Happy New Year 2012

17 01 2012

Happy new year to one and all.  Now is the time we all take a moment, assess where we have been and set goals for where we want to be in the new year.  Granted, 2012 has been here for all of 17 days, but that really means there are 349 days (remember, this is a leap year) left to make the year really successful. 


This week we are going to address the question of success.  Do you consider yourself successful?  Do you consider your business successful?  Even if you think both you and your business are successful, what do you plan on doing this year in order to become more successful? 

The first thing we all need to do is to assess our own personal definition of Success.  Success for some may refer to a level of social status, achievement in business or school, or that you didn’t fail at doing something.  The Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary defines success as:  “the achieving of desired results or something that achieves positive results.”  So, success for one person may not be successful for someone else. 

To start your new year out right, you need to define your version of both personal and business success.  It is important to define both because if you achieve success in one and not the other, you will probably not be happy with your overall results.  If you expect your business to be successful, you should be successful in your personal life. 

Where is your life headed right now?  Is this the direction you want to go, if not, why not?  If you want to go in a different direction for 2012, what do you need to do in order to get there?  Do not try to overhaul your life in one big swing.  If you are not where you want to be now, it probably occurred in a series of small changes, not one big change.  So, if you want to put your life back on a successful path, you will need to make small changes that will ultimately add up to the large, successful change you desire.  Making this goal is no different than setting goals for your business plan.  You have the ultimate goal in mind, but you cannot get there from where you are right now.  In order to get to that end result, you will need to set a series of much smaller, and easily attained goals. 

These smaller steps are all to be designed to keep you not only pointed in the right direction, but to keep you motivated while you are ever so slowly marching towards your main goal.  How many times did you set a goal, and after months of hard work, still don’t seem any closer to that goal?  Don’t you get demotivated at that point?  Odds are that you become so frustrated with the lack of progress, you toss the whole idea out the door and quit.  By setting smaller, easily achievable goals, you can reward yourself and your business quicker and remain motivated and moving toward your major plan. 

Even after you have set your goals, are you happy with the path that you have taken?  Is this REALLY what you want to do and is this the direction you feel your business should be headed?  True success is loving what you do.  If you have your own business, you should be in it because you LOVE to be there, not just because it pays the bills.  There is nothing wrong with working in order to pay the bills, but you need to find something that will assist you in gaining financial freedom too.  You can work a regular job, but if you begin to work towards financial freedom, you may discover that you start enjoying what you do because you are getting closer to your goal.  Once you start enjoying yourself, you are becoming successful.  The world’s most successful people definitely love what they do.  They may be working insane hours in their business, but since they are doing what they are passionate about, the hours are not a burden.  That is true success. 

So, keep on plugging away with what you are doing, but perhaps you will want to start building towards your own personal success.  Don’t just set goals to achieve, but be sure those goals are what you are passionate about.  Without passion, you will never feel like you are successful.

Until next week.  

Business Success and Work Ethics – Part 2

24 05 2010

Last week we continued our discussion on how to make a business successful by exploring what a strong work ethic means and some aspects of a strong work ethic.  This week we are going to continue talking about what a strong work ethic can do for your business and how family and high moral values fit into a successful business plan

Some more solid work ethics will include the ability to continue when people keep declining your products or services.  Just because you are told “no, thanks” today, doesn’t mean that you won’t find that person who wants to purchase everything you have tomorrow.  Car dealerships don’t sell cars to every person that comes onto their lot.  If you had researched the business opportunity, you should already know that people are interested in the product or service you are offering.  It is just a matter of time before you tap into those customers. 

Another part of work ethics include consistency and reliability.  If you are not consistent with your behaviors, then your potential customers are not going to be trusting that you will do what you say.  Consistency requires that you follow through on what you agree to do.  By developing consistency, your potential customers will know what you are going to do and when you are going to do it.  Sometimes you may not think consistency is good, but if you turned the tables, wouldn’t you like to do business with someone who you know will do what they say they are going to do? 

Going hand in hand with consistency is reliability.  You need to be reliable in order to stay in business.  Again, if you say you are going to do something, you need to follow through on it.  If there comes a time that you cannot follow through on what you promise, you need to immediately contact the customer to let them know.  They will begin to trust you because you are reliable and consistent.  Your customers will learn to rely on you to get whatever work needs to be done or to deliver a particular product.  They will know that you consistently come through and they can rely on you to let them know if a problem may develop.

