Monday, September 30, 2013

More Social Media Advice

I always make these mental notes about social media to share with you all -- my knowledge-seeking readers. Every so often, I see "social media faux pas" and think I should comment here vs. start a flame war. Actually, flame wars are something that I'm also going to provide some advice on, too. So, here we go your sage wisdom from the "so-called" sage (some days maybe LOL). (PS, my favorite social media is Facebook.)

Aforementioned flame wars have no place on your business or professional page. I avoid political discussions or debates for that very reason. Nothing sets the stage better for a flame war than a political debate with some "sort'a friend" you barely know. Now the exception here is, of course, if you have a politically motivated topic, product or service. An engaging debate is always welcome to promote your overall message. A "flame war" that often involves a lot of inflammatory discussion, though, should not be welcome. You always want to be intelligent and thoughtful, too, with your answers. However, as noted if you're not a political page then why would you invite flame wars on your page. We could also call these participants "haters," too. Haters never change their opinions. So gasoline on the flame will do nothing but hurt your image, especially if your page is not meant for political discourse.

If you can't say something nice don't say it all, mother says. Mother is right. The main point: watch your image or impression you make on others. If someone says something silly or ridiculous on your page, a simple "delete" works best. You need not engage him or her -- especially not in public. Again, your business or professional page is not meant to invite disparaging or rude discourse. Bottom line, you look bad to your audience and turn off people who might otherwise be interested in working with you.

What the heck is that? I should not look at your profile picture and wonder, "What is that thing?" Not a good sign -- and especially not a good sign when you're trying to attract "friends" or connections. Your profile pictures should effectively communicate. Strange and out-of-place pictures make no sense on your business or professional page. Also, and I've noticed this a lot lately, if you're trying to present a logo or item, put it on the Wall background, but don't put it as your profile picture. I don't know who I am engaged in conversation with. No one wants to have a lively chat with a logo. Using a logo on the background of your Wall is absolutely fine, but whoever's page it represents should use a live human shot for the profile picture.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Valuation of Free -- Free isn't Valuable

I had this discussion last night. We were talking about why I didn't want to do my "Build Your Business Book in a Day" workshop for free just to attract prospects. What I said lends itself to this blog.  The perception of free can do two critical things:

1. People aren't as motivated to attend something that is FREE because if something comes up they will easily "wash" the free program. They lose nothing. Sometimes the potential "loss" is a motivator just to get someone out the door ... or out of bed for that matter ;).

2. The perception of FREE begs the question, "If it's worth nothing it's probably worth nothing" and kills perception of value. With lack of perceived value, why bother?

Now there are times when free is great. Free giveaways for valuable things like a Cruise to the Caribbean can attract a lot of business. Who doesn't want a FREE Caribbean cruise. Giveaways of something that obviously and without question has value works. Giveaways of intellectual property is frankly a crapshoot. Even really big names giving something away for free can devalue it. Perception: product perception, value perception -- these things influence us on a subconscious level. So when you use "freebies" in marketing programs, give this some thought.

And PS, for a Friday this blog is way too serious LOL.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why Traditional Publishing is a Challenge

Traditional publishing is the premiere way to publish for authors, so goes the myth. But did you know that many big name authors now self-publish? Do you know why for some authors this has become a more desirable route?

8-12 percent royalties -- when you use services like my company 3L Publishing, royalties range from 35 to 100 percent. If you sell 10,000 copies at 10 percent, say, for $10 books, that is a $1 a book. You've made $10,000. If earn 35 percent of that same $10 it's $3.50 per book, which is $35,000. You can quickly see why some big names decide to publish independently.

Agent Fees: Now let's take that $10,000 and pay the agent who got you the traditionally published deal. Most agents take between 10 to 20 percent. For the sake of easy math, let's subtract your agent's fee of $1,000 for your $10,000 and now you have $9,000. The self-published author with a name, still has his/her $35,000.

Which would you rather have?

  • $9,000 for selling 10,000 books, which in the literary world is a lot of books ... OR
  • $35,000 for 10,000 books, and this doesn't count eBooks where you can make roughly 70 percent of sales and sell that same book for $9.99. 
Guess what else you don't get with a traditionally published book? Editorial control or input. Whatever that publisher says and how it goes. Don't like their input and changes, too bad. They acquired your manuscript and they own the copyright. Youe opinion while respected and perhaps heard will not hold final weight or decision -- the publisher's opinion will be the last word. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Advice to Expand Your Social Media Following

As an ardent social media user, I have learned trial by fire how to maximize its use to attract business. I have roughly 3,500 connections on Facebook, about 500 and 500 respectively on Linked-In and Twitter. I've not built up Linked-In and Twitter to the same degree as Facebook for my personal-use reasons. I do get weekly queries and questions about my company 3L Publishing via social media and specifically Facebook. Since I am now an expert by learning hands-on, I want to impart some advice for other prospective social media users who desire to build up business vs. socialize.

