4 Things I Learned After Starting My Own Business

After years of jumping from job to job, I finally decided to leave my hesitations behind and start my own business. With a dream and a lot of hard work, I managed to eventually become successful. That being said, here are a few things I learned after starting my own business that I wish someone told me!

  1. It Is Physically, Emotionally, and Financially Demanding

People often ask me, “How do I know I’m ready to start my own business”. I usually tell them:

1.) If you really have to ask whether or not you’re ready to start your own business, then you probably aren’t ready.

2.) If you are willing to devote almost everything you have physically, emotionally, and financially, then you’re ready.

Although those two points are harsh, they’re true. In order to start your own business, you have to be willing to give everything you have in terms of physical, emotional, and financial aspects. Yes, most people seek funding for their business. But, majority of small business and even partnership funding comes from personal finances. Exhausting your personal finances isn’t the only thing you will have to do. Be prepared to work long and hard hours to develop your overall business plan, marketing strategy, budget, and anything else relevant to your business.

  1. Authenticity is Key

If you really want your business to be successful, you must be authentic. Forever ago, I remember browsing through Etsy and thinking I was creative and resourceful enough to launch my own jewelry Etsy shop. But, I quickly realized that designing and creating jewelry wasn’t my passion, and it has already been done literally a million different ways on Etsy.

But, let’s say designing jewelry was my passion. Sometimes, you might be passionate about a business idea that is extremely popular and has the potential for being profitable. In this case, you need to think about ways you can be authentic and stand out among the thousands of other businesses that sell similar products.

  1. Balancing Relationships Can Be Hard

Remember how I said starting your own business is extremely demanding? Unfortunately, this means your relationships might suffer as you attempt to kick start your business. In the early stages of launching my business, I remember having the same routine every day: go to work and go to sleep. That meant I didn’t have time to catch up with my friends, let alone date. Unfortunately, this put a strain on a lot of my relationships. Majority of the people I knew couldn’t understand why I was devoting my life to a business venture that could possibly flop, and that I wasn’t investing any time in our relationship because of it.

Even though this is a crappy situation, it can be resolved. It’s important to explain to friends and family what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and why you’re doing it, as well as what that means for your relationship with them. It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to take a break for a day or two. After all, business will come and go, but family and friends are forever.

  1. Patience is Important

Regardless of how hard and long you work, you won’t achieve success over night. But, you shouldn’t be discouraged because of this. Being successful takes a lot of effort and time. So, remember to be patient and never give up on your business dreams.

Is Network Marketing Just Another Scam?

is mlm a scamI’ve been in and out of network marketing businesses over the past decade or so, and I get asked this question a lot:

“Is network marketing a scam?”

While I don’t believe it’s a scam (which I’ll explain in a second), I’m personally  not a big fan of it for my own income generation. I truly believe it has to be something that you enjoy doing if you’re going to succeed (as with anything). But it’s far from being a scam. It may be a little saturated, but I can safely say it is a legitimate business opportunity in most cases. It really varies depending on what company you’re working with. In general, you want to make sure the network marketing business you choose to join meets several criteria:

#1: The company has legitimate products and/or services for sale. If you join an MLM where the only thing you get paid for is sponsoring other people, then that’s a big red flag. Legitimate businesses have real products and services to market and sell. Without products in rotation, you’re probably involved in what’s called a “pyramid scheme.” (More on that later.)

#2: The company has a well-thought-out compensation plan. There are various types of compensation plans. The main ones are Binary, Forced Matrix, Uni-Level and Breakaway. Some comp plans even offer a combination of sorts. You’ll need to research and figure out which plan will work best for you and be most lucrative in terms of building your biz. In any case, make sure you thoroughly understand how it works and how you can expect to get paid before joining and committing to build the business. (Unless you simply plan to be a product user.)

#3: The company has been around for a while and has a good reputation. The last thing you want is to experience massive success in a company within its first 2 years and then it goes out of business. I’ve known people who have worked as part of the corporate staff for MLMs that simply disappeared within the first year or two. I think the statistic is something like 90-95% of network marketing companies fail in their first year…

While there are perks to joining a company that’s brand new and unsaturated, there are obvious advantages to joining one that has been around for a while and has a great reputation among current and past associates. Realize also that some associates will bash a company simply because they did not succeed at building the business or suddenly decided that they didn’t like the products. Read every review online carefully and decide what seems to you to be most credible before making an informed decision.

