What problem(s) do you solve for clients?
(Not what do you promise them … what problem(s) do you solve?)
We are several weeks into 2019. Most of us began the year with great intentions to boost our productivity, generally by ADDING SOMETHING TO our day.
Ever the contrarian, I think success is more likely if we CHANGE SOMETHING UP in our routines that allows us to focus on the things that drive success in our practices.
So what can we change up? Let me give you two examples of what I did. Maybe you can relate.
Hey, what’s up everyone! I’m Rod Burkert. And welcome to my Practice Development Corner, the place where business valuation professionals like you come to learn how to turn the practice they have into the practice they want.
Many clients I coach struggle with productivity – so you are certainly not alone!
But the solution isn’t trying to find more hours in the day so we can add more things to the day. Rather, the key is re-structuring the hours we have in a more effective way. Here are two changes I’ve made to my routine.
#1 – I STARTED doing my most important work first thing in the day.
Our valuation analysis and report writing require a ton of mental effort … if not mental gymnastics. Research shows that this mental effort is best exerted first thing in our day when we are at our cognitive best.
But we let our mornings get sucked up by returning phone calls, replying to emails, and putting out fires. I called it “clearing the deck.”
Eventually – when everyone else is taken care of and when we are mentally drained – we get to our most important work, which now takes longer to accomplish because we’re not as focused.
Sometimes I think you all believe I have a different kind of BV practice than yours just because I live in an RV. And thus, I can do things that you think you can’t. But in reality, my practice is just like yours. And I had no trouble flipping my routine so that I could do my most important work first. And there has been absolutely no fallout from responding to those calls and emails and fires until later in my day.
#2 – I STOPPED leaving the door open to future demands on my time.
We imagine we can’t give an immediate “No” to someone’s well-meaning requests for our time because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. So we leave the door open by saying, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” We kick the can down the road and the request lingers, resulting in follow-up emails or calls that suck up even more time on something we know we will eventually say no to.
And our original intent of not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings? Well, we may make it worse because we wait too long before declining and now that person is in a more difficult position.
So when I know I am going to say now, I rip off the band-aid and just say no. How do I decide if it’s a no? I follow author Derek Sivers’ advice: if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no. I even have a “No” email I created just for this purpose. I added it to the bottom of this transcript … feel free to use it.
Remember, at the end of the day it’s not about finding more time for getting more things done. It’s about better using the time we have for getting the right things done.
So that is this episode’s practice development tip. Hopefully, it’s been helpful. What do YOU think? What things do you need to change up? Let me know by taking just a few seconds to like, comment on, or share this video. Thanks so much for watching!
My “No” email:
Thanks for reaching out to me. Much appreciated!
As you know, it’s just me here – no staff, no assistants. And I’m working hard to make my practice more efficient and effective for the clients I serve. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s going great. And I’m glad I’m doing it – but it’s consuming all of my immediate time and energy.
That means saying “no thank you” to some awesome opportunities like this one even when my calendar looks wide open for that date. So while it’s super tempting to say “Yes!” to your request, I know when the time comes that day and week will be full of things I still need to get done.
Again, thanks for thinking of me!
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