MLM Frustration – What It Really Takes to Run A Home Business

Don't expect "Microwave" results on your MLM
Don't expect "Microwave" results on your MLM

With the economy going downhill, many soon-to-be entrepreneurs are considering starting a home based business. Taking responsibility for their financial situations, home entrepreneurs can start their operations with a small financial investment, but is money all it takes to succeed?

Allocating a decent capital for your home business is highly recommended, and many times overlooked.

Your business will have a period where you’ll be working to cover your investment, and the time it takes for you to break even can vary. Any regular brick and mortar business owner understands this “recovering” period, but several home entrepreneurs fail to notice this simple concept.

Establishing your brand – online or offline – is an ongoing strategy, and accepting this will release home business owners of becoming frustrated for not achieving millionaire status within 3 months. The root of this frustation, of course, comes from the hype that so-called “gurus” utilize to get prospects hypnotized: “in 3 months, I made $99,999.97, and you can too!”

Statements such as the one above may very well be true, but how long did it for that “guru” to learn exactly what he/she needed to do in order to make that much money in 3 months? Their learning curve may have been even longer than a newcomer’s starting today.

Advising extreme caution when researching for a home business is a wise move, however, there’s another aspect of your business adventure that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible: how long are you willing to go without a profit in order to get you business going?

The average recovery time for a Burger King franchise is 2.5 years; for a H&R block franchise, 1.3 years. In a home based business, depending on your initial investment, 2 sales can actually place you in the profit zone, but how long will it take you to get there?

Consider your familiarity with e-commerce – are you comfortable generating traffic to your website?

Do you know where to post ads, how to create websites, and most importantly – do you know how to create customers?

Educating yourself is part of your personal development, and only a serious evaluation of how much of your time will you be able to dedicate can determine what your recovery time will be.

Patience is essential. Confidence, and determination, fundamental.

Prepare your family, your friends, to this new enterprise; let them know this might take much of your free time, initially, and how wonderful the long-term benefits of a profitable home business will be.

A Life Path of Discovery: Embracing the Unknown (Baby Swimming)

My 7-month-old son Leonardo went swimming for the very first time on Christmas!

Not without surprise, it took him a few moments to acknowledge he was surrounded by water, that he had to keep his head out of it, and he did not have any support for his feet: he was actually floating!

The expression on his face as I entered the pool with him on my arms was amazingly revealing: he was in a brand new situation,  and as water started to cover his body, he had to deal with it. I could see in his eyes how much he was learning from the experience; for about a minute, as I moved around, playing with him, he was quiet, almost static.

It was when I held him on my hands, giving him freedom to move his legs, that he accepted whatever all that water was, and started enjoying it. From then on, he got more and more comfortable, laughing, splashing  and kicking the water.

Now, I could easily start the beaten analogy between a baby’s discoveries and an adult facing a new enterprise; how both, in different levels, take their time to accept a new environment, adjust, and act on it. But I won’t. I refuse to start yet another discussion on this subject.

Instead, what I enjoyed the most was his readiness to face a new challenge. Without the pre-accepted notions that we acquire over the years, without even knowing what fear or danger is, my son faced the pool with his eyes wide open.

As a business owner, I find myself struggling to start on anything new. I tend to stick to what I know, to what it’s working, to the technicians I trust, to the pre-judgment I formulate without knowledge, to the media I know more about. And when I do try to start a new enterprise, I tend to hold so much control over it, that I never get to experience it in full.

So I declare my first resolution for 2009: I’ll embrace change and fears, enjoy the ride, and stop listening to my pre-conceived notions.

I’ll be a brand new baby, and re-start my life path, filling it with discovery.

Here’s a quick video my wife shot of us; notice how he reacts when he first hits the water – how he adapts, and seconds later he’s already laughing! That will be me from now on, just adapting and laughing about it.

Marketing Through Social Networks and WEB 2.0 – Power of Profile

Do you have your profile set up online? Are you Social Networking-savvy? Does your MySpace show pictures of your last trip to the beach? Do you have co-workers on your Facebook community? Are you Twitting daily, hourly, or constantly? What is your last blog post’s topic? Have you earned enough points on the Better Networker?

