Want to Earn a Living Creating? Here’s Your Mountain

4 Truths You Need to Know to Get to the Top

At this point in my career, I’ve sold a lot of books. But I was hardly an overnight success. First came work in publishing and agenting. I learned how book sales worked—and didn’t work—well before I published a word of my own.

I want to use my experience here to puncture a thought bubble I encounter when talking with would-be writers and other creatives. I call it the Romantic View of Creativity. It’s not only dead wrong; if you fall for it, it will sabotage your success.

The No-Fail Product Plan [Free New Webinar]

7 Keys for Creating and Launching a Successful Product

What’s an entrepreneur’s worst nightmare? Spending tons of time developing a product, testing it, and finally launching it—only to be met with mediocre sales. Or worse, none at all.

It’s a legitimate concern. It happens in the marketplace all the time. In fact, the fear of a product flop is the reason so many product ideas never leave the notebook or napkin they were first scribbled on.

Would you like to know exactly how to build a high-impact, high-profit product? Sign up for my new webinar, The No-Fail Product Plan: 7 Keys for Creating and Launching a Successful Product. It’s free, but registration is limited.

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Michelangelo Didn’t Starve for His Art—Why Should You?

4 Strategies Entrepreneurs and Creatives Can Use to Learn From the Masters

We’ve all heard of the curse of the starving artist, right? If you’re interested in technique or design, you’re stuck suffering for your craft. But what if I told you that’s just a limiting belief holding you back?

Jeff Goins has good news for creatives in the business world: You don’t have to relegate yourself to poverty to do what you love. In fact, Jeff’s liberating truth is that with the right approach you just might thrive.

How to Read Your Customers’ Minds

The System I Use to Ensure My Products Succeed

Over the years, I’ve coached thousands of online entrepreneurs and aspiring business-builders. Whether they’ve already started or they’re hoping to make the leap, there’s one concern they all have in common: How do I know people will actually buy what I produce?

You see two distinct scenarios in your mind’s eye. The first involves your product thriving—transforming the lives of your customers, generating revenue, and creating opportunity for you and your business. But in the second, your product crashes and burns. It generates few or no sales and all the time and money you invested creating it goes to waste. Sound familiar?

Why Great Customer Service Is So Important

5 Ways We’re Focused on Making Ours Great

Customer service is a double-edged sword. Get it right and you can make loyal, lifelong customers who sell your products for you. Get it wrong and you can find your business in real trouble.

The Wrong Way to Do It

My friend Frank gave me an example of the exact wrong way to do customer service. He saw a t-shirt he wanted for his brother at JCPenney for $6. That branch didn’t have the right size but a sales clerk said the right size could be shipped to the store if he paid for it in advance.

Frank had to travel unexpectedly. The store left a message on his answering machine saying that it was in and he had only a few days to pick it up. He accidentally deleted the message and didn’t know if the store still had the shirt available. He called the local store to find out, and there the troubles began.

Why You Don’t Need to Be Involved in Every Social Media Channel

3 Simple Steps to Get Traction and Build Your Following

I get asked a lot, “How do you find time to do it all? If I participate in every social media channel, I don’t have time to do anything else!” Exactly.

The reality is that I don’t do it all. You can’t be everywhere in social media—and you won’t be effective trying. But the good news is that if you narrow your focus, you can get serious traction and build your following.

Reach Is Not the Same as Influence

How to Build Trust and Make an Impact Online

One way you can reach a larger audience quickly is to piggyback on established email lists from bloggers and businesses with similar interests.

“Third party email marketing, whether for Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C) is a great way of finding new customers and can be an awesome resource for new, fresh leads,” Andrew Paul explains in a post for Email Answers.

He’s right, but there’s a catch. Social media experts often describe email lists in terms of size and freshness—in other words, “How many people opted in to this email list and how recently?” But there’s a third factor at work as well: influence.

7 Steps to Faster Audience Growth [Free New Webinar]

Learn How to Build an Engaged Online Following in 30 Minutes a Day

When I talk with people about the frustrations they feel in building an engaged online following, slow growth and insufficient time come up more frequently than anything else.

I get it. When I first started blogging, I would spend hours on an important post, expecting it would take off. But no matter how much time I invested, I had fewer than a thousand readers regardless of what I did. Not even my mom was interested!

If you’re building an online platform, you don’t want to miss my new webinar, 7 Steps to Faster Audience Growth: How to Build an Engaged Online Following in 30 Minutes a Day. Register now. There are multiple time slots to accommodate your schedule.

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How Reading Old Books Gives Us New Perspective

3 Reasons to Overcome Bias and Understand the Whole Conversation

One trait common to leaders is a passion for books. Reading improves our thinking, people skills, and more. Leveraging a library of history, biography, philosophy, business, and psychology can give leaders a competitive advantage. But there’s a hidden bias working against us.

We live in a culture that places a premium on things that are new. Discontent, if not a virtue, is certainly a way of life. Understanding this, marketers highlight “newness” as a primary attribute of their products, assuming that this equates to better.

7 Ways Successful Creatives Think Differently than Unsuccessful Ones

It Takes More Than Talent

As a publishing executive, I worked with authors for more than three decades. I’ve also worked with speakers, recording artists, designers, and other creatives. I have had the privilege of working with the best—and the challenge of enduring the worst. What separates the two?

That question is of greater importance now than ever before because creative work plays a bigger role in business today than at any time previous. Ask any entrepreneur.

How to Quickly Create Killer Blog Posts [Podcast S08E11]

My 7 Step System

Welcome to Season 8, Episode 11 of the This Is Your Life podcast. In this episode, Michele Cushatt and I discuss 7 steps you can take to quickly create killer blog posts.

Those of us who invest our time in crafting original blog content want to make sure that our investment has a good return. We want to provide great content, but we have limited time. In today’s podcast, we give you a seven step system for getting the most traction for your blogging efforts.

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