10 simple rules for success

After watching numerous interviews with successful people in many different industries and reading tons of books on the subject trying to understand how one can become successful, I noticed a pattern or, at least 10 similarities (or rules) that came up every time.

One might begin by questioning the definition of the word “success”. I won’t go into that simply because, at the the root of it, lies the same wanting, the same craving: to become more than what and who we are. As Kundera, one of my favorite authors would say “Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.”

1- You got to be in the present moment.

All of them agree that too much time and energy are wasted when worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Your power lies in the “now”.

 

2- Love what you do

As all say it: If you don’t love it enough, you will quit and that’s why most people do. You will be challenged, there will be problems. Your passion can help you overcome all obstacles. As Wayne Dyer would say it “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”

3- Persevere

Know that you will fall, you will have problems, it will be tough. But as J.K. Rowlings says “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

Hang in there. The hurricane shall pass. Nothing ever lasts. Stay with it, walk through the storm. Move forward everyday. No matter what, don’t quit. You cannot fail if you don’t stop. Like Winston Churchill said “If you are going through Hell, keep on going.” And also, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

And then you will say it just like Barry Manilow in his song “I made it through the rain.” Because nothing ever lasts, enjoy the success while it last and prepare for the next hurricane.

4- Don’t do it for the money

The richest people in the world never did it for the money. That’s where most people get it wrong. They get into a field for the money and quit because the love is not there. Love what you do, the money will come. As Matthew McConaughey in the movie “Gold”: “We never did it for the money, we did it for the gold.” There is a big difference.

5- Meditate

All successful people quiet their minds, void the noise. In the silence, you will find the answers. Mostly, you will find peace. As Warren Buffet says “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”

6- Be the best

You don’t need to be perfect. As Dali would say “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” You just need to be better. The better you are, the more noticeable you will become. Work on your craft day in and day out. As Will Smith says “When others sleep, I work. When others eat, I work.” If you are the best, you will not feel the need to prove yourself. You will be honest and have integrity because you will know, you are better. And those two qualities are worth gold. As Einstein would say “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”

Don’t underestimate others by creating a low quality product. You will not cheat others, you’ll end up cheating yourself.

7- Believe in yourself

No one will ever believe in you more than you. At the beginning of anything, your belief and confidence will be the only allies you will have. But the more you believe and have confidence, the more the others will listen and, eventually follow. As Marianne Williamson would say “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

8- Dream big

You are the one who can set your limits. You have the choice, the power and responsibility to be limitless. As Les Brown would say “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.” or Leo Burnett “When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”

If you start with low expectations, you never get big results.(That’s my quote). And then, imagine yourself there, act as if you were already there. Before you know it, you will be.

9- Surround yourself with the best

Build a great team or a mastermind group of piers. Remember that successful people talk about goals and ideas, sharing them and getting feed back on how to improve. As Jim Rohn would say “you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Chose carefully. If you cannot find 5 friends that have the statues, income, relationship, you want; chose among the deceased: read books.

10- Stay hungry

Never take anything for granted. Stay open, stay curious, stay enthusiastic. Never settle for something less than what you dreamed of. As Warren Buffet “read, read, read” as he reads 5-6 hours per day. Educate yourself. As Tom Hiddleston would say “Stay hungry, stay young, stay foolish, stay curious, and above all, stay humble because just when you think you got all the answers, is the moment when some bitter twist of fate in the universe will remind you that you very much don’t.”

11- A last one for the road

Don’t give a damn about what others think. Most of the time, they think about what you might be thinking about them. Their opinions will vary and they won’t say most of what they really think. If you succeed, they might be jealous and pull you down to their level of comfort so that your light does not cause them to live in a shadow. You are the person you will spend the most time with, treasure that, first.

Hope this inspires and motivates. Please share with others, to spread the light.

A great way to close more sales even when you are not in sales

This article concerns us all as we are always selling something even if not a sales professional. As soon as you want your point heard, contract signed, film produced, book read, date to call back, you are selling.

This technique is so simple and yet so efficient it may double your closing rate (or improve the relationships you currently have)

It’s the 5-5 written analysis.

Every time you end a meeting with anyone, spend 5-10 minutes answering these 2 simple questions:

1- What are the 5 things I could have improved? (ex: listening more, giving the other silence so they can think and reply, thinking about their objections before dismissing them…)

2- What are the 5 things I did well? (ex: tone of voice, presentation, made them laugh…)

By writing the answers, you will help your brain learn faster and your behavior will adjust at every single meeting which will make you exponentially improve your rate of success.

