Never Forget the Why

Often times, through our working lives, we get busy – too busy to stop sometimes and wonder why is it that we do what we do?

This approach when trying to make the shift to working from home simply doesn’t work.

Yes, have a sense of urgency. Work hard. Do good work and enjoy what your doing. But don’t ever, ever become a slave to it. You are now a master of your own time.

When you realise that for many years you were so focused on achieving outcomes for others and meeting budgets, goals and weekly or monthly targets, it’s not unlikely that through that process you became used to living this way and moreover feeling like you were expected to live that way.

Time is the only thing that ultimately does not change. We all have the same amount of it. We can’t make it go any faster or slower – sure it can feel that way, but in a measurable sense, there is nothing quite so defining as time.
So now working at home, you have no one to report to other than yourself – that’s going to feel kind of weird for a time… So, what you do with your time is entirely up to you.

Myself, I learnt the lesson the hard way by beavering away learning, trying, failing, trying again, learn something else etc etc for way over a year before I realised – hang on – I’m the boss, why am I working more hours now than when I was on a salary?

Now my approach is a lot different – having been an intergral part of MS Outlook (and whatever it’s predessor was!) for well over ten years, my days were highly structured. 8.30-9.00 – 12.30-13.30 – etc etc blocks of time allocated to specific tasks. Bugger that.

Now I have streams.

I do “streams” of activity when I’m in the mood and have the right energy that works best for that activity.
Moreover, I divide my life into three simple “sections” if you like.

  • Things I must do.
  • Things I should do.
  • Things I could do.

On my “Must Do” list for instance (and I like to keep each list in itself simple with only usually no more than six things) I have items such as “Exercise every day”, “Eat Well” and only 4 other things that I know are key to my success.

I’m big on health and self preservation balanced with good time, fun and risk!
Your list should contain the things that you know at your very core – you need to be doing to be your best, whatever those things are to you.

Things on the Should Do list include the projects that I am currently working on – of which I have 5 currently, 4 of which are projects to help others build significant online businesses and creating financial freedom for others. Stuff that really does need to get done and hence has the majority of my working time, when I am working.

Things I Could Do – is where I list my ideas, future projects, things I do need to research, understand, read more about and basically do due diligence on. This way I can do them, and do so guilt free, but dedicate a smaller amount of time to them- I usually due this stuff in the evenings (instead of TV – and maybe whilst enjoying a really nice glass of red 🙂 )

By maintaining a very simple approach I’m able to enjoy daylight hours in balancing a good amount of focused outcome orientated time and activity but then give myself time throughout the day also. Time to exercise, time to cook for the family, time to enjoy the garden.

Time is a wonderful when used well.

I trust parts of this article may be of use to someone out there, I’ve been running my own businesses for nearly twenty years now so I’m really very happy to share what I’ve learnt across my journey and if it helps just one person to not make some of the mistakes I made, I’ll be really happy.

Keen to hear from people also if they’d like more advice about changing your mindset and physical approach to operating a successful home or online business – feel free to get my email from my profile, I’d love to hear from you!

Social Media Strategy: How to Write a Blog

Everything starts with a blog.

I get asked a lot what should I post on Twitter? when I get asked this I know that the asker is in doubt about the entire point of social media.

If you are in business, Blogs and social media are there to pay the rent period. As much as we all love to write and engage with people, the banks and building societies whom we all owe money to, would not really be so forthcoming if we said;

“Sorry no rent or mortgage money this month, but I’ve done you a lovely blog…look”

For me this is a living, and the very reason I, and many more people are taking to writing and becoming blog copywriters is to earn a crust.

There is a strategy for Social media marketing and there is in my eyes, only two types

One, if you are a celebrity and your fans want to know what you had for breakfast, or a Footballer and people want to know if you really did head-but some other player.

Two, and for the rest of us mere mortals people don’t care what you are up to, they want info and GOOD info. Social media (If you like conspiracy theories) was invented by students and completely sabotaged by business. Do you really think Facebook would be so popular without company pages?

Here is my successful Social Media strategy

1) Buy a decent keyword rich domain
2) Build a Word press blogsite
3) Intergrate your social media into it
4) Write consistent, interesting, heading centric, blogs for people with info and keep an eye on the top keywords
5) Post that to social media and bookmarking sites (and you need a good following)
6) Write a minimum of once a week
7) Write press releases to all the top sites regularly with a link back to you.
7) To make a living you will need half a dozen different blogs

Blogging for affiliates

You can either sell affiliate ads on your sites and you will need around 10,000 unique visitors a month bare minimum (That’s through Google analytics or 15,000-18,000 AWstats if you are using Hostgator) to make the current average of 1/100 uniques to click to your affiliate advertising. Then you must learn all about what you are selling and make sure it fits in with your blogs. You will have to invest heavily through online marketing avenues like Google and Facebook ads and give away gifts to get your following. Ah yes there are a plethora of sites promising this and that, get real! you would do well to remember that Google still rates the age of your site as a major factor when placing you on the search page. You will have a major battle on your hands if you are tackling a well populated arena like Insurance or computers, it can be done, but be ready to sacrifice looking at your children for the next three years!

Blogging for your own business

“Companies that blog have 55% more visitors than those who don’t” Hub spot

Use these blogs to write laterally about your business on a separate site to your usual commercial site, for example if you are an undertaker write about the life, achievements, and contribution to society of the people you inter. (Who says there isn’t a blog for every business?!) If you are Librarian do a book review blog. Everyone is interesting in some way. Then each blog you write has a call to action at the bottom of the article to say if you want this product or service, ‘go here’ with a link back to your main business site. This will endear you to Search engines like no other way can and quickly!

Many people are trying the internet now to find a way to work from home as the recession is biting hard everywhere, even well trained 40 year olds both sides of the pond are worried they will ever work again. A lot of UK business people are investing in online marketing courses to learn how to blog and have an online presence. Even the UK ISMM (Institute for Sales and Marketing management) have proffered that companies who are not using Social media marketing will be dead in 5 years! All I am saying is it must be done but look harder into it it’s a full time job like anything and there are so many people promising a silver bullet with SEO, just follow the strategy above, and you will be ok. it is like anything worth having you have to sacrifice time and effort into it.

If you literally do not have 2 hours spare a week to write a blog and you seek a company to do blogs for you, make sure they have a decent following on social media as in at least 1,000 on their Facebook page and 1,000 followers on twitter minimum! And have a look at their blogs.