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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Time Management

Time management and business go hand in hand. You need both to be successful.

Problem is most don't quite understand what this means. For some its doing tasks in a timely manner. For others it means watching their time. And for a few it just means sticking to a schedule. Now these are all valid. While they look the same, they are different.

Before you can effectively manage your time correctly you need to be aware of time. For this here is a simple exercise.

For 1 week keep track of individual tasks. Notate the start time and end time. When you change tasks end the time. Notate everything. No cheating now. Note everything from email writing sessions, phone calls, lunch break, even bathroom breaks. It can be a laborious task but you will find this extremely helpful. At the end of the week add together all your business time. Once this is done break it down to the individual tasks such as emails, phone calls, party time, prep time, etc. This will give you a sense of how much you not only spend your day but how long you spend on tasks and business as a whole.

The reason for the task is because often people see themselves as working all day when in reality they only worked a full 2 hours on business. Once you have a sense of how your day is spent, lump all the individual tasks into one. Now you can create a schedule of daily tasks in blocks of time. At first this can be difficult but you will soon find it can be easily accomplished. Use an egg timer to keep you on track. When time is up, time is up. Move on to the next task.

When creating your schedule you need to create breaks, lunch. Turn off the tv, This can be more distracting than anything else. Even more than children if that seems possible. If you are working with children at home, schedule around eating, naps, playtime.

If you conduct parties or workshops, set up and take down your display several times and time it. Get an idea of how long it takes. The bonus to this is you do get faster. Knowing this will help managing your time before, during, and after parties. Do this each time your display changes too. Rehearse your presentation. Knowing how long your presentation will help manage your party time. Even video taping yourself and seeing how you look and sound can be helpful. You may find you are repeating yourself unnecessarily or leaving out important information.

Keep notes around in regards to your product. Not only is this very helpful during parties but also on phone calls. Keeping frequently used information at your fingertips can be a big time saver. This prevents you from wasting time looking up frequently asked information.

Know your products and how to explain them. When first starting out you always have that learning curve but learn quickly the features and benefits of a product. You don't have to explain it in its entirety. An example is if you are selling moisturizing lipstick. A feature is the moisturizing and the benefit is the prevention of cracked lips. You don't need to go over how it moisturizes, every color it comes in, or why it is better. Find up to 3 features and matching benefits and keep a list. If you get stuck refer to the list.

Do not always try and demonstrate every piece of your display unless it is absolutely necessary. Pick out the favorites, play games in the middle, then invite guests to view and try the products on your display.

Use tools such as mapquest for mileage and time estimates for getting to a location. You will need the mileage for your taxes but the time estimate is extremely helpful. I personal use mapquest and a GPS application on my phone. This helps keep me on track and less likely to get lost.

Use a day planner of some sort. Keep contact info and a calendar handy at all times. Update this regularly. These can be digital or paper. Use the method that works for you but use it. I personally use 3. Yes I know its overkill to some but this ensures I always have an updated version at all times. I use outlook on my computer, my blackberry, and a day planner. I print out my outlook calendar and take to parties or meetings.

Do not overbook yourself in your schedule. This can and is a deal breaker in time management. Have specific slots open for meetings, deliveries, parties, and travel time. Giving yourself a set calendar will keep you from overextending yourself and keep your business on track.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

WAHM Feature - Barefoot Books

Barefoot Books

Explore. Imagine. Create. Connect. Give Back. That’s what Barefoot Books is all about. It’s exploring other cultures, our planet, ourselves. It’s making time for make-believe and letting imaginations run wild and free. Most of all, it’s about using the power of stories to nourish the creative spark in everyone and strengthen connections with family, the global community, and the earth.

Barefoot Books began with two mothers who wanted their children to have books that would feed the imagination, while instilling a respect for diversity and a love of the planet. Today, we are a world-wide community of writers, artists, storytellers, musicians, and others who are committed to providing timeless stories and captivating art that can help children become happy, engaged members of a global society.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

Free Ad Space?

When starting a new business or just trying to keep it going, budgets are tight and you often wonder to the dark side of "free." Now before we get upset, hear me out on this one.

The problem free ads have is many people are doing the exact same thing. If everyone is just there to advertise, what are you accomplishing? Not all free ads produce these results but most do.

If you are going to take the opportunity to place a free ad, be sure you are getting results. Do no join free ad groups. These are usually a waste of time. Ones that are not are hard to find and still take more work than you will get in return.

Free ad space you want is:
  • When someone wants to post a WAHM Feature (such special promotions at Liv's WAHM Blog) or product review. 
  • When newspapers offer free space to fill voids in their print. 
  • When writing articles you include a byline at the end that includes a sentence or 2 about your business including website. 
  • Social network business page where you interact with customers (check the social network TOS in regards to this prior to posting ads). 
  • Email signatures where you can include your website or mini bio. Keep these short and sweet. 
  • Forum groups where you can create and manage a group dedicated to teaching customers about your products and offer tips. 
  • Managing a blog dedicated to your product/service.
  • Word of mouth. There is nothing better than a customer recommending you to a friend or family member.
These are just a few free ad spaces that are helpful in business building.

When looking for ad space, be smart about it. Don't place an ad just because its free.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

Market Like you Game

I am guilty of indulging in fun games that appear on social networks. One thing I see every day is comments of how nobody is making money or out of ideas but nobody has a problem asking for a tree for their farm. If you can share and exchange for entertainment, why not employ those same tactics in business?

