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About Connie Ragen Green

  • Member Since: April 22, 2014

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Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the Internet since 2006. Her ninth book, “Living the Internet Lifestyle,” was recently released by Hunter's Moon Publishing and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2014 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

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Retiring Soon? It’s Time to Start a Business

| Community | May 9, 2019

Longtime reader Bob asked me about a situation you may be able to identify with as well. Bob is getting ready to retire in the next two years and he is thinking about starting a business. His goal is additional income, less travel time than required by his current employer, and a way to stay focused and busy doing something he is interested in for the next chapter in his life.

The decision to go from employee to business owner is one that must not be made without some careful thought. I did this in 2006 and it continues to work out well for me. I recommend that you first do what I did a year before when I was contemplating this pivot; I did a self-evaluation, also referred to as a self-assessment of everything related to this life change.

Evaluating and Assessing This Transition

Hopefully you are giving yourself a minimum of one full year to make this change from working for someone else to running your own business. Here are the questions to ask yourself:

Who are you? What have you learned about yourself during the past five or six decades of life? We all tend to become more set in our ways as we grow older. Are you open-minded and ready for an adventure? Will you be prepared to learn and implement new things as a part of your new business, such as technology and social media?

How do you want to spend your time after you retire? Do you envision lengthy afternoon naps, travel on a moment’s notice, or finally having time to restore that ‘72 Camaro or start your vegetable garden? Is the idea of getting up each morning and digging in to your business something you will look forward to years from now, when the newness of entrepreneurship or small business ownership has worn off?

Who will you serve? Every business in the world was started and continues to thrive when someone is served by the product or service being offered.

If you have a spouse or partner, what are their feelings about your idea? What about your children? Sometimes we are surprised when family members have their own notions about how we will spend our retirement years, long before the time comes and without discussing this with us first. These are the people closest to you so they deserve to hear your plans and share their feedback before you make a decision. Especially if you have been fully engaged in your work life for the past forty years or so, they may be anticipating you taking a more active role in their lives once you have left the work force and can be closer to home.

The Right Business Model for You

These are some ideas for business models you may want to consider:

Your own original idea – this will take time and resources to fully develop and get off the ground as a startup
A franchise of some type – again, this one requires a large investment of time and money
A new service business in your community – do the research and decide if this fits your goals
An online physical or digital products business – the most inexpensive to start
Authorship – writing pays extremely well and you can do it from your home computer
Freelancing as an independent contractor – there are a variety of ways you can earn income and only work the days and hours you choose

Our community has many resources for new business owners. Take advantage of everything available at College of the Canyons, local adult schools, and through various groups in our community. And visit the local Rotary Club to connect with new and seasoned entrepreneurs and business owners alike.

Once you make the decision to follow your dream and start your own business, here are some tips I will share with you. They are based on my experiences with starting a business at age 50, after resigning as a classroom teacher and no longer taking clients for my real estate brokerage and appraisal business:

Engage in hands-on research as soon as possible
Get started before you retire
Plan your pivot from employee to business owner
Take decisive action every day
Never, ever give up!

Becoming an entrepreneur has changed my life forever. Answer the question, do the work, and see how rewarding business ownership can be at any age.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore by request, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2019 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Become a Local Celebrity with Your Book

| Community | March 28, 2019

I received a question from reader Barney, who asked me how he could sell more copies of a book he published at the end of 2018. As is typical for most new authors, once your family and friends have purchased copies for themselves and to give away as gifts, your book sales may come to a complete standstill. Here are my ideas on selling your book, based on my decade of experience in writing, publishing, and selling many books on a variety of topics.

Even if you’re not known in your community for the topic of your book, local marketing must not be overlooked. In addition to your online marketing efforts through social media and on Amazon, promoting your new book locally can bring you “local celebrity” status while increasing your fan base and significantly increasing your sales.

Keep in mind, these ideas may not bring in a massive number of sales initially, but they will go a long way to expanding your name recognition within your local community. And instead of book sales in the numbers you aspire to, you may gain some new friends and clients and you will definitely gain more social media fans. Let’s get started.
1. Hold local book signings at libraries or book stores. A book is quite an accomplishment not everyone can claim, so toot your own horn to the people who know you best. Meet and greets at any locale allows you to promote your book while also growing your fan base. In Santa Clarita we have several incredible libraries and bookstores to choose from. Visit all of them and inquire about their book signing events. I recommend attending one or two to see how they are run and to have the experience of meeting other local authors. Purchase one of their books and have the author sign it for you in person so you know what that feels like from the other side of the table.

2. Appear at community events. Santa Clarita hosts many of these types of events throughout the year. Check our community calendars well in advance and be prepared to invest a nominal fee to set up a table with your book available for purchase. Print out bookmarks or other handouts that include your social media handles so they can connect with you after the event; or be proactive and connect with people instantly at your booth.

3. Speak at local schools about your path to becoming an author. Many middle schools and high schools hold career days, so watch for those events or call the schools directly to inquire.
This isn’t so much a chance to sell your book but to tell about your path to becoming an author. Carry handouts with your name, book title, and social media handles so the students can pass them along to their parents. This is also a great opportunity to leave information at the schools for the faculty. You just never know where your next client or book sale will come from!

4. Volunteer locally with your Chamber of Commerce, service organizations such as Rotary, or other business networking groups. Many Chambers have different committees on which to serve and other business groups (such as BNI) have executive officer positions available every year. Again, these types of positions are not about selling books but offer you the chance to give back to your community while expanding your name recognition.

5. Use your book as a fundraiser. Choose a cause that is close to your heart and dedicate a percentage of sales to be donated. Donating to a local charity or a local branch of a national charity may stir more interest because of the hometown roots. Or donate a copy or two of your books to auction events held by local PTAs, scouting troops, or religious organizations. Very often these organizations will distribute a list of their benefactors, so that’s yet another way to increase your name recognition.

Marketing your book should be a continuous cycle, both online and offline. The more people you can reach through the differing avenues, the more likely you’ll see increases in sales, new clients, and social media fans.

If you haven’t yet written your book, I’ll be sharing more about how you can achieve this goal in my next article. Start thinking about your topic now so you will be ready to begin writing in April.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore by request, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2019 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Why Do People Buy What You Are Selling?

| Community | February 21, 2019

Whether you sell a tangible product or a more abstract concept, and no matter if you are selling online or offline, you must determine why people will buy from you. Once you understand the psychology of why your prospects, customers, and clients are buying you will be able to sell as many of your products and services as you want and need to meet your goals.

Over the past decade I have explored the ideas I am sharing here with you. This ongoing exercise has taught me so much and helped me to help others who want to excel as sales people in a variety of niche areas.

Remember: It’s NEVER about the cost involved. That is simply an excuse we have all used at one time or another when the salesperson isn’t providing us with what we need from them. Here are some questions to begin with when you are selling.
What is the biggest challenge you are having right now?
How does this issue affect your daily life?
What steps have you taken to move forward?
If you could solve this problem what would your life look like?

Before you can get to these questions, however, you must interview people who have bought from you and ask them why they bought from you. These are some of the answers you can expect to hear:

  • They like and trust you (the “know, like, and trust” factor is huge)
  • They understand what they are buying (the confused mind doesn’t buy)
  • They perceive a difference in you and your company/business
  • They perceive value in the product they are purchasing
  • They perceive your product or service will increase their productivity and/or profit
  • The price is fair, but not necessarily the lowest in the marketplace

Do you detect a pattern here? It’s more about you than about the company you represent, the specific product, and the price. Does this surprise you?

Think back to the last major purchase you made. Perhaps it was a washing machine, or a television, or a car. Did the salesperson have anything to do with the manufacturer or model you chose, or the specific features, or the price?

But, you say, I made this purchase on the internet. There was no salesperson and no personal contact, except at the very end of the transaction when I paid for my purchase.

Aha! The savvy salesperson will reach out to you, even if most of the transaction has been completed online and make an excuse to speak with you on the phone or on a teleconference of some type. If you at that time express any doubts about completing the purchase they are likely to use some version of the four questions I shared at the beginning of this article.

If the product is a washing machine, you may share that your biggest challenge is finding something clean to wear to work, this issue affects you daily life in that you are spending too much time and focus thinking about it, the steps you have taken to move forward include locating a washing machine with the features you need, and if you could solve this problem your life could get back to normal.

