November, 2009 Archive
November 26th, 2009 by Liz in Lifestyle, Sharing Success
It’s Thanksgiving once again, and as in every day of our lives, Ric and I have a lot to be thankful for. We have been going through life’s ups and downs with each other for 17 years (and definitely still counting! <g>) and are blessed with two active and wonderful boys, Chandler and Stefan. We live in a beautiful home, run our own thriving businesses, enjoy the time we get to spend with our growing sons and basically, live the way we want to, how we want to.
Furthermore, our businesses (New Order of Business School, Small Business CEO Magazine, Healthy Wealthy nWise Magazine) are doing very well as they continue to reach countless people through the Web and spread tips, stories and inspirations on success, family, health and fitness, business, management and marketing, among other things.
The celebration of one’s life doesn’t have to be too grand or elaborate, though it wouldn’t hurt if it is <g>.
You just have to take the time to enjoy life’s moments like eating in your favorite restaurants, like Ric and I do as much as we can; try something new and have not even considered doing before, like bungee jumping or sky diving; travel the world and see all those exotic places where few people have been; or just relax at home, away from your work and worries, and spend quality time with your children.
I mean, the reason we work hard all year round is to have these precious moments with our families right? When we don’t have to worry about anything but how we’re going to stop from having so much fun. Because of how we chose to live life and having the financial freedom we now enjoy, we are thankful that we have a lot of these moments as a family. We work every day with the people that we love and we get to be hands on as we see our sons grow up.
Go beyond feeling thankful
The holiday music playing in the malls and ever increasing chill in the air gave us clues that the holiday season is indeed upon us, but nothing drives the truth home more than Thanksgiving. Because after that, we know that Christmas is just around the corner.
It is usually around this season that we start to reflect on the year we’ve had. The successes and failures we experienced, the people we encountered, the things we are thankful for and yes, even things we might regret. These days however, feeling thankful is not enough.
With the recession that’s been plaguing us (as well as millions of people around the world), many are suffering. This year, a lot of businesses—big and small—closed down, the unemployment rate rose at an all-time high and many are just hoping to get relief from a few helping hands. This is where our give more philosophy comes in.
It is not enough that we are continually surviving and making more with our businesses (certainly one of the things we’re thankful for <g>), or that we get to live more with our family because of it. What’s important for us to realize is that we have the capacity to give more, pay it forward so to speak.
There are a lot of ways to choose from
I’ve recently written about these, but let me refresh your memories. My husband and I have a friend, Tellman Knudson, who runs barefoot across the U.S. to raise money for homeless youth. We are great supporters and believers of his cause and have donated money via his website, Run Tellman Run.
We are also active members of Kiva, the first micro-lending website of its kind, where we lend a small amount of money to help small-business entrepreneurs around the world. From this site, we know that we are helping real people jumpstart their lives. We are lucky enough to have made a difference in three peoples’ lives so far: Vincent Cadiz, a hog farmer in the Philippines; Miguel Ángel Miranda Vásquez, a taxi owner and driver in El Salvador; and Noli Montadas, a farmer in the Philippines. View their profiles here.
Now, these are just some of the ways that we are able to give back and share whatever blessing we have with people. There are plenty of other means out there to choose from. If you feel you are ready, you just have to look for the right avenue that you can trust and are comfortable with.
It’s not just about money
Remember, every bit of help you give (it doesn’t always have to be monetary <g>) goes a long way. Whether it’s a few dollars to jumpstart someone’s small business, a few promotions or shout outs to help raise money for a cause or a few inspirational words to help someone achieve personal growth and learn “The Secret” to start their own business, it all matters and it all makes a difference.
There is no measure on how big or small you should help out, or a salary-to-means ratio that tells you how much you should donate. The important thing is setting one’s goal to help and seeing that goal to fruition. So, while you reflect on things you should be thankful for this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to celebrate your life and help others celebrate theirs too.
Do you have suggestions on how else we could celebrate life? Or, maybe you want to share what you are most thankful for this year. Let me know by posting a comment here.
Until next time!
November 23rd, 2009 by Adaire in Financial Freedom
Achieving recurring revenue is the so-called “Holy Grail” of businesses in the Internet space. Who doesn’t want to get paid month after month from your membership sites, newsletters, and other information products? Once you get a client and he or she keeps on subscribing to your products, then you’ll practically get fixed income from that person. Now that’s the perfect set-up!
