By k | October 31, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m a hugger.
There’s nothing that relaxes me
more quickly
than hugging a loved one.

It turns out
hugging is an effective stress reliever.

In September’s
Men’s Health,
Amit Sood, M.D.

“You’ll get the same relaxation
from five minutes
of greeting your family
as you would from two hours of TV.”

This relaxation flows
both ways.
You become more relaxed.
Your loved one becomes more relaxed.

Instead of grabbing that remote
at the end of a stressful day,
hug your spouse, your children, your pets.

By k | October 30, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Tomorrow is Halloween.
You want to reach out
to prospects/customers
but it is the last minute.
What can you do?

Here are some possible ideas…

Create a Halloween button
for social media.
Dress your product up in a costume.
Show your product going into
a trick-or-treat bag.
Post a bad pun.
Have fun with it.
Make it worth sharing.

Crash one of the zillion Facebook parties
that are happening tomorrow.
Find a party attended by your target audience,
preferably the party with the largest attendance.
Contact the organizer
and ask for a slot.
Prepare to give some sh*t away.
Pimp your page or your newsletter sign up.

Ask your customers or prospects
to post their PG-rated costumes
on your Facebook page.
Run a contest if you wish.
This gives your page a lot of activity
yet doesn’t require much effort
(you should ensure the pics are customer-friendly).

There is still time
to participate in Halloween promotions!

By k | October 29, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Recently, I was brainstorming ideas
for new outlets for my writing.
I talked to fellow romance writers.
They told me to self-publish
or to submit to different publishers,
the same answers
I’d also give.

I then talked to creative folks
in different industries.
They suggested newsletter serials,
romance apps and games,
ideas for using my blog.
These ideas were fresh, exciting, different.

In April’s
Men’s Health,
Alaina G. Levine,
president of Quantum Success Solutions,
suggests asking someone outside your field.
“Think: ‘If I didn’t have X skill or Y experience,
how would this problem look?’”

If you want truly different ideas,
ask truly different people.
Talk to people outside
your industry.

By k | October 28, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have multiple print calendars.
On these calendars,
I break down huge tasks
into smaller daily tasks.
If I have a book release in December,
I’ll write a guest blog post
every day
up to that date.

This does a number of things.
It makes big tasks doable.
It focuses me on the future.
It ensures
that even if my life falls apart,
something will be done.

In April’s
Men’s Health,
David Johnson

“Break large, long-term goals
into small weekly tasks.
If your boss rewards creativity,
send in 15 ideas
every Wednesday.

If you’re always looking
to next week,
you’ll have constant forward momentum.”

Do something today
that will benefit your future.

By k | October 27, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Marketers often talk about being authentic.
What does that mean?

In August’s edition
of Men’s Health,
country singer
Tim McGraw

“There are people
who will never have a shot
at a career
but can sing circles around me.
I know that.

But the people I gravitate to
as an artist,
and the people I like to listen to,
are people I believe.

You don’t have to have lived
every song you sing.
It’s not about that.
It’s about conveying
a sense of honesty.
Or finding a place within you
that can relate to that
and empathize with
the character in the song.”

You don’t have to be your target customer
but you should be able to
relate to him or her.
Find a link
(preferably more than one)
that allows you to empathize with your customers.

By k | October 26, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

“Google[x] has a simple Venn diagram
that it uses to determine
if it will pursue an idea.

First, the idea has to be something
that addresses a big challenge
or opportunity,
something that affects
hundreds of millions or
billions of people.

Second, they have to have
an idea for a solution
that is radically different
from anything currently in the market.
We aren’t trying to improve on
an existing way of doing something,
rather we want to start over.

And third, the breakthrough technologies
that could bring that radical solution to life
have to be at least feasible,
and achievable
in the not-too-distant future.”

You’re not Google.
You might not need billions
of possible prospects.
You might be looking at
manufacturing capabilities
instead of breakthrough technologies.

But you would benefit
from having a Venn diagram
for your new ideas.

By k | October 25, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

“And what is a possible solution?”
This is the question
one of my former V-Ps
would ask
every time a problem
was presented to him.

Of course, he knew
possible solutions.
That wasn’t the purpose
of the question.
The purpose was
to align problems with solutions,
to make us automatically
think of solutions
when we are presented
with problems.

One of the upsides of this policy was
it created a new idea friendly environment.
Yes, we would still see
the problems any new idea has
but, by proposing a solution
when pointing out the problem,
the originator of the new idea
felt supported,
not attacked.

Nilofer Merchant

“Explaining why you have doubts
about an idea
lets everyone understand
if they have different working assumptions.
And proposing a solution
helps advance the idea.”

When pointing out a problem,
ALWAYS suggest a possible solution
(even if this solution isn’t ideal).

By k | October 24, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I see something is wrong
and I find myself
not saying anything,
I know it is time
to leave an organization.

I’m being paid for leadership.
Speaking up is part of leadership.

Peter Bregman

“Courage underlies all smart risk taking.
And no company can grow
without leaders who are willing
to take risks.
If we don’t speak the truth
about what we see
and what we think,
then it’s unlikely that
we’ll take the smart risks
necessary to lead.

So, yes, it’s a major issue
if direct reports to the CEO
aren’t willing to say
what they really think.
In fact, I’d say that there’s little value
to having senior leaders
in an organization
who don’t speak their minds.”

If you’re not speaking up,
you’re not leading.

By k | October 23, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I write a story,
I usually have a target reader
in mind.

For example:
the average woman in the US
has dark hair.
My heroines usually have dark hair.

This may seem to be a small detail
but small details make a difference.
My readers feel like I’m writing about them,
that I know who they are.

Alexa von Tobel,
founder & CEO of


“At the end of the day,
your customer is all that matters.
How does your product
make that person’s life easier?
More efficient?
Figure out what’s important
to your user
by understanding
whom you’re targeting—
be it kids, young women
or middle-aged men.
And keep that muse—
the individual who defines
your customer—
in mind at all times
when making critical decisions.”

Know your target customer
and keep her/him in mind
when designing products.

By k | October 22, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A writer was ranting to me
about another writer behaving badly.
This writer basically stalked
a book blogger,
making the book blogger’s life hellish.

“Why would anyone do this?”
my buddy asked.


Because we now know this writer’s name.
Sure, many people hate this writer
but she has also garnered some supporters
and some people who
won’t remember a year from now
why they know her name.
They’ll only know that her name is familiar
and be more likely to buy her book.

Compare her situation
to a writer playing by the rules,
playing nicely with others.
There’s no reason to talk about
the nice writer.
No one knows her name.
No one buys her books.

A writer/business/entrepreneur
is more likely to become successful
if she/he/it behaves badly.
Yes, it sucks.
No, I don’t propose this as a marketing strategy
but it IS a successful marketing strategy.

Expect more people
to behave badly.