It’s First Thursday when we are challenging ourselves to examine where we are. Well, today is no different than last month with that conversation. But today, I’m steering the conversation around your thinking about wealth & wealth creation.
Ask yourself this question: Do I have an “occupational or industrial age” mindset. This can be characterized by minimizing, restricting and living within your means. Or are you in the “entrepreneurial” mindset, which is characterized by expanding, creating and generating wealth.
If you’re an occupational thinker; don’t fret. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s how we were raised. Many of us were raised in the post-Great Depression era where we learned from our parents, teachers and those around us that getting a job and working hard would get us the American dream. It would be a secure future and we’d survive. This industrial way of thinking made sense back then since it got us out of that first depression. BUT times have changed. Although it may not be completely outdated to think like that and tie yourself to extremely limiting behaviors and conversation about wealth. It’s no longer serving us.
However, if you’re an entrepreneurial thinker, your mind is open to wealth-building, it readily accepts new challenges, and meets opportunity at the door. You take risks, you self-start, you’re visionary, you’re outside of the box, you demonstrate agility, you’re innovative, you’re resourceful and you’re poised for much more and far greater.
So…what conversation are you having around money and wealth? Business or career? Moving or standing still?
Right now, the work world is having this conversation. Men and women across the world are challenging themselves into a new mindset. What about you? Since March of 2020, US workers have quit their jobs more than any other time since they began recording labor statistics. Although COVID pushed many; many more made a different decision stemming from the internal question that only you can answer for yourself. Am I going to build wealth for them or will I build this wealth for my own family? You get to choose.
This is just a conversation starter about the future. Do you have a plan for it or are you letting someone else plan it for you? I’d like to know. Share thoughts.
Always- To Your Success,
Hello everyone, it’s THERMOSTAT THURSDAY! You know that the first Thursday of the month I encourage you to take a look at where YOU are. It’s time to take our temperature. It’s already 3rd quarter, can you believe it? The time is surely flying and we do not want to stay in stagnant places -wondering where all the time went, but not making the most of the time we have.
I’d like to share a quick story with you. As we were planning our vacation this year we knew that our trip was going to include being on the water. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always gotten motion sickness (planes, buses or boats; carnival carousels or even roller coasters). I just did not feel very good after riding. Bring it up to adulthood, I’ve done well as an adult because I could pick and choose what things I would do or not do based on how it made me feel. In 206, we took our kids on a cruise. Like most cruises, we took a few excursions onto the smaller islands. Well, on this day we had to take a smaller boat over to the island of Belize. Oh my goodness, the boat and the waves was too much for your sister and like clockwork, I started getting sick. I tried my very best not toss my cookies in front of my kids or the other passengers. But it was hard. I swallowed hard, over and over. OMG! My eyes were watered, my throat was burning and pushing my breakfast back down my throat was trouble. Needless to say, my sweet kids and husband are all attentive to me. I couldn’t even answer them for fear of anything I didn’t want to fall out of my mouth. I just nodded my head yes and closed my eyes until we got to the shore. Of course, I was the first person off the boat and I had to take it easy on the island. Well, since then my kids have been freaked out about mom and boats.
Well, fast forward to just about 4 weeks ago and my kids started asking me about if I was going to get sick when we went to Miami. Collectively, and each one of them individually asked me with real concern in their eyes. I told them all - I would be fine. And to make good on that promise, I called my PCP and asked him to give me a prescription for motion sickness. I shared we would be traveling. Plus, it was confirmed that we’re going to be chartering a boat and I DID NOT want to ruin the trip by getting sick. Plus, I really wanted to enjoy it. It’s been a SUPER long 18 months of lockdown with no travel. My kids are growing up or should I say, just about grown. The traditional family vacations with my husband and our kids will be changing. They’re older, will be wanting to add plus ones and I wanted to savor a moment with the Gines Group. There was no way I was not going to give any chance of a puke fest happening on this trip. Absolutely Not and especially if I could help it. So, I felt very good when I picked up my prescription a few days before we left for the trip. My PCP came through, whoop whoop.
Now , let me tell you the REALLY good part. The part that was good for me, but good for you too. The day we chartered the boat and we were getting on the elevator of our hotel headed to the dock. The kids asked me again, “Mom, are you good?” I said “Yes, I am.” When we got to the marina and saw The Wave Mistress, I stepped aboard as though I’ve been on yachts all my life. I was feeling it! For real, I was feeling it. We had gone to the grocer to pick up what we wanted the captain to prepare for us and we gave everything to the concierge. I took my seat right out front deck and just looked at the water, the amazing homes around the Marina and I enjoyed Miami in a way I never had before. It was breathtaking! I removed the obstacle. It was so much better than trying to rely on my own ability to handle it. No, it was gratifying to not even have that as an issue. Now, this is for you. There was a time in my life I wouldn’t have dared to even get on a boat other than a cruise ship and even those made me somewhat sick, but I’d muscle through. I would make myself handle it. But this time, I got the help I needed and it made all the difference in the world. It was not only the way I felt, but in the way I was able to experience life in a new way, unhindered and unafraid. I stood up out there and just yelled, “YES!” Yes, I Can. Yes, I feel Great. Yes, my life is Amazing! It was a liberating moment for me.