The thing is, it’s not as easy as it seems. You have to be knowledgeable about recurring revenue marketing by doing your own research or by learning from the experts. I was fortunate enough to find out more about it through the NOBS TALK of Ryan Lee on Recurring Revenue Marketing. And I think there’s no better person to learn about it than him because he’s an actual practitioner of this stuff. From a broke gym teacher, he’s now a millionaire – all because of his skill in marketing his information products. I actually came across a lot of helpful advice from his TALK.
A Passion for Business
The first thing he mentioned was that you must find something you’re very passionate about if your plan is to build a successful business. So if your goal is to become rich, then you have to discover what your passions are. In Ryan’s case, he’s really into fitness and things related to it so he built a business with his interests or passions in mind. He created a fitness-related website, a paid membership site that has access to a discussion forum and training articles, plus he has CD-of-the-month programs too. Aside from that, he also owns a nutritional supplement company and he sends his regular clients a fresh batch of supplements every month, so he gets recurring revenue from that as well. The key is to find different kinds of money making avenues.
With the Internet, you really can do anything. If, for instance, you’re a real estate broker, you can build your own website where you can display your products and services. Or you can do webinars, teleseminars, and e-books, among others. The opportunities are endless. You just have to play with your creativity so you can come up with unique ideas.
The Secret: Outsource It
While he was just starting his business, Ryan tried to do everything himself. For his CD-of-the-month program, he personally burned all the blank CDs and carried everything to the post office for mailing. The valuable thing he learned from that experience is that you must not do everything by yourself – outsourcing is the way to go. Even if you have to pay a little extra, you’ll save a lot of time and effort and be able to focus on more important things.
Business Coaching Tips
Ryan believes that it’s necessary to have marketing strategies for any online business. For example, if you want more people to visit your website, you need to work at certain aspects. First, consider paid advertising or pay-per-click. It is, in fact, the easiest way to drive traffic to your website. Another way to help your business is by having a joint venture with someone who’s established in the business already. For instance, Ryan can offer a training program at some gym and then just split the money with them, which he’ll get from the new clients who sign-up there. Another effective way to drive traffic to your site is through social media marketing. Use your blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking websites to promote your business. It’s a great way to reach plenty of people – all by just letting your fingers do the walking.
These are just some of Ryan Lee’s success secrets. If you want to find out more, you can download the FREE audio here.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about recurring revenue marketing. Please leave a comment below. Or if you want to find out more about Internet marketing and other related stuff, please check out my Resources page.
November 17th, 2009 by Adaire in Financial Freedom
You might ask, “Isn’t it supposed to be word of mouth and not word of mouse?” Normally it is, but we’ve come to the point already where we turn to the Internet as our main source of information instead of actually hearing the news from people. Who doesn’t use email or social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter? Heck, even I am guilty of being a social networking addict.
The “word of mouse” phrase best describes an idea or a thing that is shared online and has the potential to reach millions of people. It can be anything – a video, an e-book, a blog… I came across this concept from the NOBS TALK of David Meerman Scott on World Wide Rave. (By the way, he intentionally uses his middle name for a particular purpose but we’ll get to that later.) David has many personas – he’s a marketing strategist, a professional speaker, a seminar leader, and also an author. One of his bestselling books is “The New Rules of Marketing and PR,” which is translated in 24 languages. While his latest publication, “World Wide Rave” was the main topic in the NOBS TALK.
The Name Game
I think David is a genius. Who else but a brilliant mind can coin phrases like world wide rave and word of mouse? According to him, that’s all part of his marketing strategy. As an entrepreneur, you should be creative, especially when it comes to naming a product or something. Traditionally, what most entrepreneurs do is to conduct a legal search and a trademark search to find out if they can actually own a particular name from a legal and copyright perspective. But what most people don’t do is to make sure that you also own that name or phrase in the search engine results.
That’s the main reason why David opted to use his middle name in all his products. Try typing in “David Scott” in Google and you’ll see plenty of people sharing this name. But if you key in his full name, you’ll only find one David Meerman Scott. That’s one of his tricks for online marketing. You really need to come up with a unique name or phrase that can be associated to you alone. This is the secret behind David’s success in the marketing business.
