By k | July 31, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A loved one told me
he was going through a challenging time.
My reply?
“I know.”
He was surprised I noticed.
I shared that many of us noticed
but we didn’t say anything
because we knew he was a private person.

I wore the exact same sweater
as a co-worker once.
She marveled at the ‘coincidence.’
It wasn’t a coincidence.
She always wore that sweater
on the first Monday of the month.

If you’re like me,
like EVERYONE,
you’re probably doing something
you think no one will notice.
Maybe it is leaving a half hour later,
or making coffee when the coffee pot is empty,
or picking up the slack for co-workers.

I’ll tell you a secret…
someone notices.

It might not be an important someone.
It might not be someone
who will ever mention it.
But your actions are noticed.

Assume that eventually
everyone will notice.

By k | July 30, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My favorite type of placement
is within a small autonomous division
of a large company.

When I’m working in these divisions,
I can wield the big company brand name
to obtain faster, better results
with vendors
and customers
Internally, I can propose new product launches
and have them approved quickly.
There’s less wait time.

There’s also a sense of ownership.
I see the results of my work.
I CAN make a difference.

Richard Branson has the same position
on small being beautiful.

“When we have 100 people in the company…
we’ll split the company into two.
When we had
our record company division,
we actually had
20 separate record companies
in 20 separate buildings
with 20 separate brands…
then those people could feel
their success directly.”

Keep your business units small
even as you grow your company larger.

By k | July 29, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my writing buddies
was dangerously behind on her deadlines.
She was so behind,
she risked leaving the release slot open
(i.e. the publisher would be one release short).

Her editor told her
not to edit or revise.
She was to write,
and send the pages to the editor
to fix.
The editor could revise.
Only my buddy could write
the original draft.

It sounds sloppy and unprofessional
but that is EXACTLY
what great leaders do.
They do what only they can do,
and they delegate the rest.


As Nina Simosko explains

“You will see that
there are some tasks
that only you can complete.
That’s what you should focus on.
That’s what you should prioritize.
And the rest of the things
that you have on your ever-growing list
can be delegated or re-routed to others.

By concentrating on the things
that only you can do,
you not only free-up your thinking
for the important tasks,
you also provide opportunities
for your colleagues and your teams
to demonstrate their abilities.
But more importantly,
this allows you to focus your own leadership
on the act of “doing”.”

Do only what YOU can do.

By k | July 28, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

According to the Heavy Hitter Sales Blog’s
survey of 1,000 successful salespeople,
humility is a top personality trait for sales success.

“Contrary to conventional stereotypes
that successful salespeople
are pushy and egotistical,
91 percent of top salespeople
had medium to high scores of
modesty and humility.
Furthermore, the results suggest
that ostentatious salespeople
who are full of bravado alienate
far more customers than they win over.”

This makes sense,
especially when you look at another top trait
curiosity.

Egotistical people don’t ask questions.
Great salespeople do.

In sales,
knowing that you don’t know everything
is a GOOD thing.

By k | July 27, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It is human nature
to see a successful person
and want to imitate her.
She’s successful.
If I’m the same as she is,
I will be successful too.

The key part of that phrase is…
“If I’m the same as she is”

You aren’t.
You can never be.
Even if you were her clone,
by the time you’ve figured out
she’s been successful,
you’re on a different timeline.

But you’re not a clone.
You’re wonderfully individual,
with your own talents and strengths.

As Jazz saxophonist Stan Getz
said regarding his students

“I’m a strong opponent of imitation.
I always tell them that
they have to be themselves.
That’s hard,
because they don’t believe in themselves,
they believe in their heroes.
And I will tell them:
that’s perfectly alright,
but your hero is the only one
who can play that way.
If you want to try
and do the same thing,
it will only be an imitation,
however perfectly you will do it.
I keep on trying to convince them
that they have to play
what they feel themselves.
But that’s not easy.”

Yeah, that’s not easy.
Copy your hero’s attributes
such as
her persistence,
her constant improving,
and
her rejection of rejection
but don’t copy her.
Be yourself.

By k | July 26, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Today at 12 noon EST
The New Old Spice Guy Fabio
is challenging
The Old Old Spice Guy
to a duel.

Is it silly?
Yes.
Is it fun?
Yes.
Is it effective?
I received these links
at least 20 times last night,
individually
and from chat loops
with users numbering in the thousands,
with every sender saying
it is a must watch.

And it is a simple YouTube
marketing campaign.
No expensive TV buy.

Can your small business
run a similar campaign?

Of course.

Great marketing takes creativity
but it doesn’t have to cost
a whole lot of money.

By k | July 25, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the issues
every entrepreneur faces
when building a business
is the separation of business and personal
because many of our first ‘employees’
are friends and family,
and none of us
truly leave our businesses
at 5 o’clock.

Megan Heine,
owner (with her husband)
of Brockton Villa Restaurant
and Beaumont’s Eatery
agrees.
“Owning a family business
can be really consuming
in terms of your family time,
and social life
—you are thinking about it all the time.”

“We try to schedule our meetings
outside the home, in an office
—those are the places
where we talk about business
and our decision making happens.”

You can’t turn off your thinking
or your worrying
at 5pm.
You CAN save the business discussions
for business hours.

By k | July 24, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It has been
4 months after initiating
the world domination writing plan,
and the results have been mind-blowing.

Today, I signed with a major eBook publisher.

Writing buddies are telling me
I’m lucky.
Yes, I AM lucky.
But I got lucky
because I wrote every single day,
FINISHING stories,
I constantly improved,
and most telling of all,
I submitted my stories to publishers.

Most writers are unpublished
because they don’t submit their stories.
They’re afraid of rejection.

Everyone is afraid of rejection.
I hate rejection.
The thing is…
successful people don’t let that fear stop them.

We don’t let laziness stop us from writing.
We don’t let pride stop us from learning.

Success truly IS simple.
It isn’t easy,
but it is simple.

By k | July 23, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I spent most of today
judging entries
in a writing contest.
I had to read the 30 pages,
assign a score,
and give feedback.

It took less than half an hour
to read the pages
and give a score
for each entry.

It took one and a half hours
to give feedback.

Giving good feedback takes time.
It is a delicate balance
between correcting
and coaxing.
The goal is to make the person better
while making them hopeful
for success.
That’s tough.

So when you receive the feedback
you request,
even if it is simply one line
(oh lord, those are the toughest),
even if it is given incorrectly
or harshly
or at the wrong time,
please appreciate the effort.

If the person didn’t care
or didn’t think you had a chance at success,
she would have said no.

By k | July 22, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Comparing all the companies I’ve worked with,
the flatter companies
are, by far, the more creative.
(Flatter does not equal smaller.
A major beverage company I worked for
was organized into
smaller, flatter autonomous groups.
The company was huge
but flat.)

Why?

Because every layer an idea
has to pass through
to get to the true decision maker
can kill that idea.

As Max McKeown shares
“Often a supervisor decides
whether to pass it on or not.
The filtering process continues
until a small number of ideas
arrive at the top.
So which ideas get through?
Only the ideas that managers believe
are acceptable.
These are often not the good ideas.
They are unlikely to be
the transformational ideas
or the ideas that inspire
the rest of the company.
This kind of filter doesn’t give
enough ideas a chance.”

If you want a creative company,
give everyone access
to the key decision makers.