Monday, June 21, 2010

Once Upon a Time in the Business World - A Marketing Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, you decided to go into business for yourself.  You've got your business up and running.  You've joined several affiliate programs.  You've signed up with a fabulous network marketing opportunity.  Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the money to flow in.  But it's been a few weeks or months, or - heaven forbid! - a year, and there's been little or no traffic to your website.  No one is calling you about your product or services.  And there hasn't been much cash flowing - at least not INTO you bank account.  Maybe this wasn't such a great idea after all.

Then one day you meet a friend for lunch.  You haven't seen each other in a while and as you talk, she asks what you are doing.  You half-heartedly tell her about your venture.  After all, it's not really working that well and you don't want to look foolish in front of her.  So you explain how it was just something you took a stab at, not really expecting it to work.  And her response?  "Really?  I had no idea you were in business for yourself!  How long have you been doing this?  What sort of business is it?  Tell me more."  By the time lunch is over, you have explained exactly what it is you are doing and discover that she is a perfect client for you.  The client is so happy with your services, that she tells others and soon you have a small but growing business.  Encouraged that perhaps this really does work, you start to actively tell others what it is that you do and before long, you business is growing and thriving.   

Does this sound like a fairy tale?  Unfortunately, it's a true story.  The business woman was me.  The friend was planning her daughter's wedding and was having difficulty finding a place to hold the reception.  She became my very first client when I started my meeting planning business.  From that first wedding, I built a business that included major associations, multi-national corporations, and even an Internet guru or two as clients! 

Now I know you are all asking the same question.  Why didn't she know about my new business sooner?  We had been friends for years and although we didn't get to see each other as often as we liked, we still kept in touch by email and phone.  She should have been one of the first people to know.  All I can tell you is I failed to promote myself and my business.

Many new business owners have the same problem.  They are either unsure how to go about marketing themselves or they feel self-conscious promoting themselves.  Or perhaps they think that they have to be pushy and aggressive to sell their products or services and they just don't feel comfortable doing so.  Sometimes it may be they feel they don't have money to use to promote their business effectively.  And so they sit and wait and hope that somehow, someway, someone will find them in the vast sea of businesses vying for attention.

Let me tell you one thing I have learned during my journey to become an entrepreneur.  A little self-promotion is a good thing!  If you don't know how to start, there are books and courses that will help you learn.  If you think you have to be pushy, dishonest, or overly aggressive, that's not the case.  There are many ways to promote your business in a more "gentle" manner.  If money is an issue, I can personally tell you that while you always do need to have a little money to invest in your business, there are many free and low-cost but effective ways to get the word out about who you are and what you do.  

I'll be devoting several more posts to marketing your business.  I'll discuss various ways to promote yourself and your business that have worked for me.  And I'll give you some resources - some free, some not - that I have found helpful in learning how to sell myself and my services.  Let's start with one that I have found invaluable. 

I'm not an overly pushy person and I hate a hard sell.  So when I became friends with Denise Michaels and discovered that she had written a wonderful book designed for all of us that are looking for a softer, gentler approach to marketing, I was overjoyed.  I promptly read the book and used much of what she taught to start building my business.  I still refer to the book today and I highly recommend it to everyone.  I am not an affiliate for Denise and I don't get a time for referrals.  I just promote it because I found it that useful - and my number one goal in business is to help everyone achieve success.  Pick up a copy of Testosterone Free Marketing, read it cover to cover, and then, most important of all, take action!

Once upon a time, a new business owner read this blog, took the advice, used some of the resources shared, started to really promote their business, made a ton of money, and lived happily ever after!   

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off By The Next Big Thing

I have a junk email account that I use when signing up for mailing lists, newsletters, and other such things.  I use it to help keep my business account inbox at a manageable level.  Because along with an ever-increasing presence online comes an ever-increasing flow of "offers" and "opportunities" into my inbox. 

Now don't get me wrong.  Not everything that arrives via email is junk.  I met the fabulous Ken McArthur by replying to a "junk" email.  But it's hard to know which offers are legitimate and which really are junk.  When I first started out, I subscribed to, joined, or purchased just about everything that came my way.  And after spending a pretty good chunk of cash and filling my inbox with a ton of things that were either outdated, full of info available for free online if you just took the time to look, or were just outright scams, I learned - the hard way - to be more discerning.

