Monthly Archives: September 2012

8 Build Your Business Around Pain Relief: Solutions Sell

Today’s article is by guest blogger Steve Eason of

Ingenious Internet Income

You’ve probably been asked this question a few times from family and friends:

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I remember my answer was that I wanted to be an astronaut.  Growing up in Florida, I had the unique opportunity to watch the Space Shuttle launch in school on television and then run outside to watch the plume as it rocketed into space.  Your answer was likely a little different, but usually it was something like a fireman, a policeman, a nurse, a teacher or just like my dad.

If you were asked that today what would your answer be?  According to recent surveys, close to 80% of those asked were dissatisfied with their jobs.  That’s over 123 million people in the US that are dissatisfied with what they do for a living.  Will you be one of them?

The greatest thing about Internet Marketing is that you can do what you love to do in a way that is helpful to others and make money doing it.  What a great combination.  Unfortunately so many people who hear me say that, just can’t comprehend how that it could be possible.

Today I was out getting my haircut and the stylist asked her usual conversation starting question of, “Are you on lunch from work?”  My answer was, “Sorta.  I work from home so my schedule is flexible.”  Then I was able to talk a little about what I do for a job, which is writing and teaching others how to build a business online.  You could tell that she was surprised and slightly interested in what I had to say, but she really had no idea that you could even do this.  I had a chance to share with her a little about what could be accomplished no matter what you were interested in.

It occurred to me that there are so many people out there that just don’t know what you can do with an online business.  As I was heading home, I was listening to a podcast on Internet Marketing, and there was a statement that resonated with me.  The statement encapsulated the idea that I’ve been working on with my business that I just never could put into words.  This statement summed it up quite nicely.

“I’m passionate about improving people’s lives.”

That just sums up what I’m doing and what I’m focusing on with my business.  I’m working to help improve people’s lives through my work.  By providing the best information I can to help as many people as possible, it begins to build a relationship that ultimately serves the greater purpose of helping others.

Creating a business that you love

How do you go about building a business around a topic or interest that you love?  What I’ve often suggested is to start by looking around you, at what you already enjoy doing in your free time.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard about someone starting an online business around their hobby or interest and having people practically knock down their door to buy.

Let me share with you a secret that if you follow it through to the end, will help you build a business that will allow you to do what you love to do and make money doing it.  It’s fairly simple, yet so many people fail to really go all the way with it.  And I will be the first to admit, I am one of those people.  Here it is and try not to be underwhelmed when you hear it.  Find the pain.  Yep, that’s it.

What does this really mean, to find the pain?  It means to look closely at your hobby or interest and see if you can identify something that is causing the most pain and then create or research a solution for that pain.  Just consider what you like to do and think through what you think is the most frustrating part of doing that hobby.

Let’s look at Remote Control (RC) Planes as an example.

If someone is interested in learning all they can about RC Planes, what are the common questions that they are going to have starting out?  What are the tools that they will need to get started?  Who are the best manufacturers for parts?  Are there any groups or clubs that they should know about or be introduced to?

Just consider a new person to your hobby or interest, and all the questions that they are likely to have.  Providing the answers to their questions is an entire course that you could create and sell.  People go to bookstores all the time and purchase a book that helps them understand how to get involved in specific hobbies.

What about the people who have been involved with RC planes for a longer period of time.  Could it be that they have something that has been a pain point in the hobby that they would love to have solution for?  You could find a local hobby group and ask.  You could also find a forum online that is actively discussing the hobby and then listen to what they are saying.  Figure out what is causing them the most frustration and then find a solution for that pain point.

Maybe you have learned how to program software and you hear that they would love a tool to track all the parts for their hobby or they need an app to record scores when attending RC airplane races.  What about an online resource that helps them track and organize RC airplane races for the community?  Create that tool or app with input from the local group and then sell it.  If that group likes it, it’s likely that other groups will as well.

When talking with people about their pain points, there is one recommendation that stands out above all others.  When trying to identify what those pain points are, you have to ask questions.  Lots of questions.  The most important questions you can ask during this discovery process are the following two questions.  What else?  And tell me more.  Well the last isn’t a question, but what it does is keeps them talking about what is frustrating.  Keep asking those questions until they run out of things to say.

