8 Tips from Q2
8 Tips from Q2

It’s the end of the 2nd quarter of the year, and I’m excited about my second 12 weeks of 2018. In early April, I set intentions about how I wanted Q2 to unfold. Here’s what has happened with some advice and tips for you and your business:

1. EVALUATE SOURCES OF FREE TRAFFIC
Look at how your potential customers are driven to your website. Where are they coming from? A lot of my traffic comes from Google searches, but in Q2 I worked to look at other ways to create free traffic such as being a guest on podcasts. Podcast content is evergreen. When you’re a guest, the episode is listened to over and over. I did see results from this with referrals of new clients from the podcasts where I was a guest.

2. START YOUR OWN PODCAST
This is a big one, and something you may want to consider, but, what about starting your own podcast? As of this blog post, I have purchased equipment, received training, hired a producer, scheduled interviews, created artwork, and named my podcast. I plan to record several episodes before the launch. And, if all goes well, I plan to launch in the 3rd quarter. I feel sort of scared about this – adding a piece of marketing that requires constant care and attention and updating, but I figure if I can write books, create recipe content, keep up with a weekly blog, etc., then I can add a podcast to the mix. I also at the same time feel excited to connect with the people who I will interview. I’m doing a podcast that I’d love to listen to, so for now, we’ll leave it at that, and hope that during our Q3 update, I have more specific news to share about how it’s going.

3. CREATE A HIGH-END OFFER
In March I created a high-end offer as a cookbook manuscript manager. The offer worked and I made sales around this offer. The service isn’t for everyone, but, it resonated with a few people on my list. That’s the spirit of a high-end offer. It needed to be of value, solve a problem, and help my customers get closer to their goal of writing a cookbook.

4. AUTOMATION AND ONBOARDING
I worked with my VA to create a streamlined and smooth system for onboarding private coaching clients. This makes the delivery of material for the coaching program easier and allows for very quick delivery of the materials once someone signs a coaching contract. Contracts are sent electronically for signature as well, which streamlines the process.

5. FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE
This quarter, with a focus on customer service, I decided to add my VA to the customer-service-side of email delivery and answering. I sell digital products, so having my VA monitor the customer service email box, responses are timely and prompt. This feels good and I like knowing that our customers are answered promptly and get their needs met and questions answered.…

A New Way to Set Goals
A New Way to Set Goals

This morning I’m in New York City. I plan to visit Kitchen Arts and Letters bookstore (actually cookbook and food book store!) and visit the 911 Memorial. This afternoon I’ll head over to Book Expo America and tomorrow I sign galley copies of my two new cookbooks.

Set Goals From Abundance

I’m sure you have all set goals.

One way I learned to set goals was to write goals that were SMART – specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-sensitive.

This method of goal setting focuses on lack. I’m here. My goal is there. We are separated until I reach my goal. For me this may lead to striving and putting my goal on a pedestal. That creates distance from the goal and it seems out of reach at least to me.

My business coach taught me to write goals in a new way.

Write them as if you already have them.

And, here’s the key – mix in goals you already have achieved.

For example:

I want a happy, loving marriage. I have a happy, loving marriage.
I want three healthy children. I have three healthy children.
I want to be a homeowner. I have a lovely, cozy home.
I want to save money for retirement. I have saved money for retirement.
I want clients I adore and that I can serve. I have clients I adore and that I can serve.
I want a healthy relationship with my mother and mother-in-law. I have a healthy relationship with my mother and mother-in-law.
I want to be an involved part of a large, extended family that I have fun with. I am an involved part of a large, extended family that I have fun with.
I want friends I love to spend time with. I have friends I love to spend time with.
I want to have freedom of time and good health. I have freedom of time and good health.
I want to write cookbooks. I have written four cookbooks.
I want to be a member of Les Dames Escoffier. I have an invitation to Les Dames!
I want a positive attitude based on my deliberate thoughts. I have a positive attitude based on my deliberate thoughts.
I want a business built around cookbooks. I have a business built around cookbooks.
I want to create value and a variety of offerings for my clients. I create value and offer services to my clients in a variety of ways.
I want to create a cookbook writers mastermind group. I have a cookbook writers mastermind group.
I want to have high-end private coaching clients. I have high-end coaching clients.
I want to leverage my expertise with book-writing software. I leverage my expertise with book-writing software.
I want the freedom to travel with my family. I have the freedom to travel with my family.
I want to believe that I can do anything if I show up to offer value and serve. I believe that I can do anything if I show up …

5 Tips for Energy Management
5 Tips for Energy Management

The older I get the more I realize how important my energy level is.

