May, 2010 Archive
May 29th, 2010 by Liz in Lifestyle
The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I always knew there was something special about that man. <g> I agree with what he said 100+%. A man who knows where he’s going does clear great paths for himself.
Take it from Ric’s (my husband) and my experience. If we did not know where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do all those years ago, or if we did not know what we wanted to make of our lives, we wouldn’t have been able to put up all our successful businesses, afforded the good life we’re providing our sons Chandler and Stefan, met all these amazing people we work with and lastly, touched the lives of all the people we’ve helped in our own ways. It’s all about having goals after all. <g>
Ah, goals! I know not everyone has them, but they darn well better should. <g> I’m all for throwing caution against the wind every once in a while, but even that has a hidden goal within – that of having fun, releasing suppressed tension and letting go for just little bit. That may be freeing for a time, but at the end of the day, we all know that it’s no use flying blind through life’s journey. It’s not bad to go with the flow at times, but some form of plan or vision has to come in sometime.
See, the thing with being too carefree is it eventually gets us lost at some point or other. The only way to find our way back, or to avoid being lost in the first place, is to know where we’re going. It would be nice, too, if we know how. <g>
Our friend Jill Koenig, the “Goal Guru” and founder of Goal University, shared with us the reasons Why You MUST Set Goals: The 10 Biggest Benefits of Goal Setting through one of our online magazines, HealthyWealthynWise. I’ll gladly share them here with you.
First off, you must know that setting goals has to be a conscious effort on a person’s part. It’s a form of initially taking a step back, assessing one’s life and taking control of what you want to happen with it. You cannot achieve or reach anything if you do not take responsibility for your own actions, or lack thereof, and don’t know how to take a hit every once in a while. No one’s telling you that this is going to be easy. Of course it’s hard! Most anything worth working or fighting for is. <g>
In setting your goals, you also have nothing but your time and efforts to invest. It would be nice if you already have some money to start with, but that’s not necessarily the situation most people find themselves in. Your time, energy and efforts are your best assets, whether you go at it alone or seek help from others.
Pros for Goals
Jill’s top ten benefits of goal setting serve to remind us that in learning how to set our own goals, we’ll be able to take control over our lives. Having this kind of impetus makes us realize just how important this practice is.
Greater Peace of Mind.
This is a given. If you know where you’re going and you’ve mapped out how to get there, it’s easy to gain peace of mind. Even more, it adds a little skip to your step when you know that what you’re doing is actually worthwhile. You’ll definitely sleep better and reduce the stress that threatens to suffocate you sometimes, as well as the wrinkles that go with it. <g>
Clarity of Purpose.
Goals act as beacons in our lives. When we know what we want to do, we often realize the purpose we serve in this life. You discover that yes, your life does have meaning – not only to you, but to those you encounter as well. That makes up for a lot. Knowing your purpose gives you a clearer, less confusing angle at life.
Greater Productivity and Focus.
Being that we already have a clearer view of life, we have more time to focus on the more important things. We won’t waste any more of our time on the trivial ones that tend to distract us from our goal and, instead, focus all our energies and become more productive at the tasks we choose to do.
Greater Personal Growth.
With all the distractions out of the way, it leaves more room for personal growth. Now that you’re able to look into your own self and abilities more and you’re able to see your environment better, you’ll discover the needed changes within and act on them. All that added productivity would most definitely add to your knowledge and skills too. <g>
Higher Quality of Life.
Since you’ve narrowed down your vision and have started working hard for it, you’ll also seek, or even demand, a higher quality of life. You can’t let other things get you down if you
already know where it is you want to go and how. Life and fate give back whatever you choose to give. The more goals you have, the happier you become. The easier the journey gets, the more you get to enjoy it.
You Attract a Higher Quality Peer Group.
Like begets like. Who else would be good company for you than others who have realized the same thing you did and are making the same changes you have. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have more support from not only your loved ones, but other groups as well.
Increased Confidence and Self Esteem.
Oh, to have a clear vision of your life! Nothing builds confidence and self esteem more. You can’t bring down someone who has a vivid picture of what he wants out of life and knows that he’s doing all it takes to achieve it. Better yet, no one gets in the way of that kind of determination. They know enough to not even dare. <g>
Contribution to Others.
The more you realize all the goals you’ve set for yourself, the more you’ll have something of yourself to give to others. When you get to a stage where you’ve reached where you wanted to go and experienced what you’ve longed to happen, you have nowhere to go but outside yourself. Being at peace with yourself gives you better opportunities to contribute for the benefit of others. Not only that, you’ll also get to be a shining example for someone around you – whether you know about it or not.
Goals Help You Become a Better Person.
Since having goals gives you a picture of your future, then you will do everything that is in your power to protect that vision. Thus, you wouldn’t do anything that would jeopardize any part or step that would keep that vision from happening. Who would have thought, right? Goals actually breed and bring out better individuals. These goals help you develop the best parts of yourself and realize hidden abilities you may not have known about. Without them, these inner strengths and talents would remain untouched and unused. Wouldn’t that be a waste? <g>
For the benefit each individual goal will bring to your life.
Each and every one of these goals would bring some sort of fulfilment and great outcome to our lives, so we sometimes do it for the sheer benefit they would bring us. When we know what to expect at the end of the journey, the anticipation gives us just the right fuel we need to get there.
Have you set goals for yourself or your business? What are you waiting for? Don’t waste any more time and act now. Let me know how it turns out through the comments section below.
Happy goal setting!
May 14th, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom, Lifestyle
Social media has grown increasingly these past few years. From putting up online newsletters, magazines, articles and blogs, people have now ventured into viral videos, networking sites and one-liner updates with 140 characters or less and whatnot.
If the Internet connected people before, it has definitely made them even more connected now. It used to be that people searched online for news and information. Now, information finds them. We used to compose messages and send them to people online through several email addresses via mail servers such as Yahoo!, Hotmail, and the like. Now, we could update hundreds of our family and friends with notes and status updates in the social networking sites. What used to take minutes takes mere seconds today, imagine that!
Nowadays, you can not only use and enter these social media sites via computers. They are now able to reach people via mobile devices such as cellular phones, PDAs and other handheld gadgets. The web of information and networks are made even more viral than before.
These are developments that Ric Thompson and Jody Colvard tackled in their Internet Marketing VIPS (Very Important Profit Systems) discussion entitled Integrating Social Media.
Jody Colvard is definitely a certified Internet expert, since she’s dubbed the Grandmother of the Internet. Being one of the pioneers who have utilized the power of the Internet since 1995, Jody Colvard has, together with her business partner Declan Dunn, worked with large companies such as American Express, Priceline and Travelocity – teaching them and other companies how to produce and use video, audio and podcasting.
Social media has captured the attention of millions of people worldwide. We not only use the Internet for information anymore. We also use it for connecting with more and more people. These social media sites have humanized online communication. We put faces to the names, speak with people in real time and update each other with snippets of conversation – just like the conversations we had before, back in the offline world.
However viral and tech-y they might get, people should and do treat it like they do their usual offline groups and communities. Before developing a connection, they would first build relationships with each other – interact with several people in the community and earn each other’s confidence and trust.
In creating and joining these communities and networks, we find more and more people who share the same interests and goals with us. We connect with more people who have similar passions we have and have undergone pretty much the same experiences. It’s nice when people have an even bigger chance of finding their place in the world.
Gone are the days of putting out only print and television ads, notices and articles. Now, businesses, events and the like put up their own websites and set up their social media accounts to get more people interested.
Businesses step up and integrate themselves into the online world to communicate more with their clients and customers. Those who were apprehensive at first, due to fear of being too open, are slowly realizing that the benefits to be had are more promising by building stronger and more personal relationships with their customers. They now find that having an open line of communication with these customers provide them with instant feedback and suggestions for their products and services.
Customers, on the other hand, are not satisfied with faceless service anymore. They now demand to know who they’re dealing with – the more personal and open, the better. Customers are not satisfied with receiving newsletters and brochures via snail mail, or anonymous phone updates from random strangers. Now, they demand video and audio that offer them deeper insights and information on the products that they choose to patronize.
Instead of trying to get more new customers and people all the time, businesses also focus more on their existing clients and take better care of them. Instead of fleeting business relationships that consisted of one or two transactions, businesses and their clientele are now keen on building longer and deeper connections. When they’ve grown accustomed to each other’s qualities, the clients get to trust the businesses more in providing the products and services they want and need. That makes for a quieter and more profitable marketplace!
From quotes and blog posts, to teasers and videos, the fastest avenues for spreading them around are the various social media sites and networks multiplying on the Internet today – YouTube, 5MinuteVideo, Blip.tv, Vimeo, Viddler, Veoh, Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Digg, LinkedIn, Plaxo, etc. They are made more colourful and striking by free online programs that help in their faster and easier creation and distribution – FriendFeed, Camtasia, Animoto, iStockphoto, TubeMogul, etc.
With people’s attention spans becoming shorter and shorter, businesses constantly need to find ways to feed them information and entice them to return to their sites to linger there and buy. They create as many accounts as they can in order to introduce their products to a wider range of their target audience – getting themselves out there and finding the people they want to reach. For some, collaborating with established online sites make for better visibility.
The bottom line is still knowing who their audience is, how to speak to them and how to reach them – with keywords, calls to action, multiple choices of accessing information and products and more involvement through different avenues for feedback and suggestions.
Of course, rules and ethics are not to be ruled out. In fact, more and more restrictions and limitations are being processed to protect online users. According to Jody Colvard, we could expect a more well-mannered society where people are going to have more control over their own niches and nooks, against people who just aim to promote themselves and exploit people online.
Have you been captured by the power of social media? Do you use such social networking methods for your business? Let me know through the comments section below.
To access Ric Thompson’s Internet Marketing VIPS (Very Important Profit Systems) discussion with Jody Colvard and other profit systems, go to: www.internetmarketingvips.com.
To access Jody Colvard’s seven-module course that offers all you need to learn to be able to create your own show, broadcast and promote it via social media, get visibility for your business and build a brand for yourself, click on: www.InternetMarketingVIPS.com/fmg
May 4th, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom, Lifestyle
Welcome to the fourth installment of my sharing posts, where I recommend a few articles that I hope would make the same impact on you as they have on me. May they inspire you to think and reflect on your own lives and business situations.
