Amazon.com Widgets

Have You Ever Wished You Could Build a Family Business? Audrey Kerwood Shares How She and Her Mom Do Business Together. Hint: Could It Be As Easy As Playing a Game?

Have You Ever Wished You Could Build a Family Business? Audrey Kerwood Shares How She and Her Mom Do Business Together. Hint: Could It Be As Easy As Playing a Game?

Many of you have told us you’d like to make some money, perhaps even start a business that would get you out of the financial mess the recent recession has caused.  Your concerns, of course, are that you don’t know whether or not you have any marketable skills.  As a coach whose expertise is in helping people find a way to do what you love and make money in the process, I often spend a fair amount of time helping my  clients identify their skillsets…

In today’s post, I have asked Audrey Kerwood to tell her story of how she’s making a good living running four eCommerce stores. That is, she sells stuff online. Best of all, she does this with the assistance of her mother and her sister. And, the businesses don’t require her to stock an inventory, or manage a warehouse…

Curious? Here’s Audrey to tell her story:

My name is Audrey Kerwood and I run four eCommerce stores.

I sell a broad gamut of products from replica armor to European wall hangings. I spend most of my time working on refining and growing my business. I am able to do this because my mom and my sister manage almost everything that requires daily attention in my stores. But more importantly, I’m convinced that sharing my business with my family has helped me develop a fuller relationship with my mom and sister.

Audrey Kerwood's mom Ginger Let me tell you about my mom, Ginger:

  • If you had told her a year ago that she would become a regular blogger, my mom would have laughed in disbelief.
  • Now, she chuckles as she gets more and more followers.
  • She’s thrilled that folks want to learn from her.
  • She has knowledge she took for granted and now that raw knowledge is making me money.

Ginger says she’s amazed that people read her blogs. I keep telling her that what she writes about is what people are searching to find – stuff like how to clean a tapestry wall hanging for instance.

  • The win/win is that my mom knows how to clean just about anything that needs cleaning.
  • My customers need to know how to clean the European wall tapestries I sell them.
  • In fact, many others who own wall tapestries need this information too.
  • The cool part is that everyone searching for how to clean their wall tapestry is a target customer of mine, so I make money when my mom blogs about the care of her own wall tapestries.

How do I make money off my mom?

Well, to begin with, I pay her. My mom and my sister are independent contractors I hire to run the day-to-day customer interface with my customers.

It started out with me doing everything. Then my stores got big enough where I couldn’t do everything myself. I had to begin dividing up roles and responsibilities in my business. This happened far faster than I imagined. Within three months I had replaced what I was making at my last job.

  • If you’re like most Boomers, you probably would like to have a way to make money with your daughter or son the way I make money with my mom. Maybe you reverse the roles and you run the store and they work on your business. I can’t tell you who should focus on what or divide up tasks for you that will be based on individual strengths and desires, what I can show you is exactly what needs to get done to make money together, giving you income-generating power for your future retirement.
  • If you want to change your lifestyle and go into business for yourself – and do it fast, I can give you everything you need to know to open an online store. But I want to be clear that fast means 90-days, not overnight. I also want to be clear that most people only work an hour a day, five days a week. This means you can have a store up and profitable in 120-days.
  • This isn’t you selling your stuff on eBay. This is using drop shippers  or wholesalers – first one, then more than one. I can teach you how to find a profitable niche you love, then vet the category for a reliable supply of vendors because you don’t want to build a business around a single supply source, that’s too close to Multi-Level-Marketing for my comfort. I wanted my own business, where I own my whole business. Getting tied to a single supplier removes some of the freedom factor in working for yourself.
  • I love having my mom in my life as much as she is. I get to spend more time with her because we work together. That doesn’t work for some. If you don’t have a smooth relationship, this may be disastrous. For us it works smoothly and consistently. And what I’ve learned over my life from my mom is immeasurable. She’s helped many people in many different ways.

Ginger, a beautiful married woman in her 60s, is a blogger by day, nanny by afternoon and a handful for my dad at night. They play Beatle’s RockBand competitively and my mom usually wins.

Is Ginger worried about her financial future?

Who doesn’t want to recapture the money you lost in the stock market over the last two years, right? But that hasn’t stopped Ginger from continuing to enjoy life. Despite the economy, she is still known for:

  • Spoiling her grandchildren with gifts whenever she sees them
  • Always having the house she wants – she recently replaced her couch and overstuffed chair with something new she liked better
  • Living in a fabulous home with a pool and a huge yard for family events
  • Driving the car of her choice, and
  • Taking her grandchildren for grandparents weekend each year

How Can She Do It?

She plans out her time and her money. She’s always made good use of her time and her money. She isn’t doing me any favors by working for me – I pay her well. And, I’m not doing any favors to her by hiring her. I make money from what she does for me; I know she treats my customers like they are hers and that’s comforting to me. I love having my mom as part of my business.

In fact, working with family members to build something together is one of the best perks you’ll experience when you decide to go into business for yourself. And one I never anticipated when I first got started.

Here’s what makes this workable:

  • My mom knows exactly what she does for me, so there is never a time when she is wondering how to make herself useful
  • Ginger started simple by answering my customer service line. It worked because it was something I desperately needed help with, and something that was easy to learn, because our policies make it easy to say yes to our customers
  • My business is a premium price business with free shipping and we honor our return policies so most customer service callers are happy people who are grateful for courteous help
  • As my mom got comfortable with each new task, I asked her to try something new, like email customer service.
  • Six-months later my mom was blogging and had followers.

If you asked Ginger a year ago she wouldn’t have been able to see herself as a blogger with followers, but she loves it. Now, she’s warmed by how many folks want to learn from her. The knowledge she has is now making me money. Thank you mom. Remind me to give you a bonus 😉

So: Can You Do It?

OK, it’s Anne again. Audrey’s story has inspired so many people, she and a friend Ben Mack, decided to put together a game to help others learn all the terminology needed to run a drop-ship based estore themselves.  Ben is a marketing genius, so I can promise you the game is freaking fun. Something you can play with friends, your kids, or even your grandkids, to learn how to make money with an eCommerce store.

Ben and Audrey call their new game eStoreOpoly,  and they’re just launching it online now. Just when you’d decided you need to change your lifestyle. How convenient, right?

According to Audrey and Ben, there have never been so many GREAT options available for becoming a successful online merchant as there are today. And it’s never been EASIER for you to become a full-fledged ecommerce business owner than it is right now.

But at the same time, there is so much to get confused over. After all, there’s a whole new lingo to learn — and then you have to do stuff like:

  • Setting up shopping carts
  • Finding good merchant account providers,
  • Sourcing quality wholesalers and product suppliers,
  • Identifying the best and most convenient shipping and fulfillment vendors…

Which is a problem in itself. I know all about that. I’ve had clients literally spend over a year simply building their websites and taking photos of their products.

Which just goes to show you  – too much of a GOOD thing can be a problem!

There are SO many choices… SO many possibilities to take into consideration… it can be really tough making sense of it all.

Audrey and Ben want you to succeed in building your own ecommece store – in 90 days or so.

They don’t think it’s an overnight process, but they also know it’s easy to fall into “Analysis Paralysis” without even realizing it!

Audrey says that’s the 2nd most common issue folks write to her about.

So: If you’re feeling frustrated or intimidated about getting your online store up and running…

…you are NOT alone!

But why exhaust yourself  and spend thousands like my friend did just trying to figure out build his ecommerce store?  Hey, you need to start making money faster than that!!

Let Audrey and Ben show you how to get your ecommerce store up and running in 90 days with their great new game – eStoreOpoly.

Until now, building a business was NEVER this fun!! And even better, here’s a chance for you to not only make some money, but share the business you develop with your family, and suddenly you have a great way to leave a legacy, too!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Is Your Financial Portfolio Still Looking For an Economic Stimulus? Have You Thought of Becoming a Joint Venture Expert? (And Just What Does a Joint Venture Broker Do?)

September 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Entrepreneurs, Work, Money & Retirement

Could You Be a Joint Venture Broker?

Listen Up! Summer’s over. This past weekend was Labor Day Weekend here in the United States. If you’re in the US, it’s likely you used the weekend to cram in a last gasp of  vacation fun.

But if you’re like most Boomers, you probably also took a few minutes to pause and reflect on the status of your job and your income-generating power for your future retirement.

Hopefully that part was not too grim.

No matter the specifics of those quiet thoughts you had about your financial future this past weekend, you no doubt realized that you need to do something different than you have been doing – and do it fast.

I mean, just how long can you keep trying to sell your stuff on E-Bay in order to make this month’s mortgage payment, right?

I Hear You on That One, Some of My Best Friends Have Been Doing the Same Thing:

Some of my own income opportunities have dried up recently as well. That’s why I’ve just signed up for a new 12-week, income generating training program. The really exciting part is that when you come out if this program, you’ll be a certified joint venture broker, and you’ll immediately start generating a very nice income stream.

No Pie in the Sky Here. This is the Real Deal.

Your income generating opportunity is built right in. You graduate from the program and you get projects to work on.

If that sounds interesting, there’s even more good news:  This is something that you could do too.  There’s still time to get into the course, though you’ll have to act fast. REALLY FAST. Class starts Wednesday September 9th. That’s tomorrow as I write this…

(If you’re reading this after that date, there’ll be another class. But you might still try to get into this one, and the price for the training will be going up later…)

So what kind of training  am I talking about?

It’s called the “International Joint Venture Broker Certification Program,” — or as Willie Crawford, one of the trainers calls it for short: JV Brokers Bootcamp.”

But let’s begin at the beginning…

If you’re not sure what a joint venture is, or whether or not you have what it takes to become a joint venture broker let me share one of the big questions I pondered over the weekend:

Have You Ever Profited From Seizing an Opportunity That Was Only Available to You? Or Have You Recognized – and Profited From – an Opportunity That No One Else Saw?

I’ve seen this happen a few times – and when you watch it play out, it’s nothing but awe-inspiring…

As An Example, Let Me Tell You About A Joint Venture Opportunity My Former Stepmother Has Recognized – and Continues to Profit From

We’ll call her Athena, to protect her identity. I’ll also refrain from telling you what city she lives in, other than to say it’s regularly listed in Money magazine’s list of top places to live – as are many of the surrounding smaller communities.

The important thing to know is the  “back story,” that Athena, a beautiful single woman in her late 60s, is a registered nurse who moonlighted in her youth, as a real estate agent.

It’s actually the combination of nursing and real estate sales experience that have allowed her to recognize the opportunity she’s developed into a cash cow.

In fact, you might think that’s an odd combination, but it’s worked well for Athena… especially these days, when the economy has decimated her stock portfolio.

Is she worried about her financial future?

Interesting question: While I’m sure she’d like to recapture the money she lost in the stock market over the last two years, that hasn’t stopped Athena from continuing to enjoy life the ways he has lived it for as long as I’ve known her. Despite the economy, she is still known for:

  • Lavishly gifting her grandchildren whenever she sees them
  • Always wearing beautiful clothes – and owning a shoe collection that is “to die for”
  • Living in a fabulous new home in an upscale neighborhood
  • Driving an expensive late-model car, and
  • Taking extended trips to Europe when she wants to visit her many friends and family back on the Continent.

How Can She Do It?

Her secret is a little joint venture deal she’s developed which regularly tops off her bank account, while she hardly lifts a finger. It’s all based on who and what she knows.  And it’s predominantly passive income, as she barely spends an hour a week actively involved in this venture…

(Remember the adage that it’s not what you know, but who you know? Well, the fact is, both can make you a nice passive income if you know how to play the game.)