The Internet is full of offers for the next big thing.  A new product or system launches and everyone is pushing it and suddenly you are caught up in the hoopla and poof! - there goes your cash out the door for another purchase.  Some of these offerings are wonderful opportunities to start or expand your business.  But even if they are worthwhile, that still doesn't mean you should jump right out there and grab it. 

How do you tell the scams from legitimate offers?  And how do you know when an offer is right for you?  Here are some tips.

1.  Use your common sense.  If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Do you really think you are going to put up a website tonight and "Make 1000's Overnight While You Sleep"?  Let's be real.  If that were at all possible, everyone would be doing it.  Making a living online takes work.  In fact, you may work harder getting your business off the ground than you do at your job. 

2.  Do your homework.  Most real scams have been around for awhile in one guise or another.  Get online and do some research.  If there are others who have tried it and found it to be a rip off, word will get out.  You just have to look.  Look for forums, newsletters, or other websites that review work-at-home business opportunities or internet marketing programs.  Post a question on Twitter or ask on Facebook,  LinkedIn, or any of the social networking sites.  Many users of these sites have been where you are and are willing to share what they know. 

3.  Contact the company.  Search for the company online.  Can you find an actual site for them or just their sales letter?  Is there a phone number?  When you call the phone number, does someone actually answer?  Look at the email address the offer came from.  Is it a bona fide address?  If you reply to it, does your message get bounced back?  If so, is there an email address provided somewhere in the offer so you can contact the company with questions?

4.  Look at the offer itself.  Does the price seem ridiculously low for all that you are promised?  That can be a warning sign.  Scam artists know that most people are not going to come after them for $20.  They count on that.  Instead of hoping for a few sales of a high-dollar offer, they count on massive sales of $20 or less, knowing that most people will write off their mistake as a learning experience.

If you find that the opportunity or product is legitimate, how do you know if it's right for you?  Again, there are some basic guidelines.

1.  Does it complement or enhance your core business?  When you are just starting out, you especially do not want to be distracted by trying too many things at once.  Focus on your basic business and get that fully profitable before branching off into something else.

2.  Can you really afford it?  If you are taking money from daily expenses to cover the cost of the next book, class, system, or opportunity, you probably shouldn't.

3.  Will you actually use it, read it, follow it?  If it's just one more ebook on your computer or bound book on your shelf, it's not worth it.  If you don't have time to read and use the information you already have, why do you want to spend money on more?  If the program requires you to do something you have no skill in or dislike, you won't be successful.  Why waste the money and the time?   

Use this knowledge the next time you are tempted to try the "next big thing".  There are lots of good, reliable, effective programs, tools, mentors, and systems available.  Hopefully, this information will help you find them and avoid the scam artists.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Who Do You Follow?

I've posted several lists lately - who to follow on Twitter, which Internet marketing experts are worth listening to, who are the best women on the Internet right now.  And I've received some feedback.  Some of it agreed with my recommendations.  Some didn't.  And some readers stated that while my list was good, I missed several people they thought should be included.  So now I'm interested.  I try to keep up with the best and the brightest online, but obviously I can't keep track of everybody.  But if there is someone out there beneficial to my readers, then I would like to know more about them. 

I've decided to devote the next couple of posts to you - and your recommendations.  Tell me who you think is worth mentioning here.  Whose advice do you trust?  Whose suggestions do you follow?  Whose tweets do you read without fail?  Comment here and I will check them out.  I'll devote a post to each of them.  Either a guest post by you since you're recommending them, or if you prefer, I'll do the writing and give you the credit for the recommendation.

I'm looking forward to making some great new connections and finding fabulous new resources for me and my clients and subscribers!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

From Flower Girl to Duchess Through the Power of Communication

"One day I'll be famous, I'll be proper and prim. Go to St. James so often, I will call it St. Jim..."

May 20th was Eliza Doolittle Day, and yes, theater buff that I am, I'm still singing some of my favorite songs from "My Fair Lady" three days later.  If you are not familiar with it, it's a musical about rather snobbish phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, who wagers that he can take a cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, and pass her off as a member of high society by teaching her to speak properly. 