HAVE YOU BEEN GOOGLED?

If these questions remind you of your French classes in High School and just like that, you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re missing on a HUGE chunk of market. Have you realized each of these Social networking services offers a FREE Platform for YOUR business promotion? Okay, you do use the internet, I got it: you check your emails, you check your company’s website. But are you making yourself and your business publicly available online? Can people find you in Google?

On each of these Social Networking services, you’re offered a blank page to work on. That page will be your PROFILE, with your general interests, biography, pictures, videos, links, favorite music, books, TV shows, and a lot more. Your profile is a screen shot of your life; better yet, is a screen shot of ANY aspect of your life. Search engines will devour your profile, and advertise it for free.

For a successful network marketer, it is mandatory to establish a solid YOU INC. Understand this as YourReputation Incorporated. What better way to establish your reputation as a marketer than a free online billboard?

LAUNCH YOUR ONLINE LIFE

A good profile, just like any good marketer, should balance personal and professional with subtlety; don’t go plastering your affiliate website link all over the page, don’t make your screen name your company’s name, don’t post straight up “would you like to lose weight and be a millionaire” type of advertisement.That will repel potential customers, as well as alienate you from all the other “leisure users”, and destroy your traffic. You want people to check out your profile, so make sure you have something interesting there, and ALWAYS ADD VALUE to anything your customers will have contact with.

Be sure to include a full Bio, with funny and emotional moments, pictures of you with the family, at a convention, practicing sports, etc. In your personal description, be sure to add details about your life OTHER than your profession. Of course, when you’re describing your new Network Marketer lifestyle, and all the good things that have happened to you since you started making $250,000/month, add a discrete link to your website. Make users feel compelled to click on it; I always like when the link is disguised as a continuation to your story.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Always encourage people to visit your profiles, and check other people’s too. Make friends, leave Guestbook entries, increase your network. Profiles such as MySpace, WordPress, or Facebook are much less “aggressive” than your straight out “squeeze page”. “Squeeze pages” are always full of great copywriting, which should drive visitors to make a decision, buy something, or sign-up to something, it is a more “do or die” approach. Profiles, on the other hand, unconsciously create curiosity, with a mild copy, success stories and pics, and should lead your visitor to have a decision made before going into your great “squeeze page”.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

Gone are the days where the only public record available was on the phonebook. The advantages and disadvantages of an online life are discussed everywhere, and will only harden with the increasing numbers of internet users. There is a delicate art in sharing online information without jeopardizing our physical life. I honestly can’t tell how many people have my home-office number, or how many people know the details of my life I made available through my social profiles.

Back in Brazil, I’d be a lot more careful, because there is a higher chance people would use that information in really wrong ways. But I’m in North Carolina now, living on a small beach area, and I benefit tremendously from the free advertisement my social network profiles offer. I made piece with my mind due to success.

So set up your profiles, and make sure to add me. Don’t worry about my Brazil comment, I get a little creapy sometimes. Promise everybody I’ll stop by and give you hints, you could give me hints on mine. Don’t you love networking?

Leo’s MySpace

Leo’s Facebook

Leo’s Twitter

Leo’s Blog

Leo’s Better Networker

Leonardo Saraceni

252-202-6190

leosaraceni[at]yourincomepotential.com

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Managing an Online Business and College

I’ve been putting this topic away due to a variety of reasons, and procrastination is not one of them. I did not feel qualified, first of all, to write about managing my online network marketing business while attending college; I have been doing it for a while now, and it never feels easy. I understood that as long as I’m not sailing through supervising marketing, sponsonring, accounting, and training, along with homework, I was not qualified to write about it.

I gotta state for the records my GPA is averaging 3.7, and my company is well-engaged. But the fact that I had to work hard for my conquests actually struck me as a failure! I could not believe how naive I was being, thinking there should be an easy way of administrating home work and network marketing.

The fact is that there is no easy way of accomplishing anything. There are smarter ways, and that is exactly what pushed me so far in this industry and guided my studies in college. I understood I was very successful at managing school and business, when I noticed my own success. The hectic schedule had covered my eyes to my accomplishments.

