Do It Your Way: Starting and Growing a Home-Based Business

The traditional concept of a company that operates from an office with plenty of attractive furniture, conference rooms, and state-of-the-art equipment is still the dominant idea of an American business. However, changes in technology and evolving lifestyle choices have brought a new notion to the forefront, one that combines individuality, convenience, and ambition. Today, unprecedented numbers of Americans have opted to start businesses they operate from their own homes. If you’re entrepreneurial and have a service or product that fits well within a given market niche, you have the makings of a successful home-based business.

Finding Customers

The best scenario for starting a business is to have a core group of prospective customers lined up, perhaps people you’ve worked with in the past who know you well. That’s great if you do, but you’ll need to adopt other measures to keep finding new sources of business. Networking and word-of-mouth are excellent ways to find customers. Consider calling on former clients and business colleagues to gauge their interest, and find out who they know. Use social media liberally to spread the word about your new venture.

Marketing and promotions is the traditional means of reaching potential customers, though many individuals starting out in business lack the resources for an intensive marketing campaign involving media outreach. Online content creation, public relations, and business-to-business communication outlets (i.e. print and online trade publications) can earn you considerable attention without costing a fortune and, best of all, they’re tactics you can do yourself. Your best-case scenario should be to transform clients into a kind of “silent” sales force that is willing and able to talk you up to others.

Becoming a Consultant

If you’re considering going into business for yourself, you probably have knowledge and experience that’s at least somewhat unique and can benefit others. Ideally, a consultant helps businesses make decisions that spur growth, find new sources of revenue, and avoid problems that could damage their position in the market. Consultants often go to work for people they knew in a previous employment situation or with whom they had a client-service provider relationship in the past. Consultancy can mean contracting with a client on a short-term basis or being retained for services on a more in-depth basis. It’s a business idea that’s conducive to working from home, which suits many people.

Productivity Tools

This is a good time to go into business for yourself because there’s an abundance of free or inexpensive tools that can help you manage and run things yourself. For example, LastPass is a password management system that stores all of your passwords in one place. No more scribbling down passwords or trying to memorize them. Canva is a website that lets you create free graphics for logos, banners, and printed materials without having to hire a professional graphic designer. Tracking what people are saying about you and your business can be a great help when it comes to marketing. Mention is a website that lets you know what’s going on in social media space and shows where you stand in relation to your competitors.

Pet Sitting

There are many ways to fill a business niche these days. For example, professional people who own dogs are looking for places their furry friends can socialize and be entertained during the week while they’re at work. If you love animals, being a pet sitter is a great opportunity to make money doing what you enjoy. Best of all, you can set your own schedule and prices and specify the size, age and other pet preferences that work for you.

Starting your own business puts you in charge of when and how you work, and with whom you do business. As long as clients are happy, you can work whatever hours you choose. Take advantage of the many free and cost-effective online tools that can help grow your business.

Thank you: Amy Collett who is the creator of Bizwell.org, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand.

Annual Wine Media Guild Dinner

June 9, 2014 I was invited (and you didn't have to ask me twice) to the Annual Wine Media Guild Dinner at Cafe Evergreen Chinese restaurant.  Being the annual dinner, for those who write about wine, you just can not imagine the wines I tasted. We were greeted with a glass of Mionetto Prosecco to start the evening off with.  Since it was a BYOB, the members brought out the best from their cellars and let me tell you it was just awesome (2009 Ferrante Grand River Valley Cabernet Franc Ice Wine, 1993 Rivendell, Tear of the Clouds Late Harvest Vignoles, 2000 Quinta do Vale Meao; just to name a few).  I was able to take a couple of bottles home that were not guzzled down.  One Port I went to buy and I said upon learning of the price "That's very nice".  Saving the bottle has given me terrific memories.  Thank you Shirley Alpert for inviting me. 

Riesling Wine Dinner

August 12, 2014 invited a friend to join me at the Sea Grill Riesling Wine Dinner hosted by David Rosengarten & Toni Jost.  Riesling is one of my all time favorite wines; so I was in heaven.  We started with appetizers and of course champagne to match.  But the rest of the pairings for dinner where Riesling's.  It was one of those times you just couldn't get enough of each dish.  We had four courses plus dessert and my guest wanted to lick the plates.  It was sooo delish!