I’m not talking about 5-Hour Energy drinks or extreme coffee consumption, I’m talking about natural feel-good energy.

Because when I have energy, I’m more positive, appreciative, and focused. A better version of me. My business benefits. My family benefits. My clients benefit. And most importantly, when I feel good I offer value all around.

Here are a few of my “secrets”  to energy management:

1. Adequate sleep. With teens out driving around, I set a curfew for them, and adjust my sleep. No excuses or stories. This was key even when they were little and waking me up at night.

2. Intentional hydration with water

3. Limited sugar, white flour, alcohol, and caffeine. (And Peeps, chocolate bunnies, and Opera Cream eggs.🐣)

4. Lot’s of fresh veggies, whole-grains, and high-quality protein from fish, legumes, lean beef, chicken, and tofu.

5. Some sort of body movement every day: walk the dog, head to the gym, take the steps, dance in the kitchen (the kids love this), vacuum the house.

Some think this doesn’t sound like “fun”. But I’ll tell you what’s fun.

Feeling energetic and patient.

Feeling physically good in my body – no aches or pains.

Having the energy to wake up earlier than the rest of the house to think and focus.

Getting in the zone while my kids are in school and then focus on the family after 3:00 pm.

That’s my prescription for energy.

And here’s the best part – it works for kids too! And you should see what happens then.


Cookbook author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green, RDN, LD coaches first-time cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. 

Would you like to write a cookbook, but feel alone in the pre-publication phase of writing?

Are you stuck thinking about your cookbook idea or has you project fizzled?

Do you feel overwhelmed with publishing options and the recipes, photography, and publishing process?

I’ve been there. I know first-hand that there’s not a lot of support for first-time cookbook authors who don’t have an agent or a publisher yet.  That’s why I started my work as a cookbook writing coach.

Here are a few resources for you as you venture into the world of cookbook writing: 

Checklist
An 11-point checklist that helps you answer the question, “Am I Ready to Write a Cookbook?”

Cookbook Writing Workbook

What Is A Cookbook Coach? 

10 Reasons to Hire A Cookbook Coach

Creating Your Perfect Day

Creating Your Perfect DayIt’s a beautiful morning here as I write this blog post. We just finished a great weekend. My 15-year old son went to his first homecoming dance. We bought the pants, tie, and flowers. We made the salad for a dinner hosted by a friend. We took pictures and enjoyed his friend’s parents. We drove the kids to the dance and then to a friend’s house after the dance. I love and appreciate all the fun that having a high-school-aged son brings. It was a lovely evening of teens dressing up and dancing. Who doesn’t love good music and dancing? The boys and girls were all adorable. This is the fun of my life with my family.

My week ahead will be filled with results. Quite frankly, it has to be. My 2 cookbook manuscripts are due to my publisher in one week. My mastermind groups are meeting this week. I have projects for other clients that I will make progress on. This is the fun of my life with cookbooks.

My mornings are the heart of my day. I use the first 3 hours of my day to do what I need to do get ready for the day with an open mind and positive attitude. I know what makes me happy in the morning, so I focus on those actions before I even sit down at my desk to work. I get up early. This is possible because I go to bed at a decent time. I take time to read, write, do a rampage of appreciation, drink coffee, sit in silence, let my dog out, empty the dishwasher, make my bed, start a load of laundry, drive my son to school and pack his lunch if needed, catch up on the news headlines, water my patio flowers, take a shower, put on some nice clothes and shoes, set my iPhone to do not disturb, and away I go. I’m ready for the day. The pump is primed so to speak and I can focus on my work with ease and excitement.

My schedule provides time to read, cook and eat dinner with my family. That is important. I like to read the paper while I cook or I call my mom. I also plan every day to get a good night’s sleep. Sometimes I’m tempted to stay up, but sleep fuels my next day, so I honor that. 