Here’s the Unique Deal She’s Cooked Up:

  • First, Athena lives in a Big Ten University town, where there’s a major medical clinic — large enough to draw patients from three states — which benefits from its proximity to the University’s medical school – and which is regularly recruiting new doctors.
  • Though she’s retired and not working as a nurse anymore, she maintains social contacts at that major clinic — including contacts in their recruiting office. Which is significant, since the clinic is always recruiting new physicians.
  • Athena knows that when those new medicos accept a position with the clinic, they’ll end up moving their home and family to the area. A fact which brings her real estate connections to the fore.
  • By staying in touch with her clinic connections — usually by sharing coffee or a meal with them — she regularly acquires a list of the names of the docs who are likely to come on board at the clinic – men and women who are about to become home-buying prospects.
  • Then she turns around and shares these prospect names with a friend who’s an active Realtor.
  • The Realtor gets “first dibs” on contacting the fresh prospects, and does all the necessary leg-work to contact the prospects, shepherd them through the whole moving process – and close the sale.
  • Then when all is said and done the home-buying deal closed — the agent pays Athena a finders fee for sourcing the buyer for her

It’s A Pretty Sweet Deal, and It’s Truly a “Win-Win-Win” Sort of Venture:

  • The clinic gets a new doctor whose family is happy in their new home
  • The doc gets access to an excellent Realtor who helps match needs with homes
  • The Realtor gets a reliable source of really fresh leads; and
  • Athena gets paid for putting the two needy parties together
  • And don’t forget that the clinic recruiter knows that since the Realtor is a competent person who will impress the doctor’s family and help make the transition to the new community a pleasant experience – word of the smooth move will get passed to other clinic staffing prospects – and future recruiting becomes even easier!

I Don’t Know What The Agreed-upon Finders Fee Is:

But typically, a buyer’s agent make three percent on the real estate transaction.

Even if Athena’s Realtor friend only shares a half of one percent with my stepmother, the finder’s fee would still be well worth her time.

As Proof, Let’s “Do the Math” On a Couple of Examples:

  • One half of one percent on a half million dollar home sale is — according to my calculations  — $2,500.
  • And, if the transaction is more in line with the median home price for the community — somewhere in the low $200,000 range?
  • Well, who would balk at making $1,000 for doing just a few minutes work?

I Know, I Know: You’re Saying, “That’s Great For Your Stepmother, Anne, But What’s In This Story For Me?”

After All You’re Neither a Realtor, Nor A Medical Professional. And Perhaps Money Magazine Isn’t “Hot” On Your Home Community, Either

Well that’s where the JV Brokers Bootcamp comes in. Because once you understand how to recognize the opportunities that are just sitting in front of you, as Athena did, then you can use these concepts to find opportunities you can profit from  – right where you live.

And who wouldn’t want to be part of a “win-win-win” scenario, right?

Once you’re trained to recognize the principles, you can readily see — and profit from — the highly profitable joint venture opportunities that are available to you close to home, right in “your neck of the woods.”  And suddenly you discover them everywhere – just staring you in the face, waiting for you to take action on them…

Best of all, these opportunities are there all the time, whether we’re living living in boom times or recession. And many times they can bring you a 6, 7, even 8 figure income.

Personally, prior to learning about Athena’s money-generating scheme, I had thought you either had to have access to big money or participate in big deals in order to profit from participation in a  “joint venture.”

After all, the first time I’d heard of someone profiting from bringing two parties together for mutual benefit, it had been when I discovered that a friend’s father was a big player in the oil industry…

  • Thirty years ago, I had been fascinated to discover that my friend’s father, a man with a degree in petroleum engineering, had become a multi-millionaire by bringing together wildcatters — men who drilled for and found oil — with investors — the people who have the financial wherewithal to fund a speculative drilling expedition.
  • Now I’d understood of course, that the money lenders would get a share of the proceeds when the oil well began producing.   But I had been amazed to find out that my friend’s father got an equal share of the profits – just for putting the deal together — even though none of his own money was on the line…
  • As I saw it, his expertise was in befriending people from two wildly different worlds — and putting them together for mutual profit.
  • I’d always thought that what a sweet deal his was. But again, I’d figured that these sorts of majorly profitable deals were found only places like West Texas, home of the Permian Basin.

It Was Only Recently That I Found Out I Was Wrong.

As my friend and mentor Gina Gaudio-Graves, one of the four founders of Joint Venture University has explained to me:

You don’t have to be wealthy to begin a life as a Joint Venture Broker, though you will likely become wealthy as a result of your efforts.

Why? Because as a joint venture broker you are trained to look at life, business — essentially everything — from a completely different perspective.  Once you’re trained to have this vision, suddenly everything you touch has the potential to become hugely profitable.

Now, as never before:

  • You see opportunity where no one else does
  • You’re able to seize opportunity where no one else can.
  • You’re able to produce far greater results for each and every effort and asset than can anyone else.
  • You begin to strategically focus your mind on JV marketing opportunities as naturally as breathing.
  • You can clearly see how to ethically exploit every resource, every relationship and every deal that crosses your path.
  • You suddenly find that you’re achieving profitability with everything you do.
  • Let’s repeat that one: You suddenly find that you’re achieving profitability with everything you do.

To sum it up, let me just say that according to Gina, “being a JV Broker gives you the ultimate feeling of power, freedom, and security, because you know that the world is constantly generating possibilities for you to profit from.”

Talk about not having a scarcity mentality!!

Here’s the Complete List of the Joint Venture University’s Founding Faculty – Ladies First and Then in Alphabetical Order:

  • Gina Gaudio-Graves – Known all over the Internet as the “JV Queen”
  • Willie Crawford – The “Black Belt JV Broker”
  • Sohail Khan – Dubbed the “Million Dollar JV Dealmaker” after he brokered a single deal that netted him something like $1.8 million, with just a couple of months worth of effort
  • David Preston – The “Legendary Consultant”

As you can see, these people know how to do joint ventures. Between them, they’ve generated millions of dollars on behalf of their clients.

I’d love for you to learn how they do it, so you too, can rise above today’s economy with your very own economic stimulus package.

  • Aren’t you ready to take action to change your financial future?
  • Especially when you can help others in the process?
  • I thought so!!

Now’s your chance to join me and let these proven Joint Venture Experts show you how to become a certified joint venture broker. After all, how else can you legally make tons of money in just 12 weeks?

Don’t wait: All the details you need are in that link.

But do it now. Time’s a-wastin’!

The World’s Beaches and Sideroads Await You: Can Simply Learning How to Write a Book Actually Allow You to Retire Before Age 90, AND Give You More Play Time Now?

Can Learning How To Write A Book Finally Allow You To Retire?

Remember how frustrated you got as a kid when you found yourself stuck in the classroom on a beautiful spring day? All you wanted was to get outside so you could play…

But you couldn’t. Because until that end of day school bell rang, you were tied to your desk, with work to do. You know;  math, and reading and penmanship… The stuff they said you had to master in order to get a good job when you grew up…

Fast forward to the present.

You’re grown up now and toiling away at that job you worked so hard to get.  The job you now can’t afford to leave. Outside, it’s a balmy, breezy summer day, the kind of day that we all dream about – perfect weather for all good Baby Boomers who would still prefer to be playing outdoors, except now you want to be:

  • Sailing
  • Golfing
  • Enjoying a long walk in the country with your sweetie at your side
  • Taking your Harley out for a spin, or
  • (Insert your favorite outside activity here)

As You Steal Another Wistful Glace Out the Window, You Suddenly Realize:

  • It’s taking every ounce of self-control you’ve got to keep you in your office and at your desk
  • You’d love to throw responsibility to the wind and answer your siren’s call
  • But you don’t blow down the door, because — hey, you’re a responsible employed adult and you have work to do

So Is Today’s Scenario REALLY Any Different? Has Your Life Actually Changed?

It’s Times Like These When You Start to Daydream, Just Like You Did When You Were a Kid.

Except Now Instead of Dreaming of Hitting Grand Slam Home Runs,You Find Yourself Fantacising About What Your Life Would Be Like If You’d Paid More Attention to Your Composition Classes, And Felt More At Ease With a Pen…

You Wish You Knew How to Write a Book

You want to be able to put your name on something – like book or movie rights – that both generates a passive income stream and gives you credibility.

You know that owning a piece of intellectual property which opens doors for you while simultaneously churning out income while you sleep is something that gives you the same credibility as a bases-loaded home run provided you back when you were in Little League. Yep. It says you’re “The One.”

The Next Part of Your Summer Daydream Probably Goes Like This:

“Wouldn’t it be great if I had a way to make money while I sleep — Even better if I could also crank out big bucks while I play! Then I might actually be able to afford to retire… And I’d be able to leave a legacy for my family.”

You start to fantasize about how different your life would be TODAY, if you had started writing books A FEW YEARS AGO…

You realize that if you could figure out how to write a book, it would probably vastly change your life, your income and your business. Your change in fortune could even happen practically overnight, as it has for so many people you’ve watched brand themselves with a book and become household names. Among them:

  • Donald Trump
  • Loral Langemeir
  • Robert Kiyosaki
  • Warren Buffet
  • Robert Allen
  • Zig Ziglar
  • Brian Tracy
  • John Maxwell
  • Barack Obama

They’ve All Used Books to Launch Their Current Lives and Lifestyles, Right?

Perhaps no one more successfully than the current President of the United States of America. Think about it: Hardly anyone from outside of the Prairie State had  even heard of the junior senator from Illinois before he wrote “Dreams from My Father,” right?

Before he published that book, he was as inconsequential and invisible to the world at large as are these current junior senators, undoubtedly all good people, but whose names are unknown outside their state:

  • John Kyl (AZ)
  • Jim Bunning (KY)
  • Ben Cardin (MD)
  • Jon Tester (MT)
  • Kirsten E. Gillibrand (NY)

Authoring helped Obama gain the notice that got him invited to address the Democratic National Convention in 2004.  You’ve probably heard that he’d attended the same convention four years earlier, but he had to drive and he didn’t even had enough money to rent a hotel room! No one was asking to hear him speak then!

The rest is a matter of history: he used the phrase “the audacity of hope” in his electrifying speech which gave him visibility. He then expanded on his views in his next book, “The Audacity of Hope,” which doubtless helped propel him to the White House just four years later…

Beyond that, Obama made $2.5 million in book royalties on those two books just last year. And he currently has an authoring contract in place guaranteeing him another half million for a third book.

Talk about profiting from learning how to write a book! When you wonder if authoring really can be a life changing event that can provide you with long-term, ongoing financial security, his story has to come to mind!

But You Already Know This

Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir when I remind you that properly branding yourself and using a book as your business card, gives you:

  • Instant credibility, since authors  are perceived as expert on their  subjects
  • An opportunity to change your life, income, and business overnight
  • A proven way to grow your business and income faster and bigger
  • An opportunity to retire from the workforce, while continuing to generate income via your books as well as a few complementary products or services with bigger price tags

These Days, If You Want to be Able to Afford to Retire, One Great Way to Do It is to Take Action to Become an Author

If you don’t finally figure out how to write a book, you’re always gonna be stuck in the office, with no chance to get outside and do something you love on a beautiful day.  No “hall pass” that gives you the option to go out and play when you want to,  “just because you can”

Don’t Throw Your Hands Up in Despair! You Have it In You to Write a Book Which Can Become the Keystone to Your Abundant Retirement Income!

According to my good friend and writing coach, Ronda Del Boccio, the good news is, you don’t have to be “good at writing” in order to write a book.

Amazed?

Ronda, who’s not only written her own best sellers, but has also personally coached hundreds of people to write successful books,  spells it out simply:

  • You don’t have to be a former “A” student in your native language.
  • You don’t have to be a prolific writer.
  • You don’t even have to be an avid article writer.
  • And you don’t have to hire a ghostwriter or outsource everything, either.

Ronda teaches her authoring students that your book will actually be more successful if it’s crafted in a conversational tone. You know, written as though the reader is a good friend, conversing with you over a coffee.

(Don’t drink coffee?  No problem. “Picture yourself sharing tea, or even a beer with your friends, as you write,” she says.)

Not sure you have a problem-solving book in you? Again, Ronda has an answer to help you get started. She suggests you ask yourself:

  • What “problems” do you solve over and over again for  friends, neighbors, clients, customers or others in your life?
  • What kinds of people do you feel you are best equipped to serve or assist?
  • What are you known for?