By asking these questions and others you will start to understand their market and hobby, which helps to you be able to define the problem.  If you can define the problem even better than they can, then they will just naturally assume that you have the solution to the issue.

Here are a few more questions that you can ask which will help you further define the problem:

What are some of the things that make you want to throw your “X” out the window?  (X being the hobby, computer, etc).

What do you consider to be the most important activity in regards to your hobby?

Are there any pains associated with that?

What are the problems that cost you the most money?

How often does that happen?

This process is about trying to find out all you can about the subject in order to gain a better understanding so that you can define the problem.

Even if you already have a product you are selling or service you are providing, if you’re not seeing results, take a look at your product and start asking yourself the questions above.  Have you answered those questions?  Do you understand the problem better than your customers?  If people aren’t paying for your product, it’s likely because there isn’t enough pain associated with the problem that you’re trying to solve.  Take a step back and start from the beginning and make sure you’ve clearly defined the problem in the first place.

I hope this helps to open your eyes and gets you thinking about how you can start solving problems around you.  No matter what the niche is, there are problems that drive people crazy each and every day.  Problems that are costing people loads of money and time.  Never discount the value of saving people time.  Sometimes saving time is more valuable than saving money.  If you accurately define the problem and come up with a solution, you can build a successful business around that product.

 

Steve Eason is a professional blogger, internet marketer and social media enthusiast located in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area.  Find out more on FacebookTwitter or Google+.  Or visit Ingenious Internet Income for more great information.

steve@ingeniousinternetincome.com

 

10 2 Easy Steps to Identify a Potential Business Based on Your Passion

Step 1:

This is an easy and fun exercise.  Think about times when you felt really passionate about what you were doing or times when you felt really alive and happy when you were doing something.

After you’ve thought about this for a little while, write down three memories from your life that you felt passionate about.  For example, “I loved learning survival skills at summer camp.  I really enjoyed backpacking in the wilderness.  I love traveling and enjoyed our vacation in the tropics.”

Look for a common theme in these memories.  The examples above might mean you love adventure.

You have now identified a potential passion around which to build an entrepreneurial business.

Step 2.

The second exercise is a mission to gather facts about building a business around your passion.

Possible businesses/careers regarding adventure could include being a travel agent, leading guided tours, running a white water rafting business, fishing, teaching camping and backpacking skills or simply selling outdoor supplies and accessories.

Do research on the internet or at the library about being an adventurer.  Find out what sorts of businesses already exist around your passion.  Good sources of information can be found using Google, Safari, Bing, or any other major search engine.

You have now started thinking about being an entrepreneur and creating a business doing something you love and will be happy doing.

What common theme did you identify from your memories?

10 A Call to Action on Behalf of Young Entrepreneurs

If you’ve been here before, you know that this blog is about empowering young entrepreneurs.  I have spent a lot of time writing about empowering teens and young adults to develop an entrepreneur mindset.

Now it’s time to move to the next step; empowering teens and young adults to pick their passion, put their stake in the ground and take the first steps to start their business.  The next step for this blog means writing articles about how to decide what the business should be, how to decide on a niche and learn what they need, branding and other action steps to create and move a business forward.

As I plan out the articles for this next step in the series, I’m issuing this call to action to provide your input.  Will you help by answering these questions in the comment section?

How did you decide what business to start?

How did you find your niche and decide what they needed?

What would you advise a young person about to start a business?

Thank you in advance for your input.

