Being Your Own Boss

Can You Manage Yourself?

Working for yourself is a dream come true for most people. There’s no boss and you can do it your own way. But the truth is that there is a boss, and it just might be the worst boss you’ve ever worked for – yourself! Are you going to be an organized and merciful manager or a total pain to be around? That’s the question that determines whether your work-at-home career is a dream or a nightmare. Keep your business in your control by following these simple tips.

Passion- The Great Motivator

The great determiner is passion. Are you passionate about what you’re doing? Every good boss or company owner has passion and vision. Without these, you’re going to snap whenever the going gets tough. Your work-at-home career has to be truly your dream. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to keep pushing yourself. You don’t have to be in love with every aspect of your business, because you can hire out the things you don’t like. Just be sure you’re passionate about the important parts.

Invest In Yourself

Bosses manage people. They spend a large proportion of their time working on developing their employees so that the company can grow and reach its goals. You have to do this yourself when you work at home. Take a pen and paper and write down your purpose. Take time out of your busy schedule to periodically ask yourself whether you’re happy with how things are going and where you need to improve. If you need to learn something new or practice to get better put that in there as well. Set clear and measurable goals for your own development, with the end result being a better and more efficient you.

Know The Big Picture

Another important job of the boss is to handle the company’s overall plan. Even if you’re just a freelancer working on the dining room table, you have to have a business plan because you are a business, just a business of one. Some questions to ask yourself include:

 What are you offering?
 Who will it help?
 How will it help them?
 What is your promise to your customers or clients and how are you going to deliver it?

Unfortunately, developing a business plan also means creating a financial plan. This is difficult because most of us aren’t good at financial planning, but it’s essential that you learn this skill and learn it well.

Even If You Could Do Everything… Would You Really Want To?

Nobody can do everything. When you’re your own boss, you have to realistically assess your abilities. Write down all the skills you need to run your business. How good are you at them? Which of them do you know how to do, and which ones do you lack? Should you hire somebody else to handle some of your tasks? Don’t try to do everything if you’ll have to spend an unrealistic amount of time learning.

Track Your Progress

Create a plan for reviewing your progress. There are plenty of ways you can do this, but what’s most important is simply to have a plan in place. For example, you can measure progress by how many tasks you get done each day. Set milestones where you check to see how your business is coming along and give yourself a performance check. This will show you areas that need improvement.

Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

All good bosses are forgiving. Be firm and disciplined, but don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, if your boss was constantly putting you down you would be out of there the first chance you got, so don’t do it to yourself. Remember that you’re only human and you need a day off sometimes. This is a very important part of sustaining a business for the long term and being as happy as possible while doing it.

Too Good To Be True: Spotting A Scam

We’ll Make You $100,000 in a month! I Don’t Think So

Working at home is a dream for most people and fraudsters know this. They also know that you may not have the experience or street smarts to recognize a fake opportunity. You may see a lot of work-at-home scams come into your email inbox daily. Surf the internet looking for ‘work at home’ and you’ll find even more. How do you tell the difference between a legit home business and a complete rip-off?

Easy Money with Little To No Work

One of the tell-tale signs of a scam is that they promise you big money for little or no work. Why would somebody offering a legitimate business opportunity tell their new hire that there was no work involved? There’s always work to be done if you want to make money. There is no true plug-and-play instant money button on the internet. If there was they would be the ones not working, instead of trying to sell to you. Avoid any ads that tempt you with dollar signs. There’s no way they can guarantee you’ll make a certain amount of money.

No Skills, Training, or Experience Necessary

Real employers or entrepreneurs are picky about who they work with. They try to weed out people without skills or experience and only work with the best. When an ad says that there are no skills or experience needed, be wary. This is usually the sign of a scam and if it’s a legitimate opportunity, they’re not being completely honest with you.

Send Us A Big Check And We’ll Get You Started… And Never Return Your Calls

If they ask for money to get started, forget it. This is a sure sign of some type of fraud. Never give out your financial information in return for promises of a quick return. This is the hallmark of ‘boiler room’ scams where sleazy marketers convince old ladies to max out their credit cards. No legitimate business opportunity is going to ask you to hand over your bank details or tell you you’ll get your money back right away.