I know that you would love to hear about our Eliza Doolittle Day celebration or perhaps more about the musical.  And I would love to share all that with you.  But that is not my purpose here.  What inspired this post was the discussion we had at our little get-together.  In the movie, Henry Higgins turns Eliza Doolittle into a woman able to pass herself off as a duchess by helping her learn to speak proper English.  Our discussion concerned whether people are still judged today by the way they speak.  And that led to a discussion of the importance of good communication skills, including proper grammar - and to a consensus that since these are no longer taught in school, it's important to learn them elsewhere.

In business, it is critical to be able to communicate your ideas quickly and clearly.  You may have the most brilliant idea, one-of-a kind service, or valuable product on the market today, but if you cannot make me understand that, your idea, service, or product is useless.

Communicating effectively requires many different skills.  Proper pronunciation, grammar, spelling, and punctuation are vital.  There are many books and classes available that teach these basics.  I don't have a particular favorite.  At the risk of betraying my age, I went to school when grammar, punctuation, and penmanship were still taught in elementary school.  I have seen several books on these subjects at the local Barnes & Noble, however, and most of them seemed likely to be effective.  If someone has a resource to recommend, please feel free to post it in the comments.

Another crucial factor in effective communication is vocabulary.  You don't need to memorize the dictionary.  But you do need to have a large enough vocabulary to always have the right word at your disposal.  When I was 13, my grandmother gave me a subscription to Reader's Digest for my birthday.  Believe it or not, I was thrilled.  This magazine held a wealth of treasures for me, including a feature called "It Pays to Increase Your Word Power."  Each issue came with 20 words, their definitions, and an example of their usage in a sentence.  It was an easy way to increase my vocabulary by 20 words each month.  Reader's Digest still carries this feature and they have an online version on their website.

Perfect grammar, extensive vocabulary, proper pronunciation - is that everything?  No.  Unfortunately, you can have all of this and still not be able to get your point across.  Fortunately, this is also a skill that can be learned.  And I happen to know the only person I would recommend to teach you.

Before I continue, in keeping with all of the current laws, I must state that I am an affiliate for the products I am about to recommend, and the link is an affiliate link.  And now that we have that out of the way, let me also state that the only reason I am an affiliate is because I can make this recommendation with no hesitation at all.  So where do you go to learn to put all of the basic skills together into an effective package?  Felicia Slattery's Communication Transformation.  Felicia is a communication consultant, speaker, and coach specializing in training busy professionals to succeed by communicating effectively with clients and prospects.  You've seen her mentioned in many of my blog posts as one of the people whose opinions and input I value and trust.  If you really want to learn how to get your message across, she is the one person who can help you. 

Learn to speak and write clearly and concisely.  Practice the skills necessary to communicate with ease and confidence.  Who knows what might happen?

"One evening the King will say, Oh Liza old thing.  I want all of England your praises to sing.  Next week on the 20th of May, I proclaim Liza Doolittle Day." 


Monday, May 3, 2010

Who "Tweets" You Best?

I have to admit it.  I was a bit slow in jumping on the Twitter bandwagon.  And I probably still don't spend as much time there as I should.  But Twitter is a fabulous way to build your business.  I know I was skeptical when @BobtheTeacher told me I needed to get involved.  What can you possibly say in 140 characters that has any value?  Plenty - as I soon discovered.

One of the first challenges when joining the Twitter family is deciding who to follow.  Some people tell you to follow everybody who follows you.  I don't personally subscribe to that theory.  If I'm giving my time to something, it has to have value for me.  I'm not being selfish - just practical.  And so I'm very selective in choosing who to follow.  I follow a wide variety of people - each for a different reason.  But the one thing they all have in common is this - when they "tweet", it's usually worth reading.

There are literally hundreds of lists of who to follow on Twitter.  Everyone, it seems, has an opinion.  So do I.  These are the people I follow; the ones who share info I can use.  You may be surprised at some of my picks.  One thing I did discover - just because you're a successful business person, that does not make you a wonderful "tweeter"! 

The 22 Best Business People to Follow on Twitter - if you really want to learn something!

1.  Denise Michaels (@DeniseMM):  Denise is a marketing and empowerment expert.  I have learned much about "softer, gentler" marketing techniques through her insight and I am a huge fan of Empower U Academy!

2. Felicia Slattery (@feliciaslattery):  Communication Expert, Speaker, and Coach.  Felicia is a powerhouse who always has something to worthwhile to share.  I know what she has done for my own communication skills.  She can do the same for you.