I hope that as you look ahead to 3rd Quarter 2021 and your goals, your challenges, your triumphs and your charge. Ask yourself this question, what do I have to do to remove obstacles that might be getting in the way of me living your best life NOW? Is it a real obstacle or perceived? Can it be changed with the change of your mindset? Can it be changed by asking for help? Do you want to remove the obstacle? I challenge you this week, ask for the help you need? Think about an obstacle that’s been troubling you and write it down. Now, think about who might be able to help you think about that obstacle differently or help you remove the obstacle altogether. I want to encourage you to do it. I made a phone call and got what I needed to remove the motion sickness challenge for me and it made ALL the difference in the world, to me, my children, my vacation and my life.
Now, I have no fear about going on the water and getting sick. I can go anywhere I want on any method of transportation and have no issues. I’m so psyched about that. As always, I want to help you with your goals for success and the final word for today is remove the obstacle. You can do it! I did!
To Your Success,
P.S. If you need assistance with writing your book, organizing our thoughts for a book, or maybe even you’ve written a book but you want to breathe new energy into again. That’s where I can help. Reply back and ask about the new AUTHORity ACADEMY™ Coaching Program. It’s new and it’s me- helping YOU get the obstacles out of the way and making you an AUTHORity in your field. Click the link here, to download the pdf to learn more.
I know, I know. As if you need another tool, but this one is truly a must have. Remember, the last Thursday of the month I’m focusing completely on Tools that make life just a little bit easier. And this my friends is one of them. Let me introduce you to: Unroll.me. The best thing about Unroll.me is that it is as simple as it can get. It cleans up your inbox. Email a headache? This is your Ibuprofen, quick fix! Try it.
The best thing about Unroll.me is that it is as simple as it can get. It cleans up your inbox by categorizing your subscriptions in the form of a virtual roll-up. You can access it whenever you have some free time.
Here are the Very Best features:
To Your Success,
Anyone who knows me knows that I often have a very hefty load on my plate. You too? Most everyone I know has a lot going on, so I think you’ll find this blog a little helpful. Does your brain get busy? At least that's what I thought last Tuesday night. I was frazzled, a bit overwhelmed and wasn't sure how to get myself out of my creative pothole.
Instead of whining or complaining, I decided to embark on a mini mission. Much akin to the “Happiness Project” where the book's author taught herself how to truly be happy. Well, my project wasn't so much about being happy but more about letting my creativity run freely. I had gotten sucked into a place of thinking about the same things, days, work and stuff that I realized I hadn’t thought of anything fun, new or exciting for myself in a while. Isn’t it funny how you can do all that for others, but run dry when you try to do it for you? Well, I wasn’t going to let that go. Instead, I decided to shake my brain up a bit and get my creativity working for me.
Here was the first thing I did and it worked, so I’m sharing it with you.
Unplug. I made it my mission to spend at least one afternoon completely unplugged. Sound impossible? It isn’t, it just takes doing it. I promise, you’ll live to blog about it. In fact, you must do it. Not only is it great for your data plan (data plans are the worst) but it actually refreshes the mind to mentally check out from your phone. Why? Because mobile devices are entirely distracting. What I've noticed with mobile devices is that my mind is constantly focused on it, even when it isn't in my hand. “What next on my list to do? Who is calling/texting/tweeting me? Did I send that email?” Sounds familiar? So many of those questions pop into my mind and it can be overwhelming. I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Did you know there is a ‘National Day of Unplugging' that calls for users to “Stop the constant emailing, texting, tweeting and Facebooking to take time to notice the world around you. Unite with loved ones. Cherish your health. Go outside. Find silence.” This mobile-silence can reset your mind and get you back on track in no time. Don’t just take my word for it, try it for yourself. Then, come tell me what happened. I can’t wait to hear it. The more you find a way to refresh, the further you’ll be able to go.
To Your Success,
I share tips and tools each week that I hope can help you do what you’re doing successfully. But II wanted to take some time out to ask you about you and what your needs are. I know as I’ve grown and Purpose Publishing right along with me, there is much that I’ve learned but so much more that I’ve needed help with. Whether it’s time to reinvent yourself and start maximizing your full potential. Let us know. We turned 11 years old this month. As a wonderful birthday present, we want to hear from you. Take this quick 7 question survey and help us help you.
