10 Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur

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I’m not going to sugar coat it…entrepreneurship can be hard. Yes, it’s fantastic setting your own hours, creating your own income and not answering to a boss, but the truth is, you need to either currently possess or hone some skills to make sure you have what it takes.

When you first quit your job to do what you love, the feeling is euphoric, but if you’re not careful, you can end up binging on Netflix for a month before you realize your cable is about to get shut off.

So, how do you decide if you’re ready?

There are 10 characteristics most successful entrepreneurs possess. If you don’t have them, it doesn’t mean you’ll never be an entrepreneur. It just means you’ve got some stuff to work on.

Ready to learn?

1.    Discipline

This one should be obvious. If you lack self-discipline, you’ll end up at the movies with friends instead of buckled down at your laptop. You’ve got to be able to stick to your schedule and get something done every single day.

Discipline is not an easy skill to develop, but if you’re motivated enough, you can find a way to train yourself!

2.    Unafraid of Risk

There is ALWAYS risk with entrepreneurial endeavors, but to be honest, there is with any job. Your secure bank job is only as secure as the customers supporting it. Huge corporations go belly-up all the time. You just have to decide for yourself whom you’re willing to take the risk on.

3.    Decisiveness

Life is hard when you struggle with making your own decisions, and entrepreneurship is even harder. You won’t have a boss to turn to for answers when facing a huge decision. You will just have to buck up and take responsibility yourself. The faster you can become at making them, the easier it will become. Trust your gut!

4.    Self-Control

If you’re bootstrapping your business and starting out on a budget, it can be difficult to know what you need to set aside and what you can spend. The bottom line is that you’ll probably need to reduce your spending to ensure you have enough to cover taxes and business expenses the first year. Get control of your finances and find out what’s coming in and going out.

5.    Dreamer

That’s right. Anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit has usually envisioned his or her success in his mind long before they ever took the first step. While daydreaming instead of working can be detrimental to your success, a healthy vision is a necessity for future success.

6.    Positivity

Let’s face it, any endeavor has its ups and downs, but it can be especially true when you go it alone. It’s easy to get down in the dumps and forget to see the big picture, but if you keep a positive outlook, things will go a lot smoother for you!

7.    Self-Confidence

Along with a positive outlook toward your new venture, you also have to believe in yourself enough to know that you have what it takes to accomplish your goals. Without it, you’re likely to crumble at the first sign of adversity!

8.    Flexibility

Almost nothing goes exactly as planned, and that’s okay. One of the best qualities you can have is the ability to roll with the punches and adjust accordingly.

9.    Humility

Nobody can do it all on their own, and even if you start out that way, there WILL come a time when you need a little help. Be it advice, assistance or just a shoulder to cry on, don’t be too proud to turn to people you trust!

10.  Self-Awareness

All of these qualities really boil down to self-awareness. Be willing to see the bad with the good in your own character and make the necessary changes to succeed.

Get to Work!

If you find yourself lacking in any of these areas, don’t give up hope. All these skills can be learned and developed with a little hard work. That’s why so many entrepreneurs start their endeavors as side hustles and hone their skills before they leave their day jobs.

What’s the old saying?

“If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!”

7 reasons why I have kept my day job

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Like you, I stay busy. I work a full-time job, operate a thriving online store and run the blog workathomeinspiration.com, all the while being a husband and dad.

I make as much money from my work-at-home gigs as I do with my full-time job, but I have yet to put in my two-week notice and don’t plan to anytime soon.

Why do I continue working a full-time job?

1. Base Income

I view my day job as my base pay and my work-at-home businesses as commission. I pay myself a regular salary every two weeks from my ecommerce store. The rest of my profit, we save or pay off debt. Having that base-pay buffer eliminates some of the stress that can come with owning your own business.

2. Insurance

The company that I work for offers excellent insurance at an affordable premium. Two summers ago, one of our sons had to be rushed to the emergency room, and two weeks later, our other son had to go to the emergency room. We would have been out several thousand dollars if we had not had excellent insurance coverage.

3. I don’t dread my job

If I had a job that I dreaded going to every day, I would probably take the risk and quit. But I work with great people and my job is not stressful. While I work, I am able to listen to podcasts and audio books that help me grow my work-at-home businesses.

