Turn part-time passions into a full-time gig

Have you listened to your heart lately? In the second step of the Real You Process, we explore your passions—the things that make your heart sing. Maybe you love working with children, you're an excellent writer or you have a killer voice that you haven't used in awhile. We all have passions and talents that have been pushed aside because life got in the way. But that shouldn't be an excuse.

Start living your passions. Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, you need to have a back-up plan. Something to lean on. Something that makes you smile each and every day. Use that talent, and turn it into something profitable by starting your own side business.

Here are some quick tips:

• Start simple, on the side. You're not ditching your full-time job here. Not just yet, anyway.

• Take your time and think about your business plan. What would your product/service be? Who is your target audience? What companies could you partner with? Who do you know that could help you on your way?

• Confide in those closest to you, personally and professionally, and ask their advice. Do you have a mentor? Call him/her today!

• Pick up a copy of Real You Incorporated and fill out your chart. This will guide you through the basics and help you define your new company.

Now is a great time to start thinking about how you can turn your skills and passions into the business of your dreams, all the while securing your future in this rollercoaster economy.

Have you turned your part-time passion into a successful business? Tell us about your story!

Maintaining stable employer-employee relations

In a climate where leaders have to make difficult cost-cutting decisions, employer-employee relations can often get a bit rocky. To maintain good a good rapport, it’s important for employers to communicate and get to know their employees. I mean really take the time to interact with them on a daily basis. Go beyond what’s happening at work, and show an interest in their lives. A real, genuine conversation is comforting; share a story or a laugh with your employees. A little interest goes a long way.

Still, it’s best to exercise caution. You don’t need to know the details of their personal lives, and you certainly don’t want to pry. But chances are good that by showing a little interest in what they’re all about, you’ll create an employer-employee relationship that will benefit both sides of the equation.

Turn your Passion into a Business

With companies being pulled in every direction and employees clinging to their jobs, it seems like women all around me are becoming entrepreneurs. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, women are starting businesses at more than twice the rate of men—maybe even more. In fact, a woman starts a business every 60 seconds. They are employing one of every seven workers in the U.S., and the majority of women-owned businesses continue to grow about two times faster than other firms.

Now that I’ve wowed you with the facts, let’s talk about why this is happening. Well, for starters, women are tired of being held back. Many view entrepreneurship as the only way to break the glass ceiling because other, more traditional channels have not yielded the desired results. Also, with our changing economic times, women are taking the time to step back and evaluate their lives. Finding that they are unhappy with their current jobs, women are focusing on their passions. All around the country women are realizing they should love what they do and are turning their passions into actions: businesses! They’re approaching entrepreneurship in a way that is truly genuine—and real.

Are you doing what you love? Tell us about it!

Economy have you down? Start your own business.

Does the economy and the job market have you down? Well now is a great time to start thinking about what you are truly passionate about. This is the perfect time to take a break and think about what you really want out of the upcoming years. Do you want to continue working for the same company? Where do your passions lie? How and when are you going to put your passions into actions?

With the US losing 605,000 jobs in the first right months of 2008 and the unemployment rate reaching 6.1% in Aug. 2008, according to The Center for American Progress, the corporate world doesn’t look so stable. If you are thinking about starting your own business, now is the prefect time to do your research, see what’s happening in your potential industry and fill the voids.

There are unlimited resources out there to help you. Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com are great sites for aspiring entrepreneurs.

To help put your entrepreneurial vision together, check out the chart creator at RealYouIncorporated.com.

What is important when times are tough

I just returned from the Real Estate Connect conference in New York and there were some very depressing economists there. As you no doubt have surmised, the housing market is in a recession. There is a wave of sadness, despair and fear crashing down on those directly involved in the industry: real estate agents, brokers, lenders and the like.

And for good reason. There are 10 month plus inventories in markets across the country. Everyone seems to have stopped buying and selling homes. So, that was the gist of the conference and then I was on a technology panel. My message? Not so much about the next technology killer app - sure there are exciting things appearing daily. But mostly, my message was about getting real.

When times are tough it's more important than ever to make sure you still have passion for the business you're in. If it's real estate, it's especially tough right now. Agents are entrepreneurs. They make the dream of home ownership come to life everyday. So what do they do if they are still passionate about real estate, but times are this tough. They reach out to their customers, who also are afraid of the housing market and the repercussions, and provide them with information and support. They check in, to make sure they're doing OK. In my book, Real You Incorporated, I write about real connections with your customers. And this is a perfect time to do just that.

All of us are in this together as the economy slows down. When you focus on putting the real you in your business - take action and reach out to your clients from your heart, sharing your knowledge and your passions - you'll find a deeper, more authentic connection with your customers when the economy picks back up.

And it will. For more, visit my website: http://RealYouIncorporated.com