Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why A Recession Can Be A Great Time To Launch A Business

What do GE, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft have in common? All three companies opened for business during serious economic downturns. Chicago-based business start-up expert, Jeff Williams, has survived two major recessions during his twenty years in business and thinks, in fact, that there are more advantages than disadvantages in launching a business during a recession.

"No matter how slow the economy is, corporations and consumers continue to buy essential and 'make me feel better' goods and services," says Williams. "Any new company that provides one or both of these two classes of services can do quite well during a recession".

In his November "50 And Beyond" eZine, Williams explains his outlook in the article: "1o Reasons Why A Recession Is a Good Time To Start Your Own Business".

The complete article can be accessed at

Included among his ten tips are:

During a recession…

1. Corporations outsource even more than normal - your company has even more chances to supply them.

2. Corporate managers work even longer hours, partly to make up for the removal of colleagues through downsizing. Working until 7 pm or later five or six days a week leaves virtually no time to complete tasks around the house - your business can provide the service needed to complete "to do" lists.

3. There are more than 51 million people age 50-62, so there's a good chance that you can make a profitable business just selling to your Boomer peers.

4. The cost of running your business is reduced as small business suppliers cut prices, offer special deals and promote via coupon much more often.

Source: Jeff Williams,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Achieve Your Goals with Creative Visualization

Setting and achieving goals is one of the central keys to personal and professional success. Putting your goals down as a concrete statement of what you want and linking the achievement of those goals to a specific timeline, is essential to actually getting what you want. Other techniques like sharing the goals with others to enhance accountability and reading the goal aloud are a couple of ways to reinforce goal achievement. However, a far higher degree of success with goal achievement is assured when "creative visualization" is applied to both goal setting and implementation.

There are numerous definitions for creative visualization but our emphasis here is on using it as a tool to link your goals and the power of your imagination. By using creative visualization to formalize what we are doing subconsciously most of the time, we are generating a powerful tool to support our vision of our success.

When we set a goal and capture it in writing, we have a word picture of what an outcome will be when our efforts are finished and completed. If we use those words to create a mental image in our mind, we now can "see" within our brain what things look like when that goal has already been achieved. Creative visualization is simply seeing things, your work, your relationships, even yourself, the way you want them to be when your outcomes have been achieved.

By using this amazing tool, we can harness our emotions, our concentration, and our focus so we can point them at a brilliant, vivid mental picture to achieve what we have visualized. As we keep replaying these images in our mind, almost like a movie, we are using the art of creative visualization to move our actions in the direction of these powerful, positive thoughts.

Day after day those acts and steps move us closer to the image of the completed outcome for our goals that we hold in our minds eye. When we do this, we stop allowing our unconscious or subconscious to take our thoughts and actions in the wrong direction. We are continuously and consciously using our thoughts as a powerful tool to achieve the things we truly want.

There are several resources covering the practice and implementation of creative visualization. Recently a book shot to the top of the bestsellers list by promoting, among other practices, visualization as part of "the secret" to life's law of attraction. We suggest you do some online or library research to identify authors and other resources that can help you link creative visualization to the achievement of all of your goals.

Reynolds Foundation Gives ASU $5.34 Million for Business Journalism

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation awarded two grants totaling $5,336,360 to make Arizona State University a global hub of business journalism education by endowing a faculty chair and expanding the work of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

With the grant, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will create the Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism, build a specialization in business and economics journalism and integrate the Reynolds Center's work throughout the Cronkite School curriculum.

The Las Vegas-based Donald W. Reynolds Foundation also announced the creation of two other business journalism chairs -- at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Nevada, Reno. Together with a previously created business journalism chair at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., the senior professors will work with the Reynolds Center to improve media coverage of business and economic news nationally.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Telecommuting Basics

In today's day and age, the internet has completely changed the way many people approach employment. This is because the internet has greatly expanded the ability for companies to outsource work. Really, this should not come as a surprise. The laptops and personal computers that a person owns in the home are really no different than what you would find in an office setting. In some cases there might be a need to purchase certain software to perform the required duties. This however, is hardly an impediment that is difficult to overcome.

