Is Opening a Successful Online Business Just a Pipe Dream?

I am often asked “can I really succeed in an online business when so many other people have tried and failed?”

Everybody wants to know if they are going to succeed in any new business venture before they have even begun. But the truth is, no body knows. The one thing I do know though, is if you go into your new business doubting whether you can do… then you are sure to fail. Or at least have a more difficult time of it.

Why would anybody do anything if they thought they would fail at it? That’s just crazy talk. If your first reaction to starting a business is “oh well I’ll give it a try, but I know so many others who have failed, so I’m sure I will too”, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

You need to go into your new business with a positive mindset. Dream big! Because then, and only then, can you succeed big.

I wasn’t always successful. In fact my life was pretty dire. I was a young single mother, living on the run from an abusive ex-partner. I had nothing but my children, the car I drove, the clothes on our backs and our health. But i was determined to do something about it. I promised myself that I would turn my life around. Not just for me, but for my children. And what I learned along the way is that it’s not so much the business you choose. The thing that stops people from succeeding is often their biggest critic… themselves.

Here is the problem.Without you there is no business. You ARE the business. And if you don’t go into it with the right frame of mind – the right attitude – you may as well stick to the crappy job you go to every day.

I decided that if I was going to be successful at anything I had to look inwards. I had to take charge of myself. I had to be determined to succeed. Because if I wasn’t. I was going to remain in the same sorry situation forever.

When you work for yourself, the buck stops with you. There is no one else to blame, there is no one to whine to when things don’t quite go your way. There is no one to pep you up when you’re having a bad day. You’re it!

The other problem I found was when I was doing my research. I came across so many sites making unrealistic claims like ‘how you can make thousands of dollars in only minutes a day!’ Look, while making money online is relatively easy, with the right foundations in place. It takes a hell of a lot longer than mere minutes a day.

When I am building a new business, as well as working in my already established businesses, I’m working from 6 am to midnight (at least). 7 days a week, for as long as it takes to get it right. Why? Because I know the pay off at the end will be worth it. But even then, it takes more than minutes a day to maintain.

For instance, if you have ever written an article, you know it takes time, especially if you want quality over quantity, which, by the way, should always be the case if you want to maintain your readership.

So is building your own successful online business just a pipe-dream? It is if you’re not ready for hard work. It is if you’re not dreaming of success. It is if you are not willing to take the risk.

So invest in yourself. Take a chance. Believe in yourself and live the life you really want.

Like Nike’s famous tag line says “Just Do It!”

There’s plenty of room for everyone.

Is the Home Based Business Just a Dream too Good to Be True?

Working from home is something that many people dream about. There is nothing better than doing the job from the comfort of their own home according to a self made schedule, not having commute to work and spending endless hours in the office doing the tasks given by the boss. However the question that sticks in minds of many people is: if there really is a decent home business opportunity that will help the dream come true or it’s all to good to be true and it will rather drive people nowhere fast. So before you get into a home based business you have to learn a few important facts.

First you must consider negative things. You must know that there are loads of home business scams that rather want to rip you off than help you build your business. These scams have spread like disease over the web in thanks to the Internet and possibilities it brings. The first bad signs you should notice are money requested up front from you. Many companies will try to sell you a list of the best business opportunities. Beware, there is no need to pay anyone for the information you can dig into yourself.

Some companies will want you to pay start up fee to join their business, some of them will offer you big and quick money potential at minimum effort or whatsoever, but finally once you pay for your membership you realize that this is another worthless pyramid scheme that will take ages to make any money for you or will dump you together with the money you put into it. Such opportunities that claim huge and easy money for everyone no matter what level of skills and experience anyone has, are the ones that you should avoid, because building a business isn’t easy thing that can be done without the knowledge, education and skills. If all of that what is offered and promised to you by those scams was true then almost everyone today would be working from home and making good money. So don’t be naive, opportunities like that are just a waste of your time, your money and your effort.

That’s it about bad news.

The good news is that there are also business opportunities out there that really work. If you have some skills in particular area, some companies may hire you to work from home for them. Also there are other business opportunities available online, such us online surveys. There are loads of companies that will be glad to invite you to take surveys about their products, so that you will be paid per survey completed as the company finds your opinion very helpful in improving the product. Also there are many companies looking for the home article writers. If you have some writing skills you could create the content for them in the form of articles and get paid decent money for every article written. Also you can come up with your own business ideas and look around how you can put them to work and make money out of them.

Home bases business can work. It’s all about finding a right opportunity, avoiding scams and persistent work.

Is Business Just a Transaction For You?

Despite the recession, I experienced quite a few business transactions this holiday season.

No matter what store I found myself in, it was crowded and busy. Those cash registers were certainly ringing!

Having the memories of the holidays behind us and some credit card bills yet to pay, I have thought about these transactions as a reminder for how we may not want to conduct business in the New Year.

Shopping during the holidays is often a thankless experience. But all transactions don’t have to be like that.

It reminds me why I used to like staying at the Ritz Carlton versus the W. Both are great hotels, but that extra personal connection I received at the Ritz made all the difference in my experience.

“Welcome back Ms. Lopez, would you care for a non-smoking room again this time?” And, they would come around from the desk, look into my eyes, give me a handshake and say “it’s nice to have you stay with us again.” They handed me my room keys and other information as they asked if they could be of further service. I felt their genuine concern and care for me as their customer.

There is a reason I believe connection is the key to achieving results in life and at work. It’s the same reason that explains why people who achieve long-term success know how to build committed connections with their customers.

Here is the reason: Business is NOT a transaction, it’s PERSONAL. Business requires connection.

The minute we think it is just the transaction, it’s the minute we lose our ability to influence, guide and lead. We lose the opportunity to connect in a meaningful way.

Now, this concept may be easy to understand when you think about customers, but as a leader you need to broaden your definition of who your customer really is. As leaders, our teams, colleagues, suppliers, bosses and subordinates are all our customers. Leaders serve others.

Generation Y has it right, this is the generation that is taking connection to a whole new level in business and in their lives. They expect business leaders to connect emotionally with them and they are changing the shape of business today and forever. Just to put in perspective, Gen Y changed the face of this past year’s presidential campaign. They had direct connections with President Elect Obama. They felt his genuine concern and care for them as his customers. In doing so, President Elect Obama was leading them.

Gone are the days of command and control hierarchies. If you think you or your position are “above” the connection and you revert to doing business as a transaction…beware. Business today is about committed relationships built on a foundation of transparency, trust and connection.

Is your leadership mindset stuck in yester-year?

If you are looking at business as a transaction where you “just get your work done” and get on with the rest of your life, well you are in for some eye-popping reality when dealing with the expectations for the 21st century.

Just yesterday, an airplane came crashing down in New York’s Hudson River. I saw a few recounts of the episode told by survivors. They each had amazing things to say about the pilot. Many believe he is a hero, a leader amongst leaders, not just because he did his job the best he could and they all survived, but also because he fulfilled his role by connecting with those around him.

He was one of the last to leave the sinking plane.

For him, his job was not just the transaction: take-off, fly and land safely, but it also encompassed a responsibility for his passengers. A connection to those he served. He had an authentic and genuine concern and care for his customers.

He risked his own life for the sake of others. This is the ultimate demonstration of connected leadership. He walked the talk; he didn’t just pay lip service to the idea.

When we connect, there is a real and genuine exchange. One that builds success to an even-higher level because it builds trust and loyalty. Connections are not one-sided; they allow both parties to benefit from the exchange.

So what about you? Can you begin to think about changing your mindset about your business transactions and connecting with those you lead? Do you have a genuine concern and care for your customers and for those you serve?