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Lessons Learned the Hard Way

    • 2 posts
    August 13, 2007 1:01 PM EDT

    Regarding the working and never stopping...

    For me, the only structure I have is that I create. Without structure, I tend to ping-pong between work too much or not working-focusing enough. A few years ago, I created a "vacation log." I use it to track my self-given vacation/sick time for the year. Right now, I give myself 3 weeks plus 1 "holiday" a month. This seems to be equivalent to what I had when I left corporate America years ago. 

    The vacation account ensures I work about the same amount each year, and if I work hard-hard-hard I take some time off later.

    The other thing that helps is that I have a standard length to my day. On days I`m dragging, I`ve got to work that length. On days I`m flowing with the work, I`ve got to work that length. If I`m short on a day, I make it up later in the week, etc.

    Anyway, this little structure "game" has really worked for me, adding in some self-discipline to make sure I do a good "job" at home.

    --Chris

    chrisspeaks2007-8-13 18:39:30

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    Chris Arnold, Time Management and Productivity Coach & Consultant
    Success Under Pressure -- Surviving and Thriving in a Busy World

    • 4 posts
    August 19, 2007 7:39 PM EDT
    I`d have to agree the 12-hr/7day work schedule will eventually lead to burn-out and an eventual mis-use of your time and talents.

    Starting, managing, and running your business is about figuring out how to optimize your use of time. 

    So what I`ve had to resort to is creating a long-term and short-term strategic action plan.  Then I work the plan.

    When I find myself overworking some element of the plan, I step back and re-assess my strategy and eliminate a lot of the activities that add no value.

    Also, I create a success-measure.  A challenge to get Activity X completed within X hours.  This gives me a goal to shoot for and a reward at the end of that goal.

    It`s really about keeping an eye on ensuring that you run the business and not have the business run you (which ends up happening more than I`d like to admit).

    Just a thought...

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    Latarsha Lytle, MBA
    Business Strategy Advice For New Startups...With A Motivational Twist
    http://www.small-business-ideas-branded-by-passion.com/index .html

    • 28 posts
    June 21, 2007 4:22 AM EDT
    What a great thread. The most important lesson I`ve learned wasn`t learned the hard way — thankfully — but instead was learned through working with a client. I work with several nonprofits and this particular organization always shows their gratitude (not just to me, but to anybody they come in contact with). On the flip side, I`ve done pro bono work for nonprofits that can barely muster a "thank you."

    Gratitude shouldn`t be painful. And it can take you so far.

    Lisa
    • 79 posts
    August 15, 2007 9:30 AM EDT

    One lesson I`ve learned: don`t pay for any service entirely up front, even if the service provider was recommended by somebody you trust. It took me two undesirable experiences before I learned this lesson.

    Even if the vendor is a trustworthy person, they`re going to be more prompt, more professional, and just work harder in general when there is still money to be made.

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    Accounting Made Simple | Sole Proprietor Tax Guide

    • 38 posts
    June 20, 2007 6:21 AM EDT

    I think we all have one- that is, a lesson in running our businesses that we have learned the hard way.  My biggest lesson to date (I am sure there will be more) is that you can only work 12 hours a day 7 days a week for so long.  While you feel productive at first simply because you are working so much, it really can be counter productive.

    What I found to be the best alternative was to set my work schedule in advance and then step away from the computer (hard as that may be) once that time is up.  I really do seem to get more done, and I even manage to squeeze in some time for fun, too.

    Does anyone else have a valuable lesson they would like to share?

     

    RosannaTussey2007-6-26 10:34:19

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    Rosanna Tussey
    Owner
    New Mexico Candle Co.
    http://www.nmcandleco.com