HOW TO RUN AN ONLINE CONSULTANCY BUSINESS -- the MONEY end of it!
If a welfare mother with four kids can run a cottage industry consultancy business off her kitchen table, for forty years and never fill out an IRS form, so can you.
In 1969, I returned to my hometown, Los Angeles, with four Spanish speaking children between zero and five years old. Like many mothers of infants, toddlers, plus a grade school child, I couldn’t afford daycare (a thousand a month) and had to stay home and make lunches, pick them up at school, push a cradle and grow vegetables if I wanted to eat. The DPSS wanted me to live on 123$ a month food stamps, a 250$ AFDC cash STIPEND to come each month which I could towards my $350 DOLLAR rent but if they caught me with a dime of earnings, the deal was off. I had to out of a sock, pull extra rent and all that utility money. This never added up, for me. “I can’t live on a $250 welfare check”, I told them. “Then get a job or get married, they said. “But we will be taking part of your salary to pay for your AFDC.” But how a job with four toddler kids? DAYCARE would be ten times costlier than the salary? I replied, real irate. “Get your Spanish hubby to pay some alimony. “ they said, giving me photos of every LUIS HERNANDEZ in L.A. with a driver’s license. “None of these bozos is Luis Sr. He’s in MEXICO, has a steel factory” I then swore up and down that in Mexico City where I left him, they hadn’t even the word ‘alimony’ in the dictionary. They showed me the door.
However I’ll say this for them. That puny little welfare check DID come every month. I’ll say that for the DPSS! (Except for a few months where they tried to say I couldn’t be living this well on a welfare check of 200$, how did I do it and they cancelled me, forcing me to come in and tell them that my rich chums gave me old baby clothes and tinned food that was outdated.)
You see, the moment I came back to L.A. and saw how the WELFARE dept looked at your every move, your bank accounts, yet gave you so little money that rent, food, utilities could not be met…I quickly saw that my return to California was going to be a cash disaster unless I opened a home business, under the kitchen table as no daycare was going to be possible. Now, I sewed a little but not enough for my first and only job for Drama Coach Stella Adler, which failed miserably. The only other thing I knew how to do was type fast, and oh yes, interpret a horoscope, so I turned to a typed horoscope-cottage industry, one I didn’t tell the DPSS about, as they tend to dock you every cent you make.
I soon was stargazing to the Stars of Hollywood. Great business. DOGGY bags from posh parties full of shrimp, lobster, caviar. Took all four kids to Acapulco at a hotel with lizards on the ceiling, every few years. It turned out that in CALIFORNIA, any old thing you did could make somebody a living. If I washed Harleys and called it HAWG-WASH, I’d have thrived. If I cooked TOFUBURGERS for cafes, I’d have been fine. Things went swimmingly from 1969 til 1996 when my landlord sold the cute cottage that I rented. I suddenly had to move. After thirty years guiding girls at my kitchen table or office desk in the heart of Yuppie ville, WEST L.A. I found WLA had tripled its rents. After searching, I found a cottage with big gardens for the same price but it was 22 miles NORTH as the crow flies in THE VALLEY. CRIKEY! There went the neighborhood! I despaired of ever attracting an old client. And sure enough, that move put a 98% dent in my business.I fought back. I used email announcements, tasty ads, Craig’s list and shark-like I moved after the online client! I was a perfect CYBER TYRO, didn’t know how anything worked but ANY EFFORT paid off. I began to have the same ‘numbers’ as had walked in my door in town, and I was out in the boonies. I simply did my readings by Phone or typing them into an EMAIL. Palms were xeroxed and came to me in the mail. LESS GASOLINE for all concerned. Although I worked in the FORTUNETELLING cottage industry, you, perhaps, are a consultant for other things however I do believe that the same rules apply.
I found that my tendency to write an article on every INTERESTING CONCEPT that I’d ever discovered was an asset. The INTERNET is about searching for INFO that you need. Well, folks found my INFO on about TWENTY MAIN SUBJECTS (gardening, cooking, babies, cottage industries, romance and marrying well, UFOS, New age Insanity psych-cures, holistic rejuvenation diets,) and folks then saw that I also ran a FUN WHOPPEE CUSHION of a “consultancy biz” and they’d scrutinize the article to find my email and write me! So I expanded into really writing up every damn “WONDER of the WORLD” I ever discovered. The cure to ASIAN BIRD FLU, the WAY TO PENETRATE HIGH SOCIETY AND RUN YOUR OWN CHARITY and give yourself a SALARY….posting these articles at MY 5$ a month WEBSITES. Or at other INFO JUNKIES’ WEBSITES. I realized that this was like OFFERING FREE TRADE BEADS to the world. Folks began to beat a path to my TEEPEE! (WELL, my CYBER TEEPEE!)