My work hours are scheduled ahead of time so I know not the “activities” I will do when I go to my computer, but the results I need to create. For example, I don’t block off one hour to “write cookbook manuscript.” Instead, I block off time to “tag recipes that are gluten-free” or “read and edit introduction”. These items have a result attached and help me accomplish everything I need to do. I focus for a 4- to 6-hour block of time each day on being highly productive. I can accomplish a lot during that

Secrets to Cookbook Writing Progress
Secrets to Cookbook Writing Progress

Secrets to ProgressI’ve been thinking a lot about cookbook projects. They are complicated, but fun and rewarding when you have an idea you want to share with a curated set of recipes.

Aspiring cookbook authors can do any of these three things: consume, indulge, or produce.

When you consume you read and research. You scroll and watch. You listen and you learn. Consuming may tell you what you need to do, but it rarely leads to a cookbook. It doesn’t involve results-based action.

When you indulge, you have self-pity, confusion, and a don’t-know-how attitude. There is overwhelm. Indulging equals stuck and doesn’t lead to a cookbook.

When you produce, you focus on results. You plan. You commit. You seek help and direction. You take action on your plan. You schedule the time to rest. You enjoy the journey. You make progress on your goals. You write a cookbook and you find a publisher.

Discomfort is real. It can be the temporary discomfort of sticking to a schedule when we want to consume. That’s a good discomfort because it is the currency of our dreams.

Discomfort can also be long term when we indulge in confusion and overwhelm instead of producing. It is uncomfortable to not go after our dreams. When we are stuck we fail ahead of time and that doesn’t feel good.

Which discomfort do you choose?

If you’re stuck consuming (watching others write their books on Instagram or Facebook) or indulging (feeling overwhelmed and stuck), you are a perfect fit for Hungry For A Cookbook Mastermind Group. You’re so close to producing and achieving results.

Hungry For A Cookbook starts September 19th.

I want you to produce results.

I want you to get your cookbook written and published.

I can show you how to get there. And you can make progress with only temporary discomfort as you go after your dream.

Apply for Hungry For A Cookbook today.

Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”. 

Focus List and Ignore List
Focus List and Ignore List

In 2009, Peter Bregman wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review called Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning. Even though he wrote the article 7 years ago, the content rings true.

In Bregman’s article, he encourages readers to create two lists: Your Focus List and Your Ignore List. Through a series of questions, Bregman helps you define “your road ahead”: what makes you happy, what you’re trying to achieve, and what’s important to you, as well as to define “your distractions”: what you’re not willing to do, what’s not important, and what gets in the way of focusing on where you want to go. Bregman suggests that you write down your two lists and then take time to read them before you start your day.

I’m a big believer in early morning routines that allow time to read, write, and reflect. For me this usually happens before anyone else in my house steps out of bed. It’s a sacrifice to get up early, but I know that my morning routine has been an integral part of my focus and determination as a nutrition writer, cookbook author, cookbook editor, and parent. The coffee pot that brews coffee at a time I specify doesn’t hurt either.

This week I encourage you to write down your Focus and Ignore lists. See if your actions lead you down the right path and shape your day with intentional action. See if the lists help you avoid distractions that take you away from the work you need to do. And, before you know it, your intentional actions will help your goals and dreams come to life.

Read the original article here.

And more about Peter Bregman here.

Author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. If you want to write a cookbook, and wonder if you’re ready, download her 11-point checklist Am I Ready to Write a Cookbook? 

Time Management Tips
Time Management Tips

In working with my cookbook coaching clients, mastermind groups, and on my own projects, I realize the importance of planning my time to get the most out of my week. I’ve always had a pretty consistent pattern for activities do on a weekly basis, but use care when planning tasks for work, book writing, free time, and family activities. Planning ahead of time keeps projects moving along in my business and sets up the time to enjoy activities with family and friends.

I once heard the analogy that a calendar with a well-planned week is like a river. It has strong banks, a certain direction, and flows quickly with energy and focus. A week that isn’t well planned is like a lake – big, open, and lazy – beautiful to look at, but lacking direction and focus. Lakes are nice for weeks of vacation but in order to schedule time for everything I enjoy I prefer to use my calendar like a river. Each week the flow takes me where I want to go, and not where is wants to take me.

