How to be Successful in Two Easy Steps

How to be successful in two easy steps.

  1. Work hardImage
  2. Be kind

Work hard. Make a plan. Work the plan. Make the plan the work. Commit to it for a specific time. Write down what you did and the results so you can measure if your plan is working. If it’s not, in time, create a new plan. I could talk a lot more about this, but I really want to talk about step 2. It’s the step most often forgotten and probably the most important. Remember the cliché, it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice? Turns out it’s really true.

A number of months ago I wrote a blog post with 5 writing tips. My first and most important tip was not to fight.You can read that here.

“This is pretty basic, but it’s important to remember. If you’re like me, the perfect retort to a rude comment isn’t always at my tongue’s tip at the encounter. If you’re fuming and rummaging through your head trying to formulate the perfecting stinging comeback, you won’t be in tune with your story or characters. It’s impossible, for me at least, to feel in sync with my writing if I’m too busy mentally constructing closing arguments. I’m not advocating being a pansy, I’m just saying learn to be a peacemaker. It’ll help you be a better writer (and a nicer person.)”

The truth is the world not only helps those that help themselves, it also helps those who help others.

My friend volunteers on her homeowner’s landscape architectural committee. This means that she sits on a board with other volunteers and makes sure that the slopes and corners in the city look lovely. She has a number of allotted slopes and corners that she’s responsible for and a budget to keep them planted and pruned.

Unfortunately, a woman on the board likes to go behind her back, use her budget and pull her plants. And she’s not only adversarial on the sly—she’s openly hostile at the planning meetings.

And so my friend has a counter attack plan. Every time this woman says anything my friend plans on complimenting her before offering her own input. For example: “You have the most creative ideas—now what about the ivy?” Or, “I can tell you really put a lot of time and thought into the needs of those roses, have you considered geraniums?” You get the picture. It might not work, but it’s a whole lot easier to steal the budget from someone who is throwing you daggers than someone who’s complimenting your creative use of groundcover.

And if that doesn’t work—ask your writer friend to mention the landscape architectural committee control freak in her blog post that will be read hundreds of people, because everyone wants the nice guy to win.

It’s trite but true—you harvest what you plant. And it’s just as easy (probably easier) to plant seeds of kindness as it is plant contention.

And when you lose your temper—you lose.

There’s more than one way to be a loser. In my latest book, Losing Penny—Penny is a loser of a different sort. Cooking show diva, Penny Lee, loses fifty pounds, and gains a stalker. To avoid the attention of her most devoted follower, Penny concocts a plan: while pretending to take a culinary tour, traveling the world, collecting recipes and posting them on her blog, she hides at a remote beach house in Rose Arbor, Washington, where she spends the summer compiling her cookbook.

When English Literature professor Drake Islington is offered the chance to spend the summer at a remote beach house where he can write in peace he happily accepts, never dreaming that he is a pawn in a match making scheme. His encounter with Penny promises a delicious summer, until uninvited guests arrive forcing Penny and Drake to cook up a scheme of their own. When Drake’s mother, a stalker and a donkey named Gertrude join the mix, the town of Rose Arbor sizzles with another tale of romance and suspense.

And so, I’m kindly offering a smashwords coupon to anyone who would like to read and review Losing Penny. If you’re interested, please leave your e-mail address and I’ll send a coupon.


About Kristy Tate

USA Today bestselling author Kristy Tate has come a long way from small-town Washington. Her avid curiosity and love of reading have carried her to thirty plus countries. (She loves to travel to the places she reads and writes about.) She's the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling and award-winning Beyond Series and the Kindle Scout winning Witch Ways series. She writes mysteries with romance, humorous romance, light-hearted young adult romance, and urban fantasy. When she's not reading, writing, or traveling, she can be found playing games with her family, hiking with her dogs, or watching movies while eating brownies. She is also a popular public speaker and presents writing workshops for schools, libraries, and fundraisers. All proceeds donated to charity. References available upon request.
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8 Responses to How to be Successful in Two Easy Steps

  1. E. Ayers says:

    Many years ago I was taught the sandwich technique of handling a bad situation. First you compliment, then you tell what is wrong, and then you compliment. “You’re full of wonderful ideas for that corner, but lilac’s do not do well here, so we’re not planting them. I appreciate your enthusiasm to try new things.” It works well when dealing with employees.

    There have been so many times I wished I had that sharp tongue and fast comebacks. Three days later, I’ll think ‘I should have said…’ I’d never make it as a trial lawyer. LOL

    I agree about being nice. And I happen to think we have some of the nicest authors right here on Main Street. I’m lifting my cup of coffee to us and to our readers who hang out with us.

    I can’t wait to read *Losing Penny*! A beach cottage sounds like the perfect place to spend the summer. What could possibly go wrong? LOL Besides I love reading a really great book, and I know you write great ones!


  2. Jill James says:

    Ah, ‘be nice to your enemies’, it confuses them. Will have to remember this tactic.


  3. Thanks for the reminder, Kristy! You’re so right.
    I’d love to read and review your book “Losing Penny”–It sounds great!
    Thanks for your kindness!


  4. Kristy Tate says:

    I realized after I wrote this that I wasn’t very kind to the person sabotaging my friend’s gardening efforts! Practice what I preach–not what I actually do. It’s hard to be constantly kind!


    • E. Ayers says:

      Some people can frustrate a saint. And sometimes people don’t realize they are acting like bulls in a china shop. You weren’t being unkind. You were merely showing how to handle a difficult person.


  5. leighmorgan1 says:

    Being kind is always sage advice. I try and if that fails I try to adopt a “be polite” attitude. Works most of the time 😉


  6. susanrhughes says:

    Please send me a coupon –
    Love the cover!


  7. Carol says:

    Your friend followed her heart, and in the way of a good person, heaped coals of fire on the other board member. I hope the lady learned something about honey vs vinegar. Losing Penny sounds great!


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