Excerpt from The Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail
If I didn’t prepare documents for my clients so they’re easy to understand, I would have to take the time to explain later.
If I let my business partner work hard to establish relationships with clients, if our partnership ends, guess who those clients will turn to?
If I micromanage my employees, they’ll become lazy or simply walk out the door, and I’d have to work more to find new workers.
If I didn’t treat my parents with respect, how should I expect them to treat me when they’re planning their living wills?
If I fed my cat cheap food and didn’t scoop her litter daily, guess what would happen to my house?
There is a shortsighted tendency to isolate the meaning of “customer” only to those who would pay us for services. But it doesn’t stop at money.
If you want something from someone, whether it’s money, consideration, an exchange/barter, or simply their best effort working FOR YOU, you have to put in the effort to help make their lives easier.
“People think I’m selfless when actually it’s the opposite. I am selfish in wanting to surround myself in happiness, and so I do my best to make everyone around me happy.” -Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
I’ve been thinking about why, at a certain point of learning a new app or software, it actually becomes FUN, and I realize that I’ve learned enough to want to freestyle, just like learning a musical instrument to the point to where you can write your own songs. Same with the piano and drawing and Photoshop, and now I’m starting to feel it with WordPress.
There are other theories on phases of learning, but nothing I’ve seen that deals with this, the span of time during which a person is first introduced to the knowledge, to the time when they are comfortable enough to HONE their skill using that information.
1) The first step is LEARNING–somebody or something shows you how it’s done.
2) The second step is ABSORPTION–where you need time to process the information, and where you SHOULD NOT have any more input or else what you have just learned will just get confusing. It’s also important that you DO NOT jump to step 3 before this step 2 has figuratively “sunk in” your brain.
3) Third step is IMPLEMENTATION–where you create something to show that you’ve actually learned something.
4) Last step is PERFECTION–where you’ve spent x number of hours, and now it’s like second nature to you and you want to either change up the rules or hone it so you become guru level at it.
* Now, in my opinion, this is the IDEAL way to learn–to take the time do go through each of the phases.
But nowadays, I really think very few people have or take the time go even go through the Step 2 ABSORPTION phase. There’s such an immediate need to PRODUCE CONTENT that the modern learner has no time to let all this stuff sink in before they’re pressured into regurgitating the information that they just learned.
Q & A: Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Rejection *
A buddy of mine who’s much younger than me asked this question:
Have you found any way to quell the nerves that come with new clients? Or even the fear of possibly not being able to answer a client’s question?
The older I get, the easier it is to answer this question. The trick is scar tissue. Once you go through enough meetings and rejections as well as victories, clients and meetings aren’t intimidating anymore. Remember Morgan Freeman’s Red character during the probation hearing in Shawshank? He’s been rejected so many times that it just doesn’t faze him anymore.
Re. not being able to answer a question, OWN IT, tell the client straight out that you don’t know, but that’s a good question and you’ll find out the answer AND figure out a better solution for him after you find the answer.
The trick isn’t only in knowing the solution, it’s TWEAKING the solution so it works even better for the client. Once the client knows that you’re in this mindset, he knows there’s more value to you than the next guy.
* For those who don’t already know, the movie The Shawshank Redemption is based off Stephen King’s novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, from his book Different Seasons, and in my opinion one of the best books he’s ever written. A second novella from the book spawned another critically-acclaimed movie called Stand By Me.