Can You (and Should You) Turn Your Entrepreneur Business Ideas Into Reality?

Can You (and Should You) Turn Your Entrepreneur Business Ideas Into Reality?

Can You (and Should You) Turn Your Entrepreneur Business Ideas Into Reality?

We’ve got some of the most common questions future entrepreneurs ask – and answers that will turn business ideas into businesses!

entrepreneur ideas, business ideas from entrepreneurs, creating a successful business

Can you (and should you) turn your entrepreneur business ideas into reality?

The Most Common Questions New Entrepreneurs Ask About Starting a Business

By Amelia, Guest Blogger

Over time, many of the hundreds of thousands of business projects that entrepreneurs start each year never make it, as there are several stumbling blocks and failures along the way.  Some are doomed to falter even after impressive rocket launches.

Many of these non-success stories are due to inadequate planning and not knowing how to conquer the challenges of starting a business. We believe that bringing entrepreneur business ideas into fruition is easier with the help of a mentor. Mentors can guide you along the way, making the process easier, even if you’re intent on going it alone with your business.

But, before you ask anyone else questions, you have to pose some to yourself. So, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions entrepreneurs ask about starting a business. If you have one or several entrepreneur business ideas and considering being a self-starter, these are food for thought.

Common questions such as…

 

Do I Have What it Takes to Start a Business?

How do you, as an entrepreneur, know if you have the qualities needed to succeed? Take some time and jot down your goals, work habits, and level of commitment.

You’ll need a willingness to make sacrifices and interpersonal skills to deal with various individuals, including attorneys, staff, salespeople, and clients.

One of the essential traits, though, is to take on all roles at one time. Even if you end up with some employees or co-workers, you have to know how everything works when it’s your business. You can’t manage a project if you don’t know what’s involved.

How Do I Know if Now is the Right Time to Start My Own Business?

A common question that most entrepreneurs ask is when the time is right. But part of the answer requires a leap of faith. You can have experts provide you with their opinions with facts and figures to back them up. However, it’s your business in more ways than one, so you’re the ultimate judge, and there’s more to it than just an awesome business idea.

We can suggest that it’s helpful to put together a comprehensive plan, including a realistic budget. As you’re compiling the information, research all of the ways you can get leads and market your new venture. If you start your new business with your eyes wide open and still feel optimistic, then any time is the right time.

What Inspired Me to Start My Own Business?

You’ll find that “what inspired me to start my own business” is one of the most common questions entrepreneurs ask after jumping in with both feet.

Every so often, all independent business professionals need a reminder of why they made the sacrifices. That’s because the reason behind turning your entrepreneurial business ideas into reality could make the difference between powering through or throwing in the towel.

Your desire to become an entrepreneur must be strong enough to get you through the highs and lows of the journey. Working part-time when caring for your children, working as a 1099 before a better opportunity arises, or having nothing better to do aren’t always the best reasons to start your own company.

When everything clicks, though, success is sweet!

successful business ideas, entrepreneur businesses, businesses for entrepreneurs

How Will I Find Leads? What Techniques and Approaches Should I Employ?

Locating potential buyers quickly to close deals and where and how to reach out to potential customers is a key element to every successful entrepreneurial endeavor. And, isn’t this one of the questions that bothers every entrepreneur out there?

Finding leads is one of the most common questions entrepreneurs ask, and the answer is that you’ll want to put together a comprehensive plan based on whether you have an online or in-person business.

Start a pre-marketing campaign

Some of the techniques cross over, but physical locations require customers in the door, whereas online businesses are entirely virtual. At the very least, you’ll need a website or landing page facilitating email opt-ins, some social media presence, and referral programs.

We suggest getting a headstart. Whether your business idea is virtual or in-person, you can still put up a one-page website and start collecting emails. The sooner you get your name out there, the better.

No budget required

In addition to the landing page, incorporate free marketing methods. There are so many, depending on your business or service. But some include a LinkedIn business page, Alignable, and other social media sites.

Scroll down to our section on self-promotion, as many of the ideas crossover. However, don’t hesitate to get an early jump on things. If you use free lead-finding techniques and then decide that you’re not ready to move forward, the worst-case scenario is that you have an email list for the future.

How Can I Solve the Three Significant Challenges that Every New Company Faces: Money, Product, and Pricing?

The most common explanation for companies going bankrupt in their first year is a lack of capitalization. Figuring out how to fund the start-up is one of the top questions for every entrepreneur. Building a product or service necessitates investing time and resources to create these materials and clarify the target market’s wants and needs.

If you’re starting from scratch, we recommend hiring a mentor if you don’t have access to a friend or family member with solid business acumen.

Another suggestion is to contact your local SBA office. Many US cities have SCORE programs, with retired professionals who volunteer their time to help local businesses and entrepreneurs.

I Have Plenty of Entrepreneur Business Ideas, But What Steps Should I Take to Ensure My Company’s Success?

This question gets to the heart of your determination and what you’re willing (and not willing) to do to succeed as an entrepreneur. Every new venture necessitates an assessment of your discipline and diligence in relation to your desired degree of performance.

