ year career in TV news, Daryn started the process of deciding what she was going to do next by first deciding what she wasn't going to do -- continue her career as a national news anchor. It would have been easy for her to go another network, or to one of the morning shows, but Daryn had a dream of creating a media company to covering the types of stories she enjoyed most during her career in TV news -- hopeful news stories that inspire. Daryn took a leap of faith and launched what has become the award-winning DarynKagan.com as the base of her company a mere six weeks after leaving CNN on October 1, 2006.

The interest in DarynKagan.com was immediate, and beyond the hundreds of thousands of users the site had attracted, it gave Daryn the opportunity to quickly extend her brand of inspiring news stories to new platforms. She was soon back on television with her first TV documentary, Breaking the Curse, which ran on PBS in June 2007; the film she was honored with this year's Gracie Award for Outstanding Documentary. In April 2008, Meredith Books released Daryn's first book, What's Possible! 50 True Stories of People Who Dared To Dream They Could Make a Difference, which is the first in a series of books that shares stories of everyday people who overcame obstacles (financial, health, etc.) to achieve their dreams.

The first chapter of the book is Daryn's own story, a life of TV news, and her career reinvention that led to the creation of her brand if inspiring news and media company. Daryn has been on an extensive book signing/speaking tour for the past six months, sharing stories from her book, her own story of career reinvention, as well as inspiring people around the country to find their own "What's Possible" dreams in their professional lives, which has resonated with many during these difficult economic times. Daryn's next documentary, Solar Town USA, a TV film about Americas first solar village, is set to air on PBS beginning in January 2009.

Characteristics of Women Business Owners

Women business owners are prepared to face risk: most (66%) are willing to take above average or substantial risks for business investments.

Women and men business owners have different management styles. Women emphasize relationship building as well as fact gathering and are more likely to consult with experts, employees, and fellow business owners.

Women owners of firms with $1 million or more in revenue are more likely to belong to formal business organizations, associations or networks than other women business owners (81% vs. 61%).

From the Center for Women's Business Research.

Beyond Billable Hours

business woman
by C.J. Hayden, MCC

In any professional services business, you typically begin by serving clients one-to-one. As you improve your skills at marketing yourself and begin filling your practice, eventually you discover there are only so many hours in the day. You want to keep growing your business, but you have no more time available for additional clients. What can you do?

You can raise your rates, although there is an upper limit to what you can realistically charge. You can offer your services to multiple people at once through workshops and group programs.

But these ideas are still based on the billable hours model. You must keep providing service in order for the money to keep coming. An entirely different direction to look is toward generating passive revenue.

Including elements of passive revenue in your business does more for you than just increase your income. It also allows you to make more of an impact on your profession and community. When you are locked into a cycle of constantly acquiring and serving clients, it's difficult to find the time to think creatively, experiment, and build a bigger vision. But when you are earning money you don't have to work for directly, you have more capacity to expand -- on all levels.

Passive revenue models give you the ability to impact more people with your ideas, world view, and way of doing things, because they expand your influence beyond what you could ever do by yourself. A product or service you create that doesn't require your constant presence to deliver it extends your reach in the world.

This extended reach has a substantial effect on your visibility and credibility as a professional. When your product or service becomes widely available, people begin to hear of you before they ever interact with you personally. Your products not only earn you income, they also market you. By the time a prospective client speaks with you, they may have already decided to hire you based on their experience with your product, or simply your reputation.

Sounds pretty appealing, doesn't it? Here are thirteen ideas for how to start generating passive revenue today.

1. Affiliate programs and referral fees. 

This is one of the easiest revenue streams to create, because you don't need to create anything of your own. If there are products and services offered by others that you would recommend anyway, why not earn a commission on your referrals by signing up for the company's affiliate program? If they don't have one, ask. Many companies with no formal affiliate programs will make a referral fee arrangement if you ask them.

2. Sell other people's products. 

If you speak, give workshops, or have a web site, you have opportunities to sell products in the course of what you are already doing. Offer your clients and web visitors books, audios, or software that enhance your work. Selling products will compensate you for free speaking engagements and can double your income at paid workshops. If you sell products on the web and don't want the bother of shipping, offer only e-products or arrange for drop-shipping directly from the publisher.

3. Sell other people's services. 

If the service you offer is in high demand, consider hiring other professionals to work for you as subcontractors. You bring in the business; they do the work; you earn a percentage of their fee. Or, if there is a service complimentary to your own that your clients often buy from someone else, consider offering that service as part of your own service package, then subcontract the work.