4. Meet financial goals earlier

Several years ago, we purchased a brand-new car and were able to pay it off within a year, thanks to the fact that we could pay at least $1,000 a month from my online business.    My wife and I are working toward paying off our home early. This goal is obtainable because we have several streams of income.

5. My wife can be at home

At one time in our marriage, my wife was working three days a week, cleaning an office and teaching on Saturdays. I hated it because we had always desired her to be at home as much as possible with our kids. Today, she only works two days a week and one of those days she is able to pick up the kids from school. I do not want to jeopardize her having to work more than two days a week.

6. Retirement

The company that I work with offers an excellent 401k plan. They match dollar for dollar. This benefit has the potential of being worth several thousand a year. Right now, I put in 5 percent of my salary, which is the maximum they match. Of course, if I was making $1,000,000 annually with my work-at-home business, then this benefit would not have as much holding power.

7. Security

I have worked for the same company for over 20 years and realize there is no security working for “the man”. My wife, however, feels more financially secure with me having a corporate job. I would not leave my job without making sure that we had enough in savings to last for at least six months and all of our bills were paid off. Of course, there are always exceptions.

Like many of you, I would love to work full time on my online store and blog. But for now, I am satisfied doing what I am doing. I have certain financial goals that will need to be met before I quit my day job.

For those of you that work a job as well, what keeps you from quitting and working on your own business full time?

Just take a step!

Michael

The 7 Best Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs

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When you’re just starting out as a freelance writer, it can be hard to know where to look for jobs. I mean, all these other writers seem to have more work than they can handle, right? So where do you start looking?

1.    Job Boards

You probably already know about these, but it bears mentioning because it’s still the fastest way to find clients. They are on those boards actively looking for writers, so why not go to them. You will find some very low-paying jobs that may not be worth it, but you will also find some lucrative jobs there. It’s still my number one way to source new work! So, which job boards should you use?

Here are a few places I trust to find legitimate job leads:

Problogger

Blogging Pro

Indeed

2.    Cold Pitching

Ick. I know. Cold pitching reminds us of cold calling sales which makes us break out in hives. But truly, typing up a letter and sending it out to mass numbers of blogs or website owners in your niche is one of the best ways to bring in the big bucks. You can find leads by using Limeleads, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google. Find sites in your niche and let them know what you can do for them. I’ve had the most success when I sent out letters with my basic rates. Try it! You might be surprised!

3.    Networking

Yes, this still works and there are lots of ways to do it. Find Facebook groups with people in your niche. Network with other freelancers by signing up on their websites and commenting on their blogs. Use your other favorite social media site to connect with other influencers and people in your writing niche.

A great example of networking to get jobs is when I sent an email to a theme developer, praising their product. Because I have “freelance writer” and a link to my portfolio in my signature line, they offered me a job writing email copy.
Tell everyone what you do. You never know who might be searching!

4.    Niche Down

Yep, you’ve probably heard this one at least 100 times. But if you want to charge a premium rate for your services, you are going to have to choose a niche. You can get jobs without a niche. I’ve actually done it a lot because I’ve changed my specialties, but the big bucks really do come from being the go-to guru in your field.

Niching down will help you network, cold pitch and find jobs much more easily.

5.    Tweak Your Profiles

Once you’ve chosen your niche, be sure to customize your profiles to reflect it. Change your social media and website taglines and start adding others in that niche to your friend lists.

6.    Your Website

Your writer website should identify your specialty as well as showcase your best work. It’s also terrific to have a blog targeted to your writing niche, but your portfolio and some well-placed guest posts will suffice until you feel you are up to the blogging challenge.

7.    Guest Posting

Which brings us to the last best way to get writing gigs. Guest posting in your niche will make you stand out among your peers as an expert. Do some research and find out where your ideal client hangs out and interacts. For example, if your niche is personal finance, here are some popular personal finance blogs to try guest posting on:

Seed Time

Making Sense of Cents

Careful Cents

Get Rich Slowly

WiseBread

Shoeholic No More

Pinterest is a great platform to find out which blogs are popular in your niche. Just do a search for boards, people or pins in the niche you are specializing in and you will quickly find out which blogs receive the most repins. Or simply do a Google search for [your niche] blogs and see what comes up. There are blogs about just about everything!

Wrapping it Up

There you have it…7 of the very best ways to land your first, tenth or hundredth freelance writing gig. They’re not the only ways, but they’re the ones that have worked best for me and other writers I know. The most important thing is to set goals, keep pitching, and let everyone know you’re a writer for hire.