Now, this is what I want you to do to ensure that you understand why people buy from you. First, contact a dozen of your best clients and invite them to a seminar on how to do what you sell. This could be safe driving techniques if you sell cars, simple dental hygiene tips if you are a dentist, or strategies on removing tough stains if you sell washing machines. I’m a marketing strategist and entrepreneur, so I invite people to learn how to start a simple business they can run from their home computer to earn extra income. You get the idea.

Serve some good food and non-alcoholic beverages at the break. At the end of your seminar, ask them questions about how you meet their needs what they look for in a vendor. Record the seminar and listen to it at least a hundred times. That is when you will understand why your customers buy from you. Your sales numbers will increase and you will understand people in a whole new way, I promise.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore by request, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Doing Business the Old Fashioned Way: Face to Face

| Community | January 18, 2019

Long ago, before the internet, television, broadcast radio, the telephone, email, smart phones or even the printing press were invented, business owners got the word out about what they had to offer in a unique way. They actually had to talk to people in person. Gasp! That’s right, meeting prospects and clients in person was the old fashioned way – and it worked.

I propose bringing back this ancient art of communication during 2019, to at least the partial exclusion of modern day methods. Are you up to it? I believe it will be worth your while. How about if I challenge you to do the majority of your business and marketing in person and/or by telephone (not your smart phone) for the next 30 days?

With the magic of technology, telecommunications, and more in the online world, it may be difficult to imagine having to connect with your prospects and clients face to face or on the telephone. But it can be done, and here are some ideas on how to accomplish this task.

Now, I know what you are thinking; “Most of my clients do not live anywhere near Santa Clarita; many are on the other side of the world. Even if I call them on the telephone it won’t be enough to do business in a way that makes sales.”

For the purposes of this challenge, let us assume that you will only be reaching out to people within a specific mile radius from your office, or within a certain driving distance. Yes, this was what it was like many years ago.

To get started with marketing the old fashioned way, access your list of prospects and current customers and clients in the database you have for this purpose. Is it only available online? Print out a hard copy quarterly so you may access it quickly if need be. For reference, I worked for Security Pacific National Bank and Liberty Mutual Insurance in the days when everything was printed as a hard copy each day and no one had a computer or terminal at their disposal, and this was during the early 1990s.

I believe this style of doing business requires a bit more preparation. If you call someone and agree to meet them at their office in an hour and the traffic is backed up, you wouldn’t be able to send a text message or call from your smart phone in the car.

By now, you may be asking, “What is the purpose of this exercise? We have advanced technology at our fingertips. Doesn’t it make more sense to use these innovative tools to do business?”

Yes. And no. Meeting in person to do business has become a lost art. It is one that is worth revisiting, I believe.

Let’s assume you have made a call to a new prospect and they agree to meet with you. When you show up at their office or other meeting place the first thing you do is shake their hand. This gives you an immediate connection with them and them with you that cannot be replicated through a phone call, email, or text. Next, you make some small talk about your family, your vacation, and anything else that comes to mind. This allows you to find some commonality before you begin discussing business.

We tend to do business with the people we know, like, and trust. It is worth your time to connect with people in person so they have the opportunity to learn more about you as a person, rather than as just someone offering them a product or a service.

Where do you meet people to better establish your relations? I thought you’d never ask. Reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce, attend meetings of service organizations (Rotary is my first choice), and visit local referral groups. You will even find there is some overlap with the people who are a part of these groups. These are the ones who understand the value of face to face communication and relationship building. Shake their hand and introduce yourself.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore by request, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Is There a Podcast in Your Future?

| Community | December 13, 2018

I received an email from Cora, a long time reader and community member, asking if I could write a column about podcasts and podcasting. This is a hot topic, and one you will want to keep an eye on as we move into 2019.

A podcast is a digital file, most often audio (mp3) but it may also be video (mp4), made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer, tablet, or mobile device. Podcasts are typically available as an episodic series, where new installments may be received by subscribers automatically and at their convenience.

For example, I subscribe to a variety of podcasts on different topics. Whenever I log in to my iTunes account on my computer or open an app (application) on my smart phone the most recent installments, or episodes of the podcasts on my list will begin downloading to my library automatically.

When I started my business online in 2006, podcasting was in its infancy. Once the technology caught on and it became easier for the layperson to set up, everyone who wanted to have their own show was able to get involved.

And just as radio didn’t truly take off until the automobile manufacturers installed a radio in every new car during the 1960s, podcasting is only now becoming more common in the marketplace. Even though Chevrolet first introduced a car radio as an option in 1922, it would take another thirty years to be standard in more than half of all cars on the road. That’s when the shows began finding their audience and advertising was how revenue was generated.

General Motors announced last December they would provide podcasts through apps that are downloadable via the vehicle’s onboard connection in most of their new model cars. And just this week Pandora announced they were adding podcasts to their lineup. “Podcasts on Pandora” is now available for all users and will include hundreds of podcasts with over one hundred thousand episodes across a wide variety of genres.

What does this mean for you and me? I see podcasting as a way to get the word out on what we think is important and worth sharing. If you’re part of a non-profit you may want to create and host a podcast where you share detailed information about the people and causes you serve.

If you are a small business owner, start a podcast about the work you do. I personally know a man who runs a pest control business in Georgia who began doing this about two years. He now works directly with other owners of pest control businesses throughout North America who need help with their marketing. Talking about the business he knows so well for less than a half hour each week is paying off quite handsomely.

I started my first podcast in 2011 using my home telephone and my blog. Each week I would share information about online marketing on a show I called “Ask Connie Anything” and then I would upload it to iTunes and other podcast directories. Within a few months I had followers and subscribers who downloaded my shows and subscribed to make sure they didn’t miss a thing.

It may take a decade or longer for podcasts to overtake radio. We are all familiar and comfortable with radio from our decades of experience. There are many benefits of podcasts, including the end user’s ability to download both past and future episodes automatically. It’s also much easier to find a podcast on a specific topic than it is to locate a radio show. This is primarily because iTunes is quickly becoming one of the largest, well-defined search engines in the world.

You can start your own podcast for less than a hundred dollars, including your domain name, hosting, website setup, art for your logo, and first episode upload. If you prefer a more sophisticated microphone and recording gear add another hundred dollars. Considering this gives you a recording studio more powerful than what the radio stations across North America and beyond had available to them twenty years ago this is quite amazing.

I would love to hear about your thoughts about podcasts. If you need more information or help setting up your podcast contact me at the address below.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore by request, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

The Benefits of Journaling

| Community | November 8, 2018

Have you thought about journaling? Do you already journal and need some new ideas?

Journaling is older than the written word. People have been tracking their lives since cavemen were drawing crude pictograms on walls. It’s in our DNA to draw, write, process and document our journey through life. Some of this country’s most beloved treasures are the journals and accounts written by the founding fathers and mothers of America.

There are three big benefits to keeping a journal. These include exploration of possibilities, expressing the processes of life, and gaining a personal historical perspective.
Explore the possibilities. Journaling creates a safe space to ponder any and every idea that comes to mind. Sometimes one of the best ways to manage the overwhelming parts of life is to empty your head of the thoughts, ideas, and information running through your mind. Writing down the information frees you up to let it go. The brain is no longer required to manage so much information.

Whether you are plotting out a new business, processing your thoughts in a safe place or creating a documentary of a journey, journaling is an effective way to sort through life and create new outcomes.

Express yourself. Just as art, music and dance are forms of expression, journaling is a fundamental way that people express themselves. Whether you are doing Bible journaling, bullet journaling or writing long hand in a leather bound book filled with empty pages, you are expressing yourself in a very profound way. No two journals are alike and there is great power in having an outlet to share whatever is on the forefront of your mind.

Remember what happened. What you are experiencing today is going to be a memory in a very short amount of time. What you feel about life, happiness, sadness, elation, or confusion won’t always be the case. You won’t always be a new resident to the Santa Clarita Valley, expecting your first child or grandchild, or be in the beginning stages of starting your business. Journaling creates a timeline where you can live in the moment and reflect back in the future. Nothing is better than going back and revisiting who you were back then and recognizing how far you’ve come and seeing that things really did work out for the best.

Being able to see how you worked through issues and made it to resolution is beneficial. One day your family may read your journal and have a new and profound understanding of who you were and what challenges you were managing at different times of life.

There are many different ways to journal. Not every journal has to be a blank paged book that you write in for hours sharing your innermost thoughts. Some journals take minutes to update. Others use no words at all. Journaling isn’t so much about how you do it as it is that you do it with frequency and consistency.