How did I get 3,500 connections on Facebook. Am I famous? No. Did I create a sort of fame? Yes. Here is how I got that many connections over a three-year period.

Public Relations -- in the beginning I did a lot of promotion for my company 3L Publishing. I still try to do a lot of promotion, but these days my time is more crunched in project work. One key exposure, though, will roll in interest and connections. For me that exposure came from a feature story in the national magazine Success Magazine. Ongoing exposure in other media has helped propel the company forward, too. Continual exposure in print, online and broadcast media continues to draw in more interest.

Focused Attention -- you can spread yourself too thin and spend too much time on social media. It's an attractive waste of time if you don't use it right. I always advise clients to find their comfort zones, which means pick your media. I prefer Facebook, because it doesn't restrict word count or what I can post. The lynchpin is you have to participate in the community. You can't spend all your time interacting only on your wall. You have to interact with others in your community. Also, pick a specific time of day in which you use it. I like mornings and late afternoons.

A few key tips about your profile:

  • Don't get too personal or too deep. I've made that mistake a few times. It backfires if you're trying to appear somewhat neutral for the business community. My wise-cracking ways have been construed as not particularly funny by some uptight individuals. Of course, I wouldn't want to work with an uptight person anyway, but in our way-too-open society, something needs to stay sacred. So while I give my connections a glimpse into my life, I try not to reveal too much. I even took down my relationship status because my personal life has been in-flux. My concern was that prospective clients might perceive my personal changes as unstable when for me it's just a transitionary period in my life. Now be prepared that with a lack of relationship status you'll get hit on by those on social media who are there to meet new people. 
  • Make sure you use an attractive profile picture. I really don't like to see a car or "big gun" in lieu of a face. I don't like to see logos either. If I'm talking to a "car" it's impersonal. I assume it's a guy, but you know women like cars, too. No profile picture is a detractor, too. It feels rather impersonal and disconnected, and again, I don't know who I am talking to. Unattractive, grainy or just bad pictures aren't good either. Try and get a nice, attractive picture. Remember people are attracted to attractive people -- it's a consequence of a visual society. So, don't throw up some grainy picture that looks like your police station booking shot.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Picking Your Professional Style

When I first began my career, and I had spent little time around women who had money to spend on their wardrobes, I thought you really couldn't tell the difference between designer labels and regular clothes from the run-of-the-mill department stores. I bought the belief that cost didn't influence anything in terms of fabrics, etc. Then I worked with this woman who wore high-end designer suites. I quickly noticed a huge difference between my cute, little Limited skirts and blouses and her clothes. People eschew designers and say it makes no difference, but I always joke and say throw that little Wal-mart blouse in the washer and see what happens. Can we say dish rag now?

Your personal style and your choice of designers makes a difference and influences your image. It's funny to me that the men in my life make comments more than the women. I never tied the idea of "sexy, classy" with where I shopped. But if you're trying to project an image, you need to first decide what image to project and then find a designer that suits you.

When I first left corporate in 2006, I promptly decided that my neat line of beautifully tailored suits needed to find a new home at Goodwill. I didn't want to project a staid, conservative corporate image anymore. So toss I did the suits. I had always loved the fun, sexy and flirty label of INC at Macy's, but over time I found that INC often stretched the "risk" to past what a woman my age with my figure would feel comfortable wearing, which doesn't suggest I quit buying INC; I just moved past it. I found White House Black Market suited my style and fit my age and figure. I wanted something that said I was fun, sexy and colorful without taking it to a point that it would be construed as just "too much." As a publisher, I considered myself an artist, but also I am a businesswoman. I want to project these concepts to my "audience" or prospective clients.

