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Archive for the ‘going it alone’ Category

Product Presentation At A Conference

In this short series of articles on network marketing/multi level marketing/direct selling we have so far examined understanding the people already running such businesses and how to discover if they are the sort of people with whom you can find freedom.

You want to be going alone as a business entrepreneur but also as a part of a network so you need products to promote too.

All businesses in all walks of life need products to sell: whether it is a solid item you can touch or a service.

80% of all businesses fail and this is true in direct selling. Often the reason is the products do not sell.

Of course it all depends on you but to find freedom it is always better to have a diverse range of products so if one does not sell well in a situation, you have another one to promote. The expression ‘not having all your eggs in one basket’ is especially relevant to people breaking free from the job market to find freedom.

In direct selling therefore diversification means strength: having one product is weak, two products are better but the ideal is a range of many products.

I repeat: any business has to have a product. This product has to be sold at a profit for an enterprise to survive and for you to find freedom.

It is essential you understand how any network marketing company makes money and how any bonus structure works. If the product is not specified and certainly if it does not even exist, make your way to the exit otherwise you may be entering into the dangerous world of money trees or chain letters.

The truth is there are widely varied ranges of products to be found in direct selling and it depends on you to find the ones that suit you and will help you find freedom.

Always avoid schemes where there are not benefits to everyone involved or there are no products.

Two businessmen in a friendly handshake

It depends on you to be responsible for You Inc. or You Limited so you must be clear if it is worth tying your budding enterprise to the one offered. Are they really worth your valuable time and effort?

As with all businesses you have stakeholders to satisfy: your family. Act like the business entrepreneur you are.

But the benefits need not necessarily financial. Good direct selling companies will offer training, which can be valuable in its own right.

Are you clear how the training works? Is it good quality and well structured? Can you see how it can help you find freedom?

The principles of success are timeless and universal: they have been taught since at least the time of the Bible. They work if applied in the right way and will improve your self worth and help you in going it alone so ensure any training system teaches them.

Also satisfy yourself that the organization will stand behind you and support you all the way.

In his interesting book, ‘Why We Want You To Be Rich,’ Robert Kiyosaki puts it this way:

“Donald Trump and I recommend and support the network marketing or direct sales industry primarily because of the education aspect of the industry. Not only do most of these businesses focus on training people to be business owners, many of these businesses also have great personal development and sales-training programs. Select an organization for the education aspect more than for the compensation.”

Another benefit to be sought in direct selling is the social side. I learned a lot from the success systems but have also made many friends too. That may be important to you and useful as a business entrepreneur. Once again it would be worth getting to as many meetings as appropriate where you can meet others breaking free to find freedom and ask their opinions.

Undoubtedly there will be a cost to the meetings and education system as no one can reasonably be expected to provide books, audio programmes, video programmes and meeting venues for nothing. But again it depends on you to assess if the costs are reasonable.

People have told me they were persuaded into parting £12 000 for support materials. Be self dependent : no-one can force you to part with large amounts of money without your permission. Keep aware and know when to get out when things are simply not worth the cost involved.

Be hard when assessing a network marketing business and understand if what is being offered really works and is of benefit to you.

Act like the business entrepreneur you are and you will find freedom.

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Two happy salesmen in suits

In my second post on network marketing or multi level marketing (MLM) I will examine who you can trust and who to avoid.

Obviously when you are breaking free to find freedom it depends on you and your feelings about people: I can only guide you.

I believe every one of us is born with a natural sense about people a whether they can be trusted or not. You only need to observe young children and indeed dogs to see this in operation. Both children and dogs take an instant like or dislike to someone with no apparent reason.

Learn to trust your own natural instinctive intuition and common sense when breaking free and going solo. This is particularly true when choosing a network marketing company.

Find out all you can about the people with whom you will be working. Many hold recruitment meetings and you can use these to find out more and meet the people involved.

If at all possible, get to meet them face-to-face and look them in the eyes. Ask as many questions as you can. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with them. Do you really trust them? What is their body language telling you?