There are plenty of questions entrepreneurs ask, but they all revolve around the quest for success.

Add to your marketing toolbox

One of the best tips that we can share is to take advantage of every opportunity available to you. Don’t be tunnel-visioned. If you take the time to learn some online marketing strategies, use social media to your advantage, and build an email list, you’re well on your way.

The best part is that virtual marketing opportunities are free or relatively inexpensive. You just have to be willing to take the time to do the research and learn some new skills.

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What Should I Do for Self-Promotion?

The process of getting strangers into your network and piquing their curiosity is what marketing yourself is all about. It necessitates strategic planning that allows potential customers to connect with you, experience your value proposition, and create confidence before becoming a sale. It is not enough to create a website or a social networking site.

Just a few free (or inexpensive) promotional methods to help you turn your entrepreneur business ideas into reality:

  • Website landing page (with simple email opt-in)
  • LinkedIn business page
  • Alignable (for business networking)
  • Local directories
  • Google My Business
  • A YouTube video (if you can’t do one yourself, you can order one on Fiverr for under $100)
  • Content marketing – continuously post information that benefits readers and, in turn, they’ll find you
  • Other social media – Twitter, *Pinterest, etc.

An easy way to conduct a sweepstakes

One of the best ways to jump-start the process is to hold a raffle or sweepstakes. You don’t have to go all-in with an expensive prize that you can’t afford. Instead, come up with something that your target market is interested in and offer something along those lines. Or give away a sample product or service you’re promoting.

To make things much easier for you, check out Rafflepress. It takes care of sweepstakes from the entry form to the rules to a one-click winner draw. It’s only $39, and it’s well worth it. You’ll end up with a database of email opt-ins, and you’ll have options for entrants to do some social shares in exchange for extra sweepstakes entries.

*A Pinterest Tip

Were you aware that every month nearly 460 million people worldwide are active on Pinterest? The social media brand might not be top of mind when you’re ready to market your entrepreneurial business ideas, but it makes sense.

You can grow your following organically if you don’t have a marketing budget or give it a shot with a low-budget advertising campaign. You get quite a bit of bang for your buck (or pound, franc, etc.) with Pinterest.

Our tip is to check out PicMonkey if you plan to use Pinterest. Not only is there a Pin template for both image and video pins, but it’s a first-rate graphic design tool for ads, banners, website images, etc. Even if you’re building a website, the paid plan that’s just about $100 a year includes stock images and stock videos. It’ll make your business life so much easier!

Create images for your business or brand

How Long Should I Be Involved in My Company Before I Start to See a Steady Stream of Income?

Given that most start-ups take years to establish a healthy and reliable revenue stream, you’ll need to assess your finances and figure out what you’ll do in the meantime. Turning your homegrown business idea into reality has a personal aspect to it as well. You need to decide how long you’re willing to invest to reap the benefits of your investment.

You’ve heard success stories of instant-hit businesses, along with others that limped along for years before something clicked. There are all kinds of exciting entrepreneur business ideas, but implementing them is a different story.

With your own business, you’ll never reach the finish line. However, the more creative, motivated, and willing to experiment with new marketing programs, the quicker you’ll be a contender in the race.

 

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, one of the most rewarding, demanding, and exciting endeavors anyone may undertake is to become an entrepreneur. The transition from an employee to a self-starter is well worth the effort if you want to take control of your career. You’ll create something that gives you long-term control, providing yourself with the ultimate in independence and versatility.

Wait… there’s more! Keep reading…

 

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Wait – One More Q & A About Implementing Entrepreneur Business Ideas

Before you go – this is Lu with OTL (City Guides, Seat Fillers, and Guide Me to Mentors), and I have an answer to one more common question entrepreneurs ask.

Where do I turn when I have questions or simply want to bounce some ideas around with another business professional?

This particular question is one of the primary reasons why we started OTL Guide Me at Home mentoring.

I’m an entrepreneur overseeing OTL, and my expertise involves building websites, content writing, and marketing. But I’m an old-school marketer specializing in grassroots programs. So, it’s frustrating when I feel lost with something new like Google Analytics.

Step by step guidance

I read manuals, watch videos, but there are times when I could really use someone to walk me through my particular situation.

For example, with Google Analytics, I’d love for someone to show me where to put tracking codes and what I should be monitoring and improving. In a half-hour, I’d be ready to move forward instead of banging my head against the wall.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur and in the same boat, needing support or answers to questions, OTL Guide Me at Home is an inexpensive and handy solution. You get 30 minutes on the phone or video chat with the expert of your choice for just $35.

One of the most common questions for entrepreneurs turning their business ideas into viable operations is how to find a mentor, and now YOU have the answer.

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Going Old School with New School, Lifestyles, and Work-styles with OTL Guide Me at Home!

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Why Teachers and Entrepreneurs Should Go Bananas for PicMonkey

Why Teachers and Entrepreneurs Should Go Bananas for PicMonkey

Why Teachers and Entrepreneurs Should Go Bananas for PicMonkey

PicMonkey is going to change your work life! Make flyers, create ads, develop social media custom designs that rival the pros and take just minutes.

