Take Action, But Act Intelligently
Intelligent action is based on the understanding that knowledge is different from wisdom. Knowledge is information, but intelligence is the prudent application of knowledge earned through experience. It is the good judgment that prevents mishaps from recurring or enables you to act differently when they do.
You apply intelligence when you learn from a mistake. As Ben Franklin said, "a cat once burned by jumping on a hot stove will never jump on a hot stove again... or a cold one." Evaluate your results and understand how your actions caused them. If the desired outcome occurred, repeat those actions under the same circumstances in the future. If your progress is not goal-directed, analyze it and take appropriate action to rectify the situation and return your motion toward success.
Use the information from your evaluation as you would the details from traffic reports when traveling. This information alerts you to potential obstructions and gives you time to decide upon an alternative route. Informed feedback will help you redirect your forward motion around obstacles and keep you on the path to reach your objectives.
Intelligent action is also the result of continuing education, which is a never-ending process. Join APSS (the Association of Publishers for Special Sales, www.bookapss.org) and read its monthly newsletter, The Sales Informer. Continue your education by registering for book-marketing seminars and the APSS sales conference (Nov 8 - 9 in Philadelphia, http://tinyurl.com/lr82o7n). Attend BEA and other publishing conventions to talk with the exhibitors and network with your colleagues. Read Publishers Weekly and other sources of information about the book business. Go online to www.bookmarketingworks.com or other informative sites for free book-marketing articles. The publishing business is changing rapidly and you have to keep up with it to remain competitive.
Intelligent action also depends on the ability to do what is necessary, not only what you like to do. The difference becomes evident with a simple exercise. Make two lists, one containing the tasks required to keep your business operating in the Area of Opportunity, the other a record of what you enjoy doing, and do, every day. Now compare the two lists to see if you are doing what needs to be done or what you like to do. Hopefully, the lists are identical. Incongruence does not mean you must stop doing what you enjoy; it simply points out where you may need to apply yourself.
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Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."