Tag Archives: writing

How To Increase Your Brand

 


Why Entrepreneurs Should Turn Their Expertise into a Book

By Assuanta Howard @astapubl

Entrepreneurs who have published books are able to extend their brand, become public speakers, gain more customers, and more. Being a published author will open many doors to you and grant you with opportunities to increase your income and add to your credibility.

Writing a book is an opportunity to reach out to an audience that never would have found you. It’s a chance for you to expand your audience and demonstrate your expertise, philosophy, and best practices. According to an article written by Laura Cross, “Writing and publishing a book related to your expertise will have a significant impact on your credibility and can substantially increase your bottom line. In a survey conducted for the Business Impact of Writing a Book:

  • 96% of authors reported that publishing a book positively influenced their businesses
  • 94% said it improved their brands
  • 95% generated more speaking engagements
  • 96% generated more clients
  • 94% generated more leads
  • 87% said it allowed them to charge higher fees
  • 87% reported that it allowed them to generate a more desirable client base
  • 76% said it allowed them to close more deals`1

What those figures reveal is that if you’re serious about your business, becoming a published author is no longer an option, it’s a necessity for market advantage.

There are many reasons why a business owner should write and publish a book and the top four are listed below:

  1. Enhances Your Visibility-Writing a book positions you as an expert within your industry.  Differentiating yourself in the marketplace is more important now than ever before. What makes you unique? Why should someone hire you over your competitor? Having a book to your credit helps you answer those questions.
  2. Be Seen as Credible– You will gain instant credibility and people will be more inclined to trust and believe you. Being an expert author helps you cement your credibility and deliver your expertise to a wider audience.
  3. Elevate yourselfabove your competition by being known as “the expert” people go to for the type of service you provide.
  4. Opens Doors-Establishing your brand creates a multitude of opportunities to increase your revenues and profitability as a business owner. You can command higher fees, receive high-level speaking invitations, attract high-value clients, and sell more products and services.

It has never been easier for an author to write and publish a book. Writing it is a challenge, but is should not be seen as a deterrent. A published book will provide you with an avalanche of unforeseeable opportunities to increase your brand, increase your credibility, and increase your profitability.

Assuanta Howard, CEO, Asta Publications has helped many authors write and publish their books. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner it’s time to turn your expertise into a book. Visit: http://www.astapublication.com or e-mail: ahoward@astapublidations.com to learn how.

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My Daily Read

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ― Viktor E. Frankl

How to Determine What Motivates You

By Leo Babauta
I was talking to a 19-year-old recently and he has been struggling with motivation.

His problem goes like this: he gets excited about starting a project or plan, and is very motivated at the start … but after a few days, that feeling dies down, and he starts procrastinating.

He really does want to do the project or follow through on the plan, but the motivation inevitably drops away.

I told him this is something he should devote some effort to figuring out, because very few problems are as important to solve as this one.

I suggested experiments in motivation. Every person is motivated differently (and in fact, that can shift), so finding methods that motivate you personally is a matter of experimenting.

I’m writing this post for him, and anyone else who might want to try these experiments.

 

How does it work? You try each experiment for a week, and note the results. After a couple months of doing this, you know more about your personal motivation style than ever before.

Here are eight motivation methods you could try:

  1. Un-ignorable Consequences. Set a deadline for the task(s) you want to complete, and a consequence you won’t be able to ignore. It’s best to share this deadline and consequence with an accountability partner or publicly. Example: I post on Facebook I’m going to write 1,000 words in my book every day this week, or I can’t watch TV for a week. (That only works if you really care about the consequence.) Another example: if I don’t write my first chapter by Saturday at midnight, I have to donate $200 to Donald Trump (or whichever candidate you don’t like) and post about it publicly. The idea is that the consequence should be embarrassing and something you can’t just ignore.