3. Ken McArthur (@KenMcArthur):  Best Selling Author and Marketing Expert - and the guy who got me started down this crazy path called entrepreneurship (Wait!  Felicia - is that a word?)

4. Beverly Mahone (@babyboomerbev):  Founder of Boomer Diva Nation and BoomerDiva TV.  This woman has done more to show me how to promote myself than just about anyone I know.  Thanks, Bev!

5. Bob Jenkins (@BobTheTeacher):  Introduced me to Twitter, Instant Teleseminar, and a host of other wonderful tools.  If he tweets it, you need to read it!

6. Wendy Y. Bailey (@wendyYbailey):  Creator of Group Coaching Mastery.  Wendy was one of my first teleseminar guests.  She taught me 3 little words that made a huge impact on my business.  Want to know what they were?  Guess you'll have to follow her and ask!

7.  Heidi RichardsMooney (@HeidiRichards): Author and Coach.  Always has something of interest to share about social networking, marketing, and sucess. 

8.  Paulette Ensign (@pauletteensign):  Who knew that a simple tips booklet could be so profitable? 

9.  Jeff Herring (@JeffHerring):  If you want to understand article marketing, this is the gentleman to follow.

10. Carrie Wilkerson (@barefoot_exec):  I'm not sure she realizes it, but the idea for BoomerBizCoach came from talking to Carrie at a jvAlert Live event.  Thanks, Carrie!  Follow this woman!  She's amazing!

11. Olalah Njenga (@olalah):  Marketing strategist.  Always has something useful to share.

12. Bob Proctor (@Bob_D_Proctor):  Motivating.  Inspiring.  It's Bob Proctor, for Pete's sake!

13. Sandy Forster (@WWealthy):  Her book, How to Be Wildly Wealthy Fast, was the first one I ever read about how your mindset can impact your success.  I've been a fan ever since.

14. Vicky Lyn (@vickylyn):  Love her blog.  She's been posting quite a bit about Twitter marketing lately.  You don't want to miss it.

15. Willie Crawford (@WillieCrawford):  Are you kidding?  It's Willie Crawford.  'Nuf said.

16. Gina Gaudio-Graves (@JVQueen):  Founder of which I love.  If you need help finding your way around the world of internet marketing, you need to follow her.

17. Kim Duke (@SalesDiva):  Sales expert shares her tips.  What?  You're not in sales?  Guess again.  If you're in business, you're in sales.

18. Kathleen Gage (@kathleengage):  Internet marketing and teleseminar training specialist.  There is a right way to do this stuff, and she shares it with you. 

19. Darren Rowse (@problogger):  If you want tips on blogging then this is the guy to follow. 

20. Joel Comm (@joelcomm):  Author of Twitter Power.  If you haven't read it, you need to.

21. Michael Angier (@MichaelAngier):  Founder of  I've been a suscriber forever.  He always has good info to share. 

22.  Mike Litman (@MikeLitman):  Taught me not to be afraid to try.  "You don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going." 


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Creating Your Marketing Game Plan

When starting your online business, it is essential that you have a marketing plan.  You wouldn't start on a trip without a map, would you?  Why would you want to start marketing your business with some idea of where you are going?

There are different ways to create your plan.  There are several marketing plans software packages available to help you with the process.  I have never used any of them, so I cannot recommend one in particular.  I am more comfortable just creating my plan myself.  If that interests you, then read on to see how I do it.

There is a suggested order to your marketing plan elements and I encourage you to learn it.  If you ever decide to look for outside financing or a business partner, they will expect to see all of these elements.  For my own use, I am not quite as formal.  I will teach you everything, though, so you can get familiar with it.

The first part of your plan should always be an "Executive Summary".  This is the who, what, when, where, and how of your marketing strategy.  Although it is the first part of your written plan, it is typically created last, after all of your marketing analysis has been completed.

Yes, I said marketing analysis.  You will need some information about your industry and your competitors before you launch your marketing campaign.  This should be the second part of your marketing plan.  You will want to research the strengths and weaknesses of your industry as a whole, plus your competitors.  You need to find out as much as you can about them.  Trust me - if they are successful in the business, they know all about you!