Women on Wall Street Conference

October 8, 2014 this was the year of the 20th Annual Women on Wall Street Conference: Collective Wisdom hosted by Deutsche Bank.  It has truly been a conference of growth for women on Wall Street.  It was interesting to listen to Maria Bartiromo speak about women in the work force.   It was especially enlightening to listen to Shonda Rhimes (Creator and Executive Producer of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" and also Executive Producer of "How To Get Away with Murder"  One powerful talented woman who has won many awards and has been listed as one of the "50 most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune Magazine.   So where are my photos?!!!

Women on Wall Street

October 15, 2013: was invited once again to the annual event that Deutsche Bank holds honoring women: "Women on Wall Street".  this years 19th Annual conference was on Game Changers.  The conference started with Olympia Snowe, Former US Senator and I was thrilled to listen to her answer questions for forthright.   Wonder if it is because she is now out of office and promoting her new book? 

The panel included:
Vicki Fuller, Chief Investment Officer New York State Common Retirement Fund, Sallie krawcheck, Owner, 85 Broads, Mary Schapiro, Managing Director and Chairman of the Governance and market Practice, Promontory Financial and Clara Shih, CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social. 

Vicki being a woman of color talked about her being the only one woman and having a double impact on what she has done in her life.  Sallie Krawcheck spoke about when she was at Citi and they invested in bad investments.  While she talked about doing the right thing and returning money on the bad decisions the bank made she also landed on the front page of The Wall Street Journal as she was fired.  With all this she turned the bad into quite a few positive steps in her career. 

The we had Mary Schapiro who is basically a D.C. government native and shared her experiences on that side of the fence. 

Clara Shih created her own business and was startled to find out it was a hit as she kept on going.  She decided to write a text book which is now used at Harvard.  Now she is one of the youngest women to sit on a board directors (Starbucks).

One of the take-always is that: Networking is the most important tool to grown your business.  It is OK to stumble....it's how you pick yourself up and carry on that matters. 

Women in Leadership

June 4, 2013 As part of an ongoing “Women in Leadership” series honoring noteworthy Canadian women: Dr. Karyn, an educator, speaker, and media personality, was acknowledged for her wide-ranging work with families and professionals. We mingled in the lovely Park Avenue residence formerly home to Ken Taylor, who was instrumental in the covert “Canadian Caper” operation depicted in the Oscar winning film Argo.

In his introduction, John F. Prato spoke of Dr. Karyn’s work in New York City as being representative of the healthy relationship and strong bond between Canada and the United States, calling her “an incredible part of the Canadian fabric.” Dr. Karyn has taken her deep understanding and used it to build a larger platform to facilitate dialogue regarding parenting and relationships, Consul General Prato noted. Dr. Karyn Gordon: One of North America’s leading relationship and parenting experts, a best-selling author, media personality, motivational speaker, and founder of dk Leadership, Dr. Karyn’s mission is to inspire people to dream their best life and learn the tools and do it!

Women Entrepreneurs Rock the World

May 8th, 2013 attended “Women Entrepreneurs Rock the World” conference hosted by Angela Jia Kim founder of Savor the Success www.savorthesuccess.com. What an event with take away tips to make you think and grow your business. Simon Sinek-The Power of Why and author of “Start with Why” Stop managing and start leading: was one of many potent remarks he made: Now to get the book. Amanda Steinberg: rejection/disappointment.....what she does is gives herself two hours of intense rejection time to cry scream whatever then moves on. Make sure you are serving a market that can afford you. One important topic was how do you pay yourself from this business? Start with a separate business i.e. a checking account that you simulate a monthly draw. You have to look at money as a game and it is all a numbers game. Most importantly have to address stories we say about money and our feelings. May 8th, 2013 attended “Women Entrepreneurs Rock the World” conference hosted by Angela Jia Kim founder of Savor the Success www.savorthesuccess.com. What an event with take away tips to make you think and grow your business. Simon Sinek-The Power of Why and author of “Start with Why” Stop managing and start leading: was one of many potent remarks he made: Now to get the book. Amanda Steinberg: rejection/disappointment.....what she does is gives herself two hours of intense rejection time to cry scream whatever then moves on. Make sure you are serving a market that can afford you. One important topic was how do you pay yourself from this business? Start with a separate business i.e. a checking account that you simulate a monthly draw. You have to look at money as a game and it is all a numbers game. Most importantly have to address stories we say about money and our feelings.

