My Top 5 Reasons For Getting Out Of MLM PLUS: Crochet Drawstring Bag Pattern

The following is just my personal opinion/confession and is in no way shape or form meant to be a judgement of MLM or the wonderful people who are successfully working it.

  1. I had more questions than there were answers – and I’ll leave it at that because I am not writing this post to badmouth MLM. I’m just telling you why it’s not where I want to be.
  2. I got what I came for – not every road is the end of the road, some roads are just taking you to where you really need to be. MLM taught me a lot of things and opened me up spiritually and personally. So I got what I came for and was ready to move on a long time ago.
  3. Sometimes hard work doesn’t pay off because the wrong people are getting paid – and that’s my way of saying that I wanted my hard work to pay me. As things stood I had to share my residual income (which by the by is only residual if the business you brought in is still on the books, nothing from nothing leaves nothing right?) with my sponsor, her sponsor, her sponsor and the company. I knew that if I was going to take time away from my family to make money, then I wanted us to be the major beneficiaries. Not only that but I felt that the only people really benefiting were the ones who were speakers, teachers, or had some product that network marketers could use to “explode” their business in some way. Now those guys are making money for real.
  4. I found it impossible to balance working outside the home with working from home. This was unfair to my team and anyone that I added to my team. So I just stopped trying to recruit a team or bring in any new business
  5. I made more money crocheting and I didn’t have to make any calls – plus, I could watch TV while I did it. Nuff said. Now here’s one of my first  patterns, it is untested, but makes a really cute bag:)

drawstring-bag1

Hook size J

Red Heart super saver

 

2 strands held together chain 5 and join with sl

Color A – White

Color B – Pumpkin

 

 

Round 1- Chain 2 and 10 hdc in ring join to ch 2 with sl

Round 2- Chain 2 , 1 hdc in same stitch and 2 hdc in each hdc around join with sl to ch2

Round 3- repeat round 2

Round 4- Chain 2 , 1 hdc in each hdc around join with sl to ch2

Round 5- Chain 2 , 1 hdc in same stitch, hdc in next st *2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 st repeat  from * around join with sl to ch2

Round 6- Chain 2 , 1 hdc in same stitch, hdc in next 2 st *2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 st repeat  from * around join with sl to ch2

Round 7- This round you will reverse your work so that the right side will become the outside bottom of the bag. So turn the piece with the right side away from you and the wrong side facing you. Ch 2, working in front loop only for this row, 1 hdc in each hdc around join with sl to ch2

Round 8 -9 – Ch 2, 1 hdc in each hdc around join with sl to ch2

 

Now drop Color B and work the next 6 rows with Color A (1 strand only), work sc into the sc of the previous row

Round 10– Ch 2, 3 dc in next stitch (shell made,might change this),* sk 1 st, sc in next st , sk 1 st, 3dc in next stitch. Repeat from * around join with sl to ch2

Round 11-15 – Repeat round 10

 

At end of Row 15 drop color A, join color B

Round 16 – 21 – repeat round 10

 

At end of Row 21 drop color B, join color A

Round 22 – 27 – repeat round 10

 

Round 28 – Ch 4 (counts as tr + ch1)  2 tr in 2nd dc of next shell , *ch1, 2 tr in 2nd chain of next shell. Repeat from * around. Join with sl to top of ch 4. Fasten off

 

Round 29 – Join color B, ch 1, sc in each stitch around

Round 30 – Ch 1 , sc in each st around

Round 31 – Ch1 reverse sc in each stitch around. Fasten off weave in ends. NOTE: my reverse sc is – insert hook in sc, yo and pull through (two loops on hook). Turn needle 360 degrees, yo and pull through.

 

Handle (make 2 one in color A and one in color B)

Ch 100 or however long you want your handle to be (account for part that has to be sewn into the bag)

Round 1 – 2 dc in 4th chain from hook,* sk 1 chain, sc in next ch, sk 1 ch, 3 dc in next ch. Repeat from * around, fasten off.

 

Hold 2 handles together and sc in ea st around. On bottom of shells work an extra row of sc

 

 

Drawstring –  Chain 70 (or length you want drawstring to be) – dc in 3rd chain from hook and in each chain across (add beads if desired)

 

Sew handles to bag with whipstitch on both sides of the handle (you want it to hold). Run Drawstring through round 28 (triple crochets)

 

Line bag if desired.

