Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of 'Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy' M.D. Moore

Title: Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy
Genre: Fiction/Family Drama
Author: M.D. Moore
Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Purchase on Amazon

MD Moore is the author of Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy, a family saga that spotlights the adult son of a paranoid schizophrenic mother.  He has worked as a therapist with the most chronically mentally ill patients in Washington State’s largest psychiatric hospital.  He lives in Gig Harbor, Washington with his wife and two teenage sons. 

Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I started writing this book when I was 37 years old (10 years ago).  At the time, I was working at a job that I didn’t like, for people I didn’t like.  I looked ahead to how I would feel at 50 still doing the same job and still not making much of a difference in the world around me.  Even if I couldn’t change jobs and write full time, I still wanted to say that what I did made a difference, that no matter what, I left something behind.  I knew that I could write so decided to try my hand at writing a novel.  Wow!  It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.  Almost everyone I meet tells me they have a book in them and that they should just “whip it out”.  My thoughts exactly until I actually sat down to “whip it out”.  Nine years and countless classes, workshops, critiques later, my novel was “whipped out”.  Now, standing close enough to 50 that I can now see the ear hairs sticking out, I’m glad I put in the work and am now working on the next.  I may still be stuck in the same business, but for now, that just pays the bills.  I’m now an author and am working to do what I can to make writing a larger part of my life.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

No, if you’re basing your expectations on what you see in the movies or hear from best-selling authors, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  It would be fantastic to sit in my cabin in the woods for weeks on end, bothered by nothing but the sounds of Mother Nature, and write the perfect novel with no pressure whatsoever.  As it is, I work full time with two teenage sons who play sports, don’t drive, and have countless requirements on my time.  It’s hard work from beginning to end and if you’re lucky, your muse will come around now and again and give you that second wind that makes writing so rewarding.  That said, and I know it sounds somewhat contradictory, there’s little else I’d rather be doing.  I love the process, hard work and all (maybe because of the hard work – my job is too easy) and look forward to sitting down and writing every chance I get.  It’s just not that glamorous at this stage.  I’ll get back to you when I buy my yacht and answer this again then.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I was published by an small traditional press, Black Rose Writing.  While I know there are some excellent self-published books available, I wanted the support of a publisher to help do the work that I didn’t want to do.  As I mentioned above, I have to eke out time to get my writing in and having to produce a book and all the steps involved with that was more than I have time to do.  Getting published took a lot of perseverance with a lot of agents and publishers saying no before I found Black Rose.  Because I felt so strongly about being traditionally published, I went through a lot of disappointing months as the rejections flowed.  That part sucked.  When I was finally picked up, that felt incredible – all the work and hours that I had put into finding a publisher had finally paid off. 

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

My family has always been supportive of my writing, but that said, I’ve always worked to assure that it doesn’t take too much of my family time.  I tend to get up before they do or stay up late to get the writing work done.  Because I need absolute quiet to write effectively, this schedule seems to work for all of us.

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

I have a cat, two dogs, two chinchillas, and two teenage boys.  Two of the previously mentioned are responsible for the other five.  I’ll let you guess which two.  The only animals I’m responsible for are my bees and they are fairly self-sufficient.

Are your plants actually still alive?

Plants aren’t my thing, but they are my wife’s and she tends to them.  The boys mow and water the lawn and she takes care of the plants. 

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

As I mentioned, I write either very early or very late so I don’t have the interruptions mentioned.  I find that I can’t get into any sort of zone with distractions, especially ones that directly interfere with my writing.  I have been known to go sit in the car to write if the dogs are barking at squirrels or deer in my backyard just to have some quiet. 

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

My road to publication can be likened to a freeway more than a tour of America’s back roads.  My journey was fairly devoid of anything particularly interesting or crazy or insane.  As my novel deals with mental illness, I guess that is the only really insanity I had to deal with.  The rest was fairly monotonous and mundane with a lot of perseverance.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I don’t know yet.  I just signed up as an author for Facebook (MD Moore author), Twitter (@mdmooreauthor), and Instagram (mdmooreauthor) yesterday.  I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I have a wonderful publicist in Maryglenn McCombs who is working to get the word out about my book.  I have mostly sold to family and friends so far (my book came out earlier this year), but am now working hard to get the word out about my novel.  People won’t buy what they don’t know about.  Getting out there is not exactly in my comfort zone so honestly, this has been the hardest part about being an author that I’ve had.  I feel that writing will be a journey and believe that book sales will come once my dues are paid.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

If you’re referring to a good scream, it’s that I’m now a published author.  That took several years of my life and a lot of nose to the grindstone to make that happen with nothing more than the belief that I could do it.

