By k | November 11, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We often equate
adding value to adding features
but in this cluttered world,
simplicity appeals to many customers.

Glen Stansberry
asks

“Have you added extra features
to your product over the years
that nobody uses anymore?
Usually these changes come about
because competing often means
blindly copying the same features
as your top competitor,
without ever really asking why.

It’s important to
pinpoint these unnecessary features
for a few reasons.
Extra features that nobody really needs
are often costly from a development standpoint.
Eliminating these usually means
you’ll save money on development and support.
Unnecessary features also make
your product more cluttered
and harder to use,
which diminishes its value.”

Are all of the features
on your product
adding value?
Are they still relevant?

By k | November 10, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have an endless number of story ideas.
Coming up with ideas isn’t a challenge.
Coming up with valid marketable ideas is.

The idea, for me, is the start
of the process.
Before I write a story
based on this idea,
I look at the market,
at trends,
past sales,
reader preferences,
whether or not
this appeals to my current readers,
if it will expand my readership…

Then there’s execution.
The idea has no value
unless I deliver the product
based on this idea.

As Dr. Dave Popple,
a corporate psychologist,
shares

“Effective innovation is
50 percent data gathering,
10 percent brainstorming
and generative thinking,
and 40 percent execution.
Anyone can generate ideas,
but if they are not rooted in facts
and are impossible to execute,
they are worthless.”

Coming up with an idea
is a small part
of the innovation process.
Plan your time around this.

By k | November 8, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As entrepreneurs,
we can’t do everything.
There are so many tasks needed
to build a business
that doing all of them
is almost impossible.

We delegate.
We outsource.
We partner.

Which tasks should we do ourselves?

Seth Godin suggests
three reasons

you should consider
completing tasks yourself.
(listed from the worst reason to the best)

“0. Because you are the cheapest available worker.”
“1. Because people (clients) will notice when you do it.”
and
“2. Because you love it.
Because the work matters to you,
and this task, right now,
is the best version of the work you can find.”

I would advise that
you factor in
the opportunity cost of your time
(you could be completing another task)
when deciding
whether or not
you’re the cheapest available worker.

Don’t delegate what you love.

By k | November 7, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As a former newspaper reporter
and now a published writer,
I’ve been on both sides
of interviews.

The questions asked
drive the answers.
Form the question to be upbeat
and you’ll likely receive
a more positive answer.

Ask the question casually
and you’ll receive
a more casual answer.

Never ask multiple questions
all at once.

In October’s
Men’s Health,
sports sideline reporter
Erin Andrews
shares

“If you ask two questions at once,
you’re going to get
only one answer.”

In interviews,
questions drive the answers.

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

I know I’m pushing myself,
expanding as a person,
when I get a sick feeling
in the pit of my stomach.

Change is uncomfortable.
It is supposed to be.

In June’s
Men’s Health,
actor
Hugh Jackman
shares

“You want to get somewhere
you’re not physically?
It’s going to be uncomfortable.

The end result is good,
but it’s uncomfortable to change.
It’s frightening.

So in a way,
feeling comfortable is a warning sign.

Accepting this as part of life
was a big change for me.”

Are you too comfortable?

By k | November 5, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Successful people continuously improve.
They learn.
They push themselves.
They’re constantly changing.

In September’s
Men’s Health,
soccer/football star
Cristiano Ronaldo
shares

“I always try to improve.
Tomorrow I will be better
than today,
and next year will be better
than this one.
If I score 50 goals,
I want 55.

Some people say
I’m too serious on the pitch,
not smiling and so on.
It is because
I’m focused 100 percent
on every game.
I always want more and more.”

How have you improved today?

By k | November 4, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Being passionate
about anything is a choice.

I’ve done some yucky tasks
in my life
(mucking out barns in the spring,
moving overflowing outhouses,
telemarketing).
I could have been grumpy
while completing these tasks
but that wouldn’t have changed anything
except it would have punished myself
and everyone around me.
I choose to be cheerful.

In September’s
Men’s Health,
Mike Rowe,
host of Dirty Jobs,
shares

“Passion is important,
but why would you follow it?

Bring the passion with you
wherever you go.”

Passion comes from YOU,
not the task you’re completing.
It’s a decision you make.

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

One of the biggest challenges
entrepreneurs face
is learning how to let go,
realizing that we can’t control everything.

I can write a wonderful book (product)
with a wonderful cover (package)
and wonderful copy (marketing)
and the d*mn book won’t sell.
That is out of my control.

In September’s
Men’s Health,
Nascar driver
Brian Vickers
shares

“Obviously you want
to do everything you can
to better your situation
but just as important is
learning to let go.

All you can do is
look out the front windshield,
focus on what’s next,
and breathe.

You control everything you can;
the rest is up to fate.”

You can’t control everything.

By k | October 31, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m a hugger.
There’s nothing that relaxes me
more quickly
than hugging a loved one.

It turns out
hugging is an effective stress reliever.

In September’s
Men’s Health,
Amit Sood, M.D.
shares

“You’ll get the same relaxation
from five minutes
of greeting your family
as you would from two hours of TV.”

This relaxation flows
both ways.
You become more relaxed.
Your loved one becomes more relaxed.

Instead of grabbing that remote
at the end of a stressful day,
hug your spouse, your children, your pets.

By k | October 29, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Recently, I was brainstorming ideas
for new outlets for my writing.
I talked to fellow romance writers.
They told me to self-publish
or to submit to different publishers,
the same answers
I’d also give.

I then talked to creative folks
in different industries.
They suggested newsletter serials,
romance apps and games,
ideas for using my blog.
These ideas were fresh, exciting, different.

In April’s
Men’s Health,
Alaina G. Levine,
president of Quantum Success Solutions,
suggests asking someone outside your field.
“Think: ‘If I didn’t have X skill or Y experience,
how would this problem look?’”

If you want truly different ideas,
ask truly different people.
Talk to people outside
your industry.