Spokane Regional Networking, Social Media, Professional and Business Development
Well OK, if you've been planning this for a while, you've got a lot of money squirreled away, you're confident in your business plan, know your market, have good mentoring or coaching in place, etc. then you might want to consider starting your own business.
But what about those of us who already made the leap. We're self employed and having a hard time making it. Maybe we just jumped the gun, quit a job and followed our dream. Some of us were self employed in another geographical market or another type of business, or both and now find that things are not at all what we had hoped for.
Maybe you, like me, have found it so challenging that what we thought we could do has taken too long, there's no savings left and now we're faced with how do we get out of this predicament. Do we keep the business going? Do we take a job and work the business on the side? Do we just find a job and shut it down... chalk it up to a lesson learned?
Well of course we all face challenges. Yours are not the same as mine. Some may struggle with managing the work load, others marketing, others organization and on it goes. We each have our cross to bear.
So what do you do? You can't pay for the seminar you're sure would give you the tools to fix the problem you're struggling with.... You'd love to hire a professional business coach but there's no money to pay for that either. What do you do? Where do you turn? Who ya gonna call (hopefully you're problem isn't ghosts but....?) when you've exhausted your mind and soul but you're not ready to throw in the towel.
If you feel like you are without much, if any prospect of getting back into the job market at any income level sufficient to maintain anything close to our accustomed life style or more importantly, your spouses (and maybe your children) accustomed life style. You and I would probably probably make the sacrifices necessary to make it work but do we really have the right to drag them into it.
Well that's who I hope to benefit from this community.
We can, and hopefully will, encourage each other, share our strengths with each other, give support and ideas to help one another, make introductions that might be helpful to each other.... in short become a network of small, struggling doing what we can to push forward and become successful and productive members of our business community.
This community is also for people who've been there, done that and have a desire, or at least a willingness to lend a helping hand to those of us struggling to make it.
So, your thoughts? If you've joined are you glad you did? If not could you give me some feedback on how to make this community productive? The last thing we need is another activity that keeps us busy without producing any result.
I believe that you hit the nail on the head. Many of us have great ideas, and an urge to succeed in our own business.
But you mentioned quite a few of the blocks...We have no money to fritter away on advertising, business coaches, heating our homes etc..
So what do we do?
I believe that first of all we must have a specific talent or passion for what we want to do,,,most succesful businesses are people who love what they do!!!!!!!
Start part time and build up what you have going.....then if it doesnt go big, you still enjoy the trip...
My expertise is home and business security, personel safety and learning on how NOT to become a victim in todays environment of CRIME...
Thats my passion, helping others...FIND YOURS!!
You touched on many of the problems my wife and I are facing with our business. We need to get to know others in small business that can mentor, coach, or encourage us. We have many great products that get raving reviews through many review sites, customer comments, and sales feedback. If you google our store name, 80% of the first page is about us and our products. The problems we are running into mostly is how to expand and increase production.
Do you, or anyone, have any input to help us? I would love to see our business grow and to see us able to start moving ahead of just not quite getting by...
Good idea for a community. I am also attempting to get a business going on a shoestring budget. As a finance and strategy consultant for small businesses I am also in a position to potentially be of help to members of this community. Since I'm just getting started and attempting to establish myself I am open to offering some free or very cheap initial consultations in an effort to establish long term business relationships. On a similar note, it never hurts to talk to an accountant, a lawyer, or a consultant. The good ones aren't going to charge you until they know what you need; and they frequently (myself included) like to share their knowledge and you might pick up some valuable advice for free. I hope posting this here isn't out of line, its not intended to be a real sales pitch. I just think think it can be a mutually beneficial option for some here.
Thanks for the invite, Norm.
In a nutshell, you've said a mouthful. Every point you make is good and valid for an entrepreneur as well as someone taking on a larger scale business start up. I believe that a big part of why most businesses fail in the first five years is that too many people jump in with both feet before addressing many/most of the issues you point out.
So many people have so many great ideas that fade to black without ever making a dent in market but put a huge dent in their wallet. A strong business plan and a willingness to bust your ass are very important but if you don't stand out from the crowd and separate your product or service from a sea of similar product or services a strong business plan and work ethic become moot. Or, at very least, set you up for a long arduous road to carving a slice of loyal customers away from their current provider.
