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Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Archive for Jill’s Blog

Jun
26

How to Build Your Direct Sales Business When Your Area is Saturated

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Ivette Muller - Direct Sales SuccessOne of the “complaints” I hear very often is that someone’s market is saturated.  They say there are too many consultants trying to get business from the same group of customers.

I believe this is a misconception.

At any given time, there are only 20% of consultants in any business that are really working their business.  Even though you may know a lot of consultants, are they really active?  Are they holding parties every week?  Are they staying in contact with their customers? Are they sponsoring new people into the business?  Are they getting out to meet people every week?

If you really stop to think about it, out of all the consultants you know, who is really working their business consistently?

I bet you can only name a handful.

That’s the nature of the business.  There is always a flow of consultants just starting their business, leaving their business or taking a break and only a small percentage of consultants who are actively working their business. This is why truly successful direct sales consultants never stop doing  home parties or demonstrations, they never stop sponsoring new people into the business and they never stop networking.

If you are concerned that there isn’t enough people in your area to build your business, don’t give up!  There’s a simple solution for this – get out there and meet more people.  The more new people you meet and talk to about your business, the more business you will have.  When  you expand your circle, you expand your income potential.

I don’t know who said this, but it is very fitting for our business, “The size of your network determines your net worth.”  The larger the pool of people that know you and your business, the more business you will have. This is because people who know, like and trust you will do business with you (if they can), but they will also give out your name to people who need your goods and services and refer you to people they know.

As a small example of this, I want to share a personal story.  When I first got married in 1996, I was obsessed with my kitchen.  I wanted all the latest gadgets and accessories.   (I don’t know why because I’m afraid to cook, but that’s another story.) Read More→

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Jun
25

3 Keys to Persistence

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When in your life have you needed to be most persistent? Perhaps you have been looking for a job, pursuing a higher education degree, losing excess weight, training a puppy, raising a child, learning a new skill, writing a book, starting a business, developing a process, working to find sales, looking for something you lost, recovering from an injury, growing a garden, etc. In these examples, there is a difference between just making something happen in the moment. They all have a length of time in which a vision or goal is set and regular work is needed in order to obtain the desired outcome.

There are many characteristics and attributes of one who is persistent: determined, focused, hardworking, confident, motivated, open, adaptable, driven, etc. However, when thinking what persistence is really about, it is most present when faced with a true challenge requiring a person to dig deep within themselves to achieve something not easily attained. Persistence might be summarized by these three keys.

1. Hungry Vision. Clear sight or objective of something wanted or imagined.
2. Consistent Action. Regularly moving action forward.
3. Resilient Drive. Pushing through the obstacles or overcoming barriers.

First, Hungry Vision. The word vision is often used for future focus. “What is your vision for the day?” “What is your vision for the organization?” “What is your vision for your kids?” “What is your vision for the program?” Often we talk about vision as seeing the potential for something in order to design and create it. “Hungry vision” however is a deep inner desire and commitment to achieve something. It is not passively creating. It is not openly wandering. It is not a good intention or idealistic wish. It is an internal resonance to focus and attain success or master the challenge. You have to see it clearly. You know your “why?” You are clear on what success looks like and know it will take work. You are dedicated to doing what it takes to make it happen. This is the hungry part. It is an ever-present craving that keeps you focused on your vision.

Second, Consistent Action. It is not random action, action when you “feel” like it or action when it is convenient. Rather and more likely, it is the daily action that chips away a bit at a time toward the goal. An example is the little steps a baby makes learning to walk. There is usually failure and set back, but also effort, repetition, intentionality, and progress. It doesn’t happen with hit or miss activity. There is a dedicated and committed resolve to focus and move it forward.
Read More→

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Jun
24

Independent Contractor – Sales and Consultation

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Signal Speakers, a Christian speakers bureau and booking agency (www.signalspeakers.com), has an open slot available right now for their sales team.

Job duties would include cold and warm phone calls, emails, and possible video calls with churches, conferences, and other faith-based venues. It would not involve direct sales or selling, but rather pitching our speakers for conferences and events, preparing/serving paperwork for booking events, and follow up.

