C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

The Jedi mind trick for entrepreneurs & other high wire acts

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Small-town terrors and psychological mayhem in Poeticule Bay, Maine.

THE DANGEROUS KIND & OTHER STORIES

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And now the mind trick that could change your life, if the force is with you:

A buddy of mine runs a business. He found his employees weren’t getting invoices done at the end of the day. Memos down and promises up weren’t working. To solve the problem, he went around to the employees one-by-one in the last half hour of each day and asked for them to put the paperwork on his desk before they left. No, they shouldn’t have needed babysitting. Yes, they should have understood that getting the invoices recorded daily is fuel for the engine of business. However, it was necessary so he made them aware he was watching. It worked.

Accountability works. Measurement works.

Now how can we who are solo entrepreneurs and artists use that management strategy?

We have to manage ourselves. What to do?

No one is checking on me so when I want to get something done, I don’t use a to-do list I’m going to ignore and/or fail. I use my imagination. Want to lose weight, complete a project or be a better person? Imagine a film crew is following you around and catching every move. Maybe it’s an inspiring documentary or maybe you’re the hero of your own action thriller. What do heroes and heroines do?  Do that. The camera’s eye might make you cook with a little more flair and crack eggs one-handed.  Maybe it sounds stupid, but this Jedi mind trick made me a better tennis player.

The key is decide who you want to be. Now be that.

Embrace the role. Method act. Fake it till you make it.

Pretend! Play!

And kill anyone who stands in your way.

(Depending on what type of movie you’re making.)

Don’t have a Kindle? You don’t need one. Download a free Kindle reading app for any device here so you can read The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories here free. Today is this book’s last free day ever.)

UPDATE: Hear the audio of

Love & Nookie, Chapter 3 of Bigger Than Jesus

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Writers: The self-publishing/Massage Therapist Correlation

Massage in Tarifa, Spain taken on May, 6 2007 ...

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I haven’t had what my father would call a real job since 1991. The factors that make that so are all tied up in being a writer and editor.

Years after training as a journalist, working in newspapers and working in the publishing industry, I went back to school again to become a massage therapist, too. The reasons why were varied, but the most important factor was that I wanted to work for myself. I have an independent streak and I hated working for The Man. I still hate working for The Man. Writing, editing, therapeutic massage: it’s all independent work. There is no hierarchy. The Chazz does not do hierarchy.

But a lot of people do. Most people have a boss. The fact is, I don’t understand how they stand it. I pull at authority’s leash so hard I have sometimes hurt myself in tiny acts of rebellion.

Despite the rebel yell, the truth is I have many bosses. Everyone I encounter in my practices as an editor, writer and massage therapist is my boss. I have chosen many bosses instead of one. I have chosen one-to-one interaction instead of dealing with a group. I deal with people for an hour at a time or for short projects, always with an eye to where the next project will come from. There’s no security in this. My income goes up and down unpredictably.

On the other hand, with all that I do, there is the security of knowing they can’t all fire me at one time. If you have one boss who wants to lose you on a whim, they can do that. That’s the smug solace of the lone wolf. 

But lots of people accept authority as the way of the world. That’s becoming less true as massive unemployment forces some to seek out their own solutions and form their own businesses. Entrepreneurship used to seem like it was for the few who chose the harder way. Now, when so many can’t find work, starting up a sole proprietorship and going for it is forced upon them.

Here’s what I notice: People are just wired one way and not the other. Most massage therapists and writers I know have an independent streak. We have to grit our teeth a bit to do something that is in many ways outside money’s eco-system.

But there are a bunch of therapists who do, in fact, want to work for somebody. They want someone else to take care of the laundry, the advertising, the tax paperwork and anything else that doesn’t directly relate to physically doing the work. They love that they can come into the office, do their thing and leave without another thought to the running of the business. I wouldn’t call it freedom, but they do.

In the past, the publishing industry has been built on the hierarchical model. Someone else will publish your book. Someone else will take care of the editing and (some) of the promoting and it will all be part of one complete package. Thanks to technology, authors are discovering they have more options than history has provided.

For authors deciding when to make the leap to independent publishing, there is a lot to consider: market factors, price points and leveraging your platform to sell enough books to make the enterprise profitable.

Beyond the practical and esoteric (which must be figured out, too) you have to start with the personal: you. Which way are you bent? Do you want someone else to take care of things (and give them a deeper cut of the profits and losses)? Are you up for the nitty-gritty of doing the work of many on your own? Can you hire an editor, find a publicist, do the research and build your audience? It won’t be easy. You’ll have to talk with a lot of people and the greater your network the more chance you’ll get your feelings hurt. When the mesh of your network tightens to a closer knit, there will be friction.

Only you can decide if you have enough of the anti-authoritarian, do-it-my-way, I’m-a-control-freak, entrepreneurial-bent. Once you’ve figured that out, here’s a great article that explores the location of the tipping point between traditional publishing and going indie.

No matter which way you are wired, if you’re a writer you’ve got a muse.

Next stop on the Reality Train:

Introspection Station.

Self-publishing has developed to a point where it is neither good nor bad. Depending on your temperament, it could be a solid choice or a horrible one.

Filed under: authors, Books, DIY, ebooks, Editing, getting it done, publishing, self-publishing, , , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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