Depending on the outcome you desire from journaling, you can design a journal practice that accommodates your needs. You can keep track of a goal, work through difficult times, express yourself creatively, engage in self-care or simply catalogue your dreams. Whatever your need, there is a way to journal it. These are some traditional journal ideas:
Blank notebooks
Electronic notebooks
A writer’s notepad or notebook
Fill-in-the-blank prompting journals
Gratitude journals

Traditional journals are excellent for people who love to write and spend time laying out their ideas with minimal prompting or influence from the outside. For those more comfortable at the keyboard, an electronic journal may be ideal.
Here are some unconventional journal ideas:
Bullet journals
Video journals
Bible art journals
Vision boards
Mind maps

These unique journal styles usually appeal to men and women who prefer alternatives to longhand or traditional journaling. Busy people who don’t have spare time may find bullet journaling an effective way to stay on track with their creativity without sacrificing too much energy.

Journaling has benefits that come alive when you move the thoughts and ideas from your head to a journal. There are undeniable advantages to exploring the possibilities, expressing yourself and have a historical perspective on life. Journaling can give a pathway to a passion to write about, draw, or capture your biggest ideas when they have your full attention.

I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences with journaling for an upcoming conference I am hosting for entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Making a Difference Through Mentoring

| Community | October 18, 2018

Life is complicated. Navigating the waters on your own may be admirable on some level, but you do not need to go it alone. In fact, all studies lead to the conclusion that the mentored life is preferable. The flip side of this coin is mentoring others, in both your personal and professional life. Allow me to explain how this works and how you can make a difference in someone’s life by taking on the role of mentor.

While I was growing up I had a close friend we called Tory. His given name was “Mentor” and that is when I learned the meaning of that word is “teacher.” Tory taught me much about horticulture and caring for animals, but other than that connection I did not give another thought to mentoring until I was in my late twenties.

At that time I had passed the California real estate salesperson exam and was ready to begin my career as a sales associate in a large firm down in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles. If you’ve ever heard the saying “Here’s your desk, there’s the phone, lots of luck, you’re on your own,” then you can imagine what it was like for me. If it hadn’t been for a man named Leonard who took me under his wing and mentored me during my first year, I would not have stayed in real estate for what has added up to over three decades now. His patience and uncanny knack for anticipating situations based on his own experiences helped me to achieve my goals and even move beyond them.

Mentoring works in both directions. The more experienced, and many times older person guides the mentee towards success, one conversation and transaction at a time. The mentor benefits from the questions he or she is asked and the fresh outlook brought to the table. Many mentors experience a variety of feelings and emotions such as having a new lease on life, the joy of helping someone that reminds them of themselves when they were younger or newer to a profession, and being invigorated to the point of starting a new venture in an area they haven’t worked in for several decades due to this positive shift in attitude.

I have mentored new entrepreneurs for a decade now. The personal satisfaction and reward is priceless. Over these ten years my focus has shifted from initially helping them only with the business part to now becoming a trusted guide and advisor in their personal relationships, health, and legacy planning. Never forgetting that a mentor is a teacher, I seek out “teachable” moments to help my mentees come to their own conclusions.

Who is mentoring you? To whom are you a mentor? I firmly believe that we never outgrow the need for a mentor or the role as mentor for others. Reach out to someone you know here in the community and ask them to meet with you to discuss their business and personal goals for the next year. If they are anxious to take you up on your offer give them the best you have to give.

A mentor is a friend, but I find it more beneficial to move past that label and on to something more sacred. A mentor is combination parent, business associate, extended family member, and trusted guide through the rivers of life. Sometimes these waters are calm and inviting while other times they are whitewater rapids that challenge us to hang on and steer for dear life. Knowing that person is always there for you, whether in your head or right in front of you can be exactly what you need to stay focused and on track.

I would love to hear your thoughts of this topic. In April of this year, I published a book called Living the Mentored Life. Email me at the address below and I will make sure you receive a digital copy at no cost.

You deserve to be mentored as much as someone you may already know deserves to be mentored by you. The person you connect with may be your neighbor, someone in the grocery store aisle, or the person you barely talk to at church or in a service organization you are already a part of in this community. Reach out and offer to be a mentor and see what happens next.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Want a Better Memory? Practice Your Storytelling

| Community | September 6, 2018

Shane wrote to me last week and asked if I had any tips for improving memory at any age. You bet I do, and here is what I believe will make a difference for you.

Storytelling and memory go hand in hand. If you want an improved memory, here’s how to use storytelling to your advantage.

Do you remember facts easily? How about a well crafted story? If you are like the majority of people, you will take good stories over dry facts any day. There are people who revel with facts alone. There is nothing wrong with this. But, our brains have been created to tell and hear stories. We remember people from history because of their stories. Do you know the story of how Abraham Lincoln walked several miles to return a few pennies to a woman who had done some shopping at the General Store where he worked as a young man? What about single mother J.K. Rowling who was on welfare in the U.K. before publishing the Harry Potter books and becoming a billionaire?

It makes sense that storytelling has to be the easier path to a better memory. When we hear a good story, we will likely share it with our family and friends. They will also be more tempted to pass the information on to others in the form of a story. This is especially effective for entrepreneurs and small business owners as a strategy to weave stories into what we have to offer. Stories become the fabric of our lives. The memory boost is a plus in this case.
Of course, there is the possibility that as the story moves from one person to the next, the meaning may alter along the way. There are going to be differences in how each person tells the story. They will also embellish the story that makes it deviate from the original. You may remember the game called “Telephone” (or Chinese Whispers) when you were young. There would be a row of people, and the first person would whisper a short story to the person next to him or her. This would follow on down the row of people. By the time you get to the last person and ask he or she what the story is, it will be completely different from the original.

This was the premise for a television show called Password that aired on CBS during the 1960s. It starred Allen Ludden as the host. It was quite popular and that is where Ludden met his second wife, actress and comedienne Betty White. They were married until she was widowed in 1981 and she is currently ninety-six years old. Yes, I did fact check this information but most of it I remembered because it is told in story form. Stories are powerful!

Storytelling and Memory is About Telling Stories

While storytelling can be a great way to help remember, not everyone is good at telling stories. If someone is a poor storyteller, they will either get the story wrong, they will not present it in an engaging manner, or both. In this case, it is better for the person to keep strictly to the facts and avoid trying to tell stories.

Storytelling is a skill that can be practiced. Some people are natural at it, and that gives them a big advantage. Because of these natural storytellers, others may feel intimidated and may believe it is not possible to learn the skill. That is not the case. It does take some time before you will be good at it, and you may not be as good as others, but you will eventually get much better at it. This means that you can be instrumental in improving your own memory as well as that of others.

I like to practice my storytelling skills regularly and enjoy the interaction with others when I do. And stories make perfect sense in my online business when I need to make a point or persuade my community to pay closer attention to what I am sharing with them. Start telling stories and let me know if your memory improves, a little or a lot.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Can You Hear Me Now? Communicating Clearly for Results

| Community | August 23, 2018

Communication is at the root of every human interaction. Whether you work as a rocket scientist, an entrepreneur, or a classroom teacher, communication will be at the heart of everything you do. If you are a parent, an employee, or an employer, you may have experienced firsthand what it’s like to have misunderstandings based on miscommunication. Every relationship on the planet relies on clear communications, whether these are through writing, speaking, or both.

The question you want to begin with is:

“Are you happy with your current level of communication skills?”

If you’ve answered yes, then you may stop reading right now. But, if you’ve answered no (which is more likely the case), then please keep reading to learn more about my five tips for crafting and delivering information in a clear and concise manner.

#1 Choose an appropriate topic.
If you are speaking on behalf of yourself or your company, then make sure to choose the best possible topic and lead with that as you begin. If you want to make a point with your family members, position your topic in a way that will allow for an open discussion once you’ve made your relevant points.

The crucial thing here would be to focus on what you know best. By this I mean you want to share your perspective on your topic in a way that gets your feelings and beliefs across, while not being judgmental or opinionated. Provide examples of how you see the topic playing out over time so that it’s a win-win.

#2 Know your audience.
The way you would communicate with your employees, your boss, or people you serve with on the board of a non-profit organization would differ from how you communicate with your spouse or young children. This is based on your relationships with each person and the goals you have in mind when you begin speaking or writing to get your ideas across in a way that will be effective.

It’s critical that you understand your audience and what they are wanting and expecting to hear. If you fail to deliver the right information, or fail to deliver your information in the right way – you’ll leave your audience cold and unimpressed. This is where persuasion comes into the communication process, but we will leave that discussion for another day.