I agree with Al in that having a passion for what a person does is paramount. Add to that brand name recognition, credibility and proven products or services and we're on our way!
In spite of the challenges people have been succeeding (and failing) for as long as there has been a market to sell to.
I’m willing to contribute what I can and will if I someone posts a questions that I have experience with. At this point it looks like each of the members of this community have an existing venture and I hope the best for all of us.
As a recruiter I have been helping corporate America build their sales and management teams for 20 + years. As fulfilling as that is and has been I still hear from people who are frustrated with not being more in control of their own destiny or being limited as to what they can earn based on a corporate structure they have no control over. And, of course, wondering if they will have a job the next time another downsizing comes ‘round the corner.
For that reason I have recently begun recruiting in a new (to me) slice of the market.
I will not go into a full on pitch but want to table for prospective members of this community looking for guidance that they give direct marketing a long hard look. The product and service offerings are as diverse as anything in the traditional work environment.
Many of the challenges entrepreneurs face are addressed up front and a road map provided to over come those challenges. Proven products, brand name recognition, training, leadership and support from people who are already successful. It can be a ready made business in a box and typically has a substantially lower cost of entry to the market. A person can find a company that provides a product or service they are passionate about and one where there is a proven demand for said products and services. Probably one of the biggest reasons to consider direct marketing is that the financial upside potential is much better than anything traditional corporate America will ever offer.
Patrick I do agree with you. I likewise have struggled with lack of fulfillment in several different career trajectories. What I have been doing for the past 2 years includes a venture of one of my passions and a continuation of a business I moved here from California to escape. The one I want to escape is paying the bills and the one I have the passion for is no where near bringing income even to get by on. Such is life sometimes. I often feel discouraged and "suffer" a resulting lack of motivation and energy to put forth further effort.
That's part of why I created this community. I have discovered over many years in many different ventures and employment positions that I derive my greatest motivation and vision when I have a group (sometimes as little as only one other person) of people who have some level of commitment to being a sounding board as well as a motivator, mentor and/or encourager. To share their experience, strength and hope in order that I might become better at the thing I have committed to do.
I recently reconnected with a friend of mine who is a successful professional motivational speaker. We worked together 8 or 10 years ago when his specialty was helping Realtors overcome what prevented them from succeeding in their chosen profession. It has been really good to reestablish that relationship for many reasons. The testimony I could give on the advances or improvements in my life, work, marriage in just the past 10 days is really incredible.
I also agree with your assessment of Direct Marketing. For those of you who may not have kept up with some of the nuances of this market segment terminology, Direct Marketing has most notably been referred to by the terms Multi-Level Marketing and/or Network Marketing. It is my opinion that the (actually older) term "Direct Marketing," which dates back to the days of Watkins, Fuller Brush and other product lines that were sold door to door directly to the consumer. has supplanted those other terms because of the "get rich quick" approach that so many have applied to their Direct Marketing business. A friend of mine used to refer to those people who just could talk about nothing else ad nauseum to the point of frustrating exhaustion as "Amway Ninja's." When she told me that she was a recovering attorney (so am I but I keep having these debilitating relapses) who was a successful Amway distributor.
I have know many successful, well balanced Direct Marketers who have and are doing quite well for themselves and for many other people around them. It is actually a direct marketing business that brought my friend, the Motivational speaker/trainer, back together.
Robert Kiyosaki began his career as a serious detractor of Network Marketing and now is a leading proponent of the benefits of "owning a franchise" with out the high cost of purchasing a "real franchise." Why reinvent the wheel if you can access a proven system for almost nothing?
SYSTEM = Save Yourself Some Time Energy and Money. I have learned that you can't truly say the wrong thing to the right person, nor can you say the right thing to the wrong person.
I look forward to meeting any or all of you in this community to talk about your business, my business and anything or everything that can assist all of us in our growth.
So I'll ask again..... How can I be of service?
Thanks for the well written response. I am being pulled in many directions lately or I would have responded sooner. I sincerely appreciate your candor and insight as it pertains people perception of Direct Marketing.