Your image matters. And back to the idea that there is a difference in quality. Once you have developed an "eye" for style and quality, you do notice the difference. To project an image of success you cannot invest in Wal-mart clothes and expect to be thought of as successful. Those of us who know the difference can tell where you shop. Now I'm not superficial to suggest that you "have" to have designer labels. I'm only saying watch your image. What does it say about you? Does it say what you want it to say?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Always Make Your Book Look and Read like You're a Professional Author

With so many self-publishing choices, many authors confuse something very important: the ability to publish OR the ability to publish it RIGHT. Many different "distribution mechanisms" like Create Space enable authors to publish on the cheap (and I use the word "publish" loosely since Create Space is not a publisher but a "publishing tool"). Authors write the book and find the tool (they call the tool their publisher, which again it is not a publisher), and they call their books published. They also believe they got such a deal, and this cheap publishing tool enabled it.

The book might sell to friends and family -- and that's all the audience it will ever find. It wasn't even done professionally. It's often not professionally edited (the author is a professional writer and their English teacher friend proofed it). They didn't have a graphic designer design it, they hit "format" in Word and it is "formatted" and not designed. The cover was an image they found on a stock photo site, and they had a friend with a copy of a graphics program insert the title -- and they call it designed. So now this poorly edited, quasi-designed book is the "professional" image they distribute NOT publish using a distribution tool.

Every now and again, one of these writers will send me their cover image that they placed text on and ask me, "What do you think?" I typically look at it and easily recognize what they've done, and my luke warm, polite reply leaves them disappointed. I didn't flip over their homemade cover. How could that be? Sorry! But I warn you that asking a professional publisher his or her opinion on a homemade cover is very likely to get you a response you don't want to hear.

So let me distill this down to the message and/or lesson: if you're going to use a publishing "mechanism" or "tool" to release your book, I ask you, "Why did you not ensure you made it professional?" If you're going to put your words in public, shouldn't you put them in the very best light? Why didn't you hire (remember, free is free) a professional editor to clean it up and then do the final proof? (Two entirely different chores.) Why did you type some text on a stock photo and call it a cover? Why did you "format" your copy in Word and call it designed?

And then when you find some book reviewers to send it to, why do you act surprised that they don't take you seriously? YOU didn't take your work seriously! So why should the reviewers?

Do you want to go with a real publisher? Do you want your book to look and read like it was written by a professional? We take your work seriously! And so should you. For more information, send an email to 3L Publishing at info@3LPublishing.com or call 916-300-8012, or log on to our website at www.3LPublishing.com.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Morning Musings -- the Cat ... Again

Who me?
Today's humor comes from (where else) my loud-mouthed cat, Bill.

My boyfriend Kirk, who picked him out with me at the SPCA, asked me, "Was the cat meowing too loudly again?"

"He always meows too loudly -- it's in his job description," I dryly replied.

"We should have looked more closely at his job description," said Kirk with a chuckle.

And, of course the cat is jumping on the pillows on the sofa, because those are his favorites. Bill could spend an entire hour twirling, tumbling and tossing those pillows with little notice of anything else around him. My other least favorite Bill activity is for him to get on his hind legs and pounce on my leg (as I'm walking through the room). Another uninvited pounce involves my feet at the base of the bed where I'm folding clothes and a paw briskly with claws extended comes from beneath the bed ruffle to rudely scratch the top of my foot. And finally, we have the infamous toilet-paper game in which Bill claws the roll, pulls it down, and shreds it with his claws -- all over the floor! "Surprise, Mom! Look at the mess I made. Are you proud?"

And finally, there is the morning meow or more like yoooowwwwwlllllll promptly at 6 a.m. to ensure that as the sun rises, we all know that 1. Bill is awake and 2. he wants to be fed.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Grammar: It's wrong it's wrong

I have this famous saying about editing: If it's wrong yesterday it's still wrong today.

What does that mean? When you're editing a manuscript and you spot a mistake, but you're not certain you don't overlook it and keep going. You use a resource like Grammar Girl to confirm your suspicion about whether it is right or wrong. Why? Because if it's wrong, it's wrong, period. The infamous grammar police aren't going to write you a kind note that says:

Dear Michelle,

I suspect that the mistake on page 10 was something you questioned and then overlooked, but you did know it was wrong, right? So we're giving you a pass.

All our best,

Grammar Police

The real trick is to know it could be wrong. I once played that Who Wants to Be a Millionaire board game with my family. I almost always won. Why? Not because I was the queen of trivia by any stretch of the imagination. It was because I knew what I didn't know -- and I knew to "phone a friend" or whatever the gimmick was. In editing you don't have to know every grammar, usage or style rule. You just have to know when to look it up!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Build Your Business Book in a Day -- Workshop


Build Your Business Book in a Day -- Workshop
Price: $99.95
Date: October, 5, 2013
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Location: 200 South Lexington Dr., Main Office/Club House

Sign Up: Click here, (if you're not on Meetup.com, just join (it's easy) and then hit "Yes" and it takes you to PayPal. You can also have us process your credit card, cash or check by sending an email to info@3LPublishing.com or calling 916-300-8012.