Take the survey and be entered in a drawing to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
To Our Success,
Small businesses often have an extremely constricted marketing budget to use, if at all. Often, this poses a challenge to promoting your business successfully. But that’s okay because today I’m sharing an uncommon marketing tactic that many big companies use to share their products and/or services. So, why not you? There are plenty of ways for you to market yourself to your customers without spending any (or much) money. Let’s start with this one: Team up and Jump out!
Connect with a business related to your industry (but not a direct competitor) for a joint project. This can be done locally and offline through some kind of special event, or online (which could still be done locally) with a class, webinar or promotional giveaway.
Partnering with another business means twice as much notice and exposure. It also introduces each of you to a whole new audience related to your niche. It’s a win-win!
Industry partnerships are a great marketing tactics because they allow small business owner’s access to marketing know-how, technology, and customer bases that they could not have achieved on their own. You must put careful thought and effort in if you want to form a profitable partnership. Clarify expectations, engage with and vet different businesses, assess how you can work together, and have several conversations before making things official. But once it’s official and yielded good success, take a bow. You made a new colleague and garnered new business for yourself.
Do you want some examples or ideas? Reach out to us and share. We’re happy to give you some feedback and things to consider. We’re here to help you.
To Your Success,
Productive members of society are the backbone of our world and our communities.
Individuals that make little or no contribution to society are an encumbrance to it. That said, all work and no play make Jane a dull girl as they, so there’s no plea to look down on people that want to have a little enjoyment in their lives.
However, productivity is critical to your work and success.
No matter if you are an employee or you’re self-employed, your level of productivity will determine how far you will go. It makes it easier to be productive when you like what you do, but no matter how much you love your work, sometimes you need an extra boost.
Here is 1 Quick Tip to boost your productivity at work.
Set a Schedule for Yourself with Time Blocks
Regular employees have work schedules, but that does not mean they are productive the whole time they are at work. I don’t have the data, but I’d bet there has been some increase to productivity with Work from Home situations. Let’s face it water cooler talk- seriously shut down, breakroom besties- that’s done and the casual chat at your colleagues’ desk for 7 minutes-it’s over!
Now, the self-employed are even in worse case, because they don’t have a regular schedule unless they set one they lived by. But often, that isn’t really the case. But a schedule provides structure to your day, and narrows down your choices on what you should do at any given time. I live by time blocks. Without them, I could literally spend my day in ‘Squirrel Mode’ and who can really get everything one like that.
An American psychologist named Barry Schwartz says in his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, “choose less and feel better.” With too many choices, you feel unhappy and anxious, and tend to make bad or wrong decisions on what you should do based on emotions (how you are feeling).
Eliminate the pains of indecision by scheduling your tasks according to priority. What needs your attention now? Then, consider how much time you need to accomplish the task? If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done, for example, you may be tempted to simply walk away from it and take too long getting back to it.
Scheduling your tasks helps you concentrate on one thing at a time. With this type of plan, before you know it, you’ve done everything you planned to do. Dice up a major project into lesser, more manageable blocks to avoid the feeling of overwhelm.
Setting a schedule with realistic time blocks will also help you decide what you need to delegate, and when you should say no. I hope this tip helps you. If it does, drop me a note and let me know how. I’d love to hear from you.
To Your Success,
This month I'm really trying to give you the people the things you need to make good and wise decisions concerning writing a book and how it can help you and how you can make it the best. The articles are short and sweet every week I'm sharing from around the web. With that, here's another area that I believe is SUPER important to every business bottom line, taxes. I think Jane Friedman has provided some truly sound advice when it comes to how to handle making good tax decisions as a newly (or not so new) published author. You can check out here article here.
If you need support in making the best business decisions with your book. Contact us. We can can help at www.PurposePublishing.com.
To Your Success,
I was recently on the Self-Care Inspiring Hope Show & Podcast with Traci Williams. Shout out to Traci Williams whoop-whoop!! Check Traci out LIVE Saturday mornings at 10am via Facebook Live and subscribe to her YouTube channel.
Well, I was on her show and we were talking about book publishing. So, she asked me the following question, "Do you think people are writing books now?" I told her, Traci, books are the new business card." People are parlaying books into speaking opportunities, adding credibility to being a Subject Matter Expert and becoming consultants and such in short order. With that question alone, I had a lot to share. But don't just take my word for it, check out an article in Fast Company back in 2012. You can check it out here.
It's now 2020, if you don't have your book written yet. Contact us. We can help at www.PurposePublishing.com.
To Your Success,
Book promotion has changed a lot over the years, as have the book promotion services companies offer. Part of the reason for that is due to the surge of books that we see every day in the marketplace. We know from experience that not only does it change how various programs work, but it can also impact strategies that we’ve come to trust, like Facebook ads which don’t have the same impact they did two years ago.
So what’s working in book promotion now? Surprisingly, it’s not at all what you would expect.