The third part of your marketing plan should focus on your products or services and your target markets.  Information such as target market demographics, industry trends, societal/cultural trends, and the needs/wants of your target market go here.  If you don't know how or don't have the time to do this yourself, you can purchase the information.  Again, I have never done so.  My husband loves spending countless  hours on the internet researching this stuff for me, and he works cheap so I let him do it! 

Next you will want to outline your actual marketing strategy.  How will you get the word out to your target markets?  What promotional activities will you use?  What type of marketing programs?  Will you be strictly online or will you use some offline marketing?  What pricing strategies will you use for each of your products/services?  State your overall marketing objective and then describe how you are going to get there.

You will also need to describe how you are going to measure whether your strategies are succeeding.  Most formal marketing plans include this information in a separate section.  Since no one sees my marketing plan except me and my husband, I just include it with the information above.  But you do want to describe how you will monitor your progress and make adjustments if necessary. 

The last part of your marketing plan is your forecast.  This is where you will forecast your growth and financial analyses.  Information to include:  What does it cost to produce your product/service (including all overhead costs and other expenses)?  How many of each product/service will you need to sell to make a profit?  How long will it take to make a profit?  What will you do if you don't sell enough?  What will you do if you sell more than expected?

You can learn to do all of this by reading books on marketing plans.  One of my favorites is "Breakthrough Marketing Plans: How to Stop Wasting Time and Start Driving Growth" by Tim Calkins.  It's a couple of years old, but it still has great information.  I also suggest you explore This information-based site includes articles written by a variety of consultants and authors, each with a unique approach and view on marketing planning.

Make your plan then follow your plan and you'll be on your way to a successful business!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baby Boomer Biz Coach

Did you know the economy is on the mend?  That's what it said on the news this morning.  Too bad someone forgot to let us all in on it.  So many of my friends and acquaintences are still struggling with the effects of this recession.  Many of them have been laid off or downsized or have just seen their employers close their doors.  And if you think it's hard finding a job in today's market, try being a baby boomer and looking for work!  Although age discrimination is illegal, it still exists.  What's a boomer to do?

Fortunately, there are options.  And yes, starting your own business is one of them.  There are so many ways to get into business for yourself today.  With the power of the internet at most boomers' fingertips, you can be up and running in no time.

How do you start your business?  What are you good at?  What are you passionate about?  That's where you want to start. 

I had to start my working from home when my father came to live with us.  He needed round the clock supervision and I could not afford someone to watch him.  Since nursing homes were out of the question, I had only one option - find a way to stay home with him.  I started out working for a company that let me work from home, learned my way around the internet, found some great friends and mentors along the way and today I run several online businesses.  Trust me, old boomers can learn new tricks! 

BoomerBizCoach was developed to provide my fellow baby boomers with information, ideas, and support to help you start earning an income on your terms.  No more worrying about whether this job will last or that employer will hire you.  Whether you want to be strictly online, or employ a combination of online and offline techniques, I can teach you the skills you need to get started.

How do you get started?  Well, if you already know what you want to do, you're halfway there.  Now you just need to learn the skills needed to get your business prospering.  This blog and and my others, Don't Trip Over Your Brain!, focusing on building a successful network marketing business; and BoomerBizCoach Recommends, a site devoted to bringing you the best resources and experts available; will teach all you need to know.  If you want more indepth coaching, then check out my coaching programs and find the one best suited to your needs.

If you have absolutely no idea of what you want to do, that's still not a problem.  Sign up for my Turn Your Passion into Profits program.  It's just an email away and it's free! We'll give you a skills and interest assessment to determine what your strengths, weaknesses, passions, and dislikes are. Then you'll receive a personal 1 hour session with me where we'll work together to determine just the right business model for you. A little research to make sure it's a viable business idea - and you're on the way.

I suggest you also join the BoomerBizCoach mailing list. Members receive marketing strategies, ideas, tips, and recommendations to help grow your business. And did I mention that it's also free?
I've been asked why I offer so much free support to my clients.  And I've even been discouraged from doing so.  Yes, I do have to make a living.  But I received so much help and guidance when I was starting, that I feel obligated to repay it in the only way I know how - by helping others achieve what I have. 

Don't let this current economic misstep sidetrack your plans and dreams.  It's never too late to get started.  

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Affiliate Showcase a Scam!

I just received that news in my email.  Someone - who doesn't have the guts to identify themselves by the way - just informed me of this fact.  Affiliate Showcase is a scam!

