Sunday, March 30, 2008

Self-Employment ROCKS!

If you are an entrepreneur, then I'm sure that you and I have this in common: we do what we do (self-employment) because we are intelligent enough to make alot of money in our respective businesses. But it's more than just's about quality of life. We don't all care if we end up the richest people in the world (although it would be nice!) but we DO care that we have enough abundance to be able to enjoy our lives in the manner in which we choose.

Two weeks ago, my daughters were on spring break. So on Friday, I got up and did some computer work and made a few calls. Then we headed off to the movies to see Horton Hears a Who. (Which we are STILL quoting!) Then we had lunch together, just the three of us, before I dropped them off at my parents house and headed off to a coffee meeting and then two phone meetings. What a great day! And back in my Corporate America days, I would have never DREAMED of doing something like that! But now, the only person to tell me where I can and cannot be is me. I LOVE self-employment.

I've done gift account walk throughs (A SendOutCards system introduction) in my pajamas. I've set client appointments sitting on my back patio, still in my work-out clothes, sipping on a cup of coffee. I've made follow up calls in my car on the way to lunch with a friend. I've gone and previewed properties on my way to my dance class. I LOVE my life!

It's one of the many common threads that every entrepreneur shares. But in my opinion, it's by far the most important. After all, no matter how you earn the money, what good is it if you can't ENJOY it?

So drop me a comment or an email. I'd love to hear about some of your "perfect moments" in the world of self-employment.

Until Next Time,


Friday, March 21, 2008

To Whom Were You Referring?

Referrals. With them, you are a success. Without them, you might as well hang up your entrepreneur's hat and go back to Corporate America.

So why is it that so many entrepreneurs don't understand the true value and meaning behind referrals? Or how to give and receive effective referrals? It's important enough that I thought I'd take a couple of minutes of your time to visit the topic.

If you want to give and receive effective referrals, the first thing you need to do is get out of the "I don't want to interfere" mindset. If you are stuck there, then you need to realize that people WANT you to interfere. I'd give anything (well...almost anything) to have someone, ANYONE, give me the name of a good yard maintenance company. Do you have any idea how often I complain about the fact that I can't find a good one? (Well, maybe you do if you've ever heard me get on the topic). I've been a single parent living in the same general area for the past 3 1/2 years. I've tried so many yard maintenance people, it's not even funny. And they are all either too expensive, too unreliable, or both. PLEASE...interfere here! If you know of any good landscapers in the NE Phoenix area, I want to know!

People need to be led to other people. So don't hesitate. REFER!

Meanwhile, I'd personally like to give more referrals. So please...just ask! If you are in need of a professional service or product but don't know where to turn, let me know! Financial planners, insurance agents, lenders, car mechanics, doctors, the list goes on and on.

Also, did you realize that I'm connected to a network of real estate agents all over the US and Canada? Even Dubai! So if you're in need of a Realtor anywhere, just ask me. I can make sure you have one that's going to be able to handle your real estate's better than taking your chances by just calling an ad in the paper!

Anyway, where referrals are concerned, there's so much more to say! But I'll leave that for another time. For now, just get in the habit of asking the people you trust "Do you know someone who..."

Until Next Time,


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Value of Rewards and Recognition

In your career as an entrepreneur, one thing that tends to go away is reaching for rewards and recognition. Back when I was in sales for a title company, I was first and foremost driven by the desire for bigger commissions. But sometimes, those monthly sales awards were a big motivator.

In SendOutCards, I am an independent distributor. However, SOC isn't a one-woman show. Quite the opposite. We currently have around 40,000 distributors in US and Canada...of which maybe 5% actually work it as a full time career. point is...SOC offers contests that allow rewards and recognition. This is HUGE for me. I need that added motivator at times.
The last contest was for a cruise to the Bahamas. And I'm really happy to say that I was on that boat! I just returned from a fantastic trip where I met some truly wonderful people, gained alot of insight for my business, and had the chance to see a part of the world I never had before.

So my question to you, one entrepreneur to another, is what are you doing to reward yourself? Maybe you are truly a one-woman show, and so there is no one out there offering you a cruise, a sales award, or otherwise. So what additional reward and recognition are you allowing yourself?

Don't get so lost in the daily grind that you forget to give yourself those added motivators. Reward yourself with a day at the spa when you land your top-targeted account. Or send out a newsletter to your sphere of influence when you hit a milestone in your business. I'd love to hear other ideas on this.

We have to hold each other accountable, and lift each other up. Don't get lost out there, adrift at sea all alone. Remember that there is an entire community of others in the same boat. You just have to reach out to them!

