Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weight Loss Update? Maybe Not...

Happy Sunday - I bet you all are wondering when I was going to provide my weight loss update for the week. Well...it won't be today, I forgot to weigh myself again today. I know it is starting to sound like a habit, but my schedule has been so off the charts that I can't seem to keep things straight. I feel like I gained weight, but I know for a fact that it is water weight. When I get up in the mornings, my hands and face are swollen, and after moving around and drinking water during the day, the swelling resides (swelling due to allergies, the dogs have been tracking plant materials in the bed...I am allergic, need to keep the dogs off the bed for now). Not an excuse for not weighing myself, but today I really and truly forgot.

For the time being, I have stopped taking the Core4 System and have been focusing on using StemEnhance and StemFlo. I am hoping to report that my weight will not increase once I stop taking the Core4 system, but I will let you know once I remember to weigh myself again. I have been feel better, and I don't need as much coffee to get going each day. My gurgley guts have also not been an issue either, so it appears (so far) that perhaps the combination of StemEnahce and StemFlo have done a good job of keeping my insides balanced. I have also noticed that my appetite has decreased a bit too. We shall see if that holds in the next few weeks.

I am stopping the Core4 system for several reasons. One is that I am not thrilled with the new company, those reasons I will not go into here. The other reason is that I have stopped losing weight, despite all the efforts I have made to lose weight. My thoughts are that perhaps my body got used to the Core4 system and it is not responding to those herbs. If I take a break, and then start up again, perhaps I can start losing weight again. I will keep you posted, and will let you know once I go back on the Core4 System.

This is now the end of February, and we are entering into March. I can't believe the year is flying by so quickly. Our show schedule is already starting to heat up, we have events every weekend in March to include the Good Guys show in Scottsdale March 12-14th. We are really looking forward to that show, it should be a whole lot of fun. We will be sure to take a lot of pictures so for those of you who are unable to attend, you can see what goes on out there. If you are interested in our event schedule, please check out our website, and click on the link to the "Schedule of Events" (that can be found on the left side of the page, near the bottom). As we confirm shows, I post the updates on the Schedule of events. Hopefully we can see you at some of our upcoming events.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Update on Basha's Outdoor Festival

Today we did not expect much out of the weather other than bad weather. The weather reports had indicated we would have rains starting either in the afternoon or evening and you all know how reliable the weather people can be. When the sun started to rise today, it looked like it was going to rain well before the afternoon. Being the brave souls that we were, we still took our chances and headed off to the Basha's Outdoor Festival in Gold Canyon.

Boy, was that the right thing to do. The weather remained very overcast, cool and at times windy, but by mid-afternoon, the clouds started breaking up and you could even cast a shadow on the ground. Once the clouds started thinning out, the air temperature seemed to rise a bit and you could see vendors taking off one of many layers of clothing. Even the customers seemed to not be concerned with the threatening clouds in the early part of the day. We had a significant amount of foot traffic, more than what I think any of us expected. Granted, I am always looking for the silver lining, but even I was pleased to see as many people wandering around the vendor booths as there were.

As the weather improved, we did find more people coming out to see what was going on in the Basha's parking lot. We had a wide variety of vendors offering anything from food to beautiful jewelery to photography, to paintings to shirts, to nutritionals and waterless vehicle wash (us...of course...). There was one vendor even offering children's t-shirts that could be colored on, then washed and then be able to re-color them. That I thought was great for the young artist in the family. Basha's did a great job in collecting vendors from all different walks of life, providing their customers with a wonderful selection to browse through. Along with the selection, the people themselves were awesome.

Again, I was very impressed with the customer participation in this event, especially in light of the fact that this weekend hosts not only the Renaissance Fair (running through March 28th) but the Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo and Fair in Apache Junction. People had a wide variety of venues to look at this weekend, so we were extremely blessed to have had such a good turnout.

Next week we will again be attending another Basha's Outdoor Festival on Saturday. With luck, the weather reports will be more favorable and there won't be as many other events we have to compete with. If you have the time, come on by and visit all of us. We always have a great time, and it is a wonderful opportunity to meet other small business people and home based business people that live and work in the area.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Acorn Problems?

Had a great conversation with my mother today. When she answered the phone, she sounded relieved so I asked why. She said that she had been experiencing intermittent phone problems for the last few days and was surprised that my call actually came through. She said she had contacted the phone company and that they would be out to check to see what was up. It was her next statement that really had me scratching my head. She said she probably already knows what is wrong with her phone, she had Acorn problems.

Well, if you have been paying attention to the news these last few years, the first item that comes to mind when someone puts the words Acorn and Problems together is the political group A.C.O.R.N. (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). So, I was wondering what A.C.O.R.N. had done to my mother's telephone system. Let me back up a little so you understand why she didn't associate her Acorn problem with ACORN. My mother lives in the mountains in mid-California and is getting up there in years. She watches TV, but chooses to only watch the news a little because it is almost always "bad". She keeps an eye out for relevant issues to her, to her community, and any election information. Beyond that, she pretty much tunes it out, and that is very OK with me. We have had some animated discussions on current events, and since we are both more than a little hard-headed and both are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, we have agreed to disagree and don't discuss politics anymore.

Anyway, when she stated she had Acorn problems, I was ready to head out to her house and start pounding someones head in (not hers, but whoever was messing with her). When I asked exactly what problems Acorn was involved in, she said it was either squirrels or birds... Then I stopped, backed up and asked again, WHAT Acorn problems are you talking about?

Apparently, there are A LOT of oak trees where she lives. The squirrels and the woodpeckers have been overly active this year collecting acorns and storing them everywhere. She said they have been storing acorns under her shingles all winter long. She said you can see the acorns under the shingles just by standing in the driveway and looking up. She can hear the pitter-pat of little feet on her roof as they find new hiding places. Apparently two years ago the squirrels had found a hole in one of the phone boxes on the telephone pole and completely stuffed it full of acorns, thereby shorting out some phone lines. My mother tells me that the intermittent phone problems she is having this time are very similar to those of two years ago. She said the phone repairman was shocked by how full the box was of acorns, it was so full, the acorns were cutting through some of the phone wires...

She then goes on to tell me she is having plumbing problems. The water in her sink is draining so slowly that she called a plumber in today. The plumber tried all kinds of tricks to clear her drain to no avail. After he worked his 'snake' he said he hit something very solid. Since my mother does not put any solid objects (bones, potato skins, etc) down the disposal, she knew it was nothing she did. The plumber then had to go on the roof (don't understand this, but apparently there is some type of breather pipe for plumbing that can be accessed from the roof...???) and ran his snake down and then put a hose and added water pressure into that pipe. She said you would not believe how many acorns came out the other end of that pipe. Unfortunately, there were so many that they have to get another plumber to come in and drill the wedged acorns out of her plumbing system.

It seems that somehow a cover came off the top of this pipe, and either the birds or squirrels or both have been flinging acorns down the pipe in an effort to store them. Well, now her plumbing is all plugged up with acorns. The almost need some type of auger to clear the impacted acorns... Hopefully that will be cleared in the next few days.

But anyway, now I understand her "Acorn" problems. I couldn't stop laughing, I thought some political group was harassing my mother and I was going to knock a few heads together. I can't imagine having phone problems because a bird or squirrel chose to stuff a phone box full of acorns. The phone man will not be pleased if this has occurred again. She said she is going to find a means to permanently close the breather pipe on her roof so those same critters won't think this pipe is the neatest thing to store acorns in either.... I am so glad I live in AZ where the ground squirrels only put cactus bits in holes....

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Networking your Business Opportunity

Today was an extremely busy day. We had a car to detail in the morning then scooted up to Scottsdale to obtain a City Permit for the upcoming Good Guys show in March. We then reviewed some of the sites that Basha's will be having their Outdoor Festivals, and then wound our way home. We had enough time at home to catch up on some messages, phone calls and then it was out again for a preliminary meeting for developing a new networking group.