If you’re referring to a bad scream, it would be for the time it took to get to this point.  I queried a lot of agents and publishers before finally getting picked up.  I knew I wrote a good book (I was a finalist in a large, national writing contest where I received impeccable reviews) that had market appeal, but because I lacked writing credentials and a strong platform, I was soundly rejected often.  I understand why this is so after talking with so many agents about the process, but it is the most difficult part of the process for a new writer.  Even after being published, I still want to vent about the whole process.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

What I love about being an author…hmmm… well, it isn’t about the fame and the money (yet).  I guess what I appreciate most about being an author is that I have something to show in my life that made a difference, even if it’s just to me.  I have never worked so hard for so many years towards one singular goal.  I look at my book sitting on my shelf with an actual book cover (not the binder that I squeeze them in) and I am proud of all the work that it took to get it there.  I feel that it set a great example for my boys about the importance of perseverance and hard work in this life.  I’m now working on my second novel and believe, like I believed when I was writing the first, that this process should go much more smoothly the second time around.  I may be fooling myself, but I feel that one almost needs to do that to get through the process.  The way I look at it, the years are going to pass anyway (God willing) so I may as well do something useful with my time.  I can catch up with my TV shows anytime.  And through all the muck traveled, the coolest part of being an author is that, at the end of the day, at the end of my life, I get to say that I’m an author and no one ever gets to take that away.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of Anne C. Graham , Author of Profit In Plain Sight

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I am passionate about my mission to reach and impact 5 million business leaders and help them transform 7 of the deadliest words in business – “We don’t have the budget for that” – into the prosperity that enables them to say an enthusiastic “YES!” to every good growth initiative that crosses their desk.  That’s where the fun is in business, that’s where the key to a sustainably healthy economy lies.  I’m one determined, stubborn, Taurus redhead woman who’s committed to making it happen, one company at a time.  The fastest and easiest way to have that kind of impact is with a book like Profit in Plain Sight:  The Proven Leadership Path to Unlock Profit, Passion and Growth that everyone wants to get their hands on.


Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Being an author is fun.  Its gruelling.  It’s exhilarating.  It’s frustrating.   It’s creating.   It’s birthing something great… or maybe not.  It’s eviscerating and pruning content you hate to let go of.  It’s long days at the keyboard and sleepless nights writing new content in your head. It’s the freedom of writing anywhere in the world, at any time.  It’s a tremendous feeling of  pride and satisfaction the first time you hold your book in your hands and see your name on the cover.  It’s fear that maybe the baby is ugly, that nobody will like it, and it will still have your name on the cover!  It’s having supporters rooting for you every step of the way, and pushing rocks endlessly uphill as part of the learning curve that goes with writing and publishing a book in a fast-changing environment.  It’s trying to balance great writing with today’s short attention spans.  It’s carefully crafted prose, and unintelligible tweets.  It’s dealing with long hours alone, and working closely with editors, designers, publishers, assistants and marketing partners.  In short, it’s one wild, tedious, exciting, boring, amazing ride, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!


Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I started with a firm commitment to self-publish, and did so in 2014.  It was the fastest way to get Profit in Plain Sight to market when you look at the very high rejection rate and long lead times of conventional publishers.  These days, any author can get their book up on Amazon, into an E-book format, and available to the public in no time.  Unfortunately, I’m not “any author”, I’m a perfectionist, and it took me 3 long years of writing, rewriting, designing, and re-designing Profit in Plain Sight before I had a product I could be proud of.  It was a huge learning curve – during the time from when I started writing the book and having a substantive number of pages was the standard, the market shifted and ADD seemed to take over, with shorter and shorter books becoming the norm.  Social media was something I could safely ignore when I started writing the book – by the time the book was completed, I was scrambling to learn the ins and outs of reaching new audiences in new ways.

Then I met a New York publisher during a “speed-dating” networking and the next thing I knew I had a publishing deal.  And we started another year of revising the book to be a little bit shorter, and to be soft-cover instead of hard cover because that’s what sells best in bookstores these days.  That broke my heart – I loved my hardcover self-published edition, but I was grateful to have the experience and advice of my publisher at every stage.