Most people have a tendency to beat themselves up if a meeting doesn’t end up as planned. By doing so, the brain only registers the negative therefore increasing the probabilities of you repeating the same mistake.

Trying next time you go on a date, meet a real estate client, talk to a potential partner, talk to your kids, …

Please let me know how it goes and share the knowledge.

Job seekers, this one small change can improve your chances of getting hired.

This article is helpful for most people (employed or unemployed) on Linkedin as I see this mistake so often. The change is so simple and silly that most people don’t think about it. Yet, when you make it, you will notice the difference.

Linkedin is obviously a place to network and create new connections. Why do we want those? To increase our circle of influence, know someone who knows the someone we need to know, find a job, get a new client, …

In the regular world, we have about 30 seconds to one minute before the other person has a long lasting impression in their minds of the image we projected that very moment. We can change the effect we want to give depending on the person we meet.

In the fast pace social media world in which most of us live, we have about a fraction of a millisecond to make a good impression on that person. That impression is based on solely 2 criteria : your profile picture and your title. That’s it.

Imagine having a million books to read. You would not open each book and read its summary. You would check the cover, read the title. If those two appeal to you, you will try to find out more about the subject. On Linkedin, you need to be aware that you are your book cover, your own ad.

The worse for a job seeker is: to have no picture and write “job seeker” or “looking for new opportunities” in your title. Why?

1- The question about the picture is obvious : we are surrounded by scammers and the first step in trusting someone is seeing his face.

2- If you write “job seeker”, you appear as someone who lacks and not someone who offers anything. The first impression is “He has no job.”

Secondly, no one knows what you do. The person needing your services might not even look at your profile because they will not look at every “Job seeker’s profile.

If, on the contrary, you write “I am a deal closer and want to work for an outstanding real estate company”. “Experienced IT manager, contact to hire: with your email” ; ”Service is my middle name and I want to work for you”…

What does that say? Do you see how that changes it all?

Pay attention to those two small details and you will see a difference in the quality of people you connect with here. Remember your title is made for others to know you in a split of a second.

And lastly. Dare to connect. The more people you know, the better chances of giving what others need and getting what you want.

Please share this article so more benefit from it.

The gifts that lie in our scars

As a child, I was bullied. And this is why I believe it is one of the greatest gifts I received.

My parents immigrated from France to Canada when I was 8, reason being mostly the level of racism and xenophobia. My parents waited 17 years to get a French citizenship that would allow them to open a business. Instead, being Serbian, we heard “go back to your country” too often, but we couldn’t. Anyway, that’s besides the point.

When we moved, my parents wanted me to have the best education possible so they signed me up in a private school. When they tested my aptitudes and IQ, they told my parents I would have to skip 4 grades warning them it might cause sociability issues because of the huge age gap. My parents approved to have me skip 3 not realizing that it would still create a big problem in my capacity to be included.

Home equaled with violence, abuse and I was forced to shut up most of the time. I developed an almost pathological shyness. I would not talk much and would be scared to approach people I didn’t know. Imagine the fear I felt being in a new school, in a different country, with a language I had trouble understanding at the time.

In school, the age difference with some of the class mates was as high as 7 years, mostly 4 or 5. Still, when you are 9 or 10 and the others are 14 or 16, it creates a “grand canyon” gap in being able to develop friendships.

Because I didn’t jump 4 grades, I ended up being 1st in my class, especially in math. I solved most problems instantaneously in my mind which made the teachers love me and class mates despise me even more. I was a nerd wearing outdated clothes and thick glasses, incapable to stand up for myself or speak. The best victim there can be.

And so, you can image the rest. Yet, maybe not to this extend. My father had the thoughtful idea of offering me a camera, one of those small Kodaks. I loved it because it felt like a protection between me and the rest of the world. A way to express myself without words.

In school, I would take pictures of boys since I was not able to speak to any as I would automatically do something so clumsy, I would want to hide under the floor and vanish. That fear was intensified after a girl had ripped a photo I had given of me to a class mate I found very cute. An 18 year old “bad boy” who found it hilarious. Being dramatically mocked and humiliated in front of the class (which class mates stayed five years in the same school until graduation reminding me with nicknames of my stupid attempt) pretty much killed my reputation.

Because I took photos of boys, a tough girl became so jealous she decided to kill me. This could be a great movie but, at that time, she became a real threat to my life. Where was I going to complain? Not at home where I didn’t feel very welcomed. Not at school and be bullied even more by the others. I kept quiet. I kept quiet until I couldn’t keep quiet anymore.

