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Online Business Strategy 
You can Work Less and Live More with an Internet Business You Love
The rules have changed so that the American Dream is no longer the “corner office.” 
It is now a successful business you can run from your home office, the beach, or wherever you desire. 
It is work you love that allows you the freedom and income to live the life you truly want.
Business is business and starting one is both easier and harder than you think.
It is easy because of the new technologies, it is hard because you have not been trained how to do it.
American schools have trained you to be an employee and breaking that habit will not be easy.
Being an entrepreneur involves taking risks and learning new ways of thinking.
There are tons of books which lead you to believe that anyone can become rich by becoming an Internet entrepreneur.
That you can have the lifestyle you want based on an Internet business but the focus should be more on defining and achieving the lifestyle you want than getting rich.
Getting rich often involves much more work than most people are willing to do. 
That is why people get rich or make a very nice income doing the things that 99% of the population do not want to or are unwilling to do.
So the first step is getting realistic about the lifestyle and the level of effort you are comfortable putting into your business.
Far too many people think they need to come up with the next Google/Facebook or Pinterest idea to be able to have a sustainable business. 
Good advice would be; instead of focusing on inventing the next blockbuster product, "you should invest your start-up time in finding people you can help, needs you can fill, problems you can solve - and build your audience around serving that customer demand." 
The Google Keyword tool can help with that by showing you what people are actually looking for so you can build a business with a base of what people are already looking for.
Use the tool to find the numbers of people and the competition level of people who are looking for the product or solution you have a native interest in and solution for.
We have all seen far too many people develop a wonderful solution to a non-existent problem, then struggle to find people willing to buy their solution. 
Finding a pond full of fish with the keyword tool is a critical path to your success at startup. 
Discover a problem that is out there and develop a solution, don't start with the solution.
Another huge bit of advice is "Don't go broke trying to pursue ideas that are too big or too long-term." 
Instead of trying to make millions, make the first dollar as soon as you can and reinvest it back into your business. 
Validate the concept as inexpensively as possible to prove that there is someone willing to pay for the solution you are offering.
Websites cost less than $5 a month and your concept can be proven and winnable.
This is the key, build a small website using WordPress or Joomla, it doesn’t have to be the best website, just one that sells products via reviews and after you start making money, then make the site better by reinvesting some of your profits.
If you like to travel, find what people are looking for with the keyword tool, then use your vacation to travel and write your reviews, and then sell vacation packages via affiliate programs with links in your reviews of places you visit.
I have a website called Best Cutlery and it is based on 22,000 local searches for that term. 
I review the cutlery by using the products, and place links to Amazon within my review and “if” I have helped people in their decision to make a cutlery purchase, they do so, and I receive a commission from Amazon for the referral.
 

"The best, and perhaps the only way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker

So how do you create the future?

You start something and you start it now.

Waiting won't bring it to you.

Dreaming won't bring your ship in.

If you haven't launched any ships, how can they come in?

You need to get started, today, and as it was said;

Take the first step toward your goals and envisioned dream, and all the forces of nature will come to your aid.

Or as it was said in a different way;

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. - Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. certainly had a dream, but it was his actions, not the dream that produced results.

Only by action does something move, or get started.

Otherwise your dream, your vision of a business or book or song stays inside you and the world will never see or hear of it.

Take action and you will marvel at what happens next......

10 Best Business Books - Get them at your library, load them to your kindle, Listen to the audio versions - just don't miss these helpful books.

The best and longest enduring companies have systems.

Think of McDonalds and you will see a system - every McDonalds is the same and you know what you are going to get no matter which McDonalds store you walk into. The Apple iStore is another example.

The E-myth by Michael Gerber will show you why you may already have the systems you need to take your business to the top.

Gerber shows you how to implement these systems and make the system work for you.

The E-Myth Revisited - Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

The E-Myth Revisited - Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

In Good to Great, Jim Collins shows you the 5 different types of leaders and how great companies hire the best level 5 leaders.

