This library of articles are a combination of contributions by Connect Her and guest authors. Each month more articles will be added to the library to ensure you have some great reading, tips and information.
5 ways to Get a Flood of Targeted Visitors
Have you spent time on your shiny new website or maybe a signature program only to find – CRICKETS! The backbone of any internet-based business is Traffic. Traffic is the first need for success of any e-commerce business. If you don’t have traffic on your website, you can’t make even a single penny, no matter how beautiful and attractive your site is. Even if you have the best product in the world but don’t have traffic, you can’t make a sale. Traffic is the most essential thing to a successful e-commerce business. Every book, article or course you will find about internet marketing would always include the importance of generating traffic. If you are reading this article, I am sure you already have a site and you are not getting enough traffic that you're supposed to be getting or you about to launch a site and want to launch successfully.
To help you generate more traffic for your site, here are some ways to get a flood of targeted traffic.
1. Link exchange with similar sites Link exchange with similar sites is a great way to increase traffic to your site because both sites get benefit. The more you exchange links with different sites, the more traffic you’ll get. One thing you should remember that always exchange links with compatible sites not competitor sites. Backlinks to your website assist in generating higher rankings on Google, particularly if you are featured on a high ranking website.
2. Write Articles and submit to article directories I have shared writing and submitting articles before. This is a sure fire and proven method for targeted traffic. Writing articles and submitting to article directories can give massive exposure to your site. Not only your site’s page rank also your search engine ranking will increase, you will also become known as an expert in your field. You can write articles yourself or get it written by freelance writers for a small fee. Connect Her® have an article writing program which is reasonably priced and targets businesswomen in the ages of 35-60+.
3. Start your own Newsletter If you want life time traffic to your site, it’s time to start your own newsletter if you haven’t already. It’s a proven fact that only 5% visitors buy from any site at first visit. If you get them in your opt in list, you can follow up with valuable content and they will come back again and again to your site. Collect emails from your website via a pop-up or opt in box. Email address exchanged for an item of value will ensure more sign ups coming through. At events, ask permission to add attendees to your newsletter. Create a Google Form on your phone or Ipad that can be handed around and can have the tick box of acceptance to be added. (get creative)
4. Participate in Online Communities, Forums & Facebook™ groups Forums and online communities can become a huge source of traffic to your site. It requires only your time and nothing else. All you must do is be willing to share your knowledge and expertise. It’ll also build your reputation as an expert and people always want to work with experts. Starting your own online community allows you to set the tone, rules and agenda easily. Be mindful starting your own community can be time consuming. Don’t start if you can’t dedicate the time, your don’t want your community to become lost in the social media graveyard.
5. Viral Marketing Although easier said than done, Viral marketing is a game changer if you are fortunate enough to be able to generate this sort of marketing. Viral marketing allows you to spread the word about your business and product without any costs or low costs only. You can create a short report or tiny software and allow others to pass it to their friends and relatives. You can also attach your link to a funny video or entertaining game. Think Menu Log, how many of us know walk around humming or singing the M-E-N-U – LOG song? Now, I bet you can’t get it out of your head! Just follow these simple and easy tips to get your site flooded with traffic. Not only traffic but better targeted traffic which really want to buy your product or service as they need it.
Articles are a great way to promote your business
With so many people at home and thirsty for knowledge email marketing and articles have hit an all-time high. Writing Articles is a great way to promote your home business website and it’s very easy to do. You can write articles that are related to your business and submit them as guest blog posts or even article directories. All it takes is take time to create the article and submit them. The payoff for you and your business can be an increase in website traffic, more sales opportunities and establishing you as an authority in your area of expertise. The article process is super easy and as simple as creating the article, proofread and correct the article, and submit the article. One way articles create traffic to your website is from the reader. The reader can find your website address from a link in your article resource box. You have to make sure the article resource box contains a link to your website. Article marketing is also known to be a method of viral marketing. Meaning the popularity of your article has the potential to grow. For example, webmasters from other sites can use your articles to use as content on their website if you use an article directory. In return for allowing the webmaster for using your article, your article will include the resource box you created containing a link back to your site. As you create more articles and more sites keep using them, the total number of links to your site increases also. Search engines place value on incoming links to your website. This determines how relevant your website is. The more relevant your site becomes the higher it may place in the search engine results. Articles also build trust between your business and potential customers. For example, with more people buying online, writing articles allows you to present yourself as an expert on the product or service people are looking for. Consider an article as a warm lead generator. You see, people are looking for the information you are writing about. Article marketing is a great way of having your site on search engines. When writing articles, you must understand that the propagation of the article takes time. While no marketing method is guaranteed, in time you may see desirable results from this method of marketing. At Connect Her® we run articles through our Topic of the Month and also our newsletters. These mediums are another great way to use article marketing by submitting an article. Find out more
How to Have Great Ideas
Want to have great ideas? You could try waiting to see if they pop into your head someday, and they honestly might, some of my best ideas have just popped in without warning. However, if you want a more systematic method, you can use it today, here it is in three simple steps: 1. Get knowledge in the area in which you want the ideas. 2. Use idea-generating techniques. 3. Choose the best ideas from the results.