Yes, the ability to work from home has created a number of advantages for many people. But, it is important to never lose sight of the fact that certain activities must be employed in order to make a work from home venture successful. Often, people ignore these criteria and do so at their own peril. So, let's look at the most important aspects of making telecommuting successful.

Find a Schedule and Stick To It

Don't pay any attention to those lame television commercials professing the ability to sleep until noon and still make mega bucks. Working from home is not about working at your leisure. It is about working without travel and overhead expenses. Haphazard, lazy schedules are extremely self defeating. Don't use your telecommuting opportunity as a "goofing off" opportunity. Draw up a schedule and stick to it. Success will soon follow.

Set Up a Specific Work Area

Don't try to do your work lying in bed with our laptop on your chest. This is a be "no-no" because it really cuts into your ability to be efficient. Instead, set up a particular section of the house as a work area. This will provide the cohesion and organization needed to make the workday effective.

Dress for Success

Similar to the aforementioned workspace tip, it is also important not to dress too leisurely when working form home. Remember, anytime you are too leisurely in your approach , your ability to be efficient will be limited. You don't have to wear a suit and tie or your power outfit, but you should wear something conducive to a professional approach to your work.

Keep an Eye On Those Tax Deductions

If you are employed on contract as opposed as an employee, be sure to take those special deductions related to working from home. For example, you can deduct a percentage of your rent or mortgage based on the amount of space your work area takes up. The other expense deductions can add up so be sure to keep tabs on what you spend related to your work.

As one can see, there are some things to keep in mind when setting up to telecommute. When the basics are followed however, it can be a win win situation for the employee and the employer.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

How to Get Freelance Copywriting Jobs by Ben Settle

If you would like to get booked solid with freelance copywriting jobs... and do it without having to beg, plead or kiss up to anyone... then this article will show you how.

Here's the good news: Clients are LOOKING for you as much as you are looking for them.

And your job is simply to demonstrate your knowledge and ability like you would any other product.

Question is... how do you do that?

What ways can someone -- especially a new copywriter without a lot of previous clients or samples -- do it?

There are actually several ways.

Below are three that work reliably and consistently. And if you apply them to your business, getting clients will be much faster and easier than you have thought possible.

1. Marketing Seminars

Marketing seminars are a great way to get new business. Not only can you build trust extremely fast when talking to people at seminars (since you are dealing with people face to face)... but folks at marketing seminars are almost always already spending money on copywriters.

This means you don't have to educate or "convince" someone about the need for copywriting. All you have to do is show them you can do the job and you will likely get at least a few assignments from the event.

2. Marketing Forums

The key with marketing forums (which, like seminars, are full of people already hiring copywriters -- no convincing or educating necessary) is to answer peoples' questions and demonstrate your knowledge and ability to market with words.

In fact, some marketing forums have sections where you can even make special offers. This makes it even easier.

3. Blogging

Blogs are another fantastic way to get clients because they let you "position" yourself as an expert. As long as you are writing good content and demonstrating your skills, you can many times get clients seeking you out. Ultimately, you are far more likely to get higher fees and less price resistance when clients seek you out and knock on your door.

Plus, blogs are practically "push button" easy. No need for a web master or special HTML skills. Just write and upload your content and you're good to go.

Anyway, there you have it.

Three ways to find paying copywriting clients that are simple, easy and require little or no previous experience.

Listen to a free audio seminar revealing even more ways to get freelance copywriting jobs.

Career Expert Offers 10 Must-Do Strategies for Today's Professionals

There's no question job seekers face a challenging employment environment and must work hard to find new opportunities. To help professionals looking to make their next career move, Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Job Hunting For Dummies(R), 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), recently discussed the 10 strategies every would-be employee should follow.

"In this economic environment, applicants must be resourceful," said Messmer. "A successful job search often depends on who you know, which means candidates need to make sure their efforts are as far-reaching as possible."

Messmer offers the following top-10 list of essential tactics to help job seekers gain an edge in a tougher employment market:

1. Step outside your comfort zone. Avoid limiting your search to your current industry or field. Identify your transferable skills and experiences, and communicate them to prospective employers.

