Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Big Turnaround--You Can Make It Too

On Monday, February 27, Dani Johnson joined C-Radio host Cynthia Nevels to discuss overcoming challenges. Many entrepreneurs are no stranger to struggle, due to the competitive global environment. More of them are infusing spiritual values and principles into their endeavors to help them better handle and overcome hurdles. Dani is one of these people and she provided Cynthia with a glimpse of the principles she used to achieve life success.

NFL player Tim Tebow has caused a stir by publicly displaying his religious beliefs both on and off the field. The integration of religion into the business of football led C-Radio show host Cynthia, an award-winning businessperson, to ponder whether this was a smart move. She thought this would make a good discussion topic because her show provides news geared toward business success.

Through research, Cynthia discovered that numerous companies were based on Biblical principles. Cynthia came across Dani’s story, in which faith played a major role. Referring to it as the “big turnaround” or “The Tebow Effect,” Dani revealed to Cynthia the challenges she faced and how spirituality helped her meet them head on to become the global force she is today.

The struggles that Dani faced were not limited to business. She grew up in an abusive household, became a teen mother, and was on welfare and homeless. Just one of these situations would be too much for many people to handle. Dani managed to make it through all of them and create a multimillion dollar empire, largely due to her faith.

Dani told her story to Cynthia, taking responsibility for the mistakes she made. She then revealed how her spirituality helped her overcome the many hurdles she faced. Her story is amazing and one that everyone will find inspiring. Anyone interested in hearing this interview can access it through Dani’s website.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tracking Your Progress

Many of us set goals for the year, which we called “resolutions.” These objectives pertained to losing weight, increasing our social or religious involvement, earning a 6 figure income, among others. After setting these goals, we began working on achieving them and then life got in the way. We are almost two months into the year but have not accomplished one goal.

Tracking progress helps us identify where we stand in relation to our goals. It also keeps us focused on achieving those objectives. An action plan is nice but it will not be effective unless regular assessments are performed. These checkups should be conducted frequently so we do not steer off course for too long. The goal is to get back on track as shortly as possible following any deviation.

In addition to serving as a corrective measure, tracking progress provides a sense of accomplishment for a job done well. This recognition motivates us to keep up the good work. When things become difficult, we will work harder because we know that a sense of gratification awaits us. We will not even realize that little hurdles have become higher because we will be focused on the result.

Numerous online tools are available for tracking progress toward goals. Get Goaling is a free tool that features a dashboard for setting goals, developing action plans, tracking progress, and sharing the joy of accomplishments. With Track-n-Graph, users can track goal progress in graph format and use pre-defined tracking templates.

For those who are more traditional, there are good old pencil and paper. Write a goal and below it, list the action plan to achieve it. At the beginning of each day, write down what must be accomplished that day. When the day concludes, write down what was accomplished. Crossing items off the task list yields a feeling of satisfaction.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Family Budget Is Going To The Dogs…Literally

When people are strapped for cash, a careful review of the household budget is required. This means determining whether expenses are necessary. Are 300 television channels needed when you can save nearly 50 percent by cutting back to 100? Can the kids get another season out of their sneakers? These are some questions asked.

To save money, many families reduce entertainment expenses. Instead of going to the movies, they check a DVD out of the library at no charge. The annual tropical vacation becomes a day trip to a nearby lake. Rather than purchasing the latest tech gadgets for their children, parents buy a dog or cat to entertain them.

Dani Johnson says this last move may not be smart. A pet can be a great addition to the family, but it is also expensive. The pet industry is estimated at $55 billion and six in ten American families own a pet. Dani is considered an expert regarding family finances and on a recent segment of her radio show, she discussed the costs of pet ownership.

Families should think before they spend money to buy a pet. The cost does not end with the hundreds of dollars required to buy the animal. Pets require regular veterinary care and even routine visits and shots can be expensive. Costs add up when toys, treats, and food are taken into account. If the family is away from home for long periods, kennel , daycare, or petsitting costs come into play.

Many families do not realize home much money they spend on their pets. Added up, this could be enough to cover one mortgage payment each year. By thinking twice about purchasing a pet or being a smarter shopper when it comes to pet supplies, people can remove some of their financial burden in this difficult economy.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Social Media Marketing For A Small Business

After discovering a legitimate home business idea and establishing a corporate framework, marketing becomes the main focus. For a small business, this can be a challenge because funds are usually limited. Social media can be leveraged for marketing purposes and offers unbounded potential. After developing goals for a social media marketing campaign and determining how success will be measured, it is time to get started.

Facebook provides excellent free and low-cost marketing opportunities. With hundreds of millions of users and a strong platform, every small business should create a Business Fan Page with Facebook. Researching how the competition uses its account may provide inspiration for page enhancements. Adding videos and photos and soliciting consumer feedback through posts can result in more fans, increasing the online visibility of the company.

Twitter is another great social media tool for small businesses. A business Twitter account is essential and basic searches will reveal whether others are already tweeting about the company. Mobile and desktop clients like Tweetie and TweetDeck allow small business owners to pre-define searches to monitor keywords related to the business.

Millions of professionals from hundreds of countries have joined LinkedIn. Small business owners should create a business account, link to vendors, and join relevant subject matter groups. They should also encourage customers, vendors, and prospects to provide a recommendation on the business profile. This makes the business look more credible to new customers and causes the company profile to rank higher in search engine results.

Blogs are still going strong and if the small business does not already have one, there is no time like the present. Simply reserve a domain name for the blog or set it up on the WordPress site. Then, determine the blog focus and regularly create interesting and informative content. Base this content on areas of expertise and topics of interest.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Make Networking Natural

Whether you are looking for a job or run a work at home business, networking is important. Unfortunately, this skill does not come naturally for everyone. When job seekers and business professionals are asked what they would like to improve about themselves, the ability to network is a common answer. Here are some tips for meeting new people and developing relationships.

The best way to strike up a conversation with other people is to talk about the subject most important to them, which is themselves. Balance the opening statement so it is not too open, giving them somewhere to start when replying. At the same time, do not make it so closed that their reply is limited. Combining a statement with a question is usually effective.

After the discussion starts, keep it going by making observations and asking follow-up questions. This encourages the person to provide additional information, which can be used to develop the conversation and build common ground. For example, from their replies, you may discover that other people grew up near you or enjoy the same hobbies that you do.

So-called “free information” provided by others can be a goldmine for networkers. Listen for it, notice it, and use it to move the conversation along, a practice called active listening. By listening actively and empathetically, a person becomes more attractive to others. Providing positive feedback can kick the conversation up a notch because you will be viewed as likable and understanding.

The natural progression of a conversation involves disclosing facts, followed by viewpoints, and then feelings. People will not reveal much unless they have a comfort level. Encourage these self-disclosures by moving at their pace. When presenting yourself, be specific, include weaknesses, and when describing your feelings, use words to create a picture because this adds human emotion to conversations.