Friday, September 28, 2012

Book Coaching and Under the Sycamores

(L-R) Bo Bradley, operations manager,
Michael Perrotta, author, and Michelle Gamble-Risley, CEO
Michael Perrotta, author of Under the Sycamores published by 3L Publishing, spoke at last night's Writers Who Mean Business meeting. The key discussion involved the use of a book coach to mold and shape your manuscript into a valuable final product that will entice readers -- but most importantly publishers to want to work with you.

If you are considering using a book coach, here are three valuable reasons why you should:

  • You will receive customized feedback and guidance to improve the story, characters and writing.
  • You will be guided to strengthen to strong points and eliminate the weak points.
  • You will receive unbiased and necessary critical feedback to help you write a five-star book.
If you are interested in book coaching services, please call us at 916-300-8012. We respond to all requests and queries within 24 hours. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dating Advice for Women

All right I am not an expert on this subject -- what is that like the warning label LOL? Well, here I go anyway. The difference in dating in my forties vs. twenties is huge. And here is what I learned. Prettier, younger and less experienced don't trump one key element to why I have more men asking me out in my older version. Men love confident, successful women. Of course, it does helps to keep your looks up, too, but here is the master secret: confidence and inner beauty shine outward. If I have consistently heard one thing over and over again from the men in my life: I don't want drama. Drama comes from where? When we act dramatic, it's because we're coming from a place of insecurity. Insecurity comes from a lack of what? Confidence in ourselves, our value and worth. Stay grounded, secure and confident and build your own life -- and dating becomes an interesting field of dreams. Build up your self-esteem and confidence -- and they will come. I can walk in a room now with men who are much younger or older and grab them not just with my looks but with my presence and power. Hold your power. Hold your confidence. Feel good about who you are -- and the rest will follow.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Keep Doing the Same Things, Keep Getting the Same Results

Whether it's in your personal life or business, if you keep doing the same things you will keep getting the same results. We want to get different results yet we often repeat the pattern and yet we expect something different. Think about that, if you're doing anything in business and it's not yielding sales or desired results, why keep doing the same thing? I like to say 1 + 1 = 2 every time. Or I can be cute and say, you can't "sort of" be pregnant. You either are or you aren't ... there is no between. So, if you do X and you get Y and you think you should get Z, ask yourself what in that formula doesn't work? This rigid pattern can only be broken by you deciding to do A to finally get Z. So, let me use a personal example. If you want a different reaction from someone yet you continually do X behavior and you continue to get Y results when you want Z results, you have to stop doing X and take a different approach. Why does this sound so simple yet it's not? Well, because we get locked into patterns of behaviors and reactions -- and those can be hard to break. You have to consciously decide to be and act differently if you want different results. Try it sometime. You will be pleasantly surprised at the shift it causes toward your Z results.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

When We Write We Touch Lives

As writers, we get locked into our little bubble worlds. We focus on the page and the thoughts. We let these thoughts pour out and then we publish them (some of us). We often forget an audience reads our thoughts. I always remember my audience, but when little notes and thoughts about my work come back to me, I am quickly reminded my thoughts went out into the world. I find it exceptionally rewarding and gratifying that some of those thoughts change lives and touch hearts. Never assume everyone out there already knows some of your well-earned wisdom. Once I gave a talk to a room full of women about my first book Second Bloom, and I will never forget the woman who tearfully walked up to me and thanked me for the book and the presentation. She was moved to tears. I felt instantly overwhelmed that my experiences evoked such strong feelings in another human being. The power and talent to do something like that is just overwhelming, which also means you should wield your talent and power with great care and concern, too. I also recently got a comment about one of my blog posts, and the same reaction of powerful emotions toward what I wrote. So, as writers we should keep in the forefronts of our minds that we have an amazing gift to transform lives, inspire others, and provoke thought -- and with that gift we should use it responsibly and with careful thought to what we're doing. And that my friends is my Sunday morning wisdom ...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Morning ... It's Amusing and My Age Revealed