1. Make decisions and move forward

The best thing we can all do to become more in charge of our time is to decide ahead of time. Plan for tomorrow and the next day, today. Decide ahead of time when you are going to work, eat, answer email, shower, exercise, read. Decide what projects you are going to focus on. Decide what you are going to say no to. Decide, decide, decide. So much of our time is wasted in indecision. Your ability to be successful is directly related to making decisions (and sticking with the decisions you make.) Read more in the book Decide: The Ultimate Success Trigger by Jim Palmer.

2. Schedule actions that produce results

When you plan actions to take and put on your calendar, focus on items that produce results. For example, when working on my cookbooks, I focus on specific tasks to schedule. Instead of saying, research salad dressing recipes, or think about salad dressing, I write specific action-oriented tasks such as write a recipe ingredient outline and list for 5 salad dressing recipes. This is specific, action-oriented, and get things accomplished

3. Plan your calendar with discipline and precision

I plan my calendar for the next week on Fridays. At the end of the workweek, I put in my appointments, client calls, and daily tasks for marketing, bookkeeping, ingredient shopping, phone calls, and follow-up on the calendar to complete at a specific time. Then I schedule in any tasks related to my 90-day goals. When Monday morning rolls around, I’ve decided ahead of time how to use my time and I follow the plan. I can accomplish a lot this way and it’s very freeing, not restrictive.

4. Plan your perfect day

One reason calendars fail us is that we don’t schedule the time to do things we enjoy. Want to go out with your mate on a Thursday night each …

Manage Your Energy to Manage Your Time
Manage Your Energy to Manage Your Time

Productivity always remains top of mind for me. Due to weekly commitments, and a desire for flexibility to spend time with family, the time I devote to work each day is finite. In order to maximize productivity during this time I created a series of daily, weekly, and monthly routines to help stay on track with repetitive tasks related to self-care, business management, and home management. These routines free up my mind and focus because I know that repetitive tasks such as bookkeeping, laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning all get done at their their scheduled time. For example, I complete business book keeping each Tuesday. I send invoices, pay bills, and look at my income and expense statement every Tuesday. This habit to do financial work at a scheduled time frees my mind of concerns about bills, payments, and invoices on the other days of the week when I’m working on other projects and tasks.

Another one of my routines is my morning routine. It lasts about 3 hours every weekday morning from 5-8 am.  During this time I read, get cleaned up for the day, eat breakfast with my teens, clean up the kitchen, make my bed, and listen to either a podcast or an Audible book while I’m washing my face and doing other parts of my “beauty routine”. Recently I finished listening to the Audible book 6 Months to 6 Figures by Peter Voogd. This book was recommended by Hal Elrod in his podcast The Miracle Morning and book by the same name.

In his book, Voogd discusses productivity and time management as one of the keys to a successful quest to earn more income. In his discussion, he makes a clear point that time is finite. It comes, and it goes. This is something we have all heard before.  We all have the same amount of time in a day, week, or month, and there isn’t any way through time management to create or add more time to our days. To maximize our productivity, though, and take full advantage of the time we have what we can manage is our energy. With a higher level of energy and alertness, we are better prepared to focus and take advantage of the time we have.

This concept while not new did resonate with me. I’ve always known I could control my energy level. But, for some strange reason the way that Voogd explained energy control in relationship to productivity opened my eyes in three ways.

1. Energy management is my responsibility. No one can manage my energy for me. It’s all within my control. Just like managing a chronic disease, energy management is up to me.

2. Energy management is directly connected to my habits. In all cases the habits I have created for sleep, food, drink, spirituality, finances, thoughts, social media, email, exercise, grooming, home care, family time, and friendships are my decision. I have control over these habits. I can choose if I have control …

Routines and Rituals Links
Routines and Rituals Links

It’s this time of the year that my work feels different. The pull of sunshine, warm air, and family activities that during the summer can kept me away from my desk, writing, and work have diminished or returned to school. During this time of the year, I return to familiar routines to write this newsletter and blog posts, develop recipes, and schedule cookbook marketing activities. When I read about how other writers and business owners manage their routines, I feel inspired with a peek into their routines. Several years ago, Darren Rowse at Problogger.net wrote the article 14 Bloggers Share Their Daily Blogging Routine.

To stay on top of my work and writing it’s important to remember the tips they offer that help me keep my routine intact. My goal is to work on creating content every day for my newsletter, blog posts, programs, and cookbook projects.

