Staying on Track
STAYING ON TRACK in business
Julie McGregor and Love of Books
“Some people have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.”
Mary Frances Berry
Early 2014 was not a good time for myself and my family. My wife Julie McGregor had lost her dear mother in January and her father was in hospital at the same time. Myself John McGregor also suffered from a dreadful illness. The family dynamics in times of stress are on such a delicate path like an Ocean Reeve flowing aimlessly in the Ocean.
We found disturbing evidence of mis-conduct within the business that lead us to terminate an employee whom we trusted. Why would anyone would hurt a family in crisis and on their death bed, ruthless, showing no empathy or remorse and continuing a saga of destruction for the following 2 years? What type of person is this? One that we foolishly trusted, believed and honored for nearly 2 years that took away our livli-hood.
The stress of so much had overwhelmed myself, my wife Julie McGregor, our business and family. We had not invested the time needed in our Love of Books business for continual growth, success or evaluation during this delicate and emotional time of despair. My emotions were running high and I felt myself crying, to a grown man it is no longer a mere tear drop in an Ocean but an Ocean of tears amongst the Reeves. My wife Julie McGregor took some time out among-st the Dark Reeves for myself and my family, and that was a big mistake.
First and foremost rule in business is put your emotions aside by Julie McGregor original founder www.loveofbooks.com.au
Beware of the devil in disguise. Many of these in the big Ocean.
What is Trust and how does trust work in business? Trust can turn out a Mangled Reeve!
Trust plays a vital role in any business, self-publishing or other and in life in general.
When engaging staff in your self-publishing business or any business for that matter you need to set your emotions aside completely or you may well get burnt. Once you get burnt then the ride back up the ladder will require a lot of hard work and determination. You will need to invest loads of time and effort. You will lose not only your credit-ability. Your spirits will fall low and much more for sure.
To find a true individual who is a good worker, loyal and highly ethical is not an easy task.
This man manipulated us into giving him a job.
For the love and gift we gave, our return was mere corruption in the self publishing industry, joined by a print manager in a commercial setup we trusted at an in-house printing factory.
In short terms here: There were actually 3 big bullying men against a grieving widow.
What type of people are these people? MONEY HUNGRY BULLIES!
Getting burnt – wow…. Corruption in the self publishing industry, in any industry is all about money and people don’t matter. Money talks… Oh Yeah! In-House, publishing industries, out-side anywhere. Corruption exists.
But the harassment and determination to push Love of Books out of business and continually rob myself and my wife Julie McGregor of not only our good standing family business prior of 8 years but my needed rest for my final days shows that there are dogs, wolves in sheep’s clothing that you need to be totally aware of. Characteristics of a Bully. Bullying: Who Let The Dogs Out?
GET A GRIP ON YOUR BUSINESS
Hint 1: Complete a full and detailed employment contract. Cross the ‘t’s’ and dot the ‘is’. Make your presence and instructions very clear. Leave nothing to chance.
Hint 2: Don’t even go to your emotional side when selecting or dealing with staff. Especially if someone says “trust me” Why? Because money talks and comes first to some, especially in business. Ask for references. AND CHECK THEM OUT THOROUGHLY. We were never provided any. It’s too late to discover the skeletons of the past with your wolf after the event. Fruitless and heart breaking, and will make you feel like a complete fool for not doing this very first step.
Your years of hard work developing your business plans, marketing efforts, forms and databases etc. are your gold, your daily bread, your livli-hood, so to speak.
You may put your faith in God if you are a believer.
Why do we have instincts?
As humans we have instincts. Address your instincts. If you feel something is wrong then it most likely is wrong. Learning to trust our instinct is one thing in itself. Our emotions again do get in the way of our instincts. Emotions rule, similar to how the Ocean rules.
I would easily recommend if you suffer a major reeve upheaval, any emotional stress or turmoil while in business that it is a far better idea to close the doors to any new clients until you are feeling better and able to cope.
You may still be able to work with your loyal and faithful standing clients perhaps. Mine were super. They may support you endlessly and be patient and caring, like mine did. They may stand by you regardless and have faith in you. They are the true clients with good hearts and there are not many of those fish in the Ocean that will stick by you.
If you take on new clients when things don’t seem right and you didn’t close your doors then things can get very messy. Your cash-flow may take a dive as you attempt to process refunds galore. And if you are extremely unlucky you may receive harassment from the ones you may have fired or dismissed.
