Guest Post by Melodieann Whiteley (learn more about Melodieann at the end of this post).
I’ve been very busy. Running business. Rethinking strategies. Planning for next year. How about you? Are you ready for next year? If not, now is a great time to start thinking about 2009. If you have a business, start looking at ways to grow. New products. New delivery options. New promotional strategies. Perhaps even a whole new business venture.
If you don’t have a business yet, there has never been a better time to start one. Thanks to the Internet, it is now cheaper and easier to get up and running than ever before. And thanks to all of those who have gone before you, there is more help than ever before. Some of them will even let you be affiliates of their products and resell them for a commission.
So what’s holding you back? I’m issuing a challenge to all of you right now. Let’s make 2009 your year. Each one of us has a choice to make. 2009 is right around the corner, and it’s calling to you to change your life. Are you coming or not? Will you make the choice to join us?
I know many of you will be afraid of leaving what is familiar and venturing into something that is totally unknown. Others of you will be excited and challenged at the thought. All of you will be asked to do things you never thought you could do – contact people, write a business plan, promote yourself and your business.
What if you decide to make the choice? What happens next? Contrary to many of the "gurus", there is no foolproof formula. What works for me may not work for you. I can’t do what my friend Ken McArthur does. I use many of his ideas, but I adapt them to my situation. But there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of being successful.
1. BREATHE! Change brings stress. Even positive change can be stressful. So make sure you take time each day to relax and just breathe. Do yoga, meditate, go for a walk – whatever it takes. Just don’t let yourself tighten up and be afraid.
2. Take control of the change. Each day, remind yourself of your vision, your plans, your goals. Stand in front of a mirror and state to yourself your intentions to build a better life. Or even go a step further as recommended by my life coach and sing it. She claims music brings the message deeper.
3. Never stop learning. Read everything you can about your chosen business. Find out who the experts really are and study them. Buy their books or get them from the library. Join their forums, subscribe to their newsletters, read their blogs. Go to seminars when you can afford them.
4. Don’t lose touch with yourself. I’ve seen online entrepreneurs who thought they had to pretend to be something or somebody different from what they were to be successful. The only thing they were was phony. And people can spot phony right away. If you aren’t credible, you won’t go anywhere in business.
5. Make sure you keep your priorities in order. Success is great, but not at the cost of your family, your spirituality, your faith, your health, or your fun. Set aside time for the things that make your success meaningful.
6. Don’t be stingy! Give back to the community that gave to you. Help others get where you are. You get back what you give. I have a friend who sells cars very successfully. Every day he makes it a point to do something for one of his customers. He calls it "feeding the lot." You know what? His customers love him and are very loyal. And if they have a friend or family member who needs a car, guess who gets the referral? That’s how I met him. He sold me my car based on a referral from someone else. Besides, there is nothing like "free" to gain long-term, loyal customers. You can even use this concept to market. It’s called "viral marketing" and we’ll talk about it another day.
So – are you in? Make the choice.
About the Author
Melodieann Whiteley is a retired Navy Cryptologic Technician. Upon retiring from the Navy, she moved to Northwest Arkansas with her husband and family and spent many years in the corporate and non-profit sectors. A bout with cancer made her realize that life was to short to be living someone else’s dream and she started looking for ways to start her own business. Today she runs several flourishing enterprises and is living the life she only dreamed of just a few years ago. She says: “It took a while and I made a lot of mistakes, but here I am. I had a lot of help along the way. If my experiences can help others, please feel free to contact me.” You can find Melodieann writing at: