…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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