What about the Pay?

If you start talking to a potential employer and they’re hesitant at all to mention the money, you probably want to stop right there. Any real business is likely to mention pay upfront because it’s an important consideration. There’s no good reason they wouldn’t be clear about it.

Check References

Whenever you’re investigating work-at-home opportunities, always check references. The people offering the opportunity should be happy to give you a list of employees or contractors that you can contact. Talk to a few of them and see what they say about the company. If the company is unwilling to provide references, skip it.

Real Contact Info

If you get an email offering a business opportunity, make sure there’s real contact information. By law, any commercial email must have contact information. It’s usually at the bottom of the email or website in small print. Check it out on Google Maps to make sure the address really exists. You’d hate to find out that the place you’ve been sending your complaint letters is an empty lot. You can also spot scams by looking at the email address. A legitimate business email should have its own domain name and not be a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo.

Due Diligence

Do your homework. Check out the company at the Better Business Bureau. Search for the company’s name to see what people are saying about them on forums and blogs. I’ve Google searched a few opportunities and if the top result is “business name” scam, it’s probably best to stay away from them. The information you discover may save you thousands of dollars.

Finally, the best tip is to remember that anything too good to be true probably is. Question everything and don’t give out any of your information until you’re sure the people offering the opportunity are legit.

The Power of Color

Have you ever thought about the effect of the colors you use for your business? If not you definitely should. Color affects our habits without us even knowing. Just picture yourself going into a store with bright yellow walls. You would probably want to get out of their as quickly as possible regardless of any great deals they may have. That’s because a lot of bright yellow is overwhelming.
There are several different ways to use color effectively in your business.
Monochromatic- This method uses varying shades of the same color.
Complementary Colors- This method uses two colors that are the exact opposite on the color wheel
Triple Color- This method uses three colors equally spaced around a color wheel
Care should be taken when choosing your colors because too much of one color or a certain shade of a color can send the wrong message. For instance, yellow is a cheerful and energetic color, but partner that with black and just about everyone is conditioned to think caution. Red is a great color to use as an accent and draw attention to a part of your marketing material, but too much and people will think stop.
A quick overview of color’s meanings is provided below but this is mostly for the Western world. Different colors have different meanings in different cultures. In the Western world white is associated with purity and cleanliness, but in India it is associated with unhappiness.

Red

Red should be used to convey passion and excitement. Too much red is easily overwhelming and can be seen as danger, but when used as an accent it draws attention exactly to where you want it because it is so noticeable. When paired with black it is considered a very sexual color.

Blue

I’m definitely one of the people that would list blue as their favorite color and I’m joined by much of the world as this is the most common favorite color. Blue is a cool and calming color but certain shades of blue are associated with depression, hence the term “feeling a little blue.” It is a color often associated with strength, reliability, and stability.

Yellow

Yellow is a warm, cheerful, sunny color. Too much yellow is over-powering and a turn-off for most customers. An overpowering use of yellow tends to agitate people. Some shades are associated with being a coward, but when you get closer to the golden side of the spectrum it denotes wealth.

Green

It’s the color of earth and money. For this reason it is also associated with growth. On the negative people get “green with envy” and can also be thought of as selfish.

Orange

The color of risk taking and extroverts. This color is great in small amounts although you should be careful when using it because orange is the most agreed upon for least favorite color.

Purple

Purple was the color of royalty in centuries past. It widely associated with wealth and prosperity. It also is associated with beauty and high quality.

Brown

Since it is associated with ground it is either associated with stability or dirtiness depending on your customer’s perspective.

Black

Heavy amounts of black usually mean evil, bad guys always wear black in the movies. It can also be associated with intelligence, secrecy, and authority. Like red, it is a color that gets a passionate response and therefore can overwhelm people in large amounts.

White

White is mostly associated with the pure and virginal (weddings) and cleanliness (doctor’s coats). Also like the color grey it can be used to denote neutrality or fill in spots that no one is meant to pay attention to.

