Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thanks, Missoula's Barnes & Noble Booksellers

Thanks to all who braved the blinding snow in Missoula on Sunday to join me at my book signing for Taking the Mystery Out of Business.

Despite the snowstorm, we had a wonderful turnout - as I had yesterday at the Missoula Businesswomen's Network's 6th Annual Women's Symposium.

Another 5-star review on Amazon for TMoB!

Today was wonderful! I spent the day at the Missoula Businesswomen's Network's 6th Annual Women's Symposium. Not only did I sell a bunch of books there, I also met some new people and reconnected with friends and acquaintances I've had for years.

Then, I got home to find another 5-star review on Amazon. Today just got better!

The review begins:  This business book "delivers the goods" exactly as promised. I've seen textbooks that weigh in at 20 pounds and contain the same information, but in less palatable form. As a current business owner, I discovered ideas and concepts I wish I'd known from the start.

To read the rest of it, click here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Network to Sell Books ... or Anything Else, for that Matter

Missoula Businesswomen's Network's
2011 Women's Symposium

I am here to offer you an answer to your prayers ... assuming you've been praying for years to come up with a miraculous way to sell more books without having to transform yourself into a fish oil salesman.

Thus begins the blog post I wrote over on Author Exchange Blog on Friday.  Check it out!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A 5-star Review for Taking the Mystery Out of Business

5.0 out of 5 stars Do more, earn more, and enjoy more with your small business, January 27, 2011
Alain Burrese, top 1,000 reviewer on Amazon, gave Taking the Mystery Out of Business a 5-star review today!

Here is an excerpt from his review:  If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner who wants some suggestions and tips as how to better run your business and succeed, Faulkner's quick read will motivate you and set you in the right direction. The book may entice you to learn more about the topics she covers, and that would be a good thing too. But, just taking her advice to heart, doing the assignments at the end of each chapter, and especially keeping that good attitude, will assist you in doing more, earning more, and most of all enjoying more with your small business.

He also says:  I think one of the most important things that comes through with this book is Faulkner's positive and optimistic outlook and attitude. In fact, mental attitude is the first thing she writes about, and she starts out chapter one with, "Attitude is the single most important element of success." This chapter especially is relevant to much more than just business, but to life itself. Faulkner's positive attitude comes through in this book just as it does when you meet her in person, and I do think that is one of the keys to her successes.
To read this review in its entirety, and to read other reviews by Alain, click here:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Communication & Learning Styles

Training. Employees say they’re not getting enough of it and employers say their employees don’t take advantage of what they have to offer. What’s the real scoop on training?

After having spent over thirty years in a highly technical field, my experience tells me that both employees and employers are right on the mark. How can that be? There are three major factors:
  1. Most employers don’t make the training process either convenient or enjoyable,
  2. Most employees resent being taken away from their jobs to be trained, and
  3. The actual trainers (for whatever reason) don’t spend enough time doing the training.
Let’s take factor #1 first, because factors #2 and #3 hinge on it. The majority of training takes place between new employees and their trainers. At this stage of the game, neither the trainer nor the new employee know much about the other: communication styles, learning styles, or expectations. Failing to determine all three is a huge oversight and one of the biggest contributors to both the trainer and employee feeling that the training experience is either wasted or not as beneficial as it could be.

Communication is conducted in one of three ways: passive, assertive, or aggressive. Learning is processed in one of three ways: visual, auditory, or hands-on. Most people communicate and learn predominantly in one of these three fashions, while using all three at varying times and to different degrees.

When communicating, a passive communicator tends to defer to the other party, minimizing his or her own opinions. An assertive communicator tends to behave as if both parties are equals, valuing both opinions. An aggressive communicator tends to be forceful and more focused on his or her opinions and less apt to compromise.

When learning, if a person was told a

If both trainers and employees understood the communication and learning preferences of the other, the training process would evolve much more smoothly and effectively. Everyone would also be more quick to understand the other party's expectations and assimilate into the work environment more easily. The more relaxed people are, and the more important and understood they feel, the better they’ll perform. If something positive is being accomplished in training, even if it’s simply getting along better, employees will look upon future training, and their trainers, more favorably.

Now on to factors #2 and #3: they won’t exist if factor #1 is taken care of properly. This discussion is, obviously, very brief. If you are interested in learning more about communication and/or learning styles, a huge assortment of resources is available on the Internet and your local personnel office likely has others, as well. Feel free to comment and I'll do my best to answer any questions you might have.
story and then asked if he understood it, a predominantly visual person might say, Yes, I see what happened. A predominantly auditory person might say, Yes, I hear you. And a predominantly hands-on person might say, Yes, I feel your pain. Understanding both communication styles and learning styles is an essential part of training. If the trainer is communicating in one language and the employee is learning in a different language, how much positive work is being accomplished?