Saving lives

Got into a discussion with a couple sitting next to me at dinner and want to share with you some vital information that I hope you will never need. See he is a doctor and had to give a lecture on saving lives out of the box. One of the items is #DuctTape. Apparently, after his lecture a doctor (one who was in the audience) was called when a sailor on a sailing trip was hit in the head with a boom pealing back his head. Those on board rejected his idea as it would cause an infection. Well the doctor said I would rather treat the infection than a dead person. What was the controversy all about: using DuckTape to tape the persons head.

Cocktail

July 11 2013, Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Restaurant party to celebrate and try different cocktails and wines at the new NoMad. Some of them were just a tad too sweet for my taste buds and others I couldn’t get enough. However, it was exciting to meet some of the winners for the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Restaurant Issue Celebration. It truly was a wonderful evening - from the beautiful setting to the great wines, cocktails, food and music - what a great showcase and toast to today’s food and wine culture with the finest leaders in the restaurant industry. This year’s list of 100 includes thirty new winners, along with exclusive chef’s recipes, ingenious wine-pairing ideas for the home chef, editorial on important food trends in 2013 and an enticing selection of restaurant dishes diners will not want to miss. Check out the list here: http://www.winemag.com/Wine-Enthusiast-Magazine/2013-100-Best-Restaurants-in-America/
 
 Here is a recipe to share…..they had more than wine.
 DEWAR’S Honeysuckle Sour
 1.5 oz. DEWAR’S Highlander Honey
 .5 oz. Cointreau
 .5 oz. fresh lemon
 .5 oz. fresh orange juice
 1 bar spoon simple syrup
 
 Method: Shake DEWAR’S Highlander Honey with fresh lemon, fresh orange juice and one bar spoons of simple syrup.

NO to Healthcare.gov


 This is scary: From NaturalNews: The Healthcare.gov website turns out to be a Trojan Horse that gathers emails, passwords, social security numbers, private banking details and other information you would normally want to keep private. This information is then cross-referenced to your computer's IP address. From there, all your web surfing habits are tracked by IP and recorded along with your social security number. The Obamacare exchanges then promises to take any information you provided them and "turn it over to law enforcement" and IRS auditors. This is not a joke. This is how the government has tricked millions of people into self-incrimination. See the proof in my feature story: http://www.naturalnews.com/042427_Obamacare_private_details_Trojan_Horse.html

Housing for Seniors

October 2013, This is so amazing:  Housing within Reach of Most New Yorkers By Linda Hoffman
 
 It’s no secret that housing costs in New York City are among the highest in the nation.
 
 That is why we at New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, the only non-profit, non-sectarian organization serving seniors throughout New York City’s five boroughs, developed the intergenerational Home Sharing Program, which eases financial burdens and provides companionship for both young and old.
 
 The only one of its kind in the city, our free matching service pairs “hosts” who have extra private bedrooms in their homes or apartments to share with responsible, compatible “guests” seeking suitable affordable housing.
 
 The service matches adults 18 and over; either the “host” or the “guest” must be 60 years of age or older. The Home Sharing Program also provides housing for individuals with developmental disabilities capable of independent living. “Hosts” offering their homes to these high-functioning individuals must be age 55 or over.
 
 Learn How It Works along with Additional Housing and Services call: 212-962-7559, or visit: www.nyfsc.org

The Future

April 22, 2015 What a fascinating day about the future held in conjunction with the Tribecca Film Festival.  Learned about companies without walls, AOL Tom Armstrong spoke about collaboration, advertising and eye balls (and shortly thereafter bought Huffington Post), how robotics are playing a role in our lives now and in the future.  But the most enlightening was a presentation about 3D printing and how it well even change the food we consume.