2. Minimize work history gaps. If you are unable to find a position right away, consider temporary assignments, internships and part-time opportunities, all of which can potentially lead to a full-time role.

3. Be flexible. Remain open to all possibilities, even if the job title, salary and benefits may not be exactly what you hoped for. Once you get your foot in the door, you will have a chance to prove yourself.

4. Find jobs before they're advertised. Read your local business journals and newspapers to identify companies that are hiring or expanding, and send them your resume.

5. Cast a wide 'net.' General job boards can be useful, but don't forget industry and trade association websites, which may have more targeted career opportunities.

6. Network -- online and off. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job, whether in-person or using professional networking websites.

7. Manage your digital footprint. Think your friends are the only people who viewed those less-than-professional vacation photos you posted online? Think again. With a few mouse clicks, potential employers can dig up information about you on blogs, personal websites and personal networking site profiles. Make sure you do a thorough self-search and take any necessary corrective action.

8. Customize. Tailor your resume and cover letter for each opportunity. Employers want to see why you're the right person for their job.

9. Enhance your marketability. Find out what skills are most in-demand and take steps to give yourself an edge in these areas. Focus on sharpening both functional and interpersonal skills.

10. Meet with a recruiter. Staffing executives can be your eyes and ears in the job market. Recruiters also provide useful feedback on your resume and interview skills, and help you locate full-time and temporary jobs.

Robert Half International has more than 360 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services at The company recently released its Search Smarts: Best Practices for Conducting an Online Job Search, a complimentary guide that is available at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Can Have Fun At Work And Increase Effectiveness

Would you believe that you can have fun at work and increase your effectiveness? The happy fact is that this is true.

In the offices and often even at home, we make notes on small pieces of paper, use paper clips, staplers and other stationery. The standard stationery comes in boring standard colors and implies boring work.

You can easily make a few changes to make this fun and yet get your work done. Get different colored post-it notes, colorful folders, colored clips amongst other things. Make a visit to the stationery supply store and you will be amazed at the number of fun things you can use at work and at home.

Your to-do items can be written on post-it notes. You can use different colors for different projects. Prioritizing is easier with post-it notes as you can physically arrange and re-arrange post-it notes when prioritizing them. If you wrote a list, then you may need to rewrite when re-prioritizing.

It will also be fun, if you can have a clipboard that stands on a base. You can stick the post-it notes on it and it will stand up above any clutter that may be on the table. It can also be moved around.

The post-it notes should be organized in a certain pattern. One way can be the most important ones go on the top left hand corner and the least to the bottom right corner.

Add drawing to the notes. If you are writing a report, then draw a symbol that indicates a report. A drawing of a personal computer can indicate that you need to do some computer related work. There is no fixed picture to indicate each of these activities that need to be done. Let your creative self have fun with this.

What will really make a great impact is to celebrate the completion of each activity. Normally, people will just draw a line across to indicate that an activity is completed. You can draw a star to indicate a job well done. Draw a champagne bottle being opened. Be like a child and you can have great fun with this.

A physical calendar is another item that you can have lots of fun with. Use different colored highlighters to differentiate activities.

Choose a vibrant color for holidays. Stick some pictures based on where you will be going for your holidays.

Allocate different colors for different projects. Here again you can draw pictures or use stickers. Writing can be in different sizes and styles and also in different colors.

Celebrate work finished by giving yourself stars. This way, when you look back, you can easily see the successes that you have enjoyed and feel good about them.

Remember, just completing a job is successful. If you finish it ahead of time and get very positive feedback, then give yourself more stars and accolades.

Do not be overly tough on your self, and give yourself a star only on a rare occasion. Remember that you are doing all this to motivate yourself and have fun on the job.

Are you one of those type of people who like to leave piles of papers, related files on your table or on the locker beside you? Meaning you do not organize them and put them away and only take them out when you need them.

There is good news for you. Apparently, there are some of us who work best in this way. Although papers and materials are scattered, these people are able to scan quickly and pick up exactly what they want.

Beware anyone who tries to help by organizing the materials. You are in for trouble as the clutter is needed for these people to perform the activities well.

