By k | November 10, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have an endless number of story ideas.
Coming up with ideas isn’t a challenge.
Coming up with valid marketable ideas is.

The idea, for me, is the start
of the process.
Before I write a story
based on this idea,
I look at the market,
at trends,
past sales,
reader preferences,
whether or not
this appeals to my current readers,
if it will expand my readership…

Then there’s execution.
The idea has no value
unless I deliver the product
based on this idea.

As Dr. Dave Popple,
a corporate psychologist,

“Effective innovation is
50 percent data gathering,
10 percent brainstorming
and generative thinking,
and 40 percent execution.
Anyone can generate ideas,
but if they are not rooted in facts
and are impossible to execute,
they are worthless.”

Coming up with an idea
is a small part
of the innovation process.
Plan your time around this.

By k | November 9, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

If Christmas is a big sales season
for your company,
I advise testing
your sales process now.

Rieva Lesonsky

“If you’re not sure
what’s driving your company’s sales down,
try enlisting a few friends
or family members
to act as “mystery shoppers.”
Have them check out your business’s service
and report back honestly.”

I also suggest asking
new-to-your-business shoppers
test your online sales presence.
Do all functions work
on their devices (mobile!!!) and browsers?
Are features/products easy to find?

Before you invest in marketing,
ensure your sales process works.

By k | November 8, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As entrepreneurs,
we can’t do everything.
There are so many tasks needed
to build a business
that doing all of them
is almost impossible.

We delegate.
We outsource.
We partner.

Which tasks should we do ourselves?

Seth Godin suggests
three reasons

you should consider
completing tasks yourself.
(listed from the worst reason to the best)

“0. Because you are the cheapest available worker.”
“1. Because people (clients) will notice when you do it.”
“2. Because you love it.
Because the work matters to you,
and this task, right now,
is the best version of the work you can find.”

I would advise that
you factor in
the opportunity cost of your time
(you could be completing another task)
when deciding
whether or not
you’re the cheapest available worker.

Don’t delegate what you love.

By k | November 7, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As a former newspaper reporter
and now a published writer,
I’ve been on both sides
of interviews.

The questions asked
drive the answers.
Form the question to be upbeat
and you’ll likely receive
a more positive answer.

Ask the question casually
and you’ll receive
a more casual answer.

Never ask multiple questions
all at once.

In October’s
Men’s Health,
sports sideline reporter
Erin Andrews

“If you ask two questions at once,
you’re going to get
only one answer.”

In interviews,
questions drive the answers.

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

I know I’m pushing myself,
expanding as a person,
when I get a sick feeling
in the pit of my stomach.

Change is uncomfortable.
It is supposed to be.

In June’s
Men’s Health,
Hugh Jackman

“You want to get somewhere
you’re not physically?
It’s going to be uncomfortable.

The end result is good,
but it’s uncomfortable to change.
It’s frightening.

So in a way,
feeling comfortable is a warning sign.

Accepting this as part of life
was a big change for me.”

Are you too comfortable?

By k | November 5, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Successful people continuously improve.
They learn.
They push themselves.
They’re constantly changing.

In September’s
Men’s Health,
soccer/football star
Cristiano Ronaldo

“I always try to improve.
Tomorrow I will be better
than today,
and next year will be better
than this one.
If I score 50 goals,
I want 55.

Some people say
I’m too serious on the pitch,
not smiling and so on.
It is because
I’m focused 100 percent
on every game.
I always want more and more.”

How have you improved today?

By k | November 4, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Being passionate
about anything is a choice.

I’ve done some yucky tasks
in my life
(mucking out barns in the spring,
moving overflowing outhouses,
I could have been grumpy
while completing these tasks
but that wouldn’t have changed anything
except it would have punished myself
and everyone around me.
I choose to be cheerful.

In September’s
Men’s Health,
Mike Rowe,
host of Dirty Jobs,

“Passion is important,
but why would you follow it?

Bring the passion with you
wherever you go.”

Passion comes from YOU,
not the task you’re completing.
It’s a decision you make.

By k | November 3, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the biggest challenges
entrepreneurs face
is learning how to let go,
realizing that we can’t control everything.

I can write a wonderful book (product)
with a wonderful cover (package)
and wonderful copy (marketing)
and the d*mn book won’t sell.
That is out of my control.

In September’s
Men’s Health,
Nascar driver
Brian Vickers

“Obviously you want
to do everything you can
to better your situation
but just as important is
learning to let go.

All you can do is
look out the front windshield,
focus on what’s next,
and breathe.

You control everything you can;
the rest is up to fate.”

You can’t control everything.

By k | November 2, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I started my business career
in auditing.
One of the things we looked for
was employees who didn’t take vacation.
These folks were automatically
looked at with suspicion.
Because employees who steal from companies
don’t want anyone doing their jobs
while they’re on vacation.

I ALWAYS used my allotted vacation time.
I sometimes used it
to go to a convention
my company wouldn’t give me approval for
I’d always look at competitive products
in the area I was vacationing.

Bob Corliss,
CEO of Robert Talbott, Inc.,

“Worried about appearances?
The company approved your time off.
Just remind your boss who will cover for you;
the boss is now happy.
So go, relax,
and then come back re-energized.”

Use your vacation time.

By k | November 1, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I like to slip away at parties,
to leave without making a fuss.
This is the wrong thing to do
if you want to be remembered.

Carol Kinsey Gorman,
author of
The Silent Language of Leaders
(this was written for men
but it applies to female leaders also)

“Don’t slip away.
Track down the hosts of the part
and everyone you had
more than casual words with.
Shake hands.
Look at her long enough
to remember her eye color.
Say her name and then
“It was great talking to you
about Peru.”
(Unless you didn’t.
That was just an example.)
Letting her know
she was memorable
makes YOU memorable.”

Take the time
to say goodbye at parties.