About Colleen Wietmarschen

M. Colleen Wietmarschen, Professional Speaker, Coach, Professional Author Assistant, and Award Winning Writer has entrepreneurial blood running through her veins. Owning her business since 1996, she's seen it all; great times, not so great times, changing times, and more, but has prevailed through it all.

Colleen holds workshops and keynote speaking engagements on moving the needle forward in your business. Your business is always changing.

Your Literary Prose helps writers take the confusion out of the publishing process - coaching them through the process helping them reach their goals.

Colleen believes the written word is still important when conveying your professional image; no matter what.

For fun, Colleen likes to participate in competitive walking events, hike, bike, and swim. She's currently looking for a half marathon to participate in for late fall 2017 or early 2018. She started private violin lessons a few years ago. Her favorite quote is "Music Makes Us Human." Author Unknown.

Positive Mindset Moves Businesses Forward. Are You In?

 

Has your business ever struggled to have consistent income?

Have you ever struggled climbing out of bed in the morning and going to work?

Have you struggled finding the right “audience” to connect with and build relationships?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I’m going to open your mind to positive actions steps so you stop holding yourself back. . .

Deep down we all know what to do, but more than likely we don’t take the necessary steps to move our businesses forward. We tell ourselves we will do it tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. When asked, the number one reason people don’t change or take the steps to move forward is because of their mindset; they’re confused, they’re afraid of failure, they’ve been there before, and the list goes on and on. Guess what? It’s part of being an entrepreneur. You can stay in the rut or carry out the steps to move your business forward from five to six, or six to seven figures. The choice is yours.

Lily Tomlin said, “The road to success is always under construction.”

When you are in business the “under construction” signs are always posted…or should be. If the signs aren’t posted, more than likely your business is stagnant with little to no new activity, it’s dull… If you aren’t changing things up or learning new skills what happens when technology changes, or your current clients go elsewhere due to circumstances beyond their control…

It happens! After 18 years in business and building a 1/4 million dollar business going through every emotion, using blood, sweat, and tears to build my business which I loved and had such a passion for, it was changing. The industry was making changes and it was out of my control. I saw the writing on the wall and I started preparing, but I was mentally exhausted. I felt defeated. I was anxious.

My year-out plan was in place; I only had two years left and I was going to spend more time gardening, traveling, doing more of the things I wanted and not being tied down. I did not want to start my business over. I repeat I did not want to start over. Have you heard the quote, “If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters. Stay cool?” Well, I was on to Plan B. My business was certainly under construction.

What did all of this teach me? If you choose to do it, whether it’s rebuilding your business, starting out, or whatever your circumstance, business takes a lot of work, personal time, tears, laughter, and plain not giving up, but it’s up to you. After looking back over the past 21 years, I’ve sat down and developed five steps to take my and your business to the next level. These steps are the basis of any business which sounds simple, but many people don’t carry them out and that’s why they don’t succeed. For example, with music, first you learn the basics of the scales and the notes and rhythms or you can’t make music. These five steps are the basis of any business and if they aren’t implemented more than likely people have a difficult time succeeding in business or it’ll take a heck of a lot longer to reach their goals. We all love to skip the “basics” and move on to the other stuff, but it’s the basics that are the foundation.

What do our five steps help you do? We start at the basics so you are ready and can. . .

Position Yourself to:

Craft Your Message
Write Your Book
Live the Life You Deserve

Once your are clear on your message, you know who you want to serve, who your ideal audience is and where to find them. When you have grown your business and have your audience and you are comfortable as the expert in your field you can write your book and share your knowledge with the world – your clients, potential clients, at speaking engagements, and more. But, you have to position yourself to write your book. After you’ve crafted your message, built your list and clients, and decided to write your book (or not) you are on your way to living the life you deserve because you’ll be on your way to moving your business from five to six or six to seven figures.

Are you ready to schedule a complimentary strategy session to see how we can help you start your journey? We’d love to have a chat with you. Sign up today!

Until next time,

Colleen

P.S. My coach asked me where I would feel most comfortable coaching people. I said I’d love doing a retreat with six people for four days at a condo or house at the beach. That’s my goal within the next year. What’s your goal to move your business forward?

Our new site is scheduled to launch

October 17, 2017

YourLiteraryProse.com

It’s November. Time for NaNoWriMo – What’s That?

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NaNoWriMo – have you heard of it? National Novel Writer’s Month. Honestly, I never heard of it until six months ago. NaNoWriMo is the month (November) writers and anyone who wants to enhance their writing skills commit to their goals for writing. People dream about writing a novel or book or becoming a better writer, but we all know dreams don’t mean anything unless you set a goal because goals have a deadline. NaNoWriMo is the month people commit to write 50,000 words for their novel or other writing project during November. Fifty thousand words divided by 30 days is 1,666 words/day. What activities can you shave out of your day to make time for writing? Less TV, less time on social media, less time sleeping? Maybe you’ll have more time one day than another. That’s okay. The idea is to set your goal and stick to it.

We’re all busy, but if we’re serious about writing, let’s take the challenge. When I plan things or carve out time for tasks I’m able to hit my goals. If exercise, violin lessons, meetings, etc. are on my calendar, I’m more organized and my brain doesn’t have to “remember” things. Therefore, I’m less stressed and have a clearer head to finish things faster and easier.

At this time in my business and life, if I aimed for 50,000 words this month, I’d fail. Wow, did I say that? Yep, but I’d rather say it up front than to say I’ll write 50,000 words this month, not do it and then criticize myself for the next five years! So, my goal for November is writing 25,000 words. That’s 833 words a day which is doable. We’re creating new programs, writing more blogs, and writing a book for 2017 so 833 words on average a day for the month of November is my goal. I can commit to that. How about you? What’s a goal you can stick to and not blast yourself for the next six months if you don’t reach your target?

It’s about having fun, setting a goal, managing your time, and finishing or moving closer to completing your novel or writing project. If you want support during this month, follow us in our Facebook Group, Your Literary Prose Writing Circle. It’s an interactive group where you ask questions, find support, and more. We’re announcing new things to come and provide daily tips and more! We hope to see you there!

We look forward to hearing your goals for NaNoWriMo this month. Comment here and in our FB Group. Peter and I will post our updates daily in the FB Group too.

Here’s to NaNoWriMo and making it work for you – no matter what your goal is for writing this month!

Until next time,

Colleen and Peter

Your Literary Prose

Here’s more information on NaNoWriMo.

 

Halloween…Ghostly Fun for Kids and Memories for Kids at Heart!

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Time flies by and life is so busy, I can’t believe October is over.  Carved pumpkins still sitting on house steps, fallen leaves not yet raked still on the ground, and on November 6 we gain an extra hour of sleep. I used to love the time change and now that I am older…not so much!  By 6:00 p.m. it’s already dark – boo, and I don’t mean the ghostly boo; I mean yuck!  It seems like it’s already time for bed. I’m already making a list of things to do in the evenings!

On with my story:  While wracking my brain on what to write about for Halloween, I came across the picture for this blog and remembered an event that happened 21 years ago. When I saw it, I knew I had to share my story. I chuckle when I see this photo. People who know my sister Mickey will understand and laugh, and those of you who don’t will hopefully laugh and enjoy the story because with any luck I will write this so you can envision it as you read along.

Rewind 21 years. How many of you remember the Olan Mills picture plans from years ago. The plan offered a “free” 8-1/2 x 11 picture four times each year if you came in for a “sitting.” Well, we all know the “ploy” of going through the door and you never just leave with that 8-1/2 x 11 because let’s face it your kids are just too cute.  Peter is our only child so we have pictures from Olan Mills from age three months to four years old and then we start with his pre-school to kindergarten pictures hanging down the hallway stairwell from our upstairs, and we call it the “Wall of Peter.”  During the beginning of the “Olan Mills” years Peter was the only grandchild (besides two older grandchildren) on our side of the family for several years and then boom, boom, boom, three boys within six months of each other: Mitchell, Kevin, and Donovan.