Don’t be afraid to be a nuisance as at this stage it all depends on you to find out all you can. A confident businessman will be flattered you are taking such an interest in his way to find freedom.

If however those involved will not look you in the eye and will not answer your questions, say goodbye and walk away. You are a business entrepreneur and need to make the right decisions at this stage.

Incidentally, if you want find out more about studying body language, Allan Pease is an acknowledged expert.

Two woman entrepreneurs in conversation

I have learned to be wary of what I call ‘Flash Harrys.’ These are people who are hyperactive, shouting quick fire slogans and making you jump up and down.

The only sort of ‘ra-ra’ I like is a type of skirt. In business it seems simply false and does nothing for me and my efforts in going it alone to find freedom.

False friendliness makes my skin crawl too. Be careful of those who employ false smiles and flattery. I am also wary of men with dodgy facial hair. It may be me, but a pencil-thin beard is too perfect for my liking.

Don’t get me wrong, of course it is right to look your best when breaking free and wearing a smart suit is important in the right circumstances, but to me there is a difference between flashiness and classic style.

My preference is for someone who does not take himself or herself too seriously but is prepared to sit down quietly with me and discover my needs, wants and dreams and then motivate me accordingly. Someone who can be a genuine friend. They are out there.

Having said that, I think it is worth giving someone a fair hearing no matter how snappily dressed they are but it pays to be wary.

Watch for what I call ‘smoke and mirrors.’ Discover the man (or woman) beneath the image and hype. I am afraid I get little from the high energy selling and motivation that is all-too common. Above all, avoid the hard sell: if they are out to sell to you whatever, be prepared to rebuff them in as rough a manner as necessary. I have seen too many people buy something they didn’t need and regret it soon after. Huge sums of money have been lost in this way.

As you look for ways to find freedom, always avoid someone at the other end of the spectrum too.

If somebody cannot make the effort to look presentable but continually turns up in a ripped T-shirt and scruffy jeans or has some indescribable antisocial habit, go home. They cannot even be bothered to make an effort to look professional or to present a good image. Clearly they are not interested in helping you become a business entrepreneur or find freedom.

People are at the heart of any good business – even online – and it is worth getting good at assessing those with whom you deal. It is a great way to ensure you tie up with reliable contacts and even to later help other people find freedom themselves.

The best business entrepreneur in my experience is the best at people skills.

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One of the methods of breaking free to find freedom available is network marketing or multi level marketing (MLM). There have been a number of criticisms of this method of going it alone so I thought over the next few days I would try to give a balanced assessment of this business type to give a sober review for those thinking of using this method to find freedom.

What is my experience of network marketing? I have been around the market for around twenty years with little or no success. You could say this method of breaking free has not worked for me.

My lack of success should sour my opinion of the industry and make me critical of this as a method to find freedom. This is the position of many of its critics. Actually this is not the case for me.

Until I started going it alone in internet marketing I had thirty years in the corporate world working in marketing and administration at various levels with several well-known companies. I even spent a short time experiencing door-to-door selling! I have gained some good knowledge of business models and am by nature a curious individual so, when introduced to direct selling (initially with the Amway corporation) I started to find out all I could about this method to find freedom.

It is true I have come across some scams but then that is true in many industries.

My general opinion is that network marketing/MLM actually has massive potential for those going it alone – especially now it has transferred successfully online in the guise of affiliate marketing. Indeed there are those making success working both online and offline.

The industry has the potential to help many people find freedom as it can be a hugely powerful marketing tool. I believe the possibilities would blow your mind, especially with the online opportunities and the way the economy is going.

The main shortcoming of network marketing is also its strength: and that is it involves people. There are always people who are less interested in helping people find freedom and more concerned about making a fast buck at any cost.

There are always people who will simply rip you off.

The majority, however, are willing to help you find freedom and the business works best when ethics, honesty, integrity, and morality are employed. In any case, most governments have begun to tighten up the legislation controlling this method of breaking free.

My experience has given me a useful viewpoint from which I hope I can provide some honest recommendations for those who might consider this method of breaking free to find freedom. The intention is to set out these observations over the next few posts. It depends on you what you do with the information.