Developing consistency and reliability with customers takes time and a lot of work.  You do not gain the trust of customers overnight, largely because they have been disappointed so many times in the past with other vendors.  You may be amazed at how many business owners are not consistent or reliable.  Once a customer discovers that you have traits that many other businesses lack, you will most likely have a customer for life. 

Lastly, a good work ethic will include you treating your customers with respect.  You will respect their wishes, will listen to what they want, make sure you provide them with what they need and overall, treat them as people, not just as a means of making money.  Customers will recognize very quickly that you respect them and that will allow them to feel more comfortable making purchases with you.  They will trust that you will not sell them something they don’t truly need.

Family also plays very heavily into your business success.  If you start a business in order to earn a second income, or to become financially free, you may not be as successful as you would like if you do not have the support of your family.  Especially in the beginning of a business enterprise, since it will take up a lot of your free time, your family has to also be supportive of the business opportunity.  They need to understand that your time will be taken up now, but in the long run, you will have more time to dedicate to your family.  If you do not balance your business with your family, most likely both will not do well.  Your business may succeed for a time, but if your family is pressuring you to do something else, you may find either your business suffering from lack of attention, or your family will suffer.  Before you decide on a business opportunity, be sure that your family understands the sacrifices that may need to be made on a short-term basis and perhaps discuss how the whole family can work together to help the business grow.

Your customers will also see that you balance your family values with your business and they too will appreciate that you are working to maintain harmony.  If your customers are family people also, they may be more inclined to utilize your products or services, because your values more closely match theirs. 

Next week we will briefly discuss how moral values can also help your business to succeed. 

If you are interested in starting up your own business and do not know which business opportunity may be right for you, please feel free to view our website for ideas.  We would love to help you find something that would suit your needs and desires.  If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail us at Hawgwash1@yahoo.com.  

Until next week…

Strong Work Ethics in a Successful Business

17 05 2010

Strong Work Ethics


Last week we began talking about what makes a business successful.  This week we are going to examine in a little more depth some of the concepts introduced last week.  One of the theories of why Amish businesses were successful were due to strong work ethics.   

If you read the story about the Ant and the Grasshopper, the grasshopper played all summer, while the ant worked at collecting food in anticipation of the winter.  After working hard all summer (strong work ethics) the ant was able survive the winter months, while the grasshopper – who had chosen not to work all summer – starved in the cold because he did not prepare for the lean times.   

Being in business for yourself can be rewarding, but if you do not have a strong work ethic, you can get into trouble very quickly.  I don’t mean trouble with anybody in particular, but if you tend to not be as productive if you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder, then possibly being in business for yourself may not be the right plan.  You may ask, exactly what is a strong work ethic.  A Work Ethic is a set of values based on hard work and diligence.  A good work ethic includes being reliable, taking initiative and developing strong social skills.   

Strong work ethics are what will keep you going when times get tough.  Starting up a new business is very difficult, and very time-consuming, no matter what others may tell you.  I have had people propose a new business opportunity that they claim will just build and sell itself.  After some careful research though, their claims of a business just growing by itself were completely unfounded.  

Keep in mind, anything you do when going into business for yourself will take a lot of your time and effort.  This is not said to scare anyone off, it is far better to be prepared for the work instead of expecting an easy deal.  There may be an opportunity out there that does just take off with minimal effort, but honestly, those are few and far between.  Basically, when starting up a business for yourself and your family, even if it is an established type of opportunity, it will take a strong work ethic on your part to make the business successful and to grow.   

Part of developing your business is by working on business relationships.  You need people in order to keep your business afloat.  By learning to listen to what your potential customers want and need and then providing them more than what they asked for, will help you to develop relationships with those customers.  Once you have built a relationship with a customer, there is a high likelihood that they will go out and tell their friends of the good you have done for them.  Then those friends may come in and ask for either your products or services based on the recommendation of your original customer.  Building good relationships with your customers will also allow them to feel not only comfortable about coming in and obtaining your products and services, but will also allow them to feel comfortable asking you for advice on other issues that may be related to what you have to offer.   

Building relationships takes time and a lot of work.  You need to be well attuned to what your customers are asking for and strive to provide a little more than what they expect.  By going the extra mile to meet their needs, your customers will be thankful that you listened to them and gave them what they wanted instead of trying to sell them what they don’t need.   