The fight back up will be long and hard. People may abuse you if you owe money. Especially the ones who don’t know you. It is their right to get back their own hard earned investment. It is not their fault but your very own. You are the only one to blame here.
Put on your business head and your hard hat at all times. It is against the odds to form a caring and trusting relationship in business successfully. Your staff have to like you to get paid. Most of the time this is all it really is and nothing else. Have faith!
Efforts plus determination and motivation equals magic
We may well know that support is an essential ingredient for success, there are two other ingredients that are equally if not far more important– belief and determination.
Self-publishing can be a truly rewarding and magical experience. But like anything in life, you need to put the effort in right from the very start. If you start a business for yourself watch out for the dogs. Corruption happens. In-House or Out-house.
The famous racing car driver, Mario Andretti summed this up well when he said;
‘Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence, that will enable you to attain the success you seek.’
I have found that whilst motivation ignites the flame of change within us, it is only the inspiration that comes from totally believing in what we are doing and putting our full dedication and commitment to excellence in whatever we do, that enables us to reap the rewards of success that our hearts desire.
There are many other people who share dreams similar to yours. Who do you admire the most out of the successful people you know? And who demonstrates success in the way you believe it to be.
What special qualities do they have that separate them from the ‘rest’?
Was it just ‘luck’ that got them to the success position you now see OR was it a combination of many little successes they experienced along the way – the results of their determination to find a way through the many obstacles they probably faced combined with their continual focus (commitment) and belief (dedication) in the attainability of their goal that laid the solid foundations for the success they now enjoy? Or through corruption within their industry.
We can point to a few individuals who got their ‘success’ (or should we say financial windfall) through luck – maybe an inheritance, winning lotto or in some other equally fortuitous way.
But if you wait a while and then look back at the people who gain sudden wealth, you will often see that the majority lose that wealth within a very short time frame, simply because their heart/minds are stuck in the habits of poverty (spend first & save last, believing there is not enough, spending to impress others) rather than the habits of abundance and as such hold no understanding of how to manage a new found wealth.
An important factor here to staying on track may be to learn from the successful.
You could call people around you that you would like to emulate. Call them and ask if they would like to share their secrets of success or offer to work for them for free so that you can find out all you can about how they created and now manage their success.
Make a point of learning about wealth and how to develop an investing rather than spending mentality. Keep a notebook and label the information in sections. Seek advice from qualified and respected advisers, find someone who has experience at being successful and use them as a mentor. Your self-published book can be a success.
It is better to go outside of the family circle for Mentoring help and/or advice.
Whilst I know my family would like to help, (and I am sure yours would be the same) I know that we often create frustration because they either don’t know how or don’t have the knowledge or expertise to provide the answers or help we require.
If you look behind every successful person, whether in sport, self-publishing business or any other field you may find that they either have or have had some very powerful Mentors and coaches to help them along the way. It is for this reason that we both use and recommend that you too find an appropriately honest and successful Mentor to help you on your journey.
It has been an incredible blessing along the way for me – both in helping me stay focused on what really matters in creating my own small self-publishing business and as a resource for discussing many ideas and concepts.
The money I invested in this type of support is truly nothing compared to the value I receive. Self-publishing costs are an outlay to begin with. But you can gain a good return on your investment along with profit which will make it all worthwhile in the end. Just stay on track.
So what should you look for in a mentor or coach?
Firstly, make sure that the person you choose is successful in what they do and that they have a sound understanding of the industry you will work in and/or the business type that you intend to create.
Secondly, make an agreement with them that only total honesty in their appraisals of and advice about what they see is going on is allowed. In making this agreement, it is equally important that you are prepared to listen to what they tell you – especially when you don’t like hearing what they have to say. After all, you will never get good support or advice about how to improve if you’re only willing to hear what you would like to hear rather than what you have to hear in order to help you grow.
Thirdly, make sure you have a deep level of trust and respect in the Mentor you choose and that you feel comfortable with their style. Working with a Mentor or Coach works at its best when there is total ease in your communications and you both have a mutual commitment to your growth.
The next point to consider in the ongoing development of your life/business is the vitally important point of balance.
Take time out to exercise, time out, healthy food, spirituality) required to sustain both yourself and the relationships around you. If you let this area of maintaining balance go – I can assure you from personal experience that the business you are working so hard on, your family and/or your health will suffer.