For more in-depth information about the strategic use of color check out the following:
Color Psychology And Color Therapy: A Factual Study Of The Influence Of Color On Human Life

Color – Messages & Meanings: A PANTONE Color Resource

Where does the time go?

Have you ever said to yourself, “I could be so much more successful if I just had a few more hours?” We all have the same amount of time, 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. How is it though that some people seem as if they have so much more? Those people, that we are often jealous of, ration their time better.

The Have Tos

How do we spend our time? A full-time job is going to take 40 hours out of your week. Let’s say that it takes you 1 hour to get up and ready for work and another hour to get home and settled after work for another 10 hours a week If you sleep the doctor recommended 8 hours a night that is another 56 hours out of your week. Alright 106 hours out of your 168 hours for the week are already gone. That still leaves 62 hours in your week for yourself. Where does that time go and how can you squeeze more out of it?

Found It!

According to data The New York Times gathered from Nielson Research the average American watches 35 hours of TV a week. I found half of our time! TV is entertaining and I’m not someone who advocates throwing out your TV. After all what would parents do without access to Elmo? However, do you really need to watch that Seinfeld rerun that you’ve seen a thousand times or is there something better you can do with that half hour.

Use the Off Hours

Outside of work and sleep we all have family, social, and personal tasks that we need to do or want to do. After all what is life if you just live as a productivity machine? To squeeze out a little extra time to get the things done you need to do, make use of the off hours of the day. If you use the early morning or late night, when everything is calm and you don’t have a bunch fires popping up, then you’ll be able to cram more work into that time because of the lesser possibility of distractions coming up. Use a few of your off hours to write that chapter for your book, work on your side business, or learn a new skill.

Use Downtime

The commute to work is another time suck for most of us, especially in you live in a big city with terrible traffic jams. Not all is lost though! This is an excellent opportunity for learning. Almost every book has an audio version. Download some information you’ve wanted to learn to your iPod, plug it up in your car and you just put some extra productivity in your commute. This also works great if you’re stuck waiting at the doctor’s office or DMV or exercising at the gym.

In Conclusion

Our lives are busier than any generations before and its only speeding up. While we may not be able to apply as many hours as we would like to our projects just a few hours can add up and improve your position in your life.

My Problem with MLM

I think we’ve all had someone pitch us a Multi-Level Marketing business or know someone who has. Whether it was Mary-Kay, Amway, or another company we have heard of them and been warned away because of the bad rap a few scam companies. There are a lot of legitimate MLM companies out there with great products to make money with. I’ve been a part of one myself and I thought the product was amazing and filled a great need.
The big problem I have with MLM is the laser focus on recruiting your family and friends. Before I made a dollar I was getting told to pitch the business to my family and friends as a great way to make money without a bit of personal evidence to support it.
I believed in the business and did as they said and pitched the business to friends and family. After talking to a few of them though I began to get a feeling that something wasn’t right with the whole situation and I figured out what it was. Why should the people I trust, that trust me, buy into this business when I haven’t made anything with it yet?
That’s when I talked to a leader in my up-line asking to him how to sell the product so I would have something to show in my recruitment. When I started talking about the product I was looked at like I was crazy. Recruit, recruit, recruit was all I heard from anyone I talked to. All I wanted was a month or two with earnings that I could use to show some realistic data about my personal results. Their focus on recruitment before selling the product made no sense to me. I felt like a rapper starting out who raps about having money, bling, and women while being broke in order to get famous and have the things they talked about. It just didn’t make any sense to me.
I know I prefer to purchase without the mystery. If you can show your customer exactly what they’re going to get from you then they get a little more receptive to your selling whether it is selling or recruiting.

Just Get Started

One of the most important aspects of starting a great business is to just get started. Too many people, myself included, get caught up in waiting for the perfect set of circumstances or that magical bullet to get your business started. Once you come to grip with the reality that circumstances are never perfect and magical bullets only exist in fantasies you are a little closer to getting started.

