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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #56: May, 2008

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC

On how not to "sweat the small stuff":

  1. Ask yourself what the outcome will be, not the input. It's easier to deal with the results you want to achieve from an interview than trying to worry about what questions to ask at the outset.
     
  2. Ask yourself if you have to do the chore. Can the client do it? Can you subcontract it?
     
  3. Understand that just because you can do something better or faster doesn't mean that it's the best way for you to get it done!
     
  4. Combine your personal and professional agenda during the day. It's dumb to go out twice on errands, once for business, once for personal matters.
     
  5. Learn to tell people "no." Simply say to the phone solicitation, "Sorry, we never respond to phone solicitations, good-bye." Tell the incessant talker, "Oops, I have a phone call I promised to make, would you excuse me?"
     
  6. Never let your computer dictate your actions. Just because software updates pop up on your screen, you neither have to accept them nor implement them immediately.
     
  7. Allow someone else to take up the flag. The person shouting on the cell phone or the lights that aren't working overhead on the plane will draw someone else's complaint or attention, rely on it. Just bide your time and relax.
     
  8. Not all attention is flattery. Some of it is deviously manipulative. Tell people your pro bono dance card is filled, thanks but no thanks. You're probably the 40th person they've asked, not the first, so don't jump through hoops along with your ego to try to change your schedule to accommodate them.
     
  9. If something is important, put it in your calendar and schedule the time, then forget about it. Constantly "stewing" about vague deadlines and projects will crush you.
     
  10. Stop following links that people recommend in their email, blogs, postings, etc. The links invariably are only repetitious support for their own positions, so why bother to read them? (And always turn down invitations to go to YouTube or ITunes because you can fritter away your day on ephemera.)

I don't know if this helps, but I would urge you to develop routines so that you are well informed and conversant in a wide variety of issues. Clients need intellectual firepower on a broad front, not a narrow popgun that is solely rooted in your own methodology.

 
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