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Timeless Home-Business Wisdom

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General Business  ♦  Marketing & PR  Legal Issues

“The most successful homebased businesses are those that are built around a good idea backed by a lifetime of acquired skills, working experience and common-sense knowledge coupled, of course, with a commitment to the concepts of business and marketing.” – Barbara

»» Illustration by Ken Clubb, from Barbara’s “Selling What You Make” column in Crafts magazine. © 1979-2000 by Crafts Magazine; used by permission.


General Business

“As you move forward in business, you may need to repeatedly ask yourself how you might translate your ‘personal assets’ into products and services others will need, not only in these uncertain economic times but for years to come.” – Barbara

Are You a “Self-Employed Individual” or an “Entrepreneur”? Sometimes the results of an entrepreneurial quiz can be quite surprising.

Are You a Workaholic Heading for Burnout? What Barbara missed the summer she let the demon on her shoulder convince her that her work was so important.

Business Deadlines Were Made to Be Broken. Are you stressed because your happiness and time with loved ones slipping away as you allow business deadlines or customer demands to dictate how you live your life? (“This is one of the most important articles I’ve ever read,” one businesswoman wrote.)

“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.” – John Heywood, English Playwright and Poet

Crafts Business Startup Tips [PDF].  A collection of tips from Barbara Brabec’s crafts business books (legal, zoning, licenses, permits, business name registration). 

Dealing with the Constant Need for Change.  Each year as things around us change, or we change, we will find it necessary to make subtle shifts in the way we’re living and working. 

Do You Really Need a Landline Phone? (and the expense that goes with it). How Barbara cut her monthly telephone expenses from $117 to just $22 by switching her local and long-distance service from AT&T to her cable Internet service provider.

A History of the Home Business Industry. [PDF]. A rare historical document that tracks the history of the home business industry from 1981-1996 through Barbara’s many speaking engagements in those years.

How to Turn a Hobby into a Profitable Business at Home. 10 Start-up Tips from Barbara.

“Fall in love with what you do for a living. I don’t care what it is. It works.” – George Burns, Actor/Comedian

Maximizing Schedule C Deductions and Working with an Accountant. The more you know about the tax strategies and deductions available to home business owners, the less you will have to pay in taxes. Barbara’s special tips and links to several tax-related websites and articles. 

Moving Forward Positively in Your Homebased Business.  This historical yet timely article offers perspective from some of Barbara’s subscribers on how they were adapting to changing Covid-19 conditions in the fall of 2020 and their plans for moving forward. It features current home business stats and business perspective with tips and article links of interest to anyone working at or from home base.

“In a business of any kind, the most essential discipline or skill is professionalism and the ability to do what has to be done, even when circumstances suggest it is impossible. In the long run, the things that will make or break you are integrity, discipline, and goals.” – Dr. Gary North

One Writer’s Success Story. Barbara’s motivational article on how to succeed in your chosen life endeavor or entrepreneurial venture with little more than hard work, self-study, and a willingness to keep going even when the future looks.

A Perfect Formula for Getting Anything Done. This idea from a leading business consultant gave Barbara the motivational push she needed when she knew she had to change directions as a writer to retain her enthusiasm for her work.

“The more creative our attitude toward work, the greater the enrichment we can draw from it. “ – Ardis Whitman, Resources to Last a Lifetime (1963; out of print)

Rethinking Your Life and Career in an Exciting New Way. Barbara revisits a book she first read and reviewed in the late eighties, one that could prompt today’s readers to seriously rethink their whole life and career/job/business ambitions.

“Some reading the above article will be thankful they followed the beat of a different drummer while others may want to take a sharper look at where they’re going in life and whether they are truly on the path they want to be on.” –  Barbara

Stress and Blood Pressure: What Stress Does to You and What You Can Do About It. How Barbara dramatically lowered her blood pressure by identifying the one thing that was causing most of her stress. (Includes perspective on stress and the 2020 Pandemic).

Technology and the Importance of Lifelong Learning. If you want to keep your job, or survive in your own business, or simply enrich your personal life, the learning can never stop.

Marketing & PR

“One secret to staying motivated and encouraged lies in communication with your peers and those you are selling to, working with, or otherwise trying to serve. No one ever does it all alone, and even when success is assured, we all have a constant need for positive feedback from our peers.” – Barbara

A Dozen Strategies for Growth and Financial Success in a Difficult Economy. Now is the time to move forward with new ideas—a time to try new things you’ve never considered before; a time to create new products and services that will meet the specific needs of today’s hurting consumers and businesses. (Includes after-Covid marketing tips and resources.) 

“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.” – John Heywood, English Playwright and Poet

The Need for Change as You and Your Business Grow Older. Because you work at home, your business will always be affected by changes in your personal or family life, and you’ll need to keep revising your life and home business plans as you age and the world around you keeps changing.(This article continues in “Adapting to Changing Life and Business Circumstances” below.)

Adapting to Changing Life and Business Circumstances. As you move into your ‘golden years’ as a home-business owner, you will need to make changes due to aging, life circumstances, new technology, and the marketplace that will likely take you out of your comfort zone. (This article continues the discussion begun in “The Need for Change as You and Your Business Grow Older,” above.

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Prov. 6:3 NIV).)

Legal Issues

“Always expect calamity. Then when a mere misfortune arrives, it’s good news.” – from Timothy’s Game by Lawrence Sanders

About Common Law Trademarks. Should you trademark your book title or the name of your business? Barbara shares her experience with having the titles of her two best-selling books “lifted” by others, and how the phrase, “Homemade Money,” acquired trademark status and why it may not be used by others for profit.)

Buying a Domain Name for Your Business: A trademark Pitfall to Avoid.

Maximizing Schedule C Deductions and Working with an Accountant. Waiting until the last minute in April to think about your tax situation is a BIG mistake. To save money, you MUST expand your knowledge about taxes! 

A Costly All Rights/Electronic Rights Issue. An historical case study of a unique contract negotiation issue Barbara Brabec and many other craft designers and writers encountered when craft consumer e-commerce sites suddenly began to spring up on the web at the turn of the century. With feedback from industry professionals about an issue that remains problematic today.

“Good advice is always helpful, but don’t let other people tell you how to run your business. There is much to be said for following the dictates of your heart, trusting your intuition and gut instincts, and marching to the beat of a different drummer. As you develop your own ideas, do continue to read, study, and carefully weigh the advice and experience of others, but always remember that your way just might be as good or better than anyone else’s.” – Barbara

See more business-related articles in the Money Matters category.

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