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The Real Truth About Network Marketing – The More You Fail, The More You Will Succeed

“To think what you want to think is to think Truth, regardless of appearances” – Wallace D. Wattles

momentum is everythingIt’s going to happen to you (if it hasn’t already), whether it’s a phone call  or a face to face  with a network marketer, or maybe you will attend a local meeting  of a network marketing company.  The person who prospects you will tell you about Suzy Q the homemaker who just wanted to make $400 extra a month to help her hardworking husband with the bills, who threw herself into network marketing  and it was so hard that she almost gave up! But she kept at it and today she is a six-figure earner! And then there’s Jimmy Z, everyone knows about Jimmy, he started way back when before Al Gore invented the Internet and he built a multi-million dollar business by doing meetings in McDonald’s and grocery store aisles!

If you go to a local meeting Suzy, Jimmy and their friends will be paraded across the stage and they will each tell their story and they will cry genuine tears – because it was hard and everyone laughed at them and said it couldn’t be done – and they did it anyway! At this point you will be crying too as you fill out the form being handed to you.

When all is said and done you have joined a new business opportunity, you are pumped, you are ready to change your life, you are going to eliminate all of your debt in the next 12 months! You’re so danged excited that it’s hard to sleep some nights, I mean after all you are going to be earning six figure by this time next year – imagine that!

But wait – did you not hear the disclaimer, did you miss the part about :

1. Results not being typical and

2. And the fact that it can  take a lot of years, tears and hard work for the average Joe to succeed

Yes, yes, in your excitement you totally missed where Jimmy said that he talks to folks in parking lots (that’s gauche and yo don’t plan to do that and anyway you just got this email from some MLM guru guy who for just $1197.00 is going to show you howto earn 10K per month by this time next month).  You didn’t miss the part about two to ten years to that six-figure income because that’s for average people and you plan to be Suzy Q the one who did it in a year, heck if she can do it so can you!

So  (totally ignoring all the training you are receiving from your team about investing time rather than money at the front end)  you buy expensive leads, take out expensive ads, and do that guru program and you check your back office and bank account daily to see if you’ve signed up  a thousand distributors and made any progress towards your 10K.  Well that’s just exhausting isn’t it?

And when you realize that you’ve invested more than you’ve made, well that’s when you start to throw up the “Obstacles To Your Own Success”:

1. You begin to find fault with your upline – after all he brought you in, he gets paid off you every month,why isn’t he helping you?  Why doesn’t he provide you with leads or do calls for you so you can watch TV in peace?  And he probably doesn’t even make as much as he said. What a loser, he’s just using you…..

2. You begin to find fault with your company, product or team and you disconnect – you don’t listen to training calls, you don’t attend events, you think the product or service is too expensive or doesn’t work….

3. You become cynical about network marketing – after all everywhere you look on the internet they say 97% fail, and you probably have to get in at the beginning to be successful, and maybe it really is a scam….

So where are you right now? Are you reaching for the stars or are you throwing up obstacles?

* disclaimer- Al Gore did not invent the Internet

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Applying The Four Agreements to Your Business & Life

The Four Agreements
Once upon a time I worked for a Fortune 500 company and was very unhappy. You see I was a dedicated worker who put in many hours and got the job done, but all anyone seemed to care about was my attitude!

Listen, I’m West Indian, we are born with attitude, we don’t sugarcoat things – not because we don’t know how to, but because we don’t know why we should lie when the truth is as plain as my very broad nose.

I live in the South and at the time felt unloved and misunderstood by my coworkers and managers; I wanted to be successful in my corporate career because I didn’t know any better. So my sister gave me this book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and when I  read it something clicked. I typed up the four agreements and pinned them to the wall of my cubicle where I could see them everyday.

Did I become an overnight success? Did the CEO send me flowers? Did I get a big raise?  No, but that wasn’t the point was it? The point was to feel good about myself and radiate that out to those around me. In this I was successful, because I was able to separate what was about me from what was about them – most of the time.