Keep in mind that your answer might not be related to your career expertise. It might be that you’re known for helping friends with problems that are hobby-related.

Glowing Sailboat
Image by Extra Medium via Flickr
  • For example, if your hobby is sailing, and you’ve successfully navigated some major water — you’ve crossed the Atlantic, you’ve “bare-boated” in the BVIs, or you’ve  circumnavigated the “Great Loop” — perhaps your authoring forte might come from telling others how you did this, and how they can prepare to succeed in the same endeavor.
  • Likewise, if you’ve trained for and run the Boston Marathon as my friend Scott Sharp Armstrong has, you might write a book, “Boston Marathon or Bust,” to share your knowledge about how to prepare.
  • And don’t despair if the thing you do best is bake. After all, who would have guessed that anyone would choose to write about preparing all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s famous cookbook. And yet Julie Powell did that – and her book, “Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” was so successful it’s now a movie.

Ready to Start Implementing Your Book-authoring Retirement Plan?

You don’t need to work in a vacuum. Help is at hand. Check out Ronda’s main website, Profitable Storytelling. She’s packed it with tons of articles, videos, tips, templates and other resources.

Or, if you want more help, faster, get her book, “Instant Credibility.”

I’m personally working through her “Instant Credibility” book — which comes with a workbook — right now, and I can honestly promise you that it’s working better for me than  all the one-on-one coaching I’d previously received on the topic of how to write a book.

In it, Ronda Covers Hugely Important, Success-generating Topics Like:

  • Why writing your own book is so important for your credibility – AND the growth of your business. This works whether you’re creating a retirement business, or you’re not ready for that yet…
  • A structure for your book that makes it EASY to write. This is a specific plan that you can follow, with action steps in every chapter so you know EXACTLY what to do in each chapter as well as for the book overall.
  • The sad truth about how much of your book people read and how to overcome it. Read this and you’ll understand that even when a reader doesn’t finish your book, you CAN still grow your business.
  • 3 things you must have on your website before you put your book up for sale. Ronda covers the steps a reader takes to decide whether or not to purchase your book. Yes,  there’s actually a specific process.
  • 3 factors that determine whether your prospect is a likely customer.
  • 3 things you can do on the book COVER that will compel your prospect to open your book. One of them will surprise you. Many book authors get the first two right, but don’t do the last.
  • 7 essential elements of every single chapter. Yes, the title is the first! (well DUH of course!)  But the 6th makes you a magnet. And the 7th makes the reader want more.
  • The single most compelling element of any book. You’ll be surprised – and it’s not about the training/content either.
  • The  specific formula that makes writing your book simple. When you have the recipe, it’s easy to fill in the elements of your book in short bursts.

What? Are you still reading this blog? Hey, the sun’s shining somewhere in the world, and you still want to be able to afford to retire, right?

So go get Ronda’s book already! I promise it’ll be the best investment in yourself you’ve ever made!

Besides, it costs less than a nice steak dinner. So as a safeguard against your future and an opportunity to generate passive income so you can finally get out of the office and play — it’s certainly very affordable…

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Bucket List Game Reminds Us That THIS Is the Year You Can Achieve Anything You Want: You Haven’t Let The Recession Keep You From Writing Up Your New Goals List, Have You?

Recession-Proof Your Bucket List Now

Bucket lists are big news these days and we’ve talked about them before, of course. But here’s one that begs to be shared with you. This time, instead of you coming up with your own personal list, you get to share your experiences with  others.  Think of  this as an opportunity to get to know your friends better.

Here’s how it works: Review all 100 items on the bucket list below and bold the ones you’ve already achieved – though undoubtedly you’ll feel that some of them are more like experiences than they are true lifetime achievements. Still, it’s fun to see how many you can check off!

Below — with brief annotations — is my bucket list. Thanks, to Rhea at “The Boomer Chronicles,” for sharing and getting us started. Feel free to share your results via a comment to the blog. I promise to comment back to each and every one!

Once you get done reading the list and contemplating how you would answer each point, it’s time for the real work to begin. That’s right – it’s time to develop your plan for what you want to personally achieve this year! After all, if you’re going to leave a legacy, it’s time to start! Here’s the bucket list:

I Have…

1. Started my own blog

2. Slept under the stars – while on a horseback pack trip. It was phenomenal

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii – no, but I’ve been to Alaska!

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than I can afford to charity – how could that be possible? The more you give, the more blessed you become…

7. Been to Disneyland/Disneyworld

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sung a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught myself an art from scratch – first there was macrame, then crochet and tie-dye. Hey, it was the 60s!

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning – no but I have experienced being seasick during a storm at sea. They might be analogous, not sure…

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty – no but I’ve walked DOWN from the top of the Washington Monument and the Gateway Arch…

18. Grown my own vegetables – that was during my “Earth Mother” days, but I am seriously looking into doing it again this year…

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked – my mother told me not to, but I did. Thankfully I’ve never revealed this to her… Guess she’ll know now

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill – what parent hasn’t been forced to take a sick day to care for a child?

24. Built a snow fort – oh and it was a dandy!

25. Held a lamb – no but my grandma took a shot of me as a toddler, holding a squirrel as I sat in my sandbox. My mother was petrified when she saw it

26. Gone skinny dipping – in Lake Mendota, at midnight, on a sultry June 21 – the longest day – after drinking a bottle of Boone’s Farm apple wine. Ahh, those UW college days…

27. Run a marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse – well, you can’t watch it DIRECTLY…

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset – both are worth waiting for…

31. Hit a home run – I’m a leftie batter and THAT experience was amazing!

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught myself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied – for one brief shining moment…and then it was gone in a flash!

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke – but not as a solo performance…

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa – no but it’s on my wish list, along with Antarctica

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had my portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling – I was there with others who did, but I couldn’t get over the concept of spitting into my mask…

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie – no, but I’ve performed live onstage in front of an audience who paid to be in attendance…

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies – actually my cookie sales experience is what got me kicked out of Girl Scouts…

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving – no, but I want to

66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter – over Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska, while the the ethereal music of “Enya” reverberated into my headphones, courtesy of the pilot. It was a  transcendent experience – a day I will never forget!

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy – well, I saved “Sheepie,”one of my kid’s favorite stuffed animals, but only books remain from my childhood…

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt – not yet, but I have a sister-in-law who’s promised to teach me

73. Stood in Times Square – way back in the 60s, before they cleaned it up!

74. Toured the Everglades- sadly, I don’t think touring Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs counts.  But I did go on a Cajun Swamp Tour in New Orleans that was pretty spectacular…

75. Been fired from a job – twice, though the second time was termed “closing your department,” but I wonder…

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone – technically I did bruise my tailbone in a skiing accident, but there’s nothing they can do for that. The subsequent ride in the Ski Patrol basket was pure embarrassment, however

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle – so far, only in my dreams

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book – lots of stuff I have written has been published, but my book’s not done yet…

81. Visited the Vatican – the most memorable thing for me, besides the Vatican Guards’ uniforms, was the catacombs…

82. Bought a brand new car- thankfully I’ve enjoyed this pleasure many times

83. Walked in Jerusalem – no but I have a sister-in-law who has…

84. Had my picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating – no, but I helped my Dad clean ducks he’d shot. That was close enough for me…

88. Had chickenpox – even gave it to my brother, who was just a few weeks old. Sorry, Eric!

89. Saved someone’s life – well I had to give my daughter Syrup of Ipecac once, so I think that counts…

90. Sat on a jury – called twice, but never chosen…

91. Met someone famous – Most notably,  “The Guess Who” came to our house and showed my son how to play American Woman on his guitar. Each played it a bit differently. We have pictures

92. Joined a book club – many times

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby – Did that twice – a long time ago

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit – oh yeah. Thankfully I’ve always won, even when I was the defendant

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Ridden an elephant – not yet, but I have a friend who arranges this in Africa, so I’ll do it eventually

Back to You: What’s in Store For You Goals-wise, in 2009?

Your answer, you understand,  is deeply rooted in your ability to set and achieve goals. The fact is, recession or not, you have the ability to achieve WHATEVER you desire. Perhaps you seek …

  • Robust health
  • Financial freedom
  • Enduring relationships
  • Wonderful friendships
  • Fulfilling family activities
  • True happiness

Whatever your desires, any and all of them are possible once you take the first step by setting goals for achieving these experiences.

Of course, to do it right, you really need to have a variety of goals:

  • Short term goals (goals you can easily accomplish in one day to one year)
  • Mid-range goals (goals which you can attain in one to three years)
  • Long term goals (goals that will take you three to five years to realize)
  • Finally, of course, you still want to maintain your “bucket list” goals  (those big picture things you want to experience before you die)

When you set goals strategically, you start by planning the long term goals.  You then carefully break down each goal into specific steps  to develop your mid-range goals.

Then, for each mid-range goal, you  ask yourself what you need to do to accomplish each one.

Use those answers to create your short term goal list.  These become your “To-Do List” each day for the next year.

Your goals list should not be about only those things you want personally …

Of course, there’s no need to limit your goal-setting to things you’d like to accomplish for yourself…You can also work out what sort of legacy you’d like to leave:

  • For the world
  • For your business
  • For your family

You can create goals related to anything that you can affect as well as anything that you want to participate in. It’s all fair game.

For example, do you long for world peace? Don’t let the dream die because you think it’s more than you can accomplish. Instead:

  • Put world peace on your long term goals list
  • Then figure out a way to make a peaceful difference in the world via your mid-range goals
  • Start building toward peace immediately via your short term goals – for example, you could start by participating in other people’s peace-generating activities

Regardless of what decide to you do, remember this:  Albert Schweitzer once said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

In short, if you want to achieve all of your goals in 2009 and beyond, your first step is to  make sure that you include everything that will make you happy on your goals list AND make sure that you are focused on doing something you love!

That’s why it is so important to follow your passion in building a business.  Unless you have a true passion for what you are doing, you will find it all but impossible to succeed.

When you follow your passion, you’ll not only experience  success — but happiness will be its twin.

What Sort of Success Will You Create in 2009 and Beyond?

The answer depends on the goals you set for yourself and the action you take to achieve them.

If you’ve never before used goal setting to help you achieve success and happiness, here’s a program created by the fabulous Gina Gaudio-Graves that is guaranteed to help you realize your goals.

Don’t let yourself down or your goals die. The legacy you want to leave is too important to the world.

Download this highly recommended goal-setting package from Gina Gaudio-Graves today at:

—> Miracle Motivational Package

Are You Worried, Fearful the Recession Will Bust You? Don’t Just Wait for Obama. Why Not Motivate Yourself to Start a Business That Creates Your Own Economic Stimulus Plan?

Got Your Own Recession Busting Stimulus Plan?

My friend Kathy has been a motivated and highly successful Realtor in beautiful and historic Galena, Illinois – a community whose lifeblood is tourism –  a for about 30 years. Regularly one of the top selling agents in her MLS, she loves her work and has lived through boom times and bad with the knowledge that everyone needs to have a home. Hers has always been a business marked by sales awards and steady growth.

  • But, along with almost 100% of the Realtors in the country, she found 2008 to be a real financial challenge. With little or nothing she could personally do to turn things around.
  • Which is probably why she sent out Christmas cards this year featuring a photo her husband took of her with Barack Obama back in 2004, when he was in town, campaigning for the Illinois senate. (She’s what you’d call a long-term Obama fan.)
  • For the past year, her hopes have been that he’d win the presidency and turn the economy around – and that he could take action quickly enough to get people confidently buying real estate again.
  • Naturally, she’s delighted Obama’s presidency is off to the fast start the whole world has been praying for…

Financially, We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet, Of Course. This Recession is Just Too Deep to Turn Around in Less Than a Month.

