Success. Obstacles. Core Beliefs.


Core Beliefs as Obstacles to Success.

Successful. Women. Janice Howroyd.

We are what we believe, and we create our reality based on what we think.  What do you do today (or not do) that can be traced back to a childhood belief?  For example, as a kid, were you taught that vegetables were good for you?  If so you either love vegetables because you believe they were healthy, and you want to be healthy, or you hate them because you rebelled against being told you had to eat them.  Either way, your belief about vegetables defines your relationship with them today.

Let’s tie this theory of beliefs and outcome to goals. If you grew up believing you could have anything in the world you wanted, you would likely take actions that supported that belief.  So it wouldn’t be a surprise if your life turned out exactly as you wanted it. Likewise, if you grew up believing that you were not good enough or smart enough to have what you wanted, then there was a strong likelihood that you would not get your heart’s desire.  A self-fulfilling prophecy.

Our beliefs are powerful and if we’re not careful, they will control our destiny. 

What do you believe? How are those beliefs impacting your dreams and goals?

This week why not spend some time exploring what it is you’d like to happen for the rest of this year.  Then, I invite you to honestly assess your beliefs and feelings about it. You may be surprised at what you find, particularly if what you find is an obstacle to your success.

Let’s get you busy taking action. It’s an Esteemable Act.  To read more on how you can change your beliefs in order to live the life you want, take a look at Esteemable Acts: 10 Action for Building Real Self Esteem


Join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts page, Twitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.

Signing a Publishing Agreement


Book Deals. Publishing.

Publishing. Author.

Publishing. Author.

All book deals are NOT created equal.  This is the first of a 2-part blog post on publishing deals.  One will offer my perspective as a published author, who received a 6-figure book deal from Random House for my first book.  The second, will be my perspective as an attorney, who represents authors.

There are many factors, which went into me getting such an amazing publishing deal, despite the fact that I am not a celebrity, and had never been published before.   People will often try to discourage you by saying, “it’s so hard to get a book deal, so don’t even try.”   My two cents is, while the publishing industry has definitely changed with the increasing presence and power of the Internet, there are still opportunites to get published by a main stream, New York publisher.

By the way, despite what people told me, not only did I get a deal, but my book went to auction, where 4 publishers entered into a bidding war for Esteemable Acts.

While getting published by a Random House or Penguin is not guaranteed, here are 6 of the most important factors that worked in my favor:

  1. Understanding that Publishing is a Business — Like it or not, it’s the BUSINESS of publishing.  Publishers are not in it to hold your hand or make you a star, they are in it to make $$$ for themselves.  In most case, your interests are diametrically opposed to theirs.  So in looking at any contract that a publisher gives you,  just know that it is in their favor from the get-go!
  2. Get a great agent. Some people like working with agents, and some don’t.  For me, the smartest move I made was to get an agent.  My definition of a good is someone who is skilled, connected in the industry, passionate about your project, and hungry–willing to work hard for you. It’s also important that you find someone who is willing to make time for you.  I’ve known of, too many, situations where an author had a big named agent, whom they never saw or spoke with.
  3. Have a large platform.  Publishers want someone who is willing to do the work to promote their book. Some say it’s a partnership, but in truth, you are expected to do the work. Therefore, the larger your platform, the greater your chances of getting a book deal, because you can demonstrate that you are willing and able to sell your book.  As well as a lawyer, I’m a professional speaker and could prove it, by the size of my platform.  A speaking calendar, which consisted of 40-50 talks a year, made me a bankable commodity.   In this age of the Internet, a platform could come from a large database, a Blog, speaking, writing articles, or being a media personality.  The key is you must show that you have a ready-made audience in which to sell your book.
  4. Write a good book proposal. There are many great books on how to write a book proposal, such as “How to Write a Book Proposal”, by Michael Larsen, “10 Book Proposals that Sold”, by Jeff Herman, and many others that you’ll find on Check them out. Most, if not all, nonfiction book agents will require a book proposal. Learn how to draft a good one!
  5. Have a Marketable Expertise.  All that means is know what you are talking about.  Other than celebrities, you will be expected to have some knowledge about your topic.   There are any number of ways you can get it: education, degrees, licenses, certifications, through business experience, and/or through a personal experience.  I’m not a therapist, so before I got a deal, I was rejected by countless agents.  It was perceived that anyone writing about self esteem had to be a therapist.  Fortunately for me I didn’t give up, and eventually found an agent who understood what gave me the credibilty to write Esteemable Acts was my personal story of change and redemption.
  6. Which takes me to the last point I’d like to share–DON’T GIVE UP, especially in the face of rejection.  Not everyone gets what they want right away.  But in my experience, if you stay the course, and figure out what your next right action is to be, you can get to that finish line that you desire.

