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Posts Tagged 'Writing for Money'

Productivity Hacks for Authors

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

How to Boost Your Productivity Without Endless Sleepless Nights & Breaking Into a Sweat

Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil…It’s more about priorities, planning, and fiercely protecting your time.

~ Margarita Tartakovsky, blogger

Palomino horses cantering in field

If working smarter, not harder and doing less but earning more is your goal, and I’m guessing it is because you’ve been drawn to this checklist, you’re committed to finding ways that balance effort with ease.

We all want to be more productive but do we really know what this means? What does productivity look like? What does it feel like? How can productivity benefit your life—will it accelerate your wealth, happiness, and fulfillment? What might it steal—your sanity, relationships, health, and wealth?

These are questions many of us never ask—until it’s too late. Avoid barking up the wrong tree and chasing an ideal that may lead you further from the things that really matter, pause for a minute.

Before you dive into these checklists and charge into applying the productivity tips and tools I share, ask yourself what does productivity mean to you?

“Productivity is the outcome of your efforts”, says Laurie Wills, a former bank executive. “It’s how much you get out, versus how much you put in. The question you need to ask,” he says, “Is when you look at what you’re getting out is it what’s important to you?”

As you’ll discover, many of these simple hacks will help maintain your focus, boost your energy, top up your reserves and fill your productivity tank simply and easily.

21 productivity hacks:

  • Begin with why: Get clear about what’s most important to you, the outcomes you seek, and your motivating reasons ‘why.’
  • Purposeful productivity: Share your gifts with the world. Work with purpose. Work by priority. Work for prosperous productivity.
  • See your goal achieved: You go where your vision Think big, feel big, and see your goal achieved.
  • Measure your success: Determine your most critical measurements of success or Key Performance Indicators
  • Tackle the toughest items first: The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complicated. Tick of the toughest items before tackling things you can do more easily.
  • Affirm for success: Use empowering affirmations to boost flagging motivation, overcome obstacles and stay focused, enthusiastic and confident about your goals.
  • Understand the rules: If you want to fast-track your productivity in any endeavor start and stay smart—understand the tried-and-proven rules of your chosen field.
  • Model your heroes: Who do you admire? Who has achieved the prosperous productivity you yearn for? Become a diagnostician and analyze their success strategy.
  • Successful daily habits: Identify daily rituals that boost your productivity and makes these a daily habit. Repetition and consistency are the important things.
  • Miracle mornings: When you win the morning, you win the day. Take time to ‘be’ (center and prepare yourself) before rushing into ‘doing’
  • Journal your way to productivity: Create a productivity journal with empowering quotes and other sources of inspiration, or embark on cathartic journaling to boost confidence and self-belief.
  • Your not-to-do list: What can you simplify or subtract from your life to free up some space for enhanced productivity?
  • Meditate: Stressed, fatigued or overwhelmed minds will never be productive. 80% of successful people have some form of guided mindfulness practice.
  • Embrace Technology: Format and publish your books with Scrivener and Vellum. Use dictation to write faster, Ghostreader to improve flow, Grammarly to check errors and Evernote to store and retrieve ideas quickly.
  • Batch to hatch time: Dedicate blocks of time to similar tasks is a powerful and simple way to decrease distraction and increase efficiency and productivity.
  • Get Organized. Chaos is the enemy. Declutter and get organized. Spend time each day, each week, developing systems to streamline your efficiency.
  • Boost your energy: Sleeping well, eating well, walking or some other form of exercise, and reducing alcohol are some of many effective ways to create and sustain highly productive energy.
  • Aromatherapy for mental alertness: The simple truth is, even if you are unaware of the power of smell, aroma affects your mood. To feel sharper and more alert, rosemary, peppermint and cardamom are just are few essential oils to try.
  • Focus: Juggling too many balls? Prioritize them, set a timer, and allocate segmented time for all the competing activities you feel must get done.
  • Take the procrastination challenge: It might seem counterproductive, but sometimes the best way to be productive is radical acceptance—flow with your current mindset.
  • 15-Minute Sprints: Small increments of progress help to maintain momentum over the longer-term— making it more likely you’ll finish larger tasks. Set the timer and just ‘do it’—you’ll be amazed at what you achieve.

Suggested Reading:

The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living with Your Writing/Book Two: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More

getBook.at/ProductivityHacksDoLessMakeMore

The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living with Your Writing/ Book One: Developing A Millionaire Mindset

getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

 

Did you enjoy this post?

Subscribe to this blog, and sign up for Cassandra’s newsletter for inspirational tips and strategies to live your best life. Click here to claim a FREE copy of Find Your Passion and Purpose>> http://eepurl.com/bEArfT

 

Click here for instant access to your FREE Productivity Hacks Checklist

Vellum Velocity—productivity hacks for writers

Friday, August 18th, 2017

 

Vellum is the single best investment any author can make. It is a no-brainer. It makes the process of formatting so much fun.

~ Jamie Arpin-Ricci, author of The Last Verdict.

Alongside Scrivener, your next best friend will be Vellum. Their tagline is ‘Easily Create Beautiful ebooks,’ and that’s exactly what the Vellum formatting software does.

As author and blogger Joanna Penn notes, “It is the best writing tool and I couldn’t imagine writing without it now. I’ve also been using Scrivener to format my ebooks for the last five years and that has been fine. Until recently. In the last few weeks, a reader reported that a couple of my books had a formatting issue with the Kindle Look Inside on Amazon.com.