The subject of this blog is networking your business opportunity. I have mentioned in prior blogs several methods for networking. What we are trying is something hopefully different. Our concept is to get several small business owners together and brain storm about how to build our businesses in this current economy. Granted there are many networking groups out there, but we thought that it might be worthwhile to create a new group and bring in new ideas. We want to build new relationships and new concepts.

The people we are pulling together do not have a traditional brick and mortar business. We all work out of our homes and have used different methods to promote our businesses. We are hoping that by blending all of these people together, with their combined large experience in meeting people, we may be able to come up with some innovative ideas on growing our individual businesses. What we are hoping for is some new inspiration for building. We have no idea where this may take us, but it is worth a shot. Now is the time to really start thinking out of the box. We want to throw out the old rules and see if we can develop a new, repeatable concept.

We will keep you posted on our progress, and expect to come up with some exciting ideas. We are looking at our current situation like we are caterpillars, and we are now planning on becoming butterflies. In this economy, we are expecting the surviving businesses to be better, more innovative and stronger than they have ever been in the past. If any of you have any ideas you would like floated or, would be interested in getting involved, please send me an e-mail at hawgwash1@yahoo.com.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Business Opportunitites and Options

We have received several questions on why do we have such a variety of items on our website. Yesterday we talked about the Waterless Technology Products that we carry, and why we have products from two different companies. You will notice on our website that we have Nutritional products, Pre-Paid Legal, Stretch head wear, and various products for the motorcycle. We like to provide multiple business opportunitites so that our customers have the option to pick what works specifically with them, not just what suits us.

We have expanded our product line from the Waterless Technology Products to diversify our income streams. As we have covered in prior blogs, you need to diversify in the event the main product line either doesn't sell, or is no longer available. By diversifying, depending on the situation, we can move easily from one offering to another without problems. This is one version of multiple income streams. You can walk into any grocery store and see many brands of the same type of product and many different products. The concept of the grocery store is that if you are not interested or looking for one item, they may carry something else that you do want or need. We are not going to be like a grocery store, but we do want to offer options for people visiting our website or even visiting our booth at various shows. Providing options to customers is the name of the game.

There have been several occasions where waterless technology is not of interest to customers. What we opted to do was to expand into other areas that may be motorcycle or car related (doo rags, center stands) and then expanded into items to promote health (so that you can be out doing more stuff). In a way, all of these items are related, the vehicle wash can relate to motorcycles, the center stands relate directly to motorcycles, and by using the center stands, you can more easily clean your motorcycle. The stretch head wear relates to motorcycle riding, or riding in a convertible car. If you don't have your health, you can't do anything, and lastly, in today's life, you need to protect yourself from legal problems, so we carry Pre-Paid Legal as a version of 'insurance'.

This combination may sound a bit odd, but as described there is flow to why we carry what we carry. Because of the variety of our product lines, we have several income streams, and income options. We also have the ability to change what we present in our booth, making us more flexible at shows and events. We are not limited to attending just motorcycle, RV and car rallies. We can adjust our booth to suit the specific venue. You may see us at an outdoor Festival, at a swap meet, at a car show, or a charity event. We are nimble enough to adjust our product offerings to the particular customer base.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hawgwash and Waterless Technology

We have been asked on several occasions the origin of our company's name, Hawgwash. For those of you that have known Steve, that was originally his road name for many years because he was primarily a motorcycle detailer and he loved detailing Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. When we decided to start an official Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), the logical name to choose was Hawgwash since we specialized in Waterless detailing of motorcycles. Granted we also sold waterless cleaning products, but since our speciality was in detailing motorcycles, the name was logical.

The original waterless technology products we carried were made by a company called Dri Wash 'n Guard, Inc. (abbreviated DWG). DWG had a great line of waterless technology products for many years and at the time it looked like they would continue on that innovative path many years down the road. We traveled the country, attending many motorcycle rallies, selling our waterless technology products and detailing motorcycles. In the event there were no motorcycle rallies close to us, we would then attend Good Sam Rallies (events where people in Motor homes got together for a weekend) and car shows.

This was a great way for us to get our name out to the general public without spending thousands of dollars on advertising. If you think about it, advertising a waterless technology product is pretty difficult to do. Nobody believes that the product will not scratch your paint. It is always most effective if you can physically show a customer that the product will not harm your paint or vehicle finish. Actually, if you look at it one way, we did spent thousands on advertising our business at shows. Generally you have to pay for a space at a show or event. The difference to this type of advertising and that of mailers or newsprint, is that you get to spend quality one-on-one time with the customers. You can show them either on your vehicle or on theirs that this waterless technology really does work. Also, since you get to sell product at shows, you can easily recover the cost of the booth space with product sales. So, even though we may have spent thousands that first year on advertising by going to rallies and shows, we recovered those costs plus.

Even though we really liked the DWG waterless technology products, we always kept our eyes open for newer and better technology. When we present our offerings to customers, we are always open to learning about new items in the market. Eventually we were introduced to a new waterless technology product, UltraLuster. What UltraLuster did was take the Dri Wash technology and improve upon it.

We really liked the UltraLuster products, but in certian situations, DWG products still worked better. Because of that, we started carrying both products at our shows. We have had people who have used DWG products for years and were not about to change what they already liked. We also encountered people who were always looking for the newest waterless technology products. So, we now offer Waterless Technology Products by the two leading companies, DWG and UltraLuster. Both of these products have advantages and disadvantages, but they both remain my favorite for waterless cleaning of vehicles.

So, when you go to our website, http://www.hawgwash.net/, you will see two different pages, one for DWG products and another for UltraLuster products. This allows us to provide the best waterless technology products available. If you are unsure which waterless technology product may be better for your application, please feel free to contact us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. We will be more than willing to help you choose a product that would best suit your specific needs.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Adventures with the Refrigerator

I know tonight's blog is posting late, but I have a really, really good excuse. Tonight I decided it would be really good to go though the refrigerator and get rid of any food that was no longer edible. Now, for those of you that know us, we usually don't have a lot of extra food, Steve can be a human vacuum cleaner, so I expected one or two items will need to be tossed, if that...

Boy was I surprised when I took the time to LOOK in the refrigerator. It was downright embarrassing. For starters, I had cooked a pot roast a while back (do NOT ask how far back "a while" is...) and had not bothered to put the leftovers in a plastic container. Under normal circumstances, pot roast does not last 24 hours in this house. Apparently, I had cooked too many of them within weeks of each other and we had both kind of gotten pot roasted out. So, I suspected pretty strongly that the leftovers in the crock pot were going to be relegated to the trash can.

What I didn't expect, and have now learned a very valuable lesson, is DO NOT use solid colored plastic containers when putting away leftovers. Rather, if you do use a solid colored container, be sure you LABEL the container before shoving it in the refrigerator. What both of us did not do (for me it was out of fear...) was peek into those solid containers for fear that something was going to reach out and touch me... So, as I am nervously looking in the refrigerator at all of those solid colored containers (many of them are re-used butter tubs) it was with much trepidation that I slowly opened each of the containers.

Imagine my relief when I opened one of the first containers to discover that lo and behold, there was butter in the container...just like the label indicated. Then I started hoping that we had lots of containers with a little butter in each. I knew that to be an unfounded hope, but it did keep me strong enough to carefully peek into the next curious container. Well, I was not as lucky as the first container, there was something in this one that LOOKED like more pot roast leftovers, but I wasn't entirely sure. Once the smell wafted out of the container, I quickly decided that whatever it was, the mess was going in the trash.

This exercises continued for almost an hour (I didn't know the refrigerator could store that much food) before I finally ran out of containers. That was when I found a pot, pushed waaaay back in the fridge, and pulled it out. In it was some strange, yellow runny stuff. I could not identify the contents of this pot and was very concerned. I called Steve in to identify the runny stuff. He thought I was crazy, but did identify the slime as some potatoes au graten. Again, I have no recent recollection of WHEN we had potatoes au graten...the whole thing looked like it liquefied....By this time, my eyes were watering and my nose had left for greener pastures... This next step will cause you to really question my sanity. I actually took all the really icky food out of the containers, and placed the ick in a trash bag to to out in tomorrow's trash. I didn't want to waste those wonderful plastic containers that I had been hoarding.