The book promotion services that work these days are less about what you’re marketing in the moment, and more about the foundation you’re creating. Let’s have a look:
1.Email Newsletters: I know, it seems odd to start with something so basic, right? But here’s the thing about newsletters. They are a direct connection to your reader unlike social media, which, technically, is not as direct a link as we’d like it to be. An email newsletter may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really not as bad as say, managing a bunch of social media platforms (we’ll get to that one in a minute).
2.Your Reader Fan Bases: With book publishing growing, our window for using blogs for their book promotion services keeps shrinking. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t promote your book to the blogger market, but consider this: as the window for book promotion continues to change, one thing always remains steadfast, your readers. Building excited and engaged reader fan bases is a fantastic way to build momentum for your book and letting readers help you with your book promotion by posting reviews and sharing your book release on their social stream. The longer down this road of endless books being published (so far, around 4,500 a day) the more it becomes crucial to build supportive reader fan bases.
3.Going Local: A lot of authors want to hit the big time with big media and national exposure. And while all of that is great, local media and events are often overlooked. First off, local media loves their local authors. So whether it’s a story about you publishing your first (or fifth!) book, or promoting your local event, local book promotion is a great launching pad for long-term success. Part of the reason for this isn’t because you aren’t national media-worthy, but because national media is harder than ever to get (I’ll talk more about this in later blogs). Also, many bigger shows have scouts that research local stories that are gaining momentum. Back when Oprah had her show, her producers often worked with many scouts all across the country to find their stories. So including local promotion in your list of book marketing activities is a great way to add some momentum to your book promotion campaign. And in terms of local, you may also consider doing events, whether they are library, bookstore, or gift fairs. You could also consider doing events in other non-bookstore markets like gift stores, coffee shops, and other area stores that might be interested in your topic.
4.Add a Goodreads Presence: Goodreads has been around for a long time and with each month that passes, the site grows more robust. Now, more than ever, it’s important to get yourself set up on that site and start networking with genre-specific groups. This site, more than any other social networking site, is really geared to readers and caters to readers in a way that no other platform does. Start by being a reader, first and foremost. Yes, you have books that you want people to read, but being heavy on the networking/socializing and less on the pushy marketer, will garner you much more attention and, in the long run, sell you more books.
5.Amazon Book Page: This is another area that authors spend a shockingly small amount of time on. I think in general, we get really outwardly focused on our book promotion and forget the all-important landing page we are sending our readers to. Your book page on Amazon should have a clear description with white space and no paragraphs crammed on top of each other. I’d also recommend enhancing your book page using your Author Central Page. From there, you can access all kinds of stuff, like adding reviews to your page, including an author interview, or book experts. Your book page should be a sampling of your personality and information helpful to the reader – helping them make a decision to decide to buy your book is a terrific way to help drive more reader engagement on your page. I have a blog post linked in the resources if you’re ready to tackle this! Or, you should write us and ask about our Amazon-specific book promotion services and campaigns, designed to ensure you’re not leaving any opportunities on the table when it comes to converting Amazon shoppers into book buyers.
6.Keeping Your Social Footprint Small: While this may sound counter-intuitive, it’s my firm belief (and based on mountains of research) that we’ve become digital-weary. Users are leaving Facebook in large numbers, or not posting regularly, Twitter has become a bigger political platform than it ever was, and Instagram is staying delightfully middle of the road, the meaning of all of the social platforms, it has the most universal appeal.
The problem with trying to be *everywhere* meaning on all social media platforms is that it’s hard to be engaged on all the sites, all the time. And engagement does matter, in an age of fake followers and fake accounts, the user with the most engagement, even if their numbers are small, far outperforms accounts with millions of followers. But keep in mind that a smaller social media footprint doesn’t mean less work necessarily. You’ll be less scattered, for sure, but you will still need to put the effort into that site, whichever one you decide to be on. Engaging readers on one social media platform in a consistent and fun/informative/helpful way is a far better book promotion strategy than trying to be everywhere. As I always say: it’s not about being everywhere, but everywhere that matters.
To Your Success,
The health and emotional benefits of reading are reason enough to read more, but there are plenty of others… so set a reading goal and get to it
Let me get this out of the way: you aren’t reading enough.
The global literacy rate has increased exponentially over the last 200 years, but in 2018, leisure reading was at an all-time low in the US. In 2016, 21 percent of Americans didn’t read a single book all year. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, time spent reading has declined on average among every major US demographic — including founders, entrepreneurs, and boardroom executives.
Anecdotally, I’m finding that people seem to be reading less — particularly material that requires deep thought or imagination and is unrelated to their work — and I suppose it’s understandable. Reading has been on the decline ever since the advent of TV, not to mention the Internet, and there’s more quality content than ever before. Of course, that doesn’t make it excusable: reading regularly is paramount to developing self-awareness, educating yourself, and just staying sharp.
