Thursday, November 19, 2009

Survival Is Not Mandatory!

"If you always think what you've always thought, you'll always get what you've always got!"

This was a very powerful statement that a good friend once said to me and although it is not original (nor grammatically correct) it is often true.

I also heard a very wise person say something once that I've never been able to shake: "Change is not necessary because survival is not mandatory! However, if you wish to survive then you'll have to change!."

From my personal experience, a truer word could not have been said. And the same can be said for a new online business owner.

I wish I could tell you that change is easy, but for most of us, it isn't. Frankly there were times when I thought I was the President of the "I'm perfect the way I am" club but all I had to do is look around at my life to realize that I must be doing something wrong.

I finally had to accept the fact that if my way worked I'd be successful. So after dragging my feet (for years) and getting minimum business results, I decided to change.

After I made that decision, I began to honestly access what needed to change about myself. Up to that point my life was the result of what I've done in the past which was the results of my habits which were the results of how I thought. And so the answer became clear - if I just changed the way I thought, I would change my life!

Yes, I know, easier said then done, right? Right!

But I can say this, once I made the decision to change the way I thought, the "how" came very quickly.

Charlie "Tremendous" Jones, a very successful motivational and inspirational speaker and writer is famous for saying something like: "The difference between the person you are now and the one you will be five years from now depends on the people you meet and the books you read."

I realized that the best way to change the way I was living was to change my thoughts, and since Charlie "Tremendous" Jones stated it started with the books I read and the people I associated with, that's where I choose to start.

But we'll pick this up on the next post.

A Blind Leader

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Simple Plan

Over the last 5 years I have been working with a lot of people who expressed a desire to own their own online business. Nearly all of them had no visible signs of a disability but none the less then all did.

What disability was that?

They all believed that running an online business was simply a matter of getting a product or service, creating a website, printing out some business cards, and throwing their virtual doors open. It didn't take them long to realize that the money wasn't pouring in. You see they thought that running a business, was just like working a job, but they couldn't be further from the truth. I know, because I did the same thing.

Job mentality and business owner mentality, however, are as opposite as North and South and until this fact is learned a business will never succeed.

Let's Build A House -

Let's say you own a Construction business and someone hired you to construct their home. They informed you that they had done all of the preliminary work and all you had to do is show up with your crew and get to work.

And so you arrive on the first day with your crew and you look around the site. You noticed piles of material neatly stacked all around, such as, wooden planks, bags of cement, boxes of nails, shingles, etc. Every supply you need.

A short time later, the person who hired you drives up and gets out of his car with a great big smile on his face. He comes over to you, says hello, and then points to the spot he wishes the house to be built and tells you to get started. You nod and turn to walk towards your crew and then you pause and turn back to the smiling man and ask him one question. Do you know what that question is? Of course you do, you'd ask him?

"Where are the plans?"

You see, when it comes to building ANYTHING, whether a physical structure or a virtual business nothing can be accomplished right without a plan! As the old saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".

And that's why many business are doomed to failure from the start. They don't have a well thought out plan. Without a plan you simply don't have anywhere to go.

Now you may recall a time in your life where you have constructed something "off the cuff" so to speak, and I will admit that many people build their business that way, and may even, eventually, build a successful business. However, they tend to compromise two simple things: money and time. And so, if you have plenty of money and plenty of time, by all means, just jump right into business building. However, if you are serious about building a successful, long-termed business, I would suggest that your First order of business be making a plan.

Parts of A Plan

In putting together any worthwhile plans you need to answer three basic questions:

- What do you want?
- When do you want it?
- What are you willing to give up to get it?

Until these three questions are addressed nothing can move forward! Some sample answers might me:

- What do you want? I want to establish an online business that will generate a net annual profit of $60,000 a year.

- When do you want it? I wish to have the "foundation" laid and in place within 12 months from today.

- What are you willing to give up to get it? I'm willing to get up 2 hours early each day to work on developing my online business, as well as postponing some of my weekend recreational activities and evening hours to work on it as well until I reach my goal.

You get the idea. Also it may not come as a surprise to you but usually the last question is the one that throws most people. It's what I call the deal breaker because most people are willing to add on extra but they aren't willing to give up anyting they already have. And without committing to this last question they will never truly have a successful business.

And so that is the reason I start out with this simple plan. (I said simple, not easy.) Because I figure to commit to even doing this little bit of planning would separate those people who are serious about a business from those people who are fooling themselves with a hobby.

Whether someone builds a "brick and mortar" business or a virtual business they both take work! And that doesn't always mean physical work, but it is important to know that until these 3 simple questions are answered, your new online business will never be able to move forward.

So, take some time, and really think about how serious you are about doing what it takes to becoming a successful online business owner and if you still wish to move forward then come back and we'll talk some more.

