By k | December 31, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Jim Rohn claimed that
“You are the average
of the five people
you spend the most time with.”

And the odds are…
you’ve invited at least
one of these five people
to your New Year’s Eve party.

If you want to become successful
and you wish to continue to associate
with this person,
it makes sense to help them become successful, right?

Writing down their goals
would help them become successful.

So why don’t you work New Year Resolutions
into your party?
Make it fun.

Have attendees set one crazy resolution
(”I’ll go streaking down my street”)
and one realistic resolution
(”I’ll take a sales course”).


Host an internet scavenger hunt,
finding articles
to help to help with resolutions.


Have a prize for the people
who keep their resolution
and award it at next year’s party.



Build goal setting into your party.
Help the people you know
become successful.

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

We all know that writing down our goals
increases the odds
of realizing our goals.

People who write down their goals
have over an 80% higher success rate
of achieving them.

(The Harvard Goal Setting Study
also showed that graduates
with clear written goals
and plans to achieve them
earned more than twice on average
what their non-goal setting classmates earned.)

So why only write them down once?

What I do
is write down my top goals
EVERY morning.

This does a number of things.
I reconfirm that the goal is important.
I REMEMBER I have made this a goal.
Writing the goal down
on a fresh piece of paper
also reminds me that this is a fresh day,
a fresh start,
and yesterday’s mistakes are in the past.

Write down your goals
at least once.
If you really wish to stay focused,
write them down daily.

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

One of my buddies had been trying
to quit smoking for a while.
She’d stop and then days or week later,
start again.

Then one day,
her 7 year old daughter came home crying.
She’d learned about smoking and cancer
in school
and was convinced her mommy was about to die.

My buddy quit that day
and she has never picked up
another cigarette.
Whenever she gets the urge,
she remembers those tears streaking down
her daughter’s face
and that urge goes away.

One of my other friends
always dreamed of writing a novel.
She’d write for a bit and then stop,
putting other tasks and other people first.

I finally told her
“By not finding time for your dream,
you’re teaching your children
that their dreams aren’t important.
Is that what you want to do?”

She now has six stories published
and her kids sincerely think
that ANYTHING is possible.

Goals are easier
to achieve
when they have an emotional link.
Find that emotion.

By k | December 28, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Goals should, of course, be
specific, measurable, attainable,
realistic, and timely.

But how specific is specific?

Top Achievement proposes

“A specific goal has a much greater chance
of being accomplished
than a general goal.
To set a specific goal
you must answer the six “W” questions:

*Who: Who is involved?

*What: What do I want to accomplish?

*Where: Identify a location.

*When: Establish a time frame.

*Which: Identify requirements and constraints.

*Why: Specific reasons, purpose
or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE: A general goal would be,
“Get in shape.”
But a specific goal would say,
“Join a health club
and workout 3 days a week.””

The more specific a goal is,
the less decisions you need to make,
the easier it is to put it on auto-implement.

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

An 11 year old recently asked
what a New Year Resolution was.
A friend answered
“A goal you have for the new year.”

THIS definition is one of the reasons
I believe New Year Resolutions fail,
because there is no connection
to a bigger goal.

My goal for 2012 is to write
12 short stories
and 12 novellas.
This goal isn’t inspiring.
It isn’t life changing.
It doesn’t excite me.

What DOES excite me is my big goal
- To earn a million dollars a year
from writing in 10 years.
Being paid great money
to do something I love
gets my blood pumping.
It drives me to work hard,
to achieve.

My goal for 2012 is one more step
toward this big exciting goal.

Yes, have a goal for 2012
but tie that smaller goal
into a larger, more inspiring one.

By k | December 26, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was young,
I told everyone who would listen
my goal was to become a millionaire.

My family was poor.
Many of the people I knew
were poor.

I’d tell other people my goal
and they’d either tell me
it wasn’t doable
(laughing at me)
or they’d humor me with a “sure, sure.”