I began to write articles on even more subjects: GUERILLA CAPITALISM, MOONLIGHTING, COTTAGE INDUSTRIES, CONSPIRACY THEORY, THE REAL SKIVVY on the politicians.
I couldn’t get my butt published in magazines as I was one off the wall LEFTIST, HOLISTIC but I would always cite my credentials. I’d seen flying saucers. My kids had been cured by a homeopath of deadly diseases with little tiny pastilles! Cops had one day come right into my house without knocking, trashing the constitution looking for my son, not me. (his sin, Driving with one BEER .)
One day I wrote an article about brainstorming up new things, thinking outside the Box. I read a book called PURPLE COW to assist. The headset of the able CEO entails specific brain gears we cannot imagine. I wrote those uses up as an article called it “DOUBLE YOUR BUSINESS “ a concept to inspire home CEOS to find a second or third business that you could run out of the same office. SIDESELLING I called it.
I followed my method, making a list of anything and everything I could do. I could regress people to past lives. True, few people wanted to see their past lives or even believed in them. Fewer wanted to trek to the VALLEY for it. What else could I do? Something that would bring in the crowds. It occurred to me that the great l9th century Hindu Saint Ramakrishna had once said that there were only two things that make people nuts, love and money. I suspected I was real ‘up’ on the former.I’d been a flaming Venus in Aquarius ditz when I was young & I knew a lot about men, dating and romance from that as well as layers more of info from clients. Why couldn’t I do a Web Seminar on LOVE? Over 30 years (at that time,) of reading stars and palms for clients (I had another 15 years before -- just doing stars & palms as a hobby, I don’t count those.) but in 45 years total, I had LEARNED a lot about WOMEN and their love problems by hearing all those amazing horror stories. People don’t come to you when things are good, so slowly, I developed a set of files I call the RUTHLESS RULES OF ROMANCE and I became an online, freebie love consultant and immediately started advertising on Craig’s list.
From what clients told me about their love life, I slowly learned what a girl should NOT do. From successful heart breakers, i.e. a lot of movie and rock stars I learned what one SHOULD DO. These gals told me their wild tricks for nailing men and I pass on those too. After years of practice, I became a love coach, an unshingled Jungian therapist. An illegal shrink for the love-crazed. A pirate psychiatrist. I wrote so many files to young ladies, (keeping copies on the various syndromes and remedies,) that when it came time to create and fill the pages of the LUCK IN LOVE WEBSITE, where the SUCCESS IN LOVE TRAINING resides in CYBERSPACE, I found I had several hundred pithy chapters on HOW TO quit your bad habits, spot, meet, and nail a GOOD MAN and not fall for a bad man. Also puhlenty on how to MARRY VERY WELL, which means marry WEALTHY! It’s the RUTHLESS RULES OF ROMANCE, all totally free for the reading. Instant click. No registering at the gate, just slink right in, gals and get an upgrade.
TO put bread on my table, And bible bread is currently $3.49 a loaf!, I read horoscopes of the girl and the guy, compare them, do natal charts, advise clients who what and when, both online and by phone and for that I get 25$ the hour after all, it isn’t brain surgery. (Actually, it IS!)I don't bother with a VISA or MASTERCARD ACCOUNT as the big boys charge an arm and a leg for that set up. As my clients met my mind online and read l00 chapters of me, they come in the door, errr, dial me up, TRUSTING me already. They are also AMUSED by how I ‘word’ the ancient rules of man/woman theosophy. So they can and will mail me a check. Receiving it,I trust them right back. Or they pay me online, instant Internet style, an online bank called PAYPAL. A friend who has check writing software tells me that it’s a better way and he’ll come install it on my PC soon. I can’t even imagine what that is so naturally I don’t want it yet. He uses it. Remember that Ramakrishna quote? He specializes in MONEY. You go broke on debt, he fixes it. Gets paid 400$ so he doesn’t want any check to bounce. Anyway, I’m not making the national debt of Greece. So I’m happy with things as they are. I rent, don’t anticipate buying. (I Researched and Wrote ‘how renters can eat on a dime. And CONFESSIONS of a Bottom Feeder, posted them all at the FRUGAL ARCHIVE.