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  2. Completion Compulsion. Many people, myself included, have a strong desire to complete a list. For example, if you’ve watched 15 out of 20 episodes of a show, you might really want to finish watching the show. This is “completion compulsion,” and I think everyone experiences it sometime — especially if finishing the list seems doable. So the method is this: make a list of 10 small actions (10 minutes or less to complete) that you want to finish this week on a certain project, or 5 small actions you want to finish each day, and make it your goal to finish the list. You could combine this with the un-ignorable consequences method (if I don’t finish my list each day, I can’t have wine).
  3. A Powerful “Why”. Understand the deeper reasons you want to complete this goal or accomplish this task. It should be a reason that really resonates with you, that you deeply want to achieve. Now write your “Why” in a phrase (like, “compassion for myself” or “to help others in pain”), and post it somewhere visible, so you won’t forget it.
  4. Get Excited Daily. It’s easy to be excited about a project or goal when you first start, but that dies out. So renew it! Each day, start by setting a goal for the day that you can accomplish and that you care about. Find inspiration, visualize your accomplishment, find some music that motivates you, find an inspirational quote or video … anything to get you excited to accomplish your goal for the day!
  5. Focus on Being True to Your Word. One of the most important things in life is to be trusted, to have people believe that when you say you’re going to do something, you’ll do it. If people don’t trust in that, you won’t have good relationships, romantically, with friends, or at work. Imagine hiring someone and not knowing if they’re going to show up, or do the work if they do show up. So you should make it one of your priorities in life to live the motto, “Be True to Your Word.” That starts with small things: tell someone you’re going to do a small task that will only take 10-30 minutes. Then do it. Repeat this several times a day, building other people’s trust in you and your own trust in yourself. Post the motto somewhere you won’t forget it.
  6. Find a Group. Humans are social animals, and you can use that to your advantage. Create an accountability group of friends or colleagues who want to achieve a goal or finish a project. Agree to set daily or weekly targets, and check in with each other daily or weekly (form a Facebook group or subreddit, perhaps). Set rewards and/or embarrassing consequences for hitting or missing the targets. Have weekly “winners” for those who did the best at their targets. Encourage each other and help each other when someone is faltering.
  7. Focus on a Sense of Achievement. With every task you complete, pause at the end of it to savor your feeling of accomplishment. This is a great feeling! Share your victory with others. Savor the feeling of building trust in yourself. As you start a task, think about how good you’ll feel when you accomplish it.
  8. Small Starts, Quick Rewards. Create a system where you have to do short tasks (just 10 minutes) and you get a small reward at the end of it. For example, I just need to write for 10 minutes, then I get to have my first coffee of the day. Or I clear my email inbox for 10 minutes, and then I get to check my favorite sites for 5 minutes. Don’t let yourself have the reward unless you do the task! The smaller the task, the better, so you won’t delay starting.

OK, these are eight experiments, but you might think of others, like the Seinfeld Method or the Pomodoro Technique. All that matters is that you try the experiments, and note the results. At the end of each weekly experiment, write a brief review of how it went. Rate your productivity on a scale of 10. Then try another experiment.

At the end of these, you’ll have tried a bunch of great methods, and figured out what helps you most. You might combine methods, or use different ones at different times. And maybe after all of this, you’ll have a trust in yourself that’s so strong, you don’t need any methods!

About the Author: Leo Babauta is the owner of ZenHabits.net, a website devoted to providing clear and concise wisdom on how to simplify your life. He’s also the author of, “The Power of Less.”

Why Everyone Should Write a Journal — And How to Start

It’s interesting that I had such a close relationship with my grandfather. Because your parents always judge you: they say, ‘You shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that.’ But with your grandparents you have a feeling that you can say anything or you can do anything, and they will support you. That’s why you have this kind of connection.” — Novak Djokovic

Why Everyone Should Write a Journal — And How to Start

By Pete Cataldo
Despite spending a big chunk of my early adult years as a television sports anchor paid to ask a ton of questions, one of the few regrets I have in life is not asking even more of them. Having a grandfather with a treasure trove of knowledge, an essential time capsule of historical awesomeness, was a huge opportunity that I could have and should have taken more advantage of during my childhood years.

Story-time with my grandfather was always an interesting tale of life growing up in Brooklyn during the 1910s and ’20s. He’d tell of going over to the ballpark to watch the Yankees or of his time spent as a shoe salesman.

But when my grandpa passed during my teenage years, I lost that time machine. My Delorean was now without a Flux Capacitor. I still find myself wishing I could have another conversation with him about his life and of all the interesting things he saw during his glory days.

We should all be so lucky to have family members share those unique and interesting memories with us as we grow up. And now in the role of parenthood, the responsibility is essentially passed on to us to do the same for the next generation.

Banging out a memoir of the hows and whys of your ridiculously awesome life is quite the undertaking. No one expects you to be the next Elizabeth Gilbert and pen the Eat, Pray, Love of your own life. But knocking out a few words every day into a book, journal, or notepad is a much easier and acceptable task that will document the many adventures that molded you into the person and parent that you’ve become.

