By k | September 24, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was a brand new writer,
I was desperate
for a book deal.
I signed a contract
that gave the publisher
total control over my name
That publisher
also under reported my sales,
paying me a fraction
of the royalties
they owed me.

I had to reinvent myself,
launching a new pen name,
to survive that mistake.

Desperation leads to
bad business deals.

Master P,
and Music Mogul,

“This story is going
to show the world
that we’ve got to use our minds
sometimes, too.
We shouldn’t be in a rush.

I tell people all the time,
don’t do a business deal
when you’re desperate.

At that time
I was living in the projects;
I was desperate.
So if I did that deal
it just would’ve been,
“That’s it for me.”
I would’ve sold
the rights to my name.
I never would’ve been
able to use my name again.
So we have to be able
to read these contracts.”

If you feel desperation
over a deal,
consult someone
whose opinion you value
and LISTEN to that someone.

We all make stupid decisions
when we’re desperate
and those stupid decisions
can haunt us forever.

By k | September 23, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yesterday, I talked about
intentionally excluding a group.
The thing is,
when we intentionally exclude a group,
we shouldn’t be surprised
when that group crafts its own solution.

Romance Novels
are one of the best selling genres
in publishing.
For decades,
romance novel writers and readers
have been trying
to have romance novels
made into films.

If you’re a male writer,
like Nicholas Sparks,
you’re likely to be successful.
If you’re a female writer?
Not so much.

A group of women
said ‘fuck it’
and they created PassionFlix,

a company that brings these stories
to the screen.
It is heavily crowd-funded.
That’s how much of a demand
there is for this type of product.

When looking at
new business ideas,
consider servicing groups
other companies exclude,
especially if that exclusion
is based on bias.

By k | September 22, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Nikon recently hand chose
32 professional photographers
to represent their new Nikon D850.
They are ALL male.

Considering there’s
healthy female representation
in the photography industry,
I assume this was intentional.

Folks ARE talking about it
the increased exposure
COULD offset angering
over 50% of the population.
But it is a risky move,
one that will affect
the brand forever.

There’s a difference
between targeting a group
and pushing away other groups.
The first can be temporary.
The second is often permanent.

Think before
you intentionally upset a group.

By k | September 21, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The average person
has 2.24 credit cards
3.14 people in his/her family.

The average person
isn’t your target market
because the average person
doesn’t exist.

Seth Godin

“It’s tempting to look at
pop music, network TV
and the latest hot fashion
and come to the conclusion
that the recipe for success
is to focus group everyone,
average it up
and make something
that pleases the big hump
in the middle,
while not offending
most of the outliers.

But few things are up
for a majority-rule vote.
Instead, the tail keeps getting longer,
and choice begets more choice.
As a result,
people don’t need
to abandon their hump
to head
to the non-existent middle.”

If your target market
is the average person,
consider rethinking your strategy.

Trying to please the average person
means not pleasing
anyone at all.

By k | September 20, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The Romance Novel Business
is built upon trust.
Readers (customers) trust
writers (businesses)
to tell them great stories
(provide great products).

The writers who earn
and maintain
readers’ trust
hit best seller lists
and earn millions of dollars
in sales.

All because of trust.

It isn’t easy.
It might require dozens of releases,
decades of marketing
and consistently meeting

But this trust is required
for success.

Seth Godin

“We build trust
when we make promises
and then keep them.

And the majority recoils
from the challenge
of making a promise,
because that requires
caring and risk
and the willingness
to make change happen.”

Trust is valuable.
It takes effort and risk
to earn
but, in many industries,
it is necessary for success.

By k | September 19, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The Science Museum
and The Natural History Museum
in London
got into a ‘fight’ on Twitter.

The one-upmanship of attractions
between these two competing museums
was entertaining,
and it definitely earned
both museums more patrons (customers).
The thread went viral.

This brilliant tactic
could be borrowed
by ‘competing’
specialty stores
and any other small business
with unique offerings.

Some of my best promotions
in the Romance Novel Business
have been shared with
competing writers.
We not only shared
our reader (customer) bases
but we attracted new readers
to the niche.

Competitors can be
your best marketing partners.

By k | September 18, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

This year,
I released
a new Romance Novel series
(product line).
I also continued
the previous series.

The previous series
has a healthy readership
(customer base).
It pays the bills.

With the new series,
I did something different,
something daring.
It turned out to be magical
but it could have very well
been a disaster.

Because that’s how magic happens.
It occurs when we take a risk
and risk sometimes results in failure.

Seth Godin

“That same sort of leap,
the one into the unlikely,
is available to all of us,
at different scales.
It’s unlikely that
our next brave novel,
our next breakthrough speech,
our next scary
but generous project
will succeed.
Unlikely but worth it.”

Consider giving your business
the flexibility,
the failure room,
to create magic.

By k | September 17, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The temptation
for business builders
is to work 24/7 forever,
pushing ourselves
to the limit.

That might appear
to be optimal
but it isn’t.

We’ll burn out.
We’ll make mistakes
because we’re tired.
Creativity will plummet
to nothing.

That’s not optimal.

Seth Godin

“Systems have
an optimum level
of performance.
It’s the output
that permits the elements
(including the humans)
to do their best work,
to persist at it,
to avoid disasters,
bad decisions
and burnout.”

Optimal performance
rarely means
performing ALL the time.

Find your sweet spot.

By k | September 16, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many product designers,
including myself,
have issues with perfection.
We want the product
to be perfect.

That isn’t possible.
There will always be imperfections
in our products.
But usually no one,
other than ourselves,
will notice them.

Seth Godin

“Realize that
no one
is more aware
of your minor flaws
than you are.
No one else is noticing
the little nick
in your tooth
or the fact that
your shoelaces don’t match.”

Magical is achievable.
Perfection is not.
Strive for magical.

By k | September 15, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Envy can be powerful.
It can show us
what we truly want,
push us to achieve it.

When we compare ourselves
to an illusion,
it can be discouraging.
We can’t achieve that goal
because no one
has achieved that goal.

A buddy of mine,
for example,
produces TWO novels a month.
I produce a novel
every two months.

I was becoming discouraged
because I couldn’t produce
as quickly as she did.

Then I found out she has
a team of ghost writers.
She isn’t writing two novels
a month.
She doesn’t write
ANY novels a month.
She outsources
the product development.

Another buddy looks super successful,
like she’s selling a gazillion books.
However, as her friend,
I can tell you
she barely sells enough books
to cover her costs.

Seth Godin

“Spend enough time
looking through the glass
on your tablet
and you’ll come to believe that
you’re the only one
with a less-than-perfect situation.
With the right filter,
the grass really is greener…”

Yes, benchmark to others
if this pushes you forward
but ensure you know the truth
behind their momentum.
Ensure it is possible
for you to achieve the same results.