I must stress of course that these are my own opinions based on my experiences and no organization has had any input.

Look out for the next post to start this assessment.

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A popular way to break free and find freedom is going it alone as a professional photographer.

Here, photographer Anthony Maddaloni gives tips on how to become self dependent as a freelance photographer.

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The Freelance Revolution

Dec-1-2010 By admin


Tuesday 23 November was National Freelancers Day in the UK. In its edition published in conjunction with the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) on the Saturday before, the Daily Telegraph examined the growth of the freelancer.

In particular interest to those wanting to break free and find freedom was an interview with futurologist Dr James Bellini.

In this interview, Dr Bellini felt we are about to experience a Freelancing Revolution which could have an impact as massive as the agricultural and industrial revolutions.

This could well be true. I will try to explain why people looking to be self dependent and breaking free from the job market could change the look of business.

Prior to the industrial revolution, most businesses were self dependent and were the original cottage industries. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as mass production took hold, the population gradually moved to large towns and worked in large factories and offices.

With the advent of mass technology and communication in the twenty first century, many will break free and start going it alone. The internet is helping people find freedom.

Dr Bellini explained that a desk in an office represents a wasted asset, being occupied only 43% of the time on average. In fact the whole system is inherently wasteful.

The Telework Association predicts by 2020 80% of workers will not be commuting to work fixed hours at a workplace. Immediately there are savings in time wasted travelling and in transport costs. The trend towards people breaking free from the outmoded system would even benefit the environment following reduced transport emissions and less industrial development!

Of course many jobs may not be outsourced to self dependent people, such as in manufacturing, but on the other hand, many can. Indeed, some professions have been doing it for a long time such as electricians, film crews and session musicians.

Economists have even come up with a description for this: Giganomics.

Advantages To Companies

Companies can now find people to do specific jobs and pay on outcomes. It is up to the individual how he achieves the outcome.

If times are hard, employers simply contract less freelancers. In the retail sector a significant number of employees are agency workers so are not freelancers but nonetheless the retail companies can simply increase or reduce the number of agency workers used day-to-day.

Using self dependent freelancers, companies are less likely to be blindsided (caught out by rapid changes in the market) as they can move relatively quickly and, indeed, be tapping into innovational thinking from those who are breaking free and not be hampered by company dogma.

In any case, using contracted self dependent individuals means companies will have greatly reduced fixed costs so hard times are less likely to hit so hard.

Advantages To Individuals

Of course, the flexibility available to employers would mean uncertainty for those going it alone, but there are significant advantages that should offset this.

Freelancers are able to work to their own abilities and follow their passions. They are more likely to think freely (so be more useful to companies), be more entrepreneurial and dynamic. They will also break free of office politics.

The self dependent individuals are able to set their own timetables and working hours (subject to the constraints of work demands, of course). Days off and holidays can be taken when they are able and not when the boss says they can.

There is an element of security with those going it alone having several projects running producing multiple sources of income. They could even employ several varied skills. Several local shopkeepers are beginning to support their high street activities through online sales, for example. Thirty years ago business guru Charles Handy described this as ‘portfolio careers.’

Breaking free from the job market means reduced stress and costs as a result of the reduced need for commuting. This could result in more time with family and friends (although the hours worked may increase initially) and indeed more time meeting neighbours. This answers the criticism that self dependent workers may well see less people, especially if their work is largely online.

Potentially individuals will spend more time in their community, have more time for volunteering and take up more hobbies. Clearly this would have wider social advantages.

Many of the resources for self dependent individuals are already available. There are market places for talents online (such as Elance) or even for those wishing to add to their incomes using affiliate programmes (Clickbank is an example).

Undoubtedly, as with a favourite electrician or car mechanic, companies will tend to stick with freelancers who have been reliable in the past.

Conclusion

The giganomic revolution would totally change the way we do business. Obviously there are already self dependent individuals (like us) who have been breaking free already, thus pointing the way for the future.