Obama may be a man with a plan and a compelling vision of hope. But even Kathy knows he doesn’t have super-powers. Nor did he come equipped with a fairy godmother and a magic wand… And we still live in the real world. There’s still a lot of hard work – and painful decisions – ahead:

No Doubt That’s Why You’ve Heard President Obama’s Cautionary Soundbites On the News This Past Week:

  • “We are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression”
  • “2009 will be tough”
  • “Things may get worse before they get better”
  • “We must take dramatic action now, with regard to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, the economic stimulus package, tax cuts…”

Meanwhile…

  • Back at the ranch
  • Over in your neck of the woods
  • Or wherever in the world you like to hang out

January – with its excitement of the new year and the inauguration – has segued into the chill of February. And the hot dragon breath of recession and economic crisis no doubt continues to flick at your ears, as:

  • More Americans filed for unemployment in January than at any time in the last 26 years
  • A recent New York Times editorial opined that there’s “no guarantee that today’s battered 401(k)’s will rebound powerfully. People close to retirement don’t have time for a do-over. Even for those still far from retirement, there’s no telling how stocks will perform in the future. “
  • Big companies around the globe continued to announce plans to lay off tens of thousands of workers. A quick analysis of world headlines finds the following major firms announcing personnel cutbacks:
    • Caterpillar (20,000)
    • Sprint Nextel (8,000)
    • Home Depot (7,000)
    • Boeing (10,000)
    • Macy’s (7,000 workers cut, plus they cut their quarterly divided, and said they’re integrating all divisions into a single unit, as they expect 2009 to remain very tough for retail)
    • Starbucks (announced plans to close 300 under-performing stores worldwide and lay off 6,700 workers, mostly in the US )
    • The anticipated Pfizer Wyeth merger (which will result in a net loss of 8,000 jobs)

As Ann Landers Used to Say, “It’s Time to “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee:”

The question you must now ask yourself is “What have YOU planned to do in 2009 to keep yourself financially solvent??”

In case you were too busy to take action earlier due to:

  • The year-end holidays
  • The election or
  • Your own personal financial implosions

You need to know this: It’s not TOO LATE for you to RESOLVE to spend 2009 focused on generating income via consistent activity related to your skill sets and your big ideas!

Especially if You’ve Recognized That 2009 is Not Just the Chinese “Year of the Ox,” But Probably Also the “Year You Must Become Self-employed.”

And why wouldn’t you be starting to realize this? Obama may be quickly putting solid plans in play, but you’ve been around the block a few times. You’ve heard all the cautionary talk, and you know you don’t have time on your side:

Most people agree that it’s going to take at least two years – possibly longer – to get our economy straightened out again.

And, as a Boomer, someone who might have had plans to retire in as few as two years, you know you’ve got to take action. You can’t just wait for the “man from the government, who’s here to help”  – even when he brings with him as much hope as Obama does…

With so much to do, and so little time, your first step has to be to resolve to get motivated to take some action – after you chart your own personal recovery and reinvestment plan!

>Not Sure If Now Really Is the Time to Start Your Dream Business?

The truth is, 2009 is the perfect year to start. Done right, the economy can actually help you break all kinds of records for a start-up business generating sales, revenue and profits. Which is why there has not been a better time in the last 70 years to go out and build a business. You know why?
Because everyone else is pulling back! That means, for instance, that ad rates are cheaper now, so it costs you less to find buyers – provided you have pinpointed the messaging that is going to resonate with your ideal prospects…. and you’re absolutely clear about where you’re going with your business, and how you’re going to get there.

What? You’re Panicked and Not Buying This Concept?

Well relax. Fear and panic won’t get you anywhere. But strategic planning accompanied by proper motivation will.

As proof, take a look at the front page of Advertising Age for January 26, 2009.  Hone in on the article that says, Marketing’s New Red-Hot Seller: Humble Snuggie”

  • You know what product they’re talking about: those slightly silly-looking  blankets with arms that have been advertised all over TV these last few months… You can probably recite the commercial from memory, so you know they come in 3 colors and you can get two of them –  plus two book lights – for $19.95 plus shipping and handling…
  • Turns out the manufacturer has sold 4 million of these quirky little blankets with sleeves in just over four months which represents just under $40 million in retail sales.
  • And the products are not only back-ordered, they’re flying out the door as fast as the company behind the idea can get their Chinese suppliers to crank them out…
  • Here’s how popular this item is:

    • Not only has Ellen DeGeneres jokingly worn one
    • Fox News actually honed in on a woman wearing one at Obama’s inauguration
    • And the product has inspired more than 200 parody videos on YouTube – as sure a sign of success as anything

    Now Think About It: Haven’t YOU – At Least Once or Twice – Had an Idea for a Product As Simple – and On Target – As This One?

    Thought so. Most people have. Problem is, too few take action to turn these personal flashes of genius into income-generating products.

    Now’s the time to review those great ideas you’ve shelved somewhere in the back of your head and dust off any that might fit a similar mold. That is, products that are easy to produce and fill a need.

    Especially if – like the Snuggie – they are product ideas that can help people in at least one of these four crucial ways:

    • Save money
    • Make money
    • Relieve pain, or
    • Do something they have to dono matter what the economy (except, of course, that you can show them how to do it better, faster, easier, with less trouble)

    Add to That the Concept of: Do What You Love And the Money Will Follow

    Whether you’ve been laid off, are anticipating that a layoff might happen to you later this year, or are simply trying to figure out how you’re going to be able to retire in a few years, now’s the time to take a clue from experts like Loral Langemeier and figure out how to make some additional money doing what you already know how to do. Especially if it’s something you love to do AND it fits the criteria listed above.

    • Just getting a new job isn’t going to do it for you right now.
    • Nor will panic and fear get you anywhere.
    • Your best option today,  no matter whether you’re “still employed but worried,” or just lost your job, is to start figuring out how you can generate some new money. Money that will allow you to recession-proof your income.

    But What If You Can’t Afford to Spend Money on a Great Business Coach to Help You Get Started?

    No doubt there’s a lot of work you’ll have to do to get your business off the ground. The fastest and quickest way to do this is to work with a counselor or coach.

    • But that takes money, which is something you’re no doubt short on right about now…
    • Your next best option, instead of hiring someone to coach you one-on-one,  is to find a reliable online coaching program that’s readily available and free.
    • Gina Gaudio-Graves has a great one: Take a look at her 30-Day IM Challenge. Luckily for you, the latest challenge is just about to start. You’d be smart to take a look at what she’s offering.

    The 30-Day IM Challenge is Packed With Hundreds of Pages of Solid Information – All Free – And Since It’s a Contest, There Are Even Prizes to Further Motivate You!

    According to Gina, the biggest problem people have with completing the challenge is staying motivated to keep up with all of the training. Of course, you can work your way through it slowly. But since your goal is to get yourself into a position where you are generating some new money as fast as possible, taking it slow isn’t the best option. Especially if you want to with the prize, which is a free one-year coaching program with Gina, worth over $5,000.

    Here’s something guaranteed to help you focus and stay motivated, so you can keep up with the 30-Day IM Challenge and win:

    It’s Gina’s fantastic Miracle Motivational Package.

    You owe it to yourself and your future to find out what’s included in this program. Especially since just reading Gina’s story will motivate you!

    Can you imagine:

    • A car accident ended her legal career
    • Doctors gave her 12 months to live
    • When doctors said there was no hope – she used motivational techniques – which she shares with you – to save her life. She not only overcame her paralysis, learn to walk again, and figure out how to pay for $9 million in medical bills –
    • She also dedicated her life to helping one million people learn how to live the life of their dreams

    Discover How Gina Turned Her Life Around – And How You Can, Too!

    • Learn to motivate yourself to overcome everything that’s dragging you down right now, including this recession and your current financial frustrations!
    • Grab her Miracle Motivational Package today.
    • And don’t forget to sign up for the upcoming 30-Day IM Challenge!

    One month from now – when everyone else is moaning about how the recession has only gotten worse – you’ll be so glad you did!!

    Need to Generate Income? What if You Could Enter the Growing Home Health Care Field to Financially Benefit From the “Uptick in World Aging and Chronic Disease?”

    Is Home Health Care Biz For You?

    There’s no two ways about it: The fact that we humans are all getting older every day is as sure as the inevitability of death and taxes.  

    Your challenge is to figure out how to use this to your advantage… And do it in a way that will make you money. One big idea is to develop a home health care oriented business related to helping people deal with chronic health conditions.  And do it now:

    • Don’t be like, Vivian, one of my former coaching clients, a 60+ physical therapist, who had an idea for a product to be used by Alzheimer’s patients.
    • It was a great idea: Simple, elegant, effective, dignity-enhancing, and inexpensive to manufacture.
    • A product that, if developed, would have sold like hotcakes, and made her a wealthy woman.
    • Sadly, she was so bound by fear that her idea would be laughed at that she waited a decade to seek help in bringing her idea to fruition.
    • In the end, just as I was aiding her to explore the manufacture of her “baby,” she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, and didn’t survive her treatment.  Talk about a tragedy.

    So as you’re sitting there, wondering what sort of business you can get into that will help you successfully ride out this current recession, think about the obvious:

    • What is it that people will always need, no matter what the economy is doing?
    • What resources can you personally access to serve these needs?
    • How might you be able to set things up to provide yourself with an ongoing, recurring monthly income? One that can be grown, but that won’t likely be discontinued, once you acquire a customer?

    Your answers to these questions are crucial: They could help you develop a recession-proof business that will fund your retirement.

    Actually, these are the very same question the “big boys” of industry are currently asking. Based on their answers, they’re taking action – they’re shedding old businesses that don’t support the answers they’ve arrived at, and acquiring new ones which do.

    Need proof? Check out this recent article from the New York Times, “Royal Philips Sheds Old Businesses for New Directions,” which notes that execs at the Dutch industrial giant have become convinced of two things:

    • The population is getting older and
    • It is becoming more interested in becoming “greener”

    The article notes that these two trends  – aging and greening – are guiding Philips as it transforms itself, reorganizing its divisions and jettisoning (non-compliant) product lines while picking up others. (For the purposes of this article, we’ll stick to the aging aspect and save going green for another day…)

    Of course this is worth our attention. After all, Royal Philips is a well-known a manufacturer. By the way, we’re not talking about the folks who bring you Milk of Magnesia or the petroleum company. We’re discussing the firm previously known for its manufacture of home electronics products, including: 

    • Magnavox televisions
    • DVD, Blu-ray and home theater surround-sound devices
    • MP3 players, home appliances and portable music accessories
    • Philips incandescent light bulbs
    • Norelco shavers 
    • Sonicare power toothbrushes

    “Uptick in World Aging”

    These days, Royal Philips is selling off its home electronics businesses and instead delving into the business of selling hospital and at-home scanning and monitoring equipment and high-tech light bulbs made with light-emitting diodes.

    • “We were a technology-driven company,”said Gerard J. Kleisterlee, the chief executive of Philips. “But that is only one element. Now we are focusing on care cycles. ‘Health and well-being’ is a common theme that everyone works on.”
    • Or, as the company’s chief financial officer, Pierre-Jean Sivignon, puts it: “An uptick in world aging and chronic diseases will drive our business.”

    To support this new business direction, Philips has acquired a number of existing firms: First, they bought Lifeline, a home health care monitoring system, perhaps best known to millions of Americans for an old television commercial whose tagline was, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

    Dozen of comedians had with that line, but despite the fun, the fact is, almost 40% of all seniors fall each year, and protecting them when they do, is big business. Look at these facts related to falls and medical helplessness at home:

    • Falls are one of the most serious health risks among seniors over the age of 65, affecting more people than stroke and heart attacks combined.
    • Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury in those people 65 and over.
    • 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. 40% of those hospitalized for hip fracture do not return to independent living and 20% will die within a year.
    • More than half (55%) of all falls by seniors take place in the home. An additional 23% occur outside but near the house. Lifeline can intervene in close to 80% of all falls.
    • Most falls go unreported, but it is expected that 35-40% of people over the age of 65 fall each year.
    • Those who fall are 2-3 times more likely to fall again.
    • Additionally, many other chronic medical conditions place millions more seniors at risk.Cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, diminished hearing and eyesight, and Parkinson’s all leave seniors vulnerable to helplessness at home.

