By k | May 21, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some folks think
rapture,
the first stage of
the end of the world,
happens today.

I don’t think it does
but all this talk about
last days
isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The topic yesterday at work
was…

What would you do
if this truly WAS
your last day?

Folks talked about visiting
loved ones
they hadn’t seen in a while.
They talked about traveling
to places they’ve always wanted
to see.
They talked about taking
risks
they’re too scared to take
otherwise.

And many people
said they wouldn’t ‘waste it’
at work.

So why are they wasting it
at work
right now?
Why aren’t they doing things
that truly matter?
Things they’d do on their last day?

Ask yourself what you would do
on your last day on earth
and then build a path
so you can do exactly that
without the drop dead deadline.

By k | May 20, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In April’s Men’s Health,
UFC Welterweight Champion
Georges St-Pierre
talks about evolution
and the circle of knowledge
(quoting Darwin, Michelangelo,
and other notables).

“In fighting, in evolution, in life,
efficiency is the key.
It’s not the most powerful animal
that survives.
It’s the most efficient.”

And how does one get more efficient?
Through knowledge
and…
“The more knowledge you get,
the more questions you ask.
The smarter you get,
the more you realize
that everything is possible.”

The more you know,
the more you know
you don’t know.

Don’t be afraid to admit to
lack of knowledge.
Only toddlers and teenagers
know everything.

By k | May 19, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Pick a good enough idea
and work it.
Work it until it either fails
or it succeeds.

The world is overflowing
with opportunities.
If you investigate
or, even worse,
start to take advantage of
every opportunity you come across,
you’ll never develop anything.

One of my writing buddies,
for example,
has more than a dozen stories started.
She hasn’t finished anything in months.
She simply starts and starts and starts.

Because she abandons her stories
before they come to completion,
they end up worthless,
not bringing in revenue,
not building her brand.

I put my shiny new story ideas
in a notebook,
and when I start a new story,
I draw from this notebook
(because getting ideas and doing the writing
never seems to happen at the same time).

Take note of the shiny and new,
but work your old idea.

By k | May 18, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

“You’re crazy
to go up against that large company.”
How many times have you,
as an entrepreneur,
heard that?

As an author,
I hear the same thing.
I’m crazy to try to sell books
in the same space
as Suzie New York Times Bestseller.
I get told that
about once a day.

Well…
I’m working at an industry leader,
a huge company.
I received one number
from one department,
and one number
from another department.
Foolish me, I multiplied
these two numbers
to get the answer I needed.

My manager told me
to erase that number,
because multiplying the two numbers
belonged to another department.
I then had to send the document
to this other department
so they could do the multiplication.
(And yes, they got the same answer I did).

I shit you not.

Do you still doubt that
you can compete against the giants?

Big companies aren’t perfect.
Find an imperfection your customers
find irritating
and exploit it.

By k | May 17, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

If you ask people
which they’d rather have
angry customers or apathetic customers
many people will say
apathetic customers.

Anger is messy.
It is tense,
and it can hurt.

Apathy is sanitized.
It feels safer and
more comfortable.

The thing is…
it is much easier to flip customers
from hating to loving
than it is to make them care
either way.

I’m not saying
intentionally piss off customers.
That would be silly.

But when you do piss them off
(and you will,
if you try anything new),
see it as an opportunity
and know there are bigger problems
you could have.

By k | May 16, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Yesterday,
I arrived to a meeting on time.
However, half of the participants didn’t.
We spent fifteen precious minutes
waiting for the latecomers
to finally show up.

In an edition of
CMA Magazine
(an edition because
I couldn’t find the date on it anywhere),
Steve Prentice,
author of
Cool Down: Getting Further by Going Slow,
suggests to
make meetings 55 minutes long
because people will know
when the meeting will be over
and it, somehow, encourages them
not to be late.

“It’s like pricing
something at $19.95
instead of $20.
It’s only five minutes,
but it works.”

People like to bargain price
and a bargain meeting.
Shave five minutes off your meetings.

By k | May 15, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My 11 year old niece
is all about branding.
She likes brand names on all her clothes
and if she can’t afford the brand name version,
she doesn’t wear that clothing item.
(why she doesn’t wear jeans)

Another loved one called her shallow.
He doesn’t understand
WHY she wears brand names.

They help her to be brave
with her fashion choices.

She can experiment
with unusual color and style combinations
and when one of her school mates ridicules
a fashion choice gone wrong,
she tells her,
“Well, this is an XXX”
and the girl shuts up.

THAT is what you’re doing
when you help create a well known brand.
You’re giving people confidence
in their choices
and that spills over into other areas.

By k | May 14, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I recently had a story
go to the next round of consideration
with a major publisher.
Many, many people touched this story
(supplying edits, helping to name it, etc)
so when this good news came,
there was a lot of excitement.
Everyone felt their piece
made a difference
(and it likely had).

One of my loved ones
doesn’t ask for help on his projects.
He doesn’t want to ‘bother’ people.
He wonders why
people aren’t as excited about his successes.

People are selfish
(this is a running theme on Clientk).
They’re excited about my success
because they think of it
as their success.
They’re not excited about my loved one’s success
because it had nothing
to do with them.

If you want people to be happy for you,
make the success about them.
Swallow your pride,
and ask for help.

BTW… THIS is why everyone wants
to help people who are proven to be successes.
A start up entrepreneur may
have to ask for help.
An entrepreneur with a growing reputation
gets volunteers.

By k | May 13, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I am subbing stories to
some of the larger publishers.
These are possible big dollars,
but they also have a long turnaround time.
Some take a year to look at a partial
(the first three chapters and synopsis).

A story sold to a large publisher
would make my career.
Rationally it makes sense that
I should allocate all my time and energy
to these submissions.

Humans aren’t rational.

I know if I only send to the big publishers,
it will take years before I get a sale.
Over these years,
I will get discouraged,
and stop subbing stories.

So every month,
I also send a shorter story
to a smaller publisher.
These publishers take mere weeks to accept a story.
They then publish these stories within months.
I see sales.
I see progress.
I continue to sub to the larger publishers.

Can you set up some short term wins
on your road to that big success?

By k | May 12, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In the January/February edition
of The Costco Connection,
veteran alternative rocker
David Usher
commented on the rise
of downloading.

“Old-school me says
it would be nice
if everyone bought the record,
and new-school me says
it’s really great people are listening.
In the end,
I can’t change people’s behavior.
It would be easier
for the artists
to make a living
if people were paying for music,
but I have to live in the real world
- which often record labels don’t live in.”

If a rocker can’t
change people’s behavior,
an entrepreneur certainly can’t either.

Work with change.
Work with behavior.