Consider the reading habits of some of our greatest leaders and minds:
So, you know it’s important. Now the question becomes, how do you build reading into your routine so it becomes a bigger part of your life? Remember, audiobooks is a great way to do this.
Set a reading goal — then design your life around meeting it
Of course, designing your life to meet any goal is a bit more challenging than simply setting the goal itself. Here are a few tips to get started:
Join a reading group. One of my industry friends meets bi-monthly with a group to read classics in philosophy, fiction, history, and other areas. The group actively avoids books related to their industry. Don’t have many friends in your area? Don’t worry. Reading groups can be found on social platforms like MeetUp or Facebook.
Use books to supplement your work. Are you struggling with a vexing work issue? Crack open a psychology book and see if there are ways in which you can apply its lessons to your profession. Generally, looking to outside fields of inquiry and study for inspiration in your personal or professional life is a great habit to build.
Encourage others on your team to read with you. This, I suppose, is something like a book club, but it boils down to you and your colleagues holding each other accountable. If you talk more often about what you’re reading, you’ll get more enjoyment out of the experience and you’ll want to do it more.
The most important question to answer when aspiring to read more is, “Why?”
Why are you, as a rejuvenated reader, investing so much time in reading?
Rather than setting a goal of 20 books in 2020, perhaps your reading goal should address this question. Nothing will be more inspiring than identifying reasons to read that truly resonate with you and compel you to carve out time to hit your reading goals.
Here are the reasons I’ve built serious reading into my everyday routine:
The best reason to read? It’s fun!
Whether you’re the CEO of a growing startup or a grad student living on ramen noodles, the best reason to read is that it’s a rewarding way to spend time. If you need more inspiration to make a habit of picking up a book each day — beyond the variety of health, mental, and emotional benefits reading provides — no reason proves more influential than that reading is just plain fun.
At the end of the day, this is why you need to set a reading goal for 2020: Reading not only betters you as a person, it also provides a uniquely gratifying form of mental nourishment. So don’t wait. Set your reading goal and start reading!
I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but I’ve seriously fallen in love with Audiobooks. Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams, “I cannot live without books.” In a slight twist on those sentiments, I cannot live without audiobooks.
Well, it occurred to me a few years ago that I have more time to listen than I do to physically read books for personal purposes since I spend a great deal of time actually reading and reviewing manuscripts of new authors. So, to keep myself up on current business builder content and self-mastery disciplines, I invest in audiobooks. A subscription to Audible to be more specific. I’ve found that I have time in the tub, while I’m driving, or even when I have a free moment before bed- to listen. Hands-free + Mind alert + Satisfaction.
Enter: Audio Books.
I have a list of books that I intend to read each year that colleagues have shared with me, top reviewer’s picks and ones that support what my focus is for the year. I read roughly 26-40 titles each year easily and have been doing that for the past five years.
And driving. Oh … I drive all the time. To my home, where I do my writing, and to the office, which I do in my other life as a community relations manager.
Before I discovered audiobooks, a three-hour drive to STL seemed a thousand miles away. Now, as a family, our trips to St. Louis to visit Grandnan and Pop-Pop includes a title for all of us to listen to, enjoy and later discuss. Believe it or not, if you put the right thing in you can actually get the Air Pods out of your kids’ ears for a little while.
All of which means that as a writer I am fortunate to have one of my books translated into a verbally-articulated medium that gives me great pride. You can get the audio motivation for 7 Keys of a Queen book, just ask.
And as a listener, I am an addict. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid. The bottom line, I am a busy publisher, a devoted fan, and a very happy reader.
To Your Success,
A new thing I'm adding this year and this month of Vision is sharing some good books and authors I've encountered. This first one is Ray Dalio and his book Principles. It was voted Business Book of the Year. You'll have to get it to fund out why. But enjoy this blog that encapsulates a bit of what Ray Dalio shares with people all the time. It was good for me. I think itll be good for you.
Wouldn’t you love to be able to achieve greatness without embarrassment, failure and fear? It would be wonderful to be able to tell you that you can achieve your dreams without suffering a little bit.
Unfortunately, that’s not how things work. Everyone needs to go on their hero’s journey, and that means, at some point, encountering an extreme low.
It would be lovely, of course, if we could just learn everything we need to know from other people’s experiences. And you can try to do that. In fact, we shouldreally try to do that way!
Here’s the thing though. The information you need is out there. The books are there for you to read, and the podcasts are there for you to listen to. And if you go out and consume all that information, you will learn. You’ll learn a lot.
You’ll even take some of the advice. Maybe you’ll take most of it.
But you won’t take all of it. And the only thing that’s going to show you how you’re wrong, how your worldview is limited, is your own failure. When you try to reach your dreams, fail, feel the pain, and decide to get back up and try again.
