Vicki Hinze's Blog

June 13, 2016

vicki hinze, analysis paralysis


ANALYSIS PARALYSIS


 


By


 


Vicki Hinze


 


 


A great tool for those in business who want to stay in business is analysis, particularly of new projects. The objective is to minimize risks. To mitigate high risks. Yet some take “high risks” to mean any risk, which guarantees they’ll never achieve all they could have because they won’t get out of their comfort zone.


Your best always resides outside your comfort zone.


Stretch. Grow. Your maximum potential lives there.


 


Let me share an example. In the early 1990s, I got a great idea for a new series of books. Two things made the series a little unusual: One, there was a paranormal element (which hadn’t yet come into its own) and two, the series would be an author-generated, open-ended continuity series of single title novels.


 


I pitched the project to my agent, who… well, let’s be kind and say she hyperventilated. When she was breathing almost semi-normally again, she told me that if editors wanted an open-ended series of single-title continuity books, they’d create one and then hire the authors to write them. Authors didn’t generate open-ended series.


 


Needless to say, she didn’t represent it. I told her that was fine—you never want someone representing something they aren’t crazy about—and handled it myself. My thinking was if I were an editor and some author handed me a fully developed series concept, I’d be interested. All the work done for me?   You bet I’d be interested. She thought that was a mistake but couldn’t stop me, so she tolerated me shopping the series.


 


I contacted five editors at five major publishers. Four were interested. I flew to New York and met with each of them.


One wanted to incorporate the series into an imprint that was restrictive. Nixed that one.


 


One made an offer on the spot, and it was a good offer, but something held me back. I couldn’t say what, but I knew to keep the options open.


 


The third was a bust. Her vision for the series and mine were poles apart and never the two would meet much less mesh.


 


The fourth editor was excited. She literally bounced in her seat and her eyes had this wonderful twinkle. Her enthusiasm matched my own. She too made an offer, and while it was for less money per book than the first offer, I knew she was the right editor for the project.


 


I called my agent and fired her, then hired a new agent to handle the contract. An agent and agency that was willing to tiptoe outside the lines and take risks that were analyzed and deemed worth taking. (I like to blaze trails. That latitude is a “must-have” in an agent/agency for me.)


 


The series was successful and came oh-so-close to being made into a television series. (Yes, another near-miss.) The books are still selling today.


 


My point is the original agent who opposed based on what had been done and wouldn’t open her mind to what could be done suffered from analysis paralysis. Her thinking was so ingrained to the status quo that even when the benefits of something different were explained, she couldn’t open her mind to different being welcome in the industry or by the editors.


 


Now, in fairness, let me say that there are times when we all suffer from analysis paralysis. None of us are eager to embrace high risks and we all want to minimize risks and maximize success. But here’s the thing. The two are not mutually exclusive. Embracing one and shunning the other doesn’t guarantee you won’t fall flat on your face and splat!


 


You can do all the analysis in the world and still be wrong. Something happens that’s unforeseen or out of your control—like market reaction, reader reaction, a shipping catastrophe—and that one incident changes everything. So you analyze, yes. But if playing it safe becomes the sole focus, you’ll never truly enjoy success or hit your personal best. You’ve encumbered yourself with self-inflicted limitations that prevent your best from leaving the bench, much less getting into the game. Oh, you might get down from the nose-bleed section of the bleachers, but forget getting on the field and playing. It can’t happen because you won’t let it.


 


Remember, too, that analysis is a necessary step in a process. The process encompasses more. All. Thinking about something doesn’t actually do anything. Doing requires action.


 


I could have shelved the continuity series at multiple points along the way. Talked myself out of sending to my agent. When the agent expressed, er, reservations, I could have said, “Forget it. It’s too risky.” I could have let fear and doubt gnaw at my faith in the project, and not contacted the editors on my own. Few authors submitted without an agent then, and doing so was viewed as a little less than wise. I could have not gone to New York and not met with the editors, or I could have opted for the publisher offering the most money, the best marketing plan. I could also have ignored that instinct saying to hold off accepting that first offer, or ignored the twinkle in the eye and enthusiasm of the second editor.


 


There were multiple analysis points when paralysis could have set in, and any or all of them could have rationally and logically been justified. Only one thing stopped me. One.


 


I believed in the project. The risks were ones I understood and was willing to take. Worst case, I figured, it wouldn’t sell and I’d look like a fool. For this project, I was willing to look foolish.


 


And I guess that is the deciding factor.


 


Do your due diligence, yes. Analyze. But don’t let analysis become paralysis. Don’t not take risks out of fear. Take risks that are worth taking for reasons you deem worthy.


