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

When I work in an industry,
I immerse myself in that industry.

I become passionate
about all aspects of it.
I read about it.
I reach out to other people
working in the industry.
I watch documentaries on it.
When I’m travelling
on vacation,
I explore the industry
in these other locations.

Why?

Because being passionate
about the products
I’m working with
makes it easier
to be innovative
with them.

Larry Smith,
one of the best professors
I’ve ever met,
shares

“When you find a domain
that engages your passion,
you want to understand it totally;
you naturally see gaps
that should be filled,
errors that should be corrected,
and innovations
that cry out for creation.
I defy anyone to be innovative
about a subject about which
they really do not care.”

Either enter an industry
that you’re passionate about
or find the passion
in the industry you’re currently in.

Passion is necessary
for innovation.

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

A rare few writers,
like a rare few entrepreneurs,
get lucky with their first releases.
The stars align.
Their books (products) go viral.
They are overnight successes.

Most writers,
however,
build their readership (customer base)
over many releases,
and many years.

Knowing this,
I enter niches
I know I can happily play in
for years
without having a breakaway success.

For writers,
this means being able to write
three or four books a year
for a decade or longer
without having the BIG hit.
If these books sell merely ‘okay’,
can I still afford to produce
more of them?
Will I WANT to produce
more of them?

Because to increase the odds
of being successful,
I have to plan on the long term.
If success happens sooner,
that’s great
but I can’t count on it.

Plan for long term success.

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

James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke
is a hit.
Almost every episode goes viral.

But it didn’t start that way.
When they first came up
with the idea,
no one, absolutely no one
wanted to be involved.

James Corden
shares

“If you imagine an artist,
just think of any artist in the world,
they said no to it.
I mean, everyone.
I’m talking, like,
who’s the dudes who did ‘Cotton Eye Joe’?
We were in those sorts of territories. …
And they’re like,
‘I’m not doing that.’”

He persisted
and had to basically trick
Mariah Carey
into participating.

And it was a success.

If you believe in your product,
you’ll figure out a way
to make it successful.

By k | June 12, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We all know someone
who is superb at what she does
but who is also a nasty person
to work with.

As business builders,
we might consider hiring her,
thinking she is the ‘rational’ choice.

She isn’t.

As business builders,
we’ll be working extremely long hours.
Clocking these hours
while dealing with a nasty person
will make our roles doubly difficult.

As Colin Hunter,
co-founder of
Alton Lane,
explains

“In a startup culture,
long days and weeks
are the norm.

It’s not uncommon to work
late into the night
on a variety of tasks,
so having that family culture
and a close-knit team
is really important to us
—people you want to spend
a lot of hours with.”

Hire competent people
you don’t mind
spending hours a day working with.

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

If you’re an entrepreneur,
has your business
reached a certain size
and stopped growing?

If you’re a corporate gal,
have you stopped
climbing the corporate ladder?

One reason might be
because you’re thinking and acting
like a boss,
not a leader.

Barry Moltz
has written an excellent post
outlining the differences
between bosses and leaders.

One difference is…

“Bosses may consider themselves
to be an “expert in everything”
and may think of themselves
as the only person
able to deliver a solution
to the entire team.

A leader may facilitate brainstorming
and encourage their team
to ask smart questions.
They may be more inclined than a boss
to make a decision
based on discussions
they’ve had with their team.
A leader may say
what they think needs to be done,
but the team members may help decide
how it’s actually executed.”

Act like a leader, not a boss.

By k | June 8, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Your big opportunity
could happen at any time
and that timing might not be ideal.

Shortly after giving birth,
opera singer
Sonya Yoncheva
was given a chance of a lifetime.

In May’s American Way,
she shares

“I was walking along Lake Geneva
with my newborn and my family
when I received the call.
The Metropolitan Opera had lost their Mimi
and wanted to know if I could step in.
I had only a few minutes to decide.

I’ve always wanted to sing Mimi
and this was one of the best productions
on one of the best stages in the world.
So I went for it.

The hardest part
was getting a passport and US visa
for my baby,
but we did it in only five days.

When you want something,
you have to go for it.”

By k | June 7, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I’m presented with an opportunity,
the first thing I ask myself
is
‘What are the odds
I’ll be presented with this opportunity
again?’

If the answer to this question
is
‘Not likely’,
I try my best to take advantage
of the opportunity
right away.

In May’s American Way,
actress Olivia Munn
shares advice
her mother gave her.

“She said,
‘I can always work hard
and find the money somewhere,
but you can never relive an opportunity.’
That’s what stuck with me.
I want the opportunities
and experiences.”

Think twice about
turning down opportunities.

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

Pulling all-nighters
to take advantage
of opportunities
or fix disasters
is part of being an entrepreneur.

But nothing messes with creativity
and thinking
like lack of sleep.

So can we make up
for an all-nighter
by sleeping more the next day?

Dr. Lawrence Epstein
says it’s possible
but it would mean
sleeping twice as long.

In May’s American Way,
he shares

“It is possible to make up for lost sleep,
but you have to do it
within 24 hours.
So if you got
only five hours of sleep last night,
you need to sleep two extra hours tonight
or take a two-hour nap early enough today
that it doesn’t prevent you
from falling asleep at night.”

We CAN make up
for an all-nighter
but it means spending
much of the next day
sleeping.

By k | June 5, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Someone thinks
something you’re planning to do
is impossible.
I can guarantee that.
It doesn’t matter
what that something is.

Three decades ago,
I thought making a living
by writing books was impossible.
Today, I’m doing exactly that.

As Muhammad Ali,
one of the most famous boxers
that ever lived,
once stated

“Impossible is just a big word
thrown around by small men
who find it easier to live in the world
they’ve been given
than to explore the power
they have to change it.

Impossible is not a fact.
It’s an opinion.

Impossible is not a declaration.
It’s a dare.

Impossible is potential.
Impossible is temporary.
Impossible is nothing.”

When someone tells you
something is impossible,
it tells you more about that someone
than it does about the task
you’re attempting to complete.

As Rodgers And Hammerstein
once wrote,
impossible things are happening
every day.

Do the impossible.

By k | June 4, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Months ago,
I was told in a webinar
that over 4,500 books
were released on Amazon
EVERY DAY.
I suspect that number has increased.

The odds of finding success
with a book release
is almost zero.

But some writers will.
One or two or three writers
will make a million dollars
with their book release.
That’s also almost guaranteed.

Seth Godin
shares

“The numbers are so daunting
that the chances that
you will create something
that resonates, spreads
and changes the culture
are really close to zero.

But it’s also certain that
someone will.
In fact,
there’s a 100% chance
that someone will step up
with an action or a concept
so daring
that it resonates with us.

Nearly zero and certain.
At the same time.”

Success isn’t guaranteed
but neither is failure.
All we can do is try.