Sunday, April 12, 2009

so totally excited!!

Not only is my Jen coming home for her very first visit to the castle(3 more days!!), but we learned today that one of our favorite authors, Joe Vitale, will be co-authoring a book with us to be published by TAG Publishing!!! We are also doing one for him that goes with his new attracting wealth seminar which I've been listening to and its pretty neat.

Business is booming as usual for spring time and we're glad to be back in the swing. This year I've also committed to adding more to our little real estate portfolio. Contrary to what a few people told us, owning rental property has been a great experience and there are some wonderful deals out there right now. We want to build it up to have lots of cash flow and also to get the capital appreciation. The office has taken a few field trips this last week looking at some properties and next week we're seeing some more. I think there are a couple that have real potential - we'll see.

I also got some waterlilies and irises for the pond. The fish love them, playing hide and seek in the lilies almost like its a real pond instead of a glorified aquarium...of course that blue gravel is still a bit of a give away, but I don't' want dirt in the bottom of my pond.

My much beloved little Kia has moved on to a better life. No it didn't die on me, but my Dad's car did on the way out to the castle. So he took mine for a few days and fell in love (who wouldn't). So he bought my car and I got a new one....well new to me...a Kia of course but this one is a V6...I hate having to turn the air conditioner off to get up the on ramp on the interstate so hopefully this one will not have that issue....

Thursday, April 02, 2009

New Writers and Updates

Things are moving along well for TAG. We've taken on a couple of new writers in the past few weeks that can offer us some depth just in time for the busy season. We're also doling out projects as they come in to our regular stable of writers who are hard at work again. Its nice to get back in the swing of it again and I'm amazed at how much more organized I stay when I'm busy.

We're once again working on the websites as they went by the wayside over the past few months and we will be producing a couple of Cds - one on how to get a book published with our company and then a set on how to write a non-fiction book to expand your business. We've had so many requests for the how to set that we decided to meet the demand. As soon as we have them ready, you all will be the first to know.

I'm getting better at handing things off to Chris (our marketing assistant) instead of being my normal control freak self and that is working well. I think hiring a person is one of those steps that some writers wonder about. When do you know you're ready? The truth is you don't. But once you hire someone, you'll be amazed at how you ever got along without them. The determining factor for me was when I was working 12-14 hours per day (and so was my business partner) and we just couldn't get it all done.

We talked about hiring someone and so each of us made a list of the tasks we did each day for a week. The first thing we looked at were those tasks that took a large amount of time or interrupted our work flow that didn't produce much. This biggest culprit in that area was lunch. We used to do lunch with writers or friend a few times per week. We realized that this was draining our time and so we limit those outings to one every two weeks and we never do business over lunch anymore. We have people come to our office and that way we stay in the flow of work.

Once lunches were deleted (or severely restricted) we looked at our lists and picked out the second most time consuming culprit - errands. Trips to the bank, post office, fed ex, office depot, and a myriad of other tasks was eating up a huge chunk of time. We also discovered that we spent a lot of time doing very small projects - Internet research, press releases, web copy and other tasks that took up way too much time for too little return. We thought we needed someone with some writing skill and could easily justify part time. So we hired Chris last October. As we were able to focus on the things that made us money, projects, authors and money poured in. Way more than justified what it cost for us to have an extra person. By December he was working over 30 hours per week and in January he started full time.

The lesson here is that by taking the risk to add someone we expanded our business to the next level and having realized that we will be looking for more people to add to the staff to take it to an even higher level. We've had that 'aha' moment and are well on our way.