4. E-books. 

Offering an e-book for sale on your web site is an excellent way to earn income from visitors who may never become clients. You may find it easier than you think to write down some of what you know in a way that will be helpful to your target market. Even if you're not a writer, you can still put together a valuable product this way. Consider compiling a resource guide, collection of quotes, or digest of material contributed by other experts in your field.

5. Audio downloads. 

Creating recordings to make available on the web is quick and easy. You can hold a teleclass or workshop on a topic you know well and make a recording at the same time. Convert your recording to MP3, upload it to your website, and charge a fee for people to listen to it.

6. E-mail and web-based courses. 

Any material you might include in a workshop, e-book, or audio can become an e-course or web course by breaking it into multiple lessons. For an e-course, write a series of lessons as e-mails, and use an autoresponder to send them out automatically. For a web course, combine written material and audio into a syllabus posted on the web or sent as an e-book. You may not have to create any new material to do this, just package what you already have in a different way.

7. Audio and CD's.  

You don't have to use a script, sound studio, and professional editing to produce an audio for sale. You could do all that and create a highly polished product, but it's also possible to record a live teleclass, in-person presentation, or even an interview with someone else, and sell your unedited recording as a tape or CD.

8. Booklets and workbooks. 

If you speak in public or work with clients in person, the same information you might put in an e-book can be used for a printed booklet or workbook. Checklists, templates, or worksheets you are already using with clients are excellent candidates for workbook material. You can produce a simple spiral-bound workbook at any quick printer for around $5 and sell it for $10-15 or more, depending on the content.

9. Membership network or web site. 

If you find yourself naturally connecting people and helping them find resources, you can turn this into a paying proposition. You can start a membership organization that meets in person, or a virtual group that communicates by telemeetings and on the web. A project like this can take quite a bit of time and effort to launch, but can also result in a substantial ongoing income stream.

10. Full-length book. 

Writing a book may seem like a daunting project, but a book can evolve by writing articles or creating any of the products above, and over time putting all that material together in one volume.

11. Software. 

Is there a process you use with clients that they could perform themselves if it were automated? Your process could become a unique piece of software. Like a membership site or book, creating it will take time and money, but could lead to significant profits.

12. Licensing programs. 

If you have a book, workshop, or unique system, you may be able to create a program to license others in the use of your material. Depending on the complexity of your process, licensing can be as simple as writing a manual and conducting a brief training class, or could become an entire enterprise in its own right, involving training, supervision, and ongoing support. Your licensees can also become your subcontractors as described above.

13. Mentoring programs. 

Potential mentees may be the same people that would be your clients, or they may be colleagues who would like to learn from your experience. Mentoring can take place in live groups meeting by phone or in person, by email, and also by incorporating any of the products mentioned above into a full-service package that includes personal contact with you. By having products to offer, you can increase the price you charge for your program beyond what your mentees would pay for just your time.

Pick just one of these ideas and get started today, even if you don't yet have a full practice. The sooner you begin generating passive revenue, the sooner you will have more time available to spend however you want -- on your business or not.

Copyright © 2003, C.J. Hayden

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income.  www.getclientsnow.com.

Publishing House Changes And What You Must Do Now

business typewriter
by Sophfronia Scott

Just in case you missed it, one of the major New York City publishing houses last week announced a massive reorganization. Random House totally dismantled its Doubleday and Bantam divisions and reassigned the publishers who ran them.

CEO Markus Dohle noted in a company-wide memo, "Because of the current economic crisis, our industry is facing some of the most difficult times in publishing history." Too true. It was tricky to be signed by a publishing house even in the best of times. Now it will only get harder.

Does that mean you should give up your dream of a major house purchasing your book? No. But it does mean that now more than ever you must do the work to build a powerful author's platform that will help sell your book. Remember, when a publisher wants to buy they're not just buying your book or your idea, they're buying you and the many ways you reach people.

Some new authors focus solely on writing their books, thinking they can work on their platform after the book is published. Unfortunately, the business doesn't work that way. You can't wait to sell your book to build a platform, because the platform is what helps sell your book. So get started now, even if you're still in the writing stage. Now is a great time to sit down and plan your strategy for next year. These tips will get you going.

