What Does Success Look Like???

Let’s face it – the unknown is daunting.  Even extensive planning can’t always prepare you for challenges you may face in your entrepreneurial endeavors – whether you’re a startup CEO, a handbag designer or an aspiring indie author. Sometimes you just need to trust in yourself and be confident in your abilities. Obstacles may seem insurmountable at first glance but if you are dedicated to your efforts and you do the proper research, you WILL work through them.

You can’t crush true entrepreneurial spirit. If you have it, it’s only a matter of time before you find your niche. Each “failed” attempt has to be viewed as a lesson learned. The real failure comes about when you don’t take anything away from the experience, when you don’t apply any of your newfound knowledge to your next endeavor.

My advice is simple. Embrace the unfamiliar and power through. You’ll never know the full extent of your capabilities if you don’t navigate outside your comfort zone. We can’t always be the best at everything but we should always strive to be. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Sure, you may accumulate a mound of debt in the process (something your husband won’t ever let you forget) but you will have taken control of your future.

Clear strategy concept as a straight road going over confused paths for achieving success in the future as a symbol of business vision and planning to solve the maze.

Be passionate! If you aren’t, find a new goal. You’re not cut out to be an entrepreneur. It takes too much time and effort to launch a new business and if you don’t love what you’re doing, you’ll never get it off the ground. If you’re not willing to work harder than you’ve ever worked before, preserve your sanity and come up with a new game plan.

Take a risk. You’ll never have all the answers or the insight you need to feel comfortable in EVERY situation.  But that’s okay, because you have faith, drive and ideas to propel you toward your goal.  Sometimes, that’s all you need to achieve success.

Believe in yourself and what you can do. SEE yourself creating, developing, designing, writing, and selling. The powers of the subconscious mind are astounding. Envisioning success is just more positive reinforcement you can apply to your effort. Never let negative thoughts permeate your mind – they will only hamper your efforts. See yourself hitting #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, see a Hollywood A-lister clutching one of your evening bags as she graces the red carpet at the Oscars, see your gadget in the hand of Mark Zuckerberg as he sings its praises to the press. See it, believe it, and make it a reality.

Don’t be afraid to fail.  That only really happens when you give up on your dreams. Outcomes that don’t match your expectations aren’t an indication of defeat. Think of them as lessons learned, pearls of wisdom to draw upon at a later time, things that need to be tweaked as you progress toward meeting your goals.

Try new things. Be creative. Think outside the box. Do something nobody has thought of before. Find the whitespace and clutter it up with your ideas. Don’t try to create demand; figure out what people need and give it to them. Why waste precious resources building something that nobody wants?

Life is all about taking chances. If you play it safe ALL the time, you’ll never uncover your true potential and untapped talents.

LEAP. Nothing worth having ever comes easily. Even if you crash-land, you can still say you tried.

And finally, never give up… on your dreams or on yourself.

Business woman celebrates successful deal at office. Business People

 

Sexy Stilettos, Steamy Shower Scenes & Silicon Valley…For FREE!

***Unlikely Venture By Kristen Luciani***

Read It For ***FREE*** Until 9/27!!!

Here’s the thing about keeping secrets…

After devastating news threatens her livelihood, Jessica Latham swears off men…until she meets Silicon Valley rising star, James Callahan. But when a vindictive frenemy exposes Jessica’s scandalous secret, James is forced to choose – his company’s future or his heart?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iBooks ~ Smashwords

12053284_886766344727226_573238895_n

How Do You Know You’re Ready For Launch?

We all want a big-splash launch – no matter what the offering. Who wouldn’t want mountains of accolades and recognition for a job well done?

In the period leading up to your big day, the best advice I can give consists of one very important word – plan.

Planning is critical to a successful launch, so make a list of everything you can possibly do to make your event as grand as possible. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Create a Task Timeline – Identify each component of your launch prep along with an expected timeframe for completion and a point of contact.
  • Prioritize Each Task – For each group of tasks you’ve outlined, ask yourself which ones will have the greatest impact on your launch. Focus on the ones that will deliver the biggest bang for your buck first.
  • Ask For Help – Reach out to all your contacts – family, friends, colleagues – anyone who can help you spread the word. Send them Facebook posts, tweets, images to share via Instagram, fliers to hand out in their towns – anything that will highlight awareness.
  •  Leverage Your Existing Fan Base – Come up with creative ways to engage your existing fans. Word of mouth is the most effective way to generate interest because of the credibility factor so ask your fans to get involved with your launch.
  • Cross-Promote – Identify potential partners who have launches around the same time as yours and augment your target audience by gaining access to theirs.
  • Maintain Your Plan – Update all notes and statuses so at any given point, you can see exactly what your progress has been in preparing for the launch.
  • Follow-Up As Needed – People generally don’t have a sense of urgency about someone else’s endeavors so a gentle nudge is sometimes warranted.
  • Get Out the Corkscrew – When you’ve fully executed your plan and feel confident you’ve done all you can do, the rest is up to the stars. So sit back, relax and have a glass of wine because you deserve it.