Great Ideas Start With Knowledge You wouldn't expect to come up with a new theory of relativity if you had no knowledge in physics or mathematics. You need some degree of knowledge in the area in which you want new ideas. For truly great ideas, it helps to have a great deal of knowledge. To create a new transportation device, for example, you would want general knowledge in that field, as well as more specific knowledge. This might include knowing a little about all the current modes of transportation. You might add to that a list of things that have been tried and failed, and a list of all the things that people want in their transportation. Listening to webinars, podcasts and joining clubs or business hubs that focus on the area you need knowledge is a great way to fill the void with interesting facts and information.
Great Ideas From Techniques Ideas and inventions start in the mind, and the mind follows certain patterns and rules. This is why tools such as problem-solving techniques and other idea-generating techniques work so well. Consider the "concept combination" technique, for example. Tell your mind that you need a useful combination of a plane and a motorcycle, and it will search until it finds it. This mind took twenty seconds to imagine wings that expand out at high speed from a motorcycle, allowing it to glide right off the edge of a cliff. Seeing it in your mind's eye assists you in visualising the end result. The technique of redefining problems in many ways can open whole new areas to explore. Redefining "inexpensive homes" as "ways to help people afford homes" has to lead to all sorts of new financing methods that have made it easier to buy a home even as prices have risen. If a "better job" becomes a "better way to make money" you open a whole range of possibilities. There are dozens of great idea-generating techniques to choose from, each with its own advantage.
Many Ideas To Choose From The more ideas you come up with, the more likely you are to find good ones to work with. Use a pad and pen or a butcher’s paper pad to ‘brain dump’ all of your ideas into one area. No matter how insignificant the thought or idea may be, jot it down. You never know, that simple idea or thought could be the key to unlocking your next BIG idea.
How To Work Backwards To Set Your Business Goals
Today I want to share my thinking process for setting smart business goals with you. I like to work backward from a financial goal to monthly and daily to-do lists. I am going to share with you exactly how that works. It always best to start with a money goal, giving your goal a more measurable figure. It also helps if that goal has a meaning beyond the dollar figure. For example, let’s say that I want to buy a new car. You may want to purchase it outright or use payments. For this exercise, let's take the payment option. The payment is around $400. To account for things like taxes and just to be safe, I’ll bump the goal up to $600. In other words, I need to add an extra $600 (or more… more is always better) to my monthly bottom line. Once that’s done and I am seeing that level of income regularly, I’m going to be ready to order my new car. Yippeee! Once I know how much money I have to make, I can start to think about different ways to do just that. I could find more customers for one or several of my existing products or services. For example, if I have a $10 eBook, I would have to make an extra 60 sales per month. From there I can work backward. If I know that on average one out of 10 email subscribers buy the book within the first month of signing up, I need to add 600 new subscribers to my list, which in turn takes 4,000 new visitors to my site. If that’s my plan, I know that my daily to-do list needs to include plenty of action steps to ramp up my traffic by an extra 4,000 people per month. Of course, that’s not my only option. I could also create another information product or eBook each month and sell it to both my existing and new subscribers. I could create a higher-priced item so I need to make a lot fewer monthly sales to reach my $600 goal. For example, if I create a nice $100 product, it would only take 6 sales per month to pay for the car. Since the car payment will be an ongoing thing, it also makes sense to look into recurring payments. This could be a membership site, or I could look into affiliate offers with recurring commissions. Depending on your market, there’s a lot out there that you can promote. For me, one option is to open more locations for Connect Her ® with new leaders or sell more Connect Her® Club memberships. Once I reach that figure I need, I only need to add the occasional new member to balance out cancellations. Getting one or two more members in each month going forward should more than cover that. Now that I have a concrete goal to work towards which is involves two options opening more Connect Her® locations with new leaders or convincing 20 people to sign up for Connect Her Club® membership. My daily tasks will include things like creating content for the social media streams, presenting at existing Connect Her® events, making calls, and being seen. If I do these daily tasks well I then start driving traffic to the websites to the opt-in offers and start mailing out regularly about the offers for each offer. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I could approach podcasters, radio hosts and do some guest blogging to be seen. By thinking outside the box and putting in some time and effort initially, it won’t take me long to get those new leaders and new memberships to Connect Her® Club that pays for my new car payment. The WHY? Well, because I really, really want that new car, I’m going to be motivated to get it done and grow my business by those extra $600 per month. Chances are that I’ll overshoot the goal by several hundred dollars and it’s something I can continue to grow month after month.
