Sunday, September 5, 2010

Home Business Does Not Always Mean Online Business

Do you Need a computer to make money from home?

This is a question I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about lately.

Now, obviously I'm sitting here right now at my computer, typing out a post about home business; so my answer has to a best be a qualified "maybe".

That being said, I've had a part-time business for well over a decade. And I really do wonder, would I actually have a bigger bank account right now if I had spend Less Time on the computer over the years?

Primarily because the business model that I chose back in 1999 is Network Marketing, I really do think that the honest answer is Yes.

You see, I'm in the "people business".

And while it's definitely been profitable to learn how to use the right key words to drive traffic to websites; enabling me to meet people from all over the country, and the world ... when you get right down to it, sitting in front of this silly little screen for hours a day, is just not the most effective way to help other people (which is really my "job description") who are trying to solve this "work at home" puzzle.

... and besides, it's also not always conducive to a happy and healthy family life. (even my two year old knows that the place you're most likely to find dad is "at the puter")

Here's the thing we sometimes forget ... the computer / the Internet is just a Tool ... it's not a business building method.

So what's the solution?

Exactly what you might think ...

Get up off the computer, and spend more time getting out, and going where the people are!

Of course, I've had a goal for a long time now of trying to spend an hour a day or less on the computer. Unfortunately, it's worked about as well as my other long-term goal of cutting back on caffeine (I love my Diet Mountain Dew).

Here's the thing though ...

I now have just over 3 years until I have to retire from the Air Force, and I really, really, really don't want to have to look for another job. Building my home business primarily on the Internet has worked moderately well over the past few years, but if I'm totally honest it's just not gotten to me to the point where I can say goodbye to the military (according to my original goal from 9 years ago, I should have been out last December ... I was in Iraq at the time instead).

So, I'm going to go back to something that I know works.

When I first started my marketing business over a decade ago, I attended weekly meetings, and almost all of my partners lived within about 10 miles of me. Not only was it a good way to make extra money ... but it was also a lot of FuN!

I spend a lot of time sitting in front of this computer, and other than when I'm playing poker, I honestly wouldn't describe most of my online time as great fun. Don't get me wrong, I love my online friends, but I also really enjoy interacting with "live" people ... I need to do more of it.

Here's something unique to our modern society that I've often pondered ...

How is it that people can have thousands of "friends" on their computer, but if you asked them to tell you the first names of the couple who lives two doors down, you'd more often than not be greeted with a blank stare?

I don't ever want that blank stare to be coming from me. I'd rather be part of the solution, than part of the problem. **thankfully I've got a very social wife ... so we really do know all of our neighbors**

But when it comes to building our home business, I now have a new goal ... and we all know that goals are more powerful when you share them publicly. So here it is ...

By June of 2011, I will have at least 10 new partners who live close enough to me that we can get together and talk, in person, at least once a week. In addition, for any of my partners who I've met (or will meet) here on the Internet, who wish to pursue the same goal, I'll commit to doing all I can to support them as they work towards sponsoring people in their local area, and starting weekly home meetings.

It's going to mean less time online ... and the time I do spend will have to be much more focused, and productive.

But don't worry, I'll still be writing here on my blog (about any topic that pops into my head) ... and since I can get facebook on my phone, I'm sure I'll still "see" most of my cool online friends every day too.

So what do you think ... am I barking up the right tree?

[todd-sig]

7 comments:

  1. Hmm - I'm not really convinced the geographic proximity is a good indicator whether I have anything in common with the neighbours, or any real interest in meeting them. Though given the recent little too close for comfort earthquake I should at least check that they are relatively sane, fit and will be able to pool alcohol supplies with when the big one hits.

    Frankly so very few people in this country understand even being in business never mind doing what I do - its highly unlikely I would find one or 2 in the whole country - never mind my city - that understood to any degree what I do

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  2. Hi Lissie,

    lol, with this article I was directing it more to us "crazy" people who actually sell physical products ... and specifically to network marketers, who really do need to spend at least as much (if not more) time training the people they find, as they do finding new people.

    You are a pure internet marketer, I wouldn't expect that you'd spend too much time worrying about how to get away from your computer :-)

    Although, I have actually thought of asking over in the TKA forums, whether anyone has considered using offline advertising, and/or even direct marketing face to face to send people to some of their higher paying keywords. Something like www_myurl.com/my-keyword/123 in a newspaper ad .. then 301 redirect it to www_myurl.com/my-keyword .. so you get reliable tracking on your ad, but no dupe content .. then track the CTR for the adsense/affiliate ads on the page. It could be really interesting to compare how targeted offline advertising compares to traffic from the #1 position in google ... just thinking out loud of course :-)

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  3. Todd I can identify with what you wrote...network marketing is a business about building relationships...as Jeff Olson states "High Touch NOT High Tech" is what is going to help you build your wealth. I do know all my neighbors and very proud of it -I actually just got home from a cookout at the neighbors :) The social networking sites can be very addicting, as you have stated above, and I have have met many wonderful people like yourself via these sites...I am just as guilty as the next about getting pulled into Facebook and other sites for hours on end...yes, I have enrolled many of my business partners from these sites but I also do know that the offline comradeship that I have build from a local team has been fun as well. Meeting my local team once a week does help solidify our mission and our individual goals - always a good time getting together for a few drinks, food and some poker....

    Todd thanks for your post and let me know if I can help you reach your goal "By June of 2011, I will have at least 10 new partners who live close enough to me that we can get together and talk, in person, at least once a week."

    Thanks for the friendship :) Create A Great Week!
    Shelley

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  4. I totally understand your gripe. Not everyone's in the internet business but at the same time a lot of people are so it's kinda understandable why people think that home business means internet business. I would totally consider an author who writes his/her material at home to have a home business but once again that's not even internet related. Little things in life that you've just got to explain sometimes.

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  5. Hi Todd nice to meet you,

    My oh my This post really talks to me. I have marketing on the internet for 9 years and I have been teaching martial arts for about 10 years. I do both sorta part time so that makes me full time stay at home. (Built my martial arts school in my yard)

    But I also do all my marketing out here as well. Recently I have been thinking that I probably could be making a hell of a lot more money in my martial arts if I focused 100% on it..

    Finally after years and years of marketing online to make money, I started applying that "knowledge" to what I do love which is martial arts....

    What a different world when its something that you truly love.

    I think ideally if you can fuse your off line passion with your online passion you have a winner.

    Great post thanks for sharing!

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  6. I can relate, everybody who works in front of a computer feels the need to re-evaluete their lifestyle. Its just a compromise really and a very long vacation in some far away island

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  7. Todd,

    This is a really good post. I have always run my business online and have thoroughly enjoyed it. But, I think it may be emotionally healthier to get out with some "in person people" sometimes.

    I am always trying to think of new ways to market online, but have pretty much avoided the local/offline arena. Your post may inspire me to get out there a little more.

    Thanks!

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