However, even that process won’t be enough without reflection.
You’ve really got to sit down and admit, “here’s where I screwed up. Here’s where I could have done better. Here’s where I went wrong.” And then figure out how you’re going to do things differently next time.
Ray Dalio’s famous math equation is right on the money:
Pain + Reflection = Progress.
The truth is that the drive to achieve something extraordinary is often rooted in harsh experiences. And the more crushing the extreme low you’ve reached, the more drive you will have to reach extraordinary heights.
So there is, of course, some good news here. Those of you who have hit rock bottom, who suffer greatly, or who have had those crushing failures can look forward to an incredible future. As long as you always take responsibility for your own errors.
Through reflection, your failures become the fuel that sustains you when times get rough, and when you want to wimp out. They will propel you when you want to quit out of boredom or jealousy.
So that means that pain is never wasted. Pain + Reflection = Progress. There is always something to be learned.
Aren't familiar with Ray Dalio? Look him up. This year from time to time I will share with you some really good books I've read and recommend by some amazing authors. Even outside of my own publishing house, there's great material out there.
To Your Success
Today, I have something interesting for you.
Did you know that the early morning hours are the most important hours in your day?
They affect your mindset and your productivity for the rest of the day.
So, how can you start each day off on the right foot?
Plan your day the night before
By thinking about what you want to accomplish the next day, you are essentially visualizing what you are going to get done successfully, instead of wasting time worrying about where to start and what to do when you wake up. This puts you in the right mindset for success and keeps you calmer and more efficient.
Set goals for the day every morning
When you wake up and get ready to act on the plans you made the night before, stop and take a second to remind yourself of what your goals are. This will refocus your energy into only what you want to complete and will promote more productivity throughout the day.
Avoid checking your phone
By making sure you have a morning routine that allows you to wake up, shower, get ready, and prepare a good breakfast, you are ensuring that you are more likely to feel accomplished and stay focused all day.
Checking your phone for emails, new social media notifications, or missed calls can cause you the anxiety that goes along with feeling like you have to have to start jumping in and handling everything immediately. Give yourself a break for some focus and you’ll thank yourself later.
Remember, it’s okay to take a few minutes for yourself.
To Your Success,
It’s time for a Thursday Throwback. Let's start it off with a major concept that changed my life forever:
If you want to be successful, you have to set goals.
But they can't just be any goals...
Success is based on accomplishing challenging, but attainable, goals. If you set easy or unattainable goals for yourself, how is that going to benefit you?
On one end, you're not challenging yourself, so you're depriving yourself of growing and succeeding.
On the other end, if you're setting hard-to-reach goals that you have no chance of meeting, it will affect your confidence and motivation to succeed.
In order to actually see the real benefits of setting and reaching your goals, you need to make sure that the goals you set, fit certain criteria.
Are you familiar with the S.M.A.R.T. Goals strategy?
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for a list of criteria that each goal should meet. The letters stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
A smart goal should be:
By using the SMART goals approach, you can ensure that you are setting goals that will help you reach your overall goal in life - whatever that might be.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of S.M.A.R.T. Goals, I included some resources below that you can take a look at. They'll provide you with examples, show you how to set your own S.M.A.R.T. goals and the benefits of doing so.
To Your Success,
I often get questions from authors and soon to be authors about publishing their book. It’s been a dream, an idea a thought for years and they’re getting closer to making a decision. Well, as you get close think about these things to help you in your process of getting starter. Here are 10 truths that I believe are very important to any aspiring author about publishing. It’s true that you don’t have to learn every lesson the hard way. Here’s help:
1. It takes time to build your audience-
Be patient. If you’re in it for the ride, you’ll be successful.
2. Shortcuts don’t work-
A daily commitment to your writing and promotion is the only way to succeed.
3. You will spend a lot of money-
Digital Publishing. Book printing. Publicity. It costs money.
4. Be skeptical of where you spend money-
Beware scammers and sharks who say they can turn you into a best-seller in 30 days! Ask questions, get references, and do your research.
5. Pricing is key-
Unknown authors shouldn’t charge too much for eBooks.
6. You may receive bad reviews-
Art is subjective. No book is perfect. And plenty of classics still don’t get 5 star reviews on Amazon. If the critism is contructive, learn from it.
7. Remember etiquette-
Concentrate on the positives. You’ve gotta let negativity brush off your shoulders.
8. You’ve gotta be tough-
“No one puts Baby in the corner!” Be persistent. You’ll have to fight for things.
9. Go after the big guns-
Every publicity opportunity begets another publicity opportunity. Just because you’re self-published doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pitch yourself to CNN, the Today Show, etc. You might get lucky! But make sure you’re prepared.