“I checked and found that the spacing and alignment was screwed up. But in my Scrivener file and my KDP Preview, and even in the ebook itself, the formatting was fine. It was just a problem in the Look Inside Previewer. Perhaps there was an update inside Amazon that interacted with the particular way my formatting worked. Who knows? But whatever it was, I needed to fix it. Because it was costing me sales.”

Until Joanna shared her experience I had blindly assumed all was in hand. Then, with horror, I realized the same thing was happening to me. At first, I was daunted by having to learn a whole new process. But I quickly found that the experience was worth it.

 

Listed below are just a few of the many benefits of Vellum:

• Create beautiful print and ebooks—easily. Simply important a Word Docx file and off you go

• Format like a pro—select from a wide range of book styles, include classic touches like custom drop caps, and ornamental flourishes

• Preview your design and see how it will look on various eBook readers

• Template pages, including Copyright, About the Author, Acknowledgments, and More Books by the Author, etc.

• Resolves issues with formatting Scrivener files

• Quickly assemble box sets of a series. Check out the Vellum boxset help page here >> https://help.vellum.pub/box-sets/

• Add store links to Facebook and Twitter

• Quickly generate eBooks for Kindle, iBooks, Kobo and more

• Absolute control‚ achieve instant results on your own schedule

• Improve your readers’ experience—improving sales

 

Prior to using Vellum I relied on an external person to format my books. Valuable productive time was wasted in many areas, including:

• Explaining what I wanted my books to look like and  how I wanted them formatted

• Excessive wait times due to workload and time-differences

• Communicating errors and waiting for fixes

• Inefficiencies and duplicated efforts having to important changes to my print version back into my ebook file and vice-versa

• Added expense of paying for formatting I could do myself. For example, to format a print book the cost was USD $115 and an eBook USD $115. That’s a whole lot of money, and a whole lot of books you have to see to recoup the expense. A special rate of USD $185 was still pricey when contrasted with the initial USD $249.99 to purchase Vellum Press which enables me to create unlimited eBooks and paperbacks.

 

Downsides?

While Vellum does have a few limitations pale in comparison to the speed and ease with which you can format your books and bring them to market.

At the time of writing some of the downsides include:

• Vellum is only available for Mac users.

• An initial investment in time to learn how to use Vellum to format as you wish. However, the support team is fantastic. Plus, blogs and Youtube videos support achieving mastery quickly. Don’t be deterred—you need to spend time to make time—and prosper productively.

• Limited ability to add color to headings

 

My New Writing and Formatting Process

Now, instead of using Scrivener to do two jobs, I write in Scrivener, export to a Word file to send to my editor. When the edits are back I load these into Scrivener, then export a Word Docx file and open this in Vellum.

I use the formatting templates, check everything looks gorgeous, including adding any ornamental flourishes to make the book look more professional.

After checking the formatting on the various devices with Vellum, I export to the various formats, including EPUB, Kindle, Mobi and PDF for print and upload to Amazon and other stores. Simple!

 

Mining for Gold

Don’t be deterred by the initial investment in time and mental energy learning Vellum will require. Set aside some time to give these life-changing software a go and watch your productivity soar.

Purchase a one off-license, or if you plan on writing and publishing a number of books consider purchasing Vellum Press

For more information navigate to here>>https://vellum.pub/

 

 

 

 

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book Two: Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More) by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/ProductivityHacksDoLessMakeMore

Do less and earn more today!

Although this book was written for writers, the principles and strategies can be embraced by business entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, and thousands of others around the world who want to enhance their productivity, do less and make more.

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

Subscribe to this blog, and sign up for Cassandra’s newsletter for inspirational tips and strategies to live your best life. Click here to claim a FREE copy of Find Your Passion and Purpose>> http://eepurl.com/bEArfT

Click here for instant access to your FREE Productivity Hacks Checklist

How To Turn Rejection into Relentless Creativity

Friday, July 14th, 2017

 

Do you ever feel not good enough? I do. And so do many other successful, talented and capable people. My friend and fellow creative, Courtney Kennedy, the author of Creating Space to Thrive: Get Unstuck, Reboot Your Creativity and Change Your Life recently sent out a newsletter which I loved.

Courtney Kenney is a book launch consultant as well as the author of four books on creativity and writing.

Her undergrad studies in Psychology focusing on anxiety led to a fascination with how our minds work as well as what motivates us. Courtney spent sixteen years as a project manager working for high-tech companies in the U.S. and Australia.

After a layoff in 2015, she spent time exploring her creative side in addition to rediscovering her love of writing. Courtney writes about creativity, writing, and self-publishing. Finally, she recently, she started a consulting business where she helps authors launch bestselling books.

I hope you find her newsletter and podcast as inspiring and encouraging to read and listen to as I did. Here is it below:

 

Do you ever feel not good enough? I do. And so do many other successful, talented and capable people. t out the following newsletter. I hope you find it as inspiring and encouraging to read as I did. Here is it below

Do you know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’ve been laid off, dumped, or rejected? It’s fear and anxiety.

 

When we are rejected, we are threatened, and our brains go into defensive mode. Fear kicks in; we become sick with stress. But, there is a way to deal with the hurt.

 

Recently I appeared on the podcast, FEAR NOT: Living Beyond Your Fears with Billy Atwell, where I discussed my fear of not being good enough.

 

I explained how I got laid off a few years ago and channeled all my feelings of failure into writing.

 

Writing changed my life. By making space for creativity, the anxiety and stress were turned down.

 

Whatever fears you may be dealing with, pursuing creativity can help…

 

Instead of seeking empty pleasures, let’s pursue relentless creativity to chase away the fear. Writing, or however you choose to express your creativity, can be life-changing.