I INSTANTLY HAD A TON OF READERS
THEY WROTE ME ALL THE TIME. BUT
NOT A TON OF MONEY. I HAD ESTABLISHED
MY CREDENTIALS. I HAD TRADE BEADS
TO GIVE AWAY, SOME ASTROLOGY CLIENTS
BUT NO REAL, BIG MONEY.
So I rode that wave the way it crashed, for a while, while I waited to see how POPULARITY could translate to MONEY. I became a freebie online ROMANCE GURU, a teacher, also at my MONEY SITES, a HOW TO MAKE MONEY UNDER THE TABLE GURU, but I do not charge. Those are my credentials, so if you wish, you might use my business suggestions --that is, if you are any kind of consultant, a website designer, a stock advisor or psychologist, develop your unique features and put it in WEB LINGO. LUCK IN LOVE is alliterative, easy to remember. Find a handy, easy to memorize name. A pal wants to give me a website, he bought the name before I met him, it’s MISSIT.ORG Well for one month, no matter how I tried to remember it, I couldn’t. It couldn’t attach itself to my brain. I had to think what it meant. It should be about DID YOU MISS THE NEWS STORY, so DID YOU MISS THIS NEWS ORG. Missit by itself was too neutral to recall. So picking a name is EVERYTHING.
For example. my ONLINE WEBSITE and FREE SEMINAR for those who want to do big fun parties for any “FEED an AFRICAN BABY” CHARITY that you like and salary yourself is VULTURESANDWICH.ORG. The concept and especially the NAME is bold, sprightly, young, bombastic, easy to remember!
My daughter Paloma is a sprig off the ole tree, she’s BIG APPLE BABIES, child portraits in NYC for the Uberwealthy at 500$ a sitting. She meets you in Central park, shoots you in an hour. Returns to RIVERDALE, their version of the Valley.
I don’t know the cash details of her biz but for me, there are two ways to make certain that I get the money the client owes A.) By never doing the work without the check or paypal payment in hand. B.) by keeping my rates real low so nobody NEEDS to stiff me and C.) By maintaining certain, astringent systems that are hidden under casual little 'rules.'NEW CLIENTS come, they always demand a quickie kind of 'give me a reading right now' situation. THEY ARE IN AN IMPULSE MOOD. They called me out of a passion throe provoked by the unique wording of my Craigs list Ad. I seemed to be talking about THEIR LOVE PROBLEM and that is what is eating them. That or Money, the two things that get people’s knickers I a twist. (Now I don’t specialize in Money, obviously. I research and post my findings is all.) So my point is when I first hear from a client, by phone or EMAIL I have to phone them or email them back immediately. When I fail to do this promptly, the fish swims to another part of the river. The fish forgets.
Your people might be different. It might be that your clients might want their website looked at, their design choices hammered up, or their stock buys analyzed. The thing is, you and I have to strike fast to get them to write the check before they get the hard work invested by you so I always immediately --without one second delay ---if I'm on the phone to them, give them a piece have generalized but quite high level information on their query. It might be "HOW TO MAKE SURE your mate is true to you? " I'll give some brilliant hint, say 'have you ever caught him in a little lie? Or, on the other hand, have you ever heard him tell a truth where that truth compromises him a little, but as he's so honest, he told you the truth anyway?"
Then I explain how we can test our men without fully answering her question. I will even email her an article that I wrote on MEN, WHY THEY LIE, WHAT IT REALLY MEANS. Cuz the truth is, it means NOTHING! Men are taught at their mother’s skirts to lie like rugs. So girls, getover it. Especially if he’s the father of your children and works hard. If he’s a boyfriend, then you can afford to be picky over a liar. Depends what he’s lying about.
I may send that email right after the conversation --in case she's forgotten how brilliant the conversation was. I make certain that my home phone number is on my email, and “love to talk to you anytime.”
THEN I send my pretty EMAIL AD, which has instructions HOW TO PAY THRU PAY PAL. It reminds her of the fact that she can get me, any time day or night, all she needs is my email addie, “astrology at earthlink dot net”…. SHE has that email now where I give her a second chance to go to her desk, write the check and mail it or use PAYPAL to send money.