10. Keep learning-
There’s a lot to figure out early on, and the landscape keeps changing. So you need to stay open to new ideas
To Your Success,
YOU WROTE THE BOOK? WHAT’S NEXT?
You had a great book idea, you wrote a fine book, and now you think you're ready to self-publish it. Before you take that leap of faith, however, there are several things you should consider in order to publish like a professional.
1. Finish the Writing and Have It Professionally Edited
Finish the writing (sometimes easier said than done) and that includes the rewriting. Until you reach a point in your rewrites where the edits are no longer substantive, your book is not finished. When you find yourself simply changing characters' names or altering inconsequential details, that's when you're done self-editing.
Your next step is to hire a professional editor. You may not enjoy being told to cut a section of writing you really like, but if Chapter 7 is truly overkill, a professional editor can help you understand why. You might not be able to specifically quantify the benefits of a formal editing process, but it will help you sell more books. Hiring a professional to edit your book can make you a better writer, provide you with industry knowledge you wouldn't otherwise have, broaden your exposure, and ultimately increase your sales.
2. Get Help
Unless you can do it all yourself, you should hire a professional to publish, design your book cover and book interior. The book you've worked so hard on deserves the best possible physical representation, including typeface, page numbers, opening chapter pages, running headers, and other elements you might not think of but a professional book designer will. The cover design is perhaps the most important element of design as it provides the first impression of your book to potential readers/buyers.
If you're offering an electronic version of your book, those design specs will be different. A professional can help you maintain design continuity while ensuring your work will be esthetically pleasing and readable, whether it's read in print or electronically.
3. Build Relationships Before You Publish
You should be building your author platform before you publish and, if it's not too late, as you write your book. Create your online platform through your own author website and build on that through social media outlets like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Facebook, Google+, etc. You don't have to be everywhere; consistency and frequency are the keys to developing a solid base of followers. Expand that base by commenting on other relevant blogs and websites. Contribute comments and questions to book review blogs like the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as to smaller and local sites.
Start a mailing list. It can be electronic, snail mail, or both. Join writers' groups and associations, both online and local. Host or participate in a webcast or podcast. Attend book launches and other publishing events, including writing and publishing conferences. Make friends with your local booksellers and librarians, and never miss your book club meeting. The point is to get your name out there before you publish, not after.
4. Pay Attention
Become familiar with the existing book market. Find out what's currently on bookstore shelves, which books are being checked out most frequently at the library, which books are making news, why your friends and family are buzzing about certain titles, and what is happening in the literary world in general. Knowledge of the current publishing environment will help you publish like a professional.
5. Offer Your Book in Multiple Formats
You never know how readers will want to consume your content, so don't exclude potential buyers by limiting yourself to either eBooks or print books. The BBC recently reported that 50 percent of American adults own e-readers, but research shows that most people are still reading more print books than eBooks. Don't let potential readers (and sales) get away from you by not offering multiple formats of your book.
6. Use Your Resources
Once you have built an author platform, immersed yourself in the literary world, solidified industry-related relationships, and joined appropriate associations, don't stop there. You can maintain your place in the industry by staying active in it. Keep up with your network and be aware of industry news that can perfect your book marketing plan, use the resources you've gathered at conferences or writing retreats, continue to attend publishing events and learning sessions, keep reading writers' blogs and guides, and never stop learning.
The publishing process doesn't have to be overwhelming. Plan ahead, take it step-by-step, and take advantage of available resources. And if you need help, call us we are here to help you: 866-599-6270.
To Your Success,
There are so many options these days on how to get your book into the hands of readers. Gone are the days when one single path led to publication, and it can be confusing to wade through the pros and cons of being independently versus traditionally published. One of the ways you can evaluate how to move forward with your manuscript is to think about how you would prefer to promote your book.
The book promotion tactics an indie published author takes can be different from those with large publishing contracts, largely due to the higher level of control independent authors maintain over their books. If you’re thinking about indie publishing for your book, consider how much easier it is to engage in these forms of book promotion as an indie author.
Meet Your Local Booksellers
This is something that only the author can do! A large publisher or your independent publicity firm may coordinate meetings with these booksellers, but this is something indie authors can do really well on their own. Books are hand sold by booksellers all over the world, which means that they give recommendations to people browsing their stores and can influence purchasing decisions. Making a personal impact on a bookseller so that they want to sell your book is a savvy move on any author’s part. Stop by a store, be polite, buy a book, and tell them you hope they’ll stock your book one day.
Create a Goodreads Author Profile and Use it Actively
Maintaining control over vital social media platforms is a benefit to indie publishing—you’ll always make your own account and run it for yourself. On Goodreads you can make friends, follow reading lists, join book clubs, and organically network to create a community that will put your book onto their “to-read” bookshelves when it comes out.
