Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

A Guide for the Book Lover: The Overlooked Cheerleader in Amazon Marketing Strategies

Filed under: 4-Hour Workday — by Glenda at 12:57 am on Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One key to making the 4-Hour Workday a success is to efficiently use the tools that I choose to use, and, surprisingly, that includes Amazon. Unless an author has a humongous following, simply uploading a book to Amazon means that it will most definitely be lost amidst the millions of other titles vying for book lovers’ attention and money.

The good news is that authors can do much to increase the likelihood their books will be found. This is particularly good news for indie authors who are working with a thinly worn shoestring budget.

Thanks to Michelle Vandepas’ Amazon Bootcamp and other research that I have done over the last couple of months, I have discovered easy-to-implement tips and tricks to increase my Amazon exposure and ranking, and, subsequently, book sales. In fact, the last several weeks have been been the best yet since uploading my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself to Amazon in December 2010. I won’t mislead you by saying sales are staggering; they aren’t, yet. But, I am awaiting a royalty cheque; my second in two years. Woohoo!

However, in learning how to use Amazon efficiently, I have discovered that one boundless energetic resource is glaringly overlooked in these strategies, and that is the raving, cheering book readers who would do almost anything to promote their favourite books. Amazon book readers play a crucial role in the success of a book, if only they knew how to cheer effectively.

A Guide to Sharing Your Favourite Amazon BooksFor this reason I am excited to release Become a Raving, Cheering Book Lover: A Guide to Sharing Your Favourite Amazon Books (PDF). This guide offers 7 easy-to-implement ways (with simple and clear instructions) you can use to share your latest read with others.

The guide is absolutely free. (No email address, personal measurements or first born required!)

Please share freely among your fellow authors, book lovers and book clubs.

Happy reading and happy sharing!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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A Few Less-than Productive Days Are OK, Right?

Filed under: 4-Hour Workday — by Glenda at 12:06 pm on Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Yesterday…

I did not start the day with my list of 6 things written down; a strategy I have learned is needed for a successful 4-Hour Workday. I did have a few tasks in my mind that I wanted to accomplish, but I kept them in my mind, which became blurry as the day went on.

I did not log my start time in my spreadsheet.

i didn’t track the time spent on each task. I intended to keep track of the time in my head and then record it in the spreadsheet when I got to it, which I never did.

I did spend an inordinate amount of time on Michelle Vandepas’ Amazon boot camp activities (which I highly recommend) in attempts to get my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself to #1 in its category on Amazon; it remains stuck at #2. I now have a greater understanding of how Amazon is a self-contained search engine and how Amazon rankings are based on a combination of Likes, Tags and Reviews (social proof), internal links via Lists and Guides, and, ultimately, sales. This understanding will benefit my future book launches and promotions.

I did have a late lunch with my husband before he left to teach his evening classes.

i did send a follow up email that I had been putting off for a week because I perceived the recipient as a much bigger fish than I and I felt tongue-tied.

i did leave my desk long enough to wash the kitchen floor multiple times. I concluded that the grimy, lack lustre look is not so much my poor housecleaning skills but rather the 22-year old linoleum that is simply wearing out. I then returned to my computer.

I did eat my supper at my computer while hanging out on Facebook and watching CTV’s Flashpoint online.

When I finally turned off my computer at 9pm, my lower back was sore, my bum was numb, and both feet were tingling, likely slightly swollen.

I did not shower as intended. Rather I climbed into bed to read and to be with my 16.5-year old kitty who is sleeping more and more.

Yesterday…

I realized that emailing myself the 6 things to do and tracking my time spent on each task provides necessary structure and accountability for my 4-Hour Workday.

I realized that not every day is as productive as others. Some days I need time to think and to figure out things, and that doesn’t always happen when the clock is ticking. And, that is okay.

I realized that I need to have a compelling reason to turn off my computer after my 4 hours of work. As much as I need to be excited to “go to work” each morning, I need to be equally excited to leave work to go play. Turning off my computer to go wash the floor or clean the litter box doesn’t cut it; I need to find something that is as luring as purple macramé.

Today…

I have a new 24 hours to choose how I spend it.

How do you get back on track after having a less than productive day?


Please join me on this 4-Hour Workday journey.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Working Only 4 Hours a Day Means Learning to Say the Dreaded Word “No”

Filed under: 4-Hour Workday — by Glenda at 6:51 pm on Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Three presentations, two cross-border trips and one amazing bucket list adventure later, last week found me back at work, with a new client awaiting. Getting back in the groove was relatively painless because of strategies I have implemented with the 4-Hour Workday.

How is that possible?

Each night I email myself six tasks for the next day. That one step mentally prepares me for the following day, unless there is a burning fire in my inbox in the morning, which, truthfully, rarely happens. Some productivity experts would say to not check my email first, but rather to get right to work before I get distracted with other people’s requests of me. I’m not there yet, and I am not worrying about getting there, at this point.

Although emailing myself a to-do list might sound frivolous and unnecessary, the one night that I didn’t email myself, I felt lost after completing about the second task. I was torn and undecided with what I needed to do next.

i will let you in on a little secret: I don’t always need to open that email to see what is next on my list. The act of taking a few moments each night to decide what’s most important to do the next day and writing it down is enough to implant it in my brain. The email acts as a reminder, if needed, and it then becomes my response to iDoneThis automated daily question: What did you get done today? I paste my list, already written in past tense, into my response email and tweak as necessary – some days I need to delete something that I didn’t get done that I had planned to; other days I add a few extra things I accomplished or a note about the day. iDoneThis has become my quick n dirty journal.

