Becoming An Entrepreneur

Becoming An Entrepreneur

So you want to become an entrepreneur.  Why?  Do you think that you will be able to work less than you do at your JOB?  Do you think that you will make tons of money, because after all that’s what you see online – all those pictures of people with big houses and fancy cars?  Is it real?  Well, some of it might be, but becoming an entrepreneur takes work.  Fear often keeps us rooted to a career that we can’t stand.

For you to have the courage and desire in you to succeed as an entrepreneur is a unique and exciting thing. Not many people have the guts to leave the corporate world and make something of themselves on their own – much less online.

That may be because it’s a viable business opportunity that very few people understand. They know there are websites online and they see people making money, but they have no idea how to get from step A to step B.

It doesn’t matter what your reasons are for pursuing this path. Maybe you are out of work and looking for a job in an economy that has none to offer. Perhaps you’re a stay at home parent who would like to contribute to the household finances. Or maybe you’re retired but just not yet ready to quit being productive!

One thing is for sure. That old saying, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail” is true.

So that’s what you’re going to start with – the planning elements that go into building a business like this.

Shiny New Object Syndrome

Have you heard this term before?  The shiny new object syndrome is like a ferocious beast that chases all new work at home entrepreneurs. It feeds off of your desire to be making money FAST and EASY and it’s something you don’t want to become addicted to.

You may start off with this very eBook that you’re reading now – and then later today someone in a forum mentions that they made $1,019 in just 24 hours with XYZ info product.

Before you know it, your eyes glisten, your mouth waters, and the shiny new object syndrome has taken root.  You’ve whipped out your credit card and ordered it – instantly becoming that much more in debt before ever implementing a single step from this guide.

You’re not alone if you’ve succumbed to this disease of mindset.

But you have to nip it in the bud before it gets out of control.

In most cases, the people suffering from this affliction don’t even take action on a regular basis. They simply buy, read, analyze and then buy the next shiny new object that gets in their line of sight.  In some cases they don’t even read or analyze their first product before succumbing to the lure of the next and their file folders begin to bulge with information just collecting data dust.

When you are online you’re going to be bombarded with new things that make your mouth water or your wallet itch. They will come from a myriad of places, such as:

· Forum posts where people you’re learning right alongside with rave about new products coming out.
· Email autoresponders from those you’ve signed up with – maybe for a freebie.
· Ads you see in sidebars on someone’s blog.
· Reviews you read from seemingly honest marketers.
· Google results as you go online to search for information about making money online.
· Word of mouth as you befriend others on the same journey.

However, there are just a few problems with the things I listed above.

With forums, you need to know that not all posts are created equal. There’s a lot of the “buddy system” roaming around online. This is when a group of friends agrees to post for one another whenever they launch a new product.

They may call it a “mastermind group.” Not all mastermind groups are like this, but some are. So let’s say Bob has a new product about List Building. One of the people in his group, we’ll call him Joe, goes into a forum and posts a question such as, “Does anyone know where I can get a good list building product?”

Then the rest of the group goes in to post that they’re using Bob’s new product and it’s absolutely amazing!

What happens is YOU see a huge list of people who are excited about this product, but the sad thing is, it’s just a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” situation.  Maybe the product has merit, maybe not.

Are ALL posts like this shady and unseemly? Of course not! But how will you know? The best thing to do is to protect your wallet and let the reviews simmer for awhile. If general feedback in multiple places is that it’s good, then maybe give it a try, if it fits in with your identified niche.  Be selective.

With email autoresponders, you’re lured into a list with an amazing freebie. Maybe you bought the person’s product and it was fantastic. Unfortunately, what many marketers do to make money online is called “list swapping.”

This means they’ll promise to promote someone else’s product if the other person promises to promote for them. So Bob might agree to promote Joe’s product if Joe promotes to his list.  This is not necessarily a bad thing if you know, like and trust “Bob” and his judgement.

With ads that you see in sidebars, you have to be careful. You might be on the webpage of a trusted marketer and see an ad that recommends a new product. You go and buy it and it’s pure trash.  What you need to remember is that it could be just an AdSense ad that the blogger or site owner doesn’t personally endorse. If you’re wondering about it, always contact the site owner and ask if they are personally promoting the product or if it’s just an AdSense ad.

Sometimes you’re going to encounter a review for a product. You see it being promoted so you type into Google, “XYZ product name review.” A whole list of entries pops up and you read them – they’re all glowing testimonials about the benefits of the product.

That doesn’t mean it’s true. Some people are so desperate to make money online that they give a positive review to anything that’s released – especially items where they’ll make a nice 50% commission.

Look for signs that the reviewer actually implemented the product. Is the review simply stating facts that can be found on the sales page? If so, it probably means they haven’t personally looked it over.

Sometimes Google results can be tricky to new entrepreneurs. Let’s say you go online and type in “make money online” to the Google search engine. You may think that the first several results would be the most beneficial, since their sites are ranked first in the search engine.

But look closely on the upper left or right corner, you’ll see a tiny word that says, “Ads.” These people are paying for that position.

Lastly, you’re going to hear about products through word of mouth. If you have a friend online who you trust completely, then by all means go ahead and take their advice.

But if you’re at a seminar and there’s a buzz going around about a new guru’s product, be careful that you’re not just listening to a bunch of people kissing up to someone who has gained a bit of celebrity in this small circle.