The first three posts focused on goal setting and self improvement this 2010, as well as starting a business. This next one will focus on the keys to success. Without further ado, here it goes.
Keys to Success
Every business venture has its ups and downs (just like life, right? ). Sometimes luck and good timing has something to do with business success, but more often than not, it has to do with the talents, strategies and capacity of the business owner running it. If I got you worried there for a bit, don’t. Below are a few helpful reads on how you could ensure your business success and sustainability.
1. The One Key to Business Success! – And Three Simple Ways to Do It
Aside from hard work, one of the best success ingredients out there is knowing your audience. To make them take notice and have them come back to you again and again, you should know how to read, approach and connect with them.
This can be done by talking to them and finding out what they want and need, doing formal studies on the market and keeping an eye out for the competition. After all, it’s not just important to know who you’re trying to reach and how you could reach them. It’s also vital that you know who you’re competing against for their attention.
2. Tony Hsieh – Profits, Passion and Purpose
To be successful at whatever field you choose, you need more than talent or knowledge. You also need to have passion for what you’re doing. This passion allows you to be more creative, cook up big and new ideas and to push the limits of what you can do and offer, not only to others but to yourself as well.
Find out how failure helps us determine what works and what doesn’t. Know why perfection isn’t the key – it’s actually the ability to get right down to business and do whatever you need to do to achieve success. See how building a good work environment and culture is important for the development of the individual and the company. Discover why the goal to do something to help others and make the world a lot better is also important, even for just a few at a time.
3. Deliver Powerful Teleseminars That Bring in the Money
To bring in profit, you should know how to capture the attention of your target market. Whether you’re doing a seminar, distributing an online newsletter or maintaining a commercial blog, you should be able to make your audience do a double take and keep them on their toes, so they would continue to watch out for your new material.
Find out how you could hold a powerful discussion, get your audience’s attention and generate interest during a seminar, especially when it’s via phone where they couldn’t see your facial expressions and gestures, with these few tips.
4. Weird & Wacky – Making Your Marketing Stand Out
Marketing is one good way to let the people know about your product. Before they come knocking to you for more, you should first bring it to them and introduce all the benefits it could give them.
There are plenty of traditional marketing strategies out there – newspaper ads, magazine spreads, billboards, radio ads, etc. – that are being used by many. They do work, but it also depends on the industry you belong to and with a lot of competition marketing practically the same way nowadays, it’s pretty hard to get separated from the rest.
After focusing on who to market to and gauging the effectiveness of your marketing effort, you should be able to step and think out of the box. Make sure that your marketing style stands out from the competition. Follow up as much as you can and don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself when need be. You could always let go of one idea in favor of a new, more effective one. Never, ever be afraid to explore the wacky and weird ways, because they might be the ticket to your marketing genius.
5. Be Nice: It’s Good for Business
More than the nice office, number of employees, good business location and product quality, what customers look for is nice service. All these bells and whistles will be overlooked if the service is bad and the staff appear bored with an “anywhere but here” look on their faces.
See why it’s important for a company to be conscious about building a “be nice” culture instead of just letting little things and mishaps slip by, because not making it a policy is just giving room for the alternative.
6. It’s Not Being Cocky, It’s Showing Confidence
Confidence is often mistaken for cockiness. But is there really something wrong with that? After all, being cocky is just being confident and assertive. If you believe you are the best at what you do, then you will certainly do everything you could to continue making that a reality.
Oftentimes, it’s about getting the right mindset. It all starts with how you perceive yourself and the amount of faith in you have in your abilities. You have the power to get your head in the game and focus on the end goal you’ve envisioned. If people see that you indeed have the ability to back up all that confidence and see that you have total faith in yourself, then they, too, would believe in you.
7. New Leadership Challenges of 2009 and Beyond
Charm and good deeds could only get you so far. In face of hard times, experience and knowledge would help you survive. It’s vital for a business owner and leader to know what his business is about and how to run it, how to handle the loops of the market and trade and have the continuous thirst for learning.
This way, he would know how to choose the people who would work for him and help him bring the company to a whole new level. Knowing the ins and outs of the business would also allow him to guard the company against those who have negative intentions towards it. I don’t know about you, but having that security is a very good thing.
8. How Well Do You Leverage Your Time and Effort?
Delegation is a hard concept to grasp for some. In turn, they end up trying to do everything themselves, and thus, spreading themselves too thin to focus well on each and every task. Leveraging the talents of other people to take care of certain details is not bad. In fact, this gives you more time and energy to focus on the things you are really good at. Not only that, it could also give you more time for your family and more chances to build good relationships with your colleagues.
Delegation does not take anything away from you. Instead, knowing how to leverage your time and effort allows you to focus more on the goal, cross off all the things that need to be done, achieve greater success and most of all, it helps you keep your sanity.
What are your keys to success? Do you have other links or thoughts concerning success secrets that you would like to share? Let us know through the comments section below.
Catch up with you more next time!