 

If you get a chance, check out the interview. It’s a quick one—just 12 minutes. Click here to listen: livingbeyondyourfears.com/courtney-kenney-feeling-failure-not-good-enough/

 

Takeaways include…

•    How making time everyday to be creative will help you with fear.

•    Being creative will increase your self-esteem.

•    The act of creativity will help you be more emotionally resilient.

 

Let me know what you think about the episode. What is your biggest fear? What did you do to overcome it?

 

Making Money With Your Writing

You may remember Cassandra Gaisford whom I featured as a case study in Creating Space to Thrive. She has a new book called The Prosperous Author: Developing a Millionaire Mindset.

 

For years, the fallacy of the starving artist has pervaded our culture, seeping into the minds of creative people and stifling their dreams.

 

But the evidence-based truth is that the world’s most successful authors and artists do not starve. In fact, they thrive by leveraging off the power of their millionaire mindset and capitalizing on their creative strengths.

 

Cassandra is a holistic psychologist, award-winning artist, and bestselling author. Her book is a must-read for anyone who wants to make a living from their writing, earn extra income on the side, or improve their mindset.

 

For one more day, Cassandra is offering a 5-Part Video Mini-Course and free copies of her Amazon bestsellers: Find Your Passion and Purpose, Box Set Mid-Life Career Rescue Series, and The Art of Success. Simply order the book: getbook.at/TheProsperousAuthor and send your receipt to cassandra@cassandragaisford.com to claim your bonuses.

Did you enjoy this post?

Subscribe to this blog, and sign up for Cassandra’s newsletter for inspirational tips and strategies to live your best life. Click here to claim a FREE copy of Find Your Passion and Purpose>> http://eepurl.com/bEArfT

How to finance your writing career

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

FINANCE YOUR WRITING CAREER WITH THESE SIMPLE AND SAVVY STRATEGIES

You may not have the cash at the moment, and the economy may not be ideal, but that doesn’t mean your mind can’t be working on your ideas and creating the way to a better future. Look for opportunities in every climate. That’s leverage

~ Cassandra Gaisford

Many people dream of writing a book or making a living from their writing but say that lack of spare cash is holding them back. They prevent themselves from choosing what they want to do because they fear there won’t be the necessary money or support to allow it.

But money doesn’t have to be an obstacle to seeking more fulfilling work. Financing a career change, despite all the obstacles in your way, involves a conscious commitment to move forward, and a willingness to think laterally and pragmatically about a range of financial options.

There are many different ways to finance a career change including: consolidating debt, future-gazing and demand creation, career combo-ing, seeking investors, using equity, reducing outgoings, generating extra cash flow, and applying for funding.

The discipline needed to reprioritize your finances will be easier, and the sacrifices more bearable, if you allow your desire to drive you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the possible financing options:

 

Rewrite your goals. List all the benefits making a change will bring. These may include better health, more money in the longer term or improved relationships with loved ones.

 

Assess your current situation. Get an accurate picture of all your outgoings and expenses. Consolidate debt. Seek financial advice if necessary.

 

Get a reality check on your future plans. Is there a current or future demand for your writing? Could you create one? What is the true cost of making a change? Isolate costs against benefits: cash in against cash out. How much money do you really need to spend and create?

 

Earn more. Think laterally to create cash flow. A job doesn’t have to be a full-time thing. Can you finance your career by doing a career-combo, working in a variety of different ways or for several employers? As you’ve read, many people work at several jobs to earn extra cash.

 

Generate extra cash flow by increasing the money you earn. Some possible strategies include: negotiating a pay rise in your current position; taking on a new higher-paying role; or turning a hobby into cash flow.

New Zealand based, USA Today bestselling historical romance author Bronwen Evans, for example, took on a high-paying, high-pressure, one-year communications contract to allow her to take a year off so she could pursue her dream of becoming a full-time novelist.

 

Seek investors. Use other people’s money to create the momentum you need. Remember there’s good borrowing—borrowing to increase wealth, and bad borrowing—borrowing so you can consume more. Most people spend all their spare income on non-asset-producing consumption.

Banks, family members and friends are all possible sources of investment income. Sam Morgan, who established the on-line trading company TradeMe, convinced his dad to back him, and earned millions of dollars in return. You may not pay back millions, but if your idea is sound, your investors can sleep at night knowing they will be repaid.

 

Utilize equity. Burt Munro, whose story was made famous in the movie The World’s Fastest Indian, mortgaged his home. Could you use the equity in your own home to finance your career? If you don’t want to re-mortgage you could try asking for a mortgage holiday. Many banks allow 2–3 months of no mortgage payments.

As fashion designer Calvin Klein once said,  “I took the risk of putting my money on the line for the company.” Are you prepared to do the same thing?

 

Share the load. Who else has a stake in your success? Perhaps they may be able to inject more cash into your joint cash flow or pitch in and share the family load. New Zealand romance author Leanna Morgan asked her husband to take on the day-to-day family commitments so she could focus on her writing. Today she’s a USA Today bestselling author who sells up to 300 books a day and has legions of fans in America. She’s also the CEO of her own publishing company. In just two years, Morgan has gone from an unknown writer to one who earns over $200,000 a year, allowing the mother-of-two to give up her job as a Libraries and Arts Manager to concentrate on her writing. She recently shared with me that her goal is to make a million dollars, and more, from her writing.

“If anyone had told me two years ago that I’d be able to resign from a job I loved to become a full-time writer and publisher, I would have smiled and thought they were slightly crazy. But believe it or not, that’s what happened,” she told journalist Anna Kenna.

“Her success has not been without sacrifice, including little sleep and less time with husband Tim and her two children, aged 12 and 17,” Kenna writes in her article.

