By k | October 20, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Gord Downie,
the lead singer of
The Tragically Hip,
died on Tuesday.

Canadian companies
and sports teams
honored his memory.
Canada’s Prime Minister cried.
I cried.

The rest of the world
didn’t notice.

Canada has only 10%
of the population
of the U.S.
Compared to the rest of the world,
it is a niche market.

The Tragically Hip
dominated that market.
They toured constantly,
doing what they loved,
creating a very Canadian legacy.
They earned
a healthy living
while doing this.
And when their lead singer died,
the entire niche market,
all of Canada,
mourned.

THAT is significant.

A niche business
might be small
compared to the broader market
but it is important to that niche.

Remember that
and
be proud of what you’re building.
You and your business
DO matter.

By k | October 19, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was a kid,
I was dirt poor.
We didn’t eat every day
(yes, here in North America).
That’s how broke we were.

I thought money
was the most important
asset
a person could ever have.

If I had cash,
I could do anything,
I thought.

Today, if you gave me
the choice
between
one million dollars in cash
and
being the best friend
of a billionaire,
I would choose
being the billionaire’s best friend.

Being the billionaire’s best friend
would likely mean
I’d know quite a few other billionaires.
(They tend to hang out together.)
I’d have access
to all of the cash I ever wanted.

If you’re struggling for startup cash
for your new business,
your issue isn’t truly lack of money.
It is the lack of ACCESS to money.

The number of ways
you can solve THAT problem
is unlimited.

By k | October 18, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was working
for a large beverage company,
a mentor taught me
about ‘The Shadow Of The Leader.’

The leader of
a company, organization, country
influences everyone
around her.
Her followers are
a reflection of her leadership,
her ideals, her beliefs,
her behavior.

One of my writing buddies
constantly complains.
She is surrounded by readers (customers)
and business partners
who complain.

One of my other writing buddies
is a happy, optimistic person.
She is surrounded by
happy, optimistic readers
and business partners.

If we don’t like
the behavior or vibe
of the people around us,
we should consider looking at
our own behavior or vibe.

By k | October 17, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As business builders,
we’re bringing something new
to the world.
It could be a new product,
a new location,
even a small thing
like a new name.

Some folks
don’t like change,
ANY change,
including changes that benefit them.

There will be resistance
to your idea
by those who love the status quo.

Seth Godin
shares

“The status quo is not kind.
It works overtime
to stay the status quo,
and that means that
new ideas, urgent pleas
and cries for justice
are rarely easily voiced.”

Part of our role
is create change.
Expect resistance to this change
and create change anyway.

By k | October 16, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I’m at the 75% point
of a new book,
I have a mini-meltdown.
I think the book is sh*t.
I question my writing ability.
I am tempted to discard
the work.

This happens EVERY time.

The first time
this happened to me,
I almost caved to my worries.
I almost quit,
started something new.

As I’m writing my 200 + book,
I expect this doubt to happen.
I’ll indulge my worries for a moment
and then I’ll push forward.

I have additional freak outs
when I send my book
to my editor (my first customers)
and
the day before
my book is published
and
when I’m waiting for that first review.

I expect these meltdowns also.

We all have doubts, worries,
fears, frustrations.

If these emotions have a pattern,
learning that pattern,
expecting that pattern
will decrease the chance
we’ll make bad decisions
based on our emotions.

Know your emotional rhythm.

By k | October 15, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Ideas are often easy
for experienced business builders
to craft.
I have a list
of my top 100 story premises
and premises are added/dropped
every day.

But not everyone
is an experienced business builder.
Some new business builders
have challenges
coming up with ideas.

So I share mine.
I share the ideas
that don’t tie into
my strengths,
the ideas
that I couldn’t
do justice,
the ideas I’ll never write.

Many of these ideas
are timely.
If they are not written soon,
they might not be relevant.

I give these ideas,
along with any research
I’ve done on them,
away.

Some writers
have landed on
the best seller lists
with my ideas.
I’m happy for them.
They’re grateful to me.
Our relationship is stronger
for this.

And the universe gives me
more ideas,
ideas that might be even better.

Keep some ideas for yourself.
Consider sharing the others.

By k | October 14, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The first subgenre
of romance
that many writers start
publishing in
is contemporary romance.
There’s very little world building.
There’s no inventing languages
or creating worlds.

The issue is…
because contemporary romance
is easier to write well,
there are more writers
writing in this subgenre.
Competition is fierce.

Historical Romance,
on the other hand,
is very difficult to write well.
The research needed is tremendous.

There are fewer writers
in Historical Romance
and there are even fewer writers
who excel at writing it.
If you’re one of those few,
your stories will likely be in demand.

Seth Godin
shares

“It’s tempting to enter a field
where mastery is assured,
where you have
a very good shot
of being as good at it
as everyone else.

It turns out, though,
that the most exciting and productive fields
are those where there’s a huge gap
between those that are perceived
to be the very best
and everyone else.”

If it is easy to be the best
in a field,
competition will be fierce.
Sometimes it is better
to have to work at it.

By k | October 13, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In the late 1960s,
a group of up and coming
young directors spent time together
.
They helped each other,
sharing tips and lessons learned,
and they pushed each other,
their competiveness
encouraging them
to create the best movies they could.

These directors were
Francis Ford Coppola,
George Lucas,
John Milius,
Brian De Palma,
Steven Spielberg,
and
Paul Schrader.
They ALL became successful.

Spielberg shot scenes
for De Palma’s Scarface.
Almost everyone was involved
in Lucas’ Star Wars.
They shared talent and teams.
They were stronger
together.

I’ve seen this type of situation
again and again.
There was a group of artists,
for example,
who spent time together,
supported each other,
and eventually became
THE artists of the Impressionist period.

I’ve seen business builders
do the same thing.

Consider spending time
with fellow business builders,
create your own group.

By k | October 12, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When partnerships are being negotiated,
money is ALWAYS talked about,
how much money each partner
is willing to contribute
to the business.

One factor I’ve never seen negotiated
is TIME,
how much time each partner
is willing to contribute
to the business.

In my experience,
this is usually one of the biggest causes
of problems in a partnership.
One partner is working 24/7.
Another partner is working
part-time hours.

Mike Michalowicz
shares

“Talk with your partner
about how much
you are willing
to put into the company.

If you find out
you’re both willing
to volunteer different amounts,
that’s okay.
But be sure to maintain
full transparency in this.

Again, documenting
and setting specific metrics
for what you’ll give
can help prevent
bitterness and peer pressure
down the line.”

Time contributions
are as important as money contributions.
Talk about this
before finalizing a partnership.

By k | October 11, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My sales have been level
this year
compared to last year.

Normally,
I want sales to increase.
I have more products available.
I had more years to build.
Sales should go up.

Not this year.
This year, I’m marketing my heart out
and my sales are remaining constant
and that’s an achievement.

The customers in my main market
(the U.S.)
are stressed out.
They’re worried about natural disasters,
political changes,
possible nuclear war.

Stressed people don’t spend money
on non-essentials.
They hunker down and wait.

So I’m damn happy
with my level sales.

In a down market,
staying level is a success.