Derek Sivers

No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs - by Dan S. Kennedy

No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs - by Dan S. Kennedy

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Repeated message: Your time is precious. Know its value and don't work for less. Defend it against time-vampires. Be hard to reach. Make every minute count. Do only the valuable tasks. Good conventional wisdom.

my notes

You want to be very aware, all the time, of the passing of time.

(Decide how much you want to make, and divide it into your price-per-hour : your "governing number".)

If the $340.92 were MY governing number, here's how I would have to use it.
First, it'd be on my mind constantly. Is what I'm doing worth $340.92 an hour to do it?
Second, it puts a meter on others' consumption of your time-that unnecessary 12-minute phone conversation just cost $68.18.

An attorney I know charges:
a higher fee to personally handle your case
a lower fee to supervise the handling of your case by his staff attorneys
yet a lower fee to only consult with your attorney regarding your case.

You've got to surround yourself with people who understand and respect the value of your time and behave accordingly.

Eliminate the need for doing or delegate those tasks and activities that just cannot and do not match up with the mandated value of your time.

If your time isn't worth more than the $5 an hour you could give some neighborhood kid to do menial tasks (mowing lawn), you should be shot. Plus, you're robbing some kid out of the money.

Time Vampires love meetings, because a bunch of blood-rich victims gather in one place at one time. It's like a buffet.

I had an open-door policy at the office for a while. An endless parade of Time Vampires. Suck, suck, suck. By the end of the day, my neck looked like a pincushion. They just lined up, marched in, and happily took turns siphoning me dry. I put out the vampire welcome mat, and they took me up on the invitation. My fault, of course.

"My life is one long obstacle course, with me being the chief obstacle." -JACK PAAR

Be a business owner instead of being owned by a business.

A VIP list with more than two dozen people on it is not a VIP list at all.

A person who cannot keep appointments on time, cannot keep scheduled commitments, or cannot stick to a schedule cannot be trusted in other ways either.

People who can't be punctual can't be trusted.

It is 6:00 A.M. And here I am, at the keyboard, in my home office, writing. That's what I do almost every day, for at least the first early hour of the morning, no matter what.

Self-discipline is the magic power that makes you virtually unstoppable. Self-discipline is MAGNETIC. And self-discipline aimed and applied at a particular thing, as I do to writing, as Pincay does to fitness, is quite literally a magic power. When you focus your self-discipline on a single purpose, like sunlight through a magnifying glass on a single object, look out! The whole world will scramble to get out of your way, hold the doors open for you, and salute as you walk by. It takes tremendous self-discipline to productively allocate and invest time and to stick to your intentions.

Because the entrepreneur is his own boss and can do as he pleases with his time, it is very important to be self-disciplined. The entrepreneur with a loose, buddy-buddy, easily forgiving boss will never accomplish much. It is the entrepreneur with the tough taskmaster as a boss who excels.

If you couldn't find a heroic, successful role model, then just look at what everybody else is doing and don't do that.

My business - the information business - revolves around the public's stubborn belief that there must be a "secret" to success, concealed from them, possibly by conspiracy, that if uncovered, would change everything.

If you are not achieving what you feel you should in life, it is because your goals are not defined well enough.

Ideally, you should schedule your day by the half-hour, from beginning to end.

For every action, there is an equal or opposite criticism.

The less I do, the more I make.

You must systematically, aggressively divest yourself of those activities you do not do well, do not do happily, or find routine, so as to systematically invest your time (and talent, knowledge, know-how, and other resources) in those things you do extraordinarily well, enjoy doing, and find intellectually stimulating.

Good enough is good enough. Many, many things can be delegated to people who will not do them the way you would, won't do them as perfectly as you would, but will wind up with the same result. Every one of these things should be delegated. In fact, you MUST delegate. You cannot move ahead without jettisoning some responsibilities and tasks in order to make room for new, more valuable tasks and responsibilities.

If you have anybody around you with intelligence and talent, you must keep giving them new, more important responsibilities and getting them to delegate.

You MUST master this difficult skill. To delegate effectively, here's the seven-step process:
1. Define what is to be done.
2. Be certain the delegatee understands what is to be done.
3. Explain why it is to be done as you are prescribing it to be done.
4. Teach how it is to be done without micro-micro-managing.
5. Be sure the delegatee understands the how-to process.
6. Set the deadline for completion or progress report.
7. Be sure you have agreement to the date or time and method.

Fire yourself! You'll make more money and have more fun.

Many entrepreneurs are so busy doing the $10.00-an-hour jobs, they never get to do the $100.00-an-hour job: marketing to bring in new customers, and to keep customers coming back.

There are a lot of people you can hire to make the sauce, but there's hardly anybody you can hire to effectively market and promote the restaurant.

My "Dan as Center of Universe Strategy": me in the middle and satellite businesses owned and managed by others all based on me, my writings, my other content, all paying me. Right now, there are four such satellites.

The action that turns your time into the most money and wealth possible: turn your attention to marketing. Get free of as many other aspects of your business as you can, get passionately interested in and good at marketing, and invest your time there. Why? Because it is infinitely easier to find or train someone to take care of a business' operations than it is to get someone to do its marketing. Marketing is the highestpaid profession and most valuable part of a business. The person who can create systems for acquiring customers, clients, or patients effectively and profitably is the "money person."

