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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Your Own Business?! Quips and Tips

The Home Business AESOP

What is usually the first bit of advice with having an at home office?
Get the cat off the desk!

Part of me is flattered that they seem to think that the minute someone takes a seat it means lap time for them.  Not pictured here but it is a given that there is a dog somewhere under the desk as well.
Their content, blissful snoozing helps keep me calm and focused. I think we all carry around that nagging voice of doubt which tries to plant seeds of insecurity. The fear of failure can be crippling enough for many people to not even attempt that first step towards a dream. Frustration is a given, and as long as we remember the "this too shall pass" philosophy, we will gain two steps forward for every step backwards. Failure should not be thought of as a waste of time.

Long a fan of the wisdom behind children's books, I particularly like Dr. Seuss and Winnie the Pooh. By gathering  a few quotes I came up with a little food for thought about business success. 


A is for Attitude
E is for Education
S is for Social Networking
O is for Organization
P is for Perseverance

"You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You're on your own.  And you know what you know.  And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."  Dr. Seuss

We know the saying about being the masters of our fate.  All we need is to put fear aside and get out of our own way.  God gave us the tools we need, we just have to recognize and believe it enough to act on it.

"The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn the more places you'll go."  Dr. Seuss

Also remember the words of wisdom from this childhood poem:
"There was an old owl who lived in an oak,
The more he saw, the less he spoke,
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
We should all be like that wise old bird"

No matter what our age, we should never stop learning.  Not only will you become more knowledgeable in your field, you'll have plenty of sources for pulling up information when needed.
Making mistakes is all part of that education.  If we're observant we'll learn from the mistakes of others before we have to pay the price by making those same mistakes ourselves.

 Social Networking
"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes."  Winnie the Pooh

With the internet and social networking sites it is a mistake to assume that just being a part of the world wide web means you will automatically find exposure.  It is a rude awakening when you realize how quickly a website or shop becomes buried in cyberspace.  An on-line business is ideal for someone who is more of an introvert and prefers to reach people through the written word rather than physically getting out there in person to sell yourself verbally.  But if that is your path of choice you have to take advantage of networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogs, and means of advertizing. 

 "The hardest part is what to leave behind,...It's time to let go!"  Winnie the Pooh

Having organizational skills and a daily schedule is paramount to a successful business.  This is especially true if you work out of your home.  Look closely at your habits and change what is necessary to stay on top of things.  A home business can easily become chaotic with constant interruptions, lack of work space and lack of organization with supplies and bookkeeping.
Find a balance between family and business.  Carve out a set amount of hours in the day that the message is clear to everyone else that you are "working" and demand respect for your time.

Staying on top of the bookkeeping can very easily become one's downfall. Take advantage of modern technology to help you keep everything straight. To help you, here is an awesome source of information from the Team EcoEtsy Blog.

"Don't Go Straight, Go Forward"  The Mighty Manatees (an awesome band)
Expect to make mistakes since that is the way to learn and improve in anything.
Give yourself a break when things don't go easily.  No one said this road would be an easy one.

Hold onto your values, and your customer base will eventually grow.  People appreciate honesty and consideration.  Say what you'll do and do what you say.  Your business will be defined by those values, so keep your focus, eye on the goal, and stay motivated. 

Last, surround yourself with positive energy.  So what if some people think you a bit odd or crazy for taking on the unknown.  My husbands favorite bit of advice for me has always been,
"When in doubt, go for it."    We all have the right to seek out a dream.  To each his own.