By k | March 21, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

The colors we wear
and surround ourselves with
They influence moods
and change behaviors.

Which color not to wear?

“According to a CareerBuilder study
of more than 2,000 HR professionals
and hiring managers,
orange is the worst colour
to wear to a job interview
and is the hue most likely
to be associated with someone
who is unprofessional.
About a quarter of respondents (23%)
recommended wearing blue,
followed by black (15%)”*

Avoid wearing orange.

*March CPA Magazine

By k | March 20, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Small (yet growing) companies
can’t outspend our larger competition.
That’s not possible
and that’s not a bad thing.
It forces us to be creative,
to try techniques and tactics
that have never been done before.

Everyone in the organization
also has to be engaged.
There should be no floaters
in a smaller company.

Patrick Oland,
CFO of Moosehead Breweries
in the March CPA Magazine,

“We have to be quicker and smarter
than the competition
–we can’t outspend them.
If we are going to be successful,
we are going to have to run a company
that is streamlined,
a lean well-oiled machine
with really capable people.”

Lean and capable
can be a strategic advantage.

By k | March 19, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Last week,
I outsourced a small project.
I spent a couple of hours
detailing exactly what I needed.
I got one of the three core things I needed
because the person I outsourced the project to
didn’t follow (or read) my instructions.

One of the skills
many busy entrepreneurs should look for
when interviewing possible employees
(and partners)
is the ability to follow instructions.
We don’t have the time
to double check
that every instruction we give
is followed
and, unfortunately,
MANY people can’t (or won’t) follow instructions.

Marc R. Enriquez,
founder of
Resonant Advantage Marketing
when crafting job postings

to “make your application process itself a test
as to whether a person can follow directions.
Don’t make it as simple
as allowing the applicant
to reply to your Craigslist post.
Those who do will immediately disqualify themselves.
This saves you a lot of time
in dealing with better quality candidates.”

We don’t need a thousand applicants.
We need one applicant
who can do the job.

By k | March 18, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin has a great post
on Confidence.

“You succeed because
you’ve chosen to be confident.
It’s not really useful
to require yourself
to be successful
before you’re able to become confident.”

Happiness is also a choice.
Optimism is a choice.
Yes, we might be naturally inclined
toward a certain emotional setting
but the brain is a powerful thing.
We can overcome these defaults.

I have tricks to make myself more confident.
I have a list of wins I’ll peruse.
I have a suit that I feel powerful
while wearing.
I have certain friends and associates
I’ll talk to
(and some I’ll avoid).
I have a pep talk I give myself.

I have similar tricks
when I want to feel happy
or optimistic
or, if I need to ruthlessly revise stories,
when I want to feel grumpy.

Learn how to manage your emotions,
using them as a tool for success.

By k | March 17, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There is always talk
on St. Patrick’s Day
about the ‘luck of the Irish.’
(the irony is that many historians
believe this saying originally referred to BAD luck,
not good luck)

And you’ll likely hear people say today
“I just have to get lucky”
like that will solve all of their problems.

Ummm… no.
They don’t JUST have to get lucky
and it WON’T solve all of their problems.

luck is an element in any success
but it is never the only element.
Even lottery winners have to enter the drawings.

Something has to be DONE
to supplement the luck.
And the more that is done,
the luckier a person is likely to be.

Luck also isn’t the solution
to all of a person’s problems.
Many lottery winners end up broke
because some of their problems
(like poor money management skills)
didn’t magically disappear
with their stroke of good luck.

Luck favors those who DO.
Get out there
and make luck happen.

By k | March 16, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day
and I’m hosting a party
for writers and readers.

I don’t have a St. Patrick’s Day themed story.
I don’t even have an Irish themed story.
But I have green covers
and scenes in stories about luck
and some of my stories
have references to magic in them.

Why am I marketing hard
on St. Patrick’s Day?
Because very few writers are
marketing hard tomorrow.
Because my readers love
superstitions and myths
and talk about luck.
Because my next release
has a green cover.

Consider St. Patrick’s Day marketing.

By k | March 15, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I unplug often.
When I’m focusing on fresh writing,
I disconnect from the outside world.
Many of my buddies do the same thing.

So what does this do
to your marketing campaigns?
How do you honor these requests
yet not lose these customers forever?

Rohit Bhargava
of Influential Marketing Group

“Create more mute buttons.
What happens when
you email customers too frequently?
They unsubscribe.
What if instead of opting out
and leaving for good,
you gave them a way
to turn on a mute button
for a period of time—
or at least turn down the volume a bit?
The best email marketers know
there’s a forgotten third option
besides letting people opt in or out:
You can let them opt for less.
In doing this,
you give people a way to reduce the noise
without leaving altogether.”

Consider this third option.

By k | March 14, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Romance writers often talk
about how they’re not taken seriously.
One writer,
who earns millions of dollars a book,
is regularly asked
when she’ll write “a real book.”

I don’t give a sh*t
about being taken seriously.
Romance is the number one selling genre.
More romance writers make a living
from their writing
than in any other genre.
Our readers take us seriously.

And because other writers
don’t take us seriously,
they don’t enter the market.

As Allison O’Kelly,
Founder of Mom Corps,

“When I started,
I got a lot of patronizing pats on the head.
But sometimes that’s good.
Nobody took me seriously
at the beginning
so nobody tried to copycat
what I was doing.”

Not being taken seriously
can be a VERY good thing.

By k | March 13, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing, New Business Development

There’s always heated discussion
about whether
a female business owner
should label herself
as a female business owner
or should label herself
as merely a business owner.

this is not a universal truth
type of discussion.
This is a “is this branding right for you
and your company?” discussion.

For one of my pen names,
I write for a female readership
so I own the fact
that I’m female.

When I ran a business website,
with a primarily male target readership,
I didn’t broadcast my gender.
I didn’t lie about it
but I didn’t talk about it all the time
and I used K as my name.

This thought process applies
with every label
- race, religion,
size of company,
sexual preference,

Does it help your business?
Own it.
Does it hurt your business?
Don’t mention it.

Be a female business owner
if it helps your business.

By k | March 12, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’ve always been aggressive.
I grew up dirt poor without connections
and the way I built success
was to reach out to people,
to ask for as much as possible,
to leverage every opportunity.

Yes, I get push back.
Some people call me names.
B*tch being one of the faves.
But that is part of the price of doing.
Someone isn’t going to like
ANYTHING you do.

Stacie Vanchieri,
Founder of
Modelogic [Wilhelmina],

“’Aggressive’ is the best word
I can think of,
and I’m not bothered by it.
I’m very direct
because I’m busy
and I don’t have time to waste.
That can be scary
for a lot of people.”

Be aggressive
and be okay with it.