Until Next Time,


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Jacki's Hero of the Day

My sister. Thanks for your support Joey.

I guess she's been reading my blog. She never said anything, so I had no idea. But she sent me a book today on women entrepreneurs. It arrived from, with a little note saying she believed in me.

Thanks for being one of the key women that I know supports me, and is there for me always.

So for anyone reading this right now, take a second to think of someone who relies on your support. Have you reached out to that person lately? If not, don't delay. This is a prompting that you need to pay attention to. Reach out to them in an unexpected way, just like my big sister Joanne did. It means all the difference in the world.

Until Next Time,


Business Start up course in Scottsdale

For any of the entrepreneurs reading this site, I thought I'd let you know about a course that Scottsdale Community College in partnership with the SBA (Small Business Administration) puts on. If you are just starting up a business, still in the planning stages, or are finding that starting a business isn't all you thought it would be, this course may be for you. Enjoy!

March 6 "Should I Start A Business?" Offered by Maricopa Community Colleges Small Business Development Center
& Scottsdale Community College Business Institute

If you...
Are thinking about starting a business...
Looking for marketing research for your new business...
Need help in writing a business plan for your new business...

You will learn about:
How to start a business . What it takes to be an entrepreneur
Feasibility study and Market Research. Business structure options
Business finance options . Marketing strategies
How to access the SBDC for additional assistance & other sources of help

March 6, 2008 4-6 p.m.
Scottsdale Community College Business Institute
14350 N. 87th St., Suite 185, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Loop 101 Raintree exit, west to 87th Street, south two blocks

There is a $10 fee for the seminar and materials
Cash or check, payable to MCCD SBDC, will be collected at the door. Call (480) 784-0590 to register.

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
MCCD SBDC, 2400 N. Central Avenue, Suite 104
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Phone: (480) 784-0590 Fax: (602) 230-7989

Until Next Time,


Sunday, March 2, 2008

What are you saying with your voice?

You have a strong ability to influence other people's decisions. If you didn't, you wouldn't be an effective entrepreneur. Everyday you come across people that you will have to be able to influence a decision in your favor. If you're successful in this consistently, you are successful in business. If you fail at this consistently, you will go out of business. Welcome to the world of Self-Employment.

But what else are you accomplishing with your voice? I don't mean voice as in the sound of your voice. We're not talking karaoke here.

What I mean is: are you using your powers for good?

You can use your voice in many different ways.

  • Support a charity that is close to your heart, and let others know about it. It can be as simple as including the charity's logo on all your communications, to actively seeking other's to support your cause as well.

  • Be vocal about things that matter to you. People respect you, remember? So talk about things that matter. This doesn't have to be about charity. It can be as volatile a subject as religion or politics, or as demure a subject as the importance of spending time with family.

  • REFER. This isn't a blog about referring, but I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about it. When you have a high level of regard from OTHERS, use your voice to refer business to other people that YOU have a high level of regard for. Make sense? For example, I wouldn't let the people in my network have to rely on the yellow pages to find a car mechanic. I would refer them to mine. He's above board, honest, ethical, and puts his customers first...the same way I do business. I have surrounded myself with others that I hold in high regard, and can refer at anytime....I'll be writing a separate blog on referring later!

  • Let others know about a good book, movie, or TV show that left you feeling like a better person. For example, as a woman entrepreneur, I'd refer you to a book called "Secrets of the Six Figure Woman" by Barbara Stanny. It is a must-read.

  • Become involved with organizations that are aligned with your values. Find like minded people. It helps you stay true to who you are and what you stand for. For instance, I attend North Ridge Community Church in Cave Creek, AZ. The people I find there help me stay on track with my belief system. (Like being a good person, staying focused on putting God first, things like that.) So are you a Christian? Find a good church. Are you Jewish? Attend a good synagogue. You see where I'm going. But not just with religion...activities, social groups, etc.

I believe we have a responsibility to use our voice to make this world a better place. And the more people you have that know and respect you, the stronger that responsibility becomes.

The most effective way to accomplish great things with the voice given to you? Just live what you know to be the truth. Whether or not people agree with you or take your recommendations, it doesn't matter. We don't try to change others, and we certainly aren't trying to control them. But others should know who you are and what you stand for, that's all.

And to think, this blog all came about because I have a friend who is a lead singer for the band Unlisted. I went and saw him perform yesterday, and was so impressed, I thought I should tell others. That's using my help him along his path to success. (Although look at the picture...I also got to use my voice in other ways...thanks Brian!) Want to see Brian Jennings and his band Unlisted. Let me know, and I'll tell you where they're playing next!

Until Next Time,