02 chapter two: Where Do I Get Customers?

This is the easy part. It does not have to be a horrible stressful thing.
The #1 attribute a self-employed person needs, in fact this is true for
success in any arena, is people skills.

Ah, I see you shy people curling up like pillbugs- "NO! People scary and
icky!" Well yes, that is why you devise ways to select your customers. You
want to pick people you trust and are comfortable with. A bad customer is a
zillion times worse than no customer.

Community involvement is the key. Join organizations that do things you are
interested in. I hang out with an astronomy club and a disabled citizen's
council. I also belong to LeTip, a networking organization designed to help
members build their businesses. Chamber of Commerce can be good, and there
are all kinds of business networking groups. The more low-pressure ways you
find to meet and build relationships with people, the better. Do things you
enjoy- everything will flow from this.

Every single interaction every day is an opportunity to meet people and
promote yourself. Not hammering people with sales pitches, but building
relationships. People do business with people they like and trust. The way
you act at the grocery store, in traffic, in your neighborhood, all leave
impressions on people.

When someone asks what you do, have a 30-second well-rehearsed answer. And
for gosh sakes, have a little confidence! If you don't think you are good, no
one else will.

Homework: read "The Millionaire Mind" by Thomas J. Stanley. You don't have to
aspire to being a millionaire to benefit from this book. I'll wager a lot of
what he says will resonate with you, but you never really believed it because
it is contrary to popular myths. Popular myths are stupid and destructive.

Homework part 2: In the US, the Small Business Administration offers
trainloads of great free services for small business people. Use them.
Wherever you live, investigate to see if there are similar services available.

Carla Schroder, Bratgrrl Computing
Plain English Spoken Here
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