#3 Hone in on your key message
Determine in advance what it is that you want and need to communicate to the other person or people involved.

Only go into as much detail as is warranted by the situation. If you want to communicate to your employee a new method of checking in inventory and passing information along to the next department, you do not need to explain in detail the accounting process involved and the steps used in production of the final product. It isn’t necessary and may lead to confusion or miscommunication. Stick to “just the facts” and everyone will benefit.

#4 Make your content engaging as you communicate.
Tell stories. I learned how to do this effectively as a classroom teacher and carried it over to my real estate business. This allowed me to make my points and to enroll my listeners as I explained important concepts and ideas.

Scientific research has shown that the brains of people reading or listening to stories are more engaged and stimulated than when they simply hear hard facts, so we know storytelling works.

Stories help us to learn new things and to enjoy the magic and mystery of the world. When it comes to delivering captivating presentations, make sure you have plenty of relevant stories to tell.

#5 Provide solutions as you write or speak.
If you want to inspire action, you must deliver solutions during your presentations. If you don’t, you are asking for trouble, because your audience will draw their own conclusions that may be out of congruence with what you were attempting to convey to them.

Whatever you are being asked to communicate, look for ways to embed practical tips those listening to or reading from you can easily remember and adopt.

I speak and write regularly on the topic of becoming and succeeding as an entrepreneur. I make sure to include plenty of “how to” tips, as I want my audience to not just hear my story – but to know how to create their own story too.

I’d love to hear your experiences, thoughts and your own stories around this topic of clear communication.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Eliminating Money Stress in Your Kids

| Community | July 19, 2018

The kids in your life are stressed out, and financial stress is a big part of this.

I know what you’re thinking. “But my kids (or grandkids) don’t even have jobs yet, or bills and expenses. So how can they have stress around money?”

When you have stress around money and finances, the children in your life pick up on it. Whether they are three years old or seventeen, they know when money is an issue at home. There are many reasons why you might be feeling financial stress. You may have suffered a job layoff in the past year, had to take a cut in salary or benefits just to keep your job, or you may just be having a hard time finding a new job that compensates you enough to keep up with inflation. In fact, it’s not unusual for people to have worked at the same job without a raise for years. And while income isn’t increasing, the cost of living is. Money stress can also happen when you have a large amount of debt. As the bills stack up and your paycheck doesn’t seem to cover all of them, you may feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

Your kids will react in a variety of ways when they pick up on their parents’ financial problems, and here are some ways to handle these situations when it hits home.

Children will sometimes withdraw, avoiding friends and social situations. Encourage them to spend time with the people and activities they enjoy.

Young people are more attuned to situations than you might believe. Schedule a time with your spouse to sit down with your children for an open and honest discussion. Assure them that they are your first priority and that you are doing what is necessary to get back on track financially.

Many kids will react to financial stress by acting out and engaging in risky behavior. Make it clear that this is not acceptable and will not be tolerated and that you are there for them now and always.

Feelings of helplessness may occur in older children. They feel like they would like to help with the family’s financial problems but are unsure how to do this. Discuss some age appropriate options for them to be included in what is going on at home right now.

And those feelings of helplessness can also cause havoc with your child’s and your own health. Stress you carry for a long period of time can be detrimental to your health, causing problems with the immune system, energy levels, and can even cause an increased risk for cancer and heart disease. It’s critical that you handle stress in an appropriate way so that your money stress won’t turn into a life changing illness for you or another family member.

Plan weekly outings with your children to fight off physical fatigue and keep everyone’s immune system healthy. We are fortunate here in Santa Clarita to be surrounded by parks and trails that can be accessed all year long. These times together could be the catalyst for change within your family as you work through issues together. Remember that your financial problems don’t have to be permanent. You can learn to manage your money and time will help you to improve your situation.

Finally, you need to learn money management skills so that you can eventually relieve the stress you feel from money. When you finally address the problem, you’ll feel better quickly. Just getting the problem out in the open and determining what it will take to solve the problem is sometimes enough to improve your mental and physical health. If you don’t know where to turn, try reading some financial improvement books, talking to a friend, or attending a community workshop. Santa Clarita has many opportunities for us all to learn more about money and finances, and including your children as much as possible will be a positive step.

Stress is a natural part of life. Help your child to understand how to work through it during times of financial struggle and they will carry this knowledge with them and pass in on to generations to come.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Living the Mentored Life is her sixteenth book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in April of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Is There Really No Such Thing as Bad Publicity?

| Community | May 24, 2018

Perhaps you have heard this: There is no such thing as bad publicity.

I’m not sure where I first heard that statement, but as I become more experienced with publicity and marketing I have come to understand it more and more. This proverbial expression began to be used early in the 20th century. The earliest version that has been found in print is from an American newspaper called “The Atlanta Constitution” which, in January, 1915 printed:

All publicity is good if it is intelligent.

The goal is to get your name and message out to the world as often as possible, and once in awhile you must do something outrageous in order to achieve this goal.

In 2006 I came online and began my journey as an online entrepreneur. Simultaneously, I began my involvement with charities and non-profit groups, first as a volunteer and finally, as a member. Rotary, an international service organization, was the first group I connected with in this way. When I explained that I was starting a business from my home computer they asked me to become the chairperson for their marketing and publicity.

We had an upcoming event the following weekend at the largest venue in the city. It was the annual fundraiser for our senior center and all of the movers and shakers in the city would be in attendance. When I spoke with a few people in the club about getting some press coverage for Rotary’s part in this event, I was told that the press never covered anything involving Rotary. On the night of the event I set out to meet any members of the press and media that I could find.

That night I asked the Rotarians to please point out anyone they knew from the newspaper, local magazines, the radio station, and the cable television station. Then I went up to each of them individually to introduce myself and to ask them if they would write something about Rotary participating in this worthwhile event. I was struck by their honesty, and each one told me that the Rotarians were not doing anything that could be considered “newsworthy.” I was new to publicity and marketing and had never considered this perspective. But after I thought about it, this made perfect sense.

As I made my way back to the table where the other Rotarians were sitting, I thought about how I could provide them with something that fell into the category of being newsworthy. When I sat down my foot kicked something under the table and the man next to me told me to be careful. It was a case of wine someone had brought in before the room was filled with people. I smiled broadly, and then I excused myself from the table and promised to return once the event had officially begun.

First, I made a stop at the hotel’s Concierge desk and asked to speak with the manager. She and I spoke for a few minutes and I thanked her for her time. I wanted to make sure it was not against the rules for us to have brought alcohol into the hotel during a charity event. Then I found the woman from the local newspaper I had been speaking with earlier and proceeded to tell her what was going on at the Rotary table that could very well be a newsworthy item. She laughed heartily and agreed, and the next morning Rotary had made the front section of the newspaper!

Not all of my methods involved misbehaving on the part of our members. I shared a great project at the local elementary school with the Rotary International group a few months later and that led to a write-up in the organization’s magazine that went out to well over a million people around the world. Even though our club was more than 50 years old, they had never even been mentioned in that publication. It was a four-page article with full color photos of the Rotarians involved and the project at the school. I believe that was when they decided I was a keeper, even if some of my methods were unconventional. And even if there is no such thing as bad publicity, being in the news for a positive reason is so much more valuable.

Perhaps the thought behind the proverb expressed sometime during the 1890s by Oscar Wilde is one worth remembering:
The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Living the Mentored Life is her sixteenth book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in April of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

New Rules for Social Media in 2018

| Community | May 10, 2018

Social media is here to stay, but you probably came to this conclusion long ago. The question now becomes one of how to accept this way of communicating as a part of our lives and businesses and how we can make the best of a world that is new to many and confusing to most. The answer lies in both how we think of social media and how we learn to utilize this complex and ever expanding world to our benefit and the benefit of those around us.

Think about this from another perspective. It has never been as easy as it is right now to reach people all over the world with a single, meaningful message by a click of the mouse or tap of the index finger. Our words and images hold the power to affect others in ways we may not know or understand, even though it is basic communication in its simplest form.

How you leverage the power of the internet through social media will depend, in part, upon what you see as your role in the world. These are the possibilities, at least through my eyes and experience, and there will be some overlap between these roles as well:

  • Business owner, independent contractor, or freelancer
  • Community leader and someone who is active with non-profits
  • Concerned citizen and family member

As the owner of a small business, independent contractor, or freelancer, your message is about the work you do and the people you serve. Appropriate updates might include information on the products and services you provide and information that is valuable to those who come to you as their trusted advisor in your field.

