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Category Archives: Promotion

APE: Stop Double Spacing Confirmed, How to Self Publish Without Looking It & Other Reasons Why You Must Read the Latest Book From Guy Kawasaki

APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur) How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki & Shawn Welch  and I had to read it!

I enjoy writing and helping to get people get out of their own way; I have given some thought to writing a book on how I help people accomplish this, but that always sounded way too daunting. Then I read Kawasaki and Welch’s book, which reads like an instruction manual on how to navigate the world of self-publishing.

Make no mistake, they do not romanticize the effort that it takes and it is a bit overwhelming at first read, but VALUABLE? ABSOLUTELY!

Why?

  • Step by step from soup to nuts on what to do, where to look, what to look out for and why.
  • Great overview of the publishing world, how it works and why it works or worked the way it did (past and present)
    • this really helped give some perspective on the process and the market in general and how it has changed
    • it validated why eBooks are the here and now, especially if they are relevant
  • The book provides so much insight and clear direction, with lots of examples and pictures, you feel like you should have paid by the hour to a consultant.
  • Even with this book in your back pocket, you still have to be a writer, and a decent one at that. good news there is a great deal of focus on writing and grammar which I was pleased with (along with additional resources beyond this book).
  • Tons of recommended resources beyond this book from publishing to marketing/broadcasting, cover art to set up. These recommendations would take you hours on google to find and research, only to wonder who was paid for what or $$$ in trial and error or consultancy fees.
  • It is humorous, direct and shoots straight therefore although sometimes you feel overwhelmed up pops a comment that makes you smile even for a moment!
  • It is $9.99 on Amazon for Kindle hardly a major investment

Overall, great book I recommend reading 1st as an overview and then in concert with your efforts in writing your book!
APE: How to Publish a Book

Guy Kawasaki is the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Shawn Welch is the author of From Idea to App, iOS 5 Core Frameworks, and iOS 6 for Developers as well as the developer of several iOS apps. Previously he worked as a senior media-editor for Pearson Education. He also helped pioneer many of Pearson’s earliest efforts in iPad solutions. Welch has a BS from Kansas State University.

365 Days Until I am Wed – Complacency is Not an Option (at home or at work)

365 Days Until I am Wed – Complacency is Not an Option (at home or at work)

That’s right, in 365 I will be married and I am so excited! I am the type of person who although I say what is on my mind and move quickly in most aspects of my life by following my intuition and gut, takes time and tries to learn from others when making decisions.

When you start in a new job it is like you have a clean slate, a fresh start, everything is shiny and new. As with all relationships the bumps and bruises of life begin to show, the “true colors” of your manager, the customers you service, even your quirks begin to see the light of day. Over time you start to get comfortable; Facebook and personal email start to be a part of your work day and you are being looked over for a promotion or a job well done you may have been recognized for in the past. The honeymoon is over. Resentment sets in, an inner loathing and even some passive aggression towards successful co-workers makes its way to your work day.

WOW, yes it all happens, to so many people and to so many marriages. This is why I am and we are taking our time and really enjoying each and ever step of our relationship, even the parts when we stumble, fall flat on our face, break our noses and want to quit. If your partner is standing next to you with an extended hand looking to help your miserable self up, even after you have mud on your face, that is when you know you have a partner for life. When you wake up and say that you aren’t going to take your frustrations out on the person closest to you, when you are going to be considerate, loving and open that is when you know you can move forward to the next step in your relationship.

Maybe it is because I wasn’t the girl who has been dreaming about my wedding since I was 6. I don’t even really like cake.  The party thing? Well, to get over being the center of attention I throw myself a giant birthday party with lots of food and live music to celebrate and be with my family and friends. Maybe it is because I always had a tough time sitting by while others around me gained increased responsiblity or participated in new challenges.

Listen, I am not saying that marriage isn’t difficult or that I am an expert. I am no expert; I’m not even married yet. I just have watched, listened and learned from the successful marriages and careers for that matter and tried to absorb as much as possible, sometimes the best learning comes from those that are unsuccessful (I dislike the word failure).

G and I have decided that after living together and moving and career changes and all the other stuff that happens in life, that for us the honeymoon is over. I will tell you that this is a relief because as all you married people know, it happens. The best part about the honeymoon being over? I am more in love today than ever!

Make One Goal

We love lists, lots of them but it has been a bit overwhelming lately. What I ask is for you to set one goal today. Something that you can complete or make a strong movement towards by Friday.

