Posts tagged Coaching
“One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it”. ~Sidney Howard
I’m an idiot for self-publishing? Maybe, but maybe not. Last time I talked a bit about what I had recently learned from my study of the genius British novelist Charles Dickens. I also mentioned that some of what I had learned from my study of him had been a deciding factor in my decision to self-publish my first book. I think if Dickens had been beginning his writing career today, he would have almost certainly self-published his first works. Then I think he would have partnered with a great publisher for his next works.
For me, the decision to self-publish was a hard one. I am already busy and writing and then publishing a book – and really doing the proper promotion to ensure a great reception for the fledgling book – this is a lot of work. I had no idea how much work it was until I began the process. For me at least, the writing of the book has turned out to be the easiest part. All of the things that the publisher would do for me, if I had sold the rights of my first book immediately to a publisher, – that has been quite a steep learning curve.
So why did I decide to self-publish? I’ll start from the side of what I won’t be getting or what I am giving up.
- It will cost me more money to self-publish, quite a bit more. Since I am taking on all of the costs of proofreaders and editors, cover designers and printing and the hiring of top-notch PR people, all things that a publisher might have done for me, I am spending more money.
- I am giving up a great deal of my time learning the book business. Had I sold my book immediately, I would have needed to learn very little about the book business – at least at first. I could have let the publishers handle all of the details for me.
- I am giving up the money that I could have made by simply coaching or speaking instead of learning the book business. I am usually fully booked or as booked as I care to be for coaching and I could have simply coached more, earned more, and let the publishers do what they know best.
- I am giving up some credibility for this my first book. A self-published book does not have the credibility in the eyes of some people that a traditionally published book has.
- I am almost certainly giving up some sales that I might have had otherwise. I don’t know all of the distribution channels that an established publisher knows and although I am learning fast – it is certain that I will miss some of them – and not sell those copies of my book.
So, with all of that, why on earth would I self-publish? We will both have to wait until next time for that answer – my time is up for this entry.
Next time I will explain the balance of my thinking about traditional publishing versus self-publishing.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs”. ~Vance Havner
“Groundhog Day is a lot like a rock concert but the people are better behaved and there’s a groundhog involved…” ~Tom Chapin, editor of the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper.
… As an aside, it is Groundhog Day in the United States while I am writing this entry. Although I am not sure that “Punxsutawney Phil” is any better at weather forecasting than me, and I am not very good; I do love the concept! The cute little devil did see his shadow today and has forecast 6 more weeks of winter. Not a shocker – this winter does not seem to want to let go. …
Last time I talked about my first book and its upcoming release in November of 2010. I also mentioned that my decision to self-publish this first book was influenced by my research into the life of Charles Dickens. Here is a bit more about that story:
I recently read “The Making of Charles Dickens” by Christopher Hibbert and I really enjoyed the experience! I not only discovered a new author whose style I liked, but a prolific author as well. This means I have lots of great books waiting for me to find and read. I also got some great insights into what might have helped Charles Dickens be the incredible novelist that he was. (Did you know that he is one of the very few authors that has never gone out of print? And this, as I write this entry, some 140 years after his death? Wow!)
I am always looking for the “secrets of success” or the unique beliefs that help exceptional people be exceptional. Here are some of the secrets that I extracted from my recent study of “Boz”:
1) Being extremely focused on the task at hand – fiercely determined to get it right – is a key to success in writing (and any other aspect of living.)
2) It is okay to be afraid about the reception your writing will receive – as long as you are brave enough to get it out to the public to read.
3) Believe in the value of your writing, even if others at first do not share your enthusiasm.
4) Write about what you know intimately well and share the clarity of your vision.
5) Don’t be afraid to ask what you think your writing is worth.
6) You can do more than you think you can.
7) It is fine to use newest technology to publish your books. (Dickens commonly used magazines and serial releases of chapters – then he sold the books as completed documents. This was pretty cutting edge stuff for the day.) This final point is the one that swayed me to the side of self-publishing.
