“Only through curiosity can we discover opportunities, and only through gambling can we take advantage of them.”
ACN will be launching a set of small business services. If you see the Facebook page there is a picture of it, but funnily enough, this survey found the important services you want are:
- Website/eCommerce services,
- call answering, online accounting,
- online sales pipe management,
- sales prospecting/networking,
- online banking and
- cloud software.
- value for money and transparency in the pricing.
Myself and Daniel specialise in helping remove obstacles and help you get more sales. ACN helps to build your fortune! Why shouldn’t you get a commission everytime you are using the services?
We asked if SBC could organise discounts on certain business services, would you consider buying these through SBC. 97% of you said Yes. (Yikes! – that’s some level of responsibility you’re putting on our shoulders.) Is this email not displaying correctly?
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Because we’re frugal (cheap?), we used Survey Monkey’s free service to carry out our survey last week. What we didn’t realize is that the ‘free survey’ only allows analysis of the first 100 answers. So even though we had over 300 responses, the following results are from the first 100 responses. We believe they still give us a very good pulse.
We asked; If SBC could organise discounts on certain business services, would you consider buying these through SBC? 97% of you said Yes. (Yikes! – that’s some level of responsibility you’re putting on our shoulders.)
Of the 3% that said no, one made a very good point and said that discounts were never real and that you would expect a 10% discount from the supplier anyway, if you went to it directly. That’s food for thought and we’ll use it in discussions with potential suppliers.
Answers to the next question have potentially given us a road map on the services you want to see us offering. We asked you to rank the services you would like to see us offering discounts for. 76% ranked website/ommerce services first, 41% ranked online accounting second, 38% ranked online sales pipeline management as a close third and 27% ranked call answering as an important fourth service. 16% said we should also consider these added services: Sales/marketing services, cloud hosting services, business planning support, printing services and insurance. (We have a pile of emails from SBC members saying they’d like to offer services to the community and they seem to match the additional suggestions we got in the survey 🙂
The responses to the next 2 questions frightened us a little bit. They dealt with how much people would expect to pay for these services and how much they were paying. There’s way too much detail to put into the article. However the summary is that the sweet spot for a bundle of services covering website services, online accounts management, sales pipe management and call answering is 100/200 Euro/STG per month (Ballpark). The frightening bit – this excludes the ‘extra’ charges that 10% of respondents shared with us. These included having to pay extra for backing up website data, charges for C panels, SSL certs, charges for adding additional seats, fees for merchant ids and payment provider services, charges for opening up functionality you thought you’d bought, fees for Newsletter software, additional telephony fees, etc., etc. Some respondents – small companies – shared in detail what they were paying – ALL IN – and it was adding up to 400 Euro plus per month.
Transparency is Critical
Knowing this now, we should have asked how important transparency is when you are purchasing online. We didn’t. Instead we asked people to rate trusted brand, security, price, peer recommendation and needing to know the company you are purchasing from. Not surprisingly security was seen as critical. Trusted brand came next, then price. About half said that peer recommendation and needing to know the company were also important.
About 8% of respondents gave additional comments saying that it should be clear what the customer is paying for, that there should be free trials and that there should be no contracts locking customers in.
What did the last question on what you would like us to offer tell us? That the important services you want are: Website/eCommerce services, call answering, online accounting, online sales pipe management, sales prospecting/networking, telephony, online banking and cloud software. Did we learn anything else? Yes, that you wanted value for money and transparency in the pricing you were paying and the services you were getting in return.
As usual, a genuine thanks to all that took the time. You’re brilliant!
Speaking of brilliant. The details of all the companies that made the Business Achievers Regional finals and those that are going forward to the gala final are up on the blog.
Cloud Hosting Benefits
Did you know that the number of Small Businesses that have adopted cloud computing doubled in the last two years …Read more
You’re Job Is Sales
There comes a point at which I wonder why so many people in this country look down their noses at sales professionals …Read more
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Change your mind or change your approach:
One of the frustrations about sharing the vision of a business is being engaged with people who blame everyone else, the victim mentality, when we are actually looking for people who want an answer to the question “How can I?”
