Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What are you promoting?

You are selling more than your writing as you move across the Internet promoting your book(s). You are selling yourself. No matter how wonderful your writing may be, if you do not behave in a professional manner, you probably won’t publish with a house of any repute. Why? Poor behavior can lead to assumptions about character. Late arrivals to chats or an inability to state one’s career goals do not make any editor look forward to a good business partnership. No one wants to work with someone whose behavior portrays indecisiveness, inconsistency, lack of dependability... Yes, the list goes on.

Let’s focus on a few aspects of professionalism about which there are misconceptions. I’m always interested when I hear someone is going to a class about Time Management. Frankly, apart from God, no one can manage time. A better course title would be Self Management. When you get down to the nitty-gritty, that’s all any of us really has control over. Poor self-management is the major cause of failure and burnout in today’s business world.

Let’s take a look at some of the major contributors to failure and burnout. 1. Refusing to spend a little time in the now for payback later. 2. Having mechanized, incorrect beliefs about work. 3. Not knowing or deciding what needs to be accomplished. 4. An inability to manage ourselves, thus wasting time. 5. A chaotic lifestyle. 6. A weak self-image, fear of failure, guilt, worry, excessive anger, and other irrational time- and energy-draining emotions. 7. Procrastination. 8. An unwillingness or inability to delegate tasks. 9. Unnecessary interpersonal conflicts. 10. Common everyday interruptions such as meetings, visitors, and telephone calls. 11. A deluge of paperwork and emails. 12. Not deciding what is important.

In the early 1980’s Michael LeBouef introduced The Investment Theory of Work in his book Working Smart. This theory says that we must be willing to sacrifice some of our present time, energy, and short-range satisfaction in order to work less and accomplish more later.

Most of us do not rely on this as a working principle due to our “instant-everything” lifestyles. One problem with instant everything is that it lulls us into neglecting the future. We fail to set goals. We never know when mental goals are met because they’re not written down.

Happiness and success do not just happen. They occur when opportunity meets preparation.

Investing time in planning increases our capabilities and leads us to enjoy work more, because we know what we expect of ourselves. By meeting goals, we prove our value and experience a sense of accomplishment.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how we may be undermining our writing due to common myths.

Until then, happy writing!


Hannah Lokos said...

Very nice article, Mary!