Next time I’ll be talking about the complete set of reasons why I decided to self-publish this first book and what the implications might be for you and me.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time”. ~Charles Dickens from his novel “David Copperfield”
“Writers will happen in the best of families”. ~Rita Mae Brown
I am excited to announce: (Drum Roll Please) … My first book will be released for sale sometime in early November of 2010. (The exact release date will be set soon.) I am very excited about this upcoming event and virtually all of my spare energy is going into this project.
I’m not sure why it took me so many years to finally make the decision to write a book. I have known for many years that I wanted to write a book someday, that perhaps I wanted to write more than one book. Anyhow, about 18 months ago I committed to myself that I would write a book and get it published and this year it will finally happen.
I am going to be self-publishing this first book. I have had offers to buy my book from traditional publishing houses and I was originally going to follow that path. I will discuss in an upcoming post my reasons for taking the other path of self-publishing for this first book. (I will say for now that my research into the history of the famous English novelist Charles Dickens had much to do with this decision – you can read about that in an upcoming post as well!)
This will be my first book, but it will not be my last. I am completely committed to publishing a significant number of books; indeed it feels like I am being called to do so. I have enough unique material after nearly 30 years of coaching, speaking and consulting to write at least 20 books and I think, once I have the process figured out, the next books will happen much more quickly and easily.
Will I self-publish all of these? I don’t know that yet, but it seems unlikely. It is enough for now to get this first book written as well as possible and get it out into the world.
That’s it for this entry. Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good”. ~William Faulkner
“Life is succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood” ~Helen Keller
I just finished reading “If Life is a Game, These are the Rules” by Cherie Carter-Scott Ph.D and it was a great experience! I am not sure why it took me so long to run across this wonderful little guide-book for life. It was originally published in 1998 and I do read a lot, especially in the fields of self-help and self-development. I am going to assume that I was not ready for the lessons contained in the book until now. (If Cherie should run across this entry, my apology in advance. I just could not figure out how to get that mark over the first “e” in your first name. Sorry about that!)
I am not going to repeat all of the ten lessons from the book; I am going to encourage you to buy a copy to read if you don’t already own one. I do want to share just the first three rules…
Rule One: You Will Receive a Body – You may love it or hate it, but it will be yours for the duration of your life on Earth.
Rule Two: You Will Be Presented With Lessons – You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “life.” Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.
Rule Three: There Are No Mistakes, Only Lessons – Growth is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors, and occassional victories. The failed experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that work.
These three rules really called out to me and in light of my recent illness and my new dedication to the health and vitality of my body, I know that I am ready to learn.
Do yourself a favor – go find this book. Here is a link to Carter-Scott’s website which is also a great education in and of itself.
Till next time faithful readers…Jack
“I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” ~Eartha Kitt
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” ~Alan Alda
I have been ill again – terribly ill and only able to function at the most trivial levels for nearly three weeks. This illness, this being unwell, has been a recurring event in my life, really for a significant portion of the last seven years. In many ways, it feels like being ill, or operating at well under my former energy levels, has been the defining state of the previous stage of my life. I say previous because I know that I am beginning the next stage of my life and this new stage, this stage that is being born now, is about very different things.
I am not completely sure what the stage of my life that is now ending was all about, but I do know some. I did lots of things. I learned lots of things. I had successes and I had lots of things that turned out very differently than I hoped. I know that during these years I learned what my calling is for the next stage of my life: I am, and am meant to be, a writer, a business and executive coach and a seminar leader. This wasn’t clear at the beginning of this stage – seven years ago I was returning to the working world after a nearly ten year retirement and I was very unclear about the next focus of my life’s work.
I had always been a big risk-taker. Following my intuition, leaping and then having faith that I could find a way to make it work – this had been my pattern and a driving force behind why I was able to be retired at such an early age. I had found the ways to make it work and my intuition is usually right. (It is sometimes hard to tell my intuition from fear or from unrealized dreams of my parents, but if I get quiet and honest, I can tell.) I had always been a very quick learner and I came into this world with a great toolbox of skills – although I have always achieved a great deal compared to many others – compared to my abilities – I have been in the past one of the great underachievers of the past fifty years.