“I’d be up at 5.30am, getting in a few hours of writing before work, and writing in the evening when everybody else was asleep.”

So she could devote herself to writing, Leanna’s husband Tim shared more of their responsibilities.

“Tim took over running the house and organising our children,” Morgan says. “He did it to support me, but also because he could see the potential benefits of my success for the whole family.”

Sharing the load, hard word and commitment have yielded success beyond her and her family’s dreams.

“It’s taken away the financial stress, allowed us to take a nice holiday and to look forward to a future we never considered possible,” she says.

Find out more about Leanna Morgan here www.leeannamorgan.com and read the rest of this article, including why it’s a brilliant time to be an independent author, here >>

 

Reduce outgoings. Review your current commitments and expenditure. Proactively look around to make sure you are getting the best deal possible on your insurance, mobile phone plans, mortgages and other regular financial commitments. Take note of your savings and squirrel the extra money away for a rainy day.

John shopped around for a better deal on his household insurance and saved himself over $600 annually in premiums. He also negotiated an installment plan with creditors so that he could increase his credit debt repayments, saving over $5,400 in interest charges annually.

 

Get funded. Many people and organizations offer sponsorship and various forms of funding to help people pursue their dreams. Without the help of a grant from Creative New Zealand, author Lloyd Jones may never have written Mr Pip—the same book for which he won the prestigious and lucrative Man Booker Prize. The book was later made into a film.

Check out crowdfunding as an option, as Heather Morris initially shared in the chapter Knock The Bugger Off. Her attempts to finance her film script lead to a multi-national publishing deal.

 

Multiply your income streams. When authorpreneur Kevin Kruse made the move to self-employment he decided to record his financial success, complete with the highs and lows by publicly sharing his income reports on his blog. There’s lot of inspiration for anyone about to embrace change here:

http://authorjourneyto100k.com/income-report-december-2015-and-full-year/

Like many business people, Kevin knew early on, that having a variety of income streams would help him manage cash-flow.

“I went into this whole thing knowing that to make the money I wanted to make I would need to diversify my income. I knew I’d need to spend time speaking, creating online courses, and marketing.”

It is a common and successful strategy used by many business people, especially those working creatively. Ruth Pretty, for example, is a chef, newspaper columnist, cookbook writer, wedding venue provider, caterer and cooking school tutor. The common theme? Her pursuits all center around her passion for food.

Amongst other things, photographer Carla Coulson is a portrait photographer, magazine photojournalist, tutor, and travel photographer. At the time of writing, she has retrained as a life coach and now offers creativity coaching and wellness workshops.

Italian designer Giorgio Armani has a flourishing clothing empire, a swag of luxury hotels, a music production company, and an interior design business. And these are just a few of his multi-billion-dollar revenue lines.

I am a self-empowerment author, coach, holistic psychologist, romance writer, brand manager, and novelist of art-related historical fiction. I also write marketing materials (blogs, newsletters, website content etc.) for small businesses, and train people to become certified life and career coaches.

As my writing income grows I’m making a conscious decision to spend less time in some of these areas and more in others.

You may wish to focus on one income stream, but if this doesn’t work for you, consider diversifying. This will help you ride any fluctuating financial currents.

 

Remind yourself that money is not a measure of your true worth. Clarify what’s important to you. As Richard Branson said, “I don’t work for money, that’s too shallow a goal.” Lucky for him his passion for having fun has netted him millions—as it has for James Patterson and other prosperous authors.

Whatever path you choose, be sure to work with love. Sonia Choquette, author of Your Heart’s Desire echoes this view: “When you work with love you draw others to you. Embrace this truth. The reason for this is that love is the highest vibration on earth. When you work with love people feel it, are helped by it, and return to it. That’s why love is the best marketing tool around. Because it is so attractive, it pulls right to you what you need.”

 

The Money or Your Life

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, once said, “Choose a job that allows the opportunity for some creativity and for spending time with your family. Even if it means less pay—it is better to choose work that is less demanding, that gives you greater freedom, more time to be with your family and friends, engage in cultural activities or just play. I think that is best.”

This really spoke to me and was one of the primary reasons I chose to scale back my successful international consultancy. Time is more valuable to me than money. I can always find ways to get more money, but it is impossible to find more than 24 hours in any one day.

Be careful what you chase. Is it more money, or a better quality of life? With planning, it just may be possible to do both says Timothy Ferriss in his bestselling book, The 4-Hour Work Week.

His central premise is to automate everything so you can live and work independently, free from a fixed location. If this is something that appeals to you I highly recommend picking up a copy of his book.

We’ll also dive deeper into simple but savvy productivity strategies in Book Two, of The Prosperity for Authors series, Productivity Hacks: Do Less & Make More.

In this book, you’ll learn how to work less and produce more, including powerhouse productivity tools you can harness to help you finish what you start, create new books and take them to market so you can sell them faster.

 

Mining for Gold

Brainstorm or list as many ways as possible that you could finance your career. Seek suggestions from others to widen the possibilities. Ask your way to success.

Check out this interesting article http://tommorkes.com/the-complete-guide-to-crowdfunding-your-book/.

Read a copy of my book Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself and find out how one man financed his career and reclaimed his life.

 

This is an edited extract from The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing (Book One: Developing a Millionaire Mindset by Cassandra Gaisford. ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY, SAVE and SEND YOUR ORDER CONFIRMATION AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

Click here for instant access to your FREE Productivity Hacks Checklist

NEW RELEASE. The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

For anyone who has dreamed of becoming an author.

For anyone who wants to make a living from books.

