Not every client is your ideal client. In fact, some clients are downright toxic. They sap your energy, undermine your brand, waste your time, keep you too busy to take on better clients, send your staff running for the hills and send you running for the Valium. In spite of the revenue toxic clients may bring in, I can think of at least nine reasons to fire them.
Time is the only thing you cannot create, borrow, steal or buy. If you waste your time Fixing Other People's Problems (FOPP time), it's gone. Gone for good. If you own or run a business, FOPP time, time spent doing things your subordinates should be doing, keeps you from focusing on the growth you so earnestly desire. If you'd like to spend less FOPP time and more Growth time, try these suggestions.
Everybody's talking about resolutions today. My search of Technorati turned up more than 76,000 posts using the word. However, resolutions often don't work, and they may even be bad for your health. This is particularly true when we focus on trying to fix some perceived shortcoming (being overweight, for example).
It doesn't need to be that way. Here are seven alternatives to the resolutions tradition.
Sometimes we don't know when to stop. We keep revising an idea, a blog, a plan and are never satisfied enough to actually push the button and release our work. Why and when should we settle for "good enough," why do we sometimes get caught seeking perfection, and how can we find the right balance?
Sometimes words or numbers just don't cut it. When you find your thinking stymied or blocked, try drawing the problem. When you are having trouble communicating, try a drawing or other visual representations. When you want to easily remember a complex set of information, consider the power of a drawing.
My friend Mike Schaffner writes today about his frustrations with a "customer friendly" alarm clock at a DoubleTree hotel. It seems that back in 2005 the hotel chain introduced new clocks with simple to use alarm controls. Unfortunately, it is impossible for the customer to set the time on the clock (engineering must do it, apparently), and the clock in Mike's room had not been reset to Daylight Savings Time. So he ended up using his Blackberry alarm and ignoring the hotel's clock.
In this case, the customer paid the price of an unintended consequence. The hotel offered to find a maintenance person to come up and adjust the clock, but why should Mike have to stay awake waiting for them to show up? Why didn't the hotel adjust all the clocks when Daylight Savings Time began? Better yet, why did they design a clock with no way to adjust the time?
Good questions. The answer: the chain fell afoul of unintended consequences.
Here's the question for you: what unintended consequences are your customers dealing with and what are you going to do about it?
In the meantime, I've found something to disagree with in Drucker's book. That's unusual. Generally, Drucker's writings hit the mark for me. I don't know that I've ever before disagreed this strongly with something he wrote.
Here's the quote that got me:
"Meetings are by definition a concession to deficient organizations."