Why Teachers and Entrepreneurs Should Go Wild for PicMonkey

By Lu – OTL City Guides & Seat Fillers

I love sharing the best products and services with family and friends. While I typically gravitate to the latest in hair, makeup, and skincare, it’s equally as exciting to discover an app or program that makes life easier. That’s why I wanted to devote an entire post singing the praises of PicMonkey.

 

Before I continue, let me just say that I’ve purchased PicMonkey annual memberships since 2016, when a premium membership was only $33. But PicMonkey then and PicMonkey now are two different things. So, if you haven’t checked in for a while or don’t know much about the flyer maker, graphic maker, social media design tool, please don’t leave yet. Hear me out, as I think you’ll be excited about what 2021’s PicMonkey has to offer.

 

 

Introducing or Reintroducing the PicMonkey Graphic Maker

A few months ago, I was chatting with my best friend, who happens to be a second-grade teacher. I mentioned PicMonkey, assuming she had a membership plan as well. After all, PicMonkey for teachers goes together like chocolate and peanut butter.

Surprise, surprise, she had never used it before. Well, I took her on a tour, and PicMonkey now has a new user. If you were an early days user, you might recall that graphics didn’t have layers, editing was challenging, and images were limited to seasonal clip art.

So, you’d have trees at Christmas, plenty of Valentine’s Day hearts, and some spooky Halloween add-ons. There were also some comic book-style graphics and symbols, but not a whole lot more. Still, compared to learning a more complicated program, like Photoshop, PicMonkey was perfect for simple design projects. That was then, but PicMonkey now is the complete package.

  • Text
  • Graphics
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Templates

I’ll fill in the blanks along the way. But you can pick a template, change the image, the font, rearrange the components, move layers around, and even produce MP4 video ads or Pinterest pins. The best part is that photos and videos are included in a relatively low annual membership fee.

Is PicMonkey Easy to Use?

I’m an entrepreneur, and it seems like I have to learn something new every day. Even if I want to add something to this website, I have to research and learn how to use a new plugin or module. I’ve tried to master Photoshop and Illustrator, but it’s a time-consuming process that I’ll leave to talented graphic designers. Trust me when I tell you that PicMonkey is easy to use – I use it at least once a week.

But one of the benefits of PicMonkey is that your masterpieces don’t look like they were easy to produce. That’s a win-win in my book. Toward the top of this page is a Pinterest pin that I made a few days ago to promote guidemetomentors.com. It took me less than ten minutes, and I pulled the pictures right from the iStock by Getty photo gallery included in the annual cost of PicMonkey.

 

The Awesome PicMonkey Templates

One of the best new additions is the collection of PicMonkey templates. They’re sized perfectly for social media posts. So, there are templates for Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. PicMonkey templates also cover banners, business cards, flyers, gift certificates, calendars, cards, checklists, and other categories. You can put together a quick ad, collage, or printed piece quickly.

Templates are just one of the reasons why PicMonkey is easy to use. But, you always have the option to start from scratch with a blank canvas and show off your mad design skills.

I put together a quick (and silent) video posted above that’ll show you how quick and easy it is to customize a template by switching out text, images, and videos.

PicMonkey versus Canva

I know that many people are loyal Canva users, which’s great as long as it does what you need. I’ve used Canva a few times, and it outshined the original PicMonkey service. However, I think that all of the additions that PicMonkey has made, especially over the past year, have turned PicMonkey into a real graphic design contender. In my opinion, Canva has more templates, but PicMonkey has better customization tools.

 

What Can PicMonkey Do For You?

 

The Best Flyer Maker

I did a little research, and it’s incredible how many people search for easy flyer makers. I’m assuming they’re talking about online flyers, as you don’t see as many printed versions around these days. But whether you need to print or virtual send a flyer, PicMonkey is pretty darn helpful. You can pull up templates and use the smart resize function to make them any size you need.

PicMonkey is Social Media Ready

I mentioned that PicMonkey has social media templates. They have made life so much easier for me. Instead of researching the optimal size for Twitter compared to LinkedIn, the templates are preformatted. Even if the PicMonkey social media templates don’t suit your needs design-wise, you can still start with one and then change everything from the color scheme to the fonts to the images. At least you don’t have to worry about the dimensions.

Make Your Own Ad

Entrepreneurs will be happy about this one, as PicMonkey works well for designing ads. Not only do you have templates and all of the design tools, but smart resize will be your best friend. If you’ve run a Google ad, you know that Google loves to have an entire collection with different ad sizes. So, all you have to do is create one and then resize, turning horizontal ads into vertical layouts, and squares into leaderboards.

Design Your Own Logo

I’ll be honest here. Unless you’re looking for a simple logo, you might be better off using a logo maker or hiring someone. However, if you want a simple logo, even a circular one, you can use PicMonkey layers to develop something unique. Put one element behind another, hide half of an image; it’s all possible now. I have a PicMonkey logo tip, though.