So, I managed to empty all those plastic containers (and the one pot) into a trash bag. Then, once we got all that stuff out in the garbage, I was faced with the daunting task of cleaning all of those lovely plastic containers. You may have some idea of how bad the kitchen smelled as I was feebly trying to get those containers cleaned. I did finally manage to scald myself and the plastic clean and now am happy to report that the kitchen now smells fresh and clean once again.

Tomorrow I will review my success in cleaning all those containers. The only rule I have regarding tossing containers is if the lids are broken beyond repair and if the containers have become deformed from the rotting food inside. I did have one of those, the container started out as a tub, but once I took it out of the fridge, it was some Picasso-looking shape. Needless to say, I didn't even DARE to open the lid to that and quickly tossed the whole thing into the trash bag. I am glad that the trash pickup is done automatically now. A truck drives by with pincer arms on the side, the pincers pick up the trash can and dump the contents into the garbage truck. I would have otherwise pitied the garbage men if they had to take the lid off the trash can to dump the contents into the truck.

Hopefully this brief article caused you to smile, either in sympathy or in horror, but all the same, I hope you had fun. Tomorrow we will wander back onto more serious subjects...

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Food Consumption

Today I wanted to cover a very light-hearted topic, food consumption. Some of you may know that I love most kinds of foods and many different ethnic foods. I am particularly fond of Japanese Sushi and it is that subject that I wish to briefly cover.

We have been craving Sushi for some time and found some reasonable Sushi rolls at the local grocery store. Well, Steve loves sushi so much, and we haven't had it for so long, so he decided that he was going to figure out how to make his own. The problem with that is we really can't use raw fish, even the grocery store does not recommend using raw fish... So he decides on the next best thing, cooked fish, and imitation crab meat and imitation crab salad. Not a bad idea, we have the rice, we have the crab meat, but we don't have anything else.

I would like to point out that we do not have any really good Japanese Markets in our area, at least not within 30 miles of here. So, off to the local grocery we go, looking for components for sushi making. I tried to warn Steve that we would most likely be lacking some critical elements, but he poo-pooed me away. We were able to find in the little "Asian" food section, some Wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and.... that's about it. We can't find any seaweed, or any real sushi rice but I know how to make my regular rice get sticky (don't rinse it too well). Steve decides that we don't need all that extra stuff for his sushi idea, so we go home with yet more imitation crab meat, crab salad and, of all things, chicken salad. We couldn't even find any good fresh ginger to add to the mix. I am not allowed in the kitchen to see the creations he is working up. My only job was to make the rice good and sticky.

Well, it has been a long time since I made good sticky rice, and the rice I have isn't the greatest or freshest anyway. So, we discover that my rice is not very sticky (I may have still washed it more than I should have) but Steve makes the best with what we have. I get a plate of rice, sort of rolled around the crab meat. There is no seaweed holding the whole mess together (we could have created at least a version of sashimi with the seaweed...) a blob of the wasabi and a small container of soy sauce. Now if any of you have had wasabi, can be some of the hottest horseradish around. If it is quality wasabi, a little bit can really clear your head (and everything else).

We both assume that since this grocery didn't have the greatest Japanese food selection, that this particular brand of wasabi was not going to be too warm. HA! The little bit I took, made my eyes cross. I tasted my wasabi first, before combining it with the rest of the pseudo sushi Steve created. That was the best thing I could have done. As I was enjoying what Steve created (the taste was excellent, the presentation left more than a little to be desired), I hear bellowing from the other room. (I was eating my meal in the computer room) As I rush out to see what the matter is, Steve is on the couch, his face as red as a beet, struggling to breathe. He said he swallowed molten lava and his mouth and throat had melted.

At this point, I think he is choking on either a piece of rice or some crab, but he manages to gasp out that he took a glob of wasabe into his mouth along with the food. Well, I couldn't stop laughing. Here he is, just hollering his head off, trying to drink everything within his grasp at the couch, and I could do nothing more than laugh. He finally gets enough breath to wobble to the kitchen to refill his water pitcher. But that is still not enough to calm the fire in his mouth. He is still hyper-ventilating from consuming too much wasabe in one mouthful, and he manages to pour most of the water in his mouth and down his front. He then decides to stick his head under the water faucet and run water directly into his mouth. Still, he does not get relief. By this time I am laughing so hard I am crying and can be of no assistance to him. We don't have milk in the house, so there really was nothing else to pour down his throat. I thought for a while of opening a beer and sending that down, but figured he would just choke on it and make a major mess.

After about five minutes of his running around the house, having intermittent breathing issues (it was getting a little scary, he couldn't stop hyper-ventilating) he kept coming back to the kitchen and putting his head under the water faucet to get more water in his mouth. By the time the wasabe stopped turning his mouth into a lava flow, Steve was sopping wet. His face was finally returning to a more normal pink color, for a while there it was almost as red as a stop sign. He then pointed to the little blob of wasabe that remained on his plate and asked if I wanted any. Needless to say, I knew what I was getting into and politely declined the offer.

What Steve learned about wasabe is:

1 - don't trust it....EVER;
2 - only take a VERY LITTLE bit, until you are sure you can handle it;
3 - it will turn your mouth and throat into lava flows;
4 - Do not rely on anyone to be able to assist, they will be laughing too hard;
5 - it will clear your sinuses, and everything else that may have been congested, and lastly
6 - it will hurt to fart later on....

Hopefully this experience caused you to smile and treat wasabe with some form of respect.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Outdoor Fesitval (Marketplace) at Bashs's

Today was the day we were to spend at Basha's, located at 23760 S. Power Road, Queen Creek, AZ for their Outdoor Festival (Marketplace). We did spend a good bit of time there, getting there by 6:45 am, setting up by 8 am anticipating all the crowds only to have the rain start at 10:15 am and not really stop. First thing in the morning was fun, cool, but not too bad and we had very high cloud cover. By the time we finished setting our booth up at 8:30 am, the few clouds that were there had cleared, and we were beginning to feel very optimistic that the weather forecasts of rain all day were wrong, as is often the case.

Boy, were we surprised to see those nasty, heavy, dark rain clouds bearing down on us by 9:30 this morning. I still had high hopes, the wind was blowing, so I was telling everyone that the clouds would just "blow away". HA, I was so very wrong in that prediction. The temperature continued to drop until the rain started at 10:15. By then, you could see your breath when you talked to anyone who would brave the wet weather to see what nuts we were standing in the rain. After a little over an hour of holding down stuff that was trying to blow away, and getting wetter as the minutes ticked by, we ended up calling it quits. We were by far not the first to quit, the rush of vendors to get out once the rain started was pretty amazing. I had again been hoping for a quick rain, and then more clearing so we could get on with selling. I was obviously incorrect. Don't hire me as the next weather person, I don't do well at predicting any more.

Once we got back home, it was time to take all the wet stuff (and there was A LOT of wet stuff) inside to start the drying process. We took our EZUP Tent and now have it partially set up in back by the pool. Hopefully we won't have any significant winds to blow that tent into the pool. The way our luck has been running, I really expect to see the tent in the pool. On a lighter note, the dogs are TERRIFIED of the tent in the back yard. They will go through great lengths to walk around it, they won't walk under it. It is really funny to watch. When they take their usual route out of the house, they have to run under the tent to get into the larger part of the yard. They start their run, and stop so suddenly that they slide under the tent. Then then run back to the door and look at us wondering what evil thing we have now placed in their way. It takes a lot of coaxing to get them to walk around the tent so they can have full access to the back yard.