Examples and stories abound in this "must read" book for anyone aspiring to be a top level leader.

All books by Jim Collins will help you as you learn how to build a great company.

Good to Great - Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

Good to Great - Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

Some successful companies are Lucky, or are they.

Bo Peabody got lucky when the geeks he hired to design a new website went in the complete opposite direction he had hired them to go in.

Lean how he was smart enough to recognize when he was being lucky when things weren't going his way.

Lucky Or Smart - Fifty Pages for the First-Time Entrepreneur

Lucky Or Smart - Fifty Pages for the First-Time Entrepreneur

In any business you need to know how to influence people to move them into your plan and core philosophy.

Robert Cialdini shows you how to have the influence you need to get things done.

Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials)

Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials)

If your business is racing to the bottom because you look like every other business in your competitive market, consider this book.

Seth Goden shows you how to be different without becoming a commodity by making your company so different that you stand-out from the crowd like a purple cow.

Your company will become so valuable you may even need to raise your prices.

Purple Cow - Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Purple Cow - Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Create uncontested market space by doing remarkable things that will set you apart in that vast Blue Ocean.

Blue Ocean Strategy - How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant

Blue Ocean Strategy - How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant

If you have a website, there is more to creating a following than just selling products.

Seth Goden shows you how to create a following of passionate, devoted clients.

Permission Marketing - Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers

Permission Marketing - Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers

Some companies seem to thrive no matter the economic climate.

Jim Collins shows you how it is not just plain luck - it is a choice.

Great by Choice - Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

Great by Choice - Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

Some companies are Built to Last.

Jim Collins shows you the thinking and strategies the most enduring companies employ in their long lasting successes.

Built to Last by Jim Collins

Built to Last by Jim Collins

If you know the decisions, strategies and hubris that it takes to destroy a company.

You will know what to look for in avoiding the mistake of those seemingly great companies who fall after looking so great for so many years.

If you are an investor, this book will show you how to spot companies in decline before others see it coming.

How The Mighty Fall - And Why Some Companies Never Give In

How The Mighty Fall - And Why Some Companies Never Give In

Bonus Books

Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich is usually the first book read by the most successful people in the world.

Think and Grow Rich - The Landmark Bestseller--Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

Think and Grow Rich - The Landmark Bestseller--Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

Learn how the discipline, character and leadership of a West Point Officer will help you in your business.

West Point: Going Beyond Leadership of Character: How to be a Great Leader (and live a virtuous life)

 

West Point: Going Beyond Leadership of Character: How to be a Great Leader (and live a virtuous life)

 

So the backwards thinking of the Michigan Governor and the politicians who supported and voted for the "Michigan Mainstreet Fairness Act" has come to pass.

This is not a victory for the consumers of Michigan - Now you are going to pay another tax, Amazon and other online retailers are not going to pay it, YOU ARE.

Consider their vote and the push that your local business pushed onto you and that now "YOU" have another TAX on the things you buy....

I wrote to several Michigan politicians about the bill called the "Michigan Mainstreet Fairness Act" and my response to their replies are found partway down this page and below the bold header:

I talked with Rep. Rob VerHeulen Legislative Aide; Mike Krombeen on Wednesday February 13 and he set me straight on the fact that State Reps do not have different health and retirement and have only a 401k to retire on.

Mike was great to talk with and I encourage anyone who has an issue in the Michigan 74th District to contact Rep. VerHeulen.

First off and you will see why I mention this if you read the whole article; Abraham Lincoln believed that economic opportunity, the right to rise above ones poverty, like he did in his life, was critical to the foundation of civil liberty and the survival of America.

This is why he fought so hard to free the slaves and kill the mindset of the United State's "Original Sin."

Lincoln said: We must not ransom the futures to the aristocracy of slave owners.

Lincoln knew that the power of the citizenry of the United States lies in its freedoms.

The very rights and freedoms that give an open door to create and be compensated for that creation.

