“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know it when you find it.” –Steve Jobs
Sunday, June 8, 2014
In his book No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs, business coach and consultant Dan Kennedy reveals the steps behind making the most of your frantic, time-pressured days so you can turn time into money. In this edited excerpt, the author explains the people you spend time with affect your productivity and why you should carefully choose who to associate with.
One of the most significant things you can control is association -- your choices of who you permit into your world, who you give time to or invest time with, and who you look to for ideas, information and education. The people around you rarely have a neutral effect. They either facilitate your accomplishment, they undermine it, or they sabotage it outright.
The first useful association tactic is the elimination of toxic people and saboteurs. It's not an easy thing to face facts about a friend, family member, long-time employee or long-time vendor when they are, in some way, interfering with or disapproving of your accomplishment. It's important to face these facts and to act on them because the more time you spend with people who are unhelpful, unsupportive, disrespectful, envious, resentful, dysfunctional or outright damaging to you, the less value all your time has.
These people don’t just harm the minutes you and they are in the same place. Few people can so perfectly compartmentalize that they can lock every thought, assertion and act of a toxic person in a little mind box and without leakage into other mind boxes. Paraphrasing a Chinese proverb (I found in a fortune cookie), if you lie down with mongrel dogs, even for a short nap, you wake up with fleas -- and they ride with you wherever you go.
Ideas, beliefs, opinions and habits work just like that. Even if you're associating only occasionally or briefly with someone who is intellectually or emotionally toxic or someone who is feckless and inept, it’s enough time for the fleas to leap from them to you, burrow in and be carried away by you to subtly affect your performance and productivity. If your creativity or constructive thinking or work performance is thus diminished, so is the value of your time.
People who are detrimental for you to associate with are not necessarily of evil intent. They may all be “good people,” but that doesn’t mean they’re good for you. Good chocolate cake is not good for a diabetic. In fact, it’s poison. Associating with somebody who is always pushing it to you, saying “Just have a tiny piece” is just as suicidal as baking it for yourself.
There are lots of ways a person can be toxic and poisonous to you. I’ve had clients describe how recurring disputes with a particular employee were mentally exhausting but couldn’t be helped because otherwise, that person was a great asset. The “otherwise” is a big problem. Many small businesses wind up with a ruthlessly defensive key person who goes into murder mode anytime an attempt is made to add a second person but is “otherwise” terrific.
There's the “we tried that before” guy. If it were up to him, we’d light the place with candles because Edison would have been limited to one try. There’s the “constructive critic,” always making you feel inadequate or undeserving, in the guise of being a cautionary ally worrying over you stubbing a toe.
On the other hand, constructive association with creative, inspiring, encouraging people can do a great deal to bolster your performance, thus making your time more valuable. Each minute of your time is made more or less valuable by the condition of your mind, and it is constantly being conditioned by association.
The entrepreneur is particularly susceptible to gaining or losing power by association because he has so many diverse responsibilities and is often operating under pressure, duress and urgency. Playing this game in a compromised mental state, weakened or wounded by poor ideas and attitudes seeded into the mind by association, is extremely difficult. Playing it strengthened and empowered by rich ideas and attitudes seeded into the mind by association can make the difficult easy.
Simply put, you want to deliberately reduce and restrict the amount of your time left vulnerable to random thought or association, and deliberately, sharply reduce the amount of time given to association with people who won’t make any productive contribution and may do harm. Does that mean you can only spend time with people you are in complete philosophical agreement with? No. In fact, such isolationism can be dangerous. But it does mean you should avoid association with people who believe and promulgate beliefs diametrically opposed to “success orientation.”
You want to deliberately increase the amount of your time directed at chosen thinking and input, and constructive, productive association. You want to associate with strivers and achievers, with winners and champions. This is an uplifting force that translates into peak performance, which makes all your time more valuable.
Entrepreneur Mag Dec 27, 2013
“An outline is crucial. It saves so much time. When you write suspense, you have to know where you’re going because you have to drop little hints along the way. With the outline, I always know where the story is going. So before I ever write, I prepare an outline of 40 or 50 pages.” —John Grisham
Monday, February 24, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Bestselling Simon & Schuster co-authors Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley are now teaming up on the business side: the two writers are launching Brown Girls Publishing, a new digital publishing venture that debuts today. Brown Girls Publishing will publish in a variety of genres and release books in digital and POD trade paperback editions.
The new publishing venture will initially launch with four titles this month and will release four titles a month going forward. Digital distribution is via INScribe Digital and BGP's POD trade paperback editions will be produced through Amazon’s CreateSpace unit.
While the authors have focused their own books on the African-American community, the authors said the new venture will publish books in a wide variety of genres. Among the first titles to be released from Brown Girls Publishing will be Open Door Marriage by Naleighna Kai, In Strict Confidence by Dwayne Joseph, The Next Thing is Joy: The Gospel According to Vivian Grace by Tracey Michael Lewis and Pink and Patent Leather by Candy Jackson. The new venture is also publishing a new edition of Easier Said Than Done, a romance novel by Nikki Woods, senior producer of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Radio Show. BGP will also begin publishing a new series of novels by Woods.
The authors emphasized that BGP are looking for books “that have a good story and are well written,” Murray said. “We want quality, not quantity,” added Billingsley. BGP has assembled a committee to review manuscript submissions and recommend titles to be published. All books will be edited by Murray and Billingsley.
The two bestselling authors/publishers are both published by Simon & Schuster and between the two have authored more than 30 books and sold more than 2 million copies. While the two write a variety of fiction separately, they are also the coauthors of Friends and Foes and Saints and Sinners, the ongoing story of the scheming hijinks of two ambitious church wives. The two authors, who will continue to write for S&S, are also skilled in other areas. Murray has an MBA from New York University and Billingsley is a former TV and radio news reporter who also has more than 25 years experience in marketing.
“We’ve been pretty successful and we’ve still got book contracts at S&S,” Murray said in a phone interview with PW. Murray told PW the notion to launch a publishing company began a year ago when her agent, Lisa Dawson, self-published some of Murray’s fiction as an e-book novel and the book sold about 15,000 copies with almost no promotion. “Just a little note on my facebook page,” Murray said.
Murray notes that she and her partner launched their own careers as self-publishers and they both believe “there are a lot of great writers out there with no opportunity to publish.” In a separate interview with ReShonda Tate Billingsley, she emphasized that “we’re calling our company ‘Brown Girls’ because of me and my partner, but we have black men and white men authors.” Both authors said that BGP will publish books “in all genres from romance and literary fiction to science-fiction, crime and more,” Billingsley said. The two authors are providing the bulk of the financing for the publishing house, although the company has two investors.
Not surprisingly the new venture will emphasize digital marketing and social media and both authors emphasized that they will work closely with INScribe to help guide their marketing, pricing and distribution strategies.
“We both know publishing from being in the trenches,” Billingsley said, “and we still love our publisher, but after looking at the advances made in the technology of digital publishing we decided to jump onboard."
From Publisher's Weekly 02/03/2014