3 Questions You Need to Ask to Do Business on YOUR Terms

Do you want your business to represent you as well as your mission? And do you also want to feel happy about the way you do business? The keys in this article help you accomplish all that – and more!

All heart-centered entrepreneurs have one thing in common:

They want to make a positive difference in the world.

And the ambitious ones, like my clients, and myself, want this difference to be BIG – as big as is possible for them.

Of course, they want to have a life as well.

Sure, they want to reach a lot of people. And yes, they want to make good money (whatever that amount is – that’s different for everyone).

But they don’t want to compromise themselves, their values, or their lifestyle.

Unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way.

It can be hard to have it all: success, money, fulfillment, a thriving business and a great lifestyle.

Most people aren’t even sure it is possible to have it all – let alone believe that THEY are worthy of having it all!

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe in woowooland where the sun always shines and money grows on trees and everybody is loving and nice and smiling and happy-happy-happy all the time.

I’m too realistic and grounded for that. Life and business can be great, but that doesn’t mean there are no challenges, problems, disappointments or overall shitty experiences.

It can get pretty messy sometimes.

That’s part of business and of life.

But I DO believe it’s possible to create a business that supports your ideal lifestyle AND make a Big difference at the same time.

And I believe you owe it to yourself and your clients to take excellent care of yourself first, and to do your utmost to create a business that serves you instead of drains you.

(I’ll share lots of wisdom and practical tips on how to accomplish this in my upcoming book ‘The Art of Divine Selfishness – transforming the world by thinking of YOU’)

Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs do feel drained, overwhelmed, overworked, underpaid and unfulfilled.

I know – I have felt like that many times myself. Most recently in the last couple of months, when I didn’t manage to create enough alone time for myself.

Thankfully I have managed to turn this around by making a lot of decisions and changes in my business, programs and work schedule.

These 3 questions helped me with that.

They can help you get clarity around your business, mission and needs as well.

Question 1:

What wants to be expressed through me?

No, it’s not an easy question to answer.

But this question is absolutely essential. It helps you:

  • Go within yourself, and tap into your own inner wisdom;
  • Connect to your soul purpose, and
  • Connect to that thing that ONLY you can do, that thing you were born and uniquely suited to do.

One or more answers might come up right away, but it will probably take more time than that. Just keep the question in the back of your mind, and see what comes up.

Once the answers come up, start thinking about HOW you can express your purpose in your business:

What services, programs, products etc. could you turn your purpose into?

Question 2:

What do I need to express this purpose in a way that makes me happy?

  • What do you need?
  • How many hours do you want to work per day, week, month and year?
  • What does your ideal client look like? What boundaries do you need?
  • What don’t you want to put up with anymore?

Imagine that ANYTHING is possible, and you can create ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you want, like and need:

What would your business look like then?

Question 3:

What possible pitfalls or obstacles might be in the way of creating this ideal business of yours?

  • What could get in the way of you creating your ideal business? And how can you prevent this from happening or solve it if it does happen?
  • Maybe you need more knowledge, about business models and marketing and overall entrepreneurship. (This was my biggest obstacle when I started my business)
  • You might need more courage. Or boundaries. Or hire your first or second or third assistant.

This week’s transformational action:

  1. Take some time to answer these questions above.
  2. After that, translate your answers into actions.
  3. What do you need to do?

When will you do it?

Create bite size action steps or take a giant leap.

Whatever you do, act upon the insights you gained.

And remember: the action that seems hardest to take, is most likely the one that will yield the most results.

Best Startup Business Ideas: Some Suggestions

Are you looking for the best startup business ideas? Everyone dreams of starting his own business someday. As a child, you probably have dreams of creating your own toy factory, or creating your own boutique someday. As we grow older, those dreams don’t fade away. Sometimes, they just stay untouched and unthought-of at the back of our heads because we got too tied with other things, like managing other people’s business. We all want to be our own boss and be able to generate enough or even more money to live the life we desire.

The desire to own your own business is sometimes fuelled by your yearning to have more money to buy your dream house, drive your dream car, travel to different places, or to save up for your kid’s college education. Everything is fuelled by your dreams of having a better and comfortable life.

