Yesterday I was conducting one of my group book mentoring calls with a group of eager, enthusiastic, aspiring book authors. One member of the group told me he was ready to write the introduction to his book. I was stunned. Its two and a half months in to a six month program. I thought – why hasn’t he written his intro already?
I had to get to the bottom of what was going on and help him move forward.
Generally when you haven’t dug in yet – it’s possible it’s an issue of time management. You simply haven’t sat down and communicated the ideas out of your head and onto the ‘puter screen. Often the challenge is you don’t have a good idea yet for that part of the book. Why waste valuable time sitting down to write when you don’t have a good idea?
You may protest and say, “But Denise, I’m so crazy busy I haven’t had time.” Usually I discover the person hasn’t made the time because he or she is unsure where to go next. You don’t have the next great idea. Yet.
I was surprised with this particular writer. From the first time I spoke with Bill it seemed like he was incredibly clear about the message of his personal growth book. From Day One I’ve agreed with him he’s on track with his overall message. I still feel his topic is an excellent fit with the focus of his successful business. It will dovetail nicely, help position him as an expert and bring new clients his way. He’s ready for that success and elevated credibility as an expert. I’m honored to be helping him and all the people in my groups. He was stymied about how to execute that message.
He told me, “It’s just a matter of sitting down and knocking it out.”
Whenever I hear a sentence that begins with “It’s just a matter of…” I’ve learned most of the time there’s more to it. There’s something in the way. There’s “matter.” Matter is weighty stuff. It gets in the way of moving forward.
If this describes you, it’s possible you haven’t have put your finger on the obstacle yet. Often the best relief for the “matter” that gets in the way (for all of us) is coming up with a good idea. Once again you’re propelled forward, writing happily. How do you come up with that next great idea? If you’re in my program you throw it out there on our live group calls twice a month. If you feel “stuck” you share it on our once a month bonus call. I can help undo the logjam. That’s what I do.
In Bill’s case I knew something was blocking him from getting his introduction done. It’s my job to help unravel whatever is in the way so he can get his introduction done and move on to the next chapters.
Many writers believe to get inspired and keep writing, the heavens open and these gorgeous rays of sunlight spill down upon us and God speaks and bingo – we’re inspired and we know what to do to keep writing amazing prose and finish the next chapter and then on to finish the entire book. Or, we’ll research online and the perfect idea will appear on our screen. Or, we’ll be talking with a friend, or, out for our morning walk enjoying nature and the perfect idea will pop into our consciousness.
It happens. Sometimes.
However, more often when we sit down and write the perfect idea comes to us and flows through our brain, down our arms and into our hands. Then our fingertips dance across the keyboard and BAM – inspiration. Surprisingly, what most people don’t realize is that when they sit down to write – the first thoughts that come through usually aren’t the best ones. Not yet.
In fact, I generally suggest you plan on deleting the first few paragraphs because they won’t be your most brilliant. I learned this way back in college. If you’re patient and keep writing – the good stuff will come. Before you know it you’ll be smiling to yourself saying, “This is GOOD!” and know this is why you love to write and why you’re excited about getting your book done.
Save deleted stuff, by the way. Later, it could spin into a great article, a speech topic or perhaps it belongs in another chapter later in your book.
Inspiration for many, many writers is a function of sitting down to write. Look at your book outline and decide to write on the topic that gets your heart racing slightly. Or start writing on the topic that intrigues you most. Face that blank page and start pouring out your thoughts onto the computer screen.
I guarantee – the first sentences and paragraphs you write won’t be all that and a bag of chips. If you keep with it though, the inspired, clever, thoughtful – and yes I’ll say it – BRILLIANT thoughts will come. Be patient. Stay with it.
We live in an immediate gratification world. The fastest technology on the planet won’t help you pull great ideas out of your brain any faster. If you will simply clear your mind of distractions, be patient with yourself and simply sit down to write – it will come to you. The “matter” will gently move out of the way and you will be delighted with the amazing thoughts you will write that will help readers everywhere when they get their hands on your book.
Denise Michaels is C.E.O. and Founder of the “International Book Writing Guild.” She leads group book mentoring programs for writers of how-to and personal growth books. For more information contact her on Facebook or email her at email@example.com Website coming soon.
Halloween is over so we can’t be overly annoyed with the Christmas merchandise that’s been in stores for a month now, and, the holiday tunes starting to come from the Muzak speakers on elevators.
I don’t need to look at a calendar to know the holidays are coming fast - I can feel it in the air. My Circadian rhythyms are playing red and green. My instincts are telling me it’s time to start making lists.
