Famed master salesperson, the late Zig Ziglar threw that statement around quite a bit, the one used in our title. While it might be left to interpretation by some, we know he related it to the life of the small businessperson. These hard-working entrepreneurs might be the most time-starved people on the planet. In almost every small business with a mission to succeed, extra time is often in small supply.
It is for this reason that time must be managed wisely, which includes controlling how we respond to certain things and in determining what we choose to respond to. Let’s come up with an example:
You fire an unreliable employee. Next thing you know this person is on Facebook and Twitter bashing you, your company, your family, claiming nepotism, claiming they were not paid on time, etc. When you should offer one sentence in defense -if that – you engage the process all-day or maybe for multiple days or weeks.
Here is what we have to think about: If we devoted 35 hours to this back-and-forth, how much could we have accomplished, if instead:
- We wrote outlines for four, (4) videos to be produced for our business
- We learned from our experience with this person and used that in recruitment language for new people
- We wrote a plan for office systems reorganization and then set out to accomplish the new plan
- We identified twenty, (20) new referral sources and then started developing a plan to remain in touch with them
Proper time management and emotional control extend even further. Since the internet is used by many to measure your value as a businessperson, there has to be thought given to what impression we want to give to those who may decide to use our services. If they see us as a reactionary and they become afraid of the thought of having a disagreement with us, they will likely pass us by in fear of how we manage challenging situations. They will also, and justifiably so, question how we choose to manage our time.
Our firm assisted in the management of a private duty home care company starting in 2002. One case was very involved, starting as a husband and wife and then went to just the wife once the husband died. Generally, like clockwork the daughter had a check in the hands of this home care company by the 3rd of each month. However, during one month in 2008 the 10th went by, then the 15th, then the 25th. No payment.
A past due notice was sent and messages were left and the company owner was puzzled and angry. The company owner wanted to start sending messages using www.myspace.com, etc. which we adamantly warned against. We arranged to send another letter of inquiry. Guess what? The client’s son and the payee’s brother found the past due notice, called to advise that his sister was in the hospital fighting end-stage endometrial cancer. He told the owner he too was a signer on the checking account and once he located the checkbook he would overnight the check and any late fees. The $15,000.00+ check arrived two, (2) days later.
A company with twenty-eight, (28) or so cases surely had to be careful not to allow the aggravation associated with one, (1) case to take their eye off the ball of the company’s overall management. Further, had they immaturely chosen to turn this into a public spectacle, who knows if the next prospect or referral source might not have seen that and ran the other way. It happens everyday and online reputations are ruined. This family did not deserve that.
Let’s solve problems, engage important contacts, maintain organization and more using emotionally restrained and well-thought-out systems of reasonable and professional time management. We never want to allow an “over-reaction” to lead to “under-performance.”
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