Let me start at the beginning.
Howard Partridge, a business coach and the owner of Phenomenal Products, Inc., asked several business owners participating in his inner circle coaching program if they would like to contribute to his next book. I was lucky to be one of those business owners and I jumped at the chance.
I sat down and I hammered out 20 plus pages in just a few hours. I was excited! “I totally got this!” I thought to myself. “Writing is EASY!”
I put the manuscript aside and got busy on real work…..
A couple weeks later, I came back to the manuscript and read it cover to cover.
I was left completely and utterly cold.
There was nothing of ME in what I wrote. I wasn’t moved, I wasn’t inspired and I certainly wasn’t excited.
After a small (MAJOR) panic attack I deleted the file and decide to start over from scratch. EEK!
Here’s what I love about my favorite books, be they fiction or non-fiction, they MOVE me. They make me think. They make me dream. They make me ask questions. And, they ALWAYS beg to be shared.
My original manuscript did none of these things. It was a one-dimensional representation of the me I thought people would want to see. Nothing more, nothing less.
It took me days, tears, and potfuls of coffee to finally complete a manuscript that scared the crap out of me.
It scared me because it was the REAL me.
It was vulnerable.
It was a story of failures.
It was quirky.
It was sad.
It was honest.
And worst of all? I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHO IS GOING TO READ IT!
Anyone can learn how I failed to lead.
Anyone can learn about my crazy childhood.
How did I stop being so scared? I haven’t. Not in the least. What I have done is decide if my story helps one person on their journey to becoming the best version of themselves move just a bit further down that path, then it’s worth it. That is what will make it a “best seller” in my book (pun intended).
One life touched.
PS – the book comes out THIS Friday, January 27th on Amazon.
Just breathe Shaneh, just breathe……
In order to a have a great first meeting, there are a couple things that you’ll want to do beforehand. First, you will want to prepare for the meeting. I always like to do a little research on the company/person I am meeting with. Check out their website, LinkedIn, or any other social media outlet. Get to know their character and what they like before you go to the meeting. You want to be careful with this strategy though; It can come off creepy if you ask them how their wife Karen is and if Bobby won his baseball game if they never told you that kind of information. You want to find ways to relate that are appropriate and professional.
Secondly, present yourself professionally. Make sure that you are wearing at minimum, business casual. It’s not appropriate in most situations to show up in holey jeans and an old concert t-shirt. Now, if you were a tattoo artist or a skate shop owner, I can probably see that, but if you are an insurance broker or a real estate agent, then you should be dressing professionally. It sets a standard for you and for your company and shows that you care and are interested in this meeting.
Once you arrive at the meeting there are few things that will help make the meeting go smoothly. First and most important: Show up on time! Nobody likes someone who shows up late. It shows that you don’t really care about them or their time.
Make sure you are on time or even better, a couple minutes early. Showing up a few minutes early show that you care about the person and that you respect the time they are taking to spend with you.
When they are speaking to you, be courteous and attentive. Make sure you pay attention and engage with what they are saying. You want the person you are meeting with to know that you are interested in what they have to say. If you find yourself coming to a lull in the conversation, keep a couple topics in mind. Small talk is important. You get to find out more information about a person that you wouldn’t have known without the small talk. You could ask them if they play any sports or if there is a certain non-profit they enjoy working with. Are there any charities that they are passionate about? This kind of information will help you get to know them better and figure out the best way to work with them.
Finally, just be yourself. Be the best you, but never somebody else. If the person you are meeting with doesn’t appreciate it, then they are probably not the best person for you to work with. You are an incredible person with a lot to give so you shouldn’t pretend to be someone you’re not just to impress someone.
What are some of your first meeting tips? Tell us in the comments below!]]>
Have you ever received that incredible offer mailer telling you that you MUST order your payroll compliance poster post haste or you can be fined by the U.S. Department of Wage and Hour? I have….and I toss them straight in the trash. I am NOT saying you don’t need to have the posters I am saying you don’t need to BUY them.
I find those mailers extremely annoying. They make them look like they are “official”. They threaten dire consequences if you don’t purchase today and they don’t tell you that all you are paying for is the high gloss lamination. They certainly don’t tell you that every notice that you are required to post you can get FREE off the internet.
I go straight to the source – The Dept of Labor They offer all the federal notices free. They even give you a handy schedule that tells you which notices you are required to have by law. (It’s different depending on how many employees you have) They don’t offer free state notices but those you can get by simply googling payroll compliance posters + your state. I guarantee you can get the notices from your state taxing authority or state wage and hour.
The other misconception is that they have to be in “poster” form. Not true! They have to be accessible to your employees. Do you have a break room? Put them in a three ring binder and make sure all your employees know where it is at. Don’t have a good place to leave a binder? Punch a hole in the upper left-hand corner and put a D-ring thru it.
