“The reason successful people read to improve themselves is because it separates them from the competition and they are able to see more opportunities.” ~ Success Magazine
There are several key words in that quote which authors can use to prosper: Successful, Read, Separate/Competition, and Opportunities.
If you’re reading books every day on marketing, business, sales, public speaking, management, leadership, and biographies of successful people, and reading in the genre that you write, you will separate yourself from other authors while creating more opportunities and becoming successful.
You should be reading in short bursts, taking notes, and personalizing the business/marketing ideas to your author career. Remember you are selling a product to a specific audience, which is no different from what successful businesses do around the world.
“Creativity has become the most powerful tool in reaching world-class levels of performance in both business and life.” ~ Josh Linkner, Entrepreneur of the Year
Creativity, along with unique ideas, derives from reading. Studies have proved this since the 1960’s. If you read, you will have the makings of becoming successful. If you don’t, you will only be spinning your wheels. It’s a simple fact, yet overlooked by so many authors because the value of reading has been replaced by apps, social media, and surfing the Internet.
“CEO’s who take the time to read about the experiences of other business leaders have an advantage.” ~ Joel Trammell, Forbes Contributor
Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, so you can learn from their wisdom and experiences. The best place to find these people is the library… inside the books. It’s free, and you can visit these people as much as you want.
Which is Your Excuse?
Here are the Top Five excuses that keep authors from becoming successful:
- No time
- No money
- No connections
- No support from others
- No motivation (procrastination)
These are “easy” excuses for authors to make. You might as well say, “It doesn’t seem possible for me to become wealthy by selling my books.”
My response is: “Actually, there’s no reason why you can’t become wealthy selling your books!”
There are plenty of authors making a comfortable living in book sales. The publishing industry along with readers is willing to pay some authors for their books. Why not you?
Just like a financial budget, you need to create a time budget.
- Write at least 15 minutes a day. You can write half a chapter each day and have a book completed in 180 days.
- Read at least 9 minutes a day. If you’re struggling as an author, you should read in your genre. If you struggle as a marketer, you should read business books that include marketing, sales, inspiration, leadership, etc. By reading in short bursts, you’ll receive plenty of ideas. Make sure to keep a notepad with you!
- Take 6 minutes and write one idea on a yellow Post It and place it on your fridge or wall. If you do this 5 times a week, within a year you should have over 250 ideas. When you have a moment to spare, pull a Post It down and DO IT!
- I have two words for you: Dave Ramsey. Take a local class, or invest in his book, and stick to your budget. You’ll fight your way out of debt and have the funds needed to invest in your author career.
- Invest 3% of your current earnings each month into your author career. The main goal of your investment should be marketing.
Let’s define a “Quality Connection.” It’s not just someone you add on Facebook or Twitter. A Quality Connection is someone who thinks differently than you do, asks very different questions, can list many new possibilities, and challenge you to rethink the way you’ve handled your author career.
- Your goal should be to spend as much time as you can with 5 Quality Connections.
These connections are usually found in business networking groups, but if you can’t attend a group in your area, start by spending time each day watching a video from these five influencers: Darren Hardy (Darren Daily), TED, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, and Brian Tracy.
Once again, keep a notepad with you and adjust their business/marketing ideas to your author career.
No Support from Others
Never rely on family and friends to support your dream. In fact, don’t expect readers to support your dream, not until you’ve given them something that will benefit them. Refer back to Quality Connections and advance in that lane.
You have to be motivated to find time to read, write, publish, market, make connections, and budget your money, but how do you break out of your slump?
- Do the small things listed in this article each day. They shouldn’t take you more than an hour. Are you willing to spend an hour on making your dream come true?
By reading and writing in short bursts, watching inspirational business videos, creating a wall full of ideas, and realizing those ideas once a week, your motivation will rise and so will your success!