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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Drumroll Please! Announcing My Most Popular Posts of 2019!

I love sharing my most popular posts of the past year.  I am always excited to see what resonates with my audience.  What interests them the most.  It gives me a real peek into your needs and helps me create content that is actually USEFUL to you!

I look at what posts got the most traffic over the year.  And it always amazes me.  First, because it doesn't always correspond with the list published on my blog.  And second, because sometimes the post wasn't published that same year!  Those are the ones I love the most.  It lets me know that I shared something valuable and timeless.  And that is a dream come true for me!

I blog on all sorts of topics.  Mostly business.  Some would say others aren't strictly business related but I think there's an element of entrepreneurship in there somewhere.  I try to share interesting people I've met, valuable resources I've found, and everything I have learned over time.  And that diversity is almost always represented in the top 10 list.


Are you curious to see what caught everyone's attention this year?  Me too!  So without further ado, here are my Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2019!


1.  The number one post of 2019 was actually published in 2018 but continued to strike a chord with lots of people.  And I'm not surprised.  I introduced you to the woman who can help your children or grandchildren go to college for FREE!  If you haven't met her yet, you will definitely want to check out Free College? Yes, Says Elizabeth Wallace.  If you have a college-bound teen in your family, this is a must read.


2.  I Know What I Bring To The Table.  I really do!  And I laid it all out in this post from 2018 that still resonates with people today.  Your experiences in life can make you or break you.  I chose to use mine to help me grow.  What will you choose?


3.  If you want to know where I learned how to make money, look no further.  The third most popular post this year was What My Parents Taught Me About Money.  You might be surprised.  It's may not be what you think!


4.  You know how I feel about multiple streams of income.  Everybody needs them.  So I loved the interview I did with Terri Dennis.  She is the master of multiple streams of income.  Apparently many others liked it too because it was the fourth most popular post of 2019.  Check it out.  Terri Dennis Talks about Multiple Streams of Income


5.   One of the reasons you chose to work from home was to spend more time with your family, am I right?  But you also have to actually work from time to time!  My fifth most popular post helps with that dilemma by sharing how to Make Your Home Office Family Friendly.


6.  Just so you know...my book collection now rivals Kerry's!  Build a Better Business with This One Simple Habit.


7.  If you have a side hustle that you want to turn into a full-time gig, I have a suggestion for you.  Set up a referral or affiliate program.  If you're stuck on how to begin, #7 gives you some steps to help you Start an Affiliate Program.


8.  My tribute to my dad touched a lot of hearts, making it the eighth most popular post of for 2019.  Lessons from My Dad I still carry with me today.


9.  I love introducing everyone to the amazing people I meet and work with.  Apparently you like it too.  Three of my top most popular posts were profiles of really cool people.  You've met Elizabeth Wallace and Terri Dennis.  Now meet Al Glover.  You can read all about him here.  Sometimes It Pays to Step Outside the Norm! Meet Al Glover!


10.  Last but not least.  This post has made the list every year.  That tells me a lot about what is happening in the industry.  I wrote this back in 2013 and six years later it still hits people where they hurt...objections to our business model.  If you are struggling, check out Network Marketing Tip of the Week - Overcoming Objections


Which post on this list is your favorite?  I know which ones I had the most fun writing!  Or is there one you love that didn't make the list?  Share your faves in the comments. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

What If You Were Confident?

As the poor girl from the wrong side of town, with parents who didn't quite fit the acceptable "norm", I was bullied...a lot. If not bullied, then ignored. It also didn't help that I was a nerd before nerds were cool. So needless to say, my self-confidence was not great.

Even after leaving home and excelling in my Navy career, I still suffered from a lack of confidence. And it impacted my day-to-day life. I missed out on lots of things because I was afraid to try. I didn't want to look silly in front of others if I failed.

I would often remark about the things I would do if I were more confident. I would say, “If I were more confident, I’d take up salsa dancing. If I felt good about myself, I’d wear shorts during the summer. If I were more athletic, I’d learn to water ski.”

One day as I was thinking about all of the things I wasn’t, it hit me. “What if you were?” I thought. “What if you are confident? What if you do feel good about yourself? What if you are already smart?”

“Maybe, what’s holding you back isn’t what you are, only what you think you aren’t.”

Why Is It Hard to Change?

Often we let a lack of self-confidence hold us back from pursuing our goals, building authentic relationships, and loving ourselves unconditionally. But what if you flipped the script? What if you stopped waiting for confidence and instead embraced it as yours?

It’s easy to create self-limiting beliefs. Most people do it every day without realizing it. These are the stories you tell yourself about why you’re settling for less than what you want. Some of the stories might sound good or even noble. But it doesn’t change the fact they’re not true.


What Story Are You Telling Yourself?

The key to becoming more confident is to ask yourself what story you’re telling. Is it really true you can’t be a sexy woman if you have three kids and a mortgage? Is it true to say it’s too late to get your GED and go to college?

If you were honest with yourself, you’d admit that these stories aren’t the problem. They’re masking a deeper issue like fear, loneliness, or rejection. Confronting the heart of the matter will make it easier for you to walk in newfound confidence.