If you are a network marketer or internet marketer or in direct sales, I believe that The Four Agreements should be a part of your life too.  After all we attract what we are, and if you are a lying, cheating so and so, or are afraid to pick up the phone, or can’t bring yourself to approach anyone about your business because they might say “No”-  well….

Be Impeccable With Your Word

Don Miguel says that by adhering to just this First Agreement you will create “heaven on earth” for yourself.  He also says that your word is the power that you have to create (for better or worse) the events in your life. Impeccable means “not liable to sin or  incapable of sin”. To be impeccable with your word you must “Speak with integrity, say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love “

I think that, for the marketer, being impeccable with your word  could also mean to not make outlandish promises or tell lies about your product, service or business opportunity.  You know things like “make money in your sleep”?

Don’t Take Anything Personally

The Second Agreement was and still is probably the most relevant for me. We are all narcissists to some extent and think everything is about us  and when you get into marketing you really start to take things personally – the person who says that yes they are very interested as they hang up the phone, or the one who lets you get halfway through a 20 minute presentation and then hangs up, or the guy who skips your meeting at the  Starbucks way across town (for which you used up all your gas for the week), or the Purchasing manager who says “I’ll take a look at this and get back to you” – and then doesn’t remember who you are when you follow up!  “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering

The last two agreements will be discussed in my next post. If you don’t already own this book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book get it now and leave me a comment, let me know what you think!

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Marketing to Friends & Family – How to Stay Out Of The NFL

National Football League
Image via Wikipedia

What if you found a great product that you wanted to introduce to your family and friends , but realized that you couldn’t, because they would see you coming (and run the other way!)? Chances are that back when you started your first network marketing business, you initially pitched your family and friends on everything. So what have they done? They have tuned you out when it comes to network marketing opportunities and products.

It’s not your fault, most network marketing training initially focuses on the warm market, (even the top network marketing companies still teach this) what they don’t tell you is that this will place you in the NFL. And I don’t mean National Football League; NFL stands for No Friends Left when it comes to anything having to do with your business or products. This is not a place that you want to be; so how do you avoid it?

There is a better way to market to friends and family that will have them eagerly building your business for you. Kim Klaver wrote a great piece called Friends, Lies, and Network Marketing in which she offers twelve tips for keeping your friends and family in your corner and providing you with network marketing leads:

1. Don’t mislead your friends by introducing your product or business as if you were recommending a restaurant or movie.
2. Warn them up front that you’re selling what you’re going to talk about.
3. Don’t ask your friends to buy. Ask for a referral instead. [THIS IS HUGE!!!]
4. Don’t ask your friends to sell. Ask for a referral instead. [AGAIN,THIS IS MAJOR!!!]
5. Lead with your own hot button.[This goes back to the Law of attraction – you attract what you are. So those who are passionate about the same thin that you are passionate about will be drawn to you.]
6. Story replaces pitch. [Facts tell and stories sell – has anyone ever put you to sleep talking about their work? well don’t be that person]
7. No promises, no problems.[If network marketing was easy, everyone would do it, so don’t tell that lie to family and friends – these people love you, love them back.]
8. Enthusiasm sells. Hype and hounding don’t.
9. Recommend the smallest package,like a prudent advisor would.
10. Skip the therapy.They didn’t ask for it and won’t pay you for it.[As much as you want to save a friend who is deep in debt or a sister who is overweight, let it go if they don’t see the vision. Spend time with like-minded folks who are going to get you to your multiple comma income]
11. Use multiple venues to tell your story. [Network marketing tip: do what fits your budget,don’t spend more on advertising than you’ve made in your business]
12. Women: Stay in your comfort zone. Your natural ways are working in today’s skeptical marketplace.

You can find Kim’s manifesto at changethis.com.

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Creating Leaders In Your MLM Business

3D Team Leadership Arrow Concept
Image by lumaxart via Flickr

Have you ever wondered why two people who are given the same opportunity, the same leadership, the same financial and personal situation, access to the same knowledge,  do not achieve the same level of success?  Given that two people can have the same training and the same level of commitment – why does one end up as a top earner, while the other flounders and maybe even quits the business?