If you go to “add text,” there’s an entire collection of text templates that you might not think about using for logos. However, the text is set up in circles and unusual configurations so that you could design something really cool and one-of-a-kind. So, to create the best logos in PicMonkey, skip the templates and go straight to text.

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PicMonkey Pricing

As you can tell, I’m a fan of PicMonkey. While I wish that the service was still just $33 annually, it’s a bargain with all you get, especially the thousands of photos and videos. Is PicMonkey Free? While PicMonkey isn’t technically free, there is a free trial. You can test out the service for a week to see if you like it. But then you have to quit or commit.

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What are Good Part Time Jobs for Teachers (from home, not boring, and available now!)?

What are Good Part Time Jobs for Teachers (from home, not boring, and available now!)?

What are Good Part Time Jobs for Teachers (from home, not boring, and available now!)?

Earning extra income can be fun with unique part time job ideas for teachers (and everyone else, too!)

extra income for teachers, part time work for teachers, teacher jobs from home

How to Find the Best Part Time Jobs for Teachers

 

By Lu – OTL City Guides & Seat Fillers

You develop lesson plans and pour heart and soul into providing your students with not only the best education but a supportive environment. So, it’s probably frustrating that you’re looking for the best part-time jobs for teachers when you’re in a short supply of time and energy.

Be happy that you’re here, though, because I’ve got you covered. I’ve researched and stretched my imagination to come up with some off-the-wall ideas. They’re not only the most outstanding part-time jobs for teachers (and others!), but convenient. That means you can take advantage of any of them right from the comforts of home on a flexible schedule.

And, no, they’re not all part-time online teaching jobs. In fact, there are very few on the list (even though tutoring can be lucrative), as there are plenty of other ways to use your talents that’ll fit in with your busy schedule.

What to Look for in the Best Part Time Jobs for Teachers

 

Whether you’re looking for opportunities to teach outside the classroom or entirely different non-educational part time jobs for teachers, considerations are similar.

 

  • Scheduling flexibility – whether you’re looking for evenings, weekends, or both
  • No investment required – you should never have to pay for special equipment or the opportunity to work
  • Competitive pay – while you might need to settle for a bit less with home-based part-time jobs for teachers, be sure to weigh the pros and cons (no travel time, flexibility, etc.)
  • Something you enjoy – with so many options, don’t go after a part-time gig that you’ll dread; there’s a whole new world of possibilities, so have fun with it
  • Tax write-offs – when you decide to take a home-based part-time online teaching job or any other type of gig, you might have some tax deductions that’ll put more money in your pocket
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Unique Opportunities for Part Time Online Teaching

I’ll get to the part time jobs for teachers that don’t involve teaching in the next section. But most educators love what they do and are good at it. So, I wanted to highlight a few opportunities that’ll draw directly from your instructional expertise.

 

Write Education Based Articles

I’m going to include some writing gigs in the next section. But you’ll find that quite a few companies prefer experienced teachers or professors to write articles in the education realm.

Freelance Mom is one of the sites accepting guest posts from professionals who know their stuff.

 

Create Self Learning Material

Before you get too excited, I need to tell you that Tutorials Point is looking for teachers to create written tutorials. However, most of the subject matter is computer-based or more technical. So, if you’re looking to submit elementary school lessons, it’s not going to be your best bet.

 

Go Old School out of School with Mentoring for Our New World

I know you’ll forgive me for making a shameless plug here. But I’m proud of OTL Guide Me to Mentors, and it’s a great way to set up your own side business.

Our Mentors have expertise across the board, from traditional teaching to business mentoring, senior health care, languages, and specialty skills. The cool part of being a Mentor is you set your own schedule, but we take care of everything else. So, you post your available hours, and then when you get an appointment, you mentor via phone or video chat. We even take payment and turn it around within 24 hours via PayPal.

OTL Guide Me to Mentors isn’t exactly a part time job for teachers (although you get paid). Instead, it’s more of a collective of Mentors that support each other and a platform to share talents, hang your own virtual shingle, running your business from within the Guide Me site. Win-Win (win, win, win)!

Share Your Skills:  BE A MENTOR

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Innovative Non-Teaching Ideas for Part-Time Jobs for Teachers

The following are some innovative (and fun!) part-time jobs for teachers – and non-teachers too!  I’ve tried to mix things up with a variety of opportunities. If you like a category, such as writing, there are other online writing gigs. But these should get the ball rolling.

 

Opportunity

Link

Online Verdict Paid jurors Visit Online Verdict
ClearVoice Writing assignments Visit ClearVoice
Resolution Research Paid online studies Visit Resolution Research
Jury Talk Legal focus groups Visit Jury Talk
FrontStream Remote data entry coordinator Visit FrontStream
Scribie Transcribe audio and video files Visit Scribie
LiveOps Remote call center Visit LiveOps
U Haul Part-time contact center Visit U Haul
VIP Desk Customer service Visit VIP Desk
OTL Guide Me at Home Mentoring and tutoring via phone and video chat Visit OTL Guide Me at Home
Listverse Create top ten lists Visit Listverse
Tutorials Point Develop self-learning material Visit Tutorials Point
Craft Bits Get paid for unique “how to make” projects Visit Craft Bits
Freelance Mom Write education-based articles Visit Freelance Mom
Knitty Sell your original knitting or crocheting patterns Visit Knitty
Zirtual Be a virtual assistant Visit Zirtual
Voices Be a remote voice actor Visit Voices
financial relief, extra money for teachers, additional income for teachers, extra income for teachers

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Going Old School with New School, Lifestyles, and Work-styles with OTL Guide Me at Home!