This week I’ve gone on Epicurious and started comparing recipes for Cranberry Sauce and healthy sweet potatoes. I’m wondering if I want to do anything different with my holiday decorations.
I generally ponder these holiday questions because from mid-November to January its always the slowest time of the year for me.
Prospective clients say, “Oh Denise, I’d love to start working with you – after the holidays.” That’s the pattern I’ve seen all the years since I started marketing mentoring. I’ve learned to set aside money so I can enjoy the holidays without dipping into credit cards or real savings. After all it’s the most expensive time of the year and the time when clients say, “I want to take a break until after the holidays.”
This year is different. Back in April when I started my first Group Book Mentoring program I had no idea how much life would change. I didn’t know how many people I’d help by guiding and supporting them in writing their how-to or personal growth book.
Oh, I live in the same home and drive the same car. I’m married to the same man. But I’m busy right now – in a good way - and I didn’t expect that. I figured I’d have the typical holiday season slowdown. Take a break, enjoy the holidays and start another group in January.
Not this time around. Within the last 36 hours I’ve had three people say they want to get started working with me before December. Yowsers!! That means just a few people more (I only accept 6-8 people per group) and it’ll be a full group. All three said they want to wait until after the holidays before actually writing. They want to align with me right away and get going in some way. Does that sound like you?
So, this group will be a little different. Sign up by December 1st and you’ll get a private mentoring session with me before starting into the six month, group book mentoring program in January.
It’s not exclusively about writing a book - it’s also about sorting through and developing a vision, a business model and a plan that will sustain both your book and your business. We can talk over a cuppa something warm to keep the winter chill away and talk about what you want to create. That’s what we can do together before you write word one so it all comes together and makes sense. That’s what synergy is all about.
When you create your strategy and build leverage by aligning your how-to or personal growth book with your business - the book succeeds and your business succeeds. That’s how I made my book a business bestseller sold in 15 countries.
The actual program is six months long and takes you through all the steps of writing your book. Step by step and word by word your book grows. You also learn about editors, publishing options, promoting your book and more.
As mentioned, I had no intention of doing any marketing or selling appointments during November and December. I figured that would be my ”kick back for the holidays” and “hunker down and write my goals” time of year. That’s the way it’s been for so long.
Surprise, surprise! I had three of these appointments this week and all three aspiring book authors said “yes” to working with me.
In fact, I have a meeting Monday morning with a woman referred to me by another happy client. She’s a life coach who lives in New York City. Yes, the same NYC ripped to shreds by Hurricane Sandy and the flood surge that happened Monday night this week. Now that’s dedication and passion.
One big lesson I’ve gotten in 2012 is that flexibility and a willingness to adapt to changing conditions (changing for the better!) is a good thing. Not that I was inflexible before – but I’m really discovering that things go best for me when I check in with how certain decisions feel in my body and then follow my heart. It’s working for me – and I’ll bet it’ll work for you, too.
So if the idea of finally getting your how-to or personal growth book makes sense to you and feels right in your body, you’ll know it. You’ll just sense a little imperceptible shift or that small still voice inside urging you forward. That’s what 2012 has been like for me – and it’s been a very good year. If that sounds like you, we’re in alignment. Connect with me and let’s talk about it. I’ll give you all the details so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Denise Michaels is C.E.O. and founder of the “International Book Writing Guild.” Contact Denise via email at firstname.lastname@example.org on Facebook or text her at 702-401-6313 to set up a time to connect and discover more.
Many people in my Group Book Mentoring program start the journey of writing their book with excitement and a spirit of discovery. Sooner or later they hit that wall famously known as “writer’s block.”
(Which is why we do a Bonus Call once a month that provides an opportunity for writers to talk about writer’s block, obstacles, time management issues and more. But I digress.)
What I believe truly stops a lot of writers of how-to or personal growth books cold, is at some point it suddenly dawns upon them: Wow, positioning myself as an expert or authority really means taking on the mantle of being just that – an expert or authority.
Self-doubt comes rushing in like a lava flow off the side of a volcano. All the, “Who am I to say I’m an expert?” questions start crowding the mind. The book writing process stops dead in it’s tracks. Often, its the end of many aspiring book authors quest to become the author of a how-to or personal growth book. Like the lava flow those self-doubts about their expertise destroys everything in it’s path.
So, this begs the question, “What makes you an expert?”
If you’re a scientist – the bar is pretty high. I once knew a woman who was a Chiropractor. She has tons of post-doctoral training, fifteen years of experience and has developed and championed techniques used in her profession that have gained widespread acceptance in per profession as beneficial to patients. Yet she revealed to me, she didn’t feel like an expert.
