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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #92: May, 2011

How to be on top of your game:
  • Arrive early. Don't be fussing and putting things in order, responding to messages, fumbling with your gear. Arrive in plenty of time and sit and think about what comes next.

  • Always create definitive next steps. Never leave anything to a “let's be in touch.” What's the date, what's the time?

  • Don't assume you'll have luxuries. Power strips, Internet availability, even cell phone access may not be present. Don't rely on such things as critical to your success.

  • Leave enough time. Don't rush to catch a flight or make the next meeting. Leave sufficient buffer.

  • Treat yourself well. A limo waiting is far more comforting and time efficient than waiting for a taxi, and doesn't cost that much.

  • Be flexible with your meals. You can eat at 1:30, you don't have to have lunch at noon. Use the hotel executive floor for breakfast, or eat on the plane, which is a good reason to fly first class, so you're not buying cookies in coach.

  • Have someone read your stuff. Typos can kill your credibility, and a fresh pair of eyes is always far better at proofing.

  • Ask for checks to be sent via your FedEx account. Don't trust things to the postal service, not knowing if they're delayed in the mail or not yet sent. Ask the client for the tracking number.

  • Focus on quality time, not quantity time. It's okay not be working the phones on useless cold calling and take a break at two in the afternoon, if you've written, networked, researched, and so on in the morning.

  • It's about output not input, so stop focusing on tasks to cross you're your calendar and ask yourself what goals you've accomplished or progressed toward this week.
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