Lastly, make sure that you prioritize time for working ON your business as well as working IN your business. This time should be treated with the same level of commitment and reverence that you give to your most important client.
I have found both in my own business and in the businesses of clients that unless regular time is given to working ON the business – planning, reviewing, researching, analyzing and adapting to changing circumstances, we all get bogged down in the work and are left wondering why our businesses are failing.
In short, we believe that you owe it to yourself, those that support and love you, those that may come to rely on you for their livelihoods and the many clients you will come to serve to ensure that you do everything in your power to be the best you can be.
Have both the confidence and trust that your journey will be a spectacular success – if you allow it be so.
A planner is a good habit to get into. You can write down areas that need assistance and allocate times during the week to tend to them. If you adapt your work flow properly you can make good use of your time.
I set up a simple workflow sheet from excel – The spreadsheet is set up with columns. At the start of every week I write in the items that need to be attended and an amount of time for each item. Your main items should be analysing, reviewing, researching and planning. The success of your business will depend on many factors. Businesses use these steps to succeed. I have spoken to several successful people who confirm this. I also know that people need to be listened to.
The customer service should be spot on. In most instances your customer service approach just like the chair side manner of a dentist will win your sale rather than your price.
I go to a dentist that adapts a caring and positive approach that is sensitive to my feelings and takes the time with me to ensure my up-most comfort, rather than the one that offers the cheaper rates and the straight and mutual treatment.
So, the message here is take the time to care for your clients. If someone gets good service from a business they are also more likely to recommend you to their friends.
You should always be respectful in every way. My father always said if you have got no respect you have got nothing.
Hold your head up high
Do the research
Through endless hours on the internet and investing time in reference books not only with self-publishing and book marketing but other areas of my life also, I am able to meet make a difference in my life and hopefully yours. You don’t have to believe everything you read as some information may not fit right or be correct. Collecting information and trying different ideas all helps.
Definition of Self-publishing success
My success in the self-publishing business came from my determination to succeed. Of course there was a lot of hard work in the beginning. There is a lot to learn with Self-publishing to become successful in this business.
Do the research.
Keep a business head in place in business.
Follow the steps correctly with any instructions.
Watch the budget.
Write down notes. Keep notebooks, one for self-publishing, one for book marketing, one for design, one for print production, one for every aspect of your business.
Who let the dogs out?
You can go a long way in business. Build up your clientele and form good relationships for a long period. For me it was 8 years. 8 years of trust built up. 8 years of people liking us. A heaven that I loved. Debt free. I came from a caring background and to be caring for the clients in my work gave me much pleasure.
I thought I was smart after all I had a beautiful family and a thriving business over such a long period of time. My heart was always in the right place. I worked very hard to earn what I got and the respect that came with it.
6 months prior to my mother’s death there was things happening in the business that were not right. Follow your gut instinct is one thing I neglected.
On January the 7th 2013 my mother passed after a long term illness of over 10 years. Before she passed I visited her as much as I possibly could. At the same time my father was in hospital and my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
My emotions were at a real low but I thought I could keep going. Wrong!
I lost my bearings, so to speak. I trusted where I should not have and took my eye off the ball. I lost much of my hard earned respect and work.
One day the bottom fell out. Right out of my nest. The nest that I had nurtured for so very long. The nest that my husband worked night shifts in the initial stages to support me with our goals and dreams.
When I say bottom, I mean bottom. It was like a reem of cards falling over fast and furious.
One might call it a very big kick in the ass. And then I would suffer immensely as to why?
It took me a whole year of therapy to finally let go of “the whys”?
But even to date, the hurt, pain and agony of the torturous pre-meditated angry harassment and violation of my rights still continues and haunts me.
Yes, it wasn’t just the losses of family and much of my business livli-hood I endured.
A woman in business is easy prey. And to be easy prey to not only one man but three. Three men against one woman with a dying husband. Don’t seem fair does it?
But that is how it was for me.
I eventually lost my dear husband in July 2015. He was a man who loved people, his family and loved me so very much. I guess I thought that all men were good and protective to women. Well the ones in my life I thought all were. Wrong!
I knew that I was never going to let any of them bring me down. For I am competition and I should remain my friends and family would say.
