Archive for ◊ October, 2008 ◊

Author:
• Friday, October 31st, 2008

Just back from the gym. I’ve been much better about getting to the gym lately, something I usually let slip when work gets heavier and time is short.  I’ve been there 3 days each week for the last three weeks, which is super good for me.  My goal is to exercise at home the other two weekdays and also on the weekend.  I was better about that this week, but not so great previous weeks.  Hopefully the trend will continue. :)

Even though it takes a chunk out of my day, I think exercising everyday serves several big purposes:

  1. Adds discipline, routine, and structure to the day, just like a work day in a office.
  2. Serves as an outlet for stress which inevitably builds up. 
  3. In conjunction with eating right and being mindful about health, it keeps you fitter and healthier – which ultimately adds time to your schedule – higher productivity, less sick/blah time, more motivation.
  4. During the time I’m exercising, I find my mind planning, coming up with new ideas, solving problems, etc.  I frequently record these thoughts on my phone for future reference, so it’s actually very productive time.

Thought control has a lot to do with discipline.  I hear that sneaky voice in my head saying, “Just stay home and work today. It’s just one day and you have a lot of stuff to do.”  I’ve been listening to that voice way too much lately.  Of course, I always have a lot of stuff to do.  Getting it done is another story.  I’m hoping that maintaining the discipline to exercise regularly (and talking back to that nasty voice) will keep me moving forward towards business goals and discipline, too.

Keeping it real,

Debbie

Author:
• Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Twitter is social networking site with a couple of twists:

  1. Your posts are limited to 140 characters, so they’re short and sweet.
  2. You can “follow” whomever you want in order to “eavesdrop” on their conversations.  You can meet lots of new people simply by following the other side of the conversation. (You have to see it in action to really get it.)

To get started,

  1. Go to Twitter.com and sign up for an account.  Consider using your real name.  You might also use a user name tied to your business.  If you’ll be using it to market you business (along with personal conversations, since this should be the “real” you), keep it professional or catchy.  Although you can change your username, you’d probably rather avoid it.
  2. During the sign up process, you’ll be offered an opportunity to have Twitter search your e-mail account for friends.  Since you can pick and choose, it would be a good idea to do it to get a jump on followers. (You can also do it later if you’d rather skip it for now.)
  3. After signing up, go to your profile and upload a picture (they’ll crop it for you).  Pictures make posts more interesting and you more memorable.  Also in your profile, you can choose a pre-worked design to add a tad of originality.  You can change it later. Also in your profile, you can enter your website address which will appear on your Twitter page.
  4. Go ahead and Tweet something (that’s the short message which lets everyone know what you’re doing).
  5. Next, you want to find people to follow.  Try the Search link at the bottom of the Twitter home page and enter a topic you’re interested in.  If you find any interesting conversations, consider following them.  (You can always stop following later.)  What blogs do you follow online?  Do those bloggers have a Twitter presence?  Search for the names and see what you come up with.  Find resource sites about Twitter; follow them.  The “big” guys probably won’t follow you back, but the smaller guys probably will because they’re trying to increase their network just like you. 

Just start following and learning.  It gets addictive! (And I’ve only just started!) And download the Twitter Handbook! (Just sign up. It’s free.)

Keeping it real,

Debbie

Category: Social  | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I’m happily planning away all day, getting lots of stuff done.  No stress, just more stuff to do.

And then the school bus arrives.  And the stress starts.  Supper’s already in the oven, but they’re STARVING right now and give me no rest.  But I refuse to let them fill up on candy.  I give them a small snack and try to shoo them outside.  The home line rings.  Before I finish with that, the cell phone rings (a business call I’ve been playing tag with).  I run outside for some quiet since it’s the only place with no kids (yet). Of course, they find me, shouting another snack request, despite my frantic, futile hand motions that I’m on the phone.