When you write your how-to or personal growth book, your experience is your expertise. If you’re writing a book about how to raise successful, happy kids and your experience is your six successful, happy kids – say so. Don’t shy away from the fact that you don’t have a degree in Child Development or Child Psychology, say it clearly. Don’t skirt around the issue. State your credentials based on your experience with pride.
If you don’t have a bunch of initials based on advanced degrees after your name, don’t worry about it. Most how-to or personal growth books don’t reqire educational requirements. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have a college degree. My book, “Testosterone-Free Marketing” is about Marketing for women, small and micro business owners and I do have a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. But I don’t have a Masters degree. I’ve never run the marketing department for a Fortune 500 company. I’ve only run my own small businesses – for over two decades.
- Your grandma’s best pie recipes without being a Master Chef
- Growing amazing vintage tomatoes without being a Horticulturist
- Increasing your confidence without a Ph.D. in Psychology
- Developing a closer connection with your faith without a Theology degree
- Opening a coffee shop without a degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management
- Losing weight and keeping it off without being an Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist
- . . . and many more
Remember, if book readers want a book written by someone with a bunch of initials after their name they will find that book and bypass your book. They’re simply not your ideal book reader. They’re not going to hunt you down and shout in your face, “Hey, who do you THINK you are?!? You can’t write this book?” That might happen in your mind – it doesn’t happen in reality. I believe with all my heart there are just as many people who would rather avoid that kind of ivory-tower expertise and look for someone who can relate to them in a down-to-earth way based on personal experience.
So if your heart is set on writing a how-to or personal growth book, get writing. If you know being the author of your book will help people see you as an expert they they will want to work with, leveraging your income - don’t delay. When you say you’re an expert or authority, and, you’re proud of the credentials you DO have people will sit up, take notice and buy your book.
Denise Michaels is Founder of the International Book Writing Guild which provides aspiring, enterprising book authors of how-to and personal growth books with the support, knowledge, strategies and tips to successfully write a book. Michaels is also author of the Business Bestseller, “Testosterone-Free Marketing” which became a business bestseller and sold in fifteen countries.
Back in the day – the average person didn’t have access to media. They talked at us. We either listened, listened and purchased or turned the channel. Now, it’s a whole new ball game.
Until recently Old Spice was a tired, old brand. Enter some new ads (seen largely as YouTube videos) featuring hunka, hunka burnin’ chocolate love former NFL wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa. So far so good. The videos are going crazy on YouTube.
Here’s where it shifts. Old Spice asked people to submit questions to Old Spice guy. One guy asked if he’d propose to his girlfriend. He did.
Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-fLV28SkZ8 (If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste it into your browser window.)
The proposal video featuring Old Spice guy’s been online six days and has over 736,000 views. What does this mean? The average person has access to getting a message out in ways that were formerly impossible.
When my book was released, I wanted like crazy to get on Oprah and other national shows. Unfortunately, my crackpot publisher (don’t ask!) didn’t get distribution to major booksellers – so, no national TV exposure. I struggled, but made “Testosterone-Free Marketing” a business bestseller with internet sales – so it’s all good.
People ask, “When will you write another book?” Or, “When will you go BIG?”
My aim is to write and hopefully help people that way. It doesn’t have to be a book – but I do want to get paid. If I have an idea for a book I must write – I will. The world’s changing. Lately, I’m happy blogging, writing articles, etc. I can create a following using social media. When that following is big enough, I can get paid without being in bookstores or getting on Oprah.
Visit your average bookseller. What do you see? Books written by celebrities and wannabes. People with a big platform of fans growing bigger. People seen in Hollywood, reality TV, politics, or, they’ve had bestsellers out for decades. This is where the majority of book contracts go. Where are the thoughtful, intriguing books written by an unknown author that make you think and discover new ideas? They’re buried or never make it into print. Without promoting the right way – well, fuddegaboudit.
Recently I met a woman who paid $65,000 for a package that promised support getting her book written, published, promoted and a bunch of bells and whistles. The guru who sold her the package fell short. But that’s not the point. People are desperate to crack the code on becoming known.
Create an Internet following and your own platform. Become a known expert on twitter, your fan page or your blog. Don’t wish and hope for national TV exposure. Build your following, your tribe, one happy fan at a time. And, do it from your laptop or Ipad while enjoying an excellent adventure.
