Is it Time?

February 10, 2017 | Leave a Comment

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The phone rang at 8:01 AM in my office a few months ago. A very familiar voice said, “It’s time”. I knew what she was talking about, since we had been discussing the pros and cons of adding a staff person to assist her in her small business. I’m talking small … very small! Sole proprietor small! I asked, “How do you know it’s time?” She replied, “Yesterday when I punched my frequent flyer number into the microwave to heat up some coffee, I knew I needed help!”

“Is this the right time to bring someone in to my business?” It’s a question that I’m asked a lot. The best answer I have is simply this – hire staff when it is costing you money NOT to do so. Ask yourself, what is the best use of my time? Also, ask yourself the following:

  • Business growth – are you spending all of your time doing everything yourself? Do you have time to read industry journals, the Wall Street Journal, or even your daily paper? Do you have time to devote to the creative aspects of your business? If your business is growing, you had better grow with it. Remember that a viable business is one that is in constant movement. Sometimes this means adding an employee in response to new needs.
  • Positioning – do you even have time to consider positioning in your market? Are you able to put enough time and effort into building the relationships you must have with clients and prospects? If not, your competition will!
  • Opportunity – are you missing opportunities to do things like attend conventions, trade shows, meetings, network, update your web site, develop and market products? If not, it may be time! Education is a continuing effort.
  • Money – when you have $95,000 in collectibles you haven’t had time to invoice … it’s time!
  • Life balance – this is not just a catchy phrase, it is your life! Being overwhelmed with work can be like trying to fit size 12 feet in a size 8 shoe! Do your children think you are an intruder when you walk in the door? If they do … it’s time!
  • Image – this is not an arrogant consideration. Could you be better positioned in your market if you had an employee or employees? If you give workshops on teambuilding but have no way to relate to it with a personal story, what does this say? If you pride yourself on quick response but can’t return phone calls in a timely manner, what may it say about you? Do you “walk your talk?” It may be time.
  • If Oprah’s producers call you wanting you to promote your new book or product but you haven’t had time to call them back … it’s time!
  • Finally, are you working more but enjoying it less? Only you can answer this one, however, realize that if you aren’t finding joy in what you do, your customers or clients will know it, and it will hurt your business.

Once you bring someone on board, remember this: If you want to be the best boss possible, never forget what your employee really wants, namely, to make a difference. My friend, Shep Hyken, shared the following story, which illustrates my point.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain, winner of the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge Award for quality service, is famous for top-notch customer service. Here is why. Every employee, whether doorman, waiter, cook, or janitor, can spend up to $2,000 on the spot to fix a guest’s problem. (That was the number a few years ago it may have gone up.) What must that say to each employee? They know they CAN make a difference. That’s what I call empowerment! I used to work for a Fortune 100 corporation. We barely could spend a dollar without several people “signing off on it”!

Never underestimate the power of giving someone authority. After you have found an employee, make sure he or she feels appreciated and important to your business. If you do, a wonderful dynamic will take place. You will have a business partner, not just an employee.

Is it time for you to hire an employee? If it is, your goal as a business owner must be to nurture and lead them so that they may feel a sense of ownership in your business. Are you up to the challenge?

 

Copyright 2017. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and fully monetize their intellectual property! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314.822.8225
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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Do I Need a Book?

February 5, 2014 | 18 Comments

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I’m constantly asked this question. You see it often on the NSA Facebook page. This post is geared more towards newer speakers. People just starting out in speaking asking for advice about a book – should they do one, do they need one and will it propel my speaking business? Answer – yes, not now and maybe. Shall I expand??

Too often well-meaning people advise newbies to quickly write a book so they have something to build their business around, and so that they have product right away. I think it’s a horrible idea!

I feel you need to live with your material, your expertise for a while before writing a book. What you should seek to do right away is start writing a blog. That is a way to get your intellectual property to the marketplace small pieces at a time. The magic of being effective on social media is to have great information to put out. Blog posts allow you to do just that.

As you grow your business and get more and more platform time with your expertise you will have stories, examples and a deeper understanding of your topic. That is what you need to have in order to be ready to write a book.

Writing a book can be a daunting project! I’m reminded of the saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite a time”! The same can be said of writing a book. Write it one blog post at a time! Blog posts that are 500 to 800 works can be expanded with examples and stories from your clients. Then you have more than a post. You have a chapter!

So concentrate on getting a content rich blog established. Not a book. There is plenty of time to write a book, and the book will be a better product if you live a while with our expertise!

The next decision you need to make is to seek out a publisher or self-publish. I always ask clients “What is it that you want to accomplish with a book?” Simply put, if it’s for exposure, you may want to see a publishing house. Not an easy prospect at all. If your answer is to gain exposure and make money, consider self-publishing. Your clients could care less who published your book as long as it is helpful to them!

There are lots of decisions that need to be made as you grow your business. Writing a book makes sense later than sooner to me.

What do you think?

Copyright 2014, Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314.822.8225
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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The Greatest Quote Ever – A Cautionary Tale!

May 6, 2013 | 15 Comments

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I tell a story about quotes often when visiting chapters. I realized I never have written a post about it and decided it would be worthwhile to do so. Here goes my “quote story”.

I started capturing email addresses on my website when I started sending out “Book More Business Tips” in 1999. (I now send out my “Book More Business Blog”.) My first tip was scheduled to go out and I was travelling.

