Tuesday, January 29, 2013

10 Sayings of Wisdom from Zig Ziglar

Years ago I worked for a company that used Zig Ziglar training to train sales staff.  I never forgot the lessons learned from that training.  I wanted to share 10 jewels from a great motivational speaker and salesman, Zig Ziglar.

  1. "Remember that failure is an event, not a person."
  2. "It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts."
  3. "You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want."
  4. "Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis."
  5. "People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons."
  6. "Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days."
  7. "A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could."
  8. "When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there."
  9. "Never judge the day by the weather."
  10. "If you can dream it, you can achieve it."
(photo copyright of original owner)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Simple Plan of Action

In my last blog I mentioned creating a Plan of Action.  This can be a list or chart that you write down or manage on a spreadsheet. I thought I would share my Plan of Action for those who may feel it's too intimidating to create one, or for those who have never written anything down and need a starting point.


When I say simple, I mean simple. Your Plan of Action doesn't have to be elaborate, fancy, or intricate. It is a guide for your daily, weekly, and monthly plan to steer your business to success. It allows you to put down your goals, track your progress in working towards them, and then evaluate how well you executed your plan.

The Layout

I have 5 columns on my spreadsheet: Date, Action, Goal , Actual, and Notes.

  1. Date – Ideally you want to fill out your Plan of Action the week before you want to implement it. I put the dates in that I plan on working on the goal.

  2. Action – This is the breakdown of what it is I want to do ( i.e. Call leads, Follow up with Jane Doe).

  3. Goal – I place the number or desired outcome to the action I listed. So if my action was to call leads then my goal would be how many I plan to contact that day, such as 5. If my goal was to follow up with Jane Doe then my goal would be to get her to sign a contract and pay the retainer.

  4. Actual – This is where I put the actual results I obtained from my action. If my goal was to call 5 leads what actually happened? Did I call 5 leads? Or did I only call 3 leads? Did I get to send Jane Doe a contract? Did she ask me to call back next week?

  5. Notes – I use this column to add details about my actual results. If I was supposed to call 5 leads and only called 3 I need to be accountable as to why I fell short. Since Jane Doe asked me to send the contract what additional notes about the conversation do I need to document?  Adding details about your results will help you in preparing your Plan of Action for the following week and allow you to reflect on why a particular course worked or didn't work.

That is it. Simple and straight forward. What does your Plan of Action include? Share it with us.

A Sample Spreadsheet Layout for a Plan of Action

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year, New You: The Home Based Business Owner's Keys for Success in 2013

I don't ever have “resolutions” for the New Year.  Instead I like to reflect on the previous year, see what I did well, see what needs to be changed, and then convince myself that "all sins are forgiven" and I can start fresh.

I have operated a home based business for over 8 years.  In that time I have come to realize that January of every new year is pivotal for a home based business.  Here are 4 keys to help you get on the right path to success in 2013.

  1. Set Realistic Goals. It would be wonderful if I said my goal for this year is to sign $100,000 in web design contracts, but that's not realistic for my circumstances. No, I'm not selling myself short.  Instead I'm refusing to set myself up for failure.

    You need to honestly evaluate your circumstances.  Why are you working from home?  Is out of necessity?  Is it out of desire? What goals can you realistically achieve with your circumstances?

    That being said, don't settle for mediocrity.  Review your previous year's accomplishments and set goals that will not only push you to do better than you did before, but also will allow you to stay motivated.

  2. Write Down Your Plan of Action. Yes, write it down. I know how it goes; you have your great plan and it's all in your head.  You know exactly how many hours you plan on working, how you're going to market your company, and how to go about getting leads and clients.  The problem is that it's all in your head.

    Writing down your Plan of Action keeps you accountable and helps you to stay focused.  It makes your goals real and gives you a tangible road map to look at and see how to accomplish your goals.  After all, our minds have a way of making excuses.  We can always explain why we didn't do what we were supposed to do (and it's never our fault).  There's power in that piece of paper or that spreadsheet that's staring back at you.  It lets you know whether you're doing what you're supposed to be doing with your business to be successful.

  3. Implement Your Plan of Action.  Keep track of what you do every day.  Your Plan of Action should have your daily goals listed.  At the end of each day write down (fill in your spreadsheet) what you actually accomplished.  How did you do in reaching your goals?  Did you fall short today?  What can you change tomorrow?   By tracking your goals daily you may be able to nip a bad habit in the bud quickly so that your month can end on a great note. Did you reach or surpass your goals?  Repeat the same routine the next day.

  4. Evaluate Your Progress.  At the end of the month take all the numbers in your Plan of Action and create a month end report. Ask yourself, “Did I meet my goals?” If the answer is “yes”, great! Do the same things next month.

    Did you fall short of your goals? Look at your month end report.  The numbers don't lie.  You should be able to see why you missed the mark. Was it due to lack of prospecting?  Did you not following up with enough leads? Figure out what went wrong and change it for the following month.  

Running a home based business is not rocket science nor should it feel like a chore.  You are a home based business owner for a reason and with a few basic steps you can be successful in 2013.

Share your success story.