Saturday, August 30, 2014

Google Hangouts, John Jurkiewicz, and My Launch to Fame and Fortune!

John Jurkeiwicz -- the man who will propel me to fame
and fortune. Well, hopefully just fortune. ;-)
I went to my very first Google Plus Hangout the other day.

(By the way, if you're not on Google Plus, you're missing out, big time. 95-99% of your Facebook Page fans never even see your posts after they like your page. Unless, of course, you pay for advertising. Lame. Google Plus is where all the cool business people hang out.)

Okay, as I was saying, I went to my very first Google Plus Hangout the other day. After I got over the whole video thing, it was actually really fun! There were only three other people there: James Fierce, Manolis Sfinarolakis the Google Plus crowdfunding god, and John Jurkiewicz



(I was actually the only one with hair, which was kind of amusing. :-)

Anyway, we went around the room and introduced ourselves, and when it came my turn, I mentioned that I lived in a "rural ghetto". 

Well, that caught John Jurkiewicz's attention, and we immediately hit it off. Turns out, he also lives in rural America, AND he's a "career development coach and consultant who works with both individuals and companies to help them reach their overall goals through their careers." 

Not only did he offer me a spot on his weekly Google Hangout on Air on the Career Corner community for next Wednesday, September 3rd at 7 PM, but he has held my hand through getting used to the Hangouts, offered me great tips on how the heck to make some money from my cramped writing fingers and all of these crazy ideas bouncing around in my head, suggested how to fan some life into my dog walking/pet sitting business, and brought some totally awesome Plussers to my attention, especially Meilani MacDonald, Mia Voss, and the Google Plus Community User2User -- great for us G+ noobs!

And he made me laugh my ass off the whole time. 

Let me just say that John has been EXACTLY what I needed in my current stage as a solopreneur, and, unlike the money-or-food-type of help I tend to get from other people (not that I mind free money or food), his has been truly MEANINGFUL help. The kind of help that isn't just here and gone, but stays with you for the rest of your life. 

So quit sitting here wasting time reading my blog (wait, did I actually say that?), and go check him out! He's at: 

Blogs:

Website:

Social Media:
  Twitter

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Why I Don't Support This or Other Forms of Slacktivism

Instead of me ranting at you, I'm going to let you read from the mouths/pens of a few of my favorite New Thought and New Science authors. These amazing beings have already put my beliefs into better words than I could ever come up with on my own. 

But I DID take the liberty of adding some emphasis. :-)

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Wallace D. Wattles: The Science of Being Well

God, the Formless Substance, does not see disease, think disease, know disease, or recognize disease. Disease is recognized only by the thought of man; God thinks nothing but health....
The less you go into the detailed study of physiology, the better for you. Our knowledge of this science is very imperfect, and leads to imperfect thought. Imperfect thought causes imperfect functioning, which is disease.
Mary Morrissey: The 11 Forgotten Laws

...think about the life of Jesus...How many prostitutes did he meet, how many paralytics did he meet, how many people with difficulties, blind people did he meet? My experience and my understanding would be that he met zero, because he made no agreement with the blindness, he made no agreement with the paralysis, he made no agreement with the difficulty.

Abraham/Hicks: 

...You have the potential for every illness in your body right now, and you have the potential for a perfect state of health in your body right now. And you will solicit one or the other, or a mixture, depending upon your balance of thought.
...This is a time of great evolution of technology and medicine and, yet, there are more diseases on this planet than there have ever been… because you just keep pleasing the doctor who is looking for them. Because, when you look for stuff, you always find it. 
...most people believe that you’ve gotta find a problem, and then you’ve gotta wrestle it to the ground and kill it. So, “Let’s pinpoint exactly what’s wrong, and then let’s send laser stuff at it and kill it. Let’s cut it out, let’s chop it off, let’s blast it with something, let’s get rid of it.” And we say, nothing is further from the way that the Laws of the Universe work. It just doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t work that way.
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Are you getting it?

I am convinced that disease, like violence, war, poverty, substance abuse, depression, gangs, drugs, theft, animal abuse, terrorism, breast cancer, obesity, bullying, or any other societal ill is perpetuated by our attention to it. This is universal law, just like gravity, mathematics, and magnetism.

I refuse to consciously participate in any process that has the potential to increase the suffering of other beings.

So thanks, I'll pass on the bucket of ice water.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

7 Tips for Smoothing Your Transition from Wage Slave to Self-Employed God/Goddess

Not everyone is willing, as I was, to just chuck it all, throw caution to the winds, and leap. Perhaps you have a family to take care of, are locked into your current job by a bunch of debts and bills, or you give a crap about health insurance. In short, maybe you're more {{responsible}} than I am (Ew, shudder!)

When I leapt, I had the good fortune of being (a) healthy as a horse, except for a severe allergy to doctors, (b) debt-free (c) child-free, and (d) drug-free, including prescriptions, alcohol and tobacco.