A Blind Leader

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Welcome! to My World

Thanks for dropping by.

As it says in the title, I am a business owner and have been so for many years. In particular, I have been working online for nearly 5 years in several ventures. I prefer online work because of its variety and convenience.

As the title also suggests, I am disabled as well. I suffer from a hereditary eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa - RP for short. It is a curious disease that, for some, will only diminish their sight over their lifetime, while for others, it can remain dormant for a time and then suddenly "activate" totally snatching most, if not all, of their sight very quickly. I don't profess to be an expert on the disease but can only offer my perspective of it through my own experience. (If you would like more information about RP, you can check out my other blog, "My RP Survival Guide". The link is on this page.

Why Write Another Blog?

My hope is to help others, especially those with disabilities, avoid the same business pitfalls that I have encountered over the years. I mean, for most people who are disabled are able to qualify for some sort of government assistance. At present, I do, and I am thankful for it, but I also won't fool myself to believe it will last forever nor be enough for my future needs. I have observed the economic trends enough to know that the best way for anyone (disabled or not) to secure their future is to create a secondary source of income through a business of their own.

Okay, So What's The Catch?

As a good friend of mine usually says, "You're sitting on the catch". Over the years, I have found that the best way to start securing my future is to get up and get moving! And thanks to the personal computer, most people can do just that without leaving to leave their own homes.


I've always been on the lookout for better ways to make more money. I was raised with the "don't put all your eggs in one basket" philosophy and I've found through personal experience what a good idea that is. However, with the large variety of choices out in cyberspace, it can be hard to tell the good ideas from the bad. this makes it very easy for the unsuspecting person (especially one living on a fixed income) to venture out because of the risk of losing what little they have.

Now, despite what the media says, I believe there is more good in the world then bad, but just like crossing a busy street, we must learn to be cautious and discerning in the steps we take. For example, there have been times in my life when I have walked into stores with white cane in hand to purchase something, and had to "correct" the counter person on the amount of my change. I choose to give everyone the benefit of the doubt (until they prove me otherwise) and so I elect to believe that the person miscounted my change instead of believing that they decided to purposely deceive me. However, the point is still this, even if the clerk's behavior was an honest mistake, if it wasn't for the limited sight I have left I would have still be shorted my money, however with RP, there is no saying how long my vision will last. These days as a way to be more comfortable with my transactions, I have all checks earmarked direct deposit and I do 90% or more of my major shopping online.

So Why Doesn't Someone Do Something?

And that comes to why I decided to write this blog. I believe that the United States is a wonderful place to live, but even in a wonderful country like this there are still many things that can be improved -- especially for the handicapped. However, unlike most people, I don't believe it is solely the government's job to fix everything. In particular when it comes to my personal survival.

So How Can I Help?

I believe I have found a few ideas that have helped me to make income today as well as secure my future for tomorrow - with one very important catch! All my suggestions call for ACTION! Nothing fancy or elaborate, just plain honest work.

Is the work hard?

I don't believe so but that will be a personal choice. I figure if you believe the work to be hard you will either not come back or not try the ideas suggested, and that's okay. Everyone has a different time table and everyone has different challenges in their lives to deal with before starting something new. Been there, done that. Just know that I plan to be here for a while so bookmark this blog as a favorite and come back when timing's a bit better.

For everyone else, I have put together a few ideas that I will be posting in later blogs that almost anyone can try. I can't give any guarantees (because I can't determine how serious you will be about working at the ideas) but I can guarantee that I believe in what I am doing and that I will always strive to share the best information I have at the time. And while I can't guarantee your success, I want you to know that every idea I have posted here is one that I have already looked over and is personally involved with. I will always strive to lead by example and since I am not trying to lose any of my money on a venture I certainly will not be trying to lead you on one. However, if I do find after posting a link ere that the venture turns out to be not what I was led to believe, I will remove it and post the reason why.

As I stated, I will accomplish all of this through my own posts as well as through interesting and useful links I find. I will suggest successful ideas I have used and give you advice on the best ways to build a solid business foundation to build your future on. As we continue to grow together, I hope you will let me know how you are doing so that we can learn from each other and become even stronger.

I do ask one favor if you will.

If you ever come across a link listed here that you have a problem with, whether content-wise or broken, please contact me so that I can look into it. Although I will do my best to keep this blog current, anyone whose ever worked on computers for any length of time realize that links can change without notice. If you don't wish to leave the issue as a comment on the blog, feel free to email me.

Although the main focus of this blog is those people with disabilities, I know the ideas here will work for anyone willing to work the ideas.

Again, thanks for dropping by. I look forward to working with you in the near future.

A Blind Leader