    No wonder Lifeline currently keeps track of 720,000 elderly or infirm at-home customers in the United States and Canada. Doubtless the number of people who subscribe to this service will continue to grow as our world population continues to age.

    The Importance of Developing Recurring Income 

    • Most noteworthy is that Lifeline uses an intriguing business model, which you might do well to consider: they give away their products and charge a monthly fee for their use.
    • Explains Ronald Feinstein, Philips Lifeline president, “I don’t want to sell blood pressure cuffs and defibrillators,  I want to give them away and charge a monthly fee.”
    • Currently, customers pay $35 to $45 a month, for use of a pendant or a TV set-top box that connects to Lifeline. If they experience a medical problem, they push a button on the device to summon help.

    Not surprisingly, considering that their target market is people who are aged or infirm, the company does lose about 35 percent of its subscribers to death each year. But you might wonder whether they even notice:  After all, since the world continues to age, they have been able to grow their subscriber base about 10 percent a year.

    • At this point, the company estimates it owns 60 percent of the home-monitoring market in the United States.
    • The final addition to their home-healthcare monitoring revenue stream: the 250 installers who show the subscribers how to use the devices also sell them other products, like fall detectors and automatic pill dispensers.
    • But to round out their presence in the medical monitoring field, Philips also sells cardiac home monitors that transmit data to a doctor’s office, home defibrillators and a variety of out-patient monitoring systems for assisted living operations.

    Chronic Health Conditions Require Regular Treatment

    Next up, Philips bought Respironics, the home health care firm which is best known for their positive airway pressure (PAP) machines and accessories used to treat sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

    • As with Lifeline, Philip’s Respironics business uses a business model which charges a monthly fee for use of their equipment.
    • And finally, Philips entry into the Home Medical Equipment field means that they can roll out ancillary products, such as oxygen therapy, light therapy and respiratory drug therapies. You can also develop ancillary products, once you get your business started…

    Home Health Care Future Is Bright 

    Philips Healthcare anticipates great successes ahead with their home health care businesses: Says John L. Miclot, CEO of Philips Home Healthcare Solutions:

    • “By leveraging our strengths as Philips Home Healthcare Solutions, we will improve quality of life for at-risk individuals through better awareness, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and management of their conditions – in the home.”
    • We are looking to a bright future as part of Philips Healthcare. We’re expanding our efforts to simplify healthcare by providing innovative solutions for the home that connect patients to their providers and support independent living for at-risk individuals.”

    Should You Try For a Slice of the Home Health Care Pie?

     If you’ve got appropriate credentials, this is a “no-brainer.” Of course you should!
     
    But what if you’re not a doctor, licensed nurse, social worker or LPN?
     
    Even if you aren’t trained in the medical field, you may still find opportunities in this marketplace if you give it some thought. Assess your skills and talents and copnsider whether or not you might be able to build a business related to assisting health-challenged individuals to co ntinue to live independently in their homes.
     
    For example, what about:
    • A Dog-Walking Service for the Homebound? – Pets are great companions, of course. But those who are physically challenged may have difficulty exercising their pets, washing them, trimming their nails or getting them to the vet.  This business is similar to the pet care services provided for people on vacation, but would give you the benefit of regular repeat business.
    • A Personal Shopper/Delivery Service? – “Have car, will shop or run your errands.” Many physically challenged people would appreciate having access to a service that runs errands and even does grocery shopping.  Alternately, offer a service where you pick up and deliver meals from restaurants which don’t normally offer delivery. Anyone who has difficulty getting into and out of a car would be a prospect. Also, home-based business people who are busy would likely appreciate this sort of personal assistance.
    • An On Call Barber/Beautician/Massage Therapist Service – Again, the concept is that you take your service to the client, and do the work at their home, saving them from the physical challenges of having to leave their home.

    Not interested in providing an in-the-home service?
    There are still thousands of other options. How about:

    • A service where your clients call in daily, to confirm that they are OK, and receive some message or benefit in the process. Similar to the Lifeline service, this concept requires that your clients call you daily – at a pre-arranged time – to confirm that all is well. Of course, you can augment and personalize the service Lifeline offers in many ways. This would be a service many Baby Boomers who live far from their parents but have concerns over them would find beneficial.
    • Or you might offer a subscriber service where prepare you deliver a daily blog post or podcast on a topic of interest – possibly even something as simple as reading aloud a chapter of a book each day. 
    • Another concept could be running a group call or teleconference on a daily or weekly basis.
      • A “virtual book club,” for example.
      • Or a specialized virtual support group – could be for people with a specific disability, like fibromyalgia, for example.
      • Or possibly a support group for Alzheimer’s caregivers.
      • These virtual groups have the benefit of not being limited by geography. You could actually have people calling in from all over the country – your only limitation to a world group being time zones.
    • Videos are great too!
      • Could you create a series of exercise videos specifically designed for people with physical limitations of one type or another?
      • What about a book, workbook, video and journaling program to assist people recovering from stroke or other life-altering illness to relearn skills they’ve lost? Possibly how to survive hip replacement surgery, for example. Or maybe how to learn to love your C-PAP machine – for those newly diagnosed with sleep apnea?
    • Finally, my favorite: An Ombudsman Service for people who are challenged by working the American healthcare system. If you’re good at details and cutting through red tape, there’s a huge need for this service. And in some situations – such as arguing with insurance companies – you can do the work from home!

    What Makes a Great Concept for This Type of Business?

    • Ideally, your new home health care business will not be labor intensive: You are able to do it once, and get paid repeatedly. A subscription service, for example. Or a book you write once and sell many times. Possibly a combination of both…
    • A service you provide that insurance companies will cover is also ideal, because it limits your customers’ out of pocket expense and means your payments can be automated.  
    • Look at your skillsets and figure out whether you can offer a product or service that is unique, solves a problem, and does not require you to “trade hours for dollars.”
    • A product or service that is based on your own experiences and your concern for helping others overcome a challenge you have faced. The personal aspect really shines through! This then might be something you market through doctors or clinics which work with people experiencing the same medical challenge.
    • And don’t forget the lesson Royal Philips teaches us: Strongly consider a product you can give away, which then allows you to charge a monthly fee for service or maintenance!

    Now it’s your turn!

    Put on your thinking cap, assess your life experience, and come up with some business concepts and ideas. Then develop a business plan that will put you in the game!

    What are you waiting for? Go! Do! Now! The world is aging, and it needs your help!

    Doubtless “Survive Economic Meltdown” Wasn’t On Your Bucket List. Hopefully “Startup ‘Second Act’ Business” Was. One Fuels the Other, Of Course. Ready to Get It Going?

    December 16, 2008 by  
    Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Entrepreneurs, Work, Money & Retirement

    Bucket List Business - Recipe For Success

    Anyone who’s seen the news over the past few weeks knows that the United States is deeply embroiled in a tough economy. In fact, economists recently owned up to the “R” word, admitting recession is upon the land – and has been for the last twelve months. 

    To which you undoubtedly want to snarl, “You think?”

    Let’s See, You’ve Got:

    • Employers cutting jobs and benefits – left and right
    • The automakers begging Congress to bail them out – just a month after we experienced the mortgage industry bailouts
    • The banks, who’ve essentially quit lending money while the credit card companies are arbitrarily lowering your credit limits – even if you’ve been paying your bills on time
    • Constant stock market blips and dips
    • Not to mention a couple of wars and overall global unrest

    Besides which, if your personal finances haven’t already been plunged into the toilet as a result of trashed 401(k) and retirement accounts, it’s likely all the dire news has left you feeling pretty nervous, wondering when the other shoe will fall… 

    Maybe a Better Metaphor For What You’re Feeling Right Now Would Be This Unsettling Image:

    • You’re feverishly trying to build a house of cards on the head of a matchstick
    • While simultaneously trying to keep yourself standing upright as you balance atop a rolling log in the midst of a raging river of whitewater
    • Only to look ahead and see a precipitous drop-off as steep as Niagara Falls looming just around the bend… 

    You’d Probably Have to Call that a “Triple Threat” or a “Perfect Storm” of Calamities, Right?”

    Well, whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that you –  a successful Baby Boomer with an active Bucket List – never placed “live through an economic meltdown” on your list. It wasn’t even anywhere on your radar. Yet, you now find yourself hip-deep in that “opportunity” with few visible options ahead of you. 

    So What Can You Do Beyond Wringing Your Hands and Gnashing Your Teeth?

    How About Taking Action?

    Instead of figuratively hiding under your bed or cowering in the corner, biting your nails as you read or listen to the dismal economic headlines, why not pull out your bucket list and pick out something on it that you can use to create a plan that will allow you to succeed despite the tough times? You know, something that:

    • Sounds fun
    • You enjoy doing, and
    • You could also use to generate some additional income…

    Not Sure What That Could Be? Keep Looking at Your List, It’s Really Not That Hard.

    If you initially think there’s nothing on your list that you can monetize, look again. Likely there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, something you haven’t made time for – which fits the bill. And it’s probably something you can get going, just by taking baby steps, one at a time.

    For example, is there an idea that’s nagged at you over the years, perhaps an idea you’ve had for a better way to do something that’s related to one of your hobbies or passions? You know, maybe it’s an idea for a:

    • Better fishing lure
    • Healthier way to grow garden vegetables in small spaces
    • More effective way to train your pet
    • Field guide to successfully living overseas
    • Golf putter that’s guaranteed to shave 10% off anyone’s score
    • Cook book featuring heirloom family recipes, which you’ve updated to make them healthier

    If so, did you ever stop to think that THAT idea might be something you could turn into a business?

    Assuming your answer is going to be “yes,” there is some idea that’s nagged at you over the years, here’s your key take away: Once you dust off that idea that’s been haunting you forever, don’t you think now would be a great time to make a plan for how you can finally“get it going?” 

    Think of it as your legacy, if you want, the way you will be remembered in the world. But do think about it – NOW.

    Especially think about how to use this idea to start up a new income stream – while you continue to work full or part time.

    That’s What Jan Bosman Did. Here’s How She Tells Her Story:

    Jan Bosman“When I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, I felt had everything I needed:

    • A diploma
    • A diamond ring, and
    • A signed teaching contract

    “I’d been trained by the best… I thought I would teach and retire, while managing a family along the way.

    “But about 45 years into my scripted life, I had a new vision – a scrapbook for saving old handwritten recipes and the stories behind them. It all began with my love of collecting recipes from friends and family, using them over and over.

    “At some point (I can’t give you the exact moment), I began to see the old recipes in my recipe box in a new way. They became more to me than formulae for good meals; they contained memories of the people who had shared them with me over many years.

    “With the passage of time, the recipes took on new meaning and, I realized, they really defined my history. As I got started with my idea:

    • I wanted a place to save my special old recipes and tell about them.
    • I wanted to create a place where the recipes could be saved and the stories behind them and their creators told and saved.
    • I didn’t much care if anyone else wanted a book like I wanted; but the design firm I worked with convinced me that if I wanted a book like this, others would want one, too.
    • One of my friends says that the idea was in my heart for 45 years, but I really don’t know
    • I do know that fear kept me from breathing life into this idea for many years
    • I was afraid that someone would think it was a ‘dumb’ one, so I kept silent

    Recipe Scrapbook“The evolution of the idea for my recipe scrapbook, Memories of Family, Friends and Food  is part mystery, part motivation.

    • When I started, I just wanted to realize a dream that had been lingering in my head for a very long time
    • Eventually I realized I had to move on the idea or forget it
    • I’d inherited a small amount of money at my mother’s death and I chose to invest it in my dream
    • Alternately, I could have put the money in the bank and let the dream die
    • Instead, I took action. I hired a marketing firm to help me develop and market my idea. I worked with a mentor to “get it going”
    •  I did not begin with a traditional business plan, nor did I work with any business development organizations to get started.

     “What I’ve now learned from my experience is that you never know when you will see life’s patterns in a fresh way.

