Monday, December 27, 2010

Final Thanks for 2010!

Thank you all so much for supporting me, and my business ventures in 2010. I look forward to an exciting new year, and wish you all the best in 2011.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Safe Entry in to 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

There Is Still Value In A Dollar!

Recently while shopping at a local dollar store with my youngest daughter, I was reminded of the true value of a dollar. Remember the days when you could purchase gumballs from the machine for a penny or a nickel? Well, some of you may remember those days. Anyway, while taking my daughter to the store so she could purchase a few things for family members with her hard earned allowance (as she says) I found myself watching her in awe. She did a series of chores, and saved her money over a period of several weeks so that she could purchase Christmas gifts. This was going to be interesting.

For over an hour we walked up and down each aisle as she carefully studied the items available. Already having an idea of what she was looking for helped, but she also required feedback before placing any item in to our basket. This was to ensure the item was going to serve the purpose that she desired. In doing so, she thought about what each individual liked, their habits, and what things really put a smile upon their face- based on what she has seen in the past.

I was amazed to see at the age of eleven, what this child had observed about her sister, grandparents, aunt... Even more important than that was what could actually still be purchased with a dollar! It was about finding the right location to do so, as well as the careful selection of each item to achieve the desired result. We ended up leaving the store with twenty items sure to put a smile on the faces of many individuals. These items were purchased with money earned by an individual that loved them, and had put careful thought in to each purchase. The crooked wrapping job that now embraces each gift item under our tree is the icing on the cake. The image forever sealed in my mind of the smile on her face as she carefully counted each dollar she handed to the clerk is priceless.

This holiday season we must remember there is tremendous value in the small things, but more importantly the love and blessings that go in to each gift that graces our hands is what matters. This season remember a single dollar holds REAL value.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Business of Flying!

During the holidays we are all looking for ways to trim business costs, health insurance fees, holiday spending etc. This special time of year means traveling out of state for many to be with loved ones, but what does it really cost to do that? While reading this article today, I was stunned to learn how much the airlines are raking in from that luggage we take with us, or those cancellations that occur. What are your thoughts on this?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Free Gifts to Give This Holiday Season

The holiday season is not always about spending, thou the commercialism says otherwise. However, this time of year is the perfect time to emphasize what you can contribute to others for free. Below are a few ideas to help you jumpstart the task of making this an annual tradition.

Food Donation:

How about cleaning out the pantry? Most of us have excess food items that we can share with others. Many churches, schools, food banks...are advertising collection dates right now. Due to the fact that the economy is in such a difficult state, many organizations are struggling this year to meet their required needs. See what you can pull out of your pantry, and donate elsewhere.

Share a Talent:

If you have a special talent that can be utilized by others, how about offering to share it? Do you love to sing? How about performing at a local church that is in need of singers for their Christmas celebration? Do you love children? Offer your babysitting services to a friend in need. Speak a foregn language? What about conducting a class at the local library, community center, or another location where the beauty of it can be appreciated. Think of what you can do, and make it happen.

Acknowledge Others:

Have you been thinking about the letter that you should have written months ago? The telephone call you meant to make days ago? The thank you that should have been voiced to a dear friend that is long over due? Today is the day to take the steps to correct this mistake. With the holidays being such a hectic time of year, a sincere acknowledgement is appreciated and may be just the motivation someone is awaiting. Who is it you need to reach out to and praise? Take the time to do it before another minute passes.

Spend Quality Time with Others:

While we find ourselves rushing often throughout the holidays, we must remember to stop and acknowledge the true meaning of the season. This is the time for being with those we love and care about. Nothing big needs to be planned. Sometimes it is just the moments when we are sitting together in silence that means the most.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Items Continuously Added to Treasure Maison!

We are heading towards the final weeks of the month of December. With Christmas rapidly approaching many of you are still searching for some last minute gifts for friends family members. Treasure Maison is offering some great products, many with free shipping and handling. Take a look and see if something catches your fancy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is a Few Extra Bucks!!!

Christmas is fast approaching, but many are still holding the strings on the purse or wallet a little tighter. Well, why wouldn't you? This economy is still scary and every day it seems that another business is closing its doors. If only you had a few more dollars to spend. That might make things go a little more smoothly this holiday season. Well, while thinking these thoughts here are a few things to help pull in a few extra bucks this Christmas....

Use Your Talents:

You may be wondering what talent? This is a question that only you can answer. We all have a special gift that we were provided with. Think about it, and figure out a way to use it to make extra money. Do you play the piano? How about offering lessons? This doesn't have to be just for the holidays, perhaps you can turn it in to something long term. Are you good at writing? With the internet going in full force and continuously expanding in to new areas, it has become easier to sell your writing, write for other online businesses...Think about what you can do and make it happen.

Offer Holiday Childcare:

Do you enjoy working with children? Have a friend that needs a babysitter so they can shop minus children? Check your calendar, make some calls, and make your friends an offer they cannot refuse. They will be happy to have some stress free holiday time, and you will be happy to make some extra money this holiday season.

Online Sites:

Been procrastinating on getting rid of the home clutter? Now is the time to make those items beneficial to you. You haven't used them up until now anyway! Go through your rooms, closet, and see what you are willing to part with. Make an honest effort, and go online and post these things. With the availability of Craigs List and Ebay, there is no reason to not utilize them. If you don't know how to use these sites, ask a friend and get busy. There is money to be made.


Are you good at crocheting? Knitting? Making things? Check your local community newspaper and watch for upcoming bazaars. This is a great way to meet new people, and introduce your products(s) and talent locally. You may also be successful at participating in several upcoming events. More participation, means more potential income.


If you are good at a particular subject, this may be the time to help others that are struggling. Make a few simple flyers, figure out what hours you are available, research average cost for these skills, and promote, promote, promote. Let others know you are available, and make sure you have references that can vouch for you.


The holidays are a wonderful time for baking, but if you don't have the time it can become stressful. How about offering to do the baking for others? Pull out that old special chocolate chip recipe that has been used in the family for years, what about your grandmother's secret Red Velvet Cake Recipe? Find something you can make that others have begged you to provide for years and get busy promoting yourself. You can easily make some promotion materials on your computer, and spread the word. To increase business opportunities bring in a trusted friend and share the profits.

Happy Money Making.............

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 27, 2010 is Small Business Saturday

It is wonderful to see small businesses receiving more support, but are you aware of Small Business Saturday, November 27th? Use your American Express card at a participating small business and...learn more here

Best Wishes for a Joyous Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all, as you take a day from the stress of business, deadlines, planning...and enjoy the blessings that family, friends and loved ones bring on this special day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Celebrate, Recognize and Praise Entrepreneurship on November 19th!

Tomorrow is a special day, and for all you entrepreneurs out there and those that appreciate entrepreneurship, celebrate it on November 19th. President Obama just officially declared National Entrepreneurs Day!

Times Are Hard But Keep Your Business Popping!

The other morning while driving in a nearby neighborhood I was stunned to see a local 7-11 was out of business. I knew times were hard, but people are now debating on whether to even by a Slurpee. "This is scary" I said to my daughter sitting next to me. Then, today while I was out I noticed a Chevron gas station near the 7-11 is being torn down. It is amazing how something can be in a location one day, actively doing business and then the bulldozers come in, get to work, and make them disappear in a day. You cannot even tell a business was once there. Seeing this activity caused me to start thinking more about upcoming business changes for the new year. Though times are rough, you can still keep things progressing in the business arena with a few simple implementations.

