By k | October 31, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Today, being Halloween,
you’ll likely hear the urban legends
around razor blades being placed in apples
or tainted candy.

These are myths.
In Made To Stick,
authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath
share
“The researchers,
sociologists Joel Best and Gerald Horiuchi,
studied every reported Halloween incident
since 1958.
They found no instances
where strangers caused children
life-threatening harm on Halloween
by tampering with their candy.”

Yet many parents believe this myth.
The media believes this myth.
Lawmakers believe this myth.

THIS is how powerful
a story can be.

It is the Coke ’secret’ formula
(something any food scientist can tell you).*
It is Roswell.
It is that Apple products can’t get viruses.

THIS is how powerful
YOUR product’s story can be.

*There are so many myths around Coca-Cola,
that they have a name - Cokelore.

By k | October 30, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The most challenging part of a project
is the beginning.
That is why many companies
stagger their project launches.

This is true also with marketing.
Setting up a blog takes a bit of time.
Maintaining that blog is,
by comparison,
easy.

So don’t do everything at once.

As Pete Kennedy shares

“The right time to diversify is
when you already have something working.
Why?
The hardest thing to do is
get something in motion,
but it takes significantly less resources
to keep it in motion.

Remember:
Focus first,
then diversify.”

Stagger your launches,
both for products
and for media.

By k | October 29, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Anonymous posting on the internet
has never been truly anonymous.
Comments and other activity
are easily traceable.

It has merely been
that no one has bothered
to trace these posts.

As we’ve seen with the Amanda Todd case,
when someone has the desire,
she can not only trace the posts
to an individual
but trace the individual to his employer
and have that individual fired.

If you wouldn’t attach your name
to a comment or post,
keep that insight off the internet.

By k | October 28, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I try not to give advice
unless people ask for this advice.

Why?

Because giving advice well
(with the research, etc.
supporting that advice)
takes time.

But most of all,
because most people don’t take advice.

Want proof?

Watch one of the expert shows
like Property Ladder.
Participants fight to appear
on this show.
They know the host is a veteran flipper,
an expert in what they are trying to do.

They rarely take her advice.
They often don’t even listen to her advice.

So I save my time
and give advice to only people
who want that advice.

Time is a precious resource.
Don’t waste it.

By k | October 27, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The blind painter
The deaf singer

The media and the average person
loves these types of stories.
They prove we can do anything.

But should we do that anything?

The lazy route to success
is to uncover what we’re great at,
work to make that great even better,
and figure out a way to profit
from that greatness,
delegating the tasks we suck at.

My writing strength is developing characters.
Romances are heavily character-based
so that’s what I write.
I suck at grammar.
My editor fixes my grammar for me.

My editor’s strength is grammar
and finding mistakes,
improving writing.
She sucks at developing plots
and characters.

Yes, if I worked really hard,
I could be an editor,
and yes, if my editor worked really hard,
she could be a writer,
but why would we?
It is much more efficient
to do what we do best
and delegate the rest.

Work with your strengths.
Delegate to mitigate your weaknesses.

By k | October 26, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I grew up on a farm.
On a farm,
children start working
before they start talking.

I did child-appropriate work
but I contributed,
gaining a habit for hard work,
a pride in contributing,
a sense of family.
Same of my happiest memories
happened while working side-by-side
with my siblings.

In a restaurant makeover show
I watched last night,
one owner was torn
about not spending more time with her kids.
The expert’s solution?
Include the kids in some of the tasks.
The kids bellyached at first
but soon happily embraced the change,
tagging along as the owner bought ingredients
and setting the tables pre-opening.

As entrepreneurs,
we have an unique opportunity.
We can involve our children
and other loved ones
in our ventures,
in our dreams.

Consider taking your child to work.

By k | October 25, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

‘No’ is one of the most emotion-laden words
we can use.
It is infused with negativity,
with rejection,
both past and present.

So many saleswomen avoid using this word.

As JJ Ramberg shares

“Never say no to a potential customer.
I learned this from Kimberly and Katherine Corps
from Pilates on Fifth.

I was sitting in their reception area one day
and a woman came in
and asked the receptionist,
“Do you have yoga here?”
And the receptionist answered,
“We have pilates and cardiolates,
have you tried one of those?”

What a smart response.
Most people would have replied
“No,we don’t have yoga,”
and the woman would have walked out the door.

Instead, by finding a way around saying no,
the receptionist got this woman interested in cardiolates
and she ended up signing up for a class!”

Avoid saying ‘no’ to a prospective customer.

By k | October 24, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I often receive emails
from readers
asking me to write longer posts.

I could write longer posts
but those wouldn’t be clientk posts.
I know what I offer to readers.
I supply short business reminders,
often with links
to longer articles and posts.

Every writer, entrepreneur, project manager
receives these suggestions.
Ironically, the more successful a product is,
the more suggestions we’ll receive
to change that product.

Because many of us are tweakers,
it is very tempting to take these suggestions.
Resist this temptation.

Know what you do,
what your product does,
and stick to that niche.

By k | October 23, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m a big fan of to-do lists.
I start the day
with list of what I wish to accomplish
arranged in the order of importance.

As I accomplish the tasks,
I cross them off the list.
It gives me a sense of satisfaction.
It ensures that I focus
on key tasks first.
I’m driven to complete the list.


As Jacob Harper shares

“Make a list and
go through it methodically.
The list is one of the simplest
and most ignored relics
of the pen and paper age.
There is something viscerally satisfying
about manually crossing a task off the list.
Without a “guide” to the work
that needs to get done,
we’ll tend to forget what needs to be done.

Make your brain a chores list,
and don’t let it go play
until the chores are done.
No excuses.”

To-Do lists work for me.
They could work for you too.

By k | October 22, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m teaching
a short story and novella writing course.
One of the challenges
I give students weekly
is to write flash fiction
(a story using 150 words or less)
around a certain theme.

You might think…
150 words?
What is that going to do?

It accomplishes a number of things.
Challenges kick start creativity.
Writers are trying different techniques, genres.
They’re writing… something

But best of all, they’re finishing.

Because finishing is a habit.
Quitting also is a habit.

The successful do both,
quitting when something isn’t working,
finishing when it is.

The unsuccessful are almost always quitters.
They haven’t learned how to finish.
Finishing small projects
such as 150 word stories
teaches us how to finish.

Learn how to finish.