So, if you are one of those people who has a messy workplace and finds it difficult to keep things organized, it may not be a bad thing.

You can also have fun at work by having a few of your personal items that might make you feel good. It could be a photo of your loved ones, it could be a little gadget that you like to play with to get your creativity going or just some goofy toy that brings a smile to your face.

Being in a place that reflects you and your personality helps you to feel at home and deliver better work than in a sterile office environment.

Just look around your workplace and you will be able to find some ways to have fun at work. Effectiveness and productivity increases as a result of having fun at the workplace.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

What the Heck is Web 2.0 Exactly?

Web 2.0 is all the rave. What is it? How did it come about? Where is it going? It sounds like a software program or some highly technological aspect that is getting ready to make its debut does it not? Well, in actuality it is neither of these. Web 2.0 is nothing more than some tools and ideas working together to make the internet a more user friendly and easier world to maneuver. Think about all of the new ideas to come to the internet in the last few years.

This whole concept may include AJAX, social bookmarking, RSS feeds, tags, and blogs. Of course, this does not even begin to encompass the whole concept of web 2.0, but it does give you a relatively good idea. Each and every day, we use Web 2.0 as a whole. With all of the media, graphic intensive websites, and the ease of use, you are experiencing the technology with everything you do, without even knowing it.

There was a web 1.0, a long time ago in "internet years" that is. Really, think about the "old" internet and the "new" internet, which is known as web 2.0. What could you really do? With 1.0, websites were static, they were not attractive in terms of the latest in interactive and animated websites with 2.0. With Web 2.0, updates are as regular and necessary as the sun coming up each day, with 1.0 updates were extremely rare for websites of any nature. Now, let us compare some of the differences, to give you a better picture.

Comparing Web 1.0 with Web 2.0

With Web 1.0 if you really wanted to look something up, you had something similar to an online dictionary. You could look up a definition, but that was about the extent of it. With Web 2.0, you have the concept of Wikipedia, which provides you deep and intuitive information submitted directly by other users. This is so much more than just a simple definition, this is an entire history or background of virtually any topic.

With Web 1.0, you essentially had personal websites. They were not updated all that frequently and they essentially did not do a whole lot. With Web 2.0, blogging is the latest and greatest. Blogging is used as both a personal journal and for business purposes at the same time. Gaining more traffic and more interest than ever before.

With Web 1.0, many webmasters relied upon page views to determine traffic. Now with Web 2.0, cost per click or pay per click are doing the traffic work. Page views are no longer essential in understanding the amount of traffic your website receives. The amount you pay per click is now the best indicator.

Before, if you wanted the news, you had to go looking for it. RSS feeds now do that for you automatically and delivers it directly to you. Many websites have automatic RSS feeds that you can choose to receive and there are one stop type of shops that allow you to sign up for many different feeds at the same time, so you can avoid having to search for the news and headlines.

Tagging is also a Web 2.0 technology. Tags allow users to search for specific items and information that they are looking for. It really simplifies the internet for users everywhere. When a person makes a post on a blog or social bookmarking websites, they can identify tags. When a user searches for these tags, they will find the posts that relate to their search terms.

Essentially, Web 2.0 just makes the internet a more user friendly and easier place to work, play, shop, and research. Now that you know how Web 1.0 has evolved to Web 2.0, where is it going from here?

Seeking Web 3.0

No one can really predict the future of the internet. It is too impossible to tell, however, there are some standards and paths that can lead us in the right direction for predictions. There are so many possibilities for the future of the internet that it is extremely hard to predict. Many people are leaning towards artificial intelligence for the internet. They are also suggesting that computer graphics will become more advanced, web applications will become modular, and internet speeds will increase with web 3.0.

People expect that Web 3.0 will bring innovative ways to build applications. They will be smaller and have the ability to run on multiple devices. Then there is always those who believe that the entire internet will become three dimensional.

There are many different ideas on how Web 3.0 will develop from Web 2.0. It is anyone's guess and as the internet continues to evolve, the Web of any "version" will become smarter, more interactive, and easier to use with each passing year. The growth of the internet since its birth has been enormous and there is still a lot of room for more growth and potential.


