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Top 10 Editing Tricks of the Trade

This is my own personal list. Every editor has his own list, but the following are my tried
and true tricks of the trade.

1. Examine the paper’s general settings.

These are things such as page size, margins, spacing, font, font size, etc. Many of these items are so much easier to take care of first. Plus, if you have on Track Changes, changing some of these general settings for an entire paper will create a plethora of notations that will slow down your editing. 

2. Use Track Changes.

The aforementioned Track Changes (under the Tools drop down menu in Microsoft Word) is the most useful tool imaginable to communicate how much work the editor actually does throughout the editing process. Plus, it is perfect for the client who wants to manage every change. He can literally accept or reject each of your edits.

3. Spell check. Spell check. Spell check.

Why not use it before you jump into the read and knock out some of those troubling problems that Mr. Gates has helped alleviate? I commonly tell students that God created spell check on the 8th day (Bill Gates just borrowed the idea), so please use it! Spell check is commonly one of the first things and the very last thing I do when editing a paper.

4. Command-Z/Control-Z.

Mistakes happen. Sometimes you need an easy way to undo
the last mistake (or 15)! Control-Z on a PC and Command-Z on a Mac are the keystrokes
of note for undoing those mistakes (plus you can even redo an undo if necessary). Microsoft Word keeps tally of each change; you could literally undo every edit you made if necessary.

5. Carefully crafted comments.

Good editors leave helpful, instructive comments for writers that help them become better writers. In turn, that helps the editor in the long run have a higher quality manuscript to begin with. Most writers appreciate any comments you give.

6. Think encouragement.

Sometimes writers can love their writing so much that they get offended at critique. If you will encourage the author with your interactions and feedback, it will go a long way toward building a long-term relationship.

7. Put it aside for a day.

 

Having trouble? Sometimes you just need to step away from the material. A good night’s sleep, or even a day focused on something else, will help you read the material again with fresh eyes.

8. Find your muse.

Inspiration is not just for writers. I am inspired listening to music both as I write and edit (Ben Folds Five from my college days is playing right now). But maybe it is your location, frame of mind, favorite beverage, or the time of day that suits you best. Whatever works to aid your editing experience, go with it!

9. Beware the repagination.

When you get too many track changes in your editing, you might just experience the repaginating curse. Every few edits the entire document incredulously repaginates (it must know you have a deadline). If this happens, change the view you are editing the document with in Microsoft Word, and you will save lots of time and headaches along the way.

10. Clean it up.

Track changes are great, but I always send a clean copy of the paper for the client as well. While some clients want to review your work, others receive your edits and are ready to print and walk out the door with it for class.

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10 Surefire Tips for Securing Capital Investment

1) Protect your idea with a patent/copyright/trademark.


Depending on your business venture, you will need to take precautionary steps to protect your idea. This may involve filing a patent, copyright, or trademark. In any of these cases, it is important that you develop quality documents, easy to read figures, tables, and graphics so that the reviewer can determine the merit of your work. Venture capital investors may want to review these documents and along with your business plan, this might be the first impression of you and your capabilities.
Please remember that these protections do not keep someone else from trying to develop your idea, but they do give you the right to fight it out in court.

2) Write an excellent business plan.

Your business plan is a dynamic document. One investor group may need a particular format while another group may ask you to present the plan in their preferred review layout. The business plan needs to state who you are, what you are doing, why you need investment, the scope of the market (what is the valuation of the market), how you intend to proceed with the investment, and what the return on investment will be should someone invest. Most importantly, the business plan needs to be grammatically correct and have no spelling errors.

3) Have your business plan vetted and reviewed by experts in the field.

You need to take the time to have someone in your field read your business plan. Possibly a trusted colleague or a subject matter expert/reviewer/editor can help you with noticing the little things that are missing. These people can also help find areas of weakness in your business plan. With investors, you often have one opportunity to impress. Make sure that you put your best and most developed idea forward. In the business plan, it is important to point out how much you are investing of your own money into the idea.

4) Valuation is important.

Spend time thinking about the valuation and show that you did some real work on the projections. Find a banker or investor who might give you some time and help you develop the corporate valuation.