I hope that my advice was worded in such a way that a.) she got instant mental relief from her anguish, fear and uncertainty and b.) she sees the wisdom in getting me to further analyze their problem. I might say “Don’t let this go because the relationship is headed into problems immediately if you continue to judge him, be paranoid about these little lies and if you can’t forgive and deal with how he is.” Pay me for one hour we can go on talking any day this week. Or next week.”
She will want to send me at least my hour 25$ consultancy fee to get me to give them a professional analysis. Getting their CHECK by return mail is fine, one in a hundred checks are rubber and bounce. When you are online, get paid first. NEVER EVER ask for and expect a check for after the reading is over. THOSE are guaranteed to be rubber promises cuz they’re written on air! When a client is with me in my office, I do get paid afterwards.Rubber checks are rarely (once in 30 yrs of readings) given in person. But we're talking online clients? Get the check by PAY PAL or the US. POST beforehand!
If they approach me by e-mail I instantly while they're hot, email them or call them back. Try to do it with a phone call, so get a PHONE card at 99c store fora penny a minute (!) phone calls. You can afford to invest 5 minutes in a phone call to a far away city.Last I heard that’s still a nickel!
AS FOR GIVING THE FULL READING WHEN THEY FIRST call or write? No, only a few crumbs of it. The big piece of research work comes ONLY if they cut you a check or send cash with paypal. If they say you know me, I’m good for it. Say, “I can’t find the love in my heart that makes me psychic without knowing I am liked. To not pay me and ask me to work for you is a turn off. Love or friendship is the surest key to my GUIDE LIGHT being turned on.”
If you don't know the person who sent them, i.e. their friends – and know them well, (so you could rat them out for no pay,) and don't know them, NEVER! You can't do freebies with new clients. ONLY WITH OLD clients, with whom there is a tone of genuine friendship.
If you’re waiting for a check that they are going to mail, dress up your request. Say " I need to have and know the many questions that are in your heart so it helps me as a psychic if you write every question about the lover, the kid, the husband, etc, on a pc of paper. Mail it to me. Make sure it is handwritten as I get a lot off that. I am going to cast your horoscope, his, do the research on your chart and the timing related to questions where timing is a part of the answer. You can't be on the phone with me when I do the math and research the chart. That's boring private and meditative work. I spend a few hrs, which I don't charge you for --doing that study. And so many of the issues involve going thru ephemeris to check dates that you give me, when the fights occurred, so that the truth will be visible, and when he is most likely to show his dark side or contrarily when he’s most prone to actually proposing….when that will come.
ALSO (I tell them, )"as I'm partly psychic, when I see your handwriting, how you write the word BOYFRIEND, or write his name I get clues so it is very important. So don't type it. WRITE the thing out. And I mean give me TEN QUESTIONS or whatever many, but concerns that are coming right out of your heart. Obviously I also am gauging that the first question you ask is the main issue....and I see during progression of your letter how you are a.) coming up with other related stuff, b.) seeing possible avenues of exit for yourself, or maybe they’re not possible etc. THEN mail that letter to 3838 Blue Heaven St in MAUI HAWAII, ( I WISH!) etc, with a 41c stamp.
The day I get it your check, I will start the math work, the research. I will email you and tell you when you should phone me. I often LATER will ask them to send Xeroxes of their palms but only on the second letter as doing that takes so much time they forget me on the first meeting. And then, I never hear from them again, ever. So I always wait til first reading is completely over with before I ask for a palm print.
If I am instructing them about cash realities on an EMAIL….I discuss emotional realities in the body of the letter. Then, I WRITE OUT A Post Script WHERE WE GET TO THE MONEY SITUATION. I say, P.S. (as if this were a secondary consideration). Send a check or money order for an hour research time which refers to the time spent casting the horoscopes, and then ADD ON THE FEE FOR the hour we will be talking. I don't charge for all the hrs I actually put into the chart math. Chart research. I'm 25$ the hr. so figure how long we'll talk, etc. 2 hrs is the usual minimum. But if you can’t afford that, that’s o.k. I work an hour and always give more time.
IF you want to give some freebie talk in the first few minutes of hearing the client's voice on the fone, keep it general philosophic information that has very high tone to it. I use this kind of palaver online as you know. HIGH TONED 'how to get lucky in love' articles, or 'how to cook rhubarb, 'why the Bush family will again betray America type articles, etc.
