December 2019

Whether it’s New Year Resolutions or goals for your business, most people do not succeed in achieving their goals.  Studies have shown that the vast majority of people who set a goal of losing weight put back all the weight they have lost within 3 to 5 years.  Likewise, people who seek to quit smoking or drink less have limited success.

I was listening recently to an audio course in which the lecturer shared a goal setting system that has a much higher rate of success.  The process involves the following steps:

  • Gathering data, including
    • establishing a baseline;
    • examining what has caused you to fail in the past in reaching the particular goal you are seeking to achieve as well as what has worked, at least partially;
    • identifying what emotions, cognitions and behaviors have arisen that caused you to get off track;
    • identifying the rewards or benefits if you achieve your goal and the consequences if you don’t, or creating a chart describing the pro’s of achieving your goal, the cons of achieving it, the pro’s of staying in your current condition and the cons of staying;
    • identifying obstacles that might prevent you from achieving your goal as well as items that could facilitate that achievement;
  • Defining your (SMART) goal
    • Specific – for instance, not just “lose weight” but “lose 20 pounds”
    • Measurable – identify how you will determine whether you are on track
    • Attainable – is your goal realistic, given your circumstances? Setting small proximate goals can help you achieve the end goal.
    • Relevant – choose a goal that is a high priority for you to become the person you want to be
    • Time-Based – set a timeframe by which you will reach your goal, such as losing 20 pounds within 3 months, which could be 10 pounds in the first month and 5 pounds in each of the succeeding 2 months.
  • Develop an action plan to achieve your goal. This would include, among other steps:
    • Setting up the environment to support you. For instance, if trying to lose weight, get rid of chips and other foods in your home or office that could tempt you.
    • Avoiding people who might tempt you to go astray and finding people who can support you. For instance, if you are trying to quit smoking, and some of your friends smoke, you’ll want to stay away from them.
    • Identifying an alternative to the behavior you are trying to avoid. For instance, if you are trying to stop smoking, then you might decide to go for a walk when you get an urge to smoke, or use chewing gum instead.
    • Identify a person to help you stay accountable. Interestingly, studies have shown that those who tell a lot of people about their goal are less successful than those who tell only one person.

An action plan for losing weight, for instance, might include eating 5 small meals per day, such as a smoothie for breakfast, a yogurt mid-morning, a salad with protein (chicken, tuna) for lunch, a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts in the mid-afternoon and a light dinner.  It might also include drinking a glass of water before and during each meal, and a cup of soup with lunch and dinner.

Even the most diligent person will have lapses.  That’s to be expected, so don’t get down on yourself if you go awry.  The key is to discern what caused the lapse and try to learn from it so you can prevent it from recurring or minimize its impact if it does recur.  One of the ways to reduce the occurrence of lapses is to write down each time you have a lapse, and what happened to lead to the lapse.  Knowing that you need to write about it will cause you to think a little, which will reduce the likelihood that you will take the action that conflicts with your goal.

Let me know if this system helps you achieve your goals.  I wish everyone happy holidays and much success in achieving your goals.

  1. Tools to Help You Grow Your Business in 2020

Are you seeking to propel your business in 2020?  I invite you to participate in the Propel Your Business Growth Holiday Give-away, where you will receive 5 days of free gifts to help you take your business to the next level in 2020.  Once you register, beginning 16 December 2019 for five straight days you’ll receive free gifts to help you grow your business delivered straight to your inbox!  To receive your FREE business growth gifts, register by using this link and  keep an eye on your inbox from December 16–19, 2019.


In addition, if you want more visibility for your business, mark your calendar for January 10 for a virtual Visibility Summit.  It will feature 15+ experts from various fields about their areas of expertise, with each interview being approximately 15 minutes centered around ideas to get more visibility for your business in 2020.  Registration to attend the event is free.  Look for more information about this summit in the coming weeks.

  1. Last Month’s Winner and One More Chance

Last month I invited you to complete a short survey to enable me to develop programs and services that best meet the needs of my audience, and in appreciation I offered to include everyone who completed the survey in a drawing for a free registration into either the Book It! course on how to write a book or the Publish It! course on how to publish, promote and leverage a book or 20% off your next SkillBites service.  In addition, all participants were given a complimentary book coaching session to help them get their book done. Thanks to everyone who completed the survey.  The winner of the drawing is Cheryl Wright.

The survey was really helpful for me.  To collect more data, I am running the promotion again this month.  If you haven’t filled out the survey and you’d like an opportunity to win a free registration in the Book It! course or the Publish It! course, or get 20% off your next SkillBites service, just complete the survey by December 31, 2019.  Once again, all participants will be given a complimentary book coaching session. Click here to complete the survey.

  1. The SkillBites Show

Each month, we bring you an expert to help you get your book done, leverage your book, grow your business or improve your life.  The shows are recorded, so if you can’t listen to one live, you can listen to the recording by clicking here.

Our next SkillBites Show will be held on Wednesday, December 18 at 1 pm ET.  Our guest will be Kerry Kathleen Heaps, a veteran entrepreneur of 14 years, an established Speaker and Author, publisher of Pageant Platform Magazine and host of the Pageant Platform Podcast. She is the owner of Book.Speak.Repeat, a speaker referral company that helps speakers get more gigs across the country.