I’m not going to go over at this time the details of how I learned my calling; that might be fun to talk about some other time though. I am going to talk just a bit more about being ill. Why was I ill so much?
- I didn’t make being vibrantly healthy a priority and
- being sick stopped me from taking too many risks and starting too many projects.
I think it is as simple as that. When I honestly look at the past seven years and ask myself:
- What could I have done differently that would have drastically increased my health?
- Did I gain anything by being sick or unwell so much of the time?
Then I get the answers from above. I didn’t make health a priority and I needed to learn focus and a bit of conservatism in my choices. So have I learned? Perhaps not quite, but I am close. If my calling, what I am supposed to be doing right now is to be a writer, a business and executive coach and a seminar leader and I leave it there, then I have not learned. My body is aging and needs to become a priority – every single day.
Now I will think of myself as:
- A Peak Performance Athlete
- A Writer
- A Business and Executive Coach
- A Seminar Leader
Will this change be en0ugh? As long as action follows intention then yes it will. Come along for the ride and let’s find out together. It’s not always easy being born – I may yell sometimes and make some messes; still my new life is out there and I want to live it!
For those of you waiting for me to finish talking about some great topics that I started and never finished, thank you for your patience! The rest is coming.
Till next time…Jack
“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” ~Buddha
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~e.e. cummings
I’m getting excited about moving and leaving old outdated habits behind. How about you? Would you like a fresh start? Today I am just going to cover some of the elements of a successful ritual for leaving the past behind and starting anew. There are myriad ways to do this, but I have found the procedure that I going to spell out in the next few entries to be effective and reasonably simple.
For today, here are the questions I would like you to ponder and answer for yourself:
- What old habits would you like to leave behind? (What habits do you have currently that no longer serve you?)
- What positive things do you think those habits did for you in the past and might still be doing at some level?
- Are you truly okay with leaving these old habits behind? Ask yourself, be honest and if not – ask yourself why?
- What new habits would you like to put in their place? (If you could have the perfect habits that would really make success, on your terms, certain – what would those habits be?)
- Remember a time when you made a change for the better, anytime in your life, and write down as much of the details of this time and this change as you can remember.
- If you haven’t already, write a brief description of your vision for your future life – a compelling vision of what your future life will be like once you have accomplished your next series of life goals – make this vision perhaps twelve to eighteen month out.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow you can read about my personal answers to these questions and I’ll continue to lay out the process for doing this wonderful empowering exercise.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I’ve written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.” ~Shirley MacLaine
“Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” ~Frank Herbert
In my last entry, I alluded to the things that I had been procrastinating – a little bit or a lot. Now is the time to publicly fess up. Here are the things that I am doing poorly, fitfully, or not at all:
What am I Procrastinating?
- I am not consistently writing at least 1000 words per day on my book.
- I am not consistently doing the needed research weekly to have the 1000 words to write.
- I am not consistently getting up every morning at 5am to write.
- I am not consistently lifting weights 4 times per week.
- I am not consistently marketing myself to new speaking venues weekly.
- I am not consistently reading the blogs of writers that I respect.
- I am not consistently commenting on the blogs of writers that I respect.
The vast majority of these are business related – only the weightlifting falls outside of my professional life and even that one has a powerful business component. Weight lifting is the one sure thing that I know from my past that will ensure that I rapidly return to optimal health and bodyweight. For me, weightlifting matters more than diet or aerobic exercise.
So Why Do I Think I Procrastinate and Why Should You Care?
I’ll cover the whys first:
- I am afraid of something – of failing. When I probe deeper, I am comparing my first efforts with the polished final results of other authors – of course this would make me feel badly.
- I am not in the habit of getting up early – this is just a habit, but it is not serving me.