This post is provoked by my Monday discussions with vincentbyrne.ie regarding the development of his online business coaching and a random email from the people behind “The Secret”:
|A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
Creator of The Secret
From The Secret Daily Teachings
I have been in search of the reason why so many Irish people have this victim mentality. Some are rightfully victims. A handful of “developers”, Bankers, Religious Orders, ably backed by generations of politicians have screwed over Irish Society for their own objectives.
I am now convinced that this goes all the way back to being “Subjects” of an Empire. The control we in Ireland have experienced from Church, State, Empire, the conditioning of fear, the creation of fear, how we were brought up, it is inherent in the way we are taught to see things.
Which may account for the sense of entitlement I encounter, the sense that “they have enough, I will take this”, the sense of Suspicion, that anything standing out from the herd, is viewed with!
I was delighted yesterday, when Vincent differentiated between “Reaction and Response”:
“He has had a bad reaction to the tablets.” versus: :He is responding well to treatment”.
|The differences between:||The Victim Mentality||And
The people I am looking for
|Mood:||Pessimistic, negative||Optimistic, possibilities|
|Mindset:||Judgmental, reactive, critical, inflexible||Thoughtful, responsive, curious,|
|Attitude||Defensive, attacks, someone wins, someone loses.||Collabatory, Win Win|
|Excuses, reasons, interrupts, waiting…||How can I? Who can help me?|
How do you change from victim to leader? Change your mind or change your approach:
What outcome do you want?
Our philosophy is summed up as:
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
Remember the basic approach I have been saying we use in our day job:
- Where do you want to get to?
- Where are you now?
- What is stopping you?
- Implement a Plan.
Remember your intuition, when you were little? Remember it, trust it, believe in it, follow it, even if it is away form the herd!
You need to develop persistence. Momentum will crash through barriers for you. Create space in your life, to think to act, to let the good stuff in!!!
There is nothing wrong with dreaming, thinking about the future, what you want, but he most important thing is the smallest thing you can do right NOW, to move you in the right direction (see Steve Chandler):
The Next Step.
What is it to be?
This is something so relevant to starting your own business. We do it because we have learnt what is important to us and how we want to achieve it. We the money of the day job and the time to sod d it. We want to help people and r joy their success. We want to develop ourselves and help develop others. We want to be a part of something worthwhile. We want to strive towards a worthy ideal band the ACN business gives us this. …..
Is it really feasible to achieve work-life balance nowadays? Or is it just a myth?
There were times I used to regularly work 14-hour days. I remember a discussion with a colleague on this topic. At one point I said “Yeah, but what can you do?” and she answered simply “There is always something you can do”. It was such a simple statement, but it hit me. I started to think about it and to recognize that it’s true. We always have a choice.
When you are entrenched into patterns of thinking and behavior, you tend not to look outside your box. Unless something shakes you up, you fail to see even the most common-sense options that are available to you.
Each of us understands something different by work-life balance. However, in principle we all share the idea that what this means is to have a satisfying amount of time available for outside work activities. This may mean time spent with your family, time dedicated to grow spiritually or get into a better physical shape, to pursue a hobby and so on.
We’ll approach work-life balance in two parts in this article:
- Firstly, we’ll assess the big picture. You need to frame life in a way that enables you to reach balance.
- Secondly, we’ll go through five specific work-life balance tips that enable you to make noticeable improvements to your life right now.
Part 1: Assess the Big Picture
A. Clarify Your Priorities
It all starts by clarifying your priorities in life. There is no set model that works for all people.
It may be the case that if you dedicate the larger part of your time to building your career, you are happier. Then, even if your time and energy distribution is unbalanced, this i by choice and it may be OK in your case, at this particular moment in your life.
There is an issue though when what happens in your life is not congruent with your values and priorities.
For example, spending quality time with your family may be very important to you. If in reality you are spending very limited time with your loved ones, because of work, then this is a problem.
Generally speaking, if you feel that you don’t have enough time for yourself and/or for your loved ones, then there is an opportunity to improve work-life balance.
A watch-out here is that you need to be honest with yourself in assessing your values and priorities. For example, don’t lie to yourself that you are happy to work all day long and spend very little time with your family, if this is not true.
