by Cathy Paper on March 2nd, 2014

Ok, the photo is a little blurry, but you get the idea.  The man in the middle is Kevin Warren.  I suggest you google him and see the article that Caryn Sullivan wrote in the Pioneer Press.   Or just click this link.

The woman on the far left is Elizabeth Patty, mom of my daughter's friends.  The woman next to her is Kevin's wife Greta and far right is Paul Batz, host of Good Leadership Breakfast series.

I was introduced to Kevin by my friend Renee Jackson who had heard his story and said I think he's working on a book. Fast forward six months and I'm back from a three-day strategy session with Kevin and Caryn.  We're getting his book off the ground in 2014.

That's how you get started. You start. You put it out there that you're going to do it and you surround yourself with time and resources to get it done. I can't wait for his book to come to life, but in the meanwhile, I know there are those of you reading that could benefit from a strategy session to map out the plan of writing or marketing a book.  Remember, it's never too late to launch.  So check out the Hour of Power  and let's get you in the spotlight!  Rock On!

by Cathy Paper on February 18th, 2014

I read a lot of books on writing. My favorite is Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way.  I read something in another book by the same author that said when we set out to write a book we often think we need a set schedule and a big chunk of time to get our best writing done. She says, "Steal any time you can find and just write."

It sounds so simple, JUST WRITE. But it's so true. I have watched myself and others make writing much more complex than it needs to be to get a few ideas down on paper. A few ideas can turn into a larger concept and a few concepts can turn into a book or a blog post.  If you think the words that you're eventually going to market to an audience need to be perfect, consider if you were to JUST WRITE you could then bring in an editor, a proofer, a coach and as many other people as you desire to make your writing even better than what is probably very strong.  So, today, instead of staring at a blank journal page or a screen waiting, JUST WRITE.

by Cathy Paper on December 7th, 2013

Really???

You want to read a blog post about how to write a book? I get it, but I also know that every author I have worked with says they want to write a book and I can just tell that the book is waiting for them to actually put the time against writing it.

I'm not a book midwife, although the title has crossed my mind, but I do know that if you're reading a blog about writing a book or you've taken a class on writing a book, then YOU CAN DO THIS.

Think about a book like a running marathon, you know the hard core 26.1 length of marathon. No runner just goes out and runs it.  (Ok I'm wrong there was this guy I knew in college who signed up and actually ran that far without training.)  But most people, pace themselves and build up to running that length.  90 days is what it takes, but you have to have a base of 30 miles a week to start.  Most people that run 30 miles a week have run a race of anywhere from 5k to 10 miles maybe once, maybe dozens of times. 

Should writing a book be any different?  It's different because we make it huge in our minds. We think about how much time it would take to write.  We think about how we'd sell it. We think about who would read it, etc. etc. etc.  Please stop thinking.  Instead, take inspired action.  Just take action each day,

Find someone that you enjoy having coach you and start mapping out your plan.   You wouldn't run a marathon without buying new shoes, having someone drive you to the starting line or go on a training run.  Why would you go after your book goal without building your team. Surround yourself with a team to coach you along, there are so many people to choose from.

Why do you need a team?  Because, once we say we want to do something, we have a ton of questions.  How many words on a page? How long should my book be? What if my title isn't catchy enough? Who should endorse it? Paperback or hardcover?  Self-published or agent route?  That's just a sampling.  I have answered more than 200 questions for authors that want to write their book and market it successfully and the process is always the same.  It's the results that vary on if they actually do the WORK.  It's hard work to write a book but when you listen to the people around you who love your stories, are moved by your actions or could benefit from your message you will find all the motivation you need to start the race of writing a book and finish.   And, if you don't believe me, some gal from Minnesota, I recommend you bet me $50 bucks that you can get your book done and see what happens.

Rock On!  

Paper

by Cathy Paper on November 5th, 2013

I was not one of those parents that held my children's hands while they learned to walk. I didn't set up obstacle courses for them to move from point to point. But, I did cheer them on and watch them figure out how to lift themselves up and move towards their goal of the other side of the room, the toy or the dog!

What's your goal with your speaking? Do you really know what you want and why you are doing it? And if so, are you willing and ready to do the work that it takes to get there? Not everyone is. And the sooner they figure that out, the better. Audiences can be as challenging as a hard floor or a coffee table edge. A few missed steps and BOOM, you're on your A$$ and you feel like crying. Audiences want a prepared, thoughtful, experienced speaker who knows what they have to offer.