- I feel uncomfortable going to gym to workout by myself and since no one is expecting me, it is easy to skip.
- I am comfortable in my life and so I am not doing the things that I already know to do. Am I manifesting my potential? Not at all. Am I serving my family and my future? Only at a minimal level. I have gotten comfortable with doing less than my potential.
Why should you care? I want to be an example for you. If I can’t be a example of doing good – and I always want to be that – at least I will be an example of what not to do! In the next entry, I will talk about what I am doing to change these bothersome whys!
So What am I going to do this week to enhance my business and make money online?
- I am going to get up every morning at 5am sharp!
- I am going to do my research!
- I am going to write and post 5 blog entries.
- I am going to locate at least 600 compatible twitter accounts and follow them.
- I am going to lift weights four times.
Tune in next time and I will talk about how I am going to get myself to do these things (and do them consistently!). Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” ~Aristotle
“Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!” ~Andrew Carnegie
In my last entry, I was talking about the pain that I was causing myself and wondering why. I had set my unconscious mind the task of giving me information about this issue. Here is the download from my unconscious mind to my conscious mind: I keep remembering this issue and feeling pain about it because my unconscious mind wants me to be safe in the future and does not feel that I have prepared myself sufficiently to feel safe should this happen again. I would have to agree!
In other words, the positive intention of this behavior – an unpleasant memory coming up again and again and then my feeling bad about it again and again – this behavior is happening to serve me. This behavior, if I temporarily view it as a separate aspect of myself, is trying to help me. Once I have satisfied the requirements of this aspect of me, then the behavior should go away.
(I realize that I am throwing a whole structure of beliefs and presuppositions at you – many of which would take hours to fully explain. Here is the best way that I know to start you off in the study of NLP, other than taking certification courses: read a good book. Years ago, when I was first sent on the mission to study NLP by a nearly magical executive recruiter, someone who was so good at his job that it literally seemed like magic to me, I started by reading a book about NLP. I started by reading “Heart of the Mind” by Connirae Andreas and Steve Andreas. This is still a good way to start.)
I’ll talk more about positive intentions and seemingly unpleasant aspects of behaviors another time. For today, consider reading some NLP – I know it would serve you. For me, as soon as I recognized that this behavior and the unpleasant feelings associated with it, had a positive intention for me and I could agree with the positive intention, then I started to feel better immediately. Now I am taking steps to mentally prepare myself should the same situation happen again – with poorly-evolved coworkers.
What am I working on today to make money online?
- I am making a blog post.
- I am reviewing 3 weeks worth of my blogging coaching.
- I am installing some new plugins into my blog.
- I am continuing to look for new and targeted followers on twitter.
- I am making 3 tweets on twitter.
- I am reviewing my vision of my intended future to stay motivated.
- I have added more notifiers to my blog so that when I make a new post, more services are notified.
That’s it for today. Sorry if this entry seems complex – it probably is too much information without enough background. I really do encourage you to explore NLP, there are lots of great ways to begin that process. I know for me, my initial study of NLP and then the dedicated time I invested in training; all of this totally transformed my life then and my life now. I am still grateful for being sent on the mission to explore it, almost exactly 20 years ago today.
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“Picture yourself in your minds eye as having already achieved this goal. See yourself doing the things you’ll be doing when you’ve reached your goal.” ~Earl Nightingale
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” ~Paul Boese
I woke up thinking this morning about an old injury that I had received. This wasn’t an injury of the body, it was an injury to my spirit. I had worked with someone in the past and they had consistently treated me poorly, for no reason other than jealousy of my performance. They even made a habit of talking me down to others when I was not around to defend myself. I felt hurt and angered. Now why did I feel this way – even more powerfully, why do I still feel this way?
I felt and feel this way because my rules of behavior had been violated, someone had behaved towards me in a way that was inappropriate to my rules – so much okay. Now here is the next part of my pattern: my pattern then has me brood on this violation not just for awhile, but anytime anything triggers this memory! Wow! I have been hurt hundreds of times now from this person – but who is really doing the hurting? Not the original poorly evolved co-worker; they aren’t even around me. I am now hurting myself! Why?
