What Has My Biggest Lesson Been?

When I first pondered this question I thought “How can I possibly choose just one lesson from the thousands of major mistakes from which I’ve learned?” But then the answer became very clear very quickly – there is one which stands above all the others. And interestingly, it is the same lesson for both my personal and business life.

Life today is all about speed and fast action. The rate of change continues to accelerate, so we have to think, move and act faster and faster. But there are some things I have found it is much more appropriate to slow down.

The biggest mistakes I have made have been when I have not taken enough time to establish a trusting relationship before making a further “investment”. And the times I have taken the time, I have gotten it right.

Often when we meet a person for the first time we can be inspired (business) or infatuated (personal) and this can lead us to rush into an over-commitment. The ultimate result is very often a fizzle and/or no productivity.

From my experience, when I have taken the time to develop trust and loyalty before going for the “payoff” i.e. by building a substantive relationship, this has provided a very solid foundation for the future. And the productivity in the relationship follows.

Think of it like a courtship or an engagement. Sometimes it can happen in 5 minutes and sometimes it takes years. But the key lesson is that building the relationship first is the most important – whether it be with a life partner or a business partner.

People do business with each other when they like and trust each other.

The 2 Hour Work Week

Ask yourself if you had a heart attack and could only work 2 hours a day and needed to make at least the same amount of profit monthly, what would you do?

 If you had a second heart attack and could work only 2 hours per week what would you do then?

There are 3 principal ways you can “create” time:

1)    Get someone to do it for you.
2)    Still do it, but do it as efficiently as possible via technology, systems etc.
3)    Don’t do it at all.

As regards getting someone to do it for you – you shouldn’t be afraid to trade money for time. There are times when it makes more sense to spend money than to do it yourself. Here are three instances:

1)    When you can use your time more profitably. Does it make sense to turn down work paying $300 an hour so you can do something you could hire someone for $30 an hour to do?
2)    When your cost in actual dollars may be less by outsourcing e.g. buying the equipment to print your own manuals versus having it done by a print shop that already has the equipment.
3)    When hiring someone will get better results than if you do it yourself.

And as a bonus, you will probably also find that when you take away some of the tasks that make you less productive, you will enjoy your work even more.

Using technology, systems etc. to become more efficient is really a “no-brainer”. But don’t overlook the idea of not doing something at all. Remember that 80% of your results comes from 20% of the input. So some of that other 80% of input may not be worth doing at all!


The Six P's

The Six P’s

My first exposure to the Six P’s was when I undertook basic training in the Army. It was drilled into us that “Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Poor Performance”. (Actually I have sanitised that just a bit :).

Being a somewhat optimistic and positive thinking person, I later converted the Six P’s to be “Prior Preparation and Planning Promotes Positive Performance”.

So what’s the point of telling you about this?

Well, watch the short video above and I’ll explain…