Michelle Gamble-Risley, CEO of 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing.com) and author of two business books and publisher of a half-dozen others, is teaching a workshop titled "Build Your Business Book." This three-hour workshop will help business people and entrepreneurs interested in gaining valuable opportunities by writing a book to support their businesses. Nothing sells your business better than a book.

Here are the benefits of having a book to support your business:
  • Gain credibility as a subject matter expert
  • As an expert be asked or submit proposals to become a qualified speaker
  • From speaking engagements build credibility and trust with your audience
  • Earn valuable return on investment through business opportunities that arise by speaking
  • Leverage the newsworthiness of your book to gain print, broadcast and TV media exposure
  • Media exposure also increases visibility, earns credibility, and draws business interest
  • Earn extra income as a qualified speaker
  • Earn extra income from back-of-the-room sales
  • Attract interest from your business community (one business book writer got a six-figure CEO position from his book)
In this workshop, you will walk away with:
  • A marketable and business-related topic to develop your book
  • A fully developed table of contents to provide the roadmap for your book
  • Basic input on each chapter's content, with additional advice and input from Publisher and participants
  • Outline of each chapter on a student-by-student basis
  • Evaluation of any chapters already written
  • And enough ideas and direction to complete your book
  • A PDF file provided before class of a workbook to use during and after class
  • And a mid-afternoon snack and water to replenish
And here is one very important FACT about having a business book: PEOPLE THROW AWAY BROCHURES; THEY DO NOT THROW AWAY BOOKS!

To participate in the workshop, the cost is $99.95 per person and class size is limited to 15 students. We will close the class once we meet our limit, and schedule another class if we have overflow. 

Workshop participants can also take advantage of this one-time offer

For participants ONLY 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing.com) will then take their books and provide the following:

$1,000 Editing Package
  • Participants will be offered an extremely inexpensive editing package, which includes: a one-time edit and final proof.
$3,000 Editing and Graphics/Production Package (Limit 175 Book Pages)

If 3L Publishing deems the book qualified to go into our canon of books, we will then offer the following full-service editing and graphics package, which includes:
  • Full-service editing and final proof
  • Front and back-cover design*
  • Interior book design
  • Marketing content for the back cover copy
  • Pre-press production (preparation for the printer)
*Design does not include original illustrations or photos.
*Cost doesn't cover printing or eBook conversion 

The is a dramatic 50% OFF our publishing packages. And it will only be offered to workshop participants. Payments can be made in one or two easy payments. 3L Publishing accepts credit cards, checks or cash. For more information, please contact us at 916-300-8012 or send an email to info@3LPublishing.com. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Target Marketing and Promotion Works ... Misdirect or Miss and It Doesn't!

This discussion takes place I would say about twice a year -- target marketing. I am forever on the receiving end of a mass marketing campaign that is so off-target, I wonder if the marketing executive even understands what he or she is doing. The biggest offenders typically come from those who put little or not effort into their mailings lists or who they are doing outreach to.

So, let's start with today's offense. If you are my "friend" on social media (Facebook) chances are you connected with me and not the other way around. I don't do much "friending" because I really don't need to do it. People come to me, and I have about 3,500 connections, which is plenty. This morning I have a message from a guy who asks two of the offending "mis-target" questions. Here they are:

1. Do you blog?
2. Do you want to learn how?

Let's start with the basic breakdown. First, this person didn't look at my profile at all. The biggest and probably most glaring answer to his first question was right there on my blog. Aside from let's ignore that I'm a publisher and writer, and it's very likely under those titles I would blog. BUT I'll give the guy some leeway except ... two different blogs are connected to my profile. All right, so do you blog? The answer to that question was so obviously "yes" and the answer was so obviously "no" to "did you do your homework?" And had he done his homework, the second question would have been moot.

Let's also add insult to annoyance in that this guy "messaged" me. He did take the time to actually write directly to me. At the point where he sent a real message he should have vested his time more wisely. Had he researched his "target" more precisely, he wouldn't have wasted his time with the message.

Target marketing accomplishes two important things:

1. It aims your message at the proper target (a real, qualified prospect).
2. A qualified prospect is far more likely to get you your end result -- the sale.