As a community leader and one who volunteers and participates in a variety of ways with local non-profits and service organizations your message is about the work these groups are doing and the people they serve. Your posts and updates would include information on events and highlights of both the people who lead the groups and the people who benefit from the work that is being done.

As a concerned citizen and family member your message is about your daily life in your community and the people you are closest to throughout the world. Your posts and updates would revolve around the events and situations you encounter, your travel and other leisure activities, and the challenges you face and would like to address in a public forum.

With each of these profiles I recommend avoiding controversial topics, unless you have a cause you are passionate about and do not mind alienating at least half of those who will see it. By maintaining a “middle of the road” position you are able to address both sides of an issue and share information from a variety of perspectives. And make sure those in your business and personal life are aware of anything you might post that would affect them directly. For example, in my family we do not post recognizable images of anyone under 18 years old at any time.

I have a huge presence on social media because of my growing business, and I am also a community leader and a concerned citizen. Spending no more than 15 minutes a day altogether, including all social media sites combined, allows me to share my content around entrepreneurship, details of my books and online courses, and the live events and workshops I attend, host, and speak at throughout the world. This expands my reach exponentially and increases my income regularly.

Also, I share important facts and events about the charitable groups and service organizations I am a part of, and the more personal interests I have in areas such as film festivals, the environment, and travel. Another note here is to remember that once you have posted anything on social media it will be there forever, even if you delete it at a later date. Choose your words and images carefully and make it your goal to interact in a way that allows others with differing opinions and views an opportunity to be heard.

Social media is here to stay, and making the highest and best use of these platforms for business, community involvement, and personal interests can be a valuable addition to our lives. And these “new rules” simply reflect the values we have had all along.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. “Living the Mentored Life” is her sixteenth book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in April of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

How Do You Show Up in Your Life?

| Community | April 7, 2018

It’s no longer possible to achieve great success in any area of your life by simply doing what is required of you and putting in your time. We are now 18 years into the new millennium and you must “show up” in order to stand out from the crowd. The question is … how do you show up in your life? It all comes down to perfecting your skills and making the commitment to regularly excel in these four areas:

Time management
Productivity
Work ethic
Communication

First, make a list of the areas of your life you wish to work on and improve. These could be ones of a more general nature, such as family and relationships, career, finances, community involvement, or more specific ones that might include reconnecting with a teenage child, returning to college for an advanced degree, paying off consumer debt, or volunteering with your church or a non-profit. I recommend choosing one or two as your initial focus and writing them down in your journal or planner.

Before we can take on any new project or venture we must manage our time in order to succeed with our predetermined goal. If that goal is to deepen your relationship with your spouse, sit down with him or her and plan some activities you both will enjoy. Perhaps you will see a movie or play once each month, overnight somewhere within two hours from home, volunteer together one Saturday morning each month, and spend a half hour after dinner five times a week going for a walk where each of you can discuss your day. For these action items to become a reality this time must be set aside and the two of you must commit to making that happen.

Sticking with this goal, each of you may also need to become more productive with your work, with other family obligations, and with your attitude toward finding ongoing activities for each of you to enjoy and share with your partner. Simply going online to see which films are showing that weekend or calling the same restaurant to make sure they have tables available is not enough. Show up and see what is possible!

I’ve written about work ethic in the past, and even have a bestselling book on the topic, published in 2017. Having a strong work ethic does not refer only to our work, career, or business. To truly show up in your life, your work ethic must overflow into everything you do. Perhaps you’ll make a reservation at your spouse’s favorite restaurant in honor of his/her birthday, and pick up a special gift. And stopping in to the restaurant in advance to ask for a specific table and waiter may be the added touch that makes the event a complete success.

Communication is the beginning of all high-level performance, so you must adequately communicate with everyone involved with your goal for it to succeed. Then go above and beyond – speak personally with your spouse to make sure you are in agreement with what you have planned, communicate with the restaurant and other people and businesses that are a part of your plan, and follow up with everyone as the date gets closer. And don’t forget to thank them for their help.

Going above and beyond the status quo takes you to the level of being world class and a high performer. We have all known someone who shows up regularly in this way or have at least read about this concept in a book or seen it in a movie. This can become your reality if you are willing to do the work with time management, productivity, work ethic, and communication every single day. I encourage you to give this way of living a positive effort and then report back to me about your results and with any questions you may have. Show up for yourself and for others and your life will be changed forever.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Living the Mentored Life is her sixteenth book and will be released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing during April of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting https://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Is Fear of Selling Affecting Your Bottom Line?

| Community | February 15, 2018

If you’re in business – online, offline, or a combination of the two, you know that everything depends upon the sales you can generate in order to bring in the needed revenue to keep your business moving forward. It does not matter if you sell a product or a service, if you sell items once or have a consumable or ongoing model, your bottom line is the direct result of your sales skills. If you lack confidence in this area, or have any fear of selling, it will be obvious.

Think about this from another perspective. Don’t we appreciate and encourage people to sell to us when it will be in our best interest and help us to achieve our goals? For example, when I take one of my dogs to the veterinarian for a checkup, I am hoping they will make suggestions and recommendations that will help ensure better health and lifestyle for my pet. Even though many of the procedures are routine, I may not realize they are necessary at this time.

When you are preparing to sell your products and services to others, ask yourself:
What problem does my prospect have that one of my products or services could solve?
If I do not offer my prospect the products/services I offer, who else will?
How can what I offer be updated or changed to make it the best solution available?
How many ways am I asking for the sale every day?

It may be time to think about forming an innovation group or to join a mastermind in order to answer these questions fully. If you truly have a fear of selling, this could be a valuable topic of discussion. Checking in with yourself when you are about to close a sale to see how you are feeling and what is coming up for you will give you better insight into what must be done to improve your sales record.

Role-playing is also worthwhile. During the time I sold cars the dealership brought in a team of sales professionals to walk us through some common scenarios. We learned to overcome objections, to ask and answer both open and closed-ended questions, and to speak about the products with authority and confidence. Even though I couldn’t change a carburetor I could point it out, describe it, and explain why it was superior to one used by our competitors.

When I think back over my lifetime I have been involved with sales in one way or another for most of my working life. As a waitress in high school I sold my personality, ability to work quickly and efficiently, and my knowledge of the products to earn more than my co-workers at the International House of Pancakes. Later on I sold Toyotas, and I sold my willingness to follow up with leads along with my knowledge of the product to become a top salesperson. And as an elementary school teacher I sold my empathy towards students and teachers, my excitement for learning, and my knowledge of the value of an education to help my students do their best.

In each case I was confident about what I was selling, whether it was pancakes and sandwiches for hungry people, new and used cars for those needing transportation, or an education that was valuable and worthwhile to my students. Now that I’m an online entrepreneur I sell my ability to teach adults the concepts and systems that lead to success, along with the specifics of the business model they have chosen.

Think of selling as the way in which you can help others with your areas of knowledge, experience, and expertise. And when you feel the fear of not wanting to sell to someone, try to imagine what could happen if they do not make a purchase from you or from anyone else. How would their life be enriched by buying what you have for sale? How would the individual’s life be diminished by not buying from you? The fear of selling is worth moving past so that you may better serve the people you come in contact with on a regular basis in your business.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential is her fifteenth book and has been released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in June of 2017. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Living the Mentored Life in 2018

| Community | January 13, 2018

Having mentors in your life gives you an entirely different perspective on everything you do, as well as opportunities you may not have realized were available to you. My best friend growing up was named “Mentor,” so I knew from an early age this word meant teacher and trusted advisor. It wasn’t until I was out of college and well into adulthood that I understood and took advantage of mentors in my own life. These days I both mentor others and am mentored, and the results have been nothing less than spectacular for everyone involved.

How can you take full advantage of mentoring, and choose to live the mentored life this year and beyond? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you make this transition from attempting to do everything by yourself to allowing a teacher and trusted advisor to guide you to the results and goals you seek to achieve.

What do I want and need to learn to take me to the next level in my desired area of life or business?

Who do I currently know that is already an expert in this area, and has achieved this goal themselves?

What is the next logical step for me in this process of working with a mentor?

More than likely you already have a good idea of what it is you would like to achieve. Perhaps you want to finally write that book others have been telling you to write. Maybe you want to become more proficient with computers and technology, or playing chess, or with line dancing. These three are all areas I have pursued over the past decade and ones where a mentor made it all so much faster and easier for me to achieve the results I was hoping to master.

