Excerpt: Are You Financially Prepared To Be An Entrepreneur?

I’ve just released my latest report, entitled ‘7 Keys To Entrepreneurial Success For Online Marketers‘, so today I want to share one of those keys with you… Here’s an excerpt from that report:

Key #5: Are You Financially Prepared To Be An Entrepreneur?

This is one of the more important aspects to be sure of – more businesses fail due to cashflow shortages than any other reason. Keep the following key points in mind:

1) Every business success requires the investment of time and money;

2) The greater your investment of either, the less that’s required of the other;

3) Every business endeavor takes longer to produce income than you expect;

4) Challenges pop up on the financial path of every entrepreneur – proper planning, prudent savings and fast reaction times are required;

5) Winners are knocked down as often as losers – they just get back up more often than losers do. Understand from the outset that there will be setbacks and steel yourself to weather any storm that approaches.

7 Keys To Entrepreneurial Success For Online Marketers

This post is excerpted from the report ‘7 Keys To Entrepreneurial Success For Online Marketers’ by Master Business Success Coach Doug Champigny – download your free copy of this new report today…

Time and money – the two areas every entrepreneur must track most closely. Most offline businesses take a major investment to begin, although a few can be started just through heavy time investment. Online businesses also require more capital investment in most cases.

You CAN start an online business with no outlay – I detailed one such method in my ZERO DOWN e-book – but success using those methods take a greater time investment and take as much as 6 months to a year LONGER to really become profitable, as those first months are used to build up the investment you should have had to get started.

Most would-be entrepreneurs want to start a business to replace their full-time job with higher-paying activities they enjoy more, or to make up for a current ongoing financial deficit. This leads to a common catch-22 situation: it takes money to make money.

If you can’t afford your current bills or don’t have a job or savings, you shouldn’t be looking at starting your own business just yet. Instead, find a job or two that will a) help you lower your current monthly expenditures, b) pay down some of your existing debt load, and c) provide the capital to start your new business properly. Don’t handcuff your new business venture right from the outset by not having enough money to launch it successfully.

Read that last sentence again – it’s that important. You’ve probably seen that happen in both the online and offline business startups already… Offline, it’s not uncommon to see a new restaurant, for example, take over a location and spend months renovating it – only to never open. Usually this is because they under-estimated the ongoing costs before they opened, and ran out of cash when some parts of the renovations took longer or cost more than they budgeted for.

There have been extreme cases of this online as well – remember the dot-com bust in 2000? Some startups had attracted up to two million dollars in start-up funding then used it all for staff, offices, equipment and the like. Then the money ran out before they even got a website online.

The good news, though, is that for every one of those companies there are 1,000’s who started with one small website or blog and went on to success from there – in fact, I’d wager more virtual companies that started as home-based businesses have succeeded than those started with heavy funding in corporate offices…

Why? Because when starting your own business you’re following the entrepreneurial model – starting small and building from there. You don’t rush out and hire employees, rent expensive offices and start buying or leasing company cars. Instead you keep your expenses to a minimum, outsource work only when it makes sense to do so, and continue to invest as the business requires it from your full-time job, savings or other income.

As mentioned back in Key #3, businesses started in tough economic times have historically performed better than those started in boom times. When times are tough and money is tight, entrepreneurs are forced to be more resourceful, more creative and to exercise much more prudent financial planning. After all, if your funds are limited you’re going to be much more careful in how you use that cash, aren’t you? That’s the same formula you need to apply when starting your home-based business as well.

Time after time I’ve had new clients come to me and say they’ve been trying Internet marketing for a year or two and made nothing, instead having wiped out their savings or maxed out their credit cards and still have nothing to show for their time and money.

What’s happened is they’ve been unfocussed, jumped from idea to idea and bought each new ‘shiny object’ that came along, without ever using any one of them long enough to profit from it. Others have made money as they went along, immediately removing those funds and spending them, counting on the income to keep rolling in indefinitely. Of course then the inevitable hiccup came along and they didn’t have the cash on hand to weather the storm.

Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest heavily in your business if you can afford it – of course you should invest as much as you reasonably can afford to without incurring any debt. But it DOES mean you should be sure you’re using the money wisely and getting maximum return for that money.

Some of the choices are simple and straight-forward… The best example is getting the basics of online business tools from a reliable supplier at a reasonable cost. I’m forever seeing people paying $25 a month for hosting, $47 a month or more for professional autoresponders, $10 a month for tracking services, $50 a month or more for affiliate management programs, etc. Yet they could be using the eBusiness Automation Center to get all of that, and more, for $30 a month.

The same goes once your business is established online – you should continue investing in it until you’re making enough to make sufficient re-investment from your online profits. But don’t use the funds to buy every new product or service you see. Instead, know the path you’re following and ignore everything that won’t help you RIGHT NOW to move forward along that planned path.

Staying that focused not only ensures you get the most return for your money, but it also prevents ‘information overload’. Instead of being deluged with new information on every topic under the sun, you’re just buying immediately-actionable information and tools.

When you focus just on those resources that will help you right now you’ll find there isn’t that much to get at any one time, and that leaves you some of your capital to continue growing your business. New targeted prospects are the lifeblood of any business – online or offline, new or established – and that’s where the bulk of your time, effort and investment should be focused.

For an online business, these leads take the form of prospects who opt-in to your e-zine or e-mail lists. As a general rule of thumb, plan to get half of your new leads from your efforts (your blog, giveaways and other joint ventures, social media posts, etc.) and half from your investments (solo ads, social media ads, etc.).

Rather than ignoring this investment at first and then trying to play catch-up down the road, take two important steps right now to help ensure the growth & eventual success of your new online business venture:

1) Plan to invest a MINIMUM of $100 a month for lead generation right from the get-go. Either put aside $1,200 right now for the first year, or detail how you’ll get that $100 each month (not including ANY online earnings).

2) Again starting right from the beginning, re-invest 50% of ALL net online income into paid sources of new leads.

So now you know you’ll be budgeting $360 a year for your hosting & autoresponders, etc, and a minimum of $1,200 a year for your opt-ins – now decide how much above that $1,560 a year you’re willing to spend for tools and resources. Break that amount down into 12 monthly amounts and you’ll know what you’re committing yourself to. Be sure you’re comfortable with the number you arrive at and then STICK TO YOUR BUDGET.

Don’t be persuaded to go above that amount until your business profits have truly grown to a point where it’s both necessary for additional growth and easily affordable. If you do come into some additional funds you can invest, be sure to pump it directly into getting more leads into your opt-in funnel, not buying new gimmicks that may or may not prove useful – save that for when you’re rich! 😉

Obviously no one, myself included, can tell you if you’ll be successful in any entrepreneurial venture – it’s entirely up to you and the time, effort, knowledge, experience and financial resources you bring to the task along with the viability of your business concept. But as a general concept for most new businesses, plan to support your new venture for at least two years, both time-wise and financially, before it starts to produce a profit above and beyond what needs to be re-invested on an ongoing basis.

You may well see profits sooner than that, even large profits – but don’t count on it. Similarly it may take longer, so have a contingency plan in place to fund it further if it should prove necessary. In many cases, if not most, an online business can be self-sufficient in less time than that, especially if you can afford a good coach or mentor to guide you along until you’re fully versed in running an online business. Having previous experience as an entrepreneur, executive or marketer can help a lot, but if that’s not your background then think seriously about either finding a top mentor or making the acquaintance of a few very successful marketers you can model yourself and your business after.

To sum this Key up, your business is going to take time and money to start successfully. Once you think you know the costs, time-wise and financially, double them. Similarly, double the length of time you think it will take to start seeing any regular, on-going profits from your business. If you’re still both ready and able to start your new venture after doubling both of those, you have a much greater chance of success. Remember, better prudent than poor!

Download The Entire Report For Free…

The above excerpt is just one of the 7 Keys To Entrepreneurial Success detailed in this new report, and the report also includes a bonus section entitled ‘A Brief Outline Of Online Marketing For Entrepreneurs…’ The report isn’t for sale anywhere at this time, but instead is available as a free download for those signing up to receive our e-zine – secure your copy of this powerful report here: 7 Keys To Entrepreneurial Success For Online Marketers.