If you are still thinking about pursuing a career as an entrepreneur, there are many who have gone before you successfully.  Don’t give up your dream, but plan carefully.

To your success

Fran Watson

P.S.  click here for your copy of  Your Work at Home Business Planner

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Life Is A Highway

Life Is A Highway

Have you ever felt that your life is like travelling on a freeway, rushing madly at full speed from one place to another with no chance to slow down?

When I thought about what I wanted to share with you the words that came to mind were “Life is a highway.”  Words made famous by Tom Cochrane in 1991 – “Life’s like a road that you travel on, When there’s one day here and the next one gone.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3sMjm9Eloo

I thought about how life stretches out before us when we are children and we begin our journey with our first few steps….and then we hit our first roadblocks.  Chairs or tables are in the way of our progress and we negotiate our first detour.  However, we don’t let anything stop us – we have a positive attitude.  We are on an adventure to learn about life.

As we continue on our journey we find that some of our paths are straight and smooth, and it is easy to be positive.  However many of our paths may come with potholes and speed bumps, perhaps things like failing a class or being bullied by older kids.  This may cause us to become more cautious as we journey on and we begin to approach curves in the road with trepidation instead of anticipation, worrying about what is around the corner – will there be road construction or open road.

Bumps and Detours

Some of the various bumps and detours of my life include – starting school at 4 (the first year of  kindergarten), skipping grade 4, being bullied in grade 8, moving at age 13 after my first year of high school to a small town from a big city, getting married at 18 and moving away to Ottawa, starting a new job, having my first child at 23, my second 2 years later, separating while pregnant with child #3, moving to a new home, getting back together, getting pregnant again, having child #4, starting another new job, separating for the final time when my son was 3, starting a new job, starting university at age 38, graduating from university 13 years later, starting a new job, kids all leaving home, and finally semi-retiring.

There were definitely places where I could say my life was “under construction” and times when I had to detour and even places where I took a wrong turn and had to backtrack.  What got me through was an attitude of gratitude and a willingness to learn from my experiences.

Highways were designed as a means to get from one place to another easier and faster, and at times our lives may begin to resemble the actual highways as we rush from place to place, activity to activity, jockeying for position.

Looking for a Way Out

If you find yourself on this crowded thoroughfare going faster and faster, perhaps it is time to look for an exit.  Perhaps it is time to get off the highway and take a drive on a back road where there is more nature than traffic, where life slows down to an easy pace.

If we are constantly hurrying and pushing everyone on the road we may arrive at our destination an absolute wreck with health problems such as high blood pressure and heart attacks or strokes.  We miss so much as we jockey for positions, trying to be first in line that we fail to see the beauty of the world around us.  We miss the rainbows and the sunrises and the sunsets and the blue sky.  We just see people in front of us and we don’t really even “see” them as people, just as obstacles to get around.  And really, does it matter if it takes us a few minutes longer to get where we are going?

People used to take Sunday drives as a way to relax and see what was going on, or to go to visit friends and relatives who lived close by.  Cars didn’t go very fast or far at times. Now we travel so fast we don’t see anything and often when we reach our destination we wonder how we got there as our minds have been racing ahead to what we have to do.  Have you ever felt like that?

We have become a nation of “doers” and not “be-ers”.  We complain that we “don’t have time to see a friend, take on a project, write a speech, but the reality is, we do.  We have 24 hours in every day.  We simply need to make different choices.  We can choose to make the time to visit a friend, to help out an organization or to write a speech.  We can choose to have a poor attitude or an attitude of gratitude.  One makes life more difficult, the other much easier.

My “attitude of gratitude” is what got me through a lot of my life’s roadblocks and periods of re-construction.  Being thankful for big and little things like: my in-laws who supported me no matter what, who fed me and the kids, who did our laundry when my water was frozen; my parents who were always there for me and the kids and who I could always call on when I needed anything; my mom and my girlfriend taking my kids for 5 weeks so that I could go to Waterloo to take 3 courses one summer, being able to use a neighbour’s fax machine when I needed to fax my assignments in, kids going to bed without a fuss, a car that worked, a job to pay my bills, friends to visit and talk to, healthy kids, money to pay for my courses, determination and discipline to complete my assignments, people who believed in me, learning about computers, joining a computer club where I met Joe (my boyfriend since 2000), meeting new friends, being able to walk across the stage to accept my diploma with my whole family in attendance, joining Toastmasters.

I could go on and on and on about the many things I am grateful for and each day I try to add to my list – the blues of the sky, the shapes of the clouds, the different colours of the trees, the rain, the flowers, the grass, my house, my yard, ….

Life is a highway, full of potholes, speed bumps, traffic lights and miles of construction, but it is what you make of it and the attitude you bring makes it easy or hard.  If you are currently experiencing one of life’s little detours, I encourage you to practice an attitude of gratitude.  Slow down, take a look at the blessings in your life and see what you can gain from the experience.

Fran Watson

P.S. Check out White Label Perks for some info on slowing down in their Fantastic Retirement package – but check it out soon – it ends Jan 24th.

 

 

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Dealing With Stress

Stress is a part of our daily lives

A certain amount of stress or tension is healthy and necessary for everyone.  Without it special events would lose their excitement, jobs would be done without enthusiasm, relationships would be dull.  But the time may come when stress increases to the point of “strain”.  This can make it difficult to think straight, to control our emotions and can, in time, affect our physical well being.