 


Incidentally, that original agent has long since been out of business. And I’m still writing. And what of the editor with the dancing twinkle in her eye? She’s still in the business, too. Promoted many times since then, which is absolutely no surprise.


 


 


 


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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze, The Marked Star PreviewVicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest releases are: The Marked Star and In Case of Emergency: What You Need to Know When I Can’t Tell You (nonfiction). She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. KNOW IT FIRST! Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter! Your best always resides outside your comfort zone.  

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Published on June 13, 2016 04:58 • 8 views

June 1, 2016

Chance and the ExtraordinaryLife by Vicki Hinze


 


Chance and the Extraordinary Life  


By


Vicki Hinze


 


We all want a chance.  Whether it is to do something we really want to do, or it’s to not do something we oppose doing.  We don’t always get that chance.  As they say, that’s life.  It isn’t fair, but no one promised it would be.


 


Yet life being unfair doesn’t mean our desire for a chance is hopeless.  It does mean it is up to us to maximize our opportunities to manifest that chance.  So how do we better our odds of assuring we get a chance?


 


 


1.  Thomas J. Watson said, “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”


 


So to get a chance, prepare.  Do what you need to do to increase the odds of getting the chance you want.  If you need a course to better position yourself based on competence, take it.  If you need a contact who is in a position to assist, network.  If you don’t know what to do, seek someone who has done it and ask for advice.


 


What you cannot do is sit around and bemoan your lack of opportunity.  You must do what you can do to invite opportunity into your world, your life, and your future.


 


2.  Arnold Palmer said, “It’s a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get.”


 


Some rely on luck, or genuinely believe that only luck can provide them the chance they want.  I sincerely doubt the first time Arnold Palmer picked up a club, he got a hole in one.  He practiced and practiced and then practiced some more.  He honed his skills.  And the more he honed, the better golfer he became.  Decide what you want, then work at becoming the best you can be at it. Practice, study, learn from others, devote your effort to becoming an expert at whatever it is.  All those things put you in the right place at the right time for “luck” to find you.


 


3.  Ken Poirot said, “When life presents you an opportunity seize it!”  


 


Too often we have an opportunity that isn’t our sought for chance so we don’t take it.  We fail to see that while this chance isn’t exactly the chance we want, it can better position us for exactly what we want.  These interim opportunities are like lining up ducks.  A leads to B leads to C.  Far too often we fail to get our chance at C because we insist on skipping A and B. A chance which moves you closer to your chance is a chance worth seizing.


 


4.  Greg Boyle said, “The business of second chances is everybody’s business.”


 


If you try and at first fail, be willing to fail again—and again.  This chance matters to you. It is significant.  It can change the direction of your life.  Something that important is worth pursuing until you succeed. So be willing to fail your way to success.


 


The thing about chances is they aren’t guaranteed. No one promises you’ll get the chance you seek. It’s up to you to create circumstances and conditions, to pursue your chance. Remember, persistence pays.


 


No one promises you’ll get a second chance. Again, it’s up to you to assess where your attempt fell short and to do what you can do to not repeat that mistake and improve. Chances, like opportunities, are more often than not created.


 


Few bother to tell you, “Fat chance.”  Most people are so involved in creating their own lives and chances they don’t think much about yours. Some will help you, yes. But it’s up to you to seek help and to help yourself.


 


Many will forfeit their chance because they won’t commit to the work and effort it takes to get that chance.  If you want it, go for it. If it exists, find it. If it doesn’t yet exist, create it.


 


In life, no one hangs out a sign and says, “Last chance.” That decision comes from within. 


 


The thing is, you create and sustain your own desire for your chance or second chance.  You might have to start over somewhere else, to step down a rung on the career ladder to gain better positioning.  You might have to move forward with tattered pride or eat humble pie.  At some time, everyone does, though few talk about it or even remember it, particularly if subsequently they’ve gotten their chance.


 


Here’s an important thing to remember.  It’s only your “last chance” when you say it’s your last chance.  Until you are ready to utter those words, continue your hot pursuit.  This personal choice is yours to make.  Don’t let that call be made by default.


 


Everyone who has ever seized their chance, at sometime during their journey to it, doubted they’d make it. They feared they wouldn’t, and they fought the nagging doubt that they could make it.  Maybe not out loud. Maybe now, they even say, “I never doubted it.”  But odds are the thought crossed their mind. They were just so determined they fought and vanquished fear and doubt.  To get your chance, you must battle and beat fear and doubt, too. Refuse to let fear and doubt hold you back. Think of them as a thief who will steal your chance if you let them. Then don’t let them.


 


Remember the words of Jim Rohn:  “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”


 


We all want extraordinary lives. To feel content. Fulfilled. It’s our nature to crave those things.  Your chance is born in desire.  A desire never seizes us that exceeds our ability to attain it.  We either have what we need to make that chance manifest, or we have the ability to get what we need to make it manifest.  Know it, believe it, never doubt it.


