February 19, 2021– Lack of failure is a troubling warning sign. Umm, what? Lack of failure means that you’ve taken no risks and that you’ve tried nothing new. Babies fall down a lot when they’re learning how to walk, but not once do they say, “Wow, maybe this just isn’t for me!” Humans are the only species on earth that don’t try to grow to their full potential. A tree will always grow as big as it can, it never decides that 6’2 is as big as it will grow and then it will stop.
Some of us don’t reach our full writing potential because we are afraid of failing and other’s don’t bother to try. A lack of failure in your writing life means that you aren’t taking risks and putting yourself out there to grow as an author. The only way we grow? You guessed it, by failing and learning from those failures. Imagine that you were perfect at absolutely everything you tried? How boring would that be? There would be no point to living, because part of the fun, is overcoming challenges and obstacles, and tracking our improvements.
Let’s do an exercise to see if there are warning signs in your life due to lack of failures. Please list the following:
Have you accomplished everything you’ve wanted to do in your writing career?
Have you reached all of the goals you’ve set for yourself?
Have you ever failed at anything in your writing life?
Have you experienced rejection?
If you’ve accomplished everything, reached all of your goals, never failed at anything, and haven’t experience rejection…Congratulations! You’ve lived a very safe and comfortable life well inside your comfort zone. Let’s be honest, that’s not something to celebrate. Ask yourself, am I stifling my true potential as an author because I’m afraid to try something new, take a class, meet new peers, or get out of my comfort zone? Do yourself a favour and fail as much as you can! I’d much rather live a life of, at least I tried, rather than what if, and I hope you would too. Fail forward and you’ll never lose, you’ll learn!
January 19, 2021-Do you know how to launch your book? There are a number of factors that go into a successful book launch, but not having a plan is a recipe for disaster and will completely ruin your best seller chances. You will never have a best selling book if people don’t know about it. Here’s how you can have a successful launch.
Start early. About 6 weeks before the launch of your book, start inviting people! Create an event on Facebook, send out invites in the mail, and put the event details in your newsletter that goes out to your readers. Keep in contact and send out reminders 2 more times (6 weeks before, 3 weeks before, and the week before). This gives your guests enough time to put your event on their calendar. Remember to post the details on your social media and also think about having an online book launch event.
Use your resources. Marketing materials such as postcards, save the date, business cards, brochures, and whatever other forms of print media you’re using should be in supply and ready to hand out.
Find a high-traffic venue. You want as many people to come to your event as possible. We suggest a high traffic area so that people can see you and walk in. Think outside of the box, your venue shouldn’t be a book store if possible, there are high commission fees and percentages of sales taken off the top for a book store to host you in their brick and mortar. We’ve had book launches at indoor playgrounds, fabric stores, pubs, and parks and have had much success with chatting to people who were just passing through.
Get help. Hire someone if you have the means to organize your event or to help you hand out literature/marketing materials. There is a lot to do and you’re only one person, so delegate tasks to someone you trust. You can also look for volunteers or students who may need community hours to graduate that would be willing to help out.
Enjoy yourself. Your book launch should be fun! It’s an event to remember and celebrate your success. Have a good time and be sure to genuinely connect with your readers.
February 15, 2019– I do a lot of talks and host a lot of classes on writing and publishing, and at least once per class this question comes up: What does it take to become a successful author/entrepreneur? Is there a secret formula? Is there a quick fix, magic wand or potion that can help? If you read my blog or have met me in person, you’ll know exactly what I think of that. The short answer is NO to all of the above. What I can tell you is that there are strategies and actions that will lead you to success and that they’re way better than any magic wand.
Believe that you can do it. I know, I know, I’m usually a hard ass that says stop wishing and start working, but I want to remind you that if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. See? There’s the cynic you’ve all come to know and love. You’ve got to have the mental posture for success. Believing in yourself requires daily dedication, encouragement from within and positive self-talk. What’s that famous saying? Whether you think you can or think you cannot, you’re right!
Have the right people around. I’m talking about everyone from the people you employ to the people you hang around with on a frequent basis; if they’re not forcing you to up your game and become a better author and entrepreneur, then you’ve got the wrong group. If you want to be successful, you have to hang around successful people. Have a mentor, have the right heroes, and have people that you look up to.
Expose yourself to what is new. Did you learn anything today? Your competition did. You must stay on the cusp of what is happening in your industry to stay informed and relevant. The more you learn, the more you earn. Are you reading publications that will make you a better writer? Do you subscribe to content that will make you see things from an entrepreneur’s perspective? Are you learning the business and are you striving to be better than you were yesterday? Can you name the current trends in your industry? If you said no to any of the above questions, you’ve got a lot of work to do.