Friday, January 21, 2011

TV Interview on Montana Today, 01/21/2011

My sincere thanks to Monte Turner and Megan Angelo at the Montana Today show on KECI TV, Missoula for allowing me to visit this morning to talk about Taking the Mystery Out of Business.

If you'd like to see the 3-minute interview, here it is:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marketing Tips

I was a guest blogger at Maryann Miller's It's Not All Gravy blog earlier this week and a number of her readers asked some very interesting questions about marketing.  Although most of her readers are writers, I found their questions to be the very same types of questions other business people encounter:
  1. What's the biggest marketing mistake most business people make?
  2. How can I market so that I stand out among my competition?
  3. What's the most effective way to get word out about a new product?
Answer to question #1 is a toss-up:  Believing marketing is not part of their job description or not understanding precisely what marketing is.  No matter what your job function, you MUST promote and sell yourself and your product or service.  If you're not telling people who you are and what you do, how are they going to you even exist let alone do business with you?  Even if you hire a marketing firm or publicist, YOU still need to take a serious role in your own marketing.

Answer to question #2:  In order to stand out among your competition, you must first KNOW what it is your customers want.  Too many business people gear their marketing plans and programs toward what they THINK their customers want or to satisfy their own personal preferences.  Neither of these approaches is different; their both lackluster and common.  Once you KNOW what your customers want, you must present yourself as the unique and special person you are, and the ways only YOU can give them what they need.  This usually takes a lot of time and consideration.  But once you nail the message, it should be effective.

Answer to question #3:  This is going to depend upon who you are, what your product is, and a bunch of other things.  Primarily, however, you need to tell as many people as you can about the fact that the product exists.  Yes, if you can target the ideal group(s) of people who will benefit from using the product, that's a good idea.  But oftentimes, if you have a strong enough customer base, even if a particular person isn't interested in your product, if they like and trust you, and have confidence in you as a business person, they'll help you spread the word.  If they're invested in you and your business, it's more of a cinch that they'll help spread the word.

Feel free to pipe up if you have any of your own marketing questions.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Review is in for Taking the Mystery Out of Business!

Maryann Miller, an editor, journalist, and columnists for over 30 years, has just posted a wonderful review of Taking the Mystery Out of Business. 

In part, she says:  "I highly recommend this book for all writers. Linda has the background and expertise  to be totally credible, and the book is written in a comfortable, easy to understand style."  To read the entire review, you can visit her blog, Its Not All Gravy, where the review appears today.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Question About Time Management
 A fellow who commented on my interview over at the Writers in Business Blog wanted to know if my tips on Time Management--which is one of the 9 Fundamentals for Professional Success--focus on traditional work hours or the entire 24 hours in a day.

I believe that a person has to manage his or her entire life and that compartmentalizing, while it may be easy and effective in the short-term, only creates problems long-term.  For example, some people like to keep their business and personal schedules separate.  Here are the pros and cons to doing so:
  • PROS:  You can see, at a glance, which of your activities and commitments are business and personal.  You can also prioritize IF your business or personal commitments are ALWAYS more or less important than the other.
  • CONS:  You have to constantly flip between both schedules because they are not integrated.  You have to spend extra time keeping the details separate.  You spend more money keeping two separate schedules.
Newsflash, folks:  You have ONE life.  You have ONE day, just like everyone else, and it contains 24 hours.  You have ONE body and although you may segregate your schedule into compartments, your body can't be segregated the same way.  Creating one or more separate schedules takes MORE time and generates MORE stress.

Another thing to keep in mind:  If you follow the same tips and guidelines for organizing your time on the job, off the job, recreationally, or with the kids, you actually make things easier. 

And for those of you who really, really like to segregate portions of your life, or separate them when scheduling, why not use a color-coding system?  I do this in my Outlook e-mail.  I have five different e-mail accounts (3 for my writing, one for business, and 1 for personal).  Each of them is color-coded so that when e-mails appear in my Inbox, I can tell by the color I've assigned to the e-mail account precisely which of my business or personal "hats" I need to wear.

What tips can you share for effectively managing your time?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Interview on Writers in Business

Brigitte Thompson interviewed me over on Writer's in Business. 

Check it out:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Zig Ziglar's Three Sides to the Story

Remember that when an employee or co-worker reports an "incident" to you, it's being told from that particular person's perspective.

In addition, if the person telling the story wasn't actually present when the action occurred, it's all hearsay.

Very good article in Zig Ziglar's newsletter on January 4th:

Time Wasters

Here's a great blog post over at BetteBoomer about eliminating time wasters: