From the Desk of the Editor
Welcome to the 91st issue of the MLM Woman Newsletter. This month we feature articles on how to think "outside the box", how to become a master of action, tips for making your home business successful, and four marketing myths that threaten your sales.
Linda Locke, Editor MLM Woman
10 Steps to Think
Our amazing human brains truly enjoy problem solving. Problem solving not only builds mental muscle, it also helps you avoid memory loss as you grow older!
But sometimes a problem comes in the form of a *pressing* problem - the type that wakes you up at 3 o'clock in the morning in a cold sweat.
Wrestling with such a problem can make you smarter and stronger. But that does NOT make it 'fun' to have such a problem!
** The Issue of *Pressing* Problems
The interesting thing about anxiety is this: It's based on the future. If what you fear had already happened, you would have no time for anxiety. You would be scrambling for a fast and immediate solution.
To find a solution for a *pressing future-based problem,* you need to get your mind out of the future, and into the present moment.
Clarity is everything in problem-solving.
And it's the absolute key to solving a pressing problem especially one that causes you to toss and turn all night!
** Solving a *Pressing* Problem
The first thing you'll want to remember is this: Unless a man-eating tiger is about to have you for lunch, others have survived worse than this. And so can you.
If you ARE facing such a problem, the worse thing you can do is to allow yourself to be anxious and stressed. Anxiety (a psychological condition) triggers stress (a physical response).
And stress absolutely shuts down your higher thinking capabilities. It turns on an older, more primitive part of your brain that simply prepares you to 'fight or run.'
The first step is to calm your mind. This might require a trip to the gym, a run or long walk, a massage - whatever slows down that train racing through the back of your mind.
** A True *Pressing Problem* Story
I faced the prospect of losing everything. I had equity in my home, but the bank was going to foreclose in a week. Not a pretty picture.
I tore my mind apart looking for solutions. I finally 'gave up.' I decided to talk to a realtor about a quick sale of the house, although that was 'totally impossible.'
Much to my shock, the realtor provided a solution. He picked up my overdue payments and saved the house from foreclosure. He covered his 'investment' with a contract clause in our sales agreement.
If I had just given into my anxiety and the resulting 'mental paralysis,' this great solution would never have been possible.
If you face such a problem, it's time to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!
This type of mental activity WILL provide an answer, although the answer may be unlike anything you may have expected.
If you've got a problem you're not getting an answer for, it's time to plug in your creativity. Here's an 'outside the box' 10-step process that works quite well:
Get it out of your head and onto paper. This will stop the process of 'running in mental circles' that often accompanies such problems. Demand clarity. Exactly what IS the problem? Be as precise as possible. Trim it down to a short statement of as few words as possible.
Now search your mind for closely related problems. Most problems come in a 'cluster' of smaller problems. List the related mini-problems that come to mind. Don't be critical at this point, just list everything that comes to mind.
Ask yourself: 'What are my assumptions.' Look for both obvious and subconscious assumptions. The subconscious assumptions may be connected to some interesting old personal fears that may have little or no basis in reality. Watch for them!
Ask yourself: 'If my assumptions are actually NOT true, how would this change the problem?'
Ask yourself: 'What am I trying to do?' Be very clear about your answer to this question.
Ask yourself: 'How am I trying to do this. Could there be a better way?' Do NOT assume your current methods are the best. If they were, they would be working for you! Get outside the box!
Make a list of *impossible* solutions to both the major, and smaller problems.
Examine your list, and look for clues to the solution. Again, do NOT be critical of any solution that seems 'impossible.'
Look for a smaller 'solvable' problem on your list. Sometimes solving a smaller problem will provide a string you can pull to unravel the big problem.
Remember to stay in your creative 'outside the box' mind. You cannot afford the luxury of anxiety or stress right now. If you feel yourself getting stressed, you're just giving into anxiety again. Get back into your 'creative now.'
Press on, and just trust yourself. There IS a solution. Your 'outside the box' attitude will open you to new opportunities and answers.
** Goals = Problems Looking for a Solution
((( Actually any goal you haven't reached is only a problem you have not yet solved. )))
In many ways, success is a direct factor of your ability to solve new problems!
Anything standing in the way of your goal is just a problem waiting for the right solution. This includes what some call 'personal limitations.' These are also just problems waiting for a solution!
If you are not today living the life you want to live, that is also just a problem to be solved. And problems are made to be solved.
So what should you do?
Turn on your creative juices and get 'outside the box.'
About the Author
Too Much Information
"In a world where there is a wealth of information,
It's true. We're drowning in information. We live in a time of unprecedented access to a vast and rapidly expanding universe of knowledge.
It's a good thing, but it also has a down side. Our senses can be easily overloaded. As we become overwhelmed our focus suffers. And focus is key. Without it we can't accomplish anything of much value.
Most of us don't really need as much information as we think. Instead, we need to better utilize what information we have, combine it with sustained action. In doing so, we'll make better progress.
You're probably saying, "Isn't Michael an infopreneur? Isn't his business sharing information and ideas?" Yes, true on both counts.
It's not that information and ideas are bad, it's just that their value comes only from USING them--and that's where most people fall down. Ideas are cheap. It's implementation that creates value.