For anyone who wants to release the fear of failure, get motivated and achieve success. . .

This is the book to make your dreams a reality.

 

In my new book The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset I reveal dozens of insights based on survey research, my professional achievements and the success secrets of extraordinary artists, authors and creative entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, James Patterson, Paulo Coelho, Nora Roberts, Arianna Huffington, Oprah, Isabel Allende, and many more.

It’s one thing to write a book, it’s another thing entirely to make a living at it.

Developing a prosperous mindset is the foundation skill from which all else follows.

So many famous stories are about having belief in yourself and achieving your potential.

But in many of us, there is a hesitant skeptical part of ourselves that knows, “I probably should believe in myself more, but what if I am deluding myself? What if I’m not good enough?”

I know this feeling very well. For many years I struggled with a negative mindset. I started books and other writing projects and never finished them. I told myself I wasn’t good enough. Who did I think I was writing a book? What if I failed? What if my books never sold? And loads of other messages that kept me stuck in a soul-sucking day job I hated. But, using the techniques I share in The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset I’m not only making a living from my writing but I’m inspiring other people to follow their dreams too.

Perhaps you’ve bought into the myth that you can’t make money from your writing. For years, the fallacy of the starving artist has pervaded our culture, leaching into the minds of creative people and stifling their dreams.

But the evidence-based truth is that the world’s most successful authors and artists do not starve. In fact, they thrive by leveraging off the power of their millionaire mindset and capitalizing on their creative strengths.

The Prosperous Author: Developing A Millionaire Mindset is a blueprint for mastering five principles of success.

By fuelling your desire, mastering your subconscious mind, maintaining optimum health, empowering your relationships, making a commitment to turn pro and slaying obstacles, you’ll elevate your attitude to success itself and create the ultimate mindset.

 

Though it was written for writers, the principles and strategies can be embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, and thousands of others around the world who want to enhance their mindset

A must read for anyone who wants to make a living from their writing, or earn extra income on the side!

ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

BONUS GIVEAWAYS

The Prosperous Author 5-Part Video Mini-Course

FREE copies of my Amazon best-sellers:

  • Find Your Passion and Purpose
  • Box Set Mid-Life Career Rescue Series
  • The Art of Success: Coco Chanel


Develop A Millionaire Mindset Today!

 

ORDER THE EBOOK TODAY AND RECEIVE YOUR FREE BONUS GIFTS—Click the Amazon link here getBook.at/TheProsperousAuthor

Creating Space to Thrive: Get Unstuck, Reboot Your Creativity and Change Your Life

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

“Your Challenge – Dream big. Everything starts as someone’s daydream. Fuel your verve—pursue the vision that sparkles. Become audaciously obsessed. Dream big but plan small. Baby steps will lead to bigger success. Anchor your dreams within your heart and feel as though they are already achieved.” – Cassandra Gaisford

I discovered author Cassandra Gaisford when I read her Career Rescue books. She writes inspiring non-fiction about how to live a creative life, pursue your passion, and make meaningful change in your life. A number one bestselling Amazon author, she also writes romance and historical fiction and is a coach and speaker.

Cassandra is inspiring because she leads by example—she follows her passion for writing and art, and she helps others find their creativity through her entrepreneurial writing business which includes coaching and speaking.

She is a fellow 9-to-5 job escapee. Read on to learn about Cassandra. You’ll find that she’s an inspiring example of a person who found space in her life to create.

Finding the place

Q: Where do you work on your business?

Cassandra: I run my business from home in a beautiful office overlooking the picturesque Bay of Islands, in Northland, New Zealand. I feel very fortunate to live and work in such an inspiring place. I also know fortune favors the bold! I’ve worked hard and made courageous and audacious decisions to get here.

I love variety. Sometimes I wander down to The Shed – an old building on the edge of our ten-acre property. Recently I’ve renamed it “the engagement room” – it’s where I work on the things I love.

Q: Did you have to clean up/clear clutter first?

Cassandra: I’m a collector. Recently I heard my partner tell someone that I collect anything related to positivity. In many of my books, I share that my deepest obsession is my passion for passion. My desk is often strewn with articles about passionate people, interesting things I have found and inspirational ideas that I’d like to work on later. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed at times, so I tend to favor clearing away distractions before working.

To stay inspired, and ignite motivation I love to place an inspiring book on my desk or an inspiring quote on my wall.

Currently, I have an open page from The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life which is inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. I choose a new page daily to guide me and help set the tone for the day.

While responding to your questions, I’ve closed the book and reopened it intuitively at the section, “Empower Your Spirit.” I opened the page on the chapter Worship The God Within. This chapter reminds me how important spirituality and faith is to my creative practice—as it was to Leonardo, and is to so many other creative people, too.

One of my daily practices is to ensure I clear my desk at the end of the day, and write a few notes regarding the focus for the next day, celebrate my successes by writing them in my journal and acknowledging the things I’m grateful for.

This creates joy, and space in my mind, and enables me to approach the new day feeling inspired and focused—assuming I’ve also cleared my mind by meditating, completing my morning pages and walking in the morning too.

Q: How do you get inspired? Do you go anywhere to “fill your creative well?”

Cassandra: Inspiration is everywhere.  Movies, music, magazines, bookshops, on-line, in the garden. I can’t think of anywhere or anything that can’t be a source of inspiration. Even discordant things and situations can ignite a spark.  One of my wise writing friends once encouraged me to channel upsetting personal situations into my books—some of the scenes in my upcoming historical novel are my favorite because the emotion I poured into them is so intense. Nothing is wasted.

