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Was it your dream to fire your boss? Was your goal to have the freedom to work a schedule that you control? Are you striving towards a goal of financial independence through your own entrepreneurial efforts?
Whatever your reason for going out on your own, you must keep that reason in the forefront of your mind. When you work for yourself, your salary is directly proportional to your productivity. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to stay focused on getting as much done in as short a time frame as possible?
Block distractions… Focus… Get more work done.
Begin each work day by writing a prioritized to-do list. While some everyday jobs are simply part of the daily routine, unexpected things almost always tend to come up. Develop a system to handle the usual agenda that you will be able to carry out on a regular basis.
Boost your energy. You’re more likely to tackle the jobs you’ve been putting off when you feel energized. The best way to increase your energy level is by exercising regularly. More energy in your life will make the tedious jobs less tiresome because you become better at getting them done. The more energy you have, the faster you get things done and the better you feel about yourself.
Learn how to use your time efficiently. Get in the habit of setting two or three goals to accomplish that day, giving priority to the tasks that must be completed first. It’s important to make sure that people know when you don’t want to be interrupted.
Successful people use their time well. When an urgent task threatens to pull you away from what you’re doing, don’t rush into it just because it seems urgent. Ask yourself which of those two things is higher on your list of priorities.
While you’re working, devote your undivided attention to the task at hand. Concentrate on working and making money. Leave playtime and recreation for when your workday has ended.
Success is within your reach, if only you can stay focused on your goals. You must decide to reach for your goals and then take the action necessary to reach them!
to Add to Your Portfolio of Income Streams
Businesses appreciate getting honest feedback about their products and services from ordinary consumers like you and me. One popular method of conducting this research is through consumer survey panels and opinion polls. Participating in these surveys is a fun and easy way to generate some cash!
One of my favorite survey sites is American Consumer Opinion®. They always award points (which are redeemable for cash) when you complete a survey. Just for answering a screener (a short survey), you will receive 10 to 50 points. Incentives for longer surveys typically range from 100 to 1,000 points. I’m always happy to see an email with a survey invitation from American Consumer Opinion® because I know that I will be compensated for my time and effort.
Once you have earned at least 1,000 points, you can redeem them for cash or make a donation to your favorite charity. One point is equal to one penny, so 1,000 points are worth $10.00. Currently, the only method of payment is by check, but that’s fine by me. It’s nice to be rewarded for expressing my opinion!
American Consumer Opinion® is open to everyone all over the world and has received an A+ rating from the BBB. Membership in American Consumer Opinion® is free. They will never ask you to buy anything or pay any fees. Keep in mind that you should never pay a fee to join a survey program.
Sponsored Tweets is an advertising platform that benefits both advertisers and publishers (aka tweeters). Advertisers want to pay you to deliver their marketing message. And publishers (other tweeters just like you) are earning money by sponsoring tweets. You can too!
This program is simple, free to use, fun and, best of all… profitable! Read more about making money with Sponsored Tweets and your Twitter account.
With a little research, you should be able to find legitimate programs to make money online – from home or from anywhere that you can access the Internet.
“There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”
~ Christopher Morley ~
“To change one’s life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.”
~ William James ~
People who are achievers seem to have some sort of magic formula. In reality, their “secret” has nothing to do with magic. These successful people have chosen to listen to and follow some simple, age-old advice. Carpe diem! Seize the day!
Seizing your mornings is the equivalent of that sound financial advice to pay yourself before you pay your bills. If you wait until the end of the month to save what you have left, there will be nothing left over. Likewise, if you wait until the end of the day to do meaningful but not urgent things like exercise, pray, read, ponder how to advance your career or grow your organization, or truly give your family your best, it probably won’t happen,” Vanderkam writes. “If it has to happen, then it has to happen first,” she says. Read more at What successful people do in the morning.
Powerful thought… If it has to happen, then it has to happen first. I think I might print that sentence and paste it onto the mirror where I’ll see it every morning!
Here’s another sage bit of wisdom: The early bird catches the worm. It’s an old proverb with an ageless message that provides the answer to outwitting the time robbers.