Handle Money Situations

If you have had money issues, take a clear look at what is going on with the situation. Need help? Get a respected professional that comes highly recommended. Do a thorough check before making a final selection. You want to ensure you are selecting someone interested in you. They must improve your situation not the other way around.

Maintain Integrity

The fear of failure causes many of us to do things we wouldn't normally do. Create a business plan today, so that when you are under pressure you do not have to compromise your morals.


Never place all your bets in one area, because things change. I believe the current economic situation has clearly represented this. If you have nothing to fall back on, you can end up in a bad place. Look today and see what changes can be made within your business to create new profit. Find that small untapped area (niche,) and turn it in to a money maker for your business.

Be Seen by Potential Customers

Many businesses fail because there isn't enough publicity generated around them. What can you do to make your business stand out more from today? Devise new tactics to bring customers to the products and services you are offering. Once you have done this, remember to keep things fresh. No one likes anything that is stagnant.

Pay Attention to Detail

Though some customers may have not purchased anything from your business for a while, pay attention to them. Send a small card thanking them for their previous business, offer a discount on upcoming items, remember their birthday...Do what needs to be done to keep your business name in the game and respected.

Work Efficiently

Now is the time to look at how the speed for product delivery and services can be increased without compromising customer satisfaction. Is there a new piece of software that can help organize your files more easily? how about simplification of packaging? Review all aspects of your business, and see where you can improve. The smallest changes can provide the largest impact. Just ensure whatever you do is necessary and effective.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Seattle Has a New Claim to Fame!

Imagine my surprise when I learned of a recognition for our city. The best bartender in America lives here and works at a local downtown restaurant. Now, because of this standout award, imagine the publicity that is coming to this facility. Check out my article, and think about what you have done lately to make your business stand out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Treasure Maison is Offering Terrific Prices

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and now is the time to start thinking about what items to purchase as well as how to pay for them. Treasure Maison is offering many great deals, with free shipping and handling on a wide range of items. Take a look and see if something grabs your attention.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Friday and If You Have a Sweet Tooth...

I know many of you have been going in to overdrive trying to find ways to promote your business, well that can wait until next week. For now let me tell you about a great place to satisfy your sweet tooth if you are in Renton, or the Pacific Northwest. Check out my latest article to learn more.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have You Passed Along a Cancer Journal?

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, have you passed along a cancer writing journal to someone you love that is battling cancer? like? know? or just care about? Be their support unit, and help someone learn the value of writing their way through cancer.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Can You Make Money This Holiday Season?

The economy is getting better so the reports seem to say, but are we really noticing a difference? Everywhere you look, another business that you saw open their doors not long ago disappears,or another business that you have supported for years has gone out of business suddenly. When will it all stop you may wonder? The answer to this question is unknown to us. But, while we may spend time worrying about what may happen, we are prevented from living in the present and making things happen NOW.
Here are a few tips to help you get moving in the right direction.

Sell the Latest Popular Products:

Begin thinking about what the latest craze is this holiday season. What is popular for children, catches their attention or holds their interest? Is it possible for you to get your hands on the product, promote it, and make some extra money? With the internet so readily available, the possibilities of what you can do with this are endless.

Make Your Business Cards Stand Out:

Make your business cards stand out by offering something free with them, or make them smell extra good. Here's how you can do this for next to nothing. Purchase small mesh string bags which come in bulk, and are available in beautiful holiday colors at a very affordable price through Oriental Trading. I like to put my business card in a mesh bag, along with a scented tealight during the holidays. The aroma is inviting and creates a pleasant scent. People will appreciate this gift. How about a fun holiday challenge that is sure to attract attention, and keep your potential customers guessing? Put your mind to work and see what you can come up with.

Be Competitive:

Have you looked at your competition lately? How about doing some comparison shopping to see what else is out there. Is your product or service widely available? If so, ask yourself why someone would choose you. If you cannot answer this question, go back to the drawing board. You cannot convince others, if you don't know yourself.

No matter what you choose to offer this holiday season, remember to make sure your services offer the best product at an affordable price, and your customer service is the leader of the pack. This holiday season is about offering a good value more than anything.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Since I Wrote a Book About a Billing Scandal I Thought I Would Share This...

Anytime I learn of something I feel would be beneficial to others, I like to share. Recently I made a comment about the continuously high rising costs of prescription medication. I, like many others have been bombarded with these fees recently myself. However, I did learn about a website from a friend that I was unfamiliar with, and thought I would pass on this information. "Together Rx Access" for people without any prescription drug coverage at all. Check it out at It doesn't cover all medication, but it covers some. It is definitely worth checking out."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Are You Prepping Your Business for the Holidays!

It is that time of year when once again the weather is changing, the days seem shorter, and the holidays are rapidly approaching. Instead of dreading the hustle and bustle that will be coming with it, why not use this as a time to get to know your customers a little better. Are you ready to grab on to the holiday business that is potentially awaiting you? Think about it. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

Offer a Unique Service

Do you have a unique service that your business can offer, which will make you a "stand out" during the holidays? If you don't have one now, begin your thought process so you are ready. This can be something as simple as special holiday bags, a unique holiday logo, special holiday contest (offer an attractive prize.) Think about it, and make it happen.

Be the Early Bird

Start early, and be the frontrunner. Be one of the first ones out there to offer your service(s). Do you have a catchy way of making your name or jingle remain in the minds of potential customers? Get busy with this.

Provide What is Needed

Do you have what they want? What is it your customers are seeking this holiday season. Think about it, and make your offer irresistible.

Remain Vibrant

Make your business vibrant and cheerful. There is so much tragedy in the news and occurring throughout the day. Make your business the "feel good" business that keeps customers wanting to be around you and coming back for more.

Remember nothing says more about your business than the customer service you offer. Always wear your best hat and put your best foot forward. You never know when opportunity will come knocking.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October is National Bully Prevention Month

As you all know, I feel strongly about preventing bullying in the workplace. This evening while watching the news I was fascinated by a company that runs in our state, Washington that has taken on the challenge of bullying. Here is information. Remember,silence is a problem. If you are aware of bullying, bring it to the forefront. If you have ever been a victim, you know firsthand that you must do your part.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Renton is Home to One of the Largest Remaining Blue Heron Colonies

As I fight to get back on my feet after not feeling well for a bit, I have had an opportunity to do some writing about Blue Herons. Have you had an opportunity to view my latest article?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Steps to Take When Your Boss is the Bully

As we continue examining the subject of bully bosses, we must take a look at the necessary steps to take to clear up this problem. Sometimes it may take a while to reach a resolution, but the bottom line is-no one should have to work in an environment where they are harassed. Here are a few steps to take when preparing to clean up an uncomfortable work environment.

Carefully examine what is being done that makes you feel uncomfortable. Is it the way you are being spoken to (ex. insulting?) Are you being flirted with or having inappropriate comments said to you? Pin-point exactly what the problem is to ensure you are not being overly sensitive or that your boss was perhaps having a bad day.