What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

I can’t say a single bad thing about any of the publishers I’ve interacted with – all of them were respectful and interested, and even if there wasn’t a match going forward, they graciously shared what I would need to do to be a good match for them, which usually had to do with having a greater ability to move books myself – i.e. an even bigger platform than I currently have.  However, if you hold my feet to the fire on this question, I’d have to say that my snarky pet peeve is all of the pseudo-experts who are preying on aspiring authors these days – promising to help them write a book in 3 days, take it to an Amazon best seller, sell zillions of copies in bulk and so on.  I’ve investigated quite a few of these and even plunked down some hard earned cash in some cases, yet I’ve little to show for it.  When the market is just a bit too  hungry for overnight success, the snake oil salesmen will come out in droves.  Always do your homework and ask to talk to references before you pull out your wallet.


Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I’m single at the moment, which means I get to keep many of my deep dark authoring secrets, long nights, frustrations, failures, and small triumphs all to myself!  However my Dad has been both a huge supporter and a rather disbelieving witness to the amount of time and money I’ve invested to get Profit in Plain Sight to the stage of being readily available to the public.  Of course, a good part of that  was a self-inflicted wound on my part!  I thought I’d have the book done in 6 months and it took 3 years… and then I put everything on hold with my self-published edition when I knew I’d have a major launch coming up with Morgan James, which was another year-long process.  Now, he asks only occasionally “how’s that book coming…?”  But he’s the first to boast about his daughter the author, and keeps a copy of the book on his coffee table.


What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

My editor not invoicing me for over a year after her work was completed, not answering emails, and then not cashing the checks I sent her was pretty bizarre.  She worked like a dog on the project and was an invaluable help, but then she took off to Australia with her husband for extended travels and wasn’t answering her emails.  Even once she got back I had to send her several reminders to cash the checks I sent, and it was very unnerving to see someone who was in no hurry to be paid for her work.  She’s a great editor, but she’s either a lousy bookkeeper or has an abundance of cash flow! 


How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I love Linked In because people I’ve known from long ago are tracking me down and reconnecting, which feels authentically social.  I’m warming up to Twitter as a quick news-share mechanism, although I don’t spend a lot of time on it and I find tweets full hash tags related to events or activities I have no knowledge of to be rather incomprehensible.  My bugaboo is Facebook – I’m just NOT a Facebooker although my assistant maintains a presence for me there.  In the past, I’ve found my Inbox clogged with trivia from ‘friends of friends’ that I’ve never even met, and I’ve found that a bit of a turnoff.  But others swear by it, so perhaps it’s simply a case of “old dog, new trick” and I should just get over it. (chuckle)


Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I’ve read just about every book out there on selling books, and I think I’ve developed a very robust marketing plan for Profit in Plain Sight, although it’s too soon to know if it will really work.  I have a team of colleagues helping me promote through social media, a wonderful assistant reaching out to associations, a commission-based sales team working on bulk orders, a New York publicist who’s getting major-media interviews for me, teleseminars scheduled monthly that will promote the book on an evergreen basis, Linked in Pulse activities and a Linked In advertising campaign, plus live events where I speak and bundle my books with the engagement.  I created a book trailer and I have a slew of YouTube videos in the works all designed to help me build my platform and sell more books.  It’s all very grass roots, all very much a matter of throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks, but in a very organized and structured way so that we can measure results and stick with the winning strategies.


What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

My well-intentioned but poorly thought through promise to send a copy of my book to each of the almost 500 executives who helped me title-test it.  It turns out that the cost to ship books in Canada is outrageous whether by postal service or courier –about $15 per book! Add that to the cost of the book, and it’s a great way for an author to go bankrupt!  So I’m working on a Plan B to have a sponsor pick up the costs in return for having a great promotional item with their name on it – because people just don’t throw out books!  But I’m gnashing my teeth a bit because I feel like I’m letting those folks down in the meantime.  If anyone has a brilliant solution to my dilemma, I’d love to hear it.