 

18 Top 3 Tips to Cultivate Gratitude

by Alexandria Barker

Gratitude. It’s been called the most spiritual of all the emotions. It’s also one of the most powerful habits you can cultivate to help create a prosperous fulfilling life! When you feel gratitude, you can’t be angry or afraid. These emotions simply cannot inhabit your body at the same time. Feeling gratitude and appreciation puts you in a high-flying vibration that draws other wonderful things to you to be grateful for!
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is as simple and basic as counting your blessings. There are many ways to incorporate this beautiful, powerful feeling into your life – here are some of my favorites:

1)  Gratitude Lists

Writing gratitude lists is simply counting your blessings and writing them down! It’s great to have a special journal for this, then whenever you need a lift, you need only review your book to be reminded of all the good things in your life! I recommend you write 5 items before bed. This sets you up for success, because your sub-conscious will keep processing these thoughts as you sleep, and you’ll wake up in a more positive state of mind.
Then, in the morning, write 5 more things you’re grateful for. Spend a moment thinking about each one, dwell in those beautiful feelings. This sets a powerfully positive tone for your day, and because you know you’ll need 5 more positive things to write that night, you’ll subconsciously be on the look-out for more things to be grateful for all day.

2) Gratitude Walks

As you begin your day, say “thank” with one foot and “you” with the other. Thank you is a beautiful powerful mantra! And by actively choosing this as your ‘go to” thought, you’re taking control of your thought processes, leaving less room for negative habitual thoughts.

Taking a walk in nature is the perfect time and place for a gratitude walk, which is also like a moving meditation. Simply focus on gratitude, either repeating the thank-you mantra, or by focusing on things you’re grateful for, like green grass, sunshine, birds singing, and being able to walk. Not only will you be burning calories and building muscle, you’ll be developing your gratitude muscle, paving the way for even better things to come your way!

3) Speaking Gratitude

It’s all to easy to do these practices, then slip back into familiar internal and external dialogue about things you don’t like — about the government, neighbors, your body, your boss. With a little practice you’ll find it easy to turn that around. Just say the opposite, find something good in all situations. It’s always there, though you may have to dig a bit. The more you make the effort, the easier it gets to be positive even if those around you are not.

Put these principles into practice, and you’ll see your life get better and better. Try and see!

Today’s guest poster is Alexandria Barker.  For more practical stress solutions, please visit her Wishful Thanking page.

Alexandria is an author, speaker, Life coach, and creator of the Wishful Thanking Manifestation System. As a Reiki Master/Teacher, Crystal Therapist, Akashic Records reader and Yoga teacher, she specializes in teaching the Law of Attraction and energy work.

Alexandria is happily married, has 4 children and 5 grand-children, and can honestly say she loves her life! Her goal is for you to be able to say the same!

14 Life Fulfillment Reality Check

Part two of our reality check exercises includes examining the following 11 categories in your life.  Rate yourself from 1 – 10 in each of the categories listed on the chart below.  1 is low – it couldn’t be any worse than this.  10 is high – it couldn’t get any better than this.  Don’t overanalyze your response.  The right score is what pops into your head first.  Next, choose a higher number for a 6-month goal.  If you choose a “10” it may be a sign that you are in denial.  It’s difficult for anything to be perfect.  Big goals are good, but they must be based in reality.

My Overall Satisfaction.  What does satisfaction mean?  Do you enjoy getting up in the morning?  Do you enjoy your life?  Do you feel satisfied?  Do you think you deserve to be happy?

My Energy Level.  Are you naturally energetic?  Do you get enough sleep at night?  Do you stay up too late or all night then drink coffee, soda pop, or energy drinks to stay awake?  Do you get high to get through the day?

My Spiritual Connection.  Do you feel connected to a higher power in whatever way you define it (God, Universe, Trusted Source, Spirit)?  Do you have activities in your life that help you stay connected?  What do you do to nurture this connection — hike, spend time in nature, meditate, participate in religious activities, and so on?

My Health.  Are you healthy in mind, body, and spirit or are you ignoring your health?  Do you see a doctor and a dentist when you need to?  And what about your mental health?  Are you feeling good or are you depressed?  Are you angry all of the time?  Do you ask for help when you are feeling depressed or angry or do you just suffer?

My Nutrition.  Do you eat healthy foods or do you stop at the gas station to get junk food?  Do you drink lots of soda pop and eat at fast food restaurants or do you eat real food like meat, vegetables, and fruits?

My Exercise.  Do you take the time to exercise on a regular basis or are you more of a couch potato gaming, watching TV, or texting your friends all day and/or all night long?

My Connection to Family.  What is your relationship with your family?  Do you feel connected to them?  Do you love your family?  Do you feel that your family loves you?