Leave me a comment below to let me know what you thought of the information in this excerpt, then head over and grab your copy of the report… And don’t forget to let me know what you think of the report once you’ve read it, too!

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WP Leads And Sales Dashboard From Marlon Sanders

If you’re marketing online you should already know Marlon Sanders, but if you don’t the time has come to fix that. Not just because his new WP Leads And Sales Dashboard is going to help you make money blogging, but also because it’s just one of a number of his products that have proven themselves over and over and over again.

Get Marlon Sanders' WP Leads & Sales Dashboard Today To Make Money Blogging

Still not making money blogging? Then I recommend you check out Marlon Sanders’ new WP Leads & Sales Dashboard before you miss out on any more sales…

If you’ve seen any marketing dashboard from others, know that it was copied from or based upon Marlon Sander’s products. His Marketing Dashboard, Traffic Dashboard, Amazing Formula and other great products have helped tens of thousands of people do better online, and now his new WP Leads And Sales Dashboard is set to do the same…

Why is Marlon Sanders releasing WP Leads And Sales Dashboard at this time? Having been in the online marketing field since the mid-1990’s, Marlon has had his pulse on our industry for about 17 years now and is a master at seeing what people are struggling with. And he’s noticed that a great many marketers, just like you, are having trouble monetizing blogs. He sees you writing content, blogging away for extended periods of time, without getting the results you deserve for all that effort.

As a marketer you’re blogging for money, but the money’s not there! And Marlon has decided to step in and make that a lot easier for you. Notice I didn’t say he’d do it for you, just make it easier for you. And isn’t that exactly what you want? You know all the automated tools that come out are just flash in the pan, shiny objects – but products that teach you while they help you give you an expertise you can use forever. And that’s exactly what WP Leads & Sales Dashboard does for you.

The Dashboard shows you what you need to do each week with icons for each step. And rather than try to remember everything you see in training videos, clicking on each icon brings you to screenshots, step by step, of what you need to do next. If you are new to making money online this is invaluable – no more trying to figure out what each instruction means – you simply follow along with each step, doing what you see in the screen captures. If you’ve been at it a while and still aren’t making enough, following the screen captures will let you see which steps you’ve been missing or forgetting as time goes on.

And like Marlon’s other Dashboards, this is a complete package. It doesn’t just show you how to get more traffic – it also shows you how to use your blog to build your opt-in lists, how to get affiliates for your products and how to get sales. And believe me, as one of only a handful of marketers already online full-time before Teri & I started in 1997, Marlon Sanders KNOWS how to get sales! 😉

But enough of me rambling on about it – get the details from Marlon himself on his WP Leads and Sales Dashboard website. See what all it entails, how it’s used and his full guarantee. You & I both know you want to make money blogging, and that you want the best tools and advice, so head on over & check it out now – just tell Marlon that Doug sent you! 😉

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Is Your Social Media Marketing Social Or Just Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is a hot topic these days, yet most online marketers and especially offline companies and retailers have difficulty gaining any traction from their social media marketing activities. One of the biggest issues is forgetting that SMM is an interactive form of advertising…

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This can be especially difficult for offline companies and retailers, as interactive advertising has never been a part of their advertising or marketing mix until the last few years. Before that they ran their radio and TV commercials, placed their print ads in newspapers and magazines, printed their flyers and mailed them out. Direct contact with customers and prospects was left to the front line sales staff while marketing departments stayed hands off, distant from the public. But that’s all changed now, as it’s much safer to have your head-office marketing team handle social media marketing instead of a piecemeal presence by various departments or retail locations.

Its Called SOCIAL Media For A Reason!

Is Your Social Media Marketing Social Or Just Marketing?

Experienced online marketers may have an advantage as they’ve been using e-mail, e-zines and blogs for a lot of their advertising activities, all of which already has an interactive aspect to it. Yet in practice, many are making the same mistakes the neophytes are – while this group know what to do, they’re still not putting in a concentrated effort to master SMM.

