Mom Turns $90 Investment into Six-Figure Salary: Non-Cooking Housewife Cashes in Big Time at Culinary House Parties

The concept is very simple, explains the Merrick, N.Y. woman during a recent phone interview. In 1996, she was invited to a home-based party where a cooking demonstration took place.

This event featured culinary equipment and gadgets offered exclusively by Chicago-based company Pampered Chef. Conducting the demonstration was a consultant who showed guests how to use each item in the simple preparation of focaccia bread. At show’s end, guests looked over the array of gadgets, ordering those they wanted. “I got so inspired with everything I saw,” recalls Lerner, “and wanted everything right then and there.”

Making Money at Home Parties

The hostess who threw the party earned $100 to $200 in free and discounted merchandise. The consultant running the demonstration made a commission on all the products sold. Curious about the money-making end, Lerner found out that consultants could get even more by signing up and training others, thus collecting a percentage of their sales. “I said ‘Sign me up,'” notes Lerner.

This process involved ordering a starter kit, then costing $90 and containing about $300 worth of merchandise. (The kit now costs $155, offering $500 in merchandise. By following specified company rules, consultants can acquire additional products at no cost to them for use in demonstrations.)

Housewife Turns Culinary Entrepreneur

Lerner called everyone she knew to inform them of her new venture. She asked them to book a show at their home within the next four weeks. Everyone agreed, and she was ready to take the next step. “Basically it was about learning how to make a recipe and playing with the products,” she says. “I knew I was going to fly with this because it looked so simple, and the recipes were so simple.” Subsequently, two friends hosting shows at their homes become consultants too. That meant Lerner would earn commissions not only from home shows she ran but also from products sold at their shows.

“I didn’t even know what I was doing, I was just beginning,” she adds. Her training included watching a few video tapes and guidance from the woman who signed her up. Running two shows weekly as a consultant in people’s homes, she started off earning $100 to $200 per event. Within a year, Lerner was making $2,000 per month. Now, 14 years later, she earns “way over” $100,000. It’s all about team building, says the culinary entrepreneur, who started with 15 consultants the first year and presently has 500 on her team.

And, of course, since entering the business, the non-cook has become quite the chef. Lerner’s repertoire at home parties includes the preparation of simple appetizers, pasta, pizza, vegetables, chicken and desserts. “With the economy the way it is, people aren’t eating out as much as they used to,” she says. “They love learning budget-friendly recipes, and I love teaching them.”

Secrets to Successful Selling in this Self-Motivational Business

Food makes everyone happy, she adds, noting that’s why her job doesn’t feel like employment. “I’m still out of my mind excited.” Her keys to success?

  • Love what you’re doing; you won’t feel like you’re working a day in your life. Smile and have fun with this.
  • Be consistent in booking two shows a week or 10 shows a month. If cancellations occur (typically there are two monthly), you’ll still be doing 8 shows a month.
  • Reschedule cancellations as quickly as possible.
  • Treat your customers well, and you’re sure to get repeat business.
  • Look for untapped opportunities to sign up consultants: For example, fund-raising events such as temple and church holiday boutiques; stay-at-home moms who can work this business into their schedule; or new brides who want to learn how to cook, need culinary gadgets and can use the extra cash. (Lerner rents a booth at bridal expos. “You meet them all in all shot,” she says.)

One of this job’s best features? “It’s really a part-time job,” notes Lerner, “with full-time pay.”

Earn Money With Internet Radio Stations: Perfect Avenue to Instant Fame and Wealth

Internet radio stations have become popular over the last several years. Listeners can dial into their favorite radio station and listen to hosts entertain them while they interview expert guests. They can also tune into programs like “Off The Shelf” and listen to experienced radio hosts interview bestselling authors, editors and other movers and shakers in the literary industry.

Gain Fame Through Internet Radio Programs

With just a little pizzazz and a passion for a specific topic or industry, listeners can create, host, manage and promote their own radio program. It’s an excellent way to gain instant fame on the Internet. The money involved is minimal to none.

Blog Talk Radio is one of the new popular Internet radio station providers. It’s easy to set up an account and start using the existing services. Follow the prompts at Blog Talk Radio, fill out the online registration form and submit it. Pick a catchy name for one’s Internet radio program, a name that will stick with listeners so they easily remember it.