What If You Just Went for It?

Sometimes, the best way to overcome fear and increase your confidence is to do something bold. Do it before you feel confident. Do it before you feel spontaneous. Do it before you feel like you’re ready.

When you challenge yourself to do things before you feel prepared, you experience new adventures. You grow in exciting ways. You discover parts of your personality that you didn’t know you had.

Why Not Make a List?

Create a list of things you always tell yourself you’ll do when you’re “ready”. For example, you keep saying you’ll go on a cruise as soon as you lose the last twenty pounds. Except you’ve been “losing” those pounds for three years now.

Each New Year’s, you promise yourself you’ll go back to school so you can get out of the job you hate and start doing work that matters to you. But you haven’t made the time to fill out the local college’s placement test.

Take Action

Once you have your list, don’t file it away! Pick one thing on it and take action right now. Call a travel agent and get information on upcoming cruises. Talk to your college about scheduling an appointment for the placement testing.

Stop waiting for confidence and embrace the now. Be your beautiful, bold, confident self!


P.S.  Want to know where I learned the skills that helped me become confident in my business?  Check this out.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Misty Lee Johnson Talks about Facebook Groups!

If you haven't figured it out by now, let me make clear...


Facebook is putting their focus on groups.  They are once again focusing on building community.  I am not going to get into a discussion on the whys.  I am not going to pontificate on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.  I'm simply stating a fact.  The emphasis is on groups.  So if you use Facebook to market your business, you just might want to consider starting a group.


Misty Lee Johnson has used her Facebook group to build a thriving business.  Tune in to my interview with her for some tips to get your own group up and running!



Monday, December 30, 2019

Evaluating How You Use Your Time


Tracking your time for clients is a good practice for service providers. But don’t stop by just tracking it for clients. You should also be tracking time for your own personal use, too. When you do this, you’ll discover important insights about your business that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask after you’ve been tracking your time for a week or two…

Where Is My Time Really Going?

You’ve been working on launching your e-course for two months and you’re still nowhere near ready. But when you open up your time tracking app, you can quickly see that you spent 14 hours on Facebook or 9 hours tweaking the design of your website.

It’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t have any form of accountability. But a time tracker forces you to look at how you’ve been spending your time. This isn’t about shaming yourself.

Instead, focus on being positive. You might say, “I spent ten hours on Facebook last week. What projects would I like to invest those ten hours into this week?”

Are These Tasks Giving Me a BIG Return?

You had a business coach tell you to make 10 Instagram posts each day and you’ve been following that advice faithfully. But when you stop and look at how you’ve spent this time, ask yourself, “Is this task giving me a BIG return?”

If you aren’t getting a good return on the time you’re investing, consider moving your attention to a project that will grow your business, like launching a course or hosting a webinar.

Do These Tasks Have to Be Done by Me?

Some digital business owners get bogged down in doing non-essential tasks that keep them from their important work. For example, if you’re a best-selling author then your most important work is writing that next book. But instead, you’re spending hours every week managing your Facebook group.

But what if you could outsource your community management? You could still pop in daily to stay connected to the group but you could focus all of your energy on that one thing you do well—writing your books.

Is This Task Draining Me?

As you’re reviewing your time tracking, think about how you feel after you’ve completed each task. Did you feel energized and motivated after filming that Facebook Live broadcast? Did you feel frustrated and drained after working on your sales copy?

Pay special attention to tasks that take your energy. Try to find a way to avoid doing them. For example, you could hire a copywriter to handle your sales page or if your budget is tight, consider bartering with another service provider. Then you’ll both get to work in areas where you shine!

If you want to create more of what you want in your business and your life, tracking your time is important. The more you track your time, the better you’ll be able to manage it.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Staying on Track: Scheduling & Planning Tasks

One of the best ways to stay organized and keep on track with your projects is to create a monthly plan. Your monthly plan can be filled with notes about when to do your various tasks so you can smooth out your workflow (no more rushing to write that blog post at the last minute!). Here are a few pointers to get you started…

Make a List of Recurring Tasks

Take some time to think about what recurring tasks you have to do each week. Do you log in to your blog and delete spam comments? Do you schedule your social media content including videos and pictures?

There may also be tasks you only do once a month for clients—like backing up your website or assigning work to other team members. Add these tasks to your list, too so you won’t forget them.

Schedule Recurring Tasks

Now that you know what you have to do each week or month, make space for it on your calendar. You can use a physical or digital calendar, depending on what you prefer. Digital calendars do give you a slight advantage since you can set reminder alerts so you never forget an important task again.

As you are filling up your calendar, think about how long each task will take and build in some buffer time. For example, if you think you can write a blog post in twenty minutes, give yourself sixty instead. Now, you have extra time if you realize you need to research a fact or interview a source.

Create a Checklist

Some recurring tasks may be big and complex. Maybe you’re an Amazon seller that needs to upload products to your website. There’s a whole list of things you have to do to make this happen—you need to upload the product to Amazon S3, add it to aMember, set up a form in aMember, create a pickup page in WordPress, add the official sales page to the website, create an autoresponder series, etc.

