Written for women over 40 who are considering going into business for themselves but truly have a fear of how to make that leap to reinvent themselves as entrepreneurs without going insane or broke in the process!
The meaning of life is one of those sought after quests that can never truly be answered. There are just too many opinions and personal definitions for any one meaning to be true for everyone.
Also, there are certain topics in life that can simply never be fully described with mere words, such as true love and true self.
Some will say that discovering the meaning behind true love and your true self is the meaning of life. What do you think?
Discovering Your Purpose
While you might feel a bit confused, you can start to find meaning in your life by discovering your true purpose. For some, this comes easily but for others it may take some deep soul searching. Your true purpose is not necessarily a job or something concrete, although it could be. There are no rules to follow, just the rules set out by your heart.
Try some of the following activities when searching for your true purpose:
Brainstorm. Find a time and place where you can have some quiet self-reflection. Just start writing down ideas on what you think your true purpose might be. You may not arrive at it at first, but you’ll eventually come across something that hits the nail on the head.
Activities and hobbies. Reflect on your favorite activities and hobbies. Can you turn any of them into a life’s purpose? Some people feel that if they take their hobbies further it’ll start to feel like any old job. This won’t be the case if you’ve truly found your purpose.
Skills and intelligence. If there are certain skills and abilities that you’re good at, perhaps you should try pursuing those, even if you didn’t think you wanted to before.
Also, you might want to look into a theory called Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner. Gardner describes how everyone has a type of intelligence and it might not always be what is typically accepted as intelligence, such as a high IQ.
Happiness. Ask yourself whether or not you’re happy in your current life situation. If you are, perhaps you’ve already found your life’s purpose or you’re on the correct path to it. If you’re unhappy, see if you can isolate the reasons why. Once you know why, you can take action to correct the imbalance.
Regrets. Make an effort to let go of your regrets. These never serve a positive purpose in your life. However, if you identify your regrets, perhaps you can use them to help you discover your purpose. Perhaps there’s something you regret that you can correct. Often times, it’s not too late to make a positive change!
For example, if you’re in your 50s and you always wanted to go to college, you shouldn’t let anything stand in the way between you and your dream.
Religion. If you’re a religious person, it’s likely that your religion discusses life and meaning. Search through religious books or seek out a spiritual advisor to learn more about the meaning of life.
Follow Your Bliss
To put it quite simply, if you’re following your bliss, you’re on the road to discovering your true purpose. You’ll also be discovering your personal definition for the meaning of life.
Remember, you’ll always have outside influences when it comes to finding life’s meaning, but following your heart is the only true answer.
If you work for yourself, your income naturally depends on your hourly rate. Of course, you’d love to make a better hourly wage. But how do you know if you’re being fairly paid?
Here are some tips on when you should (and shouldn’t!) raise your rate.
When You Should Raise Your Rates
Your skills or service have improved. If you can provide more value, raising your rates to reflect that is reasonable.
Supply and demand have changed for your service. If you’re booking yourself solid and turning away new clients, then you’re in an excellent position to charge more. Simply raise your rate until you’re getting the number of clients you want without having to decline new business.
You’re testing a new rate to gain information. Just be sure you have a plan if the higher fees don’t pan out.
If you want to reposition yourself. There’s nothing wrong with positioning yourself as a high-end consultant, but be sure you can deliver that type of service. You won’t last long if the quality of your work doesn’t match the prices you’re charging.
When Not to Raise Your Rates
There should always be a legitimate business reason for raising your rates. You might just want to earn more money, but that’s usually not justification for charging your clients more. Before making any rate changes, always look at your skills as well as supply and demand.
Frequently Made Mistakes
Never raising your rates. If you never raise your rates, then you’ll eventually be undercharging. Over time, that’s a lot of money that’s not making its way into your pocket.
Not testing. New clients are the best place to try out new rates. Keep your old clients at the old rates while you’re testing; you can always bump them up later. If the new hourly charge doesn’t work out, you’ll still have your old clients to fall back on.
Raising rates beyond what’s reasonable. If you’re just starting out, you can’t expect to charge the same as an expert. You’ll generally be more effective if you start at the lower end with your price until your client base is sufficient. Then you can start testing higher rates.
Changing too frequently. Your clients can’t plan your services into their budget if you’re always changing your rates around.
How to IncreaseYour Rates
Improve your services. You should constantly be trying to add value without significantly increasing your costs. The better your service, the more you should be able to charge.
