By k | October 31, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies is a surgeon.
I’ve heard people say,
within his hearing,
that he became a surgeon
because he doesn’t have the bedside manner
to become a GP.

I write romance novels.
I receive a comment,
at least one a day,
that if I had more talent,
I’d be writing literary novels.

The management team at Coca-Cola
is often asked why they haven’t expanded
into restaurants and snacks.

EVERYONE receives these comments.
If you’re successful in one field,
someone will challenge you
to become successful in another field.

Someone challenging you,
someone who doesn’t care about you
or your company or your brand,
is a dumb a$$ reason to do anything.

Ignore these comments
and stick to your game plan.

By k | October 30, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

If you’re partnering
with another brand
for promo,
you should like this other brand
or, at the very least,
not hate it.

I can’t believe I have to write this post
but since the same thing
has happened to me
four times this month,
it seems it is warranted.

Here’s what happens…

A writer approaches me,
usually a newer writer.
She sees my readership
and she asks if we can team up
for promo.

As many writers have helped me,
I usually say yes.
She posts about her book.
I’ll reply how it looks interesting
and ask her questions,
starting a conversation.
Notice how I don’t say
if I like or dislike her books.
Usually I haven’t read them.

Then I’ll post about my book.
She’ll reply saying
she doesn’t read in my genre,
listing all of the reasons
why she doesn’t like this genre.

She believes she’s being ‘honest.’
What she is really doing
is insulting me
(for making the choices I did)
and suppressing my sales.

That is the end of the partnership.

Please respect
your promo partners.
There are ways to be honest
and still remain respectful.

By k | October 29, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Bethenny Frankel knows a thing or two
about branding
and leveraging reality show fame
into a lucrative business.
The former Real Housewife
sold her Skinnygirl cocktail company
for an estimated $100 million.

So it made sense
that Teen Mom Farrah Abraham
would ask Bethenny’s advice
about her own business and brand.

Bethenny pointed out the obvious.
Farrah was already branded
as a Teen Mom.
She might no longer be a Teen
but she would always be a Mom.

Moms are a huge, powerful market
and Farrah already has an ‘in’
with this market.
Developing Mom-friendly products
would be a logical next step.

Odds are,
you’re already branded
or known for something also.
Can you leverage that brand
into a business?

By k | October 28, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was offered the opportunity
to participate in a high profile anthology.
Another participating writer
had gotten ill
and a slot opened up.
The editor needed to know immediately
whether or not
I’d participate.

Writing this story
would bump other stories back.
This anthology,
while a great promo opp,
wouldn’t earn much money.
I had to make this decision quickly.

Rohit Bhargava
(about Peyton Manning)

“Quick decisions pay off.
Manning rarely gets sacked
and keeps the ball
for only a few seconds
before throwing it.
As a result,
it’s almost impossible for a defense
to react fast enough
to stop his quick throws.
Making decisions quickly
is one of the most valuable things
that any business owner can do,
because it puts you in a situation
to move more quickly
than competitors.
For Manning,
quick decisions pay off
in keeping a defense off balance
and unable to react to his attack.”

The ability to make decisions quickly
is a skill set
all entrepreneurs should develop.

By k | October 27, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the dangers
of working from home
is people assume
you’re not truly working
and they interrupt you
throughout the day.

I’ve decreased interruptions
by posting my core hours
(9 to 5)
and announcing that
I’m ‘at work’ during that time.
I tell people to think of that time
as me being ‘off-site’,
at a client’s office.
I don’t answer my personal phone.
I rarely answer emails.
I don’t run errands
or do anything personal
during this time.

Jason Brick

“Interrupted too frequently?
This one’s most common among
executives, managers
and people who work from home.
Every time you’re about to get started,
somebody knocks on your door
/calls with an emergency
/asks for help with the kids.
The solution is to schedule work time
where your productivity is sacrosanct.
Fix it by:

Announcing “do not disturb” hours
to people in your environment

Closing your door,
or sliding a chair
into your cubicle entrance

Leaving a voice mail greeting
announcing your unavailability,
then turning off your phone

Committing to avoiding
email or social media
until you’ve made real progress
on your critical tasks”

Consider posting core hours
during which
you can’t be disturbed.