One of his examples in the TALK was “The 4-Hour Workweek” book. Its author, Tim Ferris, could’ve named it “Work Life Balance” but it probably won’t be as effective as the one-of-a-kind title he chose.
Look Who’s Talking
Another valuable strategic marketing technique is to find a way for others to talk about you whether it’s because of your blog, e-book, video, or something else. Just make sure that you have that specific mindset, which focuses on creating something with incredible value for the people you’re trying to reach. But first, you have to understand the needs and wants of your buyer personas (another phrase that David coined), or more commonly called the target market.
David’s example was a dentist named Dr. Helene Smith who’s based in the Boston area. She knows her target market – those who need dental services. Her dilemma was that she wasn’t raking in a lot of clients with her traditional advertising tactics so she decided to try out some online marketing. She created an e-book called “Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex” and people responded greatly to it. It was so effective that they started to send this e-book to their friends and it eventually became a world wide rave. Even the American Dental Association talked about it – though not in a good way. But the thing is, people talked about it and it was successful in bringing in more clients and more income.
Dr. Smith’s e-book became a success because it provided interesting and important information to her target market. And she knew how to communicate with her market – that’s another essential thing.
Before you even attempt to create a world wide rave, you need to make sure that your business has a website. Every entrepreneur needs one. Whatever product you create, you must put your website name on it, but make sure that it has a simple URL so people can easily remember it. According to David, the other step to take in order to kick off a world wide rave is to work on your signature line. Whenever you send an email, include your name, contact details, and your website link at the bottom of your message. This low-tech technique is actually very effective.
These are just some of the lessons I learned from David Meerman Scott. If you want to find out more about marketing online and other related stuff, you can listen to his FREE audio
Do you have other marketing strategies to share? You’re welcome to post your thoughts and suggestions on the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.
November 11th, 2009 by Adaire in Financial Freedom
What do you do? What are your interests? How do you know so and so?
Those are the usual questions I’ll normally ask someone I just met whether I’m in a party or some kind of event. What I didn’t know was that I must take it a step further by trying to do a little networking and making connections with others. That’s the essence I got from the NOBS TALK of Larry Benet on Connection Mastery. There’s no better person to learn about this topic than America’s Connection Expert himself. He’s also a co-founder of a high-end networking group called Speakers and Authors Networking Group. And when a major tsunami hit Asia last 2004, he became the chairman of the Tsunami Disaster Relief Project, which brought together the top business leaders to raise funds for the victims of the calamity.
The thing with Larry Benet is that he didn’t start out with having the right connections, but he had that ability to think out-of-the-box and create connections with important people. For him, it’s not enough to get a person’s business card, he makes sure that he does creative things to keep in touch and make others remember him. Like that time he created a connection with Serano Kelly, a very influential coach to Wall Street. Serano happened to have a newborn at that time and instead of sending the usual congratulatory card, he asked for a photo of the baby and addressed the card to the little one. He placed the baby’s picture on the card’s cover and inside he wrote this message:
“Dear Grace, I wanted to congratulate you. Welcome to the world. I look forward to meeting you on my next visit to Los Angeles. You’re very cute, but I bet you’re even prettier in person. P.S. Congratulations on being so smart at such a young age and picking such amazing parents.”
This personalized card made such an impact on Serano that it was the only one he placed on his work desk. It made Larry stand out from the rest.
Networking is easier said than done. You need to do a little goal setting first before you dive head on in. First, find a way where you can be in the same room with the influential people in your industry. Go out of your way if you have to. Think about what’s important to those people, figure out how you can add value to them, and then make an effort to stay in touch with them. Normally, great things will happen if you keep in touch. So go that extra mile if you need to – whether you have to spend extra money, head off to a far place, or do something that you don’t normally do. Just believe in yourself and be confident that you can connect and get to people.
Now I know that the next time I meet someone I should go beyond asking the usual questions. Larry Benet recommends asking these two vital questions:
- What’s the most important project going on in your life?
- What are you most passionate about in your life?