A good mentor is honest with you about everything; what you need to do to get started, how you are progressing, when it is time to do it on your own. Being mentored is much like being a baby bird, cared for by a skilled and loving mother and then abruptly pushed out of the nest to fly or sink like a rock. But great mentors catch you as you fall, spreading out their arms to glide you safely back to where you need to be at this point in time.

In return, you must trust and be honest with anyone who mentors you. If you are experiencing fear or doubt around the goals you are working to achieve, schedule a time to discuss this with them. If you find yourself taking a turn towards another goal instead of completing the one they advised you on, let them know you’re having second thoughts and wish to make a change in the direction you are going right now. They will be the one person best able to advise you, based on the relationship the two of you have been building over time.

For now, make a list of what you wish to achieve during the first part of 2018. Open up your mind and dream big! If I hadn’t been willing to do this starting in 2006, I would not be the author of more than a dozen bestselling books. What do you want as a part of your life experience that right now seems like it is too big for you to say out loud? Get in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eyes, and say it to yourself, for once you have expressed your desires the next step is finding someone to mentor you to completion and success.

Once you let it be known that you need help with a specific goal, the mentor will appear. When you can trust in this process the magic truly begins. Imagine what this year can bring when you are willing to live the mentored life and finally reach, and even exceed your own potential. I’d love to hear from you on this topic. Sharing your goals and dreams out loud is an effective part of this process that leads to excellent results.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential is her fifteenth book and has been released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in June of 2017. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Become a Time Management and Productivity Expert for 2018

| Community | December 15, 2017

That headline may seem like hype to you, but the truth is that I turned myself into a time management and productivity expert in 2005 and changed my life forever. You can do the exact same thing, and I’ll give you some step-by-step details here on how to achieve this goal in the coming weeks. We all have the same 24 hours in each of our days, and learning how to get the most out of them, while still living a joyous and rewarding life is well worth your effort.

When I first set about to better manage my time and increase my productivity I had to take a close look at what I was doing each day. This applied to both my business and my personal life. It was astonishing what I discovered! I was wasting so much time and setting myself up for failure when it came to productivity. My recommendation is that you begin by doing the same to get started on the right track.

Spend three full days writing down what you do each waking hour. One of these days should be a weekend day or other day off, while the others are typical work days.

Once you know how you’re spending your time and what you are accomplishing, it’s time to take the next steps:
Decide which hours of the day are your most alert and engaged ones. It’s when you are at your best and I refer to this as your “prime time” each day.

Begin to schedule the most important activities of your day during your prime time hours, and observe what that experience is like for you.

Once you have done this successfully for a full week, take your time management and productivity plan to the next level.

Create a calendar for next month. Using the “rocks, pebbles, sand” analogy (look this up if you aren’t familiar with it) mark off your calendar to make time for family, friends, and faith before anything else. Then mark off time for your business, and finally, time for the things that are important to you, but not urgent.

Your family will love and appreciate you for doing this. Instead of just blocking off time for birthdays and anniversaries, you’ll be scheduling the time to do things with them that you may have missed in the past. Now let’s focus on the business side of this strategy.

Take a close look at the goals and projects you wish to accomplish next month. Does this list seem overwhelming to you right now? If not, add some additional tasks to it. That’s right, you want more on your to-do list than you believe you will finish. Trust me on this — it works!

Now break down each item on your list into smaller pieces. This is called “chunking” and helps you to see your goals more clearly. Make a list of the steps required to take you to the next stage of your goal.

I have used these strategies to accomplish more than I ever thought possible. When I write another book, it begins with one paragraph about who will be served with my writing. When I create a new product or course, it begins with a short outline about what information I will include. Implementing what I’m sharing here will be effective for you as well.

Each day you will begin by reviewing your list of what you are working on right now. You will shift the most physically or mentally strenuous activities to your prime time hours. Each task will be broken down into its smaller components so that you can move forward rapidly and in a logical sequence. Delegate any activities that are better done by someone else. And give yourself a pat on the back as you are able to mark something off your list that is completed.

Improving your time management and productivity skills is life-changing, if you are willing to shift your mindset and imagine the possibilities. Give it a try and let me know what other questions you have. Be sure to pick up my book on this topic, “Time Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs: How to Manage Your Time to Increase Your Bottom Line.”

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. “Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential” is her fifteenth book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in June of 2017. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Increasing Your Bottom Line Through Your Company’s Culture

| Community | November 9, 2017

The first time I heard the phrase “company culture” was when I was working out at a local gym. I had asked about having one of the trainers coming to my house and was told that it was not part of the company’s culture for trainers to go off site to serve a client. This intrigued me, so I looked up the official definition and found that …

Culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.

This made me take pause with the culture of my online business, where all of those who assist me are independent contractors residing in four countries on two continents. Whereas we don’t have specific rules regarding interaction and behavior, I do have a company meeting twice a month to check in on everyone and their progress on the various projects we are involved in at the current time. And I have monthly calls with two others who assist me to discuss new ideas and projects that I wish to create and implement in the near future.

Obviously, it’s very different when you run a brick and mortar business and see your employees each day. Now that we are closer to the winter holidays, this may be an excellent time for you to think about creating a company culture and traditions that would be meaningful to all of you at your location. Here are some thoughts on how to get started right away:

Time off during the holiday season. Perhaps you want to implement a program where people may take off two hours to do some shopping or other personal errands. Maybe employees could cover each other during this time, or a seasonal worker (family members are good candidates) could pick up the slack.

Bonuses for exceptional work. If your business is typically slower during these last several weeks of the year, perhaps you would offer a bonus to those going “above and beyond” during this time. The holidays are hectic for everyone, so turn them into a positive and rewarding experience.

Company party. A few years ago I was in the office of a friend who has an insurance agency and asked when their holiday party would be held. It turned out they hadn’t done that for years, and the employees missed it terribly. With the permission of the owner, and on short notice I arranged a special lunch at a local restaurant where all of the workers (there were six in all) could invite one guest and exchange holiday cards. This was a big hit and lots of fun, with minimal expense, compared to typical holiday gatherings.

Employee of the month. This one never gets old, and reminds me of when I gave three or four awards each month in my elementary school classroom. The idea is to single out someone for a specific trait or accomplishment, and to recognize everyone during a one-year period. Certificates printed on parchment paper are quick and inexpensive, and the memory lasts a lifetime.
Finally, remember to say “thank you” and “I appreciate you” to the people who work for you. You may think they already feel appreciated, but hearing you say it out loud reinforces your company’s culture in a way that cannot be replicated. It will also trickle down and make your workplace one that people look forward to coming to and being a part of in a special way. And when it comes time to hire someone new, you can bet they will hear about the culture of your company before they finish their interview.

Improving your company culture will most like increase your bottom line and make for a happier overall experience every day. I’d love to hear how you are using this information to increase your own bottom line and to become a company that employees brag about to others in the community.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential is her fifteenth book and has been released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in June of 2017. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2017 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Positioning Yourself as an Expert in Your Field

| Community | October 19, 2017

There is nothing quite as powerful and effective in building your business and increasing revenue as positioning yourself as an expert in your field and industry from the very beginning. My experience proves that you can achieve this through your writing, speaking, and teaching on your topic. Allow me to share how you can get started with this strategy today and begin to see the results almost immediately in your own small business.

I was not a writer when I set out to become an online entrepreneur in 2006. Almost immediately I came to the realization that this had to change if I intended to build my credibility and earn income from the products, services, and recommendations I would provide to my prospects. That led to my starting a blog and forcing myself to write at least 250 words as a post at least twice each week. Soon I increased that to a 300-word post every day, and within a month I was in the habit of writing regularly on my topic.

These blog posts began the content for my first full-length book and, to date, I have written and published 15 books on various aspects of entrepreneurship. You can do the same thing to position yourself as an expert in your field. But this is only the first of the three-pronged approach I am advocating for small business owners.

Public speaking gives you the opportunity to get in front of your prospects and discuss topics relevant to your field. This opportunity first presented itself when I was a new member of the Santa Clarita Rotary Club. My fear of speaking was soon replaced with an enthusiasm and desire to share my knowledge and information with my fellow Rotarians. Now I speak on topics related to entrepreneurship throughout the world, further positioning myself as an expert.

Finally, teaching your topic rounds out the three-pronged approach to positioning yourself as an expert with writing, speaking, and teaching. Everyone is a natural teacher and this style goes back to the beginning of time. Whether or not you have children or grandchildren, you most likely already know that if you can teach someone else how to replicate one of your systems, you will know for sure how it works and whether or not you need to make any changes to your process.