Decide On a Target Market

It's tempting to skip this step, especially if you feel your book or story speaks to everyone. That may be, but it's awfully difficult-and expensive-to market to everyone. It doesn't mean you're shutting out potential customers, it just means you're focusing your laser to greatest effect. So if you survived two back surgeries and your story is about dealing with chronic pain, you may target people with back injuries, but that doesn't mean other sufferers of chronic pain (people with arthritis, for instance) will miss out on your message.

How Will You Talk to Your Market?

Thanks to the internet you have many free and low cost ways to communicate with your audience. Why is this important? Because this is how you establish yourself as an expert in your subject area. For instance, you may consider yourself an expert in back pain if you've developed ways to cope after having two surgeries. But you're a more visible expert, with loads more credibility if you have a television show, newsletter or radio show where you discuss ways of dealing with chronic pain.

And here's the best part-your show doesn't have to be on one of the big networks or even on cable. You can post your own show on the web! Likewise you can have your own radio show or podcast on the web. And blogs get tons of attention as well. This is especially important if you're not known in your field.

Send Out Press Releases

Don't keep it a secret. Let the media know you're an expert available to comment on relevant news stories. You don't want to send releases out without reason, though. For instance, if you're writing a book about integrity in politics, you could be sending out press releases commenting on the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Or if you're writing a book on team building you could send out press releases connecting your book to the quick work of President-Elect Barack Obama's transition team. Reporters love it when you can give them a fresh angle on a story they're already covering.

And when you write your query letter or book proposal to sell your book, you get to say that you're "a political expert quoted in magazines and newspapers". These days you can send a press release out via email or use free distribution sites such as http://www.prfree.com, http://www.free-press-release.com or http://www.i-newswire.com/submit.php.

Speak Your Mind

Speaking is a great way to get people familiar with you. If you fear speaking think of it this way-pretend you are already on book tour and this is just another forum where you get to talk about your subject! You can start out speaking locally and doing it for free. If you're writing a memoir on your experiences in World War II, there may be high school history classes interested in hearing your story.

Or, if you've learned how to cope with chronic pain, you could address support groups who deal with the same struggles. Speaking is also a great opportunity for adding people to your list so that you can let them know when your book comes out. Your list will always be an important marketing tool.

You don't have to have an elaborate PowerPoint presentation or music or flashing lights to be a speaker. Just choose one or two aspects of your story or subject (you don't want to give away your whole book!) and start presenting them. Groups such as local Rotary clubs are always looking for speakers. If you feel you need to polish your skills, join a Toastmasters group. Bottom line, if you have a compelling story, some group large or small will want to hear it.

Publish Articles

You don't have to send a bunch of letters out to editors trying to get an assignment to write an article. You can write a meaty, content-filled article and distribute it on the web. This is another way to establish your expertise. As with the press releases, there are many sites where you can make your articles (usually 800-1,000 words in length) available for use in other websites, newsletters and blogs. It's an excellent way to get your name in front of new audience members.

Will You Pass the Test?

How does this all sound to you? If you're excited by these ideas and see them as opportunities to talk and write more about something you're deeply interested in, that's fantastic. It means you're on the right track-you've chosen a topic or story you're passionate about. If you aren't interested or motivated enough to want to speak and write articles or press releases connected to your topic, you may want to reconsider your book.

After all, this is the kind of stuff you'll have to do at some point to sell your book. If you don't want to do it now, how will you sell your book later? Even more to the point, if you're not willing or interested enough to put this kind of activity behind your book, why should a publisher be interested in working with you? You build your platform, you build your book's future. So give it your best shot. If you feel you need help brainstorming ideas or developing your plan, hire a coach or consultant to support you. Often it's easier to move forward when you can better see the road ahead.

© 2008 Sophfronia Scott

Sophfronia Scott is an author of fiction and non-fiction books. https://sophfronia.com/.

The Truth About Why You Are Still Stuck in Your Career

business woman
by Annemarie Segaric

I know how frustrating it is to be in a job you don't like but yet not sure what you would like to be doing. It's not fun being stuck, feeling almost trapped in a career, whether it be because of money, lack of information, fear, or anything else.

Believe me, I get it. I've been there.

It took me many years of going through my own transition and helping hundreds of others go through theirs to realize that we've all been working from an old set of rules.

Are you thinking that you need to have it all figured out--what career you want, what you want your life to be like, have all of your debts paid off, know how you're going to make the transition--before you go ahead and make a move?

Well, you can't so it's time to update your rulebook.

