Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Worth Waiting For

Patience is not my strongest virtue.  Waiting is hard.  It's especially hard when you have so much riding on an outcome.  When days, weeks, months, or sometimes even years go by, seemingly with not much progress, it's easy to feel like a failure.  Sure, you continue to struggle through the day.  If you don't you would have to admit to everyone that this just isn't for you.  That it's too hard and you are too old and too tired to keep pushing.  Better to keep up the charade then admit defeat.  But the thoughts are still there.  The worries.  What if I really can't make this work?  What if I lose everything I've put into this?  What will my family think?  WHAT IF I FAIL?

I first started in network marketing in 1993.  (Unless you want to count the summer I played at Amway between high school and college).  I had just retired from the Navy and was having a difficult time finding work.  What does a former Navy spook and Russian linguist do in Northwest Arkansas?  It wasn't like I had a lot of marketable skills.  Network marketing seemed like the answer to my prayers.  And so I signed up, got my starter kit - and waited.  I waited for someone - my sponsor, my upline - anyone, to tell me what to do next.  I grew more impatient and frustrated as I waited for the help that never came.  I felt abandoned.  I felt like my sponsor knowingly took advantage of my need just to sign me up and get his next recruitment bonus.  When you're waiting for help and for answers, it's easy to get angry and discouraged.  Far easier than trying to move forward on your own.  You think that things will never change.  So why bother to try?

I was fortunate and did find work, good work for a free health and dental center that served the less privileged in our area.  I was doing something that was not only financially rewarding, but also spiritually and emotionally fulfilling.  I was making a difference and that was an amazing feeling.  But always in the back of my mind was that nagging feeling of failure.  And so I eventually stopped talking about my network marketing company.  I didn't quit because I loved the products.  And if anyone asked, I would be happy to sell them an item or two.  But I stopped actively pursuing it.  I focused on my new job, telling everyone that I was just so thrilled to be doing this that I had no time or desire to worry about my business.  At least that way I could say I had made the choice instead of having to admit that I had failed.

Life was good after that.  I left the health center for a series of jobs, each one a step up the pay scale.  These didn't have the social impact of a free health center, but the money was good.  But when you are not doing what you are called to do, it catches up with you.  And some years later it did just that.  My heart was not in what I was doing and it showed.  And so, once again, I found myself in need of income.  And once again I fell into the trap of network marketing.  Only this time I had no choice.  I had to be able to work from home.  Now I had someone depending on me to figure this out.  And as I have always said, it's amazing what you can do when you have no choice.  This time I had the answer.  I had been working with an event planning company and through them I had met many of the top internet marketers of the day.  I had the opportunity to sit in on their events and to talk with them and learn from them.  And while I did not use the internet to build my new business in the beginning, I did learn some things from them.  Persistence.  Focus. That success doesn't always come overnight.  Sometimes it takes days, or weeks, or months, or even years.  But it is definitely worth waiting for.

If you are struggling in your business, feeling frustrated and discouraged, stop.  If you are feeling abandoned and forgotten by your sponsor, stop.  If you are ready to give up because you've just been struggling for SO LONG with nothing to show, stop.  Refocus.  Find a mentor - one that will be there for you and hold you accountable for your own success.  Learn all you can - about your business, your products, marketing techniques, and whatever else you need.  Ask - ask questions, ask for help, ask anyone who will listen.  There are lots of us out here who have been where you are and are willing to guide and mentor.  Above all, don't quit.  Because success will come.  And it's definitely worth waiting for.

If you're ready for a mentor and coach who will be there for you, who will set the bar high and help you reach it, then perhaps we could work together.  Let's find out!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hanging Out with Friends Makes for a Fantastic Video Blogging Experience

Not every video blog has to be polished and professional. In fact, some of the most engaging content is off-the-cuff, personality driven, and just plain fun. Google Hangouts makes it easy (and free) to create a vlog that showcases you and your unique personality. And all you need is a Google+ account to get started. (Hint: if you have a Gmail account you already have a G+ account as well!)

Here’s how Hangouts work. Simply log into your Google+ page and look to the right of the screen. Click “New Hangout” and choose the people you want to invite. You can have up to 10 on camera, and dozens more watching, but for a video blog, two to three speakers is more than enough. You could even do it by yourself, simply using Google’s technology to record the event.

One tip: be sure to enable the “Hangouts on air” option. As soon as you do this, your Hangout will go public and a recording of your Hangout is actually going to automatically go your YouTube account!  Once your hangout has been sent to your corresponding YouTube account, you can then embed that video into a blog post on your site and voila... a new vlog for your audience. Talk about a quick and easy way to produce some fresh new content!

One thing to keep in mind is that you Google Hangouts are all about engagement. People like to feel like they are a part of something. Giving them the opportunity to ask questions and have you answer them is a great way to bring your audience into what you're doing.

There’s more to Hangouts than just face time, though. You can also record your screen using screen capture software, so it’s a good way to demonstrate software. You can share PowerPoint presentations for a more formal look. There are also several different apps that incorporate with Google Plus to enhance your hangouts. 

While this is all done in real time and things can be unpredictable - especially if you're going to have other people on with you - don't fret if you want to share the content later on. Yes, it is live but that doesn’t mean you have to publish it as is. You will have the option to edit the content after the hangout is over. You can edit the video by going to your video manager in your YouTube account and doing it from there.

Some ideas for Google Hangout video blogging include:

  • Interviews with a guest – think of it as a podcast, but with video.
  • Q & A with your market – this is a great way to interact with your audience live, then repurpose the content later in the form of a blog post.
  • Demonstrations – whether software, cooking, or crafting, Google Hangouts are a good choice for live video demonstration. As long as you can use your webcam to film, it’s a good candidate for a Hangout.

One drawback to Google Hangouts is the quality of the video. If a crisp, clear picture is important to your event, it might be better to choose a different solution, such as GoToWebinar or Camtasia (depending on your needs). But when you’re just starting out, or you’re looking for a fun, interactive choice for video blogging, Hangouts are definitely worth a look.