Before we begin, this isn’t about sitting down and writing in a diary to talk trash about the mean girl in math class. This is about a measured and specific approach to daily writing that will improve your own life along the way. It’s worked for centuries for some of the most important historical figures who’ve ever walked the planet:

  • Abraham Lincoln

  • Benjamin Franklin

  • Winston Churchill

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Maya Angelou

  • Oprah Winfrey

Journaling worked for this collection of super-fine scholars and historically phenomenal people, so it’s very much well-positioned to work for you, too. And none of the above who journaled would ever have their relevance called into question because they kept a “diary” of gossip. So, essentially, you no longer have an excuse.

The benefits of keeping a journal

When done with diligence and consistency, keeping a journal will not only unlock a window to the past for your kids and grandkids and every additional branch of the family tree that is blessed with seeing your work, but the therapeutic aspect of a daily writing practice will benefit you in numerous ways.

Historical reference — Just like the newspaper dateline is a great time piece that we use to chart historical events and experiences, the journal is a perfect and much more personal newspaper for your life. As events of importance progress, you’ll have a current events medium to document the occurrence in vivid fashion without losing out on littlest of details; things that may seem minutia now, but end up being terrific nuggets 15-20 years down the road. Think back to something that happened 15 years ago and try to remember every single detail. It’s almost impossible to accomplish this with perfection off of random memory. But, if you charted this in your journal, you could easily refer back to those details in a particular entry.

Spur Creativity — For the writers in the bunch: nothing will improve your writing like writing some more. And in doing so, your brain adapts and learns to identify and communicate complex ideas more effectively. It’s also a fantastic way to brainstorm for new ideas, challenges and goals.

Combats Stress — While keeping a journal is a terrific way to document the past – especially if later generations are able to see the regular writings – it’s also extremely therapeutic for the author. Take the time during the daily practice to vent if needed and let off some steam. Doing so will have you feeling much more focused and driven on the flipside of the journal entry. It’s a daily form of catharsis in action. In fact, a study from Advances in Psychiatric Treatment revealed that a 15-20 minute practice of journaling on 3-5 occasions were enough to help combat trauma, stress and other emotional events.

Improve Mental clarity — Daily reflection through a journal allows a complete and total environment free of judgment that opens up the door to truly process an experience. Whether that is a positive or negative experience, it doesn’t matter. No one is there to judge or make crucial comments, which provides a free zone to explore the inner workings of your own emotions and thought processes.

Help establish and achieve goals — Checking in with your goals on a daily basis is a big step in the right direction towards achieving success. Go the extra mile and document your journey through the use of a journal to chart the progress. Track your successes, failures, learnings and emotions along the way to improve as you move closer to your goal.

Pick a medium

The day and age of finding a random cave or wall to chart your adventures through Hieroglyphics are no more. In other words: there are so many different options for starting and maintaining your daily practice, so essentially, there’s no excuse not to get started.

Paper Journal — For many of us, there’s nothing flipping through the pages of a book and jotting down the thoughts for day with a good pen in hand. For those that want to take a page out of the old-school days of journal writing, find a good notebook and use this as your regular medium for an outlet.

Word Processor — If you want to bang away at the keyboard as part of your daily release, simply open up a new Microsoft Word or Pages (Mac) document and start going to town. You can save each entry as a specific document in folders based on dates; or you could even keep one long document open and just add to it each and every day.

Blog — Now that we’ve hit the 21st century, things like blogs are wonderful opportunities to keep your thoughts in one place without taking up room on your bookshelf or in your own personal computer space. Use outlets like Blogger or WordPress to express yourself on a regular basis. Both allow you to keep posts private so it’s really like a blog for an audience of just one.

Evernote — Saving your work in the cloud means being able to access it anytime, anywhere. Especially when using an app like Evernote. I’ve written blog posts in this app, while also utilizing its wonderful properties for organization. Keeping a journal here is a great idea, too.

What to write about

There are no hard and fast rules for how a journal is comprised. Which means it can be more than just words on a paper. For the uber creative or just the visual peeps, think outside the box and take to some drawing and diagramming to help encapsulate the thought process of the day. The key to victory is consistency. Just plan out a 5-10 minute (or even more if you are so inclined) and sit down to start writing on a regular basis. As you continue the practice of daily introspection, you’ll improve in your writing. You’ll begin to develop more ideas and topics to write about and you’ll see.

And 20, 30, 40 years from now, your grandkids and great-grandkids may just be sitting around and noodling through some old notebook and having an awesome time reading about all of the wacky adventures that you unlocked in their own little Delorean to the past.

About the Author: Pete Cataldo is a fitness and nutrition coach who lends his voice to commercials and narrations as a professional voice talent. When he’s not training, coaching or voicing projects, Pete is writing and sharing his take on the zany trials of being a first-time father on his blog DaddyMindTricks.com.