Work takes time. Time is money. All of these things should be obvious by now.
But how do you decide how to spend your time or money?
Spend time identifying the most high value opportunities that you can spend your time with. Then divide and conquer.
“Deadlines are vitamins for creativity”
Set monthly objectives. Everyone gets all hot and ornery about new years resolutions, but every turning of the calendar month should bring the same contemplation. This gives you 12 opportunities a year to assess where you’re at, where you’re going, and where you want to get to. Make it a regular practice.
I once worked for a zombie startup*.
At one point, the “leadership” team decided they needed to just get away and do some real soul searching. A candid mandate was issued that everyone read Creativity Inc in the next three days.
They travelled to an old west dude ranch in Arizona, the team met to discuss the changes that had already taken place: The removal of the CIO and COO, as the company tightened its belt in a desperate attempt to “get organized” and “make a plan”.
Someone was ordered to pick up a dozen hatchets from the general store for the meeting. On each hatchet, each “leader” was to name their hatchet with sharpie marker. Later on the team would proceed out into the desert where they would burry all of their hatchets. (A team building exercise that had clearly been recommended by the business coach).
As I was the most senior technology person on staff following the dismissal of the CIO, I wasn’t invited to the meeting. But the hatchets showed up on Monday at the office. Intrigued, I picked up the first one I came across.
Written across the face of the hatchet in the CEO’s handwriting, “The Best”.
Either the team couldn’t figure out how to dig a hole in the desert (possible) or they were too lazy to try (likely).
Either way, The Best™ hatchet is still doing fine work for me.
*Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as a recommendation to bring a hatchet to a zombie fight.
Free Business Idea:
A business coaching business coaches.
It seems there are so many folks, (around this area in particular) who are interested in helping other businesses grow their business. It’s their business to grow your business.
I’ll let you in on a secret: You can learn nearly all the same information from books and the internet.
Please shoot me a note if you’re interested in building a business coaching other business coaches. I don’t know, maybe it sticks. Some business coaches out there are just regurgitating advice, paraphrasing commencement talks and writing terrible e-books. They could surely use some help with their business coaching business?
It’s a pretty specific niche. Could we make it more specific by focusing on business coaches coaching businesses in a specific vertical?
What about an annual conference for business coaching coaching? We could offer our best business coach clients the opportunity to give paraphrased versions of talks from other conferences that were interesting a year or two ago.
Dealing with humans is hard. Communication appears simple but for every person involved in the conversation, there’s an exponentially increasing number of ways to be misunderstood. Everyone has their own filter bubble, and it’s available IRL, not just on Twitter.
You can bet on the best communicator being the one winning the job, getting the promotion, or gaining more power in an organization.
The funny thing is, the best communicator doesn’t necessarily mean the one with the best ideas.
The person with the genius level intelligence who goes dark and can’t clearly communicate their brilliant ideas isn’t going to be gaining more traction within the social network that is a business enterprise. If you’re a programmer, this is summed up well by Jeff Atwood who tells you, “Don’t Go Dark”.
The person in the organization who communicates well to the most important stake holders is the one will garner more attention and more power within the organization.
A subtle wrinkle here: This person doesn’t even need a clear direction — let alone the best ideas.
You really only need to communicate to others that you care about them and their interests. If you do that, you’re likely to go far.