By k | July 17, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies
has been winning
every writing contest she enters.

She’s gifted.
She works hard.

She never finishes a story.

She has a huge collection
of contest winning stories,
stories editors have asked to see.
None of these stories have an ending.

If she doesn’t finish a story,
it doesn’t matter
how talented she is
or how hard working.
She’ll never be a published writer.

There are NO successful
unfinished projects.

Finish what you’ve started.

By k | July 15, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin
shares

“For me,
the trick is not to represent the client,
or the publisher,
or the merchant.
The trick is to represent the project,
to speak up for the project,
to turn it into what it needs to be.”

I completely agree.
I’d also add that
the key to representing a project
is understanding what the goal of a project
truly is.

The goal of a book launch
appears simple.
It’s to sell a zillion books, right?

That might be the goal.
Or the goal could be
- for the story to be read by the greatest number of people
(many people buy books and don’t read them)
- to make the author money
- to reach a certain group of readers
- to draw attention to a cause
- to sell the author’s consulting fees
- for the book to be on shelf in the author’s favorite bookstore
etc.

Each ‘project’ would have a different plan.

Represent the project
but know what that project’s goal is.

By k | July 14, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the lessons I learned
from the 2014 FIFA World Cup
is that,
yes, superstars matter.
They attract other quality players.
They inspire their teammates.
They push everyone around them
to be better.

But superstars don’t win games
on their own.
They NEED a team of strong players
supporting them.
They can’t play every second
of every game.
They can’t score goals
and defend the net
by themselves.

If you’re a superstar
(and if you’re reading clientk,
I suspect you are),
remember this.
Build a strong team around you.

If you’re managing superstars,
remember to manage
and support the entire team.

Superstars get the media attention
but strong teams win games.

By k | July 9, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The big 5 publishers
are battling Amazon,
trying to force the book giant
to change their processes.

It won’t work.

Why?
Because Amazon is customer focused
and publishers have very little customer contact.

Writers, however, have constant customer contact
and
Amazon is very good to us
(something Barnes & Noble hasn’t figured out).

Amazon makes it easy to promote our books
(giving us landing pages on their site,
buy buttons for their websites,
even affiliate income)
and because it is easy,
we drive more readers to their site.

Take care of everyone
who touches your customers,
whether they work for you
or work with you.

By k | July 6, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I prefer to work with people I trust.
I don’t trust anyone blindly.
I certainly don’t hand over the keys to my future
and walk away.
But I want to know that
when my back is turned,
they’re continuing to be professional
and to do what we agreed on.

Bill Murphy Jr.
shares

“If you can’t trust the people
on your team,
then they shouldn’t be on your team.
You need to trust their integrity,
their judgment,
their confidence and their passion
–and you need to ensure that
they understand how much
you depend on them.”

Trust is even more important
to me
than skill or intelligence.
A smart skilled person I don’t trust
can cause complete chaos,
undoing everything I’ve worked
to achieve.

Hire, partner, delegate to people you trust.

By k | July 3, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In order to stay relevant,
employees, managers, consultants, entrepreneurs
have to stay current.

In July/August’s
The Costco Connection,
Joseph Sherren
shares

“For people who have not participated
in a professional development program
in the last 12 months,
their expiration is coming soon.
For those who have not read a book
in the last 6 months,
it will come even faster.”

I personally don’t think this is enough,
not to excel or even to survive
in a field.

I write for one of the big five publishers
yet I take a least one writing course
every month.
I have to.
Language is constantly changing.

Yes, language is changing.
How I communicated a thought last year
is different than how I communicate it this year.

Take a course.
Read a blog post.
Attend a seminar.
Keep current.

By k | July 2, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A clientk reader emailed me
and took me to task
for advising entrepreneurs
to work, work, work
all of the time.

My response is

1) I don’t know a successful entrepreneur
who doesn’t work harder
than the average corporate employee.
We’re passionate about our businesses.

If someone is looking for reduced hours,
I don’t recommend starting a company.

and

2) I’m not saying work all the time
BUT I also don’t think
we have to stick to a corporate schedule.
(I’m referring to fellow entrepreneurs,
not our employees)

We don’t have to work 9am to 5pm.
We can work 9pm to 5am
if that is our preference.
We don’t have to take July 4th off.
We can take July 11th off.

We can do whatever works for us.
If our competition is sleeping this week,
it might make sense to be awake.

We should take into account customer demands
but we truly ARE our own bosses.
WE set our schedules.

Run your business your way.

By k | July 1, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It’s summer.
Friday is July 4th, a holiday.
The average employee in a large corporation
is trying to finish the tasks already on her desk.
She wants to leave early
EVERY day.
She isn’t thinking about new opportunities.
She certainly isn’t hustling for business.

(I know.
I was once this employee.)

Lucky her, right?
No.
Lucky YOU.

You have first dibs
on all of the business opportunities this week.
And there WILL be business opportunities.
Emergencies arise.
Reporters still need quotes for their articles.
Shit happens.
The world doesn’t stop turning
because Friday is a holiday.

I’ve already benefited from this corporate laziness.
A reporter contacted all of the better selling writers
at one of my large publishers.
They were ‘on vacation.’
(or rather, their assistants were)
I wasn’t.
I snagged the spot.
These better selling writers didn’t.

Take advantage of the corporate lethargy
this week.

By k | June 26, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yes, you read the headline right.
Can you afford to pay your employees
the lowest legal wage?

Companies like Walmart or McDonald’s
compete on price.
They seek to pay their employees
the minimum
because their customers’ primary concern
is getting the lowest price.

You and I can’t supply the lowest price.
In my business
(romance novels),
the lowest price is free.
I can’t give all of my stories away
and make a profit.
I’d be surprised if you,
as a small to mid-sized business owner,
could offer a lower price
than the Goliaths in your industry.

That’s not why our customers buy from us.
They expect service,
individual attention,
special treatment.
Is a minimum wage earning employee
going to give them this treatment?


As Rick Newman
shares

“A well-known 2006 study
by Wayne F. Cascio
comparing Costco’s business practices
to those of Sam’s Club
— which aggressively works to keep wages
and labor costs as low as possible —
found “Costco’s productive workforce
more than offset its higher costs.”

Yes, keep employee costs low
but realize that too low has a cost to it also.

By k | June 22, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Writers with publishers
are paid in normally two ways
- royalties
(they receive a % of every sale)
or
advances on royalties
(which is exactly that,
an advance representing a portion
of what the publisher thinks
the total royalties will be).

Some writers want to leave
their publishers
and self publish
but they’ve already spent their advances
and they can’t wait
for their self publishing venture
to pay.
They’re stuck.

And that’s one of the problems
with playing with other people’s money.
It can give these other people a control
over your business.

Mike Michalowicz
shares

“Grow Your Business by Raising Money
The reason this piece of advice is a flop
is because it suggests that raising money
—in and of itself—
is the end result,
rather than a means to an end.
While there may be times
when you need an infusion of cash
to accomplish a goal,
the mistake is in making raising money
your primary objective.
Investors want to bet on success,
and the real value of a company
isn’t how much cash it can raise
but how much good, successful work’s being done.
Don’t spend your time
chasing other people’s money
(which is far too easy to spend).
Instead, spend your efforts
earning your own money.”

Be VERY careful with other people’s money.