She beat me up in hallways till I fell unconscious, leaving for dead. She threw me down stairs and as I laid bruised and beaten, I felt the feet of my classmates walk around me, on me. I was pushed in front of a car and thankfully survived. She ended up in a mental hospital.

I tell you all this ( the tip of the iceberg) not to claim some pity. On the contrary. It is to share the gratitude I feel of living such experiences. No, don’t worry. I am not crazy. Well, maybe a little, but aren’t we all?

Because of my shyness an inability to speak, I found the most safe reliable and trustworthy friends in books. I could escape the insanity surrounding me and travel, explore, think, become other people for a few pages. I could imagine living other lives. I could express all I felt through the voice of characters within the pages I flipped passionately. I read more than anyone I knew. I devoured books. A little over a decade later, I was a book critic and radio producer for 3 years, talking about something I knew more than well. Over 10 years of avid reading make me a book connoisseur at the age of 25. I never stopped.

Because of the camera my father gave me, I was able to analyse the world meticulously. Since I was not allowed to speak much, I tuned my listening skills. I silently observed and listened. Observed and listened.

I can honestly say that I love my life today so much, even I cannot find the words to describe the level of gratitude I feel when I am writing.

I still take pictures since I never stopped from when I was 8 years old. I continue observing and listening. All that accumulated information helps me create characters and stories. It helped me become highly empathetic and profoundly understand the “human condition”. It helped me help thousands of people thus far, and, more in the future.

I am not saying what happened to me is wonderful and should not be condemned. And of course, I would have perhaps preferred a different past. I am not saying what happened to me is wonderful and should not be condemned. On the contrary, measures should be taken to prevent children from suffering. And, of course, that different one could have led me to another profession that I might have loved as passionately. That being said, we can never compare something we are not experiencing. I truly believe that we cannot be wrong. We cannot get it wrong… If we follow our heart.

I still question what came first. Was I born a writer and needed these experiences to become better and find my purpose? Or did I find my purpose because of my past?

I was inspired to write this because I cross the paths of so many who blame the past scars and use them road blocks to accessing the realization of their hopes and dreams. When, in fact, if they would jump and follow their hearts, they would soon turn around and notice the connecting dots that made it all possible.

The biggest mistake people make is asking this question wrong.

Most people feel stuck because they don’t move forward. I know it seems trivial. Why don’t they move forward? Because they invert these two fundamental questions?

What do I want?

How can I get it?

It seems so basic and easy but think about it. How many times did you stop yourself because you first asked the question “How can I get it?” before the other.

Most people wait to have all the answers to the second question before deciding on the first. That is where we get stuck.

You can’t open your parachute before you jump off the plane. You can’t inflate your life vest before you jump off the plane either or you might die inside the plane (this tragedy actually occurred in one of the rarest plane crashes on water where passengers inflated their life jackets on board the plane and drowned a few hundred feet from shore).

I do struggle with it too, at times. Not basing what we want to achieve on the reality we see around us. Now asking “how” before we know what and why.

Hope it helps you get moving.

10 reasons why you fail

Many people say that failure is a part of success.. I disagree. They confuse failing and stumbling on the road to success. Failure sucks! I hate it and I wish it nobody. We might stumble, miss a step, fall and get up. But failing feels horrible especially when they are ways to avoid most failures.

I could easily write a book about this subject but it would take slightly longer. Here are my top ten general reasons why most people fail.

1- You don’t know what you want.

Wait! Before you skip to the next one. Most people say “yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what I want.” But when I ask them, “what do you want, what is your 5 top goals in the next 5 years, 3, 2, 1, 6 months, 1 months, tomorrow, they become deer caught in headlights. Most people answers to the question “what do you want?” by thinking in terms of “what do I think possible for me to get considering the current circumstances.” which definitely limits your horizons.

2- No clarity

Then, I get the 5-10% of people who have kind of an idea of what they want. Very vague. Like if I would ask you where do you want to live and you answer Florida. You might end up in the swamps of the everglades in Florida with alligators as neighbors. You need to be precise to the extreme. Most people hesitate here because they don’t believe it is possible to get “exactly what you want” therefore they never get what they want, exactly.