Hang the packet on a thumbtack out of the way but someplace all your employees have access too. It doesn’t have to complicated, it doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be EXPENSIVE!]]>
The rush of the holidays has passed and a fresh new year is upon us. 2016 was a great year and 2017 is going to be even better. There are a lot of wonderful things in the works for E3, that is going to help us, help you, in bigger and more incredible ways than we ever have before! We have grand goals, plans, and dreams for this New Year and you’re looking at one of them.
We’re committed to making sure that you have fresh and exciting articles to read, that will energize your soul and make you believe that you can conquer anything. You’ll find a new tidbit of awesome, every Tuesday, so make sure that you check in often and if you haven’t already, subscribe to our newsletter, to stay connected with us. Another way you can connect is by visiting our Facebook page! We post over there, every single day and we LOVE getting to chat with you all in the comments. It’s a real treat for us and it makes our day!
Speaking of treats, we certainly enjoyed the delicious treats of the Season. In fact, we may have enjoyed them a little too much, but all those Gingerbread Cookies, Fruitcakes, Pies, Fudge were just calling our name. Sigh… Christmas only comes once a year though, right? And besides what would we put down for a New Years Resolution, if we couldn’t put “Lose Holiday Calories?”
Putting aside our humor for a moment, or in truth, just delaying our trip to the gym, for a few more minutes, let’s talk about treats. For treats such as those delightful holiday confections, it is perfectly ok to only celebrate them by indulging “Just once in a while.” But there are some things that we should never save for special occasions. Here are a few things you should treat yourself to regularly:
Treat Yourself Kindly— Dancing to the choreography, that is life, is hard sometimes. Life is sometimes messy and it sometimes you miss a step. Show yourself some grace and be as kind to yourself in the face of a mess up, as you would be to your spouse, child, colleague or friend. If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, don’t say it to yourself. Your confidence is listening.
Treat Yourself to a New Start— It’s a brand new year! All of its yesterday’s are over and the situations, struggles, and mistakes that were in it, are as well. You have the ability to start fresh and make today, this year and the rest of your life, ridiculously amazing. Go ahead and do it! You deserve that.
Treat Yourself with Respect— Never allow the urge to please others, be it client, friend, family or anyone else, make you compromise your values and beliefs. You do not ever need to compromise who you are and what you stand for, to appease another. Most likely, that person or business will respect you, because of it. Integrity is something to hold high and be proud of, respect yourself enough to never let there be a breach in it.
Let us know what you’ll be treating yourself to this year!
From all of us here at E3,
Happy New Year!
*Disclaimer: This post contains referral links, denoted by an asterisk.
With a week to go in NaNoWriMo, it’s crunch time. If you aren’t where you expected or want to be in your novel journey, you’ll need to start wrapping up NaNoWriMo. It may take some gearing up to finish your 50,000 by the 30th! NaNoWriMo is intense, but the feeling of accomplishing such a big goal in a short time is worth it. If you’re in need of a pep talk and some tips, we’re here for you!
1,667 words can feel like a breeze some days, and yet feel like pulling teeth on others. Every year and every story is different too. Some years you may pull ahead for an early lead, but then stall out after a week or two. Other times, you may get off to a rough start, but then hit your stride halfway through November.
Whatever the case this year, you’re almost to the finish line! Whether you’re 500 words or 25,000 words away from winning, it is possible. Keep these four things in mind during the next week:
Even if you’re only 500 words away from 50,000, the 23rd of November still feels scary. Making the word count goal is only part of NaNoWriMo. If this isn’t a year that you fluffed your way through, you may still feel like your story got away from you. And if you’re thousands of words away from your goal (which you will be, even if you stayed on track!), it can feel terrifying!
Thanksgiving falls right in the home stretch. This alone can make the last week feel impossible. Trying to explain to family that you’re visiting with that you need to write doesn’t always fly. But take heart: you’re not alone!
Take this week to reach out to a writing buddy or accountability partner and ask for moral support. Having someone else in the game with you can help in more ways than you know. Plus, having an excuse to retreat from the holiday madness for an hour is great!
If you aren’t at the point in your plot that you intended to be, that’s okay! You aren’t the first author whose characters get away from them. NaNoWriMo doesn’t have to yield a finished novel. In fact, it almost definitely won’t!
If you’re writing in white-on-white to increase productivity, your manuscript is bound to be riddled with errors. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll remember that you might throw out this draft anyways. For a lot of people, NaNoWriMo is more a way to explore an idea for a novel than it is to get publishable results. The experience is worth it to develop that daily writing habit alone!
[ctt title=”NaNoWriMo is as much a way to explore an idea for a novel as it is to get publishable results. http://wp.me/p5HlA6-mR via @SpareTheRoom” tweet=”NaNoWriMo is as much a way to explore an idea for a novel as it is to get publishable results. http://ctt.ec/HfC48+ via @SpareTheRoom” coverup=”HfC48″]
So if you’re not even close to writing “The End,” don’t despair. As Dory would say if she was a writer, “Just keep writing!” It just means you have an excuse to keep up your writing habit after November.