How To Build A List Of Eager Subscribers
Every online business provides great service to generate satisfaction among its customers. As each and every customer receives satisfaction over their products or the services they get, there is a great chance that they will become a return customer and buy again. Better yet, they will recommend you to other people, become the cheer squad that could generate more business for you and your site. They said email marketing is dead, to the contrary. Email subscriber and open rates are at an all-time high as more and more people are working from their homes and have easy access via their smart devices. As more traffic is driven to your site, you can entice many of them to subscribe to your mailing list or opt-in list. This is a list where website visitors agree to be sent promotional materials such as newsletters, e-books, white paper reports s and such that could keep them updated about your site or the niche of your site. These promotional materials are sent via e-mail to the members of the list at different time intervals. When using e-mail as the media of your marketing and communications, you eliminate the need for high costs. Email is free and if you can manage to make your own promotional communications you can also save a bundle there. With an opt-in subscribers list, you are pretty sure that what you are sending out is received, viewed, and read by the subscribers and not simply being deleted. They have signed up for service and have consented to receive it. This means that there are constant reminders to your subscribers about all your products, new products, and services as well as any promotions and special deals you are having. There is also the chance that they can be forwarded to other potential customers as they tell their friends and families about you and your site. You are staying top of mind by being seen regularly in the inbox. Of course, you should be also aware that a subscriber may unsubscribe when they feel that they are not getting what they want, expected, or less perceived value. Make sure that they are satisfied with your opt-in marketing strategies and keep them excited in receiving your newsletters and information. Here are some tips that can help you build a list of eager subscribers. Make your promotional materials interesting and fun. Try to use a little creativity but not too over-artsy. Build around what your product or service is about. For example; if you are selling essential oils, put some pictures of what is new in the essential oils world, a new diffuser, or the latest oil with a recipe or suggested use. Try to research what people are looking for, this way, you stay one step ahead of them all the time and you will be their bearer of new tidings. They will be eager to receive what you are sending them because they know you always have fresh and new things to share with them. Write good articles that can be very informational but light at the same time. If your subscribers enjoy your articles, they will go to your site by clicking the links you have added to your newsletter to read some more. You can provide articles that can connect to many people. Be diverse in your articles. Put something humorous, then put something informational, then put something that has both. Are you wary about this because you don’t like writing? No problem, many professional and experienced article writers can do the job for you for minimal fees. They know what they are doing and can provide the need that you have for your newsletters, the money that you pay for your articles is going to be met by the many sign-ups and the potential profit from the sales that you will get. Create and send an E-book to your customers about anything related to your business or site. Use your knowledge and expertise in the field you have chosen to help other similarly interested people. Offer this e-book for free. You can write about anything informational and helpful to your subscribers. For example; you can do manuals and guides in so many things. This e-book could be used as a reference for many people. Share this e-book with everyone, even other sites; just make sure that they don’t change the links in the e-book that will lead people to your site. You can always get people to write it for you just like your articles. Your investment once again will be covered by the great marketing this will generate. Add e-coupons in your newsletters that will help them avail of special discounts. Put a control number in your e-coupon so that they can only be used once. When people get discounts that can be found in your newsletters, they will be eager to receive your newsletter in anticipation of what you are promoting next. If your subscribers can get benefits from your newsletters, they will be very eager to receive them. Just don’t flood your mailing list with too many emails so that you don’t annoy your subscribers.
Tools & Apps For Your Business - Low to No Cost
SMS Broadcast www.smsbroadcast.com.au this service allows for SMS blasts out to your lists. You can send a single message or bulk messages. There is a template facility, an address book and the ability to forward schedule text messages. You can have a return phone number or business name. There is a reporting system with the ability to export lists. SMS Broadcast also complies with the Australian Spam laws. SMS Broadcast is easy to use and reasonably priced using the purchase credits system. Credits start from as little as 3.7c a credit. Uses: I use SMS Broadcast to send out reminders and confirmations for events. I have also used it to send instructions and follow up text. You can also use it for SMS marketing blasts, invitations and promotions. ***** Highly recommended Square Payment Processing www.squareup.com/au is an excellent service to offer SME the ability to collect payments via credit card. You can accept in-person or on-line payments. There is an ability to set up scheduled payments along with invoicing. Square also allows the user to set up a ‘shop front’ with regular purchased items to make the checkout easier and quicker. There is contactless or a chip reader to facilitate payments, both of these can be purchased through Officeworks. There is a flat fee of 1.9%^ for tapped, inserted or swiped payments and a 2.2%^ fee for keyed payments. ^correct at the time of printing There is a POS APP for both Android and IOS along with a dashboard for payment monitoring.P Uses: Never miss a sale because you can’t take a credit card payment! I use Square for product purchases, last minute ticket sales and recurring transactions. I have found Square to be easier to use and more cost effective than similar systems in the market place. ***** Highly recommened SpeakPipe www.speakpipe.com is a voice recorder and there are two uses for it. SpeakPipe voice recorder allows you to create an audio recording directly from a browser by using your microphone. The recording is produced locally on your computer, and you can record as many times as you need. There is the option to save your recording on the SpeakPipe server and get a link to it, so you can send it via email or use on the web. This is free. The other option is to go for one of the plans starting at $6.40 per month which gives you one widget to use on your websites or social media and 3 minute message duration. The Free version works fine if you want it on your website as message out to your customers. Uses: I use Speakpipe on my websites for visitors to leave a short message. It is a great way to have your customer and website visitor have an alternative way to connect with you. I average about 2 messages a month. *** Recommended