The key to success on interactive web properties like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and FriendFeed is the SOCIAL aspect. Ask any person pushing a product or anyone promoting an offline business online and they’ll tell you they use social media – but the truth is they just post there. Next ask them how often they hit the +1 on Google or ‘Like’ button on Facebook, and especially how often they comment on other people’s posts and you’ll be met with a blank stare or a myriad of excuses most times.

To succeed in your social media marketing you need to engage your audience and interact with both your prospects AND the industry leaders in your niche. Both on your own pages and in the appropriate groups on Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn, be friendly, be supportive and truly helpful. As a marketer you already realize people always prefer to deal with people they know, so use your social media efforts to make real connections and to keep your name and your brand, top of mind for your prospects. Do the same on Twitter using replies and retweets, and don’t forget to thank those who retweet your tweets. Use the ‘comments’ and ‘share’ features on LinkedIn, Pinterest and FriendFeed the same way.

Be careful with your time, though – social media sites can easily become a ‘time sponge’ that stops you from getting everything else done. Stop by them at the start of your workday and spend 15 or 20 minutes catching up on what went on while you were absent, then shut them down. Another 10 minutes at lunchtime and 10 minutes at the end of the day & you’re covered. Unless you’re using the social media sites for customer service, there’s no reason to leave the sites open all day in various browser tabs – they’ll just distract you.

In short, think of the sites like your ‘club’ or the golf course – you’re there to have fun, socialize and hopefully put together some big deals. You don’t get business at the club or on the course from the people you ignore, and it’s the same with social media marketing.

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A New Year – And a New Direction…

Welcome to 2013, a new year filled with new opportunities and promises of a better life ahead! Are you ready to take the reins, chart your own path and move forward toward your better life?

I know I am… For the past number of years I’ve specialized in teaching people how to make money online, mentoring marketers in the art of using online technologies to boost their income, showing people how to build opt-in lists and market products and services successfully.

And I’ve become known worldwide as an expert at it, not because of self-promotion but rather by word-of-mouth testimonials, by referrals from satisfied customers and from kind words my students and joint venture partners have passed on on their sites, in their e-zines and at live events. All the positive feedback and success stories from the millions who have visited my web sites, hundreds of thousands who have opted-in over the years, tens of thousands who have read my reports and e-books and watched my video training products and the thousands who have seen me speak live at the various Internet marketing conferences, seminars and other live events – it’s been very gratifying and rewarding and has let me push millions of dollars in sales online.

I love helping people improve their lifestyle, and working online for the past 16 years has let me reach and help a much larger audience than would have been possible before the world wide web. In fact, the online marketplace is so large I’ve done this all tightly focused within one small niche – mainstream Internet marketing. Teaching people how to succeed online. Teaching people how to build their own business with little or no money down. Teaching people how to market their online or offline businesses, how to get hundreds of thousands of visitors per year without having to buy traffic. Showing them how to nurture their fledgling marketing businesses and build 6- and 7-figure incomes working from home. In short, teaching success.

Or so I thought…

In hindsight I realize I wasn’t teaching success, but rather simply how to make more money. And while I had succeeded wildly at what my goal was, I realized that I wasn’t truly successful personally, either…

Yes, Teri & I have been living the ‘Internet Marketing Dream Lifestyle’ for years now. We’ve built a stable business and become famous, all the while enjoying life – in the past few years we’ve been to the Grand Canyon, traveled parts of Route 66, taken a private airboat tour through the Florida everglades, done things in Vegas best left in Vegas, explored the canyons between Aspen & Vail, had breakfast at Johnny Rockets in South Beach, lunch overlooking Toronto from the CN Tower and enjoyed surf ‘n turf at Niagara Falls. We took our Jeep through the desert, our boat out on the great lakes and enjoyed city tours by helicopter.