There is a success story that I like to think about any time I catch myself going back to that wishful thinking. It’s a company that started in a bad environment and didn’t have a solid direction for years after its formation, but went on to become a global powerhouse. No, it isn’t some obscure company or name that you’ll have to go Google to check, it’s Sony.

Sony is certainly impressive today. It’s a multinational conglomerate that has presences in financial services, music, gaming, and movies that ranks in the Fortune Global 500. Sony’s birth however was certainly not so glamorous.

Masaru Ibuka began the company under another name in August 1945 in post-World War II Japan. Japan was economically and physically devastated in the war. Circumstances don’t come much more difficult than that. Ibuka started the company without even a product; all he had was a set of values that he drilled into his company:

  • The joy of advancing technology to the benefit of the general product
  • Elevate the status of Japan and its culture
  • Being a pioneer
  • Encouraging individual creativity and ability

Sony’s first product, a rice cooker, often failed to work properly. Sony didn’t have its first truly successful product line until it started producing transistor radios in the 1950s. Now Sony is a global brand and billion dollar company.

None of this would have ever happened if Ibuka had waited for the perfect set of circumstances or the magical bullet. The excuse could have been made that Ibuka should wait for the Japanese economy to recover from the war to start his company, and if Ibuka wanted to use that excuse no one would have faulted him for. However, if he had Sony may have never come into existence.

The most important lesson of this story is to just get started. Any time you think I just need to wait until this or that happens nothing will ever happen. Once you get started you can correct mistakes along the way as you learn. Don’t get reckless, of course, but take that calculated risk and just start.

Develop Your Writing Voice

Writing is essential to internet business. Even if you don’t blog as your business on the internet, writing is the primary form of communication on the internet. To most people this is intimidating because I don’t think anyone ever looks forward to essays and that’s what most people think of when they think of writing.

The first step to becoming a great writer is to figure out what your writing voice is. The voice of your writing is the style in which you write that is unique to you. Even more than the word choice you use, your voice is everything from whether you use long sentences or short sentences, using stories or more of a just the facts approach. You need to be mindful of the voice you use in your writing to be sure that you are projecting the image that you intended to project.

Read a lot

By reading as many different authors, genres and styles of writing you can become familiar with many different types of writing voices. While your voice is unique to you, if you find a quality in another author’s voice that you like experiment with using it in your writing. Don’t plagiarize and copy exact content but there’s nothing wrong with adopting a similar style of writing.

Another benefit to reading that I personally experienced with reading a lot is that it helped me to learn grammar rules in writing without even knowing it. It made writing in school and now college easier because even if I didn’t exactly know why a comma went in a certain spot; I knew that it went there because I had seen it in that style of sentence many times before.

Write everything

Everyone has a comfort zone that they typically stick with in their writing. To develop your voice, experiment with writing different styles. Try writing a little bit of everything. Write poetry, short stories, fiction, fantasy, and romance, anything you haven’t written before and see what you can learn.

By the time you are done with a few different styles you should have found a few things about your writing voice that you can improve your writing with.

Your reader is your friend

One mistake I see made in my classes when essays are read aloud is that people treat their writing as if they are writing to a nameless, faceless person that they don’t know because when they’re writing they are just staring at a screen waiting to be done. If you treat you’re writing as if you were having a personal conversation with a close friend. The same rules apply to your writing. Be genuine, people can see through fakeness in conversation and they can see it in writing too. You wouldn’t deliberately bore your friends so don’t bore your readers. It’s harder not to do it with writing because you can’t see their body language for the signs of boredom. You can always get someone else to read your writing and give you feedback.

Don’t forget to re-read and edit

Editing is an important part writing that some people choose to skip. You want to double check the way you wrote and the obvious spell checking because even the most intelligent and valid information looks stupid with grammar and typo errors all over the place.

I hope this was helpful and appreciate your reading.