You can't possibly have it all figured out ahead of time. When you are making a transition you truly are figuring out the next step to take as you are taking it. You are not supposed to have it all planned out before you take action. You are supposed to take action based on what you know right now in order to just move incrementally ahead. The secret though is this: as you take action that is based on what you do know you want right now, you create this incredible momentum that leads to bigger steps and bigger results.

You have to stop worrying about how things might or might not play out in your career down the road and instead work from the present.

What do you know for sure right now?

Maybe it's that you have an interest in owning your own bakery and your cousin's friend opened up a bakery a year ago. Your action would be to go and talk with her. You don't have to know what's coming next. You'll figure out what to do next after you take the obvious step in front of you.

Or maybe you'd like to give up your corporate job and become a teacher but are concerned about how the change in your salary would impact your family. Your action would be to go and speak with your family about it. That's it! Explain your desire. Explain your concern. Come up with the next step to take based on the outcome of that initial conversation.

You (and I) are not creative enough to know all that's possible for us. So do yourself a favor and go take the next best step FOR YOU. Stop worrying about how it will all work out and start moving ahead even if you don't have all of the answers...you're not supposed to. Baby steps are your key to getting unstuck. Start moving!

Annemarie Segaric is a nationally respected career change coach, motivational speaker, and the author of Step into the Right Career: 107 Tips to Change Your Life While Still Paying the Bills.

Elena Camp on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Elena Camp, Energy Guide & Law of Attraction Trainer discusses how to attract clients and abundance for your business. Elena teaches practical tools and processes to help her clients leverage spiritual laws and principles to create joyful, abundant lives. Her company, Pure Vibrations, LLC provides personal and spiritual development services and products.

Get Organized for Success in the New Year

by Alaia Williams

business woman writing

Personally, I do not make New Year’s resolutions. There’s nothing wrong with making resolutions. They make people feel warm and fuzzy.

It’s nice to feel warm and fuzzy sometimes. The problem with resolutions is that most people drop them by the end of the month - some people simply state the resolution and never even really try. Do you know many people join gyms in January? A lot!

If you want to get organized this year, whether it is for your home, office, car, purse, or brain, I have a challenge for you. Write down the resolutions.

Post them up somewhere prominent. Put them in your planner. Tell your friends and family. But don’t just stop with stating the resolution - turn it into a goal and turn that goal into your reality. Set manageable deadlines and milestones.

If you want to “get organized in ’09,? stop being so broad. What do you want to organize? Even if you feel like you want to organize “everything.” list what everything means to you - your home, your office, your paperwork, children’s rooms, the garage, the basement, family photos. List out what you want to do so you have a better picture of what is ahead of you.

You can NOT do everything at once - even if you have nothing else to do with your time. So break down the work. What is your goal for January? The office? Okay, great. So maybe at the top of your January calendar page you write “Goal: Organize my office.” The next thing you should do is decide what you can do each week to get you closer to that goal. For example:

Week 1: Filing all papers so that all last year's stuff is out of the way and I have fresh files for the new year
Week 2: Organizing all office supplies and making sure I purchase the appropriate ones so I have everything I need.
Week 3: Getting everything out of the office that does not belong in the office
Week 4: Rearrange the furniture, have a cleaning crew come through, creating a marketing plan for 2008, etc.

While “organize everything” and “organize my office” are broad, these narrowed down sub-goals are practical, achievable goals. Of course, you can break it down further. For week one, a daily goal could be to spend 15, 30, or 60 minutes a day filing (based on how much paper you have!).

Or perhaps your goal is to schedule someone to come in during week one and do the filing for you. Perhaps you’ll hire a Professional Organizer. Maybe during week 4 you will meet with a feng shui expert, a cleaning crew, an interior designer, and a marketing consultant who can have you create a system for marketing your business.

This same formula can work for every area you want to organize. Just scale it appropriately. Maybe you spend a week cleaning out your car and set daily goals: toss all trash, buy a receipt organizer, buy small baskets for the car and talk to the kids about only having as much stuff in the car as will fit in the basket. When everyone gets out of the car, they put all of their stuff into their container. Purchase a mobile organizer that holds notebooks, pens, calculators, etc.

If you want to achieve your goals, whatever they might be, you have to do more than simply stating them. Take action. Start now while the calendar is fresh and there is optimism in the air. If you start planning now and work toward your goals, you will achieve great success this year.