     “The life I envisioned when I graduated is so different from the life I live. I’m seeing better now than I did then… despite the glasses and developing cataracts. So keep your eyes open. You just never know…”

    If, like Jan Bosman, you’re ready to start making your dream a reality, there’s no need to be overwhelmed. You can start with baby steps. But you’ve got to start…

    You’ve Just Got to Put One Foot in Front of the Other and Start Moving Forward.

    • Create an action plan
    • Get help to develop your strategies
    • Work your plan

    Here’s a fun way to look at it:

     Jan’s Advice for You If You’re Considering a “Second – or Third – Act” in Life:

    • Plan to work hard
    • Be clear on your goal
    • Be ready for surprises – both happy days and disappointments
    • Be ready for unsolicited advice: “Not everyone is going to be as excited about this project as you are.”
    • Self promotion takes a lot of time. But you are the best person to promote your project. You believe in it, you breathe it. And without promotion, “Don’t expect your books to fly off of the shelves.”
    • Fear is real in all its forms. “Sometimes I’m afraid that someone will tell me my idea is ‘dumb.’ Sometimes I’m afraid to succeed. Fear hasn’t conquered me, but I haven’t completely conquered it, either.”
    • Don’t undervalue yourself
    • Be flexible, sometimes that’s the only way to get things accomplished
    • People WILL help you
    • Finally,follow the dreams that haunt you. You will never know yourself well enough if you don’t”

    She adds that she has met hundreds of people she never would have met without this project and it has kept her vital after many years in education and a few in the domestic violence field.

    “I am a good speaker and have had a chance to bring a message to people about the value of hand writing, dating and signing the recipes they share with others. Then your recipes, too, can live forever.”

    Jan’s resulting book is in binder form so that pages can be moved about. She explains that It is intended to be a place where each person can create an heirloom, one recipe and story at at time. On the cover she’s included a picture of some of her mother’s personal items–glasses, tablecloth, recipe box, pearls, recipe cards, antique Jewel Tea Autum Leaves crock. 

    Jan’s whole idea with her book is for each person to create their own book in his/her own special way. Sort of a cross between a journal and a recipe card binder – her book consists of: 

    • 15 acid-free 4 x 6″ pocket pages (total room for 60 recipes or pictures or other memorabilia) 
    • 15 acid-free lined, two-sided journal pages
    •  15 lined recipe cards for sharing favorite recipes with others
    • Sample journal page as a model for your writing
    • As one purchaser commented about Memories of Family, Friend and Food, “There are few of the author’s words but plenty of room for yours.”

    OK, Back to You: So Hopefully You’ve Pulled Out Your Bucket List and You’re Reviewing It…That’s Great!

    If you’ve decided to start thinking about generating some additional income via starting your own business, undoubtedly you’re now wondering about all sorts of challenging stuff, including:

    • Time Management Challenges related to starting up a new business while you already have a job
    • How to keep your Start-up Costs affordable
    • Whether you have what it takes to run a business
    • How difficult it might be to gain Spousal Buy-In
    • Health care costs for the self-employed
    • What steps you’ll need to take for Asset protection
    • Whether you can really turn a hobby into a business
    • Maybe even how much money your idea could actually generate for you, whether you’d need staff to pull off the idea, etc.

    Don’t get too stressed over these questions.

    They’re all valid concerns, whose answers we’ll discuss in upcoming posts. For now, your main job is to figure out what your goal is with this concept of starting up a business. And – determine which item on your list sounds the most promising… from a business development standpoint.  

    Feeling better about the economy now? Thought so!

    That’s what happens when you take action!

    Since Baby Boomers Are Also Known As the “Sandwich Generation” Is It Any Wonder You Are Feeling Like A Panini? You Know, Hot, Overloaded and Grilled Under Pressure?

    Sandwich Generation Choices Squeezing You?

    Yesterday’s post in the New York Times blog New Old Age, and a conversation with my friend “Lisa,” who’s just uprooted herself and her family – moving halfway across the country to assist her in-laws – got me to thinking once again about the challenges of Sandwich Generation Boomers.

    It Also Reminded Me That It’s Been Just Over a Year Since My Sister-in-Law Died of Breast Cancer.

    Which means our family is finally gotten past the first year of significant post-Joanna anniversaries.

    You know what I mean:

    • “This is the first Thanksgiving since Joanna died.”
    • “It’s my first birthday where Mom won’t be baking me my favorite birthday cake.” 
    • “The first Christmas where she isn’t running around wearing those funny reindeer antlers on her head, and incessently playing holiday music, while she creates unique hand-made cards and effortlessly puts her personal stamp of approval on the entire holiday celebration.” 
    • “Too bad Joanna will never get to see her granddaughter get married or hold her first great-grandchild.”

    And this thought process got me to thinking about how hard caring for a loved one during a prolonged illness – or assisting them through their slide into eventual death  – really is for everyone involved:

    • Being there for “Joanna’s” last few months and eventual death and watching her decline was heart-wrenching. 
    • But just as painful was watching her three adult daughters – each already juggling two jobs apiece, plus school-age kids and spouses – deal with the challenges of trying to be there – physically and emotionally – for their mother as well as their families and their jobs.
    • If you’ve lived through it, you know how emotionally draining this is. How you get to a point where you desperately wish you could actually clone yourself so that you can be in two – or more – places at once.  Because you know that since you can’t – someone or something you care about is going to be slighted.
    • What an emotional “lose-lose” proposition this often is for everyone involved.

    No wonder the Times blog post, Adult Children, Aging Parents and the Law attracted 81 reader comments before it was even 24 hours old. You know dealing with multi-generational needs is the primary challenge of the sandwich generation.

    So clearly discovering that 30 states have laws on their books governing adult children’s fiscal responsibility to their aging parents is an issue that really strikes home. 

    I recall sitting in the visitors lounge at the hospital, joining the conversation as Joanna’s daughters talked options with the hospital social worker.

    It had became clear that Joannna would no longer be able to care for herself at home, and that her husband wasn’t physically up to the challenges either. So her loving but time-challenged daughters worked to quickly come to decisions for her welfare while continuing to juggle their family responsibilities. Meanwhile they were also:

    • Trying not to stress out too much over what was going un-done at home and work
    • Watching their vacation and sick days get eaten up
    • Encouraging their kids to “Stop by and visit Grandma” before after-school activities or after work – so they’d have a chance to see them, too!

    Thankfully, there are options, in most cases.

    Which is a good thing, since according to Pew Research Center reports, there are roughly 10 million Sandwich Generation Boomers in the world: adults who are raising kids or supporting an adult child while giving a financial hand to an aging parent.  

    The Good News Is, There’s Plenty of Help Available  – Once You Know Where to Look:

    • From local programs to national organizations, from books to Web sites, a veritable cottage industry has sprung up to assist sandwich generation Boomers in juggling the demands of raising kids while also caring for your aging parents.
    • Some of these services are a direct response by the government to meet the needs of the country’s burgeoning senior ranks – with you, the taxpayer, footing the bill.
    • Others are the work of smart entrepreneurs who’ve seen a business opportunity.
    • Still others come from fellow boomers wanting to share what they’ve learned as they’ve personally grappled with these issues.

    Lisa mentioned that she’s been working with a “housing advisor counselor” who was very helpful.

    This resource has been a boon as Lisa and her husband devotedly seek a new home for her mother-in-law, who is recovering well from her stroke – thankfully – and her father-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s. Lisa’s challenge is made tougher by the fact that her father-in-law can’t figure out why they keep taking him along while visiting nursing homes!

    To start with, her mother-in-law will move from the hospital into a board and care facility: a place that offers residential care for seniors in need of assistance. The goal in these homes is to provide long-term care for seniors who seek independent living in a safe, comfortable and dignified environment. Amazingly, the resident to staff ratio is about 2-to-1.

    Not all of these homes can handle Alzheimer’s patients, however. That’s presenting Lisa with an extra challenge.

    Even Though Lisa and Her Family Have Been Successfully Finding Resources, She Still Expects it Will Be at Least Three Months Before They Are Able to Move Back Home.  

    Three months living out of a suitcase, away from the comforts of home!

    That made the challenges my neices experienced seem easy. After all, at least they had the benefit of living in the same major metropolitan area. Clearly the challenges of  long-distance assistance magnify the difficulties in these situations – perhaps as much as tenfold.

    According to the US Department of Labor, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

    But while this act protects you from losing your job, and maintains your healthcare benefits – you have no income coming in during this time! And the FMLA only applies if you work for certain types of employers. (Specifically businesses employing over 50 people.)

    Yikes!

    Here’s Exactly What the FMLA Website Says:

    • FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.
    • FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:
      • For the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
      • For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
      • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
      • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
    • Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.

    So Where Does the Money Come From? How Do You Pay Your Mortgage, Buy Food, Cover Your Day-to-Day Expenses During Times When You’re Involved in These Crucial Family Events?

    With – Or Without – FMLA Benefits, You’ve Still Got to Cover Day-to-Day Living Expenses, Right? With – Probably – Not Too Much In Savings?

    Lisa’s a bit luckier than most when it comes to this aspect: She’s an author who has mastered the art of generating residual income online.

    Which means she knows her income will continue to find its way into her bank account, even though she’ll most likely be forced to take a break from generating new literary products for the duration. That is: She knows money will continue to flow into her bank account while she’s on the other side of the country assisting her in-laws – even though she has no plans to “show up for work” for the next three months!

    Even Better, From a Financial Standpoint: 

    • As long as Lisa has a laptop and a functional Internet connection she can be in communication with her publisher and her clients, whenever she has time: Even if that’s 2 AM on Thanksgiving morning! 
    • So if the muse strikes and she chooses to toss off a couple of chapters for her current novel, or a write a post to her blog – she’s only a “mouse click” away from taking these actions. Even if she’ finds herself sitting in the waiting room at the hospital waiting for her mother-in-law to finish a procedure when the muse shows up!
    • Since she’s also an advocate of online banking, Lisa can handle her finances froma distace as well! After all, the income she’s generating is depositing automatically, so she always has available funds.

    Whether You’re Living Out of a Suitcase or Not, Having a Reliable Portable Income Sounds Incredibly Wonderful, Doesn’t It?

    Sort of like enjoying the lush life of a movie star who lives off her residuals?

    Living off income that comes in from work she did in the past? It’s entirely possible for you to enjoy this lifestyle, too, as you know. We’ve talked about this before, actually.

    You see, Lisa is one of Gina Gaudio-Graves’s apprentices.

    She took Gina up on one of her first “30-Day IM Challenge” contests. And though Lisa didn’t win the challenge, she was hooked on the many benefits she discovered in the process.     

    Lisa Didn’t Decide to Start Building Her Online Business BECAUSE of the Potential That Her In-laws Might Become Ill.

    Of course not! 

    But the fact that she did take the entrepreneurial plunge, and learned how to effortlessly generate residual income online DOES MEAN that she’s not financially stressed while helping her mother-in-law recover.

    And that’s a wonderful ancillary benefit.

    The latest 30-Day IM Challenge started this past Sunday!

    It’s not too late to sign up and start learning how to build your own totally portable cash machine.

    Go check it out now! It takes time to start this sort of a business into motion.

    It’s sort of like pushing a flywheel.

    • At first you expend effort, but nothing happens.
    • But you keep the pressure on, and finally the flywheel moves almost imperceptably.
    • But you keep pushing, keep the pressure on.
    • And suddenly that heavy flywheel is moving effortlessly.
    • In fact, it takes on a life of it’s own!

    What are you waiting for?

    As a Baby Boomer, you’re automatically part of the Sandwich Generation. If you haven’t had to take time away from work to help a family member yet, chances are that opportunity still awaits you somewhere in the future.   

    You owe it to yourself to check out the 30-Day IM Challenge.

    After all, it’s free.

    And talk about over-delivery!

    “Joe the Plumber” Isn’t the Only Entrepreneurial Wannabe: Haven’t You Wondered Whether You Could Successfully Fund Your Retirement by Starting Your Own Small Business?

    Small Business Owner Wannabe? Yes You Can!