This is a guest post from Cheri Read, a single mom, entrepreneur and freelance writer for hire. You can find out more about her or her services over at cheriread.com.

3 Productivity Hacks to Achieve Work-Life Balance for the Entrepreneur

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It happens to the best of us. First, we reach our goals of leaving the 9-5s. Then we spend the next few weeks binging on Netflix and eating pizza for breakfast, only to find we can’t pay the electric bill at the end of the month.

Yikes!

What happens next to most of us is that we spend the next several months locked in the office churning out hours of work out of fear, only to burn out and go back to Netflix.

It’s a vicious cycle…and not one that’s easily broken.

Disclaimer: if you started reading this thinking I’ve got it all figured out, think again. I struggle daily, weekly, monthly to find the time to make sure all my work is done and also spend time with my family. After all, family is probably the main reason you decided to chase this entrepreneurial dream in the first place, right?

But here’s the rub: even though I don’t have it all figured out, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that help me get closer to it every day.

Wanna know what they are?

Great!

Check them out:

1.    Start Work at the Same Time Every Day

We start freelancing to free up our schedule, don’t we? The problem is if you don’t set a specific start time and stick to it, you’re likely to find yourself settling in with the latest Jon Acuff book instead of getting any work done (entrepreneurs will understand this one!).

The point it to set a specific start time and stick to it as much as possible. Yes, things happen, and there will be times that despite your best efforts, you can’t sit at your computer until bedtime. But make an effort to get something done at the same time every day, whether it’s responding to emails in the waiting room or orally “writing” your next blog post on your iPhone voice recorder.

Your start time may have to be adjusted until you find what works for you, but trust me…it’s important!

2.    Set a Daily Income Goal

This one’s been a life-saver for me. Rather than setting elusive monthly goals that I’m scrambling to meet two weeks out, I set a daily income goal. If I need to make $3,000 this month, for example, I set a goal to make $100 every single day. This way, I know if I need to free up a Saturday, I need to either make $200 on Friday, or I need to spread out the $100 over the week with smaller assignments or one broken down assignment.

Why this is great: aside from the fact that it breaks your goal into mini goals, which is always helpful, it also frees up time for your family because you know exactly when to stop working. That’s why I don’t say set a stop time every day…just a start time. This gives you the feeling of flexibility, but still gives you enough structure to stay productive.

3.    Set Ruthless Boundaries

It’s hard. Maybe even the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur. Your parents, friends and kids know you’re home all day, so why shouldn’t you be available to run their errands, keep their kids or do their laundry? You may even enjoy doing some of these things, making it even more difficult to put a stop to it.

But they’re not paying your bills. You must figure out for yourself what’s urgent, and what’s not. Sure, we can be good, serving people, but it’s not wrong to set boundaries. You have to pay the rent!

The easiest way to do this is to set auto-responders on your phones, emails and answering machines letting people know your work hours, and that you’ll be unable to respond until after these hours. Tell them ahead of time that you won’t be taking personal calls during that time and that they should tell you exactly what they’re calling for in their messages. That way, you can free up the time you would’ve spent calling everyone back to see what they want.

Don’t be a slave to technology! Instruct those closest to you to text “emergency” to your cell phone if necessary, so that there’s no questioning whether or not to answer.

Conclusion

Working for yourself has its drawbacks. It can be the best thing you’ve ever done as long as you can discipline yourself to work and others to leave you alone. Finding a work-life balance is really about figuring out what works best for you and your family and sticking to the plan. Don’t let yourself get caught on the Netflix binging/workaholic cycle. Remember why you did this and stay on track!

This is a guest post from Cheri Read, a single mom, entrepreneur and freelance writer for hire. You can find out more about her or her services over at cheriread.com

Platform (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012)

Platform  is a great read if you are wanting to build a platform such as a blog.  It will give you guidance as you navigate through the noisy world of blogging.

I would like to share with you my favorite quotes from the book Platform by Michael Hyatt.

 

  • The secret to success in any business is to deliver a great, compelling product.
  • We don’t need more messages or products or services.  Instead, we need better messages, products, and services.
  • If we are going to create wow experiences, we must become courageous.
  • I believe intuition is the map to buried treasure.
  • Marketing is no longer about shouting in a crowded marketplace; it is about participating in a dialogue with fellow travelers.
  • Understand what’s Not important.
  • Here’s the question I always ask when I face a daunting task: “What would accomplishing this make possible?”
  • All you have to do is take the first step.  You’ll figure out the rest.

