By k | July 3, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I baked banana muffins yesterday.
There are two ‘tricks’
to making great muffins.

1) Don’t stir the ingredients
too much.

It is tempting to stir
until the batter is ‘perfectly’ smooth.
That will ruin the muffins.
The best batter is slightly lumpy.

and

2) Take the muffins out
before they are fully baked.

If you wait
until the muffins are
‘perfectly’ baked,
they will be dry,
overdone.
It is best to take the muffins out early
and allow them to finish baking
while cooling.

Yes, in order to bake
great muffins,
the baker has to
tolerate imperfection.

Business building
is very much the same way.

We have to tolerate imperfection
in order to launch
great products
and build
great businesses.

Don’t strive for perfect.
Strive for GREAT.
These are two
very different things.

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

A couple of months ago,
I deliberately went a week
without working
on my writing business.

I wanted to see
if my business could survive
without me.
Would my sales remain constant?

There WAS a decrease
but sales were healthy.
And I uncovered
the high maintenance parts
of my business.

Lindsey Peers,
owner of
The Craft Studio,
shares

“In order to grow,
you have to step away.
You have to choose
what aspects of the business
need you,
and how you can make things run
if you can’t be there
for weeks at a time.”

Can your business run without you?

By k | July 1, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If you tell a large group of people
what you’re going to do,
at least one of those people
will say you shouldn’t do it
or you can’t do it.
It doesn’t matter
what that thing is.

I told a neighbor
I was going across the road
to the grocery store
and buying milk.
He told me
I should buy milk
at a different store.

Kate Winslet,
an Oscar winning actress,
shared

“When I was younger,
when I was only fourteen,
I was told by a drama teacher
that I might do okay
if I was happy to settle for
the fat girl parts.

Look at me now.
Look at me now.

And so what I feel like saying
in those moments
is any young woman
who has ever been put down
by a teacher
or a friend
or even a parent,
just don’t listen to any of it.

Because that’s what I did.
I didn’t listen
and I kept on going…”

If you TRULY want to do something,
do it.
Don’t listen to the people
who say you can’t or you shouldn’t.

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

A story of mine is due
to my editor-for-hire
tomorrow.

Normally, it takes me
two months to write a story
of this length.
I wrote this story in a month
(and I’m damn happy with it).

It came with sacrifice.
I didn’t leave the house all month.
I didn’t see friends,
saw very few family members.
I didn’t sleep much.
I worked long hours.
I was a bit grumpy.

But everyone knew I was
on this tight deadline
and they accepted that.
They also know
the push will be over tonight.

Tomorrow,
I will be brain dead.
It also won’t be
a working day.
Friends and family will expect
to see me,
to spend time with me.

We all have to push it
from time to time.
The key is
to have an end date
for this push,
communicate it to loved ones,
and spend time with them
once the end date has passed.

By k | June 29, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Idris Elba
shares

“I’m not afraid to fail.
I’m not afraid to fall over,
to make a mistake.
That often times
cripples people
on the onset of
getting into anything.
The first time I ever picked up
a DJ deck was horrible.
But I’m not afraid of that.
I’m not afraid of that feeling.
It actually propels me,
works quite the opposite.”

The key for me
in dealing with failure
is viewing it
as a step toward success.

Failure isn’t the end.
It is part of the journey.
Look at failure
as proof that you’re closer
to your goal.

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

A romance writer told me
yesterday
that she didn’t give a shit
about Brexit.

I care.

The UK is my second largest source
of romance eBook sales
(the first being the USA).
That alone makes the situation
worth understanding.

Brexit will have a major impact
on what stories are popular.
I haven’t yet figured out
where tone will go.
I suspect stories set
outside the real world
will gain in popularity.
Contemporary romance
will be even more challenging to sell.

And that’s simply the impact
on the romance novel industry.

The world significantly changed
last week.
Even if you only do business
within the USA,
Brexit will have consequences
for your business.

Whether or not
this change is good or bad
depends on your industry
and your business
and how you respond to it.

You don’t have to understand
the details of Brexit
(I don’t think anyone
fully understands that)
but you should try to understand
how it will change your business.

The world is small.
Major world events
will change the future
of your business.

By k | June 26, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A healthy vibrant industry or niche
has competitors.
Why?
Because competitors push
each other.
I write more words
when I know
other writers are writing.
The big beverage company
I worked for
constantly tried to outdo
their competition
with creative marketing.

But constantly comparing
yourself or your business
to others
can
be damaging for your confidence
IF
you do it the wrong way.

Katie Bingham-Smith
shares the most common error.

“The thing is,
when we compare ourselves
to others,
more often than not,
we are comparing
our worst moments,
our weaknesses,
to
their strengths.”

If you’re going to benchmark
against someone,
track ALL their movements
-the good and the bad,
the successes and the disasters.

By k | June 24, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A year ago,
I was the least seasoned,
least successful writer
in a boxed set of 20 writers.

It was a bit intimidating.
They were better than me
at…well…everything.
I felt stupid and useless.

So I kept my mouth shut
and learned.
I learned more with that boxed set
than I’d learned in the previous year.
Not only did that boxed set
end up on the USA Today Bestselling List
but my skills jumped
two or three levels.

Seth Godin
shares

“It takes guts for an employee
or a group member
to aggressively try to persuade people
more passionate,
more skilled or smarter
to join in,
because by raising the average,
they also expose themselves
to the fact that they’re not as good
as they used to be
(relatively).”

If you want to improve
quickly,
team with people
who are better than you.

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

I always knew
I’d be a published writer
some day.
However,
I had sh*t I wanted to do
in other industries first.
I launched new products,
implemented new systems.

And I didn’t talk about
my writing goals.

I wasn’t ready
to work on the writing
and I didn’t want people
to ask about it.
I had other things to talk about.

Seth Godin
shares
another reason
to keep plans for the far future
quiet.

“At first,
it seems as though
the things you declare,
espouse and promise
matter a lot.
And they do.
For a while.

But in the end,
we will judge you on
what you do.
When the gap
between
what you say
and
what you do
gets big enough,
people stop listening.”

Don’t share your plans
before you’re ready
to take action on them.

By k | June 21, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Sunday revealed episodes
of two big TV shows
- Game Of Thrones
and Penny Dreadful.

Normally,
the time slots for these shows
are different.
Viewers can watch both.

This week,
Penny Dreadful,
the show with the smaller viewership,
overlapped their two-hour ending
with the Game Of Thrones slot.
This forced viewers to choose,
which made viewers unhappy
and lowered viewership
for both shows.

Why they did this?
I don’t know.

Recently,
I found out that a much beloved writer
in a niche I’m writing in
was re-releasing a popular series
along with a new story
in the same month
as one of my books was releasing.

I changed my release date.

Readers, book bloggers and reviewers
were thrilled.
They didn’t have to choose
who to support,
who to promote,
who to read.
They viewed it
as me being respectful of their niche,
identifying me as one of their tribe.

The other writer was grateful.
She is promoting me
to her much larger readership.

If you can avoid
head-to-head competition
with other people/companies
in your niche,
consider doing so.