Kevin’s mom is Mickey, and Mickey and I did a lot together (she’s about 12 hours away now). When Kevin was born our mom “gifted” Mickey the Olan Mills’ picture package too.  So Kevin’s first Halloween Mickey said it would be fun to take Pete and Kevin and have their picture taken together and dress them up in a costume.  So being the “leader” I am, I followed right along.  We arrived at Olan Mills and we “dressed” them in their Halloween costume and the picture above is the most expensive photograph two people probably ever spent on two children and you can’t even see their faces!  Now mind you, Kevin was six months old and Peter was 3-1/2 so you have a 3-1/2 year old holding a 6 month old underneath a sheet to make them look like a ghost.  I actually stood behind them and propped Kevin up against Pete so he wouldn’t fall off the table. We were laughing so hard during the entire time it was amazing the photographer was able to take the pictures.

Every year during the Halloween season, I look at this picture and it brings back fun and fond memories of two small boys who are now 24 and 21, two wonderful young men, and I wish I could stand behind them and protect them like I did 21 years ago, but today they stand on their own and I pray God protects them and they stay smart enough to protect themselves.

What’s your favorite Halloween memory? We’d love for you to share your story!

Until next time,

Colleen

[Updated post from four years ago.]

You have cancer…

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Three words you never want to hear – You have cancer.

Three words my family members and friends have heard all too often.  Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I’d share my mom’s journey with breast cancer.  Her first diagnosis was 26 years ago.  My mom didn’t have her first mammogram until the age of 58.  Her doctors kept telling her she didn’t need to have a mammogram.  My sisters and I (there are four of us) kept telling her that she needed to have a mammogram.  It wasn’t the doctors’ lives that were on the line.  It was her body and she needed to have a mammogram.  My mom is of the generation that does whatever the doctor tells them to do (I realize it was the age factor but I’m stubborn and would not go for that).  Eventually, we talked her into having a mammogram.  Thank God she did.  They found something on her film, called her back and scheduled a biopsy.  She went in for the biopsy and the doctor said he would call her back with the results.  He never called, but the nurse did – to schedule her for a modified radical mastectomy the following Monday, which was Christmas Eve! My mom said, “What?”  The nurse said, “Oh, the doctor hasn’t called you to let you know the results yet?”  “No.” Imagine my mom’s panic and ours.

The next few days of tests and doctor appointments for pre-surgery workup, etc. were a blur.  Mom had her surgery and all things considered was actually very lucky.  The cancer had not spread to any of the lymph nodes; therefore, she didn’t need to have radiation or chemotherapy except for tamoxifen.  Still, the ever-lingering fear of the return of cancer stays with you for some time and depression sets in, but our family humor eventually came through.  My sister and I went with mom to have her prosthesis fit; somehow my sister and mom ended up naming it “Bitsy.”  We went with mom to some breast cancer survivor support groups and life continued.  Each day/month was a little better.  The fear started to subside little by little.  The next year, four days after my son was born, my dad found out he had prostate cancer.  A year after that, his cancer had metastasized to his bones.  Oh, this disease; how I hate it.

Life went on, my mom’s fifth anniversary came and five years means you’re cured!  Wow, what a blessing; a miracle.  We knew my dad would never be cured because once cancer has metastasized to your bones it’s just a matter time depending on how fast the cancer decides it wants to eat away at your body.  At that time, mom and dad were both doing well.  At mom’s seven-year mark, she had her annual mammogram and her remaining breast showed something.  Are you kidding me?  Not again.  Okay, same drill.  Testing, biopsy, and the doctor came out of the biopsy and said, “Everything looks great.  It doesn’t look like cancer.  It’s just a cyst.”  Thank God. We were ecstatic.  Three days later, mom received a phone call from the doctor’s office saying that the biopsy showed cancer.  A completely different type of cancer than the first time.  We were in shock. Again? But the doctor told us it wasn’t.  Why would he do that? It was like moving around in a haze. Was this really happening?

