Thinking Home Business Loving the freedom of working from home Sat, 08 Feb 2020 00:34:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thinking Home Business 32 32 “Dress” or “Undress” for Success as a Home Based Entrepreneur? Sat, 08 Feb 2020 00:32:58 +0000 As a home based entrepreneur, how do you “Dress for Success”?

Especially if you work “at home” and not just “from home”, do you dress “professionally”, as you might have done in days when you went to an office or other external work place?

Or more casually, maybe staying in your jim jams – with dressing gown or hoodie in the winter?

With over 20+ years of having a home based business, I’ve found that people can have strong views on this topic.

Either for some formality, or totally against it.

A recent report I read said that, in Australia at least, professional people with home based businesses like to dress each day in a “professional” way.

In other words, not shorts and t-shirts, let alone pajamas.

I don’t know how rigorous the research was, to come up with that.

On the other hand, I lost count long ago of the number of social media posts I’ve read where people celebrated the fact that, as they worked from home, they had no need to dress up!

There are surely a number of variables.

For example, if you have clients or others coming to your house for a business visit or consultation, it might make sense to dress “professionally”.

Even without that, I’ve seen advice given that you should always dress “for work”, and not stay in your sleeping gear, because of the probably subconsconcious effect of seeing yourself having a working day ahead, not a lounging around day, with a bit of work thrown in.

I actually think there is some practical wisdom in that point of view, for at least a bit of dress-ups.

I’d love to hear from people with views on this topic.

In the meantime, there are a couple of connected factors in play these days that I believe call for some re-thinking of thes very time-worn topic.

Namely, personal branding and ubiquitous video.

For those of us building our personal brand and also using video in various formats on various platforms, our appearance, which includes what we are wearing, will be telling part of our story, for good or ill.

That being the case, we also need to ask whether the way we dress, or don’t, is likely to see our ideal client relate positively to us, or negatively.

Mainly for those personal branding + video considerations,I actually believe this matter of how we as home based business owners dress – or don’t – for success is important to consider, decide, and follow through on.

In our?#FreedomGang group on Facebook we discuss these and other topics of interest to people in home based business, especially those with an online business or using the online environment to grow their mainly offline business.

If you’re curious about that, and would like to participate, come join in the conversation (link below).

And whether you join us or not, what’s your take on this matter – “dress up”, or super casual, or somewhere in the middle?

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My Break from Blogging Mon, 16 Sep 2019 23:56:33 +0000

I Didn’t Actually Decide Not to Blog

There was no point in time where I decided to take a break from blogging.

But I was shocked the other day to see how long it had been since I had blogged.

On my Des Walsh dot Com site, apart from one brief announcement post, it’s been about 10 months since I’ve done a “real” post.

And on this Thinking Home Business site, more like 18 months!

In the meantime, it’s not that I’ve been idle on the social media front. In that time I’ve been posting almost daily on Facebook.

But not on my blogs.

A situation I am now ready to remedy.

Because I actually love blogging.

And after about 19 months of posting on Facebook, and doing a lot of training for online marketing, I feel I can post now in a way that is more enjoyable for me and that I am confident will be more engaging for readers.

In another post I’ll talk about my latest thoughts about particular blogging platforms, and share the story of some painful but valuable lessons that may be of help to others.

If you’re a blogger, have you ever taken a break from it, whether intending to do that or by “drift”? And if so, how long were you away and was that helpful?

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With Business as With Life, Sometimes It’s Good to Press the Reset Button Thu, 15 Mar 2018 01:37:56 +0000

Power of an Intention, Even Without a Plan

I’ve realised recently that an intention I declared back in June last year has had consequences that have both surprised and delighted me.

It was at a birthday celebration and, in an uncharacteristically short speech, thanking the family for putting on the show and speaking a bit about where I was in my life at that point, I said that I now intended to “press the reset button” for the next stage of my life.

Truth be told, at the time I had no real idea of what pressing that metaphorical button might mean or prompt in any kind of detail.

What I guess I wanted to convey is that I had no intention of slowing down, kicking back. Rather, I was ready for a new phase, a new adventure even, in my life’s journey.

Dream Big, Stay Open to Possibilities

What has occurred over the intervening time has reminded me that:

  • A combination of big dreams and being open to possibilities can open paths forward that are aligned with our values and bring with them the promise of more abundant living
  • My birthday declaration of my intention set the scene, or you might say prepared me, for a significant development in my business and life

A realisation of Henry David Thoreau’s promise a hundred and sixty four years ago, in Walden

“…If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours…”

So What Happened?

Late last year, so about five months after I had declared my Reset intention, my partner Suzie and I were introduced to a fast-growing buisness which we could do from home – or in fact from anywhere in the world – which featured a 90% automated, online affiliate marketing platform. It also came with an amazingly supportive global team, and a very impressive commission structure that is providing real financial freedom for many people, globally, and especially here in Australia.

So, to sum up, after fifteen or more years of trial and error to have a successful online business, we were shown, and connected with, a 90% automated affiliate marketing platform, with high end, high-converting products (and commensurately generous commissions) and a global team of mutually supportive people.

There is truly a beautiful alignment with my business and personal values, and life goals. Not least, it provides the opportunity to achieve true financial freedom, while at the same time helping others to build their own businesses with me and with my support.

For them and for us it’s a business we can do from home, and from anywhere. It opens up to us the laptop lifestyle we have dreamed of.

I’ll be posting more about this as we move forward with it. Watch this space!

Want to Know More?

If you’d like to know more now, and see if this business could help you achieve your dreams, just say “tell me more” in the comments below, or use the Contact page at this link, and I’ll get right back to you.