The present shaky state of the economy, the number of people losing their jobs, a desire by individuals to find a different way of doing things and the availability of technology all mean many more freelancers will be breaking free to find freedom in the future.

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Getting It All Together

Nov-29-2010 By admin

I am aware that this blog was intended to be a journal by me on my attempts to break free and find freedom from the job market. I have done little of this, really passing on what I have learned, which I am sure is still useful.

Perhaps now I should bring you up to date with the challenges I am finding in going it alone at the moment in the hope you might identify with them and perhaps might find the answers at the same time.

The challenges I am finding are based on that perennial problem – self-discipline.

I am still having challenges getting to bed on time. This hinges on several influences. Firstly, I must not work too late, also I need to avoid eating too late and I do need to find time to relax before going to bed: to wind down. A hot bath often helps I find.

Equally, I am having challenges getting up early enough in the morning. This may not come as a surprise as it is so nice to be self dependent and not have to rush around to go to a job. However, this means I need to discipline myself more to get the work done. Oh dear.

As I have mentioned before, I can avoid using alarm clocks if I allow myself eight hours sleep a night. I find I naturally sleep that long. Mind you, there are temptations to stay in bed a bit longer, especially on cold mornings like they are now and also if I have got to bed too late the night before.

For this reason I have resorted to temporarily using alarm clocks. At present I have one set to bleep at ten at night to tell me I should wind down and relax ready for bed at twelve and the radio comes on at 8.30 in the morning to get me up. This generally works well except I have just worked through the first one now and it is still too easy to lie in bed thinking in the morning!

The other problems I have probably impact on this situation so I will continue.

Once I do get up I have a set morning routine so I can do what needs to be done before I start work.

Bear in mind one of my goals is to have a healthier lifestyle too, so I need sleep and exercise. In the morning therefore I have some set exercises I work to (eventually I would like to add Tai Chi, but one stage at a time), I listen to a hypnosis tape from Paul McKenna to set my thinking for the day (and it does work, I think) and then go for a thirty minute cycle ride before having breakfast and starting work on breaking free.

Well, that’s the idea anyway! I do tend to be slow going through this routine and, again, I think it is influenced by being lax in other areas. I am realising that a weakness in one area can upset the whole routine and remove the sense of urgency once set by the need to be at a job.

In breaking free we need to provide our own discipline or someone else will do it for us – and we won’t find freedom.

In the evening, once the alarm sounds at ten I should have another session of hypnosis, relax, think and meditate and make my way to bed. But too often I work too late so I go to bed still in work mode.

The reason for this is again related to something else. I have mentioned before that I have a ‘base acceptable bottom,’ or a level of work I MUST at least complete every day. This involves publishing a post to each of my four websites each day. I am achieving this I am glad to say but sometimes at the cost of running over my ten o’clock deadline.

The other problem is I am achieving this goal but I now need to do more. Often the posts I publish on breaking free and other subjects are not original but articles or videos from other sites (with the correct backlinks and credits), which is fine but I need to post more original articles of my own. In other words, to improve the quality.

At the same time, I am not moving forward in terms of learning about the websites I use, about online advertising, about more ways of promoting my sites. Equally I am not planning ahead or writing articles for other sites to promote my own. Clearly I need to impose better time discipline as per a previous article on this site or I will not find freedom as I want.

This time discipline must ensure it does not impact on my sleep either. Obviously tiredness would impact on my ability to work at my best.

Another reason for ensuring good time discipline is I want to temporarily start twelve hour working days to move forward. Clearly this needs a better routine.

Another area I am better at now is curiously my food shopping. This may seem a strange consideration but to go shopping during the week disrupts my break free work routine. Saturday is generally my day off (but I do try and get some posts online if I can) so I have been trying to get the shopping done then. Recently I have been achieving this and so minimizing distractions from my goal of breaking free.

There are other specific areas already discussed on this site that I still need to get right – and these also impact on other areas of my drive to find freedom.

As I have missed my goals too often I have let slip the idea of giving myself rewards for work done. This is something I need to work on.