Now let break this down a bit. You send everyone a request to be neighbor or for a special tool needed for a game. Does everyone respond? Those that do you continue to do "game" business with right? You may even pass on their name to others to help them gain levels and friends correct? Guess what!? You are networking! It wasn't as hard as you thought previously now was it?

Everyone you invite to play doesn't respond just as in business. Everyone you introduce to your business does not become a customer. You invest in those you have introduced and show interest.

How do you use these in business? Start with what most in business have; business cards. You pass out business cards to those interested. Don't force a card on those not interested. Its a waste of your time and theirs. Just politely thank them for their time and either move on to another subject or excuse yourself.

Next are catalogs. There is no need to leave the latest makeup catalog in areas where only men frequent. You are wasting your money. This does not mean never do this but only when its appropriate. This goes for flyers as well.

Parties. Most people love to attend gatherings. They do not however enjoy a 2 hour sales pitch. Keep presentations short, offer product they can see and demo, interact with customers one on one. Do not attempt to recruit every single person at your party. Its unrealistic and can create awkward moments. I suggest having guests complete a simple questionnaire either on an order form (this is best) or a door prize drawing slip (great to file for late contacts). Those interested in joining, schedule an appointment one on one so they have your undivided attention. Do the same at events. Its ok to give initial information but get that appointment so you can answer all their questions.

If everyone marketed their business with the same passion and drive as they do games, more would create the success they desire.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

WAHM Feature - Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Begin your experience or enhance your knowledge of tea. Share a cup with a friend, have an impromptu tea party with your children, or just sit back and relax.

From a delicious black tea to a refreshing green tea, we will tempt your tastebuds in ways your never considered.

Try our line of fresh-baked products coming to you straight from the oven! Serve scones at breakfast time, with high tea, or anytime. Simply blend, shape, bake for hot, delicious scones.

From delectable, mouth watering brownies to easy no-bake cheesecakes, you're sure to find something to tempt your palate amongst our selection!
Come in and savor the flavor.
Don't forget to grab a new teapot, infuser, or try our flavored honey sticks.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

No more excuses

Over the years I hear many excuses - I can't do parties, my company didn't teach me that, my customer wants this so I can't sell to that one, my company doesn't offer that. Excuse, excuse, excuse. There are others with the exact same company, with the exact same products, and the exact same opportunity and are successful. So throw out the excuses and start owning up to your business.

There are no excuses in business. You either do or don't. If you make a mistake, say so. Don't explain how you had no sleep, your child was sick all night, and your computer has 10 thousand viruses, and your dog ran away. Excuses only lead to more. You feel better about them and feel others are ok with it so they breed more excuses. This is when I call someone an excuse addict. You can't stop and even live for them even if only subconsciously.

Don't let excuses ruin your business and your name. You may think it directly affects only you but it doesn't. It can affect an entire business. You may represent Widget World but because of you and your lack of ability to correct an issue customers will not return to Widget World. Example how this works - ever gone to a restaurant and received bad service? Ever decided to not return due to the bad service? The restaurant didn't do anything wrong. It was the service yet you were so turned off you didn't give them a second chance. Same with the WAHM world. Avoid the excuses, own up to responsibility, stop giving you and your business lower value, and start being professional.

If your company doesn't offer it, create an alternative. If your company doesn't teach it, learn it elsewhere. If you can't do parties then find a creative way to get out there in front of your customers. Overcome the obstacle not create an excuse. The more excuses, the more failure.

Once you free yourself of the excuse addiction you will set a path towards success.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

WAHM Feature - Marlena Gondek and Tastefully Simple

Marlena Gondek and Tastefully Simple

Website: www.tastefullysimple.com/web/mgondek
Email thegourmetway@yahoo.com

Tastefully Simple is gourmet food at a fraction of the cost that only takes two or fewer ingredients to make.. it is truly a time saver which allows us busy moms or dads to spend more time with our families.. My goal?  Bring families back to the dinner table, one meal at a time.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

Looking for you

I am looking for 2 more WAHMs to feature during the month of June. If you would like to see you and your business featured here on Liv's WAHM Blog with will also include mentions on facebook and twitter, send the following to disneyandmickeyfan@yahoo.com:

Full Name:
Company Name:
Information about your business (submit as a ready to go ad including exactly what you do):

Include a banner or product picture.

Sorry no MLM or Pay per click

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

Goals Are Dreams Written Down

When you have big dreams, write them down. Don't be afraid of them. Don't be afraid to dream big.

If I asked you how much you want to make this year, would you choose:

  a) $10,000
  b) $25,000
  c) $100,000
  d) $500,000

You should have chosen e) none of the above. Always want more!

Don't settle for the choices someone else gives you. Create your own choices, dreams, and goals.

Dreams cost nothing. Goals cost nothing. So go for the gold!

A life without purpose is like a ship without a rudder. The purpose of a goal is to focus your attention. Your mind will reach toward achievement only when it has a goal.

There is no achievement without goals. If you have no direction, how can you find success? Don't expect to stumble upon it.

Know what your goals are and break them down to smaller goals. See where you are in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months.

Always have something ahead of you. Keep moving after you achieve your goals and set new ones. Momentum is maintained by always having something to look forward to. Constantly give yourself something to work for. Nobody ever has everything they want. There is always something to desire and work towards.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010

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