Tag Archives: small business

Tame Those Pesky Details – March – Are you making money while you sleep?

TTPD – March – Are you making money while you sleep?

Cha-ching!

Ah, the joy of waking in the morning to discover that money was deposited into your account while you were off in dream land.

I’m following along with my book, Tame Those Pesky Details (TTPD), where I focus on one specific item each month to keep your business in tip top shape. March is the month for Passive Income, the ability to make money while you sleep. As the Internet pervades our lives more each year, options for passive income become more readily available. Of course, it’s not as easy as waving a magic wand; there is much prep work to be done, but once you’ve put in the effort, you can reap financial rewards for some time to come.

I think it’s the ultimate goal of many online entrepreneurs to be able to work as few hours as possible while making as much money as they can. That’s not the only goal, mind you, but by creating a steady online income, you can do anything from quit your full-time job to plan extravagant vacations or donate to your favorite charity. Even if you have some other source of income that you’re content with, earning extra money online is still a good thing. It’s always great to have multiple streams of income.

So, where do you begin? Here are four options to help you build your bank account in your sleep.

  1. Affiliate links. Everyone has them. Why not you? If you reference any products in your blog posts, YouTube videos or elsewhere, it’s easy to direct people to the item you’re referring to by including an affiliate link. Your commission will vary depending on the agreement the company offers. Be sure to disclose your use of affiliate links, and check for broken links on your site on a regular basis. Broken links result in lost commission and can even impact your search engine ranking.
  2. Books. As a writer, this is one of my favorite ways to find money in my account! With POD (print on demand) and ebooks, there’s no inventory or shipping required. If you have a shop on your site, you can even include the books there, avoiding sharing the commission. Choose a topic – or three – that relate to your business and pound away on the keyboard. Of course, the book will need to be well-written and properly priced, but there are many ways to build a lasting income through the written word.
  3. Classes on demand. If you have an area of expertise, or if you can produce training classes that show how to use your products, then online classes might be a good option for you. You might need some technical guidance to put this all together, but once you’ve mastered the process, you can create one or two new classes each year to build your offerings. I’ve seen classes for free (particularly when purchasing a product) or for a wide variety of prices, from $19 to several hundred dollars.
  4. Online shop. Can you create digital downloads that complement your blog content, books or classes? Post them in your online shop. People are online 24/7 and a digital download is readily accessible with an easy shopping cart. It might even be the way to find customers for your other products – a digital download could lead to a book or class sale. Be sure to have a secure checkout and capture the buyer’s info to build your email list. One thing leads to another…

Don’t feel you have to do everything at once. Choose one method of passive income, make sure it works properly, then add another to the mix. Evaluate your income streams on an annual basis. If it requires too much work to maintain for too little return, consider dropping the stream or item and add or enhance another. Things are constantly changing on the Internet, so what works this year might be passé the next.

If you’d like to follow along through the year, purchase your copy of Tame Those Pesky Details. (link below) Print books will be available soon!

What are your favorite sources of passive income? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment below.

I do hope you’ll enjoy my blog posts, Instagram photos and tweets on Twitter!

Enjoy!

Cindi

Planning – Your 2017 Motto

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Planning – Your 2017 Motto

January is nearly half over. Do you have your motto selected for the year?

A few years ago, much by accident, I decided I would have a motto for the year, a theme, a focus. I was chatting with a client about a project and he mentioned a discussion he had had with one of his employees. He made a particular comment that immediately struck me as what I wanted to focus on for the following year. I quickly adopted it as my motto.

I tried different ways to remind myself on a daily basis when I decided to list it as a recurring appointment in my Outlook calendar. From then on, every day when I turned on my laptop, a window would pop open and gently urge me to work towards that goal.

A couple years later, somehow I found two mottos to use for the year, one for business and one personal. I liked that combination and I’ve been doing so ever since.

I’m usually not one to share what my annual motto is, but a few months ago while browsing through Etsy, I came across this dashboard from TheFabulousPlanner. I loved it and decided it would be my business motto for 2017.

So, for this entire year, not only will Outlook pop up in the morning with my motto, every time I open my planner I get to enjoy this beautiful reminder of my yearly focus.

I’ve enjoyed having an annual motto more than I ever thought I would. It’s the perfect place to start when you’re planning your goals. If you know at a very high level what you want to achieve 12 months from now, all the goals you set should support that. It streamlines the thought process immensely.

How can you set your motto for the year? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Decide where you’d like to be at the end of the year, and describe it in a few descriptive words.
  2. Select one or two of those words that really resonate with you.
  3. Create your own motto, or find a section of a song lyric or quote from someone you admire that reflects that motto to you in a positive manner. Begin with, “Year of…” as in, “Year of Making it Happen.”
  4. Determine how you want to remind yourself of your motto. You can do as I do, or choose to write it down daily, meditate on it, post it on your wall, make it your screensaver – find what works for you.
  5. Double check your goals to make sure they support your motto.

