Saturday, February 28, 2015

Turning Busyness into Business means Balance

By: Stan Washington
Date February 28, 2015

Busyness versus business is a matter of balance. The "Busy" owner hopes their efforts will be noticed by the stratosphere and sometimes spends a ton of time building great products and services, meanwhile no one knows about it. "Busy" person number two spends time coming up with marketing gimmicks instead of producing quality products or services. And "Busy" person number three misses out on actually selling their product after telling people about it.

Missing out on one aspect of the business can instantly turn the entrepreneur into a very "busy" person without growing their business. If sales are lacking then it is possible the business is "imbalanced."

Imbalanced businesses tend to focus on one part of the area they feel comfortable with. If the business owner is shy they tend to focus on their product while the extrovert may focus on the story before their product is complete and there is a third person who is so sporadic with their messaging their audience cannot understand their brand.

Sales is not Marketing. After developing the product or service, many entrepreneurs begin marketing and sit by the phone waiting for it to ring. What they are missing is a sales approach that compliments their marketing effort. Sales is very different than marketing. Sales is the process that moves your prospect to the point of purchase. Marketing invokes a feeling, emotion or positive attitude towards your brand in a memorable way to drive loyalty to your product or service.

Stop or Start Building. Some people are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Some are not confident in their brand and are in, what I call, "The Infinite Building Zone." This person feels they will be discovered and focus most of their day building "stuff." While it is great to focus on R&D, at some point the product or service has to be released. A strong Marketing plan alone with Sales techniques will bring that product to fruition.

Conversely there are those who begin selling a concept without having any thought behind their business. I call these people the "Vapor-ware Dreamers." It is great to have an idea, but it is better to understand if you have a consumer base who will buy it. Are there some minor adjustments that could turn your product or service into something that becomes a household name? Take your time and make quality.

Leverage Technology. Facebook and LinkedIn are great tools but business automation should be the goal for business owners. I'm amazed that entrepreneurs think they have the time to keep track of all hundreds of potential clients, hundreds of clients, tracking invoices and building their products, all while juggling with one hand. 

Automating processes gives business owners control of their time freeing them up to go after more sales. A balanced business uses automated technology, compelling marketing and purposeful sales efforts. If all are done well then growth can be exponential.

 Find Your Balance!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things You Should Know About Writing a Book - Our Journey (Part 5)

 Our Books
By: Stan Washington
Date: February 26, 2015

We were in the homestretch, or at least we thought so. After months of late nights and hundreds of hours logged on phone calls, we could finally see the end of the tunnel. Our scheduled end date for this project had past but only by a couple of days. Our thoughts of being "done" were dashed to bits instantly when we threw the book over the wall at the editor.

"This is just the beginning of your journey" implied the editor with that steely eyed look that would terrify the fearless! Okay, enough exaggerating. She read our sample chapter and sent it back with a huge number of strikethroughs, corrections and suggestions. We thought we were finished!

Hire a professional editor. We hired a professional editing company, L Marie Editing. This was part of the project budget and worth every penny!  We thought we would put down our content and have someone simply modify our words into something coherent. Wow, were we wrong!  With thirty years in the book business and several books published, she asked us the right questions.
 L Marie Editing (Author of over 30 Published books)

When she asked "Where is your back of the book copy?" we looked at each other like she was a martian. That was just the beginning.  We soon realized that she is an editor in this project and not an author. She pointed out missing or vague information. Fortunately for us, she was great at following up to see if we had the missing content.  Here is the link to our editor's blog: 

Be careful of quotes. We put a ton of quotes in the book thinking it would be so cool if we would mention words from a particular expert. Our editor stopped us dead in our tracks. There are a ton of rules regarding quotes that we had no idea of. Siting the sources became more of a task than a pleasure.

Format after editing. With red pen flying, we received countless cuts, additions, and changes but eventually we were finished! We frantically grabbed the CreateSpace 6 x 9 template and began stuffing in our content. Use the blank template if you can. Here are the Create Space templates.

Use quality pictures. After the final review of the book, we were ready to upload to CreateSpace and Smashwords, or at least we thought so. When we uploaded our book, it took 24 hours to get comments. We sat and sat and finally received an email. To our dismay it said "The book interior has issues that need to be corrected." Our pictures were not high quality and could be blurry in the final print. We changed the pictures and inadvertently changed the spacing of the content.