You know how it goes. You have a plan for the day… certain things you want to accomplish. Sipping your first cup of coffee, you might be thinking that if you could just get half of your list done, you’d be happy. Then the phone rings, the email comes in, people drop by, the mail comes… The unexpected setbacks, the stuff that has to be taken care of… All these details of daily life interrupt your schedule and threaten to disrupt your well-planned day.
What’s to be done? Carpe diem!
While the rest of the world is still asleep, before anyone could expect you to respond to an email, earlier than anybody would dare to call, do something that’s important to you. Take that time for you… and you alone. Do you want to write? Is there an article you’ve been meaning to read? Something you want to research? Maybe you’d like to take a walk before settling down to work?
If you spend some time on one thing that’s meaningful to you in the early hours, you will have a sense of personal achievement, and the business part of your day will be primed for success as well.
Get into the habit of making appointments for “you time” in your day planner. Whether you’re going to the gym or working out at home, mark it on your calendar. Set a desktop reminder that will notify you with a sound when it’s time to take a break.
Keep in mind…
Planning, being organized, and staying focused are the fundamentals that will result in measurable accomplishments this year.
Get the most important tasks done early when you are full of energy.
If anything doesn’t get done, let it be the least important things that get carried over to the next day. Don’t sacrifice those things that are the most important to you!
“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.” ~ Wayne Dyer ~
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder ~
The advantages of a home based business are evident. Looking at today’s trends in the economy, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the era of large companies offering jobs for life has ended. It’s time to have the courage to bet on yourself again, and a home based business is a good way to do so.
Here are five ways to earn some quick cash to help pay for presents or even help with the monthly bills.
Types of jobs posted here include simple sign-ups, website visits, social bookmarking tasks, forum participation, rating videos or articles, voting up contest entries, adding comments, writing reviews or articles, and many others. You may choose to withdraw your pay via Payza or Moneybookers when your earnings reach $9.
i-Say. Join the i-Say panel and earn reward points by creating polls, taking surveys, and sharing your thoughts on products and services you use every day. There are also contests, draws, and monthly points giveaways. Read more about the reward programs here.
Points add up fast, and you can cash them in for American Express gift cards, Amazon gift codes and more. You can donate your earnings to charities like Red Cross. You can even redeem your reward points for cash. PayPal is an option too, and you can redeem for as little as 1,500 points!
SideTick. Social networking on the web is a fun way to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world. Some sites, like SideTick, will pay you to participate!
SideTick uses a point system they call Tickbucks. They’re sort of like frequent flyer miles. The more you participate, the more Tickbucks you earn. Best of all, you redeem them for REAL CA$H.*
Before I forget, let me mention that SideTick, like every other site listed in this post, is free to sign up and use. In fact, you earn a dollar just for signing up.
*You must live in one of these countries: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel.
Unique Rewards. Members earn real cash doing what they like to do! Get paid for signing up for free offers, visiting websites, reading e-mails, shopping online, referring friends, and more. Cash rewards are paid through PayPal or by check. There is no minimum payment amount to get paid via PayPal.
Swagbucks. Do you search for stuff online? Of course you do! Do you get paid for searching the web?? If you’re using the search box on Swagbucks you do! Earn Swag Bucks by taking part in activities such as: searching the web, taking surveys, voting in the daily polls, watching videos, finding swag codes, completing special offers, trading in books and video games, and more. The Swag Bucks you earn can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, or cash through PayPal.
The internet is an excellent avenue for anyone desiring to create some additional income. Whether it’s extra money for Christmas or just the weekly groceries… it all adds up.
COMING SOON: More ideas for creating profitable streams of internet income!
Simply put, cloud storage is another way to store your data. It is an alternative to using your computer’s hard drive space or an external hard drive to store and back up your files.
When you use cloud storage, your data is stored off-site by a storage service such as Amazon Glacier. When you want to retrieve your data, you access it via the internet.
Cloud based storage such as Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Google Storage or Microsoft Azure are low cost options that can be used by business and home users alike. Put simply, they provide storage that’s great for backing-up important data. It really doesn’t matter if you are a home user with a collection of letters and photos, or a business with contacts and contracts, Cloud storage makes off-site backup affordable for everyone.
