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05/07/2010
IconThe Five Characteristics of the Ideal Multiple Stream of Income by Robert G. Allen Mark Victor Hansen Ideal Multiple Sources of Income have these five characteristics: 1. Zero cash Zero cash is required. Not necessarily no cash, just not your cash. As you read in Robert Allen's classic book, 'Nothing Down' there are dozens of techniques for buying real estate with little or no money down. Business masters in all ages have been masters of the "creative non-use of cash." The great billionaire, Andrew Carnegie, bought many of his major businesses with nothing down. Even America was a nothing down deal. Columbus borrowed the money he needed from the King and Queen of Spain. You can learn how to do the same. 2. Zero risk If you don't have a lot of your own money in the deal, you dramatically lower your risk. The more successful you become the more risk adverse you will become. You will cover your assets. You will learn to use corporations, LLC's and other legal entities to lower your liability. The goal is to be risk free. 3. Zero time Zero time does not mean that you invest 'no time', it merely means that once your project is up and running, it should operate on automatic pilot. Like writing a book; your goal is to write it, market it and get it to automatic pilot as quickly as possible. Then you can concentrate on the next project or task. You focus your thinking and creative energy to design a self-perpetuating system. The ultimate goal is ongoing massive, passive cash-flow with little or no investment of your time. 4. Zero management Management is an endless 'to-do' list that absorbs your time. The objective is to outsource and delegate your work effort. Operate from your highest and best thinking. Simulate yourself as the President of the United States complete with all the resources, talent, connections and money that you could possibly use to realize your desires. 5. Zero energy Life is energy. Your invested energy is your life. You want the greatest possible returns per unit of energy invested. When your life is over will you feel rewarded or regretful? Energy well invested will give you a great return on your investment. You want high profits for your high thinking and high service. It's available. Rare is the person who thinks through these critical concepts with regard to his or her own future and fortune. Every business giant has done this 'rare' thinking and that's why we recommend the reading of business biographies and autobiographies. Learn to "zero out" your life. Contact Robert G. Allen at boballen@robertallen .com or visit his website at www.robertallen.com . Permission granted for this excerpt from the forthcoming blockbuster, One Minute Millionaire with Mark Victor Hansen, for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconCould You Be a Virtual Assistant? By Glory Borgeson Do people think of you as #147;Ms. Organization?#148; Do you have excellent grammar and spelling skills? Are you a good communicator? Are you technically-savvy when it comes to using the Internet, e-mail, programs such as Word, Excel, and Outlook? If so, you may be the right person to be a Virtual Assistant. Virtual Assistants (VAs) work from their home office for their clients. They may meet with their clients briefly, such as when a client drops off information at their home office, or they may never meet some clients in person at all. VAs do a variety of administrative tasks for clients. Because of this, a person who wants to be a VA must be organized. They need to be able to juggle several clients and the particular work their clients give them to do, keep track of the time worked for each client, and account for billings. Since a VA does a lot of writing and phone work for her clients, she needs to be highly skilled in grammar, spelling, and communication. There are tools to help with this, such as grammar reference books and spell-check in word processing programs. Also, being well-read is helpful. Still, it is best to already be proficient in these skills before deciding to be a VA. Having #147;technical know-how#148; is a big plus when deciding to become a VA. If you want to increase your skills in this area, consider taking a course (perhaps at an intermediate or advanced level) that will take you through Windows Explorer, My Computer, and Control Panel to get very familiar with how to use these areas to best organize your work and keep your PC in top working condition. If you have been out the workplace for a while and/or have not used certain types of software for months, consider enrolling in classes to get your skills current (or even to an advanced level). Examples of classes you might want to take are MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Also, some advanced VAs do a little work on client#146;s websites and know some html code, using software such as Dreamweaver. Your PC also needs to be up-to-date before venturing into this field. Check the versions of the software you are running. You may need to upgrade the software to a current version. Does your PC have enough free space on the hard drive? (Note: To check how much space is used and how much is free, open Windows Explorer. On the left panel, click the #147;C#148; drive once, so that it is highlighted. At the menu bar, click #147;File#148;; click #147;Properties#148;. In the Properties box on the General tab, you will see information about #147;Used space#148; and #147;Free space#148;, in bytes, gigabytes, and in a pie chart. The pie chart is especially useful at a glance to tell you how much space is available.) Does your PC have enough random access memory (RAM)? Extra RAM is inexpensive to purchase and easy to install. What are you using to access the Internet? Is your