    If you watched the third and final presidential debate earlier this week, you heard both candidates talking abut how their economic development and tax plans would benefit Joe Wurzelbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber,” a Toledo, Ohio man who’s considering buying the plumbing business where he currently works – for somewhere between $250,000 and $280,000.

    Both candidates attempted to make the case that their plans for taxation and business development would benefit more Americans. Who won the debate – and the hearts and minds of Americans – will be determined in mere weeks now. But that isn’t the main point of this post: Helping you decide whether or not to buy or start your own small business is.

    See, “Joe the Plumber” Is Not the Only Baby Boomer Considering the Entrepreneurial American Dream of Business Ownership. Likely You Are, Too!

    For many Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, the concept of retirement has a very different meaning than it did a generation ago. Many of you are looking into starting your own business to support your retirement – or semi-retirement. Actually what some people are starting to refer to as “unretirement.” And why not?

    After all, several recent studies indicate that roughly 63% of non-retired adults in the United States plan to work into the time periond that used to be called retirement. Why? Your reasons may be different, but here are some popular ones:

    • Two-thirds of you say your key reason is that you enjoy your work and you want to stay mentally engaged
    • About half of you have a concern over not having enough money to cover your basic living expenses once you are old enough to collect Social Security
    • The current economy has left many of you with decimated home values, mountains of bills, and vanishing 401(K)’s
    • Only 28% of you report confidence in your ability to pay for projected medical costs – especially since many of you won’t have health insurance after you retire -and you can easily expect to live another 20 to 30 years

    On the Plus Side You Can’t Ignore the Very Real Benefits Of:

    • Your years of valuable work experience
    • Your maturity and judgement
    • Your health and vitality

    Actually, There Are as Many Reasons for Starting a Small Business as There are Americans Reaching Retirement Age

    At the very least you have to consider:

    • Corporate layoffs
    • The need to supplement your current income
    • Your desire for a more flexible lifestyle
    • Your recognition that advancing technology has leveled the playing field for many small businesses
    • The very real opportunity to realize your personal ambition to be the boss and reap the rewards

    It All Adds Up: More and More Boomers Find Financial and Personal Fulfillment in Running Your Own Small Business.

    “[Boomers] stand at the portal of advancing age more driven by their desire to stay engaged with achievements and family relationships than by the value of their portfolio,” says Carol Orsborn, an author and expert on marketing to Baby Boomers. Here are some other relevant facts:

    • A study by Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive found that 45% of Americans approaching retirement never plan to completely stop working
    • You can often deduct some of your health insurance premiums from taxes if you’re self employed and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer more savings.
    • Americans over the age of 50 make up a disproportionate share of the self-employed workforce, about 40 percent compared to 25 percent of the overall workforce according to a 2002 AARP study
    • Americans in their 40s and 50s expect to “retire” at age 61 but will continue to work until around age 70 according to Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive. During these 9 years, many of you believe the ideal work arrangement is to “cycle” between periods of work and leisure (42%). And only 17% of you hope to never work for pay again
    • The top-10 most popular franchising industries according to a report in USA Today are: fast food, service, restaurants, building and construction, business services, retail, automotive, maintenance, food retail, and lodging
    • A new franchised business opens up in the United States every 8 minutes, according to Price Waterhouse Coopers.  Average initial investment is $250,000
    • Only 37% of the Boomer generation indicated that earning money was an important reason to keep working according to Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive.  67% thought challenge and mental stimulation would motivate them to continue to work. The same study found that of Boomers who plan to continue work, nearly two-thirds want to pursue a different line of work.
    • The number of franchised business in the US has grown to 850,000 from 760,000 in the past six years according to an International Franchise Association report. The number of “franchise concepts” has grown to 2,500 from 900 in 3 years
    • 75 industries use franchising to distribute goods and services according to Price Waterhouse Coopers

    Undoubtedly it’s facts like these that led the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to unveil a new section of their web site earlier this month, aimed directly at you, the country’s most rapidly expanding group of entrepreneurs.

    The new Small Business oriented site is designed for you if you are a 50-plus entrepreneur seeking information on starting, growing and expanding a small business.

    “The SBA is working hard to increase opportunities for small businesses of the Baby Boomer generation at every stage of their business development through better technology tools and effective services through the agency’s district offices and resource partners,” said SBA Acting Administrator Sandy Baruah in a statement. “We believe 50-plus entrepreneurs will drive significant new business growth in the coming years.”

    The new site has been designed to help you evaluate the pros and cons of business ownership after age 50 and provides advice on how to treat different phases of business growth. It includes a series of free online course on topics like:

    • Small Business Primer: Guide to Starting a Business
    • How to Prepare a Business Plan
    • How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget (Trump University)
    • Franchising Basics
    • Technology 101: A Small Business Guide

    In addition you’ll find:

    • A tool to you measure your business readiness
    • Information on borrowing and credit
    • Encouraging success stories from other Baby Boomer small business owners

    There’s Also a Section Called “Bootstrapping Basics” That Offers Training Tools Such As “Traits of the Successful Entrepreneur”

    Here, you learn that:

    • Just as not every idea is well suited for a shoestring start-up, not every person is well suited to be a bootstrapping entrepreneur
    • “When it comes to starting a business on a shoestring budget, two of these traits are especially important. An entrepreneur must be passionate about his start-up business. It can be long time before you really start reaping the rewards of your business, and it can be easy to let other endeavors distract you. Your passion is what will keep you focused on moving your idea forward
    • “Too much caution can stand in the way of a successful start-up.”
    • A bootstrapping entrepreneur must also be something of a risk taker. You must be willing to experiment. If the first thing you try isn’t working, you have to be able redirect your efforts and try another approach.”
    • “Successful entrepreneurs share some common traits that help them meet the particular challenges starting a business puts before them. They include:
      • Passion
      • Tenacity
      • Persistence
      • Self-reliance
      • Risk-taking
      • Focus
      • Curiousity

    The SBA’s Self-Paced Training for 50-Plus Entrepreneurs Is A Good Idea, But It Lacks Passion – and a Mechanism to Keep Your Focused and Moving Forward.

    If you’re serious about building as business to support your retirement there is no time to waste. You need to get started now, and you need to get training from a reliable resource which will keep you focused and moving forward with passion.

    In my opinion, you’ll be much farther along in your business development efforts one month from now if you work with Gina Gaudio-Grave’s program, The 30-day IM Challenge instead of using the SBA’s self-paced training.

    What Have You Got to Lose? It’s Priced Right, and A Stronger Program

    In the past I’ve recommended Gina Gaudio-Graves free 30-Day IM Challenge program and I stand behind that recommendation. Also free, it gives you all the knowledge you need to succeed with your own business, whether you decide to go home-based or not.

    In Addition to the 750+ Pages of Training, Plus Recordings and Videos, the 30 Day IM Challenge Gives You Weekly Group Phone Calls and an In-depth Forum, Where You Can Ask Questions of Gina’s Apprentices, Who Are All Successful Graduates of the 30-Day IM Challenge.

    So, if you’re considering starting a small business to supplement your retirement income,  the only questions still left for you to answer are:

    • Do you want to succeed?
    • Do you have what it takes to own your own successful business?
    • If not, are you willing to work hard to acquire it?
    • Are you ready to launch yourself into prosperity despite the gloomy economy?
    • Or would you rather stick your head in the sand and wait until things are “easier.”

    If you opt for the last option, keep in mind that while you wait your chances for enjoying a comfortable retirement will be steadily shrinking…

    “Joe the Plumber” is not waiting. Don’t you hold off either!

    Nest Eggs Shrinking, Home Prices Falling, Financial Anxieties Blooming: Should You Put the Brakes On Retirement Planning and Power Up Those Dreams For a Business of Your Own?

    Is The Economy Choking Your Retirement Plans?

    Are You Worried About the Economy?

    Who isn’t? After all, if you haven’t already experienced major losses, you’ve been hearing from a host of respected financial experts – like Brett Arends who writes the “ROI” column in the Wall Street Journal – who are wringing their hands, while telling everyone to “bite the bullet,” and “stash your cash” as they frighten you with stories of a pending depression, should our economy continue spinning into freefall.

    Meanwhile, as the news flows, the Dow pumps up and down erratically, sort of like your blood pressure.

    In case you missed today’s column, Arends wrote:

    Cut everything.

    Drop your cable package and TiVo. Say goodbye to Applebee’s and Starbucks. Cancel the ski trip.

    Slash every single penny you possibly can from your household budgets and start building up cash.

    Yes, I’m serious. The shocking collapse of the rescue package on Capitol Hill threatens a disaster on Main Street. Unless this gets reversed almost immediately, it could turn a slowdown into a slump, and a slump into a depression.

    It’s hardly possible to make any sensible recommendations about investments or other financial matters until we get a better sense of what will happen next.

    Ordinarily in a panic like this I’d be urging people to invest. My usual approach is that the worse people are panicking, the more aggressively you should buy. And that might still be the right thing to do.

    But the political and financial situations right now are chaotic.

    So you need to get an iron grip at least on one thing you can actually control: Your own personal budget. 

    Whether or Not Everything Will Actually Sort Itself Out Without Further Disaster is Small Potatoes for Baby Boomers.

    You’re not so much concerned about having to slash your Starbucks budget as you are terrified over the impact this economy will have on your retirement planning. Worse, you realize there’s the potential that you’re going to have to forget about retirement entirely.

    Perhaps you’re even mentally trying on the smock of a  megastore greeter or a burger flipper and contemplating the prospect of standing on your feet and smiling at strangers for the next two or three decades – just so you can qualify for group health insurance.  Slaving away day after day, year after year, until you keel over dead. Not a pretty image, right?

    Getting back to present day reality, certainly the numbers are not good. Bear markets are particularly tough on people who are close to retirement. Especially if that nest egg you spent years building up has suddenly lost a good part of its value – or vanished entirely.

    But as discouraging as it is to think about having to rebuild your portfolio via working a few more decades, these are thoughts Baby Boomers need to consider, according to financial planners and researchers.

    They point out that even if the real estate market hadn’t tanked, and the banks hadn’t failed, many Boomers had already been jeopardizing their futures by  ignoring the retirement planning process and as a result, grossly underestimating how much money will be needed to fund two or three decades of retirement. Because of these major miscalculations, many Boomers were already leaving the work force carrying nest eggs with premature expiration dates.

    Consider this: Even before the current financial meltdown, less than one-quarter of workers age 55 and older — just 23% — have savings and investments totaling $250,000 or more, according to a study published in April by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington. About 60% have less than $100,000.

    So the most important economic point Baby Boomers must be thinking about RIGHT NOW is this:

    At This Time In Your Life, There’s Only One Economy That Matters: YOURS

    The bottom line is, our global financial system is in rough shape and the final consequences are still a murky mystery. But that is largely out of your control. Even though you may have already  experienced significant financial repercussions, you must let this point guide you at all times:

    “At the end of the day, it DOESN’T MATTER what “the economy” does, all that matters is what YOU do.”

    When the headlines are blaring doom and gloom, it takes a strong mind to stay focused on what matters most: The reality is, it doesn’t matter what “the economy” does: All that matters is what YOUR personal economy does.

    With that in mind, right now is the best time to take charge of your financial life, and take on the challenge of retirement planning like never before. When you do that, according to Loral Langemeier, you’ll find that it’s not only possible to survive in this economy, you’ll actually be able to thrive.

    Now, considering that the stock market had the biggest one day dollar decline in its history just a few days ago, the concept of thriving instead of just barely making end meet, is a truly wonderful. After all, it was that shock that might have had you swallowing hard and considering what it might be like to have to stay in the workplace a few more years, just to bring your personal financial base back to where it was… 

    Now, if you decide you want to continue working for an employer, that’s OK, as long as you stay in the workplace on your terms. After all…

    Many Financial Experts Have Suggested That Our Country’s Pending Economic Woes Could Be Overcome if Baby Boomers Would Choose to Work Longer – Especially When Considering the Challenges Related To: 

    • Supporting Social Security and Medicare
    • Overcoming the workforce brain-drain and labor gap anticipated by 77 million Baby Boomers retiring in a short period of time  
    • Alleviating the need to draw down on federal benefits, or liquidate investments, home equity and savings to fund two of three more decades of living, and as a result leaving more money for your children’s inheritance
    • Putting an end to intergenerational warfare and the now-popular sport of “Boomer bashing“
    • Potentially injecting $3 trillion into the economy each year, resulting in a 9% increase on Gross Domestic Product by 2045

    On the other hand, the best way to get out of debt and be financially free is to create new money and build wealth. And you’ll never do that as an employee. Short of investing your earnings in the market, that means finding some way to generate income on your own, even if you start small, simply by selling items you own but no longer need on eBay or Craig’s List.