Everything can be done remotely from a home office. Pay is commission-only.

Qualifications:
* A Christian with a background in the church–experience in ministry a plus
* Must be comfortable (and professional) in making cold calls/warm calls and sending emails
* Proficient in building relationships. Kind, able to begin and maintain a conversation.
* Self-motivated and able to work without supervision
* Must possess proficient computer skills
* Previous sales experience (especially cold calling) is preferred

Serious inquiries only.

Please send resume to info@signalspeakers.com.

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Jun
21

Social Media for Small Businesses

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Social media has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Businesses of all size and shapes have started making the most of available mediums. Today we will try to anatomize tips on social media for small businesses. There are a plethora of small businesses eyeing social medium to promote their business/services. However, majorly these small businesses are failing or not being able to make optimum use of social media for their business growth. There are many theories and strategies on how to effectively use social media for established brands, but the topic social media for small businesses is seldom addressed. According to Digital state of eMarketing India 2017 Octane Research:

60% small businesses promote their business on social media. 50% focus on SEO and 35% use multichannel marketing funnel.
70% small businesses consider content strategy as their primary marketing activity.
52% business owners are using social media as to efficiently address customer engagement.
More than 20% of business owners said that they are making 50% plus profit using social media.

The primary reasons for the low turnout are uncertainty on an application of social media, calculating return on investment and persuade employees/stakeholders to clinch social media. Hence it is important to address the elephant in the room and analyze how beneficial is Social media for small businesses.

Social media for small businesses is a great way for emerging businesses to generate lead and build a reputation. If regularly updated, social media can deliver more results as compared to traditional mediums. Social media for small businesses gives brands an edge of control over the content that they want to post. Also, since social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to instantly identify what is benefitting them. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for emerging businesses.

Social Media for small businesses | 10 Tips to effectively use Social Media

Define your Target Audience
The first and foremost important part that small businesses should focus on is to define their target audience. This helps small businesses to device their social media strategy accordingly. The target audience should be defined basis age group, sex, location, users’ online behaviors, their likes, interests, and preferences. For niche products, business owners can even target users based on their birthdays, anniversaries and important milestone. Audience targeting plays a very crucial role in the outcome of the results. For e.g.: a local shop selling footwear should not target users with interest in entertainment. The shop definitely won’t get the desired results.

Set achievable goals
Overnight success is a myth. Small businesses must understand this basic fact. Generally, when a new business starts selling on social media, there is palpable excitement is achieving more than set targeted sales. Businesses need to set goals which are upwards and forward. To achieve enormous goals, small businesses start updating social feed with multiple updates in shorter duration. This leads to user’s disinterest in the product/service. The set goals should be in sync with brand’s core capabilities and expertise. For e.g.: if a business is into selling shoes, they shouldn’t set a goal to repair maximum shoes in their area.

Choose the right medium
By now everyone knows, social media is for free. Even paid campaigns can be conducted at a relatively low cost as compared to traditional mediums. It is in this scenario, that we often see small businesses jumping the bandwagon and creating profiles on all the available platforms. Creating social profile doesn’t hamper brand image, but aggressively promoting a brand on wrong platforms can lead to brand losing its potential customers. Hence it is advisable for SME’s to first identify the right platform through which they can maximize their business. For e.g.: If a shoe selling brand tries to aggressively sell on LinkedIn, they won’t get a plausible response as compared to promotions on Facebook/Instagram.

Promote your core product/services
Since each and every business is riding in the social media wave, it is important for a them to promote their core product/services. Nowadays, we see a lot of businesses promoting their services as well as promoting peripheral products/services, which revolves around their core product/services. Majority of the times, this SME’s doesn’t have capabilities to fulfill a requirement, which can lead to a bad word of mouth for their business on social media platforms. Let us go back to our example; if a shoe seller is trying to aggressively promote socks instead of shoes, it is not going to benefit the business in the long run.

