How Becoming An Author Builds Expertise

Building expertise through authorship has been around long before the internet lowered the barriers to entry. It’s still around because it works. Not only does having a book to give to or sell to people make you look knowledgeable, but it will also make you knowledgeable.

Learn a Lot

While writing the book (even if you outsource the writing), you’ll learn so much about yourself and about your niche. You will indeed become a real expert just due to the process of learning that takes place when you want to publish a book with your name on it.

Increase Awareness

When you publish a book about your niche or topic, you will increase awareness about not only the topic but also about yourself. The book gives you a good opportunity to share more information about yourself, your education, and why you wrote the book you wrote.

Gain Trust

Putting “author” beside your name in all your online bios, and linking to your book whenever you can, will automatically make people trust you more. They figure you must know a lot of stuff if you put it together into a book.

Help People

People like reading books to learn things. This is especially true today with the ease of which they can obtain books to read on their mobile devices and Kindles.

Prove What You Know

A book is a great way to prove all the things that you know into one manuscript. Putting it together into book form is a great way to prove what you know.

Increase Your Value

Being an author automatically increases your value. Even with the ease with which anyone can become published today, most people simply don’t do it. You’ll still be one of the few, especially if you also know how to market your book and make the most of it to become the expert you want to become.

Become an Insider

When you are part of a niche, there are people who are perceived as insiders and people who are just not known. If you write a compelling book that teaches something or shares something important about that niche, you will become one of the insiders (with the right marketing, of course).

Gives You a Platform to Begin With

Believe it or not, some people have started with nothing, and the book was the launching platform to give them their start. If you want to come out in a big way with your products, services, or ideas, a book is the way to go. The book, along with proper marketing, can launch an entire new career.

Cash Flow – Want Some Tips?

You’re up and running but projects are taking longer than you expected. You’re running into problems that are chipping away at your finances. Customers aren’t paying as quickly as you thought they would. Expenses don’t stop and wait for you to have money. Opportunities to buy materials at an attractive price don’t wait until you have money. These and other issues affect your ability to keep yourself in growth mode. Here are three tips on where you can start having a positive affect on your cash flow.

1. Cash Cow. Looking at your operation, there’s something that is an entry-level product or something that you created in-house to streamline your own processes. Consider putting some emphasis on the quick products that can create a steady flow of income. A high-tech company had a test unit that field engineers took out into remote areas to test the strength of the product. No thought had been given to the marketability of that simple unit and it had the potential to generate sales in remote areas around the world. It was the most inexpensive item that the company built and had never been considered as a product. Another company had a little program that helped their own test engineers with their work. It was another unidentified product that could generate steady income. The owner of a small recruiting firm created a program to simplify his job. With very little effort, it could be used to manage any small business. The last time I saw him, he said that he had sold a number of the programs and made millions with them. It may not even be the business you’re in but there could be a steady income generator hiding in your operation.

2. Changes. This is not about bringing in more money. It’s about plugging leaks. My father was a General Contractor when I was a baby. The first and only project he ever had was a beautiful home in Marin County in Northern California. Dad had a partner – George. George was a customer pleaser. While Dad was out buying materials, George would be ripping out the bathroom because the homeowner realized they didn’t like the color of the floor to ceiling tile as much as they thought they would. Of course, that meant that the coordinating floor tiles had to go, too. George always promised there would be no charge for changes. The project made the cover of Better Homes & Gardens but it drove Dad and George into bankruptcy. If you were building a bridge between two cities you would have agreement on the specifications, completion date, and costs. If, when you were 90% done, the Mayors came to you and said they made a mistake and should have had one more lane in each direction, you could probably say, “No problem. We planned for future expansion in the design.” When the Mayors wanted assurance that you would still complete the job by the same deadline and for the same costs, you would discuss the increased time and money. You may not be building anything as big as a bridge but don’t let change requests eat up your cash.

3. Connections. Keeping your nose to the grindstone does a couple things. It wears you out and it prevents you from discovering information outside of your company that might have a significant effect on your operation. One small company struggling with cash flow issues didn’t have anyone available for networking. They brought in an operations management consultant whose marketing efforts were all about networking. As problems came up in conversation, the consultant had connections who had answers. Some zoning issues that created a safety problem for the employees had a surprising solution when the consultant mentioned the issue to a networking contact who was a commercial building contractor. The consultant knew an attorney who specialized in another area the company needed help with. A casual conversation between the consultant and a networking contact revealed a previously unidentified market for the customer’s product. All three of those happened over a two-day period as a result of the consultant’s ongoing networking efforts. It’s worth your time to stay connected to people outside of your company.

Conclusion: These kinds of solutions can be an ongoing benefit for your business with clear, concise communication of the problems that are restricting your cash flow. Keep your eye out for the kinds of opportunities you’ve seen here.

Business: The Point of No Return

“I Quit” John said to his boss. He said that certain of decision but uncertain of the long-term implications for his life. His decision was final, he would be focused on growing his business from this day forward.

There comes a point in a business when you are all vested in and have no option but to make it work. For some that point comes at the beginning of the business, for others it may come towards the middle part where they have actually left a job or forsake other suitable or gainful employment for the sake of the business. It may come at a surprise, but it may not occur to the business owner that they are at a point of no return while they are in the midst. Instead of living day by day in faith for the success of the business they do the necessary without editorializing every decision. This outlook will help ensure the ultimate success. Lack of editorialization over small business decisions helps keep the owner focused on the survival of the business rather than philosophizing about every step. However, certain pivotal moments must be noted. Those who editorialize do it for many reasons. For starters, many people find it helpful to maintain a business journal to help steer them on track. This journal provides for regular reflection into the state of the business. If a person is not into journaling they may find other methods of reflecting which may be storytelling.

Storytelling can take place in various forums such as networking groups, small business groups or sharing personal stories with friends and family members. Often time, when people recount stories of their business they may be modest about their accomplishments. They may not even realize the extent of their commitment. The purpose of the recounting of the tales of the business will enable self-reflection into the commitment that’s been made. The extent of the involvement may not even be clear to the speaker. It’s not so much about extracting a philosophy as much as exchanging ideas or stories about what made you make the jump into the entrepreneurship track. You may even surprise yourself with the stories that you may share. Stories in this sense, include stories of actualities and what is presently happening with the business or past stories of hurdles overcome or accomplishments.

The forum you join will determine the type of stories you share. For example, if you have joined the Chamber of Commerce meeting groups you may be limited in the type of vulnerabilities you choose to expose yourself to. Smaller groups like business masterminds help facilitate these types of dialogues. Some of the topics of conversations, include: “what are some of the challenges you’ve faced or what are some ways you’ve overcome a hurdle this past week? In their forum, the issue is framed properly to enable the dialogue, the internal self-discourse that leads to the public dialogue. The public dialogue will be sufficient recounting to identify defining moments where the point of no return may have been reached.

The point of no return may be different for some, it may be a subtle moment of saying “no” or for some it may be a triumphant moment of raising the stakes and putting all our eggs into that business basket. It may be quitting your 9-5 job to focus on the business, or it may be a small decision to simply expand and grow an exclusive clientele; or the type of clients you want to work with as opposed to targeting everyone as a client. All these typed of choices are pivotal moments in the life of a business that should not be undocumented. Narrating these moments to ourselves and others give them their due significance in the story of the business.

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