By k | October 7, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have a loved one
I always call
when I need cheering up.

If it has been a bad sales day
or I’ve received some harsh
customer feedback
or something else has gone terribly wrong,
she’s the person I talk to.

That emotional heavy lifting
is HARD on a person.
I appreciate
that she does this
for me.
I’m grateful to her.
I ensure I return the favor
and I treat her
as much as she allows me
to treat her.

If you have a similar person,
someone who cheers you up
when you’re down
(and all business builders
need
at least one person like this),
show her/him your appreciation.

Consider surprising this cheerleader
with a thank you card
or flowers
or some other nice gesture.

She/he deserves this.

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

One of my writing buddies
is a perfectionist.
She doesn’t want
to publish a story
(ship a product)
unless it is perfect.

Whenever I urge her
to hit the publish button,
she tells me
‘It isn’t ready yet.’

I doubt it will ever be ready.

Dexter Brown,
in September’s
CPA Magazine,
shares

“Folks who fit into this category
[perfectionists]
are also big procrastinators
- they have a tough time
finishing their work
and are overly cautious
(it can take them hours
to finish a task
that should take 20 minutes,
for example).

They agonize over details
- their to-do lists are elaborate
and they can rewrite
the same document or email
over and over
to make it perfect.”

There’s good enough
and there’s perfect.
The first is achievable.
The second is not
and is usually more harmful
than beneficial.

If you’re a perfectionist,
put systems in place
so this trait can’t hinder
your success.

By k | October 5, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Jim Rohn
said

“You are the average
of the five people
you spend the most time with.”

I’ve outgrown
my five.

When I first started
taking the Romance Novel Business
seriously,
I became part of a team
of five writers.

All of these writers
were serious.
They were all ahead of me
career-wise.

They pushed me
to become better.
I learned so much.

Then I started outselling them.
I was the person
giving back,
pushing them to become better.

They had other goals.
I continued seeking to improve.

Today, I am at a different level.
I’m still part of this group
but they are my friends,
not my advisers.
I talk to them socially.
I share what I learn
but I don’t learn from them.

If you continue pushing yourself,
you will likely outgrow
your initial advisory group also
and that’s okay.

Consider giving back to them
and continue moving forward.

By k | October 4, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Right now,
there’s likely someone in your group
who is intentionally underachieving.

She sees the goal
and intentionally underdelivers
on it.
If the goal is a 3 star review,
she gives a 2 star review.
If the goal is a 5 star review,
she gives a 4 star review.

There are emotional reasons
why she does this
but the important thing to know is
she does this.

And she will do this
with ANY goal.

Seth Godin
shares

“When leading a team,
it’s tempting to slow things down
for the people near the back of the pack.

It doesn’t matter, though.

They’ll just slow down more.
They like it back there.
In fact, if your goal is
to get the tribe somewhere,
it pays to speed up,
not slow down.

They’ll catch up.”

You can never slow down enough
to make an underachiever
meet a goal.

Set your goals high.

By k | October 3, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The Romance Novel community,
seeking to honor a writer,
created a Facebook post
asking folks to donate
to a charity
the writer supported.

This post was shared
thousands of times.
People, including big name writers,
forwarded it,
making it appear
like they donated.
Comment after comment
communicated that same thing.

I tried to donate.
The charity is no longer active.
It still has a website
(likely because the hosting
was free)
but the donate buttons
were dead
and
the email address
and the social media accounts
no longer exist.

I contacted the organizers
and they quickly changed
the charity.

But the damage had been done.
I, and anyone else who had donated,
knew the people who had claimed
they had donated
had lied.

No one who had forwarded
the post
had donated.
They were asking people
to do
something THEY didn’t plan
to do.

If you ask customers
or partners
to give to a charity,
make certain
they CAN give to that charity.

And consider giving
at least a token amount.

By k | October 2, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I am GRATEFUL
to my readers
(customers)
for helping me
become a success
in the Romance Novel Business.

I don’t OWE them
anything.

I don’t have to
stay in business tomorrow.
I don’t have to
offer a next story in a series
(a new product).
I don’t have to
believe what they believe
and do what they say.

