…with people’s money.
“Mess” wasn’t exactly the word my dad used (remember he was Sergeant Gunnery’s twin brother) to teach me this important life lesson.
“People get really “edgy” (also not the word he used) about their money.
He’d say, “When its time to pay, pay up and quick.”
I’ve always operated by this principle, but my friend and uber successful entrepreneur Marc Sparks taught me how to 10X its value. I wrote about him in The Compound Effect under the section Acceleration > Do Better than Expected.
Here’s what I wrote,
“I did some work with a CEO whose philosophy was to pay people, including his vendors and suppliers , a few days in advance of the contract commitment. I was always blown away when I received a check on the twenty-seventh of the month from him for next month’s payment. When I asked him about it, he said the obvious, “It’s the same money, but the surprise and goodwill it buys is immeasurable—why wouldn’t you?”
What’s important to understand is that the impact is far deeper than money management. As my mentor Jim Rohn would say, behavior in one area tells you how someone behaves in most areas. Through this one behavior, my feelings of trust, respect, and credibility for Marc scaled 10X… maybe even more than might have been deserved.
“Why 10X” you question?
You see, money is a highly charged emotional issue for most people.
Through this one behavior, Marc took what is typically a negative emotionally charged issue and experience and reversed it to be a positively emotionally charged experience (hey, hence me even talking about it now!).
Thus, I became willing to do for him what I wouldn’t even consider doing for others because of that simple discipline.
BTW, it was true: that one behavior was an indication of the rest of his behavior… and 10 years later I can testify that he IS deserving of that 10X trust and respect.
If you are going to pick a discipline that will have a deep and lasting impact on your relationships, this is a great one to focus on.
Action For Today:
1) Don’t mess with people’s money.
When an invoice comes in, pay it—now. CFOs will argue with me, but ditch the net-30 baloney and all the stall tactics accounting departments are taught. You’ll earn MANY more dollars of goodwill and trust by paying quickly vs. the pennies you are chasing on the “float”.
Hey, you can even surprise all those who are expecting payment on January 1st and get it over to them this week!
2) 10X this principle and actually pay EARLY and fast.
When I send bonuses out to my team, I Federal Express them. It baffles my CFO as we normally direct deposit their compensation into their account, but I want the receiving of the bonus to be an “experience”. An unseen, unfelt virtual deposit in a bank account is not an experience.
I also insist on me writing the check by hand (not sent typed from our bank) and FedEx’ing it, even though regular mail would probably get there in the same time.
For some reason getting a FedEx package with your name on it still feels like Christmas to me. Look, it’s the same bonus money, but for a few bucks more the experience is completely different.
Try it. Make the receiver, and the giver, feel great.
It is the season of giving after all!
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Give your self-confidence the boost you need
Walt Disney used to talk about the four Cs to success in life – curiosity, confidence, courage and consistency. He believed that if you applied these four Cs to your life, you could accomplish practically anything.
But there was one C that Walt said was the greatest of all – confidence. He said, “When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.”
When people think of Walt Disney – the man – they think of success and the empire he created. But that wasn’t the case for Walt early on. He was anything but successful. He had several business failures and was told by an editor at the Kansas City Star newspaper that he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
Maybe that’s why confidence was so important to him. He certainly was no quitter.
Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet many people don’t believe in themselves as they should, and they find it difficult to become successful.
Would you buy a product from someone who is nervous, fumbling or overly apologetic? No. You would be suspicious of their product, their trustworthiness, and their ability to provide follow-up service. You would prefer someone who is confident and speaks clearly and knows their stuff.
Confidence enables you to perform to the best of your abilities, without the fear of failure holding you back. It starts with believing in yourself.
As one of my favorite motivational authors, Norman Vincent Peale, said, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”
One word in particular in that quote stands out: humble. Confidence does not mean arrogance, in fact, quite the opposite. Humility is a quality that must accompany confidence in order to instill trust.
You don’t acquire confidence overnight. You can’t wake up one day and think you are good. You have to work at it. You have to practice the right concepts, get the best coaching you can and develop mental toughness. You have to think like a winner.
Coaches and managers can tell their players and employees to be more confident, but if they don’t prepare and work hard enough, confidence will always be lacking. It’s easy to fire people up, but they also have to be willing to prepare and pay the price to achieve a high level of confidence.
A wonderful accompaniment to confidence is a sense of humor, as the following story illustrates. Being able to laugh at yourself is the ultimate demonstration of confidence.
A New Yorker fresh from a business trip to Texas was telling his associates about his experiences. One of them asked, “What impressed you most about the people there?”
“Their confidence.” The man thought for a moment. “Here’s an example. We went duck hunting on Saturday. We sat in a blind all day long and never saw a thing. Then, right about sundown, this one duck flew over our heads. One of the guys stood up with his shotgun and fired. And the duck kept right on flying.
“Nobody said a word for a moment. Then the shooter shook his head and said to me, ‘You’re seeing a miracle! There flies a dead duck.’”
How to gain more confidence is one of the many wonderful things we do at our amasssing ladies retreat…
Take advantage of the early bird registration to come to Bali with us in May 2016!!!!
Bright Shiny Object Syndrome
– Do You Suffer?
Bright Shiny Object Syndrome has to be up there with the biggest problems I see exhibited in Entrepreneurs. I confess – I am a recovering addict, and in remission!
I’m talking about those in business who get so distracted by new projects that they lose sight of important tasks, KPIs and even what they set out to do! Perhaps you have a “friend of a friend” who has neglected their (perhaps successful, longstanding) business when they became part of a multi-level marketing program or bought an additional franchise? Or maybe you know someone who has become so enamored with their snazzy new cloud filing system that they’ve deleted years of valuable, crucial physical filing? You get the idea. Richard Branson jumps to mind instantly as a BSOS suffer who manages his “disease” 🙂 (can you ever imagine this man sitting still?)
Entrepreneurial Business Owners that have learned to tame this beast (or have surrounded themselves with beast tamers) are the ones who are truly successful in business.
The tough truth is that the Bright Shiny Object state of mind feels fun, exciting, full of potential; but, like any drug, it’s addictive and destructive to the business owners’ dream of financial freedom.
This state of mind runs rampant among business owners. In my 12 years of coaching business owners, I’d estimate that at a minimum 90% of them have been transfixed by “the next big thing” and distracted from the goals and actions that their attention should really have been focused on.
Key symptoms of the syndrome include (but are not limited to):
Always on to the next ‘big thing’ . These people lose their ability to resist the urge to jump into every “joint venture” or “alliance” offered to them, no matter how far-flung the product or service is from their core business.
Purchasing every new business productivity tool or “guaranteed to get new clients” marketing program offered to them.
Eternal (misplaced, dangerous) optimism
Fast! They’re Fast talkers, fast thinkers, fast movers…
They’re lacking in structure.. ‘Cause if they sit down and do a cash flow forecast, feasibility study or any actual measuring they “might miss out.
Starting and not finishing
…… everything, including sentences.
Making – and losing – fortunes. Sometimes we relapse.
I love The Entrepreneur. They see the big picture & the opportunity. They have vision – and we soooo need vision in today’s world.
Entrepreneurs are leaders, ahead of the pack, changing the world, but the BSOS is their Achilles heel.
Do you relate?
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