I am home and back with a vengeance. I feel like my old self again -- and it feels great. I'm back out networking and meeting with clients in full force. My funny story telling had come to almost a complete end with my humorless divorce (well, sometimes I felt humor in my ability to laugh at myself) and my sudden realization I might be heading into menopause. Let's discuss menopause (guys tune out) for a moment ... what's fun about it? Nothing. It's only funny in the sense that every now and again I go a little crazy, sweat and need to stick my entire body in the freezer. Yes, many of you are looking at that picture to the right and thinking, "She's not old enough to be going into menopause." Well, yes, yes, I am old enough. Great genes lie about my age. I'm a proud 46-year-old woman. I love to admit my age, because most people are shocked. Again, let me repeat: Great genetics go a long way toward the Fountain of Youth. Other age-preserving "behaviors" ... I don't smoke. I don't drink very often (maybe once a month if that). I eat whole foods. I take care of my skin with sunscreen liberally applied on my face every single day. Fair-skinned people have the advantage of being forced to protect that skin from the harmful rays of the sun. And the last three years, I go twice a month to see Cheryl Mullick at Tre Bella Spa in Auburn where I do essential oil treatments that have cured my arthritis and brought about such good health that in three-years I've only had one cold that lasted two days. The boost to your immune system is incredible and frankly priceless. OK, what have we learned here: divorce sucks, menopause is no fun, good genes rock, and Cheryl Mullick should rule the world!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Your Book as Passive Revenue

If you're in business, passive revenue is the best way to earn money. You do the work and the money continues to flow in long after the work is done. Passive revenue compounds your existing revenue and enables you to earn more without working harder. I like passive revenue because it's the quintessential and true definition of work smarter not harder -- amen. In publishing, your business book acts as your calling card and is more effective than a brochure (who ever throws a book away but thousands of brochures get dumped in landfills), and you get the value add of passive revenue. You can sell a book. You can't sell a brochure. And here is the big shocker: your cost per full-color brochure can be upwards of $5-$8 per brochure versus a full-sized book that can be as inexpensive as a $1.25 per book. You simply can't go wrong when you look at the formula from that point-of-view. Consider this, too: your book can bring in passive revenue for years to come. I have two business books written to drive business for 3L Publishing. Vanity Circus the first week it was released paid for itself in a single client reading it and coming aboard.

If you would like to enjoy benefits and perks of having a book published for your area of expertise or business, please call us at 916-300-8012, and we will gladly take care of your business publishing needs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You Can Never Go Wrong with Sprinkles

Sometimes I just get too darned serious. It's time to make 'em laugh I say. So, I will just tell stories this morning. My daughter Cambria, 8, is a lark. She is very articulate and says the funniest things. Spend an entire afternoon with her and she is sure to make you laugh over something often random. You know little kids and candy, right? Well, last night we went to yogurt -- and as usual she loads her dish with 1/4 yogurt and 1 pound candy ... candy corn, gummy worms ... then she says (and I love it), "How about sprinkles? You can never go wrong with sprinkles." I laughed and replied, "You're right. You can never go wrong with sprinkles." And she heaps a few tablespoons on her already sugar-saturated dessert. A dear friend of mine with whom I share these stories always says, "You gotta love kids." You said it, friend!

Speaking of children ... did you know my company 3L Publishing publishes children's book? We have three glorious books in our catalog: Fart-Tart Freddy, Manuel's Murals and Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life. If you have a fabulous children's book you would like published, contact us via email at info@3LPublishing.com or call 916-300-8012.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Three Great Tips to Jumpstart Your Writing

Writers are constantly citing writer's block as a reason why their articles, books or other writing doesn't happen. And bloggers especially complain and ask, "How do you come up with something to blog about every day?"

1. Sit down and just let the words flow ... don't think about it, just do it. I call this stream of consciousness writing.

2. If you're having trouble picking a word or even picking a title, use your thesaurus. The thesaurus is a magical tool for inspiration. Just pick an associated word and use it and see what comes up that works for you.

3. Do an outline of what you want to write about and then just do what I call "back fill" the content with related material. Then use the other subheads and signposts to where you want your writing to go.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

10 Things I Learned in My Divorce

It's all about the lessons my friends ... so here we go:

1. Always take the high road and do what is best for the kids.
2. Give yourself some breathing room before you get into a new relationship.
3. Remember, you are in charge of your dating life.
4. Create standards for yourself and then stick to them.
5. Create boundaries for yourself and then stick to them.
6. Do not allow your ex to continue to treat you like his wife (you aren't anymore).
7. Any man who doesn't care enough to show up whether it's a date or someone who purports to be your friend isn't really your friend.
8. Make a decision and learn to hold your ground.
9. Everyone deserves to be loved right.
10. Always take the high road.