 Other aspects of strong work ethics include continuing to work on growing the business, even when you receive a lot of  “no, Thanks” from people.  Getting “No’s” from people mean that you are that much closer to getting a “Yes” from someone else.  Keep in mind that you don’t purchase everything that you may see and desire, so don’t expect potential customers to come in and purchase immediately from you.   

Next week we will continue a little more with work ethics and then explore how faith, family and high moral values fit into a successful business plan.  

If you are interested in a second income stream, and may want to start a business, please feel free to review our website for information and ideas.  We offer several business opportunities, ranging from Waterless Technology to Nutritional Products.  We would love to assist you in beginning on the road to financial freedom.   If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com.   

Until next week…

Help, My Home Based Business is not Making Money

21 03 2010

If you have a home based business, what do you do when your core products or service does not produce the income you used to recognize?   The first thing you would probably do is to check and see if you are doing anything differently from when you first started your home based business.

If you have been growing your home based business over years, with luck you will find that you have changed what you used to do in reply to market pressures.  But, if now you find that all the things you had done no longer work and you are not making money, it is time to go back to the drawing board to determine what needs to change.  You should not change your business plan for change sake.  If you do not know why your business is falling off, you should not just make changes willy-nilly.  You need to sit down and determine what is not selling and try to identify the why the sales are falling off.

Are your products or services a one-time purchase, or are they a consumable item?  If they are a one-time purchase item, have you saturated your market?  Does everyone in your area already have your product?  If so, take a look at what you are willing to do to expand your market area to obtain new customers.   One way to do this may be to offer existing customers a rebate or gift card.  You may want to ask your existing customer base to refer your products to their friends and acquaintances.  In doing that, keep in mind, customers will not usually offer referrals unless there is something in it for them.  Before you start offering rebates or gift cards, find out from your customers what they want.

You need to understand what your customers want from your and your products before you can even begin to meet their needs.  Just because you think that you have an awesome product, does not mean the majority of people out there agree with you.  You might want to have a little survey card for your customers to complete so that you can be sure you are meeting their needs.  There may be times where you think you know what your customers want, but after collecting survey data, you may be shocked by what your customer base wants.  You won’t know unless you have the courage to ask. 

Most customers will appreciate offering suggestions to improve your services.   You need to be honest in asking them for information.  If you ask questions and then don’t implement any of the suggestions, your customers will stop providing useful information.  Instead of providing a survey, you may want to talk with your customers to determine what is going on in their life.   You don’t want to be nosey, but you want to know what their concerns and issues are.  Not only may you find out what is going on with your particular product, but you may discover an untapped market that you could add to your business arsenal.  Is there an opportunity that you may have the tools to solve for your customers?  Again, keep in mind that your products and services need to benefit the customer, not just you. 

If your products are consumable, how often do customers come back to purchase from you?  Are your sales falling off because a competitor has come into your area?  Was your product a “Fad” type item (like pet rocks…)?  Has the fad run it’s course?  Has some report or study come out that places your product in a negative light?  You will have to look around to determine why your sales are decreasing.  Again, if possible, ask your customers if they have found a similar item somewhere else.  This can be a touchy way to find out, but sometimes your customers may have wanted to tell you but weren’t sure how to approach you… 

We have found that if you have developed a relationship with your customers, even if they find a similar and less expensive product elsewhere, they will tell you because they trust you and like you.  They may even provide a lead for you to purchase those products at a lesser cost to you.  You won’t know if you don’t ask.

If you would like to discuss this issue more with us, please contact us via e-mail at hawgwash1@yahoo.com.  If you are interested in other income opportunities, please visit our website

Next week we will continue this discussion to include changing or modifying your product line to suit your customers changing needs.

I Found My Business Opportunity, Now What?

26 08 2009

Once you have found the business opportunity that you are interested in, you can then begin to build your customer base in that particular field.  If you have discovered the opportunity that you are personally passionate about, I believe the process of building your customer base becomes easier.

When you are passionate on a subject, you find that you are more willing to discuss it with others.  You don’t want to talk too much about your topic and behave like a used-car salesman.  You want to discuss your new-found income stream like you would discuss the last football game you saw, or a NASCAR race you saw.  You want to be interesting to people when you talk about your business opportunity, but you do not want to discuss it ad nausium.  You want to inspire interest and curioisity in your new business opportunity, not make people turn away. 

People are always interested in other ways of making money.  Money is a good motivator, but you need to be sure there is substance behind the income opportunity.  This is important because there will be times the money does not roll in as freely as you would like.  It is during those times that you truly begin building your business and discovering what you are really passionate about. 