5) Develop a slide show.

To go along with your business plan you will need a slide deck that puts your business plan into pictures, graphs, text, and images that people can review. Many people are visual. Reading a long business plan may not be the first choice some individuals. Give them a slide show that they can scroll through and begin to “see” your idea.

6) Have your marketing plan developed and ready to show.


The success of many businesses comes with the marketing plan. It may seem like having your marketing plan all developed is not going to help you gain investment, but the truth is that investors will be far more impressed if you can show them the details of how you plan to make money on your idea and their investment.
Consider having flyers, a short video, and other items that will help you market to your target demographic. It is important to note that by developing your marketing, you will be able to fine-tune the demographic most likely to purchase your product or idea. Make sure to have all the documents, videos, and flyers proofread by multiple people. Nothing ruins a good marketing plan more than having bad grammar, typos, and spelling errors.

7) Invest your own money in the venture.


Invest at least a few thousand dollars in your new business. If you are not willing to invest, why will someone else want to loan you money? The capital investment you put in represents a material percentage of your net wealth and shows that you are dedicated to the success of the project.
Many entrepreneurs tell everyone about the sweat equity they are putting into the business. The truth is that everyone starting a new business is putting this type of effort in and potential investors expect this effort.

8) Have a working prototype available.


Investors do not want to take on product-development risk. If your idea is fabulous, they may take this risk but they will likely want a larger portion of your company. Have a working prototype available for review. A working prototype shows the investor that the development and proof-of-concept risk is mitigated.

9) Acquire Investment first from “friends and family.”


Many investors want to see that you have raised money from friends and family because it validates that people who know you think you are capable of making this idea come to life. How much should you seek from friends and family? This depends on your idea but $25,000 to $50,000 is a good sign that you are seen as capable and competent by family and friends.

10) Generate revenue.


This is a difficult task but very important. The company does not need to be making millions in the first month but a small amount of revenue will show that you have a good marketing plan and your idea is moving forward.

On a final note, raising capital is challenging and time consuming. If you take these ten steps, you will be better prepared to be a success in the capital investment round of funding.

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8 Great Reasons to Journal

In our fast-paced high-tech world, journaling may be one of the best ways to gain perspective and peace of mind. Whether you write in a beautiful leather-bound notebook or on the latest tablet, expressing your thoughts can lead to insights that you might not discover otherwise—or, at least, not as quickly.

1. Journaling allows us to reflect.

The fast pace of our society often prevents us from taking time to think and to see exactly where we fit in to what is going on around us. Journaling helps us slow down to consider who we are, what we’ve done, and where we want to go.

2. Journaling allows us to discover who we are.

We are far more complex than most of us allow anyone to see. We often don’t even know ourselves very well. Journaling lets us see the thoughts and ideas locked in our subconscious minds. The body-mind connection required to write helps us express those inner thoughts.

3. Have a problem? Journal.

Writing can help us sort through possible solutions to the sticky problems in our lives, the ones that don’t have neat answers immediately identifiable. We can develop a variety of possible solutions, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and then choose the one most likely to resolve the situation.

4. Journaling lets us say whatever we want to say.

Sometimes we just have to vent. But venting publically can create more problems than it resolves. Journaling helps us acknowledge those feelings in a way that doesn’t hurt us or other people. We can always tear out the page or delete the words from the screen (just don’t save first). Once out of our systems, we can look at the situation more calmly and move on.

5. Journaling releases tension and stress.

The act of writing slows us down, which helps us relax and breathe. We get the things that are bugging us out in the open, even if only for our eyes, and that helps us deal with them. Writing also helps us put things into perspective, which reduces stress and anxiety as well.

6. Journaling unlocks our creativity.

Feeling blocked? Not sure what to do next? Write. Just put pen to paper or fingers on keyboards and write. No editing, no proofreading, no second thoughts. Just get whatever is in your head out. Make it visible and see where it leads. What seems whacky is often the seed of genius; but if you never express it, the seed can’t grow.

