Fallen soldiers, fallen dreams

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Today is Memorial Day here in the United States, a day when we remember fallen soldiers.

My father died in the month of May, and he was a military man. My ex-husband, the father of my son, also died this time of year, and he had been a soldier earlier in his life.

So I’m remembering them both. And if you’re remembering someone from your life today, my thoughts are with you.

The day also has me thinking about fallen dreams.

The ones that “life” got in the way of…

Like those “travel freedom dreams” — living in Paris for 6 months, wintering in Costa Rica, etc.

You know what I mean, right?

Those places that still call you, that have a strange claim on your heart, that whisper to you when you’re still and quiet.

I remember my first time back to Europe after a 21-year hiatus. “Life” had gotten in the way and I didn’t know if I’d ever get back.

My son’s father had died without a cent of life insurance, leaving me the sole parent and the sole provider for our son. So for years, I didn’t think I could afford the kind of BIG travel I craved…the kind where you go and stay a while.

Finally, one summer I couldn’t stand it any more. I HAD to revive that dream or something in me would wither away.

To get good wifi, we had to carefully lean the laptop out this window, which went straight down to a canal on the gondola route.

To get good wifi, we had to carefully lean the laptop out this window my son is standing in, which went straight down to a canal on the gondola route.

So I rented out my house, grabbed my son and my laptop and headed “across the pond” for the whole summer.

I would do my work while I traveled, I decided.

And back then, Internet was not as readily available as it is now, so I had to do things like carefully hold my laptop out the window over a canal in Venice to get a good wifi signal!

It was a trip my son and I will remember FOREVER.

And it cemented what is now a life filled as much travel as I crave — BIG travel!

If there’s a travel freedom dream still residing in your heart, still calling to you…

If you want to create a business that’s both PORTABLE and PROFITABLE…

If you want to create memories that will last a lifetime…

Then you’ll want to join my Portable Profits Club…today, not someday. We start June 11.

It’s YOUR turn.

Meet me in Italy?

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We’re just about ready to enroll a new group of Portable Profits Club members that will start June 11, so stay tuned for more info on that.

And I am super-excited to announce that our fall retreat for active Portable Profits Club members will be in Italy!!

Save the last week of October to join us. I can’t wait to have club members experience the Italy that I know and love!

 More to come in the next few weeks…

5 essential tools for an online business

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To develop an online business — one that gives you the freedom to travel, like I love to do, or to just
run your business from home in your pajamas (like I also do) — you’ll need several essential business tools. Here’s a short list of the MOST essential:

Email service provider (ESP). This is for sending out emails to your growing contact list — newsletters, promotional emails, announcements, etc. Don’t make the mistake of trying to send group emails from your private email account (like Yahoo or Outlook or Gmail). That can get you in trouble with spam flaggers fast. Plus, you’ll miss out on the mailing statistics that ESPs provide. A few of my favorite ESPs: MailChimp, Aweber and, for the more advanced, Ontraport or Infusionsoft.

Shopping cart or other payment processor. If you’re serious about developing online products and programs, get a real shopping cart.

If you’re keeping it small and exclusively 1:1 client-based, you may be able to get away with just a PayPal account.

Website. The quickest to put up and easiest to maintain is a WordPress site. Pick a “theme,” customize it quickly and rock out.

Teleseminar or webinar delivery system. There are a variety of services available, and your choice will be based on whether your free OR paid training is live or “evergreen” and automated. A few of the online biz standards are: Instant Teleseminar, GoToWebinar (or GoToMeeting), Stealth and Evergreen.

Opt-in page generator. These services make creating a smart-looking opt-in page super easy. Two of the oft-used systems are: LeadPages and OptimizePress.

Rock these 5 systems and you can do anything — and go anywhere — you want!

What systems do you use as an online entrepreneur? Leave a comment below.

Online business and the chocolate experience

Chocolate tour

I had a dream come true today in Ecuador!

As a MEGA lover of pure, high-quality (dark) chocolate, I’ve always wanted to see and experience the entire process, from the cacao tree to my mouth.

So when I heard of this opportunity, I drove nearly 3 hours on windy, rainy roads through the Andes to get to El Quetzal in Mindo, Ecuador. And I LOVED it!

I got to see the entire process—from the big yellow pod hanging on a tree, through fermentation, drying, sorting, cracking, sifting, melting, stirring, tempering, cooling, sweetening, forming, cutting, packaging — was JUST what I’d been hoping for. It gives me an even greater appreciation when I bite into one of their artisanal chocolate bars!

Business is a little bit like the chocolate experience: when you learn and really understand the steps of a system you need for an online business, you’ll have so much more appreciation for the end product—yours and others’—even if you don’t end up doing all the work yourself.

Where are your people?

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Wherever your ideal clients congregate—online and offline—is where you want to be. That also goes for people you might collaborate with for mutual business growth. Where they are, you be there, too.

First, know specifically WHO you are looking for, and then look for a function or location that fills that with your ideal people.

If your ideal audience members frequent a gym or spa, could you offer a workshop there? A ghostwriter I know chats up attendees at several strategic business conferences where her ideal clients—and ideal referral partners—are gathered.

One example: while here in Ecuador, I wanted to find out about the lives of people who’ve moved here to Cuenca. I’m not much for bars, so when I discovered a “dinner club” restaurant with communal tables and a social hour before dinner, I jumped on it.

Wednesday night’s dinner was JUST what I wanted! A variety of folks telling their stories of how and why they landed in Cuenca, sharing their insights of the culture here, offering insider tips on where to go and what to do. Fascinating stories!

Think outside the box. Where are your people, and how can you get in front of them?