Can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I loved the moment when I saw and held my book for the first time – I had a bit of a misty moment, it was just such a wonderful culmination of all the years of effort!  And I must admit to just a bit of ego associated with my book… I always carry a copy on airplanes, and often someone will ask me what I’m reading.  It’s a proud moment when I can say to them “I’m actually the author,” then flip to the flap where there’s a very flattering photo of me.  They do an instant double-take, and those are the special little moments that really tip the scale and make it all worthwhile.



About The Book



Title:  Profit In Plain Sight
Author: Anne C. Graham
Publisher:  Morgan James
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Pages: 289
Format: eBook / Hardcover / Paperback / PDF
ISBN: 978-1-63047-293-1 
Genre: Business

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE


Buy The Book:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Profit-Plain-Sight-Leadership-Passion/dp/1630472913/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1434998346&sr=8-2&keywords=profit+in+plain+sight

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/profit-in-plain-sight-anne-c-graham/1120518388?ean=9781630472917

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23331219-profit-in-plain-sight


Book Description:
  1. 84% of business owners and CEOs surveyed score a C, D or F on the Return on People Benchmark - they can't even give every employee a decent raise, let alone hire, invest in facilities, equipment or technology, or expand into new markets!
  2. 40% companies who increase their revenues in a given year will actually decrease their profits… and there’s a better way to increase both.
  3. 96% of companies will put their greater goals on hold this year with one simple phrase: We don't have the budget for that.
Imagine if leaders were able to break free of their profit constraints, stop being victims of exchange rates and oil prices, and be in control of earning all the profit they need to fund the growth they want.

Savvy entrepreneurs would never start a new business without a Business Plan.  Experienced executives would never try to lead their business without a Strategic Plan.  But almost every manager confesses that they don’t have a Profit Plan beyond their P&L, and that means that profit becomes the leftovers between disappointing revenues and higher-than-expected costs.

Profit in Plain Sight offers the Profit Plan that’s missing, with a step-by-step roadmap that enables these busy leaders to grasp the big picture, and to implement solutions in less time per week than they are spending on email per day.

Unlike many  business books, Profit in Plain Sight gives readers access to the “hows”, not just the “shoulds”, with downloadable training resources and action plans  at the end of every chapter, plus regular opportunities for the reader to reflect on how their thinking is changing and growing.

This book finally helps leaders who are passionate about their business have all the profit they need to fund the growth they want, with tough questions to start changing the conversations in everyday management meetings, with practical, actionable techniques that are quite different from conventional cost-cutting approaches or the all-too-dangerous “increase revenues at all costs” techniques.  Instead, Profit In Plain Sight offers take-it-to-the-bank results.    

Book Excerpt:

Prepare to Transform Your Most Persistent Market Challenges into Profit, Passion, and Growth

… with The Proven Leadership Path that Delivers Results

  • How much easier would igniting profit, passion, and growth be if everyone in your business embraced change and became part of it?
  • What would be possible if transforming your business felt more like play than like work?
  • How quickly could you turn good intentions into tangible results if you simply could take small steps that require less time than you are devoting to e-mail in a given day?

IBM is a legendary company, not only because of its enduring success for over 100 years in the fast-changing world of technology, but because it leads its category by a factor of four in terms of
profitability and continues to transform itself to generate growth opportunities. Customers are incredibly loyal, the company has a stellar reputation for quality, and, as the holder of more patents than any other high-technology company, its strengths in innovation are readily apparent. It seems that IBM has found ways to conquer some stubborn challenges, doesn’t it?

But it didn’t start that way. IBM’s roots go back to the 1880s and at one time its products consisted of employee time-keeping systems, weigh scales, automatic meat slicers, coffee grinders, and punched card equipment. Hardly the glamorous “Creating a Smarter Planet” organization we know today.

IBM’s secrets to success came from an unlikely resource who was named President in 1915: Thomas J. Watson, the second in command at National Cash Register. With just a few practical
tenets, Watson laid down the enduring foundation for IBM’s success — a focus on the customer and on customer service, a sales culture that built trust and respect, and an environment that instilled pride and loyalty into every worker. The result? Profit, passion, and growth, with integrity. In the 1990s, IBM had to reinvent itself or risk becoming irrelevant in the marketplace, which it did by reemphasizing its customer focus and creating clarity in its positioning.
In the 2000s, it had to reinvent itself again as the competitive landscape shifted once more, which it did by emphasizing its role in providing integrated solutions, not merely products.

