Why I Love My “Real” Books

Why I love real books

Image by Hermann (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Michael Hyatt wrote a great article, Why I’m Putting Ebooks on The Shelf for 2016, that made me smile. You see, I am partial to physical books. I alway have and always will. Call me old-fashioned but I LOVE the smell, touch, and act of turning the pages of a physical book. In fact, I resisted getting a Kindle for that very reason. I didn’t get one until about two years ago when I got a Kindle Touch for my birthday; and the only reason I did, was because there were books that I wanted to read that only came in an e-book format.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against ebooks or Kindles or Nooks or any eReader. I enjoy reading books and stories on my Kindle and, unlike Michael Hyatt, my reading has not declined since getting my eReader. It is quite the opposite, actually. The amount of books I’ve read have increased since getting the Kindle, especially because it is so light and portable.

Still, given the choice, I will all choose physical books. Hyatt offers out two particularly good points about physical books. First, “real” books are easier to engage with because you can write in the margins, underline, and even doodle on physical books. Yes, you can highlight and write notes but it is clunkier and just not the same. Secondly, there is something imminently more satisfying about finishing a regular book than an e-book. When I close a physical book for the last time, I get a myriad of emotions that I just don’t experience when I finish a Kindle book.

Hyatt’s article shows me that I’m not alone. The sales of physical books may be down but I don’t think they are going anyway soon! What about you? Do you prefer ebooks or physical book? Why?

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Hat tip to Crystal from whom I found Hyatt’s article

Why Do You Write?

Why Do You Write?Recently, my son was standing over my shoulder as I was doing some writing. All of a sudden he asks, “Mom, why do you write so much? You are always writing something.” I giggled a little at the question but the only answer that immediately came to mind was, “Because I have to. It’s in my blood.”

That answer seems a little silly but the more I think about the conversation the more I realize that it is true. I just can’t NOT write. I am most “me” when I write. No matter what happens: whether I get published or not, whether I ever become “famous” or not, or even whether or not I get paid for my writing (which I certainly want to!), I still need to write.

For a long time, I suppressed that need to write. I was busy with the many responsibilities of “real life” and writing seemed more like a luxury than anything else. Sure I would journal semi-regularly, or write a blog post occasionally, but it wasn’t a regular part of my life. Writing wasn’t a consistent activity for me. But I missed it, terribly. And yes, I know it sounds trite or dumb but I felt “empty” in a way when I didn’t write for so long.

Now, for the last several months (even before resurrecting this website), I have been writing every day, almost without fail. And it feels good. It feels natural. It is one of the things I was definitely born to do. To mimic Jeff Goins, I am a writer. Now, I just need to take the next step and start sharing that writing a little more. 🙂

What about you? Why do you write? What is your why? If you couldn’t make money or be successful or become “famous” with your writing, what would be your driving force to write?

You don’t have to tell me. I just encourage you to think about your motivation so that when writing becomes hard – and it DOES become hard at times – you will keep going. Let’s face it. There are so many things that can pull us from writing from work, family, responsibilities to our (often irrational) fears and excuses. Thus, knowing your why can help you stay the course. Because, the secret to improving your writing, or for getting published, or for anything, really, is consistency. Would you agree?

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Five Ways to Build Trust in a Virtual Relationship

Trust is important in any relationship and even more important in a virtual business relationship. Earning trust takes time, but here are five steps you can take to foster trust with all your online relationships:

Build Trust in Virtual Relationship

1. Manage Expectations. This is essential. Before entering into a business relationship with anyone, talk about each other’s expectations. How will you both handle deadlines, punctuality and other situations?

Also, make sure to continue to manage expectations as the relationship develops. @AnastaciaBrice has a great article on her blog in regards to expectations.

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Frequent communication is critical, especially at the beginning of a working relationship. In addition, ongoing communication will go a long way in preventing misunderstandings, confusion, and general discontent in a business partnership.

Also, keep in mind that email is not always the best medium for communication. If you have a problem or question, pick up the phone. In doing this, you will be able pick up on verbal (and some non-verbal) cues by phone that are impossible to decipher in an email.

3. Under promise, over deliver. If you promise a client to have something done by 3pm Friday, get it done by Friday morning or Thursday afternoon. Go that extra mile or add that extra special touch.

On the flip side, if you cannot or will not do a particular project for a client say so and don’t just leave her hanging. If you can, offer recommendations or resources for the client so that he or she can find someone who can complete her project.

4. Keep your word. It should go without saying, however, be honest. Honor your promises. Do not lie. And by all means, do not say you are proficient or an expert at something if, in fact, you aren’t.

I knew someone who lied about his skill level and it turned into a disaster. This person promised a client that he was an expert in using a software program, when in reality, he didn’t have a clue. He screwed up the project he was working on for the client, he angered (and lost) the client, and effectively discredited his business, especially in the eyes of the client.

The best thing to do if you aren’t an expert at a specific skill, but willing to give it a try, is to be upfront and let the client know. Let her choose whether or not if she wants you to give the project a try.

5. Take responsibility. Take responsibility for the work you do. If you make a mistake, own up to it. After all, mistakes happen and no one’s perfect. Do not play the blame game. Admit your error and do whatever you can to fix the problem.

I made a doozy of a mistake when I worked in an insurance agency years ago. I had taken a payment from a client and stuck it in his folder so I can answer the phone. I got busy, put the file away, and forgot to mail the payment. Even worse, I didn’t remember anything about the payment until a few weeks later when I got a call from the client wanting to know why his policy canceled!

It took several phone calls to the insurance company and showing proof of payment (along with copies of the receipts from the day before and after), before I was able to get the policy reinstated. Obviously, the client was very unhappy with what happened; but, because I took responsibility for my action and did what needed to be done to fix it, a bad situation didn’t get worse!

I know for a fact that if I had lied or tried to blame one of the other account representatives, it would have made the situation much worse. Not only that, it would have discredited my professionalism and certainly would have soured the working relationship with this client going forward. He might even have taken his policies elsewhere. Thankfully, he didn’t, and it all worked out.

One more thing:

6. Be real. Be your authentic self. Who you are is as important – no, more important – than what you do. Being “fake” or trying to be someone you aren’t does not serve you nor your clients well. Besides, being fake can be sniffed out a mile away. If you have ever dealt with certain sales people you know what I mean!

Now it’s your turn. What are your best tips for building trust in a virtual (or real world) relationship? DO share in the comments.

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