Equally I need to take my breaks at set times. I tend to panic or get too involved in an article and forget to take the break. I do have a timer on my desk which goes off after 60 minutes so I need to get in the habit of jumping up and away from my desk when this goes off so I can have a ten minute break.

As said before, the breaks help me come back to work with a fresh mind.

Not enough breaks can cause me to spend too long in bed on having lunch.

Conclusion

The truth is the whole process of breaking free to find freedom can seem overwhelming. I need to refocus on my goal, which is to break free and find freedom.

One of the advantages of writing a blog like this is I have discovered what it is I need to do. The articles on this site really have given me some ideas about how to find freedom. I hope they have helped you too.

The key is finding how to apply what I have learned regularly and consistently.

That is an interesting point and one I have not seen mentioned very often; how to fit into your daily routine all the techniques required to become self dependent and successful without becoming overwhelmed.

There, I have set out my situation in fairly frank terms. One of my priorities now is simply to earn money so I can find freedom and not return to the job market next year. Solving the above challenges should ensure my success.

I will come back to these problems in later posts on breaking free to find freedom and am interested in your comments regarding your ideas and experiences.



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Ah, when you are breaking free to find freedom, maybe it would be wise not to tell everyone what your goals are. After all, how many are still in a job? This video explains all.

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Keep Moving

Nov-25-2010 By admin


“Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time
for roast duck to drop in.”

Confucius

I am learning that in doing anything in life, especially breaking free to find freedom from your job, the best action is simply action.

I don’t mean you have to just do it with no thought, although that is not necessarily a bad thing to do, but there is a process to go through to be most effective. In short to find freedom you need to learn, plan and take action. Then you start the process again immediately, learning from what you have just done.

The key is to never stop. To never stand still. Too many people breaking free fail because they stay too long at one of the stages. I know because I have made this mistake so many times.

If you find you have stalled either examine your reason why you are breaking free (your dream, if you will) or educate yourself about the obstacle you face and learn how to over come it.

Inaction is usually as result of a forgotten dream or an obstacle seeming larger than it is.

The key then to find freedom is to learn what you need to do, plan it out and just do it without hesitation. Then repeat the process. And keep repeating it until you break free and find freedom.

The saying is you are either moving forward or falling back. Do something, keep pressing forward or you will be moving back.


“Don’t be put off by all the apparent obstacles. The very act of starting the ball rolling will shift quite a few of them.”

Sir Ranulph Fiennes



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In breaking free to find freedom you may well become an entrepreneur…



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You Talked Yourself Into It

Nov-18-2010 By admin

“The soul attracts that which it secretly harbours; that which it loves, and also that which it fears; it reaches the height of its cherished aspirations; it falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.”

“Every thought-seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind, and to take root there, produces its own, blossoming sooner or later into act, and bearing its own fruitage of opportunity and circumstance. Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit.”

So wrote one of my favourite authors, James Allen, in his wonderful essay ‘As A Man Thinketh’ at the start of the twentieth century.

In breaking free from the job market to find freedom, as in many other worthwhile endeavours, there is often only one person we can depend upon: ourselves. It makes sense as we are becoming so self dependent that we prepare ourselves for what is ahead.

A couple of days ago an article was posted here to The Break Free Blog on the subject of self-talk and I thought I would develop this important subject.

In another post, we discussed the influence of other people and how that influence can be negative as we attempt to break free. Unfortunately all too often we sabotage our own efforts by not believing in ourselves.

How can we overcome this?

The truth is, in simple terms, the mind is really a super complicated computer and we need to learn to reprogram ourselves.

Well, I have to say this is a subject I know a great deal about as I have previously struggled with my own negative thoughts as I attempt to find freedom. I have often programmed myself to fail.

It is worth knowing a little about the mind first. You will probably we have two parts of the mind: the conscious and the sub-conscious. The conscious mind is our logical, thinking mind where we consider options and make decisions. But it is the sub-conscious that is the more exciting.