And the last word on life in general ... let go of control. You have no control over anything but your behavior and reactions. What the other person does isn't within your power to control it. Don't try to force things ... let it flow. And then jump in the current only if you want to be in it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

We Teach Others How to Treat Us...

Have you heard that before: we teach others how to treat us? I had to two major epiphanies today. My lovely operations manager Bo Bradley, whose forthcoming book Hot Mess comes out soon, writes about co-depenency. We were having an in-depth discussion about some of my personal issues. And the topic of self-love came up. Well, I don't want to get into too much detail, but I did not have a lot of "unconditional love" growing up. I've gone on to perpetuate a lot of behaviors and patterns I learned at home. In my new life as a newly single woman, I have found myself in a situation where one of my male "friends" has treated me terribly. With every excuse under the sun that one can imagine, he has continually bailed out or found any dozen excuses not to show up. It has gotten to the point where I expect him not to show -- and not showing up is the rule and not the exception. It hit me today that I taught him it was perfectly okay not to ever show up. He didn't suffer any real consequences for it. He got to keep my friendship and attention. Why not treat me badly? I've taught him well. Bo's words resonated with me. I don't love and respect myself enough to lay the boundary. In taking responsibility for my own life, I have to maintain boundaries. I have to treat the people in my life the way I want to be treated. I also have to say that there is a line. If this person had flaked only once and maybe twice, it might have been okay. But when the unacceptable behavior becomes the norm, it's time to clean it up. I realized today that my enough point was hit. It was time to lay the boundary and teach people how to treat me right -- as the person who deserves love, respect and at least courtesy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Focus on Making Money

People worry about money. Listen to a casual conversation, and most often you hear something like, "I'm worried I won't be able to pay my bills." What is always fascinating is that if you asked, "Did you pay your bills and are they are paid now?" Nine times out of 10 that person would say, "Yes." A dear friend of mine always told me that if your bills are paid, what are you worried about today? Why are you worried about what hasn't happened yet or what may never happen at all. Another dear friend of mine was just worried about his balance sheet. I told him he needed to change his relationship with money. Don't focus on losing money or not making money. Always focus on making money. I guarantee you when you focus on making money, you will earn it -- and that piece of advice essentially out of the book The Secret, but almost all books on the subject teach us to focus on what makes us money versus what doesn't earn us anything but an ulcer.

Monday, September 10, 2012

After the Networking: Effective Follow-Up Tips


So you're an avid networker. You attend all of the events, and in the lyrics of the old Cheers song, "everybody knows your name." Yet despite more trips to the rubber-chicken buffet, you still don't have anything more than a stack of business cards and no real prospects in sight. Here are three things you should do after the networking event:

Email - I always like to send an email to my potential business first. Some people prefer phone calls, but e-mail is my "pick-my-poison" choice follow-up method. I recommend you give it at least 2-3 days (kind of like the rules of when should I call after you meet someone new) and then shoot them an email.

Coffee - I like coffee as a generic meeting device. I don't like lunch, because that can get expensive if you have a lot of follow-up meetings. Coffee is $3.50 and if nothing else, you've gained a friend from the meeting, $3.50 for a good, ole cup of Joe is nothing off your marketing budget. I also found that in the early days, people would use lunch meetings for a free meal ticket when they had no intention of doing business. Dinner can go that way, too. Now if I really like the person and just want to hang out then lunch or dinner is fine.

Phone - after the coffee meeting and you think there is interest in further exploration, make sure you pick up the phone this time. Some people are huge texting folks; I'm not a big texter. I do text with certain people, because that is their thing, but I feel a good, old-fashioned phone call with a real voice behind it is much better and effective, too.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Texting is the New Intimacy ... Huh?