Create quality content
Now that we have covered the topics of identifying the target audience, setting achievable goals, choosing the right medium and promoting the right product/services let us now take a look at the type of content a business should promote on their social pages. A business should always focus on creating good quality content rather than not-good quantity content. Even if the business updates their page once in a day as long as it is relevant to their business, advocates about its core products send across a clear message it is considered as a good quality content. Antagonistically, if a business posts multiple updates which aren’t even relevant to the business’s products and services leads to users considering the business as fake/spam. Also, new businesses should try and refrain from promoting other businesses on their social platforms initially.

Create a content calendar
Making a small business successful on social platforms is no small task. It takes a lot of efforts for the businesses to keep up their conversion ratio. One such effort is to create a content calendar. Small businesses must anticipate important events and create a content calendar accordingly. Ideally, a content calendar must be planned a month in advance but an even weekly content calendar is highly recommended. This helps businesses to avoid any last minute hassles, strategize much more effectively and it also helps in creating curiosity amongst its loyal fans/customers.

Test and re-test
Social media is highly unpredictable. The content a business posts today, might not work for tomorrow. Hence, small businesses must always test their content before publishing it on their pages. Testing content also applies to the platform a small business chooses to promote. Small business owners must always don the consumer’s hat before posting about any product feature, updates, schemes or offers. A consumer’s perspective is the key when testing the content that has to be uploaded.

Look for inspiration
Small businesses must always look for inspiration from a competitor who is successful in the same category. Copy pasting competitors idea or content is not the answer. Small businesses must look for the kind of content its competitors are putting up and derive their own strategies subsequently. Inspiring content/stories always make a business to strive to create their own content that is appreciated by one and all. It helps in increasing brand consideration, brand visibility thereby increasing conversions for the business.

Calculate ROI
Even a small promotional budget is not justifiable if there is no mechanism to calculate its return on investment. It is more important in case of small businesses. It is very important for a small business to keep a tab on the budgets allocated to any promotions and the subsequent ROI related to it. If a certain promotion is not doing well or the business is not getting desired results, the brand custodian can always look for other platforms to generate quality conversions.

Analyze and Re-strategize
There can be umpteen instances where a particular campaign/promotion might not work for a business. That doesn’t mean that the promotion is wrong or the product/service is not good. Doing an analysis of the campaign is as important as setting the objective. This helps the business to formulate their upcoming strategies in more effective ways. At the end of every campaign, brands must note down the learning’s from that campaign and identify if the content/idea was appreciated by their fans or not. This helps businesses to skip the non-performing updates from future communications.

Final Thoughts
Social media for small businesses is definitely beneficial and fruitful. If followed correctly, small businesses can benefit tremendously from the power of social media promotions.

Read More→

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Jun
20

Vacation Time Again?

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerI beach vacationhad just finished my project, sent it to my publisher, took a deep breath and said out loud, “I’m glad that’s done. Now I can rest for a while.”

I must have said it aloud for someone in the house heard it. I need to explain that with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, it does not matter if you say it aloud, mumble it under your breath or just think it, she hears it.

I do not know how she does it and she will not give me her secret.

“So,” my wife said rather suspiciously, “ready to go on our vacation?”

I stuttered a little bit and said, “A what?”

That “V” word rarely resides between my two ears. I just never think of it. I am not a vacation fan. Sure, when the kids were home it was nice to get away and have some fun with them. However, that has been a long time ago. I think someone my age is just too old to go on vacation. What would be the purpose?

I am a little afraid that if I go on vacation, I might forget that I am on vacation and never return home and no one would ever see me again. You know how the memory is for us old guys. So, to be on the safe side, I do not think of vacation time.

“You know exactly what I mean,” my wife said rather sternly with one of her sly smiles. “We should begin making plans for our vacation before you begin your next project.”

She caught me off guard there. Under other circumstances, I might have responded by telling her that it was too late, I’ve already started my next project. I remember trying that once and I may be the writer, but she’s the reader and she always reads between the lines.

Then she began laying out her well thought out plans for what our vacation would be like.

I interrupted her and said as soberly as possible, “That would be nice, but I do not have any money to sponsor a vacation right now.”