Always over-deliver. Not only do you get great word-of-mouth advertising, you’ll have a much easier time raising your rates when the time comes.
Get testimonials. Anytime a client is obviously happy, ask for a testimonial. Put those testimonials on your marketing materials.
Truly care about your clients. When your clients can tell how much you care, you’re much more likely to keep their business and get referrals. Their referrals can bring plenty of new clients to test out your new rates.
Ultimately, rates are determined by the marketplace. Your job is to position yourself appropriately within that marketplace and then test higher rates when the time is right.
However, within what the marketplace will bear, the sky is the limit when setting your own rates. This is one of the best parts about working for yourself. Use these tips to raise your income as your expertise becomes more valuable. You deserve it!
Being successful in MLM is challenging, but the great thing about it is that it doesn’t take any special talent. It does take some hard work and an intelligent approach to growing your business. Once you have those in place, you can look forward to an exciting experience!
Follow these steps to get off to a fast start:
Make a decision. Nothing significant can happen until you make the decision to do something. Making a decision means that you cut yourself off from all other possibilities. So decide that you’re going to be successful and that no challenge can stop you from moving forwardin your business.
Schedule your time. Most folks decide to fit their MLM activities around everything else. That is, they do it whenever they have time. This is the wrong approach. You should schedule this work just like you would anything else that’s important to you. Make a schedule and stick to it.
Consider spending about 80% of your time growing your business and 20% learning more. Most people tend to do it just the opposite and are never successful because of it. Track how much time you’re actually spending on activities that can make you money.
Get a success team. Surround yourself with like-minded people that are successful at what you’re trying to do. Find some people locally if you can; use an online community if you must. It keeps the motivation high, and you have a source to turn to for answers. Remember that this is part of the 20% and not the 80%.
Limit your prospecting. After you tell your friends, family, and neighbors what you’re up to, give most of the prospecting a rest. There are better ways to spend your time.
Market. One of the M’s in MLM is for marketing. This is where you should spend a lot of your 80%. Marketing is the ultimate source of your success. Whether you’re looking for downline members or customers, it’s a lot easier to convert leads to dollars when the leads are contacting you. Trying to turn a cold call / cold approach into a payday is tough!
Utilize technology. The great thing about the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, and other technology is the tremendous leverage. They’re essentially free and allow you to reach a large number of people.
Find a successful mentor. A successful mentor is someone that started where you are and has reached where you want to be. Don’t get a mentor that makes $1,000 a month if you want to make $10,000 a month. Spend some time and find the right person.
Keep in mind that the most successful MLM-ers don’t waste a lot of time. You might want to offer them something besides the benefit of a warm fuzzy feeling. Maybe you could do some work for them. Maybe you can give them a percentage. Be prepared to reciprocate your time.
MLM is a great business for those that are determined and take intelligent action. While there are no shortcuts, there are plenty of less than direct routes to get to where you want to go. Follow these tips and you can get off to a fast start. That first check is closer than you think.
Life is a series of challenges to be managed. In between challenges, life can seem easy, but the next challenge is always on the way. When faced with too many challenges at once, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to believe that you have more going on in your life than you can handle.
Regardless of the size or the number of challenges you may face, the solution is the same: Ignore those things you can’t influence and spend your time and energy implementing solutions for those things you can influence.
A level head, a solid plan, persistence, and assistance can overcome any challenge life may bring.
Try these strategies to lighten your load:
Acknowledge that you’re feeling overwhelmed. There’s nothing to be gained by ignoring your situation. You’ll be in a better position to deal effectively with your life when you acknowledge the reality of the situation. When you recognize that something is wrong, you can begin to do something about it.
Take a time out. If you’re at work, slip away for a quick walk. If you have the freedom to do so, try taking a weekend trip. A change of scenery can make the challenges in your life seem more manageable.
Make a plan. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to spend too much time focusing on the challenges in your life. While this is a natural response, it leads to feeling even worse! Rather than focusing on your issues, try focusing on solutions.
Imagine your friend was facing the same challenges, what advice would you give to them?
Make a plan to move beyond your current situation. What solutions can you find? How will you implement them?
A simple change of focus can alter your perspective and your mood. Do you think you’ll feel better focusing on your problems or the solution?
Distract yourself for a few hours. Read a good book or take a friend to the movie theater. Now is the perfect time to do all the things you usually do to avoid working!
Talk to someone. You could speak to a coworker, a friend, family member, or a mental health professional. Who would you call on in your life to talk you down off a ledge? Pick up the phone and include someone else in your current situation.