 

Domestic Abuse and Women – Know the Signs and Get Help

Nearly one-third of all women in the U.S. will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives.  This epidemic causes physical, mental, and emotional harm, for both the women abused and the children who witness it. Understanding the signs, and being able to recognize them in your own relationship or others, is key to being able to get help.

What Is Domestic Abuse and What Leads to It?
Domestic abuse is any abusive behavior—not just physical violence—perpetrated by someone against an intimate partner or family member. Anyone in a household may be a victim, but women are most often affected. The abuse may be physical violence, sexual violence, emotional or psychological abuse, and even financial or economic abuse, using money to exert control over someone.

What causes someone to commit domestic abuse is not always understood, but the desire to control and have power over the victim is considered a primary motivator. Substance abuse can also be an important contributing factor, although it is not a cause or an excuse for domestic abuse. Even prescription drugs, like narcotic pain killers, can lead to abuse and addiction that ultimately contribute to domestic violence. Drug recalls are important in limiting access, but there are also illicit drugs and alcohol that can lead to abuse and violence.

Signs of Domestic Abuse
It can be difficult to recognize domestic abuse in your own relationship, especially when it does not involve overt violence. Some signs your partner may be abusive include feeling afraid of your partner, feeling as if you can never do anything right, outbursts, being put down verbally, being limited by your partner when it comes to seeing friends and family or hearing or spending money, being threatened, or being physically harmed by your partner. It is often easier to see the signs in other women, but it is important to be able to recognize them in your own relationship. 

Asking for or Offering Help
The consequences of domestic abuse can be devastating and far-reaching, ranging from physical injuries to substance abuse and addiction, and even to death. This is why it is so important to get help if you find yourself in this situation, or to offer help if you know someone going through it. Getting help is hard, though. You may feel afraid to anger your partner or to lose your children. The only way it will stop is to get help.

You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 1-800- 799-SAFE, but you can also reach out to someone you trust, like a friend. If you see someone else being abused, reach out. Your efforts to help may be rebuffed, but be persistent and non-judgmental. Offer to listen and to help, with the kids for instance, or with a place to stay. Domestic abuse has reached epidemic levels, but being aware and being prepared to help make a big difference.

Thanks to "team at recallreport.org"

Let's Eat Media Event

March 24, 2010 Oh my Gosh went to a "Let's Eat Media Event" and sampled so many products a quick run down:
-Eggland's Better Eggs:  less cholesterol 175 mg vs 213www.eggland.com
-Loved the tervis tumbler....excellent way to keep your cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot without burning yourself.
-daelia's biscuits...the almond with raisins that are specially made for cheese....let me tell you I didn't eat these I inhaled them with some farm fresh cheese!
-Then we had a silver of one of the "Prosperity Cades" oh my gosh...did I have a sugar high at 11:00 a.m....good, but eat an egg first for something.  www.fullcircleflavors.com  A company owned by three sisters.
-Keeping snacks healthy were the "Gudernoobs" with only 60 calories, 5g of sugar with an assortment of main ingredients.  Made by Woohoo.com
-Due to our visit with Circulon we have a wonderful recipe "Salmon with Mango Salsa" for the grill for everyone to try.
-Then I tried "Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie" and shared this with the women in the office...they wanted more.  www.brownbuttercookies.com  two sisters own this.
-WannaHavaCookie?  So good they look like mallowmars...but the taste is completely different.  Another woman company www.wannahavacookie.com
-Then we had some new decadent chocolates, delectable fruit jellies and mouth-watering fruit marvels that my taste palette kept screaming for more!  The New WONKA Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar is made with bits of scrumptious toffee pieces, crispy cookies and crunchy peanuts wrapped in milk chocolate. The New WONKA Chocolate Waterfall Bar tempts the taste buds with a combination of creamy white chocolate swirled in milk chocolate. And finally, the New WONKA Domed Dark Chocolate Bar is made of rich, velvety dark chocolate topped with smooth milk chocolate drops.  You get the picture....a choco-alcoholics dream.  And they have a contest....sad to say it wasn't my time to win yet!
-Then Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her son had severe food allergies, she got down to serious business—in the kitchen. Today, Lucy’s gluten-free, allergy-friendly cookies are a delicious alternative for people with or without special dietary considerations
-Then the time savor of all time came from Uncle Ben's Boil-in-Bag Whole Grain Brown Rice...along with some new products.  Check it out for a quick meal for us busy women.
-Temptation