Is network marketing a pyramid scheme?

As discussed above, some MLM companies may, in fact, be pyramid schemes if they don’t sell legitimate products or services. However, network marketing itself is not a pyramid scheme, generally speaking.

Think about it this way: if you work for a company in Corporate America, who typically makes the most money and has the most prominent position? The CEO, right? And who typically makes less than the CEO? The people who report to him. And who typically makes less than the CEO’s direct reports? The people who report to them. It goes on…

The people on the bottom tier of any company usually make less money than the people on top. If your definition of a pyramid scheme is a structure in which the people on the bottom make less money than the people on top, then Corporate America is, by definition, a pyramid scheme. In fact, the opposite is true in network marketing. Everyone has unlimited income potential, and in many companies, the people underneath you can actually surpass your income level if they work the business harder than you do.

As with any business, network marketing works if you work it! Personally, I did not enjoy MLM and decided not to work it, which is why it did not work for me. I have full confidence that if I enjoyed it and decided to act on that enjoyment, I could have been very successful in network marketing.

My overall impression is that no, network marketing is not a scam. If you have more questions about this subject and would like to know more about the best network marketing opportunities out there, get in touch!

Need to Build Your Network? Check This Out!

networking event

Genuine network marketing companies can supply people the opportunity to make some extra cash, build their contact list, as well as learn even more regarding today’s advertising and marketing environment. The structure of the compensation plan for network marketing opportunities can range from the simplistic, such as you selling a firm’s product and them separating the profits with you, to an intricate sales and settlement version. If you are interested in becoming involved with network marketing yet are unclear which network marketing program to sign up with, the finest trait to do is to look at the product that you, and also your producers will be selling. Lots of network marketing programs do not have great items as well as for the most part, are scams where every recruit is required to get the item. A network marketing program with an exceptional product, on the other hand, is far much less likely to be a rip-off.

Brand name all of your advertising and marketing materials in the same way. A great idea is to base it all off your web site as it will have electronic graphics currently made, which are quickly multiple-use.

If you have an interest in getting involved with network marketing, however are uncertain company to join, the best thing to do is to check out the product that you, and also your manufacturers, will certainly be selling. Lots of multi level marketing programs do not have wonderful products as well as for the most part, are frauds where every hire is called for to get the product. An mlm program with an impressive product, on the other hand, is far less likely to be a scam. Wonderful items sell themselves. If you can supply them an excellent product to market, it will also be significantly less complicated to recruit leading manufacturers.

Listen to individuals and include their stories into your pitch. Ask them about their life and the goals they are attempting to attain when you are trying to recruit somebody. This will direct your pitch since you can then inform them exactly how you can assist them with their goals if they join you in business.

Let your network marketing leads understand exactly how the info you’re offering has worth in their life. If they consider the program to be something which will certainly add to value to their present scenario, they will be sold on it.

A key tip to consider when it comes to network marketing, is that you have to be sincere with yourself and also choose if this is going to be your company or simply a hobby. This is very important due to the fact that it will note your level of dedication and interest, as well as will determine how high you need to set your objectives.

An essential suggestion to remember is that you must make time for your company. The more time you allocate towards working on your business, the more your business will create as well as become a lot more rewarding, permitting you to expand it further than you might ever before have thought of, which will in return create much more revenue.

The above post went over questions people must ask before thinking about a multi level marketing business such as just what product or products are being marketed and also exactly how settlement is paid. There are numerous legit internet marketing possibilities that provide people the chance to make money as well as obtain a further understanding of this advertising and marketing idea.

Pros & Cons of Working For a Startup

I’ve worked for a few startups as a freelancer and independent contractor—some of them even full-time. I wanted to write this post, because a friend of mine and I were discussing #startuplife while out to lunch the other day and it got me thinking about the startups I’ve worked for. She was telling me about some of her experiences and they sounded very similar to mine, and as a freelance writer and entrepreneur I thought this information might be helpful to someone else who is considering a position within a startup company.