Word Swag App www.wordswag.co Word Swag is an app for both Android and IOS to give you the ability to create beautiful customised layouts. It is like having a graphic designer in your pocket. There are captions included and the ability to upload your own photo or use hundreds of free Pixabay photos. Create dynamic graphics and brand to your own branding. Turn your words into beautiful graphic designs. Word Swag is free and offers in app purchases. Uses: Create your own graphics for websites, word or thought of the day to ustilise on social media. Make graphics for your blog, flyers, invitations and announcements. Ideal for inspirational social media posts. ***** Highly Recommended ABC APP – Always Be In Contact www.alwaysbeincontact.com is an APP for IOS only at this stage. It is one of the easiest APPs to improve your follow up. You can set custom reminders to follow up with your leads, add your contacts into 3 custom categories and the best part, directly communicate from the app , along with recording notes after the communication. This is a free app, they are currently working on a desktop version and there will be a fee associated with this service. This is a fantastic free app. Have you ever been stuck waiting in a coffee shop for your next appointment wishing you had your lead book or follow up list with you? Now you have it in the palm of your hand and you can utilise those small moments in time to keep on top of your follow up. Uses: Add your leads and prospects to the app, you always have your leads on hand and you can set up your reminders so you never have a lead slip through the cracks. **** Great for a free service – recommended Form Maker App www.ipadformmaker.com is an app designed specifically for the Ipad and is available for Ipad and Iphone and only on IOS. The cost is about $5.99 one off fee for use of the app. I think it is well worth the small investment. This app allows you to make your own powerful business forms to use at tradeshows, exhibitions or networking events. The uses are limitless to what ever you need a form for you can create without needing to be able to write code. I have used this form maker on several occasions and you can export the data collected. This app is absolutely worth a look if you need to collect data, you can make the form as simple or extensive using the drag and drop interface. Uses: Trade shows, events, on the fly. Create forms for customer feedback, data collection, sports, health or fitness data collection, appointment settings, invoices, data entry. You also do not need to have the internet to build your form or capture data. ***** Highly Recommended
In Australia unlike other parts of the world we have Christmas school holidays, Australia Day, numerous public holidays and Easter so we stop start, stop, start and then another set of school holiday’s pop up. All of a sudden four or five months have passed us by and we are getting ready to get ready. The start of the financial year is a great time to draw a line in the sand and re-frame, reset and refocus. Did you have a focus word at the beginning of the year for your business? Do you have a focus word for you and your business for the financial year? A focus word is a word you choose as your focus to audit your business. It could be anything from systematise, content creation, follow up, expansion, satisfaction, growth, digitise, balance, action, customers, prioritisation, goals, re-purpose and this list goes on and on. Having a focus word for you and your business can assist in building, supporting and growing your business with laser focus. Let’s take the word re-purpose as an example. You may look at content you have previously created and re-purpose it into a paid product, thus generating additional income into your business, use a video you may have created, pull the MP3 and re-purpose it into a podcast. You may have a blog that could be easily repurposed into an e-book which could be used as free giveaway in exchange for an email address to build your database. These are a few examples. Using the word re-purpose as your focus word is an opportunity to look back and forward to then expand opportunities. Using a focus word you can audit your business and look at each area under a microscope to bring focus back throughout each part of your business. Having a focus word works for all types of businesses, multi-level marketing, direct 2 sales, bricks and mortar, solopreneurs, employers. A focus word can help to draw back the curtains and look within. What’s working, what’s not, improvements, culling and taking stock all make up the elements of working within a focus word.
PROCRASTINATION - THE THIEF OF TIME
“I think I will cook before I write that blog.” “I will get to organizing my planner after I hang out the washing.” Have you ever found yourself saying these things to yourself? Do you find that you are always very busy but never seem to get to the very thing that needs to be done to accomplish what you have set out to do? We all have been students at the school of procrastination and some of us maybe advanced students of this school so much so that we find that we never seem to get anywhere or achieve anything that we would like to achieve. There are reasons why most people will procrastinate. There are 4 major reasons for this habit: 1. Wrong Goals: Sometime the goals that we set for ourselves can either be too high or too low. When they are too high it seems too daunting and overwhelming to start anything. When the goals are too low it is not challenging enough, and we then tend to put if off as we then know that we can get it done in less time. 2. An unclear focus: “Weak and scattered thoughts are weak and scattered forces, whereas strong and concentrated thoughts are strong and concentrated forces.” – John Kehoe. When we do not have a clear vision that helps us jump out of bed, we find it hard to focus on the tasks at hand. 3. No action plan (NAP): Only 1% of the population lives their life on purpose. They have a carefully laid out plan for what they want to get out of life and how they would like to get there. When we do not have a plan, we tend to just go through life not knowing where it is going. 4. Mental barriers: Mental barriers such as fear and doubt can be quiet debilitating and will often steer us away from the very actions that will help us build our strength against those fears and help us reach our goals. I may have painted a very grim picture but there is hope. All these behaviors are learnt and can easily be unlearnt. The best advise here would be that if you do find yourself procrastinating all the time then go back to your drawing board and spend a good time on the goals that you have set yourself and ask yourself if they align with what you believe and your vision and that you are not living someone else’s vision. Have you set yourself a massive to do list that may seem unreasonable and unrealistic? What is it that you fear and why? Be honest with yourself and put this all down on paper and work through every aspect of what you have listed till you reach a plan where there are no more excuses. Author: Pooja Kelkar www.realineyou.com.au
It's difficult to reach your business goals if you don't have the right materials and/or the information to help your business reach the success it's capable of. These three insights will help you generate the business you've always dreamed of. There are a lot of excuses floating around about why people don't buy. Maybe you've heard some of them: it's too expensive, it's not at the top of my "must have" list right now, I need to think about it or even when a deals too good to be true... it's too good to be true. Customer objections are more easily overcome than you might imagine. Let's take a look at 3 simple ways to wipe out those objections. 1. It's Too Expensive. Don't be fooled! Most of your customers can get the money to buy the product... it's not a matter of having enough. Let's face it... what they're really saying is that they can get a better deal somewhere else, or a deal that gives them a better value for their buck. Now, don't give in to the temptation to drop your prices to "rock bottom" just because you hear them say it's too expensive. There are ways to wipe out these objections without wiping out your profits! Make it look like a better deal. I mean, take a really good look at your product. How can you increase the perceived value? Maybe you can add a manual, an infographic, or a downloadable book full of information about the product. Let them think they are getting more for their buck, and the deal seems a lot sweeter to them. Think about this... we all expect to pay more when we visit a specialist. Sure, KMart or Big W is great if we're looking for a generic product, but when we want something from someone who knows what they're talking about we head for a market "specialist"... and expect to pay a little more as part of the deal. Identify their pain point or what your product or service is going to solve for them. What is the point that is going to make life easier, painless or stress free? How can you become a specialist who demands respect, and can get away with slightly higher prices?