This is not a book about IBM. But as subsequent legendary leaders have proven, those enduring, practical tenets can serve every business well.

How Many of these Stubborn Market Challenges Are Grinding You Down?

Each year a variety of organizations publish lists of the Top 10 CEO Challenges based on polling business owners and leaders. And inevitably, five stubborn market-related issues keep coming up again and again on these lists, although the order may shift from year to year:

1. Earning Customer Loyalty and Retention
2. Generating Sustained and Steady Top-Line Growth
3. Ensuring Bottom-Line Growth in Profit
4. Building a Corporate Reputation for Quality Products and Services
5. Stimulating Innovation and Creativity and Enabling Entrepreneurship

Why don’t we ever get traction and put those Challenges behind us? Because 70 years of thought leadership in the business press, from universities and in executive programs, has left us with more shoulds than hows and a lot of flavor-of-the-month distractions that sound promising but are hard to translate into bottom-line impact.

Let’s change that.

This Book Is for You When …

… most of the books you’ve read are sitting on your shelf and have not had any impact on your business;
… some of the books you’ve read have inspired you but you struggled when you tried to put them into practice because the author shared the shoulds but left you to figure out the hows; and
… you’ve tried to implement ideas in the past as an army of one only to run out of steam, run out of time, or run out of focus when you find yourself spending more time trying to get people to change and get on board than actually implementing anything.

Move Beyond the Myths

Here’s your wake-up call and a bold promise.

MYTH #1
We’re Too Busy

FACT: All of us are busy. None of us have spare time. Or do we? Over 90% of executives polled admit that they spend between 1 and 2 hours a day on e-mail … often more. So here’s your wake-up call: unless you work in the order entry department, e-mail does not move the needle in your business because it does not create cash flow, profit, or growth. In fact, it leaves you working everyone  else’s agenda when, as a leader, it is up to you to set the direction and lead by doing. E-mail is a nice, easy, reactive way to start the day and waste most of the morning. And it’s killing your company.

MYTH #2
We Have to Be “Always On”

FACT: We’re tethered to responding instantaneously to our phones, our e-mail, and other interruptions, and there are times when that’s appropriate, but more often it’s simply busy work. I’m not saying that you have to abandon e-mail — it’s a part of our lives in the 21st century, just as the telephone and voice mail became a reality in the 20th. But what is currently in your in-box or on your priority list that is more important than securing the future of your business for your employees, your family, and your community? What’s more important than building a profitable, growing business
that can weather any economic turmoil that global change can throw at it?

MYTH #3
There’s No Way Out

FACT: The noise is getting louder now that texting and social media elements are also in the mix of e-mail, voice mail, and more. Yet one simple shift is all that’s required to completely transform
noise into results, and I invite you to share Appendix 1 with your entire organization to help them make that shift. In the meantime, here’s my bold promise.

If you have time for e-mail, you have time
to once and for all overcome the stubborn
business challenges holding you back.

When you follow the Solutions in Plain Sight outlined in this book and access the Rapid Results Resources that ensure you never have to waste precious time reinventing the wheel, you will transform your business in less time than you’re currently spending on e-mail.

Close the Gaps when you apply uncommon strategies and tactics that will shift your thinking forever

Our biggest challenge as business leaders at all levels is simply to overcome the thinking that’s kept us stuck with those Challenges. Many of us were taught old-world thinking, long before today’s realities of the Internet, globalization, recurring corporate scandals, all-too-frequent recessions, and a rate of change that’s difficult to keep up with. It’s time to hold our beliefs, myths, and common practices up to a very harsh light of uncommon sense and retool for the future. It’s time to replace them with a road map that delivers results. This first section, Possibilities, is going to give you two powerful tools to do just that.

Most businesses won’t succeed in making the shift. They’ll remain mired in the “we’ve always done it this way” paradigm, because they simply won’t invest the time and energy to be open
to new approaches, and they won’t take the time to build a road map that takes them to their Possibilities, step by step. They’ll continue to default back to “business as usual,” because they think it’s easier, even though they know it’s not working, and they need a new approach. Unfortunately, they’re unknowingly making their lives and the lives of everyone in the organization more difficult, and more uncertain.

Take a look at the shapes Figure 1. How many forms of transportation can you spot? Look carefully, as the shapes hold the key to your transformation. How many did you see? What were they? (Go to Appendix 2 for the answer.)