We worked hard, played hard, helped a LOT of people and were living our dream – or so it seemed…

The Flaw in the Internet Marketing Dream Lifestyle…

The truth was we were killing ourselves unknowingly. Having been in great shape til age 50, it had never occurred to us that our health could deteriorate so quickly. Especially since we had pretty much eliminated financial stress from our lives and were having such fun! Looking back, it’s easy to see what happened, even if it was opaque at the time.

When first starting out online, you’re still working full-time elsewhere – for me it was our ad agency. So your online business takes over your weeknights and weekends and, as you start to see results you put in more and more time on it. Your motivation grows proportionately to your new income, and you’re constantly looking for and absorbing new ways to increase your traffic, your sales and ultimately your net income…

Once you’re making enough money online you leave your full-time job because, truthfully, you can’t keep up the combined 18 hour days 7 days a week. So now you’re working from home, making a living working just 4 or 5 hours a day – no more cubicle, no commute and no schedule – YOU decide how much to work each day and even WHEN you want to work. You’ve achieved that independence you wanted, and if this is your first business you’re most likely making more money than ever before…

Now you’ve moved into a new league – other superstars are inviting you into the big joint ventures, you’re joining high-end masterminds, participating in the private brainstorming sessions via Skype and seeing there are still more levels above you – levels you can reach too, following your mentor’s advice or modeling those already in that rarefied stratus. Your income is exploding exponentially, and slowly but surely your time commitment is growing right along with it. Now you’re adding in teleseminars and webinars, group coaching and/or one-on-one mentoring – and you still need time to write reports and e-books, create podcasts and videos, author your blogs and keep up on the social media trail… Then taking time to attend the live events, either as a participant or a featured speaker.

You’re at the top of your field and you’re making scads of money – are you successful? And this is where the crunch comes – how do YOU define success?

Teri & I were making almost enough to make a small country jealous and had friends in almost every country on earth. We were only doing the things WE wanted to do, going where we wanted when we wanted, buying what we wanted as soon as we saw it. What could go wrong?

Well, coming out of the doctor’s office we knew the answer to that question! I had diabetes, and we BOTH had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. How could that happen to two people who had been so healthy just a few years before?

When we first started our Internet marketing we were working day & night, and got out of the habit of working out 3 times a week, biking and blading and going for long walks around the neighborhood. All of the healthy activities that had kept us in top shape til 50 had gone by the wayside as our time commitment for the business grew. And once you’re out of the habit, it’s easy to forget to go back to it once your time pressures ease. Even worse, what are you doing all day? Sitting at your computer.

Did you realize that every hour you sit, no matter what you’re doing while sitting there, is moving you closer to a heart attack or stroke? Dietary excesses you wore off going to and from work each day are now hanging around, looking for arteries to clog. And your aerobic and cardiovascular systems – what exercise are they getting now? No matter how fast you type, it’s not going to get your heart rate up into your target zone… 😉

And we’re not isolated cases – take a look through your streams at Google+ & Facebook. Most newer marketers post nothing but marketing talk and links – but notice how many of the ‘Internet marketing establishment’ are talking about the weight they’ve lost recently or are planning to lose, talking about hitting the gym or going for a run… And for those who aren’t, look at how often they’re ‘under the weather’, ‘feeling their age’ or ‘so looking forward to some time off’… Hardly sounds like a dream lifestyle, eh?

And what of the emotional & spiritual sides of each person? Teri & I are lucky because we’ve done all of this together – but we know of all sorts of people who have had relationship issues because of the time required to first succeed and because of the financial drain while a new marketer is still spending more than they’re bringing in. Socially everything is different too – we moved to Welland, Ontario in 2005, and when we left 5 years later we realized we knew more people in Singapore, Malaysia or Australia than we did in Welland – even though we’d never been to those countries. Without ever realizing it, we’d become online hermits, hardly interacting locally outside of the banks and restaurants.

The truth is, success DOESN’T just mean making a lot of money – in fact that income can mean very little if you don’t have your health, your friends and your connection to others around you. Much like Mazlow found there is another level above self-actualization, true success involves balancing your financial, physical, emotional and spiritual health, then moving them forward together, improving each while keeping them more-or-less balanced. Let one or more of those 4 factors fall too far behind and you’ll be a lot less happy with your life – a lot less successful.