B. Picture Your Ideal Life, Assess Your Current Situation and Determine the Gap
Picture your ideal life, in terms of work-life balance. However, it should be a realistic image, based on what is feasible with regard to your priorities.
For example, it is definitely not possible to set as your objectives to develop a successful management consultant career, spend a lot of time with your family, become a great tango dancer and read ten books a week.
Jobs in a particular field are particularly demanding on your time and energy. Then, it doesn’t matter if you change your job or not, because staying in that industry simply implies working very long hours. For example, this is the case with management consulting. If your career choice is to be successful with companies such as McKinsey, Bain, Boston Consulting Group and the likes, you need to be prepared to work very long hours and travel extensively.
Your current job may require that you regularly work 12 hours a day, no matter how productive you are. In this case you may simply need to look for another job.
Assess what is your current situation and the gap versus your ideal life.
C. Take Consistent Action to Close the Gap
Whatever the case, medium-term you do have a number of choices. You may change the industry you work in, the company, the type of job. This may require that you need to do some more work to meet education requirements, but if you are determined, almost anything is possible.
So never feel that you are a prisoner of circumstances. You always have a choice!
Determine what is the gap between your ideal and your current life in terms of work-life balance and then start to close the gap via addressing the most important improvement opportunities.
Part 2: Apply 5 Tips to Improve Your Current Work-life Balance
Tip #1: Become More Productive at Work
Get better at time management. Maximize your efficacy and after that, also your efficiency. You need to continue to ruthlessly apply the 80/20 principle along the way. If you step up your productivity, but take on more and more work, you will not make progress in terms of work-life balance.
Celes has written quite a number of great productivity articles which you can check out here:
- 50 Effective Ways To Boost Your Productivity
- Become the Master of Your Time
- Put First Things First
- The Best Productivity System There Is
- The 8 Habits of Highly Productive People
- How To Achieve More With Less In Life Using 80/20 Principle (3-part series)
Tip #2: Set Limits
In order to enjoy work-life balance, you need to become a master at setting limits. In the beginning of my career I used to put in long hours, thinking that “ok, I just need to finish this urgent project and then I will go for a more balanced schedule”. It didn’t happen, as there is always something more to do, always something urgent and/or important to address.
If you don’t set limits, you will find yourself at the mercy of circumstances and external pressures. Decide on a set hour when you leave office. You will need to be flexible in certain circumstances, but unless anything really outstanding happens, try to stick to your rule. If you don’t set an hour to go home, it is for sure that you’ll stay at the office more than if you do set one. And try not to take any work home. Separate your professional from your personal life.
Tip #3: Learn to Say No
This one is very much related to the previous rule. We all face many demands on our time and attention, in both our personal and professional lives. In order to be able to focus on what is really important to us, we need to quit spending time on low importance activities. There will always be pressure from others to do this and that, so you do need to learn to say no to low priority commitments.
Tip #4: Simplify Your Life
We all get used to do things in a certain way. Normally, we don’t assess regularly how we do them and if there’s a better way of doing them. So take some time now to think about the activities you do regularly. Is there a way to cut some steps, to do them in a more time-efficient manner or to just eliminate them?
Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself
This tip is about making sure that you observe the fundamentals. Have enough rest. Exercise regularly and try to eat as healthy as possible. These fundamental rules set a sound foundation for your sense of balance. These three elements are all extremely important and they impact your life tremendously long term.
It is important to recognize that you can’t change everything all of a sudden. Don’t make a plan to turn your entire life upside down. Pick one action and start taking small steps in that direction. If you are consistent in taking action, it is totally feasible to improve your work-life balance dramatically.
If you are currently feeling stressed at work, here’s an array of tips which will help you: 55 Tips to Manage Work Stress
Guest blogger Tracy Tippetts is an ACN Executive Team Trainer
If we don’t try, we will never know what we are capable of, or what we might accomplish. To me, ACN is a very simple concept, a very powerful proposition, and one that is well suited for the current economic and social trends in our society and the world of global commerce. Here are my top 10 reasons why the ACN Opportunity makes sense and how it can lead us to accomplishments, both personally and professionally, that we never even knew were possible.
