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

Doing anything completely solo
is challenging,
especially business building.

Even if I have a solo venture,
I always try to have people
I can ask for help
if something urgent comes up
in another part of my life.

John Rampton
shares

“While some have done it,
it’s definitely much harder
to launch a business
as a single parent
or
as a single startup founder with a family.

Unless your business is something
you can integrate into your family life
or do entirely in your off hours
(like a lifestyle blog),
find a co-founder
who can share the responsibilities
and lighten your load.”

I don’t have co-founders
but I do have resources I can rely on.

Success is a team sport.
Don’t try to do this alone.

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

Award winning
children’s writer
Beverly Clearly
recently turned 100.

How did she get the idea
for her first successful story?

From listening to her target audience.

She shares

“I know that
when I was a children’s librarian,
that was about 1940,
boys particularly asked
where were the books
about kids like us,
and there weren’t any
at that time.”

What products
are your target audience
asking for?

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

I had over 100 stories published
before I had a financially successful story.
Yep, 100.
Many writers would have given up.
Not me.
I have a passion for writing.
I have no problems with hard work.
I continue learning with each story.
And I would have written them anyway,
even if I hadn’t received
ANY sales ever from my stories.

Steve Jobs
once shared

“People say
you need to have
a lot of passion
for what you’re doing
and it’s totally true.

And the reason is
because it’s so hard
that if you don’t [have it]
any rational person would give up.

So if you don’t love it
and you’re not having fun doing it
you’re going to give up.

If you don’t love it,
you’re going to fail.

So you’ve got to love it
and have passion.”

There are almost unlimited businesses
you can build.
Build one that you’re passionate about.

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

Most business builders are control freaks,
at least in a small way.
We feel the need to be involved
in every decision,
to be part of every step
in the process.

That’s not possible.
Even if we’re one woman businesses,
we lose control of the product
once the customer has bought it.

And if we want to scale,
we need to learn to delegate,
to trust others to make decisions.

Seth Godin
shares

“Caring matters.
Your contribution makes things better.
But when the need for control
starts to get in the way
of your people doing their best work,
caring about their craft
and scaling their efforts,
and when the need for control
starts to make you crazy,
it might be worth thinking
about that wedding in Baton Rouge
that went just fine without you.”

Learn how to delegate
and let go,
but take comfort in knowing
that many of us
find this a challenge.

Hopefully,
the business you’re building
is one you feel passionately about,
one you live and breathe
and think about every day
because you care about it.

When that happens,
you see business lessons everywhere.

On Friday, I watched two movies.
Both targeted the teen audience
Both dealt with teen issues.

They were two completely different
types of movie
and two completely different
business models.

One–Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
–was quirky and raw
and was clearly not made for mass consumption.
The other–Paper Towns
–was clever and slick
and was meant for the masses.

Both were successful in their own way.
Paper Towns made much more profit
but that was what it was designed to do.
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl was
much more innovative
but, again, that was what it was designed to to.

What is the purpose of YOUR business?
Is your barometer of success aligned with that purpose?

By k | April 2, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As a writer, I deal with criticism
and harsh feedback
every dang day
from just about everyone
(including partners
like editors).

I’m accustomed to it.

On Thursday,
however,
a well known writer
posted publicly
on Facebook
about how much
she hated the ending in one of my books.

Hey, that happens.
I sent her a private message
apologizing for upsetting her
and explaining why that ending was necessary.

We talked through it.

She didn’t remove her post.
And hundreds of people chimed in,
sharing how much they hated writers
who did what I did,
giving their bullsh*t theories on
why I wrote what I did,
ranging from being a money grabber
to a hack trying to make a name for herself.
Criticism built upon criticism,
becoming more and more personal,
more and more mean,
until there was no way I could defend myself.
It was a dog pile.
They had jumped on top of me,
beating me down,
not giving me a chance to breathe.

This was a step farther
than group criticism
but group criticism
(which has become popular in some organizations)
can feel the same way.

It might seem efficient
to have multiple people critique an employee
at the same time
but I doubt that it is as effective.

Criticize one-on-one,
not in a group.

By k | March 31, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my publishers
is getting into a legal pissing match
with me.
They assume that,
like many writers,
I don’t have the resources
(money, connections, time)
to fight them.

They know f*ck all about me.

And you know f*ck all
about the people around you.

Your number one employee,
the lady who arrives at the job
before everyone else
and leaves after them,
might not be desperate
to hold onto her job.
She might be independently wealthy
and simply LOVE her job,
LOVE being part of your organization.
She might be the second cousin
of your number one customer.

You don’t know.

When you go into battle
with anyone,
there are likely to be
some surprises.
Assume the worst.
Prepare for the worst.

You’re battling the unknown.

By k | March 30, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My books (products) usually have
3 rounds of revisions
with a professional editor.

The first round looks
at all of the huge story problems.

The second round looks
at any remaining big problems,
medium problems
like pacing,
and the smaller errors
like grammar or word usage.

The third round looks
at the small errors.

Why doesn’t my editor
look at the small errors during round one?
She could
but why?
If the scene doesn’t work,
it makes no sense fixing a sentence in it.

I see this in business building all the time.
Some folks dwell on the little details
when the big problems haven’t been solved.

Seth Godin
shares

“There are endless small details
to get right
before you have something
that you’re truly proud of.
No doubt about it.
But there are frightening and huge holes
in any bridge to the future,
and until you figure out
how to get across,
I’m not sure it matters
if you have a typo on page 4.”

Focus on the big problems first.

By k | March 28, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If we’ve disappointed a customer,
delivering on our original promise
is the bare minimum of we must do
but that bare minimum
won’t make up for the disappointment.
It won’t make it right.

(If you’re confused on
what the original promise is,
ask the customer
“How can I make this right for you?”
Her first answer is the BARE MINIMUM.)

Replacing a defective product
won’t ‘make it right.’
It won’t compensate
for the disappointment
and the hassle of having to contact us.
It likely won’t keep that customer.
She’ll look at other companies
the next time
she needs the product.

Making it right
means doing more.
It means giving disappointed customers extra,
going that one step farther
because we know
we f*cked up.

It usually means sending a bonus
with the replacement product.
This bonus could be an additional product,
an extended warranty,
a package of chocolates,
a personalized handwritten note
from the CEO.
This something should surprise and delight
the customer.

To overcome a customer’s disappointment,
we should do MORE.

By k | March 27, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I received a few complaints
about my post on PMS.
These were from male readers
who were ‘uncomfortable’
that I was dealing with
‘female’ issues.

I was asked
by Jscott to blog for him
(on the old Road To Forbes site)
over a decade ago
because he felt I had insights
to share
and because there weren’t
very many business babes blogging.

There still aren’t.

Most of the advice I give
here
is applicable to any gender.

But,
as one of the few females
in the business blogosphere,
I feel it is my responsibility
to share female-specific advice
also.

Does this mean
I’m writing these posts
for my female readership only?

No.
Because, if you’re a man,
odds are…
you’re working with females,
perhaps managing females,
perhaps selling to females.

You should know this shit
or, at the very least,
be aware of it.
You don’t want to be the asshat manager
who asks a female coworker
why she schedules more meetings
during a certain week of the month.

So yes, I will deal with female issues
and I should deal with them
because there aren’t many of us
tackling these subjects.