The income opportunity should provide some type of service for your customers or fill a need.  You cannot sell them what they don’t want or need.  A really good salesperson can sell a person something they don’t need, but in the long run that customer will probably not come back to do any more business with you since they did not receive what they needed the first time.  This is the beginning of relationship building.

Relationship building is very important in building your business.  If you do not build a strong relationship with your customers, what will cause them to wish to come back with repeat business or to provide referrals for you?   It is very important to be sure you put your customer’s needs first, before your need to earn that additional income.  It is important that your customers trust you.  Once they learn that you will only provide them what they need or that you have anticipated what they need, you will find them more willing to come back to you for other items as time progresses. 

Happy customers will provide you with repeat business and are a wonderful source of referrals.  They will spread the word about your  business opportunity faster and more effectively than if you placed an and in the local newspaper.  You are now on your way towards financial freedom

If you have specific questions regarding this blog, please feel free to comment here or e-mail us a shootershakes@aol.com.  If you are interested in locating a business opportunity that may suit your needs, please see www.hawgwash.net

How to find a Second Income

24 08 2009

Now that you have decided you would like to include a  second income to your portfolio the big question is, how do I begin?  What business opportunity do I go with?  How do I know what will work for me? 

In order to start off properly, I recommend that you first take a personal inventory.  What do you really like to do in your down time?  What are your passions?  What are you good at that you enjoy doing?  Keep in mind, as you go through this exercise, you may end up finding something that had not even occurred to you originally.  The important thing is to keep an open mind while going through your personal inventory.  If possible, get a close friend involved.  They tend to see things you do that you may not be aware of.  They are a great resource when it comes to finding out what you may or may not be good at. 

A great example of friends pointing out stregnths that you never knew you had:  I used to be in Finance / Accounting.  At the time I would have considered myself a very bad candidate for a commissioned sales position.  Luckily I had a close friend who pointed out that I was a good sales person when I was passionate about what it was I sold.  Now I am in business for myself, traveling to various shows around the country and selling to people.  I would not have even considered this route had my friends not pointed it out to me.  

When I was in Finance, I saw the sales staff were largely motivated specifically by the money, but what I observed is the really good commission sales staff were motivated by more than money, they had passion.  Money is a great motivator, but there is more in life to just making money.  I suspect that most of us would like to provide some benefit to others while we were earning that extra income.  By helping others to succeed, you yourself will succeed. 

For more inspriation on what type of subject you want to begin your second income stream with, you may want to check out some magazines that are in the grocery store (not the tabloids).  Look inside and see which subjects may catch your eye.  Perhaps do a search on the internet and see what items are out there that interest you and do a little research. 

Searching on the internet is almost like opening an encycleopedia and reading.  You never know what you might find that will interest you.  You may be amazed at the ideas that could be generated by just doing a little research on the internet. 

If you are still stumped about what you want to do to begin generating your additional income stream, please feel free to contact us.  We would love to be able to assist you in finding your perfect niche.  We will also ask you questions to further help you to explore what you really are interested in pursuing.  If you discover a niche that we aren’t personally involved in, it doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to help you to realize your dreams.  (What we won’t be able to do is to get you into Hollywood, or become a Country Western singer, or a top NASCAR driver)  We can help you to find the products and/or services taht would compliment you and your personality.  We would love to be able to help you on your way towards financial freedom

We can be reached through our main website at www.hawgwash.net.  You can also e-mail us at shootershakes@aol.com

In a few days, we will continue this dicussion on finding a second income. 

Why do YOU want financial freedom?

17 08 2009

A corporate CEO took a young executive from his company out to lunch one day.  This young executive was an up and coming star and the CEO wanted to spend some time with him.  They had a leisurely lunch and then took a drive out of town.

They stopped at a scenic lookout and got out of the car.  Both walked to the edge and the CEO began to talk.  “Young man, can you picture a huge mansion on the piece of land out there?”  “Yes, I can”, was the reply. 

“Can you picture a meadow with horses?” 

“Yes, I can see it”, was the reply. 

“Can you picture the four car garage with nice cars, a swimming pool, spa and tennis courts?”

“Yes, I can see that too”, was his reply.

“Son,” the CEO began, “keep working hard the way you are now and someday…all of that will be mine.”

We will spend a lifetime exchanging time for dollars to build someone else’s dream.  Why not begin to build your own dream?