online service fast or slow? If you become a VA and set up a business, your online service will be a business expense. Consider getting broadband (cable) or DSL (digital subscriber line) Internet service for the fastest, most reliable service. So, your action steps to take when you are deciding whether you would like to be a VA are to review your organization skills, your grammar, spelling, and communications skills, your software and PC skills, and the ability of your PC to handle the workload. Next: What else goes into creating the business of a Virtual Assistant? What steps should you take to get your VA business up and running? See my next article, #147;How to Create a #145;Virtual Assistant#146; Business#148; for more information! Glory Borgeson is a small business consultant and coach who loves to work with clients by phone from her Chicago-area home office. Please contact her at 630-653-0992 for more information about your home-based business. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconIsn#146;t There More to Life Than Money? Can we talk? Let#146;s agree together that only fools think that money is everything. For us, it#146;s not even in the top three#151;miles behind friends, family, health or spiritual values. But neither is money unimportant. There are a lot of #147;good#148; people who dismiss the concept of financial success as an #147;unworthy#148; goal#151;perhaps even morally suspect. And with a title like, #147;The One Minute Millionaire,#148; we#146;re certain to raise a few eyebrows. Still, we believe that many of life#146;s greatest enjoyments and more than a few of life#146;s greatest disappointments stem from our decisions about money. Whether we experience great peace of mind or constant anxiety can depend on getting our finances under control. Relationships can be greatly affected#151;according to one study, 88% of all divorces in our society result from disagreements about money. Understanding money--how to make it and keep it#151; is important to our life, to our relationships, to our happiness, to our future. That#146;s why we wrote this book. Still, we realize that most people are simply not very good with money. Frankly, it#146;s not all that important to them. Being a loyal employee, earning a steady living and taking care of their families is all the financial success they seek. And that#146;s OK. We believe that with just a few extra minutes a week, a little more effort and a few extra dollars invested in the proper places#151;anyone and everyone can become financially successful. Even if you earn small amounts of money, you can become a millionaire on as little as a dollar a day#151;a minute at a time. We believe it#146;s worth the effort. We believe that you#146;ll be a better employee, a better family member, a better friend, a better member of society#133;if you will learn the skills of financial success. #147;One of the first ways to help the poor is to determine not to become one of them.#148; Mark Victor Hansen Then, there are those#151;about 15% of us#151;who are motivated by money. These are the entrepreneurs in our society who love to launch businesses, start companies, market products and, yes#151;make money. Lots of it. They are the bumblebees of our society. In the process of hunting for nectar#151;buzzing about from flower to flower#151;a wonderful thing happens. The entire garden gets pollinated. Bees don#146;t intend to pollinate the garden#151;but that#146;s what happens. If you#146;re one of those bumblebees, we applaud you. Whichever you are, the important thing is to be the best you can be. Money can help you get there. It can help you fulfill your purpose#151;your destiny. Just like a flower naturally strains upward to reach the sun, we too yearn to reach our full potential. Just as the butterfly breaks free from the dark cocoon, you, too, can release yourself from the things that are holding you back#151;bad habits, unrealistic fears, blind spots, laziness, perfectionism. Just like an acorn has no choice but to duplicate the exact genetic code of a perfect oak tree, we too, contain the literal, genetic blueprint of a child of God. You can learn to unleash your latent potential#151;to break free toward the true you, the real you#151; the YOU of destiny. Are you ready? copy; 2001 Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen Contact Robert G. Allen at boballen@robertallen.com or visit his website at www.robertallen.com Permission granted for this excerpt from the forthcoming blockbuster, One Minute Millionaire with Mark Victor Hansen for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconChild's Play www.smiles-all-around.com My name is Christina Durboraw and the reason I started a home-based business was based on two basic ideas--I wanted to keep myself somehow active, but I would NOT leave my 1-year-old son under another person's care. A secondary reason was that my husband works on movie sets, so his schedule is unpredictable and irregular. Together, we agreed that whatever it took, we would make a business venture work.At the same time, my mother, who had been a stay-at-home mom while my brothers and I were growing up, was working in a full-time corporate job becoming more and more frustrated at having to limit the time she could spend with her first grandson. So I worked on a scheme that just might be the solution for both my family and my mom. I began by asking myself these questions: What could I do that could be incorporated into my every day life? What did I have enough passion for that I could deal with it everyday? Was there something in particular that would benefit my life? And the answer came to me--TOYS! Not only do I love to buy toys for my son, but also I truly find them, well, just plain fun to play with! So the idea took