List the good things in your life. Things might be rough at the moment, but there are plenty of things in your life that you can be grateful for. Make a list of them and reflect on the many blessings in your life.
Laugh. Few things feel better than laughing. What makes you laugh? Rent a funny movie or spend time with someone that always finds a way to make you giggle. Who is the funniest person in your life?
Get some help. More heads and pairs of hands can get a lot more accomplished than you can all by your lonesome. Most people are pretty bored and would jump at the chance to help you deal with your drama. Get some help.
You have plenty of options when you think you have more to deal with than you can handle.
Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. When life becomes especially challenging, feeling overwhelmed can dampen your spirit and hide the best solutions from you.
Admit to yourself that you’re struggling and begin looking for solutions. Allow yourself a few distractions when you need them. Reach out to others and avoid trying to solve everything on your own. Soon, you’ll be back on a more enjoyable path.
Entrepreneurship is the way of the future! It may be the answer to the personal success that you’ve been looking for all along. Becoming an entrepreneur is the most effective path to building an empire. And building an empire is a surefire way to achieve your dreams.
If that’s what you want, you have to start somewhere. Becoming an entrepreneur requires a lot of effort on your part. But you’ll be beyond happy when you’re at the end of the road.
If you have limited entrepreneurial know-how, use this checklist to get on the correct path:
Buy into a business idea. Commit wholeheartedly, and for the long haul. This doesn’t necessarily mean putting down financial capital. Make an emotional and educated investment into whatever the business concept may be.
Researching your business idea is crucial to success. Is anybody else doing it? What’s the usual market response to similar ideas?
Identify a target audience. Who wants your product or service? Naturally, you’ll need to be able to identify them. It’s safe to say that a business without a target audience may not do very well!
When you determine your target audience upfront, you can focus on building a marketing plan.
Find ways to start small. It’s exciting to have big ideas for your business. But it’s also wise to start small. Start researching and designing launch plans, financing, and other key elements to get it going, with plans for expanding as profits allow.
Some of today’s biggest businesses started as tiny “hole-in-the-wall” operations. For example, Steve Jobs built computers in his garage. This may be the approach for you since it’s your first entrepreneurship.
Your bank might be offering you impressive financing. But do you really need all that startup capital? Keep your head on and only take what you really need. The less debt you have at the onset, the easier it is to see profits.
Think evolution.The businesses with the greatest success are the ones that constantly reinvent themselves. You’ll need to have that eye of longevity in order to build a good business model.
Your business idea might be for bottled water today. But who says it can’t evolve to other bottled beverages tomorrow? This is the kind of thought to put into your startup business.
Get involved in the process. Getting involved in the process can mean a lot of things, depending on the type of entrepreneurship.
Understand the numbers. The dollars and cents are the main determining factors in how well the business is doing.
Stay on top of every aspect of the startup project. It’s great to have experts on board, but it’s an even better idea to know what they’re doing!
At this point, you’re probably already starting to feel excited! Getting your business idea off the ground is a challenging, but rewarding, experience. Once you stick to this general planning sequence, you’ll likely pull it off successfully.
Nobody dreams bigger dreams for you than you do! Live those dreams out and create the empire you always wanted. It’s yours for the taking.
Would your small business benefit from a higher rate of cash flow? It’s possible to increase it through several business strategies.
Try these strategies to increase your cash flow:
Reduce your spending. Decreasing your spending is one way to increase your small business cash flow.
The first step to implementing this strategy is to carefully analyze all of your business spending. How much do your office supplies and electrical bills cost every month? How much do you pay for insurance, employee salaries, and other bills?
After analyzing your spending, look for areas that can be reduced. However, it’s important to approach spending cuts carefully because pay cuts can drive away employees. In addition, if you try new services to save money, the quality may not be the same.
Extend discounts for fast payments. If you’re trying to encourage your customers to pay faster to increase your cash flow, then discounts for fast payments may help.
The discount doesn’t have to be large, but customers may appreciate a small amount of savings. Try several payment plans with different discount levels to reach more clients.
Watch your inventory. Are you investing a large portion of your cash into inventory?
Inventory may be the lifeline of your small business, but you don’t want it to destroy your cash flow. The boxes of shirts, candles, or other items you sell shouldn’t sit in warehouses for decades.
Find a balance between having enough inventory to satisfy customer needs and having too much.
