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Success Advice

How the Coronavirus Made Me Into a Teenage Author




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I am grateful for quarantine. It forced me to sit my butt down on a chair and think about what I wanted to do with the next two months of my seemingly empty existence. It forced me to list a number of things that I was good at — one of which included writing. It forced me to hatch out a 31,000 word 124 page book in less than three weeks. It made me into a published author… at the age of 15.

STEP ONE: The First Wave

So, a bit of background story to begin with. Since I lived in China, the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit my high school at the end of February. At that time, I was still on a Chinese New Year trip back to my hometown in Taichung, Taiwan. I was safe for the time being… and I was bored out of my mind.

Online classes began almost immediately when the school’s return date was postponed. I can tell you that I slept till noon, spent approximately three hours per day on Instagram, and binge watched every Netflix show available. After a whole month of endless procrastination and moping around the house, I felt incredibly sick with myself. It was then that I changed my entire routine, and set ONE GOAL for myself. I was going to write a book.

STEP TWO: The Ultimate Plan

When I first decided to sit down and write a book, I was determined to actually FINISH the book. I knew myself a little too well. In the past, I have always tried to write a novel, but I could never FINISH writing it. I would write ten pages for the first chapter, read it over, and not be satisfied with it to continue.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things about all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King

To solve this problem, I set up a strict schedule for myself. Here is how I organized this schedule:

What’s Your Daily Word Count?

I forced myself to write 1,000 words per day, AND it didn’t matter if I was uninspired or unmotivated on a particular day — I made myself sit in front of my computer for 1–6 hours per day to write 1,000 words for my book.

I know that everyone writes at their own pace. Some people can only do 200 words per day and others can go up to 3,000. My advice is to be consistent with your daily word count, and don’t stress yourself out by setting an extremely high daily word count.

Eventually, I doubled my word count because I had the time to write more. During my last week of writing my book, I pushed myself to complete 2,000 words per day.

You Cannot Decide The Length of Your Book

I didn’t know how long my book was going to be — a conventional e-book length of 12,000 words, a standard business book length of 80,000 words, or a young adult targeted book of 50,000 words? My book is an e-book targeted at teenagers about business.

Later on, I predicted that my book would be around 35,000 words. After my editor returned my rough draft back to me, it was cut down to 31,000 (she deleted an entire chapter). For a book’s word count, it’s always going to be different. The most important part is not your word count, but YOUR CONTENT.

How To Plan Your Book’s Content

In a OneNote page, I jotted down the main contents of my book TO GUIDE MY WRITING. This included the chapters, subsections, and core ideas, important points and messages.

Why do I say guide my writing? Well, there are a lot of writers that love to be “spontaneous” and they only write when they feel “inspired.” The truth is, this isn’t the most productive way to go about writing a book, especially if your career path is to be a bestselling novelist. Guided writing (or a pre-planning process) can definitely help you write faster and with higher efficiency.

For the writing process, I can only think of one word: consistency. I knew that if I slacked off today, I would lose the motivation to continue writing the next day and the next day. It was like keeping a Snapchat streak — but only having to write 1,000 words a day.

How Are You Going To Publish Your Book?

You’ve probably heard of self-publishing, but you’ve probably never heard about how terribly tiring and frustrating it can be. To begin with, I self-published my book, Business Insider with a Teenager, on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). A little definition time: KDP is a self-publishing service created by Amazon that publishes your book to Amazon and Kindle stores.

First of all, it’s free. Second of all, it was not easy to do. From creating your own cover to formatting your book on Kindle Create, the whole publishing process was not fun to deal with. 

Although KDP provides a lot of helpful tools and tutorial videos, there are still a lot of things that you have to learn along the way. There are so many self publishing services out there (Kobo Books, Apple Books, Google Play Books, Ingram Spark), but the top recommended one is KDP.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison

Last Word

Bestselling author or not, I WROTE A BOOK. I can slap the title of “author of Business Insider with a Teenager” on my bio, talk about it in my job interviews, and write it into my college applications.

The coronavirus is one of the most traumatic and rare experiences that the world has ever encountered. Industries have changed — some individuals have started their own business, others have gone bankrupt.

Me? I became an author, got a huge opportunity to become a social media marketing manager at a local company, started writing for a local magazine, took on local professional photography and videography gigs, and still manage to get decent grades in my sophomore year at high school.

Quarantine gave me the opportunity to slack off or to do better. In the end, the decision was simple. I chose to get to work.

Shirley Martin Wang is the 15-year-old author of Business Insider with a Teenager, a writer at HERE! Dongguan Magazine, and a student at the American International School of Guangzhou. Follow her journey on Instagram. To order a copy of her book, Business Insider with a Teenager, go to Amazon.

Success Advice

How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not




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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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Success Advice

The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch




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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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Success Advice

The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance




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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Success Advice

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show




why you should have a podcast
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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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