The reason this is so humerus is that when the tent is fully set up at events, the dogs have absolutely no fear of the tent and will always run to whoever is under the tent. They are pretty funny that way..

So, to recap, today's show was not really a show. We are hoping for much better weather at the Basha's in Gold Canyon for next Saturday. If you are in the neighborhood, we will be there from 10-4 pm talking to people about our business opportunities and showing anyone interested what our waterless wash products can do for vehicles.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bike Night without Working

Well, tonight was the first Bike Night that we attended where we did not work. This is the first time in a very long time where we were actually participants in a Bike Night. We were able to participate in the raffle (when we work at a Bike Night, we hand out raffle tickets, but do not keep any for ourselves...just didn't seem right) and mingle with everyone and not have to watch a table. It was a very pleasant experience to just be a participant.

Even though we were happily wandering around at this Bike Night at Mirage in Apache Junction, it does not mean we were not indirectly promoting our business. I was wearing our Hawgwash, LLC shirt, with our Hawgwash pig logo on it. We were dressed for motorcycle riding, but we were dressed for business also. What was really helpful is that there were many attendees at this event that were regular participants in our Thursday night Bike Nights. Many people teased us about not working, some people were looking for our product table, they were so used to seeing us work, that they were thrown off realizing we were not working.

Even if you are not working at a table or booth, every opportunity you get to meet people is an opportunity to promote your business. Again, I am not talking about getting in people's faces and 'pushing' your business on them. What I am referring to is when people are just socializing, if they are not familiar with you, the inevitable question is "what do you do for a living". This is always a great opportunity to provide a 30 second or less pitch for your business. You want to provide them with just enough information to answer their question, but not too much information to overwhelm them. If you are providing something they would be interested in, then they will pursue the subject by asking you more questions. If you try to push your business on everyone you meet, you will find that you have very few friends, and even fewer invitations to any events.

What was particularly fun tonight is as I mentioned, many people knew us from our Thursday Bike Night. They would come up to us to just talk about what we were going to do going forward. That was neat, because we didn't have to bring up our business at all, they initiated the conversation. Then, anyone else in ear-shot would hear about our business, again, without us pressuring anyone to listen. It is a very non-invasive way to let others know that you are in business. It is fun having your friends and customers, put their heads together to solve our dilemma of where to go next. It is heartwarming to know that they enjoyed our Thursday Bike Nights so much that they want us to find another location and start them up again. It is times like this when you realize that you truly built relationships with people instead of just making impersonal sales.

Being in business does not mean you have to treat your customers as dollar signs or just purchasers of your products. Being in business is more developing relationships with people, helping them when they need a hand and not expecting or requiring them to reciprocate. As I have stated many times in the past, we are really in the business of helping other people's lives better. If we are able to do that, our business is successful.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Advantages of being Self Employed

Last night I didn't have the energy to blog, I am not apologizing, but just wanted to let you know why there was no update. We had some friends that were in dire need of our assistance and positive energy, so we went to their aid. There are major advantages when you are in business for yourself, when you have friends in need, you can put down your business and come to their aid. We did that yesterday for some very good friends. I believe that part of the advantage of being Self Employed is that we are more free to help others.

Time is one of the most valuable assets we all have. It is something that when squandered, cannot be recovered. When working for someone, they basically own your time, at least for a set period of hours in a week. If something occurs (like...life...) you have to negotiate with your employer to get some of your time back so you can spend it on something more important. Being self employed allows us to apply our personal time to areas that need us. You do need to dedicate your time to your business, but if you have a friend or family member in need, you can put aside your business and go to the people you love to assist any way possible. Employers don't always understand that it is more important to help others than it is to line their pockets.


I know this sounds like a rant, but I wanted to re-emphasise the benefits of self employment. Yes, there are a lot of stresses to being self employed, but there are many more rewards. If we as people spend more time helping others, consistently, the world would be a better place to live in. Employers are usually focused on the bottom line, and sometimes forget that the human equation is what ultimately makes their business successful. Even when you are in business for yourself, you need to remember that your ultimate goal is to assist others to make their lives better. By helping others, you ultimately help yourself. One of Anthony Robbins main themes is that it is more important to help and give back to others rather than always looking for ways to make gains for yourself.


One of Anthony Robbins five keys to wealth and happiness is to "always give much more than you expect to succeed." He believes that the secret to living is giving. If you focus on how to change lives you will become wealthy. We need to keep that in mind when we are working our individual businesses, the world will become a better place for it.


Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Your Business and the Winter Olympics

I spent a little over an hour (was busy, that was all the time I could carve out to watch TV) watching the Winter Olympics tonight. Tonight there was a lot on the Men's Figure Skating, Short Program. It was pretty amazing what these guys can do on the ice. What is even more amazing is how much time and dedication they put into preparing for this event. The work involved is nothing new, but as I watched some of the backgrounds of the people competing, I am reminded of how much work goes into your own small business.

If we put as much time and dedication into our businesses as these Olympic athletes do, we would all probably be doing very well in our respective operations. No matter what problems may befall these athletes, they manage to overcome and put on amazing performances. We as business people have to remember to apply the same amount of time and effort into our businesses as the Olympic athletes put into their performances. We may have bad days, or the economy may be taking it's toll on our particular line, but, if we really and truly spent as much effort as the athletes do in their profession, we would most likely not be struggling in business.

Working your own, home based business is tough. But with preparation, planning, practice and ultimately execution, your business will develop and grow. It has to, despite the economic factors. In business, you should not just have one and only one form of income. If you walk into any store, you don't just see one product for sale. Even if it is one TYPE of product, it is not just one product. You have to make contingency plans. You have to plan that if one item doesn't sell, or there are problems, or whatever, that you can easily move to another item that will sell. Just like the Olympic athletes that may make a mistake in a routine. If they mess up in one place, they have trained to make it up elsewhere. They do not stop in the middle of the competition and decide they are done. They rely on their training, complete the routine (even if there were mistakes) and work to make the best of what they have left. They do not quit.

Small business owners should take the same approach. The athletes plan, and train and plan some more. They develop contingency plans, they build in alternatives, they expect to do one routine, but depending on the current situation, they may change the routine a little to suit the new, revised situation. As small business owners, we too have to plan, train, and plan some more. We have a plan, but we need alternate plans and approaches to what may be the same problem. We cannot just go out and expect our perfect plan will work in an imperfect world. We need to be realistic, but we need to have the determination to work things through.

Olympic athletes train at least 4 years, and for many, most of their lives to have an opportunity to compete on this scale. Why wouldn't we as business owners put the same amount of work into our businesses. The athletes don't think of their training as work, it is more of a passion, a way of life for them. They love what they do. We should also look at our business as a way of life, a passion. If you don't like what you are doing, then why are you doing it? You have to be passionate about your business, or it will not survive. I have seen many successful businesses ultimately fail because the owners lost the passion for the business.

If we spent as much time working and planning our business as the athletes do to prepare for the Olympics, we will all be like Olympians. One thing to perhaps consider is to find a coach or mentor for you and your small business. The athletes all have coaches, someone who will root them on when times get tough, someone who will be there to lend a shoulder to cry on. We all need a coach or mentor, they can be a close friend, or a family member. But they really need to be someone who has experience in the business area you are working in or planning on working in.

In order to keep this blog short, I will defer the discussion of business mentors and coaches to tomorrow. But tonight I wanted to remind all the small business owners out there that in order to be successful in anything, be it business or sports, or ultimately the Olympics, you need to plan and train. Then you need to put a lot of time into training, continue planning and keep working the business. Very few small business will just start up and go without an extraordinary amount of work. But, like the athletes in the Olympics, once you put in all that work, then success will come your way.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Little Johnnie Strikes Again

I thought it was time for some humor, it has been a rough week and an even rougher weekend. I am sure some of you have seen this, but it did get me laughing... This is from the February 2010 Issue of the Eyes Newsletter.

