Thursday, August 1, 2013

Congratulations! The winner is....

   Let's put our hands together and give a big round of applause to.... nobody! That's right, nobody submitted an essay for the $500 "Alphabet Success" contest. As much as I might be happy that the $500 will be staying in my company account, there is a much much bigger lesson here. If you don't try, you can't win. 

   Of course, I could have done a countdown and reminded people, but as the time drew near I became curious whether anyone was going to make an entry. I even waited until it was 1:00am in Guam, the closest point to the international date line. Nope. Nada. Thus, we arrive at the question of why?

   One possibility is that nobody needed the money. Great news, apparently the global economy is much more robust than I had imagined. Frankly, I'm not sold on that theory. Somebody reading this, perhaps you, is thinking, I should have sent the guy a quick page about "Alphabet Success" and I'd have had his $500. And you would be correct!

  Another potential thesis is that I did not promote the contest enough. Maybe. But there are roughly 50,000 people on my Twitter account, another 1,550 on LinkedIn and to date there are roughly 1,400 copies of the book out in circulation. That would seem a large enough population to elicit at least a couple of responses. But I'll take some of the blame for not "mashing" on the accelerator more as the date drew near to pique your interest. So there is a partial explanation, but seemingly not enough to have prevented any entries.

   My theory? People may have thought what's the point? I hate writing, and I won't win anyhow. Well, that's not really the ABC (Always Be Committed) or JKL (Just Keep Looking) sort of attitude I was hoping to promote in the book. If you glanced at the numbers on my sites the raw data suggest that there was a reasonable shot of winning. But you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. 

   One other alternative? People might think, he'll be looking at a few papers and my writing needs work (which would have been improved by trying..but anyhow) so I have no shot. I'll tip my hand a little here and let you know that I would not have nor will I judge someone on the basis of their grammar or the poetry of their prose. It is nice when language flows, but I was after a STORY. So long as you can convey an example of something that happened, and relate it to a chapter in "Alphabet Success", that will be a solid contender.

   For what it is worth, I would have taken a powerful story over a finally crafted, but boring tale. But that's water under the bridge. It's August 1st, and the contest is over with no winner. Bummer.

   But wait,! What if we use this example to try another approach? Let's have a new contest, with a bigger prize and give you more time to write your story. Shall we say October 31st? That's almost two months from today. Same rules, same deal. I'll update the contest rules, but in short, $500 for the best story  related to a chapter in "Alphabet Success". It must be submitted by October 31st, 2013, no later than 5pm EST. All entries must be received at my e-mail address:

  There you have it. A second chance! If you are interested, I suggest opening a document and just jotting down the most basic outline of what you are thinking. A couple of sentences. Then put a note in your calendar to get cracking at the earliest opportunity. Don't get all jammed up worrying about appearances, and that nonsense, just take some time to write out your thoughts. You can always recraft it. And, should your piece be published on my blog, I'll work with you on it beforehand if you think it will help.

  You'll have to do the heavy lifting though. I'm not dragging you to the finish line.

   Go on. Just Keep Looking!

   Alphabet Success, your personal step-ladder to success.  To buy, click here. 

1 comment:

  1. I would have entered had I known about it! I don't mind writing, actually I quite enjoy it, &.I know I could have used the money. Oh well, maybe next time. Keep posting great quotes & insured Tim, I enjoy the reads & learn something with each one posted.