Now that I'm single again, I am amused by this whole texting relationship thing. A friend of mine mentioned that texting is the new form of intimacy. A quick glance at recent romance articles about how to know if a guy likes you revealed the "rules" of texting. Who should text first. When to text. How to text. More articles and time were devoted to the enigmatic question of texting and when, where and how than to actual romance and sex. Let me just say that if you spend more time texting than romping, hmmm ... seems to me physical intimacy is way more satisfying. Now I will say the plus point on texting: it allows you to send quick messages and lets the person know you are thinking of him or her. It's quick and effective, too. The other night though I was going back and forth with a man I'm dating, and it suddenly occurred to me, "Why are we doing this?" I let my fingers do the touching. I mentioned to him, "And why were we texting and not talking?" He laughed. Texting can just happen that way. You get so used to it that the idea of simply talking seems to evaporate. And truthfully isn't a verbal conversation much more rewarding? Now another upside to texting, it does give you time to process your thoughts, and you're much less likely to put your foot in your mouth; but the downside is that there is no tone or inflection for the person to also understand the emotion behind something said, too. I've also had this close-knit friendship with another man in my life where we text all of the time. Through non-stop texting and staying close, we've built practically the entire friendship -- and that seems really weird to me, too. I guess this is all about 21st century connections. And it's changed dramatically, and it's so odd that you can be close close to someone through words. Maybe this is the 21st century of the old-fashioned love letter. Now that idea I like much better.

Friday, September 7, 2012

It All Makes Us Stronger

I wanted to write about getting through the tough times, and the importance of really feeling your grief and pain to be able to get over it. We live in a society that uses alcohol, drugs and other distractions to avoid the hard feelings -- the ones that can bring you to your knees. I've just come to the end of a long journey that lasted about a year. Each bump in the road wasn't a small bounce -- it was the kind of life stress that did, in fact, bring me to my knees several times. The entire time and through the endless tears, I just wanted it to stop. Yet I've known people who used aforementioned distractions and 10 years later continue to suffer their own demons. While each crying jag was enormously difficult, and I felt just terrible, I didn't avoid it. On the advice of my amazing life coach and some of friends who are therapists, I went with the proverbial flow. I let the tears just pour down my face and rain all over the place. I physically suffered the ravages of the stress. And then one day about a month ago, I woke up and I didn't feel terrible anymore. Yes, I still have and had a few tearful moments, but the extended crying jags slowly subsided. And then the next pleasure ... I really felt happy. And then I felt happy another day and another day. And here I am -- excited and looking forward to so much to come. The pain, the decisions that led to pain, the separations, the crying -- all had to be done. Without feeling our pain, we can't feel our joy either. So my advice to all you souls out there, don't avoid it. What you avoid now will only haunt you later. My journey ahead is full of promise -- and I'm excited to see my what's next.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Three Things I've Learned About Life

A little divine inspiration for you all this morning ...

Control is an illusion. We don't have control over anyone or anything except our thoughts and actions. We can't control other people. We can't control outcomes. We can't control love. And we can't control situations.

What we can do is have a positive attitude. A positive attitude is more likely to help your achieve the things you want in life. If you think positive and act positive you will attract what you want ... Law of Attraction. I like to say to others, do you think an Olympic athlete looks himself or herself in the mirror and says, "I'm going to lose today?" No, successful people think and act positive.

Actions speak louder than words. A person's action tell you much more than their words. People can tell you one thing and quiet literally do another. So watch what the person does and not what he or she says -- that is his/her truth.

What does it matter when it's over. I had this conversation the other day. At some point you hit a crossroads and leave things behind. Unless you're going forward with another person, what he or she did in the past really doesn't matter. It's not longer germane to the situation at hand. Asking why or why not or did you or didn't you ... if the relationship is over, it doesn't matter. You go forward and attack your life with gusto and just don't make the same mistake.

Breathe in and breathe out. This really means one day at a time; one breath at a time; one moment at a time. It's the here and now that counts or simply put The Power of Now. Enjoy the moment!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Your Tuesday Morning Wake-Up Call

I've decided that today is going to be "rambling blog day" and let's meander off into the unimportant, meaningless, trivial and super entertaining. I just wrote all of these serious blogs, so it's time to be un-serious ... it's a super un-serious day. I actually got my day off right. My special someone texted me funny jokes to get the morning moving. Of course, I was decidedly serious because I hadn't had my coffee yet. Coffee is the jumpstart for the funny bone. In fact, coffee is the great jumpstart for everything, including my will to get out of bed (I know you're all nodding now). Well, in the better news and announcements department, I am moving north again. I should be back in Northern California by month's end. My same friend asked if I was near water. Darn it! I was so eager to get back, I forgot to search for a "room with a view." Oh well, at least I will be back at my home base. So, this is truly a go-nowhere blog full of meaningless stuff to the general population.