I might choose
to do this
but I don’t HAVE to do this.

When you become successful,
it doesn’t matter
what industry you’re in
- writing, football, banking -
customers will say
you owe them something.

You don’t.

In fact,
if you try to ‘repay’
all of the things customers
believe you ‘owe’ them,
you’ll end up losing money
and going out of business.

Run your business
YOUR way.
You don’t owe anyone sh*t.

Many Romance Writers
have English degrees.
I’m a business babe.
I took ONE solitary
English course at University.

When I first started
in the Romance Novel Business,
I was self-conscious about this.
I revised my stories (products)
more times than others did.
I hired the best editors
I could find.
I didn’t want anyone
to find out my ’secret,’
to use this gap
in my education
as a reason not to buy my books.

As a result,
the quality of my books
are VERY high.
This self-consciousness
has made me very good.

Amy Freeman,
high school drop out
and co-founder of
Spice & Tea Exchange,
shares

“It [her lack of eduction]
was a hidden secret
I carried around
—something I never
started to disclose
until this year, actually.

Looking back,
I don’t know
if things would have been different
if I’d been honest.

I do know that
it drove me
in whatever I was doing.

I had to be very good
because I always knew
that someone with an education
could take my job
from me
at any moment.”

You can overcome
a lack of qualifications
for many roles
(not all)
with hard work,
intense study
and the right partners.

Don’t let it stop you.

By k | September 29, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was in the co-op accounting program
at unversity.
We would go to school
for 4 months
and then work in an accounting position
(paid)
for 4 months.
We’d alternate school terms
and work terms
and were encouraged
to take different placements
on these work terms.

One work term,
we might be working in
an accounting firm.
The next work term,
we might be working in
the accounting department
of a huge company
or a tiny company
or a start up
or a charity.

These placements
allowed us to figure out
where we wanted to work
full time.

As Seth Godin
shares

“The best way
to plan a house
on a vacant piece of land
is to move into a tiny shepherd’s hut
on a corner of the property.
It’s not fancy,
and it’s not comfortable,
but you can probably stay there
for a week or two.

And during that week,
you’ll understand more
about the land
than you ever could
in an hour of walking around.
You’ll see how the rain falls
and the sun shines
and the puddles form.”

If you’re thinking about
building a business
in a new-to-you industry,
consider working in that industry
for a week or two or ten.
Test the industry
before investing all of your resources
into it.

By k | September 28, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In almost every industry,
there is a proven ‘fact’
being disputed.
In the medical industry,
this is the effectiveness of vaccines.
In the energy industry,
this is the existence of climate change.
In the romance novel industry,
this is reader adaptation of eBooks.

The folks heading these disputes
of the facts
are almost always the old guard,
the established companies,
the giants.

They have a vested interest
in fighting these facts.

As business builders,
as the new kids on the block,
we don’t.
We can build our businesses
around these facts.
We can embrace the future.

(Ironically,
many of the established businesses,
the businesses disputing the facts,
are also preparing for a time
when these facts are undeniable.)

Build your business
around facts.

(Seth Godin has a great post
about this.)

By k | September 26, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My Romance Novel Business
wasn’t the first business
I’ve launched.

I made many attempts
at other business ideas.
Some broke even
but didn’t grow.
Some failed.
Spectacularly.

Logic says
the failures should have
dissuaded me
from starting another business.

They didn’t.
If anything,
they convinced me more
that I was meant
for business building.

I had DONE it.
The venture might not
have been successful
but how many people
could say
they started a business?
Not many.

In August’s
West Jet Magazine,
Chris Riccobono,
co-founder of UNTUCKit,
shares

“I tried to escape
the corporate world
a few times.

I launched a video wine blog
in 2009
[called Pardon That Vine]
because of my love of wine,
especially from Italy, France,
and California,
and because I wanted to
try my own business
- I don’t like
working for other people.
I tried to make it into a business,
but it wasn’t meant to be.

It did give me confidence
to attempt something else,
though.”

Don’t be afraid
of failures.
Allow them to fuel you.