"Little Johnnie's next door neighbor had a baby. Unfortunately, the baby was born without ears. When the mother and new baby came home from the hospital, Johnnie's family was invited over to see the baby.

Before they left their house, Little Johnnie's dad had a talk with him ad explained that the baby had no ears. His dad also told him that if he so much as mentioned anything about the baby's missing ears or even said the word 'ears', he would get the smacking of his life when they came back home.

Little Johnnie told his dad he understood completely.

When Johnnie looked in the crib, he said, 'What a beautiful baby.' The mother said, 'Why thank you Little Johnnie.'

Johnie then said, 'He has beautiful little feet and beautiful little hands, a cute little nose and really beautiful eyes. Can he see?'

'Yes,' the mother replied, 'we are so thankful; the Doctor said he will have 20/20 vision.'

'That's great,' said Little Johnnie, ' 'cause he'd sure enough be out of luck if he had to wear glasses.' "

We all need to take time to smile.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Weight Management Update

Well, today is not only Sunday but Valentine's Day. The problem I have with Valentine's day is that there is waaaay too much chocolate around for a person to avoid. The good news is that I have managed to avoid the majority of the candy and chocolate so far. The bad news is that I really forgot to weigh myself today. I can assure you that my weight has not gone up, I weighed myself the other day, and have managed not to gain any weight from last week. So, I have been good on my weekly weight management.

I have been much more diligent about exercising this week too, as promised. I have been walking at least 30 minutes 5 out of 7 days and the walks have been getting more strenuous as the week progressed. These last two days I hiked around Silly Mountain again, today's hike was almost an hour long, and I had taken a much more steep trail. My legs are a little tired, but not as bad as I would have expected.

I do have a few confessions to make tonight too. As you know, for the last seven months I have been using the Core4 System to help me lose and then maintain my weight. In the last month, I have stopped taking the majority of the Core4 System, but am still using the Cheat on my food. I still really like the Cheat on my food, it fills me up faster without having to eat more food. I have been using the Lean off and on (more off than on) when I don't feel like putting any significant meals together. Lean is very useful for a quick meal replacement, you get the protein you need without having to figure out what to eat. I have not been using either the Flush or the Accelerate.

The reason I stopped taking the Flush is that a health-care professional read the ingredients in Flush and said that one of the ingredients was very bad for my colon. She said that extended use would cause my colon to fail. I have not researched too deeply into that claim, but you can imagine my concern every time I took the Flush. As I said, I have not been able to either collaborate or debunk the claim, but it did make me worry every time I took the Flush. The good news is that I don't seem to have the irritable bowels that I used to have before I started on the Core4 system (and using the Flush). I would like to believe that having taken the Flush for all these months kicked my bowels into gear and they are now working more consistently.

I will continue to sprinkle Cheat on my food, and will take the Lean when I don't want to bother with a full meal, but I will discontinue the use of Accelerate and Flush going forward. I believe that my lack of weight gain is due more toward my use of Cheat than any other product in the Core4 system. Tomorrow I will weigh myself and provide you an update. I also have some ideas about why I don't need Flush and Accelerate any more, and will cover that in tomorrow's blog.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saying Goodbye to AJ's Bike Night

Here I was planning on writing a witty and amusing blog but I just can't do it tonight. As you may know from prior blogs, we hold a Thursday Night Bike Night at Arizona Joe's. This is an even that we have been sponsoring for the last 3 years. There have been many times when we were personally not at the Bike Nights, but we always made sure it continued, even when we were on the road.

Tonight I am saddened to say that there will be no more Thursday Night Bike Nights at Arizona Joe's (AJ's). The restaurant and bar will be permanently closing it's doors after tomorrow evening. It feels like we are losing a close friend. We always looked forward to Thursdays and seeing all of our friends. We held free raffles each Thursday and periodically had 50-50 drawings where the proceeds would go to a different charitable organization each week. The really sad part is that we were unable to say goodbye to our friends this last Thursday. We only found out today that AJ's will be closing tomorrow, so there has been no time to thank all our loyal following for attending so many Bike Nights.

It will be especially tough to see the staff go out and look for new positions. Hopefully, they will have little trouble locating other jobs. They were a fantastic team and always went the extra mile for the customers. We are personally blessed because we did not rely on Bike Night as a source of income. Bike Night was our chance to spend time with the people we enjoy being with and not really have to work hard at it. Granted, we always had a table of our products on display for people, but Bike Night was more of an opportunity for bikers and non-bikers to get together to socialize. As I have mentioned before, this was an event that was appropriate for the whole family. Many other Bike Nights that we attended in the past were more focused on drinking, it was at AJ's where we were lucky enough to have that process changed.

AJ's served good food, and served it on the patio, where we held Bike Night. Their broasted chicken was awesome, and their ribs were cooked so well, the meat practically fell off the bones. Since many attendees did eat the meals, there was less hard drinking going on early in the evening. I can't vouch for the quantity of drinks after 9 pm, but it was nice to know that people did not overdue it prior to 9 pm. What was also a lot of fun was being able to wander into AJ's any other time of the week and meet at least one person that we knew there. This is a restaurant / bar that I would refer to as a local bar. People would come here year after year. We looked forward to the winter visitors (snowbirds) coming back and would greet those friends each year they returned. I personally do not have much experience with bars, (no comments from the peanut gallery) but really considered this one to be a place where I could call a second home. No matter what time or day we came by, we were always greeted warmly by the staff, and we would always see someone else we knew in the restaurant or at the bar.

I guess we will be looking for a new location for a Bike Night, but we won't look too hard right now. The new motorcycle rally season is just around the bend, and we don't want to start up a fledgling bike night and then leave for several weeks. If anyone out there has any ideas regarding a new bike night, or a new location, we are all ears. Our e-mail is hawgwash1@yahoo.com.

For those of you who have been attending our regular Bike Night, thank you so very much for your support over the years. Your friendship means the world to us. With luck we will have a new location, not like AJ's, but some place that is just as welcoming so we can all get together once a week and swap lies.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bike Night at Arizona Joe's

Well, tonight was our weekly Bike Night at Arizona Joe's (affectionately called AJ's). We had one of the largest turnouts for this year and had a lot of fun. It looks like people are finally getting unburied from the holiday blahs, and are ready for the warmer weather. We did not have rain here in Arizona today, it was cool and mostly sunny, so we all know the riding season is just around the bend.

Our Bike Nights are not just a time to drink, Arizona Joe's is not just a bar, but a pretty darned good restaurant also. Their broasted chicken is to die for...really. I mentioned before that the Bike Night we hold is more of a family affair. Tonight we had a combined birthday and Valentine's party for some participants. The energy level was high, and you can bet, as the night wore on, the drinking did increase. The really good news is that nobody got too drunk and those that did drink were safely driven home.

Bike Night is really a time for all of us in the area just to get together for an evening of socializing. The feeling at Bike Night is more of a feeling of a family reunion. Since so many people do not live here in Arizona during the summer, it is exciting to see them return on some Bike Nights. We are finally seeing friends we haven't seen in at least a year. One friend hasn't been here for 2 years, so we have been having a ball catching up on two years of life. What is really neat about our Bike Night is that everyone is treated like an extended family member. We do not recognize specific clubs or allegiances, other than the American Legion Riders, and we recognize them more for the service that their members performed for our Country rather than recognize them as a motorcycle riding organization.

Even if you haven't attended a Bike Night at AJ's for a long time, when you walk through that door, you get greeted like a long lost friend. It is one of the best experiences to have, and especially great if you had been having a tough work week. We always look forward to Bike Nights because it is a time to reconnect with friends and to meet new ones. It is a time to put away your daily troubles, and just sit and socialize with friends. If you have not had an opportunity to come to our Bike Night, come on by, you will always be welcomed.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Goals and Dreams






Once upon a time there were five ducks sitting on an island in the middle of a lake. Three of those ducks decided to go into the water. How many ducks are still on the island? Are there two, one or five?

