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

What’s a PAA and Why You Need One

Nine Ways a PAA Goes Beyond The Words

Many of you might be wondering what a Professional Author’s Assistant (PAA) does. In short, a PAA is someone who helps authors complete their books. From the manuscript to the publishing to the marketing, a PAA guides an author through all the processes of a book that many authors don’t think about but are just as important to overall success of their book. In fact, Colleen wrote a blog earlier that goes into more detail about what a PAA does.  But you still might not know why a PAA is important.

Here are nine reasons why an author needs a PAA.

1. Can an Author’s Assistant Help You?

The answer is YES!

Over 80% of the population desires to write and publish a book, but many don’t know where to go or what to do once the manuscript is finished so it sits in a folder on the computer or in a desk drawer and the paper turns more and more yellow as the months and years progress. Well, no more. If you decide to self-publish your book, a certified author’s assistant can help you publish from start to finish in two to three months. If you prefer to go the traditional route, they can still help, but the time period is longer to publication (closer to 18 months). At this point are you asking yourself who is a professional virtual author’s assistant and how can they help me? They are professionals who have successfully completed an intensive training course and passed a rigorous final exam and earned the title of certified Professional Author’s Assistant (PAA). PAAs have specialized skills and knowledge to work with authors.

2. Keeping You — and Your Books — Organized

A Professional Author’s Assistant saves the author time and money by organizing and scheduling tasks so the author can write. There is much more to completing the manuscript, publishing, and marketing a book than writing it. There are too many duties for one person. The author’s job is to write; we offer worry-free writing to clients and take care of the other multiple details. For a more complete idea of how a PAA can help you, visit our website.

FYI: The PAA can help you through the entire process or for the parts that you need most help; it’s entirely up to you.

3. Have The Best Resources On Your Side

A PAA has professional resources and connections. The PAA is someone who understands the industry and technology and knows where to go and who to use for whatever you need. No more need to assemble your own team to help publish your book. A PAA has a trusted team consisting of professional printers, graphic designers, web developers, book designers, marketing experts, professional proofreaders, and more!

4. The Support You Need

A PAA collaborates and supports the author during the process so time isn’t lost between writing, publishing, and marketing the book. From the very beginning, the PAA works with you on your timeline and budget (remember a professional PAA gives you a reasonable timeline). During the process you aren’t alone; the PAA is a source of assurance guiding you so you meet your end goal of publication and sales!

5. Invest In Your Book

Not only is hiring a PAA a cost-saving advantage, it is making an investment in your book. A PAA knows what the author needs to professionally finish a manuscript, publish and market it. If you try to figure everything out on your own, you actually spend more money than if you hired a PAA. Reiterating, your job is to concentrate on what you do best – write!

If you spend the time and energy to both learn and complete all the administrative tasks a  PAA knows you will lose that time to making money in your field. If you are a psychologist charging $200/hr and you do these tasks yourself that is time you cannot bill. Not only does a PAA already know these jobs, they can help you finish these tasks quicker, meaning you can publish you book sooner, leading to more sales.

6. Keeping The Facts Straight

Did you know when you quote someone in your book you must ask for permission to use that quote? Or, if you use a statistic in a book you must find the latest source document and cite it and make sure that it is the most up-to-date information for the survey or statistic?

There is more to finishing the manuscript than writing it. PAAs help organize the author’s source documents, research the target reader, fact check information in the book, obtain permission to use the work of others, including quotes and interviews. They help coordinate professional peer and target reader reviews as well as research potential publishers and send book proposals, complete a comparative analysis for the book proposal, and prepare the manuscript to submit to the publisher.

7. It’s Time For Publishing

Did you know it’s important to have someone review the printer’s proof other than your original editor? It is also highly recommended that the author does not proof the printer’s preview copy of the book. A fresh pair of eyes will catch more than those who have seen it before.

When it comes to publishing your book and/or eBook, the PAA coordinates the self-publishing process and coordinates testimonial requests. Your Professional Virtual Author’s Assistant assists in managing the information for the book cover, the book interior, and obtaining the ISBN, the bar code, and Library of Congress cataloging information for the book. Your PAA helps you prepare the eBook, if you decide to publish one, consults with you on a printer and publisher, or helps you set up your own publishing company. Let’s face it; you want to publish your book and the sooner you write it, publish it, and market it, the sooner you’ll start selling it. You need someone organized who can walk you through the process from beginning to end. A PAA is detail oriented and knows the importance of deadlines.

8. Becoming a Bestseller

After you’ve published your book, either with a traditional publisher or self-published, did you know it is still your responsibility to market the book? Traditional publishers do not market your book for you. That’s up to you and your PAA has the knowledge to walk you through the process and find the experts needed to successfully sell your book.

Your PAA helps coordinate the book marketing activities including the marketing plan and publication date, obtain industry reviews, helps you prepare a media list, your media kit, and article submissions, coordinate the development of your website, including a social media campaign, and blogging, help you create a virtual and/or live book tour, launch an Amazon best seller campaign, maximize the book’s Amazon web page, coordinate an author video, suggest book award competitions, and the list continues. A great marketing plan is a lot of work but it is fun because it’s when sales happen. Look at it as an exciting time for any published author!