Raise your prices. Are you keeping up with inflation? You might be able to raise prices on your products and services to keep up with the market.
Higher prices can lead to more cash flow, but they may also scare away customers. Find a balance that works for your business and your customers.
Consider collection agencies. Do you have a large number of customers who haven’t paid their bills?
Collection agencies can help you recover a portion of the unpaid bills. They charge a fee and take a percentage of the money. However, you may not have the time to pursue the customers who haven’t paid.
Consider court. For larger amounts, you may have to get a lawyer and take your customers to court for unpaid bills. This is one way to make your cash flow higher because it can force them to pay their overdue bills.
Offer prepayment rewards. You can offer a variety of rewards ranging from discounts to extra products. You can make a special rewards program with gift cards or other items.
Customers who prepay for large packages, services, or multiple items could receive extra rewards. These rewards can encourage them to stay and keep buying your products or services.
Your small business may benefit from more cash flow. Creating a customer rewards program with sales, discounts, and other special rewards is always a good idea to expand your customer base and gain loyalty to your business. Incorporate several of these strategies into your business operations to discover what works best for you.
Your amazing business idea may need funds to be successful. However, it’s not easy to finance a startup in a sea of competitors.
Consider many sources for your startup funds:
Use your own finances. Instead of getting a loan or borrowing from others, see if you can finance your startup with funds you save or gather.
Do you have savings that can be used to fund your new business?
Do you have items or services you can sell to raise money? This may take awhile, but you might feel more comfortable delaying the launch of your company a bit while you earn the money to get it started.
Ask friends and family to help. Do your family and friends think that the startup idea is a good investment that will bring high returns? If you have support from these sources, they might be interested in loaning you the startup funds or investing in your new business.
Your friends or family members can become lenders, partners, or investors in the startup.
They can contribute to the financial side, but they may also want to be involved in other areas. It’s important to negotiate an arrangement that you feel comfortable with.
Use crowdfunding. There are multiple online crowdfunding platforms, such as Peerbackers, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, and others, that can help you raise money. These websites let you share your startup idea with the public. Then, the public can donate money in return for items, services, or a share in the company,
One key to success on a crowdfunding platform is to have a unique story.
You can raise money for your startup and introduce your product or service at the same time.
Keep in mind that these platforms are filled with competitors, and it’s not easy to get all the funding you need. A successful campaign on these platforms usually includes social media and marketing efforts.
Enter startup contests. Big brands and investors sometimes have contests for startups. These contests put you in front of big names who are interested in investing.
They help you get recognition while you learn from other startups. You also have the chance to fine-tune your ideas to make them more appealing to investors.
Seek angel investors. Angel investors want to help new companies and make a profit in the long term. They have large sources of money, so your startup may be able to get all of its funding in one area.
Angel investors tend to ask for a portion of your company or shares. They may ask to be partners or have control over startup decisions.
Because of their financial commitment, they have a vested interest in your success and want to ensure that your new business brings in high returns.
Consider financial institution loans. Banks, credit unions, and other sources may offer you a business or personal loan to fund your idea. They may require collateral and ask detailed financial records and other information about the startup.
Small business loans are a popular choice among startups.
Before you get a loan, consider the fees and interest on the loan.
What if your business doesn’t bring in enough profit to repay the loan? How will you repay it? It’s important to have a Plan B.
Launching a startup is an exciting time! Follow a profitable business plan and keep your eye on the profits so your new business can repay the startup funds as soon as possible and move on to providing you the returns you deserve.
The Girls Scouts have been selling cookies for more than 100 years, and they’ve created the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world. In fact, more than 200 million boxes of cookies are sold each year, totaling about $800 million dollars.
While the cookie sales sound impressive on their own, they’re not the only benefit of scouting. Studies show that former Girl Scouts have higher achievements across the board, including increased income and greater self-esteem.
With a record like that, the Girl Scouts must know something about blending traditional and modern paths to success. Take a look at what Thin Mints and Samoas can teach you about reaching your own goals.
Traditional Paths to Success:
Focus on giving. Supporting worthy causes is part of what makes Girl Scout cookies so popular. The money goes back into the local community or to other charities that the girls select. Whether you’re selling shortbread or life insurance, helping others to reach their dreams will help you to fulfill your own.
Be authentic. The pictures on the cookie boxes are all real Girl Scouts, and the girls are encouraged to wear their uniforms going door to door or staffing their booths. Being genuine with yourself and others will make you more likeable and trustworthy too.