While I believe that there is always a way to work it out if you think far enough outside the box and aren't afraid of taking risks, for folks who aren't quite as adventurous (crazy?) as me, here are 7 tips for making the leap from Alexis Grant, one of my new online business heroines. I must say, they're GREAT tips. If I had it to do over again, I probably would try to save myself some grief by actually heeding her advice.

By the way, Lexi's article mentions beefing up your online presence, and it just so happens that I wrote a series about this very topic on my other blog, Symblème Services Online. Of course I must promote my own work, right? ;-)

Enjoy!

~ Catharine

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By Alexis Grant 

This afternoon I had coffee with a guy who wants to leave his day job to work freelance.

He asked all the right questions — how to know when it’s time to make the leap, what he should do to prepare, whether it’s the right decision. And while I have my answers right here in my head, I figured I’d get them on paper the blog to share with you.

While I no longer consider myself a freelancer — this post explains why — I did start out that way, and the hustle is still a big part of my business. Whether you want to make a living as a freelance writer or start a custom carpentry business, it makes sense to set yourself up for success while you still have the security of your day job (if you can).

With that in mind, here are the most important pieces of advice I shared today:

1. Figure out the financial stuff

This is one of the biggest factors that keeps go-getters from taking advantage of the new world of work, and rightly so. (It’s so big that I’m working on an ebook on the topic!)

But while it feels like a huge, daunting obstacle, the truth is that you can break it down into manageable bits. Figure out just how much you spend each month, so you know how much money you need to make to avoid dipping into your savings or going into debt. You can always earn more later — and you will — but this is your baseline.

Then make a plan for how you’ll bring in enough work to hit that baseline revenue, and start doing it. These two posts offer more advice about the financial side of working for yourself.

2. Land a core client

Do this while you’re still in your day job, because this is the client that will help you make a change that will actually last.

A core client — that’s my own term, so if you haven’t heard it before, don’t feel like you’re behind on freelancing lingo — is someone who pays you a retainer month after month, a paycheck you can depend on. Once you have a core client under your belt, you can cobble together the rest of your income. Even a small bit of stable revenue makes that possible.


Read the full article here:

photo credit: jonycunha via photopin cc

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Real Payoff in Making the Jump

photo credit: abhiomkar via photopin cc

Just jump!

What I hope to do with this little blog is to document my own journey, and in the process educate and encourage those who are thinking of taking on the same challenges.

I'm probably starting my online marketing business under some of the most difficult circumstances possible: in a rural ghetto, during an economic depression, with no income except what comes in from a languishing dog walking and pet sitting business that might make $500 in a good month, plus a tiny trickle from my husband's startup coffee shop.

Have we had to make some sacrifices? You bet. Lots of them. And there were probably better/easier ways to plan for this transition. But if we can survive and pull this off, anybody can.

The big payoff for me has been twofold:

1. I now know that nobody else has the power to ruin my life or the life of my family by laying me off, cutting my hours, or outsourcing my job, and

2. I know I can survive some pretty extreme life situations -- like near starvation -- and those situations will never, ever scare me again.

My message to those who are thinking about jumping off of the wage slave treadmill and starting a business is: don't wait. No matter what the circumstances, it can be done. Some paths are easier than others, sure, but don't let difficulty or lack of knowledge or a bunch of bills and other "responsibilities" stop you.

Jump. The universe didn't let you survive all of those stupid stunts you pulled as a kid, only to let you starve to death in your 40's.

Wanna get the latest and greatest from Quit Your Job and Thrive? “Like” Quit Your Job on Facebook, “Follow” us on Twitter, or “Circle” us on Google Plus to get the latest posts on your favorite social media news feeds.


 If you’re more of an email than a social media maven, Subscribe by entering your email in the little form to the right. Don’t worry; I detest spam, too, and I promise never to give your information away. If you find my posts too obnoxious, you can always unsubscribe, and I’ll try not to cry too much J.

9 Ways Your Employee Mindset Is Keeping You From Succeeding

Image credit: Donnie Nunley/Flickr
The most difficult thing I faced as an employee-turned-self-employed-entrepreneur-small-businessperson-freelancer -- or whatever the heck I am -- was changing my employee mindset. I wasted the first year of my new career being a "deer in the headlights". I kid you not, it took me a year just to learn to think like an entrepreneur! And I'm not exactly a master of the mindset yet, not by a long shot.

Maite Baron does a great job of summing up some of the biggest mental shifts one has to tackle ... and they are very difficult to put into words.

I would add to this list:

10.  You forfeit your right to blame anyone else for your situation. 

This is restating the obvious a little, because nobody else ever has the power to ruin your life, anyway...but there's nothing that brings this home like becoming your own boss.