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10 Best Work from Home Jobs in 2020 to 2021

10 Best Work from Home Jobs in 2020 to 2021

10 Best Work from Home Jobs in 2020 to 2021

No transportation needed with work from home jobs, just some cozy slippers

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work from home jobs, the best work from home jobs
By Lu, OTL City Guides, Seat Fillers, and Guide me at Home Mentors

 

It’s a new world, and work from home jobs are highly coveted.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, more than 40% of full-time employees were home officing, and the number isn’t going to drop significantly.

Whether your employer isn’t home office-friendly, you’re looking for a new opportunity or a side gig; you’ll be happy to know that there are options available to you right now. With the following information and resources, you could sign up and be working from home in a matter of weeks or even days.

So, I’ve put together a list of ten of the best websites for work from home jobs. While you might be familiar with a few, I’ve tried to hit the highlights of different industries.

And, if I could provide a shameless (or prideful) plug, please take time to read through number three, OTL Guide Me at Home (guidemetomentors.com). It’s mentoring and tutoring, but unlike anything you’ve seen before.

1. Work at home as a close captioner with Rev

If you’ve ever clicked on close captioning on a video or TV show, you have to figure that the words don’t magically appear. Many smaller productions rely on transcriptionists or “captioners” to accurately provide a much-needed service for anyone with hearing challenges.

About five years ago, I did some close captioning work for Rev to earn some part-time income. I will say that there’s a bit of a learning curve, and it helps to have a good pair of headphones, but you don’t need any special equipment.

Be patient if you haven’t done it before, as it takes practice, but Rev can provide an entertaining work from home job. The company has more than 60,000 Revvers and is accepting more.

By the way, Rev has offices in Austin and San Francisco and posts other opportunities in those cities, as well as remote customer service positions aside from close captioning.

2. If you’re a counselor, you can work from home with agencies like BetterHelp.com

Unlike many other career opportunities on this list, you need to have specific qualifications for a work from home job with BetterHelp.com.

BetterHelp provides clients with counseling through messaging, phone, video, and other materials. So, you need to be comfortable with multiple communication methods. Most importantly, though, you must have proper credentials, as one of the following:

  • Clinical social worker
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Mental health counselor
  • Professional counselor
  • Psychologist
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3. OTL Guide Me at Home Mentoring – for traditional teachers and tutors, plus business mentors and subject matter experts

OTL Guide Me at Home Mentoring (guidemetomentors.com) is a new “club” by OTL, or On the List, City Guides & Seat Fillers.

The premise of the OTL Guide Me at Home is to go old school with our new school and work-styles. That means one-to-one guidance instead of text messaging or manuals. It’s a service for all ages and subjects, so “Mentors” can be teachers by profession, as well as tutors, student teachers, business mentors, subject matter experts.

If you teach art, music, baking, etc., and are open to one-on-one instruction, Guide Me at Home is for you.

Business mentors as well as traditional teachers

As I’m an entrepreneur, I specifically focus on the mentoring aspect of it. Business mentors can be so valuable to entrepreneurs. Guide Me doesn’t have to be formal instruction or question and answers. It can be a place for people to book a 30-minute phone or video session, kick around ideas and formulate plans.

So, as a work at home job, being a Guide Me at Home Mentor lets you hang a virtual shingle with the support of a new and supportive website. You don’t have to schedule or invoice Mentees, as it’s taken care of for you. You just set up shop, do your thing, and make $50/hour.

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4. Arise Work from Home specializes in customer service opportunities

Like OTL Guide Me at Home, you have the option to set up your own business and secure clients through Arise Work from Home. But you can also work directly for the company.

Arise clients, and customer service agents are in the US, UK, and Canada. Its clients include major companies like Intuit Quickbooks, Carnival, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. While assignments vary in scope and size, they’re primarily customer service-oriented work from home jobs.

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5. Fiverr lets you showcase your made writing, computer, and design skills

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Fiverr in this list of ten best work at home jobs, as I’ve been hiring Fiverr specialists for years. I got the idea for OTL Guide Me at Home based on my positive experiences with Fiverr.

While OTL Guide Me at Home Mentors teach and tutor you or guide you to solutions, Fiverr specialists do the work for you. Whether you design logos, are a WordPress developer, copywriter, SEO specialist, or have a business talent to share, you can make money doing short-term projects.

Fiverr lets you get right to work, so you can sign up and get your profile up today. Once again, like Arise, and Guide Me to Mentors, it’s your business. You work according to your schedule.