Okay, that’s it from the author perspective.  While there are many other factors that went into me getting that book deal, these 6 stand out.  Let’s turn our attention to the contract itself, and what provisions you should pay close attention to.

Follow-up to Your Mid-Year Check-in. Time to Reassess Your Goals


Goals. On Track?

Goals. Reassess.

Goals. Progress.

Okay, we did a quick Mid-year check-in at the beginning of July.  Now we are at the end of July and and I thought it would be great to support your progress by checking in again.  Did you get started on those goals yet? Have you followed through on the goals you set for yourself in January? Are you on track with what you wanted to take on this month? Have you made the daily effort to do just one little thing that moves you closer to your dream? If not, why not?

What do you need to do to get on track?  The year is half way over, and you still have time to get started fulfilling that dream you identified in January.  But, you need to get busy–now!

What does it take? Well if you are like me it starts with identifying what gets in the way of my doing what I said I wanted to do.  The reasons are many, and yet most of them, when honestly assessed, are not valid.  For example, often used excuses are family commitments, work, lack of money, lack of time, just to name a few.  But if we are really honest with ourselves, with 24-hours in a day, it is not hard to carve out 1-hour a day to take action on your goal.  Another strategy that helps me is scheduling that hour a day.  Literally putting it on the calender’s from _ to __.  Out pf sight out of mind.  Another helpful tip is to break the tasks into small manageable baby steps.  Believe it or not, everything I have ever accomplished in my life got started with one small step.Whether it’s losing weight, writing a book, learning a new skill,getting a better job, svaing money, managing your debt, all goals start with one small step.

Okay, get busy!


Progress is taking an action–any positive action that moves you in the direction of your goal. So what if you are not where you want to be, just get started. Spending too much time in a regretful mode is not productive. It slows you down and keeps you focused on what isn’t instead of what can be. As an alternate, acknowledge what you have done and reassess your position.

Good News!

The good news is that there is still plenty of time until the end of the year. And now is the time to create a plan for moving forward.  The key is to identify the necessary changes and then be willing to do the work. Maybe you need to do a little more of something, or a little bit less, or revamp the plan altogether.

Remember, it’s an esteemable act to do a periodic check-in regarding your goals no matter the time of year.

I’m Francine Ward, Author, Speaker, Attorney encouraging you to stretch far beyond your comfort zone—just for today!

Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts page, Twitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.




Book Giveaway – Esteemable Acts: 10 Actions for Building Real Self-Esteem


We’re delighted to inform you that you have a chance to win some fabulous gifts just in time for a new year – a new beginning! And this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill swag, but rather gifts that can change lives and bring people happiness.

Successful lawyer, author, speaker, and self-esteem mentor Francine D. Ward is giving two lucky winners FIVE signed copies of her book Esteemable Acts: 10 Actions for Building Real Self-Esteem.

Submitting entries officially opens on January 3rd at 12:01 AM PST. For a chance to win, simply sign into the entry form below and perform any or all of the tasks provided for additional entries.

Don’t procrastinate! The drawing date is January 13th.

Good luck!!


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