11. You don't get to just focus on yourself any more.
If you're not constantly thinking about what your customers want and need, you're going to lose them. Period.

Do you have what it takes? Or, more importantly, can you learn it?

Read on...

~ Catharine Symblème

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By Maite Baron

Mindset is probably the major determinant of success in pretty much every walk of life. In other words, the thinking patterns you habitually adopt largely govern the results you achieve.

But different circumstances and situations require different mindsets, something that anyone looking to leave paid employment and strike out on their own, must be aware of. Unfortunately, not all would-be entrepreneurs understand the dramatic mindset shifts required, without which business success is unlikely.

So how, as a one-time employee, will you have to think differently to succeed?

1. You’re responsible for all decisions - good and bad. Entrepreneurs have an incredible opportunity to create something from nothing, in a way that’s not possible working for someone else. But this means making big decisions about what must be done, when and how. You can’t wait for things to happen, or for someone to tell you what to do, you must make them happen. Successful entrepreneurs also understand that opportunities may be short-lived, and so develop a sense of urgency that helps them achieve their goals.

2. You need to hold both short and long-term visions simultaneously. Work for others and you are mainly responsible for ensuring that what needs to be done now, is done. As an entrepreneur, you have to project your mind forward, thinking about the potential pitfalls and opportunities that lie around the corner, and making decisions based on uncertainty. This requires you to come to terms with the fact that what you do, or don't do, today, will have an impact on your business three months, even five years down the line.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

4 Brain-Dead Easy Ways to Support a Small Business Owner, Other Than Buying Their Stuff

By Catharine Symblème

It's Lonely at the Top


Being a small local business owner is a lot of work, and quite often business owners feel, not just financially unsupported, but emotionally unsupported and unappreciated by their families, friends, and communities. They see the Amazon boxes in the trash at the Post Office, watch their carefully-crafted Facebook posts being totally ignored, and suffer through theft, 16-hour days, unending bills, whining customers, employee headaches, and distant family lives with a smile plastered on their faces, because who wants to do business with a grumpy sourpuss?

If you have a small businessperson in your life, don't let that smile fool you. Underneath it can be a lot of pain, loneliness, and suffering.

Here are 4 brain-dead easy ways to support a small business owner, other than buying their stuff:


1. Ask them how business is going, then stick around and listen to their answer.

These definitions of "support" are from a physician services support page:

"...is frequent, ongoing, accessible and flexible" 
"...can take many forms – phone calls, text messaging, group meetings..."
"...includes empathetic listening and encouragement..."

It's interesting how "empathetic listening and encouragement" is encouraged and even expected in certain settings like healthcare and personal relationships, but is totally ignored when it comes to business owners. But in the same way that cancer victims invest huge amounts of their life energy in healing from cancer, business owners invest huge amounts of life energy in running their business, and they deserve as much emotional support. You would be amazed at how meaningful it is when someone stops in a shop or visits a Facebook page and simply asks, "how's business?"

2. Tell other people about their business. 

Buy their stuff, of course, but then turn around and tell at least one other person about what you liked about their stuff. 92% of people still trust word-of-mouth -- whether it's face-to-face or via social media -- more than any other form of marketing.

3. Find them on social media and "Like" or "Follow" their page.

This is so easy it's almost embarrassing to have to even mention it, but 99% of happy customers never bother to take 10 seconds out of their daily Facebook time, find a local business, and like it. 

I mean, how completely, utterly lazy can you be? 

If you're worried about being spammed with a bajillion posts from that business you just liked, don't worry. According to this article from Forbes, only about 1-5% of people who liked a Facebook page ever even saw that page's posts. 

Instead, likes and shares help businesses out more on the behind-the-scenes level by sending Google a "social signal". According to this article from Symblème Services, "Every time someone likes, shares, tweets, or +1's content about your brand, they are sending a social signal, and the more social signals means you have better chances to rank high on search engine result pages."

4. Go back to the business and tell them how you liked their stuff, or give them an honest online review.

Reviews are like pure gold to a business. Not only do good reviews attract customers, but even bad reviews provide feedback on where they can improve.  

Giving a small business thoughtful negative feedback, as long as you're kind about it, is more supportive than just offering them meaningless positive platitudes.

To upgrade that negative feedback from gold to platinum, suggest a solution to the problem.

Again: saying nothing, or offering meaningless positive feedback, is not support. If you offer feedback, mean it!

What about you? Can you think of any other ways to support a small business or businessperson besides buying their stuff?


Here's your opportunity to offer meaningful support to Quit Your Job and Thrive: 

“Like” us on Facebook
“Follow” us on Twitter, or
“Circle” us on Google Plus

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photo credit: Infusionsoft via photopin cc

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I Survived That Which Was Supposed to Kill Me


The universe didn't let us survive all of those stupid stunts we pulled in high school, just to drop us in our 40's.


































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