The Key to Success: Circa 1952

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A few years ago my wife came home from a garage sale with a book for me. It had a plain yellow cover with block sans-serif letters and the only words I saw were “How I Raised From Failure…” My wife said, “Please don’t take offense. I don’t think you are a failure, but I thought you’d like this book.”

I have a thick skin and she was right, I did love the book. Frank Bettger’s, How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success in Selling. I get a kick out of books on selling. Before I started my job selling oil, I read a Zig Ziglar book – twice. I found his advice so practical that I later gave it to a kid who knocked on my door selling magazines.

My wife has the utmost confidence in me.

My wife has the utmost confidence in me.

Frank Bettger wrote that book almost 70 years ago. Since then the vast majority of good books on success in business are really just successful at selling books. Even though it’s 70 years old and Frank sold from pay phones and a brief case, the concepts are still true. I can honestly say, it changed my approach, and gave me a strategy that I revisit when I feel lost in the woods. And he sums it up at the end with his 13 steps to success in business. You will see them at the end of this post. They apply whether you are in sales or some other role. It’s about preparation and perception.

Speaking of Preparation… What Did I Get Myself In To???

So, my book came out last week and it was very exciting. People came out of the woodwork to congratulate and compliment the work. It’s been really fun. Being my first book, I haven’t had a massive marketing plan. My focus is write the rest of the series and then do a bona-fide marketing push when there’s more to sell.

So it was with a little bit of surprise that I got an email from a local literary group asking me to be a featured reader at an open-mic fiction night in honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’m really excited, and strangely nervous (I don’t get nervous about much). If you are in the Tampa area, come on out:

http://www.wordierthanthou.com/calendar/2014/12/04/tampa-storytelling-prose-open-mic

Amazon put the paperback of my mystery/thriller, The Grandfather Clock on sale for $8.99, $1 off, and it’s still $2.99 for Kindle. Buy it! Review it! I’m telling you, it’s a fun read, and I’m getting very positive reactions from people who don’t owe me anything! Buy it HERE! It’s got antiques, beautiful french women, and Nazis! It’s also on Goodreads now. Share it with your friends who know how to read.

As always, I can be reached at jkilewrites@gmail.com.

Without further adieu, the key to your future in 13 steps. Frank Bettger says to focus on one item each week. In three months you’ll be Walkin’ On Sunshine like Michael J. Fox in “The Secret of My Success.”

#1 – Enthusiasm
It’s contagious. A little enthusiasm goes a long way.

#2 – Order (self-organization)
There’s no trust if they think you are disorganized.

#3 – Think in terms of others’ interests
Sit at their desk and ask what they would want from you. Not what you want to get from them.

#4 – Questions
Don’t “show up and throw up.” That is – you want them to know everything about you, but you don’t know a thing about them.

#5 – Key issue
They are listening because they have a problem. Be the problem solver.

#6 – Silence (listen)
Duh.

#7 – Sincerity
Sincerity is confidence.

#8 – Knowledge of my business
And know what you don’t know.

#9 – Appreciation and praise
Most people want to be appreciated, but they don’t dole it out to others. It’s a two-way street.

#10 – Smile (happiness)
In my telemarketing days we said, “Smile when you dial.” You can year a smile over the phone. In person, a smile changes the meaning of your words.

#11 – Remember names and faces
And admit when you don’t.

#12 – Service and prospecting
These are nuts and bolts. If you aren’t in sales, they still apply. Follow up on issues immediately… that way you won’t forget and you’ll be seen as quick. If someone hands you an opportunity, jump on it. They will send you more.

#13 – Closing the sale 
Have some dignity. At some point they expect the ask. Do it. So I will too… why are you reading this if you haven’t read THIS?

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Print Edition of The Grandfather Clock Now Available

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I got a funny email last night. An old friend sent me a note to ask if I would sign a copy of my book as a Christmas gift to her mother. We’ll call her mother Judy, because that’s her name. It’s the least I can do for Judy. Back when I was a 19 year old freshman, Judy would come to town to visit and feed half of the 9th floor of Kellum Hall. I was always lucky to get invited to the complimentary happy-hour at the Cabot Lodge where I’m fairly certain I ordered “fuzzy navels” without blushing. So I’m sending a signed copy for Judy.

What’s that? How do you get a “hold in your hand” copy of The Grandfather Clock? It’s now available HERE on Amazon for $9.99. Actually, Amazon changed the price to $9.49, not sure why. I think it’s because they can. Free shipping if you have Amazon Prime. If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you should. And yes, I’m avoiding all the press and documentaries telling me that Amazon is evil. Fine. So is Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Go off the grid, live in the woods, kill your food and don’t watch Orange Is The New Black.