Kerry has interviewed celebrities such as Co-Host of Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran, Authors Larry Winget, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Former Miss West Virginia and QVC Talk Show host, Kim Parrish and many more successful business entrepreneurs. She is a sought-after guest for many media outlets.  Kerry will discuss how to get booked as a paid speaker.  Have you thought about becoming a paid speaker or need to add more gigs to your calendar?  Kerry will share the top 5 things you need to have before you start marketing yourself, as well as common mistakes speakers make and how to avoid them and so much more!

To listen to the live presentation, you can go to or call in, using a line local to you:

+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Find your local number:

Meeting ID: 302 156 4627

Save The Date:  Next month, the SkillBites Show will be on January 15 at 1 pm ET.  After the stress of the holidays and the difficulty of refocusing on work, I have chosen as my guest Carlee Myers, an expert at helping professionals who feel overworked, overwhelmed or on the verge of burnout relieve stress so they can find more joy at work, home and beyond. As the founder of The Stress Less Company, Carlee has helped hundreds of professionals across the country take action to reduce stress through coaching. Her work has most recently been featured through media outlets such as Good Day Philadelphia, FOX 29, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Mag and Whoolly Magazine. As professionals, it can be tough to manage your stress with bills, clients and a myriad of other responsibilities in your life. You may feel like you’ve tried everything to manage your stress only to find yourself overwhelmed yet again. In this podcast, Carlee will teach exactly what you need to learn to manage stress and step out of overwhelm so you can find more joy in life.

Last month, we heard from Gene Marks, President of The Marks Group, PC, author of six books on business management and author of weekly columns for Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Fox Business, The Huffington Post and  Gene provided several easy actions that companies ought to be doing to better protect themselves from cyberthreats.

If you missed this presentation, you can listen to it by clicking here, or you can read a summary of the show on the SkillBites blog at

Do you have expertise that you believe would benefit the SkillBites community of entrepreneurs and authors?  If you would like to be the guest on the monthly SkillBites Show, contact me at or 610-783-4519.

Launch Strategy Part 4:  JV Connections

Last month’s newsletter discussed Step 3 in the strategy for launching your book, which was creating a landing page to sign up advance readers of your book, and ultimately to sell your book from when it is ready.  This month addresses Step 4, developing joint venture connections to increase the reach of your launch.

Let’s say you have a network of 5000 people.  If you let everyone in your network know about your recently published book, and if 10% of your network buy your book, you will have sold 500 books.  If you connect with 5 joint venture partners, each of whom has 5000 in their network and their networks consist of people you want reading your book, you’ve now quintupled your reach.  If 5% of them buy your book, you will have sold an additional 1250 books and you will have 25,000 new people aware of you and your expertise! That’s the power of developing joint venture relationships.

Why would someone allow you to reach out to their network with an announcement about your book?  For one, if the book contains information that would be valuable to the person’s network, and you are offering a discount off of the book or off of services you offer to the other person’s network, then they will be providing a benefit to their network.

For another, it is a way for the person to expand their own network.  The way these programs work, each joint venture partner offers a freebie, such as a free eBook, webinar, discount off of services or assessment form to anyone who buys your book on the launch day.  Those who buy the book provide their contact information to receive whichever freebies they desire.  So each joint venture partner has the opportunity to get in front of the network of the other joint venture partners (as well as the author’s own network).  You can also provide to each joint venture partner the contact information of everyone who selects their freebie, so they’ll get some hot leads.  A third reason why someone might be interested is if they would like to promote their services to your audience – a quid pro quo.  They’ll send your information out if you’ll send their information out.

There is a lot of work involved in establishing the joint venture connections and coordinating the freebies, landing pages and messaging that will go out to the networks.  For this to work well, you need to find joint venture partners with

  • A similar audience to your target market;
  • A sizable network;
  • A valuable freebie so that it will entice more people to purchase your book

You need to get each joint venture partner to commit to send out the messages, which could include email blasts and social media posts.  You also need to test everything in advance to make sure it all works smoothly.

  1. Get Your Book Done On Your Schedule

For those who have wanted to write and publish a book but cannot find the time to get it done, or aren’t sure how to get started, SkillBites has developed a program just for you.  Each week, you will be emailed a small assignment that should take less than 30 minutes of your time.  You have the option of having your assignments reviewed and getting feedback on them or not.  At the end of three months, if you do the assignments, you will be well on your way to getting your book done.  Interested?  Contact me at or 610-783-4519 for more information.

  1. Earn Commissions For Referrals

Do you know anyone who has been wanting to write a book but has been stalling?  Let them know that SkillBites offers a variety of services to make book writing and publishing easy, quick and convenient.  When you sign up to be a SkillBites affiliate, you can get a commission for each person who signs up to purchase SkillBites services through your unique referral link.

Thanks for supporting SkillBites.  If there is anything you think we ought to be doing better or anything we should be doing that we’re not, please let us know.  We value your input.





[1]This information came from one of the lessons in a course on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, part of the Great Courses series, presented by Jason Satterfield.