It seems they read some of my blog posts on affiliate marketing.  If you have read them, then you know that I am a huge fan of Ken McArthur and his Affiliate Showcase.  I recommend it every time I talk about affiliate marketing. 

I normally don't respond to anonymous emails. But this one upset me greatly since I have known Ken and

have been a member of Affiliate Showcase for a number of years.  It's how I got started in affiliate marketing.  In Ken's own words:  If you've got 5 minutes, he will show you how to plug into hundreds of products that will pay you commissions of up to 50% or more - and the best part... You don't even need your own web site!  And I can vouch for the fact that it will work - if you do! 

My guess, if I could ask my mystery emailer, is that you are one of those people who sign up for something and then sit back and wait for the money to come in, but don't want to do any real work.  I'd be willing to bet that you didn't promote your site in any way.  Any opportunity that says you don't have to work at it is a scam!  Any REAL opportunity will take at least a small amount of work.

 Please do all of us who strive to earn decent, HONEST, livings online a favor.  Actually put some effort into your next business.  Really pay attention to what you read and listen to the advice of those who, like Ken McArthur, have become successful and want to help you do the same.  Try some of the techniques they suggest.  Then email me again - and tell me how successful you've become.  I'll be waiting to hear from you!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Top 5 Ways I Make Money on the Internet

My last post gave you the easiest way to find just the right business for you.  Plus I shared some examples of clients and friends who have used this tecnique to create successful home businesses.  Now I want to share internet businesses that are fairly simple and inexpensive to start.  I have used each of these during my own online business career so I can tell you - they work!

1.  Affiliate Marketing:  The easiest way to get started online is through affiliate marketing.  What's affiliate marketing?  Promoting other people's products and/or services.  This was how I started.  In fact I'm still an affiliate for Ken Evoy's Site Build It!, Mike Dillard's Magnetic Sponsoring, and Rick Raddatz's Instant Teleseminar.  To get started, look at the products you use and trust.  Then find out if they have an affiliate program.  Chances are they do.  Then simply register to be an affiliate and you are on your way.  If you don't know of any affiliate programs, a little online research will help you find them.  Affiliate programs are free to join.  If someone is asking you to pay to be an affiliate, beware!  Most programs will also provide you with a website, training, and promotional tools.  These are great to get started, but you will want to learn some web marketing skills to increase your income potential.

2.  Blogging:  I started blogging simply as a way to share my experiences with others.  I never dreamed you could actually use your blog to may money until I met Darren Rowse aka ProBlogger.  While participating in his 31 day Build a Better Blog program, I discovered that you can use the power of your blog to drive people to your websites, promote your affiliate programs, and even set up some advertising.  Now my blogs are a main source of income for me.  If you like to share your ideas and can express yourself well, blogging may be for you.  If you are considering it, I highly recommend you check out the ProBlogger site.  No one teaches the ins and outs of blogging better than he does.

3.  Your Own E-Commerce Site:  Once you have learned your way around the internet business world, you may want to consider setting up a site of your own to promote your own product or service.  Infoproducts are especially easy to create and market and as Ken Evoy says - Everyone knows something someone else will pay to learn.  If you aren't sure how to create and market an infoproduct, there is help available.  Marlon Sanders has created the InfoProduct Dashboard.  I use it and I like it so much that I became an affiliate of Marlon's products just so I could promote this product.  You'll need to understand internet marketing, copywriting, networking, and a host of other skills - but that's why you started with affiliate marketing and blogging.

4.  Freelancing:  One of my businesses is the Travels with Bob shop.  In in you will find all sorts of merchandise with designs featuring Bob - and soon, some of his friends.  And if you think I created those designs myself, think again.  I hired freelance graphic designers to do the work.  In fact, all of my graphics on every site I own were designed by two wonderful designers - PopArtDiva and Karlyn.  If you have a skill such as design, or copywriting, or web design, or programming, becoming a freelancer may be for you.  And freelancing can lead to regular work.  I started out as a freelance writer, submitting articles to various publications.  That landed me a regular spot as a business columnist and travel writer on!

