By k | October 21, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yes, business builders
need more than passion
to become successful
but passion IS important.

Passion gets us through
long, brutally tough days.
Passion gets us through
Passion helps us sell product,
convinces folks to partner with us,
people to work for us.

Mark Newman,
founder of HireVue,

“Passion is even more important
than usual.
You have to have the drive
to push yourself
—and others around you—
day in and day out.
And that extra dose of passion
comes in handy
when people doubt your credibility
or acumen on account of your age.
Just accept that in the beginning,
and probably many times along the way,
there are going to be tough days.
If you don’t have a fire burning in you
to push you through,
when everything bad
that can happen happens (and it will),
you may not make it.”

Passion is necessary for success.
Nurture it.

By k | October 20, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A “new” author recently
climbed to the top of the best seller lists
in one of my sub-genres.
When I searched under her pen name,
I found only this one book.

I couldn’t understand
how she grew her sales so quickly.
She wasn’t doing anything creative

Then I discovered
that this “new” author
was really a New York Times Bestselling author
using a different pen name
in a different genre.
She had talked up this book
to existing readers.
She had used her existing street team
to promote her new name.

Your “new” business
doesn’t have to be truly new either.
You can hire executives or employees
from established businesses,
leveraging their knowledge and contacts.

By k | October 19, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A writer’s life consists of
pitch after pitch after pitch.
Every new story is
a new product to pitch.

One thing is guaranteed
- any new project will face resistance.
There will be objections.

How do we deal with objections?
We try to anticipate them
as much as we possibly can.

Jurgen Wolff

“Think about what objections
they might have
and defuse them with
the “some people might think” strategy.
For instance,
if you fear that the producer
to whom you’re pitching
will object that a story about
a transgender protagonist might not play so well
in the Bible belt,
say something like,
“Of course some people might think
this kind of topic wouldn’t play
in the Bible belt
but, as you probably know,
there’s a lot of curiosity
about this subject everywhere.
The National Enquirer’s
best-selling issue of last year
was about transgender people.”

I made that up;
it helps if you can come up
with something that’s true.
Turn on that search engine
–somewhere on the internet
there’s a statistic that will support
just about anything you can say.
And did you notice how
“as you probably know”
was slipped in there?
First, it suggests that you assume
the person is well-informed.
Second, it makes it less likely
they’ll dispute it.”

Anticipate objections.

By k | October 18, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I don’t have much input
in my book covers.
This responsibility rests
with the publisher
and there are a couple of reasons
for this.
Many writers aren’t visual people
and designing great book cover art
is a very specific skill set.

It is very challenging to give up this control,
especially as book cover art
is a big sales driver,
but it is necessary.

It is necessary for you
to give up some control also.

Scott McDowell

“Counter intuitively to most new leaders,
many times
the most effective form of leadership
is stepping aside
and letting others take over.
In nimble, creative organizations,
work is completed on a project basis
and led by whomever is most interested
and skilled
to suit a particular project
regardless of age, experience or job title.
To evolve as a leader is
to concede ownership of a project,
or at least share ownership.”

Learn how to give up
some of your control.
It is a necessary part
of both success
and leadership.

By k | October 17, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A writer asked me
how I competed with all of the free
and low priced stories available.

I don’t.
I can’t compete on price
especially when the price is free.
Instead, I compete by creating experiences.
I organize events
such as SciFi-themed blog tours
or parties.

Alison Jatlow Levy

“When you walk into a large retail format,
you walk into a big space
with a ton of product.
When you walk into a small boutique,
the shop owners really have the ability
to make you feel like you’ve come
into a different world.
They’re able to create an experience
and a vibe.”

Consider hosting an event.

By k | October 16, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I gave some advice
on a writing loop.
The tactic I shared
was very successful for me.
I shared it with others
because I think giving back
is important.

A couple of newer,
less successful,
posted long responses
telling me why the tactic wouldn’t work
and why I was full of sh*t.

I didn’t respond.
These writers crowed
that I didn’t respond
because I knew I was wrong.

I didn’t respond
because I didn’t care
whether they took my advice or not.

Advice, whether good or bad,
is a gift.
You wouldn’t yell at a gift giver
and tell her
her gift sucked, would you?
No, you’d say thank you
and then quietly dispose of the gift.

Don’t argue with advice.
Sure, ask for clarification,
but don’t tell someone
her advice is sh*t.

By k | October 15, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

No innovation
is ever truly new.
Innovations always build
upon previous ideas.

David Burkus,
author of
The Myths of Creativity
(this entire article is brilliant)

“All new ideas are built
from combinations of older ideas.
The printing press was a combination of
moveable type and the wine press.
Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile
or the assembly line,
but when he combined the two,
something innovative happened.

My favorite example is Star Wars.
George Lucas combined
a famous plot line from mythology
with low-budget sci-fi films
and Akira Kurosawa samurai films,
and the result was a trilogy
that continues to resonate with us.
Creative genius doesn’t come from
thinking up totally new things;
it comes from merging the ideas we already have
and creating a combination
we haven’t seen before.”

Consider combining ideas
for innovations.

By k | October 14, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I spent years
crafting ten year financial predictions
for new product launches.
These predictions were always
full of sh*t
because we couldn’t ever predict everything.
The reason we did these predictions
was they forced us to think through the launches
before we invested a lot of money.

Sandy Chilewich,
founder of

“I dropped out of many colleges.
I just didn’t like school.
I’m a poster child for not doing things
in a careful way,
which is actually my biggest suggestion
for burgeoning entrepreneurs.
You can’t sit down and predict.
When you do that too literally,
you will lose out on
the kind of intuitive journey
that allows you to reach
a passionate livelihood.”

You can’t predict everything
It isn’t possible.
Think things through
and move forward.

By k | October 13, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’m horrible at keeping up
with contacts.
I contact everyone
during the holidays
but, with many contacts,
that’s my only connection.

Which is why
this tip excites me.

Nicholas White

“I set up Google alerts for people
so I get notified
when they’ve done something online
and I have a reason to catch up.

If you want to go super pro,
create a simple call sheet:
a spreadsheet with names,
contact info and last contact.
Set aside a small chunk of time
to just cycle through people.
Drop an email,
set up a time to meet up
for coffee or drinks.
Then you know you’re taking care
of your relationships and
you don’t have to worry about it
the rest of the time.”

I have a spreadsheet
for cycling through promo sites.
It makes sense
to have a spreadsheet
for cycling through contacts.

Keep connected.

By k | October 12, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Carmine Gallo

“After the Ellison interview
I spoke to Dr. Enrique Mallen,
director of the On-line Picasso Project
at Sam Houston State University.
Specifically, I wanted to know
why Steve Jobs was fond of
one of Picasso’s most famous quotes:
“Good artists copy; great artists steal.”

According to Mallen,
“to copy” is to do something
exactly like somebody else.
A good painter can copy,
but that’s not innovation.
“Stealing is when you take something
and change it so much,
the innovation is so disguised,
so changed,
that it looks like it belongs to you.
Stealing is taking something
and making it yours.”
Picasso and Jobs ‘stole’ ideas in a good way,
building on earlier and outside experiences
to create radical innovations.
Picasso’s famous 1907 painting,
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
(The Young Ladies of Avignon)
and Steve Jobs’ Macintosh
are both examples of ‘stealing’ ideas
to create something entirely new.”

I saw this type of innovation
in all of the industries
I worked in
from real estate to soft drinks to romance novels.

Consider stealing ideas
from other industries,
from competitors
and combine these ideas
to innovate.