Are succesful network marketers just  natural born leaders?  Maybe some of them are, I am sure that that natural born leaders exist in MLM to the same extent  and in the same proportion that they exist in the rest of the world. But what I really think is that to be a successful entrepreneur (and that’s the mindset that you must have if you are in MLM) you have got to cultivate leadership in yourself and your team. I’ve heard  people say that to be successful you have to go out and find some leaders, I disagree, I think that you have to find some people who are interested in being leaders.

So once you have found a couple of good people, what’s next?  Well when I first started in network marketing I thought that I should coddle people, show them everything I know, hold their hands and guide them through the training , help them to build their team- man, imagine my level of pisstivity (no that’s not a word but it does explain that feeling) when people that I spent hours each day training and assisting would just quit without a word. Here today bugging the crap outta me and then gone, baby, gone.

Well that wasn’t a good strategy. So what about if I just bring people into the business, point them to the training site  and give them my number in case they have questions?  Unfortunately, that only works for the “motivated self-starter”, everyone else feels isolated , on their own, and a little bit taken in  (meaning they’re just another notch on your lipstick case).

Then I took a closer look at the true leaders that I knew or had known and I realized that they had several common traits:

  1. They struggled – not one single overnight success in the bunch. They went through some things.
  2. They came to believe in self development – they read a lot, go to seminars,  and listen to books on tape/cd.
  3. They persisted –  they went through some things but kept going anyway.
  4. They felt alone – The person who signed them did not do their business for them

Bottom line is that the bald eagle may have it right, the parents do everything for their young initially, but then they leave them to fend for themselves. I think that those members of your team who survive the “fend for yourself ” stage of their development, will become your leaders.  And those who whine about a lack of support from their upline will never find that ” secret door to success”.

What do you think? Are leaders born or made? How do you create leaders in your organization?

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Does Phone Fear Leave You Cowering In a Corner?

Phonophobia
Image by zharth via Flickr

When working your home based business, do your hands tremble, like an alcoholic in delirium tremens, as you reach for the phone to make the first call of the day? Do you sweat in unmentionable places as you run through your prospecting spiel? Does every “No” or “Not Interested” bring you that much closer to just throwing in the towel on network marketing?

There’s a cure for that you know, and it doesn’t involve giving up on yourself  or your dream of earning a full-time income from home. Have you ever heard “You’re too attached to the outcome” and wondered what the heck you should be attached to if not the outcome, or at least wondered what your upline was trying to tell you?  Well thank goodness you found this post, because I am going to explain to you exactly what that means and how to get yourself detached and maybe even recruit some folks into your opportunity or sell some product.

Remove the “tele” from your marketing moniker

You are not a telemarketer, so don’t get on the phone sounding like one. You bring a lot of negative energy when you do that and your prospect is turned off before you can even get warmed up. So, rather than asking for your prospect (“Hello can I speak to George?”), assume that they are the person that answered the phone : “Hi George, it’s Monica how’s it going?”

Do you think that you’re in this business to make money?

If you believe in your heart that the purpose of your business is just to make money, then that right there, is your problem. The outcome that you’re attached to is earning money by marketing this product or enrolling this new business partner.  You are oozing scammer slime and your prospect hears you drooling down that phone line.

Your special purpose ( as Steve Martin said in “The Jerk”) is to help people solve their problems – whether it’s a lack of money problem or a bad skin problem or a need to lose weight problem or a “my son is a teenager now and I want to spend time together before he heads off to college” problem.

Your special purpose is not to be the solution to their problem, or make your solution fit their problem, it’s simply to figure out what that problem is. So lets practice, you’re still talking to George. You’ve already told him that you’re calling him back to give him that information that he requested about starting his own business (or working at home or whatever).  Now George is going to try to get you to launch straight into your pitch, but you need to pace yourself, because first you need to find out what George is all about and what makes him tick (because when you close him on this call or a follow up call, you will need to be able to push those buttons).

The next step in your prospecting call should be an easy give and take – a discovery process if you will, where you move the focus off the “sale” and put it on George and his problem. Is George currently working? What does he do? Does he like it? Why does he want to work from home? How much money does he want to make? What’s he going to do with all of that money? And so on, note that you should follow every answer from George with another question; this means you have to really listen to George and try to understand what he means (use a feedback technique “So George what I’m hearing is…”)

Sometimes you are able to determine fairly early on that you just do not have the solution to George’s problem,  and that’s alright, that’s detachment.