 

 

How I Made $3600 Writing & Blogging in September 2016

Online income report. How an online entrepreneur makes over $3500 writing and blogging, and how you can too!

In case you’re new here, I left my full-time day job to work from home in June 2016. Most of my income is from freelance writing, but I am also venturing into making money with my blog. My blogging income is not much to talk about yet because I neglected it a bit over the summer to squeeze in more freelance writing clients.

Anyway, I like to share my income reports when I can for a couple of reasons:

a) to motivate other moms to get out there and do the same

b) to hold myself accountable for my goals and accomplishments

If you’re anything like me, you’re a sucker for an income report, especially from someone making all their money from their couch. Am I right?

So, here goes…

My September 2016 Income:

Freelance Writing:                                         2,675.00

Amazon Sales:                                                 13.95

VA Work:                                                          825.00

Affiliate:                                                                94.00

Total:                $3607.95              

I expect my income to continue to rise as I increase the amount of time I spend working on my blog. After all, this is the place I love to be. Blogging is a blast, y’all!

If you’re interested in making money from home, I hope you’ll stick around and see all the different ways it can be done!

Full disclosure: none of this would be possible without the God I serve directing my steps!

God bless, and stay inspired!

(Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here)

The Step-by-Step Guide to Start a Money-Making Blog

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Blogging is a great way to make extra money, or even a full-time income. I launched Work at Home Inspiration just a few months ago and am already seeing some income from it. My primary source of income is still freelance writing, but my favorite is this blog!

I know a ton of bloggers who are making a living blogging, and you don’t have to have a huge audience to do it. Just a lot of determination and a little bit of knowledge, and you’re on your way!

It’s okay to go into this thing without much know-how. We all start there and usually learn along the way. I learn something new every single day about blogging, and it’s honestly so much fun!

To Niche or Not to Niche: The Process that’s Working for My Freelance Writing Biz

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I’ve been a freelance writer for almost a year now, and one thing I’ve struggled with is niching down.

Why?

Because I love variety! One of my favorite things about freelance wriitng is that I get to write about almost anything I want, and sometimes learn about new subjects. And I’ll be honest with you — despite what all the experts say, I’ve done pretty okay without narrowing down my niche too much.

But, just okay. I’m now bringing in a respectible amount close to $4,000 a month. And that’s fine for me. For the area I live, that’s considered a pretty good income, and cost of living is low. But I gotta tell you — I did expect to be a little further along by now.

How to Write a Pitch Letter To Get All the Freelance Writing Gigs You Want

Find out exactly how the pros write pitch letters to get tons of freelance writing work. Detailed instructions on writing the perfect letter to get noticed and get the gig!

Are you a freelance writer who pitches your little heart out, trying to land more clients? Or maybe you’ve got a few guest post samples, but still can’t land a gig. Whatever the case, the problem is possibly your pitch.

Don’t feel bad.

None of us really know how to draft a pitch letter or what to say when we first get started applying for freelance writing gigs. And once a writer has perfected a pitch letter, they’re hard-pressed to share their secrets. But I’ve got good news. It’s easier than you think and I’m going to teach you how to pitch like a pro and land more freelance writing gigs than you can handle.

I know…that’s a pretty hefty claim, but if you follow a few simple tactics, you’ll see I’m right. I now get about 1/4 of all the gigs I pitch for, so trust me when I tell you — I’ve got this thing down!

10 Re-Sellers Who Make a Killing Flipping on eBay

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Wanna know how to make big bucks on eBay? It is totally possible, and if you frequent thrift stores and garage sales, you’re already half-way there!

I piece together a living online each and every month, and the way I started out was flipping for profit on eBay. I built my eBay store up to a $500 a month business, only working a few hours a week. But there are many people who do it for a full-time living. One example is work-at-home mom, Sarah Titus. She made a great living on eBay while she was building her blog.

I still sell on eBay occasionally, especially when I travel. I like making a little extra cash for trips! The way I got started was following some experts online who make a good living flipping on eBay. Most of the resources are free and totally fun to watch and read.

If you’re ready for this cool work-at-home opportunity, visit some of these peeps, and get to flippin’!