3- No action plan

“I want a million bucks.” Great, I reply. How do you plan on getting there? I get reacquainted with the deer. Planning every step lives less to the odds. But then there is a small catch, you also need to…

Know consciously that shit is going to hit the fan. And being certain that you are ready but unexpected events. That your self confidence is high enough to take the blows and get up again. The boxer knows he is going to get beaten up. He expects it and knows he will have to take them to get to the end. Also, it is about knowing that you can never be 100% ready. So it means to…

4- Remain flexible. You will get obstacles. Welcome them with open arms, challenge them to come in great numbers and you can take them on. Why? Obstacles spices up life (that’s one) and secondly you need them to grow into the person you need to be to support the level of success you desire. For those that don’t believe the spice analogy. Remember the last trip you talked about. What was the thrilling part. The surprise of the view. The car that was towed. The plane tickets that were found at the last minute? Spices!

5- You have a plan “B”. As Will Smith puts it. If you don’t have a plan “B”, you make sure you succeed in plan A. That is why you have to be absolutely certain what you want is REALLY what YOU really want. And that you will accept nothing else, nothing less.

6- You listen to your demons. They whisper in your ear “you will fail!”, “You don’t need to do this”, “You are incapable to succeeding”, “Who do you think you are!”, “You were comfortable”, “Everyone is going to make fun of you”, … Going in a new direction or attempting to have much more success than you are used to will lead you out of your comfort zone which will automatically create a re-action causing anxiety, panic attacks, fear… It is normal and you should be thankful. Created by the same system which helped our species survive, that fear based reaction is positive. Listening and buying into it, that’s another thing.

7- You can’t imagine it. It can’t see yourself past the success you planed, you will never get there. You will always fail right before you achieve it. Again, you cannot have an “end”. If your goal is the “ultimate goal”, your system will block you from reaching it to protect you because it assimilates the end as your death. You need to be able to imagine and feel as if you have already achieved that goal. In others words, the goal you seek so much must become unimportant and slightly boring.

8- You change your mind along the way. If you change your plans at every bump, that resembles deciding to live in Alaska instead of Florida because you got caught in traffic along the way. You need to give it time and stick with the original idea.

9- You don’t have a time frame in mind. I know people who have worked on a project for years. They delay it every month. Eventually, the project becomes obsolete or they lose too much energy along the way.

10- You were not ready to accept the other side of the medal of success. Becoming successful also means having more responsibilities, doing more, dealing with more people, saying “no” more often, being more vigilant, delegating more, serving more, helping more…. You need to be ready to take the whole package deal of success, if you really want it.

Hope this helps. If you need a coach to get you there faster, showing you the bumps so you can avoid them and help you solve problems, get clear, deal with your own limitations. fears… contact me at slavica(inc)gmail.com.

How one small change or resolution can have a significant impact and what golfing has to do with it

I remember watching Tony Robbins describe what it takes to change the overall performance of a golfer. Basically a millimeter different angle hitting the ball could make it curve and fall in a completely different spot. Therefore, even though the outcome seemed far apart, the element of change was minimal.

The moral of this story is that it doesn’t take a huge change in your life to make a significant change in your life. One small change can have significant repercussions on the long term.

For example, drinking 3 beers a night might not effect your life today but the repercussions in 20 years might be disastrous. Gaining one pound a year is insignificant unless you realize that it will add up to 30 pounds in 30 years.

In my case, I calculated the impact of coffee and I stopped drinking it. Mind you, I stopped alcohol as well (and cigarettes a decade ago).

Let’s take coffee as an example. I drank 3 a day (sometimes went to have on in a corner coffee shop, preferably at the Ritz, because of the view). Let’s calculate cost and effect of that single habit:

I used a single coffee cup maker, average a day = $3 + $5 (for the extra outside coffee a week) = $26 per week

Time to consume coffee spent (not being able to really multi task and focus on both drinking coffee and working) = 2 hours + 2 hours a week at the coffee shop) = 16 hours lost

Yearly, a cost of $1352 and 832 hours (35 days). With that saving, I could literally spend a  month on a Greek Island doing nothing and still be better off. Plus, it takes 32 cups of water to clear out the intake of one cup of coffee…

What about you? What are those small little habits that will have a significant impact in your life, on the long term. It can be as simple as your son’s missed soccer games, spending a hour too long on social media, watching a stupid show on TV, spending that $5 extra dollar a day for no reason.

In other words, you don’t need to make a huge resolutions and fail. Make a small change and keep it up on 21 days. After that, you will have incorporated it in your routine. The best way is to replace an old useless habit by a new helpful one. A habit for a habit. And you will get your whole in one!