You can teach in person, on webinars and teleseminars, or even with your writing. No matter what type of business you operate, there is always something to teach someone. Think of the classes that Home Depot has offered its customers for many years in order to get some ideas. Veterinarians could teach proper dental care for dogs and cats, a clothing store could teach proper care and cleaning of garments, and plumbers could teach proper care of sinks and drains. The possibilities are unlimited in this largely untapped area of small business growth strategies.

Be creative with your goal of positioning yourself as an expert. Make a list of the topics you could write, speak, and teach about to further share your knowledge and experience with others in the community. Start a blog or newsletter to get your message out to your prospects and current clients and customers. Contact local organizations and groups about speaking to them on a specific topic of interest to their audience. And teach others what you know so that they will be better able to consume your products and services with enhanced knowledge of how they can improve their lives and solve their problems and challenges.

By now you can see that this three-pronged strategy of writing, speaking, and teaching is a win-win scenario for everyone. I’d love to hear how you are using this information to increase your own bottom line and to better position yourself as an expert in your field and industry.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. “Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential” is her fifteenth book and has been released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in June of 2017. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2017 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Are You Managing and Building your Online Reputation?

| Community | August 17, 2017

How often are you giving thought to your reputation? In today’s world of real time social media, global communication from handheld devices, and mostly transparent information on the internet about each of us, managing your reputation has never been more important and necessary if you are to survive, both personally and professionally. Reputation management is an important part of our world and is here to stay.

When I started my online business in 2006, I “Googled” my full name to see what I would find in the results. There were just three entries back then. One was a testimonial I had given for a real estate course I had attended, the second was an article in Parade magazine for a statement I had made about violence in the public schools, and the third was for a comment I had made on somebody’s blog (referred to in those days as a “web log”). These days you will find well over 10,000 results when you Google me, and not all of these are ones I would choose to have at the top of the page because they are not all sites I own and control.

You must be proactive with reputation management for yourself and for your business. This requires a plan of action that I refer to as “monitor, manage, and build.” This may seem like an overwhelming task, but rest assured that anyone can do this to ensure that the image that is portrayed about you is mostly positive and accurate.

In the “monitor” stage of your reputation management plan you need to see exactly what is being written and said about you. Remember that anyone with an email address may start a profile on social media and write almost anything they want to about others. This becomes what is known as “social proof,” even though much of it has little connection to fact-based information or relevant content. Google your name and the name of your business and read through at least 10 pages of results to see what is already out there for the world to see.

Next is the “manage” stage, where you discover which sites and information are actually about you and which are about someone else who shares your name or the name of your business. This is quite revealing and you may even find that someone with your name has a criminal record or is involved in activities you would never condone. This was the case for me, which is why in 2006 I began using my full name — Connie Ragen Green — to represent myself both online and offline. I was even turned down for a new library card when I moved to Santa Clarita until I added my middle name to my application and distinguished myself from the other Connie Greens throughout the world.

The third stage is one in which you “build” your reputation by adding sites and content of your choosing to the internet. You can do this quickly with social media profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as by setting up WordPress websites using your own name and the name of your business.

This activity, although time-consuming and ongoing, is actually one that will lead to additional business and personal connections for you over time. I have learned so much about search engine optimization by doing this and love being in control of at least some of the information and content that is available online.

Over time, the content and information you publish online will be pushed up higher in the search engine rankings and those searching for you will get a more complete and accurate picture of you and your character.

Make it your goal to learn more about reputation management, and to remain proactive is the quest to share accurate and relevant content about yourself and your business on the internet. I’ve even created a course about this at ReputationManagementMadeSimple.com where you can learn how to do this for yourself, as well as for others who need your help in this area.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential is her 15th book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in June of 2017. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2017 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Are You Writing Advertorials to Grow Your Business?

| Community | July 1, 2017

This week I’m going to discuss a topic I haven’t shared with you in this column in the past. It’s on the topic of using something called an “advertorial” to grow any type of business. As you can tell from the name, an advertorial combines an advertisement with an editorial in an effort to share what you have to offer with your target audience and prospects. When done properly, you will be perceived as a leader in your field and someone to do business with and connect with in your community. This is effective for both an online business or a traditional, brick-and-mortar establishment.

Writing sales copy for what is known as an “advertorial” can be highly advantageous to your overall marketing plan for your products and services. Here I am defining the term advertorial as a newspaper or magazine advertisement which provides information about a product in the style of an editorial or an objective, journalistic article. In printed publications, the advertorial is usually designed to look like a legitimate and independent news story. We have several publications here in the Santa Clarita Valley that accept advertorials. Check with them to see if you must place a paid advertisement in order to submit your advertorial and have it published within their pages.

The advertorial style can also be related to a term known as “native advertising,” which is basically an article or video written with the specific intent to promote a product. Try to begin to think of everything you write, including, but not limited to, your blog posts, emails, and social media posts as advertorials. Your goal with this style of writing or video is to promote a product or service to those who would most benefit from doing business with you and your company.

Much has been written and discussed around these concepts over the past two decades. I will tell you from experience that this is an effective form of advertising that will become second nature as you get more experience with it. While the study of sales copy advertorials is a never-ending one, it will also be a worthwhile use of your time and effort in the long run to know how to put one together quickly. And keep them to around 500-700 words for optimal results.

Always remember that as a business owner and/or a service provider you are primarily in the business of persuasion. You still must take a cold prospect and give them a reason to continue reading your web sales copy and to purchase whatever is for sale. Taking this one step further, your job is to educate and entertain while you are informing. This has also been referred to as “edutainment.” Mastering this skill will take some time, but will make you a highly sought after copywriter known for getting results from your sales copy advertorials.

Start by writing an article about the product you wish to promote. Imagine that you are having a conversation with a prospect while you are writing, and work to overcome each objection they throw at you during this imaginary conversation. Have fun with this, and think of it as trying to gently, but intelligently, trying to persuade a stubborn toddler to not only do something you wish for them to do, but to do it willingly, joyfully, and at some point even thinking it was his/her original idea. If you have ever dealt with a stubborn two- or three-year-old, then you know achieving this goal can feel like quite an accomplishment. Make it your goal to learn more about sales copy advertorials and to practice writing and submitting them to your local newspapers and magazines on a regular basis to grow your business.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. “Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential” is her 15th book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing this month. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2017 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

The Membership Model to Grow Your Business

| Community | June 1, 2017

More than likely you are already a member of a number of membership sites. You may have exclusively virtual ones, like Amazon Prime or Netflix, or others that are in-person with an online component, such as your local gym, Costco, a local periodical, or Barnes & Noble. Their existence shows the membership model is here to stay, and for some very good reasons.

Membership sites are a lucrative business model, because adding a membership component to your current business will increase your revenue. Customers who are a part of your membership site will spend more, overall, with you and your company and will be exponentially more loyal than other customers.

Let’s brainstorm some ideas for how you may add this model to your existing business. I would encourage you to do this face-to-face with other partners, employees, and team members to see what you can come up with quickly. What I am sharing here is meant to be a starting point for this ongoing discussion as to how memberships will best serve you, your company, and your customers and clients.

If you are a florist, think about adding something like “flowers of the month,” where someone can log in to your membership site and choose the arrangement they would like to pick up or have delivered. This would be exclusive to your members, with a discounted price and more choices available. Every month of the year has an occasion that is worthy of flowers and other similar arrangements.

If you are a veterinarian, create a membership where people can post pictures of their pets, interact with other pet owners, and ask questions. You could also include a message board for information on lost pets, pets needing a new “forever home,” and pet sitting services. Include an FAQ (frequently asked questions) feature, as well as having you or another vet in your office come in to the member’s area to answer questions. Make sure to be clear that this site is not intended for medical emergencies.

If you are a plumber, include videos in your member’s area to help people determine what type of issue they may be experiencing. Provide information about the latest innovations in plumbing and the history of materials and services for residential and commercial properties in your geographic location. Allow members to call in to a special phone number to ask an expert in your office about their specific situation.

Decide if your membership will be physical, virtual, or some combination of the two. Consider a membership where the entire cost of an annual membership can be applied toward products and/or services you offer. An example would be a $99-a-year membership for a plumber where all of that could be applied towards maintenance or services exceeding a hundred dollars during any annual period. Florists could apply the annual fee towards a graduation, wedding, or other special event. This will increase customer loyalty tenfold or more.

Host an annual member’s event where members and their families can join you for a picnic, softball game, or other community event. Offer the opportunity to purchase T-shirts in advance, so everyone will recognize a fellow member.