If your goal is to find a job here are some ideas:

  • Apply to 3 jobs that I rate an 8 of 10 or higher that my skills and experience match 85% or more to
  • Research 3 companies, write down 3 facts that I can turn in to impact statements and find 2 connections and request connections
  • Have lunch with your mentor, job coach or other support person
  • Attend a networking event
Goal: Get promoted at work:
  • Assist a struggling co-worker with what they are working on
  • Email your boss bulleted ideas you have been brainstorming re: saving the company $ or improving a process (Thursday is a good day for this)
  • Ask questions to help you learn more about new aspects of the business
  • Excel in your own area of expertise
Motivate your team:
  • 1/2 day impromptu day out of the office to brainstorm a problem, create think tank teams
  • run a one day contest and the winner comes in late Monday or goes home early Friday
  • Volunteer: collect coats, hats, gloves by Friday and go as a group to drop them off to an organization in need
  • order out, get sandwiches, etc… and go to the park for a late lunch maybe even a pick up game of kickball?
  • go visit clients, send people who don’t typically get to get out with your standard sales people
There are lots more but this should get you started!

You Are Never To Old To Try Something New: Motivation & Age ARE a State of Mind

Sometimes getting out of bed, talking to someone new, giving a big presentation, starting a new job or sky diving are equally as terrifying, depending on who you are talking with. It is easy to get caught in our own trap of misery, sadness, elation, or even feeling invinsible and unstoppable. Feelings and emotions don’t last forever but you do have the ability to prolong feelings and emotions based on your actions and reactions.

There are certain people that I have met in my life who, in my opinion, hang on to the negative feelings:

  • I will never get a job because: I am too old, too young, too experienced, I don’t have any experience
  • I can’t loose weight, quit smoking, get out of a bad relationship because: I am too busy, I have a medical problem, I have tried everything, it is too hard, I don’t want to (out of fear of the unknown)
  • I will die alone: I am too old to meet anyone, I have too much baggage, see excuses above
  • I will never get promoted: they like so and so better, they won’t give me more responsiblity
There are others in my life who through adversity and difficult times create success:
  • Grow up without the best role models: create mentors and relationships with successful people
  • Have an abusive relationship: surround yourself with the best of possible friends
  • Have nothing of materialistic value: volunteer
  • Can’t have a family of their own: help out children in need
  • Lose their job, their home, their spouse, etc…: find ways to see the good that comes through change and strength many times by taking up a hobby, creating a support group or helping others
This entire topic came about recently because of conversations I have been having recently with the wiser generation (those over 70). I was talking with a man who is 83 years young and he was on his way to his ballroom dancing lesson. We got to talking and I disclosed that I have 2 left feet and lack rhythm and I made mention that it was something I just didn’t think I could pick up. He then said that he started dancing 4 years ago, at age 79! He went on to share that it is a form of excercise, it helps him socially and it keeps his mind sharp, remembering all the steps. He said he still gets nervous about making a mistake or what people will think, and some days are more difficult than others, but that he likes that he can push himself.
About a week ago, I was talking with a couple in their early 80’s who were acting like newlyweds and so I just had to ask how long they had been married, 7 years!
The bottom line is, we are going to be on this planet for a while, God willing, there is no reason to hold on to the negative thoughts about ourselves or others. There are dances out there for all of us!

Motivate! How to Escape the Cycle of the Slacker? (I am not a slacker!)

I am not sure about you, but I have been working a ton and feeling so unmotivated when it comes to “me” and the worst part is I am mad about it! I am not sure who I am mad at exactly but feelings of resentment are definitely creeping in on me and I hate that.

Things I am slacking on or am not having fun with are the things I typically enjoy in my personal life:

  • sitting down and enjoying either breakfast or lunch (eating standing up or at my desk does not count)
  • making dinner – this isn’t a joy for everyone but it is for me and I am resenting it
  • complete loss of creativity when it comes to food and menu planning (this is my outlet)
  • zero interest in running, yoga, zumba (even though I have no coordination) or any physical activity
  • sitting outside and relaxing – i feel stressed and overwhelmed
I am sure the list continues and you have your own list, but how do we get out of this cycle?
  • make a list and include your “me” items on it (“me” = those things that make you happy)
  • follow through and complete the list, make sure that the size of the list is doable
  • do not check your email at all hours of the day, shut your computer completely off and do not look at your phone first thing in the morning and after dinner at night NO EXCEPTIONS
  • skip the TV and turn on some music, music is such a bright light for so many of us yet we forget about how good it makes us feel
  • practice your hobby, seriously, just because you aren’t a kid in music or art class doesn’t mean you don’t need to make time to practice for yourself and your own well being
  • eat every meal sitting down and on a plate – NO EXCEPTIONS
  • prioritize your work day in 2 hour increments of what you plan on working on, is it feasible to meet your goals based on the hours you have dedicated to it? If not let your manager know, confirm with yourself that this is ok.
  • Too many conference calls? Create a list of them all and work on a plan to consolidate them, not just for you but for your entire team/group and present a plan and ask for a trial period.
  • RE: Conf calls: Create a document that will help streamline the conversation once you are all on the call to make things go more quickly. Suggest it but let someone else implement if appropriate.
  • learn how to say NO – future blog I am sure
Hopefully you are feeling better already and a bit more in line with what you can and will accomplish for you and your company today!