Alaia Williams is a Professional Organizer who loves helping people create spaces they can feel good about. You can find out more about Alaia at her website and get more organizing tips at the One Organized Life Blog.

Staying Motivated

business woman working on laptop
by Vanessa Torres

Being new to the world of entrepreneur-ship, I find that one of the challenges is staying motivated after a series of "so-called" rejections.

Part of the responsibility of running your own business is to be your own greatest cheerleader, staying positive when your outreach is met with anything less than enthusiasm.

Whenever I find it hard to cultivate fresh ideas, I remember what is was like to work for someone who was constantly rejecting or minimizing those ideas.

Now, every opportunity is mine to grab, and whether or not it succeeds or fails falls solely on my shoulders. I can pitch myself and my friends, get feedback, mull, rework, and regroup all on my own timeline.

Not always rushing to meet a deadline offers the time to cultivate better strategies. I don't have to watch a good idea die slowly on the vine because of incompetence at a higher level, or politics among my peers.

My strengths shine brighter when there is no interference from others who don't share my goals, or priorities. The success is sweeter when you know it was your sweat that built it. The rewards mean more when the work was all yours to do. Most importantly, despite what a corporation might tell you, you are never finished climbing higher, reaching out, achieving more. Or rather, you don't have to be. :-)

Vanessa Torres, President, www.ThatHappenedtoMe.com

Bonnie Marcus on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Bonnie Marcus, founder and principal of Women’s Success Coaching, is Certified Empowerment Coach with over 25 years of sales and management experience.

Her extensive business background includes VP of Sales at several national companies and CEO of a national healthcare company. Bonnie has worked in start up companies as well as Fortune 500 and has also worked independently as a sales trainer and management coach.

Her passion is to help women in business achieve success through effective self-promotion and believes that whether you are looking to advance your career, build your business or increase your sales – confidence and belief in yourself is essential; feeling comfortable with promoting yourself is the key.

She specializes in assisting professional women with little or no sales experience to sell themselves and their services. Bonnie is well known for her innovative workshops and motivational speaking. Women’s Success Coaching, www.womenssuccesscoaching.com, offers individual and group coaching, workshops and teleclasses.

"How to Do a Simple SPLIT TEST and Improve Your Marketing, Guaranteed"

business woman on laptop
by Ali Brown

One great thing about marketing on the Internet is it's all very trackable, if you do it right. That means you can easily and quickly figure out what works BEST for your business.

How would you like to know which headlines better get people's attention? Or what price point is more appealing to your target market?

The good news is it's very EASY to find out, with something called a SPLIT TEST.

In the past, setting up a split test practically required an advanced programming degree. But now, all you need to do a split test is a website, something to sell, and a good shopping cart system that will do the test for you. (I use, swear by, and recommend QueenCart.com.)

Here's what to do:

1. Create the web sales page for your product. Make sure it's FINAL and everything is in place.

2. Create a duplicate sales page, but give it a different URL. For example, your first sales page could be mywebsite.com/salespageA.htm and your second sales page could be mywebsite.com/salespageB.htm. This is more for YOU to easily keep track and tell the difference between the two pages.

3. Change ONE variable on sales page B. The important thing here is to only change ONE thing.

A few things you can test:
* a different headline
* a different price
* a different photo
* a different bonus

4. Set up your split test. The fastest and easiest way to do this is using the "Ad Tracker" feature in QueenCart.com. It takes less than 5 minutes to set up!

All you need to do is enter both URLs. The system will then give you a tracking link. You'll use THIS link in your emails you send to your list. When your readers click on the link, the system will automatically alternate each visitor, sending visitor 1 to page A, visitor 2 to page B, visitor 3 to page A, visitor 4 to page B, and so on. And if a person returns to the link, she will be directed to the same page she saw. (Neat, yes?)

5. Interpret your results.

When you log into QueenCart.com to view your test results, it will not only tell you how many sales came from each page, but the percentage difference in sales.

The information you can learn from a simple split test can be INVALUABLE to growing your business! For example, I instructed one of my clients to test her new program at two price points: $87 and $97. She made 20 sales at $87 but NONE at $97. That means that $87 is a price ceiling for that group on this particular topic. (If she had made equal sales at both price points, I would have instructed her to make it $97 from now on, and to keep raising the price via testing until it hits a ceiling.)

Another example: One test I did during a product launch revealed that a simple change in the *design* of the sales page resulted in 25% more sales! So you can be sure I used that design going forward.