5 Lessons from a Missed Business Appointment Wed, 15 Apr 2015 05:28:42 +0000 lemons - picture by Procsilas Moscas via FlickrOMG, I missed that appointment!

Have you ever missed an important business appointment?

I missed one this morning and was both embarrassed and annoyed with myself for doing so.

Ironically, although I had the appointment date and time correctly listed in my Google calendar, I’d been using a separate backup/reminder system and that had a different date – two weeks hence!

I’ve apologised and although the potential interviewee has not taken up my offer of a reschedule, he has been quite polite about it all and sent me some helpful information.

Mind you, one of my strengths in business is a sense of responsibility, so it’s quite possible that my annoyance with myself is greater than it needs to be.

But I’m still cranky with myself.

Making the best of it

So on the old principle that when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, I drew up the following five things I have learned or had reinforced from the experience.

1. As soon as you realize you have missed the appointment, apologize

Procrastinating on the apology is not going to make matters better and will probably make them worse. Whether you apologize in person, by phone or by email will depend on the circumstances. In the instance today I apologized by return email as soon as the person emailed me about the missed appointment.

In hindsight, I suspect I would have been better picking up the phone and letting him hear how genuinely sorry and embarrassed I was, and with my being willing to handle his response maturely, without the unintended but relatively impersonal shielding of emotion via an email.

2. No excuses – take responsibility for the mistake

If you miss an appointment, take full responsibility. Don’t blame a staff member, one of your family, having to take a dog or cat to the vet, traffic. If there was a real, insurmountable problem, such as a plane being diverted to another city because of storms, get through to the person as soon as you can and let them know. But don’t embellish.

One executive I knew told me that once, after he had missed an appointment with a more senior person, he got his secretary to write and give the impression that he had been out of town, although he hadn’t. The more senior person was not impressed and told him he should not have tried to hide behind his staff member.

3. Offer an alternative and a sweetener

I’m an optimist so my assumption is that people will be understanding and be willing to make a new time for the scheduled appointment. I go on the front foot with this and offer an alternative time, ideally with my doing something extra: for example, if we were to have met in a cafe in the city, I might offer to meet now in the person’s office. Or I might offer to buy them lunch and have the meeting that way.

In the right circumstances and depending on the people and the relationship, sending flowers or chocolates or a vintage wine, or tickets to a sporting event might be worthwhile. In some circumstances that would be over the top and not appropriate.

Sometimes you’ll decide that none of that is going to make much difference, so you just have to suck it up and move on.

4. Review your appointment calendaring system

No matter how state of the art your calendaring/appointment system is, things can go wrong. I would have expected a reminder this morning on my smartphone, 15 minutes before the scheduled time. As far as I know that didn’t happen. So make sure your system is set up so as to give you alerts at appropriate times before your appointments.

5. Check and re-check

Something I started to do, but judging by from today’s events not done assiduously enough, is to review my appointment schedule regularly – i.e. weekly and daily.

Here is the pattern I intend to follow from now on:
(a) Sunday evening before the evening meal check all appointments for the week and make sure there are no conflicts
b) Each weekday evening, before winding up for the day, check all appointments for the following day
c) Each morning, before beginning work, check all my appointments for the day and make sure I am programmed to be the right places at the right time.

Also, and especially if the appointment has been made some time previously, it is a good idea to phone or email the person with something along the lines of “Just checking. Are we still on today for that appointment at (time), at (place/ Skype/ …)?” I’ve never known anyone to take exception to that.

What other steps might you take to ensure you keep your appointments?


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What’s the Reading Age for Your Blog? Mon, 02 Feb 2015 04:22:05 +0000 My blog's reading level: 8th grade"“You Should Aim for Grade 8 Reading Level.” ?“Are You Serious?”

I still remember being quite shocked, some years ago, when a blogging expert said something to the effect that if you wanted to attract and keep readers for your blog you should make the language simple enough for someone with a reading age of Grade 7 or 8. So that’s around 12-14, right?

I was shocked because I felt a bit annoyed at the implication that I should be ready to “talk down” to my readership, rather than expressing myself in the language and sentence structure I would normally use.

But I also thought that if I wanted to communicate my ideas and especially if I wanted to generate some discussion it might make sense to get down off my linguistic high horse and write more plainly, more simply.

However, since then – say about 5 years ago – I’ve not really bothered about the level of language or complexity of sentence structure I’ve used. Just hoped that you and others reading this blog would get what I was writing about, clearly enough for it to be interesting and maybe helpful for you.

So all this came up for me today when I was participating in the weekly Twitter hashtag conversation #blogchat where we were discussing the topic of “speaking the language of our readers”. The transcript of this week’s #blogchat is here.

While the chat was proceeding, I ran a little test on a couple of blog posts from my other blog at Des Walsh dot Com. I used the free testing tool at Gift Rocket. Results? One was assessed at Grade 7, the other at Grade 8.

For the one at Grade 8, the testing page declared:

Your blog reads at Grade 8!

Well done. You write better than most bloggers do. Your blog reads at the level of your local city newspaper. Your blog is well-liked for its easy-to-understand flow.

Hmmm. Had I been subconsciously making myself keep the language and sentence structure at that level? Is that appropriately high enough for the professional audience I see myself blogging for?

And what about this Thinking Home Business blog – what was the reading level here?

Much higher, it seems. A test just now on one of the posts here produced this result:

Blog reading age test Grade 11
Your blog reads at grade 11!

You write like you just aced your AP literature class. Your writing is up there with USA Today and other national publications. You’re showing signs of promise to be a professional blogger!


If that is typical it would indicate I write with a bit more complexity for this blog than for the other.

Might be interesting to test from time to time.

Question. Do you have a blog and if so what do you think is the average reading age of your readership and does that work for you?

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