Find niches within your market to address. If you look closely enough you'll discover groups within your market that stand out... business men and women, young mothers, retirees, women of a certain age, tradies etc.
Dig in, do a little research and figure out exactly how your product relates to the special needs of these niche groups.
Speak to them as someone in the know. Revise your sales materials to address the specific needs of each group. Let them know you understand what they want and need, and watch your profits skyrocket.
2. I Have More Important Things To Get Right Now. Buying now doesn't seem too important until... the deal's too sweet to pass up, and you have to get it today to get the deal. What we are talking about is banning the option of procrastination. Really what your customer is saying is ... I have no reason to buy today. Make the deal irresistible, put a deadline on it. Scarcity, such as a limited time, limited quantity is an opportunity to create scarcity or limited editions, it will spur them into making the purchase a priority, NOW. 3. I'm Sceptical ... It's Too Good To Be True. Most customers have been burnt by deals that seem too good to be true... they ended up costing more than they were worth. The only way you will ever overcome the scepticism is to build a relationship of trust. Unconditional money back guarantees eliminate the risk of loss and show the customer that you are truly, concerned with their satisfaction. Payment plans with “cancel anytime” also gives an impression of nothing to hide. Let testimonials speak for you. Evidence that you've delivered and gained customer satisfaction in the past goes a long way toward reducing customer fears. Take the opportunity to gather written, audio and video testimonials on your product or service that you can use at different times during the sales process. Be available. Customers & clients feel like everything is okay if they can pick up the phone or send an email and get quick answers to their questions. These easy to implement steps make it easier to break through the shell of hard core customers. These 3 tips will get you off to a good start.
Tips For Those Who Find It Difficult To Relax
You already know how important relaxation is, but do you put enough effort into making time for relaxation? Have you ever spent any time deciding on how best to relax? A lot of things can stand in the way of you getting enough downtime. There are loads of different ways for you to relax and unwind, it's just a case of finding the one that works for you. And you need much more rest and relaxation than you care to admit. It sounds great, in theory, but how do you implement it? Know What You Need This might sound like the most obvious point in the world, but a lot of people don't spend much time thinking about what properly relaxes them. How do you spend your downtime now? Does it relax you? A lot of people convince themselves they're resting, but they're not. If you spend hours scrolling through social media, it's unlikely that will truly relax you. You might have to force yourself into relaxation, whether it's taking a power nap, indulging in a bubble bath, or meditating. Ultimately, it isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. You have to actively search for things that properly relax you. It's important to remember that it isn't about a single activity, it's about the outcome of an activity. Which ones lead to relaxation for you will wholly depend on you. So, do some exploring into a variety of activities, hobbies, and practices until you find a few that fit. If the activities you turn to for relaxation now don't actually relax you, start experimenting again. Be Intentional Think of this as the new golden rule. If you want your mode of relaxation to be effective then you need to commit. If you spend your day lounging on the couch with your phone in your hand, it won't be nearly as effective as two hours of intentional relaxing. You know you're guilty of draining the joy out of relaxation because you don't do it right. Forget about your to-do lists, ditch your side hustles, and let yourself enjoy life properly. Before you relax, tell yourself it's time to relax and decide what you would like to get out of this time. Is it escape, is it total rest? Understand what you're trying to get out of your relaxation before you decide how to spend the time. Schedule It If you want meaningful relaxation time, then you need to make a plan! Schedule your rest and recreation time and don't be afraid to be generous. Pockets Full of Sunshine Relaxation doesn't have to be all or nothing. It's better if you give yourself pockets of time throughout the week so you're getting regular relaxation. Don't buy into the idea that you're too busy for this or that, make it happen. If you love playing video games and they genuinely relax you, you don't need to feel guilty about playing video games for an hour an evening or two a week. You don't need to feel shame over your mode of relaxation if it's what works for you. Create a Ritual This is particularly important because it's how you ensure it happens. If you work from home, the lines between your personal life and work are a blur. If you often take work home with you, it can be hard to decipher between the two. Whatever your situation, you need transition rituals to help signal the beginning/end of a workday and the beginning of relaxation. It could be a chore, exercise, a walk, meditation, or even tomorrow's to-do list. Be Kind To Yourself Take these steps to maximize your rest and relaxation time but be kind to yourself. Your relaxation time shouldn't be a greater source of stress to you. There will be days where you have negative thoughts. You will have moments where you feel guilty. There may be a lot of days like this. Whatever you do, be kind, be patient, and be gentle to yourself.