Ensure you have documentation to support your statements. Write down what the situation was, statements made, dates, time, location. When you make an accusation, bring the facts with you.

Review your company handbook. What statements are made about the work environment, and what constitutes harassment according to their definition. Contact the Human Resources department for additional clarification and support.

Contact the bosses boss. I have had to do this myself, and know this can be very uncomfortable. Think carefully before doing this, and make sure this step is necessary. Remember, there will most likely be a point where your boss will know what you have accused them of. Always be prepared for the fall-out.

Are there others facing the same issues with the boss? Perhaps you can present the problems together. Be careful as this can also backfire-if you choose to speak openly with someone playing both sides of the fence and wanting to get in good with the boss. You must always know who you are talking to.

Once taking necessary steps, if nothing changes, you may consider seeking employment elsewhere. Consider all options before making any moves.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Workplace Bullying In Your Face

As I prepared to write todays blog, an article I ran across on the internet caught my attention, angered me, and saddened me as well. It is a perfect example of the extremes that a difficult work environment can push one to. Click here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How Do You Know When the Bully Boss Has Entered Your Home?

It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon and your mind is on something else. You just cannot seem to relax and enjoy the remainder of your day. You have already started to stress about the boss' Monday morning mood. The workload is too much, and the boss continues to pile more on you while giving you a smirk. Thoughts of your boss are making your blood pressure rise. Are they being a bully?

Here are a few signs that let you know the stressful thoughts of your boss are taking over:

You cannot enjoy potential family opportunities that come your way because you are so fearful of what awaits you during the upcoming work week.

You take work home with you even when not required to do so, fearful that something has been done incorrectly.

You cannot relax due to the tension you are feeling.

You have become extra emotional (crying at times about the job and dreading going there.)

You are snappy with your reponses to family and friends.

You feel unhappy, and under constant pressure.

These are just a few signs to give you the jolt that something may not be right. Things can be corrected, and as we continue down our path of examining the bully boss, we will examine what steps to take.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Business Conference Warning this Labor Day Weekend

For all you Pacific Northwest business owners or future business owners, if you are considering participating in a local conference at hotels in Tacoma and Olympia, please check out this warning..

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Have You Ever Worked for a Bully Boss?

Starting this week, I will be addressing an issue that is becoming more common in the workforce. In fact, it is one that I have been faced with myself, as you can see in my literary work Healthcare Under Duress: An Inside look at the University of Washington Billing Scandal- the bully boss!

To be honest I have dealt with this topic a couple of times during my work history.

So, how do you know if your boss is a bully? Let's figure this out. Below you will see a few of the areas we will be covering.

What is a bully boss?
How to work with a bully boss?
How to protect yourself, and much let's get started. We have many issues to address.

Not every boss is a bully, some are just bad bosses-we must keep this in mind. So, the first part is to determine where your boss falls.

Answer these questions

Does your boss insult you? Is this behavior exhibited in front of others?

Has your boss given you another name, which is used to emphasize your shortcomings in the workplace?

Are you often blamed for errors that occur?

Does the boss take credit for and receive praise for work you have completed?

Are you assigned unreasonable goals which must be met?

Does the boss subject you to their bad moods (causing you to walk on eggshells,) and give you the silent treatment at times?

Are you threatened repeatedly with job loss or a pay cut for failing to complete a task?

Are you fearful of your boss, and physically ill at times as a result of dealing with them or thinking about it?

If you have answered yes to several of these questions, you have an issue that needs to be addressed. These are just sample questions to help you identify a problem. In upcoming blogs we will break it down and get to the root of what motivates these individuals to thrust psychological fear upon others, and teach you how to fight back.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are You An Elvis Fan?

In Honor of Elvis Presley's grand 75th birthday celebration, Treasure Maison is offering free shipping and handling on ALL Elvis products. Take a look and see if there is something that catches your attention. Many additional products are also available at great savings.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is Your Boss a Bully?

During the month of September we are going to have several blogs addressing an issue many of you face on a daily basis, problems with your boss. I have faced this issue myself and know the difficulty this can bring in to your social and personal life. How do you know when your boss is a bully? What do you do to take care of the situation? Where can you turn to for help? How do you protect yourself? Stay tuned as we face this topic and break things down in to a language everyone can understand.

I will also be looking for those that are willing to share information about the difficulties they have had with their boss, and how they handled the situation.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Multiple Streams Of Income Online

Creating multiple streams of income online or offline is one way to securing a financial future. In affiliate marketing, you develop multiple streams of income to prevent yourself from being left out to dry if one of our income streams disappears. If you depend on just one source of income and suddenly the industry shifts, you will be left on the short end of the stick with no income.

Being involved in affiliate marketing is one of the more desirable ways of generating multiple streams of income online. This is because there are many types of affiliate marketing programs. There are a large number of affiliate marketing programs that you can sign-up for and start making money immediately. In affiliate marketing, you can make money by promoting and reselling your affiliate products and by recruiting new affiliates. What's good about this is that you can find all kinds of training materials that can enhance your marketing abilities. In affiliate marketing, you can be sure that there are genuine products to promote and sell and there is real income to make.

Either part time or full time, being an affiliate marketer is an excellent way to create multiple streams of income online by means of promoting products and services from your merchants. Here, you can get affiliate commissions without investing big bucks in making your own product and without worrying about book keeping, customer support and ecommerce. All you have to do is to promote and resell the products and services on your web site and pass on potential customers to the merchant's sites.

In affiliate marketing, it is advisable to promote more merchants on your web site so that your visitors will have a variety of destinations to choose from. Using multiple merchants on the same web site or niche means one have multiple streams of affiliate income. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of business strategy. This is one of the best ways to protect your business and expand your horizons. Through this, you can be assured that you won't experience crisis if one of your merchants close his or her program.

However, you should choose only those affiliate programs that interest you so that you can effectively advertise and promote them. Don't ever be tempted into signing up for numerous affiliate programs in the hope one of them will generate an income. You should select your products wisely and don't be engaged in selling products you know nothing about. Go with the products that excite you, and that you connect well with. It is your passion that ultimately captures your client and guides him or her to your affiliate link.

You should also work hard to make your multiple streams of income more stable. You can accomplish this by embracing some strategies and tactics as well as developing within yourself some characteristics that will help you become successful in any kind of business; such as patience, persistence, and thirst for knowledge.

Lastly, remember the old adage, "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket". If one of them is lost, you can still have some left to make an omelet. What do these eggs have to do with multiple streams of affiliate income online? It goes without saying, that the more streams of income you have, the bigger and better your bank account becomes.

Discover the secrets to generating multiple streams of income online with affiliate marketing using an online marketing system.

Article Source:

About the Author: My name is Lawren Smith. I am pleased that you have taken the time to stop by.

I grew up in Long Beach California. After graduation, I decided to get into computers. I have been in the technical industry for over 20 years. For the last 5 years, I have worked as a Sr. Software Engineer.

After a number of downsizings and changes in the technical industry, I decided that I wanted to work for myself and this is when I discovered the network marketing industry.

I made my move from software engineering to self employment about 6 years ago. I now work my businesses full time from home.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Have a Great Business Success Story?