That’s exactly what not being attached to the outcome means; especially in network and affiliate marketing where you have got to be “OK” with not being the solution to everyone’s problem.

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The Slight Edge | Don’t Despise Your Day Of Small Beginnings

money comes quickly and easilyWhy Do Network Marketers Fail?
Is it because they aren’t committed?
Or perhaps they lack the skills due to poor training?
Or maybe they don’t have the time or money to do their business the way that they want/need to?

OR

Maybe  network marketers don’t fail, maybe they expect a big breakthrough and when it doesn’t come they just give up.

Why do they give up? They give up because their expectations are out of proportion to their ability to deliver the goods. What the heck does that mean anyway? It means that we all have a  “big break” mentality, rather than a slow growth mentality. We fully expect all of our dreams to come true right now, and when that does not happen, we move on to a new job, new team, or new  dream rather than try again.

I bet that you look at the success of others and say “Why can’t that be me?” or worse yet “that will never be me”. Think about it even if Eben Pagan, Mike Dillard, Ellie Drake, Stephen Pierce and Dani Johnson came to your house, sat down with you, showed you what they did to be successful, and left you with the caveat “remember, it’s not an overnight thing” – only 1 out of 5 of you would actually get it. There will be four who wake up the next day (the next week, the next month, the next year) still wondering why their proximity to such successful people did not breed success for them.

The one person who did “get it” will :

  1. stay up late that night writing down her definite purpose
  2. wake up on day two or three or four with  a plan to achieve those goals
  3. implement the plan immediately based on what she learned from the “gurus”
  4. do little things every day that moves her closer to her definite purpose
  5. one day discover that people consider her to be  ” very successful”

Are these steps  pretty easy to do? Yes, she’s barely going to break a sweat at this pace.
Are these steps also pretty easy not to do?  Absolutely, she could watch 3 hours of  TV, go to bed early and wake up late. And she won’t even know that her life could be any different.

So, if she follows these steps will she wake up as a successful and rich network or internet marketer within a couple of weeks? Sorry, she probably  will not/

But  she’ll  keep on doing these minor little things that are just as easy not to do as they are to do, and then somewhere in month 6 sh ewill start to notice that her life has changed. Maybe she’s finally fitting into her skinny jeans, or she is getting a decent residual income check every month like clockwork, or people are falling all over themselves trying to get into her business, or buy her product, or just ask her what she knows that they don’t.

And all this because she used the slight edge principle of “small things compounded daily”, and there she is  riding up the success curve, while the other four people who got the same knowledge that she did from the “gurus” are still struggling, or have already given up, or are seeking advice from yet another guru.

Let me put this another way, you want to lose weight but you love to eat and you dislike exercise. Instead of trying to lose 20 pounds in 60 days, what if you decided to be thinner and healthier by this time next year. That’s 365 days – so if you cut just 10 calories from your diet each and every day for the next 365 days, by this time next month you’ll be eating 350 fewer calories per day. At that point you can decide to start with 10 minutes of walking and add one minute to your walk every day that you exercise, just one minute, a total no brainer.
Notice that I did not tell you to eliminate 350 or 3500 calories on day one, nor did I say do 45 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. Loving to eat and hating exercise, you’d do that for a week or two and then eat a box of oreos with ice cream and kick your treadmill to the curb. But those small daily /monthly totally not noticeable changes will find you thinner, healthier and at your goal in 365 days or less!

The same thing goes for building a retirement income, or getting to an income where you can quit your job via your business. Forget massive action if that’s not  what you are into, instead do one small thing every day that will build some momentum in your business:

Coach John Wooden says “little things make big things happen”, do you agree?  What small things are you doing each day to get to your definite purpose?