· Write during my brain’s best time. This is different for everyone, but many prefer morning.
· Turn off email and social media while working.
· Work in 2 to 3 hour blocks of time.
· Devote each day to a different activity related to business or writing.
· Schedule blog posts in advance.
· Create and work from an editorial calendar or plan.
· Compartmentalize activities so they don’t bleed into family time.

daily ritualsAlong these same lines, this books is a favorite of mine. Author Mason Currey reviews the daily rituals of 161 creatives while looking at their rituals (and their obstacles) to doing the work they love to do. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

I also want to share Extraordinary Routines and their Instagram feed and their blog. I love the interviews here as well at tips for creating a routine for your creative work.

 

 

 

Author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. If you want to write a cookbook, and wonder if you’re ready, download her 11-point checklist Am I Ready to Write a Cookbook? 

The 12 Week Year
The 12 Week Year

This is the time of year when a lot of us like to set goals, make resolutions, and get back on track with exercise, food, relationships, and other personal, work, and life goals. One particular book that I recently read gave me a new perspective on productivity, time management, and goal setting.  The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington resets the idea of spending 12 months on a goal, but instead challenges us to focus on one goal for a 12 week period of time.

With their system each week becomes one month. Then, every 12 weeks you get to reset and start on a new goal. The secret to success with their system is not over committing to too many goals in a 12 week period as well as scheduling time each week to do the work to accomplish your goal. They also encourage building in buffer time, strategic time, and breakout time to allow for creativity, everyday tasks, and research.

From September – November I tried their system after listening to the book on Audible. My cookbook manuscript was finished and I wanted to make progress on another project that had been on my mind. I committed to the goal worked in a constructive and focused way as I watched the goal come to life in just 12 weeks. I could have spent 12 months on the same goal, but with focused and consistent action, I did in 12 weeks what could have taken longer.

For January – March 2016 I plan to pick another goal and work in much the same way. Through implementing their system it’s possible we could all accomplish 4 major goals in the next 48 weeks. This also even builds in time for vacations (which I love) and gives us the opportunity to see progress rather than just dreams about goals to accomplish during 2016.  Here is a link to the 12 Week Year website and the book can also be purchased at online or brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as on Audible if you like to listen to audio books.

No matter whether you set goals for the new year, or not, I wish you joy and peace as we begin 2016.

Author, editor, and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. If you want to write a cookbook, and wonder if you’re ready, download her 11-point checklist Am I Ready to Write a Cookbook? 

Dealing with Overwhelm
Dealing with Overwhelm

I think we all feel overwhelmed at times. I know I do, and I have been know to let it show when dealing with my kids and my spouse.  I know my private cookbook coaching clients feel overwhelmed too. They tell me about it and their overwhelm sometimes makes them want to stop the dream of writing their own cookbook. That’s the scary part of overwhelm. We don’t function at our best when we feel that way and if we’re not careful we let it the feeling drown us in inaction or worse we let it make us want to quit.

Overwhelm is a feeling, a strong one at times, but a feeling nonetheless. The good news is that feelings are fleeting and they aren’t right or wrong. They just are. I try to remember that I can change the way I feel through concrete actions in another direction. stress

When I feel overwhelmed I ask myself where the pressure is coming from. It’s usually one of these areas:

  • Looming deadlines for projects
  • Saying yes to too much
  • Goals I have set for myself that aren’t realistic
  • Habits that interfere with my work and life
  • My expectations of myself (like I can do it all – today!)
  • Expectations of others (spouse, kids, family, co-workers, volunteer commitments)
  • Lack of self-care, sleep, exercise, quiet-time

Once I’ve identified my source of pressure I take concrete actions to make an adjustment if needed. Sometimes I need to improve my productivity focus and time management. Sometimes I need to work in more focused blocks of time on very small, but prioritized tasks. Maybe this is a wake-up call to take better care of myself with sleep, exercise, prayer, and a tightened up morning routine. Maybe I need to focus on what’s important right now and set realistic expectations of what I’m able to accomplish with the time I have.

Overwhelm is not just limited to you and me. Dawn Falcone, The Chaos Liberator, writes about overwhelm, and so does Elise Moreau with 5 Simple Things You Can Do to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed.

When you feel overwhelmed remember that you’re not alone and also remember you can do something about it.

Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”.