Normal Behavior v Entrepreneurial Behavior

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I have been asked to republish my monthly newsletter that I send out to many Vacation Rental Property Manager’s around the country.


Normal Behavior v Entrepreneurial Behavior

As I write this months Gold Letter I am doing so early in the morning hours of 1st January 2010. As I do so I reflect that in the past I would normally be nursing some kind of headache or hang over from the previous night…but not this year though…there’s work to be done and some sacrifices have to be made if I am to accomplish everything I want to do.

At midnight last night, December 31st, there were 52 weeks, 365 new days, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds to make a difference to YOUR life and now a few of those hours have already passed by.

The average person sleeps for 8 hours a night so that’s 2,920 of those hours already gone leaving you with a mere 5,840 hours left. If, like most people, you then elect to take two days a week off, that’s another 2,496 hours that have disappeared leaving just 3,344 hours to work…but we all know that most average people won’t work anything like that. In fact most folks work just 8 hours a day and believe that’s enough to succeed and get what they want but the actual reality is that all the successful people I know work much harder and far more than that.

The average worker in the United States typically commits to 8 hours a day, 5 days per week and takes 2 to 3 weeks off a year. Taking the lower number of 2 weeks off means the average worker will work for just 2,000 hours of the available 8760 hours… 22.8% of the available time!

Entrepreneurs on the other hand work far harder than that and most of the successful business owners and entrepreneurial people I know work around 80 to 100 hours per week…some 4,000 to 5,000 hours per year. A huge difference.

At present the political climate is one where people believe they are entitled to certain things and the Obama administration is going full out to deliver those dreams to those who perhaps don’t really deserve it. Sure some people feel that 8 hours a day should be enough to give them everything they want but I fail to see why people should be rewarded for giving less than a quarter of their time to better themselves, to better the planet and to better the world. It’s about value and my opinion is that most people do in fact reap what they sow.

I’m firmly in the entrepreneur’s camp and I strongly believe that the more you sow the more you reap and very often that means working longer and harder than others to get those benefits. Today people want instant gratification rather than actually working to pay for the things they want and that’s why so many people are having financial difficulties because not so long ago it was far to easy to get everything today on credit.

2010 promises to be a difficult year for many people as they learn the lessons of their past ways. Some people will simply give up though and then rely on others to pick them up. Entrepreneurs don’t think this way as they never give up. Despite set backs and roadblocks they keep battling on and do what it takes to win through.

At various times during the year I am asked by some people “how do you get everything done?” and I’m always amused by it. After all, we all have the same amount of time available every day, every week, every month and every year but why is it that some people can just get more done than others?

The answer is simple: FOCUS.

When I decide that I have to get something done I do not allow myself to be distracted by other things. In this day and age it’s very easy to allow technology to mange us instead of the other way around. What with our hand held devices, laptops, cell phones, pagers, etc it’s just far too easy to be distracted from the important tasks you should be doing to reach your goals.

Sometimes I get confronted by people who tell me I’m very difficult to get hold of and some folks even appear upset. Personally I take it as a compliment that I have engineered a system whereby I get to control my life instead of other people.

How many of us have been on the receiving end of having a conversation with someone and their cell phone goes off. Without a moments thought they disconnect from our conversation and talk to whoever happens to be on the other end of their cell phone. For a while I tolerated this behavior but today I just walk away.

Further, how many of us have held meetings and noticed people playing with their crackberries or i-phones trying to see the latest message?

Multitasking has become a way of life for so many people these days…particularly the young. I admit, I get caught up in it occasionally but I also know when enough is enough and that when I have to get something done, I will disconnect completely from these distractions. An example is this newsletter, I have nothing else going on around me as I write. The cell phone is turned off, my desktop is turned off and my door is shut with a notice “Do Not Disturb” on it. When I’m in this mode the people around me know full well it had better be a serious emergency if they want to distract me.

Why is it then that people feel the need to have so much information coming their way? How many times have you been to a public restroom and overheard people talking on their phones or how many times do you see them texting and driving? It’s crazy behavior and eventually all it does is leave the individual sapped of energy from information overload.

I have some pretty keen advice on how you can make the most of the New Year and how you can turn 2010 into the year of your dreams but top of the list is that I suggest you take a very serious look at how you allow yourself to get distracted.

First of all, stop answering every telephone call. Go on, try it for a day …and then for a week. Let your messages build up and go to voicemail. Then once a day or at most twice, check them and action them by returning calls. My suggestion is that you review your messages at mid-day and again at around 5pm.

When you do this you’ll be surprised at how much more you get done in between time. Further, you’ll also start to train other people to the fact they won’t get an instant answer from you… and frankly, they may not like it. That’s when you have to stay strong and resolute that the only way you will achieve your goals in 2010 is by adopting what appears to be a severe restriction on access to you.

You’ll also notice that when you do this, that all of a sudden other people start to find their own solutions to things rather than asking your advice all the time. In fact, it’s even more noticeable how when you don’t respond to some messages that things look after themselves or go away completely.

The final thing you’ll notice is that you will now have set yourself a time period for returning calls and bought yourself some thinking time. How many of us have answered a call that we were unprepared for? By now allowing calls to go to voicemail and retrieving and replying to them later, you have automatically allowed yourself to prepare for the call rather than being caught on the hook.

As I said, you’ll get some pushback to this. Some people who you have allowed to have access to you at all hours just won’t like it but always remember this… you control your life not them. Before, they controlled you but now you’re back in control again and it’s a wonderful thing.

So that’s the phone dealt with, let’s talk about email.

This one is a real time sucker and if you aren’t careful you’ll find yourself sitting in front of your computer watching your inbox wondering what is coming in next. Further, some folks can be doing a task and all of a sudden a ring goes out or “you have mail” pops up. The temptation here is to immediately look at what has come in.

The advice I have here is to watch your behavior. It’s very easy to make a commitment to stop doing this but very quickly you can get sucked back in. How do I know? Been there done it and still do it!

Ivanka Trump in her book “The Trump Card” advises to check your emails on the quarter hour but for me that’s too much. Personally I really like to follow my telephone rule of twice a day but with email I’m just not as vigilant. Very often I will check it four or five times a day although I try to restrict it to three times…once when I open the computer up, once at noon and then again late afternoon.

Ivanka Trump & Nigel Worrall

A very good tip that Ivanka gives is to vary your response time. If you are in the habit of replying immediately then be very careful that you don’t train people to expect an instant answer from you. Varying your response times is a good idea as again it gives you more time to think about things and give a more complete answer. Off the cuff answers rarely contain all the information they should to make your point and sometimes it can take several email exchanges before everyone has an understanding of things. Emails can be a great time waster so exercise some vigilance and monitor yourself periodically to make sure old habits don’t creep back in.

Hopefully I’ve now given you a couple of ideas of how you can get some control back into your life so that you can really focus on what’s important to you. The most successful people I know don’t have email and some don’t own a cell phone. There’s a very good reason for it and it comes down to the fact that these things are distractions that stop you getting done what you need to get done to be successful. If the most successful folks can exist without email or cell phones shouldn’t that give you food for thought?

I hope so. Work hard and have a prosperous and Happy New Year!


PS. Feel free to send in your questions and I’ll do our best to answer them.
You can email me a: or by fax to 407 870 1610.

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