Start an Author Instagram and Use it Consistently
As an indie author, you’ll want to connect directly with readers. People support brands they admire, and they learn to love a brand by encountering an individual first. Showing who you are as a person on the fastest growing social media platform can help readers find you. “Bookstagrammers” are becoming a powerful “influencer” segment in social media marketing, and connecting with them is something an author can do all on his or her own. You can do your own giveaways without a publisher restricting your actions! Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags like #bookstagram, #lit, #amreading, #books, and more. Instagram rewards hashtagging…so use as many as you like and you have a higher chance of showing up in the feeds of your followers, as well as good discoverability by random users that are checking out popular hashtags.
Make Vital Changes to Your Publication Timeline and Other Important Book Details
These may not seem like part of the promotional process at first glance, but sometimes books are published by large publishers on schedules that might not be the best fit for an author. Picking a publication date that fits with your personal life, relevant holidays (a book on motherhood might be more easily promoted if it is published the week of Mother’s Day, for instance), and what else is on the market is a great way that indie authors get to plan their promotions early on to best suit their sales. As an indie author, you can also make edits to your book cover, your price, and other important details based on reader feedback before you move to a final version, and this is not something traditional deals typically allow.
Sell Your Books More Easily at Private Events
Because you are in charge of your book’s distribution, you don’t have a middle man between you and your print-on-demand that can hold up this process. If you are headed to an author event, book fair, library, or private book launch, you get to decide how many copies and on what timeline you want to bring them for sales.
There are pros and cons to both traditional and indie publishing, and hopefully learning about some of the considerations regarding book promotion on both sides can help you choose your publishing route more successfully.
To Your Success
THEY ALSO JUDGE BOOKS BY THE BACK COVER
You know that saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? As a metaphor, that saying is fantastic. But when talking about literal books, a cover is exactly what a book is judged by. You’ve probably done this before: A book’s title or cover looks interesting, so you flip it around and read the back cover to see what it’s about. In the short amount of time it takes you to scan the summary, you’ve usually decided whether you’ll be buying that book or not.
In other words, the cover—especially the back cover—is hugely important in hooking the casual book buyer. The good news is, a good back book cover isn’t that hard to pull off. Here are five quick ways to create a back cover that will pull people in.
The more we understand the human brain, the clearer it becomes that people learn through the unexpected. If someone already thinks they know everything they need to, they are less curious and less likely to buy your book. The job of the back cover is to help them realize they don’t know everything they need to know.
People probably won’t buy a book that says it’s all about sanctification, but they might buy a book that says something like the following: “For many of us, we are trying to live the ‘good Christian life,’ and yet find ourselves worn out, discouraged and more empty than how we started. Why is this? What are we missing?”
To sell a book about the biblical concept of covenant, you could say, “We live in a world that is fascinated with ‘happily ever after,’ but only experiences a commitment that seems to dissolve the moment we need it most. We are a culture both fascinated by and disillusioned with love…but what if there was a better way?”
The point is this: Create a compelling tension, and people will want to read your book to see how you resolve it.
HINT AT THE ANSWER
Many readers, though, will need at least a hint of where you’re taking them. After casting your compelling tension, give a bullet point of three to five ways your book will address this tension (more than five is too many, and marketing shows odd numbers work better). So let’s say you’re writing the sanctification book. After casting your tension, the next paragraph could say something like this:
“Author and pastor Josh Pease suggests the emptiness we feel in our Christian faith stems from a misunderstanding of what God expects from us in the first place. In this encouraging new book, he suggests that our dissatisfaction stems from:
replacing “struggling” with “surrendering”
believing we need to earn God’s approval
allowing religious pride to rule over humility
…you get the idea. The point is to help people have a sense of what they’re getting into before they give your book a few hours of their life.
KEEP IT SHORT
In honor of this point, I’ll be brief: You have 150-200 words to rope people in. Any more and your back cover will be a wall of text people won’t want to read. Keep it short and simple.
Research has shown that more people will buy a book if the author’s picture and bio are included on the back. The reason for this is a book—especially one that is instructing people in their spiritual journey—is a vulnerable choice. People aren’t buying words, they’re buying you as someone they trust to speak into their life. So help them feel like they know you a little. Include a professional looking picture, fairly close up to your face, along with a short bio of why you’re someone they can trust.
ADD ENDORSEMENTS IF YOU HAVE THEM
Endorsements don’t always have to come from famous (or church famous) people, although that definitely doesn’t hurt. If you have pastor friends of larger churches, seminary professors or anyone else who could be seen as a marginal spiritual authority figure, don’t hesitate to ask them to read your book in advance and write a brief (one to two sentences, tops) blurb. It’s like reviews on Amazon products:
Even if you don’t know the people giving the review, it makes you feel better to know someone else enjoyed this product you haven’t seen yet.
All these things add up to a compelling, personal back cover that will tell people your book is worth their time.
To Your Success,