With supper a little early tonight, I haven’t even started down the homework path yet.    No more work  until bedtime! 😐

Keeping it real,

Debbie

Author:
• Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Getting a website or a blog up and running can be time-consuming.  But it can also be done quite quickly.  The choice is up to you.  Here’s the fast way:

  1. Sign up for hosting and (free) domain name with Bluehost.com.
  2. If you got your domain elsewhere, change the domain name servers to point to your new hosting. (They have help pages to help with this.) (If you got your free domain with Bluehost, I imagine you can skip this step.)
  3. Go to your Control Panel at Bluehost.com.  Scroll down to click on Fantastico (smiley face icon).
  4. In the left navigation, click on WordPress under Blogs.
  5. On the WordPress page, click “New Installation.”
  6. Fill in eight blanks (three are already populated and one doesn’t need to be).  Choose an admin login and password.  “Sitename” and “Description” will appear as the main name and tag line on your new blog, but they can be changed later via the WordPress Admin. Only change “Install in directory” if you’re adding this blog to an existing website.
  7. Click Install. 
  8. Voila!  You’re done!  Go see your blog and start posting! 
Category: Blogging, Technical Stuff  | Tags: ,  | One Comment
Author:
• Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Ok, your grandma probably doesn’t need a website, but, if you’re starting a business, whether based at home or not, you’ll need a website.

It’s really much easier than you might think to get a site up and running, especially with the right tools. 

One thing to think about when selecting a hosting provider is their ability to help you install applications on your site.  About a year ago, I read an article which mentioned Bluehost.com as a decent (and relatively cheap!) hosting provider who also gave you Fantastico installations (automated installations which make it very easy and quick to set up and add stuff to your website).  So I checked it out and signed up to give it a try. 

Pros:

  • Unlimited domain names (for my unlimited businesses! Ha!)
  • Unlimited space and transfer
  • Fantastico installations for WordPress and Joomla, which I use the most
  • Free domain name with sign-up, so don’t get your domain first – Get it when you sign up so it’s free. (I didn’t know that, so I ended up paying for this domain name on top of hosting.)

Questions:

  • I read reviews that said their uptime was 99.5%+, but is it really?  With some many “unlimited” features, how do they do it?
  • I also read that customer support was good and quick, but I won’t be able to tell until I run into a problem.
  • I read one review that mentioned minor e-mail delivery problems.  I ran into that with another host a while ago and it wasn’t fun. I hope it doesn’t happen here.

From start to functioning blog (not perfect looking, but perfectly functioning), was one hour through Bluehost with Fantastico.  That’s hard to beat. (Read the step-by-step how.)

Category: Technical Stuff  | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I’m excited.  For the past year, I’ve been trying to figure out how I can market online for all of my businesses without developing a split personality.  I thought I would have to have multiple logins and profiles, each for a separatebusiness, and only post what was applicable to that specific business.  Where would I find the time?  Where would I find the creative energy to write under so many different hates?  The “experts” tell you to approach social marketing as yourself – just be yourself, be real – and the word will get out.  I couldn’t figure out to do that and still be authentic.

But this is simple.  I can just be who I am.  I’m a Home-Based CEO struggling to make multiple businesses work. (OK, no arguments about doing ONE thing great rather than to many things mediocre – I’m dealing with that issue. :)) With this site – The Home-Based CEO.com – I can relate what I’m doing to make those businesses work, how I promote online, what deals I find to help my business at home, how I juggle household duties with work time, etc., etc.  And I can do it all in one place, rather than trying to maintain six different marketing plans.

Every home-based CEO must face similar issues, right? Prioritization, time management, juggling multiple hats of parent/spouse/CEO.  What struggles and conflicts are you facing and how are you handling them?  Are you looking for some service which another home-based CEO might be able to provide? 

This site is all about keeping it real.  Working from home is not a magic ticket to riches.  It’s working. Any home-based business opportunity which promises magical riches in months is a scam, or, at best, exaggerating the truth.  The Home-Based CEO will let you see the real world of home-based business and how it IS possible to be successful, sometimes wildly successful (which is everyone’s dream, of course). 

I hope that three years from now, I’ll be updating this blog with descriptions of the beaches I’m looking at from my month-long vacations (which are tax-deductible because they’re working vacations).

Keeping it real,

Debbie