By the way, if you haven’t visited Fiverr in a while, $5 gigs are now few and far between. Fiverr specialists still provide clients with a great

6. Upwork is like Fiverr on a slightly more corporate scale

I’m going to segue to Upwork, as the service is similar to Fiverr. However, Upwork contractors have a more extensive application process, along with some skills tests.

Whereas Fiverr’s specialty is a variety of services at the lowest price for clients, Upwork caters to bigger businesses so that Upwork contractors can charge a higher hourly rate.

Upwork has freelancers and clients in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

7. If you have excellent typing skills, you could be an ideal Transcribe Me transcriptionist

Transcribe Me is a bit like Rev in that you’re listening and turning audio or video into written words. However, unlike Rev, you’re probably not going to be matching up the words to what’s happening on the screen. Instead, you’re listening and typing as fast as you can.

The interview process with Transcribe Me is a little test with two to four-minute clips. So, when you’re ready, they’re ready, too.

8. Cambridge Proofreading and Editing has a unique work from home opportunity

edit and proofread from home, Are you the kind of person that can look at a page, and a typo immediately pops up to you? Or, you’d never even dream about ending a sentence with a preposition or use a dangling modifier?

If so, and you have at least a Bachelor’s degree, you can earn about $20-$25 hourly as a proofreader with Cambridge Proofreading and Editing. Experience in academic writing and expertise in business, computer science, education, or economics is also helpful as you’ll be able to request assignments based on proficiency.

Cambridge Proofreading and Editing has clients worldwide, pays twice monthly, and, like the other services on this list, you set your schedule.

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9. “Boldly” move forward with work from home as a marketing or social media specialist

Unlike the other fantastic work at home jobs on this list, Boldly provides a more traditional work situation with W2-based employment.

You’re still a remote employee and can decide how much time you can devote to your career, but it’s more of a structured environment. While Boldly hires for various positions, some of the expected openings are in marketing and social media. There are also legal and executive assistant and project management opportunities.

Boldly also has unique work from home jobs for military spouses.

10. Be a virtual assistant with Assistant Match

Assistant Match is like a marketplace for both companies and individuals who need virtual assistants for an hour or two or an ongoing basis.

You could be hired to do things like make phone calls and schedule appointments. If you have a writing background, you could do some writing or editing. There’s online shopping, data entry, social media posting, or blogging.

The tasks through Assistant Match are all over the place. So, don’t count it out if you don’t think you have the proper background, as you could be surprised.

Final Thoughts on Work from Home Jobs

I didn’t initially intend for this particular conclusion. But, as I was writing this and learned more about my top picks for work at home jobs, I realized that you could set up an entire business using more than one of these services.

For example, let’s say that you’re a freelance website developer or designer. You could promote your skills with a Fiverr and Upwork profile. Additionally, you could use OTL Guide Me at Home, and sign up as a Mentor to help people who have website development questions or use your artistic talent to guide them toward a unique web design.

Part-time, full-time, it doesn’t matter. If you have a computer and the desire to secure a work from home job, then you’ve got some resources to kick-start your adventure. You don’t need transportation, just some cozy slippers!

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How Do You Use Zoom?

How Do You Use Zoom?

How Do You Use Zoom?

If you want to know how to use Zoom, we’re breaking down every in-meeting button and giving you a few tips and tricks… and, no, you don’t have to wear pants if you don’t feel like it!

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Let’s Talk About Zoom

With online meetings, conferences, and classes becoming the new normal, Zoom has undoubtedly emerged as the most widely used platform in 2020. It’s packed with tons of useful features that make online video conferencing feel like a piece of cake. 

Not all of us have embraced this video conference system as yet. But, because so many people are Googling “how do you use Zoom,” we’ve decided to provide you with a step by step introduction.

So, how do you use Zoom?

Read on, and in five minutes, you’ll be a pro, as we’ve got the ultimate beginner’s guide to using Zoom. And, in the spirit of OTL Guide Me at Home, where we focus on “virtual hand-holding” to offset the frustration of remote learning, we’re going to do our best to do the same here.

How Do You Use Zoom if You’re a Participant in a Meeting?

Before you dive right in and start inviting people to your awesome virtual gathering, our beginner’s guide begins with the participant’s side of the meeting.

Let’s say that you have enrolled yourself in an online webinar, and you find out that it’s via Zoom. How do you use Zoom to participate if you’ve never even pulled it up on your screen before?

One link is all you need

It may be easier than you think, as you will receive a link from the host’s side, along with instructions to open it when you want to join the meeting. The same applies if your classes are held online, and your teacher wants to use Zoom for this purpose.

Don’t worry about advance prep work, as the link is going to do the hard work for you. Once you open it, you will then be redirected to a Zoom webpage in your internet browser.

Scenario 1: You already have Zoom installed

The option to “Open Zoom Meetings” will launch the Zoom app on your device if you already have Zoom Meetings installed.

