Strategies to Develop Self-Motivation

Being motivated to succeed is a key characteristic of any successful business owner.  While motivation in general is important what’s every more important is the primary characteristic of self-motivation.

Motivation in general comes from facing an unmet need.  Often this is seen as coming from some  type of external source.  For instance, a person might be motivated to please a boss, enhance pride or ego, or please  family.

As a business owner, many of those specific external motivators are not present.  Essentially you work and live inside a vacuum.  There’s no boss to keep tabs on you and pride and ego are not at the top of your list.  Family might or might not be there to support you; however, if you’re earning a supplemental income that motivation isn’t always very strong.

The Keys to Self-Motivation

The key to having self-motivation lies in creating goals that you feel excited about and are reasonable and feasible for you to attain.  A large portion of that then means you have to look within yourself to determine what motivates you and gets you excited in your business context.

For instance, are you motivated by money? If so, then you can set sales or profit goals to aim for to reach your monetary goals.  For example, if your monthly sales are $500, then you might create goals and strategies to double that monthly sales number.

Are you motivated by esteem and credibility? If so, then you may want to set goals that help you boost your business credibility.  These could include publishing goals, goals to increase your blog subscribers, comments or your opt-in list subscribers or similar activities.

Are you motivated by helping others? If so, then you might want to consider setting goals for increasing your customer orclient list, adding more value to your prospects and clients, or offering more products and services to serve a broader target audience.

Are you motivated by teamwork? Consider seeking partnerships, mastermind groups or mentors to help you find common purpose and goals and to expand your offerings through collaborations.

Making Motivation Real

When you pinpoint what gives you the self-motivation to move forward in your business along with the types of goals you to set, it’s time to do some creative thinking or brainstorming about how to turn your desires into reality. Follow these tips.

  • Create your goals. Consider both what motivates you and how the goal will help you grow your business.
  • Establish quantifiable measurements so you know when you can claim success. For example, if you’re motivated by money, then select an actual monetary figure to reach in a specific period of time.
  • Break the goal down into achievable steps. Doubling your monthly sales in six months is a large and somewhat vague goal. Instead, determine specifically how you will achieve that goal.  Are you going to release a new product? P artner with someone to offer more value to your customers?  Create a hard-hitting advertising campaign? Create a plan to achieve your goals. Include a timeline for each step of the way.  Don’t forget to include measurements so you know when you’ve achieved desired results.
  • Implement your plan and track your results. You can’t reach a goal if you don’t put it into action. Determine the steps to take to reach the goal and get started making your goal a reality.
  • Once you’ve achieved your goals, celebrate. Take time to relish your accomplishments.  Go to the spa, buy yourself something nice or even take a short vacation. You’ve earned it.

Once you’ve reached your goal and done your celebrating, be sure to evaluate exactly what you did to reach your goal.   Then you know the steps you used to be successful so you can repeat them when doing a similar task or proejct.  Now, take a look at what you want to accomplish next and get started.  There’s no end to what you can accomplish.

Work/Life Balance -It Really is Possible

It seems many people live a life of extremes. They’re either relaxing and doing absolutely nothing or working so intently that they are  completely stressed out.

Sound familiar?

Well, wouldn’t it be nice if every day was a healthy balance of work and play? Would you love it if you could work without regret and play the same way? Good news – you can. It takes time, patience and a commitment.

However, finding a healthy business/life balance is completely possible.  Follow these simple ideas to start getting your work and life in balance.

#1 Track the data. This may sound a bit retentive; however it’s tough to know where you can make changes if you don’t have accurate information. Simply track how many hours each day you’re working and how many hours each day you’re spending on fun, friends, family and yourself.

Note: if you’re cleaning the kitchen or picking kids up from school, that’s a third category. Somewhere between work and pleasure. Track that information too.

#2 Assess your happiness and that of the people around you. Realistically, take a good look inside. How are you feeling about your business and personal life?

  • Are you happy?
  • Satisfied?
  • Fulfilled?

Now, take a look at your friends and family.

  • Do they feel they’re getting enough of your attention and time?
  • Do they make comments about the fact that you’re always working?
  • Do they seem to resent the time you spend on your business?

If so, chances are there’s an imbalance here.

#3. Assess your position. Now that you have both the data and your emotions and family’s emotions recorded, it’s much easier to see where you can make changes. You can see where you’re spending more of your time and you can see how it’s affecting you and your friends and family.

