August, 2011 Archive

Congratulations, Tom Brennan!

August 18th, 2011 by Ric in Sharing Success

Congrats to Tom Brennan for getting his new Automated Cash Sites up and running!
http://love4livingandlife.com/



Congratulations, Scot Velardo!

August 16th, 2011 by Ric in Sharing Success

Congrats to Scot Velardo for getting his new Automated Cash Sites up and running!
http://www.envisionality.com/



Finding Fulfillment Through Entrepreneurship

August 16th, 2011 by Adaire in Financial Freedom


When we were little, our teachers often asked us what we wanted to be when we grow up. Quite predictably, many of us raised our tiny hands and gave the standard responses: doctor, teacher, pilot, nurse, policeman and so on. If your class was anything like mine, anyone who answered “I want to be an entrepreneur!” would have been greeted by a lot of confused looks from our classmates because most of us didn’t even know what an entrepreneur is!

Some people today still don’t know what an entrepreneur does – or they simply brush entrepreneurship aside because they think it’s too unstable or risky to pursue as a career. But the fact remains that entrepreneurs are a very important part of our economy, as Julia Gentry, one of the pioneers of ultimateE.com, argues in her Healthy Wealthy nWise article “Why Do We Need Entrepreneurs?

In this article, Julia presents some facts that prove the importance of entrepreneurs in society. She stresses that at the alarming rate that people are losing jobs, it’s essential that entrepreneurs keep coming up with new businesses to help these people find jobs and decrease the rate of unemployment in the country.

While society depends on entrepreneurs for growth and success, the companies and businesses that entrepreneurs start up can’t guarantee perpetual providence for people and their families. No one should feel financially secure just because they have a job. The economy is constantly changing, and businesses can go bust in the blink of an eye and leave its people with no income at all.

While the fluctuation of the economy is beyond our control, the career path we choose to take and develop is in our hands. No one will be a victim of financial distress caused by unemployment if we all take the time to learn how to be an entrepreneur.

Find What’s Missing
When you become an entrepreneur, you essentially get to be your own boss. But being the boss doesn’t mean freeing yourself from the dirty work. It actually means embracing all aspects of the business – that means everything from making the most difficult business decisions to motivating your people to keep up the good work. In a sense, you evolve from a mere contributor to an insider with deeper involvement in the business that determines the outcome of your and your people’s endeavors.

This sounds like a huge responsibility, doesn’t it? So why would you want that kind of burden on your shoulders? Is entrepreneurship worth all that hardship? The answer is a resounding yes. It’s through entrepreneurship that you can find the true essence of success, purpose and fulfillment. If you’re an employee who feels like there’s something missing in your life, then you may find that missing piece in the independence and success that you can achieve through entrepreneurship.

A lot of people say that when choosing a job, you should choose one that you love because you’re going to spend most of your life working on it. Business ownership may require you to shed a lot of blood and sweat, but none of it goes to waste because everything you do will help you achieve your dreams, and you’ll be helping your people earn a living too. What’s not to love about that? :)

Nothing is Impossible
Becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t only improve your character and sense of responsibility – it also grants you the opportunity to do the impossible, explore the unknown. It’s just like Julia says in her article: entrepreneurship allows you to take nothing and turn it into something. Entrepreneurs think of creative ideas, identify opportunities, take risks, and respond to the market’s needs. These are people who don’t just stop at conceptualization, but put their own ideas into action.

Most people hesitate to start up their own businesses simply because they don’t know how to. Reinaldo Lopez, an Internet Marketing Consultant, has unleashed a possible springboard for business rookies in his Small Business CEO Magazine article, “How to Capitalize on Your ‘Aha’ Moment”. Reinaldo enumerated a simple process on how to turn an idea into a business. The key points in his list include changing one’s mindset, avoiding distractions and hindrances, and taking massive action now. There’s no room for hesitation here; you have to be confident in your own abilities and start taking steps toward your life as an entrepreneur today. :)

Entrepreneurship cultivates not just self-fulfillment but also a continuous pursuit to get more value out of life. It liberates people from the mediocrity of normal employment, and prevents them from becoming too complacent about their careers. This is true not just for business owners, but for the customers they serve and the people who work for them as well. Customers will benefit from the improved products, while the people involved in the business will have the added benefit of learning many things that will help them become entrepreneurs themselves.