I was completely soured on the industry in big part as a result of the actions of the "Amway Ninjas" you mention. I have been researching D.M. as of late and have a new perspective of the field level consultant. My experience is that the "A" word is most direct marketers biggest obstacle without even being a component of the equation regardless of the product or service they choose to get behind.
I have also gained an opportunity to recruit on the corporate side of the industry and have come to learn that the executive leadership for some companies is populated with some of what use to be the traditional worlds best and brightest as well as entrepreneurs who have had unbridled success in their own rite. I never thought in a million years that I would associate my company's name with the direct marketing industry for any reason. Big mistake on my part but that is another conversation altogether.
You wrote: “I often feel discouraged and "suffer" a resulting lack of motivation and energy to put forth further effort.”
Boy howdy, been there, done that, got the t-shirt : ) I’m sure you have plenty of motivational resources at hand as do most/all of us in the community. For me though, sometimes trying to recall and apply someone’s motivational philosophy/protocol can feel a tad overwhelming to apply at a given moment of weakness or discouragement.
Recently I was at a training seminar where one of the participants said something that I found particularly insightful. It was short sweet and simple and it is applicable under many different circumstances. What they said more or less was this: When they are feeling discouraged, less than motivated or otherwise unproductive. They step away from the big picture and break it down to accomplishing one task. Instead of trying to solve all their problems long term they “reduced it to the ridiculous” and commit to completing one task. They asked themselves what can I do right now, today that will give me a sense of accomplishment. Then do it regardless of how they feel. Turns out that small effort can cascade into the right or at least a better mindset.
So, I have to ask, is Robert Kiyosaki the friend who you recently reconnected with?
I think that may sound better in my head than it does on paper but for me the pure simplicity of it has put me back on track a couple of times.
It seems we both have many other things driving us in many directions. I have not checked in here for several days as well.
While I have gained great insight from Robert Kiyosaki alas, he and I are not personal friends. His books have been inspiring in the past. I enjoy playing the CashFlow game though I haven't often found anybody to play the game with. I do have it. His book, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" should be required reading for all junior high schoolers (I think they call'em "middle school" students nowadays...?). "Cash Flow Quadrant" is also a must read - it "helps" those of us who are self-employed understand and realize that not only do we not actually own a business, we are owned by "our" business more than any position we might find our self in in corporate America.
He is, as I suspect you already know, a self proclaimed convert from anti-Network Marketing to pro-Network Marketing. He has produced some wonderful intellectual tools to assist network marketing companies excel in their preparation of their distributors/promoters.
Another of my favorite authors has also done some stumping on behalf of some DM companies in recent years. John C. Maxwell I find to be one of the best writers I know of to help one see what they need to do and why they need to do it. I believe his book "Failing Forward" should be required reading every year of school from 7th grade to HS graduation and beyond.
Kiyosaki's focus is more on what is the world, or at least "Western civilization," like and how we can learn from and participate in the wealth creating system that is part of that culture. Maxwell seems to focus more on how and why we can and should achieve all that God has planned for us, not just for ourselves but for those who rise with our tide.
My friend and mentor with whom I recently connected is Daniel Pendley. He is currently promoting his book, "The Power of the Dream." You can learn more about him at www.ThePowerOfTheDream.com if you are so inclined.
I am curious what your research re: "D.M." has produced. I'm probably more curious about the connection you have made or are considering with your company and Network Marketing.
I am more excited, and already more successful in just a couple of weeks than in all of my previous years of "experience" in DM.
Sometime I'll have to tell you about how reading a really good self help book is like being homeless in January, needing to pay rent on your last bottle of wine and just unable to move through the frozen air to an alley where that relief might be sought.
A new (to me anyhow) phrase that I learned at a Conference in San Francisco that I accompanied Daniel to last Saturday is "Ignorance on fire is powerful." I learned many years ago that it is not the smartest people, or the nicest, the prettiest, the most talented or any of several other highly valued traits of human beings, that produce the measure of success or fulfillment that so many people desire. It is the person who charges in, unafraid and tries to push the envelope. "Just do something! If it's not right we'll fix it later! Just get in there and get it done!" To be highly intelligent and not have this trait is actually a curse.
I would enjoy hearing from you by phone or meeting for coffee in the near future. My cell phone number is 951-775-4711.