1. Nearly everyone uses a cell phone, a computer and the Internet, watches television, and uses gas and electricity on a daily basis. These services have become an almost automatic and essential part of modern living. We do not have to create awareness or demand for these products and services.
2. Imagine doing a task once, building an organization with customers, and as long as they continue to use the services and pay their monthly bills, you receive compensation for having obtained them as customers. Residual income that can grow is better than linear, flat, or fixed income. That is called residual income.
3. Most everyone can use or would like to have extra monthly income, especially if they do not have to disrupt their existing occupation or schedule to obtain it.
4. The compound effect of duplication and multiplication makes time and talent your friends, not your enemies or competition. It helps magnify your opportunities and chances of success rather than diminishing them.
5. Having access to a wealth of personal development resources, which ACN provides, gives you the opportunity to become a more powerful and productive person in all areas of your life. It can make you more efficient, effective, decisive, goal-oriented, self-directed or motivated, and achieve greater success and fulfillment in life. It can help you have more influence or make a greater contribution with your time and talents.
6. Meeting many interesting new people, making new friends and acquaintances, working together, sharing the same purpose and objective, creating a sense of brotherhood and positive energy, sharing life and dreams together, having fun and creating fond memories, learning and benefitting from the examples and experience of others makes for a more rewarding, fulfilling, and enjoyable life experience.
7. ACN is the largest direct-sales company of telecom and energy services in the world, with many successful and high-quality leaders in its ranks.
8. For a one-time initial fee of $499 to get started in business, an independent business owner is provided with a personalized, hosted and maintained website that is state-of-the-art, and offers all the benefits and advantages of an online store. ACN offers many world-class products and materials or tools to help one succeed as if he were a large organization. Compare this low entry fee to the high price of most franchise opportunities, or even the annual business and license fees to conduct business in most places, and what you get in return for that expense, and you must agree that this is a small and negligible investment by comparison.
9. The freedom and flexibility to work from your own home, as little or as much as you want, how you want, when you want, where you want, why you want, with who you want is a powerful business proposition to consider. To be your own boss and set your own schedule, your own goals, plans and actions, and to be accountable for yourself, and be compensated accordingly. Success in ACN is entirely up to you – if you work hard, your success will be measured by your efforts.
10. Everyone knows 20, 50, 100 or more family, friends, acquaintances, and contacts, and can continually add to that number, meeting new people and making new associations – especially if he has something of merit or value to share with them when he does. One never knows what the outcome or destiny of a simple question will be. If you never ask, the answer is always, “No”. But if you do, it could be a powerful, “Yes!”
When you become successful in this business you will be more credible, and others will listen to you more easily. You will have the satisfaction of showing many of the doubters your achievement, and they will admire your success and accomplishment. But guess what? They will still have to start where you began, and take the time it took you to get where you are. You will just be that much further ahead, and be enjoying the benefits and rewards sooner than they will. You will have the success you desire and live your dreams. Many others have and already are. It’s just a matter of adding your name to that list, and your presence to that Circle of Champions.
ACN Executive Team Trainer
Ask yourself, if you were a venture capitalist pitched one of these ideas, what would your reaction have been?
- Facebook – the world needs yet another Myspace or Friendster except several years late. We’ll only open it up to a few thousand overworked, anti-social, Ivy Leaguers. Everyone else will then join since Harvard students are so cool.
- Dropbox – we are going to build a file sharing and syncing solution when the market has a dozen of them that no one uses, supported by big companies like Microsoft. It will only do one thing well, and you’ll have to move all of your content to use it.
- Amazon – we’ll sell books online, even though users are still scared to use credit cards on the web. Their shipping costs will eat up any money they save. They’ll do it for the convenience, even though they have to wait a week for the book.
- Virgin Atlantic – airlines are cool. Let’s start one. How hard could it be? We’ll differentiate with a funny safety video and by not being a**holes.
- Mint – give us all of your bank, brokerage, and credit card information. We’ll give it back to you with nice fonts. To make you feel richer, we’ll make them green.
- Palantir – we’ll build arcane analytics software, put the company in California, hire a bunch of new college grad engineers, many of them immigrants, hire no sales reps, and close giant deals with D.C.-based defense and intelligence agencies!