Two years ago Teri & I started working out with the weights regularly again, and in 2012 we got back to blading and biking. Fully embracing a fit lifestyle, we even, along with our son Devon, became certified personal trainers. And as a result, I turned 58 last week in great shape, stronger than I’ve ever been before. We’ve also backed off on our marketing so we could build our fitness site at http://FlirtingWithFitness.com.

The site has over 3,000 pages so far, all aimed at helping people get in shape and stay in shape. (And this is a genuine attempt to help people – we’ve invested thousands of hours in the site without even adding a squeeze page or starting an e-zine yet – even the first issue of the online magazine can be downloaded free without opting in to anything! We will be monetizing the site, of course, so that we can continue to put time in on it.) If getting back in shape is important to you, be sure to bookmark my Getting Back In Shape blog – there’ll be a lot of great info hitting those pages this year!

Evolving From Marketing Mentor To Success Lifestylist…

Now don’t worry – this blog, and my marketing e-zines, will still be bringing you the best in doing business online and increasing your online income – but now it won’t JUST be about making more money. It’ll be aimed at helping you be successful – in business AND in life. In fact, over the course of 2013 I’ll be retiring some of my other blogs, like my PLR Pro blog, my Top Traffic Tips Blog and my Advanced Marketing On Twitter blog, so post that would have gone on those will now be available on this site…

But just as our fitness site will MOSTLY be about physical fitness, this blog will be MOSTLY about your financial health and success – but do expect SOME crossover as we move forward. If I’ve been able to help you as a marketing mentor to this point, I’m pretty confidant I can be of even greater help on my new role as your ‘Success Lifestylist’. Because when it comes right down to it, you matter to Teri & me – so helping you achieve true, balanced success is important to us. Together, let’s make 2013 your best year yet, and lay the groundwork for a lifetime of happiness and success in all areas of life!

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Starting A Home-Based Business On The Internet

As economies falter, corporations lay off employees and the middle class sees its true purchasing power and disposable income dropping, more and more people are starting a home-based business on the Internet to shore up or replace their income. Already one of the least expensive ways to start any business, the cost of starting a home-based business on the Internet has steadily dropped as computers drop in price for faster and faster machines with a growing capacity of RAM and hard drive disk space.

There are a variety of ways to make money online, so finding the method that best suits you and your situation shouldn’t be difficult. Some of the most common ways to make money online are Internet marketing, affiliate marketing, freelance writing, day trading in stocks & bonds, FOREX or foreign exchange trading and working as a virtual assistant to others already successfully running a home-based business on the Internet. There are also people running businesses that are a hybrid of online and offline activities, such as eBay Powersellers, those buying and selling through resources like Craig’s List, and web designers and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists promoting local business online.

Depending on your specialization, there are smaller niches that can be popular too. If you’re already well versed in video production, audio production, graphic design or photography, for example, you can build your online business by supplying those services to other online businesses and marketers. The same is true if your hobby or existing part-time offline business is screen printing or embroidery. And in all of these cases you can start by approaching existing successful online businesses as a sub-contractor and at the same time be learning how to set up your own sites to market your products directly as well.

Starting a home-based business on the Internet is not for everyone, though, and you must do an honest self-evaluation before you begin. To start with, if you’re going to be putting in 2 or 3 hours a night minimum, what are you currently doing during those hours that you’re willing and able to forego? Do you have a space to work from in your home that will be undisturbed by others during the rest of the day? Is it sufficiently distant from the TV, video games, etc, that you won’t be distracted by the sounds of those appliances or the actions of those interacting with them? Most importantly, do you have the self-discipline and the drive to keep at it during those first few months when you’re working like mad at your business but not yet seeing any financial returns from it?

Though not for everyone, starting a home-based business on the Internet has been a great solution for thousands upon thousands of people around the world to date – take a serious look at your preferred section of this entrepreneurial activity and see if starting a home-based business on the Internet is the right choice for you to alleviate your financial woes, build a better life or even start on your journey to true financial independence and your dream lifestyle!

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