What’s in Your Online Business Policy Manual?

Let’s talk about how much fun it is to be an online business owner. You get to work when you want.  You wear whatever you want.  You decide what has to be done each day.  You take breaks when you want. You’re the boss.  There are no “rules.”  Seriously, it’s just you.  What possible rules could you need? Well . . . I hate to burst your bubble. I know your boss’s references to the “policy manual,” and the squelching of your entrepreneurial spirit that comes with being made to follow the company’s “rules,” are exactly what you’re running away from when you start an online business. But if you dive into your online business without having any rules, you are going to fail.  Really.  I see it every day. Take comfort, however.  At least you get to make the rules. And while this gives you a great deal of flexibility, I’m completely serious in insisting that your online business have a policy manual.  That is – a written document that details how you handle certain aspects of your business. I don’t care what you call it.  If you need some creative, anti-corporate title for it, I give you license to put any name on it you want. Having the document, and actually using it, are the crucial points for today.  Because if you’ll do this, you’ll be able to build a more successful online business in less time and with less effort.  Who can argue with that? Your policy manual will be a living document, which means you will always be adding to it.  And changing it as...

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Online Business Lessons For Today

Martin Luther King Day became a federal holiday in 2000. I have always loved this holiday.  I can’t really articulate a specific reason for it. Dr. King has long been one of my greatest inspirations.  His picture and quotes grace the walls of many of my rooms. His message likely became even more special to me as children with African heritage became part of my family. All very nice, you’re probably thinking, but what does Martin Luther King have to do with my online business? Two things. First, Dr. King Exemplifies What it Takes to be Successful He had a passion, he had an unwavering belief in his mission, his success would solve a huge problem for many, and he worked tirelessly to get his message out to as many people as he could. Sound a little like you?  If you are passionate about your business, believe without a doubt in what you are doing, are solving a huge problem for your market, and work tirelessly to do so ~ you will come out a personal and business success. Excuse me if I sound a little melodramatic, comparing your business to the civil rights movement.  But, don’t underestimate the importance of what you are doing. Many of you have businesses that provide life-changing services to people.  All of you have businesses that are solving problems for people.  You are important.  If you don’t get that, you should either start taking your business more seriously, or get a job. Your online business is also of huge significance to your life.  Your success may enable you (or your partner) to stay...

The 3 Cs of Twitter for Your Online Business

Twitter sounds really easy.  It takes about 30 seconds to set up an account.  And, you only have 140 characters, so it certainly can’t be “time consuming.”  Or something only a good writer could master.  Right? And certainly, if you’re just tweeting with your friends, it is easy. Then good news is ~ when it comes to using Twitter for your online business ~ it also can be easy.  IF you do it right. I don’t count myself as a Twitter expert, but there are some guidelines I can give you for developing real relationships with people in 140 characters or less. I call these guidelines the 3 Cs of effective Twitter use in your online business.  They are the things I have done to develop relationships with people on Twitter. 1.  Content Create quality content.   It amazes me how many people use Twitter to spam their online business.  A look at their stream shows nothing but links and hyped up claims about “best systems” and “quick money.” Yes, I know you’ve decided to use Twitter to help grow your online business.  That doesn’t mean you should use it like a drive-by billboard to advertise your business. Twitter is first and always a tool to build relationships.  It is not about selling.  That occurs, when appropriate, somewhere else at some other time. Give your followers things they want to read.  Things that will help them.  Motivational quotes.  Quick tips. Valuable links.  Share a personal joy or picture. 2.  Consistency Tweet consistently.  Which means every day, every 1-3 hours.  This is especially important in the beginning, when you are...

A Personal Note to the Non-Believers

Many of us are beautifully optimistic in our New Year expressions. I can’t count how many Facebook posts I “liked,” tweets I “re-tweeted,” and Google+ status’s I “1+’d” over the last week.  They all spoke, in various verse, of how many great changes the New Year was going to bring into each person’s life. And while I want everyone whose path I cross to be wildly successful in 2012, we all know that the odds are against most. Once you have signed off social media, and set down to make the real work happen, do doubts start to creep in?  Does “reality” hit when you look at what’s got to be done to meet your online business goals?  By the end of January, are you back in the frustration of not making it happen? Obviously, there’s a huge difference in saying you’re going to make it happen in the New Year, and actually making it happen. Unfortunately, I think the reason most people don’t find the success they are looking for is that they don’t take the time to really believe they can do it. Today, I’m going to share with you 3 examples from my life that you can use to push yourself past your doubts and back into belief. 1.  You Decide What’s Possible Most of your doubts are the result of what society ~ including your friends and family ~ defines as possible and proper.  But you do not have to believe in “impossible.” When I decided to have children, my doctor told me there was only a 2% chance that I would ever get pregnant....