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From the back cover:

Transporting a family heirloom across the country seemed like an easy task for disillusioned Michael Chance. But before he can cross the Mississippi, the secrets of his family’s grandfather clock and a mysterious French woman put him on an uncertain path. The life Michael knew is about to be left behind as he searches for answers amid a dangerous conspiracy that will lead him from the museums of Paris to Nazi havens in Argentina.

Thanks for the emails and pre-orders. Don’t forget to leave a review because that helps the book get recommended to other readers. Unless you leave a bad review, in which case, why take the time, right? Just complain directly to me at jkilewrites@gmail.com.

Thanks!

JK not Rowling

The part that isn’t in my book…

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thank you elvis

With just a few days before my book is released, I want to put out a list of thanks to the many people who helped or encouraged me during the writing of this book. I’ll abbreviate names, for those who are in hiding.

First, my wife Monica. She’s is stunningly beautiful, successful and smart (we met in grad school, she finished, I didn’t – she once told me her PSAT score). In short, she’s way more qualified to write books. Without everything she does every single day, I wouldn’t have made it past the first chapter. (My friend Cathy said more people would visit my blog is there were pictures of Monica on it.)

Shelly Wilson, my editor. I’ve written a little bit about Shelly on this blog. Before she took the assignment, she edited about 30 pages. Ouch. I hired her immediately. It was a brutal process, but the book is SOOO much better. The funny thing is that I actually look forward to having her edit the next book. I’m going to plant some weird stuff just to mess with her.

The people who read the first draft: Elizabeth, Dan, and Ed’s cousin. Wow. There were a LOT of problems with that draft. Dan was in Afghanistan, so I suspect he enjoyed it because he was spending 4 months away from family. Elizabeth, she offered some very very helpful commentary. The more margaritas she drank, the more honest she became. Ed’s cousin asked if she could read the sequel. That was pretty nice to hear. Or Ed doesn’t have a cousin and he lied to me.

My brother and my dad. My brother went to the trouble of saving our family’s grandfather clock, which lead to the events which inspired me to write the book (although pretty much nothing in the book actually happened). And he’s been the best for all of my 41 years – sorry to get all sappy on you. Dad – he just read the book today. This is probably not what he might normally read, but he reads a lot, so who knows? My dad handed me a book about 24 years ago – a memoir by Louis L’Amour called Education of a Wandering Man. That book is on my shelf right now and is why I read and write.

My kids. They can’t read, but when they can I’m going to make them read this book and all of my others. And I’m going to talk about them at dinner until they roll their eyes the moment I open my mouth.

Everyone already buying the book and reading the blog: To pre-order a book from a first time author is just awesome. Read it, review it on Amazon, tell your friends. There’s no book tour in indy-publishing, no one is doing marketing for me. I’ll invest in the marketing when I’ve got 2 or 3 titles to plug and a larger audience. Until then, this is personal. If you like it, track me down and I’ll buy you a coffee or a beer. Drop me a comment or an email. Sign up for updates. Have your book club read it. Tell me what they said. Have me come to your book club. Have me cook them dinner. I make great tacos. If you’re like me, I don’t read something unless a trusted source tells me to. (If you don’t think you’re a trusted source, keep your mouth shut.)

Thanks for checking in. As always, sign up on the left for updates (not more than 1 or 2 per week, usually.) Drop me an email at jkilewrites@gmail.com. Oh, I almost forgot, buy the book HERE ON AMAZON. Print copies will also be available for order in the coming days.

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Buy Me!

Pre-order for The Grandfather Clock

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I’ve got a confession to make, I never pre-order books. I’m never sitting there thinking, “Man, I want to buy a book NOW but not be able to read it yet.” It’s not like a concert ticket and I want a good seat. They aren’t going to sell out. So how am I going to make a compelling case for you to pre-order my book? This blog is about selling too, right? Here goes:

You are reading this blog. So you have some level of interest in what I have to say. (Or you are lost.) But next Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, you aren’t going to remember to check my blog, so you’ll forget to buy it. Then you’ll be travelling to your in-laws house and you’ll forget to order it when it’s released. Nothing to read on the plane. THEN, by the time you remember to buy it, your whole family will be busy trying to guess the Wifi password Uncle Bill set up four years ago when Granny insisted she needed what she calls “WeeFee.” Trust me, you’re going to want my book on your reading device when the house is finally quiet and you want something good, but not too heavy. Something that will keep you awake after a pile of turkey and too much red wine.

So do it. Click the link. It’s $2.99. Less than a fancy cup of coffee. Order it now. Next Tuesday it’ll show up on your Kindle app on your phone, android, iPad, or whatever device was invented but I don’t know about. Hard copies go on sale on the 25th. I’ll sign it for you, but since it’s coming directly from Amazon, you’ll have to track me down to do it. Click it…

CLICK HERE TO ORDER (or click the picture, it’s the internet)

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If you don’t order now you better sign up for updates on the left, so you get reminded next Tuesday when the book is available.