    Once you get comfortable with the concept of finding ways to create more money, you can thumb your nose at Mr. Arends, and the other financial experts who’ve been advising you that you’ll have to give up your Starbucks, TiVo, that upcoming ski trip — or date night with your spouse or friends.

    Meanwhile, Guess What? The World Didn’t End When the “Great Financial Bailout” Failed to Materialize On September 29th. No, the World Continued On, and People STILL Need to:

    • Eat…food on the table continues to be a constant requirement for everyone
    • Enjoy solid roofs over their heads…
    • Look after their kids…
    • Advance their careers…
    • IN fact, they still need to pursue any one of the million-and-one things we human beings need to do *regardless* of the financial weather outside.

    In Other Words, Day-to-Day Business Goes On, Even When Wall Street’s Business Goes Down the Drain.

    Don’t let the headlines pull your attention away from that major reality:

    The world goes on and people still need businesses and organizations to support their endeavors.  So perhaps now’s actually the perfect time to dust off those long dormant dreams of starting your own business.

    After all, if you start a “third act” or retirement business as a cash machine to fund your retirement planning, you – and no one else – are in charge of your wealth building efforts. You call the shots with regard to your hours and your involvement.

    • If you choose your business niche properly, there’ll be an ongoing need for your product or service, no matter what happens on Wall Street.
    • In other words, once your business is set up, the money keeps generating, while you work or play as you please.
    • You can even give the business to your kids, or use it to fund charitable work in your name.

    Worried About Starting Up a Business In A Down Economy?

    Here are some facts that will help you keep your head together and focused on the real financial opportunities awaiting you in the days ahead:

    First: The Speed of Our Economy May Have Declined, But It Won’t “Flat-line”

    Few people realize that many of the successful companies of our time were started in the depths of the Great Depression. There are thousands of them large or small. (You can prove this to yourself with your own Google search.)

    In fact, “Down Times” are great times to start businesses if you do it the smart way. Why? Several reasons:

    • Costs are lower
    • Skilled help is easier to find…and
    • A lot of your potential competition disappears from the marketplace

    Second: There Will ALWAYS Be People Who Have Money to Spend. The Real Concern Is, Will Your Business Know How to Find Them? 

    For example, looking to the Great Depression of the past as a worst case scenario, if you were wandering the Dust Bowl in the depths of the 1930s, you probably would have been wise to move somewhere else.

    • And it’s true that there was massive, brutal unemployment during the Great Depression 
    • Twenty-five percent of all American households were without a breadwinner
    • (You probably know that, you’ve heard the stories from your parents. No one has to tell you what a scarring experience the Great Depression was for millions)

    But here’s the reality…

    • 75% of the country was employed
    • These people were cautious with their money and they demanded real value, but they spent money every day on all kinds of things, even movies
    • Whole new industries like broadcasting, automobiles and Hollywood reached their financial critical mass during the Depression
    • Thousands of successful new businesses were started. Others grew massively

    Third: Smart Business Owners Thrived During the Great Depression – And If Another One Comes, They Will Do So Again.

    Here’s another amazing fact:

    FEWER businesses failed in 1929 than failed in 1928 and 1927. 1929 was, of course, “D Day” for the Depression. That’s when the sky fell for “the economy.” And yet, on the micro-level – where we all live – there were *fewer* business failures.

    Why?

    • Smart business people are flexible, can adapt to the times, and find today’s opportunities.
    • Owning a smart business (or better yet, several smart businesses) is the greatest financial security there is.
    • It’s also the only reliable source of true wealth financial experts recognize.
    • But owning your own business is serious. It’s not something to play at. Nor, realistically, is business ownership something that will effortlessly bring you riches overnight.

    So let’s get real: 

    Here’s Your Bottom Line: Whether You’re Running Your Own Business Now, Or You’re Currently An Employee Who’s Seriously Thinking it’s Time to Start Your Own Business, Will You Be Smart Enough to Survive the Coming Days?

    If you’re smart about business, there’s someone – and something huge – you need to know: Gina Gaudio-Graves and her fantastic, FREE business development coaching program, the 30-Day IM Challenge.

    Gina Gaudio Graves kicked off her third 30–Day IM Challenge this past Tuesday, September 23rd. But it’s not too late for you to get some FREE business startup help from one of the best business development coaching programs around.

    What, you haven’t yet heard of Gina Gaudio-Graves and Her 30-Day IM Challenge?

    Here’s a Little Bit About Gina:

    • Prior to a disabling car accident, she enjoyed an extremely busy legal career as a litigator. But an accident left her unable to get out of a hospital bed and wheelchair for almost 10 years. During that time, she turned to the internet as a way to spend her time and afford her medical bills
    • Eventually she experienced a miracle cure which allowed her to get out of bed and walk without aid. Doctors can’t explain it and she still has no feeling in her legs
    • On her feet again, Gina spent the next 4-1/2 years organizing Joint Ventures for some of the most successful people on the internet. People like Shawn Casey, Willie Crawford, Henry Gold, David Garfinkel, and many others
    • As a Joint Venture Broker, she earned the reputation of “The JV Queen” because her promotions were so hugely successful!
    • Today she is a coach and mentor to entrepreneurs looking to build a business using the power of the internet.
    • Whether the internet is the business owner’s only presence or their secondary presence, her information products and coaching programs show them how to get bigger results, faster
    • Gina’s areas of expertise include:
      Mindset
      Strategic Planning for your Online Business Presence
      – Product Creation and Planning
      – Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances
      – Strategic Traffic Generation
      – Strategic List Building
      – Web 2.0
      Blogging
      – and many other aspects of building a business using the power of the internet
    • These days her mission is to help 1,000,000 entrepreneurs learn to live the life of their dreams through owning their own business, by the year 2013.
    • That’s why she came up with the idea of offering a free 30-Day Challenge, conducted online, allowing her to teach entrepreneurs EXACTLY how to build a business that will be a success!
    • Beyond that, she has a variety of paid information products and an Apprentice program, which is hugely successful 12-month long group coaching program.
    • Further, she also provides one-on-one coaching to a very a limited number of highly qualified students
    • Perhaps the thing that is the most impressive about Gina is the success percentages her students achieve. They are off the charts!

    The most important thing you need to know right now is the success rate of Gina’s students: It’s doubtful any of the “big name” experts can point to as many real student success stories as she’s helped create in just a few years.

    The 30-Day IM Challenge Gives You the Knowledge You Need to Succeed With Your Own Home Business.

    So the only questions still left to answer are:

    • Do you want to succeed?
    • Do you have what it takes to own your own successful business?
    • If not, are you willing to work hard to acquire it?
    • Are you ready to launch yourself into prosperity despite the gloomy economy?
    • Or would you rather stick your head in the sand and wait until things are “easier.”

    If you opt for the last option, keep in mind that while you wait your chances for enjoying a comfortable retirement will be steadily shrinking…

    Remember: There’s never an easy time to make money – and there’s never a hard time to make money…

    There’s only the right time which is always NOW

    You can still register for the 30-Day IM Challenge RIGHT NOW, for FREE and learn to live the life of your dreams through building a business using the power of the internet. You’ll find all the details at: 

    www.BoomerLifestyle.com/go/30day

    The 30–Day IM Challenge will walk you through every step of the process, one small step at a time.

    The 18+ Lessons – Totaling More Than 750+ Pages – Covers A Variety of Topics Hugely Critical to Your Success, Including:

    1. Time Management, Mindset, Goal Setting & Strategic Planning (You MUST have these foundations in place before you start anything else!! Gina explains why.)
    2. Choosing Your Target Market and Your Products (i.e. What is your niche?)
    3. Your Profit Funnel (i.e. What products will you sell?)
    4. Your Web Presence (i.e. Setting up Your Blog, why she recommends you use WordPress, and how to do it!)
    5. Resources for Creating Your Web Presence
    6. Increasing Your Traffic (it’s all about having a traffic generation SYSTEM that you repeat every day)
    7. Building Your Business on a Solid Foundation (without a solid foundation, your business is going to fail!)
    8. Avoiding the “Price Wars” Game (Find out why competing on price will not only decrease your profits, it will also decrease the demand for your products! Gina shows you why you MUST avoid this at all costs or your business will NEVER succeed!)
    9. Developing Your USP (That’s Unique Selling Proposition, and she explains the why and how)
    10. Building Strategic Relationships (With the development of Web 2.0, the internet is all about relationships. Build them strategically and you’ll totally DOMINATE your market every time!)
    11. Copywriting (Good copywriting skills must be learned. Without the right message, your business won’t succeed, no matter how much traffic you generate!)
    12. Traffic Generation and List Building (These go hand in hand! Gina shares tips and tricks)
    13. Using Blogs, Forums, and Article Marketing (Just because everyone is talking about Web 2.0 doesn’t mean that you should forget about the good ole’ days when Forums and Article Marketing were the ONLY way to drive traffic! They are just as effective today! And when you combine them with Web 2.0 strategies, look out!)
    14. Tying It All Together With Information Products (Remember — the Internet is the “Information Super Highway”. People are online because they want INFORMATION, not “stuff”. So give it to them — AND — make loads of money in the process!)
    15. Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances (As “The JV Queen”, Gina shares her strategies for building some of the most profitable joint ventures online!)
    16. And Much, Much MORE!

    Plus, as a 30-Day IM Challenge Member, You’ll Have Access To:

    • All of the Lessons
    • The IM University Classroom (the forum where IM University students are actively discussing their businesses and what they’re doing to build them)
    • The daily podcasts with tips for implementing all that you’re learning

    Even Better, After You Register For the Challenge, You Can Upgrade to Become a Gold Challenge Member, Where You Also Get:

    • The LIVE Weekly Teleconferences with Gina’s personal help in building YOUR business and critiques of your website(s), blogs and business plans.
    • You’ll get mp3 recordings of all four calls too.
    • You’ll even get mp3 recordings from all 8 of the calls held for the 1st 2 Challenges, for a total of 12 mp3 recordings in all!
    • Since the topics don’t repeat from one Challenge to the next, this means you’re getting three-times the content!
    • As much help as you’ll need to rapidly get your business up, running, and actually getting RESULTS!

    This is a True Win-Win-Win Scenario

    First, you win no matter whether you’re:

    • Brand new to the concept of operating your own business and you’re still kicking around ideas for what kind of business you want, or
    • You’ve already got a business up and running but it’s just not seeing the kinds of results that you dream about

    Either way,  the 30-Day IM Challenge will help you build a business that can quickly bring you a 5–figure monthly income!

    • You’ll learn how to keep your new funds generating, reliably, month after month – no matter what the market does
    • Set your business up right, and this “third act” cash machine will keep churning out income, even if you choose to be off saving the rainforest, or cruising the world! 
    • And of course, you’ll be providing value to your grateful customers, the people who buy whatever it is you end up selling. (And this WILL happen, because Gina will have taught you strategies to identify and serve ravenous markets, who are starving for whatever it is you’re offering.)
    • Plus, you can set up your business to allow you to leave behind a legacy for your kids or a favorite charitable cause

    Now if that isn’t reliable long-term retirement planning, what is?

    In closing, keep this in mind: Gina’s current 30-Day IM Challenge may already be underway, but there’ll be a new one starting in a month or so! Why not check it out today! There’s no charge, it’s free! All you’ll be investing is a bit of your time…

    Do nothing and time’s a-wasting! And retirement is calling!

    Tick Tock!