Most of my clients have spent a lot of time professionally honing their craft in business and then they decide they want to share that message, learning and insights.  Sometimes their story is a little weak or their delivery needs help. Or they just don't know how to say thank you to the hosts of the events.  We help with all of these steps and we've gotten pretty good at making people's true talent come through.  Get going.  It's never easy to take that first step or to figure out which steps you've missed, but once you do you'll be off and running in no time.

Rock On!

by Cathy Paper on October 25th, 2013

It may not always be pretty the way I think, but it works for me!  And after many years of fighting it, I just accept that I'm not linear in how I think.

What I have also learned is that to run a successful business it's best to learn from others.  Why spend all your time trying to figure it all out yourself.  So, my friend Andrey Sokurec and I assembled a group of experts from our network to share with you their knowledge, insights and tips.  Sometimes you have to put the pieces together to make sense of your thoughts.  Come play with us.

by Cathy Paper on October 18th, 2013

Maybe it's time to add up the number of hours I've spent at conferences since my focus became speakers and authors.  It's got to be a huge number. But more importantly, I realize I know a lot of people in the book industry who want to help you produce, sell and market your book or speaking.

So, today, I share a Midwest Favorite. 1-800-CE0-Read.  Great people. Great blog. Great resource.  Check them out.

by Cathy Paper on September 6th, 2013

You know how to feel crabby right? But do you know how to stay on top of that crabby energy?

Bestselling book launches require an extreme amount of effort and many people along the way become frustrated.  And if you're at all human, when you're pushed beyond your normal comfort zone you get a little crabby.  On an engine, it's called overheating.

I don't believe getting crabby can be avoided, but it certainly can be managed with clarity of your goal, a strong network of people to guide you through the challenging parts and a daily list of tasks to reach your goals.

During book launch, I encourage authors to stick to their exercise program, limit their drinking, maintain good habits and treat the 91 days on the RockStar Tour traction plan like you're running a marathon.  This type of physical investment makes the crabby moments shorter.  I also recommend a healthy sense of humor and a theme song to keep it all in perspective.

You can reach your goals and you can keep your sense of humor along the way.  Rock On!

by Cathy Paper on June 15th, 2013

Over the past six years of working with speakers, authors and business owners I've learned a few things.  Successful people set goals and they drive themselves to reach them.  But, making a name for yourself does not happen overnight.

Often, my job is to remind these "driver-driver" types that it takes time to turn into a National expert.  At first you start with speeches to a small group, Rotary or Chamber.  Then you can evolve into a larger paid audience.  Then as you improve your fee goes up etc. etc.

The same is true of creating an online following. Many people forget to invite their network to support them on Linked In or in a quarterly newsletter.  This is how success happens.  If you haven't heard the story of how either Wayne Dyer or Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson, Chicken Soup For the Soul, reached success, google it.

I show a picture of a $7 cutting from my garden.  At first I stuffed it in the ground.  Then it grew all big and floppy after 3 years that my friend told me it looked funny in the front of our house.  Finally I plunked it in the back yard and it's found it's home.  That was four or five years ago and now I can share cuttings with my friends.  Let me know if you want one and if you know the name of the plant, please share.  Rock On!

by Cathy Paper on June 5th, 2013

Some days you have more energy than others. It's just the way the body works and sometimes the mind can push you through those moments and other moments you relinquish and stop pushing.

Throughout the years of working with people to expand their message, I've noticed that people with goals figure out how to push through.  Yes, they have days that they can't get traction on their task list, but they keep pushing.  They make one more phone call. They take one more risk. They breathe and keep going.

Selling books and becoming a National Speaker does not happen overnight.  I repeat. Selling more than 3,000 books and becoming a National Speaker does not happen without hard work.

It doesn't matter if you meet someone who makes it look easy, it takes planning, effort and pushing through the rejections, the difficult feedback and the long to-do list.  

The instructor at the gym today said, "Just focus on the form and you'll get a great workout."  It's the same for spreading your message, focus on your form.  What is one thing you can do to get to the other side of your goal. It could be hiring a great editor, asking for one more testimonial or really listening to audience feedback.  Keep going.

by Cathy Paper on May 29th, 2013

Make A Plan.

Be strategic about what you want to accomplish and why.  

Once you've established the "Big Goal", the details will follow. Don't pick too many tactical things to work on at once or you'll get overwhelmed.  As you're getting started be sure to engage your friends, contacts and current customers to help you reach your goals.  I've been a part of many book launches in the past six years.  The most successful ones are where everyone has a common goal and knows how the specific tasks drive towards the goal.

I've been making three month grids since I was a kid.  I've used them for training for marathons, planning my wedding, launching new products, and National book launches.  Going for it can be as simple as just doing something every day, for 100 days.  Or you can keep overthinking it and not taking any action. I prefer you get started and go for it!


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