By Hall of Fame Entrepreneur, Award Winning Author, Founder of Jack Nadel International
1) Time is your most productive asset, and it cannot be recovered.
If there is one word that sums up today’s business world, it’s probably busy. Everybody is busy. Between the 100 emails you might get daily, the texts and tweets you have to pay attention to, and the phone calls, it’s possible to spend a whole day very occupied but completely unproductive. Aggressive time management is the solution. Guard your work time like a lion protects her cubs. Some managers check email only once an hour. Others rely on sophisticated time management software to plan their schedule and track where their time goes. Whatever your strategy, make sure you control your day, not the other way around.
FROM THE JACK NADEL ARCHIVES When I took on the job of running six companies at the same time, I had to depend on a monthly report from each division president. The reports contained too much detail, so I created a new rule: All reports had to be no longer than one page. When challenged by one of the division presidents that there was too much information for one page, I took out his last report and showed him how much unnecessary detail was in it. Then we made a list of the facts that were required in these reports; if I wanted further details, I would ask for them. I told him the problem with the long report was that he had to take the time to write it, and I had to take the time to read it. The division’s efficiency improved dramatically.
Part of the task of running a business is to determine whether you are operating at top efficiency. When you are monitoring a process, the first thing to do is determine if that process can be eliminated or minimized. When I started to run a factory for Jack Nadel International in France, the original design allowed for workers to be in different cubbyholes, where no one could see what they were doing. To create efficiency, I had all the walls removed and situated various operations where I could easily see what was going on from my office. I did not have to monitor the activity of the employees… the fact that I could was strong enough to enforce the discipline needed.
HOW DOES THIS TIP APPLY TODAY?
The figures are sobering: According to IT Business Edge, U.S. organizations lose $1,250 annually per computer user due to lost productivity. Most of this time is spent dealing with spam, unnecessary email from coworkers, and poorly written communications. At the same time, the average working adult gets less sleep than recommended and, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, 60 percent of all meals are rushed. The truth is, we are a harried nation of people with too much to do in too little time. That’s where time management comes in. Before you burn out, think hard about your schedule and even invest in time management software to help track where your efforts are spent. A balanced life is good for business.
2) The trip to success should be as much fun as arriving at the destination.
No one ever said success was easy. Often, the road to monetary success is stressful and difficult, with frequent setbacks and obstacles. That’s why it’s especially important to enjoy every minute of the journey, particularly your achievements and accomplishments, no matter how small. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and look for positive lessons in the challenges you encounter. None of us knows how long we have in the game of life, so if you aren’t enjoying the process of earning your success, you might be on the wrong path. Never postpone enjoyment in your life by working for the promise of success.
FROM THE JACK NADEL ARCHIVES I can honestly say that I have never spent a boring day in pursuing my career. More importantly, I have even enjoyed those hours of uncertainty between creating and executing a deal. One of the secrets to enjoying what you do is to recognize the humor in every situation. And true enrichment comes from the friendships that are formed. When I once had a problem in Europe, I mentioned it to a client from Belgium. He told me he would fly to meet me the next day to help in any way he could. When he wasn’t able to get a flight, he drove from Antwerp, Belgium, to Cannes, France, just to help me. His actions reinforce my basic idea that All Business is Personal (also a tip I coined and wrote about).
On our honeymoon in 2005, my wife, Julie, and I traveled to many foreign countries, where we were welcomed by old friends with whom I had done business for decades. The cultural benefits of traveling abroad were greatly enhanced by these personal relationships. Many of these business friends are still in the promotional marketing industry and have grown with the times along with Jack Nadel International. We share a common bond, one that has no language barrier or time limitation: the enjoyment of success.
HOW DOES THIS TIP APPLY TODAY?
Richard Branson never seems like he’s having a dull moment, despite amassing a fortune of $3 billion and building such companies as Virgin Airlines. For Branson, it has never been about the money—instead, one of his major rules in business is to have fun. This helps explain his unique approach to business attire (no suits or ties), publicity (jumping from airplanes), and even media appearances (where he laughs at his own image and compares himself to Peter Pan). We don’t all have to be as eccentric as Branson, but there is still wisdom in his example. If you’re not having fun in your business, you’re probably in the wrong line of work.
3) Pass on your secrets to the next generation.
One of the great fallacies in the business world is that success is limited, that there is a finite amount of it. In fact, some of the most successful people are also the most generous with their contacts, knowledge, and expertise. A rising tide truly does lift all boats, and your knowledge and experience might just help someone dramatically improve his or her life and business. You’ll never lose anything by sharing your ideas and secrets for excellence—you’ll only deepen your relationships and give back to the world in important ways.
FROM THE JACK NADEL ARCHIVES My motive in writing this last book is to pass on what I have learned to as many people as possible who can benefit from my experience. They say, “You can’t take it with you.” This applies even more to ideas than to money. One of my greatest joys is when I witness the success of people whom I have mentored.
The main thought I would like to leave people with is that we are blessed with the ability to think. Even at the age of 92—and I think I may be the oldest Huffington Post contributor—I find that I am constantly rethinking problems that have not yet been resolved. I realize that one of the greatest issues we have is dealing with the rapid changes in today’s world. What worked only a few years ago does not necessarily work today, so the ability to make adjustments and even change course has to be part of our skill set. Although the principles remain the same, the ingredients keep changing. In the modern world, one size does not fit all. Human beings are all different, and we face different problems. Compassion, intelligence, and understanding have to be part of the overall solution. When I was a child, my mother, poor as we were, taught us to share what we had, to spread good ideas, and to feel a sense of responsibility to others. Those principles still work today and are needed now more than ever, in this globalized world.
HOW DOES THIS TIP APPLY TODAY?
Oprah Winfrey isn’t just one of the most successful entrepreneurs and entertainers in America, she’s one of the most famous and public of mentors. Oprah has long believed in mentoring. She has said her own personal mentor was Maya Angelou, and she has given back in spectacular fashion. The list of people Oprah has helped includes Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Phil, and untold girls and women, including the hundreds of girls who attend her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself,” Oprah says. In 2012, some of that hope became real when the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy graduated its first class of 72 girls. So after you’ve achieved your success, don’t be afraid to give back and help the next generation. You’ll never regret it.
From The Huffington Post 9/22/2106 – Editor’s Note: This entrepreneur is for real. Watching him on the Fox Business Channel announcing his Evolution of An Entrepreneur, I was struck by his authenticity. On a trip to CA I made it a point to meet this wonderful man who learned by doing.