Answer - Five

Why is this you ask?
The key to this is that Deciding to do something is not DOING something. You start "doing" by taking action and completing that action. How many dreams have you had over the years, and how many of those "dreams" have actually come true?
Dreams are great to have, if you didn't have dreams about where you wanted to live, what you wanted to do, and who you wanted to be with, there would be no reason for you to do much of anything. Dreams are what makes the world go around.
The problem is that if you have dreams but don't turn them into goals and then actions, those dreams will become nothing more than that, just dreams. Dreams are necessary to have, they can be what drives you to greatness. The object though is to really identify what dreams you really want and then once you have focused on some of those dreams, to turn them into very specific goals and then build a plan to achieve those goals.
We have seen many different ways to focus your dreams, we will cover one here tonight. The newest concept I have heard (it is not a new concept, just new to me) is to build what is known as a dream board. A dream board is basically either a board, book or something that you can hang where you can see it daily. What you put on this board is possibly a series of pictures of what you really want to achieve. Originally you would want to list all the dreams that you may want to achieve. Like people, you do not want to pre-judge those dreams. Put all those dreams down on that board.
The dream board is basically designed to help you to visualize those things that motivate and inspire you. These are the dreams that make you get up in the morning and the same dreams that keep you awake at night (no, we are not talking about nightmares...). You identify the things that you long for, the tasks or services that you want to do. These are the dreams that you get really emotional for. These dreams do not have to be items or monetary, they just need to be things that you basically hunger for. These are the dreams that give you direction and drive.
Once you have created your initial dream board (this board will grow and develop with time and achievement) then you should identify which dreams you want to work on first. If this step is not done, then you are like the ducks on the island. Deciding you want something, but DOING nothing to achieve that dream. So, you need to start identifying which dream you want to work on, and turn that dream into a goal.
You need to be very specific about what that goal/dream is. If you want to earn more money, how much more money do you want? When do you want to start earning that extra income? Once you reach that money goal, what are you going to do then? Make sure that after you have been specific about those goals, to develop little steps to get to those goals. Those little steps are what you will measure to see how far you have come to achieving those goals. To have a large, specific goal is great, but if you can't figure out the steps to get there, then you will have problems achieving that particular goal/dream. Once you achieve that one dream, then you move onto your next one and keep going.
You will find that even after achieving some of your dreams, more dreams will come to you. Your dream board should be a living, breathing action so that you never run out of dreams and then goals.
The dream board is one technique that can help you to stay focused on why you are doing what you are doing. Life will always get in the way, having a dream board to look at day in and day out will help you through those tough times and help keep you focused on obtaining your goals/dreams.
If there is a dream you have of starting a small business of your own, perhaps we can be of assistance. Please e-mail us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com or check out our website to see if we can help you begin to achieve your dreams.
Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More tasks to improve your Home Based Business

Yesterday we discussed how to improve your presentation for your Home Based Business. Today we are going to cover a few other items that can help you grow your Home Based Business. One key to building your business is to work on your contact list.

A contact list is a list of people you know. These are not just people you know who would be interested in your particular business, this is a list of people you know, either by sight, by name, or know well. When you are building your contact list, you do not want to pre-judge anyone you are writing down. You want to just write down everybody that you know. This way you will develop a good list of people to invite to look at what you are doing. For this list of people, you do not want to try to 'sell' them anything, you want to let them know that you are in business, and what you are in business about. This is essentially your notification list.

This list of people you know can provide very big exposures for you. I have hear that "professionals sort, amateurs convince". Once that you have notified your list that you are in business and have very briefly told them what business you are in, then let them start asking you questions. Do not overburden people with too much information up front. Not all of them are going to be interested in what you are doing, that goes to the sorting part of your job. If you start trying to convince everyone you know to get involved in what you are doing, you will find very quickly that people will essentially walk on the other side of the street to avoid having to talk to you. You do not want people to avoid you.

Your goal is to discover what these people know, what they are looking for in life. You need to listen more than you talk. By listening to people, you learn what they want, what they believe in, and in listening, you may discover that you can offer them something to make their life easier. But you must first listen and understand where they are currently before presenting your business opportunity or product or service. Sometimes, if you take yourself out of the equation, people may be more inclined to hear what you are doing.

The best way to take yourself out of the equation is to invite the people you know to a local meeting or party. That way, you are inviting them to come to an event about what your business opportunity is about, and someone else is talking about the opportunity that you are currently involved in. You want to be in attendance at that same event, so that you can answer and further questions and also to validate what was said by the third party. Sometimes people need to hear about an opportunity from a third party and then they will get excited. After the meeting, be sure to follow up with the person you had invited. You may be pleasantly surprised about the energy and enthusiasm that they found. Also by following up, you are showing the person that you are truly interested in their thoughts, whether or not they get involved. You will begin to build a trust with that person, and even if the business opportunity is not right for them now, they may think of you down the road, when they are interested in getting involved in some type of home based business.

Good luck and enjoy working your contact list, it should be a fun task, not a chore.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Presentations with your Home Based Business

Tonight we are going to cover some points on how to make your Home Based Business more successful. You have talked to your friends and family about your business and now you want to go past this group of people into new areas. It is important before you expand your search that you practice your presentation.

Presentations help a tremendous amount. You don't want to sound too practiced, then people are not necessarily going to trust you. If your presentation sounds 'canned' then you have lost the personal touch. The key in your presentation is to provide enough information for the other person to become interested, but not to provide too much information so that the person you are talking to thinks you are a "know-it-all". If you provide too much information, you may overwhelm the person you are talking to and quickly lose their interest. Practice your presentation with your family or close friend. The key is to get just enough information out to get the person interested, and not enough information so that the same person is inspired to ask for more.

In your presentation, you essentially want to dangle a carrot out for the prospect to take. If you shove the carrot in their face, they will be less inclined to want that carrot. Also, by being aggressive in your presentation, (presenting too much information) your prospects will think you expect them to replicate the same behavior. The key in an effective presentation is to leave the person wanting to find out more. Once they ask you for more information, you are no longer doing the selling, you are providing the information, allowing the prospect to sell themselves. So, practice your presentation with a few of your close friends and family and listen honestly to their feedback.

You will be your harshest critic, so it is always safer to have someone else judge your presentation. They may see something in your body language that you were unaware of. That body language may be very good, or you may be presenting something totally different from what you intended. Having people you trust and respect judge your presentation will provide you with an honest picture of how you present yourself. They need to not just listen to your words, but watch how you interact, and how you move. I know I tend to talk a lot with my hands, it is a very bad habit, and something that I have been working on curtailing. My friends tell me I get too excited, and that in itself is good, but in a presentation can be overbearing. Also my tone can occasionally become condescending, so that is another area that is being worked on.

The people you practice with have to be honest with you, and in return, you have to honestly accept their comments and suggestions without any personal insult. This is the hardest of all to do. You may have been practicing your presentation style for ages, and the last thing you want to hear is that there is something lacking in your presentation. But, if you want to be successful, you need to have honest reviews. If you feel one of your friends is being overly harsh, ask another to review your presentation, but do not tell them of the first person's review. Remember, you were the one to ask them to review your style. Take all the comments graciously, do not take them personally. This is the time to put your personal insecurities aside, and strive to be your best. The speakers you see and hear on stage did not do their presentation all by themselves. They had someone watch and critique their show also. You need this because different people react to different ques. You may respond well to one style of talking, and the next person may respond very differently. By having friends review how you present, you are starting to combine many different styles into one that could become a powerful message for others.

Tomorrow we are going to review working your contact list to help grow your Home Based Business.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Weight Update and Superbowl Update


Well, today being Sunday, it is time for me to fess up...again... about where I am with regards to my weight management / loss. Last week I had forgotten to weigh myself for several days, I did not forget this week. The good news is that I did not gain any weight, the bad news is that I did not lose any weight either. I guess the static weight is a good thing, especially in light of my lack of daily exercise and getting hooked on sugar wafers this week.