In essence, becoming an entrepreneur gives you the opportunity to make life better for yourself and the people around you. That opportunity is lying there, right in front of you, just waiting for you to grab it. All you have to do is get over your hesitations, adjust your mindset to focus on your goals, and start your career as an entrepreneur today. :)

Adaire


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Investment – Is it for you?

August 11th, 2011 by Adaire in Financial Freedom

A few years ago, I told myself that I needed to make money and buy a new property or business. If I relied on my income alone, it could take me decades to achieve that goal. I had to find other ways to earn money so that I could achieve my goals at a much faster rate, and I found that making wise investments was a great way to do just that. With some assistance from this article by Lyn Bell in Healthy Wealthy nWise entitled “Top 10 Ways to Wisely Invest Money”, I’ll talk about what you aspiring investors out there need to do in order to achieve the same results as I did. :)

Investments and Savings
There are two things we can do to help our money grow: we can either try to save it or invest it. Saving is pretty easy – set aside some of your money, put it in a savings account, and allow your money to earn a small amount of interest over time. This sounds like the simplest way to get more money into your pockets, but the growth in interest is often too slow and too small for you to even notice.

Investment is more complicated than just sticking your money into the bank and watching it grow. Like starting up a savings account, making an investment requires you to have a capital to start with, but the money you put into an investment can grow significantly larger at a much faster rate. That’s because the value of investments are a bit unpredictable and are prone to going up or down very quickly.

This unpredictability gives you the opportunity to increase the money that you earn in the blink of an eye, but it also makes you prone to losing all your money in an instant. To avoid falling prey to that risk, you have to learn how to lay out a solid game plan before you start investing.

How do you start?
A common misconception is that investing is a privilege only for the rich people. The truth is that investment is also something an average Joe can do to fulfill his dreams – but only if he does it with careful planning and proper timing.

According to Lyn’s article, “In order to invest wisely, one must know where he or she wants to be”. When you’re thinking about investing, be specific. Ask yourself what you’re saving up for and determine a target date for your goal. Do you want to be able to buy a new car within the year? Do you plan on retiring in 15 years and want to have a nice retirement fund ready for you by then? Having a clear goal will help you stay focused and channel your resources towards getting there.

Should you focus on investing or saving?
You have to remember that even though you’re setting money aside for investment, you shouldn’t be ignoring your savings! Savings serve as your security blanket if investing doesn’t work out for you, or if there’s an emergency that you need to pull out extra cash for.

But if you’re still struggling to save money, how can you even think about investing? It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but the trick is to ensure that your money is going where it’s supposed by channeling your resources properly. To do this, you have to divide your money into three categories: expenses, savings and investments. The common tendency is to view investments the same way you’d view savings – as leftovers from your expenses. That’s a mistake! Investments should be treated more like expenses – like bills that you need to pay monthly. You don’t even have to set huge amounts of money aside per month – you can start at as low as $5 a month until you’ve got enough for an investment.

What are your options?
As an employee, have you been branded as an asset to the company? An employee can be considered to be an asset if the value of their contribution to the financial growth of the company is greater than the amount of money that they’re being paid. That’s the kind of value you should be looking for in investments.

The different types of assets include properties, retirement or mutual funds, health insurance, stock purchase, foreign exchange trading, business ventures, and many more. Choosing the right type of investment for you depends on your goals, schedule, and risk tolerance (meaning how much risk you’re willing to take). People who are closer to the age of retirement will have very little time to make up for any losses, so it’s usually wiser for them to have lower risk tolerance as opposed to a younger entrepreneur.

Which asset should you choose?
Now that you understand your options, which one should you choose? You don’t actually have to limit yourself to just one – in her article, Lyn mentions investment diversification, or spreading your invested resources among several types of assets. The concept is very similar to the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Diversifying your investments will help you cope with losses, as it’s not likely that all your investments will fail at the same time. If only a few of your investments fail while others continue successfully, your losses won’t be as debilitating.