Failing to target your marketing does two important things:

1. It annoys your audience when your message is so misdirected it becomes actually offensive. Asking a professional publisher with several blogs she runs the ridiculous question, "Do you blog?" left me thinking, "Do you breathe?" Of course, I blog. Oh, yes and I do breathe, too.

2. It (plain and simply) wastes your valuable time.

Monday, September 16, 2013

10 Social Media Pick-up Lines that Fail

I am in the rambunctious mood this morning. I got up at my usual start time to work, which is roughly 8:30 a.m. I have a specific routine I follow. And, of course I got to the social media posting, which I do daily to promote business, and what do I almost always have in my in-box? A pick-up line from some wayward fool who thinks that Facebook is the 21st century equivalent to Looking for Mr. Goodbar. What I thought would be entertaining for you, my dear readers, would be to share some of these scintillating pick-up lines.

So, here we go: "10 Social Media Pick-Up Lines that Fail" (P.S., I am not dating anyway but rather on a self-imposed break from it ... so don't get any ideas here LOL). I'm going to start with the most "primitive" to the hilarious.

  1. "Hi." 
  2. "Hi ya."
  3. "Hi Michelle"
  4. "U R pretty"
  5. "U R beautiful"
  6. "You're so pretty"
  7. "Hi, I want to marry you. You are my one. You're beautiful. Please respond to me or I will just have to kill myself."
  8. "You're so beautiful. I want to marry you and make love to you six times a day every day." (This guy is in the military and lives overseas ... so I might question his long-distance ability to make love to me six times a day every day LOL). 
  9. You're so beautiful. I look at your pictures and want you. I want you to marry me. If you don't respond to me, I will miss you every day for the rest of my life."
  10. Hi beutiful, u r gorgus I wan met ya than havve sum of the sexx, too
There you go! Did I make you laugh? It makes me laugh! P.S. while telling a woman she is beautiful is a really nice thing to say, it is neither a conversation starter or a lure to talk back. What would you have me say to that? "Yes, I am. Thank you!" LOL

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vote for the Essay "Russell Crowe is a Complete Jerk" by Scott D. Roberts


Help us make Scott D. Roberts book Vengeance is Now the winner in the essay contest for the Author's Show. Please go here, click on his name and read and then vote! The main contest link is here: page: click here.

Click on "Scott Roberts," read the essay, and vote. All you have to do is go to the Vote survey, click on "Scott Roberts" and your vote is done. The essay is hilarious and definitely stands out from the other submissions.

His actual submission link: Russell Crow is a Complete Jerk. Read it by clicking here.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Freaking Friday

"Fuck-Head" aka Bill.
Can't you just see
the "evil" in his
eyes LOL?
Today's usual Friday morning musing has turned into the "OMG! I screwed up my shoulder and neck!" edition LOL. My shoulder hurts like a freaking friday all right! At least I have my sense of humor to fall back on. Oh, and I wanted to post this on Facebook, because I thought it was funny, but thought better of it. You can't use profanity on Facebook, as I've been told. So, here is another amusing comment. My tabby cat, Bill drives me crazy. He meows and sticks his little paws under my office door to be let in. He is a desperate "cat" for sure. Well, anytime I'm in my office or bedroom, he yowls at the door. So, I was talking to my friend and said, "Let fuck-head in." Then I laughed. It made me think of the movie The Jerk when Steve Martin calls the mutt "Shit-Head". "Come on Shit-Head." My cat's nickname is "Fuck-head" LOL. Fuck-head drives me insane. He likes to attack my legs or my feet under the comforter. I think the most commonly used phrase in my house is "No, stop it!" Believe me ole Fuck-head would be sent straight back to the SPCA where I found him if it weren't for my daughter who upon the suggestion of such a banishment cried. Damn! Stuck with the stupid cat. Oh, and this morning a tweaked shoulder!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Distribution "Tools" vs. Publishers -- What is the Difference?

I am constantly having my company 3L Publishing compared to what I call "distribution mechanisms" that are not true publishers. Authors think that many of the new eBook distributors are publishers. I try to dispel this misconception. Some of these "tools" include Create Space and Smashwords. Now some of these services will provide what I call rudimentary services such as editing and graphics, but the prices are so low that you have to understand the difference between the perceived value vs. true value.

Create Space is primarily a distribution mechanism for eBooks. You follow their parameters for the eBook formatting and then it's distributed via their systems. Now I am not an expert on Create Space, but also I do caution authors who believe Create Space is their publisher. These groups, and this includes Smashwords, are in the group of self-publishers, but typically don't provide any substantial assistance and real publishing methodologies. For example, Smashwords has listed graphic artists who will "design" a cover for your book. I am being frank when I say these "covers" are no more than an image with type on it. There is no real "design" behind taking a photo and putting type on it.