Limiting Stress Triggers
Access to the Internet has brought a lot into our world: convenience, social networking, the ability to work from just about anywhere. But with it comes an extraordinary amount of stress. Couple that with limited in-person interaction and we have a recipe for added stress. Just think about the last time you sat down to watch your favourite television show. You were probably distracted by your mobile device, which means that you most likely didn’t absorb everything that you watched. It’s not your fault. We’ve become almost numb to the sound of notifications going off on our phones and tablets, incoming emails, alerts, and a myriad of other online signals that pull our attention in a hundred different directions. If you work online, the constant incoming noise can leave you overwhelmed and stressed. You feel pressured to respond to customers quickly, or perhaps you’re trying to manage several different businesses at once and find yourself constantly having to refocus your attention because you have so many things happening at once. It’s important to learn to cut out the noise, disconnect and recharge your mental and emotional batteries. Not only will this help you manage stress levels by giving yourself a mental “time out”, but ultimately, the downtime will boost creativity levels and help you run your business more efficiently! Taking time out during the day or after an online meeting to walk in nature, spend 5-10 minutes sitting in the sun, changing your environment can have a powerful positive impact to your mindset and creativity. The most important time to disconnect from the internet, however, is shortly before we go to bed. Staring at a screen and scrolling has been linked to insomnia-related issues (which lead to high stress levels). For a good night’s sleep, turn off all mobile devices about an hour before your bedtime. Prior to this consider using blue-light glasses to reduce the effects of the screen. Try reading a magazine or physical book, or watch some light TV. Do some type of activity that isn’t too engaging but still somewhat stimulating so that your mind is able to stay focused while still being able to wind down and relax. If you’re concerned about someone not being able to get a hold of you in case of an emergency, then turn off your notifications in the settings section of your phone and tell people to only call you for emergencies beyond a certain time. It’s important to focus on your own personal down-time every day, even if it’s just an extra hour away from the chaos of your business life. There’s only so long you can move at a rapid pace before getting burn out, so learning to set a schedule and sticking to it will ensure you’re always performing at your very best.
Balancing Your Home And Business Life Without Having Super Powers
For mum’s who work from home, balancing the home and business sides of their lives can feel downright impossible, especially when the reason they began working from home was so they could spend more time with family. However, many home businesses fail because mums don’t manage to balance business and home life. How can you juggle your family’s needs, your business needs and occasionally find some time for your needs without being a superhero? Add to this the new reality of working from home spouses, schooling at home and the pandemic craziness.
The first thing any mum should do to achieve balance is to get the family involved. If your children and husband support you, you will find that they interrupt less often and are more likely to pitch in to get household chores done. You’re probably thinking that will happen the day the moon turns to blue cheese, right? However, if you mention that you need to get a major project done and will be able to buy a pizza and a treat when you are paid, you may be surprised at how quickly everyone pitches in to help out.
If you have young children, they may not be able to understand the concept of waiting for a reward. To get your younger children involved, try explaining what you are doing in very simple terms and having them help you. Set up a small desk or table for your toddlers and add crayons and paper so they can help you with your work by drawing some pictures or writing a letter. Children that are a bit older can put stamps on envelopes and seal them, paperclip papers together or do other simple organizational tasks.
Of course, no matter how supportive your family and friends are, they are not going to be happy if you work 15 hours a day. Make sure that you ask for uninterrupted time to do your job or run your business, but also make sure that you schedule time for your family and friends. While you are making up that schedule, don’t forget your significant other. If you sit at your computer all evening after the children are tucked away for the night, you may end up with some serious relationship issues!
Once your family and friends are involved and you’ve scheduled time for them in your life, it is time to consider a few ways to make the most of your valuable work time. While you may be tempted to work non-stop during the time you have dedicated to your business, you should try to take some breaks. Taking a half-hour walk or having lunch away from your desk can help you recharge your mind and keeps your body from growing stiff and tired. When you sit back down, you can do so with a clearer view of your goals and fresh energy and focus.
Also, don’t be afraid to make a “to-do” list for your business. Write the four or five items you absolutely must do on your list and promise yourself that you will get them done before you visit your favourite forums, social websites or check your email. This can help you get more work accomplished in less time. The use of a planner and the right tools can also make achieving what's on your to-do list so much more focused.
So, although you may not have superpowers, you can still have a home life, a business life and some time for yourself. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, ask your family for some help and try out a few of these great ideas for balancing your life.
