Wednesday April 16, 2014
There are no shortage of wishes in the world. Everyone wishes for something. "I wish I was rich." "I wish I was famous." "I wish I was my own boss." The problem with wishes is that they don't come true without a plan. Wishes stay wishes unless you take action. It's the action step that usually stops people from making their wishes a reality.
How long have you been wanting to start a business? What has stopped you? Fear of not making enough money? Concerns about getting health coverage? The reality is that many of the things that are holding you back might not be the huge challenges as you think they are. In Home Business Myths Debunked
, I discuss beliefs that hold many would-be home business owners back.
What about you? What misconceptions about home business are holding you back? If you're a home business owner, how did you overcome these misconceptions to achieve success?
Tuesday April 15, 2014
It's that day again... Tax Day. If you're a home business owner, not only is your 2013 tax return due to today, but your first quarterly 2014 estimated tax as well. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stuck or unsure, check out the links below for everything you need to know to get your taxes done.
Get Ready for Tax Season!
15 FAQ About Self-Employment Taxes
Business Use of Your Home
How Do I File for a Tax Extension?
When in doubt, don't be afraid to check out the IRS's information on Small Business and Self-Employment
Photo Credit: C. Sherburne/PhotoLink/Getty Images
Monday April 14, 2014
I'll admit that I probably haven't been as diligent about security as I should have been. Yes, I had long passwords with caps, letters and characters, but in this day and age, I think hackers are more clever than I am. So when the Heartbleed scare came last week, I did get a little paranoid. I updated my passwords using a generator to create them so they'd be unique and difficult to crack. I went through my web host server and deleted old accounts I wasn't using (and accidentally brought down a site I was using).
So what is the big deal about Heartbleed? After all, this isn't the first time we've heard about security vulnerabilities. What made this different was that it focused a vulnerability of OpenSSL, which is used by major companies, governments and other sites needing this type of security. Many companies were quick to update security, while others haven't been so quick. For example, according to an article at Mashable
, you should probably change the password at most of you social media networks, Google and Yahoo.
There is a mad rush now to change passwords and protect the Internet from hackers who seem bent on using their skills for evil instead of good. But even if you're just a casual web user, you should take steps to make sure your online activities are protected. Here are some resources you should check out:
What You Need to Know About Heartbleed
Keep Your Computer and Website Safe from Hacking
Here's Why You Should Consider Changing Your Online Passwords
Tuesday April 8, 2014
I don't spend any money on marketing anymore. With the exception of paying for an email list service and web hosting, I don't buy advertising. Instead I use content marketing and free publicity. I love free publicity because not only do I get in front of lots of people, but I get more credibility. When I'm interviewed for Redbook
or appear on a radio show, it's as an expert guest. Consumers are more likely to listen to an expert guest than an advertisement. So along with keeping my website up-to-date, participating in social media and emailing my list, I spend time contacting media outlets, pitching stories their market might want to hear about.
In Write Press Releases that Get Noticed
, I outline how to write and contact media outlets to interview you. It's not hard, but it does take knowing how and what to pitch, and a willingness to keep at it until you get a response. The effort is worth it. Through pitching media I've been featured in Redbook, Woman's World, Today's Parent and a host of other media outlets.
Have you used a press release or pitched the media successfully?