shape. I already had a business license from a small venture I made years ago; I knew lots of people with young children who bought lots of toys. My mom and I could partner and be a perfect match--she likes the detail work and I know the market! But how could I, a little fish in a big ocean, compete with the big stores? We needed an edge, and here's what we came up with. Toys are not a "necessity" to some people, but if there is one thing I know, it's that most moms would rather wear the same pair of pants every day if it means they can get that one special doll or action figure that their child is dreaming of. So the plan was to carry a few of the more poplar lines of children's toys and to offer them at prices that beat retail stores. And--offer the best customer service we possibly can. We contacted a few select manufacturers, ordered toys that we believed would be popular, and began to sell to our groups of mothers and grandmothers.As a home-based business, we kept our overhead low, making it possible to grow the business steadily. Customers began referring other customers to us, and our network of contacts grew quickly, especially once we were entered the holiday season. It was simply doing what we do during any normal day--talk to our friends--and word of mouth from satisfied customers that took us far beyond our expectations. Now, a year later, we opened our business to the world through our new Web site with an impressive clientele base to help it get started. The best part of our venture was that we didn#146;t have to mortgage our homes or take out big loans. The idea was small and we let it grow on it#146;s own. Now, our inventory is bigger than we ever could have dreamed of last year, and we are blessed with the opportunity to hire other stay at home moms to help us out. Like us, these moms are able to earn enough to give their child ballet lessons or sports equipment without compromising the time they spend with their children. As our Internet sales grow, it#146;s our goal to have mothers (and grandmothers!) across the nation working with us.In our business, as in our lives, we hold to strong morals and priorities; the rest we put into God#146;s hands. The best part is I am my kid's mom. I believe in what I sell and I love working with my mom. My son has an amazing relationship with his Grandma, and soon my husband will be working with us.Everyone has come out a winner! Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconWork-At-Home Sales: The New Contact Sport Homebodies By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org It was fundraising time at my daughter's school. Competition wasfierce for buyers of magazine subscriptions, which translated intoprizes for the kids. Heaven help any adult with a checkbook!Fortunately, the yearly promotion only lasted a couple of weeks, then itwas safe to sit on my front porch again. Just as teens are driven to achieve with their fundraising programs,parents with in-home businesses are motivated to succeed. Without thatincome, many at-home parents would have to go back to work. It's no secret that the bulk of work-at-home opportunities involveselling. Cosmetics, children's toys, kitchen gadgets, householdcleaners - the conscientious work-at-home parent has a wide variety oflegitimate products to pitch. The wrinkle is in finding prospectivecustomers in a legitimate way. "One of the moms from my son's preschool called to set up a play date ather house," said Linda. "I've been struggling to make new friends, andwas feeling so isolated. I was looking forward to visiting and talkingwith her. "In between conversation about the kids, she began telling me about thebusiness she and her husband started a couple of months ago - they offerfinancial services - it's a big company - etc., etc., etc. "So the real reason for the visit wasn't the play date, I guess," Lindafrowned. "I don't even have any money to invest!" Linda ended up disappointed, and I suspect the other woman was, too. Presentation is everything, and deceit will kill the deal every time.So what are some steps work-at-home salespeople can take to keep theirpotential customers happy? Don't disguise a sales pitch as a social event. Choose appropriate settings. For instance, most people attendchurch to worship, not shop. Know your customer. Financially-challenged at-home moms should notbe trying to sell expensive gadgets to other financially-challengedat-home moms. Make your presentation as low-key as possible, allowing people tocontact you if they're interested. No response means no. Following upis overrated, and often resented. Support other work-at-home parents by occasionally purchasing theirproducts or services. Resist turning every conversation into a sales pitch. "Did Johnnyleave his backpack at your house?" "Yes, he did, right here next to mycatalogs. I'll just slip one into his backpack and drop it bypersonally. Is 3 p.m. good for you?" Don't spam in cyberspace or in person. Today, I've received 15emails, 2 phone calls, 6 pieces of mail and 1 knock at the door - allfrom people I don't know, pitching me products I never asked for. Canyou guess how likely I am to buy their stuff? Once a prospect agrees to hear your presentation, value their time.For example, Debi was too rushed to listen to a salesperson on thephone, so she asked him to email the info. He did, then called to makesure she had received the email and to explain it. Click! Don't ask questions with an ulterior motive. Build relationships,not databases. Only represent products you enjoy yourself. That way, you'resharing a blessing, not simply selling something. When you encountercustomers who enjoy the product, too, it's a win-win situation. You might want to consider Cheryl's latestbook, "Stay-at-Home Handbook: Advice on Parenting, Finances, Career,Surviving Each Day More" (InterVarsity Press, 2002) as a gift. Visit http://www.homebodies.org/bookstore/orderSAHH.htm or write Cheryl@homebodies.org. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconThe Importance of Mentorship Just as no one achieves great success without a great team, no successful person reaches the top without personal mentors. What is a mentor? The dictionary defines the word #145;mentor#146; as: A wise and trusted counselor or teacher. Another common definition is #145;a coach.#146; Why do we need mentors? First, a mentor can give us perspective. Often, we are too close to see things objectively. We are caught up in the emotions of the situation#151;the fear, the excitement, the wonder, the anxiety, the confusion, the overwhelm. A mentor is detached and can see things from a distance. Experience plus time equals wisdom. A mentor can give us the wisdom of a lifetime of experience. Secondly, a mentor can give us proficiency. A mentor fills in the gaps of our ignorance. In mastering any new task, an experienced mentor can simplify the process, guide us through the complicated parts, help us avoid the pitfalls and warn us about the dangers. In short, a mentor helps us avoid the #145;school of hard knocks#146;#151;the most expensive kind of education in terms of time, money and emotional pain. A mentor gives us a shortcut. Third, a mentor gives us patience. In learning any new skill, there is a learning curve. A mentor can teach us patience as we struggle through failure to achieve mastery. Do you know any successful person who doesn#146;t have a mentor? Tiger Woods. Oprah Winfrey. Warren Buffett. Look behind the scenes of each and you#146;ll find a series of mentors. Warren Buffett is the richest investor in the world#151;a billionaire many times over. Do you know who his mentor was? When Buffett was a senior in college he read a book by Benjamin Graham called The Intelligent Investor (still today, one of the great stock market classics.) For Buffett it was an epiphany. The young Buffett learned that Graham was teaching a business class at Columbia University in New York City, so Buffett enrolled there for his Master#146;s degree in Economics. After graduation, Buffett tried to get hired by Benjamin Graham#146;s investment firm (even offering to work for free) but it wasn#146;t until 3 years later Graham agreed to hire his young Proteacute;geacute;. Buffett spent the next two years being mentored by the famous author. The 25-year old Buffett returned to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska and launched Buffett Associates with 7 investors. Buffett#146;s original stake was $100. Within 5 years Buffett was a millionaire on his way to becoming the mos famous stock investor in history. This is the power of mentorship. Who are your mentors? copy; 2001 Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen Contact Robert G. Allen at boballen@robertallen.com or visit his website at www.robertallen.com Permission granted for this excerpt from the forthcoming blockbuster, The One Minute Millionaire with Mark Victor Hansen; Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconGive It A Shot by Cheryl Demas www.WAHM.com My daughter was only seven years old when she was diagnosed with diabetes.Those first few days in the hospital were challenging, as my husband, Nickiand I came to terms with the disease. We learned what we all needed to do tokeep her healthy. We had to learn how to do Nicki's blood tests and giveinsulin injections. Try getting a seven-year-old to stick herself with aneedle. And then tell her that she'll have to do that several times a day forthe rest of her life. It wasn't easy. The nurse gave us an orange to practice on. She told us that giving theorange an injection would feel the same as giving our daughter an injection.Which was true, except the orange wasn't crying, digging its fingernails intomy arm, and asking me why I didn't love it anymore. Other than that, it waspretty much the same. But this wasn't something that we could choose not to do, so we managed. Wecould have given shots to that orange all day long and it wouldn't have comeclose to the experience of actually doing it. Now, almost nine years later,we're so used to needles that we hardly give them a second thought. Somethings just have to be experienced in person. We did it because we HAD to. I hear from a lot of people who run home businesses. Some are successful,many are not. I try to find similarities among the successful, and they oftenmention that failure is simply not an option. That doesn't mean that theydon't make mistakes, they do. But they don't let setbacks stop them. Theypick themselves up and give it another try. It's almost as if they HAVE to besuccessful. I can tell you what it's like to run a business, and you can get advice fromother business owners, that's all good. But just like injecting that orangedidn't really prepare us for the real thing, nothing compares to theexperience of actually running your own business. Now I'm not recommending jumping into your new business without preparingyourself and doing research, but when the time comes to get started, don'thold yourself back. You will probably make some mistakes. But you'll belearning every day, and there's no better teacher than experience. If you've been thinking about starting a business, now is a great time to getstarted. Work at it as if it HAS to be a success. Go ahead--give it a shot. Cheryl is the founder and publisher of WAHM.com . She lives and works at herhome in California with her husband and two daughters. She is also the authorof "It's a Jungle Out There and a Zoo in Here" (May 2003, Warner Books). Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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