I can’t remember for the life of me what the tip was (except that I’m sure it was memorable to someone, perhaps my mother. Regardless, I wrote the tip and followed with a quote by that great American composer, Irving Berlin. The quote was:

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.

I couldn’t wait to check my email to see MY tip! And how smart my readers would think I was to tie Irving Berlin, for heaven’s sake, into the point! My celebration was premature.

After checking the email I picked up voice mail messages. Here was the most memorable.

Lois, take me off your damn tip list! If I wanted to know what Irving Berlin thought about the speaking business I’d go to the library.

Click.

Yep, that was it. No name, no number, just that message.

Then I checked the next message. Here it is:

Lois, Gitomer here. Was I a little short on my last message? Here’s the point. When you quote someone else, you give away your expertise! However, when you follow another’s quote with your own quote, your own thought, you bring the perception of expertise back to yourself. Bye.

Click.

Jeffrey Gitomer had taken me to school in a phone message! And, it was a great one! I think of this story every time I see quotes come up on Twitter. If you look at Jeffrey’s account, @gitomer, you’ll notice he practices what he preaches! Now I do too.

I take the time to put my own thought at the end of another’s quote. Better yet, I’ve started creating my own quotes, and they have been well received!

So, what should you do the next time you want to quote someone else? Think of Jeffrey.

WWJD – What would Jeffrey do?

Copyright 2013 Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Phone: 314.822.8225
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/loiscreamer
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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Why I Turned Down a New York Publishing House

June 12, 2012 | 46 Comments

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Writing a book is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. When I started my business I created a manual. I pulled it a few years ago because it was out of date.

I spoke at the NSA 2011 convention in Anaheim. Great group! Talked to lots of people after the program. When I finally left and returned to my room I had an email from a representative from John Wiley and Sons, New York publishing house. (I don’t know about you but publishers rarely email me!)

Joan (not her real name) told me she was in my audience and loved my program. Further, she wanted talk to me about writing a book for Wiley! Wow! I was stunned and thrilled at the same time. In fact, I felt my head getting bigger as the day went on!!

After the convention I came home and gave Joan a call. She loved my material, my systems, my sales questions, loved it all! However, she felt writing the book strictly for speakers was way too niche. She said my material could easily apply to many other professionals, consultants and small businesses. She wanted me to write the book about them – to broaden the base.

I sent her some of my writing, she confirmed she liked it and sent me a proposal to fill out. All of this took a few months. So, there I sat with my proposal.

I’m not exactly sure what it was that made me keep putting off filling out this proposal! Colleagues said I needed to get right on it, I was nuts to drag my feet. Still, time marched on. I would practically do anything to keep me from thinking about the proposal. A few months ago it hit me. The reason I have been putting it off is because it really is a poor fit for my business model!

I realized that if I “broadened my base” no one would buy it! Speakers want books about the speaking industry from me, not about small business. Small business doesn’t knows me, and I would sell few to them. I have no credibility there.

These publishers expect you to be the #1 salesman for your book. They put a lot of the responsibly in our laps for selling. They may have some marketing suggestions, but mostly, you’re on your own. This was another reason I didn’t want to publish a book with broad appeal.

So, I contacted my business rep, Joan and told her of my feelings. I told her I would be forever flattered that she approached me on the project, but after a lot of thought I was going to self-publish instead of go with her publishing house. Her response? A short email saying “I regret your decision”. That’s it!

So, I am still going to write a book. However, I’m going to self-publish to the book and write it for my target market, speakers!

It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision! Would I love to have a book published by a New York publishing house? Yes! Am I willing to compromise to do so? No. My clients will be better served by my writing a niche book just for them. So that’s what I’m going to do! I’ll let you know when it’s out!

Copyright 2012, Lois Creamer. Lois Creamer works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/loiscreamer
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!

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A Simple Formula for a Successful Speaking Business!

March 23, 2012 | 15 Comments

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One of my heroes in the speaking business is Glenna Salsbury, CSP, CPAE. I first met her in 1994 and have had the pleasure of hearing her speak several times over the years. I had to the joy of seeing her in July as she was the opening keynote speaker at the National Speakers Association convention. What she said in that program changed everything for me.

Simply being able to see Glenna on the platform is a teachable moment! She has such warmth, such connection, such authenticity. But she shared a formula she has used for years and it really hit home with me. She gave me permission to share it with you. It’s a formula for creating and organizing a speech. Here it is!

P = Point
S = Story
A = Application

Simple isn’t it? What point are you making? Spell it out. Story. Tell me a story that illustrates the point you are making. Make the story one that is meaningful to your audience. Even better, make it a personal story so they can relate to you. Finally, application. How does this point and story apply to me, the audience member? Simple formula, awesome result!

It really makes sense doesn’t it? Point, story and application! Another great thing about this formula is that it is easy to listen to and follow if you are an audience member. That should always be a goal as a speaker.

The thing that I have discovered since becoming a fan of the formula is that it can be used when writing too.

There you have it! Three simple steps to a successful speech, a successful business. And thanks again to Glenna for allowing me to share this with you. Hint – if you ever get the chance to see her on the platform, run, don’t walk! You won’t be disappointed!

Copyright 2012, Lois Creamer. Lois Creamer works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv
Sign up for my blog posts so you don’t miss any at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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