 


Hear and listen Paulo Coelho’s wise words:  “You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”


 


Chances reside in what we prepare for, what we practice, what we see as opportunities… and in allowing the unexpected to capture our imaginations, captivate us, and convince us that this unexpected thing is our chance for an extraordinary life.


 


Last word…  Define extraordinary for yourself. After all, it is your chance at your extraordinary life you are seeking. It should be you who defines it.


 


 


 


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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze, The Marked Star PreviewVicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest releases are: The Marked Star and In Case of Emergency: What You Need to Know When I Can’t Tell You (nonfiction). She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. KNOW IT FIRST! Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!


 

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Published on June 01, 2016 00:42 • 6 views

May 31, 2016

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May 30, 2016

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May 29, 2016

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May 28, 2016

Stealing Joy, Vicki Hinze, My Kitchen Table Talk audio


What do you do when someone is hurting you and knows it yet keeps on hurting you?


In this My Kitchen Table Talk audio, I share my insights on identifying the problem and discuss coping strategies.  In these situations, it’s hard to think clearly and beyond the immediate, but we must because clearly what’s at risk is important to us or it wouldn’t be hurting us.


To listen to the audio, click the image, or click HERE.

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Published on May 28, 2016 00:28 • 3 views

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May 27, 2016

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May 26, 2016

Mr. Fix-It, Ms. Fix-It, Vicki Hinze


Are You Mr. or Ms. Fix-It?

By

Vicki Hinze

Most of us hate to see anyone struggling. The moment we do, our natural instinct is to jump in and fix whatever in their life is broken so that they can put the struggle behind them and move forward—and there are times we can and should do that.  But that doesn’t mean we should actually do the fixing.  Show them how, explain why the broken should be fixed, but not actually fix the broken for another.


Why is that?  What are we supposed to do?  Let them suffer?


We’re not. We’re compassionate people and that means we are to help one another as best we can. The problem is, if we jump in and fix the broken, then the other person never learns how what is broken got broken and, worse, how to fix it for themselves.  So the next time something breaks, they’re still at a loss as to how to make the repairs themselves.


You see, when we jump in, we think we’re saying, “I hate to see you in trouble or struggling. I want to help.”  But what the other person thinks we’re saying is, “You have to rescue me because you think I’m incapable of fixing this myself.”


Whether that person feels too stupid, too inept, too afraid, too weak, too incompetent to fix what’s broken, depends on all that has happened before in his or her life. And on how s/he was taught to respond to breaking things by those in authority over him or her—going all the way back to early childhood.


We can’t predict exactly how someone else will respond to breaking things. We can’t know all they know about fixing things.  And, honestly, when we jump in and fix what’s broken, we’re telling them we don’t trust their ability or judgment to fix it themselves. That’s a bad message to send. And if it is sent often enough, the other person begins to believe it, and maybe even to rely on it.


That leads to a lack of respect about breaking things.  So what if I break it? Someone will fix it.  They always do.  That dependence and reliability on others to clean up messes becomes the natural way of thinking about breaking things.


When we Fix-It, we rob the breaker of the opportunity to be responsible and mature—to accept responsibility for his/her actions and to do what s/he can do to make things right.  Each Fix-It we do is a reinforcement that they’re not capable, they’re lacking.


We don’t want to do that. But we don’t want to see others struggle. So what do we do?


We remember a quote from Maimonides:  “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”


We teach the breaker how to Fix-It. We don’t Fix-It for him or her.  That shows our faith in his or her abilities and character. And, when next s/he encounters a break, s/he has the tool of experience to fix his or her own breaks.  The student becomes the teacher—and is then positioned to teach others.


This is a hard lesson for parents. We love our children and want them to avoid struggles.  But the larger lesson is to permit them little struggles to arm them with the tools to cope constructively with larger struggles later.  That is our objective. To raise kids capable of standing on their own, independently, armed with the resources they require to have a good life.


Remember, we learn in increments. Sometimes we stub our toe. But that makes us more aware and cautious. And because we are or become more cautious, we avoid being knocked to our knees or laid out flat.


Show, teach, guide and instruct. Assist, by all means. But hang up your Mr. or Ms. Fix-It tool belt.  Sometimes the greatest gift is your expression of faith and belief in another’s abilities.


 


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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze, The Marked Star PreviewVicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest releases are: The Marked Star and In Case of Emergency: What You Need to Know When I Can’t Tell You (nonfiction). She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. KNOW IT FIRST! Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!


 


 


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Published on May 26, 2016 00:09 • 5 views

May 25, 2016

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