Every Behavior has a Positive Intention
So why do I continue to think about this person, from time to time, and still feel pain about it? Because at some level, it serves me to do so. Wow! That can be a hard statement to take in and digest, but I don’t think there is another bettter answer. So how does it serve me and equally important, what am I going to do about this so it no longer bothers me? I have set my unconscious mind to this task and tomorrow we will explore my options. I think it will be fun to come back and read the results tomorrow. How about you, do you have some recurring memory that causes you pain? What could be the positive intention and how can you satisfy that intention?
What am I Doing Today to Make Money Online
- I am making a blog entry.
- I am making three entries to my twitter account.
- I am working on my product that I intend to sell related to goal achievement.
- I am exploring competitive products and see what they are offering and how much they are charging.
- I am working on a speaking proposal to a new audience that will increase my following.
- i am exploring the software package “tweet adder” and seeing if I want to explore this tool.
- I am going to attend my writer’s group tonight and learn all I can and give support and be supported.
- I am working hard to increase my physical vitality so that I have more energy to devote to achieving my goals. (Translation: exercise and diet)
- I am doing my best with my existing clients to continue the process of making them achieve their dreams as quickly and elegantly as possible.
Till next time…Jack
“He who has injured thee was stronger or weaker than thee. If weaker, spare him; if stronger, spare thyself.” ~Seneca (Seneca the Elder)
“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitudes.” ~Victor Frankl
So the story of my quest to make money from my own products online continues. My biggest challenge is finding the time to do the things that I already know work. My coaching practice is busy, I am gearing up for speaking more this fall, and I am continuing my quest to return to the lean, mean Jack machine of my younger years; so where do I find the time to write and also create the needed online presence to sell my own products? This is the question that haunts me.
I know that I have exactly the same amount of time that every other struggling author has had to make their deadlines – I might even have more. So, no more bellyaching. The bottom line: I need to stop doing some of things that I currently do, at least for awhile, and do more of less. In other words, I need to focus.
At the start of this year, I wrote down five words that I believed would describe the attributes and actions that I needed in order to achieve my goals for the year. Here are those words:
- Massive Action
I think those are still the right five words. Now I just need to do a better job of evidencing them! What would your five words be?
More about Minneapolis
I went to Minneapolis, Minnesota USA for a business trip last week. As always, I try and include unique food adventures and history with my business trips. The James J. Hill mansion was great, but I didn’t have time in my last entry to talk about food. As many of you know, I worked my way thru college cooking at various restaurants around Boulder, Colorado USA. In the many years since, I have become a fairly accomplished amateur gourmet cook; I even casually ran a gourmet food club for years – more about that some other time.
I watch the food network a few hours a week on television. I suspect this is one of the activities that I am going to need to stop for awhile in order to free up time. Still, I like watching shows about restaurants and cooking and I recently saw a show called “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” that had a short segment about Al’s Breakfast in Minneapolis. It looked like fun on TV and it was! I highly recommend that if you are in that area, plan a breakfast around Al’s. (Al himself passed on, at I believe 97, but when I found out that his last name was Bergstrom – well that sealed the deal for me!) Here is a link to the tiny, but mighty Al’s Breakfast in the Dinkytown area (yep – that’s right, Dinkytown) of Minneapolis near the University: Al’s Breakfast.
What am I Working on Today?
- Blogging homework from my coach (of course I have coaches, I am one!)
- My online business presence: My blog, Twitter, starting Facebook
- More writing on my first online product in intend to offer for sale
- Promoting myself to a couple of speaking venues in places I am already traveling
- Nonfiction reading ( I need to cut out that fiction reading for awhile – more focus!)
- Coaching work with some clients
- Exercise and diet – my quest to become less manly continues!
Till next time faithful reader…Jack
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” ~Mahatma Gandhi