Posts Tagged ‘Set Goals’

The Way Out of Dread

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Yesterday was an eye-opener for me. Have you ever sat in a chair and purposefully relaxed all of your muscles in your body bit-by-bit? If you’ve done it what did you notice afterward? For me I seem to hold a lot of stress, and when I let it go, I’m always surprised at how much I store all the time. It’s possible to lie in a bed and still hold tension in your body. Yesterday was a little like that. I was invited to attend a training seminar hosted by Kevin Hall, former partner in Franklin-Covey planners, and now book author. Kevin thought I might benefit and boy was he right.

You see, this economic downturn which the government insists on calling a recession, has been weighing heavily on my mind. It is painful to me to see printers struggling and hear about some closing down. Printing is an equipment based business. It isn’t unusual for even small printers to have a million dollar investment in iron. Press payments still continue whether the press is working or not. Yikes.

At this Power of Words training I realized that I had been creating my own stress around the fear and worry that seems to be our current world. An amazing individual was introduced to the group. This young man was a professional public speaker and earns a seven figure income, giving 200 speeches a year. At that pace you would expect a robust, athletic person, so I was surprised when Chad Hymas wheeled in. Chad was seriously injured some years ago, which even after years and years of therapy, has recovered some limited use of his arms and hands, but not of his legs. A few seconds into his speech I realized that I was witnessing one of the most powerful, confident, and admirable human beings I had ever seen. Any thoughts I might have had of him being disabled were quickly dismissed. Sure, he had to have help doing many of the things we all do everyday for ourselves, but that didn’t make him disabled.

He told us that the doctors let his father break the news of his condition to him when he was in the hospital, but Chad’s father didn’t see him as disabled either. He told him to find his God given talent and he could achieve anything he wanted. His legs didn’t work, his arms and hands almost useless, but his mind was just fine. He decided on becoming a public speaker. And I’m very happy he did.

I caught myself moaning about the fate of the printing industry, and my own uncertain future, and here was Chad demonstrating with his life how to raise above our circumstances. I also realized that he is a model for how the entire country needs to be. This recession/depression would lift very quickly if we refused to participate in it. If we all took the attitude that nothing could defeat us. We need to shake off doubt, and fear, find our God given talents, and implement them for our good, the good of our families, companies, and the whole country.

Chad, my hat’s off to you. Thank you for helping me see how I was holding tension through fear and making matters worse.

The Internet vs Traditional Publishing

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Today I really am talking out of my hat. With as much practical knowledge as I have acquired over the last forty or so years in and around the printing business, this Internet world is brand new to me. Not that I haven’t been using the Net for many years, it’s the jumping in, and being a presence, that is new to me.

I attended a seminar just a couple of months ago led by Phil Davis. You may have noticed Phil’s name show up on the comments to this blog. Phil owns a short-run digital printing company. He has been serving authors and printing their books for many years. It occurred to Phil that in addition to printing their product, he could be even more helpful if he taught them how to market their books. That was an excellent idea. If you can help your customers achieve success they will have the funding to do it again, and again, and again.

You’ve read in prior posts some of my thoughts on the state of publishing today, as I understand it. I don’t know how many thousands of new authors uselessly beat their heads against the walls trying to go through established publishing channels. The traditional channels are too narrow.

So there Phil was in front of a small twenty-odd-something group of authors telling them that selling through the Internet is not only the current wave but might become the only method in future book promotions. Self-publishing and self-marketing–gosh, what a concept. The new reality is that with the state-of-the-art printing capabilities a run of 50 or 100 books is viable. Even ten years ago that wasn’t true. It is now. As for Internet marketing, much of it is free. Let’s recap, you can print your book in small quantities as needed, you can market your book for free, what’s not to love?

Phil talked about blogging and used his own experience as an example. The first month of his website he got 300 hits, by the end of the year it was up to three thousand. How many fledgling authors became Phil’s customers? He won’t divulge that, and I can’t blame him. The point is that the Internet has taken the place of a whole fleet of salespeople. How many salesmen would a company have to employ to reach three thousand prospects per month?

I have to admit that I am not a technocrat. My wife chides me that if world progress depended on me, we might not have the electric light, or zippers. While that isn’t exactly true, there is some truth to it. I’m am not ever the first to embrace new technology, and I tend to learn only as much as I need to learn. Without people like Phil Davis sounding the clarion call you wouldn’t be reading this blog today.

I have to tell you, I’m loving this blogging revolution. It allows me to speak out on issues involving my profession, or anything else I want to, and I get connected with the whole doggone world! My wife added a plug-in (or is it a widget?) to my home page that shows a map of the world. It has just been installed, and so I’ve missed the previous hits, but in the last couple of days red dots have shown up from France and the Grand Cayman’s. This might not blow any of you readers away, but for me it’s a freakin’ miracle. I’m sitting here at my desk facing the Wasatch Mountains in Utah and someone in France stopped by just to read what I have to say.

Just knowing this means I have an awesome responsibility. If my words are helpful in any way, to anyone in the world, I have to make sure that every time they visit this site they can take away some nugget of value. I will make this my goal, and my pledge to my readers, everyday I’ll bring a thought, a method, or an understanding that I have to this blog. And if you readers will freely add your comments to help me keep on course, we can mutually benefit. Thank you, all of you, wherever you are in the world.

Too Busy to Write, Too Busy to Plan

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

I’m not just talking through my hat here. January is already wrapping up and I don’t think we are completely through Christmas yet. It is a universal gripe that time goes too fast. I might as well add my voice to the chorus.

The thing is that all the pundits agree that successful businesses set goals, make plans to achieve them, and monitor their progress. Maybe that works well for big companies. Every time I call one of my particular customers he is in a meeting. I’m not sure what other work gets done but they can certainly do meetings. I can only assume that those meetings are for goal setting, planning, and progress updates.

In my business, I find that my days can get very complicated, very quickly. The very next phone call could change everything I was intending to do that day. Or maybe there is a problem on press that requires additional time to fix. I can’t leave the customer stranded there by themselves while I go off and do other work. Thank goodness for cell phones with email capabilities.

I’m fortunate to have a group of good customers who keep me busy doing my job. If any of my customers are reading this, thank you. Thank you for all that you do. Sometimes I get too busy to even say thanks. Darn me.

Also, if you are a reader of this blog please leave comments and also be sure to go to the RSS and sign up to automatically be notified with updates. I think that is the way it works. I’m trying to figure out how to get a “Follow Me” button installed to make it easier. If anyone can direct me on the hows to do it I would very much appreciate the input.

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