WE WERE BORN TO MOVE
That’s right, structurally, we are made for movement, not being still & especially not sitting. We are created for movement, we need to move as much as possible, otherwise problems arise. And it’s not just back & hip issues, or our expanding butts & waistlines or poor posture & bad necks. Today I want you to t how think about how you can fit more movement into your day & maybe inspire you to get outside doing it. Exercise & variety is so important to everyone. Fitness has been shown to play such an important part in our brain performance, mental & emotional health, prevention of disease & recovery. Being fit & improving overall wellbeing can help increase confidence in individuals, which can have a huge impact on their career success which is bigger than having the perfect body. We know exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good & decrease stress, so why isn’t everyone doing it 6 days a week? Why are people still finding excuses? It doesn’t have to be hard core workouts. Finding something you enjoy is the key. Although resistance training is the best thing, you can still do just 2 x 30min sessions a week & whatever else you like for the other days. Pick any recreational sport or hobby that involves moving a lot, whether it be tennis, table tennis, golf (without the cart), bowling, dancing. Not video games or board games where you are sitting. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australian women - at three times the rate of breast cancer. The good news? There's an easy way to cut your risk. You can probably guess some of the main risk factors for heart disease. But what's the number one cause? Inactivity! If you have a lot of work meetings, maybe you could get a tall table to stand around, or take your mtg outside & walk while you talk. It’s not that crazy, & getting the fresh air will do you even more good. So most people go from a heated house to car to office & back in their car to home & maybe a stop at the gym. All heated environments where germs fester & we get everyone’s colds etc. It’s been proven that those who get more daily fresh air (especially ocean air) live a longer & healthier life. Inhaling fresh air helps clear your lungs and enables you to take deeper, longer breaths of air -- which increases the amount of oxygen that's transported to your body's cells. Oxygen improves our mood, our brain function & increases our energy. Then there’s the other big thing called the Sun. Spending about 30 minutes in the sun can provide you with nearly a day's supply of vitamin D through skin absorption. Having enough vitamin D in your body helps your bones form properly, which reduces your risk of developing bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
According to research, people show more physical signs of relaxation -- including lower blood pressure and lower amounts of the stress hormone cortisol -- when they spent time in the forest rather than in the city. Sunlight is also thought to help ward off depression and stress because the "happy" chemical serotonin is higher in the brain during the time of year when days are longer. SO HOW CAN YOU INTRODUCE MORE INCIDENTAL EXERCISE INTO YOUR DAY? • Don’t forget that incidental exercise adds up, like walking to the supermarket instead of driving, or taking the stairs instead of the lift. • Talking on the telephone? Instead of sitting down, walk around while you chat. If you’re on your mobile, a brisk walk around the block or local park. • Use your ad breaks! There’s at least eight minutes of ads per 30 minutes of television watched, so spend that time doing star jumps, abs, using your foam roller, going up and down your stairs or dancing with the kids. Just get moving. • Take a five minute stretching break instead of a coffee break at work • Take the kids to the park on the weekend. Ride bikes or scooters. Be an example to your kids. • Go for a bush walk with friends instead of the BBQ (have a BBQ in the park after instead) • Get out in the garden. Spend some time each week planting, watering and tending to your garden. Mow the lawn! It will work up a sweat. • Be more active in the workplace – walk to the printer, instead of sending an email, walk to the person’s desk rather than call, stand up rather than sit when answering the phone, keep a glass of water on your desk & the big bottle in the break room so you have to keep filling up. • Park further away. Choose the furthest car space in the carpark, or better still, leave the car at home and walk to the shops. • Join your work colleagues for a lunchtime walk, swim or sports game once a week. • Get a dog that has to be walked! Remember incidental exercise is on top of your workout! AUTHOR: Carolyn Smith – www.inspiredfitnesssolutions.com
Running a business can be hard work. As sole traders we wear many hats & try to do as much as possible ourselves before we realize we have to give up control on some things in order to do the things we are good at & let others do the things they’re good at so we succeed. Otherwise we would be working non-stop & have no life. We create stress that builds up until our bodies break down. You don’t want to get to that point, it’s really hard to come back from. Stress is a major factor in our lives, that if left untreated, can cause serious harm or illness, disease & death. So what can you do to prevent this? There are many things luckily, you just have to acknowledge, accept & take action. 1. Get good nutrition 2. Exercise 3. Get 7 to 8hrs sleep 4. Hydrate 5. Relax Are you eating the bare minimum of 2 fruit & 5 vegetables a day for basic health? Or do you eat processed foods, fast foods, takeaway, whatever you can get your hands on because you don’t have time or can’t be bothered? Wholefood nutrition is key for energy & your immune system. Do you exercise 6 days a week? A minimum of 15mins a day raising your heart rate & breathing heavy is required. Find something you like to do, add a minimum of 2 days resistance training & you’re good. If you feel & look good, so will your business. Anything 6hrs & under a night regularly is unhealthy & dangerous. It can be the equivalent of driving 0.05 & I’m tipping you wouldn’t go to work drunk. It affects our cognitive abilities so you won’t perform your best at work. There are so many things you can do to improve your sleep so try them. If you are dehydrated by as little as 2% it affects your general performance.