Connect with other local businesses to coordinate events, online and offline, and to disperse the responsibilities and work load. This is an excellent opportunity for networking and community involvement.

Membership has its advantages. Determine what that will look like in your business and then get to work implementing the strategies that feel right and pay off over time. Becoming an innovator and trendsetter with this business model will set you apart from 99 percent of your competition. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Email me at the address below and let’s get the conversation started today.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. “Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential” will be her fifteenth book and is a brand new release by Hunter’s Moon Publishing. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2017 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Distracted by Life’s Noise? Turn Off Social Media!

| Community | April 20, 2017

During the past couple of weeks two of my clients and one personal friend have complained to me that they are unable to complete their daily tasks because of all of the distractions in their lives. When I asked them to describe these distractions so that I could help them move past them, it turned out that, in all three cases, they were referring to social media in general, and Facebook more specifically.

“And how does Facebook keep you from getting your work done?” I asked innocently.

Each of these people went on to tell me that they hear a sound whenever something happens there, such as a new update, someone “liking” their update or an update they have commented on, and so forth. At first I was speechless, but once I found my voice I shared the solution.

“Just turn it off.”

And no, I am not talking about the sound on your computer. What I am vehemently recommending is that you log out of Facebook and any other offending sites and close the window while you are working. And if you are an employee, shame on you for doing this while on the clock and being paid by someone to achieve certain tasks and goals at work.

I think of social media as having two purposes in our lives. As an online marketer, the first purpose is for me to share content related to my business and to connect with my prospects and clients. I lump this all together and call it marketing. You may be connected to family and friends on social media, so growing your business with online marketing is not truly a possibility for you. It’s a choice.

The second purpose of social media is purely social, and even voyeuristic in nature. Late in the evenings I love to watch a cat video, “like” someone’s post, add a comment to an interesting thread, upload a photo, or even share what someone else has posted with others who may not have seen it. The first purpose helps me to earn my living, while the second is simply for entertainment value.

Since starting my online business eleven years ago, when social media was in its infancy, I have never permitted myself to spend more than 15 minutes during any 24-hour period on all social media sites combined. Some days I don’t even put in my 15 minutes. Again, this is a choice.

Why do I continue to make this choice? Because years from now I want to be known for the books I have written, the businesses I have grown, the people and businesses I have helped, and the life I have lived offline. You remember offline? It’s that “real world” where you hear, taste, feel, touch, and look other human beings in the eye.

The alternative choice is not appealing to me at all. I do not care to be remembered for the virtual interactions I had with people I do not even know and have never had the pleasure to meet. And even the thought that I would not have written books, traveled the world, spent time each day with other human beings, and built an amazing business from the ground up because I was distracted by something, anything, on a computer screen? No thank you.

Believe it or not, I love social media and cannot imagine our world without sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. And the historical, economical, and political implications have changed our world forever, mostly in positive ways. But being constantly alerted to updates and distracted to the point of not completing tasks and activities in my daily life — never!

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Rethinking the Work Ethic: Embrace the Struggle and Exceed Your Highest Potential will be her fifteenth book and will be released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in June of 2017. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also on Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2017 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Leverage Your Business for the New Millennium

| Community | March 26, 2017

by Connie Ragen Green 

The calendar may say 2017, but are you doing business as if it were still 1999? What I mean by this is that it may be time to add an online component to what you are doing in your brick and mortar business. Allow me to explain further what I mean and bring you fully into the new millennium.

Marketing for small businesses is something I’ve done since the summer of 2007. I was new to online marketing at the time and offered to help a family member with his handyman business. He was still paying for a small print advertisement in the local newspaper, as well as for ads in a couple of local magazines. This was a costly proposition and he was just starting out. He confided in me that it sometimes took two full weeks before he was in profit each month. We agreed that I would help him out for the first month at no charge to see what would happen.

First, I set up a simple site for him using the WordPress platform. The domain I used was the name of his business so that prospective clients could find him more easily. This worked extremely well. I also wrote short articles on this new site about his business, using the words anyone might type into Google if they were looking for a handyman in Santa Clarita to do specific tasks for them. Within two months he pulled his ads and began getting as many assignments as he needed from what I had set up for him.

Now, I do not mean to say that print advertising is not valuable and worthwhile. If anything, it is quite the opposite. Your ads let people know you are legitimately in business and reach those for whom the internet is not a medium they trust to inform them and to find reliable and trustworthy services. Choose the publications you know and trust, and continue to advertise there. But adding the online component is crucial for long-term success in any business.

The second part of this marketing strategy is to begin building a database of customers, clients, and prospects. This will become a valuable asset to your business over time. The idea here is to stay in touch with the people you serve so that you can open up the lines of communication more easily. Email them regularly and let them know what is happening in your industry. And use this as an opportunity to offer a discount coupon or other seasonal special.

The third and final component to small business marketing online is to offer something related to your business that can be delivered digitally. This can be a monthly audio recording that is available as a podcast on iTunes, a short book where you explain in great detail what you offer in your business, or even a physical product that could be available on Amazon and delivered by them. These components will serve to connect you with more prospects and to set you apart as someone who is at the top of their field or industry.

Setting up and maintaining a WordPress website costs about $100 each year. Setting up and maintaining a digital database is about $200 a year. Having these as a part of your business is priceless. Contact me personally using the information below if you’d like to discuss this further for your business so that you can leverage the power of the internet to come into the new millennium.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. “Doing What It Takes: The Online Entrepreneur’s Playbook” is her fourteenth book and has just been released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2017 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put “Home Business Question” in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Thankful Thoughts from an Entrepreneur

| Community | December 8, 2016

As we enter into the holiday season, I thought it important to pause and reflect on what I am grateful and thankful for in my life as an entrepreneur. Whether you are a business owner, an entrepreneur, or an employee, see if you resonate with what I am expressing here. And if you do not agree with this summation of business from my perspective, please do not hesitate to contact me so that we may open the conversation for discussion.

My online business is now a decade old. Depending on your experience and point of view, this might be a relatively short time in comparison to your years as an entrepreneur or small business owner. If you are just starting out, then a decade seems like a fair amount of time. What will never change for me are my daily thoughts of thankfulness and gratitude for being able to choose this lifestyle and make it work.

I am thankful to be living in a country where small business is recognized for the contribution it makes to society as a whole. Without waxing political, just be aware that most countries have a much more stringent set of requirements and barriers to entry for those wishing to start their own businesses. And we are in one of fewer than 30 countries in the world where online business can supplement a brick and mortar business or stand alone as a business model.

In addition, I am thankful for internet connections that many take for granted. In the United States we are able to obtain some of the fastest data transfer rates on the planet, enabling our businesses to run faster and with fewer interruptions, day in and day out. The speed at which I am able to run a business from my home is faster than that available to many governments around the world.

I am also thankful to the people I have met as a result of becoming an entrepreneur. More than 90 percent of the people I interact with regularly are ones I would not have come to know if I were still a classroom teacher and working part-time in real estate. They are members of service organizations, networking groups, and charities that exist to serve those less fortunate, both locally and abroad. These people have opened my eyes to a perspective of hope and joy I had only previously imagined, and for that I am truly grateful.

For a period of over 30 years, from when I was a teenager until the age of 50, I was primarily an employee. I did have a real estate business for many years, but that was a service business, where I followed the rules and regulations of the industry. I had very little say over the day-to-day operations and simply did my best work in exchange for additional assignments. It wasn’t until I started my online business in 2006 that I understood what a gift this truly is for people like me who want and need to work from home.

I am thankful for the motivation, inspiration, and work ethic that has become my “new normal.” And these days I find that I have more respect for what I experienced during my years as an employee than I did during those 30-plus years. We are all at liberty to recreate any scenario that worked for us in the past. I used to leave very early each morning to beat the traffic while I was teaching school, and I regularly parked in front of the post office to read and think before driving two more block to the school. Once I arrived in that parking lot I was no longer my own person. Now, I read from the comfort of home, or from wherever I happen to be each morning. These daily hours of study and reflection have become a ritual for me.

In short, owning and running a business of any kind is a valuable gift. No matter what type of products you carry or services you are engaged in, you are giving back to the world in a number of ways. What are you thankful and grateful for in regards to your working life? I would love to hear from you, and details on how to do that are below.

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur longing to see things from a new perspective? Please let me know if you have further questions or thoughts on anything I have discussed here.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Doing What It Takes: The Online Entrepreneur’s Playbook is her fourteenth book and has just been released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2016 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

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