I really love sugar wafers, they are a weakness of mine (like jelly beans..) and unfortunately we found them on sale at the local grocery store. Usually I stay away from sugar wafers because I can't justify the cost for the lack of nutrition, but this last week, the price was soooo right, I just had to stock up...well, I finished the last of my sugar wafer stock today watching the Superbowl. I also was not very diligent about exercising this week.

Exercising is very important, but my excuse (not a good one, but somewhat reasonable) is that my bronchitis was flaring and I didn't want to aggravate my lungs any more than necessary. It seems that now the bronchitis is under control, so at least a 30-minute walk regularly next week should be fine. It also looks like there will be no significant rain in the forecast, so there will be no excuse not to walk next week.

The good news about the static weight is that without the exercise and with the sugar wafer binge, the weight did not add up. Under normal circumstances, I would have probably added a few pounds over the week. So, at least the Core4 products are still keeping me out of trouble. I will strive to be better next week about my exercise and eating routines. Too much sweets and too little nutrition will do more harm than good, even if I don't gain additional weight. Healthy eating will lead to better sleeping, as will more exercise will also aid better sleeping. So, next week there should be a better health, weight and fitness report for you.

On a final note, in case you didn't watch the Superbowl, the New Orleans Saints won the Superbowl. My throat is sore from yelling during the game and yelling even more when they won. My family on my mother's side are from the New Orleans area, so it is particularly sweet for me to have the Saints win. I love seeing the underdog come out on top. It is now time for me to put the blog aside and go back to the celebrations for the Saints....

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Second Income Streams

This is a continuation of yesterday's post, Multiple Income Streams. Yesterday we discussed the need for more than one income stream especially in this current economic climate. We briefly covered the fact that people are losing jobs much faster and that companies tend to not keep employees for as long as they used to.

Because you cannot rely on a traditional single income stream (a regular job) for your whole adult life any more, it is necessary to find additional streams of income (second income streams). Again, we are not talking about taking on a second job, where you have to go to a place of business and trade your time for their money. We are talking about finding some additional income source you love to do without losing much time from your family or something that the whole family can do and earn an income. The concept is to build a passive income stream that would supplement your main income and may even surpass your main income stream over time. It will take some time to build that second income, but once you get it going, that additional income becomes self-perpetuating and you are no longer trading your time for their money.

Passive income basically is income that is received on a regular basis with little effort required to maintain it. That doesn't mean the minute you choose a business you will be earning a passive income. There is work and effort expended to begin achieving passive income, but once you have laid good groundwork, and developed replicatable processes, the amount of time you need to spend working on this income stream decreases. You will always have to spend some time maintaining and building your residual income stream, but once you have a repeatable system in place, the amount of time you would need to spend would be relatively minimal.

Another benefit of this type of income is that it would usually be associated with a business activity that you LIKE to do, or really ENJOY doing. If you and your family enjoy spending time together working on a particular small business, it then doesn't really appear to be work, and the added benefit is that the family is working together towards a common goal. If everyone in your family were committed to working this side business an extra 10 hours a week, by the end of six months or a year, you could have some very significant residual or passive income coming in. That additional income could mean you now have the ability to take the family on a great vacation, or it could provide you the freedom to pursue your dreams and goals without having to go to a regular job every day. The key is to teach the people you bring into the business how to do what you are doing. If what you are doing is successful, then if they replicate what you have done, they too will be successful. The beauty about the passive income is that once the people you bring into the business replicate what you are doing, you also reap the financial rewards, so everyone wins.

There are several companies out there that have not only great products and services, but some really awesome repeatable processes. These processes, if followed as designed, should lead you towards the financial freedom you have been looking for. If you are interested in discussing second income options, please feel free to e-mail us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. Otherwise, please feel free to review our website to see if any business opportunities we have to offer will excite you.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Multiple Sources of Income

Once upon a time, you went to work every day and at the end of the week or month you got paid for the work you did. You had a relationship with your employer that once established, you would remain with the same employer for the remainder of your working life. This did not mean that you remained in the same position, but generally people stayed with the same company until retirement. Then, you would have a big retirement party, and spend the remainder of your time enjoying life, living off of your retirement check possibly with some assistance from your Social Security check.

If you didn't notice, those days are now long gone. Companies now hire and fire at the drop of a hat. In their defense, employees come and go just as quickly. Many employees now come into a company, learn what they want to, and then jump ship for another opportunity that will pay more. You do not get the dedication of workforce that you used to, from either side. As you are all well aware, when the going gets tough for companies, they look to the staff and either reduce the hours paid, or let people go in order to save costs. Very rarely will you see upper managemet trimming their ranks. That would only occur if a company was acquired by another. Your retirement plans are also basically gone unless you personally invest in a 401(k) and hope the company matches your investments. Most companies have either gotten rid of their retirement plans and rely on you to start a 401(k) or as you have seen in the news, some companies can't even pay out the retirement plans they have in place.

The upshot of this whole thing is that now, more than ever, we need to have more than one stream of income. You can no longer rely on your one company job to keep a roof over your head and food on the table. We are not even talking about paying for your children's college education, or getting them vehicles to drive around in. If you take a good hard look at the rich, they do not have expectations that all their money comes from one source. They have multiple sources of income. Multiple sources of income also provide additional income and the added security so that if your main income stream stops, you have a plan "B" or "C" or "D" etc.

The biggest trick to managing multiple streams of income is not in working at multiple jobs. Working for someone, you trade time for money. The key is to develop another income stream that does not take large amounts of your time, but with a little invested time, will pay dividends down the road, essentially, passive income. Another advantage of multiple streams of income is that if one of the streams starts to slow down, you can easily shift to another income stream and start building that one up. You are able to shift your focus without worrying about going bankrupt.

We will continue this discussion on multiple income streams tomorrow, digging deeper into understanding 'passive' income and how to get it started.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bike Night and Home Based Businesses

Tonight we had another great Bike Night at Arizona Joe's. The weather had been great all day, and it didn't get as cold as it has been, so the riders were out in force. I bet you are wondering why the title of today's blog is what it is....ha...gotcha... Some people may equate a home based business with staying at home...all the time. I wanted to remind people that just because you may be operating a home based business, it does not mean you should keep it at home. Your address may be your home, but your business is where you choose to take it.

We choose to take ours outside as much as possible. As Hawgwash, LLC, we have decided that we must be out and mingle a bunch with the motorcycle crowd. Since our specialty is detailing motorcycles, we tend to visit places where bikers hang out. That is not to say we wander into smokey bars and watch bikers beat up on each other. The bike night that we host at this one restaurant and bar is a family event. That really means children can be present, we do not allow foul language, or any rough play until after 9 pm, when the children go home. Even then, the crowd we are around hardly gets rowdy. We may get a little loud, but hey, with good music, you are expected to get loud.

Back to the point, just because you are working a home based business, does not mean you have to be chained to a desk at your home. The reason why you may have started your business in the first place was to get away from being chained to any desk. Our home based business is actually centered around motorcycle rallies, Bike Nights, and then Car Shows and RV Shows. We like to get out to talk with people and understand what they are looking for either in a product to use or a business to get involved in. Home based businesses are really just businesses that you can work out of a home, but in reality mean that your business mailing address is your home.

We still love the freedom of working on our own. We can't get fired, we have control over our own destiny, if one type of product does not sell well in a particular environment, we probably have something else that will sell like gangbusters. Also, by participating in Bike Nights, or Rallies, or local business Marketplaces, you get to meet other like-minded people and you get to meet many people who are looking for some type of business to get involved with. If you are interested in becoming involved in a Bike Night, Car Night, Cruise In, or some type of business marketplace, feel free to contact us with any of your questions. We may be able to point you to a promoter, or offer suggestions as to how to get started in your first event.