When you see a really great cover, you may not even realize the depth of skill that went into it. Let me take, for example, our 3L book Vengeance is Now, which has one of the best covers in our catalog. Here is a real surprise for you: that cover is the conglomeration of three different images married seamlessly together. It is NOT a stock photo. Our graphic artist had to know how to merge the images to make it work and then design not only the cover text treatment, but also she put real design into the interior. A service, and I mean these are services not publishers, will not put any design into the book's interior pages. In fact, they will not help with that at all. It will be up to the author to do it or hire someone else to do it.

Now let's talk about the editing services some of these service providers include in their super inexpensive packages. I cannot tell you how many books I've seen from these service providers that have so many type-os it's embarrassing -- and these errors are on the back-cover copy of all places. The sheer incompetence of errors on the back cover of a book astounds me. At the very least, these so-called editors, who are often non-English speaking workers or entry-level English majors paid $10 an hour, should have applied their very best skills to ensure the most-looked-at part of the book (the back-cover copy) was error-free. Yet that is wishful thinking, and when you crack open the book, the errors often become egregious and embarrassing. And while you may not realize these are even mistakes, I promise the experienced book reviewers will have no problem pointing to them -- that is, if your book even has the credibility to get reviewed professionally. Which leads to another important point ...

Professional book reviewers have seen it all. Most reviewers still give little credibility to self-published works. In fact, most reviewers will not look at self-published books. And it is widely known that distributors and service providers like Smashwords or Create Space are mechanisms for self-publishing. So, if you intend to be taken seriously as an author and promote your book, you will be at a tremendous disadvantage with the reviewers, and the reviewers won't even request your book.

And last, let's discuss the well-known phrase, "cheap is cheap" AKA "cheap is as cheap does." When authors brag to me that they bought that $99 publishing package, I realize they don't understand what they bought. A complete publishing package that includes graphics and editing will NEVER cost $99. The skill necessary to edit, design and produce a well-done book will never be included in a $99 special, period. Why? Let's break it down to the lowest common denominator: education and experience. We're not talking about the lowest paid professions (editors and graphic designers). We're not talking about McDonald's workers. Editors and graphic designers are educated professionals. An educated professional is worth something valuable. Do you really believe any company can afford to pay educated professionals to create your book at $99 -- and make money? Even in volume this would be impossible. And when you put it in that context it makes it easy to understand why that great deal an author thinks he or she got probably isn't quite what him or her thinks.

Do you want to publish a book you can be proud of? Do you want to publish a book that reviewers will actually review? Then call my company at 916-300-8012 or send an email to info@3LPublishing.com. We will gladly review the services and true value you'll receive working with a bona-fide publisher. For more information, visit our website at www.3LPublishing.com.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

People Can't Resist the "Love"

I remember I sat down once with a psychic (I know many of you don't believe in the metaphysical, and that's okay), and I was discussing a particularly difficult situation. He told me "flow the love." And then he told me to just try consistently flowing love on people and see what would happen. He told how he was extra "loving" and positive with the workers at Taco Bell. So, he made a pact with himself that he would go in there every day, and he would see what his positive, thoughtful and loving attitude would produce. He told me by the end of the "experiment" he had the Taco Bell workers calling him by his first name and shoving free food at him. Now his story was much more embellished than my little synopsis, but his point: flow love and people can't resist it; you will get love in return.

So in my ongoing desire to expand and try new things, I decided to do nothing but flow love in my personal life and business. I wanted to see if it would turn some problems around. So, I began taking the positive, love "vibe" into everything I am doing. Warm, loving support even when the person just annoyed the holy crap out of me LOL. Bo, our operations manager and resident spiritual savant, told me to try this on my cat, Bill. Bill has this perpetual habit of meowing (or more like yowling) at my bedroom door every morning. She said the cat was my test. She said flow him love. So, I decided, "Okay ... let's see." Now first and foremost dear readers, I have been doing a lot of work on my heart chakra, too. So, in my pinkest of pink, I flowed the cat love when he was yowling. Miraculously the cat stopped. Coincidence? I think not.

Now in my business and personal endeavors, I have some new approaches I am trying. I'm going to see if this approach turns around some issues. I will report back. Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What is it about a yellow highlighter pen vs. red pen?