We close that door when we ask for fairness instead of freedom, when we ask for universal education instead of the harder to achieve education that opens the doors to creation of businesses and the fulfilling dreams that Lincoln believed in.

Lincoln believed in the thought that "effort" should be compensated in advancement, in prosperity, health and freedom.

Our ancestors left England and other countries to come to this land of opportunity and to escape the aristocracy of the upper-class men of leisure who scorned those who worked, yet took advantage of them at the same time.

Abraham Lincoln said: "The prudent penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages for a while, saves a surplus with which to buy tools, land or education for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him.

This is the just, generous and prosperous system which opens the way to all, gives hope to all, and consequent energy and progress and improvement of condition to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty.

These good citizens must never surrender their power."

Don’t get me started on the second amendment…

Dear "Michigan Fairness Act" Politicians,

I have no problem and neither does Amazon with collecting taxes.

My point is that “Storefront” retailers are the buggy makers of 1900.

The very name "Fairness" is the latest way of thinking for those who never built a product and it is likely that those stating "unfairness" never mentally developed past the age of 6.

Life isn't fair, life is constantly evolving and it is up to us to make the changes needed when change does happen, or we fall by the side of the road as others who get it, travel on.

Stage-coach makers turned to making coach-cars for the railroads in the 1860's when their businesses were threatened.

Buggy makers like Fisher Body turned to making auto bodies in 1905 when their businesses were threatened.

Our storefront owners just cry foul (using the Michigan Retailers Association Lobby) and ask for tax compliance instead of joining the new sales trends.

A note on the above line - we need to outlaw all lobbyists as their missions are anti-American and do more harm than good!

Slipping money in an envelope to a law-maker should never be a motivation to pass a law.

Back to the topic -

Shoppers are always looking for the newest, most reviewed and easiest way to shop for the products they buy.

Current storefront owners want us to drive to their stores (Is this green anyone?) and take their word of recommendation on the products they sell.

If we need to drive to your store and rely on the salespersons suggestions, it doesn’t cut it anymore.

It is easier to trust 2,000 reviews on Amazon than it is to trust the opinion of a sales person and their perceived commission whether they get commissions or not.

The Post office and UPS drivers are on the road anyway and the post office proves that they need the business.

My problem with the politicians is that they keep talking about leveling the playing field while they don’t play on our field anyway.

Federal Politicians’ get better health care, better retirement pay and better treatment than the average American.

Some have or use government airplanes to travel to and from their place of work wasting taxpayer money along the way.

Politicians stand in the public pulpit and denigrate those who work hard so they can play the role of Robin Hood and talk the big talk about distributing wealth to the poor.

The proven folly of governments’ investing to create jobs is the Solyndra plant where so far, no jobs have been created.

I have been a green person all of my life and I see the water levels in the great lakes shrinking away and invasive fish knocking on our door and the President does nothing about that!

Chicago needs the waterways that allow invasive species into the Great Lakes and Chicago is where is he from so is this why there has been no action?

What did politicians expect when they allowed Nestle to pull millions of gallons of Michigan water out of our aquifers?

The answer is that the Great Lakes are well on their way to becoming the Great Ponds of the Midwest - stagnant and dead.

The Giant and non-American company - Nestle is stealing water under the guise of job creation and because of the money to be made, the water tables drop.

And as bad as that is, the plastic bottles are filling the landfills to the tune of 2 million tons each year - maybe a 10-Cent deposit should be required with 5-cents going back when the bottle is returned?

There is money there for "you money hungry politicians" and maybe enough to fix the Michigan roads instead of raising (heaven forbid) gas taxes.

Raising Taxes on gasoline impacts the poorest of Michigan citizens who are less likely to buy their water in a bottle so I am now using the new mantra - "is that fair?"

Russia proved their stupidity and lack of consideration for the environment when they diverted the largest fresh water lake in the world and created a great desert.