Next week is also my birthday. A great gift idea is THIS BOOK. (They say you should always ask for the sale three times.) Have questions, email me at jkilewrites@gmail.com.

Thanks!

-Jonathan Kile

Book release – next week!

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The time has come when I can comfortably say, the book is done and it’s coming out next week (Thanksgiving). So instead of camping out in front of Wal-Mart, you can spend Black Friday on your couch because it will take mere seconds for you to order copies of my book for all of your friends. Kindle version will be $3.99 and a print copy will be $9.99. Stocking stuffers may have to wait a little longer, but the eBook will be ready to roll.

A quick follow-up to the last post. Austin knocked it out of the park, hitting #1 in multiple financial categories. Way to set the bar, my friend. I might not hit #1, but I’m doing two books in 2015 (there I said it). By this time next year the series will be done or I expect every single one of my readers to make me eat my words (literally, eat my laptop computer). Naturally, Austin will write 3 books, and land a gig on CNBC.

Later this week I’ll be giving away some advance eBooks so you should sign up for updates on the left or you’ll miss out. Don’t care to sign up? Drop me an email at jkilewrites@gmail.com.

Cheers!

Free book from my friend Austin Netzley

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Austin's Book

Earlier this year I met up with a former colleague at a Sonny’s BBQ in Haines City, Florida. I knew Austin Netzley when he was a mere whiz-kid for an oil company. He needed a challenge, so he started building income streams on the side. He retired at the age of 82… no, wait… 28. Needless to say, I was suspicious when I was invited to dinner, an hour and a half from home, to hear how this came about. My Amway radar up. I was wrong.

It turns out that Austin was just too smart for the rat race. Success in the corporate world meant someone else telling him where he would live, what the year’s goals were and what the reward would be. He has since started a popular blog and podcast at www.yoprowealth.com. At that dinner I told him he should write a book. Perhaps I was the 50th person tell him that, but nonetheless, I’m taking credit for the idea. You are welcome, Austin.

It’s out and it’s free for the next 2 days. Step 1 in being smart about money is getting his book while it is still free.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PB3BKB4/

Writer’s Block and Seller’s Block = It’s Just Worker’s Block

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This month is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in which participants around the world commit to writing 50,000 words during the month of November. The idea is to throw your ideas on the page and get a manuscript you can work with. It’s brilliant because you don’t sweat the style of the prose, the little plot holes – you leave them behind, and you just pound out 50,000 words. In my first year I knocked out the first 50,000 words of a book that would top 100,000. That book, working title The Golden Parachute, went through a couple of massive renovations until I decided that the book was like an ex-girlfriend… It was a good story, a great learning experience, and best left behind for something better. Last year I missed the 50,000 word goal because I spent the last week of November turning 40 in a house on Newport Beach. But the 35,000 words I wrote were the start of The Grandfather Clock. This book will be out before I turn 41 later this month.

My Word Count this month is ZERO

So this year I signed up for NaNoWriMo and in five days I’ve written 0 words. Not one. I’m 25,000 words into the sequel to The Grandfather Clock, but this month is about EDITING. I need to edit 50,000 so that my friends will stop asking where the damned book is. Which brings me to the topic of this blog-post.

Worker’s Block

From an early age we hear the term Writer’s Block. It’s a writer’s mysterious inability to think of anything to write. It’s an excuse for being a writer but not writing anything. I’m not saying they are lying. What I am saying is that if you are a writer, you should write even if you have “writer’s block”. In my day job, I definitely get those periods of time when the sales just don’t seem to fall my way. We joke that in these selling doldrums we get this stench that the customer can smell from a mile away. We could have the perfect product, the best price, and the best sales call, but the buyer won’t budge. Like a single guy whose pheromone is “desperation.”

In sales, you keep selling. Eventually your luck will turn. For me, I’m busiest when the deals aren’t coming my way. I might even get a little discouraged. Then suddenly things start landing in my lap. I’ve actually walked in to potential accounts with the decided intent NOT to sell – almost like I’m there to tell them that they CAN’T have my product – and I’ve closed the deal.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a writer, or you aren’t in sales. We all get Worker’s Block. We have periods of time where you look at clock at the end of the day and say, “I didn’t get anything accomplished today.” During these periods I try to start each day with a list of 5 things I want to get done. Then I try to get them ALL done first. The rest of the day is smooth sailing. Right now, I’m in one of those lulls in my day job. I’ve got a couple dozen good prospects in the hopper, I’m doing everything right, but nothing is closing. I just had my best month ever, but it seems there’s nothing new on the horizon. Tomorrow I’ve got a full day, including a couple of “closes” that I’d like to make. I’m going to go in with the confidence not to care. Next week, I’ll let you know if I land any.

Thanks for reading! Sign up for updates on the left. Feel free to drop me an email at jkilewrites@gmail.com. The Grandfather Clock will be out in time for holiday shopping. Plan on putting one on every Kindle and in every stocking.