By k | November 20, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

A couple of weeks ago,
I watched Wreck-It Ralph,
an animated movie with video game characters.
In the movie,
Wreck-It Ralph is a villain.
He plays an important role
in the world
but he is never acknowledged for it.
So he leaves his video game
and the other characters realize
that the game can’t exist without him.

We all want to know we matter,
even video game characters.

As Tom Peters shares

“It is to say, simply,
that in any context,
personal or professional,
there is no greater gift
to the person or persons
with whom you are engaged
than heartfelt (as well as headfelt)
acknowledgement of their contributions
and fundamental human worth;
moreover, said acknowledgement
almost invariably leads to
greater commitment
and better-served clientele
and a happier bottom line.”

Tell the people who matter
(i.e. everyone)
that they matter.

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

November is
National Novel Writing Month
Writers challenge each other
to write 50,000 word novel in a month.
It is a fun competition
with great results.
Writers write more
BECAUSE they’re competing.

If competing pushes artists
to perform,
it can definitely push business teams
to perform.

Leading Blog discusses
Mark de Rond’s book
There Is an I in Team

“Without internal competition,
teams may underperform.
Too much harmony can hurt team performance.

“A healthy level of internal competition
can help get the best out of high performers.”
Citing Timothy Gallwey, De Rond explains,
“each player tries his hardest
to defeat the other,
yet not for the sake of beating another player,
but merely to overcome the obstacle
he now presents.””

Can you add a healthy competitive factor
to your workplace?

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

Odds are..

You didn’t become an entrepreneur
to do the same thing,
have the same life,
think the same thing,
as everyone else on the planet.

You became an entrepreneur
to change the world,
to be different
and make a difference,
to be FIRST.
You’re a renegade.

Amy Jo Martin,
Author of
Renegades Write the Rules,

“Renegades experiment and fail early
so when everyone else
jumps on the bandwagon,
their best practices are being polished
while others’ are just starting to fail.

Sometimes it’s not about
being the best or smartest;
it’s about being the first to try
and the first to learn from failure.”

Be first.
Be different.

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

I work from home
for and with people I’ve never met.
They don’t know how old I am
or what I look like
and they don’t care.
All that matters is what I produce.

THIS is the type of working environment
that is possible now
thanks to the internet.

Chris Anderson,
author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

“The Web allows
people to show what they can do,
regardless of their education and credentials.

It allows groups to form
and work together easily
outside of a company context,
whether this involves “jobs” or not.

And these more informal organizations
are much less constrained by geography;
talented people can live anywhere
and shouldn’t have to move to contribute.”

Can you use the internet
to find the best talent for your company?

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

Our writing group was fortunate
to host an acquisitions editor for a major publisher.
We had two short hours with this editor
and she had focused her talk
around a story characteristic
she felt passionate about.

Fifteen minutes in,
a hand shot up.
An author disagreed with the editor’s preference
and proceeded to share her opinion
for half an hour.
The editor sat down
and waited for her to finish.
She didn’t care whether she talked or not.

The audience members did care, however.
We didn’t attend
to hear this author talk.

I wasn’t angry with the author
or with the editor.
I was upset with the host
for not tabling the author’s concern.

When an event with an expert is held,
there will ALWAYS be a competing expert
in the audience.
A good host decides in advance
how to deal with this competing expert.

By k | November 15, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Difficult customers.
We all have them.
I have readers who are never happy.

How to deal with them?
With speed.

Michael Samson shares

“Customers like knowing
that someone is paying attention
and the faster the response,
the stronger that message will be.

Difficult customers can be
especially impatient
and immediate responses go a long way
to reduce their angst.”

We don’t need to solve the problem immediately
but we should respond quickly,
sharing that their concerns are heard
and we’re working on the situation.

No response makes upset customers
even more upset.

Deal with difficult customers quickly.

By k | November 14, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

What I find interesting
in the Petraeus affair
isn’t that a high ranking General
got caught with his pants down.
It isn’t even that he shared secrets
with his lover.

What I find interesting
is that no one is concerned about
the information the betrayed wife likely has.

If the General shared secrets with his lover,
he likely shared secrets
with his now angry wife,
a wife likely now considering divorce,
a wife with no remaining loyalties
to the man she married.

But no one cares
because she’s his wife,
magically trustworthy.

In today’s society,
pillow talk between spouses
is acceptable.
If you’re going to spill workplace secrets,
spill these secrets to your spouse.

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

I write humorous romances.
If I could write any other tone,
I would
because humor is very personal
and doesn’t sell well in romance.

One of my writing buddies,
a writer who crafts wonderful angst-filled romances
readers can’t read enough of,
told me yesterday
that she has sold a romance spoof
to her publisher.
This will be published under her existing pen name.

I suspect this will be a disaster.
It will lower sales
of her backlist.
It will significantly change
her brand.

But I said nothing.
Because the deal was done.

As difficult as it is to do,
I have to sit back,
watch this mistake happen,
and then help her however I can
to recover from it.

Sometimes you have to allow
other people to make mistakes.

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

I’m working
what I only half-jokingly call
the world domination plan
with my writing.
I’ve put a lot of time
into crafting it.
I tweak or re-examine it
when I receive new news.
I’m as confident
as an entrepreneur can be
about it eventually working.

A writer I admire
looked at the same information I did
yesterday, took the first step
in a very different plan.

I immediately had doubts
about my own plan,
even though it remained solid,
even though nothing really had changed.

And that is normal.
It is human.
It is okay.

What is not okay
is throwing out all of the work
I had done.
What is not okay
is changing my plan
just because someone else
has a different plan.

Just because someone else,
a mentor
or a partner
or a competitor,
has a different plan
doesn’t mean your plan is wrong.

By k | November 11, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Women still aren’t represented
at the C-Suite level.

Monique Valcour shares some reasons why.

“Aware of the importance of
turning in flawless performance,
women take fewer risks than men
and are less likely to promote themselves,
with the result that they appear to lack ambition.

Wary of putting women in situations
where sub-optimal performance
could hurt not only their own career chances
but those of other women,
even well-meaning superiors are less likely
to give them critical developmental assignments.”

In other words,
no one is going to give us
the risky assignments
needed to propel us into the C-Suite.

If you want those assignments,
you’ll have to grow a pair,
take even more risk
and grab opportunities.

The C-Suite is not for the risk-adverse.