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The EBiz Developer - May 2000

The Home Business Developer
now the eBiz Developer

MAY 2000 ISSUE


THIS ISSUE:
1. Ed speak - Freebie to give away!
2. Idea Power - New survey tells you when's the best time.
3. More Resources and links.
4. Focus Your Light by Elena Fawkner - Control those distractions and get things done.
5. Newsletter from scratch. I've got an idea for a Newsletter - follow my progress...
6. Next Issue


1. ED Speak

Hope everybody has got through the virus attacks of the last few weeks.
Remember - if you're not sure who sent you that email, don't open the attachment!
Still on the subject of security, I've just downloaded a freebie from 'ZoneAlarm'.
It continually monitors my system while I'm on the internet to stop people poking around in my computer. You'd be surprised at how open to the 'elements' we really are.
Go to: www.zonelabs.com

Many of you will have received the mailing from Manhattan Direct about their Wembley Seminar. They've brought to the UK various recognised Internet Marketing Gurus to share their knowledge with the paying guests.
I went to the one last year and came away fired up with ideas - some of which are still in the pot simmering away.
As much as I would have liked to go to the one this year, for various reasons I can't.
So, with nothing more than their names, I did some searching on the net, found their web sites, and downloaded loads of free articles by them and subscribed to their Newsletters.
Now I probably won't be getting as much information this way than if I was paying 1000 for a seat at Wembley....but hey, I'll settle for 500 worth of info for half an hours searching any day.

I need some questions answered.
As generous in spirit and time as you all are, I thought that a little bribery wouldn't do any harm. You can win a Free advert/link on www.empowersu.com for a year, by answering a simple question...all the details are on site.
And, I'm giving away a copy of Zig Ziglars excellent 'Goals', a 2 audio-tape series. 120 minutes of Zigs seven-step formula for defining and achieving your goals - Excellent stuff!
To deserve this great prize, tell me in as many or few words as you like, what would be the One thing that helps you most come up with your best ideas.
Simple.
You've got till the end of the month.
Start emailing me - you can have as many entries as you like.

Best of everything, Vic Carrara


2. Idea Power - New Survey reveals all

More power to the belief that it's in your 'off time' when the best ideas come to you.
In a survey by the 'Captains of Industry' sponsored by 3M, it was revealed that 39% of respondents said that it was while travelling that they got their best ideas.
More than that, only 11% believed that thier best ideas came while sitting in their office.
I'll make no comment on the 18% that replied that their best ideas came while in bed.
I've written before about the importance of having a break from 'work'.
For the majority of us, hammering away 13 hours a day trying to get stuff done is self-defeating. Taking time 'off' makes us more productive.
Whether it's time off mentally or physically.
Give yourself a break and get more done.

I'm off for a KitKat,
Best Vic Carrara


"I don't like money, actually, but it quiets my nerves"
Joe Louis, undefeated heavyweight champion


3. Resources and Links

Search websites, newsgroups, chatrooms, email addresses and a lot more: www.copernic.com
The Financial Times publishes Surveys most days on topics from business management to global industries. Source for ideas?
www.ft.com/ftsurveys
Business in Singapore... www.tdb.gov.sg Trade statistics, news, business opportunities.
If you're interest is Self-Publishing, track the latest Books releases (useful for possible titles for your own works): www.alphabetstreet.co.uk
Have a Web Site? Check your html: www.imagiware.com/RxHTML www.websitegarage.com Does your site look good in all browsers? Check it out: www.cast.org/booby www.anybrowser.com


4. Focus Your Light by Elena Fawkner

Remember when you were a kid how you could make paper catch fire by focusing the sun's rays with a magnifying glass? You'd look over your shoulder at the sun, get the angle of the rays just right, and move the magnifying glass until you could see a small circle of bright light on the piece of paper in front of you. Gradually, that circle began to turn brown and the paper began to smoulder until its edges began to curl under as the flame took hold.

How did that humble magnifying glass start something as powerful and elemental as a fire? The answer, of course, is concentration. Concentration of the sun's rays into a tiny, intense circle of heat. In a word, FOCUS.

We work the same way. If we truly focus our energy, concentration and creativity, we bring an intensity to the task that we just can't generate if these things are scattered amongst several projects at once.

Now, to simply say to you, "focus your energy and you will achieve greater results" is all very well. It's quite another matter entirely to be able to do it, especially when there are umpteen different priorities constantly tugging away at you, each demanding at least some of your attention and NOW DAMMIT!

To bring focus to your various activities, you need to break the cycle of allowing yourself to be distracted from the task at hand

. -> Identify Priority Tasks

To start with, you should allocate your time proportionately to all of the various tasks you need to do. Notice I said NEED to do. The first step is to decide what truly needs to be done and what doesn't. If you categorise a task as something that needs to be done, ask yourself why it is necessary. Another way of asking the same question is to ask yourself, "what will happen if I don't do this today?". If the ultimate consequence is that nothing will happen, why do it?

If you find yourself reluctantly concluding, well, I don't NEED to do this, I WANT to, then put it into the "need to do" category. Doing things for yourself, for your own enjoyment or satisfaction, should be a priority. Focus is not only about doing the things you should do, it is doing the things you want to do as well. By including in your need to do list things that are for your own personal pleasure and enjoyment, you replenish yourself and this in turn allows you to bring even greater focus, awareness and creativity to your other activities. So, give yourself permission to enjoy yourself.

