By k | October 21, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The first step to changing the world
is believing it can be changed.
That requires optimism and hope.

Bruna Martinuzzi shares

“There are those who pride themselves
for playing the devil’s advocate.
Research shows that these individuals
snuff the life out of innovation.

Be the voice in the room
that infuses the meeting with positivity.

Leaders value those
who adopt a positive stance
and help others see what’s right
and what works,
rather than focus on what’s wrong.

A study showed that
senior executives use positive words
four times as often as negative words.
That’s one way to genuinely boost
your executive presence.”

Keep it positive!

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

Justifying R&D expenditure
to shareholders and executive boards
can be tricky.
Benefits might not be seen for years,
if they are seen at all.

In Leigh Gallagher’s article,
DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman shares

“”We do spend $2 billion a year on R&D,
and that’s a lot of money,”
she said.
“Investors say,
how do you know
if you’re getting a return from that investment?’”
She said she gives them “mileposts,”
proof in the form of margin expansion,
products that didn’t exist four years ago,
and other metrics.
“I spend a lot of time understanding
we’re getting a return for it,”
she told the audience,
adding she has to explain to investors
the company hits a lot of singles and doubles
as well as home runs.
“But that’s what’s fun for me.
That’s what drives me.”

Develop these mileposts.
Justify your R&D spend.

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

When I receive a repetitive task,
my first thoughts are
“How can I eliminate this task?”
or
“How can I complete this task faster?”

I’ll admit.
I’m not thinking this
because I want to change the world.
I’m thinking this because I’m busy
AND lazy.

Stephen Shapiro shares

“Some of the greatest innovations
were developed by people
who were too lazy to do a particular task.

Professor John Atanasoff,
along with graduate student Clifford Berry,
built the world’s first electronic-digital computer
back in the late 1930?s.
Why did he do this?
He said,
“I was too lazy to calculate
and so I invented the computer.””

If laziness is a motivator
for innovation,
embrace it!

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

Yahoo has a list of
surprising six-figure jobs.
These jobs are almost all businesses.

Wayne Hoffman’s mind-reading business
earns him around $135,000 a year.

“Times were rough at first
and I had to bust my butt to get jobs,
but now I have to turn away business,
and I can take off time whenever I want.”

However, I found the comments
most interesting.
There’s ridicule
and mocking
and a thousand reasons
why these ideas wouldn’t work for them.

This is what any entrepreneur faces
when she is starting up her business.
Expect these reactions.
Don’t let them stop you.

By k | October 17, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In a recent episode
of CMT’s Naked,
country artist Kellie Pickler shares

“I do this for the right reasons.
I have to do this to live.
It is my food.”

That’s how I feel about writing
AND about business building.
I’m fortunate that there is money in it
but if there wasn’t,
I’d still be writing or building businesses.

And that’s a good thing
because currently there isn’t a lot of money in it.
Most entrepreneurs go through tough times,
times where money isn’t flowing,
acceptance isn’t there,
and they doubt themselves.

But they continue
because they don’t have another choice.
It is their food, their air.
And that’s why they eventually succeed.

If your business isn’t as important to you
as food,
you might be in the wrong business.

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

In a recent episode
of Bar Rescue,

Jon Taffer explains
why he is focusing
on a specific audience.

“Bars can’t be something to everyone.
They have to be everything to someone.”

A buddy writes contemporary romances.
Half of all romances published in 2004
were contemporary romances.
That is a huge market.
Targeting all of the contemporary romance readers
would suck up all of her time and promotional dollars.

So I advised that she specialize in a niche
within contemporary romance,
and target those readers.
Maybe she writes plus-sized heroines
or she has police officer heroes
or romances set in New York City.

Most industry markets
are way too big for a start up
to market to.
It often makes more sense
to be everything to a niche.

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

This TED talk
by Jennifer Pahlka,
the founder of Code For America,
is inspiring.

Code For America
is non-profit
providing fellowships
to top coders,
allowing them
to spend a year
writing programs and apps
for all levels of government.

As Jennifer Pahlka shares

“They haven’t given up on government.
They’re frustrated as hell about it
but they’re not complaining about it.
They’re fixing it.”

These codes and programs
are open source.
Once built,
they can benefit everyone everywhere.
And what amazes me
is what a difference a simple app
can make.

What can you do
to make the world you live in
a bit better?

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

I don’t have the most natural writing talent.
I certainly don’t have more than my share
of good luck.
I haven’t yet gotten that big break.

I can’t control those things.
I CAN control how hard I work
and this hard work has overcome
any shortfalls in talent
and luck.

Brooklyn Decker,
model turned actress,
shares

“If my skill and the talent aren’t there yet,
the work ethic is.
And at the beginning,
that’s all you can ask of yourself.
Eventually the skill will come,
but the hard work is something you can control.”*

Focus on the factors you can control.
One of these factors
is hard work.

*June 2012 Men’s Health

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

Yaro has a great post on building a presence online
and one of the negative outcomes
we all should expect.

“One of the outcomes
from being an information publisher
or any person who shares ideas online,
is that you are putting a piece of yourself
out there for others to see.
It’s inevitable that you will be judged
and because you are presenting yourself publicly,
others will feel it’s okay to judge you publicly as well.

This is especially true on the web,
where people feel safe to ridicule each other
because they are sitting at home
in front of their computer.”

I have a reader who reads
and writes a hateful review
for EVERY story I publish.
She has called me every nasty name
I can think of
and she hasn’t even met me.
She doesn’t know me at all.
I could be her neighbor, her best friend,
anyone.

I won’t and don’t lie.
It hurts.
But I keep writing
because none of my goals are
“To make Megan happy.”

One of the costs
of changing the world
is dealing with scrutiny.
Expect it.
Learn how to deal with it.
Don’t let it stop you.

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

In its simplest form,
a story is really a collection
of actions and reactions.
Something happens.
The character reacts, taking action.
This new action causes another reaction.

This mirrors reality.
We take action.
The world reacts to that action.

The more successful a person is,
the longer that person will wait
for a reaction,
but everyone wants a reaction.

Parents of toddlers know this.
Toddlers will misbehave
until they get a reaction.
The worst punishment is not to react.

What reaction we give,
whether or not we give a reaction
at all,
influences the person’s (company’s) next action.
Our reaction is as important
as the original action.

That’s why
great leaders guide actions
AND supply appropriate reactions.
These reactions are planned,
intentionally influencing the next action.