Fatherly Advice from Tom on Leadership and Entrepreneurship
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The Big Squeeze
You are a business, social, or spiritual entrepreneur. No doubt, you are also someone's employee while you build your dreams. Most likely, you have a family, a home, and "chores."
You are busy.
You are doing whatever you do in the cracks of your life between other major responsibilities. You frequently complain that you just don't have "enough time." You feel guilty when you relax. you feel frustrated about all the things you didn't get done.
You are in a self-imposed squeeze and, when it comes to building your dreams, you have to "squeeze things in."
Top that off with the troubling reality that you are not all that fond of tight spaces, which is one reason why you ARE and entrepreneur -- so that you can get out of them.
Unfortunately, in order to accomplish that, you need to get into some for a while.
Let's consider some, quite impromptu ideas for coping with the squeeze and letting it even squeeze a little more greatness out of you and efficiency out of your schedule
Here is today's acronym for squeezing it all in.
S is for SCHEDULE.
Make it; break it; bend it; keep it as best as possible. Make it reasonable. Break it gently. Bend it whenever necessary (So keep it flexible). Keep it as a form of disciple and as a planning tool.
Q is for QUIET.
Quiet your soul.
Live by grace.
Receive it and give it.
Leave space in your life for God, family, self, and reflection. Whatever your spiritual, emotional, or intellectual disciplines, include a quiet time in every day. Make it the un-squeezed portion of your life.
U is for UNDERSTAND.
Do what you do with a rationale and purpose. Understand yourself: your pace, your purpose, your passion-driven energy, and your productivity index.
By knowing what makes you most effective and how to apportion your energy and time, you will be able to squeeze more out of every hour. Then, also understand the task as part of the whole project and mission and what it takes to get done what you are determined to do. Live with understanding.
E is for ENERGY.
Know that your productivity index is more about how you budget your energy than your time. Time is a necessary commodity, but if you have from midnight to 6 AM every day, it doesn't mean that such time is going to be productive because you will most likely be out of energy and much in need of rest.
E is also for EQUIPPING.
It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is just as true that an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of effort. Squeezing an empty tube of toothpaste is a useless activity. Don't become encumbered with useless expenditures of valuable time and effort. Learn what you need to learn.
Read what you need to read.
Prepare yourself and others.
Equip yourself for maximum productivity in the squeeze. It may SEEM like a waste of time to read this article when you could be making a call. Ignore that voice that discourages you from equipping yourself and keep preparing.
Z is for ZOO and it is a zoo out there
Yes, it is a zoo without the cages --- more like a zoological reserve with all sorts of wild things roaming around and creating an illusion of unpredictability. The bottom line of this proposition is that no matter how hard you try to bring order to your life, there will be unforeseen events and circumstances. It is predictable that these will arise and with all the information, one might be able to see these crises coming, but no one has nor can they assimilate all the data necessary.
Therefore, what may be a well ordered universe manifests itself as utter chaos from time to time. Count on it and make the appropriate arrangements to cope.
E and the last E is for EITHER/OR
This is the most important letter of all because it is about our choices which are always ours alone to make. When we are in a squeeze we must decide what we are going to do, say, think, or believe.
In 15 seconds one can bend over and pick up a penny on the ground, stand back up and prepare to bend down and pick up another. One person might quip that it would be a waste of time. Another might do the math and realize that at that rate, one would be making $24 per hour.
At that point you'd need to ask yourself if you could be making more in that 15 second period by jotting down a great idea, making a mental note of an insight, or even speaking to the person next to you.
Any of those would be more productive than complaining, blaming, or feeling sorry for oneself.
There are always choices.
You have the same number of hours in a day as everyone else, but it seems less because your dreams are bigger, your expectations higher, and your goals loftier. You will frequently find yourself squeezed, but even in the squeezes you can make choices that will make those tight spaces wide opportunities for great things to happen.
You are a winner.
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