Politicians talk about "job creation" and yet they do nothing but argue among themselves about how to create jobs and keep things the same.

Please take the time to read the American Jobs article and understand that we need to get America back on track to become when at his first inaugural address as President, Thomas Jefferson called America, "The worlds Best Hope."

I never hear about ways to teach our kids how to take their dream or passion and turn it into a business.

We truly have the greatest teachers in the world and yet we hold them back by making them accountable to standardized tests and outdated curriculum. Read the FREE Seth Goden Book "Stop Stealing Dreams".

These teachers are forced to “mainstream” the kids into compliance like Pavlov’s dog where they respond to bells and go to class, grow up and then go to work at the ring of a bell or buzzer.

If the child is not able to be mainstreamed, then they are put on drugs to make them compliant rather than exploring the option of taking their incredible energy, heart and creativity down an entrepreneurial path.

Our nation needs to give our teachers the tools and ways to open the minds of students, not make them memorize books and formulas.

Our nation needs to take the kids who cannot be mainstreamed and show them how to turn their perceived mental chaos into creative genius.

Students don’t need to know the answers to everything; they need to know how research to find the answers when the questions come up.

They don’t need to know how to build the website that will carry their dream business to fruition; they need to know how to structure the business to raise the capital that will allow them to create the business that will hire the webmasters, creative artists, Vice Presidents and laborers.

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The Office of Senator Hildenbrand

Feb 7 (5 days ago)

to me

Dear Alan,

Thank you for your recent email regarding the “Main Street Fairness.” I appreciate hearing from you on this issue. You’ve made some good points in your email. If the “Main Street Fairness” proposal is considered in the Michigan Senate, I will keep your concerns in mind.

Again, thank you for your email.  Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of any further assistance to you.

Sincerely,

Dave Hildenbrand

State Senator

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Your Recent Inquiry with Governor Snyder

Bieciuk, Ania (GOV) <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Feb 7 (5 days ago)

to me

Dear Alan Teelander,

Thank you for your recent correspondence sent to Governor Rick Snyder's office.  As a member of Governor Snyder's staff, please accept this response on his behalf.

First and foremost, I'd like to thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement.  Your correspondence means more than you might imagine.  As you are aware, continuing to turn this state around will take more people, like you, with determination and confidence in what Michigan residents have to offer.  You can be assured that monies coming into this state will be used as investments for a brighter tomorrow, while maintaining our commitment to those who have the direst needs today.  Governor Snyder recognizes that our citizens continue to demand and deserve better, and with a lot of hard work, we can continue reinventing Michigan.

We continue to work toward more meaningful reforms that will transform Michigan's government processes to make them more efficient.  In case you are interested, Governor Snyder recently highlighted some of our accomplishments in 2012, including:

Moving forward with the New International Trade Crossing, which will bring more and better jobs to Michigan.

Personal Property Tax reform

Eliminating regulations - 13 rules eliminated for every new rule we added

Pathways to Potential, a new initiative that puts social workers directly in schools. The program is in over 20 schools today with a focus on Flint, Pontiac, Saginaw and Detroit, and is expected to reach 120 schools by springtime

A conference on infant mortality, a conference on helping the disabled, and new legislation to assist families coping with autism

Efforts to revitalize cities across Michigan

Improving public safety, with one new trooper school graduated and another on the way

Efforts to revitalize Detroit, including a new authority to restore Detroit lighting

The creation of a Regional Transit Authority for southeast Michigan, an effort which took 40 years to achieve

The creation of Virtual Cities, which allows municipalities like Grand Rapids and Livonia to collaborate in order to save money

Blight removal, including tearing down blighted properties and improving others

Reform of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System in order to ensure it's on a sustainable path for the future. Thanks to pension reform efforts, Michigan now has a plan to pay down $20 billion in liabilities.

