By k | July 17, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was born with a heart defect.
One day,
it could be today
or it could be tomorrow
or it could be twenty years
from now,
it will kill me.

Living with this defect
has been a blessing in disguise.
I’ve never waited
to make a difference,
have never put off
changing the world
until tomorrow
because I might not have
that tomorrow.

And,
as Steve Jobs
shared

“Remembering that
you are going to die
is the best way I know
to avoid the trap
thinking you have something to lose.
You are already naked.
There is no reason
not to follow your heart.”

You’re only on this earth
for a short time.
Make that time count.

By k | July 16, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I email four writers daily.
All five of us
are successful in publishing
but we’ve all reached that level
in very different ways.
There’s no right way
to be successful.

Dick Costolo,
former CEO
of Twitter,
shares

“I don’t have any ego about
“You have to do this, this way.”
If there’s one thing
I think that I’m aware of,
and self-aware about,
it’s that there are
so many different ways
to be successful.
And having some specific
“this is the only way to do that”
never is a good way
to think about things.”

Are you looking at different ways
to become successful?

By k | July 15, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the most important things
and, for me,
the most challenging things
to do,
when asking for an opinion,
is actually shutting up,
letting the other person speak
and LISTENING
to that opinion.

The knee jerk response
is to explain,
to make excuses,
to try to direct the response.

Michael Lee Stallard
shares

“On a regular basis,
get in front of the people you lead
and share the issues
you are working on
and thinking about.
First, tell them what you are thinking.
I call this
“putting your cards
on the table.”
Next, ask people
what they think is right, wrong
and/or missing from your thinking.
Let them speak.
Just listen.
Don’t criticize.
Resist the temptation
to be defensive
if your view is challenged.
I also recommend
having someone else take notes
so you can give your full attention
to each speaker.
Thank people
when they share
their opinions and ideas.”

Ask others for opinions
and then LISTEN
to those opinions.

By k | July 14, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

No one wants to hear
about your job,
no matter how interesting
you think your job is.

The challenge
that an entrepreneur
or an artist
or anyone who lives and breathes
her ‘job’
faces
is our ‘jobs’ ARE our great loves,
our number one interests.
We WANT to talk about them
but we risk boring ‘normal’ people.

As an anonymous entrepreneur
on Reddit
shares

“Most ‘normal’ people can’t relate
and don’t enjoy talking
about being an entrepreneur,
so when you’re socializing
with those people
you have to keep your mouth shut
about what basically encompasses
your whole life.”

The solution?

Make friends with entrepreneurs
(or artists or whatever your passion is).
I meet once a month
with a group of writers
simply to talk
and it’s a beautiful experience,
well worth the time.

Consider reaching out
to fellow entrepreneurs.

By k | July 13, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies
was giving me a rough time
about not getting my nails
professionally done.

Her argument?
“Everyone gets their nails done.”

I’m not everyone.
Everyone doesn’t build businesses.
Everyone isn’t trying
to change the world.
Everyone doesn’t have
more important sh*t to do.

You’re not everyone either.
What is important to you
isn’t important to the average person.

And we should focus on
the important things.

As Donna Skeels Cygan,
author of
The Joy of Financial Security
shares

(referring to financially successful people)

“It’s about paying attention
to what makes you happy
and not just doing
what our society tells us to do.”

You’re not everyone.
Make your own decisions.

By k | July 12, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was working my a$$ off
yesterday
and a dear friend flippantly told me
“Work smarter, not harder.”

My reply?

What is working smarter?
What should I be doing?
Do you know?
Because I’m working like hell
trying to figure that out.

It takes years
of hard work
to work smarter.
Yes, I share tips here
about what might help
but it is exactly it
– it MIGHT help.
You don’t know until you try it
and trying it means working hard.

As Scott Ginsberg
shares

“And so, before we start
calculating efficiencies,
what’s more important right now
is volume and momentum and rhythm.
Putting boots on the ground
so we can gain traction.
Cranking out piles of work
so that we might find
our authentic voice.”

The first step to working smarter
is working harder.
There’s no escaping the hard work
so get to it!

By k | July 11, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It’s difficult to innovate
if we’re rushing from task to task.
Innovation requires time to think.

Seth Godin
shares

“Our job,
the reason we have time
to read blogs at work
or go to conferences
or write memos
is that our organization believes
that just maybe,
we’ll find and share a new idea,
or maybe
(continuing a run on sentence)
we’ll invent something important,
find a resource
or connect with a key customer
in a way that matters.”

If employers are giving
this free time to employees,
we, entrepreneurs, should consider
giving this free time
to ourselves.

Block free time to innovate.

By k | July 8, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If I can’t pitch a story
in one short sentence,
I don’t write it.
Why?
Because I know
I won’t be able to sell it
to publishers, editors, readers.

Reducing a 400 page novel
to 7 or 8 words
is challenging
but it brings clarity to the project.

Diane von Furstenberg,
fashion designer,
shares

“I think the most important thing
is to believe in what you do.
And identifying a goal,
to have clarity,
is very important.
You cannot fake clarity.
When you don’t have clarity,
you don’t.”

Can you sell your product
in one sentence?

By k | July 5, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We all need to vent
from time to time.
Things set us off
and we can’t keep our ranting
to ourselves.

There are places
we shouldn’t rant
– on any social media
related to our business
or personal brands,
in front of customers
or business partners
or hell, anyone we don’t 100% trust
who has a phone.

Rants recorded anywhere
have a lifespan of infinity
and will come back
to bite us in the a$$.

I have a small, select group
of people
I trust with my rants.
Normally, I’ll vent
with someone I trust
who is completely disconnected
to that industry.

If I’m venting about writing,
I’ll talk to someone
who can count on her fingers
how many books she’s read.

If I’m venting about business,
I’ll talk to (usually) my mom,
a woman who won’t even play Monopoly.

These trusted folks don’t care
about the topic I’m ranting about.
They aren’t fully listening
and are unlikely to remember.
I vent, let off some steam,
and then get back to work.

Find safe people to vent to.

By k | July 4, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Today is July 4th,
Independence Day in the U.S.

Independence Day,
not Safety Day,
not Be Cautious Day,
not Be Scared Day.

It’s a day to celebrate freedom.
Freedom to take risks.
Freedom to be who we want to be,
try what we want to try,
make the differences we want to make
in this world.

It is not only our right
but the expectation of our ancestors
that we do this,
that we push ourselves,
operate balls to the wall.

Honor them today
by doing something that scares you
just a tiny bit.
Be brave.
Be independent.