Unemployment and job search can cause prolonged stress.  The most important thing to remember is that many daily situations are not inherently stressful.  Stress can be either positive or negative,  we are the ones who decide the role stress will play in our day.  Each of us has the power to decide how to interpret events.  What may cause severe stress for one person may cause mild or no stress for another.

Think of stress like your relatives. Some stresses, like some relatives, are more helpful than others, and while we can’t eliminate stress, it would be nice to control it when it drops in for a visit.  Think of exams, deadlines, running into exes, etc.  In order to control the physical and emotional consequences of stress, we need to be aware of how we react to stressful situations, and why.  This knowledge can help us develop coping strategies.

Danger Signals

When the oil light in your car flashes, would you consider putting a piece of tape over the light as a solution to the problem?  Not likely.  We recognize that it is a signal to which we must pay attention immediately.  If not, we fun the risk of serious engine damage.  And yet, that is what we often do when our own internal oil light goes on.  Taking an aspirin or making glib promises to ourselves that we will do something may mask the cause of our symptoms.  We fail to recognize the danger signals our body is sending.  I have talked to too many people who have not seen the danger signs of overworking or remaining in a toxic environment.

Negative Communication

Think over a typical day’s conversation.  How much do you complain or worry about things you have no control over – the weather, the storms, the traffic.  How many times do you start or end your day by listening to or watching the catastrophes on the news?  How many times do you think about all the things you have to accomplish and how short the day is?  Studies have shown that we speak to ourselves negatively more often than positively.

Negative self-talk can affect us in some pretty damaging ways. Studies have linked negative self-talk with higher levels of stress and lower levels of self-esteem. This can lead to decreased motivation as well as greater feelings of helplessness.Jun 23, 2019  https://www.verywellmind.com/negative-self-talk-and-how-it-affects-us-4161304

Have you ever noticed that you feel how you think?  That you are what you say?  How many times have you said, “Oh, I have a terrible headache” when it is only just a little headache and a little while later the headache seems much worse, so you say it again and before you know it you have to lie down or go home because it is so bad.  What if yo said, “I feel pretty good”.  Your brain says, “Oh, I thought I had a headache, but I guess I don’t, so I will feel better now”.  Have you ever taken just a little more time to look better so you will feel better, for example, put on a little make up, worn a favourite shirt? Your brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined, so if you tell it you are feeling well, it will respond to that feeling.

Recharging Your Batteries

Before and after stress filled days we need to recharge our batteries.  We need time to recover from the inevitable ups and downs of everyday life.  We need to unplug ourselves.  Often we don’t spend the required time to just sit and think because we are so busy rushing to the next event or we worry about what other people might think.  Perhaps, like me, you heard “What will the neighbours think?” when you were growing up.  The reality is that they probably don’t care at all as they are too busy thinking about themselves.  Stop and say to yourself,
Who really cares?”

Meditation can help.  Meditation allows you to slow down and observe things around you without judgement.  Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment.  You can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858

Over time we have lost our ability to laugh, at ourselves, our situations, at others.  A hearty belly-laugh will take us a long way down the road to good health.  We we laugh, we are literally giving our internal organs a workout.  Pleasure affects our immune system and makes us healthier.  Laughter heals.  It is impossible to reach inside our bodies and massage our kidneys, but a good belly laugh can do that for us.

As children we laughed over 400 times a day, but as adults we have dropped to less than 15 times a day.  In school we were told to stop laughing, at home we were told to be quiet, and so as adults we often have difficulty regaining our sense of fun. When is the last time you laughed so hard you cried?  How did you feel afterwards?  Did you feel relaxed all over?  This happens because of the endorphins.  Hearty laughter increases our heart rate and respiratory activity.  Muscle tension is also released during laughter.  If we are not laughing, we are not really living.

Managing Priorities

Take some time to establish some personal priorities.  Decide which tasks and activities are most important to you.  What would you like to do to renew yourself and build up your positives?

Read this article by Dr. Melissa Brown to see how she turned herself around when she asked herself the question “What if it were easy?”

To reducing stress in your life, one step at a time.

Fran Watson

P.S.  If you feel intimidated by your life, check out Intimidation Crusher

 

 

 

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Positive Thinking Helps Reduce Stress

How Positive Thinking Helps Reduce Stress

Stress can come from directly from the situations in which we find ourselves, but it can also come from how we view those situations. Sometimes stress can come from how we look at things that don’t even directly affect us. As a result, learning to think positively can help reduce unnecessary stress in our lives. But, is it really that simple?

Ask “What Went Right?” As Well As “What Went Wrong?”

A 2011 study conducted at the university of Minnesota and published in The Academy of Management Journal found that just as positive events reduce stress, positive reflection can also reduce stress. The study recommended that emphasis not only be placed on avoiding negative events but also in encouraging positive events. It also suggests that positive reflection could reduce stress more than negative reflection.

In the currently predominating business culture, something going well is what is expected and most reflection occurs when something goes wrong. While this does help to identify areas of potential improvement, we could probably all stand to devote a little more time to looking at why things that worked did work. Not only would positive reflection help to improve services even when they are already working, it would also lead to less stressful environments.