When I write articles, I always do several things to insure REPEAT BUSINESS. If I’m talking about something, I GIVE AN URL that explains more, as often as I can. I will insert various websites’ urls. Like this. MY HOME SITE. People go there, read some more & as I ALWAYS HAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS hanging around, they write, and I always answer. They find me thru articles. For the same reason, I offer free garden seeds and bulbs to a list of l000 names. They send those offers on to their pals and now I can give their pal the same url, links, 'what's your dob?' let me send you the freebie dailies. OH, the freebie dailies are a fine way to meet folks. Give them freebie dailies for a half yr, then say if you want them, it's donation or it's 5$ a month or whatever.
When you think back to how you picked up clients in 70's, it was at meetings, clubs, groups, or at healthfood store. You started chatting with someone over say, the big bunch of celery they had stashed in their basket. “Oh that’s good at chelating the sodium in your veins, puts it into liquid form so it leaves the body. See it’s organic sodium so it melts INORGANIC sodium.” The woman would say ‘are you a holistic healer, and it gave me a chance to say stargazer, palmist, psychic” whip out and hand them my card. Maybe happened once a day! Today on the net, you can meet 5 people a day. So our incidence of client attraction is 5 times what it was when we depended on our car driving our feet to a place!
Now, for the longtime clients, the fone-in regular crowd you have to run an account, a bill and time them. WITH THEIR PERMISSION. Say:"JANE, you want a reading right now, don't you?Well then, tell you what. I'm going to time our talk and write down the minutes, and add it to the call you made last week which was l hr long (or better, I'm going to add it to the calls you make in the coming week, or if they rarely call you, don't say that!) And then I'm going to bill you by mail or email to your home, you can check it against your long distance server’s bill and I hope to get a check for 25$ for each hour you are with me on telephone line. Does that seem fair?”
Or time the hrs I spend researching the chart and typing it up for you. And bill you. I'll bill you later this week, ok?"
IF THEY SAY OK, they have given their word. PEOPLE rarely break their word to their advisor. I jot down hour they called in, 3:40 pm then when phone call is over, write 5pm, one hour 20 minutes and go to MICROSOFT word processor files in my CLIENTS directory in the c: or D: scroll down to clients, enter it into a file JANEBIL.htm or I do it actually in WORD PERFECT for DOS an old software from the 80’s. For Courtney Love she had her own DIRECTORY and hers was in Microsoft Word. So I can locate it easily in the tree with the file manager I use. OR via the word processor I most use. I ALSO put a notation of that date Feb 20 --------------1 hr 20min. Next time she calls, I enter Feb 23 ....15 min.
One client calls daily, yesterday 2 hrs, swear to God, I was lying in bed with a clicker on my hand, switching channels randomly a kind of televised card deck, to get answers to nonsensical questions. 'What does he think of my beauty? What does he love about my face? She can go on this way for two hours easy.
I also often do dice, tarot, stars off a PC with the person's chart but this demented cookie needs a reading every day. She is a psychic junkie but heiress to a two hundred year old fortune.
As I have trained this client well,
she spends a luxurious hour or two a day with her new questions, I send a bill
once a month. The amount is more than I spend in a year on food, but who's
counting. Not her! Over the decade, she's only had a check bounce once, and it
was good the second time I put it through. I allow her to write one check for
the lst, one for the 15th if she's short, cutting my bill in half
So, I began to crave decent, normal clients. NOT SCREWY LOUISE, but PERT GERT! I then made up an ad and put it on my website. THE STAR AD by itself, even hanging in cyberspace was not going to attract foot traffic so I did something new. I WROTE an AD at CRAIGS LIST that had the URL IN IT. I put the ad up in multiple cities and did it daily! Suddenly people were calling or emailing me from all over America, two or three a day. I sent them my merchandise, something in cyber bytes, not an article on the shelf I had to buy from a wholesaler and sell at retail prices. But text that came out of my head. That was my merchandise, as I’m a consultant.
So consider my suggestions and get an online consultancy business up and going. You will find the INTERNET a fruitful field. Believe me! And more fruitful, the hours you can spend foodscaping the garden, bouncing children and grandchildren on your knee, making your own jam, cooking from scratch and whatever else you enjoy. And isn’t that what life is about? What our business should be about? ENJOYMENT?
BACK TO THE MONEY SECRETS PAGE
BACK TO GUERILLA CAPITALISM PAGE
BACK TO THE FRUGAL LIFESTYLE INDEX