Top 5 Work at Home Mistakes

Before you even begin to start working from home there are a number of important matters that you must consider first. This article outlines the the top 5 mistakes that you can make when working at home. Pay careful attention to these as they might make a huge difference as to whether you are successful or not.

Mistake 1. Scams.

If you want to make sure you don't fall for a scam do your research. There are a number of good places to do this research online. Just Google 'how to spot scams online' or some similar term.

You have to become educated on this topic because if you fall into a scam then you are likely to be targeted again. Yep, there is a scammers network out there. Take your time and learn all you can.

Could you miss out on a good, legitimate offer? Yes, but it is far better err on the side of caution.

Mistake 2. Analysis paralysis.

Having been cautioned on looking out for scams, don't suffer from inertia. At some stage you just have to dive right in and do it. Try to find something that you feel really comfortable doing and then ...Just Do It!

If you over analyse everything you could end up with analysis paralysis. If you find yourself stacking up more than a handful of likely offers you might be in danger of becoming so overwhelmed that you don't take action on anything. Part of your education is to try something and find that it wasn't what you thought it would be. This way you will be educating yourself.

Mistake 3. Not Getting Educated.

While we are on the subject of education let's be blunt. Not getting educated is a big mistake. It will severely restrict your prospects of being successful. You could fall for a scam. You could lose a lot of money.

However, let me repeat. Part of your education is jumping in and getting your feet wet. As you become more experienced online you will notice that all of the honest 'gurus' have gone through this process to some extent.

Mistake 4. Not Networking.

This simply means that you join other like minded people and share your experiences. One of the best ways of doing this is to join one of the many forums online. If the scheme you are contemplating has a forum then dive right in and sign up. This is also another way of getting your education.

If your scheme or project has a forum that is a good indicator that it is legitimate.

Networking is an important part of the process. Trying to do it on your own rarely works out in your favour.

Mistake 5. Not being professional.

This is a biggie. So many people seem to think that because you are working from home they don't need to be professional in their efforts. Wrong.

Even if you have a day job the presumption is that you intend to quit it at some stage. Even if that is not your intention you still need to be professional. If you only want to supplement your income you must treat your online efforts seriously. If you do this and work diligently, sooner or later you will have to quit your job to keep up with your online efforts.

These are a few important things for you to consider when contemplating working from home online. Get these right and you are well on your way to success.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Internet Marketing For Beginners

If you are new to internet marketing, do not believe the lies of easy money. If you want to succeed at internet marketing you will need to learn the basics and be prepared to work at it. There is a lot to do if you want to succeed, but it is worth the effort.

You need to:

Discover how to build a website, or know enough to make sure that your web designer builds an effective website for you.

Learn the basics of search engine optimization so that people can actually find your site.

Invest in an auto responder service and learn how to use it effectively. Automated email delivery is a must.

If you want to succeed online, you need to learn the basics and do all the necessary research first. Before you begin building a web presence, you need to do keyword research and identify a profitable niche. Then you need to research your target market and discover what they actually want and need. This is a very important step, don't produce something and then try to find a target market, that is a recipe for failure.

This is all much easier than it seems, you can easily do a Google search and find excellent free step by step how to information.

Resist the temptation to jump in at the deep end, take time to learn about the tools and strategies you need to succeed online. You don't have to learn them all at once, take one step at a time and do as much as you plan.

There are many different ways to get started with internet marketing and you will see thousands of offers that insist that you must have what they are offering to succeed. Ask yourself whether you really do need them or whether they are simply a distraction. You need to focus.

If you are in a hurry to get started, you could use tools like Squidoo and Hubpages while you are getting your website ready. Squidoo and Hubpages both enable you to create simple focused web pages around a single topic. They are free and very easy to use.

You can easily add products to these pages and weave in affiliate links. It is an effective no cost way to get started with earning money online while you are learning. They are probably the simplest way to get started on online if you are a beginner.