Rapid Results Resources: Put some energy into your regular meetings and start the process of
Transformation with “The 101 Questions You MUST Ask Your Leadership Team.” Use a couple of the questions every week to get your team thinking about Profit, Passion, and Growth, and to get their creative juices flowing. Download your copy at www.ProfitInPlainSight.com/101Questions.


ITE THE POWER OF
Solutions in Plain Sight: Inform. Inspire.
Motivate. Systematically Transform.

By opening the cover of Profit in Plain Sight, you’ve already taken your first step to becoming more open, more focused, and more successful. You’ve taken your first step towards creating a process for sustainable levels of increased profits. And you’ve taken your first step that will differentiate your business from your competitors’ when you implement well. Just keep turning the pages to make it happen.

SOLUTION IN PLAIN SIGHT #1
Infuse Your Employees With Possibilities

What does it mean to Infuse employees? It means embedding the desire to be part of something more, to be the best, to behave every day in ways that add value to your customers, and to earn profit with integrity that will help the entire company grow and succeed in the future.

It means engaging them with the Drivers of Transformation that you’ll see in Part I, Possibilities, which will give them the powerful AHA! Moments of information, inspiration, and motivation.

It means involving them in creating the road map forward, because information, inspiration, motivation, and good intentions need to be turned into action before you can transform stubborn challenges into Profit, Passion, and Growth (see Figure 2).

People support what they create. When you Infuse your teams with the passion and talent to be part of the solution, you’ll divide and conquer the workload and transform your profit and growth more easily than you might imagine.




SOLUTION IN PLAIN SIGHT #2
Enthuse Your Customers

What does it mean to Enthuse your customers? It means creating an environment where they love doing business with you and know that your success is part of their success, because you save them time, make or save them money, solve real problems for them, give them peace of mind, and make them feel good. It means being the path of least resistance and getting it right the first time. It means they’re happy to pay for the value you provide.

It’s what happens in Part II, Practicalities, when you take action with the systematic approach of the Profit in Plain Sight Framework to solve the five stubborn challenges that are holding you back from leading your market by industriously activating your road map to success (see Figure 3).

1.      Activate the power of Infused employees with the Two Drivers of Transformation.
2.      Trigger the factors that Enthuse customers as you systematically overcome five stubborn market-driven challenges with integrated solutions that build upon each other.
3.      Achieve Profit, Passion, and Growth … in less time than you’re spending on e-mail.



SOLUTION IN PLAIN SIGHT #3
Overcome Your Biggest Obstacles

Right now you may be thinking you don’t have the time. Your people aren’t onside. You have other priorities that need your attention and focus. You’re uncertain of whether you can make a commitment to see this through. You don’t believe that significant profit increases are possible in your business or in your industry. Hogwash!

Bringing the voices of your customers into your organization is a powerful, counterintuitive, yet proven, approach to see what’s possible from a tactical perspective and will powerfully move you past “we’ve always done it this way” thinking with each of five stubborn market-driven challenges. In this book, you’ll learn exactly how to do that for results.

You’ll stop guessing at what it will take to keep your customers loyal for longer and know for certain how to become their preferred partner. You’ll stop guessing what they might value and know for certain how to deliver value to them that results in Top-Line Growth. You’ll stop applying bandaids to quality issues and get the sludge out of your system to stop the profit leaks and grow your Bottom Line. And you’ll know exactly how to avoid “me too” inventions that are passing for innovation and innovate in low-risk, low-cost ways that will set you apart from your competitors.


The Only Person Who Likes Change Is a Baby with a Wet Diaper

Even with technology, globalization, credit crunches, and economic turmoil, people still need to buy goods and services and people still do business with people. The need to enthuse your customers with the desire to do business with you and to infuse your staff with the passion and talent to deliver never changes.

What does need to change is how you tackle those five stubborn market-driven challenges, and therein lies the stumbling block.

Your people can’t buy into the typical approach of an endless stream of unrelated tasks, so-called best practices (which don’t differentiate you from your competitors), flavor-of-the-month management and proverbial silver bullets. Over 90% of business owners, leaders, and key employees polled admit they get lost chasing bright shiny objects, and those are simply the equivalent of trying to change nice, dry, comfortable diapers to icky wet diapers that don’t make sense to your people. Uncertainty, seemingly wasted time, wasted effort, confusion, and the feeling of a lack of progress simply causes fear and resistance.