Okay, what’s the plan.  She opted for another mastectomy; again, she was lucky there were no lymph nodes infected with cancer so she didn’t need radiation or chemotherapy except for Raloxifene (the new “tamoxifen”).  We were all grateful and she is one of the most spiritual people I have ever met and her faith kept her going.  My dad lost his battle with cancer a year later (2010).  He’s been gone for 16 years now, but my mom, is a survivor!  It’s been 26 years!  She turned 84 this summer and she is a true miracle.  She took her health into her own hands; thank goodness she didn’t wait for her doctors to tell her to have a mammogram or who knows what would have happened.

I took my mom to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure a few years ago and each survivor receives a hat and they put a pink ribbon on the hat for each year you are a survivor and at that time my mom’s hat had 22 ribbons.  There were ladies who came up to her who were one or two years out from diagnosis and said to her, “Can we take a picture with you with your hat because you’re our inspiration. We hope we’ll be a survivor for that long too.”  Does anyone have a Kleenex?

I started having mammograms when I was 32; I wasn’t going to wait until someone told me I could have a mammogram. I’ll be 56 next month and in the last four years I’ve had two scares and my heart falls to my stomach when the phone rings and the doctor’s office calls and says, “Your mammogram showed something and we need you to come in for more films…”  I can only look at it this way… I have not control over it (I am a control freak so this is huge for me to “let go”), I know this disease runs in my family, I have my yearly mammograms, I do my monthly checks, and I have my yearly doctor visits so I am proactive about my health.  If something shows up and is that horrible “C” word, I know I did everything to the best of my ability and it will hopefully be cured.  I ask anyone reading this to do the same (man or woman).  Early detection does matter.

Take care of you!

Until next time,

Colleen

Try These Writing and Editing Processes… Your Time Is Money

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In the long run, separating the writing and editing process, setting a timer just to write, and avoiding distractions can end up saving you time and money.  We’re all busy and try to multitask everything we do, but sometimes it just doesn’t pay to try to combine doing everything at one time because we end up going back and starting over again. When I write, I find I need my brain’s undivided attention!

Write First; Edit Second.

One common trait many writers and authors wrestle with is disconnecting the writing and editing process.  I struggled with this for years; if I knew something was not correct while writing or typing, I immediately went back and corrected it so I wouldn’t forget to change it later, but realized at some point that I was losing time, and let’s face it, time is money. After years of doing this, I finally started writing the article or blog, etc. and then editing. “Letting go” of this was excruciating for me, to say the least! My advice: Put all your thoughts down on paper or type them on the computer and then revise the grammar, duplication of word usage, incorrect spelling, etc.

Wait to Write Your Introduction.

Introductions are hard to write so if you struggle with your introduction just start writing your first key point from your outline and then after you write your chapter, article, blog, etc. go back and compose your introduction.

Set a Timer.

I’ve mentioned this before in different “writings” but it’s a great habit to start no matter what type of business you are working with; i.e., coaches, speakers, lawyers, Fortune 500, etc. When you determine the length of time you want to write, set a timer and write. You decide the amount of time – 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes – it’s up to you, but during this time, until the buzzer sounds – write. Focus on writing; no checking email, making phone calls, checking Twitter or Facebook, cleaning off your desk, etc. Write.

Keep Moving.

What? I mean keep writing even if you want to edit as you are writing. This is one habit I have really worked on; however, it’s a struggle, but I have found that if I keep writing and edit later, I do save time. I have a system for notes or information I don’t want to forget about; I highlight the area and mark it with bold letters. You could try this or write a note to yourself or use {brackets} to record your notes and come back later and edit the material.

DD – Duck Distractions!

It’s difficult enough to write when you aren’t interrupted, but constant interference can play havoc with your writing progress. Some helpful hints to DD:

  • Tell people you are writing and need to concentrate; give them the hours you are not available.
  • Turn off Skype, Twitter updates, your cell phone, office phone ringer, etc.
  • Find a quiet place – a place you can close the door, or perhaps a go to a quiet park or the beach.
  • Put on a pair of headphones – people will think you are listening to something (even if you aren’t) and less likely to disturb you.

