By k | April 20, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When the average person thinks
of an entrepreneur or inventor,
they think of someone willing to take crazy risks.

You and I know
that isn’t true.
If we take crazy risks
with our financing and other scarce resources
and we fail,
the game is over.

Most entrepreneurs mitigate that downside
by conserving their resources.

However, most entrepreneurs,
by simply being entrepreneurs,
also take a big risk socially.
They are willing to personally wear the weird label.
They are willing to have their innovations
be considered weird
by their peers.

As Malcolm Gladwell shares*
“That is the risk profile seen
in many entrepreneurs and innovators –
operationally risk-averse,
but willing to take social risks –
to be outcasts and weirdos.”

Dare to be different.
Embrace the weird!

* CMA Magazine, March/April 2012

By k | April 19, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I gave a presentation on writing
on Saturday
and I asked attendees
“Who here reads within their genre?”

A shockingly small number of writers
raised their hands.
However, EVERY published writer
raised her hand.

I heard a lot of excuses from the unpublished.

My favorite excuse was
that they were creating something
completely original.

How did they know
their product was completely original?
They hadn’t read their competition’s product.
For all they know,
the product they’re creating has already been done

As product developers,
we need to know our industry.
In order to position our product,
we should know our competition’s products.

Yes, this research is work
and not always fun work
or immediately lucrative work,
BUT it has to be done.

Know your industry.
No excuses.

By k | April 18, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Paul Silverman started out a success
in the real estate business
and
then lost everything.

I know.
Yikes!

Did he quit?
Nope.
And sticking with it
made him a success.

“What we got out of it was
learning so much:
How to deal with adversity,
how to keep moving,
how to put one foot in front of the other.
There are so many blocks
put in our way every time.
So, we are almost not afraid
of anything now,
because we went through
such hard, hard times.”

My first foray into romance writing
failed miserably
but I learned so much
and when I started again,
I hit the ground running.

When you lose everything,
you don’t really lose everything.
You’re left with valuable experience.
It is up to you
to decide what to do
with that experience.

By k | April 17, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Darryl Rosen
advises

that being open with others
is one of the best ways
to earn credibility.

“Be open,
candid, and
transparent.
Don’t withhold information
that you should be sharing.
Don’t force others to ask
for the truth;
volunteer it.
Being open instills trust.”

The hard questions are
never asked right away.
They’re debated,
discussed with others,
worried about.

By the time,
you, as a manager,
get asked a hard question,
it has already affected
your team.

Think about what questions
your employees might ask
and preemptively answer them.
Share information.
Be open.

By k | April 16, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Toby Daniels,
CEO of the media strategy firm
Crowdcentric,

shares
“If you want to get
a deep understanding
as to how social media is impacting
cultural, societal and economic level
then you need to tap into
the global conversation and
make it less U.S.-centric
and more internationally focused.”

The internet is global.
Social media is global.

Many of my readers
aren’t living in North America.

To achieve solid sales,
my stories have to work
internationally.
I don’t use regional slang.
I don’t refer to events
that only impacted North America.

To achieve the most
impact with my marketing time,
I post universal messages,
messages I’ll explain
so people living anywhere
can understand them
or I’ll link to additional information.

It sounds challenging
but it isn’t.
It DOES require a global mindset though.

Think globally.

By k | April 15, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Anita Campbell shares
one of the tactics
to build an innovative company.

“Recruit entrepreneurs.
At Google, this idea is taken literally:
Many of the company’s key employees
formerly started businesses
of their own.
DreamWorks encourages their employees
to think of themselves as artists,
and anyone who’s worked with artists
knows they’re typically
independent, entrepreneurial spirits.”

As an employee,
I could tell which companies
valued innovation
by what they noted
on my resume.

Managers in innovative companies
would comment
on the small businesses I’ve started
or on the consulting I did with start ups.

The past predicts the future.
Innovative employees
have always been innovative.

Questions uncover what is valued.
Managers in innovative companies
ask about innovation.

By k | April 14, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I read these questions
on wealth building forums,
hear these questions
at seminars,
receive these questions
via email.

Should I go to college?
Should I start my own business?
Should I write about vampires?
Should I look for a new job?

No one can answer these questions.
Why?
Because the most important word
in these questions
is “I”.
No one can make these decisions
except for the questioner.

I know what I would do.
I can give you pro’s and con’s
of the decision.

I can’t and won’t make
the decision for you.
That responsibility is yours.

By k | April 13, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A new writer asked me
how I know readers will like a story.

I don’t.

I have no idea whether or not
a story will resonate with readers.
I write the best stories I can write
and hope for the best.

Paul Simon has the same view
of the hits he has had.

“Because I was surprised at
a lot of the hits I’d had
and didn’t know what made them hits.
I would never have guessed that
“50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”
would be No. 1.”


Patrick Monahan of Train

can’t tell either.
“But I not being driven
take way more chances
and that’s why it works.
Because you know “Hey Soul Sister”
was not supposed to be a huge song
but the fact that
a ukulele was picked up
made it more pop.”

When I launched non-writing products
(beverages, new burgers),
I also had no clue
what would be a hit.
All the focus groups in the world
couldn’t tell me this.

You won’t know
if your product will sell
until you launch it.
Sorry
but that’s the gritty truth.

By k | April 12, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We all know
the classic example of opportunity cost.
If we can only launch one product
and we launch product A,
we won’t benefit from launching product B.
This missed benefit
or cost of not pursuing the other opportunity
is an opportunity cost.

Leonard A. Schlesinger,
Charles F. Kiefer,
and Paul B. Brown
remind us of other opportunity costs
we should be aware of.

“You want to be mindful of
what you are choosing not to do,
and you also want to recognize
another form of opportunity cost:
the price to be paid
for not acting right away
— someone else might conceive
and implement your idea.
And the price to be paid for inaction
— you might spend the rest of your life
in a job you hate,
or miss a great opportunity
to make an once-in-a-lifetime contribution.”

This is why
the standard dreamer’s rationalization
that “it doesn’t cost anything to wait”
is wrong.

It DOES cost something to wait.
It could cost you
the opportunity of a lifetime.

By k | April 11, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Two writers I know,
an inspirational writer
and
an erotica writer,
are good friends.

In private,
they encourage and help each other.

In public, however,
they have nothing to do with each other.

Why?

Because associating with each other
would present a mixed message to their readers.

In contrast,
I recently watched a 30 minute financial program.
The first 15 minutes
was about dealing with debt,
the message being that debt is bad.
The last 15 minutes
was about how to shop more efficiently,
the major credit cards mentioned over and over.

Yeah.
I winced while watching it.
The second message
made the first look hypocritical.

Your marketing message
isn’t delivered in a vacuum.
Be cognizant of the messages
surrounding yours
and ensure they support your branding.