But to use this kind of storage, you need software to send your data to the Cloud, and in the event of a problem, to help you get it back again. CloudBerry Backup Desktop Edition is software for Windows XP or later that makes it extremely easy to manage Cloud based backups. It’s free for non-profit use, and business users pay $29.99 per installation. A server version runs on Windows 2003 Server and later, and costs $79.99.
People with some technical experience will like CloudBerry Backup’s list of features, which includes block-level backups and continuous real time backup. But CloudBerry’s easy to use software means you don’t need to understand this sort of thing to get the best out of it.
Installing the software took only a few minutes, and it comes with a free 14 day trial period so you can try before you buy.
Within seconds of clicking the button to start our trial period, the main CloudBerry Online Backup Welcome page was open on our screen. This has a clean tabbed user interface, making it easy for non-technical people to use. The welcome page has two buttons in the center – one to “Setup Backup Plan”, the other to “Restore Backup”.
We clicked on the Setup Backup Plan button, which started a wizard that guided through setting up our first backup job. After clicking the Next button the first panel allowed us to enter the details of our Cloud Storage account. We tested CloudBerry using our Amazon Glacier, and once we had provided our Amazon account info the wizard listed our Glacier storage Vaults. Next we were presented with a list of disk drives on our Windows PC that we might want to back-up. The wizard also allowed us to select files using various criteria, such as folders, or with names containing specific characters, or files created after a specific date….More at Review: CloudBerry Backup Desktop Edition – Hypervisor
With cloud storage, you can store any amount of data. You don’t need to buy more hard drives or worry about how to keep them safe from damage or theft. Convenience is another benefit of remote data storage since there is no need to save your files to a flash drive to take with you if you’re going to another location.
CloudBerry Explorer is a freeware file manager that provides a user interface to cloud storage accounts, files, buckets and containers allowing browsing, creating and deleting files, buckets, and containers as well as synchronizing content between your PC and cloud storage. You can try CloudBerry Explorer Freeware here.
Share your thoughts. Is cloud storage a good option for you?
What do you think about the new Twitter profiles feature that was just released? I tried it out on mine… and here’s what I came up with.
This is how I did it:
After signing into Twitter, I went to Settings.
Then clicked Design.
The area where you can customize your profile is underneath the pre-made themes.
First, I chose a background. I found this one in Themeleon.
You can look at their background patterns by clicking on the ‘Check out Themeleon’ link. On the next page, click on the ‘Sign in’ button.
On the next page you will be asked, “Authorize COLOURlovers to use your account?” Click on the ‘Authorize app’ button.
From there you can have some fun browsing through their huge selection and choose a background to save to your Twitter profile.
Another way to create a background is by uploading an image from your computer. To do that, click on the ‘Change background’ button and select ‘Choose existing image’. That will open a ‘File Upload’ box. Navigate to your pictures or images folder on your computer, select the image you want for your background, and click Open.
Note: Be sure that the size of your image is large enough to fill the background. (1280 pixels x 853 pixels is a good size.)
I did not select the box next to ‘Tile background’ because I wanted one single image to fill the entire background. You can see what the tile effect looks like by clicking in that box.
Next, I chose a header. Click on the ‘Change header’ button. That will open the ‘File Upload’ box once again. Navigate to your pictures or images folder on your computer, select the image you want for your header, and click Open.
Now you will see the image you selected in a box titled ‘Upload a header image’ where you have the option to zoom in and enlarge the image. When you’re happy with the way it looks, click Save.
Note: You can use the same image for both the background and the header. That makes a pretty cool effect, don’t you think?
Twitter will automatically add the description you wrote about yourself (your Bio) and your website’s URL to your customized profile. The text will be superimposed in white font. Twitter doesn’t give you a choice in that matter. Perhaps text color will be an option that they will include in a future release. For now, it’s something to keep in mind when you choose a header image. Twitter also inserts your profile photo, name, and location.
Note: Your website URL is a clickable link.
There are several other options to cover on the Design page:
- Background position – I chose center.
- Overlay – offers a choice of black or white. Try them both and see which effect
you like best.
Put the finishing touches on your profile by choosing a background color and a link color. I wanted the background color to match the background image. To find exactly the right shade, I used Color Cop. I applied the same choice to the link color to emphasize the theme even further.