All she did was laugh, which rather irritated me. Then she explained, “Don’t give that a thought. I have been saving for this vacation since last year. I have it all worked out.” Read More→

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Jun
19

Four Tips To Help You Become A More Productive Business Owner

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As a small business owner, you should know how precious your time is. You probably have a whole list of things that you need to get done each day, and another list of things you want to do but simply don’t have the time for. Because of this, it’s important that you find ways to make the most of the time you have and use it more productively. If you do this, you’ll get more done quicker, which means you’ll have some time free to work on the other list. If you want to be more productive running your small business, then here are four things you can try.

 

Cut Out Unproductive Meetings

Staff meetings can go one of two ways; They can either be incredibly productive and useful for keeping your team on track, or they can be a complete and utter waste of time. If you want to avoid wasting your time in these unproductive meetings, then you need to make sure that every one you run or attend has a purpose and a schedule. The ones that don’t will rarely accomplish anything, making them pointless for everyone who attends.

 

Stick To Important Tasks

Despite what some people claim, you shouldn’t be doing every little task for your business. In fact, you should even be doing most of them. Your job is to complete the most important tasks, and all of the others can be delegated to your team or outsourced to agencies. For example, you could hire one of the best SEO companies from Ignite Digital to handle your SEO. When you’ve cut down your to-do list, make sure that you start with the most urgent tasks first.

 

Try Not To Multitask

Multitasking generally seems like a great way to get more things done, as it suggests that you’re doing two tasks at the same time. However, in truth, trying to do two things at once slows you down massively, and makes it more likely that you make mistakes along the way. It makes a lot more sense to focus on one task at a time, put all of your efforts into that, finish it, take a short break, and then move onto a different one when you’re done.

 

Keep Healthy Snacks Close

Whether you realise it or not, you’re using a lot of energy at work, even if you stay sitting at a desk all day. If you want to avoid getting sick or tired, then you need to keep your energy levels up by eating when you’re hungry. This means that you should keep healthy snacks somewhere in your office so that you don’t have to stop working to go and find some food. You should also make sure that you eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day.

Running a small business takes up a lot of time, so it’s vital that you’re using yours as productively as you possibly can. Hopefully, with the tips above, you’ll be able to do just that, so that you have a bit more free time each day.

 

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Jun
18

Take Meaningful Action

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Productivity. Priorities. Planning.

There are a lot of buzz words right now (and they all seem to start with the letter P!) that are intended to help us make the most of our time and efforts.

But in all the buzz about how to get more done, there is surprisingly little talk about what, exactly, we should be doing. Are all “to do” items created equal? Checking things off a list doesn’t guarantee that we are moving ourselves forward.

Growth Activities

Some things on our list need to get done, and you could argue that they are “important.” Many people fill their days doing client projects and customer service. After all, we have to deliver on our promises. But those are not growth activities.

Of course, we also fill a surprising amount of our time with “distractions.” Some are more obvious than others. Many of us lose hours in reading and responding to e-mails, which might feel like “work” but how productive are we really being?

How many of your activities are true “growth activities.” What things will grow your business? Expand your impact? Allow you to make a bigger difference? Really fulfill your purpose?

When you really look at it, those things happen primarily in two ways. When you create things. And when you connect with people.

Create

As a Content Creation Coach, these types of activities are dear to my heart. I see the power of creating new things. Of putting your ideas into tangible pieces. Whether you are writing a blog article or a book, creating a program, shooting a video, making a new presentation… creating things generates value.

You are increasing the assets of your business. You are putting valuable things into the marketplace (even if they don’t cost money). You are giving value that expands your worth and inevitably returns to you.

I often ask people, “What are you creating next to grow your business?”

The most powerful thing about creating content and other pieces in your business is that it gives you something new to share. Creating something new doesn’t mean anything if others don’t see it.

Which leads me to the second type of growth activity… Read More→

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Jun
15

4 Tips to Overcoming Procrastination in Your Business

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DananapProcrastination. Really, quite honestly it is one of my biggest weaknesses. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in Facebook or checking my email a hundred times per day or wasting my time just “putsing” around. It holds me back from accomplishing everything I need to accomplish and it definitely could hurt my brand if I let it continue.

In fact, if clients rely on you, procrastination can be a brand killer!

So how can we overcome procrastination? Perhaps these ideas will help us:

1) Take things in bite­size chunks.