The best part about being in your own business is that you have the ability to help others and possibly help them on their way to improve their lives. Our goal at Hawgwash, LLC is to help others achieve their goals. If they are able to achieve their goals, then we have done our job and we have then achieved our goal. If we can all help someone get a little better, then the world will be a much better place to live in. There really is no greater satisfaction than finding out you were instrumental in helping someone enjoy a better quality of life.

If you are currently looking for some business opportunity to get involved in, please feel free to contact us. We may have something that will excite you. We can be reached by e-mail at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. If you want to see some of the business opportunities we have to offer, please review www.hawgwash.net. We try to make the website fun to visit, I am continually changing it to make it easier to wander around.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Leadership Traits and your Business

This blog title may sound a bit odd, but I ran across an interesting survey today. There was a question posted on the Internet asking what leadership trait is the most important. I thought that was a good question, especially in reference to running your own business. What leadership trait do you think is the most important?

The choices for this particular survey included 'Forward-looking', 'Competent', 'Intelligent', 'Honest' and 'Inspiring'. All of these are something people should be looking for in a business leader, but the big question is what do most people (i.e. your customers) find the most important trait? Before I provide the survey results, let's look at the choices that were provided. If you are not 'Forward-Looking' as a leader, how can you lead your business into the future? People may follow you if you introduced a cutting-edge product into the market. You may also have found a service that has not been provided to the customer base yet. There are many strengths to a 'forward-looking' leader, this type of business leader will move their company into the future successfully.

The next choice was 'Competent'. Who in their right mind would follow someone who was not competent? That trait seems obvious, but, if you think about it, there are many incompetent people out there that are extremely capable to lead people, it may be the wrong direction, but they can lead people... You don't necessarily have to be 'competent' to lead, if people are inspired to follow you, competence or not, they will follow you. 'Intelligent' is also a very important leadership trait. But, how would you define intelligence? Intelligent for one, may not be that intelligent for someone else. We don't wear our IQ's on our sleeves, nor do we put it on our business cards. I have met some very intelligent people who couldn't reason themselves out of a paper bag...

Next on the list is 'Honest'. Now that is another interesting trait to have in a leader. You always want to do business with an honest person. But, like intelligence, how do you know the business leader is honest? The best way to determine honesty is by asking others who have worked with this potential leader. Honesty in a leader gives customers the comfort of knowing that they are not going to be taken advantage of. The last trait on the list is 'Inspiring'. One definition of a leader is one who inspires people to follow, not one who forces people to follow. So, you would expect that 'Inspiring' would be the most important leadership trait in business.

Somewhat surprisingly, the survey concluded that 'Honesty' was the most important trait, taking 45.7% of the responses. This result does make sense, especially in the current times. How many people do you know that have been lied to by someone they did business with? How many of those people really got hurt by the lies or the misleading? I can see why Honesty is currently considered one of the most important leadership traits. The second place trait was 'Inspiring' with 39.6% of the respondents choosing this. The remaining traits in order of importance for this survey are 'Competent', 'Forward-Looking' and then 'Intelligence'.

This type of survey is very helpful in keeping us focused on the traits that customer's are looking for in a business leader. If you want to stay in front of the trends, it is always good to keep an eye on what your customers are looking for and then provide what they want better than your competition.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Perservering with your Home Based Business

Times have gotten very difficult for many of us, as if you didn't already know that. I bet you have seen many small businesses close their doors in this last year. By watching that occur, some may wonder at the wisdom of starting a Home Based business now. Why would you want to start a business now when you see so many others, who may have been in business for years fail?

The timing actually is very good to start a business. I am not saying any business, but find a need for the current situation and expand on it. Find something that people cannot live without, even in tough economic times. Once you have decided on what you want to do, your personal determination will turn what may seem like an ordinary idea into a possible extraordinary idea. You need to be sure you have done your homework on the business, as we have discussed in prior posts, you need to mitigate risks and most importantly, you need to have a solid business plan. But if you can start a home based business in these tough economic times, think of how easy it will be to continue when the times get better, and they will improve. By starting a business now, you are already building for the future, and you will have built into your plans for how to survive when times get tough again.

The plan is the most important thing you can have in your arsenal. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Once you have that plan, you need to keep your determination, that is what keeps you going when things start looking very dicey. If you quit each time life got difficult, you would not be here today, nor would you be reading this blog. How many times have you heard variations on the cliche, fall down 4 times, get up 5? If the Wright brothers didn't keep trying to build an aeroplane, aviation may not be as far advanced as it is now.

How many businesses have you seen and wondered how they ever keep going day after day? Determination is what makes these people keep going. With determination (and a good plan), you can do just about anything with your business. We all need to keep our eye focused on our plans (adjusting as necessary to be sure we can get to the final goal) and not lose our strength of will to get there.

I have been reading a book by Harvey Mackay entitled, "Pushing the Envelope" and have found it to be quite inspiring. He has dedicated a whole chapter to determination and perseverance. He closes this chapter with the following quote, "Be like a postage stamp. Stick to it until you get there." As long as you have done your research on the business model, have built a solid business plan and are implementing it, keep on working the plan. You will ultimately succeed.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekly Weight Management Update

Well, I know it is Monday, not Sunday, but I did a baaaaad thing yesterday. I sat down to watch TV for a few minutes...then I fell asleep. I woke up at 1 am and wobbled off to bed. As you probably noticed through the prior blogs, it had been a very busy week and weekend. By Sunday evening, after doing more errands, conference calls and housework, when I sat down, I pooped out.

I also have another piece of not great news. I have forgotten to weigh myself both yesterday and today. Yesterday, I got up early and started doing chores, had my coffee, ate a bagel and then realized that I had yet to weigh myself. Today was the same, started working on the computer (even before my shower this time) got involved in responding to e-mails from last evening, then with my head in the clouds, I totally forgot to weigh myself ...again. At the rate I am going, you would think my head whistles when I walk down the hall...

The good news is that I have been exercising regularly this past week. There were 5 out of 7 days that I did at least 30 minutes of rigorous exercises. I even did a brisk 30-minute walk today. It is finally becoming more of a habit, this exercising. I find that if I feel a bit tired or sleepy after working on the computer for hours, I get up and go for a brisk walk, about 30-minutes. I don't do the walk too long, I want to get back to the house wishing I walked longer. If I spend more than 30 minutes walking, I may get so sore and tired that I would be less willing to walk the next day. A little bit of psychological trickery going on... The result is that I do want to exercise daily, for at least 30 minutes. Once those 30 minutes feel really short, probably later this week I will increase it by 15 minute increments.

From what I have been reading, increasing exercises regimens slowly will not feel as difficult. If you work out hard initially, you are going to be less inclined to exercises as vigorously the next time. You will remember the pain, and find all kinds of excuses to not go out and do the work you promised yourself. By starting off easy (I have a very bad tendency to work out too hard initially), I feel a tad frustrated, wishing I would get more exercises, but I can translate that frustration into a drive to go out the next day and exercises again. So far it is working. As you found out, I have exercised 5 out of 7 days. Pretty darned good. And, I did not take 2 days off back to back. Did not exercises on Sunday, because I was a bit sore from the workout on Saturday.

The really cool thing about my current physical situation is that I seem to be recovering much faster than I have in the past. I seem to be a bit tender the day after a strenuous workout, but do not have any tenderness on the second day. I think my faster recoveries may be due to the combination of taking MonaVie and the new Stem Cell Nutritionals. As I have mentioned before, after being on the Stem Cell Nutritional, StemEnhance, I have found that my body does not bruise as easily as it used to. Originally, I could look at a pointy object and end up with a bruise. (not really, but I could bump into anything and end up with a significant bruise...really embarrassing...)

Back to weight management, I had not been very good about taking the Core4 System this last week. My clothes do not seem to have gotten tighter, so I have either maintained my current weight, or may have lost a bit. I took Cheat off and on (more off than on), last week, but did not remember to take the Accelerate, Lean or Flush at all. I know I promised to get on a better schedule, but at least I exercised. We shall see tomorrow.

Until tomorrow...