->Allocate Time to Priority Tasks

Now that you have identified your 'need to do' activities, decide when you are going to do them and estimate how long you think they will take. Then add 40%. One of the immutable laws of the universe is that everything takes longer than you think it will. Save yourself the stress of running to keep up with the clock.

When thinking about when you will do a specific task, work with your body. Are you a morning person, a night-owl, a late-afternoon person or something else entirely? Whichever you are, schedule for that time your most intellectually demanding tasks. If you're a morning person, for example, and one of your 'need to do' activities is to write a sales page for your website, allocate this task to your prime time.

Then allocate your less intellectually demanding activities, such as reading and responding to email, to your off-peak time. Similarly, don't schedule your personal time for your prime time. Again, if you're a morning person, schedule your hour lying out in the sun for mid-afternoon, your 'off-peak' time. By making strategic use of your time in this way you will be making the most efficient use of your prime time while STILL being able to do the things that YOU enjoy, and on a daily basis!

Compare this approach with a fragmented one. You're a morning person. You need to write a sales page for your web site. You also need to read and respond to email today and you also want to schedule time, just an hour or so, to get some sun.

It's morning but, instead of starting your sales page, you decide to read and respond to your email first, to kind of ease into the day. That's a breeze because reading and responding to email is not an intellectually demanding task and you're at your peak anyway. You finish reading and responding to your mail two hours later.

Now you think about writing your sales page. But you've used your peak concentration time on email and you've lost that sharp edge you always have first thing in the morning. That makes writing sales copy, an already intellectually demanding task, even more difficult. You really don't feel like it right now. So you put it off. You look for something easier to do.

Maybe you could take that hour off now and use the time while you're lying out in the sun to get your head together. But no, you can't relax if you know you have work uncompleted. So you decide to force yourself to make a start on your sales copy. You write your copy but it just doesn't flow. It feels stilted and contrived.

You begin to get frustrated and annoyed with yourself. If only I'd got it over and done with first thing I'd be dealing with my email right now looking forward to lying out in the sun for a while later on. That's what I should be doing! So, you get annoyed with yourself, and become generally irritable. Which, of course, just blocks the creative flow even more. Lunchtime rolls around and you feel like you've wasted half a day.

What a waste of energy, concentration and creativity! What a lack of FOCUS. Just look at the energy you've wasted feeling annoyed and irritable with yourself. Just think what you could have accomplished if you'd put that energy to good use and focused!

Save yourself the angst. Identify priority tasks, strategically allocate times of the day to each task depending on how intellectually demanding they are, and exercise personal DISCIPLINE to do the right thing right and at the right time.

-> Concentrate on One Thing at a Time

When you're doing the right thing at the right time, dedicate yourself to that one thing and nothing else. Don't let your mind wander to what else you could be doing. You don't need to worry about that because "what else" has been allocated its own time and that time will come.

Remember, the whole point of focusing is to make maximum use of your time, energy, concentration and creativity. If you can do this, you will give yourself the gift of more time for yourself and your family. So remember to turn it off too. Give 100% of yourself to the task at hand during the time allocated to that task and then let it go.

Take care of business but always remember, life is for living!

Elena Fawkner is editor of the award-winning weekly ezine, A Home-Based Business Online, a down-to-earth publication containing practical home-based and online business ideas, telecommuting job listings, original articles, free e-books and much more. She also runs the A Home-Based Business Online website at at http://www.fawkner.com. You can subscribe to her newsletter at the site.


5. Newsletter from Scratch. Vic Carrara

Working with what you already know obviously makes sense, aswell as being easier.
So why have I been ignoring the obvious for 3 years?
Alongside my home business interests, I've been self-employed for the last 11 years in the Theatre and Entertainment Industries. As a Props Supervisor, Buyer and Maker, I've been finding and making all manner of things - from 16 foot french sticks, to Roman milestones.

So why not use all this knowledge and experience in a Newsletter? After all, Newsletters are acknowledged as one of the simplest and most direct ways to make a business.

Stupidly, as much as I enjoy my 'day job', it was the need to find something different - exploring my other interests - that took me down the home biz road - so I wiped out any thought of using the skills I've acquired in my day job as a way of financing the time I need to explore my other interests.

No more! The worm has turned!

Over the next few issues I'll be taking you through the steps of starting a newsletter from scratch. From thought to delivery.

My first task is to confirm that there is enough of a market out there to support a Newsletter (or put another way, to support me financially).

Who needs a newsletter on Props? And, What would subscribers be wanting from this Newsletter?

This is brainstorming time. Obviously I have a fair idea already, as I've worked for various companies - Theatres, Entertainment Parks, Night Clubs, Museums, Photographic Studios.. But who else? And what do they want?

I think that I know the answer, but I need to be certain.

So it's all hands to the phone, and revisit past clients and have a chat.

More next month. Vic

6. Next Month

Discover the results of Stage 1 in my Newsletter Publishing Empire Building
More resources to make your Home Business life easier.
A new Guest writer sharing their secrets of making a success.
How to solve that problem. One of the easiest techniques I know on how to sort out that 'impossible challenge'.

Till then,

The best of everything,

Vic Carrara

 

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