I post tips and suggestions on Facebook and received the following comments from two people:

Introductions: Michelle Campbell from Forte Virtual Support Solutions:

“This is a great tip, Colleen. I always do this. I rarely start from the beginning and finish at the end. I jump around from section to section and point to point, especially when I get inspired to discuss a particular point. It’s much more difficult to write if you force yourself to stick to an outline you create.”

DD – Duck Distractions: Patti Cooper from Big Sky Social Media Management:

“I find it very difficult to concentrate when working from home, there’s always someone around. I usually just go in the bedroom and close the door. But the headphone idea is a great one. I’ll be trying that now, thanks for sharing!”

What steps do you take to Duck Distractions?

My tip for you – keep moving along when you write, and edit when you have finished your article, blog, chapter, etc. See what happens. You might find you are more productive and the system works better than editing as you write.  What are some of your tips and tricks? I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Colleen

What is it that keeps entrepreneurs moving forward?

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We’ve all been there. We’ve all heard the sayings:

  • “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “No one has the power to shatter your dreams unless you give it to them.” ~ Maeve Greyson
  • “When you feel like quitting think about why you started.” Unknown

And the list goes on and on…

A few weeks ago I had a pretty discouraging outcome from something I have worked and put my heart and soul into for the last seven months: a one-minute message for my speaker’s reel. Many of you probably think what’s the big deal? It’s one minute. Yes, it was one minute of information I am an expert on; so what made/makes my heart race and my thoughts turn to confusion when I look into a camera or talk in front of a group of people?

Friends who know me would never guess speaking in public or in front of a camera would make me freeze like an ice cube because I can pretty much talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime… However, the head chatter, “I’m not good enough” or “Why would they want to listen to what I have to say” or “How can I make this interesting because they’ve probably heard it before” surfaces, and it takes practice to keep the chatter at bay. Lots and lots of practice and a change in mindset because we are enough, we do have things to say people want to hear, and we are interesting!

Entrepreneurs are a special breed; I’ve been one for 20+ years, and even when I was growing up I sold enough Camp Fire Girl candy every year from second through eighth grade for summer camp scholarships (yes, my mom was our cheerleader and we went door to door every weekend but hey, who doesn’t love a little kid trying to sell candy – that helps right?). I also remember going around collecting canned goods for Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Carnivals… The entrepreneurial spirit is in our blood and deep down I think it’s because, whether we want to believe it or not, we’re BRAVE. During my walk the other night I was listening to my music and the song “BRAVE” came on and it clicked in my head… Entrepreneurs are BRAVE; why else would we do what we do? Okay, maybe the term “entrepreneurs are a bit crazy” comes to mind too, but to put ourselves out there speaking, coaching, hitting the pavement, doing the best we can for clients, learning to balance and not be taken advantage of but providing great customer care and more. We’re BRAVE:

Brilliantly Responsible, Authentic, (and) Vibrant Everyday.

  • Brilliant(ly): As entrepreneurs, being brilliant at what we do is crucial because if we aren’t there are plenty of other people out there with the same skills we have. How are we going to stand out and do it better? Keep learning. Keep reading…
  • Responsible: Are you responsible? Do you meet deadlines? Do your classes, products, programs fulfill the promise you gave clients? How do you handle responsibility?
  • Authentic: Be yourself. If you like a lighthearted, casual atmosphere for work and can make sure you meet deadlines, etc., that’s okay; it’s okay to laugh and have fun. If you’re more formal, that’s okay too. People would rather work with the real you than an imposter. Authenticity is where it’s at!
  • Vibrant: Sometimes the words “happy and excited” wouldn’t describe your day or what’s going on in your business, but when you’re out networking or speaking with a client or at an event – be happy, smile. It goes a long way and you never know who might need that smile or laugh you bring to them that day! Plus, people remember a smile and a laugh.
  • Everyday: Bring your best self to the table everyday. We may not always feel like it (trust me, been there, done that), but the entrepreneur in us has to show up daily so find a MasterMind group, network in person and meet people, find a support system outside the office and go for it!

