Oops!

I pride myself on my organizational skills and attention to detail.  Since my coaching practice depends on both, I’ve developed spreadsheets, procedures, and extensive files on my shared disk drive which enable me to run my business effectively and efficiently.  It’s a system that works well, enables leverage, and keeps me in check. So, imagine my chagrin when all too late, I – or rather my wife – discovered a typo in my December newsletter that was missed by both me and my assistant.  It’s hard to correct without jamming up people’s inboxes so the most I could hope for is … laughter! Yes, we have to laugh at these minor transgressions and put them into perspective.  In this case, my assistant indicated 2016, not 2017 for a January seminar.  She herself laughed and said that she was still writing 2014 on checks.  I had little choice but to laugh along with her because this is very likely a universal thing.  (By the way, as I finalize this toward the end of December, I note that although many opened the December newsletter, no one called me out about the typo.) All too often, we are quick to point out errors and mistakes – as my wife did about the incorrect year.  I think it gives us some satisfaction knowing that we are all flawed.  So how do you overcome setbacks like this?  Here’s a formula:
  1. Be above the line.  Apologize without making excuses.  Saying “I’m sorry” acknowledges the mistake and demonstrates being accountable.  Likewise, if you are on the receiving end of the error, give the person a chance to own up to it without using accountability as a weapon.
  2.  Correct.  After you apologize, ask how you can make it right.  Come up with ideas on your own and collaborate with peers if necessary.  And, on the receiving end, listen and appreciate.
  3. Learn.  There is a vast body of published biographies, auto biographies, business books, articles and knowledge that equate failure and mistakes with prerequisites to success. Bottom line, you’ve got to Learn to Earn.
On the other hand, if you keep making the same mistakes, then it’s time to hire an ActionCOACH business coach to help you break through the obstacles that may be holding you back.  In addition, if you need to design your business to maximize your leverage or would like to learn more about bringing your business and yourself above the line of choice, contact myself or any of my colleagues for a no obligation complementary coaching diagnostic session and learn how we can add value to you and your business.

Applying Pareto’s Law to Your Life (and Business)

Many of us have heard that 80% of your results are achieved by 20% of your efforts. Since Pareto introduced that concept back in 1896 by identifying that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population, it has since been applied to science, engineering, healthcare, and sports. My assistant claims that 80% of what you wear comes from 20% of your wardrobe so the applications are limitless. As a business coach, my clients frequently complain that there’s just not enough time to get everything done.  Upon discussion, we have a lightbulb moment in which the client realizes that s/he is spending 80% of their time on trivial matters and only 20% of their time cultivating their core business, the very antithesis of what they should be doing.  During our coaching sessions, I suggest these ways to increase their productivity – and profits – by incorporating the 80/20 rule:
  1. Focus on the 20% of your customers who are generating 80% of your profits. Cultivate those relationships and watch your bank account grow!  Delegate the rest to your sales team and help them to nurture the future 20%.
  2. Identify the 20% of your friends and business associates who can provide 80% of your support, be it marketing or emotional. Conversely, eliminate the 20% – or more – of those who drain you of your energy or stand in the way of your success.
  3. Find the 20% of the tasks that you truly enjoy which bring the greatest reward and put 80% of your energy into them. The rest can be delegated or outsourced.
  4. 80% of a business’s problems come from 20% of the business. Is the 20% related to production?  Delivery?  A particular employee?  Periodically review your processes, policies and procedures.  Communicate expectations to your staff regularly.  This is about fire prevention.
The common thread here is to simplify as much as you are able.  Granted, the way we work has changed dramatically over the last two decades and we’re now “on” 24/7.  However, by discovering how we are using our time, we can make informed decisions about how we choose to spend it. My colleagues and I are ready to assist you in applying Pareto’s Law to your business and your life.  Contact any of us for a no obligation complementary coaching diagnostic session and learn how we can add value to you and your business.