Harvard Professor W. Earl Sasser was the first to refer to the plethora of stand-alone tactics as “Kidney Stone Management” (his lengthy list back in the 1990s has only expanded with time).
We’ve trained our staff to expect that whatever new idea is out there, it’s a kidney stone — it will only cause them pain for a while, it will pass, and business as usual can return. No wonder our people are burned-out and skeptical when so many new initiatives are launched, so many seem important, and so many run out of steam. Explain Kidney Stone Management to your executive and management teams at all levels. You’re guaranteed a few rueful chuckles of recognition and an AHA! Moment that indicates that approach is no longer going to be part of your leadership practices.

That’s the reason Profit in Plain Sight will make a difference when others haven’t — solving these Challenges for good comes down to realizing that you’re in wet diapers and wanting the dry ones you’ll get by shifting the way you do business. Dry diapers are the result of implementing the step-by-step road map of over 57 detailed, value-add Profit and Growth Accelerators for near term yet sustainable Profit, Passion, and Growth.

When your people have a mental map of where they’re going, and how they’re going to get there (see Figure 3), Kidney Stone Manage-ment is no longer a problem and they will be informed,
inspired, and motivated to get into the dry diapers. A systematic and integrated process rather than a series of disconnected events will consistently create successes and a sense of forward momentum and progress — the transformation you’re looking for.


You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

Unsuccessful businesspeople try to go it alone, reluctant to show their weakness by asking for help. Successful businesspeople ask for help all the time. They call it getting input and they know the value of not reinventing the wheel. Profit in Plain Sight is the window to Rapid Results Resources that are not just shoulds but specific hows — proven step-by-step instructions plus additional proven strategies and tactics that are beyond the scope of this book.

They deliver results more rapidly and easily than you might imagine. They deliver smart practices specifically implemented in the context of your unique company. All you have to do is commit to transforming conventional passive reading into active learning for results.

Every business leader who has succeeded in doubling their profitability or more — in less than one year, in less time than they and their team were spending on e-mail — has identified obstacles to success. And as they began the process, they found that each and every obstacle dissolved with the straightforward, practical approaches laid out in this book. At this point, all you need to do is finish reading the next two pages, and take the actions outlined. Then, turn the page and do it again. That’s it. Are you with me?

Summary

We’ve all heard that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. But I always say that you can make the horse thirsty or make the water sweeter. From the sheer fact that you’re reading Profit in Plain Sight, I know you’re thirsty.

Make Your Horses Thirsty Too

Embracing a process to transform challenges into opportunities doesn’t come from rigorous change management processes that try to force-fit people into a change that they haven’t bought into. That’s just leading the horse to water. Instead, it comes from naturally leading your team where you want them to go by building an infused culture that thirsts for excellence and that reflects their desire to find the easiest and most effective ways to achieve that end. When you share this book throughout your organization, you’ll help lead your teams’ thirst for where you want them to go.

Make the Water Sweeter

Sweeter water means helping you and your organization find ways to streamline complexity and stay focused on what really drives your business forward. That’s where the systematic Profit in Plain Sight Framework is extremely valuable — bite-sized modules are easy to implement, in less time than you’re currently spending on e-mail. Make the process painless and make the water sweet when you take an integrated approach rather than succumbing to Kidney Stone Management.

I’ve spent time in the trenches “doing,” and even longer with the responsibilities of leading others. I’ve experienced the frustration of dealing with these Challenges over and over, just as you have.  I’ve used every one of these Solutions in Plain Sight, as a leader in large and small companies and with my consulting clients. They’ve worked across a broad range of industries and they’ll work for you too.

Simply. Accelerate Your Results

There is really only one theme to this book — driving Profit, Passion, and Growth. We’re going to put many lenses on that theme, but never lose sight of that as our goal.

There are only two outcomes you need to achieve in order to realize Profit, Passion, and Growth — enthusing your customers, and infusing your employees. I’ll show you what you need to do to
accomplish both.

There are Two Drivers of Transformation that serve as wet diapers to motivate change and, in Part I, you’ll see Possibilities as you learn how to activate them to kick-start the process and help
you measure success and progress.

