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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What is a Funded Proposal & Why Should You Care?

One of the ways to make money online is teaching a skill to others – from how to write a business plan to how to attract prospects to your opportunity, knowledge products are big business. This video discusses what a  funded proposal is and why you as a marketer should drop what you are doing right now and get on this train.  Watch the video and leave me your thoughts!

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Is Retirement At 65 The Final Fantasy?

burn's night at a retirement home
Image by k4dordy via Flickr

I’ve been working since I joined the Marine Corps at age 17.  Prior to age 46, I had only worked at four (4) jobs (can you imagine? what a dinosaur I am) , five if you include my part time job at Blockbuster back in the 80s.  I thought that was the way to show loyalty and end up with a nice retirement package at age 65.

It worked for my Mom (not so much for my Dad he died at age 60, more on that next post), so I figured that if I played my cards right I would be able to bounce the grandchildren on my knee while sitting on the front porch of the finest retirement home (which my son Rahsheen has been promising to place me in for years-:).

I was laid off at age 46 and recently I  have spoken to more and more “middle-aged” men and women who have also been laid off in their later years; and it got me thinking is retirement by age 65 the final fantasy? More fallacy than actual truth? Something that only happens for a small percentage of the population?

As a network marketer here is where I am supposed to tell you about the 4 year vs the 40 year plan, so yes do consider a home-based business as a way to build retirement income.  Network marketing will build your retirement nest egg a lot faster than a corporate job, as long as you are willing to work hard at it and get through the ups and downs.

If your former job had a pension plan or you put money into a 401K, please, do not spend the money on a new car, a boat or your bills! You will place retirement that much farther out of your reach because once your savings are gone they are gone – and if you are not over 59, the biggest portion will be  going to the IRS and not to you (sucks, I know).

Holding on to and reinvesting your retirement funds rather than spending that money to survive right now, will ensure that you are able to retire before you’re 80 with a substantial monthly income.

Yes the old idea of working for one company for 40 years and retiring at 65 is the final fantasy of my generation, but do not despair. Our talents, skills, and experience will ensure that we get another job. But opening ourselves to the other options out there – internet marketing, home-based businesses, small businesses – will once again make retirement a reality for this generation. Although, if you find something that you totally love doing, and affords you luxury cruises  and other great vacations,  you may say instead “Why would I want to retire?”

So what do you think, is retirement a thing of the past? Leave a comment!

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Happy Valentines Day!

valentines

workfromhomevalentines

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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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And This Christmas Will Be – Made Possible By My Home-Based Business

Presents under the tree, courtesy of my residual income check

Presents under the tree, courtesy of my residual income check

Late this year the US government finally admitted that there might be a recession going on, but some of us have known it for a long time.  I started this year with three streams of income  – a consulting position that led me to Russia back in January and provided a steady income through May; a customer service job that took up a lot of my time but paid weekly; and my home based business which I worked sparingly because the other two left me drained.

The consulting position began to fade away in April, and had disappeared altogether by late May, thousands of dollars in income just gone bye bye. But that was OK, because I still had the customer service job, I was working for an online Real Estate service providing instruction and a helping hand to their clients. Unfortunately, it was Real Estate and we know what happened to that market – the weekend before the 4th of July I got a call saying that my last check was in the mail, and they were really sorry and blah blah blah.

That left me with my home based business which I threw myself into working for a while, until I lucked into another consulting position which offered a great salary,long term income, and financial stability for me and the fam.  I was very busy working long hours, traveling quite a bit and again unable to work my home-based business because I could not be as available to my down line as I like to be. Well, as we all know shift happens and it happened to me again.  Another one bit the dust due to the gloomy economic outlook and the reluctance of many of our clients to invest in “frivolous” upgrades to their existing systems.

And that left only one leg of my three-legged stool /streams of income. Fortunately for me, the sporadic bursts of involvement in my business had produced three promotions within 8 months which meant a strong  and deep downline. The residual check that I receive from my business pays bills, buys groceries, allows me to donate to charities. In this season of  giving I worried that there would be no Christmas dinner and no presents under the tree (due to some other issues that I will discuss in another post, as well as the fact that recruiting is so difficult in December). While I searched for a job and worked on upgrading my skills, I also set a dollar amount of what I wanted my business to produce so that I could purchase a present or two. My  home based business came through for me again and… well every picture tells a story don’t it, so just check out the picture. If working my business in a part-time way can provide this much financial freedom , what could persistence and consistency bring us next year?

Tell me are you better off than you were a year ago? How many streams of income do you have going? Are you actually working your business or are you waiting for it to produce “income while you sleep”?

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