We all have days, great and not so great; it’s life, it’s business. What do you do that shows you’re BRAVE? Love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Colleen

*BRAVE by Sara Bareilles

Your About Page: An Important Part of Your Brand

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Hubspot released the following blog on March 14, 2014: “55% of Visitors Spend Fewer Than 15 Seconds on Your Website. Should You Care?” I know I care and you should too. Yes, the article is a couple of years old, but all the research I’ve completed shares the same info… The About page is one of the first three pages visitors look at when they click on your site. If you don’t believe me, check the data in your Google Analytics account and look at your click stats. You About page is the place people go to learn about you, your brand, and your company. In today’s world, it’s not only about business to business; it’s about people to people. Before people do business with you they want to know, like, and trust you.

A well-written About page is a great marketing avenue for your business, if your message is clear and concise. It’s where visitors can make a human connection with you and your company. A great About page includes at least the following information:

  • Your story – how long have you been around, what’s the company’s mission and vision statement?
  • Employees or subcontractors- highlight the people who work with you; have them write a bio and include a professional photograph.
  • Interests – what do you like to do? Walk, run, have you just returned from a great trip? People want to relate to you. With everything being technical and virtual today, finding the human link is necessary.
  • Testimonials/Endorsements – Happy clients are willing to give testimonials for you to use on your page.

Update your About page on a regular basis – what’s new with the company; have you attended a conference lately? If so, tell your readers. They want to hear what’s going on with you, your company, your employees/subcontractors. Again, people to people (P2P); build the relationship – know, like, and, trust.

Last but not least, we all know the importance social media plays in today’s world. In fact, it’s so important you or someone in your organization, or a social media manager, needs to promote your About page across multiple social media channels. However, you can promote the page all you want, but if  your business’ message is confusing, you’re driving potential profits away! Your message is “More Than Just Words!” Having a clear message sets you apart from others. Your written word represents you, your brand, and your company.

Not comfortable writing? Your Literary Prose is your road map to successful written communications. We can help you find the words and steer clients to your service destination!

When’s the last time you took a close look at your About page? Take a few minutes this week and see if it needs some spring cleaning!

Until next time,

Colleen

Happy Mother’s Day… Reminiscing as They Grow Up Too Fast!

Pete Senior Night Fam Picture

On being a mother… What is it about motherhood that changes everything? After waiting eight years to have our miracle, Peter, I was terrified I wouldn’t know what to do or be able to love a human being like a mother should. Really. I hated babysitting when I was growing up; the thought of slobber on my clothes, in my hair grossed me out – what was I doing?

Fast forward eight years of trying to have a child, a miscarriage of twins, and our miracle came into this world, a fighter from the first breath he took. It’s personal for him so I won’t go into everything he’s been through, but he is the light of my life. Below is a blog I wrote after his senior night year in high school. I hope you enjoy it. They grow up too fast and leave (and sometimes come back and that’s okay), but being a mom has been the greatest joy of my life (yes I love my husband!), but there is nothing like the bond of mother and child, and I have loved him since his first breath – how could I think I wouldn’t be able to love him?

Senior Night LaSalle High School 2006 – Memories

At the start of each school season I always reminisce about the coming year’s school seniors.  I recall when they were freshman, and how young they looked and how scared and uncertain they seemed.  As seniors, they are leaders standing tall, and I think how time flies.  People always say “time flies” but do we actually contemplate the reality of it?  Pete was a senior two years ago. This August he started his sophomore year of college-it can’t be!  Pete was in the marching band during high school.  His major is Music Education (you may not laugh-at least he is going to college) :).

We still support The Pride of La Salle Marching Band by attending football games and marching band competitions.  This is the last year we’ll recognize most of the band/color guard members and it’s bittersweet.  Life goes on; change is inevitable.  Today I came across the poem I wrote to Pete on his Senior Night and started thinking about this year’s seniors and thought I would share the poem and a funny story with you.