You may want to choose a complementary or contrasting color for your background and something different for the link color. Experimenting with color is part of the fun of customizing your Twitter profile!
* The header image is compatible with mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android.
* Do you want to post your tweets to Facebook? Twitter offers that option now. Go to Settings and click on the Profile tab. The Facebook link is on that page.
If you are relatively new to Twitter, you might be wondering about the term hashtag. What is it, how do you use it, and why should you even care?
Think of a hashtag like a special kind of keyword, a search term to use with Twitter.
Let’s say you want to search Twitter to see what people are saying about social media. Your search term, or hashtag, will look like this: #socialmedia or #SocialMedia. The hashtag is not case sensitive, so the use of capital letters won’t affect your search results. But since we don’t put spaces between the words, using capital letters can make it easier to read. What do you think?
Note that there is no space after the # sign either.
The hash symbol (#) is also known as a number sign or a pound sign.
Top two ways to use hashtags:
To find tweets that are relevant to the topic you are interested in. Put your hashtag term in the search box at the top of your Twitter page and click on the little magnifying glass. Twitter will return results for the hashtag you searched on.
To get your tweet read by more people. Use a hashtag in your tweets and get more exposure for your message. The hashtag you include in your tweet will cause your message to show up in the Twitter search results feed.
Image courtesy of Stefan Leijon via Flickr
Creating a Hashtag is Simple
The hashtag first became useful as a way for users to separate messages into different categories so that other Twitter users can easily find the messages that relate to what they are looking for. It is generally quite simple to create a hashtag message. All that you really need to do is put the “#” symbol in front of the words, but make sure there are no spaces in between words.
For example: you could be writing a tweet about your business and the products available and then end the message by putting something along the lines of #BestProductsAvailable.
Social media marketing has become increasingly popular and tons of businesses are getting involved, creating social media website accounts and using them in an efficient manner so that they are getting more exposure for their business. This leads to more traffic on their website and improved overall engagement with their customers. Greater engagement typically translates into a more positive experience for the consumer which has long-term positive effects for companies. Read more at How to Create Buzz from a Hashtag on Social Media.
Using hashtags in your tweets is a simple and effective way to get more people to read your blog posts, view your YouTube channel, or visit your website.
When you work from home, you have some cool benefits. One of these is being able to decide when you will take a day off without having to consult your supervisor for permission! That’s exactly what I did yesterday: packed a picnic lunch, put some bottles of cold water in the cooler, turned off the computer, and headed out to the Evergreen State Fair with my husband.
It was one of those picture postcard perfect days the Pacific Northwest is so well-known for. Brilliant blue sky, puffy white clouds, tall evergreens, and sunshine… the day was just right for enjoying the sights and sounds of a late summer pastime.
So much to take in…
I love to admire the beautiful quilts and needlework, wistfully imagining having the time and talent to learn those skills.
There’s something about antique tractors and farm equipment that attracts both kids and grownups.
The Western Heritage Center Interactive Museum has a wonderful display of tools that were used decades ago.
Some things, like the stationary pedal powered scroll saw, dated back to the earliest years of the 20th century. Other tools, like the vintage 1950s Stihl chainsaw, could have been used by my dad. We marveled at the ingenuity and were inspired by the work ethic of these generations of people who came before us.
We visited the livestock exhibits, watched the chainsaw carvers in fascination, and wandered through the carnival. After all that walking, we needed a rest… perfect time for ice cream! We got a couple of waffle cones and repaired to the shade of three large chestnut trees.
By then, it was time for the lumberjack show. These rugged timber athletes are amazing and entertaining! They compete in events such as the death-defying speed climb, axe throwing, log rolling, chopping and sawing.
So much more to see…
But, try as you might, I don’t think it’s possible to see everything at the fair in one day. We’ll be back next year; the Evergreen State Fair is an annual tradition!
This is Part III of the series What’s Stopping You From Writing Your Book?
Part III: The Technique Used By Great Thinkers
This technique might sound a little off-the-wall to you at first, but it works so well that it’s used by just about every big-time author you can think of.