New Internet radio station hosts will benefit from creating a schedule of upcoming guests to feature or interview on their radio program. Hosts can feature a recording artist like Maxwell, Dolly Parton or Willie Nelson. They could also play old Michael Jackson, Duke Ellington or Mozart hits for an entire hour and encourage listeners to leave personal comments about their reflections on the featured artist.

Famous Radio Hosts Interview Expert Guests

Program hosts who want to bring their listeners a wealth of current content by interviewing guests who are experts in their field can create a media sheet to send to potential guests and the press that lists the name of their Internet radio program, the host’s name and background, the show’s format (i.e. self-help, inspirational, sports, arts), days that the show is taped and the length of the show.

For example, “Off The Shelf” at Blog Talk Radio’s media sheet reflects that the entertainment program is hosted by Denise Turney, author of the books Long Walk Up, Portia, Love Has Many Faces, Spiral and Love Pour Over Me. The one page media sheet also reflects that the show is a one hour talk show that features bestselling authors, editors, publishers, poets, songwriters, literary agents and other movers and shakers in the literary industry.

Check out samples of existing Internet radio programs by browsing shows by category at companies like Blog Talk Radio, Live365, Radio Locator, Voice America and Artist First. Listen to three to four shows so that hosting a show starts to feel like second nature.

Search for guests like educators, entertainers, athletes, scientists or motivational speakers using Internet search engines like Google, Excite, Dogpile or Lycos. Invite the guest to be on one’s Internet radio show. Include the show’s one page media sheet with the invitation. Email invitations to keep a record of invites.

As the show’s audience builds, hosts can charge guests a fee to be featured on the show, continue to market and promote their shows and watch profits increase. Hosts can also feature commercial ads on their popular radio shows to generate revenue and grow wealth.

Managing Famous Internet Radio Show Schedules

Manage the show schedule by creating a spreadsheet or table that list the date and time of each show, the guest name and contact information. Update the schedule on a daily or weekly basis. Hosts who have personal websites can post their Internet radio program’s upcoming guests schedule on the main page of their website.

They could also create a special web page at their website to post all information about their Internet radio show. People who do this should include a link to their Internet radio show beneath highlighted information about each upcoming guest including the date and time for the interview. This helps to keep people who are already familiar with the host aware of appearances and speaking engagements that involve the host.

People who want to become locally, nationally or globally famous on the Internet can do so by contacting radio station providers like Artist First, Live365 or Blog Talk Radio and registering to create their own radio show. Internet radio station hosts can gain fame by scheduling engaging guests and using spreadsheets or tables to manage their radio show schedules.

Choosing Business Advisors: How to Select A Business Advisory Network

Business advisors are so important to running a successful business that few entrepreneurs take on a new project without having a solid business advisory network in place before opening up shop. And having business advisors doesn’t just mean paying a professional for business advice related to one’s entrepreneurial venture, it means actually putting the information to good use as well. What follows is a comprehensive list of the business advice folks needed to get a business off the ground, as well as how to locate these people.

Professional Business Advisors

There are two types of business advisors that most entrepreneurs need. The first are the professionals that most people – business savvy or otherwise – inherently know are required partners: these are the bankers, lawyers, consultants, bookkeepers, insurance agents, accountants, advertising agents and business counselors. Most, if not all, will require a fee for services, although it may be possible to find some free assistance via SCORE or the Small Business Administration.

Informal Business Advisors

The second type of business advice-giver to seek out are those who serve more as independent business advisors than formal ones, such as mentors, other business owners in the same field and even friends. These are the folks that can assist more in the day-to-day operations of the business and usually require little more than someone asking them for help, and then being kept apprised of what’s going on.

Bookkeeper or Accountant?

Depending on how complex the business is will determine whether or not a bookkeeper, accountant, or both are needed. If things are complicated (retail businesses are a prime example), an accountant may be able to not only set up the books for the business as well as maintain them. But for those with simpler financial accounting needs, a bookkeeper might be the least expensive option for the majority of the work needed.

Consultants

Consultants can take on a wide variety of independent advisory roles, and will depend on the type of business being run as to which will be the most helpful. Some entrepreneurs may need the services of a marketing guru, while others will require assistance from a health and safety pro. Make a list of the kinds of folks needed to get things going, and then consult with a local business organization to see if there are consultants in the area that can assist. Trade associations are also excellent resources to find these relatively expensive yet crucial partners.

Choosing The Right Business Advisors

Talk to other business owners in the area for referrals of the professionals they use, especially those in the professional business advisory category. Then, interview the candidates, asking them for references, successes and failures, and take note of their responses. Determine comfort levels and communication clarity as well, as these are important factors that may come into play later on when the stresses of running a business start to take their toll.