5.  Coaching/Consulting:  Those that can, do.  Those that have proven that they can and want to help others, coach.  Or consult.  Either way, if you have expertise in something, you can provide that expertise to others and get paid for it.  BoomerBizCoach is my coaching business.  I love sharing what I have learned with others.  And thanks to my friend Wendy Y. Bailey, now I charge for that!  You can too.  (You can hear how Wendy helped me by listening to my interview with her on the BoomerBizCoach site).  By the way, this is my first attempt a building my own site.  That's another task I usually outsource.  Why not this time?  Long story.  But I would appreciate some feedback on the site.  Email me with your input and I'll send you a free internet marketing report. 

These are the ways I make money online.  There are others.  If you have a unique business that you have taken online, we'd love to hear about it.  I may even want to do a blog post about you or invite you to be a guest on my next series of interviews. Share your business in the comments.  P.S. Commenting on other blogs is another great way to market your business.  A tip I learned from ProBlogger!    

Friday, February 26, 2010

Creative Businesses You Can Run From Home

So you want to start your own business.  Awesome!  There is only one small catch - what type of business to start? 

Deciding what type of business to start can be a difficult decision - or not.  If you base your decision on your skills and interests, coming up with the right business for you can be a relatively simple decision.  The first step, then, is to determine what your skills are and how they relate to your interests.

I am very good at teaching and coaching others.  I am also very efficient at organizing things.  I love to talk and write and I've been told I communicate very effectively.  Math and science are a breeze.  And I have an amazing memory for facts and figures.  I have also been told I have quite the flair for the dramatic. I am extremely quick at learning other languages.

I'm not very artistic.  I can't draw a straight line.  Even my stick people look odd.  I am also not very athletic.  I enjoy some sports and I love the outdoors, but I am not going to win any medals.  I get bored easily and I detest routine and repetitive tasks. 

I love music, art, travel, books, gardening, teaching, parties, cooking, theater, animals, outdoor activities such as camping and hiking, science - especially astronomy and physics, history - particularly medieval, languages and I am quite the do-it-yourselfer.

Now, taking a look at my skills, my interests, and areas where I'm not so skilled - what types of business are good for me? 

First, I got started in meeting and event planning.  I'm a good organizer.  I love to travel and have parties.  I'm great with words and language (helpful in reading and understanding contracts) and I communicate well and love to talk (helpful in contract negotiation).  I enjoyed it and probably would still be involved if not for the current economic situation.  More and more companies are cutting their meeting budget.

I like animals, I love to travel, and I write well.  Sounds like the start of "Traveling Bob."  A travel blog and site written by a dog?  Why not?  It's been fun - and profitable.  Creative enough to hold my interest (remember I tend to lose interest quickly).  Unique enough to catch the public attention.

I still needed something else to do.  I am a certified master trainer.  I love to design training courses and curricula.  And I love to help others, especially those who are much like me.  BoomerBizCoach is the perfect business for me.  It taps into many of my skills and interests. And there is a definite need for this type of service.

The point I'm trying to make is that by combining your skills and interests, and making sure you account for the areas you are lacking in, you can easily find the perfect home business for you.

I have a friend who is a military wife.  She is also the garage sale queen.  She loves everything about them - organizing and running them, shopping at them, finding that perfect item for a great price, or selling an item at a great price.  She watched as military family after family held their own garage sales either before a transfer or right after.  And she listened as most of us grumbled and groaned about it.  And she saw a niche for her perfect business.  She organizes and runs garage sales for military families.  She does all the work.  Clients pay her a commission out of their earnings.  And these are usually more than average since Chris is very good at what she does.  Chris has been doing this for a number of years now, and still loves what she does.

Jessica loves photography.  She takes fabulous photos.  But she doesn't stop there.  She then uses photo editing software to turn them into truly unique pieces of art.  Now she has a very successful photography business.  People come to her to get work they can't get anywhere else.  I even have one of her photos - a portrait of the women in my family that looks like we all posed together for it, when in reality, my grandmothers and my mother had passed on many years before the photo was created.  It's beautiful and one of my treasured possessions and I gladly paid her price when I saw what she had put together.

David, a client, loves computers.  He also loves to write and does so very well.  After several years at the local poultry plant, David was offered the chance to write the company newsletter and a new business was born.  David now publishes newsletters for several local businesses who don't have the staff to create their own and gladly pay him to perform that service for them. 