 Our BooksWe uploaded the book and it was accepted, but upon closer review, we noticed a number of formatting errors that we did not catch in our final review. The inadvertent shift caused many problems that rippled throughout the book. We made the change to the picture sizes and waited yet another 24 hours! We finished our books and celebrated when everything was in, formatted and uploaded.

I hope you enjoyed our journey!  We learned a lot and will be coming out with more resources for our followers.  Blessings on your book!

Add Peace into your Selling! Plans To Prosper (Also Great for Marketing Instructors!)

Our books have been featured in Small Business Trends!

Blessings to you!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Things You Should Know About Writing a Book - Our Journey (Part 4)

 Our Books

By: Stan Washington
Date: February 23, 2015

Another week passed and we still had our books to write. We were on a huge tangent getting all the “stuff” together that we should have collected before we started writing the book. We had our outline, content and plan, but had no idea about all the other “stuff” it takes to self-publish a book.
 Create Space for Self Publishing
Choose Size and interior of the book. We chose the 6” x 9” format since this is common amongst paperback books. There are plenty of book templates out there where you can load your content into the template and upload it onto your self-publishing website.  We chose as our provider. This is our second account.

 FREE ISBNPurchase an ISBN. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number.  Yes, you need one of these too! We chose to get our own in order to remain flexible. has free ISBN’s that will lock you to their site for sales. We chose to purchase our ISBN’s. Please note that you will need at least two ISBN’s, one for paperback and one for eBook. This is the third account we set up for free.

 FREE Bar CodeDownload a FREE Bar Code. Now that you have an ISBN, it’s time to get a barcode. We had the price of our book in mind already so all we had to do was go to, add our price and our ISBN and download a bar code. This generated a free ISBN JPG file to put on the back of our cover. This is great for those who are going to use a paperback book style.

Your self-publishing company will provide the sizing spec for your ISBN Picture.

Download a FREE QR Code. A Quick Response code is used with apps on smartphones to quickly take your customer to your site or information. We chose Google Chrome QR Generator You can add your website or some other information related to your product or service. 

More to come in part 5!

Add Peace into your Selling! Plans To Prosper (Also Great for Marketing Instructors!)

Our books have been featured in Small Business Trends!

Blessings to you!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Things You Should Know About Writing a Book - Our Journey (Part 3)

By: Stan Washington
Date: February 22, 2015

Did you ever have that feeling that you forgot to do something very important when you left the house? Was the oven left on? Did you forget to close the garage? Well, that nagging feeling is how we felt as we continued writing our books. We had left the house and were well on our journey, yet something bothered us. Then is hit us... We were writing a book to self-publish and had not done the research into publishers.

Sit down this is going to be a long one.

Looking into self-publishers can be another daunting task, especially when you rely on the internet.  Here is our research:

Self Publishing Resources
Book Size & Print Color

Our price $12.97
6" x 9" / B&W / White pages

$43 for shipping
URL for Book Quantity Costs & Royalty Calculator:
Cover Specs:
$2.60 / book

Because we have our own cover we have to use the Ruby or above package. Couldn't find the cost for authors to purchase additional copies.

6" x 9" / B&W / White pages

Holly used Lulu and said it was ok and they were charging her $8 a book.
$5.25 / book
Lightning Source
6" x 9" / B&W / White pages

$46.38 for shipping and $1.50 handling fee. Holly switched to Lightning from Lulu and was paying $4 a book. Also recommended by Kelly Epperson.
$3.32 / book
48 Hour Books
6" x 9" / B&W / White pages

$6.08 / book
Greyden Press
5.5" x 8.5" | B&W | Color Cover | Paperback

$8.00 / book
United Graphics

We chose because it was easy to use, had a ton of instructions and their pricing / royalty structure was great. They have a royalty calculator and resources for creating your own cover.  For eBooks we chose Amazon Kindle. Their process was step by step and intuitive. If you have a book in your head, consider self-publishing on CreateSpace.

Here are a few things to know: We chose our own ISBN company, we did not chose KDP select and we skipped the protection. We did all of this to maximize flexibility. 

Image result for smashwords logoWe also chose to make sure we could reach the iPad and Barnes & Noble groups. We had to create an account on each of the platforms. You should be ready to publish when you create your accounts. WARNING!!!'s eBook structure is different than that of Kindle so watch their tutorial. (This will take a while but it will save you time!)

More to come in part 4!

Add Peace into your Selling! Plans To Prosper (Also Great for Marketing Instructors!)
Our books have been featured in Small Business Trends!

Blessings to you!