Am I Normal?

Written by Jackie Ulmer

Continued from page 1

Normal SHOULD be waking up when your body is rested, not whenrepparttar alarm clock rings. Normal SHOULD be taking a vacation when it fits your family's schedule, not when your seniority allows. It SHOULD be having a parent at home when a child comes home from school.

To me, normal ISN'T sitting in rush hour traffic twice a day. It ISN'T working fifty weeks in exchange for two weeks off a year, or five days on for two days off a week. It ISN'T wearing my name and picture attached to my clothing.

Everyone must determine their own definition of what "normal" is and isn't. For those of us who have decided to step outsiderepparttar 117961 box, take control of our lives and build our own business, normal is anything BUT normal!

Life is full of risks, it's true. But, everything great that has EVER happened has done so with some degree of risk. I don't want to get torepparttar 117962 end and WISH I had taken just a few risks.

I'm urging you to take some risks with me! Step up torepparttar 117963 plate! Decide what it is you want out of your life and your business and GO FOR IT! FORGET ABOUT NORMAL! Create your own "normal!"

We are atrepparttar 117964 very beginning ofrepparttar 117965 new millennium! The Internet is overflowing with possibilities, as it breaks all growth records ever set by anything, and it is just not NORMAL!

As I lay in bed, building my empire (business) on my laptop, I realize just how much I love my other-than-normal life. I wouldn't trade it for anything! The clock says 10:07 PM. Ahhh, lunch break!

Jackie Ulmer is a veteran Home Based Business Owner, and has coached and trained thousands of representatives both inside and outside of her sales organization. Her free newsletter is available through email at She can be reached through her web site at

Creating Your Own Employment Security

Written by Elena Fawkner

Continued from page 1

=> Attitude

Do you have a "can do", optimistic attitude? Are you determined to succeed whatever it takes? Do you believe you control your own destiny or is life a series of random events that happen to you no matter what you may have planned?

=> Other Personal Qualities

Finally, think aboutrepparttar personal qualities that make you, you. Are you energetic and motivated, are you resourceful, are you resilient, realistic and practical, a hard worker?

Once you have completed your personal inventory, sit down and rank your positives from highest to lowest. Then dorepparttar 117960 same thing with your negatives. Once you've ranked your strengths and weaknesses in this way, you'll have something of a framework within which any prospective business idea must fit. If your idea requires great strength in an area where you're weak, toss it. If it requires strength in an area where you're strong, keep it. This is not a black and white exercise. Any idea you have will require any combination of skills and strengths. You must evaluate objectively whether your particular combination of skills and strengths is enough to compensate for your particular weaknesses and make a success ofrepparttar 117961 venture.


So, where are you to getrepparttar 117962 ideas against which to measure your skills and strengths? First off, bear in mind there are a number of approaches to starting a business of your own. You may provide a service; you may manufacture a product; you may distribute a product manufactured by someone else.

A well-known schematic which sets out allrepparttar 117963 possible combinations is as follows:

1. Existing products/services and existing markets. 2. New products/services and existing markets. 3. Existing products/services and new markets. 4. New products/services and new markets.

If you focus on option 1. you face stiff competition. If you focus on option 4. you have to inventrepparttar 117964 wheel first. So pay most attention to options 2. and 3.

Take your skills inventory. What do you know and enjoyrepparttar 117965 most? Are you a specialist? Think about what you know. What do people buy? What do people want but can't buy? What do people buy but don't like? What are people buying more of? Where do they buy and when and how?

When you've considered that, look at how you can change existing products or services to meet an unmet need, to meet a need in a different, more convenient way, to improverepparttar 117966 quality or service. Be particularly observant and onrepparttar 117967 lookout for emerging trends (an aging population, an increasing number of people working from home etc.) and expanding market niches (e.g., increased reliance by businesses on outsourced services).

During this process, employ any technique you can think of including brainstorming, asking people (novel but effective!), read trade magazines and directories. Focus on your consumer and market, not on your product. After all, there's no point in building a better mousetrap if no-one needs or wants one.

Byrepparttar 117968 way, don't forget, when you think in terms of your own business, self-employment includes independent contracting and consulting. Perfect outlets for what you know if what you know is in high demand.


Once you have a shortlist of business ideas to play with, start assessing them as viable business opportunities. This means devoting time and effort to assessment, research, development and planning.

Examples ofrepparttar 117969 types of activities you should be engaging in here include:

=> Talk about your product or service with prospective customers. Is there really demand for your offerings? If so, how strong? How price sensitive? What sets you apart from your competition?

=> Research

Find out everything you can about your target market and your competition already servicing that market. Are price wars common? If so, you have too much competition. Are there only one or two big players and no little ones? If so,repparttar 117970 barriers to entry are too high. Look for markets where there is healthy competition between product/service providers but where profit margins are reasonable.

=> Analyze your Competition Who are they, how are they structured, how long have they been in business, what are their respective market shares, what sets you apart?

=> Strategize

How would you start out? Can you start out part-time before you leave your paid job? Can you work from home? Will you start from scratch or buy and existing business or franchise? How will you market your business?

=> Prepare Projections

Work out what your expenses are likely to be and how much revenue you need to be able to generate to break even. Then work out roughly how much revenue you need to make a predetermined amount of profit (remembering to factor inrepparttar 117971 cost of your time and finance expenses such as loan repayments).

How realistic are your revenue objectives? Are they attainable? Over what timeframe?


Finally, once you've identified an idea that makes it pastrepparttar 117972 first cut (i.e. everything you've done to date), dorepparttar 117973 whole idea assessment routine again but this time being much more detailed and specific. Atrepparttar 117974 end of this process you need to be able to produce a solid business plan, one you can take torepparttar 117975 bank if necessary. Even if you're not going to need outside financing, do your formal business plan anyway. It will help you ensure you've covered allrepparttar 117976 bases and left nothing out. Byrepparttar 117977 time you finish your business plan, you should know your business inside out.

All that's left is to put your plan into action and launch!

Not surprisingly,repparttar 117978 whole process from personal inventory to launch is not something you can do in a week. Ideally, it's something you will be able to start BEFORE you lose your job since it will likely take you several months. Butrepparttar 117979 returns on your investment can be substantial. Do it right and do it well and you will create for yourself your own employment, never again to be atrepparttar 117980 mercy of someone else to determine your fate.

But it's not an easy road. Self-employment is not a safe route. It rewardsrepparttar 117981 risk-takers andrepparttar 117982 resilient. You may not succeed on your first attempt. But, as with anything in life, where there's a will there's a way. If you are truly determined to create your own security, nothing compares to putting your destiny back where it belongs - in your own two hands.

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical home business ideas for the work-from-home entrepreneur.!FLM

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