How To Blog If You Don’t Have Time…I’m Listening!

By Debby Winters

I recently came across Michael Hyatt’s blog post entitled “How to Blog If You Don’t Have Time.” Go on! I thought!

Hyatt lists 7 things that he does to make his blogs fit more easily in his busy schedule. The one that caught my attention the most was his no. 3 – to use a timer. He sets a micro deadline for himself, say 90 minutes, sets his timer and focuses to get his blog finished by his artificially imposed deadline. Hmmm…wonder if that would work for me. I feel like if I told myself that I had a set amount of time to work on my blog that mentally I might find it easier to accomplish. I frequently have what I think is a great idea for a blog post but then ask myself when will I have time to write it in a comprehensible way?? I find myself asking that question day after day until sometimes the idea is no more timely and I give up.  This is a trick that I’m going to try. It is like exercise…60 mins and it is done.

If you want to make your blogs fit into your schedule, check out Hyatt’s ideas and see if any of them will help you. In the meantime…I got a blog to finish before that darn timer goes off! Good Luck!

Advice for startups pitching to investors

By Debby Winters

As an Angel Investor who is part of a group that listens to pitches from Startups, I found the article “8 experts on pitching to investors” to have some helpful advice. The part I found to be true is found in section 2- “28 common mistakes startups make when pitching to investors” and here’s why.

According to the article the top 5 mistakes are:

1- Not showing the size of the market opportunity – include evidence to show the high growth potential of your business. Investors ALWAYS want to know what the size of the market is and what share of the market the startup thinks it can capture. Remember as an investor, I’m giving you my money and hoping that you will give me back more in return. So before I make that decision I need to know the size of the market opportunity. Don’t forget this when you pitch…it is VERY important.

2- Not explaining the problem your business solves – if no problem exists, there’s no need for your business. Companies, as well as inventors, frequently want to paint the picture like they just have an idea and not like it solves a problem. Remember, it does solve an existing problem so tell the investor what that is.

3- Saying your business doesn’t have any competition – every single business has competition, either direct or indirect. This one is often glossed over too because the founders don’t want to admit there are others in that space but the investors are more savvy than to believe there are no competitors. State the competitors and then tell why your solution is better.

4- Forgetting to highlight your team’s experience – investors want to see the team around you. They would rather invest in an A grade team with a B grade idea than the other way around. So true! Not only does an investor want a great team, they want a coachable team that can pivot when the need arises.

5- Not explaining your product or service well enough – if the investor doesn’t understand what you do, they probably won’t be able to fully comprehend the high growth potential of your business. You need to make sure they understand. This one needs no additional explanation.

Check out the entire article as there is good advice if you are pitching to investors!

Vote for Quirkies Inventor/Invention

By: Debby Winters presents and sells inventions you may not have heard about. These are often from independent inventors.  Since Wednesday February 11 is National Inventors’ Day, Quirky is giving out some awards, called The Quirkies, to honor the wacky, underrated, and truly game-changing inventors. You can vote for your favorite in several categories.  Place your votes now.


Habits For Every Day!

By Debby Winters

If you are like me you are always reading posts like “Highly Effective Habits” or “How To Be More Productive” or something that you think will have the answers to making you more productive, effective, or just in a better feel-good position.  I’m not going to say this article is THE answer but I will say that I like the way Timothy Sykes thinks in his post titled “8 Daily Habits That Will Make 2015 Explosive” and here’s why.

  1. Get up early- This is something that I struggle with. I’m not one to sleep late but I hate to get up earlier than I “need” to. I will work on this because I can see the value in having quiet time and alone time. I’ve always liked working when everyone else is not there (and still do) so am sure this is valuable.
  2. Read-I’ve never been a big reader who reads for pleasure because I have to read so much for work. But I love to learn and I love to listen to audio books while I run so this is high on my 2015 list too. And as the article points out, even 20-30 minutes a day is valuable.
  3. Exercise- This one I am definitely on board with. I am a long distance runner so I get plenty of exercise but in 2015 I’m trying to do more cross-exercising.
  4. Practice gratitude-I knew someone once who always made a point of saying “thank you.” That made me realize how good it makes the person feel who you say it to. I’m all about this one.
  5. Schedule your day before it starts- Would you start out on a road trip without a map or knowing how to get where you want to go? Enough said.
  6. Focus on high-priority tasks first- This may be where I need the most work. I sometimes get into the minutia of the day and the day gets away from me before I get to the “important” stuff. I’m moving this one to the top of my list.
  7. Always go the extra mile- The true sign of a dedicated soul. I’m all about this one too.
  8. Improve in one area each day- We can all improve and if you strive to do a little every day, just think where we can be at the end of the year!

I think the reason this article “spoke” to me is because I totally agree. Sometimes you read articles that tell you how to improve, how to be more productive, or how to be a better person but the suggestions in these articles are not something you can practice every day. I feel this list of 8 is something I not only can do every day but is something I will do every day! How about you?