What is the most valuable commodity in the world today? Once it is gone it cannot be recovered, it cannot be replaced, what is it - TIME. When your time is gone it is gone, no amount of appeal, crying or begging will bring it back to you.
This blog was inspired by the wannabe Entrepreneurs who want advice and support, information and insights and lack discipline, commitment and respect. It's easy to call yourself an Entrepreneur, it's entirely another thing to be an Entrepreneur. It requires discipline, commitment and action. I'm constantly astonished by the people who think that getting a business card, or these days putting up a Facebook page, means that you are in business. Regrettably you have to act and have integrity.
Integrity, it is a word that has little meaning in the world today, it means doing what you say and saying what you do ... consistently. As an Entrepreneur Coach/Mentor I get many of these people wanting to 'pick my brains' and in the spirit of Entrepreneurship I often give people an opportunity to have a short session with me. This has benefited many people and got them on the right track, I'm good at what I do. Needless to say, some don't really want to hear what I have to say and want keep 'playing' at being in business ... I've come to realise that it's OK not to be able to help these people. However, the people who annoy me the most are people who want to employ my time for free and then demonstrate the ultimate disrespect for a hard-working Entrepreneur - they don't get to the meeting, cancel (usually minutes before the agreed time and I'm already there), think it is totally acceptable to have me waiting 20+ minutes (I won't wait longer for a meeting) for them or simply forget. I'm not saying that life is always predictable, but spare me the excuses that I can see through. The ultimate error is to think that after I've scheduled or spent an hour on a meeting that didn't happen that I would reschedule another.
Time is precious to Entrepreneurs! Let me ask you another question would you steal someone's wallet? If you looked surprised and said "of course not" I'm delighted. However, what happens all too often is that people are unaware that many Entrepreneurs use their time to earn a living and for them time used without compensation is time that they not only lose but also money that they lose.
Most Entrepreneurs are more than willing to spend time helping others and donating their time doing so. Personally I've provided many hundreds of hours over the years helping others, listening to their ideas, directing them to solutions and connecting them to other people or resources. I love doing it and at times these people even turn into valuable clients. The people who are passionate about their business success are the ones who are at the meeting, on time and eager for any input whatsoever and they appreciate the time that someone puts toward their success.
My message to Entrepreneurs is clear - Stop Wasting Your Time ... and anyone else's!
Here are some tips
- If you're in business and struggling or if you are looking to get into business and you seek advice or support from another Entrepreneur ... attend the meeting, be on time and respect that someone has decided to donate not only their time but foregone the income for that time to extend you support.
- Always offer something in return and not something that you sell but offer a testimonial or referral, it's polite and recognises the time invested in you.
- if you have trouble keeping time, being on time or remembering times and dates - welcome to my world! I get wrapped up in something I totally forget the rest of the world ... but there's a great thing called technology these days. I have a calendar on my computer, sync'd with my phone and tablet and it sends me reminders a day or whenever I set these. This still isn't a guarantee that I won't get wrapped up so at the beginning of the day I set my phone with alarms at appropriate times to remind me to leave, be at my desk or near the phone. Simple. There is NO excuse for not being where you are supposed to be these days (especially twice!)
- If you're in business, or looking to get started, be aware that today's advisor may be tomorrows client! Treating everyone like a potential client isn't a bad way to treat people.
In my experience, if you can't get to a meeting, can't be respectful to people helping you, can't get excited about what you are doing at a core level ... reassess what you are doing and where you are going. People who are excited about their businesses are going to do everything they can to be successful.
If you really are in business but struggling to meet your commitments and manage your time, the book below can be helpful. Personally I would recommend some coaching around what is stopping you from moving forward, this is often where the crux of the problem lies.