By k | March 21, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

In the writing world,
it is almost impossible
to get a yes on a prospective story idea
after publishers have given us
a no.
That’s why when I pitch an idea,
I think of all the possible objections
a publisher might have
and address them
BEFORE the publisher does.

Polina Raygorodskaya,
CEO of

“Once they already
have a doubt,
it’s much more difficult
to change people’s minds
than it is to explain it
in the first place.
If you can anticipate concerns,
that’s how you turn people around.”

Address the doubts first.

By k | March 20, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If I can’t sell a story idea
in one sentence,
I don’t write it.
If readers don’t immediately get
the idea,
they won’t buy the story.

Charles Michael Yim,
Founder and CEO

“Simplicity is key.
It doesn’t matter how advanced,
how scientific your company is.
If the average consumer or investor
is trying to understand your business,
you need to boil it down
to the most basic fundamentals.
Whether it’s Shark Tank,
Richard Branson,
or any other meeting I’m in
for Series A funding,
I need to clearly communicate
exactly what we’re trying to build.
If the value proposition isn’t crystal clear,
you’ll lose people
in the first five minutes.”

You have one line in text,
five minutes in speech,
to sell your product.
Can you do that?

By k | March 19, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When negotiating,
the knee jerk response
is usually to ask for more.

A marketer puts together
a brilliant campaign
for 5,000 prospects.
Why not ask for 10,000 prospects
at the same price?

Why not?
Because it wouldn’t be
the same campaign.
It wouldn’t be as targeted
or intimate
or have the same level
of care per prospect.

As a writer,
I see this all the time.
Readers seem to think
a 400 page version of a story
will be as great as
the 200 page version they read
and enjoyed.
It won’t be.
It will be an entirely different story.

When negotiating,
ensure that the ‘more’
you’re asking for
doesn’t become ‘different.’

By k | March 18, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We’ll all face tests
while we’re building our businesses,
situations that stress our current systems
or destroy our current products.

I’m facing one with the romance writing.
Pricing wars and the surplus of content
have challenged
This is forcing me to redefine
what I’m offering readers.

I can see
that years from now,
I’ll be grateful for this test.
I’ll have a stronger business.
But, currently, it’s hell.

Kathleen Gage

“The most important thing
I have learned is this:
life will offer up challenges
and obstacles
that we can resist
and wonder why
or they can become
our greatest opportunity for growth
both personally and professionally.
The challenges can also help us
define our message, mission
and movement.

Many people fear the tests of life,
failing to realize the trials
build our character and
stretch us beyond
what we thought
we were capable of.
This is often what defines
how we are to grow
and develop our businesses.”

Tests are a good thing.
It might not seem so at the moment
but they are.
Embrace them.
Learn from them.

By k | March 17, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Today being St. Patrick’s Day,
I thought we’d talk about luck.
Luck DOES play a role in success.
However we can increase
our odds of getting lucky.

Richard Branson

“I believe that “luck”
is one of the most misunderstood
and underappreciated factors in life.

Those people and businesses
that are generally considered fortunate
or luckier than others
are usually also the ones
that are prepared to
take the greatest risks and,
by association,
are also prepared to fall flat
on their faces every so often.

In stark contrast,
the “play it safe for fear of failing” brigade
are the ones who just never seem
to get as lucky
as the risk-takers.
I don’t think so.”

Are you prepared to take risks?

By k | March 16, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A client or partner or friend
hasn’t been responding
to your emails.
You usually email every day
and she hasn’t responded
for two weeks.

This happened to me recently.
My first thought was
“She’s angry with me,
has crossed me off her friend list.”
I worried.
If I contacted her,
she might tell me
she was deliberately ignoring
my emails.
That would hurt.
Maybe it would be better
to let the friendship fade away.

That’s not the type of person I am.
I’m a fighter.
I sent her an private message
via Facebook.
It turns out
she never received the dozen emails.

We ALL do this.
We try to avoid
what we think will be
uncomfortable confrontations.
These confrontations
are always less hostile
than the ones we build up in our minds.

Make that call/send that email

By k | March 15, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I admire and respect
Guy Kawasaki.
I consider
his article filled with advice
for 22 year olds

However, I don’t agree
with all of it
(specifically his advice
to marry at age 32
as a woman’s fertility wanes
in her 30’s).

That’s okay.
I SHOULDN’T agree with all of it.
I’m not Guy Kawasaki’s clone.
Even if I was,
I’m a different age
with a different history.
His truth isn’t my truth.
His advice might not apply.

is a talking point.
It’s an insight to be considered,

NEVER take advice
from ANYONE blindly.
Get off your a$$
and evaluate it.

By k | March 14, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Being brief
takes skill.
It is a skill
that very few of us have
yet many of us should cultivate.

Guy Kawasaki

“Contrary to school,
in the work place
there are few minimums.
In my entire career,
I can count on one hand
the instances when
an email, presentation, or report
was too short.

The perfect length for everything
is when it is “complete”
—more is less, and
“shock and awe” doesn’t work
in business or war.

Here are guidelines:
email—five sentences;
presentations—tens slides
and twenty minutes;
report—one page.”

Be brief.

By k | March 13, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Would you buy your own product?
Would you click on your own link?
Would you read your own blog?

You might not be
your business’s ideal customer
but you are a customer.
If you find something unappealing,
you should investigate,
reassure yourself
that your customers don’t feel the same way.

Alicia Shaffer,
founder of

“Etsy has a ton of articles and videos
on secrets to shop success.
I took advantage of all of those.

I always ask other Etsy shop owners,
‘Would you click on your item?’
If you search ‘lace headband,’
24 headbands show up.
Which do you click?
You want to make sure
you’re looking at your shop
from the shopper’s perspective.”

Would you buy your own product?

By k | March 12, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I recently hired a cover artist
to design a cover.
Some other writers told me
“You could have designed
the cover yourself.”

Yes, I could have.
My readers could also write
their own stories.

Doing everything yourself
is bullsh*t thinking.
It’s limiting
and it’s ungenerous.

Jessica Banks,
Founder of

“Delegate, delegate, delegate.
Hire people who you trust
to make their mistakes right again.
We don’t expect people
to be perfect,
but it’s important to be explicit
that you expect them to screw up
and then fix it
—or come to me and
we’ll fix it together.
At some point
you just have to look away
and let somebody do things for you.”

Delegate something today.