The sub-conscious runs all our instinctive programs. It makes us breath and our hearts to beat. It is responsible for all our reflexes. And it processes all the influences, the stimuli, we experience in life. The sub-conscious records absolutely everything we think or experience in life.

The mind is thus like an iceberg; the conscious mind is the small amount we see and the sub-conscious the massive bulk we cannot see.
The fascinating thing is: the sub-conscious is a servant. It does everything the conscious mind tells it. It is the idiotic muscles man behind the gangster.

The important result of this for those of us going it alone is the sub-conscious cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is unreal.

How does this help us? If we tell the sub-conscious something enough times or emphasise something with enough emotion, it will believe it. History is full of examples of people believing something that is just not true. Often it is called ‘propaganda,’ other times ‘spin,’ and other times ‘advertising.’ These examples are clever people taking advantage of the sub-conscious minds of other people.

Towards the end of the Second World War, American soldiers were clearing the Japanese from Pacific islands. On at least one occasion, as the Allied ships approached, the crews could see the islanders throwing themselves off the cliffs in mass suicide. Obviously they were perplexed to see this as they meant the natives no harm The truth soon came out: the departing Japanese had convinced the islanders that the Americans were evil and would rape and kill them. Clearly they would be better off dead.

I could go on giving you hundreds of examples but I will just ask you one question: what do you know about lemmings? I think you will say ‘they throw themselves off cliff en masse.’ Actually no. That was a myth originating in a Disney movie when the lemmings were driven off the cliff as part of the plot. Yet we believe it.

Okay, so what? How does this help us break free?

We all talk to ourselves. Oh yes, we do. And to those of you who just thought ‘I don’t talk to myself,’ that is exactly what you just did.

All too often what we say to ourselves is negative; if anything goes wrong we say ‘you idiot, I knew I would do that,’ for example. That reinforces our program. Our minds say ‘I must be an idiot then so I will act like an idiot.’

So what we need to do is to start telling ourselves we can do it, we can break free, we can find freedom. And this is applicable whatever challenge you are facing.

Yeah, says who?

This is hardly earth-shattering news. Authors have written about self-talk and mind programming for years.

Not only James Allen, but David J. Schwartz has examined this in his amazing book ‘The Magic Of Thinking Big’.

“Thinking DOES make it so. The fellow who thinks he is inferior, regardless of what his real qualification may be, is inferior. For thinking regulates actions. If a man feels inferior, he acts that way, and no veneer or cover-up or bluff will hide for long this basic feeling. The person who feels he isn’t important, isn’t.

“On the other side, a fellow who really thinks he is equal to the Task, is.”

Talking to yourself in the right way is so important in competitive sport too. In many ways, sports people have a lot in common with those of us who are breaking free to find freedom.

The daughter of a good friend of mine is a case in point. Thirteen-year-old Hannah Gamage is one of the best young tennis players in Britain and has the talent to hit the highest levels. She has, however, two challenges. The first is (inevitably) financing and the second is the mental abilities the sport requires. Just watch the adult professionals playing at Wimbledon or Flushing Meadows and imagine what they must be thinking. Actually you can see what they are thinking. You can see them giving themselves a positive talking to between games. Watch them.

In one of my favourite books on sports psychology, ‘Mind Games,’ the former Olympic athlete, Sally Gunnell, explains her preparation in the call room prior to the 1992 Olympic 400 metre hurdles final.

“All the finalists are in there psyching each other out. I remember Sandra Farmer-Patrick strutting her stuff, moaning about this and that and giving me daggers. I was thinking, ‘Right, I’m in charge here.’ I would give off an aura. I don’t know how I did it, but I was just lying there with my legs up on the wall, saying I was conserving energy. Everyone else would be charging around. But I was thinking: ‘I’ve warmed up, I’ve done everything I can do. There’s nothing else that could get me prepared. I am in total control.’ This is the message I was giving out to everybody.”

Conclusion

We now know that it is essential to have control of your own mind if you want to achieve something worthwhile, such as breaking free to find freedom. Now we need to find the best ways of doing it.

This is something we will develop in a later post on this site.


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