- Craigslist – it will be ugly. It will be free. Except for the hookers.
- iOS – a brand new operating system that doesn’t run a single one of the millions of applications that have been developed for Mac OS, Windows, or Linux. Only Apple can build apps for it. It won’t have cut and paste.
- Google – we are building the world’s 20th search engine at a time when most of the others have been abandoned as being commoditized money losers. We’ll strip out all of the ad-supported news and portal features so you won’t be distracted from using the free search stuff.
- Github – software engineers will pay monthly fees for the rest of their lives in order to create free software out of other free software!
- PayPal – people will use their insecure AOL and Yahoo email addresses to pay each other real money, backed by a non-bank with a cute name run by 20-somethings.
- Paperless Post – we are like Evite, except you pay us. All of your friends will know that you are an idiot.
- Instagram – filters! That’s right, we got filters!
- LinkedIn – how about a professional social network, aimed at busy 30- and 40-somethings. They will use it once every 5 years when they go job searching.
- Tesla – instead of just building batteries and selling them to Detroit, we are going to build our own cars from scratch plus own the distribution network. During a recession and a cleantech backlash.
- SpaceX – if NASA can do it, so can we! It ain’t rocket science.
- Firefox – we are going to build a better web browser, even though 90% of the world’s computers already have a free one built in. One guy will do most of the work.
- Twitter – it is like email, SMS, or RSS. Except it does a lot less. It will be used mostly by geeks at first, followed by Britney Spears and Charlie Sheen.”
And so it goes, we have something that is proven, 20 years of profits, lots of experience, great people, lot of fun, positive dynamic people, from a place of Integrity and gratitude!!!
Contact us about how to get started
I was writing the other day about How to be Happy, and discovered from Earl Nightingale, that striving for a “worthy ideal” was basically his definition of it.
How Happy was I yesterday when I got a sign showing me I was going in the right direction and had made the right decision? Not only was it a “you are doing the right thing” moment, but that “you are doing it the right way”, with Integrity!
I had read an email and was grateful for its content, a mature assessment of what we needed to do and the actions to achieve it, no threats or hard close, just good stuff.
Then I got another message “It ends with passive income and a happy life. What can we do to help this cause?”
I got on a call with this guy and the guy who sent the other email. I promptly cut myself off and wondered wha happened, so I got on with the dinner and house work. Turned out to be a good thing after all. Another lesson? Everything happens for a reason! You just won’t necessarily understand why! Go with it.
Summarising the conversation later, I realised why I do what I do and How I want to do it and I am going to be ruthless in pursuing ONLY people who behave with “Integrity”. And that was the keyword of the conversation:
- “Building on Integrity”
- “To Help”
- “Change the world”
- “$500 for a business like this is nothing!”
The next “Eureka” moment was in the statement:
“Why has no one told me about this business before?”
or you could ask, Why has no one talked to this guy before?
It could be because he was on a “Chicken list” because people were afraid to talk to him because “he couldn’t be interested”, maybe because he is already well to do, or dedicated to some cause, or just to scared to talk to him. And we have all done it, filtered our list based on what we think he thinks!!!
“This may not be for you, but maybe you would know someone who could be the leader we are looking for, or they might know this person, but because of the way the compensation plan is structured, everyone succeeds!”
To be honest, these type of guys, men (or women) of integrity, gratitude and vision, are “few and far between”, but I am determined now not to compromise and seek out just these characteristics.
It is so rewarding to deal with people like this. I had been at a funeral the day before, an end of life and this day was like a birth, a new beginning and this is a feeling I want everyday.
At a time when my confidence in my own 9-5 business was waning, to meet a guy who talks about “looking at his options for a 5 year plan for him and his family” reminded me that this is precisely what I am working on. My son finishes school, maybe he goes to College, that is 5 years. I never want to go back to the day job, ten years out now and I love it, just need to add more money in the bank! People like this make me feel that I am going the right direction, with the right people:
“The progressive realisation of a worthyideal”. Working towards something worthwhile.
Now to “Attract” more of these people, wherever they are in the world!