By k | April 30, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yesterday, I had a discussion
with my editor-for-hire.
I told her
I wanted
to be pushed more.

My goal is to constantly improve
as a writer,
to be my version of ‘the best.’
I need her help to do this.

I’ve always done this
-with teachers,
with business mentors,
with other experts.

I found they wouldn’t push me
if I didn’t ask.
Why?
Because the average person
doesn’t want to be great.
She wants to be… well… average.
We don’t need to be pushed
to be average.

If you want to be great,
ask to be pushed.
If you don’t want to be great
at whatever role you’re currently holding,
find a new role.

By k | April 29, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My branding under my romance pen names
is very narrow.
I know what I write.
My readers know what I write.

Yet people often approach me,
asking me to contribute to their projects
(boxed sets, multi writer series, charity anthologies),
and
then, after I agree,
they ask me to write
something completely different.

We ALL do this.
We go to a steakhouse
and order chicken.
We ask a print marketing expert
to design a social media ad.

These experts might say yes
as a favor to you
or out of financial need
but they chose to work in another area.
That’s their preference.

I’ve been in a top steakhouse
when a guest ordered chicken.
The chef and everyone around him
had expressions of disgust on their faces.
And the chicken wasn’t very good.

If you ask an expert
to perform a task outside of her expertise,
don’t expect
that same level of greatness
and don’t expect her to be thrilled
with the challenge.

By k | April 28, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m participating in a boxed set,
a collection of stories
by different writers.
The purpose is
to band together
for promotion.

This is the second boxed set
in the series.
Writers in the
previous boxed set
were all invited
to participate
in this one.

An interesting thing
happened.
The writers
who worked their asses off
in the first boxed set
declined.
They were busy
with other projects.
The writers
who coasted on the work
of others
accepted.
They weren’t busy
with other projects.

That meant
the second boxed set
started with
a group of lazy participants.
It didn’t have close
to the success of the first one.

Think twice
about auto renewing
key partnerships.

By k | April 27, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin
shares

“The culture of compromise
is often accepted
as the price of mass.
But in fact,
this is the crowded road
to popular acceptance,
and it works far less often
than the compromisers believe it will.”

In the romance novel industry,
it’s no longer working
at all.

EBooks are forever.
Readers have unlimited selection
at low prices.

Writing and publishing
an ‘average’ book
results in little or no sales.
Exceptional, edgy, different
is the ONLY way to break out.

Consider carefully
before you compromise
on the product you’re developing.

By k | April 26, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin
asks a great question.

“What would happen
to your audience
if you shut the doors tomorrow?
(I know what would happen to you,
that’s not my question…
what would happen to them?)”

Would they miss you?

I stopped writing under a pen name
four years ago.
There are thousands of romance novels
published every week.
I figured no one would miss me.

I still receive emails today
from readers
asking when I’ll publish
another story.

In contrast,
when I closed one of my financial blogs,
I didn’t receive one email.
No one missed the blog.
That blog made no difference
in anyone’s life.
My time is better spent elsewhere.

If your business closed tomorrow,
would your customers miss you?
If the answer is no,
what can you do
to ensure that they would?

By k | April 25, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I block specific lengths of time
for writing
and other major tasks.
During this time,
I don’t look at email.
I don’t answer calls.
I’m in the zone.
I find I’m much more productive
and happier
with this focus.

Chris Ostoich
Founder and CEO
of BlackbookHR,
shares

“In most workplaces,
people are constantly being interrupted
with questions and comments
from their colleagues.
This breaks their concentration
and takes them out of their flow.
It’s better to set specific times
for conversations
and let people buckle down
and work in the zone
for extended periods.”

Consider setting aside time
for major tasks
and ONLY these major tasks.

By k | April 24, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The publicist
from one of my large publishers
contacted me.
She asked me
to craft the graphics
to promote my latest release.
She also asked me
to promote the blog tour.

Which left me thinking…
What is she doing?

I talk about delegating
quite a bit
on this blog
but there’s a big difference
between delegating
SOME of your role
and delegating
ALL of your role.

Delegating all of your role
means you’re merely a middle man.
In today’s world,
middle men get eliminated.

Ensure you are adding
some value in your role.
If you aren’t,
start looking for a new role.

By k | April 23, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I admit to doing it.
The first thing I do
when I get invited
to a Facebook party
is look at
how many people are
already attending.
If that number is large,
I’m more likely to show up.

Getting those first people
at your promo event
can be difficult.

Sophia Hall,
owner of
Make Good,
shares
one solution.

“At our most recent event,
the first 25 people
to visit the pop-up marketplace
were given a swag bag,
each containing a
$25 Shop Small American Express
gift card and
an assortment of items
made by Make Good vendors,
including soaps, greeting cards
and jewelry.
Long before the event started,
we had more than 25 people
standing in line.”

Consider giving people
an incentive
to be the first attendees
at your event.

Entrepreneurs are like writers
in that
the general public
thinks our roles
are much sexier
and a lot easier
than they really are.

It doesn’t matter
how many times
I tell my friends and family
that most of my day
is spent marketing
or doing promo.
They think I’m eating bonbons
while gazing at hunky cabana boys.

Andy Jacobi,
Founder of
Untamed Sandwiches,
shares

“I am sweeping floors.
I am mopping.
I am making sandwiches.
I’m putting cheese on bread.
There’s nothing sexy
about 95 percent
of what I do.”

If your reality
doesn’t match your friends’ expectations,
that’s okay.
No entrepreneur’s reality does.

By k | April 21, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have over 100 stories published.
I still can’t predict
which stories will sell
and which stories will struggle.
Established publishers
with experienced editors
will tell you the same thing.

What does this mean?
In order to achieve success,
we have to accept
the possibility of failure.

Barbara Corcoran,
Co-Founder of
Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners,
shares

“In business,
failure and innovation
are kissing cousins.
You can’t have an innovative business
unless you allow
and plan for failure.
It’s only through failure
that you discover
all the important new stuff
that moves your business to the top.”

I would argue also
that NOT having an innovative business
is guaranteeing failure.

You WILL have failures.
Plan for that possibility.