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

I was groomed and mentored
when I worked for
a large beverage company
to be an executive.

I had to work constantly
to be respected,
to be taken seriously,
to be heard,
simply because I was female.

At first,
I liked the idea
of breaking the glass ceiling,
paving the way for other women.

But then reason kicked in.
Why fight the establishment
to run someone else’s business?
Why not take the energy
I’m using to fight this fight
to build my own business instead?

When we build our own businesses,
there are no glass ceilings.
We start at the top.
We can craft the culture.
We can hire anyone we wish.
Be an example to others.

Building your own business
is always an option.

By k | November 22, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the biggest struggles
in the Romance Novel Industry
is the control over story.
Who decides
what story
a bestselling writer
will write?

Publishers want control
over this.
Agents want control
over this.
Writers battle
to keep their control.

Why is this key?
Because story decides
everything else.
It is the beginning.
And it is often
the most unique piece.

Lawrence Levy,
Former CFO
of Pixar,
shares

“I can say that
whether you’re making
bottled water, mobile games,
or computer chips,
the decision of
who has control
over the creative elements
is among the most important
any team will make.

Fear and ego conspire
to rein in creativity,
and it is easy to allow creative inspiration
to take a back seat to safety.

It is one thing to cite the adage
“Story is king.”
It is another thing entirely
to live by it.”

Decide who has control
over the creative aspects
of your business.

By k | November 20, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I am, hands down,
my harshest critic.
None of my stories
are good enough for me.
I see every error,
every scene that could be improved.

I suspect you’re
your harshest critic also.
Business builders tend to be
this way.

If that’s true,
you need the equivalent
of an editor,
someone you trust,
someone who has your best interest
at heart,
someone who knows what your prospects
will want,
to tell you,
‘This is good enough.’

Find this person.
Listen to this person.
When she is happy,
ignore your inner critic,
and release your product
into the wild.

By k | November 18, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As business leaders,
we’ll fail.
We’ll make mistakes.
We’ll disappoint some people.

Because as
Seth Godin
shares

“…there has never been
a perfect leader.
There has never been
a flawless president.
There are always weaknesses,
foibles and scandals.
It takes more than a hundred years
before the patina sets in,
and even then,
most great leaders throughout history
had defects that would cause them
to wither under today’s profit-minded,
scandal-focused media.”

You won’t be a perfect leader
but you CAN be a great one.
You can make a difference.
You can change the world.

By k | November 17, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Business builders,
like you and I,
are either
super busy in December
because our customers are buying
during that month
or business is super slow
because our customers aren’t buying
and partners are on vacation.

If you’re super busy during December,
it makes sense to work hard
in November,
complete some of the projects
that don’t have to wait
until next month.
That will make
December less hectic.

If business is super slow during December,
it also makes sense
to work hard in November,
clear as much of next month’s workload
as possible
and have a truly relaxing December.

Let’s push it this month,
get tasks completed.

By k | November 15, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Romance is
one of the largest genres
in literature.

Because it is so large
and it is female-dominated,
there’s quite a bit of push back
from non-romance folks,
especially the media.

But romance survives
and thrives
because,
as romance writers, publishers,
other industry professionals
constantly remind readers ,
we’re fighting the good fight.

Romance novels are about
love, hope, and optimism,
a message many readers can believe in
and support.
It isn’t simply literature.
It is a CAUSE.

Denise Barreto,
Founder of
Relationships Matter Now,
shares

“People will do anything
for people that they believe in
or that believe in them.”

Give your customers,
employees, partners
something to belief in.

By k | November 14, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As we near
the end of the year,
many of us
are planning
new product/service releases
for 2017.

We should also consider
whether or not
we wish to retire older products/services.

Perhaps when we first started
our businesses,
we offered quite a few different products/services,
not knowing which one
would interest prospects
or ourselves.

Now, months or years later,
we have found our niche
and some of these offerings
don’t fit into that niche.
They’re distracting,
send a confusing message
to prospects.
Consider retiring these offerings.

Maybe you’ve updated
the product/service.
Consider retiring
the old product/service.

Maybe offering that product/service
at the market price
is too costly.
Consider retiring it.

Focus is powerful.
If a product/service isn’t adding value,
eliminate it.
Concentrate on the products/services
you DO want to offer.

As an aside:
I retired over 100 stories
in 2016.
My total sales increased.
A bigger selection
isn’t necessarily better.

By k | November 13, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m very fortunate
that one of my series
has attracted quite a few fans.
That popularity means
readers are writing fanfic.
They’re writing their own stories
about my characters.

It is extremely challenging
to hear about my characters
doing or saying or feeling things
I know they wouldn’t.

But I have to allow that
to happen.
These fans bought my books
and are now playing with my characters.
I didn’t intend for them
to write their own stories
for their personal use
but they have that right.
They aren’t hurting anyone else.
I have to let my product go.

Odds are…
right now,
someone is using your product
in a way
you’re rather she/he not use it.

If it isn’t hurting anyone,
you should allow them
to continue.

We have to let
our products go.

By k | November 11, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Today is Remembrance Day
in Canada.
One of the Remembrance Day exercises
my primary school teachers
would always give us
was to research our own family history
and share a story about a war,
any war,
with the class.

What this did
was make the event personal.
The hero of the story
wasn’t a stranger.
It was our mom,
our grandpa,
our great grandmom.

We cared about these relatives
and we paid special attention
to the stories others told
and the lessons taught
knowing that might have been
what these relatives endured.

This is what
great marketers do
with their product/service stories.
They make
the stories personal.
They make
us feel.

Make your marketing stories
personal
for your prospects.

By k | November 10, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I once interviewed with a manager
who complained
that her subordinates
didn’t take any initiative.
They did the bare minimum
and that was it.

The first day
I worked for her
I found out why.

One of my new co-workers
told me
this manager redid
anything they did.

She was right.
The manager redid all of my work.
I worked on
secret ‘extra’ projects
until I could transfer
out of her department.

Anita Campbell
shares

“…if you try to take over
or get involved with tasks
that you’ve entrusted
to members of your team,
it could have a negative impact
on employee initiative.

Team members might feel like
you don’t trust them enough
to do the work properly
—or they might just do
the bare minimum
because they assume
you’ll take over
the rest of the work anyway.”

Hire people you can trust.
Train them well.
And then allow them
to do their job.
There are other tasks
you should be doing.