Move On From Negative Experiences With Positive Ones

Stress is often caused by dwelling on things that have already come to pass. As a result, a significant amount of stress can be avoided by simply not thinking about things that have already happened, especially if they didn’t go well. But, is it enough to just forget?

According to a 2010 study published in the journal Cognition and Emotion, people have an easier time moving on from negative experiences if they have a positive experience that they can use to help replace the negative experience in their minds.

A further 2009 study published in the journal Behavior Research and Therapy found that while distraction is more mentally beneficial than rumination on a negative experience, it is not as beneficial as more positive interventions. Similarly, other studies have found that while distraction causes some stress relief, it’s effects do not last long after the distraction ends.

Distraction can be a tempting method to move on from stress but that introduces the white bear effect. This principal suggests that if we are told not to think of a white bear, that is exactly what we are going to think of. Telling ourselves not to think of the white bear necessarily brings the white bear back to the front of our minds.

Accept Necessary Stresses

It’s important to realize that while studies have found that things like ignoring our stresses or thinking positively can help us to avoid stress, these methods should only be used when you are stressing over something that isn’t important like regretting having said the wrong thing to the cashier at the supermarket, or something that has already happened and that we cannot change like making a mistake on a form at work last week. It’s not a good idea to try to ignore or avoid stress that comes from the need to make decisions or respond to an unforeseen event in home or work life. That kind of stress needs to be dealt with and managed but will never simply go away.

Stress is a natural and healthy part of life and whenever a stressful situation occurs in which we still have time to make the right decision or solve a problem you should meet that opportunity had on rather than trying to ignore your problems or find your happy place.

The tools discussed in this article are meant to be used to address stress when a situation occurs. No meaningful method will remove stress from your life.

To reducing stress in your life.

Fran

P.S.  Pick up your free copy of Shining Through Their Struggles here

 

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Laughter Can Improve Your Health

Humor, Laughter And Play For Health

The idea that you can use humor, laughter, and play to promote your health probably seems too simple to be true. However, it really is true and that simple.

A sense of humor, laughter and play all have a part in keeping us healthy. There are benefits to increasing humor, laughter, and play in your life that will affect you mentally, physically and socially.

Humor And Laughter

Have you ever heard a belly laugh of a young child and been able to resist smiling in return? The sound of a roaring laugh is far more contagious than a sniffle, sneeze, or cough.

When laughter is shared between people, it binds them together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter is beneficial physically, mentally and socially.

Some of the physical benefits include:

• Boosted Immunity
• Lower stress hormones
• Preventing heart disease
• Relaxing your muscles
• Decreasing pain

Some of the mental benefits include:

• Easing anxiety and fear
• Improving mood
• Adding joy and zest to life
• Stress relief
• Enhancing resilience

Some of the social benefits include:

• Enhancing teamwork
• Helps to diffuse conflict
• Promotes group bonding
• Strengthens relationships
• Attracts others to us

What About Play

Play is an important part of ensuring you stay healthy. We are often encouraged to make sure our children play, and are told of the benefits to children being out playing. However, what we often forget is that it is just as important for adults to incorporate play into their lives as it is for children.

There is no age limit to the advantages of play. Physical play is important for the elderly to help delay or prevent cognitive decline. While the studies are still in the early stages, the studies that have been done have shown that physical play definitely plays a part in preventing cognitive decline.

There is also no situation that is too serious for play to be included. Playing at work is essential for getting through stressful situations.

Play gives people the emotional distance to rally from a hard day. This is true for people who have a dangerous job, such as a police officer, as well as for people who work in an office or from home.

When I worked in an office, I had several “toys” that helped relieve stress.  You can buy them in the dollar store and they help change your perception.  I would often offer them to my clients to look through.  They would look at some of the things in my office, but they were now changed.  It’s particularly amusing when you look at someone’s face.

Some of the benefits of play include:

• Stress relief
• Improved brain function
• Boosted creativity and productivity
• Improved relationships
• Helps you feel younger

Play is also great for relationships

It brings joy, vitality, and resilience to our relationships and also helps us learn how to trust one another and feel safe.

How Laughter Can Improve Your Overall Health

Laughter can be infectious. When you hear the sound of laughter, you can’t help but laugh yourself. When laughter is shared among others, it causes a binding between people and increases both intimacy and happiness.

It is well known that laughter triggers healthy bodily changes and healthy changes in the mind. Laughter can increase your energy level, lessen pain, strengthen the immune system, and protect you from stress. Laughter is the best medicine because it is free, fun, and easy.

Laughter is Strong Medicine

Laughter can be a strong antidote to conflict, pain, and stress. There is nothing else that works more dependably or quicker to bring your body and mind into balance than laughter. The use of humor can lighten your burdens, connect you to others, inspire your hope, and keep you focused, alert, and grounded.

With this ability to renew your health and heal you, laughter can be a great resource for whatever problems you may have. It can also strengthen your relationships, and can support your emotional and physical health and well being.

How Is Laughter Good For Your Health?

Laughter can do many things for your health. These include the following:

• Laughter can increase your immune system. It can decrease the level of stress hormones within the body and increase the number of immune cells and antibodies you have, which will help you become more resistant to disease.

• Laughter is relaxing. A wonderful laugh can relieve you of stress and physical tension so that your muscles can be relaxed for up to 45 minutes following laughing.