But now the tough part is here – making changes and sticking to them.

Look at the possibilities and your resources.

If you’re working from 9-9 seven days a week, is it because you have to?

  • Or are your time-management measures not holding up?
  • Can you outsource?
  • Can you create more focused work times?
  • Can you schedule time for yourself?
  • Can you schedule time for your friends and family?

Scheduling time for family and friend might sound a bit strange; however, when you set aside time to spend on your personal life, it forces you to manage your time a bit better.

#4 Become a better organizer. One of the best ways to find and maintain a healthy business and life balance is to become a skilled expert in the field of time management. Create lists, prioritize your tasks and focus on the most important, high impact activity first.

#5 Learn to let go. It takes practice but it is possible to focus on what you’re doing right now and to let go of the fear, guilt and stress related to what you think you should be doing. Once you can accomplish that, you’re better able to produce and to enjoy the moment. When you’re with your family, be with them. Don’t think about what you should be doing for your business and vice versa.

You control your life. You’ve created a fantastic business and you deserve the best of both worlds. You can have it. It takes a plan, commitment and an honest look at reality. If you’re living an unbalanced life, make changes. Live the life you want. It’s all in your control.

Tips to Write Like a Pro – FAST

Writing content for your website or blog is an important key to promoting your online presence. But does it seem to take forever to write content for your website or blog? Do you struggle to create information products?

If so, you can learn a few tricks of the trade from professional writers.

#1 Outline your ideas – Before you sit down to write or type, make sure you know what you’re going to write about. Jot down your main point or headline. Underneath, bullet your supporting point ideas. When you actually sit down to write, you’ll have a format to work with.

#2 Choose a format for your content – Every single thing you write adheres to some type of format.  For example,

  • A tips article offers a series of bullet points or quick two- to three-sentence paragraphs.
  • A “how to” article will list steps.
  • A review article will summarize the product or service being reviewed and then dive into the pros and cons of the item.
  • A tutorial will break the topic into manageable lessons. And an informative article will have a topic paragraph with three supporting points and a conclusion.

Decide on the format you will use when you’re outlining your content to be able to quickly move through the writing process.

#3 Research later – This may not make a bit of sense at first, but let’s explain it. Research takes time and you can often waste time in the process. You might go into research blindly, looking for information to use in your content. However, if you write your content first, making notes along the way about where you need to do research, then your research will be focused.

For example, imagine you’re writing a report on comparing sugar substitutes. Researching sugar substitutes can be a very broad and time-consuming process. However, researching the illnesses caused by saccharine is much more specific and will take you a tenth of the time.

#4 Edit later – This is a habit that takes time to learn. Many people edit as they go, correct their spelling, change their sentences and even add and delete content as they’re writing. This takes too much time and it breaks the thought flow. Instead, just write. Don’t edit anything until you’re done.

Once you’ve put all of your thoughts on paper, go back and make changes, edits and corrections. This habit takes time, commitment and practice but it does work. It’s about letting go of perfection and enjoying the process of writing. It’s okay to have a really bad first draft. No one will ever see it.

#5 Finally, this little trick is a real time saver – When you’re writing, simply write as if you’re answering a friend’s question. This helps in two key ways.

  • The first is that you’re writing conversationally. Conversational copy is accessible copy and it’s something your readers will appreciate. It’s also much easier to write.
  • Secondly, if you’re answering a question it’s really easy to determine what you want to say.

For example, let’s go back to that report on sugar substitutes. When you’re creating your outline using the question format it might look something like this:

  • What are sugar substitutes?
  • Are sugar substitutes bad for your health?
  • Are there any benefits to using sugar substitutes?
  • Which sugar substitutes are the best?

If you’re writing this report and you are an expert in health and nutrition, then answering these questions will come naturally. It helps kick your brain into writing mode and removes any procrastination or stress from the writing process.

You really don’t have to be a professional writer to write great content quickly. Take advantage of these trade secrets and boost your content productivity today.

Treating Depression – Naturally

Depression can be a serious illness that many people experience but few people want to talk about.  For many decades, depression carried a stigma along with the diagnosis. If you had depression, then it was thought that you couldn’t manage your life properly – or you were one of the “mentally ill” who belonged in an institution. That is not so.

What is depression?  Depression is a clinical illness and just like other illnesses, it needs a proper course of treatment to allow the sufferer to recover.  Imbalances of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for helping to maintain your mental well-being contribute to the problem of depression.