Many successful entrepreneurs say that one of the best startup business ideas is an online business. With the power of the Internet, there are tons of business ideas that you can have. You can create a virtual assistant service, a small call center facility, a Public Relations business or a web design and development business if you have the right skills and knowledge. A lot of people nowadays shop online. You can start selling various products online like clothes, shoes, toys, bags and accessories to a huge market with a great buying potential. Because you can sell almost anything online, all you have to do now is to be creative with the products which you plan to market. Online business also involves life coaching. You can offer to help other people deal with their stress and problems. You can help them become better persons and help them manage their life as positively as possible.

Other best startup business ideas include candle-making business, cake decorating, real estate agency, customized jewellery shop, events planning, toy cleaning service, personal shopper or flower arrangement. You can start an accounting service, payroll administrative service, travel agency, be an interior designer or farmer and sell crops. You can grow your garden of flowers and start your own flower shop. There are so many business ideas out there, you just have to pick out the right one for you.

There are several things that you have to consider when choosing the best startup business ideas. You need to consider your budget, your knowledge, skills, and the amount of time that you can give to your startup business. Remember, for a business to succeed, you should have the skills and the time to make it successful.

Get Greedy: How Working for Free Is Killing Your Small Business

To be sure, I don’t mean “greed” in the popular sense, in which you may be envisioning Ebenezer Scrooge miserly spending his Christmas Eve counting gold coins while his hard-working and loyal employee trudges home through the snow to his meager dinner and his crippled son.

I am directing my advice to “get greedy” to new business owners and freelancers, far too many of whom seem to lack the belief that their product or service has value or that they should demand good money for that value.

WHAT IT MEANS TO GET GREEDY

I hear all the time from new business owners who feel they need to give away their services for free or dirt cheap so that they can build their brand/get exposure/make future sales/gain experience.

If this is you, I am here to tell you something that will save your business: You do not need to give it away for free to be successful.

Ever.

Never, ever, ever.

Not even if you’re just starting out.

Never.

If you just started a business or you have a business that you feel you are working very hard at with little return on investment, I want you to do yourself a favor, right now: Start being greedy.

This doesn’t mean stealing from others. This doesn’t mean undervaluing others. This doesn’t mean providing others with less than what they pay for. And it surely doesn’t mean making Tiny Tim’s dad work on Christmas Day.

Being greedy, in business, means that you make the decision that YOU are just as important as the customer and that you deserve fair pay for your work.

WHY GIVING IT AWAY WILL KILL YOUR SUCCESS

Let’s take a look again at the unfounded reasons that I hear all the time for giving away free work.

1). “I need to give some stuff away to build my brand:” Unless you want to brand yourself as someone who doesn’t value their own work and isn’t worth the money, there is no logic to the belief that free stuff will improve the way people view your business. Ethical business practices, good quality product, attentive customer service and fair (“fair,” not free) prices will improve your brand. Depriving yourself of the living you deserve will do nothing but put you out of business.

2). “Giving away my work will help me gain exposure:” If you think that giving away your work is the best way to build your portfolio or get the word out about your business, then you must never have heard of such formerly-small businesses as Microsoft, Apple, Harley Davidson or Disney. What do these companies have in common? They all attach a very weighty value to their brand, people willingly pay it (even standing in line for hours in the case of Disney and Apple) and none of them are hurting for “exposure.”

Here’s the deal: If someone loves your product or service and had a fantastic customer experience, they are going to tell their friends and family. Giving them free stuff isn’t going to change their opinion of you. It may encourage them to try you out, one time, but it likely won’t result in the type of lucrative, mutually-beneficial business relationship that results in success.

Your goal should be to offer value, not freebies. Value doesn’t mean “free” because “free” is not a fair price. Value means that your customer walked away satisfied that the price was right (whether it’s a high price or a low price) for what they received in exchange. No matter how cheap your prices, it is your deliverables in quality and experience that ultimately make the customer feel happy with your brand.

3). “But, by giving this stuff away, I increase my opportunities to make future sales:” This makes no sense to me. If someone can afford to pay you in the future, they can afford to pay you now, right? Plus, once you give something to someone for free, you train them to devalue your work and they are more likely to try to haggle you when you finally decide to charge them full price.