Do you have a great homebased business success story that you are willing to share with others? If so, send us your story and share the details in 400 words or less. Allow others to learn from your personal experiences and tips. We look forward to sharing your experiences in an upcoming posting on Swannee Rivers WAHM Blog?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Sales at Treasure Maison

Check out the fabulous new items now available at online retailer Treasure Maison. Many items now offer free shipping and handling, and the summer special is- for every five items ordered at Treasure Maison, your 6th item is available at 50% off (up to $70) value. Take a look today and see how you can spiff up your wardrobe.

A Little PR Can Go a Long Way

Hiring a publicist or doing your own PR isn’t something most small business owners or entrepreneurs really want to do. You’re busy running the day-to-day operations that keep the doors to your business open and investing the little time and money you may have just doesn’t seem feasible or realistic.  Sound familiar?   But think about this. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for a few years, media exposure is valuable to your success — just a little work on your PR campaign a day can produce tremendous results.
At the very least you have to have a strong brand and message. They’re what define you, and what will help differentiate you from your competition. When creating your brand and message, look to combine what makes you a) unique and b) valuable to your target market. Valuable and unique messages produce great PR campaigns and will attract better and more loyal customers.
After you’ve created your brand and message it’s important to employ consistency into all aspects of your business. You have to give the same message(s) over and over again through interviews, your pitches and your press materials, so be consistent and make your message your mantra. A repeatable and unique message is what will make you stand out from the crowd, forcing people to remember you and your product.
Your logos have to be a direct reflection of your branding and messaging too, along with all the little things like your voicemail message, how you answer your phone, your website design, etc. Think about it: If you’re branding your business as a fun and carefree company and your voicemail is dull and unenthusiastic, you’re not really holding true to your brand.
The thing about PR is that it’s in everything you do. It’s not just about landing interviews on television, it’s about how you interact with the public — how you deliver your message to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Author: Drew Gerber
About the Author: L. Drew Gerber is CEO of Blue Kangaroo, Inc. and the creator of, a free media tool that moves the best interviews to the front of the line for journalists and producers. Gerber's business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed. Contact Gerber at: or 828-749-3182. For more great free publicity advice, visit

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Are You an Entrepreneurial Spirit?

Many people have the desire to run their own business, but not all have what it takes to successfully do so. Having the right tools can put you on the proper path to business success. Click here for additional details.

Monday, August 2, 2010

3 Ways to Attract More Ideal Clients

Author: Allison Babb
As a small business coach, almost without exception, my clients need to work on gaining greater clarity on their target market.  We all start out thinking we are clear on it.  I know I did, until my own coach really challenged me to go deeper and deeper along the path to becoming intimately familiar with the market that I serve.
Here's an interesting outcome of doing that work... When business owners contact us on how to sell services effectively, they often comment that reading some of my web pages made them feel like I was reading their mind.  And that's pretty much the outcome you'd want for your own market as well.
You want to get so intimately familiar with their needs, challenges, frustrations and burning desires, that you can resonate quite strongly with who they are.  That's when you know you've got powerful clarity on your target market.
If you're not there yet, here are a few things you may want to do:
Who are they?
Start with your favorites.  Your favorites are those clients you really enjoy working with.  These are the ones who didn't even blink an eye at your fees.  They happily paid you because they truly valued what you do.  They were eager to work with you and continue to rave about your services.
Profile them.  Get as much information as you can about this type of client.  Demographics, psychographics, where they came from, etc.  Because this is the profile you'll use to get more of this type of client.
Don't have any clients yet because you're a new biz? No worries, just brainstorm on who you might want to have as an ideal client and start there.  For new businesses, resist the urge to get this perfect by the way.  The definition of your target market will evolve and will get more refined as you begin to experience working with your clients.  Just choose who you think it may be and dive right into working with them and better understanding their needs.
Where are they?
Most likely, your target market shows up in large numbers or in groups either online or offline.  Do a bit of research (google searches etc) on where they may be and show up there too.  You'd show up to make connections and to better understand the needs of your target market as well.  Listen to what's at the top of their minds, how they express their main challenges, questions they're asking, solutions they are seeking, etc., and take lots of notes.
If you're not quite sure where show up, an easy way to find one person and ask them where they meet with others in their industry.  Ask them if there are groups online or offline where they gather.  They'll tell you and you may just hear of meetings and other gatherings you didn't even know existed.  And what's even better is you can probably go speak at those venues too - excellent opportunity to position yourself as an expert in front of your ideal target market.
What do they want?
Surprisingly this is one of the most overlooked questions for us as business owners.  We often want to give people what we think they need.  Instead, ask them what they want. Use surveys, or listen intently to the questions they ask while they're working with you as your client, etc.  Get clarity on their most pressing problems in your area of expertise.  Resist the urge to interpret what they are saying to you by the way.  Instead pay close attention to the descriptions they use.  This is powerful information for your marketing.
If you have past clients, call them up and ask if they wouldn't mind helping you out with a little market research.  Most would say yes.  Then ask questions about what brought them to you, what were the key problems that prompted them to seek help, what were they hoping to have as an outcome, what did they most value, how did your services help them?  All the while, you'd want to be listening intently to their words.  Again, resist the urge to interpret.  You're understanding the language of your people so that you can magnetically attract them and to truly serve their needs in your area of expertise.

And now I'd like to offer you the FREE one-hour audio seminar for solo entrepreneurs on "How to Create a Steady Stream of Clients For Your Solo Business" at: Allison Babb is an author, speaker and Small Business Coach to solo entrepreneurs at:
About the Author:


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Purchasing a Business Can Come with Obstacles

Rather than develop a business from the ground up, some make the decision to purchase a business. This may be the way right way to enter the business arena for many, but for others they may face many obstacles. Being prepared can make the transition flow smoothly. Here are a few tips to aid you along the way.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Struggling to Manage Your Business Time Wisely?

Are you running a business, but still struggling with time management? Check out my latest article for added pointers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Have You Got Your Groupon?

I recently signed up to start receiving my daily Groupon email. Are you a participant? Well, I have to say I am enjoying it. To make a long story short-it is a fabulous way to capture some awesome business deals within your city. A sign up for free, and incredible deals offering tremendous savings are put on display. You will receive a great offer each day and if enough people go in to purchase the deal-Bam! you have a tremendous savings.

It is a terrific way for businesses to share the news about what they have to offer and attract customers as well. Perhaps this is something worth taking a look at. To learn more about Groupon click here.

Are Micropayments a Better Way to Pay Off Your Credit Card Bills?

As usual, when I read something I find of interest or learn about something new I will share it with my readers. Today, I was reading an article in the local paper, and thought I would share it with you all. We we all strive to pay off our debts as quickly as possible. Sometimes it doesn't seem to happen fast enough, and that can be very frustrating. Here is an idea to keep in mind the next time you send off a payment. Click Here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Have You Thought About Purchasing a Business?

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business, but are just unsure if the business will be a success? Well, to take this step can be risky, but a fun challenge as well. Perhaps the idea of purchasing a business that is already established looks attractive to you. Making this move just may be the right opportunity for you. Check out my latest article to learn some of the advantages of pursuing this business opportunity. Click here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

9 Reasons Why Prospects Don't Return Your Calls

Some cold calling experts suggest that you leave a message when you receive a prospect's voice mail. Unfortunately, many sales people feel that this is an exercise in futility because most of the time their prospect does not call them back. If that sounds familiar, here are nine reasons why your prospects don't return your calls.


