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

Do you know what you want?
What you TRULY want?

We lie,
even to ourselves,
perhaps ESPECIALLY to ourselves.

To avoid these lies,
former FBI agent
LaRae Quy advises

that we ask indirect questions.

“The secret of an FBI stealth interrogation
is to never ask direct questions.
Instead, come from the side.

For example, questions like,
“What is my purpose in life?”
“What do I want?”
are too broad to produce a meaningful answer.
Instead, ask yourself stealth questions like
“What would excite me?”
“What looks, feels, and sounds
like an adventure?””

To determine what I REALLY want,
I often ask myself
whom I’m jealous of,
whose life I’d like.
I watch for jealousy.

As Socrates says
“The unexamined life
is not worth living…”
but when you’re examining your life,
ask yourself the more truthful
indirect questions.

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

Romance is one of the best selling genres
and romance writers plan to
ensure it stays that way.

One initiative aimed to accomplish
this goal
is to stream younger readers
into romance.

What is one way
this is being accomplished?

Established romance writers,
the greats in the romance field,
are writing young adult novels,
novels with a bit of romance,
often set as part of worlds
existing in their adult series.

They’re building a bridge
between the two products,
making it easy
for readers to move
from young adult fiction
to adult romances.

Can you build a customer bridge,
moving customers
from one product
to another?

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

You’re really busy.
I know.
I’m really busy too.

And we’re not alone.
The average executive is working
longer hours.
Many executives,
including Google’s Marissa Mayer,
work 90 hour weeks.

I live by to-do lists.
They allow me to prioritize
but I’ve also moved to
scheduling this tasks.

As Joann S. Lublin shares

“For some time-starved managers,
keeping a detailed calendar
often makes more sense
than making daily to-do lists.”

Schedule those important tasks
and keep to your schedule.

By k | June 17, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

An anonymous poll
conducted by Southwestern Consulting

“indicated that one out of every five employees
in the U.S.
admitted to spending
at least five hours per week
on Facebook
(on their computer or mobile device)
while at work
(12.5 percent of a 40 hour work week).”

Wasting time isn’t anything new.
Years ago,
employees wasted time
playing solitaire and other computer games.

Today, the time waster
is Facebook.

The article suggests ways
to stop this time wasting.
Yeah, good luck with that.

A better suggestion
may be to harness this time
spent on social media
to promote your company.

If your employees are going to be on Facebook,
they might as well
be promoting the company
they’re working for.

By k | June 16, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Shipping is an important
but often overlooked part of a business.
It takes time and money
and it is a big part of your customer’s experience.

Open Forum has a great article
on 13 ways to reduce shipping.

Nina Rodecker,
CEO and founder of
Tasty Clouds Cotton Candy Company,
provides this tip…

“State in your company’s terms of shipping
which days you ship products.
This way,
you can group your shipments together
and save time, money and
several trips to the shipping carrier.
Some carriers will pick up your shipments
at your location for a small fee,
so consider the time, labor, gas
and other factors
when comparing delivery vs. pickup costs.”

Shipping is an important task
and grouping tasks is efficient.

By k | June 15, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Tanvi Gautam has a great post
on how women can handle
direct challenges
to their authority.

And you will have direct challenges
because you’re in a leadership role
and others want that leadership role.

One tip…

“Professionalism demands that
you ‘appear’ in control
even if you feel you are not.
Perpetuating the drama of the situation
feeds the other person’s appetite.
Don’t fall for that trap!
In the moment,
if it helps you,
think of how your role model might respond.
Sometimes adopting a persona
makes it easier to move past the situation.”

Adopting a persona
is a great way to put distance
between you and your feelings.
You can act professional.

I adopt different personas
for different situations.
I’m naturally a shy introvert
so when I need to be social,
I’ll ‘play a socialite role.’
I’m not talking to people,
social K is.

Use the power of personas
to handle difficult situations.

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

A buddy of mine writes
interracial romances.
Her fellow interracial romance writers
would bitch and complain
about how there was no writing chapter
for them.
She’d tell them to form one.
They wouldn’t.
She finally got tired of their complaining
and organized the chapter
her own damn self.

Now that it is up and running,
she has plenty of helpers
but she will always, always be the founder.

Last year, I was part
of a multi-author series.
I was the newbie author in the series
and I waited for someone
to organize cross-promotion, etc.
Nobody did.

This year, I’m part
of another multi-author series.
I didn’t wait for someone else
to organize cross-promotion.
I did it my own damn self.

Once I organized the activities,
I had plenty of helpers
who did as much or more work
than I did.
However, I’m seen as a leader
and I’m getting the bulk of the credit.

If you want something done,
organize it your own damn self.
Delegate but take the lead.
Make things happen.
Change your world.

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

Whenever I can’t figure out a problem,
I’ll start working on something else
and usually while doing this something else
my brain grasps a solution.

How is this possible?
Aren’t I using my brain
to do that something else?

I am
but it is a different part
of the brain
and these parts can function separately.

As Myra Fernandes,
an associate professor in cognitive neuroscience

“It’s only when you have competition
for the exact same brain structure
that you’re going to get
what we call ‘catastrophic interference.’
You can’t remember as much
as you normally would.”

So when you’re multi-tasking,
try to multi-task
different sorts of tasks.

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

When you envision an economics class,
what do you think of?
Dry facts?
Complicated formulas?
A stuffy professor
droning in an monotone voice?

Not in Larry Smith’s economics class
at the University of Waterloo.
(at least not when I was taking his classes)
There was never an empty seat
and the students taking the class
knew to show up early
because students not taking the class
would drop in and listen.
These students were in unrelated fields,
the liberal arts,
computer studies, geology.

They came to listen
because Larry Smith has a passion for economics.
He makes the subject matter interesting.

But passion is different from interest.
As he explains
“Passion is your greatest love,
passion is the thing
that will help you create
the highest expression of your talent.
Passion, interest,
it’s not the same thing…
What you want is passion…
You need 20 interests and
then one of them might grab you, and
one of them might engage you
more than anything else.
And then you will have found
your greatest love
in comparison to all of the other things
that interest you, and
that’s what passion is.”

Find your passion.
Live your passion.

By k | June 11, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

If a writer pitches to an agent or publisher,
she will likely be asked
to submit her manuscript.
Because agents and publishers know
most writers won’t follow up.
They won’t submit their manuscripts.

Following up matters,
especially in sales.

As Paul McCord shares…

“During your initial conversation
with a prospect,
try to find an area or
reason for follow-up.
Maybe you need to supply
more information,
find an answer to a question,
or research a competitor.
Maybe there has been a recent trigger event
that provides for a follow-up call.
Maybe your research uncovers new information
that your prospect should know about.

Spend at least one hour a day
following up with those prospects in your database
that are good prospects
that you haven’t been able to move along.
Every prospect should be contacted
at least quarterly if possible.”

Find a reason to follow up.
(hint: if you can’t think of a reason,
that’s a sign that you don’t know
your prospect)