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Scenario 2: You’re 100% brand new to Zoom – it’s not on your computer or mobile device

If you haven’t installed Zoom as yet, no worries. Once you click on that invite link, you’re invited to install the application before you join the actual meeting. Unlike Google Meet, Zoom requires its application installed if you want to attend a video conference. However, it’s not a complicated process. All you have to do is just follow the prompts, and you’re good to go.

Zoom Tip

If you haven’t previously installed Zoom or used it before, you can go to https://zoom.us and get yourself set up ahead of time. You don’t have to wait for someone to invite you to a meeting. If you coincide installation with your session, though, give yourself five to ten minutes to prepare, just to be safe.

Once You’re in the Meeting, How Do You Use Zoom?

You might have a few seconds of hesitation the first time you enter a Zoom meeting. But, no worries, we’ve got you covered.

Once you are in the meeting, you will see what your meeting host is showing you. It may be his/her own video feed, or any presentation or screen recording that he/she is sharing. You will also see some other options on the screen that you can use to make your experience more immersive.

Zoom in-meeting features, Zoom buttons, muting Zoom, turning off camera in zoom

How do you use the Zoom in-meeting features?

Let’s walk it through, step by step, starting from the left on the screenshot above.

  1. Mute/Unmute: Your first option is if you want to mute or unmute yourself. You may want to keep yourself silent just to avoid any disruption, or the meeting host can also do that for you.
  2. Stop Video/Share Video: Next comes the “Stop or Share video” button, which is for controlling if you want to share your video feed (your face!) with other participants or not.
  3. Participants: The Participants button will simply show you a list of people who are currently part of the session.
  4. Chat: If you click Chat, you’ll open a messenger where you can interact with other participants and host depending upon your host’s permissions.
  5. Share Screen: Click on “Share Screen” if you want to share your own presentation or pdf file, and it will show a list of possible options that you can share.
  6. Record: You can also record the session using the “Record” button, and Zoom will provide you a video file once the meeting ends.
  7. Reactions: Show your appreciation by giving a “thumbs up” in the Reactions area.
  8. Leave: If you’re feeling bored or you’re done with what you came for, tap “Leave,” and you are free!

No hassle. It’s as simple as that, and you can print out the cheat sheet and keep it in front of you. Ah, the beauty of remote learning and gatherings!

 

 
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How Do You Use Zoom if You’re the Host?

Now, if you are a teacher or the party in-charge, and you want to conduct a meeting on Zoom, you will need to set up an official account on Zoom. That’s in addition to installing the Zoom Meetings application from https://www.zoom.us.

Once you have created a free account, you can organize your own meetings.

How to schedule a Zoom meeting

To schedule a meeting, open the Zoom meetings application. Click on “Schedule a meeting” to enter the time and details of your meet-up. A page like the one below will appear, which will show you different options from which to select.

The entire process is intuitive, so you don’t really need us to tell you how to fill out the form. Just pay attention to the advanced options, as they control whether you want anyone entering the “virtual door” before you.

 

Zoom invitations, invite people to Zoom meeting

How do you confirm and send invitations to your Zoom meeting?

All of your upcoming meetings will appear in the “Meetings” tab. From here, you can copy the invitation and quickly send it to your participants. There’s even a “Copy Invitation” button to speed up the process.

how do you conduct a zoom meeting? hosting zoom meetings

How do you use Zoom to conduct your meeting?

So far, so good, right? It’s all pretty straightforward. As long as you know what to look for, you can quickly navigate yourself through the new Zoom waters.

When it’s time for your meeting, all you have to do is click on the “Start” button. It’s in the same “Meetings” tab that you used to copy the invitation. Once you’re in your online conference room, you’ll see a similar bottom menu like the one that’s provided to you as an attendee.

However, you have a few additional options, as you’re large and in charge now!

Zoom for hosts

Zoom host features

While the majority of the things for both Hosts and Participants remain the same, there are a few differences that give the host an upper hand.

  1. Annotate: There is an option to “Annotate” that appears when you are sharing your screen. This button allows you to draw and write on the screen while you explain things. This option is also available to participants, but only after you start sharing the screen.
  2. Security: The “Security” button helps to ensure that the host has control over the session. There are different options that the organizer can choose to customize the experience. For example, hosts can enable or disable annotation for participants and give the go-ahead for a chat (or not).

Zoom Tips, Tricks, and Suggestions

When we head to a face-to-face meeting, as we did in the pre-COVID 19 era, we tend to get dressed up, or at least look presentable. A back and forth dialogue comes naturally, and we already understand meeting etiquette.

But if you’re not used to online gatherings, you’ve got an entirely new learning curve. So, we’ve got a few things to consider when you use Zoom.