9. Industry Guideline for Services

PAAs have industry guidelines to offer estimates* for the amount of time each service should take (obtaining ISBNs, fact checking, gathering testimonials, coordinating the self-publishing process, managing live and virtual book tours, etc.). Keeping the author informed when the estimated time is close is imperative and goes back to great communication between the author and the PAA.

(*Due to variables, estimates cannot be guaranteed but offer a measure. Comprehensive proofreading/consulting is not included in these guidelines.)

Everyone has stories to tell whether it’s fiction, technical, etc. When you’re ready to tell your story, a PAA has the knowledge to help you organize, save you time and money!

Until next time,

Colleen

Great Things to Come…

Colleen use

If you are a frequent visitor to this site you probably noticed a few new changes. Recently, Colleen was awarded a scholarship to become a Certified Author Assistant. As she studies for this certification, we are working hard at M. Colleen Wietmarschen creating a new program and products and expanding the reach of our services to more people. While we are still working out some of the details, our goal is to launch the program by the end of summer. This certification and our program will allow us to help authors in any genre through the entire publishing process from the very beginning to the very end. We will help you organize tasks to complete the manuscript, assist in the publishing process, and promote your work through targeted marketing, PR, etc.

If you or someone you know is currently writing or just starting out, we can help. We look forward to serving more people while continuing the same excellent services we already provide, including editing, copy editing, proofreading, copywriting, transcription, and public relations. Be sure and stay up to date with everything here at M. Colleen Wietmarschen, follow us on Facebook, on Twitter, and on LinkedIn. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter.

What new programs or products are you working on to launch your business forward? We look forward to hearing from you.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://mcolleenwietmarschen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Pete-sax-2014-4-use.jpg [/author_image] [author_info]Peter, a 2014 graduate of Morehead State University’s Caudill College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He strives to express his thoughts and ideas in a creative and professional manner. Peter is our Vice President of Operations and Marketing and a contributing writer on our site. He enjoys writing blogs which provide helpful information to readers as well as general business practices and more![/author_info] [/author]

Public Speaking: Fun or Fear for You?

Declare Your Freedom From Fear of Speaking!

freedom from public speaking imageI have always wanted to be a public speaker. People who hold workshops, seminars, keynotes, etc. on a regular basis make it look so easy when they stand up in front of hundreds of people (or even 20) and talk so eloquently about their topic. When searching for my theme for today’s blog, I came across a the fear of speaking. Oh my gosh.  That’s what I need to write about.

My first terror (yes, terror) regarding public speaking occurred when I was a junior or senior in high school, and we were required to talk in front of the class for 3-5 minutes in English class.  I decided I was going to recite Mark Antony’s dialogue from the play Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare. His famous soliloquy began, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…” I memorized that speech forward and backward. I practiced and practiced in our living room, in front of the mirror, and wherever I could so I would not make any mistakes during my oration.  Fast forward to my turn in front of the class; my name was called, and out of nowhere my knees turned to jelly, my stomach clenched into a knot, and my mind went blank.  Did I say blank? As I stood in front of my classmates, I delivered the first few lines and then nothing. Where did the words go? How could I have forgotten them? I practiced for weeks. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I silently stomped my foot and actually said $hit (this was 35 years ago in an all-girls Catholic high school). My teacher gracefully told me to sit down and smiled. Needless to say, that was my first, but not last, confrontation with public speaking. I had to take communication classes in college (which I proceeded to drop twice), I’ve tried Toastmaster groups numerous times, and I am still not completely confident speaking in public, which is actually hilarious because I love talking to people and can talk to anyone I meet on the street.

If you have a fear of speaking, I want you to join me today and declare your freedom from fear of speaking by concentrating on these simple tools:

  1. Recognize the source of your fear. Your fear comes from not knowing how you will be perceived or what will happen when you start your presentation or step to the microphone and begin to talk.
  2. Face your fears. When you feel your knees turning to jelly, remind yourself that whatever you are afraid of probably will not happen. If you prepare, you are ready, and if you forget to say something, chances are most people will not even notice.
  3. Breathe deeply and relax. Find breathing exercises that help calm you. Here are two suggestions: a) close your eyes and imagine yourself in a place where you are completely at ease. Breathe in and hold your breath for 10 seconds and then let your breath out for 10 seconds; or b) listen to yourself breathe and breathe slowly telling yourself there is no rush. These types of exercises will help you feel confident and completely relaxed before your speech.
  4. Take a workshop or public speaking course, etc.  Learning the art of speaking publicly can boost your skills as a speaker and will help you land speaking engagements so you can share your knowledge with others in specific areas/subjects you are an expert. This will only further your career as a business owner or employee in the corporate world.

If you are ready to declare your freedom from fear of speaking, one professional I can recommend is Eva Lewandowski, owner of Core Coaching. Eva conducts a workshop, “Unleash Your Greatness” so you move from “Stage Fright to Stage Zen.”  Her workshop helps you dial down your “fear response” which prevents you from speaking up at the podium, on a conference call, in a meeting, or during a conversationYou can become a great speaker or presenter if that is what you really want to do!

I’d love to hear the challenges and successes you have had with public speaking.  I’m heading out on our 2015 North American PR Media Tour next week, so I’ve been working hard on overcoming my trepidation with public speaking. Amy and I hope to see you in one of our 24 cities this year!

Until next time,

Colleen