Hope this helps. If you need counseling, coaching, help, contact me at slavicainc@gmail.com. My price ain’t cheap but the results aren’t either

2016 achievements

Before even writing next year’s goals, it is always very important to come back and see last year’s achievements. In my case:

  • 6 books published, one being for “the Dummies collection” which was felt as a great success. 2 books as 2nd editions which is always a good sign, one in Italian which feels great.
  • 5 books titles pre-ordered by my publisher which means I am in demand and that feels awesome.
  • 8 awards for my original screenplays. A great success since I started learning how to write them in June 2016 and my goal was to learn the process, do it and be successful at it.
  • Surviving an illness that almost ripped me from this life. I feel blessed that I was in good enough shape to live through it and come out of it alive.
  • Getting rid of 3 inches off my waist line, a great start to getting back in shape.
  • Approached by 4 literary agents. That is really a success as 6 years ago, I was refused by 400.
  • Moving to LA and back. I wanted to see how it felt to live in that big city. Now, I know.
  • Some fantastic trips. Starting scuba diving again after many years was really amazing in Key Largo. Spending one week in the Grand Canyon and visiting its beauty daily.
  • 6 months without any alcohol consumption. Wanted to get rid of that habit and now, it is done.
  • Reaching a goal of at least $30,000 income per month on one website.

Hope your 2016 was as successful as mine. And wish that 2017 is even more amazing!!!

5 reasons why you lost that deal

We are all selling something: a book, a car, a movie, ideas, shoes, ourselves… What ever we do, we sell, we want to convince. Why were you not able to do so? Here are 5 reasons.

Before I was an award winning author, I was an award winning sales person. Either award stick to me or I developed a way to excellence in all I do…

I started selling in my family pastry at the age of 8. I understood a few things right there and then. These also might help you achieve more success when dealing with others (in personal or business relationships)

1- You didn’t prepare

If you are not prepared, you are prepared to fail. What does preparation mean. You researched the person, company.. you were trying to convince, sell to, win over, date… You don’t know what they like and what they are like.

Also, you possibly prepared for that one connection. You think in terms of selling between 9 and 5, having that important meeting, being on that date. But, you are not prepared 24-7. You can find the partner, buyer, lover… at the coffee shop, at the supermarket… be prepared always. Have you elevator speech in head all the time.

2- You are all about the ”yes” and not about the ”no”

You didn’t think of all the objections the other person may address so you can talk about them before they are even mentioned. Unwrap the elephant in the room as soon as possible. Prepare for all the ”no”s your potential partner, buyer, lover… might think of.

3- You made it all about you

I see this so often. People talking about them, who they are, what they offer…me, me, me, me. The truth is. Nobody cares about you because everybody is in the ”me”. You want to talk to someone, talk to them about them. Avoid the ”I” and ”me” as much as possible and ask question to discover the ”you”.

4- You didn’t listen

Listening is absolutely not about thinking about your answers while the other person is speaking and thinking of jumping in as soon as they stop talking. It is not about only opening your ears and hearing their voice.

Listening is about watching one’s person body language, nuances in speech patterns, hesitations… A lot is said in the unsaid. Also, listen completely, entirely. Have you ever felt totally listened to. You get a sense of a void at the other end, someone who is devouring what you say without thinking of anything else than what you are saying. It feels good, doesn’t it? Do the same.

When the person is done, leave a silence. Digest what you heard and repeat it in your own words. ”If I understand correctly, what you are saying is”. That will help number 5

5- The other person was not important enough

You should remember that everyone holds a sign above their heads saying ”make me feel important”. People literally die from a lack of feeling of importance, when neglected and forgotten. When you speak to someone, add something about them that will make them feel good: a compliment, remembering something positive they have done n the past, a detail may make the difference. The more you make people feel important, the more they will love you. It has to genuine though. You cannot fake it. you need feel it. If you cannot, you need work on yourself first to improve your self esteem.

6- You were too hungry

A boss I once had told me that you always need to ”stay hungry yet look like you just had a full meal”. Breathe, relax, detach yourself from the outcome. It will be helped by 7.

7- You had no options

There is nothing worse than depending on that one deal, one person, one sale, on meeting. Confidence is build by the amount of choices one has. Increase the number of people you connect with. help many people achieve their goals and the number of your options will increase systematically.

8- You didn’t tune in to WIIFM

Another boss once taught me that you always need to tune in to the radio station WIIFM ”What’s in it for me”. You always need to express what other people gain from helping you, being with you, partnering with you.