My mind is always active, and I have these stray thoughts. Today's meandering question: Why can my eye catch on the yellow highlighter pen mark-ups on my calendar while the red pen (meaning urgent) never works. I have found this odd, little truth. If I don't highlight an item, I swear it gets missed. One would suppose a "red" pen would catch my attention. Doesn't red mean stop? But alas red doesn't seem to mean anything. BUT if I highlight the red pen, it works marvelously. If I have appointments on my calendar and I highlight the red ink, never fails! My eye will see it. If I want to guarantee that I NEVER see the appointment or the due date, well, don't use the highlighter. When I was in college, key points in my textbooks I wanted to remember, I highlighted. (BTW, I always took tons of notes in class. Why? Because it kept my mind busy and I wasn't bored. Anyone can relate?)

I have the busiest mind around. My guy (not sure if we're officially boyfriend/girlfriend yet ... I'm still nursing wounds from a recent break-up) points out all the time that he can't keep up with my over-active brain. He is also utterly amazed at my memory. Since he's a repeat storyteller (which drives me nuts), and I remember everything he has ever said, he gets flustered when I tell him, "I know that already." He acknowledged the other day, "You have a mind like a steel trap." It's true! That "mind" he is so awed over allows me to do instant recall when editing. I can remember usage "collisions," meaning the author used one style one way and 20 pages later used it another way. Ah, now you see the benefits of the "steel-trap memory".

And back to ... the highlighter pen! Are you scratching your head yet and wondering, "What exactly is this blog about?"

Monday, September 9, 2013

Habits of Successful People

I believe its author Stephen Covey who covers the habits of successful people. I didn't read the book, but I've heard it referenced among other authors and individuals enough that I know some of its facets. As an entrepreneur, I've learned what works and generally what doesn't work. I've discovered that some of my natural traits and instincts served me well in business. So, I thought I would guide others by sharing what are the things that I do that help me to succeed.

Discipline -- and it's a job not a get-of-out-work free card. When you run your own show, you will find temptations abound. You don't have a boss. You don't have a supervisor. Your only person driving the team is YOU. If you're not disciplined and don't have enough fortitude to avoid temptations such as a bike ride at 2pm vs. work then it's very likely you'll run right into problems. I learned from the first day I went independent that you go to your desk and you do the work. Even when the work isn't on deadline, you still go to your desk and market and promote your company. In the last seven years, I have never had a day without work. In fact, I always have multiple projects running, but regardless I am disciplined and treat the job like a business. Notice I didn't say job! It's not a job. It's a business -- and yes, there is a difference.

Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Yearly Goals -- you absolutely need goals. If you don't have daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals, you will find you're a bit aimless. My daily goals are project goals. If I meet my project goals early in the day then I treat myself to some time off. If I don't meet those goals, I either work late or flip the goal to the next day. Goals give us "achievement lines" to cross. They give us a sense of purpose and an idea of where we're going. My suggestion is to write down your daily goals on a calendar and check them off as they're achieved. I've done this for years.

Know what you suck at doing and find someone else to do it (so colloquial of me LOL). I love the word "suck" in this reference. I can at least smile when I say it. This "suck factor" really means know your weaknesses and strengths. What you excel at doing, doing more of it. If you suck at something, hire someone else to do it for you. I am the worst at minutia and details. I have an operations manager who excels and even loves the down-and-dirty details. Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean another person doesn't just love it and is great at it.

Proactive vs. Reactive -- don't let the daily tasks at hand become nothing but pure reaction. When you spend your day putting out fires vs. fanning the flame for success then you are very likely 1. stressed out 2. not effective and 3. anxious 24 x 7. A proactive manager thinks ahead -- but most importantly is knowledgable and knows what to think ahead about and doesn't wait for the fire to explode. He or she thinks what could happen and then (my favorite phrase) "gets out ahead of it" to prevent the explosion. For example, if you know that clients tend to complain when they don't actually "see" progress then you make it a policy to always show them progress. See how that works? Then they don't have anything to complain about. Getting out ahead of problems results in 1. calm management 2. well-managed projects and 3. happy clients.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Four Things I've Learned About Successful Business

As a business owner (I'm CEO of 3L Publishing, www.3LPublishing.com), we all want to succeed. No one does anything unless, of course they're a little nutty to fail. We all want to succeed and flourish. In my road to entrepreneurship, I've learned a lot. I've had many ups and downs. I've made a lot of money. I've made less money. And I need to make more money. If you're thinking of starting a business or you're wondering how you could improve business, here are three critical things I've learned about succeeding in business.