Optimize your sleep

One of the first steps to success is getting off your butt and doing something about it. That takes energy and with all the obligations of modern life we get wore down quick. Between work, family, and community obligations, finding the time to put in the extra work to be successful can be difficult.
I personally get jealous of the people I see that seem like they have more energy off of three hours of sleep than I do after a full eight. I don’t know if they just will their way through the day or if their bodies just function a little differently than normal, but it’s impressive. Regardless of how they do it those of us who aren’t in that lucky few we have to work our way to get more.
There’s no magic bullet for more energy but many techniques you can use to optimize your body for more energy. In the same way you fuel and maintain your car, the way you fuel and maintain your body affects your performance.
The biggest part of maintenance is how you sleep. Everyone knows you should get eight hours of sleep per night but not all sleep is equal. Here are a few quick tips on how to get better sleep.
Get on a schedule and keep it
You should pick a bedtime when you’ll be naturally sleepy because you don’t want to be tossing and turning in the bed for hours. You also want to get up at the same time every day, even on your days off. The times don’t matter as much as the consistency of those times. Your body wants to be on a regular schedule so help it out. This becomes more difficult is if you a have a third shift or rotating shift job. This can result in a problem known as Shift Work Sleep Disorder. WebMD has a great article on this at: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/night-shift-sleep. If you feel the need to catch up on some sleep take a nap, but keep it short.
Your body has a natural schedule
Have you ever wondered why humans didn’t become nocturnal creatures? Aside from the daylight being useful, the human body has a natural schedule it wants to keep. Humans produce melatonin in the absence of natural light. Melatonin is a chemical that lets your body knows it’s tired. In answering the beginning question your body wants to sleep at night, don’t fight it. It has also has a natural alarm clock. If you’re getting enough sleep you’ll wake up naturally without an alarm clock.

Make a sleep friendly environment
If your bed is comfortable you’re halfway there, but there are more steps you can take to make it better. You want the temperature of your room to be comfortable. The general rule of thumb is 65 to 72 degrees F, but since everyone is different do whatever works for you. Keep your room as dark as possible. As stated in the last paragraph, melatonin is produced in the absence of natural light and helps you sleep. If you’re forced to sleep during the day due to shift work use black out curtains to darken your room while you sleep. Noise is another big sleep disruptor. Noises in the range of 40 to 70 decibels can disrupt sleep. You’re not going to be able to keep your room perfectly quiet and really you don’t want to. The absence of familiar noises can be as disruptive as the presence of unfamiliar noises. White noise boxes help if you are being bombarded by unwanted noises. White noise boxes work by producing noise on all the sound frequencies as a way of masking the unwanted noises.
Be aware of what you put in your body before bed
Anything you put in your body before bed can affect the way you sleep. Avoid eating a big meal before bed. When you go to sleep your digestion speed slows. This can disrupt your sleep and also contribute to weight gain. Caffeine can continue to keep you awake hours after you drink it. Consider avoiding caffeine after lunch. Don’t smoke before bed, in fact quit all together. Nicotine is a stimulant which will help to keep you up at night. The reason I say quit completely is because any time a smoker is not smoking they are going through some stage of withdrawal. This means you could be going through withdrawal while asleep.
Recap
So some quick tips to optimize your sleep are keeping a consistent schedule, make your room as sleep friendly as possible, and be aware of what you put in your body.

Welcome to Forwardboost.com

There are plenty of interesting things in the world to look into and in The Information Age the knowledge of the world is at your fingertips. Unfortunately, Google isn’t enough to sift through it all. Google is more of a popularity contest than anything else. The algorithm Google uses to create its search results is kept secret, but there are certain things that can be inferred by trial and error. The billion dollar industry of Search Engine Optimization is based on it. People use that knowledge to get junk sites to the top of the search results which is what you have to sift through to find the valuable information you want.

There is plenty of stuff that I want to research in my journey to become an entrepreneur, but the content I’ve found available online leaves plenty to be desired, so I’ll sift through a bunch of different subjects that I’ve found interesting and valuable for my life and share with anyone who might like to read it. I plan on looking into a broad range of subjects from different business subjects to personal development topics and anything else that I think of as useful information.

Thanks,

I hope you find it valuable.