I could give example after example of friends and clients who have taken what they know, combined it with what they love, did a little creative brainstorming, and came up with the perfect home business.  You can do it also.  Not sure how to get started?  Take advantage of my free workshop that helps you do just that.  You get all of the tools necessary to help you assess your skills, talents, passions, and interests, plus a 60-minute coaching session with me where we work together to help you find the right path for your business.  Interested?  Contact me at  Let's find that perfect business you can run from home.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 is online!

It has been a long and frustrating process.  But is finally online!

After struggling with two different web designers - both of whom proved to be unreliable - I decided to just do it myself.  Now, I am in no way a web designer.  But I was tired of waiting.  The programs were ready.  My products are almost ready.  I needed my website up and running.  So this weekend, I locked myself in the bedroom on my husband's computer and didn't come out until I was finished.  The result?  A working website.  It may not be as sleek and "professional looking" as the one I was having designed for me.  But it's functional and pretty user-friendly.  And frankly, it has more of my own personality on the pages than the "designed" one.  I'm pretty happy with it. 

Now you can find all of my programs in one easy location - at!

And since the web designers don't appear to have gotten any further with Bob's site than they did mine, I think I'll tackle that one myself next! 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Blogs

My goodness - it HAS been a while!  But 2009 was an interesting - if challenging - year for me.  Personal and family issues that needed to be dealt with.  If you are a reader of some of my other blogs, then you know what I am talking about.

Yes, I have been more active on my other blogs.  It's not that I don't love this one - sharing general business building info with everyone is how I started building a presence online.  But, as I said, it's been an interesting year, and time has been tight so I've been devoting more time to the more narrowly-focused blogs.  Truthfully, they are a bit easier to write since they are targeted to a very specific market for a specific purpose.

Don't Trip Over Your Brain! is my network marketing blog.  I am involved in a great network marketing opportunity (love that whole multiple income streams concept!).  The blog provides tips and advice for others in the network marketing business.  It doesn't matter which company you are with, you will find helpful information here.  Of course, I also talk about my own personal experience with the company I am associated with.  If you are looking for advice on how to build your network marketing business - or if you are looking for a great company to get started with - stop by and check it out.

The Adventures of Traveling Bob is the second blog I started.  Actually, it started as a joke after a VERY late night conversation with some fellow marketers at one of Ken McArthur's jvAlert events.  (Honestly, guys, did you ever think it would actually amount to anything?).  Bob is my little dog who just happens to love to travel with me.  He shares his travel tips and advice with other four-legged friends who travel with their owners.  A former shelter dog himself, he also features different shelters in an effort to help other dogs (and cats and even rabbits) find a home.  Add to that his input on everything from grooming to nutrition - and his ongoing squabble with co-traveler and purebred dog, Austin, and maybe you can see why this blog has grown from joke to income producing business.  Bob (along with Austin and the rest of the Whiteley menagerie) will be launching their own site in the next few days.  Stay tuned!

Baby Boomer Business Coach, like Traveling Bob, was born at a jvAlert event.  (See?  If you need new ideas, this is where you need to be!).  Along with doses of encouragement from me, this site posts articles by and about members of the Boomer Biz Coach family.  I admit, I've been a bit neglectful of this one.  BoomerBizCoach will be launching a new site with some great online coaching programs in the next few days.  Once that's ready, we'll be moving the blog there as well and I promise, it will be posted to more frequently.

BoomerBizCoach Recommends.  What do Denise Michaels, PopArtDiva, Karlyn, and Felicia Slattery have in common?  I think they are fabulous!  I highly recommend them to anyone needing assistance in their respective fields of expertise.  And as I find others who are just too great not to share - other people, tools, sites, books - I'll be sharing them here.  If you are like me and need all the help you can get - stop by and see who and what taught me what I have learned along the way.

God Has Big Plans for You.  I am a Christian.  But there was a time when I doubted my faith and even my reason for living.  Some wonderful friends helped me rediscover Christ and when I turned my life over to him, everything changed.  I have tried to follow his lead since then, and now I feel called to share him with other women.  Ladies, if you believe that being a Christian woman means sacrifice and want, you are so wrong.  God wants us all to live in abundance.  He has a plan for you.  Are you ready to find out what it is?

Things have settled down at last in my life.  I once again have time to devote to all of my passions.  So I will once again be posting here regularly.  Meanwhile, I thank those of you have have stayed in touch through these other blogs.  And I hope others will stop by and get to know me a bit better.