Then I told the couple I dogsat for.
They didn’t laugh.
They didn’t give me a flippant response.
They sat me down
and asked me what my plan was.

(I didn’t have one
because I didn’t truly believe
the goal could happen.)

They wrote my thoughts down.
They asked questions.
They made suggestions.
They helped me formulate a plan.

They made my goal real.

A goal without a plan is a dream.
It isn’t real.
You won’t take action on it.

If you truly believe in your goal,
make a plan to achieve it.

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

One of my favorite mentors,
a former V-P I worked with,
would book a meeting with me
at least once a month.

During that half hour meeting,
this very, very busy man
would put aside his phone
and his computer
and hold all calls and interruptions
and focus on me and my career.

Some of the meetings weren’t pleasant.
I fucked up
and he had to set me straight
on how business is played.

But that he thought enough of me
to dedicate that time
meant SO much.
It still does.
I look back and think
“He believed in me.
I have to believe in myself.”

Today may or may not
be a special day for you.
It doesn’t matter.
You can still give this same gift,
the gift of uninterrupted, dedicated time,
to someone you feel is important.

That time could be spent
hearing about a five year old’s dreams
of being a ninja princess.
It could be spent
coaching your store manager
on how to relay your gift return policy.
It could be spent simply being there,
completely there,
for someone.

Give someone you care about
the gift of your uninterrupted time.

By k | December 24, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Today, if you’re in retail,
you’ll see last minute shoppers.
These shoppers
are often procrastinators.

Why do people procrastinate?

According to Dr. Pamela Wiegartz,

there are three main reasons

- they fear failure
- they fear success
- they’re perfectionists.

A few years ago,
I went to the mall on Christmas Eve.
Every time I looked at something,
that item would be swamped
with other shoppers.
I had shoppers ask me
“Would I like this?”
“What would I buy?”

These shoppers didn’t want
to make the buying decision.
They wanted me to make it for them.

So how do you market to the procrastinator?
You use recommendations.
You market the product as the “hot” gift.
(you should be able to share with shoppers
what your hottest selling item is)
You have staff say “This is what I would buy.”
You take the buying decision,
the blame for wrong or right or imperfect purchases,
out of the shopper’s hands.

Seth Godin has a wonderful article
on the appeal of the hot toy.

By k | December 23, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In one of my stories,
I accidentally changed the color
of the demon hero
mid-story from purple to red.
I didn’t see it
(not until after the story was published).
My editors (multiple) didn’t see it.
None of the reviewers saw it.
I haven’t received a single reader email
pointing out this should-be-obvious error.

Because the story fulfilled my readers’ emotional needs
so well,
they didn’t see (or care about) the error.

With another story,
readers write me about every single typo
(every story has at least one typo
- it is almost impossible to get 10,000 words correct).
They complain about the color of the hero’s hair.
They complain about the heroine’s reaction.

These complaints aren’t about the errors.
They’re about that story
not satisfying the reader’s emotional needs.
The readers know they’re not happy with the product
and they’re looking for reasons why.

If you have squeaky customers,
customers complaining about nitty gritty errors,
this might be an indication
that the overall product isn’t satisfying
your customers’ needs.

Grab this opportunity for improvement
(or possible product expansion)!

By k | December 22, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was watching TV commercials today
and I was dismayed.
I saw an ad for JCPenney asking
“Who’s your Santa?”

No. No. No.
There is only one Santa.

Any good food scientist
can tell you the Coke secret formula.
My 11 year old niece
knows how they get the caramel
in the Cadbury Caramilk Bar.
My highly educated readers
know my characters aren’t real.

But we choose to believe.
We suspend belief and rational thought
to believe in magic.


If there are secret soft drink formulas
and Keebler Elves baking cookies,
than anything is possible,
isn’t it?

Great brands and great events
sell this hope and optimism.
They sell magic.
Disney doesn’t sell a day at the theme park.
They sell the possibility of seeing a ‘real’ fairy princess.

Protect the magic.
Santa is real.