There are definitely risks to working with startups. But if the venture is successful, the risk is worth the reward. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the pleasure of working with a startup company that made it past the first round of fundraising, so I can’t speak from experience when I say that. But I can say that my hunch is pretty strong!

Either way, here are some of the cons I’ve experienced while being a part of startup culture:

Con #1: They might go under. In fact, I’d go ahead and prepare yourself for the worst, no matter how positive things look. One company I worked for made it sound like everything was peachy-keen, and then one day, out of the blue, I get a call from the CEO, and he’s telling me all about how our board members were having disagreements and they had to reduce my hours. Next thing I know, they let me go within 2 weeks after that phone call…

Many startups will spend too much cash too fast in an effort move things forward quickly. And if the person spending isn’t smart when it comes to investments, they might run out of money before the first year is over.

On the other hand, the opposite is quite possible as well… which brings me to my next point.

Con #2: They’re too frugal. Especially if they’ve had a scare from a previous spending spree. I’ve had department heads drastically reduce their budgets after coming close to bankruptcy in an effort to real things back in. And those reductions were often followed with layoffs. The first people to go are always the independent contractors, since they have no stake in the company and don’t require unemployment benefits.

Speaking of pay…

Con #3: Don’t expect to get your check on time. Especially if you’re a freelancer. Make sure you put those net-30 terms on your invoice or you may never get paid. Also, be prepared to lower your rates. Startup companies don’t have the same budgets as the big guys.

Now for the positives. (Yes, there are some awesome things about working for startups too!)

#1: The experience of wearing multiple hats. Startup companies are small, so if you’re looking to diverse your portfolio and gain a wealth of new experiences, there’s a good chance you’ll get to.

#2: The ability to work remotely. A lot of modern startup companies hire employees and independent contractors from all over the world. That means you get to work from home for a virtual company, which I think is pretty cool.

#3: The opportunity to help a new business win big! If your startup is successful, you can look back and say that you were a part of the team that helped make it that way. Can you imagine being one of the first people ever to work for Google? You could literally say you were a part of the crew that helped to revolutionize the world by creating the world’s most-used search engine today. I don’t know about you, but the prospect of that sounds amazing to me.

Have you ever been a part of #startuplife? Share your experiences in a comment below!

‘Til next time… Shae.

How Much Does a Freelance Blogger Cost?

As a mompreneur, I spend a lot of time trying to drum up freelance work online. There are lots of website owners who will pay for guest blog content. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of low-quality content farms charging anywhere from $1 – $15 for a single post, which puts people like me in a tough situation.

Honestly, if you are looking for high-quality content to post on your website, you need to be ready and willing to shell out at least $50 for a single blog post (300-500 words maximum). I’ll go ahead and say that’s what I charge, but I do know plenty of freelance bloggers who won’t take less than $100 for a single post, and sometimes that’s only for $250 words.

If you’re a business owner and you’re raising your eyebrows because you think that sounds crazy, hear me out. Quality content takes time to produce. Sure, you can go to a content farm or a freelance site like Textbroker and find someone in Guatemala to write articles for $5 a pop. But you’re likely to get low-quality, spun content that sounds like it was written by someone who’s native language is not English. But search engines are getting smart these days, and they don’t like low-quality, spun content. So if you’re trying to produce content that will pass their inspection and get read and shared by real people who find it interesting, you’ll want to hire a real person who can write interesting things. A professional freelance blogger doesn’t come cheap, and if you find one that does, it should raise a few red flags.

I just wanted to put this out there, because I’ve struggled to find freelance jobs lately. Too many cheap business owners don’t seem to want to invest in themselves. That, or they don’t understand the value of good quality content. I was actually told recently by a client of mine that they found a cheaper way to get articles. The last time I looked at his website, it was obvious he’s been using spun content to beef up his online presence. But it’s not working… his content is far from beefy. It’s pretty thin, actually.

If you’re looking to hire a good, English-speaking freelance writer, stay away from content mills. If you do choose to use a freelancer site, look for people in or from the United States.

Rant over. 🙂