My Connection to Friends.  Do you feel connected to your friends?  Do you love and respect your friends?  Do you feel that your friends love and respect you?

My Integrity.  Integrity means you follow through with what you say you will do with others and with yourself.  Do you keep your agreements with yourself and with others or do you make commitments and not follow through?

My Finances.  Do you save your money and spend it wisely or do you buy things on a whim?  Do you waste money on things you don’t need?  Do you have a bank account?  If you have a bank account, do you know how to manage it?

My Contribution to the World.  Are you helping others or are you only out for yourself?

Directions:   For each category in the “My Life Fulfillment Reality Check”    chart, rate each category on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “I really need to improve a lot.” and 10 being “I’m doing fantastic!”  Total the columns and answer the questions below.

 

My Life Fulfillment Reality Check

Category

My Current Reality Is

Where I Want to Be

My Overall Satisfaction

My Energy Level

My Spiritual Connection

My Health

My Nutrition

My Exercise

My Connection to Family

My Connection to Friends

My Integrity

My Finances

My Contribution to the World

TOTALS

Today = ___________ My Intention = ___________

Now, add up the scores for your current reality and your 6-month goal to get a clear picture of how much work you have to do.  Having a realistic picture of what your life is like and how you feel about it can be very empowering if you use the knowledge gained to make some positive changes.

Did anything about this exercise surprise you?

Can you identify any areas that you can begin making improvements in right now?

What steps are you willing to take to make these improvements?

 

16 Feeling Good / Feeling Bad Reflection

Happiness is the feeling you’re feeling when you want to keep feeling it.”  Author Unknown

There is more to starting a business than deciding on what you are going to do, choosing a name for your business and setting up a website.  You have to develop the right mindset for starting a business, an entrepreneurial mindset which I address in my book, 31 Powerful Lessons: Empowering Teens and Young Adults to Develop an Entrepreneur Mindset.

The first step is making a decision that you want to have your own business.  Part of this decision making process should include taking stock of your life and giving yourself a reality check.  It requires complete honesty with yourself.  There is no point in trying to fool yourself into something that isn’t real because in that way, you set yourself up to fail.

The benefit of having a clear picture of what you are feeling about your life is that you can take steps to transform the things that are negative.  It is important to remember, that, whether you know it or not, believe it or night, it is TRUE that your thoughts create your reality.  The more positive your thoughts are the better chance you have at creating success.

Here’s the challenge I present to you now.  Look at the 12 areas in your life listed below.  Look at the words and ask yourself truthfully, which one describes you most closely?  Circle the one that most accurately describes your life, then answer the questions below.

                                       

 

 

                 

      Feels Good                            VS.                              Feels Bad

1.  Lifestyle                                                                    1.  Student/Workstyle

2.  Balance                                                                     2.  Disorder

3.  Financial Freedom                                                   3.  Financial Stress

4.  Great Health                                                             4.  Poor Health

5.  High Energy                                                             5.  Tired

6.  Love                                                                         6.  Fear

7.  Spiritual Connection                                               7.  Spiritual Disconnection

8.  Living on Purpose                                                  8.  Lost

9.   Healthy Relationships                                           9.  Toxic Relationships

10. Mental Clearness                                                  10. Mental Confusion

11. Experiencing Life                                                   11. Being Stuck

12. Being Satisfied                                                       12. Being Frustrated

 

Look through your responses to this activity.  Now answer these questions:

Which column has more descriptions of your life circled?

What do your responses to this activity tell you about your life?

 

Now you have something things to think about.  What can you do to transform those things that are in the Feeling Bad column?  It would be a good idea to prioritize in terms of which would be easier to take action on to change as quickly as possible.

Marcia Wieder calls this process of transformation completion.  You do what you need to do to change, fix, clear out, whatever is keeping you in the negative column and you have completed those things and find yourself in the positive column.

What have you identified as being in the thumbs down column, what is making that so, and how can you transform that?

Have you read 31 Powerful Lessons: Empowering Teens and Young Adults to Develop an Entrepreneur Mindset?  If not, why not?