By k | May 31, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My gut is often the difference
between failure and success.
I have to make a decision.
Everything looks good
but something isn’t quite right.
I have that feeling
that I’m making the wrong decision.

So I change my decision
and days or weeks or months later,
I discover my gut was right.

The issue is…
the gut isn’t loud.
The gut is quiet,
a murmur,
a sensation.

If I’m distracted with other projects
or tasks or my email or my phone,
I won’t hear it.

This is why being fully present
is so important.

Business journalist
David Gelles,
in the May/June 2016
The Costco Connection,
shares

“When we actually start
paying attention
to what we’re doing,
we’ll notice a whole lot of things
that we might otherwise miss.

When we can stop
this incessant mind wandering
and actually be fully present in the moment,
there is a whole range of sensations
that reveal themselves to us
that we’re otherwise
usually too distracted to notice.”

If you have a big decision to make,
unplug,
give that decision your full attention.
Be present
and listen to your gut.

By k | May 30, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Most of the cost
of a book
comes from producing the story,
not from printing it.
Yet almost every reader
expects to spend quite a bit less
when she buys in eBook,
rather than in print,
format.

This is often true
with other online businesses also.

Maniraj Singh Juneja,
in the May/June 2016
The Costco Connection,
shares

“Since you’re on the Internet,
customers expect you
to save on the cost
of renting a physical storefront
and pass on that benefit to them.
Moreover, pricing on the Internet
is very transparent,
so you have to sell
at the lowest margins possible.”

One of the ways to counter this
is, of course, to have a unique product.

But don’t expect
cost savings associated with online only
to be pure profit.
Customers will expect a discount.

By k | May 29, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I believe in focus.
Yes, I delegate
so things are happening
at the same time
but different people are completing
these tasks.
I only focus on one task at a time.

Why?

Because I perform these tasks
faster and better.

When I try to complete two tasks
at the same time,
my brain isn’t split 50/50 between the tasks.
I need a portion of my brain
to switch back and forth between them.

(This is why
I tend to group similar tasks,
decreasing the adjustment time needed
between them.)

According to a
Stanford University study,

“…people who are HMM
(research jargon for Heavy Media Multitasker)
do not pay attention,
cannot control their memory
and cannot switch easily
from one job to another
as adeptly as people
who concentrate on one job at a time.

Basically we’re assaulting our brain
with so much information
that it becomes overloaded
and can’t cope.
We lose the ability to filter out
the unimportant and irrelevant.”

Focus on one task
at a time.

By k | May 28, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You’re a regional hit,
a favorite in your territory.

How do you expand?

The national distributors
have their huge national brands.
They aren’t likely
to push your brand.

Not without help
from your customers.

Joy Ritchie,
Cheerwine’s head of marketing,
shares

“Cheerwine’s reach extends
far beyond the traditional distribution channels
— many people order Cheerwine online
and customers have been bringing
Cheerwine to their shelves
on their own
from New York to California
and many stops in between.”

I see this all the time
in the book world.
Writers tell readers,
“If you want my book
sold
in your local bookstore,
tell the manager.”
“If you want my book
in your local library,
tell the librarian.”

Harness the power of your customers
to stock your product.

By k | May 27, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies,
when we graduated
from university,
said,
“Thank G*d.
There’s no more required reading.”

The thing is…
required reading isn’t only
for school courses.

Almost every industry
has required reading also.
There’s at least
one benchmark book
that people in that industry
tend to read
and quote.

In business,
one required reading
is
Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War.

In erotic romance,
one required reading
is
E.L. James’ Fifty Shades Of Grey.

In programming,
one required reading
is
Donald Knuth’s
The Art of Computer Programming.

Bill Gates
has stated

“If you think
you’re a really good programmer…
read (Knuth’s) Art of Computer Programming…
You should definitely send me a résumé
if you can read the whole thing.”

Have you read
your industry’s required reading?

By k | May 26, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I get extremely nervous
before making important presentations
or sales calls.

Being nervous is normal.
Looking nervous can often be
a disaster.
It signals a lack of faith
in yourself and in your product.

How to counteract this?

Amy Cuddy
shares

“open up your body,
do not allow yourself
to collapse,
pause,
breathe slowly and deeply.

Even slow your speech
because,
if you get nervous,
you will likely start
speaking too quickly.

And that makes you
feel less powerful
and it also makes you
appear less powerful.”

You believe in your product/service,
in yourself,
in your business.
Ensure your body language
communicates this.

By k | May 25, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There’s a writer in the Romance genre
who specializes in attacking
other writers.
She sends her group of readers out
to blast her perceived competitor’s books.
This decreases her competitor’s sales.

She counts on these writers
to not call her out
on these attacks.

And this has been effective
…for a while.

The thing is…
the writers attacked know
she’s doing this.

The more writers she attacks,
the more writers know
she’s behind the attacks,
the less effective her actions are.
The strategy isn’t maintainable.
It might help her sales
in the short run
but it will hurt her sales
in the long run.

Assume you will be around
for the long run.
Plan your strategies around this.

By k | May 24, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There are some huge reader groups
which prohibit marketing.

Some writers are getting around
this rule
by asking for help.
The topic they need help on
requires them
to talk about their books.

What this does
is waste everyone’s time.
Other writers try to help them out.
But this help isn’t needed.

And because these shady promoters
are posting these fake questions
on multiple groups,
the writers soon discover
they’re not serious.

They feel like fools.
They vow not to help
that person again.

Unfortunately, we all know people
who try to sell or promote this way.
They ask an idol or mentor for help
and then slide in information
about their projects or products.

This rarely works
and it often destroys relationships.

Only ask for help
if you truly need help
and you truly plan to listen to it.

By k | May 23, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was a kid,
I took care of a neighbor’s dog.
I spent many hours a week
at their house.
While I was there,
I’d listen to their conversations.
They’d talk about financial planning
and business.
I never participated in the conversations.

I listened
and I learned.

I have five siblings.
I’m the only one
who is
financially stable.

Fan Bi,
CEO and Founder of
Blank Label,
shares

“I grew up
in a small family business.
The dinner table conversation was,
‘How are we going to
offload this inventory
that’s going to go bad
in three days?’
Part of me always knew
I wanted to go in to business
some day.”

Children listen
and they learn.

If you want them to learn
about business building,
talk about it.

By k | May 22, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Businesses are rarely
overnight successes.

Most businesses grow slowly,
adding a couple customers
a month or a week or a day.

Seth Godin
shares

“Facebook and other legendary companies
didn’t get that way all at once,
and neither will you.

We can definitely spend time
worrying about/building the tsunami,
but it’s the drip, drip, drip
that will change everything
in the long run.”

Focus on landing the next customer.