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Archive for January 2011

3 Steps to Start Running on Millionaire Time

Let’s do the math. To earn a million dollars in a year, you have to bring in $83,333 per month. Assuming you bill hourly and work for the standard 1,000 billable hours per year, you need to charge $1,000 per hour. If you want to make five million in one year, you will need to charge $5,000 per hour.

Here’s some breaking news: You won’t get there doing tasks that are worth $10 per hour. Even if we drop a zero and aim for six figures in a year, you won’t get there doing $10 per hour tasks either. At six figures, you’re worth $100 per hour.

The difference between poor people and rich people is simple: one values the scarcity of their time and uses every minute wisely, and the other doesn’t. Here are some tips to help you start thinking like a millionaire, which is the first step to becoming one:

Step 1: Identify your “nonprofit” tasks

Take a look at your to do list. Eliminate any activities you are doing during your work day that are not profit-making. Some of you will feel resistance to giving these up. Here are some examples:

  1. Watching TV
  2. Poking someone on Facebook
  3. Going to the post office and standing in line for 20 minutes to buy a $1 stamp
  4. Playing Cityville on Facebook, or even responding to others’ requests
  5. Looking at competitor’s web sites
  6. Reading and answering email requests on email lists you subscribe to

Here are some more examples of nonprofit activities.

  1. Working for free: Not writing your time down as billable or writing off time you worked.
  2. Going to a workshop where you really already know everything but you feel insecure about your knowledge
  3. Trying an idea from a peer for your business when you have no idea whether it will pay off or not
  4. Staying on the phone for half an hour to dispute a five dollar charge
  5. Answering emails of people asking for favors but that have not paid you anything
  6. Attending a networking meeting where all your friends are when you haven’t gotten business from the group in a year

Do you feel resistance to considering giving any of these up? It’s normal. We do most of them because either that’s the rule or habit or we want to be liked. If we really want to grow our income, we need to make a conscious choice.

Step 2: Delegate or delete your “nonprofit” tasks.

The only way you will make it to a million is if you start delegating everything you’re doing that is worth lower than your current billable rate. This includes both personal and professional tasks. Delegate the lowest hourly tasks first, which will free up your time but won’t cost you a ton of cash.

Step 3: Focus your newly freed up time on high-profit tasks.

Here are some examples of high-profit tasks:

  1. Calling a power partner to discuss a joint venture project that will make both of you money and serve both of your client lists.
  2. Writing content for a book, course, or program
  3. Making sales calls
  4. Speaking or preparing a speech
  5. Appearing on TV to spread your message
  6. Teaching a workshop or designing an event
  7. Hiring staff
  8. Strategizing your business
  9. Listening to what your customers want and need

If you have some changes to make to your to do list, then congratulations. You’re three steps closer to becoming a millionaire.

I’d love to hear from you: post the tasks you are giving up, and let me know what tasks you’ve labeled as your must-do high-profit tasks.

Is Care a 4-Letter Word? How Declining Empathy in Young Adults Impacts the Workplace

Do kids care less about people in need these days? A recent study shows a dramatic drop in empathy among college students today compared to 30 years ago. Seventy-five percent of students today rated themselves lower in empathy than those from 30 years ago. Worse, a rise in narcissism accompanies the drop in empathy.

The authors of the articles that covered the study (in Time http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/12/30/who-cares-not-college-students-study-finds-co-ed-empathy-decreasing/ and Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-me-care) conjectured why today’s kids might be less empathic:

  • An increase in social isolation
  • Less desire to join groups
  • Social media technology precluding the face to face interaction
  • A sharp drop in fiction readers

Since we’re all born with empathy as a trait, it’s clear to me that the environment of the young adults is causing the trait to decline. If you’re a teacher, a parent, or an employer, you’ve likely seen the decline in empathy in certain individuals first hand.

Does this affect the workplace? You bet:

  • More training will be needed to develop relationship building skills, such as communications, customer service, and teambuilding.
  • The gap among the generational differences in empathy is likely to cause increased friction and misunderstandings.
  • Expectations of employees will need to be crystal clear. Some things older employees take for granted may not be obvious to younger workers.

Here are a few tips I recommend to prepare your workplace for the generational differences in empathy:

  • Use hiring tests to assess levels of empathy in candidates, especially when they will have interaction with clients.
  • Conduct training that will build customer service skills.
  • Encourage socialization among employees and discourage isolation.
  • Start a fiction book club.
  • Reimburse employees who join groups of professional associations and become active on a committee or in an officer role.
  • Allocate part of the performance review to assess socialization and communication skills so that learning is encouraged and financially rewarded.
  • Designate workers to be responsible for social activities such as recognizing birthdays, awards, accomplishments, celebrations, holiday events, and competitions.
  • Encourage volunteering and develop a program that supports employees who donate their time to nonprofit work or philanthropy.

Building a supportive environment in the workplace will be key to reversing the trend of declining empathy in young adults.

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