• Laughter releases endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s feel-good hormones. When your endogenous endorphins are released, you feel a sense of well-being and a reduction in the sensation of pain.

• Laughter can help the heart. Laughter can increase the ability of the blood vessels to nourish all parts of the body. It can increase your blood flow, which in turn can help prevent heart attacks and other types of heart diseases.

The Overall Benefits Of Laughter

Laughter is known to have many health benefits, including physical, emotional, and social benefits.
Some of these include the following:

• Decreases your stress levels
• Increases your immunity
• Relaxes your muscles
• Protects your heart
• Lessens pain
• Lessens fear and anxiety
• Relieves stress
• Adds joy to your life
• Enhances your mood
• Improves your resilience
• Attracts other people to us
• Promotes the bonding among group members
• Improves teamwork
• Strengthens relationships

Laughter Can Help Your Emotional Health

Laughter simply makes a person feel good. This good feeling persists even when you are done laughing. Laughter helps you maintain an optimistic, positive outlook so you can better get through situations of loss, disappointments, and other difficult situations.

Laughter is more than just a protection against pain and sadness. It gives you the strength and courage to find other sources of hope and meaning. Even when you find yourself in the most difficult of times, laughter or even a smile can take you far when it comes to feeling better. Laughter really is a bit contagious. When you hear someone else laugh, it primes your brain and sets you up to join that person in laughing, too.

Laughter And Mental Health

Laughter is associated with better mental health. Some things laughter can do to improve your mental health include the following:

• Laughter allows you to relax. A good laugh can lessen stress and increase your energy levels so that you can remain focused and get more things accomplished.
• Laughter can lessen distress. It is hard to feel sad, anxious, or angry when you are instead laughing.
• Laughter shifts your perspective. It allows you to see things in a less threatening and more realistic light. Being humorous helps create a psychological distance between you and stressful events so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed.

Laughter Has Social Benefits

When you use humor and engage in playful communication with others, your relationships become stronger and you trigger positive emotions and an emotional connection with those you are laughing with. A positive bond develops—one that can act as a powerful buffer against disappointment, disagreements, and stress. When you laugh with others, this is a more powerful thing than when you laugh alone.

How To Create More Opportunities To Laugh

There are things you can do to increase your chances of laughing. Here are some you might try:

• Attend a comedy club
• Watch something funny on television
• Watch videos of funny animals there are tons on YouTube, or just add the search term “funny” into the YouTube search bar
• Read the comics in the newspaper
• Be with people who are funny
• Share a funny story or joke with another
• Read a funny book
• Sponsor a game night with your friends
• Play with your pet
• Play with children
• Do something you think is silly
• Engage in activities you consider fun

Laughter can do a lot to help you feel better on a physical, emotional, and cognitive level. Don’t be afraid to share a good laugh with others for all around better health.

To increasing laughter in your life

Fran Watson

P.S.  To pick up a free copy of Shining Through Their Struggles, click here.

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Stressed??

STRESS

Stress is part of our everyday lives.  A certain amount of stress or tension is healthy and necessary for everyone. Without it, special events would lose their excitement, jobs would be done without enthusiasm, relationships would be dull.  But the time may come when stress increases to the point of ‘strain’.  This can make it difficult to think straight, to control our emotions and can, in time, affect our physical well-being.

Unemployment and job search can cause prolonged stress. The most important thing to remember is that many daily situations aren’t inherently stressful.   Stress can be either positive or negative, it is we who choose the role stress will play in our day.  Each of us has the power inside to decide how to interpret stressful events.  What may cause severe stress for one person may cause mild or no stress to another.  Stress is like relatives; nearly all of us have some.  Nobody has the same relatives; nobody has the same stress.  Some stresses, like some relatives are more helpful than others, and while we can’t eliminate stress – to do so would make life pretty boring – it would be nice to control it when it drops in for dinner.

stressed

In order to control the physical and emotional consequences of this stress we need to be aware of how we react to stressful situations.  This knowledge can then help us to develop coping strategies to alleviate the physical and emotional reactions to stress.  These coping strategies can improve the quality of our life.  As human beings, one of the great built-in features we come equipped with is our own internal feedback systems that lets us know when we’ve been under too much strain.  Our bodies will signal us with an ache or a pain.  If we pay attention, things will settle down, but when we ignore these signals, we risk a long-term or serious problem.

Warnings

When the oil light in our car flashes, would you consider putting a piece of tape over the light as a solution to the problem?  Hopefully not.  We recognize that it is a signal to which we must pay attention immediately.  If not, we run the risk of serious engine damage.  And yet, that is what we often do when our own internal oil light goes on.  Taking an aspirin or making glib promises to ourselves that we will do something may mask the cause of our symptoms.  We fail to recognize the danger signals our body is sending.

Given that we can, to a great extent, control our reactions to situations and not the situations themselves, it makes common sense that we should take control of our “reaction equipment”.  Studies have shown that 75% of our daily conversation is negative.

 

Think over a typical day’s conversation.  How much do you complain or worry about things you have no control over like the weather or storms that are not even close to us?  How many times do you start, or end, your day by listening to, or watching, the catastrophes on the news?  How many times do you think about all the things you have to get accomplished and how short the day is?  Why do we practice suffering?  We are going to suffer, but why rehearse?  We need to look for the positive in every situation.