You don't have to use split testing only for sales. Wouldn't it be great to know which pages on your website get more opt-ins? QueenCart.com can also tell you how many people opt-in for your ezine while they're there.

See how fun and interesting this can be? : ) Using simple tests like this GUARANTEES that you are ALWAYS improving your results.

Now, every time I release ANY new product or program, I always use it as an opportunity to continually improve my marketing. And you should too! (QueenCart.com even has a 30-day trial for you to test this out.)

© 2009 Alexandria Brown International Inc.

Online entrepreneur Alexandria K. Brown publishes the award-winning 'Highlights on Marketing & Success' weekly ezine with 36,000+ subscribers. If you're ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at www.AlexandriaBrown.com

Annemarie Segaric on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Join me as I interview career & life coach and motivational speaker, Annemarie Segaric as she discusses her new book, "Step Into the Right Career."

Annemarie Segaric is a nationally respected career and life coach, author of Step into the Right Career, and founder of The Career Changer Company, based in New York. Annemarie has worked with hundreds of career changers and advises employed professionals, as well as those who have been laid off, or those who have stepped out to take care of family and want to reenter the workforce.

A nationally recognized career expert, Segaric is often sought out by media and organizations to speak on the subject of career change in today’s economy. Her professional experience includes banking, consulting, telecommunications, media and entertainment.

As part of her coaching practice, Segaric offers a popular career changer blog, regular workshops (including courses at the renowned 92nd St Y in New York City) and keynote talks. More information can be found at www.theCareerChanger.com and www.StepIntotheRightCareer.com. Annemarie lives in Pelham, NY with her husband and two children.



Book Review - Secrets of Success - The Science and Spirit of Real Prosperity

"Secrets of Success - The Science and Spirit of Real Prosperity

This book picks up where "What the Bleep Do We Know?" and "The Secret" left off. Authors Sandra Anne Taylor and Sharon A. Klinger address how the law of attraction influences our lives.

Starting off with a forward by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D. (who appeared in the movie, "What the Bleep...") the book explores various topics including chakras, emotional energy, intuition and spirit-accelerated success. Prosperity is a state of mind and not just something achieved by hard work. In fact, once you have learned these principles, you may find yourself working a lot less and enjoying your business a lot more.

If you are interested in discovering these concepts in a detailed, yet easy to read format, you'll find this book extremely helpful and motivational.


The Feminine Approach to Branding

woman business owner standing next to a deskby Tasha Bovain

From Manolo Blahniks to Jimmy Choos, it’s the packaging of these brands that seduce us into spending $400 on a pair of shoes we’ll only wear once.

Establishing a personal identity that reflects your unique personality and values is the key to getting noticed and standing out from the crowd.

For example, Oprah Winfrey has built an entire empire based on her core values. Her passion for helping others, generosity and soulfulness is reflected in everything she does – her talk show, her magazine, and her satellite radio show.

You can create that same personal success for yourself by focusing on your unique qualities, how you want to be perceived, who you want to reach, and by packaging yourself accordingly.

Be you. While it may be tempting to follow the masses when you’re first starting your business, market according to your personality. Not only will it make the process of marketing more fun, but it will also make your marketing campaign more effective as more customers will resonate with your product or service and you as an individual. But in order to do this, you must first know who you are and what you stand for.

What are your talents? What causes are closest to your heart? What is your life mission? What are your values and passions? If you’re having trouble during this process, dig through some old magazines and make a collage of pictures that inspire you most.

Make good use of your words. Can you communicate your value to customers in twenty words or less? Instead of simply stating you’re a lawyer, a life coach, or a writer, focus on what unique benefit you provide to your customers. In my own business as a writer and marketing consultant, I focus on the fact that I help small businesses humanize their brand and effectively communicate their value proposition so that they can attract more customers.

Bragging rights. Oftentimes, we as women have a hard time promoting themselves. While we have no problem bragging on our best friend or sister, we choke up when it comes to tooting our own horn. Find a way to make self-promotion work for you. As we are all about giving to others, instead of approaching marketing from the traditional “what’s in it for me” standpoint, focus on what you have to give and how you create more value for your clients. You’re only doing your customers a disservice by keeping your talents hidden and by not getting your product or service out there.

