3 Steps To Financial Contentment Through Entrepreneurship
Today's USA Today reports that people are cutting down on everything from gourmet coffee to designer jeans in order to save money during these challenging economic times. But these days, it takes more than cheap coffee and jeans to build a comfortable nest egg.
It takes good old entrepreneurship. And the more I work with Indie Business owners from all walks of life, the more persuaded I am that there are specific things entrepreneurs must do to maximize the chances of achieving the financial contentment that comes with using our God-given talents and gifts to generate income in our a business of our own. Here are 3 of them.
1. Blog About Business Related Stuff You Like. Now you know what a fan I am of blogging, not only because it's fun, but because it's good for business. My blogs are an integral part of my marketing strategy, so the business pays for all expenses associated with it.
1. When I record a video, it's a deductible business expense to get my nails done and face made up.
2. When I blog about a book I like and offer free copies to readers, the publisher sends me free copies to give away and I keep one for myself.
3. When I travel on location for videos, trade shows or speaking engagements, all of the costs are deductible business expenses, plus I squeeze in a few business related meals at some great restaurants.
If you dont have a blog, join me on Thursday, March 6 for my free Indie Business Group Coaching Session: "Blogging For Business And Bucks: How Blogging Can Help Your Business Make More Money While You Have More Fun." Click here for details.
2. Pay Yourself Just Enough To Cover Your Living Expenses. I have to say it again — even if you havea full time job, you need a business of some kind these days. With a properly structured business, you can pay yourself enough salaray to cover your mortgage, rent, gas, utilities and food. The rest can be used to grow your business, and a lot of it can be deducted as legitimate business expenses pursuant to the Tax Code.
Even if all you have is an ebay or etsy site, you need something to help you keep more of the money you make. With a business, you can use the income to create an employee corporate health plan even if you are the only employee. You can also pay your health insurance expenses through the business (and many employer plans don't have pre-existing condition exclusions which is important for baby boomers). Using a single phone line for business and personal calls allows you to deduct a portion of the phone bill as a business expense.
3. Publish Newsletters, Books And Other Educational Products. When Indie Beauty Nework member Jameel Nolan (pictured) of Kandle Indulgence in Alpharetta, Georgia, was looking for a way to boost her income, she saw quick results with the publication of an online newsletter and a new e-book. "Candle sales were OK, but not nearly what I needed them to be to start generating a profit. After 5 years in business, I was about to throw in the towel," Jameel says.
It was at that point in October 2007 when Jameel called me. We spent a few hours in consultation and Jameel joined the Indie Beauty Network. At my urging, she started publishing a monthly email newsletter. Additionally, she formatted and published her e-book, "The Easy Way To Making Soy Candles," and quickly started selling it at her website and in the newsletter. After just three months (December, January and February), Jameel has sold 15 copies of her book at $22.95 (that's a special price so grab it while you can!) each. She also landed a valuable new wholesale account.
"My income tripled in just one quarter!," Jameel says with a smile.
The e-book has also enhanced Jameel's customers' appreciation of her as an expert candle maker. For example, one customer who teaches candle making classes said, "Your e-book is excellent! Very informative and professionally done. After all my years of teaching, very few books give detailed information the way yours does. I will put it on my website and refer to it in my classes."
Jameel has only begun to see the benefits of adding a newsletter and publishing a book. As buying customers refer her book to others, sales will increase. Meanwhile, Jameel makes more money without having to do additional work. This gives her more time to focus on making great candles and not stressing so much about selling them.