Here are the steps again:


Do keyword research

Identify a profitable niche

Do market research

Try out your ideas on Squidoo and Hubpages

Learn basic internet marketing skills

Master basic SEO skills

Create an effective web site

You can succeed at internet marketing if you are prepared to learn the basics and take action. Take your first steps today. Identify what you need to do, make a plan and take focused action every day.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

How To Set Up Your Own Office Anywhere

Modern technology makes it simple to set up an office almost anywhere. Cell phones, email, laptops and updated office situations offer unlimited opportunities to start your own business. Whether you want a full-time enterprise or a part-time income, you need the right setup to be successful. Take advantage of advanced technology to have a convenient, functional office on your own terms.

Home Offices

Renovate your garage, family room or even a large closet into your own office space. Create a corner in the house just for your work. Have a designated area for files, your computer and other business essentials. Stay organized so you know where everything is and don't have to waste time looking for it. Scattering your work around the house makes it difficult to run a successful enterprise no matter how large or small.

Go Mobile

Sometimes occurrences at home make it impossible to focus on the business at hand. Have a laptop and cell phone ready so you can work at your favorite park, coffee shop or library. If peace and quiet are impossible to attain in one spot, take your work elsewhere for awhile. Often the change of scenery helps you regain focus so you can get back to business more effectively.

Virtual Offices

Virtual offices provide a designated business address, telephone number and fax number along with an answering service and receptionist. For a monthly fee, you can set up a virtual office in almost any major city in the world. Virtual offices also create a presence in a metropolitan area and give your business image a boost. If you need a professional space to meet with clients, most virtual offices have conference rooms available on short notice. Having a virtual office also makes it easier to work at home. You have someone else receiving packages, telephone calls, faxes and mail so you can work without interruption. A virtual office also maintains the privacy of your home address and phone number.

Managed Offices

Managed offices are run by a management company that rents out rooms and suites to various businesses. Everyone has a shared receptionist, answering service, security and common areas such as lobbies, restrooms and conference rooms. You can rent an impressive single office or suite in a local business area without a long term lease or buying office space. This gives businesses more freedom to expand, downsize and relocate.


As businesses expand, they often seek virtual offices and managed offices for the access to receptionists and clerical staff. Another option for small enterprises is outsourcing. Use a freelancer to handle writing, research and public relations as you work on other aspects of your business. Hire a virtual assistant to manage appointments, telephone calls and client data. Get help to make your business more profitable and productive.

Start your own business, gain credibility and build profits by customizing your offices to suit your unique needs. Whether you want to quit your day job or supplement your current income, you can create your own perfect office anywhere and anytime.

10 Things You Should Know About Magalog Design

Given today's economic conditions, direct marketers are painfully aware of the old saying, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." If their marketing material doesn't grab readers within the first few seconds, the opportunity to make a sale is often lost.

To help magalog marketers in particular increase their odds of success, is offering a free, downloadable guide titled, 10 Things You Should Know About Magalog Design.

As a direct market layout and design specialist, owner Mike Klassen works with marketers to ensure that the layout of their material supports the copy to get the results they're after.

When it comes to magalogs, Klassen says marketers are under even more pressure than normal. "Between the writing, designing, printing, and mailing of magalogs, the expense can be enormous. But as magalog marketers know, the payoff can also be enormous when the magalog offers solutions their target market is looking for," says Klassen.

Magalogs -- often described as a cross between a magazine and catalog -- seem to go against the belief that people don't like to read. But as Klassen explained during an interview with Print Professional Magazine, "A magalog is well-suited [for] people who really want to be convinced to buy a product or service. If I'm interested in alternative health, for example, I'm willing to read a lot of copy -- far more than you could fit in a traditional brochure or other promotional piece."

The free guide focuses primarily on what the designer should be doing. But according to Klassen, "As the one ultimately responsible for what's mailed, the marketer must know what to look for during the development process in the layout of their magalog. That includes everything from the cover to the all-important layout of the order form. And there are some key points marketers should know before the layout of the magalog even begins."

Understanding these issues will benefit the marketer who is usually the one on the line when it comes to whether the magalog is considered a success or not.

10 Things You Should Know About Magalog Design is available now from