Zoom tips, helpful information about Zoom, using Zoom
  1. The mute button is your Zoom best friend – Mute your microphone whenever you are not speaking. The mute option not only helps to keep out any distortion, but it’s easy to forget you have a hot mic when your dog is barking in the background or your washer and dryer make their presence known.
  2. Video slows things down – If you are one of many participants and you can be in the meeting with your video camera turned off, it’s a good idea to go dark. It’s actually a courtesy, as it reduces the load on all of the participants’ internet connections. And, again, it provides you an extra edge to interact with your surroundings. Besides, if you have your dirty laundry lying around behind you, you really would want to keep that camera off anyway, right?
  3. Let the host annotate – Resist the urge to annotate on the screen as a participant unless you’re asked to by the host. Otherwise, it just creates an extra distraction and a new headache for the host to remove it if it’s unnecessary. It can also disrupt the flow of the discussion
  4. Go old school and raise your hand – All participants have an option to raise their hands if they want to ask a question or simply add to the discussion. Please use this option. It makes the meeting more manageable than just unmuting yourself and interrupting. So, raise your hand. The host will know you want to share something. Then speak when you are invited.
  5. Put your best face forward – To put your best foot (or face!) forward, make sure at least the upper half of your body is well-groomed. Do a bit of experimenting with your phone or computer camera angles as well. Positioning the camera just a tad bit higher than your face tends to work best, along with having ample light.
Zoom success, mastering zoom

Now, do you know how to use Zoom?

Hopefully, you can now say yes to that question. It’s always intimidating to try something new. But Zoom has been designed for simplicity. Once you know what your options are when you’re in a meeting, the fog is lifted. So be sure to print our little icon cheat sheet or save it to your computer. You probably only need it once, though, as you’re already on your way to being a Zoom pro.

Just one more: How do you use Zoom to make videos?

If you want to know about making videos using Zoom or anything about quality lecture-recording, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve already covered the topic in our Three Easy Ways to Make a Teach Video post.  It’s particularly helpful for video-making beginners and all three methods are free, just like Zoom!

 

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Distance Learning Tips for Parents

Distance Learning Tips for Parents

Distance Learning Tips for Parents

Embrace the change – but you don’t have to go it alone.

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Distance Learning Tips for Parents

Distance learning was an unusual method of learning for the majority of school children until March of 2020 in many areas of the US. That date is only marginally earlier for other parts of the world. However, in the fall of 2020, it seems to be the number one method for learning around the world.

Teachers + students + parents = distance learning

Children, parents, and teachers were thrust into the remote teaching realm with little choice due to protective measures surrounding the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. Teachers and students are learning to navigate these new systems, but parents often feel frustrated and confused.

Teachers and students may have already had access to some of these systems, so adapting them was more natural. Parents, on the other hand, may have had limited access or knowledge before. Becoming the parent of a fully online student overnight was difficult for even the most organized parent. However, there are things you can do to survive the new distance learning alternative. So we have a few distance learning tips to get you grounded and ready.

embrace the change of distance learning

Embrace the Change

One of the things that prevents adaptation is emotional resistance.

When people fear their ability, they often feel the material is more challenging to learn. You may have heard the adage, “Whether you think you can or think you cannot, you are probably right.” This phrase is usually attributed to Henry Ford. It is right, though. The more you believe in yourself, the more you can do. If you think you can’t, you will find every reason in the world that it’s too hard. Embrace the change and know that you can survive.

it takes a village for distance learning

Enlist Your Village

Let’s face it. Everyone can’t afford to be a stay at home parent, even if another parent is working in the home. This reality may mean that you have to enlist the help of friends, family, and childcare centers.

Some childcare centers are offering help with students’ online work through Wi-Fi connections and homework helpers. Find the best way to work with your schedule and your child’s schedule. If grandma is retired, see if she’ll stay with the children during the day. If you have a friend or family member who is a stay-at-home parent, offer to pay them or provide everyone’s food each day to watch your child and help.

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Distance Learning Support Group for Parents

Are you feeling confused or out there on a distance learning island? OTL Guide Me at Home has tutoring for your children and one-on-one guidance for you. But you may appreciate being connected with other parents who are experiencing similar challenges. 

Head over to the OTL Guide Me at Home discussion page with online discussions for parents, and others for teachers, students, entrepreneurs, and anyone new to the wide wonderful world of computers, emails, and social media.

Think Outside the Box

You’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and support groups.

organization tips for parents with distance learning, tips for parents for distance learning planning
Be prepared

Plan and Schedule

Buy an old-fashioned paper planner and get to writing down dates.

One tip I recently read was to write events more than a few weeks out on a sticky note and place it on the date. Then if the event gets postponed or canceled, you can move it or toss it out. You can also write in pencil.

Several companies are making erasable pens that work with heat/friction. These are much cleaner than the erasable pens of 20 years ago. Consider these for writing in your planner too. This way, if something changes, you can just erase it.

TIP: Panda Planner has teamed up with Rocketbook to produce a one-of-a-kind planner. It incorporates tasks with personal goals. You can scan and send to your computer or phone and then erase the pages and start again. It’s awesome – one planner will last you for years!

Bottom Line – Distance Learning for Parents

There is no right or wrong way to cope with the changes that have come from distance learning. You can do this with the right tools and attitude. It will not be easy, but you can do it. 

OTL

OTL Guide Me at Home, going old school with new school, distance learning, hiring someone to help with computer
Going Old School with New School, Lifestyles, and Work-styles with OTL Guide Me at Home!

Where do YOU want to be guided?