Ah, here I will teach you three things I've learned since my divorce:

It sucks when it starts, but if it's the right thing your life will be much improved when it's over. And that is so the truth. I have to say it has taken a full six months and a lot of falling down to finally move toward a more centered place. So chin up all you divorced grasshoppers, it will get better ... just give it some time.

Dating in the 21st century is way more interesting. Texting is definitely the new form of intimacy. What a crack up. The coldest form of communication is the hottest connection -- what is wrong with that picture?

When you can stop crying on a date over your lame divorce and failed relationship, you might actually be with someone with promise. I kept breaking down in tears on dates (yes, guys it sucks for you LOL). I recently started a new relationship and "look ma no more tears!" And that is how I knew, "Hey! Maybe this is someone to stick with."

Moving on and laughing -- that is best cure for everything. Laugh at the ridiculous. Laugh at the sad. And laugh at the fact that you've just crashed and burned but got back up again. If you can laugh you're the richest person on Earth. Laugh most especially at yourself ... you're human.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Key to Your Success: Customer Service

One of the most important focuses any business should be customer service. Never undervalue or under-rate customer service. Focus on superior customer service and reap the rewards, which are repeat business, referrals, and essentially more business. And when it comes to customer service, here are some suggested policies and ideas you should adopt:

Consistent, on-time and on deadline -- if you promise to do something you honor it. You deliver whatever it is you said you were going to deliver. If it's a project and you say you're going to get it done by a certain time, honor it and make it happen. If it's a meeting and you say you're going to be there, you show up. It doesn't matter what it is, be consistent, be on-time and meet the deadline.

24-hour response time -- at 3L Publishing it's our standard policy to always respond to a client with 24 hours. We might not always be able to take the phone call on the spot, but we will do our best to ensure we call that client back. We try to make each and every client feel like he or she is our no. #1 priority.

You're always our no. #1 -- each 3L Publishing clients is made to feel that he or she is the center of our universe. We have adopted a "yes" attitude to deliver superior products and ensure our clients are satisfied, happy campers who will tell their friends and family about us to attract their business, too.

The customer is always right -- the old adage "the customer is always right" should be your mantra. Even if you know in your dark heart, he or she is not right, it doesn't matter. The customer paid for services. He or she expects you to deliver so you deliver without argument.

Do you have any business, marketing, public relations or publishing needs? Want to work with a team that makes you their no. #1 priority? Give us a call at 916-300-8012 or send an email to info@3LPublishing.com.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Why a Book is Better for Business than a Brochure


Have you thought about writing or having someone write a book about your business topic or area of expertise? Did you know a book is better for your business than a brochure and way more effective? Want to know why?

Brochures get thrown away, people don't toss books in the garbage. So true! How many times do you see a book land in the trash can? Don't we all kind of have that feeling waste and "tree vengeance" when we have the nerve to toss a book? Now brochures are a whole other story ... where's the trashcan?

Speaking engagement requests galore. A book is like someone waving a magic wand and sprinkling all kinds of fairy dust on your head to make you an instant expert. What do people do with experts? They ask them to speak. When you get asked to speak, what do you get? Exposure and new business. New business makes money, which equals profits.

Public relations opportunities rock! A book gives you something to announce and promote to the media. It gives you news. News gets picked up by the media. The media promotes your book. Your book promotes your business. Your business gets exposure. Exposure gets you new business. New business makes money, which equals profits.

Passive revenue from book sales. Go speak to a room full of people. People like your presentation. What do they do? They buy your book. I once sold $3,000 in books for a 45-minute presentation. What does that equal per minute? Passive revenue brings in money, which equals profits.

Do you need to be a writer to have a book created for your business? No, you can hire one of 3L Publishing's master writers to work on your project with you. Do it now, because nothing sells your business better than a book. Send an email to michelle@3LPublishing.com or call916-300-8012.