Recently I began thinking deeply about the notion of duty as a writer, as a woman, as a person in this world at this time. And I decided how thankful I am to people who have shared their creative journey—the heartaches and the joys. I am tremendously inspired by people who have to battle to be true to themselves. And I decided I wanted to ‘pay it forward’ by helping myself and others who dream of creative success.

And I wanted to do this by writing more self-empowerment books. Books in which I’ll share my journey to prosperity and the significant challenges I’ve had to overcome to be true to my art.

I’ve done this in part in my The Art of Success series of books. The Prosperous Author: How to Make a Living With Your Writing takes a more intimate look into my creative process and contains the success secrets that have helped me leave a job I hated to become a full-time author and creative entrepreneur, follow my passion and make a great living with my writing.

I also reveal dozens of insights based on survey research, my professional achievements and the success secrets of extraordinary artists, authors and creative entrepreneurs like James Patterson, Paulo Coelho, Nora Roberts, Arianna Huffington, Oprah, Isabel Allende, and other prosperous creatives.

It’s only recently I valued my writing as my gift, and it’s something I’ve struggled for over fifty years to prioritize.

Helping others also fills my creative well—I’ve heard this referred to as ‘the helpers high.’ It’s a lovely addiction to have.

I’m a woman of pristine intuition, and I work to keep it that way. Regular spiritual practice, looking after my well-being, spending time in nature, meditating, and a fascination and deep respect for the nuances of other people lives’—including their hobbies interests and obsessions and yearly overseas trips are some of the many ways I get and stay inspired.

Doing ‘a combo’ is fabulous, as I did recently when my partner and I went to Fiji for two weeks, combining many wellness strategies. We completely disconnected from social media, gave up alcohol, and absorbed ourselves in local life and nurtured our relationship.

Living a passionate life committed to creativity naturally feeds my inspiration.

My creative well was replenished when I moved away from my home of close to fifty years, Wellington to The Bay of Islands. The climate, people, and pace of life here are a wonder tonic. I truly believe everyone has their soul space—the place that most feels like their spiritual home. Never give up searching for it.

I also love beautiful magazines—Urbis, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Mindfood and anything committed to beauty and stories of people living inspiring lives feeds my creativity.

Other inspirational people are like vitamins for my soul. Sometimes I’ll attend workshops like the one I did in Puglia, Italy with photographer Carla Coulson. It was fabulous. You can see some of my photos here >> I’ll also chat on social media or engage their services. I guess you could say that these people are my mentors in some way.

In 2016 I invested a significant amount of time and money forging my new career direction as a creative entrepreneur. This included downscaling my coaching business and corporate work, signing up for courses and attending conferences to learn from experts in their field.

A real highlight in 2016 was meeting Michael Hauge, a top Hollywood story expert, author, and lecturer who consults with writers, filmmakers, marketers, attorneys and public speakers throughout the world. My goal was to have him sign one of my books, but I ended up building a very special friendship.

I’m also going to consult Michael again—especially for my big (secret) project which has already been suggested by a top literary agent could become a movie. I know paying for these services will fast-track my success and feed my goal to be the best writer I can. I consulted with him when writing one of my romance novels The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride, and the feedback was invaluable.

Plus, I’ve signed up for a class with my guru Tim Ferris to boost my success and productivity further, How Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers Master Productivity.

One of the investments I’ve also made is taking a fiction writing class with James Patterson. As of January 2016, James has sold over 350 million books worldwide and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. I’d love to achieve that kind of success!

Creating the time

Q: How did you find the time for working on your business?

Cassandra: When I started my coaching business, I was a single mother with a mortgage, but I didn’t let that stop me from chasing my dream. Being a single mom also fueled the desire, and the need, because I could never get enough leave to keep up with all my daughter’s school holidays!

I worked nights and weekends at first. Then when the money started to flow, I negotiated a four-day workweek. Not long after, as I began to feel more confident in my abilities to be self-employed AND pay my bills, I quit. It was a terrific day!

I, and other creatives, share more about our journey to self-employment and include a chapter about how to finance your career on a shoe-string in my book, Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate, and Start Living a Life You Love, Before It’s Too Late.

Q: A theme of my book is giving up something else to live a creative life and go after what you want. Did you give up anything else to spend more time on the life you want to live?

Cassandra: I’m not a heavy drinker, but I was drinking more than I wanted. I decided to take a break from alcohol in the lead up to Christmas 2016. I felt so great that in 2017 I decided to experiment with my commitment to be alcohol-free for the whole year. My partner decided to also. Many people want to quit but struggle, as we did. I will share what I learned and what really works, in my new book, Your Beautiful Mind: Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life.

Alcohol addiction remains a hidden and stigmatic problem marked by denial and fear. It’s also an incredible time-waster and damaging to your long-term creativity.

Other things that I quit to allow more creativity in my life includes:

-Selling my television

-Downsizing my coaching business

-Less socializing. ‘No’ is a beautiful word, plus it helps that I’m no longer drinking and so much socializing is built around alcohol.

-Procrastinating and making excuses

-Checking emails and social media incessantly; I only check in at 12 pm and 4 pm with emails, and then for only 15-30 minutes, scanning for priorities.

-Hiding my spirituality and fearing that people might think I was spooky when I talked about my love and use of tarot, oracles, Reiki, energy work, and mediums. A turning point was when a client accused me of witchcraft when I suggested she try lavender essential oil to alleviate some of her stress.

These techniques and others were good enough for Coco Chanel and good enough for me! And I’ve been rewarded—so many people have sought me out because of the spiritual and creative side I bring, combined with strong business skills.

I also gave up doing projects that are easy and neglecting passion projects which sometimes are beyond my current level of expertise, but which would challenge me and enable me to grow, and which would provide greater fulfillment.

