Speaking & Writing Success Formula – Passion First, Business Second

If you’re a speaker or a writer, what is the most important secret of success?

(1)    Finance

(2)    Strategic Planning

(3)    Effective Time Management

(4)    Speaking or Writing

You know, the first three are truly important for sustaining and growing your success. But that’s later, on.

If you guessed (4), you’re completely on target.

Speakers speak, and writers write!

That seems so obvious, doesn’t it? But all to many of us believe that we have to have the perfectly thought out business plan, a good amount of cash on hand, and lots of open time to make a go of it, as a successful writer or speaker.

Actually, there’s something I didn’t put on the list, which is truly number one.

You must have passion for speaking or writing.

With it, you’ll create opportunities where there were none.

Doors will open for you when you’re committed to the task, and of course if that leads you to DOING the stuff you should be doing: speaking or writing.

Let me give you an example.

If you aspire to being a professional speaker, improving your speeches and presentations is the smartest investment you can make. And to do so requires lots of speaking opportunities.

Get them by speaking for free at service clubs like the Rotary, and at non-profit organizations, which generally love to learn, but have no money to spend.

Leverage these opportunities by getting testimonial letters you can quote, and by networking.

Soon enough, people will be willing to pay you to speak. You’ll go from free-to-fee presenting, simply by getting exposure and by getting better at your craft.

The same concept applies to writing. Get exposure through ezines and other outlets, and get good at writing.

When it comes to success, remember this formula: Passion first; Business second!

Breaking the Rules to Success: A Writer’s Journey

In October of 2000, as I sat on the white sands of Cancun with other fellow literary entrepreneurs, it occurred to me: Things would be different if I hadn’t broken the rules. Instead of sitting there, looking out at the aqua blue waters, I’d still be waiting by the phone for a call from my then agent.

Instead, here I was, surrounded by 13 book clubs representing 25 states, on a Caribbean cruise. It was literary nirvana for me. I thought of how I might have been locked out of seeing my work in print because someone else arbitrarily decided no one is interested in African American historical fiction right now.

Well, I found out directly from my book club readers, who had already bought my books, that my novels spurred a lot of conversation about Southern traditions. Some of the readers thought that I had been born in the South. (No, my parents migrated from the South, though.) From what I gathered, both of my books, THE EBONY TREE and NO POCKETS IN A SHROUD, evoked memories of growing up black in America. So I got to thinking…

For years, my writing role models were mainly white males. Out of that group, the most memorable for me were the ones who went against the rules that were conventional at that time. What if Faulkner hadn’t broken the rules by writing in such long, convoluted sentences? Or James Joyce hadn’t broken the rules by writing stream-of-consciousness? Or D. H. Lawrence hadn’t written the first literary erotica? And what about the original prose of Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison? Without these experimenters the literary world would be at a loss.

Or, for a more modern example, what if the authors of the Chicken Soup series, which is reported to have sold 65 million books in my most recent 2000 issue of Publisher’s Marketing Association magazine, had listened to the 30 publishers who rejected the first title? The publishers felt the market was “not interested” in short, tender stories that make people feel good. Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield were successful because they read the needs of the market more precisely than did the publishers.

As for my black female role model writers, what if Alice Walker hadn’t written THE COLOR PURPLE, which brought “ebonics” to the level of high art? Or Toni Morrison hadn’t penned BELOVED? Or Gloria Naylor hadn’t written MAMA DAY? A reader on the cruise who read my novel NO POCKETS IN A SHROUD told me that she now often goes to my site to pick new writers to read. She and other book club members like the type of subjects the new writers are tackling, such as Teenage Parenthood, Black Men in Big Business, and Family Secrets, to cite a few examples.

The point is, it’s a new day in publishing. Readers and writers are the ones calling the shots as to what they want to read now. Instead of letting someo ne decide what the market is, create your own market. For instance, I’m told there’s no market for African American historical fiction. I don’t buy that. If we, as African Americans or any ethnic group, don’t know our past, we’ll keep repeating it. Also, writers have told me their works were rejected because they write about young adults.

Until this day, I still reread LITTLE WOMEN, THE YEARLING, and the precious few books that I got my hands on about young people while I was growing up. I encourage writers of young adult fiction to write what they write best. Just as Christian Fiction was not popular 2 years ago, now it is coming of age among mainstream readers. Often times, someone has to self-publish the work first, then create the market. When I get e-mail from readers and students saying they are doing book reports on my books, or from librarians asking for the mythical and spiritual history of THE EBONY TREE, I know I did the right thing.

Instead of waiting for someone to make an opportunity for me, I’ve learned that you have to make your opportunities for yourself. Then, if someone comes to you from mainstream publishing — which is becoming a growing trend, as witnessed by black writers Tracy Thompson, Parry Brown, and Karen Quinones, who have been picked up by New York publishers — you will be in a better position to market, negotiate and navigate the publishing waters. After all, it is still up to the writer to get their books sold.

Writing Secrets For Success

I consider myself a writer and as such, I completely enjoy the writing process. I make a small sum of money writing on the internet and if you too enjoy writing then you can make money. You will not become rich by any stretch of the imagination however; you could conceivably make a living from it. You also need not be concerned if you are not as proficient at writing as you would like to be, as you will slowly pick up hints, improve the quality of your work and like a fine aged cheese, you will get better with time. The equipment is no problem either as all that will be required to begin is some sort of word processor and an internet connection.

I try to submit every article that I write to as many of the article directories as I possibly can. An article directory is nothing more then a web location which focuses strictly upon listing articles written by online authors. You may already be aware that the internet thrives upon fresh articles and there is always a demand for them.

Should a Blog or website owner desire fresh content to post they will more then likely visit one of the article directory websites. They know that they need not pay a fee for the use of these articles. They are in effect free. However he is required to include any links that you may have includes in the original article.

To make use of these article directories you as an author must first register after which you may submit as many article as you so desire. Keep in mind that you do not get any sort of payment for the use of these articles however you may include usually up to three links in the author info. As an up and coming author be sure to take maximum benefit from these resource links that you are allowed to leave in your writing as this is in effect the way you will make your money.

At this time you should be building up a list from these selected links to include a link to your opt in page. Making use of this link you can continually increase the size of your opt in list. In the Internet, marketing business it is simply, the one with the largest list wins and makes the most money. With the other two links, which you are allowed to list, you can direct people to the website that lists your products. In this way you have people that will opt in to your list and others which may visit your sales pages and possibly earn you some additional money.

If you wish to maximize your success as a writer try to submit at least one article daily. By accomplishing this you are almost ensured that you will make money online. Should you desire to achieve even greater success then submit two articles daily. Okay, we said one and later we said two now we are going to say three. If you really want to succeed then place three articles online daily. Although it isn’t always easy it can be done. The key is to get your name out there.