Ancillary Notes

On March 10th, 2011, I hosted a gathering with Sarah Beatty (a previous guest) sharing how and why she started Green Depot and the lessons along the way. 

Prizes were given out and everyone one had a good time at the Carlyle showroom.


Are you prepared for an emergency?  Read my thoughts on this. 

This article on how to clean your home the holistic and natural way is great: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/02/26/how-to-keep-your-home-clean-naturally.aspx  I personally use vinegar and water to clean and heal so many things.

STAGGERING WORRY FOR YOUR CREDIT CARDS: IF YOU HAVE THIS CHIP IN ANY OF YOUR CARDS, GO TO YOUR BANK AND TELL THEM THAT YOU WANT YOUR CARD WITHOUT THIS RADIO CHIP Watch this video an eye opener: http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/lLAFhTjsQHw%26sns=em

Wondering where to put your money?  Check out Savings Bonds Series I for another place to park $10,000 a year.... check the fine print for more options.  Series I savings bonds pay a yield that is tied to the Consumer Price Index. Only way to purchase them is through the Treasury Department.  www.treasurydirect.gov 

$58 Billion Unclaimed funds: is some of it yours?  Check out this article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/-58-billion-unclaimed--is-some-of-it-yours--202441269.html

This is an amazing library:   thefreelibrary.com

Starting a business and need resources?  Check out the New York Public Library http://www.nypl.org/smallbiz

Did you know if you are gone from your residence for more than two consecutive months your home owners insurance might not be valid?

Consult an attorney before you take money out of your retirement plans to help pay for your mortgage especially in a foreclosure or short sale.  Retirement plans are a protected class in a bankruptcy.

Have a noisy neighbor?  You might want to read the latest article where a former guest Arline Bronzaft is quoted in the NY Post

If you know any woman currently undergoing chemotherapy, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning - once per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. It's our job to pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care. Be a blessing to someone, and pass this information along. http://www.cleaningforareason.org/ http://www.cleaningforareason.org/
 
 

Loreal Women in Digital

July 17th, 2013 women get your game on for next year and check out www.lorealwomenindigital.com to see how you could win. Great prize of money and more important is the mentorship program that identifies and provides opportunities to technology companies that are run by women and have the potential to shake-up the beauty industry.

The winners announced at the Ceremony Featured Guest Host Olivia Munn, Star of HBO's ‘The Newsroom’ and Self Proclaimed ‘Hollywood Geek’ what a riot. So down to earth and quite witty with her ad lib’s rocking the place. The three standout female-founded and led digital companies, selected from a group of more than 1,600 nominations were:  http://youtu.be/c6-et8jDm4Y

JOYUS, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Founder and CEO- JOYUS is the world's first premium online video shopping experience for the modern woman. 

 Poptip, Kelsey Falter, Founder and CEO- Poptip is a software platform that enables crowd participation. 
The Poptip platform has two products: Poptip Questions, which offers the ability to ask questions and surveys over social media, and Poptip

 72Lux, Heather Marie, Founder and CEO - 72Lux is a software company with patent-pending technology
that enables digital publishers to sell the products they feature in their editorial.

I left the event with my very heavy gift bag of L’Oreal hair products.  I was so proud of all these women and what they have and will accomplish. Can’t wait to see what is in store for next year. 

 After eating up a storm at the Sushi table, caped it off with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and a shot of milk.

After eating up a storm at the Sushi table, caped it off with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and a shot of milk.