These will help you establish a connection with that certain person and might just be the start of something big. But remember to take action in the moment and not just sit around and wait. Get that person’s contact details and start building a relationship with him. Before you call though, you must have some ideas on how you can add value to his projects or passions. Find out what you can offer to that person and then work from there.
To discover more about Larry Benet’s success secrets, go listen to the FREE audio then visit us again and share what you’ve learned about making connections by leaving a comment below. Or you can do a little self-improvement by finding out more about networking skills in his website.
November 7th, 2009 by Adaire in Financial Freedom
It’s safe to say that every entrepreneur focuses on how to make his or her business successful. Why not, right? But I’ll let you in on a secret…
Before you can become successful in your money making ventures, you have to focus on your personal growth first. That’s what I learned from the NOBS TALK of Manny Goldman on The Power of Personal Growth. He actually authored a book of the same title and has his own website called PersonalGrowth.com.
His book contains a collection of stories from various important leaders in the industries of personal growth, as well as business growth. The following names might sound familiar to you: Harv Eker, Jack Canfield, Les Brown, Blair Singer and Robert Allen. All of them are significant people in their industries and they shared their success secrets, key insights, certain mindsets and philosophies in The Power of Personal Growth. Do I sound like I’m promoting his book? Well, maybe I am, but I’m not his publisher or anything . I just believe that it can be instrumental to your success. Instead of wasting a lot of your time, effort and resources on the trial and error stage, you could read this to accelerate your success by learning from the experts themselves.
Inside a Billionaire’s Mind
There was a part in the book that told the story of Bill Bartmann, a homeless street kid who became a self-made billionaire. When he was young, he thought his life was really awful and he was out to get people. He actually blamed a lot of people until he was able to shift his mindset and was able to get where he is right now. The secret is to believe that anything is possible no matter where you are in your life right now. You’ll encounter inspirational stories like that in the book, and you will be able to get clues from it that you can use to reach your goals and objectives concerning your personal growth.
The Definition of Personal Growth
Anyway, enough about the book, let’s go back to the Manny Goldman’s NOBS TALK. I actually stumbled across a couple of learnings in that TALK. Before you can do something about your personal growth, you have to understand its core foundation. There are three elements to it:
- You must take full responsibility for your life.
- You create your life since you have control over your thoughts, feelings and actions.
- There are people who have gone through life in different areas, have mastered these particular areas and have become experts on it.
Manny Goldman also discussed the four necessary steps you need to work on so you can achieve personal growth:
You must be able to answer the following questions so you’ll be crystal clear about your life in general.
Who are you?
Why are you here?
What do you want?
When do you want it by?
Why do you want it?
Basically, the first step involves identification. Find out what your passions, talents or assets are. Discover what your goals or targets are. How could you reach a target if you don’t have one? And it’s important that you set a deadline for it so it’s more tangible.
2. Information and Awareness
It’s essential to keep up and be updated with new information if you want to get somewhere. For instance, if you want to make you business grow, you must be up to date with the business trends and things like that. At the same time, you also have to be aware if there’s anything stopping you from reaching your goal.
There is no substitute for action. You really have to go for it. It’s best if you’re consistent in building significant habits rather than making one big action. For example, if you’re in a relationship, doing small things like regularly texting sweet messages or preparing meals for your partner is better than one grand sweeping gesture that you only do once in a blue moon.
Be accountable for all the things that you do. One good tactic in practicing this is by doing accountability partnership – you let someone know what you’re doing and you ask that person to hold you accountable for it. Or you could get a coach or mentor who can help you move towards your goals.
According to Manny Goldman, success in life and business hinges on your mindset. And personal growth and development is the fastest and most effective way to make sure you are constantly improving. Because after all – your business really is an extension of YOU.
The information I’ve shared with you here is really just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to discover more about The Power of Personal Growth and how you can apply it to your business, you should listen to the whole TALK with Manny Goldman. It’s available for FREE here.
So, how do you plan to work on your personal growth? Leave a comment below and tell us what your next step will be.
November 4th, 2009 by Liz in Lifestyle, Sharing Success
In case you’re still not familiar with the concept of Make More, Live More and Give More, let me refresh your memory… <g>
The Make More part refers to your financial resources, which is important because you need it to pay for your basic necessities and other things. The challenge here is to increase what you have. How? It’s likely that you’ll Make More money when you do the things that you love – so find your passion.
