Counterintuitively, you often get things done with less labor and faster when you do them yourself.
Case in point: I’ve talked to legions of “virtual assistants” who are neither virtual nor of assistance. Here’s the latest one: “Maureen has asked me to call you to get copies of invoices from 2008. They should be in the amounts of $6,000 and $100.”
“Who’s Maureen, and what were they for and why does she need them?”
“She worked with you back then, apparently, Maureen Smith, and that’s all the information I have.”
I told her to have Maureen pick up the phone and call me herself and, what do you know, when she did we cleared things up in one minute and I sent what she needed. Too many consultants believe that the trappings of the profession are more important than the outcomes, so a staff is required, and formal offices, and complex phone systems with lengthy messages, and software that tells you they are going to call you for your scheduled meeting in six days, four hours, thirty-six seconds, and a quark.
I don’t like to deal with “middlemen,” and I don’t like the implication that someone else’s time is just so valuable compared to mine that they can assign their end of the accountability to someone else to deal with me. If you want something rapidly, pick up the phone and call. (I wrote a guy off, for whom I had done countless favors out of generosity and good will, when he stopped talking to me—having called me over in a hotel lobby—to take a call without even looking at who was on the other end. He held his finger up in the “one minute” gesture, and I turned and walked away in the “sayonara” gesture.)
If your time is really so valuable, why are you wasting so much of it on Facebook?!
© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.