By k | October 26, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the many things
I’ve learned
from the publishing business
is to never use
a character’s name
in a title.
Titles (aka product names)
have to mean something
to the reader (prospect).
A familiar name doesn’t mean anything.

The Sins Of Madeline Baker,
as a title,
is weak.
Unless your name is Madeline Baker,
this part of the title
has no emotional connection.

The Sins Of a Wanton Woman
is stronger.
Every reader knows
what a wanton woman is.

Mike Periu

“Many times,
small-business owners assume
that consumers will view their product
the same way they do,
but that isn’t always the case.
In the case of ECO-ME,
the company decided to name
their cleaning products
after people they knew.
But most consumers
won’t clean their floors
with something called “Ted”
—it’s just too odd of a name
and wasn’t clicking with customers.”

Avoid naming products
after people.

By k | October 25, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I grew up dirt poor.
We didn’t eat every day
and we didn’t live in a house
with running water
(yes, this is in North America).

Whenever I get lazy
or feel dissatisfied with life,
I remember that time in my life.
I remember how tough it was,
how challenging it was
to start from nothing,
and how I never wish
to return to that state.
It inspires me to work.

Mally Roncal,
Founder of
Mally Beauty,

(this entire interview is great)

“You want to stay humble
and you want to stay
very, very focused.
You always have to remember
when you were struggling,
just starting,
and you had this hunger
and you were just going for it;
you always want to keep that
as a part of who you are.

But in the same breath,
you want to smell the roses,
you want to say,
“Wow, I’ve come this far.”
You want to stand
on top of that mountain sometimes
and look down and say,
“Wow, look at what we did!”
I have found, in this world,
it’s hard to do that.
Because we, as women,
tend to be overachievers
and we’re always pushing
and we’re never satisfied
and we always want more, more, more.”

Remember what it was like
to struggle
and use this to push yourself forward.

By k | October 24, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If a second person from my company,
group, team, department,
attends the same mission critical meeting,
I touch base with that person
after the meeting
and discuss what we thought we heard.

If we both hear the same message,
then there is no need
for clarification
with the meeting host.

If we hear different messages
(and this happens surprisingly often),
then I’ll contact the meeting host
for clarification.
I might send out a recap
via email
and ask “Is this what was communicated?”

This one simple step
has saved me work and time.
Verify what has been said.

By k | October 23, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Bruna Martinuzzi

“How often have we attended
meetings, or strategic retreats,
where the gathering ends
with a lot of excitement
and decisions to pursue new directions,
only to see it all fizzle
a few weeks later?
This is because the meeting ended
with no clear accountability
on who will do what.
Apple has a system
it calls the Directly Responsible Individual (DRI).
This is assigning one individual,
not a team,
to be responsible for an action item.”

When I attend a meeting
and I’m not assigned responsibility
for an action item,
I question
if I truly needed to attend
that meeting.

Assign tasks to one person.
Keep that person accountable.

By k | October 22, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Last week,
journalists reported
that there was child porn
available for sale
at Kobo and Barnes and Noble.

Kobo had a knee jerk reaction
and delisted any publisher
with titles in the erotica and erotic romance
Yep, they delisted thousands,
maybe millions of books.

The legit publishers,
the publishers who follow laws
and don’t publish this stuff,
are playing by the rules,
arguing their cases,
trying to get these categories relisted.

The child porn folks
simply moved their titles
to the general fiction category.

By treating everyone the same,
Kobo has punished rule-abiding customers
and rewarded the rule breakers
(if readers want sex in their stories,
their only option now is the child porn).

Your customers aren’t the same.
Don’t treat them the same.