As for the Live More aspect, well, it’s all about celebrating life. You don’t have to be over the top about it. It doesn’t have to be like a trip around the world, it could be as simple as a trip to your favorite store or something like that. All you have to do is to set aside some of your earnings every month so you could use it to celebrate life. Ric and I call it the Live More Sale where we dedicate the first sale of each month (regardless of how much it is) to celebrating our abundance. You don’t have to wait until you grow old and rich in order to Live More. You can do it right NOW. Commit each first sale of the month to living more.
The Give More part is where you can make a difference in other people’s lives. Ric and I came up with the Give More Sale idea where we set aside some money each month and use it to contribute to whatever cause we care about. Our goal here is to pay it forward. You don’t have to be extremely wealthy in order to do that. As little as a couple of dollars could make a difference to those in need. And the satisfaction you get from helping others is indescribable. You should try it for yourself.
I’ll share with you how Ric and our family Live More and Give More, and maybe you’ll get some ideas on how to Live More and Give More, too.
Live More: The $100 Book Shopping Spree
My boys and I recently went book shopping and we all got one book each to add to our ever growing library. Have I mentioned that Ric and I are absolutely obsessed with books? Picture this – a 2-room library full of fictional literature on the main level of the house, seven book-cases full of non-fiction lining the walls of our family room on the lower level, and the personal and business development sections filling our offices with hundreds of additional volumes. Yes, that’s how book obsessed we are. <g>…
Anyway, I think our kids are starting to follow in our footsteps. Chandler, our almost 13-year old, got the next book in the “Percy Jackson & The Olympians” series. While Stefan, our four-year old who just learned how to spell and write his name a couple of weeks ago, agonized over “Scooby Doo” and “Thomas the Tank Engine” (Thomas won out in the end). I, on the other hand, got an AMAZING deal on the book that I bought. Imagine getting a 1902 first edition of Andrew Carnegie’s “The Empire of Business” for just $90! That’s quite a steal for a book lover like me.
Give More: The $300 Charity Contribution
The Barefoot Runner
Remember the guy who’s running barefoot across the US? Well, he’s our friend, Tellman, and he’s doing this to help raise funds for the homeless youth all over the country. His goal is to raise $100,000,000 so he could distribute it to various organizations, shelters and volunteers, which help these homeless kids get access to shelter, food, and be able to rebuild their lives as well.
Photo: Tellman Knudson
Tellman is running from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast. He just passed by Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and he’s now en route to Wheeling, WV. If you want to keep up with his progress, you can do so here.
Ric and I want to keep supporting him because we believe that what he’s doing is phenomenal and is making such an impact. This month, we donated $295 to Run Tellman Run. You can also contribute to Tellman’s cause by donating online. Even as little as $5 could make a difference in the lives of the homeless youth.
Life Changing Loans
About a month ago, Ric and I joined Kiva, which is a micro-lending website that allows us to make loans to low-income entrepreneurs all over the world. One of our first loans went to Vincent Cadiz in the Philippines to support his hog farm. We made a $125 loan to him and he was able to pay back a part of it in just a month’s time. His first payment was worth $20 and we added $5 to our Kiva account and then re-loaned the money to Miguel Ángel Miranda Vásquez in El Salvador to give him the last bit he needs to make repairs to his taxi. The taxi is the main source of income for his family and enables he and his wife to send all three of their children – ages 21, 20, and 16 – to school.
Photos from: http://www.kiva.org/lender/givemore (Vincent Cadiz in white shirt, Miguel Ángel Miranda Vásquez in blue shirt)
It’s amazing how this program lets you send financial support to people in need across the world – with contributions as little as $25. It’s so simple – just register in the Kiva website to become a lender and then choose which among all the featured entrepreneurs you want to support. Eventually, they pay back their loans and then you can use these payments to loan to others – kind of like recycling your money. Talk about “going green”… <g>
You know you’re making a difference in people’s lives when you see they are doing well enough to pay back the loans. You can make a difference too. Join us and Kiva today.
Now you have an idea of how we Live More and Give More. It’s your turn now. Share your thoughts and ideas on how you’ll Live More and Give More in the comments section below.