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Happy Valentines Day!

valentines

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10 Things To Consider When Choosing a Work At Home Opportunity

working at home
Image by atconc via Flickr

With a New Year comes reflection ,soul searching and then the desire to BE or DO…something.  That something can mean anything from finding a new job to creating  a new way of life that includes more time for yourself or to spend with your family. Whatever that something is, it often finds you on the internet searching for work at home opportunities.  Given that a work at home opportunity can be anything from Virtual Assistant to Home Based Business Entrepreneur, here are

10 Things To Consider When Choosing a Work At Home Opportunity

  1. Do want to supplement your current income or are you looking for financial freedom?  This question could be reworded as “are you looking for a quick fix to a financial shortfall or is your goal a significant increase in your income over the long term? ”  It is the first and most important question to ask yourself. If you want to supplement your income for a little while then a second job  would be a good option, but will that scratch your itch long term? Consider where you were a year ago and where you want to be a year from now. If you were looking for extra income a year ago then you will probably still be looking a year from now, because your finances are probably even more messy than you care to admit. In a case like this you want to think long term financial freedom.
  2. How much income are you looking to generate? Is $10 an hour enough for you  or do you need an extra $2000.00 a month? You can find hourly jobs and short-term  gigs on craigslist, elance.com, and wahm.com for starters. To create a consistent livable/sustainable income from home may require a business opportunity as opposed to a job. (Coming soon “Use Your Passion to Get Into Profit Mode” with tips on earning money by doing something you like to do, as opposed to doing something that you have to do).
  3. How much time are you willing to invest in a work at home opportunity? Meaning, how many hours a day do you actually have for this? Do you want something do a couple of hours on the weekend and in the evening or do you need  9-5 telecommute job kind of thing ?  Do you want the ability to set your own hours and go at your own speed or do you require scheduled hours that provide structure and discipline? You should know and understand the differences before you start  filling applications out across the web.
  4. Are you looking to spend more quality time with your family or to be home with your kids? Many work at home opportunities do not have room for children in them. A home based business is something that you can do with barking dogs, meowing cats, and crying babies. When you talk to people on the phone they hear all that and realize that maybe you are not calling them from a call center in India or Yugoslavia or (worst yet) Arizona. There are customer service and telemarketing  jobs that you can do from home but some restrictions apply. You will need a hardwired telephone line (not Magic Jack or VOIP), an office where you can work quietly (no doorbells, no kids, no pets), and the ability to commit to scheduled hours which usually include the weekend. If your kids are not in school and you don’t have an au pair, these are not for you. But again check out some of the sites I listed above for jobs that are not so strict.
  5. How much do you have to invest in a work at home opportunity? Some jobs require that you pay certain fees for a background check for example. Most business opportunities also require an up front fee as well as a monthly fee  or an auto ship (requires you to receive x amount of products per month). Affiliates are often free to get started, but may have some costs down the line.
  6. How long are you willing to work ? If you just want to make an extra $500 for 6 months and call it quits then you are looking at a short term gig, whereas a $200,000 per year income  may take you anywhere from 2 to 5 years to generate (and I can’t promise you that it can be done with a job).
  7. Do you understand the 40 year versus the 4 year retirement plan? That’s where you work for a company for 40 years and then retire with a pension that is so small you have to supplement your income with the 401K that you (hopefully) contributed to while you were working or … you end up as a greeter at Walmart. The 4 year plan is where you start your own business and work really  hard for 4 years to create a $100K+ residual income that allows you and your spouse to retire before your kids get to junior high school. This is based on the premise that if you are going to work hard anyway, why not be the main beneficiary of your hard work? Before you jump into a business read this.
  8. Do you know the difference between a home based business and a work at home job? A business opportunity requires self discipline, the ability to dream big,  and a strong desire to succeed. There may be some costs associated with it, and there is a learning curve. but if you can stick it out you will earn a steady income from it in two to four years. A job on the other hand provides an income immediately, sets a schedule for you, and doesn’t require any more self-motivation than you currently have. A job is viewed by many as the safer, less scammy option but…given that over 500,000 people applied for unemployment in December alone, jobs are not as safe as they look and  you will have a lot of competition.
  9. Do you want  to make a lot of money quickly? Then I suggest you sell something on Ebay ( your first born or your house maybe) or rob a bank. Neither a job nor a business is going to get you rich quick, everything requires ramping up and then building.
  10. How big is your biggest dream?  How you answer this question will determine the direction you take.

What do you want to BE or DO in 2009 ? Tell me what I missed in my list of 10 Things To Consider When Choosing a Work At Home Opportunity.

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