1. Your voice mail message is too long. The majority of voice mail messages decision makers receive are far too long. Decision makers are too busy to listen to a long, rambling, and disjointed message. That means you need to get your message across in 30 seconds or less. In fact, I suggest that you try and limit your message to a maximum of 20 seconds.


2. Your voice mail message is too cryptic. On the reverse side, a short, terse voice mail with no details will not likely motivate someone to call you back. You MUST give a prospect enough information to capture their attention and say, "I need to talk to this person."


3. You leave the same voice mail message. It is important to keep trying to connect with your prospect which often means leaving multiple voice mail messages. However, if you want someone to call you back you need to leave a different message every time you call. Plus it must be compelling (see the next point).


4. Your message is not compelling. Most voice mail messages do little to motivate someone to pick up the telephone and return your call. A compelling message MUST demonstrate that you understand your prospect's industry, situation or circumstances and portray that you might have a solution.


5. You have not developed a relationship with them. In today's competitive landscape, people want to do business with suppliers and vendors they know and trust. A call from a salesperson in an unknown company is not likely going to be returned


6. You sound like every other sales person. The average executive receives dozens of sales calls a day so if you want a busy executive to call you back, your message MUST stand out from every other call he or she receives. I once sat in a Vice President's office as he listened to his voice mail messages on speakerphone and was fascinated how similar every sales call sounded. I was equally intrigued by how quickly this person deleted the messages, too. His finger hovered over the delete button, and in most cases, he erased the message in the first few seconds.


7. You have not done any research. When you leave a voice mail message that clearly demonstrates that you know nothing about your prospect's business, there is no chance they will return your call. For example, "Mr Prospect, we provide solutions that help call centers improve their productivity and performance and generate a higher ROI on their out-bound calls." If this message was left for a small business owner (and it was!) it is highly unlikely the salesperson would get a return call (and they didn't!). At the very least, do some basic research and make sure that your message reflects that homework. It will improve your chances of a return call.


8. Your product or service does not interest them. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs your solution and when you call companies that are not the right fit for your product, service or offering, you are simply wasting your time and that of your prospects. Improve your results by more closely targeting your prospecting calls to companies who can actually use your product or service (see point 7 above).


9. Your prospect is simply too busy. Most sales people fail to realize exactly how busy executives are. A client of mine once said, "I'm so busy right now I can't possibly take on any more projects." This sheer volume of work often prevents decision makers from returning your call because they don't have the time to talk to you and because they can't fit another project into their schedule. Unless your product, service or offering is something they desperately need right now, they probably won't return your call.


Author: Kelley Robertson





Get your FREE copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to Kelley's free newsletter, "59 Seconds to Sales Success" at

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling, is available to speak at sales meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or


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How to Keep Prospects From Canceling

For a lot of small business owners, one of the challenges in how to sell services is actually how to keep valuable prospects from slipping through your fingers.

As a small business coach, I've worked with business owners who tell me they find themselves chasing after prospects. It's rather exhausting and quite unpleasant to say the least, right?

The chasing happens because we fear the prospect will cancel a meeting or will be a no-show. Or we're chasing because they were a no-show.

Here are a few suggestions for greatly reducing or eliminating this experience with prospects:

Check your pressure gauge

What I mean by this is that is, if we're not careful, we unintentionally introduce a level of pressure or uncomfortable persuasion into our sales conversations with people. A prospect can easily sense the pressure and they lapse into not telling the truth about whether they are interested or not. So they say they're interested and set the appointment to not disappoint you or simply to get out of feeling cornered. That's a key reason people come up with "objections" as well - they're feeling pressured or cornered.

This is the reason I always say ditch the intent to sell. Simply have a conversation to discover whether there's a mutual fit. Don't assume the sale prematurely. When you go into the conversation with the intent to sell, you then have an ulterior motive to "make the sale." Often simple things like your tone of voice and your choice of words raises the red flag with a prospect that you're after the sale.

Your prospect can sense that you are more interested in making the sale than being genuinely interested in solving their problems and meeting their needs. So check your own pressure gauge to see whether your intentions in the conversation may be fueling the "flight response" in your prospect.

Ask the right questions

When you're in a conversation with a prospect, there are some key questions you can ask to uncover

* If they truly are your ideal client

* If they're even ready to make a decision right now

* If what you offer is a good match for their needs and their budget

Be sure you're asking open-ended questions vs yes/no questions. If your conversation doesn't reveal those key bits of information, you may be assuming the person is ready to move forward when they're not. This then makes the chances of cancellation or no-show much higher.

Share your value (vs your products/services)

When we talk to prospects, there's quite a bit of temptation to dive right into a pitch or description of what we sell. We spend time detailing our different services, prices, packages, etc. It's important to realize this is secondary to why the prospect contacted you.

Sure, they may say they want to hear about your services, but that's not really what they're looking for. They're looking for solutions to a problem, an experience, a transformation, to realize their vision for something, to get relief, to meet a burning desire, etc.

The more you're able to describe what you do in a way that resonates with what they're truly seeking, the more they value what you have to offer; and the chances that they'll cancel is greatly reduced.

Set up the meeting effectively

In setting up the meeting, I'd first ask you to consider this: did the prospect request the meeting or was it more that they felt pressured and said yes? That's a good thing to evaluate. Instead of saying "Why don't we set up an appointment to..." try something like "Do you think it would make sense, at this point, for us to connect and..." The latter makes it their decision and it also gives them an opportunity to be truthful about whether they'd actually like to meet. It's best to know the truth than to have them say yes then disappear on you.

Also, rather than just agreeing on the meeting, agree on the commitment to the meeting as well. Say something like, "Allison, I know that we're both pretty busy people and I do respect your time. I'm committed to setting aside this time specifically for you. I've set aside 60 minutes in my calendar on Tuesday for us to.... If you're unable to make it at that time, would you call me by TIME to let me know?"

This sets the tone for mutual respect of each other's time. You're saying that you respect their time and you're also implying that you expect them to respect your time as well; this reduces the chance of a no-show or cancellation.

Author: Allison Babb


And now I'd like to offer you the FREE one-hour audio seminar for solo entrepreneurs on "How to Create a Steady Stream of Clients For Your Solo Business" at: Allison Babb is an author, speaker and Small Business Coach to solo entrepreneurs at:

Article Source:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Team Building Ideas

When John Dunne penned the phrase: “No man is an island”, he could well have been writing about the work ethics of corporate organizations today.

For, long gone are the days when the focus was purely on the individual, and personal goals in the workplace. Nowadays, however small the enterprise, the emphasis is on all members working closely together. And, for that, you need plenty of team building ideas, teaching your members how to communicate and interact well together, working collectively towards the same goals. After all, a business can only be truly successful when staff are motivated and pull together as a team.

History of Team Building

McDougall (1920) is reputed to have been the founder of team building, when he stated that there were five different conditions necessary for a highly productive group, although other persons of note, such as Sigmund Freud, have also recognized the benefits of team work.

However, it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that companies in the United States seriously began to introduce a team-based system of working into their firms.

This method of collectively working towards and achieving required goals has now become recognized worldwide, to the extent that numerous consulting firms have set up, their purpose being to advise organizations and corporations on the best way for that particular firm to build its team, along with ideas and activities to improve the team’s performance.