Red and white wine pouring on wood background

 

Spreading The Seed

I love spinning tales of romance in the Silicon Valley setting. I’m told I seriously over-glamorize the lifestyles of my heroes and heroines but whatever. I write FICTION so isn’t that kind of a requirement? I mean, I have to keep things interesting. right? WINK, WINK

As an entrepreneur, I am fascinated with goings-on in the Valley. There’s such an aura over Sand Hill Road; it’s just bubbling over with innovation, creativity and energy. Being part of that atmosphere, collaborating with fellow creatives and networking with famed venture capitalists must be so charging to a budding startup CEO. And coupled with the drive to build the next big thing? Well, the possibilities seem endless. Sounds like a dream (this is where my romanticizing comes into play)…but what companies really get to LIVE it?

funny silicon valley welcome sign

Enter Y-Combinator.

Y-Combinator provides seed money to a certain number of startups deemed worthy to relocate to Silicon Valley for a three-month period. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding for a company and it helps pay expenses, allowing startups to focus on development with no added stresses.

If selected for the program, startups have access to proven innovators who will help shape and bring early ideas to fruition. They will learn how to deliver a polished pitch to investors and how to close a deal and acquire more funding, if needed. It all culminates in a Demo Day, where the elite group is granted an opportunity to present their work to carefully selected audiences.

All this in exchange for a small financial stake in each company. Sounds like small potatoes, considering most startups would never get this opportunity on their own. Networking is so key…sometimes you need to give a little to get a lot.

Just as an aside, Hubby has already advised me not to get any bright ideas about applying. LOL.

Want A Chance To Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card???

Marketing. It’s a word that simultaneously excites me and makes me cringe. Platforms are constantly changing, making it difficult to reach a target market (ahem, Facebook), prospective customers are tuning out more and more because there is a constant glut of information being thrown at them, key performance metrics that trended positive six months ago may not mean much now because marketing channels are flooded with content and becoming largely ineffective.

So the question is…with all these obstacles, how can you make your company stand out against the competition?

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer. But I can tell you that testing the effectiveness of marketing channels is becoming critically important to companies with small budgets and the best way to test is to first get feedback from your potential customers. Hence, the reason why marketing excites me. Valuable feedback yields potential for new ideas and opportunities for innovation. YAY! Right up my alley. =)

Vector Notebook with drawing charts

This leads me to my latest project. I NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!!!!! Why not give you all a shot to win a cool prize for taking the time to take my super-quick book marketing survey???

ONE random winner will win a $50 Amazon gift card and FIVE random winners will get swag packs! The contest will end on April 1 and I’ll announce winners on my Facebook page on April 2.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE SURVEY

Do You Fail Well?

Happy Friday everyone!

Here’s a question to all you self-proclaimed entrepreneurs out there – How long does it take you to get back on the proverbial horse once you’ve been bucked??

Check out this great little clip from Barbara Corcoran on the secret to handling rejection.

It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how quickly you get back up that counts. And by “get up quickly,” I mean, how enthusiastic are you to potentially fall again? Are you excited to move on to the next venture? How thick is your skin?

Because if you continue moaning and writhing on the ground, you’d better choose another career path. Just saying. =)

Go Big Or Go Home?

Boiling the ocean.

So cliché. We hear those words all the time in corporate America. It basically means you are trying to do way too much within a given endeavor/timeframe. Usually, those projects end up failing because you didn’t focus your efforts on the goal at hand and you let things get way out of control to the detriment of your resources.

But those words also have a lot of relevance for startup entrepreneurs, whose budgets are considerably smaller and time to market may very short. The first step is establishing a reasonable and manageable goal. Building toward that goal requires a well-thought out plan of action, with trackable tasks and milestones. You’re never going to meet your objectives if you’re flying by the seat of your pants. It’s focus that propels you to the finish line.