It’s really easy for me to get overwhelmed with everything I need to do. I feel pulled in a million different directions. When that happens, I just want to chuck it all and do nothing or waste my time doing trivial things like spending excess time in Facebook.

The trick is to break projects down into small steps. Don’t overwhelm your “to­do” list with hundreds of items. That will only burden you down. This drag leads to avoidance behavior. Believe me, I am speaking from experience!

It’s so much better to concentrate on the three or four strategic things you need to do for your business rather than 20 things you think you have to do in a day. Be committed to get those few things done and then you can go on with a feeling of success. This will give you strength to tackle more.

Once you accomplish a few things, be sure to give yourself little rewards to keep yourself motivated. You might think of a huge reward when you finish a big project. Read More→

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Jun
14

A Merry Heart Doeth Good

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerWith all the sad news in our country recently, it is about time for some good news. However, the way things are going I am not going to hold my breath.

We just finished supper and the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I was watching a little bit of television. We like to try to catch up on the news after a day of working.

I well remember the time when the “world news” was only broadcast for 30 minutes, which was broken up by commercials. It is hard to get all the news that is worth hearing together for 30 minutes. Back in “the day,” the commentators were able to do it. At least we did not hear about all the news of the day, which was a blessing.

It is a different story today. We hear news from around the world all day long. In fact, some television channels are devoted exclusively to news 24/7. The problem with that is 99.9% of the news is bad news. Good news does not have much of a place on television. We are too busy these days to listen to good news.

We had just settled down to catch up and some of the news and I was not paying too much attention. The way I am, I can watch the news and not hear anything they are saying. My wife, on the other side of the room, hears every word the news commentators are talking about.

We were relaxing, enjoying some coffee while watching the TV. I was drifting off into Whatever Land and just chilling. It was then that I heard from across the room some gasping.

“What is wrong with people?” And, “Don’t they know to do any better?” And, “What does all that violence solve?”

I looked over at my wife and saw her grimacing at the TV. Every once in a while she would shake her head and make some kind of a moaning sound.

I knew not to interrupt her Grimacing Moment and allowed her to have her space. After all, everybody needs a little bit of personal space.

“I can’t believe,” she said most disgustingly, “that he actually said that! What is wrong with that person?”

I did not need to tell her that we live in a very crazy world. A world that has lost all sense of sanity. Unless you are insane these days, you are not going to get along with anybody.

At this point in the evening, I certainly did not want to get into a discussion about how crazy our world was. I have ridden in this rodeo before and I am not ready for another ride.

My wife and I agree on many things and this is one of them. Anger, hatred and violence never solve anything. What we need today is a little more laughter. Read More→

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Jun
12

Summer Tips for Mom Who Work From Home

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Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina PalmerSummer is here. My three kids have been out of school for a full week and we are getting into a routine. I would love to sleep in now that I do not have to wake up and get the kids off to school but my cat is adamantly against me changing her eating schedule to an hour later. Is it legal or effective to duck tape a cats mouth shut? Sometimes she is lenient and lets me sleep until eight. Only if I am a good girl which apparently is not often. Moving on.

What I want to talk about is the sun. I do not let my kids outside (if I can help it) between the hours of noon and four pm for playing or recreation outside, including the pool. Reason number one: my daughter has freckles and red hair. She is more likely to burn… and fast! She also does not tan. Bri is like me. We are ghostly white or lobster red, with little in between. The other two midgets tan to a beautiful golden tan like their father and do not burn as easily. Freckle-Face does not want more freckles, so my hubby and I have put a few summer rules in place.

* No going outside, for more than a few minutes, between the hours of noon and four pm.
* If you are going outside, wear a hat.
* Sunblock is your smelly best friend.
* Pool time is before 10 am or after 4 pm because the sun loves the pool too.
* One hour in the pool and then some time in the shade.

With our summer rules, my children completely avoided sunburns last year. We also avoid places like amusement parks in the summer. They are much more tolerable and fun in the spring or the fall. Trying to explain to my kids they still need sunblock if it’s not summer is a yearly conversation if you are staying outside. Read More→

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