Build skills. The Girl Scouts have invented their own 5-part formula for success. It includes goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. While you may choose different wording, it’s important to develop the abilities and behaviors that enable you to deal with life’s challenges.
Look out for your family. The first Girl Scout cookies were baked by mothers and daughters in their own kitchens, and parents still bring cookies to the office to sell to coworkers. Family support helps you to stay strong and resilient.
Make friends. Selling cookies takes teamwork. You’ll discover more opportunities and make more progress if you network vigorously and consistently. Focus on what you can do for others and follow up when you make a commitment.
Leverage your strengths. Would you believe that Thin Mints account for 25% of Girl Scout cookies sales? While it’s important to be open to new ideas, your biggest achievements will come from knowing how to use your unique talents.
Live healthy. Speaking of new ideas, Girl Scout cookies now come in vegan and gluten-free options. To accomplish anything in life, you need to take care of your mind and body.
Appreciate nature. S’more cookies are one sign of how scouting brings cookies and camping together. Outdoor activities are another mainstay of a happy and productive life.
Gain confidence. The greatest benefit of scouting and selling cookies may be the increased confidence that Girl Scouts report. Believing in yourself makes you a success in any field.
Modern Paths to Success:
Go digital. Caramel deLites and Do-si-Dos took a giant step into the 21st Century with the launching of the Digital Cookies platform in 2014. Embracing new technology enables you to work smarter and stay relevant.
Use social media. The internet makes it a lot easier to find out when your favorite cookies go on sale. Build your community by staying in touch and sharing your views on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other channels.
Seek balance. On the other hand, Girl Scout cookies are still officially on sale for only about 6 to 8 weeks a year even in a 24/7 society, so girls can participate in other worthwhile projects. It’s a good reminder to stick to your own values and priorities.
Girl Scout cookies are a delicious way to treat yourself and invest in your community. Let these young cookie entrepreneurs inspire you to take action and live the life you want.
Entrepreneurs aren’t limited by age, and you can start a successful business at any stage of your life. However, becoming an entrepreneur later in life has its own unique challenges.
Consider these tips for starting a business as a senior:
Avoid allowing others to limit your goals. As you get older, you may have more people in your life who try to persuade you away from the entrepreneur lifestyle.
Your family and friends may have good intentions, but they can also limit your dreams.
They may remind you that it’s more difficult to start a new business as you get older because you have other responsibilities. Children, aging parents, and others can take up a lot of your time and present challenges when starting a business. However, knowing that these challenges exist can also help you make contingency plans for when time is tight.
Ignore your age. Dreams don’t have expiration dates, and entrepreneurs don’t have age limits. As they say, “you’re only as old as you feel.” So if you feel like taking on the rigors of starting a new business, let your age be the last thing on your mind as you move forward with your business plans.
Be open to learning from others. The most successful entrepreneurs are open to learning new ideas.
Stay up to date on new advancements in your field, either by keeping in the loop yourself or by hiring employees or contractors that incorporate this into their tasks.
Finding a mentor with successful business experience in your field can help your new business see profits quickly and plan for successful growth.
Get your family involved. Successful entrepreneurs often have their family members involved in the business.
Do your children want to help you build a business? Does your spouse have interesting ideas and want to collaborate with you? Your family can help you make your dream come true.
Consider the impact of the business on your personal life. How will the business affect your family and ability to continue working your regular day job?
A new business venture may be exciting, but it has consequences.
It’s important to consider the full impact of the new business on your personal life. Will you be able to spend time with your children and spouse as you launch the business?
Your personal finances are another area that can be deeply affected by a new business. How do you plan to pay for the business? If your plan involves draining personal finances or getting new loans, then this can affect your entire family. It’s important to discuss the changes with them before you take action.
Consider the impact of your parents on the business. As your parents age, they may become dependent on you. Can you handle the complexities of being an entrepreneur and caring for your parents?
Younger entrepreneurs may have decades before they have to worry about caring for their aging parents. However, as an older entrepreneur, you don’t have this luxury.
You may have to handle multiple roles at the same time. How will you balance your lifestyle and finances to manage everything? Can you afford to start a new business if your parents need your help?
Your parents can have a serious accident or health issue that makes you responsible for taking care of them. The expense of this situation can be detrimental to your efforts with your new business.
You can become a successful entrepreneur and build a strong business at any age. However, it’s important to stay aware of the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur and make plans that will help you overcome these challenges.
Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.
People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.
According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.
At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.
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