With all of these tasks, it’s hard to know where to start. Use a checklist to help you stay organized. The next time you’re doing this task, note down every step you have to take along the way. Now, doing this task in the future will be easy since you just have to open your checklist and get to work.

When you schedule recurring tasks on your calendar, you’ll be more likely to remember them. You’ll also feel less stress since you know exactly what to do to stay on track each month.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Tracking Time for Your Personal Use

Hey all my work-from-home entrepreneurs...

Do you sometimes find yourself in a funk and don't feel you're as productive as you could be?

I have felt like that frequently the past few months. At a friend’s urging, I began using a time tracker. I was amazed to see how much time I was filling with minor tasks (like checking Facebook on my phone and surfing Pinterest).

If you haven’t done it before, you should try tracking your time, too. The results can be surprising and like me, you may discover you could be far more productive…

Take 2 Weeks

Think of time tracking like a budget. Your hours are your dollars. By tracking them you can see where your money (in this case your time) is really going. Then you can make adjustments to your schedule depending on what you learn.

Plan to spend at least two weeks tracking your time. If you only track your time for a day or two, you’re not going to get a complete picture of what your habits and routines really look like. This can lead you to under-estimate the time you need to do certain tasks (like finish a big project).

Do Quick Check-Ins

Tracking your time doesn’t have to be all-consuming. Instead, you can check-in with yourself 3-4 times a day to make a note of what you’ve been doing. A good idea is to plan to check-in after every meal. This gives you a chance to think about what you’ve done and what you plan to do in the coming hours.

Record everything no matter what. You wouldn’t splurge on a huge purchase then not budget it. This could lead to financial errors and other problems. It’s the same concept with your time. Acknowledge how you’ve spent it, even if you’re not proud of it.

Use a Physical Notebook

There are dozens of time trackers online. These can be useful when you have to track time for client projects. But it’s not so great when you’re tracking your personal time. If you go to record your time and find yourself distracted by social media or emails, you could definitely benefit from using a physical notebook instead.

Make It Fun

When I started time tracking, I asked a friend to join me. Together we both began tracking our time. I have to admit it was pretty boring at first. But then Kevin suggested that instead of sharing our logs, we take selfies and send them to each other instead.

It made the experience more enjoyable and kept both of us focused on being productive. You can do the same thing—send a quick selfie to a private Instagram account or text each other throughout the day for a visual record of how you’ve spent your time. Decide on a set schedule so you're not texting each other every hour...unless you want to!

Look over Your Log

After you’re done with tracking your time, plan to have a review session the next day. Look over your logs and make notes about what you’d like to change now. Do you want to spend more time with your family? Would you prefer to cut out Facebook and use that hour to work on eating healthier meals?

Time tracking can be a great way to see where you’re spending it well and where you can make some improvements. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming more intentional with how you spend your hours!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The 4 Best Tools for Time Tracking

Time tracking is a great way to ensure that projects stay on track while giving your clients peace of mind. But manually tracking it yourself can be difficult. It’s hard to remember to do it every time you start working on a project, leading to inaccurate time estimates.

The solution is simple: stop tracking your time yourself. Instead, use a tool that monitors your time use for you. Then you can simply review it at the end of each day and make sure it’s accurate. Here are a few of the best apps and software for your time tracking needs…



Account Sight

Account Sight allows you to track time for 5 clients and 5 projects. The great thing about this site is that it integrates with PayPal and QuickBooks. This means that you can easily track your time, invoice your clients, and update your earnings with just a few clicks. There’s both a free version and a paid upgrade that unlocks additional features that you may want to use.

Toggl


Toggl makes it easy to see where your time is going at a glance. You can color code clients and projects, which turn into colorful charts and graphs. It also integrates with other productivity tools like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, and more.

Toggl has a free version that you can use for as long as you want. If you choose to upgrade, you’ll probably do it for access to the accounting features so you easily invoice clients and track your profits.

Rescue Time

Rescue Time is another app for your time tracking. It works differently than most tools. With Rescue Time, the program tracks what websites and apps you use throughout the day. It then gives you a productivity score each evening.

The cool thing about
Rescue Time is that you can set specific activities to be categorized as “productive” or “distracting”. This can be helpful if you’re frequently on Facebook to update a client’s group or page. You can simply set Facebook to “productive” so your daily score is accurate. The app has both a free and a premium option if you want more in-depth tracking.

Trigger

Trigger is an app that combines the power of time tracking with project management, resulting in robust software that lets you see at a glance what you need to do each day to stay on track with your projects.

Along with time sheets, you can use
Trigger for online reports and automated invoices. It also integrates with Freshbooks, Zapier, Basecamp, Slack and more. You can get started with a free account but it’s limited to just 5 projects, so you may need to upgrade to a premium account later on.



Don’t get discouraged if the first app or software doesn’t seem to fit your needs. It can take a few weeks of testing out different apps until you find the one that works best for you and your business.