4). “I need to do free work to gain experience:” O.K., so this has some merit but if you are giving products and services away to people who really should be paying, you are doing this wrong. There are some cases in which giving it away for free is necessary and there is more to come on this shortly.

Hopefully you started your own business because you have a special talent or skill set that you thought was marketable. If this is the case, your product or service has value and you deserve pay for that. You may not deserve the same pay you’ll get when demand increases but you definitely should assess what your real, true value is right now, in this moment, and charge this price.

SEVEN TIMES WHEN IT’S O.K. TO GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE

1). It’s an industry-accepted norm: If you are a fashion designer and Vogue magazine wants a dress sample for an upcoming issue, then, yes, give them one. This is o.k. because doing so is an industry norm and even Donatella Versace would probably do the same. There is also a very clear and direct investment return to you, in the form of very good publicity, that probably outweighs the cost of whatever frock you supply to them.

2). When it’s a good investment for you: Giving away free samples of your special hummus recipe at a Farmer’s Market, when you know it will draw people to your booth and increase how many containers you sell, is fine. Holding a “buy one, get one” sale to drive traffic during times when business is otherwise dead is also fine if it makes you a profit. Cooking a free gourmet meal for a local culinary magazine writer to promote your new catering company is good publicity if it results in a write-up in the magazine and turns readers of the publication into customers. If you’re approaching an opportunity to give away your product or service with the best interests of your bottom line at heart, you will be able to tell the difference between a good opportunity and a situation in which you’re being taken advantage of.

3). As part of a marketing gimmick: Sprinkles, a chain bakery specializing in cupcakes, is known for using their social media to engage customers and drive traffic to their store. They do this by announcing “secret” words on their Facebook page that, when repeated in-store, result in a free cupcake. Presenters at fairs and events are often able to collect information on potential customers in exchange for opportunities to enter a drawing for a lucrative free gift. These “give-aways” are all examples of greed at work because they actually hold far more sales value for the company than they do the recipient.

4). Nonprofit organizations: If you are really interested in building your portfolio, volunteering your services with a nonprofit organization is an excellent way to create sample pieces of your work, build your experience and keep your dignity at the same time. Plus, talk to your accountant. It may also provide you with a write-off come tax time.

5). As part of an exchange of services: When my hairdresser, who is fantastic but pricey, needed a new website, I jumped at the opportunity to write her content in exchange for her creating some new layers on my head and getting rid of my grays. My website design was courtesy of the editing skills I shared with my website designer and I got the bumper on my car painted for the cost of some marketing materials and social media content. If you can receive something you really, truly need in exchange for giving someone else the same, it’s a win-win.

6). To say “thank you” to a valuable customer: If you must give away something to a customer, the appropriate time to do so is not at the beginning of your relationship, but after they have already proven themselves a valued customer. If you own an automotive repair shop and a customer comes in frequently, refers you to her friends and family and has been a joy to work with then, by all means, throw in a free oil change or tire rotation every now and then with her transmission service. But let your customers earn this sort of treatment first. They’ll appreciate it more.

7). It’s Your Mom: O.K., so greedy is good in a business sense but not always a personal one. Select a few obvious family members and close friends who are genuinely worth the time investment and work for them for free. Keep this list very small and make sure your loved ones don’t take advantage. To date, my list has only included my sister, my father, my fiancĂ©, a good friend I’ve known since childhood and a cousin who was really in need. I have a much larger “second tier” list of friends and more distant family for whom I charge half-price.

Everyone else pays full price.

Every time.

Small Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs

Introduction

Many people envision the day they start their own business. They know with hard work they will achieve success. That is the easy part. The hard part is coming up with the best idea of what industry it will be in. There are so many potential fields to choose from. Yet somehow, when it comes to deciding on one, their mind goes blank. Here are some potentially successful business ideas for you to ponder.

An Electronics Installation Business

There are a lot of folks who do not know how to install and/or set up the new electronic item they just bought. Either that or they do know how but lack the time to do it themselves. That is where this kind of business can come in handy. You hire skilled installation specialists to go out and perform these services for customers. Everybody wins with this one.