Tip #1: Surround yourself with people who are more talented than you are. What? Yes, if you want to look even better, make sure your team are truly talented. Those who are smarter, more talented, and skilled will shine a better light on you, and they will help you succeed. It's foolish to surround yourself with people with less talent out of insecurity or any other emotional neurosis surrounding your ego. Having an incredible team of talent enables your business to shine in its best light. Talented people can inspire you. They have great ideas. Your only job is to facilitate and support those talents.

Tip #2: When the bills pile up never direct your attention at paying them; redirect your attention to making money. When you get bogged down in stress about paying bills, your bandwidth isn't available to redirect toward more important issues and making money. Leave your manager to pay your bills. You go out and market, network and attract business -- that is your role.

Tip #3: Outflow gets inflow. I learned this on another job where I was publisher on a magazine. The more you outflow (market and promote), the more you inflow (business opportunities). It is a true cause and effect. Sitting idly at your desk and fretting over no phone calls and no email opportunities will get you nothing but more fretting and worrying. When things slow down, market (outflow) and then the business will (inflow). And here is an important rule. It won't always be from the direct outflow. It's like stirring up energy in general. But notice (and this is key) if you don't outflow at all nothing will come to you either directly or indirectly.

Tip #4: Positivity and an overall upbeat mindset affects everything. Even when life gets tough; your lover breaks up with you; your bank account runs low; and your absolutely feeling as low as a slug, keep going. I personally like to meditate and put my mind and thoughts on positive feelings and bringing to me everything I need. Flow love and abundance and it will come back to you. But a negative outlook despite your sorrows and barriers will do nothing to help you other than attract more negative. Keep it positive. See the bright side of life. Seize the opportunities and generally just keep that chin up.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Guest Blog: What is Reiki?


Most people are familiar with the word Reiki but I still meet a lot of people who don't really know what it is. Simply put, it's manipulating energy. Okay, okay, I see that you are looking at me with "huh?" still written on your face. Let me try to explain a little further.

Energy cannot be destroyed or created, it can only be moved, manipulated and transformed. According to Reiki.org “Reiki is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.” We drain our life energy when we only give and give and give and do not take care of ourselves. Without personal practices in place to replenish ourselves we become energetically depleted. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.

The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually spiritually guided life force energy.
A Reiki practitioner's purpose is to help people realize that healing the spirit by consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience. In order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Reiki practitioner's have received formal training and attunements to do this in a safe, authentic and professional manner. 

Reiki can be used for help in healing aches and pains (please note, that Reiki should never replace a doctor visit!), traumatic experiences, depression, chakra's, worry, stress, etc. I have found over the years that I have conducted Reiki that each person's experience is different. Some feel the energy flow that I am directing into their areas of concern, some see colors, messages come from God, their spirit guides or even loved ones that have passed over. Others see and feel nothing, but invariably they do feel a difference in whatever was plaguing them. Basically it's intangible (which is what makes it difficult to describe to someone) and you truly just have to experience it.

Energy is all around us and in us. The great thing is there is an unlimited supply! Whoohooo! How great would it be if you found yourself no longer constantly depleted? You can use the power of Reiki to direct your thoughts to whatever you want and need.

Want more abundance? There is a method of abundant prosperity Reiki that uses hand positions to encourage energy flow.

5 steps can take you there:

  1. While meditating, pay attention to your thoughts. Are they helping you create what you want?
  2. Place your hands on either side of your nose, with your fingertips resting on your closed eyelids. Release the thoughts that are not serving you, thanking them. Be grateful that your mind is bringing them to your attention.
  3. Cradle the back of your head with your hands. Invite in thoughts of abundance and prosperity. Invite beliefs that will help you.
  4. Think of abundance as glowing light that you draw into your body, pulling it in through your fingertips. Feel its pulsation. Bask in its glow.
  5. Thank the Universe for this abundant energy of abundance! Be grateful that all is already here for you. Believe it.

This is the Reiki of abundance. Abundant energy, abundant life, abundant health, abundant wealth. You already have it all!

If you would like to know more or schedule a Reiki session:

Or call Bo at (916) 502-1661

Bo Bradley is a healer, teacher, coach and author. She is on a personal mission to re-awaken the magick of the universe and within each person. She loves to help people find their own inner magick and light on their path to discovering their authentic selves. Bo is the proud mother of three wonderful young adults and is enjoying her "empty nest" being happily married to her husband in Carmichael, CA. She enjoys, reading, writing, hiking, and hugging trees (literally).