Everything Begins With A Thought

Have you ever noticed that you feel how you think?  We are what we say? How many times have you said, “Oh, I have a terrible headache” and a little while later the headache seems to be worse, so you say it again and before you know it you have to go lie down or go home because it is so bad.  What if you said, “I feel pretty good”.  Your brain says, “Oh, I thought I had a headache, but I guess I don’t, so I guess I will feel better now.”  Sometimes when we are feeling a little low we put a little more make up on so that we look better and we take more care in how we dress.  Then someone tells us how good we look and we perk up a little and begin to actually feel better.

Many times we make our lives too complicated with too many choices.  We overreact to situations or people or to things that “might happen if”.  We need to find some way to gain resiliency and balance, to find the positive in every negative situation.  Before and after stress filled days, we need time to recharge our batteries.  Time to recover from the inevitable ups and downs of everyday life.  To recharge our batteries, we need to unplug ourselves.  If we can do this for fifteen minutes every other day, we can actually turn off our stress response and rejuvenate ourselves.

Often we don’t spend the required time to just sit and think because we are so busy rushing to the next event or we worry about what other people might think.  It’s as if we think we are the center of the universe and that everyone cares what we do.  This comes from some of the early messages we heard as a child, “What will the neighbours think?”  Stop and say to yourself, “Who really cares?”  You are the only one who can make you happy.  Pleasure affects our immune system and makes us healthier.

Laughter heals

Over time we have lost our ability to laugh, at ourselves, at situations, at others. A hearty belly-laugh will take us a long way down the road to good health.  When we laugh, we are literally giving our internal organs a workout.  It is very difficult to reach inside our bodies and massage our kidneys, but a good belly laugh can do that for us.

As children we laughed over 400 times a day, but as adults we have dropped down to less than 15 times a day.  In school we were told to stop laughing, at home we were told too be quiet and so as adults we have difficulty regaining our sense of fun.  Think of how good we feel after a hearty laugh.  Most of us sigh and feel relaxed all over.  This happens because of the endorphins.  Hearty laughter increases our heart rate and respiratory activity.  Muscle tension is also released during laughter.  If we are not laughing, we are not really living.

You can change your life.  You can develop skills and habits to reduce the stress in your life.  Read about how a number of women overcame their struggles to become successful entrepreneurs in this free book – Shining Through Their Struggles  

To reducing harmful stress in your life

Fran Watson

P.S.  Stay tuned for more tips on reducing stress

P.P.S.  Here are some tips to add more fun and laughter into your life.

How Can You Incorporate More Play, Laughter And Humor Into Your Life
Be more spontaneous: Being spontaneous helps you to get out of your head and away from your troubles.
Smile: Smiling is the beginning of laughter. A smile is also just as contagious as laughter is. When you experience something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling. Smile at everyone you pass in the street, you will feel happier just by sharing a smile, even with a stranger.
Watch comedy: Comedy shows, either live or on television or DVD are a great and effortless way to laugh more. There are tons of comedians to choose from, so there is something for everyone.
Count your blessings: By making a list of all the good things in your life, you will see all the reasons you have to smile. Making a list of all the good in your life will also help you focus more on the good and forget about the bad.
Spend time with fun, playful people: These are the people who find humor in everyday events. Their laughter is contagious. These are also the people who are more likely to be willing to play a game with you.
Dance whenever you can: It sounds silly. However, letting your body move gets your blood flowing and increases endorphins.
Set up a game night: Game nights take minimal effort and will encourage laughter, play, and emotional release. Playing games together is a great way to stay connected and engaged with your family and friends.

Incorporating more play, humor, and laughter into your life isn’t difficult and yet brings a multitude of benefits to your life.  Taking even just fifteen minutes, a day to implement some of the above tips into your life is enough that you will begin seeing the positive effects.

 

 

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Building Confidence

Steps to Confidence

Building confidence is a necessary exercise for many of us. If self-confidence does not come naturally, building it up takes deliberate, conscious effort. While no step-by-step program is perfect, following are some steps that may help you build up your sense of confidence.

Goals

Write them down. Make a list of your goals, long and short term, and then below each goal write the steps it will take to get there. For example, if one of your goals is to launch a website to earn money, your list might look like this:

Launch Website
a. Reserve domain
b. Set up hosting
c. Contact web designer and discuss layout
d. Write a short ebook as a promotional giveaway
e. Write content and newsletters for site to cover several months after launch

Whether it’s relationships, business ventures, or self-improvement, writing your goals and their necessary steps can make those goals much less formidable and much more doable. That alone helps you feel more confident in moving forward.

Stop Comparing

While it’s good to have aspirations toward self-improvement, constantly comparing yourself to the best of the best in your realm can get discouraging. For example, if you’d like to have a talk radio show or Podcast, you might be inspired by high-profile radio hosts; being inspired by them is fine, but beating yourself up because you are not exactly like they are – complete with millions of listeners – will only discourage you.

Build a Positive Self-Image

It seems that when you are just certain you are going to fail before you try something, you are more likely to fail when you do try it. If you have a negative self-image and think you just can’t achieve anything, it’s likely that you won’t – thus underscoring this false impression about yourself. Stop listening to the negative inner voice and instead tell yourself that you can achieve your goals and, even if you fail, it’s not because you are a bad person or because you didn’t try.

