By k | September 11, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

One of the ways that I save time
is to accumulate similar tasks
like answering email or sending snail mail 
and complete them all at one time. 

Brian Tracy in the book Million Dollar Habits says
“Efficiency experts calculate that
if you have ten similar tasks to do,
and you do them all at once,
one after the other,
by the time you get to the tenth task,
you will be working so efficiently
that it will be taking you only 20 percent of the time
it took you to do the first item on the list.”

By k | September 4, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

The maximum length of time
I spend writing is four months. 

Why? 

Because any longer than that
and my business knowledge is no longer relevant. 
That’s how fast business evolves. 

As Louis Ross, CTO, Ford Motor Company, said
“In your career, knowledge is like milk.
It has a shelf life stamped right on the carton.
The shelf life of a degree in engineering
is about 3 years.
If you’re not replacing
everything you know by then,
your career is going to turn sour fast.” 

I think 3 years is optimistic.

By k | September 2, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

I talk often about the
power of asking questions
but I sometimes don’t talk about
how shutting up and listening
is as important. 

Recently I went to a workshop
with a fascinating host.  
Instead of letting the paid host
share her expertise with the group,
some audience members asked such long questions
that a friend was able to run out,
get a coffee
and return
before the question was done.  

A waste of a learning experience.  

By k | August 27, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

One of my buddies is also a daily blogger. 
She is constantly having to
forgo opportunities and rearrange her schedule
to get her posts done. 

She thinks this sends a signal that
she puts her non-time sensitive blog first. 

I disagree.  

It says to me that she’s disorganized
and a last minute type of person. 
Not someone I prefer to have on my team.

In contrast,
I always have a week of general type posts
“just in case.”

That way if I get a chance to meet Stephen King,
I don’t have to say no thank you.

Give yourself a buffer
so you can take advantage
of opportunities.

By k | August 20, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

A friend of mine wanted help
with finding a unique conversation starter. 
I replied that wasn’t difficult. 
Simply don’t talk about the weather. 

Doug Morris, pilot, meteorologist, and
author of From The Flight Deck,
says that 9 out of every 10 conversations
begin with the weather. 

How do I start a conversation? 
I ask for an opinion on a relevant current event
(no politics or religion).

By k | August 7, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

I had to order checks for my business account. 
Based on the amount of business
I do with the bank,
I insisted that there be no additional charge.  

When the account manager didn’t argue,
I said “guess you get this request all the time.” 

No, actually he didn’t. 
He did for personal accounts
but never for business,
no matter how small the cashflow was. 

Foolishness.  
Expenses are expenses,
whether they’re business or personal. 
Don’t overpay for either. 

By k | July 19, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

Charlie Munger recently said
in a commencement speech,

“I constantly see people rise in life
who are not the smartest,
sometimes not even the most diligent,
but they are learning machines.
They go to bed every night
a little wiser than they were
when they got up and
boy does that help,
particularly when you have
a long run ahead of you.” 

That has always been my goal in life,
to learn at least one new thing a day
and to help at least one person.

By k | June 28, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

In Karen Salmansohn’s book Ballsy,
she points out that
“There are no wishy-washy rock stars,
no wishy-washy astronauts,
no wishy-washy CEOs,
no wishy-washy nobel prize winners.” 

Determination is a key success factor
and so is dealing with negativity. 

She advises to be like a cockroach
and “Refuse To Die.” 

By k | June 26, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

Birth order decides IQ. 
A new study by Dr. Petter Kristensen
shows that the average IQ
of the first-born men was 103.2
compared with 101.2 for second-borns
and 100 for third-borns. 
Earlier studies show the same
relationship for women. 

So what does this mean? 
Absolutely nothing. 

According to
another study by Jay Zagorsky,  
people with a higher IQ,
although earning more on average,
end up with the same net worth
(all other factors being equal). 

Stop using lack of smarts or birth order or…
as an excuse to do nothing.

By k | June 25, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

Many email suppliers are moving
to the unlimited inbox,
no space restrictions. 

The upside is that emails can be filed forever. 
The downside is that emails can be filed forever. 

Until now, I’ve used the inbox at capacity notice 
as a reason to sort through my emails,
getting rid of garbage and
answering messages I’ve been procrastinating on. 

Now, I have moved to formally scheduling this process. 

As technology changes,
so must our processes.