Residual Income Archives

My dishwasher acts crazy.

I bought it brand new in 2004 when I purchased my townhome and just last year had to get it repaired; but, it still acts crazy.

My silverware always has spots on it no matter what kind of detergent I use and my glasses sometimes have this greasy film all over them. I know. That’s nasty, right? :-)

So, I decided that I had to just go “old school” and start washing my dishes. 

I figured out that if I place my laptop on the counter, I can catch up on shows that I never get to watch while doing something that doesn’t particularly bring me joy.

Thankfully, almost every network allows you to see the full episodes of their shows online. Isn’t that wonderful?

My fave is ABC’s SHARK TANK.

I love that show so much that I actually feel neglected when it ends.

I’m like, “No, it can’t be over already. It was so good. Where did the time go?”

Well, this past Saturday, I let the breakfast and lunch dishes pile up so that I would have some “time” to spend in the kitchen. I wanted to stay right there in the zone watching Shark Tank, and boy was I glad that I did.

On Friday, (episode 306), only one company received support from one of the Sharks, GoGo Gear. Two female baby boomers created some very stylish, fully protective motorcycle attire that one could actually wear in a corporate office atmosphere. They came up with this business idea because both had to wear suits to their corporate jobs and expressed how riding a motorcycle to work in protective gear had been a challenge. They had invested $400,000 of their own money and had just a little over $100,000 left.

Needless to say, Daymond John, the branding expert, fashion mogul and founder of FUBU, was the shark they really wanted and he was also the shark that happily took the bait with 65% ownership of their company after every other shark said, “….And for that reason, I’m out! (Gotta love it.)

But this post is not about those ladies and their “success.”

This post is about why all of the other sharks refused to partake in not only their deal, but every other deal on this episode.

It was disheartening to watch very zealous entrepreneurs get on a national television show in front of extremely wealthy investors, so obviously unprepared.

None of them came to the table with legitimate explanations of their funding needs, financials or a marketing and sales strategy that seemed profitable.

Mark Cuban, the billionaire media and sports mogul and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said the most striking thing to the GoGo Gear owners.

He said unbelievably they had come in there without having “a direct strategy for profitability and growth.”

Interestingly, the business owners seemed stunned as if they could not believe that investors would expect to know “the numbers” and how those numbers were projected to grow.

Instead, they had come with ideas of grandeur and big dreams with no concrete plans. 

The Preeminent Problem with Many Small Business Entrepreneurs

Mark’s statement struck a chord with me because it is a preeminent problem for so many small business entrepreneurs–young and old, start-up and been up. :-)

For some reason, too many small business owners go in business and “stay in business” without a direct strategy for how they are going to generate money and how they are going to grow their businesses. Yet, they wonder why they are simultaneously sooo busy and sooo broke….sooo passionate and sooo broke….sooo gifted and talented,  and still sooo broke.

I guess they expect to “wing it” and still get results OR just make plans as they merrily roll along; and, honestly, it is just sad.

Deliverance Is Nigh

So, guess what? If you have been that kind of small business owner and you haven’t already done so– it is time to get your “direct strategy for profitability and growth”  together and it is time to do it, now.

I mean stop everything else that you are doing in your business and put this at the top of the list.

Beloved Small Business Owners, it is time for clarity, direction, decency, and order.

So, here we go.

Putting Your Strategy in Place

To excel in today’s market, no matter your niche; you must have a powerful business strategy. It must be a well-thought-out plan that provides direction and allows you to measure results on an ongoing basis. It is called a business plan-yes, an old fashioned business plan.

It should have the following components:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Market Analysis
  3. Company Description
  4. Organization and Management
  5. Marketing and Sales Strategies
  6. Service or Product Line
  7. Funding Needs
  8. Financials

It does not have to be written as if you have an MBA, but should be written in a language that you understand. Why? Because it is your blueprint for the house (your business) that you are building and if you, the builder, cannot interpret or comprehend the blueprint, well….your house will never be built and if it is built, it certainly will not stand.

Creating the Business Plan with Support

If you need support and guidance in the creation of your business plan, here are some great resources: 

(1) Palo Alto Business Plan Pro by Tim Berry (#1 Best-Selling Planning Software).

  • Standard Edition ($99.95)—helps you create a complete plan for a new business.
  • Premier Edition ($159.95)—helps you create a complete plan, as well as get funding and manage your business

(2) Association of Small Business Development Centers—Go to www.asbdc-us.org to find a location in your area.

(3) Consulting by Cheryl Isaac—Go to www.adifferentbusiness.com. Cheryl helps start-up businesses develop business plans with no stress and her husband, Kendall Isaac is the attorney on board who helps you decide what kind of legal entity your business should be, the legal contracts you should use, as well as laws regarding employer/employee relationships. (She is excellent at what she does, personal reference from me.)