I fought so hard that my tears were rolling down my face days when my dying husband asked me if I was ready yet. Ready for a little outing I planned for him, whether it was the beach, dinner or the movies as we could not afford much. I was mostly always trying to work to pay for the horrendous damage and keep our livli-hood. Couldn’t plan much, although these times were very important for him. I was mostly late getting off my computer, unless I worked over 12 hours a day to catch up.
I tossed over ideas of giving up and giving in, as I knew the torture and harassment may stop only if I did. I also felt the bills would stop if I did give up too. But the debts kept me going as I was determined to pay them all, every single one.
I prayed to God often. And for the love of my family and friends I stayed strong.
I developed this eBook from a learning experience to assist others to beat the dogs in business.
Rules of the game:
Whether you are a woman or a man the same applies.
- EMOTION Keep as much emotion of business as you can. Sure, you might make friends, I have made many. But there are snakes out there and you will get bitten.
- Gut instinct. Why do we have it? Well its usually right, so use it..
- FRIENDS If you are a bit naïve and bit too kind listen to your friends who aren’t so naïve. If several of them warn you of a bad egg then they are probably right.
- TRUST; If someone begs you to trust them. It may be just a show to penetrate your gut instinct. Why would they beg? Have you indicated a sense of mis-trust to them and they need to get your assurance.
5. SHUT UP SHOP; If you have a lot of turmoil in your life it may be a wiser move to just shut up shop until the coast is clear again. Or should I say head.
6. COURT ORDER: A woman should seek out court orders very early at any sign of harassment. Don’t try and be nice and ask politely by phone or email to be left alone. You won’t get a reply, trust me. If someone is out to get you they will hold down to the last grind. Get the police involved.
7. PEOPLE AND MONEY; People will be angry if you owe them money. They don’t give a rats ass if you don’t have any. They will go at you like a bull at a gate. If your really unlucky some will torture the living daylights out of you any way possible. But you will get some that are very patient and easy to work with. Look after the patient ones first to show your appreciation.
8. Go solo for a while until you get back on your feet again. You did it in the beginning so you can for sure do it again. You are a lot wiser and have more experience now so it’s easier to get the ball rolling again.
9. GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE; Don’t be too proud to ask for government assistance. You need it so go for it. They will tell what to do and will work out your entitlements correctly.
10. HEALTH; With all this going on your health may suffer. Get help and do look after your health. Taking care of your health and eating right is giving your body the right fuel and some maintenance to give your mind the strength it needs.
11. JUSTIFICATION; Don ‘t try and justify yourself or your actions to anyone, ever. There is no poverty like ignorance. And believe me, some people are pretty stupid and very ignorant. Some people can be easily manipulated and brain washed. Some of the most intelligent people in the world have been in cults, allowing them to be brainwashed and manipulated to be, act and do some very horrible things. When they finally reach a point of saying no or getting their wake-up call, they come out of a very dark hole to a very rude awakening.
- REACH FOR THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN: With all the negativity and drama happening you may need a bit of a pick me up. Surround yourself with positive people. Read success stories and books of successful people to create a positive dome of protection around you. Do what you do best, keep learning and hold your head up high. You’re never too old to learn and grow in your business.
BANKRUPCY: Gives you a chance to start over again. It seems like your getting out of your commitments. But in all honesty if you cannot pay, then that’s it. Don’t put off the inevitable. You need to eat and pay your rent. Your health may suffer if you burn yourself out trying to maintain what debt you have.
LOYALTY: Many people still pay their debts once on their feet. Choose carefully if you want to pay and who you want to pay first. But the law says you don’t have to pay at all. You need to make sure that you can look after yourself first.
13.There are many good books out there that can help you get things back into perspective.
When they say: What doesn’t kill me will make me strong. Its true to a degree.
2) THE ABILITY TO SET GOALS AND FOLLOW A PLAN TO ACHIEVE THEM
So many people don’t think about specific goals – they just think about wants or wishes. “I want to make more money.” “I wish I could lose weight.” These are all very common desires. Unfortunately, these thoughts alone will not lead to successful results.
By defining goals that are tightly tied to your values and your personal dreams, you make a powerful start on the path to happiness and success. But, knowing what you want is just the first of two critical steps in getting what you want. Having a plan that keeps you focused on your goals, instead of simply setting and forgetting them is the key.
Make sure you set highly personal goals. Then back them up with a proven and structured process.
Julie McGregor and Love of Books