Some people choose a theme song that reflects their motto. Others phrase it as an affirmation. The whole idea is to create a positive mindset to help you grow, improve and achieve your goals. Remember, each person determines what success mean to them so never compare yourself to others. As long as you continue to move forward, you are learning, growing and achieving.

There you have it! Super simple but so helpful.

Do you have a motto or theme for the year? I’d love to hear!

Enjoy!

Cindi

 

Why Aunti Cindi Presents?

Aunti Cindi Presents

About a year ago I released my first books in the Aunti Cindi Presents series, including How to Screw Up a Good Idea: Insights for Entrepreneurs (Aunti Cindi Presents)
and Tame Those Pesky Details: 12 months of business tips and tasks (Aunti Cindi Presents). People have been asking me, Why Aunti Cindi Presents? So, I thought I’d give you a little background.

Over the years I’ve had several ideas for small non-fiction books that were not particularly related subject matter. I would jot thoughts down here and there but never took the time to write entire books because I felt if I released them individually, they might get lost in the vast universe of bookdom.

One day I was looking through my cache of domain names and realized I owned AuntiCindiPresents.com. I purchased it, along with AuntiCindi.com, long ago for one reason in particular. I’ve been called Aunti Cindi since I was a child, having been blessed with my first nephew when I was a mere eight-years-old. Even in business I used the name to differentiate myself from other Cindis, Cindys and Cyndees in a company. People would remember Aunti Cindi and actually got a kick out of calling me that. I felt, eventually I could put those domains to good use.

Aunti Cindi Presents opens up the opportunity to become a series of much shorter informational books than something like the Dummies, and potentially allow different authors to have books published in the series. In fact, I’ve been talking with two authors already who are interested in sharing their sage wisdom in such a manner.

The goal of the Aunti Cindi Presents series is to offer sage advice for a fulfilled life. Its tagline, Sparkle On! means to find your inner gem and shine it out to the world. Who could resist that?

The first two books in the series are business topics, but others will fall under a variety of subjects, even those I write myself. I’m busy working on two novels right now, so I’m not sure when the next in the series will debut, but keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

Sparkle On!

Your Aunti Cindi

This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own!

TTPD – May is Education Month

Aunti Cindi Presents

Greetings Sparklers!

We’re up to May as we follow along with the book, Tame Those Pesky Details: 12 months of business tips and tasks (Aunti Cindi Presents). May is the month for education.

I put education into this month because we’re finally past the craziness of the New Year, past tax season and before the summer heat makes us not want to work at all! However, we have to take the opportunities when they arise.

I had a number of items on my list to learn this year (yes, even Aunti Cindi needs to grow some new synapses), and when February arrived, my inbox received emails from several different webinar providers that really looked interesting. All of the webinars were free, and in all cases, once I registered, I would have access to the replay to listen on my own time. This was really important to me as I was not available for the live webinars.

Now, February isn’t Education month, but I took advantage of the webinars and I am now extremely grateful that I did. Each one got my mind functioning in an enhanced direction. Now that May is here, I’m working hard to implement many of the concepts and tools that I learned in February.

Some things to consider when it comes to education:

  1. Education doesn’t always come in the form of a formal classroom setting. You can learn a lot on the web on your own time and often for free or low cost.
  2. The same topics may be offered several times a year, so if you’re unable to attend a particular session and a replay isn’t offered, check with the provider to see when they’ll offer it again.
  3. Free webinars do come with a sales pitch at the end, but generally there is enough information provided during the free webinar that you may not need to sign up for more. It also gives you a chance to see the presenter’s style and see if it works for you.
  4. The sales discounts can be well worth the listening effort and generally bonuses are included. I took five free webinars, and purchased from three of them. The discounts were exceptional for the material received. I purchased one set of follow-on materials for only $17! Yes, that’s correct, $17! Many pitches will require hundreds or thousands of dollars for their material so be sure to do your research and know that that’s the best way to spend your money.
  5. Most purchases allow you unlimited access to the materials for as long as that person or company is in business. Many times it will include add-ons or upgrades in the future. I would access the contents as soon as you can in the event things change.
  6. Don’t feel that you have to follow everything to the letter when you sign up for a program or take a webinar. You have to apply the information to your business and how you work. Start with the program then adapt.
  7. There will likely be more educational opportunities as the year progresses. Don’t ignore them simply because they didn’t occur during May. The focus this month is really to determine what you need to learn and to find ways to do just that. And, sometimes you discover that there’s something you needed to learn that wasn’t even on your radar!

Learning helps us to respond to market changes but also to create new opportunities for our businesses. The more we know, the stronger we can grow.

Sparkle On!

Your Aunti Cindi

This post contains affiliate links. However, all opinions are our own.

Planning – What is your motto for the year?

 

2016Many people this time of year are focused on New Year’s resolutions or setting up a few goals for the coming new year. I’ve been a big goal setter for several years. I like to remind myself what I want to accomplish during these 12 short months as well as celebrate all that I’ve accomplished at the end of the year.

Over time, the way I set goals has evolved and I’m sure it will continue to evolve. I change. The world changes. Technology changes. Many different things influence my methods to achievement.