But no matter what happens, know that these people will directly affect the success of the business, so take the time to interview and mull over which person fits the bill the best before making a final decision about which business advisors to work with.

What Is a Behavioural Interview? An entrepreneur’s guide to behavioural interviews.

A behavioural interview is essentially a different type of job interview, where the applicant is asked to show his or her skills, knowledge and experience to demonstrate their mastery of a particular competency.

Behavioural interviews, instead of asking a potential staff member if they can do something, are asking if they’ve done it before, and to provide examples. Therefore, the basic premise of behavioural interviews is that past performance is an excellent tool to predict one’s future job performance.

What Are These Competencies You Speak Of?

Competencies are the main focus of a behavioural interview, for several reasons. First and foremost, competencies are taken directly from a job description, making it easier for any entrepreneur to interview. Asking the interviewee questions directly related to the predetermined competencies to determine their empoyment suitability therefore becomes simple and straightforward. As well, competencies help with the narrowing down of candidates, since it’s fairly easy to tell in the end, using a competency chart, who’s the best fit for your organization.

And finally, they’re fun. Entrepreneurs can easily deviate from the boring, same old, “So tell me about yourself?” open-ended questions that really don’t tell anyone anything. Instead, behavioural interview questions provide the applicant an opportunity to shine and show exactly what they can bring along to any entrepreneurial venture.

Sample Behavioural Interview Competencies

To provide a general idea as to what kinds of competencies many entrepreneurs look for in their future employees, review this list (all links point to questions focused specifically on that job competency):

  • Analysis
  • Assertion
  • Communication
  • Delegation
  • Flexibility
  • Judgement
  • Inventiveness
  • Motivation
  • Organization
  • Reliability
  • Resourcefulness
  • Teamwork
  • Technology

Sample Behavioural Interview Questions

Behavioural interview questions differ dramatically from other forms of job interviewing. To demonstrate:

  • Did you supervise anyone at your last job?

… is not a behavioural interview question. However,

  • Tell me about the staff you supervised at your last job. What kind of management style did you use, and how did you come about that process? Be specific.

… is a behavioural interview question, because it asks the interviewee to describe specific situations and details related to their performance.

Another behavioural question would be,

  • Have you ever not made a sales target? Tell me what happened, and what you would do differently today if faced with a similar situation.

Whereas a non behavioural question might sound something like this:

  • What were your total sales last year?

Firing Your Staff: How To Let Someone Go Gently, or Employment Termination Notification

Employment termination notification isn’t easy, even for the most experienced entrepreneur. Yet sometimes, there is no other way. Be it from redundancy, poor conduct or performance, employee termination notification policies are the same, and only comprise three rules to stand by: being compassionate, following the law and sticking with the facts.

Have Compassion and Be Fair

This rule is first for a reason: No matter what the situation, level of misconduct or anger at having to let someone go, being compassionate will help a tense situation move from oppositional to understanding. Your staff member may not be thrilled that their job is no longer theirs, but the last thing they need are reasons with which to feel worse about themselves. Plus, all entrepreneurial conduct, should the employment termination notification be contended, will be scrutinized heavily. Save yourself the heartache and remember the person you are interacting with is a feeling human being that has concerns of their own and you’ll be one step closer to as harmonious of an end as possible.

Stick With Quantifiable Facts

When providing an employment termination notification, ensure that all information is quantifiable. If you don’t have your ducks lined up in a row at this stage, its time to start fresh, because nothing looks worse than trying to fire someone when you don’t have the paperwork to prove misdeeds on the job. Look back and review your record keeping: were there client complaints, poor sales performance, fewer transactions to support a position being abolished or massive changes in the industry? Whatever the reason for the employment termination notification, it needs to be cold, hard and clear instead of emotionally-driven hunches.

Follow Employment Termination Notification Law

To avoid future legal frustrations, it pays to review the laws in your jurisdiction. Many require some sort of written proposal with a set time frame for change, as well as escalating disciplinary procedures before the actual employment termination notification can be made. Since employment termination notification law differs greatly from state to state, make sure to investigate your options and rights fully with a lawyer, related government departments, trade unions or other potential legal participants first.

If you, as the entrepreneur in charge, can view the employment termination notification process as a method to part ways amicably instead of as enemies, you reduce the risk of libel, lawsuits, or vengeance – something all of those in a position of power can do without.