I quit short working days and two or three-day weekends. I want to work longer— but I still am mindful of balance, which is why I am careful to take time out during the day to reconnect with those around me, even if I chose to make up the hours on the other end. I gave up saying, “I have to.” I replaced this with “I choose to” – for this is a greater truth.

I gave up the comfort rut of certainty. I bought myself three months to finish my historical art-related novel. This is the novel I pitched to a top literary agent and also to Penguin Publishing over seven years ago. It’s the book I told myself I could never write. Both expressed an eagerness to see the finished book.

There is no certainty of a contract. There is no certainty that my book will sell, or in any way repay my investment. There is only the certainty that I shall not die with regret, wondering what if.

I have given up waiting for the timing to be right, I have given up waiting for excess money. I’ve given up living without discomfort and taking on work that pays well but that I don’t enjoy in the hope that I will make money I can store away for that ‘rainy day’ when the conditions are ‘perfect to write my book.

The greatest comfort of all is being true to yourself, to the passionate stirrings of your soul. For that reason, I decided to invest in myself this year. I have given myself the luxury of time. I decided to bankroll three months out of the world. You could say I bankrolled the space to complete what many people have told me will be my greatest work. We’ll see.

Q: How much time do you spend on your business? What habits did you need to put in place?

Cassandra: I love what I do, so like the author James Patterson, working seven days doesn’t feel like a slog to me. It’s a joy, a privilege; it’s playing. I also like his comment, “Do NOT sit there like ‘Oh I don’t feel like it today. I don’t feel like it tomorrow’. Feel like it! Do it! Force yourself.”

But keeping balance and knowing as I do that without a commitment to health and well-being it’s easy to burn out and be inefficient; I’ll be keeping an eye on outcomes versus hours spent. And I’ll be investing in smart daily habits like meditation, yoga, eating well, etc.

New habits also included greater discipline to maintain focus and eliminate all distractions when I write. I’ve developed a new habit which I love—writing in thirty-minute cycles. Using the timer helps keep me honest.

Right now, one of my favorite tools for this is focusatwill.com. The developers say this will work magic because it’s “scientifically optimized music to help you focus.” I’m a big fan. I love the music and love what it’s doing for my productivity. It is incredible how much you can achieve in thirty-minute bursts when you are focused.

I gave up watching TV over five years ago. This has been life changing. It’s such a time-zapper, and most times depressing.

Health is a priority. I’m half way to my next life—I want to make sure I arrive in good shape. Alcohol is gone, coffee too, sugar—on the way out. Coming in: green and clean and raw. Meditation needs to be more regular for sure. I’ve been a meditator for over twenty years, but sometimes I forget to prioritize it.

I’m going to get up earlier at 5 am and “just do it!” This is going to be challenging, but I’m determined to make this a joyful ritual.

My writing rituals will include five, 9-hour days per week dedicated to fiction, one to non-fiction and working with coaching clients and marketing/business activities. Day seven will be a passion day—whatever I decide that will be.

Included in these commitments is prioritizing balance—relationships, health and spiritual. Meditation, romance, chilling will all factor in—including a reward trip to Japan with my partner in September to defrag and re-top up our inspiration well.

Finding the energy/mindset

Q: Did you make any changes to your lifestyle to support your new business venture?

Cassandra: Mindset and managing energy is EVERYTHING.

Meditate, eat well, exercise regularly and make room for rest to keep energy levels high. Don’t take any devices into your bedroom at night—including your phone. Only read paperback books at night (for relaxation) – not work-related research. Switch off to switch on. No working after 10 pm – it’s hard to sleep if you’re all fired up and inspired.

Move—I force myself to get out and walk every day. It helps when I remind myself how many paraplegics would love to be able to stand on their legs and go for a stroll.

Last year I purchased a standing desk, which also lowers to be a normal workstation. I love the option to stand or sit.

I purchased Dragon software to use dictation to write, and GhostReader to check errors and improve flow by using this technology to read my work back out loud. I also use Scrivener to help me structure my thoughts and writing, and have greater control over my production and outputs. It’s wonderful to be in control of my publishing success.

But this has meant dedicating time to learning new technology—but once again, you need to invest in efficient systems and processes to reap the rewards.

Other great strategies to boost a positive, focused mindset: I keep a praise file—record and look at the feedback people give you regularly. I started fifteen years ago—originally to help me overcome acute self-doubt, but now, while I need it less, it is affirming and heart-stirring to read the unsolicited feedback others have said. And sometimes when people, family included, say something hostile about my work, (like my brother who said, “Great, just what we all need – more advice from you”), knowing I have touched someone’s life, and made the world a better place, reminds me of what gives my life meaning and purpose. It makes the tougher times worthwhile.

I’m a big fan of creating a Passion Journal every year—this keeps my mind on what I do want to create and empowers my ability to manifest by leveraging off the laws of Intention, Attraction, and Desire. I have a free gift for your readers, a Passion Journal Workbook for those who subscribe to my newsletter at www.cassandraGaisford.com.

Q: Any tips for managing your time?

Cassandra: Thirty-minute bursts of activity are amazing for getting into a productive mindset.

Be strong with others who want to zap your time. Push back and check if their demands on your time are urgent. “No,” is a beautiful word.

Be a creative procrastinator – put off until tomorrow things that don’t enable you to achieve progress toward your goals today.

Combine tasks. I listen to audio books while walking, podcasts while preparing meals or doing chores or when I am at the supermarket. This helps prevent resentment when I attend to some of the more mundane things that ‘take me away’ from writing or perfecting my craft.