To find out exactly what type and severity of depression you are suffering from, see a doctor. They can also discuss with you alternative treatments if prescription drugs are not the route you want to take right now.  There are many conventional treatments for this condition but sometimes the treatment can be almost as bad as suffering from the disease. If you’d like to try another route, here are some alternative therapies you might like to try.

Here are some of the alternative treatments available:

St. John’s Wort – This herb has been used for years by people who have mild depression or even seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The properties are said to help soothe the mind and create a feeling much like when endorphins are released in the brain. Before you use it, ask your doctor about dosage and if taking it will interfere with any of your current medications.

Massage therapy – The basis behind many massage techniques is that there is a blocked chi, or life force. This can occur because of stress, lack of sleep and other environmental factors. When the site of the blockage is discovered, the use of pressure and gentle movement can unblock the flow of life energy to help the body restore itself to health. A massage therapist can recommend the best type for you depending on your overall health and your depressive symptoms.

Physical activity – There are many benefits to exercise besides simply weight loss. When you get moving, you increase your intake of oxygen and also learn to utilize it more efficiently. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard or boring. There are many activities that you can do to increase the release of endorphins, the body’s “feel good” pill. More oxygen helps you to think clearly about your problems and come up with a useful solution.

Acupuncture – This operates on the same principle as massage therapy. Using a map of the body’s energy junctions, these sterile needles can be used at certain points to restore balance to the body.

Yoga – A mind-body connection is built and maintained when you start this spiritual practice of ancient India. You can exercise control over your feelings and how you respond to stress, which can decrease incidence of depression.

Are you trying to recover from depression but don’t want the side effects of some depressive medications? Try these alternative therapies first with your doctor’s okay.

Using YouTube to Your Greatest Advantage

YouTube is one of the biggest sites on the Internet.  Some people use it as their search engine to find information. It’s easy to sit for hours watching YouTube videos as the site can be addictive.

Have you ever forwarded a YouTube video to a friend or received a link from someone? Probably. YouTube has become part of our lives. There are people who make a living solely on YouTube videos. As a business owner, you can capitalize on this continuing trend and use YouTube to your advantage.  Here’s how:

First, get a YouTube account if you don’t already have one.  YouTube accounts are free so there’s no cost to you.  If you are already a member, then you’re ready for the next step.

Next, create a video. This is where strategic planning is important. The first question to ask is “what the goal is of this video or marketing tactic?’ Why are you creating a video and what do you want it to accomplish? There are a number of potential goals to consider. Some include:

  • Drive traffic
  • Boost your opt-in list subscribers
  • Sell a product or service
  • Increase awareness – viral marketing
  • Strengthen your brand

Based on your goal, the next question you’ll ask is: How can I accomplish this with a video? One great place to look for answers is to look at your audience. What do they want? What do they respond to?

For example, if your goal is to boost your opt-in list subscribers and your audience is commonly looking for “how to” advice, then you could create a “how to” video that leads them to your freebie giveaway for more answers and information.

Make it viral if you want to drive traffic to your website. Viral means that it spreads quickly. People share it with their friends, family and associates. In order to go viral, your video needs to be something people haven’t seen before. It can be funny, extremely informative, controversial or a new approach or solution to an old problem.

Develop a brand personality to start gaining a following.  What is your brand personality and how can you communicate that in the video?  For example, if you’re known for controversial statements and positions, then ideally your video will have an element of controversy too.  Remember to be consistent with your brand for better awareness and effect.

A few key points to consider include:

  • Your video must be less than 10 minutes
  • It must be smaller than 100MB
  • It must be in an acceptable format, namely .AVI, .MOV, .WMV, and .MPG file formats.

Maximize Your YouTube Video

Now that you’ve put a lot of work into creating a video to help you meet your business goals, it’s important to pay attention to the finer points now. Make sure you:

  • Enter Title, Description, Tags, and Category to make it easy for people to find your video
  • Set your video to “Public”
  • Get the code so you can embed the video on your website or blog
  • Link to the video in your various marketing tactics. For example, post a link to it on any social networking site you participate in. Email links to your list and encourage them to forward it
  • When embedding it on your blog, tag it to make it extra easy to find via the search engines

YouTube is an entertainment tool and a learning tool, and it can also be a business tool. Create our goals, pay attention to your audience and your brand, and follow up with good SEO and marketing practices to spread the word.