7. Journaling helps us express gratitude.

Keeping a journal of blessings is an easy way to see all the good that is happening in our lives. It allows us to focus on the little things that we overlook in the organized chaos of our world. The smell of wood smoke on a crisp fall evening, the sweet taste of a the first strawberry of spring, the sight of a puppy trying to pick up the paper to bring to his owner—recalling and recording these little events of the day can let us see that even in the middle of the worst day possible, rays of hope exit.

8. Journaling is a way to capture and preserve who we are.

By journaling, we create a first-person narrative of our lives, a narrative both we and our families will find interesting and enlightening in years to come. Journals have always been a source of information, a way of seeing how people who lived during various historical periods actually felt and what their daily lives were really like. Our journals can do the same. Journals also allow us to relive periods of our lives, to see how we have grown and changed, to reflect on the impact of decisions made long ago.

So start journaling! You will be amazed at what you will discover about you, your life, and the world around you.

  1. Tell your story for posterity

  2. Measure progress

  3. Get organized

Types of Journals

  1. Diary

  2. Blessings

  3. Prayer

  4. Plans

  5. Character sketches

  6. Life story

  7. Wishes and Dreams

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Edit911 Review of Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start 2.0

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Starting a business? Thinking of starting a business? Started a business but need some or a lot of guidance and advice? Are you an entrepreneur or have a burning desire to become one? Then Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested and Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything is the definitive manual for you.

Waste not another minute in getting and gobbling up this completely rethought and revised edition of Guy’s 2004 bestseller of the same name. You can turn the pages of this guidebook into your roadmap for starting or building your business, and realizing your entrepreneurial dreams, just as Guy has and continues to do.

author book writer editor

Precious few entrepreneurs have Guy’s experience: a pioneer at Apple & Google; a prime mover behind 12 successful startups; an author of 12 brilliant books; a towering presence on the internet–with numerous websites for his services (such as Alltop, a curating gem for news, stories, and topics of all sorts), companies (such as Canva, “the easiest to use design program in the world”), and books (such as APE, the very best book about how to become a published author and entrepreneur); and a force in social media with 1.45M followers on Twitter (@guykawasaki), 289K likes on Facebook, and 6.8M followers on Google+.

The Art of the Start covers everything we need to know about the subject–from the nitty-gritty of picking our partners, to the Harvard Business School rigor of attracting venture capitalists; from the basics of finding our company’s niche, to the advanced strategies of pitching to investors. Throughout the book, Guy gives us the GIST (Great Ideas for Starting Things) of every topic with sharp, bullet point takeaways, such as the following:

  • “It’s much easier to do things right from the start than to fix them later” (p.14).
  • “…the genesis of great companies is answering simple questions that change the world…” (p.15).
  • “…find a viable sweet spot in the market” (p. 16).
  • “If you make meaning, you’ll probably make money” (p.18).
  • “People want more than information….They want faith–faith in you, your product, your success, and in the story you tell” (p.42).
  • “Put the best interests of others at heart” (p.142).
  • “Feature your customers” (p. 146). 

Ultimately, The Art of the Start is a meta-guide to making a product or service and marketing it to the masses. It’s a self-aware, self-starting, endless regress of ideas that mirror themselves the more we replicate them in our own entrepreneurial adventures. 

The main message is that we can, indeed, see ourselves in others, conceive a product or service we would like to have, and then safely assume that others would too. We can empower ourselves by being ourselves, realizing our dreams as we envision filling a gap or lack in the lives of others. That is, as we actualize our visions by doing unto others, the good karma will come back around to us in the shape of success. By doing everything not for money, but despite money, not for ourselves, but for others, we can build businesses, audiences, and circles of customers who are believers in what we do.

 Guy Kawasaki AuthorAs Guy sums it up: “The bottom line is that you should do everything you can to foster an ecosystem around your product. It is a powerful tool to increase the satisfaction of your believers and to attract new believers with greater ease–in short, making your product endure” (p. 210).


The Art of the Start 2.0 transcends other “business” books in the same way great companies transcend their competitors: it is enchanting, magical, fascinating, human, and humane. Both practical and whimsical, logical and serendipitous, if we follow its path, we, too, could become like Guy: “…someone who is ethical, graceful, and admirable.” What a concept for the 21st century business world!

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