This last week may find you feeling like you don’t want to ever type another word. If you’re feeling burned up, it may be time to shake things up.
You don’t have to have a mind-blowing twist. Throwing an obstacle at your characters can be just as effective. This will make your mind work in a different way, and it will reinvigorate your creative process. See if there are any scene cards that you didn’t end up using or that could go in a different order.
If there isn’t anything you already have or anything that can move, make something up. Write an Everyday Vignette or flash fiction piece as a scene involving your characters. Even if you can’t use it in your novel as it is now, toss it in (with a highlight or something else to remind you that it doesn’t quite belong yet). In a future incarnation of your story, you might realize exactly where it goes. If not, it will at least get your creative juices flowing again, and can help you see new possibilities for your story.
If you’re so far behind that you can’t see the finish line, wrapping up NaNoWriMo can feel impossible. But it can be done! You just need a plan.
If you haven’t done so already, create a 7 Point Story Structure outline. This will give you a guideline for when you feel lost. It’s time well spent if it gives you the road map that you need to finish.
NaNoWriMo itself will give you an updated daily word count, no math needed! Just go to your Stats page for this year’s novel and you’ll see how many words you need to write each day to win. Here’s where the math comes in:
Okay, there’s no math yet. You can just Google (or Swagbucks*!) “words per minute test” and take one of the tests that come up.
Here’s where the math comes in. Go to whatever you’ve written already. Highlight one page at a time (only pages that are full-text; no half pages). Perform a word count (in Google Docs, it’s just Ctrl + Shift + C in Windows) on that selection. Do this for about 5 pages. Add up all those word counts, then divide by the number of pages you checked. This is your average words per page.
Just a little more math! Take your average words per page, then divide your WPM into that. If your average words per page is 550, and your WPM is 75, your calculation would be 550/75=7 1/3 minutes per page. That’s theoretical, of course. I would double that, which results in about 15 minutes per page. That accounts for thinking time! Everyone needs thinking time.
If you have to write 2,200 words per day to win, that’s 4 pages per day. With the calculations above, that means it should take you about an hour of dedicated writing time. That’s not so bad, right?!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that it will only take you an hour to write. It does give you a starting place for your plan, though! Try setting aside two hours each day for the last week for writing. With a plan in place, it’s a slot easier to catch up and wrap up NaNoWriMo with a win.
Download the FREE worksheet here!
With these tips, wrapping up NaNoWriMo in time is completely doable, even if you’re behind! The last week is often the hardest, but it’s worth it. Don’t give up, and remember that by even starting a novel, you’ve done more than a lot of people ever get around to.
The word counts are in, the project is over. It’s time to move on to life after NaNoWriMo. So what did we learn from the 50,000-word dash?
Runners call it “the kick,” a sprint toward the end of a race, and it’s a real phenomenon in creative projects as well. Just yesterday I wouldn’t have thought that I could produce 4,200 words in two and a half hours, but I did. In October, I wouldn’t have thought I could write a whole novel in a month amidst the holiday season, but I did. Sometimes the biggest obstacle to accomplishing your goal is worrying that you can’t.
They do happen in finite, manageable amounts of time, usually measured in weeks or months. Habits can also die much more quickly than they are created. After putting in all that work, do you really want to throw it away?
If you think that you can ‘take a week off’ and come back to it… good luck. If you are able to do that, let me know, because I’d love to find out the secret! Otherwise, you need to keep at it. You can decrease the intensity, though! Instead of 1,667, write 500 words per day for a week instead. Or even 250 words per day. When you’ve decompressed from the insanity of NaNoWriMo, you can ramp back up to whatever word count you’re comfortable with. This way, you at least keep your habit going.
Saying yes to creative projects will mean saying no to other things. Writing this novel woke me up early and kept me up late; there were parties I didn’t attend and games I didn’t play because of it. It came with me on holiday travel. Your creative passion should be a priority, and that will mean missing out on some other things
Nanowrimo is a means, not an end. If you’ve completed this journey, you’ve exceeded your perceived limitations. You have built a habit of writing daily. You’ve become accustomed to making that habit a priority. And perhaps you have created the first draft of a novel. These are lasting benefits, not one-time accomplishments, but just like muscles, they have to be exercised regularly.
Set your next goal. Be undaunted in your choice. Make it a habit. Keep that habit a priority. Learning to do this was the point all along.
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out up there, you gotta see it. It’s going to be absolutely amazing when they get done with all the landscaping they are planning. Heard there will be some restaurants as well.
I am putting together some ideas for a dog walking/hiking group event up there soon. We’ll train and can practise pack walking and proper social manners all while exploring so stay tuned!]]>