Contrary to all of government's ill-fated, Robin Hoodesque efforts, 5% of the people get 95% of the money. We have a sense of urgency the 95%ers don't.

Learn to work fast(er). It makes you sharper.

Have a:
short-term market, where you work a lot early, to get experience, make money, and pay the bills
medium-term market, where you want to become known and successful over a two-to-five-year term
long-term market, where you want to sustain a career over 5 to 15 years.
And you must devote some time to all 3 at once.

Do Not Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth. Get On, Hang On, and Enjoy the Gallop. There are those times, those days, those "spurts," when you can do no wrong. Say "Thank You." Sleep less, gulp more vitamins, and go with the flow. Be alert for this happening, then fan the fire. For a brief time, you will want to loosen up your cautions about taking on more than you can handle and embrace it all. When The Phenomenon occurs, it's doubly important to be on guard against anybody or anything that may snuff out the fire.

My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the Pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso. -PABLO PICASSO

There is a certain state of mind that best facilitates achieving peak productivity. You can best create that state of mind as needed, when needed, at will, by mastering certain Psycho-Cybernetics techniques. For example, Dr. Maltz talked about "clearing the calculator." If you have a simple calculator laying around, get it, and take a look at it. You'll find that you have to hit the "clear" button and either store in memory or completely clear away one problem before you employ the calculator to solve another.

Many people go through great physical and mental gyrations just getting ready to get ready to write. I don't. I can sit down, put my fingers on the keys, clear my calculator in 60 seconds or less, and write.

http://www.psycho-cybernetics.com/

Populating my work environment with "psychological triggers"-objects that remind me to think a certain way. I work at mentally attracting wealth, for example, so my primary work environment is full of things that represent wealth; at last count, 27 such pictures, objects, and artifacts were within view. Because I am very concerned with time, I have eight clocks around me. I have a wooden hangman's noose to remind me of deadlines.

Nobody's entitled to anything but opportunity.

Here's how to get focused, if you're having trouble in that department: identify and write down the three most important, most significant, most productive, most valuable things you can do to foster success in your particular enterprise. Just three. Write them down. From there, translate them into three actions you can take each and everyday. Write them down.

One of the most important things to me is a continuous stream of new requests for my services. As long as this demand for "me" exceeds the available supply of "me," I can demand and get premium fees, insist on first-class travel, choose clients I like and blow off those I don't, choose projects that interest me and reject those I don't, confidently turn away business knowing the temporary vacuum will fill, and generally do as I darned well please. But if I let the demand diminish so that supply exceeds demand, I have to start compromising all over the place. So this is very important to me. What can I do every day to be certain this demand-supply ratio stays weighted in my favor? I do not let a day go by that I do not send out a letter or a package, make or return a phone call, get an article published, do something to keep my books on bookstore shelves, secure a highprofile speaking engagement, or do something else to create and stimulate "deal flow."

Nothing and no one can steal the time required to make certain that happens. Every single day. No exceptions. No excuses. As a direct result, "demand" for me has steadily grown, even as the "supply" I am willing to offer has diminished, which has allowed me to very substantially raise my fees, keep raising them every year, fire troublesome clients without remorse, and do business entirely on my terms, to suit me. This one single, simple discipline has been worth millions.

Jim Rohn was one of Tony Robbins' earliest coaches, mentors, and employers.

Well, it's no wonder he's doing so well. Look at everything he does. Look very closely at the one thing or two or three things he gets done without fail, every single day.

Dentist: "I've made a list of 300 things to change in the practice." Every week, he did ten of them. After 30 weeks, he had done everything on that list, big and small. And, without a penny increase in advertising, without a dollar's difference in marketing, in the same office, with (almost) the same staff, his practice had more than quadrupled in volume.

Two overriding supervisory rules that you'll want to remember.
1. Expect the best. Expectations have enormous impact on results. And conveyed expectations have great impact on most people. Most folks are smarter and more capable than we give them credit for. Some never get challenged.
2. Know that you only have the right to expect what you inspect.

Performance improves with measurement and accountability to someone else.

For each person you delegate to, have a list of everything, big or small, that you turn over to that person. As each one responds, you can mark off the items. Every so often, check the list for the lagging items.

Highly successful people do what they need to do, whether they like it or not, in order to get the results they want.

I did a little pro bono consulting with the Arizona Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation about securing more, new corporate sponsors for their telethon. The Foundation couldn't get the key CEOs it wanted to talk with to give them the time of day. That's because Foundation representatives were talking about the Arthritis Foundation. I created a new message aimed at these CEOs-telling them about new, creative, very-low cost opportunities to get massive, prestigious public recognition for their companies featuring prime TV advertising at about 25 cents on the dollar vs. what they would normally pay. I created a letter that played to their egos, presented a logical case, had something new to offer, and hit the fear button-that their competitors might beat them out for an exclusive. Some of these busy CEOs called the very same day they got my letter. Companies such as Federal Express and Domino's Pizza raced to get involved.