Education reforms including dual enrollment, performance metrics for schools, and the creation of the Education Achievement Authority, which is helping 15 schools in Detroit

Pure Michigan's continued success

A series of "good government" initiatives to help strengthen communities and protect taxpayers

Improving state government with Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley's work on the Bureaucracy Busters program, a social media initiative that calls on state of Michigan employees to offer innovative ideas for enhancing efficiency, customer service and the workplace.

Thank you, again, for your kind words of support and encouragement.  Please do not hesitate to call on us if there is anything we can be doing for you.

Sincerely,

Ania Bieciuk

Constituent Relations Division

Office of Governor Rick Snyder

O: 517-335-7858

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Mainstreet Fairness

Michael Krombeen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

10:44 AM (10 minutes ago)

Alan,

Thank you for taking the time to write my office regarding the "Main Street Fairness" bills. I would agree with you that online sales are very much the way of the future and I commend you for being ahead of the curve. However, I also believe that the 6% sales tax on goods should not go away simply because our method of commerce is evolving.

These bills, HB 4202 and HB 4203, simply move the sales tax to the point of sale for online retailers like Amazon. Currently, your customers are requires to remit the "use tax" on the goods they purchase online when they pay their income taxes, but very few individuals are complying with that law and it is very hard to enforce. The switch to collecting and remitting this revenue at the point of sale will (a) bring our tax code into the 21st century, (b) level the playing field between online and store front retailers, (c) Make it easier for more hard-working taxpayers to be in compliance with current tax law, and (d) bring in more revenue to the state of Michigan without raising taxes.

As always feel free to contact my office on any issue important to you and our West Michigan communities.

Best Regards,

Rob VerHeulen,

State Representative; 74th District

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On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 6:40 PM, Rep. Lisa Lyons <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your concerns, comments and suggestions. As State Representative for Michigan's 86th House District, I greatly appreciate hearing from my constituents on important issues affecting them and our community.  Be assured your comments and questions are important and help me to better understand and represent you and our community.

 

Please know that this is an automated message from me to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail.  My staff and I will work to address your concerns and answer your questions as quickly as possible.  However, some issues are more complex and may require additional time before a complete response may be given.  If you need immediate assistance, please contact my office by phone at (517) 373-0846 or toll free at 1-855-Lyons86.

 

If your original message did not include your full home mailing address, and you would like a response to your comments, please reply to this message with your full address.

 

In addition, please be aware that legislative courtesy requires me to refer individuals from outside my district to the appropriate Representative, but I will work to respond to all emails sent to my office.

 

Because I receive a large quantity of e-mail messages, letters and phone calls every day, priority is given to those individuals who reside within the 86th House District.

 

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Your suggestions and opinions are important to me and are always welcome.

 

Working to re-invent Michigan together,

 

Lisa Posthumus Lyons

State Representative

86th District

1-855-Lyons86

http://www.gophouse.com/welcome.asp?District=086

 

The best companies consider their “core competence” and how they can improve on this income stream before they consider developing a new revenue stream.

It is your core strength that has produced past growth and income and this is where the focus of improved income should start.

After you optimize your current core business and understand the need to continue its development, only then can you create a new stream.

Many companies have enjoyed a strong core business only to think that they are infallible or too smart to fail and can now do anything and not get into trouble.

They then, in this false belief, start to create businesses that are outside of their core competence and the core business ends up neglected.

Circuit City was a company like this and when they moved away from their core competence, electronics entertainment and computers into ventures into the automotive field.

They lost their way and failed themselves into bankruptcy.

Zenith left their core competency (quality televisions and radios) to move into satellite cell phones at a time when low cost cell phone towers eliminated the high priced satellite systems and forced zenith into bankruptcy.

Work on your core competencies, optimize them to the fullest, and then set a great team to manage them before you even think of starting any new venture for your company.

If you are a retail store owner and are thinking of opening a new store in another area, make sure your current store is operating at its fullest efficiency and profitability before you take on the “Start-up” effort in another location.

A laser is at its brightest when it is truly focused.