Courtesy of supplychainsabroad.wordpress.com

Courtesy of supplychainsabroad.wordpress.com

Easier said than done. I know. You’re excited and eager to create something prospective customers will embrace and value. Your passion drives you and ideas flow with no sign of stopping. It’s like you can’t control it…

But you must.

Take a step back. There’s a time and place for everything and even though you’re tempted and desperate to launch something beyond this universe, be thoughtful and careful about your longer term strategy. Start simple and work your way forward. You will have a better chance of meeting success if you keep your initial plans short and your end goals manageable.

This is the time to test. Try something. If it works, great. Incorporate it for the next launch. If it fails, you learned a lesson. Don’t make it a super-costly one.

Go big or go home?

Not always the way.

Go small to start. You have a better shot of winning big.

Courtesy of streetsmartproductmanager.com

Courtesy of streetsmartproductmanager.com

 

Haters ALWAYS Gonna Hate

Want to know one of my biggest pet peeves?

The chronic complainer who LOVES to point out problems but NEVER volunteers a solution.

Those people irritate the hell out of me.

Guess what? If you want to be successful in business, DON’T be one of those people.

I’m fired up, can’t you tell with all the caps?  LOL!

Now, I can certainly appreciate the fact that people may get deterred by a lot of red tape and invisible barriers to change within their corporate structures. That aggravates me almost as much because you may have a fabulous idea that will never get any air time and why not? Because of ridiculous rules and perceptions that hinder more than help.

But my feeling is not to succumb to that defeatist mentality. If people aren’t listening to your ideas and you’re very passionate about them, you may be in the wrong job or company. Consider a move where your input will be respected and valued. It’s amazing how empowered you’ll feel in an organization that welcomes progressive thinking.

In my experience, there are lots of reasons why an idea may not be embraced.

  • People are territorial and don’t like scope of their work challenged in any way
  • Exorbitant development and/or implementation costs overshadow the perceived benefit
  • People are resistant to cultural change and don’t want their apple carts upset in any way
  • People don’t want to expend additional efforts outside their normal scope of work
  • People are not incented to find new ways of working (sadly, their paycheck isn’t enough of a driving force)

And the last reason…the idea just may not be very good. Sorry. It had to be said. =)

But none of those reasons are good enough for you to stop considering new and better ways of doing business. Let the ideas flow! Don’t get discouraged by the naysayers. Haters ALWAYS gonna hate.

Courtesy of www.bustedtees.com

Courtesy of www.bustedtees.com

Stressed Out? Don’t Fight It, Embrace It

I’ve been a big ball of stress lately. Wound like a top and spinning out of control. Working on three books, each at different lifecycle stages, plus working full-time and being a mom to my three little ones, a housekeeper and a happy wife…yikes! Hello, DOWNTIME??

Courtesy of www.conceiveeasy.com

Courtesy of www.conceiveeasy.com

Strange as it may seem, stress fuels my drive for success in all endeavors. Yes, I may be a little snippy at times…okay, fine a LOT snippy! But at the end of the day, I’m charged to succeed. Fired up to excel. Excited to pursue.

How is that possible?

The stress I’m referring to is called acute stress…the kind that’s fueled by adrenaline. And I’m evidently not alone in my belief that stress can positively contribute to success. Kristin Wehner, whose company, Kinetic Enterprise LLC, helps entrepreneurs leverage their health in business, stated acute stress “provides the immediate resources necessary to think clearly and react quickly. It’s that superhero-esque, eleventh hour focus.”

Courtesy of www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Courtesy of www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

This Kristen agrees wholeheartedly. For me, it helps get multiple jobs done. It narrows my focus and helps me keep organized. I may be a raving you-know-what in the process, but I get stuff done…a heck of a lot of stuff. Being stressed works for me. I’m not saying it works for my husband or my kids, but I’m good with it.

The key is knowing your threshold. Too much acute stress will inevitably become counterproductive. Be aware of your body and mind. Take a breather every now and again to keep the creative juices flowing freely. Schedule “nothing” time for yourself, you know, to recharge the old batteries and all that. I’ve found that I can’t just “turn things off” according to a set schedule. I think…ALL THE TIME. So take a few minutes to let ideas marinate while you “do nothing.”

The correlation between stress and inspiration is an interesting one. I wonder how many more people think and process the way I do.

How do you think and work best? Do you think stress holds you back or makes you more effective?

%d bloggers like this: