Sunday, 19 February 2012

"Don't find fault, find a remedy" - Henry Ford

Pet peeves. Everyone has them. Those quirky little things that drive us crazy. Henry Ford named one of mine. We’ve all seen it before: something goes wrong and the first thing everyone scrambles to do is blame someone.

“It wasn’t me!”

“I told him not to do that!”

It drives me crazy! What’s worse, I’ve done it too! Unfortunately it’s human nature, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change. Think about how much time, money and effort is wasted on placing blame. It’s frightening, really. Just imagine what would happen if say, for example, your surgeon spent all his time placing blame.

Surgeon: “I didn’t cut that artery! Nurse Jennings bumped it with her wrist watch!”

Nurse: “Umm, Doctor, the patient is bleeding out…”

Surgeon: “It’s not my fault!”

The great thing about mistakes is that we can learn from them. You can’t do that if you are worrying about whose fault it is that things went wrong. What’s worse, you are probably losing time, money or both while you are coming up with reasons why it’s not your fault. Instead, try fixing the problem and making sure it doesn’t happen again. I firmly believe that people are much more likely to remember how you took immediate and decisive action to fix a problem than they are to remember who caused the problem in the first place.

That’s not to say you should go around causing problems, but next time, instead of trying to figure out who is to blame, try figuring out how you can fix it first.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Spotlight on Success: Author C.K. Gray

Welcome to my first Spotlight on Success! Periodically, my weekly post will focus on someone who has found success in his/her field. We will talk about what they have accomplished and how they have become successful, and we’ll try to tap into that success and pass along some advice to help you succeed, too.

This first spotlight focuses on C.K. Gray, author of Eye of the Storm and the soon to be released sequel, After the Storm. Born and raised in California, C.K. now resides in Ontario with her family. Until recently, she was a full time interior designer with an itch to write a book. Now, with thousands of sales under her belt, she is transitioning into becoming a full-time author.

C.K. said that she had a lot of fun writing her book and that she really loves her story. “It’s a passion,” C.K. tells me of her writing. “If you have a passion for anything in life, don’t ever give up that passion.”

One of the most difficult things she found about writing her book wasn’t writing it, but promoting it. As a self-published author, C.K. not only wrote her book, but now has to sell it as well. Fortunately, she has a very dedicated sales rep: “If you’ve written a book and poured your heart and soul into it, who can sell your book better than you?”

One of the most important things she learned through the process is to have a good editor. While it can be expensive to hire an editor, people want to read a book that is well written. Having a second party go over your work can help you catch all of those awkward mistakes you make that you won’t notice yourself and is well worth the money.

A good cover is also very important. C.K. feels that the old saying “Never judge a book by its cover” just isn’t true. After all, until you start reading a book, what else do you have to judge it by?

A last bit of advice that C.K. leaves to other authors is to consider self-publishing. She used a self-publishing company to publish her book and was very happy with the experience. The problem with traditional publishing companies is that it can be years, if ever, before your manuscript is read by someone. If you choose to self publish you can have your book ready to go much sooner. There are several great self-publishing companies out there that can help you get your book out in print and e-book formats.

Having read her first novel, I can say that C.K. truly has a talent for drawing the reader into the story. One of the things that has impressed me most is the number of positive reviews she has received from men, despite her book being a romance. Guys, don’t be afraid of this one!

I would like to congratulate C.K. on her success and thank her for agreeing to be my first spotlight on success. To learn more, visit her website: or better yet, read her book!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Captain Kirk’s got nothing!

I’m a nerd at heart; I remember as a kid watching all of those cool science fiction shows on TV and wishing that I lived in the future. Things were so much better in the future! Everybody had such neat stuff and cool gadgets.

Then one day I realized something: Captain Kirk’s got nothing on us! I mean really, imagine waking up every morning to a bunch of goofy flashing lights and a computer that talks like, well…a computer! The poor guy can’t even send a text from his communicator! What a bunch of junk!

Seriously? My Android phone does more!
We live in an amazing time with amazing technology, and it has provided some amazing opportunities for business. So many doors have opened that didn’t even exist as little as 10 years ago.

Imagine 20 years ago being told that a teenage sensation would be discovered on a website called “youtube” and would rack up millions of album sales in just a couple of years.

Imagine being told that you could one day keep in touch with all of your clients from anywhere and do all of your banking from your telephone!

Imagine being told that a website called “Facebook” where people create “social networks” would announce an initial public offering estimated to raise over 5 billion dollars!

The opportunities are there folks. You don’t need to be the next Bieber or Google. You don’t need to be anybody special. Whatever your business is, technology can and WILL improve your bottom line. It can open up markets that you couldn’t reach even just a couple of years ago. It can help streamline your business and save you a LOT of money.

Learn to use it. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself with the Captain Kirks of the past: obsolete!

This week, I want to hear how you have used technology to improve your business. If you haven’t, I want you to do it and report back with what you did. Buy a faster printer, set up a website, whatever you like. Let’s hear about it!