About the author: Tasha Bovain is a writer and editor, specializing in creating values-led communications for small businesses and non-profit organizations. With a passion for business, marketing know-how and creative writing skills, she writes copy for clients ranging from event planning companies, to holistic wellness enterprises, to retail establishments. She thrives on supporting passionate organizations and professionals in pursuit of their dreams -- from the social entrepreneur to the local artist serving their community. Committed to "do-gooding," she has worked and volunteered with a host of non-profit organizations including: New York Women in Film and Television, P.S.1 Museum of Contemporary Art, Capital District Community Gardens, and the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. www.TashaBovain.com

Photo credit: CreateHer Stock

Law of Attraction Tips for the New Year

by Elena Camp

Happy New Years Ladies,

I trust that you all have had great holidays filled with good food, good friends and good times ! I wanted to share some of the Law Of Attraction tips that work for me. These may help you create the year you want with ease !

1. Remember to get "unstuck" or more focused - gain clarity on your purpose, intent and motivation for your business.

2. Imagine that it is January 2, 2010, what does your life look like now that you lived 2009 deliberately and intentionally. How is it different ?

3. Scripting always helps me. Pretend your the scriptwriter for your life- write it out as if you are writing the script and you are the lead character. Writing speeds up the manifestation process.

4. When you are feeling doubtful or fearful, ask yourself " Why can things work out the way I want them ? " Answer this question on paper, shift your energy from fear to hope quickly and the LOA will bring you lots of reasons why it can work

5. Keep your success timeline posted in your office or somewhere you will see it daily and remember to update it often.

I am wishing you all much success, love and peace for '09 !

in love and light,


Energy Guide Elena Camp on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Guest Elena Camp, Energy Guide and Law of Attraction Trainer will join Deb to discuss how to get unstuck and move forward in the new year. Elena teaches practical tools and processes to help her clients leverage spiritual laws and principles to create joyful, abundant lives. Her company, Pure Vibrations, LLC provides personal and spiritual development services and products.

Key Facts About Women Business Owners

  • 10.1 million firms are owned by women (50% or more), employing more than 13 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales as of 2008.

  • Three quarters of all women-owned businesses are majority owned by women (51% or more), for a total of 7.2 million firms, employing 7.3 million people, and generating $1.1 trillion in sales.

  • Women-owned firms (50% or more) account for 40% of all privately held firms.

From the Center for Women's Business Research.

Time to Get Focused and How to Do It

business typewriter
by Sophfronia Scott

By now you've probably read at least a dozen articles about setting goals and achieving New Year's resolutions. But you probably didn't read--because most articles fail to mention it--about what specific steps you'll need to take to achieve what you want to do.

Well, I can't tell you about how to lose 20 pounds or how to save for that trip to Tuscany. But I can give you some things to think about to help you achieve your goal of finishing a book this year. Let's get one thing out of the way first: of course you have to do the work of getting your ideas down on paper.

But, really, it's the things you do before you write that will ensure you finish. Here I'm going to give you 4 Major Focus Points to consider as you move forward with your book project. I want you to write down each one and work on your responses in the coming weeks. Each point is connected either directly or indirectly to your finishing your book. My hope is that you'll do the work and thinking required and that this will provide the spark you need to get you published in 2009.

Focus Point #1: The Magic of Purpose

You may already know that I just finished another book that I'll launch next month. It's called Doing Business By the Book. Finishing this book and getting it published was a big goal I had for 2008 and I accomplished it. Now, what you don't know is that I just finished another major project. It's something that I did not plan. It was nowhere on my radar for 2008 and yet I completed a first draft of this project in less than 3 months. When I'm writing like that, I find it useful to watch myself, to watch my habits to see and feel why this is different from any other project I might have procrastinated on forever and ever.

This project is not connected to my business. It's a totally creative notion that has been percolating for some time and I guess it was ready because the thing just started playing in my head and I couldn't stop it. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this work when it's done. I just know it's great and I know my life will be different for my having written it.

Now, my question for you here is "Do you have this kind of feeling behind the book you're working on now?" This may sound kind of "woo-woo" but I put this focus point first to impress on you how important it is. The aspiring authors I know who are the most successful have a singularity of mind that goes beyond just wanting to write a book for their business or writing a book to make money. They want to write a book because they have something they want to say, a message to communicate to the world. I find that inspiring, so much so that I named my new imprint after that kind of spirit: Messenger House.