Take responsibility. Can you guess who is directly, unequivocally, 100% responsible for your success? That’s right, YOU — no one else. When the bus goes sideways, and you’re the driver, you have no one else to blame. Blaming others for your actions, decisions, and ramifications of those decisions is a gigantic waste of your time. And let me tell you something else, if you blame others, you won’t be in business very long. Successful people take responsibility for every choice they make and for everything that happens to them whether good or bad. Your name is on the door so act like it.
Take action. Come on; you had to have known that this was coming if you’re a regular reader of this blog. Action is the only way to get what you want. You can dream about things until you finally wake up and see the world for what it is; the only people who reap rewards are the people who are willing to work for them. Nothing happens until you do something. Don’t be all talk and no action. I can’t stand people like that. You are what you DO, NOT what you say you’ll do.
Here’s to your success! May you get what you deserve. X LLB
January 18, 2018-Read the title again. It sounds confusing, I know, but in reality, it’s quite simple. This year I want you to challenge your challenges! But what does that mean? Let me help you with the process:
Make a list of all of the challenges you’ve had in your writing career to date. I’m talking everything. Some of these challenges might include not getting a traditional publishing deal, not meeting deadlines, not getting enough or any speaking engagements, not selling enough books or earning enough income to survive with your work. Maybe it’s not having enough time to sit down and write or scheduling blocks of writing sessions. Perhaps you haven’t been able to join any associations, or you haven’t been able to do any continuing education for your writing. Whatever the challenges you’ve experienced, write them ALL down.
Make a list of all of your writing accomplishments to date. Yes, again, this means everything! Perhaps you’ve been able to read your book in schools, or maybe you’ve had something published in one of your favourite magazines, perhaps you’ve been able to secure a grant for the historical fiction book you’re writing, or maybe you’ve been asked to be a guest speaker somewhere. Maybe you’ve started a blog that has received tons of visits, or maybe you’ve self-published a book on Amazon. Whatever the accomplishment, however big or small, be sure to write it down.
Find the gap in between. This is where challenging your challenges comes in to play; look over your list of accomplishments, look at everything you’ve been able to do thus far, you should be proud of yourself! Now study the two lists you’ve made and find the gap in between, the difference in between your challenges and your accomplishments is ACTION. So, let’s go back to the challenges list and use not having any speaking engagements as an example. Why haven’t you had any? Have you put forth enough action? Have you contacted everyone you know? Have you sent out emails introducing yourself and what your work is about? Have you labeled yourself as an expert in your field and have you knocked on every door to see if people are interested in what you have to say? Now, if you look at your list of accomplishments, do you remember what you had to do to get there? Do you remember the hours you put in? Do you remember the emails, postcards, phone calls, rejections, and getting up and trying again? When you apply enough effort to something, eventually, you get exactly what you want. Apply the same amount of effort to your challenges as you did to your accomplishments, and soon enough, the list of accomplishments will grow, while the list of challenges, changes.
I love the saying, you can do anything you set your mind to, even though I believe something needs to be added to that statement. Here’s what I’ll say instead, “You can do anything you set your mind to and anything can be accomplished with enough effort, discipline, and action.”
This year, I challenge you to challenge your challenges. Happy writing! X LLB
December 19, 2018– Failure is a part of life, everybody fails at something one time or another. It’s important to embrace failure in a way that we can learn and grow from it. I’m a big believer that every no brings us closer to a yes. It’s easy to get discouraged, but I promise that failure isn’t so bad! Maybe you’ve failed at securing a book deal, maybe you’ve failed in reaching the target you set for yourself in book sales, or you’ve received yet another rejection letter; whatever it is, don’t give up! Here are three reasons why failure is a good thing:
Failure is a great teacher. Here’s the thing; failure is going to happen no matter how hard you try to avoid it so don’t fear failure, embrace it! Failure teaches us more than success ever will. Don’t expect to fail, but when it happens, accept it and move on. However, don’t make the same mistakes repeatedly, learn from them, get better, and move on.
Failure helps us reach our potential. When we have a no fear attitude, we are able to take risks and when we take risks, we get the chance to be rewarded. It’s when we operate outside of our comfort zones that we accomplish the most. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all. Failure motivates us to do better, push harder, and persevere until we succeed.
Failure builds character and keeps us humble. When our egos are in charge, we don’t learn anything; our egos always want to be right which is dangerous because of course, sometimes we are wrong. Failure reminds us that we still have a lot to learn no matter how much we think we already know! Failure reminds us that we can do better and that as long as we are willing to keep trying, we will succeed eventually.
Now, I know this post is probably not what you want to hear, but if we don’t look at failure as an opportunity, then it’s wasted and we are likely to keep making the same mistakes again and again. Fail forward; it’s the only way.
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