Team Building Consultants

Teambuilding consulting firms possess the knowledge, experience and tools necessary to advise corporations on, first of all building a team, and then getting the very best out of that team.

They’ll discuss with you the specific goals of your organization, taking into account such issues as the needs of your team, their ages, and the size of the group.

They’ll then present you with team building ideas and activities for improving such matters as communication, motivation, goal-setting, problem-solving, decision-making, and trust-building. It’s also important that staff should explore their own strengths and weaknesses, and learn self-regulation.

All of this should result not only in highly-improved team productivity, but also in a more pleasant working atmosphere, making that particular company a more enjoyable place for staff to spend their working day.

Team Building Activities

So, what sort of activities will consultants suggest to help bring out the best in your team?

Team building ideas vary considerably, depending on the sort of organization you are. For, building an effective team is not only essential in the business world, it’s also very much required by other organizations, such as sports teams, youth groups, and cultural groups.

Activities range tremendously, from outdoor activities – both physically demanding and less physically challenging – through to group bonding sessions or behavioural-based activities designed to improve group functioning.

At the end of the day, whatever type of organization you have, a well-managed team will result not only in success, but also in its members being more motivated and working confidently towards their collective goals.

Author: Alison Gray

About Author
Alison Gray loves her job as team leader and gives team building strategies at her website
You'll also find plenty of team building ideas, such as storytelling ideas for the workplace.

Article Source:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sam's Club Has a New Business Offering

Not only do I like to learn the latest business news, but I also enjoying learning about events occuring in Arkansas or associated with the state (since that is where I am originally from.) I recently learned about a new business opportunity Sam's Club is now providing that sounds interesting. While you can purchase many items at this store in bulk, and at great discounted prices- have you ever thought about seeking out a business loan there?

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (owner of Sam's Club,) and Superior Financial Group have teamed up to offer a new business opportunity. Now, small business owners will have the opportunity to qualify for loans up to $25,000, and this money doesn't have to be spent at Sam's Club. The program will focus on minority, women, and veteran owned businesses.

During a 2009 survey Sam's Club learned many of its small business owners had been denied business loans, and this number was on the increase. They wanted to make a change. For additional information. Click Here.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Remember Hard Times Mean Scam Times for Many

Whiles times are still tough for many, and we all must watch our pennies, remember these few red flags when you think of business opportunities.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

3 Simple Steps To Taking a Quantum Leap in Your Biz

If you want to grow your business, there are 2 ways you can go about it.

Slow and fast.

Most people end up growing their business slowly. Now there's nothing wrong with slow. It's not easy to grow your business period, so even growing your business slowly is better than what a lot of entrepreneurs do.

So let's talk about fast. Another way to view growing your business quickly is by taking a quantum leap, which basically means you leap frog ahead versus taking your growth one step at a time.

Taking a quantum leap means transforming your business quickly. It means going from $200,000 to a million in a year. It means seeing opportunities fly to you effortlessly.

So if you want a quantum leap, how do you get one? Here are 3 steps to get you started:

1. Think big. Taking a quantum leap isn't going to work if you're thinking small. So the first thing you need to do is make sure you're thinking big. And, maybe even more than that, make sure you're READY for your business to BECOME big. If you're not comfortable or if there's some blocks or obstacles around you growing your business to its fullest potential, you'll never have a quantum leap.

2. Invest in yourself. There are different ways to invest in yourself. Do you need to build a team? Hire a consultant? Maybe you need to take time to go through a program or information product. Or you need to hire a coach or get into a coaching or mentorship program to move yourself ahead.

Money is a form of energy. And when you invest in a program or hiring a team, that could be the catalyst you need to move you forward in a big way. Because now you've put your money where your mouth is (so to speak). You're taking yourself and your business seriously by investing in yourself.
So how do you know what you need to invest in? You know. You know right now what you need to invest in to grow your business. Whether or not you do it is another story.

3. Failures means you're moving in the right direction. What?? I can hear you all saying. Here's the thing. If you design your life and/or your business around never making a mistake, do you REALLY think you're stepping outside your comfort zone? If you're trying to never make mistakes, then there's no possible way you can ever have a quantum leap. Quantum leaps require you to think differently than you have before, to try something you never have. And when you do that, you may end up having a failure or two (or ten) along the way.

Successful people don't like failure anymore than you do. But they know if they don't get out there in big way and try new things, they won't be as successful overall, even though that means risking failure as well. It's a choice they make because they know the payoff is worth it.

One way to deal with failure is to look beyond it. Focus on the end goal, where you want to end up. Then, when the failures happen, you're not as concerned with them because you're looking past them to the where you want to be.

But the biggest part of taking a quantum leap is just to do it. Take a deep breath and jump. And believe the net will appear.

Author Michele PW

Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at Copyright 2009 Michele Pariza Wacek.

Article Source:

About the Author: Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! marketing strategist and
owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing
agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more
clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To
find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit
her site at Copyright 2009 Michele Pariza Wacek.

How To Inspire Your Team - 5 Reasons To Start With Yourself

Inspiration is powerful stuff. Inspired people are fully energised and clearly focused, which means they are strongly motivated and engaged in the action they take. These are prized qualities in the workplace - a manager's dream! - yet inspired colleagues are a rarity.

Too many managers and leaders look for ways to inspire their people while remaining locked into uninspired behaviour themselves. This is doomed to failure! Instead, here are the 5 principles behind success.

1. Being inspired is a prerequisite for inspiring those around you

It's a matter of congruence - walking the talk. If someone deliberately sets out to inspire you and they are not themselves inspired, the falsehood is obvious. Would you be inspired by someone who is not inspired themselves? So, as Gandhi put it, "Be the change you want to see".

2. The resulting insights help you to inspire others

By becoming more aware of how you are inspired, you will gain insights into how other people become inspired. This is not a simplistic assumption that whatever inspires you will inspire everybody else but a deeper understanding of the mechanism of inspiration and how techniques that work for you can be adapted to work with others.

For example, a clear sense of purpose is an inspiring experience. However the particular purpose that works for you may not be the same purpose that inspires your colleague. But what is true is that a sense of purpose, whatever the difference in detail, is important for both of you.

3. Inspiration is contagious!

This is perhaps the most obvious reason - the low-hanging fruit - why you need to be inspired first. If you did nothing else there would still be some positive impact on those around you. People love to be with inspired individuals because some of it automatically rubs off.

4. Inspiring your team is an act of leadership

Inspiring others is a key leadership skill. You are the leader of your team and, whether you choose it or not, each member looks to you as a role model. To some degree your behaviour will be copied - you need to be out in front.

5. Inspiration will sustain you in your role in leading the team

Consistently inspiring a team takes energy, focus, creativity and resilience. You will have these qualities in far greater abundance when you are inspired. Without inspiration, your efforts are likely to exhaust you as well as being ineffective.

Author Trevor Hill


Welcome - I'm Trevor Hill, author and inspiration coach. You can get specific details on 7 great techniques to inspire yourself in my free downloadable book 'Passport to Inspiration' from

Article Source:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Had to Giggle at This One!

As I thought about today and the things I wanted to talk about, I realized I wanted to remind everyone about the importance of selecting a business name that stands out, clearly represents you, defines what you do, the services you have available... You want a name that is going to make people think about you even when you are not in front of them. If you can come up with a name that makes people giggle that can be even better. Here is an article that does a perfect job of just that. Click here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Need to Buy a Last Minute Father's Day Gift?

Are you trying to purchase a last minute Father's Day Gift for the special man or men in your life? Need a great place to go, and a coupon to take with you to stretch those limited funds? Click here.

Are You the Kind of Business You Need to Be?

Author: Liz Weber

One of my favorite thoughts for inspiration is by Jim Cathcart: "How would the person I'd like to be do the thing I'm about to do?" Whenever I ask myself that question, I usually ratchet up what I'm going to do a notch or two - and the result is usually much better than if I'd done "just enough" to get by.

I recently worked with a client I've supported on and off for years. They've always been a great client to work with because I invariably learn something from them. I am also routinely impressed with their willingness to push themselves to expect more of themselves than their competitors. However, during this most recent project, things were different. A few people have left and a few people have joined the team and things are different. Longer term managers behaved differently than I'd ever seen them behave before. New managers behaved in ways different from what had ever been demonstrated before. And "different" in each of these cases wasn't good. Different was tactical not strategic. Different was many of the managers saying, "We can't do anything." Different was more in line with what their competitors do.

In talking with the executive team about the differences, I was told cash flow is tight, they're being asked to do more with less, and the future is a big question mark. My not-so-diplomatic response was: "Join the club. We're all under pressure. We all have cash flow concerns, need to do more with less, and face an uncertain future. However, we won't have a future if we no longer provide the level of service, anticipate our customers' needs, and extend the quality of products our customers expect and deserve. If we start operating below our own standards, why do we deserve our customers' business?" The answer is obviously, "We don't."

That's much easier to say than to do when our current business models are being challenged. However, we need to remember what allowed us to earn our customers' trust and business in the first place. Why did they choose us before and what will it take for them to continue to choose us in the future? If we are without a doubt an organization they will want to continue or start to do business with going forward, we'll be able to meet their needs and ours as well. But we need to live up to our own standards in tough times as well as in the good times to provide this assurance to our customers.

So, are you the kind of organization you need to be? If not, why not? Your customers are waiting for your answer.

Copyright 2009 , 2010 - Liz Weber, CMC - Weber Business Services, LLC.
WBS is a team of Strategic Planning and Leadership Development Consultants, Trainers, and Speakers. Liz can be reached at or (717)597-8890. Additional FREE articles can be found at Weber Business Services Website. Liz can be reached at

Article Source:

About the Author: A sought-after consultant, speaker, and seminar/workshop presenter, Liz is known for her candor, insights, and her ability to make the complex "easy." She creates clarity for her audiences during her results-oriented presentations and training sessions. Participants walk away from her sessions knowing how to implement the ideas she's shared not just once, but over and over to ensure continuous improvement and management growth and development.

Known as The Dragon Lady of Leadership Accountability™, Liz has been there, done it, and learned from it. Whether speaking to corporate executives or government agency personnel, Liz's comments and insights on leadership and leadership accountability ring true.

As the President of Weber Business Services, LLC, a management consulting, training, and speaking firm headquartered near Harrisburg, PA, Liz and her team of consultants provide strategic and succession planning, leadership development, training, and executive coaching to a variety of clients.

Liz has supervised business activities in 139 countries and has consulted with organizations in over 20 countries. She has designed and facilitated conferences from Bangkok to Bonn and Tokyo to Tunis. Liz has taught for the Johns Hopkins University's Graduate School of Continuing Studies and the Georgetown University's Senior Executive Leadership Program.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sally Petersen Interview Part 2

Part two of the interview with author and entrepreneur Sally Petersen is now available. Part 1 can be found on my June 7th post.

6. Has writing this book changed your life in anyway, and if so how?
Yes. Anyone who actually finishes writing a book knows what a monumental task that is. Just to finish is a victory; to see it published and helping people is wonderful. I am grateful to people like Swannee who caught the confidence of Dream and want to share it to help others.

7. What advice would you have for up and coming entrepreneurs?
If you have one, keep your day job while doing the start up work on your business, if it's not a conflict of interest. Start slow, create small successes and you'll learn safely. When it's time to cut loose, you'll know.

8. What is the hardest part about running your own business?
Finding time to do everything. I tell my readers, if you can't manage your time, you won't make it. Other than that, everyone has a "hardest part." For me, it's marketing, for some it’s the financial details; others have trouble closing a sale.

9. Tell us about your new literary work and where the idea came from?
I view life as a series of little episodes or stories, and I've wanted to tell them. I have a quirky view of work, kids, what I see when I travel, people. Tea Pie, Love and Reality is a collection of very short pieces—some funny, some thoughtful—about life. Many readers relate to them.

10. How is your new literary work different from what you have done in the past?
It's more personal. I'm a private person and have written for newspapers, magazines and businesses, not about myself and my take on life. Tea Pie was a stretch.

11. What are your future plans?
My next writing will be memoir. I grew up in the Midwest and have watched decades of change in our world. I have changed also during that time. I want to write about a life many women will relate to, just as many people relate to the stories in Tea Pie and the idea of your own business in Dream. Stay tuned.

12. How do you define success?
Success for me means developing and maintaining a secure financial base so I can follow my dream of fulfilling work, travel, and using whatever skills I possess to help those who cross my path.

Sally's books are available on and through her website, She and her husband, also a writer, send a periodic newsletter. If you would like to receive it, sign up on the website in the Media/Resources room or send your email address to

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sally Petersen Interview Part I

It is with great pleasure that I present the first part of my interview with the fabulous author, and entrepreneur Sally Petersen.

The Real American Dream
Creating Independence & Running a One-Person Business

"Sally ran a successful one-person business for thirteen years. With her creative help, you, too, can create a life of independence and financial well-being. The book features business tools, fresh ideas, and step-by-step coaching. It will guide you through the ideas and self-awareness necessary for success. And remember, it's you who define "success."

1.Tell us a little about your background as an Entrepreneur?

I didn't start out to be en entrepreneur, but after ten years in a Fortune 500 corporation, my job was eliminated. While taking a job-search program it became clear that I was no longer interested in corporate life. When I reviewed my work history (for the class) I discovered almost all my previous jobs called for me to start from scratch, to design the work. So I thought: If I can do it for other people, I can do it for myself. I'll design my own work, start my own business and build it around the writing skills I already have. It was one of the best decisions I've made.

2. Why did you decide to write this book?

After establishing a business of writing, editing and desktop publishing, I worked informally with the same search group that helped me. I talked to so many of their people that I decided to design a workshop to reach more potential entrepreneurs at once. The workshop turned into a book.

3. The Real American Dream…Interesting choice of words in your title. What is your definition of the Real American Dream?

I believe the real dream for many of us is to control our own destiny, to be our own boss, not just make money and own a home; to go beyond the traditional building blocks of the dream. Americans’ characters are built on pioneers who left security and moved west, left other countries and came here, or were set free. They all wanted to create a better life. That spirit lives on in us, generations later.