I will make a separate post on knowing the difference between a benefit and an advantage. You must speak in terms of benefits and not advantages if you want to get a ”yes”

9- You didn’t connect emotionally

People never buy intellectually. We buy emotionally. We buy because we love the person, or because we connect at a deeper level, because we feel that person deserves it, because she or he is nice, kind, likable, loving…

We buy when we believe in your ”why”, your set of values, your purpose, your intentions,… you can learn from Simon Sinek ”Why” to find out more. Make your intentions clear. Again, this must be heartfelt and true. You cannot fake values or intentions. And we feel other people.

That is the reason why sometimes, the whole project will make sense intellectually and we’ll end up not buying because something was ”off”. That ”off” comes from out gut, our ”why”, our emotions.

10- You didn’t shut up

Another one of my sales mentor used to yell at us in sales meeting ”shut the f… up!!” he used to say, from the top of a table he perched on. Once you have said all you needed to say, shut up. Let the other person think. Give that person the trust that they can think things over for themselves. Let them take the time to review the options and bring you their concerns, doubts, objections, so you can discuss them. Be open to a rejection, you will get less of them. Shut up.

If you need help closing deals (all kinds of deals), hire me at slavicainc@gmail.com

How can I write a book in 12 weeks: 10 ways to increase your speed

Actually I can write an award winning story in 3, but who’s counting

I love watching people’s faces when I tell them I wrote 34 books. The eyes widen, the mouth drops. And I nod, “yes, 34”. When he met me, Jack Canfield said “I never met someone who has written as many books as I have” and he laughed. And I thought, and we have over third years in age difference 🙂 I worked so hard to get it here, I guess it is OK to feel proud now and then -)

I write fast. I remember once hearing about writing fast, the faster the better. A french author that I was proof reading for had told me about the fact that he loved writing books as fast as he could. He said that if they were unsuccessful, he wouldn’t feel that he had wasted a lot of time on them and if they were successful, he felt even better finishing them that quickly. He had become a millionaire with his best sellers. I listened and I applied myself at doing the same.

Here are a few tools to help you out.

1- Use time to your advantage.

Set the limits in which you want your book to be completed and then, shorten that time frame. For example, I thought I would write my first book in six months. I decided instead to write in six weeks. I finished it in seven. Not too bad. seven weeks instead of six months.

2- When you write. write

Focus on writing. Do it for a few hours a day, or chose one day when you block four hours straight. Jump in. Don’t spend any time thinking about writing because that might cause you to procrastinate.

If you need to research before writing, do all of your research beforehand. Then, you can move on to digesting what you learned and using what seems essential in your work.

3- Create a skeleton of your story

Start by your table of content or your cheat sheet and write the main ideas on which your story (or non fiction) will build. Like having a skeleton on which you will later on add meat.

4- Never start from the start

Don’t start with your introduction. The introduction and the conclusion should be written at the end, never the beginning. You cannot know what your story is about before you complete it. Then you can introduce it properly.

5- Swiss cheese strategy

The best is to divide your story in many fragments and write portions of it where you feel it fits. You can create folders, 5X4 card decks… I love writing bits and pieces in chapters and then connecting them together. It feels like you digged wholes in a cheese. It doesn’t feel as big of a task.

6- Think small

Never think about the whole project at hand. If need be, separate each piece of your story into a different file or folder. You won’t have to write 400 pages but only 20 times 20 pages. This helps enormously motivate you to move forward as you endorphin will increase every time you finish a section of your project.

7- Write without reading

When you write, do not read what you are writing. If you start editing, correcting, reading, … you will lose your train of thought. You will have plenty of time to go back and edit your work after it is completely completed.

8- Visualize daily

I believe any effort is pointless without the proper intention. Imagine your audience reading your book, screenplay… Imagine people loving it. Imagine yourself as successful. If you can’t do that. Drop your pen and build yourself esteem first. It would be useless to write if you feel that you will never be acknowledged for your writing. It is not necessarily the best who win but the most confident.

9- Remember who you are

Be the best you can be, now. The better you are, the more you will feel that you deserve the reward. You are ever changing and improving. Every time you open your work, and start at it, you are already a different person, with more experience, more knowledge, different skills and mindset. Do not judge what you wrote a month ago. It will never have the quality of your thoughts today. You need to give the world what and who you are in this transitional phase you are experiencing while writing. This leads me to 10.

10- End it

You can spend years improving and correcting. You need to decide beforehand that you will give it 5 drafts and that’s it. Perfection is the enemy of excellence, definitely a friend of procrastination. It will never be perfect but it will get done.

If you need help writing, editing, translating, feel good about who you are or become successful in what you do, hire me by writing to me at slavicainc@gmail.com