April 7, 2017- Writing from home is excellent! I love being able to write comfortably from anywhere, but there’s something to be said about writing from home specifically, but I will say that lots of people I’ve met and talked to think that this line of work is fun and games all of the time. They believe that we stay home in our pyjamas, plugging away on our laptops in inspired thought surrounded by fluffy white duvet covers, purring cats and someone who tends to our every need for a fresh cup of coffee.
Hmm…not exactly. It’s about to get real. Writing from home takes DISCIPLINE. You need to treat your time at home as a 9-5 job. This is a BUSINESS. Rather than bring you on a tour of my day, I’ll share the things that you need to do to stay focused and be successful while working from home.
- Stick to a schedule-This is so important because, without a clearly defined day, other things can steal your attention. For example, I know that my day starts at 9 and ends at 5. That is 8 hours of productive time, and during this period I act as though I’m at any business. That means I’m not throwing in a load of laundry or cleaning the garage, it means from 9-5 I’m working on my business.
- Block of chunks of time-This goes into further detail about the point above. Yes, I may have 8 hours of work to do but what work am I talking about? That’s why I block off chunks of time for different things. From 9 am until 11 am I write, I schedule 1 hour for returning emails, calls, and inquiries. I schedule 2 hours for marketing and building new business, we don’t spend time talking about things that aren’t important. I go in with an agenda, and we get right to it. I schedule another 2 hours to meet with my authors and illustrators. I spend another hour getting my blog posts for the week started. Boom…8 hours vanished.
- Put down your phone-Put down the phone and turn off notifications for anything that is going to distract you. This includes email, Facebook, Pinterest, the internet and cat videos. Seriously, super distracting and not good for work or productivity.
- This is your business and life so treat it as such– Have a business banking account, an accountant, write off’s, a business license and whatever else you need to set up your writing as a BUSINESS. Yes, it’s up to you to ensure the success of your company, your writing, your future, your employees and yourself but that being said, remember to pay attention to the people in your life. Take a break from things when you can, make your spouse/loved ones/kids/pets/family feel important by giving them your undivided attention. That means when the work day is over, it’s over. Let voicemail pick up the call from the client that can wait until tomorrow, leave a few unfinished things on your desk so that you can play with your kids, turn off your laptop, unplug and call it a day. The work will still be there in the morning.
As always, thank you for reading and stay tuned for more tips for success.
April 3, 2017- It’s been said hundreds of times, but I’m going to say it once more, You only get ONE chance to make a first impression. It’s true! In this blog post, I’m going to touch on a few points that will help you connect with other humans and not only sell more of your books but also create a lasting first impression.
- First Impressions set the tone for success more often than class, credentials, and education. When you’re meeting a prospective buyer or contact, you need to make a lasting impression. Greet your potential clients as if they were an old friend, be kind, be warm and be friendly! Dress your best and be confident!
- When people like you, they see the BEST in you, and when they don’t like you, they see the WORST in you. Sure, you may not be everyone’s cup of tea 100% of the time, and that’s ok. Sometimes no matter what you do or say people will just not like you! If you’re planning on doing business with people, it’s important that they have some degree of connection with you. The cheapest, most efficient way to connect with others is to look them in the eye and smile. Another tip for making a great first impression is to be like a chameleon. This makes people feel as if they already know you. If they’re standing across from you and are confident, arms crossed and serious, you should do the same. If you subtly mimic your client, it lets them know that you are on the same page. For example, if your client was shy, withdrawn and quiet the last thing you want to be is in their face, loud, brash and flashy. Not only will they feel uncomfortable but you’ll almost always lose the sale. Take your cues from their behaviour and body language.
- Capture the Imagination and you capture the heart-Imagination triggers emotion, and emotion triggers attitude, attitude drives behaviour and behaviour triggers sales. Remember this simple formula and you’ll be successful in whatever you do. Make people FEEL something and you’re on your way to the top.