In my book, Tame Those Pesky Details, I talk a bit about goal setting. However, the past few years I’ve added a twist. Before I begin my planning, I determine where I want to be at the end of the year and summarize in one or two short sentences, mottos or mantras, what is the theme for the year. Everything else falls in line behind that.

It’s often said, if you don’t know where you’re going, all the planning in the world won’t get you there. While setting goals is fantastic, I’ve found it’s become even more meaningful by having a motto or two as an umbrella of sorts to summarize and light my way.

Let me give you some examples. Perhaps, if you’ve been working on a project for a long time, this might be your Year of Manifestation, when you finally reach that major goal. Or, if if you’ve struggled financially but feel you have a gameplan for changing that, your motto might be the Year of Good Income and Good Savings.

Only you can decide what your motto will be. The first year I did this, I only had one motto. Now, I find that I like to have two. Why? I can’t exactly explain. If I had to deduce I’d say one has more of a personal slant and the other relates primarily to my business, but they intertwine. However, if there comes a year when I feel one will sum it up completely for me, I’ll do it.

I like to set up my motto as a daily appointment on my Outlook calendar, so every morning when I turn on my laptop I’m reminded and focused on making my year the best that it can be in the direction of my motto. Doing this definitely inspires me and keeps me on track. I’ve also written it into my planner (more on that later) but you could set it up on your phone or make a pretty screensaver image with it. Whatever works for you!

Most goals tend to be pretty specific, but I feel we need to be open to opportunities that arise that may be better than we ever imagined. Or, that are our dreams come to fruition! Working towards your goals but focusing on the big picture motto creates a perfect storm of positive energy. At the end of every year, I’ve realized my motto has been achieved even though it might not have played entirely with my goals. In a good way.

What are my mottos for 2016? Sorry, I share a lot but for me, that’s something I hold private. If you care to share, I welcome that. More importantly, I encourage you to think in higher-level terms when it comes to your goals and know that you have your destination, you just don’t always have your route!

Best Wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

I am,

Your Aunti Cindi

This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own.

Wired in a Wireless World (Emergency Preparedness 1 – EP1)

In my book, Tame Those Pesky Details, I go into a lot of detail about making sure the data on your computer is backed up so you can jump right back into your business or life as quickly as possible should disaster strike.

Much to my dismay, I recently had a laptop which decided to go to places hitherto unknown. In spite of having great systems in place as far as backup and recovery, I learned many new things along the way. I will include them in various posts under the title of Emergency Preparedness. These posts will ultimately cover a wide range of preparedness topics, but for these first few posts, I’ll rely on my own recent personal experience with my laptop nightmare.

With the advent of wireless Internet, i think many of us have forgotten that wired works, too! If you work in an office, chances are you have a high-speed Ethernet cable running to your computer. For those of you who have forgotten what one looks like, here’s an image from Amazon:

Cat5 Ethernet Cable
Mediabridge Cat5e Ethernet Patch Cable (50 Feet) – RJ45 Computer Networking Cord – Blue

This cable comes in a variety of colors and, in a home office setting, connects between your modem/gateway and your laptop.

Netgear gateway
NETGEAR AC1200 WiFi DSL Modem Router 802.11ac Dual Band Gigabit (D6200)

You probably have one of those cables somewhere in your house. You need it when you have to set up your Wi-Fi or fix the IP address. The funny thing is, when your wireless is out, you can use this to get onto the Internet! Of course, it will only work with your computer because your tablet and smart phone don’t have room to plug in the cable, but at least you can continue to work or catch up on some binge watching.

Here was my nightmare come to life. Over the course of a couple weeks while my computer was deciding to do the crazy dance, I was having trouble with my Wi-Fi. I called my provider who had several equipment issues in the area due to car accidents, so I thought the problems I had were all their fault. Not so.

The company came out to test their equipment and all was well. My gateway was working just fine, too. However, within a few hours of the technician’s departure, my Wi-Fi was out again.

As I read the repeated error message on my laptop, I was simply frustrated, not empowered. It’s nearly impossible to get anything done nowadays without access to the Internet, even for a writer! Turns out, my laptop was having problems with its wireless network adapter, among other things. It was causing the Wi-Fi signal to go out about every five minutes.

When I finally decided to power up the new laptop, I hadn’t quite given up on the old one yet, so I was still in the midst of Internet turmoil. I had a quick project to complete and I absolutely had to get on the Internet. I dug out my yellow cable and connected my new laptop to my gateway and voila! It worked! My only problem was that the cable was a mere four feet long so I practically had to be on top of my cable connection in order to get work done.

Then it all came back to me, all those years of wired Internet. How spoiled we’ve become with easily accessible Wi-Fi.

I’ve decided, as part of my emergency preparedness, to purchase a much longer Ethernet cable to keep on hand, one that will at least reach the other end of my office, if not more. And, I will make sure it’s easily accessible should I have any Wi-fF issues in the future.

Do yourself a favor. Buy an Ethernet cable. It’s money well spent.