There are 15 practical, actionable Solutions in Plain Sight in this book and a total of 57 Profit and Growth Accelerators in the Profit in Plain Sight Framework. In Part II, Shift to Practicalities,
you’ll see your Profit in Plain Sight road map unfold as we tackle each of the five stubborn market-driven challenges.

Whether you take action on every Challenge or cherry-pick just those that are holding your business back the most, you will see impact on your Profit. You’ll impact the Passion your teams bring to the business. And you’ll sow the seeds for Growth.

There are no quick fixes … but Rapid Results are within your reach.

You can reach and exceed your goals. You can secure your business from the ups and downs of economic turmoil, and invest in everything you need to take your business to the next level and help drive our economy forward. You can finally feel confident in your plan for the future.

If Not You, Who? If Not Now, When?

Work is slogging it out in isolation; play is getting support to achieve breakthroughs and feeling a sense of progress. So go ahead and put some play back in your day and some bucks on your bottom line.

This Works. You Can Do It. You Will Succeed.



Take these Actions

1.     Download your copy of “The 101 Questions You MUST Ask Your Leadership Teams” at
www.ProfitInPlainSight.com/101Questions to start changing the conversations at every level of your organization. This is an ideal tool for executives and mid-level managers to use to spice up your regular team meetings and begin to shift your culture to one of profit and growth.

2.     See Appendix 1 for the secrets of achieving focus and transformation in less time than you’re
currently spending on e-mail.

3.     Check out Appendix 2 for the solution to the “forms of transportation” brain teaser at the beginning of this Chapter.

Small Steps. Big Impact!


Five Minutes, Five Questions:
Reflect for Deeper Learning

Reflective questions at the end of every Chapter offer powerful deeper learning on how your thinking is changing, so that you can generate the AHA! Moments to break free of the conventional thinking that keeps you stuck when trying to solve five stubborn market-driven
challenges.

Reflection simply means taking the time to monitor what’s happening in your own mind, evaluate what you’re learning, and ponder what is shifting or changing in terms of your attitudes and behaviors, with the goal of eventually building a new mental framework of how things work. This will allow you to continually add relevant information and discard the irrelevant.

Your first step is internal transformation, to identify what attitudes have already shifted and what behaviors will follow.

But the reflective process only works if you use it.

Ask yourself these questions right now:

1. How can I use the reframing approach I saw in the brain teaser as a metaphor for opportunities hidden in our business?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________


2.
Which items on the list of five stubborn market-driven challenges are top of mind for me right now — and why?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________

3.
How effectively are we solving those challenges today?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________

4.
How often do our people see our efforts as Kidney Stones because we fail to give them the big picture with a road map for implementation?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________

5.
How committed am I to create an environment where my horses are thirsty and the water is sweet?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________

Inform. Inspire. Motivate. Transform.
Enthuse. Infuse.


Are you ready to get started with the Two Drivers of Transformation that deliver big wake-up calls and pave the way to transform your business more quickly and easily than you might imagine?

If you prefer, you can go right to whichever Challenge is your greatest burning issue today, and then work backwards to put the foundational work in place that may be required to trigger the
transformation. 




About The Author


Anne C. Graham is on a mission to help 5 million business leaders and their teams double their profit per employee – or more in less than one year, in less time than they’re spending on email.  Drawing on over 25 years of deep profit and growth expertise from her “in the trenches” and executive experiences with Fortune 500 companies and smaller firms, she closes the all-too-frequent gap between the good intentions vs. year-end results.  The solution is the roadmap she wishes she’d had - a Profit Plan that transforms “we don’t have the budget for that!” into a “YES!” to funding every greater dream and goal for their business as they create prosperity for their company, their employees, their customers, and their communities.

As a best-selling author, international speaker, and accelerator, Anne inspires thousands of business leaders each year to Profit… On Purpose by moving past conventional thinking to discover Profit In Plain Sight.  Audiences and clients love Anne’s fun and interactive approach based on value to the customer, NOT accounting, and her ability to create profound AHA! Moments so that participants leave with a new perspective of their possibilities plus practical actions they can implement for immediate impact.  Anne is the Managing Director of the Legendary Value Institute, a popular faculty member in an award-winning MBA program, and a passionate boater on west coast of British Columbia.

You can visit Anne’s website at www.ProfitInPlainSight.com 


Contact Anne at:
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Author Website: www.AnneCGraham.com
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