The Transformation Is in the Planning

So, as you place your business plan at the very top of your “To GET Done List”, moving towards creating a “direct strategy for profitability and growth”, remember, the real transformation comes from the process of planning, not the plan. Maybe that will provide some solace as you get started. :-)

I encourage you to be a wise steward of what you have been given and do what is necessary to change your financial landscape and the ultimate outcome of your business.

And, if you ever decide to go on SHARK TANK your presentation will be so divine that they will all shout, “How can I get in?”

Presenting Your Expertise Via Your Product Line

Inside your brain and your heart are priceless treasures.

The Teacher Called Life                                                      

There are things you have been through in this life that would have caused others to lose their minds.

There are lessons you have learned as a result of “mistakes” you have made or just purposeful poor choices.

You have in-depth insight. To you, wisdom is no stranger.

Master of the Career Track

You have excelled in your career. Because of your drive and ambition, you have invested in your education as it relates to your profession. You have the degrees, the certifications—everything required to move up the ladder in your industry and you have worked extremely hard.

Now What?

So, what are you going to do with all of this expertise that you have developed? That’s right—expertise.

Are you going to keep it to yourself? Are you going to share it with only the select few you choose to mentor?

Tell me. What are you going to do with it?

If you don’t mind, let me kindly make a suggestion: purpose in your heart to bless others by sharing your expertise in various ways.

Create a product line.

A product line?

Yes, a product line.

Not only will you be able to share what you know from a platform of one-to-many, but you will also be able to generate revenue that will support the growth and development of your brand and your business.

So, here are some ideas for a product line and possible prices you might charge those who go through your product funnel.

 

 Product Ideas

 Suggested Prices

A Kindle eBook or Nook eBook $15 or Less
A hardcover book $26
A paperback book $12.95-$19.95
Audio or Video Series $100-$300
Teleseminar or Webinar  $35-$200
Home Study Course  $400-$1200
½ Day to Full Day Workshop or Seminar  $300-$1000
Bootcamp or Multi-Day Intensive Workshop or Seminar  $600-$3,000

You see?

There are so many ways you can share your expertise and generate revenue at the same time (and there are a few more than this).

Now, you may have caught the fact that I referred to this as your product funnel. The product funnel concept basically suggests that once you get someone to purchase one of your lower-priced products, your goal is to cause that person to desire and purchase one copy of every higher priced product in your product line.

Sometimes, your customers may just purchase something “cheap” from you like a special report, just to see if they like you as a provider of expertise.  But, once they have put their foot in the door, your hope is that they will be so “wowed” by you that they will want more.

Some of your customers may purchase a high-end product from the very beginning because they know, like, or trust you and you have built a relationship with them by the way you have communicated your brand.  In that case, congratulations! That is very impressive.

But, most of them will enter your product funnel at a reasonable price that is not too risky….say, less than $50, reserving the right to purchase more from you later.

No matter how they might come, the thing is, they won’t be able to come until you create your product line. 

So, if I were to give you any advice at all, it would be to begin researching your niche–getting to know it inside and out. You can then identify what your niche needs, but most importantly what they really want. Because, at the end of the day, people buy what they want before they buy what they need.

Also, when you know your niche like the back of your hand, you can offer them tailor-made products that are not only easier to sell, but more valuable in terms of pricing.

Great product creation is a process that takes time, but the payoff will generate passive income that can last a lifetime.

Now, go ahead and get started. :-)

To learn more about how to research your niche, effectively, get your own free copy of the Personal Branding Toolbox. Click here.

 

 

My mother is a Baby Boomer.

She has been in the field of social work since I was one. She absolutely loves it. 

In fact, she retired her role as the Assistant Director of the Department of Social Services in December of 2002 and then went right back into the field in January of 2003, as a social worker in the public school system.

When I was growing up, she never ever took sick days.

I remember that she had accumulated several years’ worth of sick days at one point.

Honestly, I think she is the reason the county eventually came up with a policy limiting the number of days you could carry over from year to year. As a result, my mom had to actually make herself take extra time off or risk losing it. I thought she would die. I could tell she did not like being absent from work for weeks at a time.

Growing up, I always knew that being a social worker was my mother’s calling. Her heart for people was huge. She would go by to check on clients on the weekends. Some of her clients would call our home when they were in despair and needed her encouragement or great counsel.

As an adult, I now know that she possessed an innate passion, dedication, and drive for what she did and she still does.

Guess what?  She has come out of “retirement”…..literally. She resigned from being the school social worker to go back to DSS.  Now, she is the interim Director of DSS.

From what I hear, the powers that be “begged” her to come back to salvage a department whose morale had all but died since she left almost ten years ago.

Needless to say, she is in heaven. Although, she hated to leave the alternative high school where she provided so much love and support for students, she is having a ball. She was made to lead others. And now, she is fully in her element.

She  has a new spark in her eyes because she is doing what she has been called to do. She LOVES social work.

I know I said that before, but I am trying to make a point here. :-)

Building A Business Based Upon Your Expertise

Well, being the personal brand strategist that I am, it suddenly dawned on me that my mother is sitting on a goldmine. She could be using her expertise to help even more people and make a very lucrative income at the same time.

She has credentials galore–was even responsible for helping a university get an accredited social work program under its belt. Has served on boards and assisted so many young social workers in becoming leaders in the field. Therefore, it makes no sense for her not to do even more with that knowledge and expertise that are bubbling inside of her.

The same goes for you.

If you are still reading this post, you are probably wondering why in the world am I telling you all of this about my mother.

It is because through reading about her, I want you to see yourself.

You, too, may be one who has worked in a particular profession for years—a teacher, a nurse, fireman, policeman, fitness trainer, preacher, realtor, insurance agent, photographer, hairstylist, financial planner, accountant, director of sales.

No matter what  your profession is, I am sure you have been through some things that will benefit someone else. As a result, you could actually shorten someone’s learning curve with all that is in your head and your heart. You know the problems in your industry and you know the solutions. You love your clientele and you wake up every morning excited about what the day will bring. You LOVE what you do, too.

But for some reason, you have never thought about creating a business based upon this gift that is inside of you, this profession that comes to you so naturally. 

Now is the time.

In fact, there has never been a better time. There are so many ways that you could share your expertise and earn passive income ‘til death parts you from this side or until you just don’t want to do so, anymore…so many ways. All you have to do is make a decision to do it and then follow through.

Listen to the recording and let me explain. :-)

Using Your Professional Expertise to Build a Business (mp3)

Application

How might you apply this to your life? Are you up for the challenge? I hope so.

I look forward to you building a business based upon your years of experience and expertise because you deserve it. :-)

It’s As Easy as Third Grade Math

  • $137 per month in dues
  • At least 25 members per month
  • At least one information product at no less than $297
  • $1000 to $2000 per month Coaching Program (3 or 4 members)
  • Throw in a live all day workshop at a cost of $2500

When you add it all up, you can easily see how one could earn upwards of $8,000 per month with a thriving membership-based business.  And, this example is very basic.

I was absolutely dumbfounded when I found out about this virtual business model. Of course, I had heard of associations. As an educator, I have been a member of several associations and maintain membership in several associations, today:

  • National Education Association
  • North Carolina Association of Educators
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • International Reading Association

In my personal life, I have been a member of the NAACP and I was the vice president of a civic organization called FOCUS.

I paid dues to all of these groups, attended workshops, networked, and totally benefited from my membership in many ways.  But, they were all on land and see. :-)

To think that people were joining organizations, virtually, was just mind-boggling, and to know that it was a woman, not a “board”, who had pioneered this concept and had grown her membership to almost 50,000 paying members was nothing short of incredible.

The Membership-Based Business Model Does Not Fail

The woman of whom I speak is Sheri McConnell,  author of Smart Women Create Membership- Based Businesses. In the introduction of her book she states:

Don’t think, “This won’t work for me.” The membership-based business model doesn’t fail. YOU are the key to your success.

Now, that statement is coming from a woman who has grown a 7-figure empire after 10 years implementing this business model. So, needless to say, I believe her.

The Interview on Books That Transform with Kellie Gardner & Friends

Yesterday afternoon, to my delight, I had the opportunity to interview Sheri McConnell. We had so much to talk about that we didn’t even get to cover all of the questions that I asked her during the show. In fact, she answered even more of my questions after the show ended. But, she did share, I have to share with you.

Maybe you did not know the possibilities. Maybe you don’t understand why so many people would even want to be paying members of  your association. That’s great. Keep the questions coming, but then find the answers. Sheri McConnell has more than enough expertise and wisdom to answer every single one.

So, listen to the interview to find out:

  • Why the membership-based business model runs circles around the service-based business model (i.e. consultants, coaches, graphic designers, even lawyers and teachers)
  • The kind of mindset a membership-based business owner needs
  • The kind of training and coaching a membership-based business owner needs
  • How you can work smarter and not harder and live a balanced, fulfilling life with this business model
  • How you can build this business from home

Click the player below to learn about the membership-based business model. For more information about Sheri McConnell, click her name. She is available for consultation and training.

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