Recently I’ve had the good fortune to find a dwelling worthy enough to be willing to go into a significant amount of debt to acquire. I’m quite excited about the opportunity to once again strike out on my own and continue on my path towards becoming a ‘solid citizen’, as Paul likes to call it.
However, one thing I’m not excited about is interacting with my lawyer. I believe, given lawyers provide a professional service, and charge a small fortune for providing said service, that I am entitled to expect a certain amount of reasonable performance and competence. This is my second significant dealing with lawyers, and I can say unequivocally that in both cases, I’ve been left utterly disappointed.
For me, losing documents, receiving redundant phone calls, never meeting the lawyer assigned to my file, and being confused with other clients have all now become a part of the bottom of the barrel scraping expectation that I have of lawyers. Obviously this opinion does not apply to every lawyer that haughtily struts the streets, but seriously, when it comes to a professional line of duty such as practicing law, I don’t feel as though it’s unreasonable to expect a certain level of professionalism to go along with the services I’m paying a veritable mint to receive. What ever happened to common courtesy, or one’s sense of pride in what you do? I would feel embarrassed to be associated with the law firms that I’ve had the misfortune of dealing with.
Here’s a tip for any lawyers that may be reading this, and to any business owner for that matter: If you are looking for a leg up on your competition, simply take some time to pay attention to what you are doing, and care about your customers. It makes a huge difference.
I’m a little late getting this to print, but I had the opportunity to head to an area near Coudersport, Pennsylvania, to spend the weekend at Paul Foster’s with some clients of ours. Needless to say, it was a blast. There was great food, great company, and great weather despite the chill in the air.
Perhaps the highlight of the weekend however was the opportunity to shoot some guns! I’d never shot one before, so I looked at it as a tremendous opportunity. And our gracious hosts pulled out all the stops to make it a most memorable experience for our clients. We had our pick of handguns (.22 long barrel, .38 special short barrel, .357 magnum), rifles (30-aught-6), and shotguns for some trap shooting (12 and 20 gauge).
Thanks a ton for the wonderful weekend Paul and Jen, and a special thanks to K-Dub for letting us decimate pumpkins with a sawed off shotgun!
In case any of you may have forgotten, I’m writing a book. And as it turns out, it’s little more difficult and time consuming than I had originally anticipated it would be. A particular concern that I’ve been chewing on recently has been the thought that the first draft wasn’t really all that good. I thought it wasn’t really an enjoyable enough read to be able to keep people wanting to read it through to the end and want to share it with others.
So I began writing a second draft that had a totally different structure and format than the first. I casually mentioned this situation to a friend of mine, and she offered to give both versions a read and provide me with her thoughts. So I sent both versions off for her perusal, along with a warning to take the first version with a grain of salt. There was no doubt in my mind at this point that the first version was an unequivocal pile of literary dung.
Much to my surprise, the feedback I received was totally opposite of what I had expected. My gracious critic really enjoyed the first version and thought the way it was written made it easy for her to stay focused on the topics being discussed. Talk about an eye opener.
I came to realize I was bringing self-limiting beliefs to the table, and was assuming those beliefs were shared by my target customer base. I felt like an idiot, because a lot of what we do at The Business Therapist® is help business owners discover and overcome these self-limiting assumptions that they hold to help them take their business to the next level.
But the truth of the matter is, more often than not, the self-limiting beliefs we have are so deeply held that it can be difficult to realize that we have them at all. Which is why it’s always important to share your views and ideas with others, as they can help you realize a dynamic that could be holding you back that you may not have realized on your own.
So I have to offer a special thanks to my friend for reminding me of the importance of challenging every assumption you make in your business. I’ll now be doing what I should have done in the first place, which is what we at The Business Therapist® do with all of our clients:
1) Define my assumptions and hypotheses
2) Scientifically and tangibly test those hypotheses
3) Make a prudent, informed decision on the direction I should be taking with the book that will be in the best interests of my customers and my business.
Throughout the course of our lives, we establish, maintain, and sever many relationships. And short of another party doing something egregious towards you, it often takes a lot to make you want to sever a relationship you’ve had for a long time.
I recently ran into just such a situation with my bank (who I shan’t name here at the risk of being whisked away under the cover of darkness and left for dead in the middle of the Sahara Desert). Having been with them for the entirety of my life, there was a certain level of comfort and familiarity that I had grown accustomed to.
However, what had been becoming increasingly familiar in my interactions with them was feelings of disappointment and frustration. Over the period of the last couple of weeks, I’ve had to deal with the rigamarole of dealing with my investments, purchasing a house, and getting audited by the Canada Revenue Agency, who, by the way, clearly have nothing important to do with their lives.
All of these endeavours involved having to deal with my bank. Consistently, and without fail, the financial advisors at my bank clearly demonstrated a level of incompetence and apathy that I found extraordinarily off putting. I was dumbfounded at how little they seemed to care about my well being or keeping me happy.
So I did what was necessary and pulled off the band-aid. I now deal exclusively with Josh Lane at Kaspardlov, Laverty, and Associates in Windsor, Ontario. The difference in service has been night and day, and he takes care of all of my needs with speed, and with my best interests at heart.
I couldn’t be happier. And it was a result of having the courage to step out of my comfort zone and take a chance with a new direction.
If you happen to find yourself banging your head against a wall because an association isn’t taking care of what you need them to do, consider this: Is it time for you to get out of your comfort zone, cut your losses, and get back on the path towards cash, freedom, and happiness?
Every once in a clear, cloudless night, cast under the spell of the deep profoundness of a full moon, my blog sometimes strays away from what some would consider business related discussion to be.
Okay, perhaps it’s a little bit more than a gentle blurring of the lines here and there. You say tomato, I say tomato. Either way, if you find my business specific gems are a little few and far between, you should definitely check out the blog of my partner in crime, Paul. He’s got hundreds of blogs relating solely to helping you run a better business. Check him out, you won’t regret it.
So how ridiculously unproductive and annoying is it when you have a million tiny, dumb little things on your to do list?
I swear I’ve got 100 piddly things built up in my pile of crap that are so annoying when they linger around in the back of my mind that it gets to a point where I can’t even think about the important stuff. I’m talking about useless wastes of time like deleting spam emails, cleaning off my desk, and ordering more printer ink.
It’s just a compilation of all those things you are always quick to put off when something else comes up, but can never be truly avoided forever. Their collective dead weight on my consciousness is giving me dreams of ripping all the hair out of my melon and screaming maniacally as I jump out a window.
Clearly, I need to get a grip before I get taken somewhere to get fitted for a straightjacket.
Conveniently, I know just the cure: Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week. This book is awesome for dealing with the minutiae of running a business, and is clearly something I need to refresh my memory on.
Unless of course, our office were to burn down at the exact same time as our cloud server melted, all my problems would be solved. Hmmmm…
Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with business. Nothing at all. I had an opportunity to head down to Nashville over the weekend for my buddy’s bachelor party. And ohhhhh man was it good.
The weekend was jam packed with extraordinary highlights. The weather was ideal, the music was divine, and the opportunities for good times were endless.
One of the highlights came care of the Nashville Pedal Tavern. It’s essentially Cheers on wheels. Check out their website here: http://www.
If you plan on spending some time in Nashville and are looking for a fantastic experience, I highly recommend booking a tour on one of their 16 person bicycles. We had a blast.
So this blog thinger that I’ve been working on has been up and running for a bit now. It’s still trying to find its identity, still trying to find its place. One thing I’ve come to realize is that I’m pretty lazy. I find I keep falling behind on new material and then having to catch up to get back to the present.
It’s really not the most effective way to go about updating my material, and it’s not really fair to all of my tens of fans. I’ll see if I can’t be a little more timely in the future. No promises.
If any of you feel like helping me in this regard, feel free to send me some blog topics you’d like me to write about in the future. It doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with business. Like most people, I’m fully capable of blowing hot air at any kind of subject. Can’t wait to hear from you.
Earlier in the week I managed to take a small but very significant step towards a brighter future. As existing Lean Startup methodology dictates, one of the most things a business owner can do is get out of the building. Doing so allows you to talk to people in the real world about problems that they have that you are trying to solve. It is the best way to test your assumptions and validate whether or not what you are pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into is even something potential customers care about.
As much as I understand this, my natural disposition prevents me from sashaying willy nilly from person to person in the street and starting up a conversation with them about things they may or may not care about. I’m more comfortable grinding away on my computer on my desk for hours on end with some music going and maybe a cold beer in hand. So for me, overcoming this social anxiety is no small feat.
Earlier this week however, I grabbed the bull by the horns and made it cry like a baby. I managed to summon enough courage to get out of the building and talk to three different business owners about topics relating to our upcoming book. The information and experience gained has been fantastic, and has totally confirmed the value of getting out of the building.
I’m taking what I’ve learned from those interviews to better prepare for my next round of interviews. And the end result of this process is going to be the armament needed to put together a wicked good book that will change the course of history. Stay tuned. It’s a hell of a ride.
Over the weekend, I executed the rarely performed and highly underestimated wedding crash. Some friends of mine were taking the plunge and didn’t have the kindness in their cold, dead hearts to send out an invitation to me, the nicest guy in the world. In spite of their desire to keep me as far away from their special day as possible, I said screw it and dropped in to rain on their parade and wreak some havoc.
Upon arrival, I immediately began to collect my unfair share of the open bar. This of course led to my taking over the dance floor and cutting up a serious rug. All in all it was a fantastic night with great friends. We all left our concerns and inhibitions at the door and allowed ourselves to have a rip roaring good time without the burden of our normal responsibilities weighing us down.
For those of you who have been feeling the overwhelming anxiety of responsibility, and haven’t taken the time to unwind, do yourself a favour and let go for a night. Forget about that customer that’s been giving you grief, or that project that’s coming in over budget. It’ll be there waiting for you in the morning. In the meantime, have some fun and enjoy yourself. You’ll be more refreshed and have a clearer mind to be able to deal with the crap piling up on your desk. And you might even get to learn some new dance moves.