Get to Know Yourself

This means spending some quiet time thinking or writing in a journal – some quiet time by yourself in which you assess your strengths, weaknesses, and personality. What are your character traits? What quirks and talents do you have? Pretend like you are being interviewed and that the interviewer is trying to get to know you. What questions would they ask?

Turn off the Media

For a while, it might be good to turn off the TV and put down the magazines. The perfect-people images found in the media can be discouraging for those who are struggling with self-confidence.

Build Confidence in Interpersonal Relationships – Top Tips

For some people, self-confidence with regard to personal relationships is challenging. You may find that you have confidence in many other areas of your life – your business, talents, and so forth – but lack the confidence to have successful personal relationships. For some, this is due to past experiences – once bitten, twice shy, so to speak. For others, it just seems to be how they’re wired; they just can’t be the social butterfly they wish they could be.

If any of this describes you, read on for some tips and suggestions that may help.

Recognize You’re Not Alone

Pretending like you don’t have trouble with confidence is not going to help. You’d be surprised at how many people who seem naturally born confident actually took time and effort to learn the art of self-confidence in their relationships. If there weren’t a growing number of people in need of self-confidence, there wouldn’t be a growing field of confidence coaches and life coaches to help!

Consider Coaching

You might consider becoming a client of a confidence or life coach. These coaches specialize in helping people realize their potential, both professionally and personally. There’s no shame in seeking advice, whether from a friend or a professional.

Your Contribution

If you feel insecure when you think of your interpersonal relationships (or when you think of starting one), it might help to remember that you have something of value to contribute to that relationship. Lack of confidence may stem from a sense that relationships are only about you pleasing the other person, or getting him or her to like you. However, it’s important to realize that you have something to contribute to the relationship which will benefit the other person – you!

Flaws Happen

Remember that both you and the person with whom you are in a relationship have flaws. Everyone does. People who lack confidence in relationships tend to walk on eggshells, afraid they will say or do something to cause the other person to turn against them. But truthfully, someone who really likes or loves you is not going to ditch you just because you said one off-color thing or made one mistake. And if they do, you didn’t need them to begin with!

Silence the Negative Inner Voice

First, you have to recognize it – listen for a few days to your inner voice. What’s it saying? Do you hear, “You’re not good enough,” “No one would ever put up with you,” or “I just can’t go over and talk to him/her?” Once you begin to hear these thoughts, it’s time to take action and change them. Often, such negative self-talk is a habit and you don’t even realize you’re doing it. You have to forge new habits of positive self-talk instead. Remember that you have something to contribute to a relationship and the right person will be glad to have you as an addition to his or her life!

If you want to read some stories about people who overcame their struggles and developed their confidence, click here

To increased self confidence

Fran Watson

P.S.  Remember to pick up the ebook – Shining Through Their Struggles 

 

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Still Shining

Shining Through Their Struggles

Are you a work-from-home entrepreneur?  Do you struggle, wondering if you will be able to push through?  Do you think you are alone in this?  Then you will want to read this ebook.  Here you will find more than 25 women who have faced similar struggles and overcome them to run a successful business.  These women are members of Laptop Lifestyle YOUniversity.

Some of the members of the Laptop Lifestyle YOUniversity shared their stories and created a collaboration eBook called  “Shining Through Their Struggles” and it is ready now!  My story is on page 25.

As I read the stories, I was inspired, humbled, encouraged, and more.  Despite some tremendous odds, these women have succeeded in their dream of working from home and making a living.  From Angela Wills, who is the founder of Laptop Lifestyle YOUniversity to Connie Ragen Green, you too will be blown away by the amazing stories in this book.

I have worked with or conversed with many of the people whose stories you will read, Jennifer Burke of Mighty Marketing Mojo, Tara Alexandra Kachaturoff, Dr Renee Cohn Jones, Norma Esler, to name but a few.

You are probably thinking, this book is going to be expensive, because it has so much valuable information.  I have a great surprise for you…..you can get it for free for the next couple of weeks by clicking here.

You will be able to read through this ebook in an afternoon, but you will want to reread it many times.  You will have the opportunity to connect with these women through their offers and their websites.

I have been working from my kitchen table for the past 9 years, having left my day job in 2011.  I have been able to work from my mom’s apartment when she had to have carpal tunnel surgery and from her hospital room when she was in for some surgery, as well as from a picnic table in the sun.  I have even talked with a client in my car in a parking lot outside a restaurant.  As long as I have my cell phone and my computer, I’m good to go.

Over the years I have looked at expanding what I do and I have ventured into learning more about other on-line businesses, which is how I met some of the people whose stories you will read.  I actually met Angela Wills in person in her co-working space in Oshawa.  Some of the others I have met virtually in forums and zoom meetings.  Others I have met through their emails, and I look forward to meeting more of them in person.

I hope that you will grab this book right away and get to know some of these fabulous women through their stories and their websites.

Fran Watson

P.S.  Here is the link to the ebook  Shining Through Their Struggles

P.P.S.  There are lots of gifts and goodies inside this special ebook.

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Don’t Overspend This Christmas

The Spirit of Giving Should Not Produce Bankruptcies!

The holidays are the giving season, and all of us enjoy spreading holiday joy by supplying loved ones with gifts.  However, it is important to approach your holiday shopping with a firm budget in mind—and to abide by it.

