Friday, May 11, 2007

Today is the day! Please welcome Eric Maisel, Author of Ten Zen Seconds as we chat about how his methods can help the creative/businessperson.

Marcia: Many artists including myself have trouble wearing the "businessperson" hat. It's so easy to feed the creative soul, such fun to take care of the inner child and so hard to make the "mundane" chores of accounting, marketing, etc. a priority. How can utilizing these principles help to focus on the business side of the equation?

EM: In several different ways. First, incantation 3, the "I am doing my work" incantation, is customized each time you use it and announces some specific work that you intend to do, and by naming your marketing or your accounting as your work you orient yourself toward that work with more energy and less fuss. Incanting "I am doing the books" can go a long way toward avoiding doing the books.

Second, incanting "I make my meaning" helps remind you that there are many mundane things that must get accomplished for a meaningful life to be led: that, if you find it meaningful to have a published book that finds readers, you are also obliged to find it meaningful to market and promote that book.

Third, you can use incantations 10 and 11, "I an equal to this challenge"and "I am taking action" to fortify your resolve and propel you in the direction of the marketplace.

Marcia: How can Ten Zen Seconds help with the challenge of negotiating contracts?

EM: Generally speaking, a book contract, although many, many pages of fine print, only contains about half-a-dozen "red flag" issues that an author needs to monitor. One is the delivery date; another is the book title; another is the manuscript length; another is the option clause; another is the royalty structure; another is the number of complimentary copies received. These and a few other items constitute the main areas where an author needs to pay attention, as most of the rest is boilerplate.

First, you use incantation 1 to completely stop; because we are anxious, it is hard even to read the contract, let alone think about it and negotiate. Stopping and centering is the first task. Then you take each point in turn and incant "I am equal to this challenge," so as to announce to yourself that you ARE equal to the challenge of negotiating the contract. Even
writers with literary agents, where the literary agent does the lion's share of the negotiating, still ought to understand their contracts, so this process is similar for all writers, whether agented or unagented.

Marcia: Many times while driving on the freeway or during some other activity which I can't stop to write is precisely when I will have a stroke of creative brilliance. I often cannot retain the thought. Is there a way that Ten Zen Seconds can help me to retain the essence of these ideas until I can put them on paper?

EM: There is almost nothing in life, short of performing heart surgery or landing an airplane, that can't be interrupted when a good thought strikes. If you're in a meeting, jot the thought down. If you're driving, speak it into the little device you keep with you for just that purpose. If you're talking to your friend, say "Oh, I just had a thought! I must write it
down!" If you're in the supermarket, stop right in the aisle and make a note of your thought in the pad you begin to always carry around with you.

It is a mistake to let ideas go by because we are doing other things, as that often means that we are holding our own ideas and our creative life in a second fiddle place in our being. In line with this idea of stopping to get that thought down, many of the incantations support this excellent habit, "I am completely stopping," "I embrace this moment," " make my
meaning," and "I am taking action" among them.

Marcia: How can Ten Zen Seconds help me to attract more clients?

EM:Building a business has many parts to it. Part of the process is trusting that you have the right entrepreneurial energy and skills, which incantation 4, "I trust my resources," can help you begin to believe, and part of the process is manifesting that energy and those skills, which incantations 3, "I am doing my work," and incantation 11, "I am taking action," both support.

You attract clients by becoming a presence in your community, by finding and accepting speaking engagements, by writing in your field, by becoming a known brand, and so on, and the more you can do these things with joy ("I am open to joy") and without baggage from the past ("I am free of the past"), the more you can "return with strength" to each facet of your practice-building.

Thank you Eric.

For more information on Eric Maisel and Ten Zen Seconds visit

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