I like to be different and so I didn’t want to write a letter; all the kids receive letters from their parents and I wanted this to be special.  I knew Pete would be leaving for college the next year, and so I thought I would write a poem.  He’ll take it with him, he’ll think how cool is this?  This poem was not easy for me to write.  I labored over this for days.  Did I say days?  Anyway, Senior Night came, we put our “gift” to our child into an envelope, handed it over to the band director, and he presented it to our child.  Well, as a mother (maybe a father too), but as a mother you are usually sentimental and teary eyed and thinking how did they like the letter or poem?  Did they appreciate it?

I kept watching Pete that night, wondering if he read the poem.  I couldn’t tell because that night was about him and his friends; their night.  I didn’t want to push but after two days Pete hadn’t mentioned anything about the poem.  I had to know.  Did he like it, did he receive it, why hadn’t he said, “Thanks mom.  The poem meant so much to me.”  So eventually I gathered my nerve, went up to Pete and casually asked him how he liked the poem and he said, “You know me mom, poems aren’t really my thing.”  Kaboom!  Crush!  My heart fell to my toes!

Today I am able to laugh about it; I know one day the poem will mean something special to him, but at the time I felt like an idiot.  (He really is a great kid).  Live and learn and remember:  TIME DOES FLY, LOVE COMES FROM WITHIN and YOU LOVE THEM NO MATTER WHAT:

PETE, MY SON, MY ONLY ONE

Pete, my son, my only one,
You came into my life
Little did I know I could love
A child as much as you, my wonderful son.
We knew you were special your first breath on the clock,
A fighter, a warrior, oh the strength you would need
The name we had chosen, Peter, the Rock
So appropriate, God knew, did we unknowingly take heed.

Pete, my son, my only one,
Things you’ve been through have made you strong.
Your dad, ALWAYS there helping you, ALWAYS taking his turn,
Laughter is the best medicine, I’m starting to learn.

Pete, my son, my only one,
Why did the years fly away?
Just yesterday it was play, have fun, and run.
Now it’s still have fun but in a different way.

Pete, my son, my only one,
How proud I am of you, I love you, I’ll miss you
But I’ll always be here
To guide you, to nag you, to love you, no matter where.

Pete, my son, my only one,
Your Guardian Angel will hover if you ask him to.
Take God with you in prayer in all you ever do.
Trust Him, Love Him, Thank Him for all you are able to do.

Pete, my son, my only one,
You came into my life
How much I so love you
Pete, my son, my wonderful son.

Announcing Telesummit Experts and Topics, Oh My!

We’re excited to announce the experts and their topics for our Capstone Telesummit event on April 1. We’ve extended the day since we have two bonus experts sharing their information! The hours are now 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. If you can’t make the entire day, that’s okay; all audio is recorded and we’ll send it to everyone whether you’re online all day or not. That way, you can go back and absorb the material at your leisure!

The next segment of the Teleseminar, “It’s More Than Just Words,” is Thursday, March 10, 2016, at 4:00 PM. “See” you there. Thanks to the following experts. We couldn’t have accomplished this without you!

We’re Grateful For:

Michelle Arbore

Social media marketing for authors; what works for fiction might not work for nonfiction writers.

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Diana Ennen

Best-Selling Author and PR Expert Shares What It Takes to Market A Book; the Pitfalls to Avoid and How to Create Magic for Sales.

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Kay Fittes

From Speaker to Author – The Author’s Guide to Creating Confidence and Credibility.

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Beverley Golden

During her interview, Beverley discusses how “writing was the easiest part. It was the editing, publishing, and marketing where most of the energy was spent.”

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Tonya Hofmann

How being published establishes credibility as a speaker, what publishers expect, and once you’re published it’s another avenue of revenue!

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James Ranson

Comprehensive Book Plans: Why You Need One to Create a High-Quality Book.

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Michelle Scappace

Authors Can’t Do It Alone; Your Focus is Writing. PVAAs Have Training and Expertise, Provide Guidance, and Encouragement…

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Janica Smith

Self-Publishing Options: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

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Janica Smith and Michelle Scappace are also going to talk with us about how authors can find a certified PVAA and the benefits of someone taking their course through Instruction Smith to become a certified PVAA.