Fitting in at a Whole Other Level: I Joined a Fantasy Football League

There are certain things you must be able to talk about in order to fit in, be well rounded and feel social whether in business, a cocktail party or when meeting new people: the stock market (or at least the economy), news stories of relevance and sports (typically baseball & football).  Football and I, well, I grew up near Buffalo and although it was fun to watch the Bills, especially live, I was never a true fan and I didn’t go to a big college football school so it was never a huge priority for me.

Last year I started paying more attention because G was on a fantasy team and it was fun to be able to watch certain players and cheer them on. This may have also had something to do with watching the game on a big deck outside in the warm weather of the south vs the snow of the north. It was time for me to get in the game.

What I didn’t know until I went to our LIVE draft was just what kind of pressure and stress I would be under. I studied, I was prepared, notes, charts, piles of data and a true plan. It was like I was getting ready to give the sales presentation of my life, but I was ready. So I thought.

I was going 2nd, so I knew ahead of time what I would do for my first pick and even was prepared for number two and 3 but the rest was an absolute blur. At about pick 6 my strategy went out the window because the others weren’t reacting the way I had planned, I mean picked. So I started to question my theories, they waited FOREVER to pick Quarterbacks and were all about the RB/WR… what happened to defense?  I still picked my defense much sooner than 95% of the room, it was 2 picks later than I had on my schedule.

The bottom line is I let the moment and the pressure get to me. In the end I stuck to it in a round about way and used my instincts to adjust in the heat of the moment and my team ended up pretty good (in my opinion and in Yahoo Fantasy’s) but then again Brees could get injured … and then what? The bigger question to me was did I prepare so much because of my competitive spirit or because I did not want to look foolish in front of people whom I assumed knew more than me. You know what they say about those who assume…

You Can’t Just Will Things to Happen: Take it From My Garden

This was my first year with my very own garden and I had to be a bit resourceful since I don’t really have a lot of area that is flat, with good soil, that receives the right amount of sun, or that has grass (most of it is rocky or clay with roots from wild trees and bushes). My partner in crime and I got the site ready with the help of a serious mountain man I found on Craigslist who was willing to rototill my plot for $45, I couldn’t even rent the machine for that price, my father put the fence in and my mom and I did the planting. We planted most everything within the fence to keep the rabbits, deer, turkey and bear out, but the zuccini and squash we put on the side of a hill because for the most part animals don’t touch it.

Update, my tomatoes are amazing, the peppers leave much to be desired, but I have heard that because we had unseasonably hot weather this year that may have caused it, and my zuccini is awful! Zuccini is one of those things that can thrive just about anywhere and I have the personality that believes that if you work hard enough things will fall in to place. Not this time, I have added extra fertilizer of all types, been watering religiously and still nothing, so now I have moved 3 plants in the fence where my beans were and am crossing my fingers.

What did I learn:

  1. I wasn’t prepared: I did not do my research and plant at the right time. Be sure before you go into anything head long you have as much knowledge as possible to ensure the best results rather than something that is mediocre.
  2. Run a test, I could have tested the soil or even put a test plant in. Role play what conversation, decision, etc… you are making with a friend or colleague or at minimum record yourself and listen back. You will learn what to adjust and gain confidence.
  3. Stop forcing things and follow the truth. The truth is I had a VERY strong feeling that the zuccini wasn’t going to grow well but I planted it anyway and was STILL disappointed when it didn’t produce. STOP applying for jobs that aren’t the right fit, asking for a promotion that you haven’t clearly defined, complaining about something purely because you are having a bad day!
  4. Be flexible & open to change, I moved the plants. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results. Is this you? Try to take an hour or two and solve your problem differently. Whatever it is you are looking to solve, getting a job, changing careers, getting a raise or more responsibility (which by the way don’t always go hand in hand at first) stop and try and look at things from another perspective, it could really change you and your outcome.
I will keep you posted on the garden but I will say that next year I am sure I will have even better results because of all that I have learned. One thing I won’t change, my scarecrow!
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