By Denise Michaels, Author, ‘Testosterone-Free Marketing”
When you wear all the hats in a business – as most of us women, home-based business owners do – it’s easy to get caught up in a web of multi-tasking and being scattered with no clear focus from day to day. In a single day you can be handling marketing, operations, administrative and a myriad of tasks within those categories. To say nothing of putting clothes in the dryer, figuring out what to make for dinner, worrying about your third grader’s math homework and more.
I wrote an entire chapter in my book about the issues women business owners are challenged with regarding our focus and how multi-tasking can really be a mixed blessing.
Here’s what I think happens: when you become an entrepreneur it becomes easy to get caught up “spinning in the world of ideas” as I call it. So many opportunities and so little time. You can have a blast talking and thinking about all these cool ideas and how much money you can make with ‘em all. But you have to finally dig your heels in and get going with one (and keep going) to make money, right? Seems pretty simple so far – ahhhhh, but the plot thickens. *smile*
Here’s the challenge: while you’re spinning in the world of ideas – you’re not getting anything done. Nothing is being completed. Why would a person DO that when you don’t get paid in business until you complete things? The reason I believe so many women do it? Well, at the root of this “spinning,” researching and checking everything out – is that it means you get to avoid rejection because you haven’t made a commitment and jumped in to anything yet.
The minute you actually “put something out there” the rubber hits the road. You’re honestly faced with whether it will be a smashing success or a bomb. And for a lot of people that’s scary. Spinning is more fun and there’s no fear or risk attached to those activities compared to marketing activities which get you out there.
Here’s the funny thing: by “spinning” our subconscious mind believes it’s protecting us from rejection. However, over the long run it can mess with your sense of self confidence. How? Because after awhile you look back at all that time and effort and realize, geez it’s been six months (or a year or two years) and what do I have to show for that effort? All that spinning?
If you keep spinning and don’t step out – chances are you don’t have much to show for it. You’ve been busy – but you haven’t achieved anything, because you’ve been focused on spinning not on achieving.
For a lot of people it makes them feel like a failure and this can pull your self confidence down. But the truth is people who keep spinning have actually very successful – at avoiding rejection.
So, if you’re goal is to avoid rejection – keep spinning.
If you’re goal is to have a successful business and generate cash flow – start figuring out how to get beyond your comfort zone (I know a great marketing mentor who helps with that *wink* AND your strategy) and start bringing in some real paying customers and clients.
There are solutions to spinning in the world of ideas: mostly they have to do with facing up to the fact that what you put out there might succeed or it might fail. Making different conscious choices and excepting the reality that the outcome could go either way – and it doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person either way. But by taking that leap of faith – you’re making forward progress moving energy and creating momentum. And THAT feels great.
Discover more about Denise at Empower U Academy and Mentoring with Denise. And if you’re going to be in Las Vegas on Monday November 2nd come to my “No-fluff, Testosterone-Free Marketing Magic Workshop.” Click here for more information and to register today.
By Denise Michaels, Author, “Testosterone-Free Marketing”
I’m always bouncing back and forth between working online and offline to bring attention to my message and gain more people interested in my message and what I do.
Today is an offline day – It’s 6:53 am and in five minutes I need to jump in the shower and get ready to drive across town for a networking breakfast. It’s a long way to go -but it’s a really great meeting and a lot of people have purchased my book and taken an interest in my Testosterone-Free Marketing message. It’s with a group I joined a few months ago called Defining Women Network*. Empowering, fun and they really do business with each other.
Then, I have two meetings at the brand new “M” resort – a gorgeous place. They have a huge lobby area that overlooks the pool and a few miles away you can see the legendary Las Vegas strip. It’s far enough away from the ubiquitious casinos we have out here that you don’t hear the clanging bells that are part of the casino scene.
It’s elegant and lovely in a clean, modern, zen kind of way – I’m going to wrap up my laptop and take it with me and work there for awhile. My guess is they won’t have wifi access – but I have a writing project I need to complete for a client – so I can do that offline. I crave opportunities to work in lovely, elegant settings. I like my office at home – just painted it and redecorated a few weeks ago. But in comparison this space is opulent. It inspires me and encourages me to think abundant thoughts and ideas. I encourage you to find ways to work in lovely settings outside of your office to inspire you. Then, I’ll bounce back home before the rush hour starts.
The meetings are sort of “getting to know you” kind of meetings – but I’m hoping one of the two will become a marketing mentoring client.
Have a great day yourself – whatever you’re doing. Holy cow – I’ve got 15 minutes to shower, get dressed, put on makeup and get out the door. Gotta fly!
PS: Defining Women has seven groups in the Las Vegas area and one in Salem OR – if you’d like more info go to http://www.DefiningWomenNetwork.com