For more information on our experts, visit their sites and also sign up through our expert page!

There’s an extra bonus for you too – Sign up before March 15 and receive all recordings of our audio, all freebies, and one hour of coaching with Colleen and Peter. We can discuss your book, your process of writing, where you’re at and where you might want to go, clear up any objectives or goals… But, the deadline is March 15. What’s stopping you? Your book; It’s More Than Just Words!

Five Crucial Points to Consider When Identifying Your Target Market

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Whatever business you offer – coaching, writing, accounting… defining your target audience is the ultimate goal and it does not mean you are limiting yourself; it means you are choosing where to spend your money and time to reach those groups or a certain group on a deeper level. Keep in mind these important factors when identifying your target market:

Develop relationships with potential customers.

Attend live networking events and learn about the people there, follow-up with them after the events, ask them for coffee, chat, and you’ll find out if they are a fit for you or maybe they’ll know someone who needs your service. It takes time, but if you don’t go out there and meet people you’ll never build any type of relationship to find out… If you have a virtual business, interact with people online via social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc. Interact conversationally with people, find out what they do, what they like, who they are; it is not always about selling. Build the relationships; in the long run trust wins out.

What problems do you solve and how do you stand out from other services?


What pain point do you solve for clients? Are you a fitness trainer who helps someone live a healthier lifestyle? Are you a bookkeeper who assists people with the day-to-day accounting issues with their business? As a content writer, do you help improve business’ messages so potential clients understand what services they offer, products they sell, etc.?

If you are a fitness trainer, why would someone choose you over another trainer? Do you make it fun instead of dreadful to workout? Do people smile when they walk into the gym and see you, or are you the type of trainer when your client sees you their muscles tense if they can’t keep up and they feel like a loser? What type of trainer are you? Different people need different types of trainers, but which type of person do you want to target? As a bookkeeper, do you want to work with small or large businesses? Do you work with one system only, i.e. QuickBooks or are you open to others?

Whatever service you offer or problem you solve, be clear and dig deep to figure out what it is you excel at and how you want to work with clients when they contact you and make sure it’s a fit on both sides, but when you know what problems you solve and who your ideal client is, your marketing efforts are much easier.

Determine where to find your audience.


You’ve decided who you want to serve and have compiled your client profile, so now where do you find them? What websites do they frequent, what social media platforms are they using, are there certain apps they prefer to play with? Research, research.
 

Speaking of research… Market research is critical.


If you don’t know what your potential clients want or need, no amount of advertising will prompt them to buy from you. There are several types of market research to find out what they’re looking for from you:

  • Demographics: age, gender, income, education, mobility, environment, and technical savvy are types of demographics and their goal in research is to better understand your audience. Demographics can potentially reveal who your customers are or aren’t and this type of research should be conducted .
  • Publications: many publications track industry trends, sales information, and believe it or not, a lot of consumer information is gathered from people browsing the internet!
  • Surveys or polls: conduct informal surveys or polls to people you have identified as your target audience and ask what service you can give that other companies aren’t, how can you make a difference from how they worked with other companies, what you can do better…
  • “Niche” isn’t a four-letter word.


    Obviously, it’s a five-letter word, but you know what I’m saying. When you target market, in a way, deciding to niche, it’s not all bad. “Inc.” magazine wrote an article, In Praise of Niche Marketing, and states that niche marketing can be very attractive and self-limiting; however, today entrepreneurial companies realize the importance of making the person happy and as Amazon has filled the void of many small niches to satisfy individuals and having many small successes leads to much success over time!

    Finding your target market takes time, doesn’t happen once and you’re finished, and is challenging, but the work is worth it in the long run and so is the success of your business. Don’t waste your time working on products or programs to sell if there isn’t a market to purchase them.

    What type of target marketing do you use for your business? Do you enjoy it or find it a challenge? Pete and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Until next time,

    Colleen