What do you do after investing?
Once all of your investments are in place, you need to monitor the rise and fall of your assets’ values to help you determine your next move – whether to venture into other assets, to buy or sell stocks, or to completely withdraw an investment. However, Lyn advises that you shouldn’t keep checking on your investment too often – investments are unstable and are bound to go up and down, and you might be tempted to back out of an investment if you see the slightest decrease in profit. As Lyn says, you have to “think long-term”, and that you shouldn’t “treat [an investment] as though you want the money next week and then take fright when it’s down.”

So is investing something that you should do? Yes, it is! You don’t have to be filthy rich to get started – all you need to become an investor are the right mindset, a clear plan, and possible contingencies. Investments provide opportunities for everyone – not just the privileged few – to fatten up their wallets and live in the lap of luxury. :)

Adaire


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Getting to Know Your Online Target Market

August 2nd, 2011 by Adaire in Financial Freedom

It is true that the internet has provided a medium to capture a wide range of markets regardless of age, gender, purchasing power, and other market profiling indicators. However, just like products sold in shops, familiarizing yourself with your product’s target market is the key to your business’ success.

There are several key things to take a look at when researching about your target market, and some of them have been highlighted in the Internet Marketing TnT article: “How to Do Research for Your Internet Business Product”, by Michael Tasker.

Product Demand
One of the things you research in any business is the demand for your product. For online businesses, the simplest thing to do would be to take a look at what people are searching for when they go online to shop. In his article, Michael highlighted the use of Google’s keyword tool, which tracks how many searches are conducted using keywords related to your product within a month. Determining the popularity of Google keywords related to your product is a good way of gauging the market demand– after all, people wouldn’t be looking for something they don’t want, would they? :)

When researching about the demand for a product, Michael also suggests that you take a look at websites like YouTube, Amazon, and ClickBank as well. These websites provide you with various bits of information that will prove to be useful in your research. YouTube has become a popular go-to site for people looking for solutions and product reviews, so it’s always a good place to see what kind of things your target market is looking for. Amazon is also a good source of product reviews, and taking a look at the number of people buying a specific product from this popular online store is a good way to gauge the demand for that product. Aside from viewing sales statistics for online stores, you should also take a look at the affiliate sales statistics on affiliate networks like Clickbank, because these statistics can tell you a great deal about which products are popular across a variety of websites.

Market Saturation
Keyword research isn’t the only thing that Google is good for; it also helps you determine the saturation levels of your target market. A market that is highly “saturated” means that the product is already so widely distributed that it’s not very likely that demand or sales will grow any further, unless there is an increase in the actual population of buyers.

In the online marketplace, levels of saturation can be determined by the number of websites that show up when relevant business keywords are used in Google searches. All you have to do is simply run a Google search on your keywords and take a look at the search results. How many of those are websites are selling a product that’s similar to yours? If your search results are composed of more than two pages of these websites, that means that there are already too many competitors out there, and you may want to think twice about your target market. A highly saturated market segment is something you want to avoid targeting because there’s too much competition, and that will make it very difficult for you to compete with other sellers.

Economic Value
What if you discover that your target market is not saturated at all? Wouldn’t it be a good idea for you to hop to it and take advantage this discovery? In this case, Michael says that you shouldn’t just assume that you’re the first to discover a gaping hole in the market. The lack of competition could be a sign that others have already tried to sell products or services that are similar to yours, only to discover that they had no economic value.

A good way to determine the economic value of your product is to take a look at the advertisements that appear at the top or the right hand column of your Google searches. Those are paid ads that were purchased through the Google AdWords service. The presence of two or three paid ads indicates that the product was so profitable that their sellers could afford to spend money on these ads. If there are no paid ads at all, then the product may not be worth your time and money.

Customer Engagement
Another important thing you need to know is how to engage your target market. It won’t be enough just to show them your product and their benefits; to turn your online window shoppers into actual buyers requires you to build a reputation of being trustworthy. To do that, you have to know what to say to your potential customers to assure them of the quality of your product and the integrity of your services. Conducting customer surveys, reading product reviews, and asking for feedback from your active customers will help you tweak your strategies and come up with new ways to engage your customers in a positive way.

Conducting all of this research may seem tedious, but it certainly won’t be a waste of your time. In order to succeed in the online market, you need to invest ample time and resources in online market research until you get a crystal clear picture of who your target is so you can win them over and leave your competitors in the dust. :)

Adaire


Image by: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net