If you lead your business with love, empathy, the ability to have free time that allows you to have quality time with friends, family and loved ones, this post is not for you. But if money, data or analytics are the motivating factors in your life, read on because…
This is going to piss off some people and expose a polite lie we all like to tell each other.
In business, you can bucket everyone into one of these categories— customer, employee, partner, and other.
There is no “friend” category, even though we should all be nice to each other.
You have a limited amount of time, so you can’t be hopping on the phone to give free consulting all day long or be meeting people in your “free time”.
Because that’s time away from your family, your health, and your business. And if it’s business, your priority is to your customers, employees, and partners.
Be careful that the giant “other” category doesn’t become such a distraction that you lose sight of your customers, employees, and partner.
I see a lot of you so enamored with trying to become an “influencer” that you forget you have a business that needs your attention.
I’m guilty of this, too, which is why I need the wake-up call once in a while, like this note, to be clear about priorities.
If someone “might” become an employee, client, or partner, it’s okay to spend time with them. But don’t fool yourself by using that as a blanket exists to squander most of your time.
If there’s no clear value, you’re just wasting your precious time.
If you find yourself wandering about, likes scrolling through the Facebook newsfeed, consider if there’s something more important you should be working on with your family, friends, health, spiritual needs, or business.
This concept just relates purely to business. Outside of business, I spend quality time with my friends (and yes, I’ve met some friends along the way who started out as business contacts first and do value them and will do anything for them), give back to the community through free content and workshops.
These are great things to pursue outside of business, but do not confuse the two and think that when you are hanging out with a friend, that you are working.
That’s the justification I got from a former partner who robbed me blind— stealing a client and the truck I bought him to not leave us.
It takes 5 years to truly get to know someone— if they merely say what is convenient for them versus establishing a track record of doing what they say they will do.
Digital and social is a fast and loose game that knocks you off balance if you’re not vigilant.
Today, I saw an article in Entrepeneur about how most followers and engagement are fake— bought for pennies each. And then the bulk of that article goes on to overly promote a company with a tool that supposedly detects fake followers.
Yet this company likely paid to place this article— the irony.
The next breathless claim of instant success via “secrets” you must sign up for to get— remember what’s real.
Same clown, different circus.
You’d think that with data now so easy to retrieve, facts so easy to verify, that there would be fewer scams.
It actually works the other way around- the charlatans believe there are more places to hide and an infinite mass of people to scam.
So build fewer, high quality relationships— not more.
Connect with people in-person, not just online— which means you must say NO to more things, even which seem promising.
Slicing that same large pizza into 32 slices instead of 8 slices doesn’t yield you 4 times more pizza- and neither will spreading your time across more people and projects.
The friends in my life from 5+ years ago are more valuable to me than people I met last week— since they’ve vetted themselves.
And my 10+ year friends are pure gold— though I’m often distracted by the shiny things that turn out to be fools gold.
The expensive lesson I’m still learning- trust, but verify. The bird in the hand is worth more than 2 in the bush.
When you’re in a hurry, you’ll make mistakes.
“Con man” is short for “confidence man” because they know how to play to your fears and generate trust.
Digital isn’t enlarging the world- it’s making it smaller. Focus your energy in the few proven places that matter, resist the scatter.