I realized I am smarter than most of my classmates, because I already have a purpose, a career, and I’m established in my market. Even though it is not an easy-breezy “party-drunk” college life, it rewards me with a comfortable life-style, and allows me the opportunity to invest in myself, always, instead of giving my best to some boss, loaning somebody else my training and time.

My company has paid for my studies, I never took a loan for college. Network marketing is giving me a jump start on my financial freedom right now, without having to climb the corporate ladder, what would take my fellow classmates at least 10 years to reach a decent income.

My schedule is filled with income producing activities, and I get to apply every piece of knowledge towards those activities. Accepting that my work is being rewarded, now and in the future, is the best way to manage studies and business.

I sincerely recommend it. And I believe all career-motivated college student can run a successful online enterprise. All it takes is the right motivation.

See you at the top!

P.S – On your right side there are links to some very helpful content. Explore them and start your research.

Online Marketing Expanded – How to become the Advertisement

My marketing will expand exponentially. I’m going to extend my online marketing campaign to the offline world, utilizing old-school techniques to brand my business.

This came from a post at the Better Networker Community, on a cheap advertisement topic they had on the forum. I cannot begin to describe the incredible help the Better Networker has been; it goes way beyond Magnetic Sponsoring, and it contains so much value, sometimes I feel like I should be paying for it.

But for my offline social marketing campaign, I’ll basically stamp my home business website, www.YourIncomePotential.com, EVERYWHERE!

Subtle, of course. I will not become a mobile billboard, specially because my wife would refuse to drive with me. She would never forgive me for turning our daily visits to the grocery store into a carnival parade.

And the whole thing should not be SHOTGUN marketing, either. Basically, the offline social marketing should have some capture, something with decent attraction, and then my website; something like “I quit my job and now make more money than ever” or “I’m a successful entrepreneur“, or even “Are You Successful?“. I think I’ll go with the last one. Of course, the line would precede www.YourIncomePotential.com

I’m currently researching where can I get myself a customized license plate holder for my cars. I decided I won’t advertise my dealership anymore, I should have my own website www.YourIncomePotential.com
stamped on front and back of my cars.

And I cannot believe I haven’t thought of making Business Cards yet! I will most definitely advertise through my everyday talking! It’s the ultimate saliva recycling! Why waste it without purpose? All those horrible conversations at the check-out on Staples or Harris Teeter will turn into Income Producing Activities!

My every action will become an Income Producing Activity. ‘Till the day I drop!

How Do I Advertise? I Let the Internet Do It! (For Life Path Unlimited and All others!)

I’m taking DRASTIC measures regarding my  Life Path Unlimited Online Marketing Campaign. Would you like to know how do I advertise?

I’ve just PAUSED ALL MY Google ADWORDS campaigns. I know many people spend a fortune advertising Life Path Unlimited on Google, but I’m going to make my Web 2.0 Social Media Online Marketing (or however you wanna call it) work its way throughout the internet. I’m drastically reducing my budget, and I’m happy with it.

According to Mike Dillard, on Magnetic Sponsoring and on Building on A Budget, Ferny Ceballos and Raymond Fong, of the Attraction Marketing Formula, the Better Networker forum, and plenty of intelligent people out there, Social Networks are an expanding free platform for lead generation and personal branding. I’m running an experiment, and I’d like to invite YOU to be a MAJOR part on it.

Check out my profiles on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Better Networker, FriendFeed, and Google Reader. It is astonishing the amount of information I was able to store online, and everyday that I add something new, it’s like storing a piece of my personality, ONLINE!

Anyway, I’m in the process of adding all my friends and making new friends, so join me! As I check your profile, I’ll make sure to check your websites, visit all your other social networks and expand your contact list!

In the midst of all this Web 2.0/3.0 innovation, I made my first LENS on Squidoo. On this platform, you can build your website from scratch, adding modules (features, widgets), to personalize it and customize to your preference and style. And, of course, it’s all FREE. Basically, free lead generation at its best!

My Search Engine Optimization consists, now, of letting these tools work for me. It’s SEO 20/20 for free!

Let me know how you do it! Maybe we can exchange ideas and connect!