Often when you feel tired you just need water. Same when you feel hungry, start with water. Our bodies are 80% water so obviously we need to replace it when we sweat, urinate plus all of our bodily functions rely on water to run smoothly. Finally we need to relax! That S word (stress) is way too prevalent in our lives & it wreaks havoc with our bodies. You have to learn to switch off work mode & find an activity you enjoy each day, spend time with your family, read, meditate, laugh & change your mindset. AUTHOR: Carolyn Smith – www.inspiredfitnesssolutions.com
At first glance, it would seem that positive thinking and running out of time have nothing to do with one another. But many of us with limited time develop negative thinking patterns because we become frustrated by our challenges and frequent feelings of being overwhelmed. This negative outlook then makes it even harder for us to manage those time challenges and move forward. Practicing positive thinking allows people with time issues to focus on our strengths and accomplishments, which increases happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows us to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and stuck. The following tips provide practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns: 1.Take Good Care of Yourself: It's much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest. Let’s face it good healthy food, exercise, fresh air and plenty of sleep gets those endorphins pumping. 2. Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For Stresses and challenges don't seem quite as bad when you are constantly reminding yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference. Starting the day with writing in a Gratitude Journal or finding 10 things you are grateful for shifts your energy and vibration. 3. Look for the Proof Instead of Making Assumptions A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are usually not reality. Don't waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about. Worrying about what you can’t change has a never impact and is not necessarily based on proof. 4. Refrain from Using Absolutes Have you ever told a partner "You're ALWAYS late!" or complained to a friend "You NEVER call me!"? Thinking and speaking in absolutes like 'always' and 'never' makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering. Listen carefully to the words you use and tweaking them can have a positive impact. 5. Detach From Negative Thoughts Your thoughts can't hold any power over you if you don't judge them or let them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don't follow it. Move on, take a moment to breath, close your eyes and reframe your thoughts. 6. Squash the "ANTs" In his book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life," Dr. Daniel Amen talks about "ANTs" - Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like "Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me," or "The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!" When you notice these thoughts, realize that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them! 7. Practice Lovin', Touchin' & Squeezin' (Your Friends and Family) You don't have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up. One research study on this subject had a waitress touch some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. She received higher tips from these customers than from the ones she didn't touch! In this day and age we must consider health and safety for 2021. 8. Increase Your Social Activity By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way! Look for people you like to be around and avoid Negative Nancy or Winey Wayne. 9. Volunteer for an Organization, or Help another Person Everyone feels good after helping. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return. Your endorphins increase and so to the recipient of your goodwill. 10. Use Pattern Interrupts to Combat Rumination If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different. Rumination is like hyper-focus on something negative. It's never productive, because it's not rational or solution-oriented, it's just excessive worry. Try changing your physical environment - go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music. Do what it takes to activate new thinking and flick the ‘off switch’ on your thoughts.
Benjamin Franklin's method of habit formation
Benjamin Franklin's method of habit formation Was Ben Franklin the Inventor of the daily planner? What ever the case you can stand to learn a lot from this great American achiever. Benjamin Franklin, inventor, statesman, writer, publisher and economist relates in his autobiography that early in his life he decided to focus on arriving at moral perfection. He made a list of 13 virtues, assigning a page to each. Under each virtue he wrote a summary that gave it fuller meaning. Then he practiced each one for a certain length of time. To make these virtues a habit, Franklin came up with a method to grade himself on his daily actions. In a journal he drew a table with a row for every virtue and a column for every day of the week. Every time he made a fault, he made a mark in the appropriate column. Each week he focused his attention on a different virtue. Over time, through repetition, he hoped to one day experience the pleasure of "viewing a clean Book." He says that he carried out this personal examination for years. In order to do the work thoroughly he decided to attempt each virtue and a quarter of its importance - one at a time. He began with temperance, which included the moderating of every pleasure or inclination to develop undesirable habits, because temperance "tends to procure that coolness and clearance and head that is so necessary where constant vigilance is to be kept up and guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits and the force of perpetual temptations." The other virtues practice in succession by Franklin were silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, Justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity and humility. For the summary order he followed a little scheme of employing his time each day. From five to seven each morning he spent in bodily personal attention, saying a short prayer, thinking over the day’s business and resolutions, studying and eating breakfast. From eight till twelve he worked at his trade. From twelve to one he read or overlooked his accounts and dined. From two to five he worked at his trade. The rest of the evening until 10 he spent in music, or diversion of some sort. This time is used also to put things in their places. In the last thing before retiring was examination of the day. At the age of 79, he ascribed his health to temperance; the acquisition of misfortune to industry and frugality; the confidence of his country to sincerity and justice. Franklin's extraordinary success in life and politics can be attributed to his perseverance to overcome his personal liabilities, and his desire to constantly become better. Next time you really want to achieve something, take time to focus on your own personal journal. What is your temptation that is standing in your way to greatness? What can you do to form the habit of becoming a success?
Did you know that the more you celebrate, the more you welcome the energy of celebration into your life? The Universal Law of Attraction says “that which is like unto itself is drawn” – or in layman’s terms, like attracts like. The act of celebration is one of my favourite things to engage in. It is exciting to look back at where we started, what we’ve achieved along the way, the lessons we’ve learned and how far we’ve come in our business since first making the decision to open our doors. Celebrations don’t need to be extravagant, huge, splashy shows of wonder and awe. A simple pat on the back, recognition of yourself and your achievements, and acknowledging the time and energy you employed to reach your goal is all that is required. If you can spend 30 seconds to 2 minutes holding the emotion of gratitude (or another positive emotion that you feel for achieving your goal) in your body, the more strong and definitive your request to the Universe is – in other words, you are telling the Universe with the emotions you are feeling in your body and vibrating outwards ‘I want more of this!’. The longer we can sit in, hold onto, feel into and embody the positive emotion, the more the universe recognises it and vibrationally matches your request for more of the same. So what do you celebrate? Here’s some of my examples: Client numbers Income levels Time in business New clients New equipment Old clients moving on and leaving because they feel better Clients that return after a break Referrals New connections Seeing amazing, transformational change in my clients Pretty much anything else What are some things you can celebrate?
AUTHOR: Amanda Kate www.amandakate.com.au
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