I was recently reminded of a quote from speaker Jim Rohn who says, "When you understand the 'why', the 'how' becomes so much easier." In other words, if you can tap into your passion for why you want to write your book, you'll move mountains to find the time and resources to get it done. So ask yourself. "Do I have this kind of feeling for my work and if not, how can I get it?"

Focus Point #2: Choosing the Right Path for Your Book's Success

This is all about figuring out if you have the right plan in place for your book. If you understand what you're going to do with your book, it's another motivating factor to help you finish.

I've heard a lot about what writers have to say about the publishing process-and many are disappointed. Usually it's because they had certain expectations that were not met. Whether they knew it or not, there was no way those expectations were going to be met because of the way they chose to have their books published. The way to avoid such disappointment is to be clear about what you want and to make sure you're pursuing an avenue, whether it be self-publishing or traditional publishing, that will get those needs met.

To get clear about your desired outcome, it's best to create a publishing plan for yourself. To do that, you ask yourself a series of questions so you can get a concrete picture of what you want. Make sure you write down your answers! You'll find the whole process will be easier when you have a plan-it'll help you make decisions when problems or opportunities arise. Then you can tell others a different kind of story: how the publishing process was exciting and enjoyable-and not disappointing-for you.

Focus Point #3: Organize Your Book

Are you writing in a void? In other words, are you writing without an outline? Some writers can do that, they can just sit down with a general idea of their book and go where the thought takes them that day. You can do that with fiction. You can almost never do that with non-fiction. When I meet aspiring authors who can't speak about their book coherently, it's because they haven't done the work of figuring out, chapter-by-chapter, what's going to be in the book.

Sometimes it makes the book easier than you realize. I recently had a consultation with an aspiring author who had been wanting to write a book on a particular subject for a long time but he couldn't wrap his brains around the book. He said he knew he could help people, that he had X number of ways to help them develop personally.

I asked if this was a specific program he had created. He said yes. I asked him how many steps were involved. He said 9. I said "Let's say you have an introductory chapter and then devote a chapter to each of the 9 steps, and then maybe a concluding chapter with a call to action. Can you do that? 11 Chapters?" He said yes. It can change, his book doesn't have to be that way, but even this quick idea of an outline did get him started. It doesn't have to be any harder than that.

Focus Point #4: What Do You Need?

Ask yourself this and respond honestly. Sometimes we fly by the seat of our pants beating ourselves up over what we didn't get done each day without asking, "How can it be different? What do I need to help make it different?" You might need a space to write or a research-related trip or a babysitter to give you time to write.

If you're not moving forward on your book, sit down and assess what you do need to finish. Is it a week off from work? Is it a working computer? Is it a coach? Ask yourself this question often because many times you'll forget and get stuck. I still have to remind myself to ask my family for time when I need to finish a project.

Now is the Time

Where will you be with your book project in 12 months? Once you've done this kind of focused thinking you will know. All you have to do is follow your plan through to completion.

© 2009 Sophfronia Scott

Sophfronia Scott is an author of fiction and non-fiction books. https://sophfronia.com/.

Annemarie Segaric on NBC Morning News

Annemarie Segaric, coach, speaker and author of "Step Into the Right Career" will be a guest on NBC News Channel 4 "Weekend Today in New York." For those of you in the NY Metro area, tune in for her interview at 9:40 am EST.

A New Year, A New Attitude

smiling business woman
by Deborah A. Bailey

Now that we're in a new year it's time to make those resolutions again. The problem with resolutions is that they seem to be made to be broken. A while back I found a list of resolutions I'd made for the coming year. There were so many things listed that I'm not surprised I didn't stick to them!

Before I left my corporate job I made a short list of things I wanted the new job to have. Compared to my old list of resolutions, this list was much smaller and focused. It indicated the salary, the location, and the commute time.

I even added things like wanting to have a desk near a window and working in a building with a decent cafeteria. I wrote everything down and then put it away. In the meantime I focused on my next move and stopped focusing on how unhappy I was in my current job.

When the new position turned up, it met all the criteria on my list. What's even better, I was truly ready to start something new because I had a new attitude. Making a list of resolutions wasn't enough by itself; I had to make changes in my thinking as well.

It's fine to look at the start of a new year as the opportunity to make a new beginning. However, everyday we have the chance for a fresh start and a new attitude. You don't have to wait until January to make changes in your life or in your business. Change is always happening. When you have a mindset that's open to opportunities, you will always be prepared for success.

Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life .” She's also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly podcast. Learn more on http://dbaileycoach.com and

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