One side effect of the 4-Hour Workday is being constantly aware of how I am spending my limited work day. This means there is no time to waste on projects that will have little or no return on my investment of time. Yesterday weighing on my mind were an invitation and a commitment to speak; both of which were freebies. That would mean I’d spend 40-50+ hours creating PowerPoints for a 20-30 minute presentation (I now know this because I am also now tracking how long each task takes) in exchange for “a small token of our appreciation”, if I am lucky.

Allow me to share this one story that is still perturbing me from the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) Conference: during one of the sessions an older gentleman with cerebral palsy used his communication device to explain he volunteers 40 hours per week at his local CP organization office. An audience member asked why wasn’t he paid for his work. I thought it was a good question and was curious to hear the answer. But none was offered. The moderator replied laughingly, “It’d probably be a conflict of interest,” and moved on. The question was left unanswered.

i hope I don’t sound like a diva here, but…I don’t want to be that disabled person. “A small token of our appreciation”, after giving a presentation filled with information and value, doesn’t put food on the table, pay down the mortgage or finance awesome bucket list adventures.

Thanks to my friend and mentor/business advisor Becky McCray, yesterday I had the words to say no gracefully and I sent the two emails that I knew I had to send, but was dreading. Truthfully? I am still awaiting the fallout from saying no. But, at the same time, I do feel freer, lighter.

That isn’t to say I won’t do other freebie presentations. I will, under the right circumstances. The proportion of paying gigs to donation of time needs to be more inline with a viable business than with a non-profit enterprise. Another lesson learned that will contribute to making the 4 Hour Work Day a success.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Reclaiming My Weekends: Another 4-Hour Workday Perk

Filed under: 4-Hour Workday — by Glenda at 6:25 pm on Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sample site stats For the last few years i have recorded my site stats on Saturdays; the one time each week when I checked my stats and wrote them down. Why I chose Saturday i do not know. But, turning on my computer to complete that task, I typically ended up doing other things on there and ended up frittering away more of my Saturday than I had intended.

I do not recall an extended period of time since elementary school (before homework began) when I had my weekends totally off, guilt free. This past weekend I chose to change that; I chose to reclaim my weekends.

Saturday I checked out our annual Party for the Planet at Central City (mere blocks away) for the sole purpose of scoring a tree seedling. I received one last year; one that sat neglected in a container of water (that often went dry) on the kitchen counter for months. I killed the seedling because I was “too busy” to plant the thing. How anti-planet is that? Oh, the guilt.

Shore pine seedlingSaturday I scored another Shore Pine seedling. Sunday I planted it: a symbol of new growth, new opportunity, new life.

In the process I had a “damn cp” moment and broke off the tip. A bonsai’d pine?

With the seedling planted, I then turned my attention to our badly neglected deck (with assistance from my trusty Chief Feline Officer Faith)…

Our messy deck with my cat Faith munching on weeds in a planter box

The first step was to sweep, which took me nearly four hours – my back vehemently protested the next day. The complete makeover will take a few weeks, depending upon how body parts hold up. I will post more pictures once its done.

While moving one planter filled with weeds, I discovered we had a new neighbour. How cool is this…

A  snail

Faith starts outside, looking all cuteChoosing to reclaim my weekends…another benefit of the 4-Hour Workday project.

Are your weekends truly yours? If not, what would enable you to reclaim them, or, at least a portion? Share in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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All Tied in Knots After a 4-Hour Workday: Making Time for Renewing an Old Hobby

Filed under: 4-Hour Workday — by Glenda at 9:01 pm on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One handicraft I learned way back in Brownies was macramé. I liked it because it was something I could do. I’d spend hours sitting on the living room floor, my project tied to the couch leg, knotting jute cord. Over the years I’ve macramed wall hangings, holders plant holders and such.

My last project was a door pull, long before I was married. The door pull eventually wore out a few years ago; I have been struggling with closing our front door since then.

I have kept my eyes open for more cord to make a new one, but, except for nylon clothesline cord that wasn’t very exciting, I could not find anything suitable. Does no one macramé any more?

Spool of purple cord and beads on bookshelfA year or more ago, Mom found nearly a full spool of purple cord and a package of wooden beads in her favourite thrift store. Purple, yes! Now we are talking.

But there it sat on my bookshelf, within view from my desk, taunting me. Tempting me to create something with it, something in my favourite colour. But I always had something else to do.

The spool sat on the shelf until well into February when I could take its taunting no longer. I googled the ratio needed for macramé cord length (my memory hadn’t failed me – the suggested ratio was still 7:1), turned off my computer after my four hours of work and got busy.

Knowing I wanted the final product to be, roughly, two feet long, I placed the exercise bike fourteen feet away from Darrell’s power wheelchair (here’s where having one-foot square parquet hardwood comes in handy), measured out four strands and cut. There was no turning back now.

Purple cord strung between exercise bike and wheelchair

Initially this middle-aged woman took a while to rediscover the neuron pathways created decades ago. At one point I had to remind myself that I was merely tying the reef knot, not developing a replacement for Google.

Once I found my groove, I couldn’t wait to finish my four-hour workday to get back to my macramé. With my computer shut down and my music on, I had no desire to check my email, hang out on Twitter or update my status on Facebook. I was content, happy, in the moment. . I even found myself totally loosing track of time, which hasn’t happened in eons.

Partially completed macreme displayed on table

The door pull is now complete and hanging on the door. It works great and looks pretty good too!

Purple door pull hanging on white front door

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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