Overspending can lead to a great deal of holiday stress and concern—as well as even more stress down the line when the credit card bills come due.  One of the most important things you can do to minimize the stress (and potential adverse financial impact) of the holidays is to develop a firm budget for gifts.  Even Santa Claus is careful enough to check his list twice!  You should do the same, making sure you have established a budget that fits your financial needs.

Don’t let holiday spending ruin the Christmas experience.  The holiday season should end with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne, not with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition!  Reduce your holiday stress by budgeting.

If you use Facebook and/or Instagram, you will probably appreciate these wonderful Christmas graphics 

Take a Break from the Holidays in Order to Enjoy Them

The holiday season can become all-encompassing.  Everywhere we turn, we encounter mistletoe, shiny wrapped gifts, decorated cookies and Christmas trees.  Sometimes, it just gets to be too much!

One of the best ways to reduce holiday stress is to simply “turn off” the holidays for a few hours.  Read a book that doesn’t feature reindeer.  Watch a movie in which no one wears a red suit.  Find a few quiet hours without a single caroler’s voice audible in the background.  Use whatever common stress-busters work best for you. Just make sure you set aside some time away from the holidays during the holidays!  Take some time to just relax.

Taking a break from the holidays can allow you to rejuvenate yourself.  When you emerge from your break, you will be able to approach the holiday season with a pleasant, less stressful disposition!

Essential oils can make a lovely Christmas gift and you can get 40% off with the coupon code Dec 2019.  Click here to find out more.

Here are some simple crafts you can do with your family.

4 Fun And Easy To Make Homemade Christmas Decorations
by: Rosie Fletcher
Homemade Christmas decorations are some of the most unique. They are also a lot of fun because you can enjoy them with your family. Below are 4 fun and easy to make homemade Christmas decorations:

Popcorn Stringing If you like strung popcorn, it’s really simple to make. Start with a big bowl of popcorn (unbuttered, of course) and string it piece by piece using a standard sewing needle and thread. Make sure there’s plenty of popcorn because, if you’re stringing it for garland, you’re going to need a lot.

Cranberry Stringing Much like the popcorn stringing method, many people used to string cranberries using a standard needle and thread. Again, make sure there’s plenty to go around if you’re going to use it as garland. Most importantly, and I know it’s tempting, don’t eat all the decorations. Save some for the Christmas tree.

Paper Chains One of the greatest memories of decorating for Christmas, as a child, has to be the traditional paper chains. Using green and red construction paper, cut horizontal strips of each color. Fold them into a circle and seal with tape. Scotch tape is recommended and, if you use this when your child is young, the smell will always remind them of Christmas. It will likely become “Christmas tape” to them. Once you have a complete circle, take another strip in an alternating color and run it through the first circle. Next, fold it around and seal with tape. Complete this step until you have a big strand of paper garland in red and green. You and your child will enjoy doing this together and it will create wonderful memories for you both.

Lighted Wreath If you love the look of a lighted wreath, but don’t quite have a budget for one of the more expensive ones, consider another option. You can purchase a plain green wreath very inexpensively. A small strand of lights can cost anywhere from $1.00 to $3.00. But, put them together and you have the look of a professionally lighted Christmas wreath. For this project, you could use either clear or multi-colored Christmas lights. Simply take the plain green wreath and wrap the lights around in a design similar to the stripes on a candy cane. Once you’ve gone all the way around, tuck the last light into the green of the wreath. Make sure that you place it near an electric outlet because there won’t be a lot of extra cord. Now that you’re ready, plug it in and see your very own design. A red bow is a nice touch, but not necessary. As people drive by, they will see a beautifully lit wreath in your window and they will have no idea that you saved a few bucks by wrapping the lights yourself.

Enjoy this Christmas season

Fran Watson

P.S.  Click below for a copy of the Christmas Preparation Timeline

Checklist

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Time Saving Shortcuts

Give Yourself the Gift of Reduced Stress with Time-Saving Shortcuts

The holidays can be stressful.  After all, there is so much to do and so little time in which to accomplish it all.  That’s why it is important to consider the numerous ways you can save time during the holiday season.  There are many ways to free up your valuable time and to reduce holiday stress.

Consider having gifts gift-wrapped for you by stores.  Purchase disposable cutlery, plates and tablecloths for informal holiday gatherings.  Consider shopping online and having things delivered. You can save yourself hours of work by taking a few shortcuts along the way during your holiday preparations.

By finding ways to get things done faster and easier, you can free up more time to enjoy the holidays and can give yourself the awesome gift of reduced stress.  Always keep your eyes open for timesaving shortcuts!

Ho, Ho, Ho:  It’s O.K. to Say “No”

 One of the most significant sources of holiday stress is the demand placed upon our time.  Holiday parties, offers to visit others, invitations to special events and fundraisers, requests by family members to help them with this chore or that errand, and other time-consuming things seem to pop up over and over again.

Christmas is the time for giving, but that doesn’t mean you have to give of yourself until there is nothing less.  It is perfectly acceptable to limit yourself during the holidays.  Don’t take on more responsibilities than you can handle, and don’t over-schedule your time.

We all want to be good people during the holidays and to help whenever we can.  However, if you cannot fit in a request, simply say “no.”  Using this one word can save you tons of unwanted stress during the holiday season.

Fran Watson

P.S.  Click here for more tips on Holiday Stress Rev

P.P.S.  Pick up a free gratitude article and graphics here:

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