I do my best to share ideas, information and resources and to remind people of many of the things they already know. People tell me all the time how helpful it's been. But it's a small percentage who actually take action and persist in the accomplishment of their goals.
Most of us are good at absorbing information, but not so good at implementation. Too often we think we need even more knowledge in order to act. But an imperfect plan executed is better than a perfect plan nevër executed.
If everyone waited until the time was right, until they had all the data, all the skills and things were just right, not much would get done.
Don't be a victim of information. Be a master of action.
Pay attention to the information that will move you forward. Use what
you know, start from where you are and MAKE IT HAPPEN.
About the Author
Tips for Your Home
1. Get biz cards made up and have them with you always. Leave them at restaurants, send them with your monthly bills, post them on bulletin boards, hand them out to people you talk to. Always be aware of opportunity.
2. Along the same lines, always have catalogs or brochures in your car. You never know when someone might ask to see your products.
3. Do Not Forget to label all catalogs, brochures, order blanks, etc with your company name and address and URL (if applicable). You can either stamp them on or make your own labels. You can get inexpensive adhesive labels from Wal-Mart or other stores as well.
4. Get out there and get yourself and your product known. Talk about your products as much as you can to as many people as you can. Make it a part of your daily routine. Make your new business a part of every single day. Always be watching for opportunities. They are everywhere!
5. Make sure you always have the latest catalogs.
6. It helps also to have some sample items available so people can see the quality of the products. This can increase your orders.
7. Keep track of everyone who you give catalogs to or who orders from you to start building your mailing list. Get addresses and email addresses if possible to build your list. Stay in touch with these people and go the extra mile for your customers or potential customers.
8. Online marketing is great, but should be used in conjunction with other marketing methods such as flea markets, catalog distribution, home parties, mail order or others.
9. Study, research, and learn marketing techniques, how to sell,
advertising ideas and tips. We recommend some of these books to start:
10. Print out flyers and mail them out to local stores and shops. Let them know what you are offering and give your phone number. Flyers can be passed out in parking lots as well. Make sure you have permission.
11. Contact radio stations and offer your products as prizes for contests for some great exposure.
12. Talk to schools, churches, and other organizations that might be interested in using your products for fundraisers.
13. Have your catalogs and biz cards with you at kids' sports events. You could easily get orders just by arousing interest in your catalogs.
14. There are so many things you can do. Everytime you get or hear of an idea that interests you, write it down in your planner or notebook. Organize your marketing and advertising efforts and ideas.
15. Local Papers - Run your ads in local newspapers. You can usually get these at very reasonable rates. Ask your local paper if they would consider doing a story about your business. Local papers frequently do a write up for local business owners.
Building a home business takes time and effort and then some, but do not give up. Have passion for your business and for your customers. You can succeed!
About the Author
4 Marketing Myths
Threaten Your Sales
Copyright 2004 Bob Leduc
These 4 marketing myths can cause you to lose sales if you base your marketing decisions on them. But the related marketing tips I included with each myth will boost your sales if you act on them instead.
If this was true, only businesses that charge cheap prices would exist. Some people buy where they get the cheapest price. But most people are more interested in getting value for their money than in getting a bargain.
Tip: Look for some low-cost ways you can enhance the perceived value of your product or service. Then test raising your price. Don't be surprised if both your sales and your profit margin go up.
Presenting your customers with options usually reduces your sales. Here's why...
When confronted with several options, most customers have difficulty making a clear decision. They often react by procrastinating - and never making a decision. When this happens, you lose a sale you already had.
Tip: Try to limit your customer's decision making to either "Yes. I'll buy." or "No. I won't buy". Don't risk losing them by including "which one" decisions.
That's what YOU think. Most of them don't think they need it ...and most aren't ready to spend their money for it.
The hazard of this myth is that it causes many marketers to believe they can succeed without doing much marketing or selling. They think their product or service is so special that it should automatically generate hordes of paying customers. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen that way.
Building a successful business is hard work - most of it devoted to finding customers. Even if most people can use your product or service, you still need a marketing strategy to reach them and a persuasive sales message to close sales.
Tip: Look for narrowly defined niche markets where your product or service solves a unique need of the customers. Focus your marketing on them instead of trying to reach a broadly defined general market. You'll generate more sales and enjoy a better return on your advertising expense.
This sounds logical but it's not true. Never abandon advertising that's working. I know many businesses that have been using the same advertising for years and they're still growing. Here's why...
The goal of most advertising is to attract new customers. Once someone becomes a customer, they won't respond to that advertising again. But you can use different (and cheaper) advertising to generate additional sales from them.
But there's still a large population of non-customers who didn't respond to your regular advertising. Most have not seen it yet ...and those who have usually need to see it numerous times before they will respond.
Don't abandon advertising that's working - but keep trying to improve it. And regularly test new things to see how they work for you. If you never make any changes in your advertising, your sales will eventually decline.
Tip: You can automatically keep your advertising up to date by allocating 80 percent of your budget to proven promotions and 20 percent to testing new things. When something new works better than your proven promotions, move it to the 80 percent group and start testing something else in the 20 percent category.
Don't believe these 4 marketing myths. They're not true. Marketing based
on them will cause you to lose sales. Instead, apply the related marketing
tips I included after each myth to boost your sales.
About the Author
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Copyright 2004, Regent Press