4. With so many business and employment books out there, what makes this one different?

One size does not fit all, and this book urges readers to make decisions that fit them, not someone else. It affirms each reader's uniqueness. Dream takes on the "why" of decisions, not just the how-to, although that is there too. I urge readers to understand themselves very well, then to make their businesses fit that reality. Dream takes them by the hand and walks them through the process.

5. What is the one thing you would like your readers to learn from this book?

To be realistic and enthusiastic. The process should be fun, or else go work for someone else. I'd like readers to develop a positive attitude that says: experiments don't fail, they teach you something. I will learn from my mistakes. I also want readers to build confidence by setting the business up right from the beginning and creating small successes. I favor a go-slow approach.

6. Has writing this book changed your life in anyway, and if so how?

Yes. Anyone who actually finishes writing a book knows what a monumental task that is. Just to finish is a victory; to see it published and helping people is wonderful. I am grateful to people like Swannee who caught the confidence of Dream and want to share it to help others.

Sally's books are available on and through her website, She and her husband, also a writer, send a periodic newsletter. If you would like to receive it, sign up on the website in the Media/Resources room or send your email address to

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 4, 2010 is National Donut!

Ok, I know everyone is on the fitness kick nowadays, but why not take a day and treat yourself. Tomorrow is National Donut Day! What does that mean for you? It means you can stop at your local Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts for a free donut of your choice. No purchase is necessary. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

For You Pacific Northwest Small Business Owners

Small Business Forum
with Congressman Adam Smith
Thursday, June 3rd - 7AM

Congressman Adam Smith will be joined by representatives from over 20 federal agencies to offer information on federal programs helping small businesses work with the government, navigate federal rules and regulations or apply for federal resources. Invited agency representatives from the Economic Development Administration (EDA), Washington State Employment Security, Internal Revenue Service, and the General Services Administration will also be present to answer questions about what programs and tools they offer to local small businesses.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Make Your Deal Attractive and Hard to Resist

A friend and I recently made plans to have dinner at a nearby restaurant and catch a movie premier the same night. As we all know, an evening out can easily become expensive. She had heard the restaurant was offering a great dinner deal that included an appetizer, entree, and dessert for an affordable price. Participating in this dinner opportunity which provided a great selection of menu items, also entitled you to purchase a discounted movie ticket. I thought this was a great idea after taking in to account my evening would have easily cost double if I didn't.

The restaurant worker assured us the ticket could be used that evening, but I believed the movie ticket would have to be used another time because often they cannot be used at premier night(rules set by the production company.) Imagine my surprise when we arrived at the box office, and learned that- yes we could use them!

After replaying the evening in my mind I remembered the restaurant remained busy while we were there. I could hear many people taking advantage of this dinner special.

Everyone enjoys going to the theatre at some point, but often avoid it because of the price. Making it affordable made the trip to the restaurant worthwhile. Plus, the food was tasty. Had the special not have been occuring we may not have rushed to the restaurant. Now that we were offered a great deal, good food, friendly service, and an establishment truthful with their word, I will definitely return. They also have created new fans of this establishment that will spread the word.

Think of something that everyone would enjoy or use that your business can offer. Add it on as an attractive bonus to an already good deal to generate business. Make it worthwhile, and people will travel the distance to get it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Business or Pleasure, for Both Financial Empowerment is a Must!

Financial empowerment in business and in life, is the way to secure your future. By planning early, and taking the proper steps to secure your future-you can remain on a path to a comfortable lifestyle and a secure business future. Here are a few tips to keep in mind along the way.

Homeownership is an excellent way to build wealth. If you are a renter today, prepare to take the proper steps and become an owner tomorrow.

Maintain your budget, and make a lifelong commitment to saving and investing.

Manage your credit, budget, debt....wisely.

Examine your skills, and make changes to continuously learn. This will help maximize your future earning potential.

By taking the proper steps to secure your insurance and financial planning you can secure the assets you have.

Pass your wealth on to future generations.

Start at a young age and expose your children to proper financial and business education. This can help secure their future as well.

Financial goals and needs change, so ensure you review them annually. Never invest in just one area. Diversify your accounts, so you stand the best chance of growing your portfolio.

Always remember, you hold the reigns to your financial future.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

When I Look, What am I Missing?

I consider myself one that looks at things carefully, and reviews things closely before making a final decision. But, recently I had an experience that made me rethink how carefully am I looking when things are presented to me? A friend brought up the subject of the company logo for Federal Express. Apparently the creator had placed an arrow in the logo, and I didn’t believe it initially.

This is a logo I had seen for years. The Federal Express truck has come to my home on various occasions, but yet I never noticed this! I knew there must be some mistake. He held up a printout of the logo and said “do you see it?” I scanned quickly, realizing there apparently should be more there than I realized. I spotted it! and then I gasped. How could this be? It wasn’t as if I was always rushing when I had seen these words previously, but it did create an AHA moment for me I must admit.

This experience served as a reminder that often we miss opportunities, because we fail to take in the clear picture of possibilities. At times it takes others pointing things out to us, for the picture to become clear.

Several days after this experience I saw another Federal Express truck drive across the intersection in front of me. The arrow seemed to jump off the side of the truck at me. It was clear as day. Review your business practices, ideas… and consider what opportunities you just may have overlooked without realizing it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to Maintain Balance Between Business and Family Life

The economy has forced many people into the position of working longer hours in order to pay the bills. What once was a 40 hour work week for many, has turned into a 50 plus hour work week. Often this means bringing work home, and continuing your shift during the evening hours. This makes it difficult for many to separate their work life from their home and family life. Here are a few tips to help you maintain balance.

Set a Schedule

Use an organizer to help you clearly review what is expected of you each day, week, and month. Establish an action log and catergorize items in order of priority. Review the list often, and clarify the amount of time needed to complete these tasks. Allocate additional time in the schedule in case you run into problems. The less stress you can allow to enter your life, the better.

Learn to Decline

When you know your job, and you know it well that can make things difficult. Everyone will turn to you as their savior. While this is flattering, it can become a problem and easily overwhelming. Look at the requests that are mandatory and review how you can fit them into your schedule and successfully accomplish them. For all other requests, you must learn to say "no," and limit what you commit to. When you overcommit, you easily set yourself up for failure because you have now placed yourself in a position of not completing taks to the best of your ability. Stay focused.

Make Family a Priority

While you want to be a success in business, what you often find yourself working for (making a better life for your family,) is what you end up losing in the end. Set weekly schedules for your family, so that each member is aware of what is happening and what is expected. Find a place to post a calendar everyone has access to and can review. For younger children, explain to them what the plans are to increase their excitement. They are good at reminding parents about things, and it can also assist you in remaining on track with your commitments. One simple activity you can do is establish the rule of turning off all electronic equipment during dinner. Turn the volume down on the answering machine, and do not answer the telephone. This provides a simple guaranteed time for members to share the happenings of their day sans interruption. It will also bring families closer together by creating a consistent time for bonding.

Ask for Help

Often we fail to ask for assistance when needed because we are fearful of appearing as if we are unable to complete assigned tasks, frightened about losing our jobs...but the underlying goal should always remain at completing any task to the best of your ability. At times this may mean seeking help, so that you remain in a position of putting your best foot forward and presenting a superior finish. So, before you become frustrated and overwhelmed ask a co-worker, family member, share the load and when you are finished be willing to share the credit for a job well done.