Software Teaching Business

What you would be doing in this case is hiring people who have a vast knowledge of different software programs. Then you connect them with customers whom they can teach to use the programs. This can be done locally on an in-person basis or over the Internet on a remote basis. The more programs one person can teach, the better. You should also seek people with a lot of patience. The prospective students will likely have lots of questions.

Create a Writing Business

Here is another industry that is full of potential customers. For a variety or reasons, scores of individuals are not able to do their own writing. It could be lack of skills, or lack of time, or whatever. Maybe they need a quick article on a specific topic, or a resume or a simple business letter. You can recruit experienced freelance writers to be a remote staff for your business. Then you are ready to seek clients. There is such a huge need for this these days, you are sure to succeed.

Personal Care Associates

What are they? They are individuals who can either care for children, care for special needs patients, or care for elderly patients. Of course, for this type of business, you ought to require that the candidates be properly trained and, at least, certified. Possessing a license is even better. With that said, there are plenty of qualified persons who are not currently employed. There are also oodles of people who need personal care. If you had a business in any of these industries, you could match them up. One more thing to be sure of is that they have the proper personality to assist patients on a regular basis. Someone with a short temper, or who is not a “people person,” would not be a good choice.

Begin a Yard Care Business

It goes without saying that there are already many landscaping businesses out there. That is not what we are talking about here. Full-service landscaping companies can be expensive. You would fill a big need by finding local workers who can mow lawns, take care of plants, rake leaves, shovel snow, etc. Your clients would be residents who cannot afford a large landscaping firm.

Wrap-Up Thoughts

For everybody’s sake, anybody you hire for any of these types of businesses should have an extensive background check done on them with a printable report available. Once that is taken care of, you can hire them and send them out to work.

People, these are merely a few ideas. If you give it plenty of thought, you are bound to think of something your community needs. Remember, the worst idea is the one you have never given a shot. Good luck!

Tips On How To Create A Business You Love, And Make Money With It

Is your dream this year to own a business of your own? A business you can create out of the little things that bring you joy. Something you could devote all your passion, love and attention to, so you can make money out of it. Then, look no further because we have tips that will help you realize your dream within a short period of time.

1 BE YOURSELF

The first thing to do is to be different in creating your new business. Come up with something entirely different and refreshing from anything in existence out there in the business world. Create a business out of your hobby, a business idea that is purely original with a clear focus and a well-defined purpose on what you want it to achieve.

A business you will be happy to own. 95% of people all over the world are going into businesses to make money obviously, but if you create a business out of something you are familiar with and love to do, it becomes easier and enjoyable to make more money out of it. People who are associated with you and your business will also know that you enjoy your business, giving it your best and getting satisfaction from it.

2 CLEAR VISION

In every business there must be vision, which will accelerate and enable growth. You must devote enough time into your business which will create meaningful purpose and commitment.

Create set goals and strategies on how to run your business and also draw up a clear timetable that is definite based on how to achieve your set goals.

In today’s business environment, it is tough and highly competitive, getting a business up and running successfully, you must be clear what your business is about and stick to its principles so you avoid getting distractions or getting clustered with other business opportunities that are flying around you on a daily basis.

3 RESEARCH

Do a comprehensive research and find out the market for your chosen business. Locate the section of the society where your customers are likely to come from, and how best to offer and make available your business to them. Take some time to familiarize yourself with key information relating to your line of business in regards to planning, promoting, managing your market research.

And since almost every business today depends largely on resources available on the internet you should use available online information on how best to manage your business in a global environmental setting.

4 ADVERTISING

This is obviously the life wire of every business today. Depending on the financial resources available to you, you are advised to harness the benefits of both paid and free advertisement. Consistent advertising of your business will assist tremendously in generating the much needed traffic that will in turn be converted into buyers.

5 UNDERSTANDING THE EXISTENCE OF COMPETITION

Bear in mind that there are other businesses out there ready to run you out of business before your business could see the light of day.

With this knowledge, you should generate a uniqueness that will totally differentiate your business in terms of presentation of your product and your business concept, even when you are offering same product as others, people will chose your own product against the others for the simple reason that your marketing strategies are unique, fresh and second -to-none.