Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
We have our preferences. Our likes and our favourites. We are emotional creatures, who tend to follow our hearts. We think we are thinking, whereas we are often thinking with our heart and not with our brain.
There’s nothing wrong with this of course. Choosing a cake is much more fun when we let our heart have a chocolate eclair, even though our brain says we should have a wholemeal brown rice nut slice.
(If that’s a cake, and I sincerely hope it isn’t, it just proves there are times when our brain really let’s us down! Go with your heart when it comes to cake!)
In business, it’s better to use our head and to keep asking ourselves if we are being truly rational, because often we are not. We are merely convincing ourselves that we are. Here’s an excellent example of this:
The scene: A quiet corner of a comfortable hotel lobby.
Client: How can I grow my business?
Me: Maybe consider hiring a PA, so you have extra time to go selling, whilst they do some of the admin for you.
Client: (laughing in a faintly patronising way) Oh don’t be silly, I can’t afford a PA!
Me: You haven’t even asked how much they cost!
And relax. This is a facsimile of several conversations I’ve had and it’s always the same; the client laughs and says how they couldn’t afford a PA, before they’ve asked how much one costs, what are the options and what their budget might be.
The client thinks they’re thinking, when they’re actually reacting to an emotion, probably a scare about hiring a PA and having no money to buy food.
And for the avoidance of doubt, a PA is a Personal Assistant and no longer are they the preserve of Royalty, CEO’s or Rock Stars.
Although, in our way we are all Rock Stars and entitled to support, so that we can keep delivering our hit songs (products and services) to our fans (customers).
My PA started by working with me for two hours a month. That was all, two hours to come over and write up my expenses and raise my invoices. You may think that’s such a small amount that why bother? Well, firstly a date in the diary meant the work happened on time and secondly I used that space to catch up a bit on sales enquiries.
The fixed point meant important items were completed on time (instead of being postponed until ‘tomorrow’). The cost was minimal and the impact much larger, because cash flow improved and late payers were chased up.
I also feel that having an additional resource, even if part time, has pushed me to sell more, be more disciplined and not worry about some elements of business administration. I know I can park the issue and ask my PA for help when they next visit.
A PA can be part time. They can be virtual, as in home based and not in your office. They can be a brilliant asset, because they increase our capacity to do what we do well.
So, this week have a think about what you could do if you had an extra two hours a week? I believe that investing in business support is money well spent, because it is a sensible investment and not a pretentious luxury.
Next week: The Trap Of Helping
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
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