Image by mlgroveruk via Flickr
We’ll get to that in a moment, but, first, let’s get the ideas you already have floating around in your brain down on paper. Any one of those ideas may well be a million dollar idea… the one that puts you over the top… the one that changes your life forever! Those ideas of yours are valuable things, so let’s start there.
Nothing ever truly exists until it’s been put down on paper first. Think about it! Blueprints for a house, a new car model, even the clothes you’re wearing right now… all existed on paper before they became three-dimensional, real objects. So, put your ideas down on paper RIGHT NOW! I can’t stress this enough!
First of all, you’re going to HAVE to have a minimum of 30 minutes during which you won’t be disturbed by anything! No phone, no IMs, no TV or radio, no people! Just yourself… alone… for 30 minutes.
Get a couple of pens (not pencils) and a blank writing pad of some sort. Almost everybody has a yellow legal pad lying around someplace… go get it. You’re also going to need a timer of some sort. A kitchen timer – the type where you twist the dial and it counts off 30 minutes – is great for this. Get that while you’re getting the legal pad and a PEN!
You’re probably wondering why I emphasize using a pen instead of a pencil or your computer. Here’s why. Your mind is pretty smart. It instinctively knows that if you use anything other than a pen, you have the option of erasing what you’re writing.
Before you start the timer, spend as much time as you need getting the ideas that are on the surface of your mind down on paper. They don’t have to be in any order or any format. Just write them down as quickly as you can without editing them in any way. Each idea may be only a word, or it may be a whole paragraph. It doesn’t matter; just set your thoughts down on paper. Then we’ll REALLY get about the task of drilling for ideas!
At this point, you have to make yourself a solemn promise that you’ll hide these ideas away from everyone… even your spouse, your best friend, everybody! It’s important that your subconscious KNOWS that no one will ever see these ideas unless you want them to. If you think (even on a subliminal level) that someone will be reading your ideas, you’ll have a tendency to edit your thoughts. It’s only natural.
PROMISE yourself that these ideas are your private property. Don’t skip this step… it’s vital to being able to REALLY tap the energy of your brain.
The Technique Used By Great Thinkers
The only way to get the most out of this technique is for your mind to feel completely safe in spouting out what may seem to be crazy ideas; that’s why you made yourself the promise to keep your ideas private. To be sure that you’re taking these ideas seriously and intend to bring them to life, you’re going to write in ink rather than using an erasable medium like a pencil.
Have you ever awakened in the morning with a great idea that you thought of or dreamt about while you were sleeping? Sometimes, it happens to people while they’re driving a long distance. An idea pops into your mind! Where do you think that idea came from? That’s exactly what we’re going to do right now… tap your subconscious in a controlled way that allows you to capture the ideas easily.
The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. ~ Agatha Christie
Okay. You’ve found a quiet, comfortable place to sit and relax with no interruptions. And you have a blank writing pad or yellow legal pad, some pens, and a 30-minute timer.
Your first step is to breathe! Take big, slow, deep breathes… in through your nose and out through your mouth… while you relax your body. Go ahead and start the timer now.
The next thing is to picture the most relaxing place you’ve ever been… the beach, the mountains, a fluffy bed… wherever. Get the smells, the feelings, the sounds, the tastes… embedded in your mind.
Now, just start writing! Whatever comes into your mind… write it down. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about anything other than that relaxing place you’re in. The words will start to flow out onto the notepad. Pretty soon, you won’t even know you’re writing. That’s when it REALLY gets good!
It seems to me that those songs that have been any good,
I have nothing much to do with the writing of them.
The words have just crawled down my sleeve
and come out on the page. ~ Joan Baez
This technique works so well because you’ve done a few things here. You promised to keep your ideas safe, pledged to take the process seriously, and pre-programmed your mind to work on the ideas already floating around in your head. And then, you turned your mind loose on them.
The really great thinkers and writers all use some technique like this. Edison and Bell used focused naps. They’d work like crazy on an idea and then, just take a nap! They almost always got some idea about how to proceed from that nap. That’s basically what you’re doing with this exercise. Make a point to use this technique often; you’ll be amazed at what comes out!
Watch for Part IV coming soon. Whether you know it or not, you belong to a niche.
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