Delegate and outsource. In our Kiwi culture, we have a ‘do it yourself mentality.’ In the past, I tried to do it all and found it way more efficient to hand things to the pros. It didn’t always cost me more money, and when it did, I often recouped it in increased sales—like great cover design or the improved professionalism of having a passionate proofreader look over my books. I’ve been fortunate to meet many skilled people who have read my career rescue books, including a lady who was inspired to quit her job and has started an editing business. I now outsource some of my work to her.

Q: What are some of the things you tell your clients if they want to make a change and lead a more creative life?

Cassandra: Prioritize your creativity. It’s that simple—and, at times that is challenging. Isolate the barriers, blocks, whatever is standing in the way. Take an inventory and then commit to problem-solving. Intensify your desire, remind yourself of your ‘why.’ What benefits will flow? How will you feel if you never try?

Be inspired by other people who have made the leap to creativity, read their stories— people like Coco Chanel, Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kahlo and so many others. I can’t think of one successful person who hasn’t had to fight for their dream. Conflict and overcoming obstacles in the norm – but it’s also what makes for compelling viewing and dedicated fans.

Do it scared—most of the successful creative people I know started and continued to create despite their doubts, fears, and anxieties. Follow your passion to prosperity!

Q: What is the single biggest change you had to make to support your business?

Cassandra: Invest in me. As one of my creative clients sagely said, “You have to bankroll your dreams. In the beginning, the money isn’t there.” I go into how to finance your career (on a shoestring) in a big way in my book, Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate and Start Living a Life You Love Before It’s Too Late.

I’ve also committed to a daily practice of feeding optimism, and aligning my thoughts with the outcome I desire, not fear. This has been a key part of my success and continues to be—it’s not something that comes naturally. This may surprise people, but I also believe it is true of many creatives.

And as I said before as I stopped waiting for inspiration, and I showed up every day to do THE Work, my muse began to take me seriously, and now she shows up too.

Find Cassandra Gaisford online, learn about her books, and read her blog: www.cassandragaisford.com and on her Amazon page: amazon.com/author/cassandragaisford

This is an edited excerpt from Courtney Kennedy’s book Creating Space to Thrive: Get Unstuck, Reboot Your Creativity and Change Your Life. Available from Amazon here >>

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To fulfil your potential you have to step out of the comfort zone

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

shoot for the stars by Kimberly Gordon ReelandWhilst it’s commonly stated that we should do what comes naturally, this may not be the best advice!

To fulfil your potential you have to step out of the comfort zone of doing what you do well and embrace the uncertain world of trying something new.

In doing this you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing whether you swim on a new current of fulfilment and success – something others refer to as ‘flow”.

Just as Jilly did, the wonderful lady in her 70’s who has become a photographer, and whose story I shared in Mid-Life Career Rescue: (What Make You Happy).

Listening to Jilly’s stories of reinvention, it’s clear to me that variety, learning and new challenges are some of her most important values. “‘I’ve always followed my dream – I wasn’t a mid-lifer who found what I wanted to do. I always took chances and jumped in with both feet!” She said. 

Read her inspiring story in Mid-Life Career Rescue: (What Make You Happy), or check out her website – her work is really, really special. Her natural affinity for dogs, and the skills she’s developed with the camera, creates something truly magical. She has now had several exhibitions with two more coming up next year. Also she has been invited to join Getty Images.

 

 

But what if you  don’t swim? What if you sink? At least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you tried, and the great fortune of implementing your lessons learned in your next attempt!

Refresh Your Life With Change

Sticking with what you do well can be the worst thing to do if you want to live a meaningful life. To develop new skills, new ways of being to become someone other than who you believe yourself to be takes a willingness to change.

As astrologer Sarah Varcas shares, “It takes courage and fortitude, a willingness to be a new-born again, discovering life from scratch, adopting a new perspective and fresh guidelines. Of course we can take our strengths and abilities with us on the journey. They’ll come in more than handy! But to see them as the be-all and end-all, the extent of our ‘tool kit’, is to live a half-baked life in the shadow of who we could actually be if we allowed ourselves to grow.”

Here’s a few questions to ponder, the answers may prove liberating:

  • What would you be willing to try if you were 10 times bolder?
  • What wouyld you try if you knew success was guaranteed?
  • How could trying out new ways of being or working enrich your life?

Finding My Passion and Purpose

I put into motion my own advice late last year and published my first two books in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series on Amazon. What fun! I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.

Since embarking on change I’ve published a book a month and recently penned my third book: How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, is more of guide, than a book – a nice short, easy to implement tool kit to help you live and work with passion and purpose.

The Amazon details and link are here: http://amzn.to/1W0IreR

A new thing I did for the first time was creating my own cover – using my own art work too. The feedback I’ve received about both the book and the cover has enriched my life in ways I couldn’t have perceived. I gain from the satisfaction and fulfilment of being fully autonomous in all aspects of publishing and gaining from the immediacy and intimacy of the feedback from readers.

“Simply delightful, witty quick read, packed with excellent information. I’m actually believing now, I could change my career after 18 years!” Wrote one Amazon reviewer.

“I feel I want to read this book now! The red energy swirl suggests an invitation to enter a journey of discovering ones passion,” shared another person when she first saw the cover.

Of course, sometimes when you try new things, even successful new things you can attract criticism. I did when I wrote my second book. A reviewer said,  “I loved the inspiration, content, and message. There book rambles a lot though.”

Ok, I thought. I won’t ramble in my next book – I’ll be more concise!

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love is available through Amazon at the special introductory price of $.99 for a limited time. http://amzn.to/1W0IreR

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