Are You Using the Two Minute Rule?


David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done” has a time saver he calls the two minute rule. It’s been helpful to me for taking care of some items immediately when they appear. 

The rule is simple. If you can take care of something in less than two minutes, like an email response or leaving a quick message on a voice mail, then do it now.It will take more time to file and retrieve the task and respond later than to take care of it now.

And if the item is not important enough to be done at all, then throw it out now! It’s like pretending you’re going to eat leftover steamed broccoli tomorrow and taking the time today to wrap it and put it in the refrigerator so you can throw it out untouched 5 days later.

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The Other Napoleon Said It Best

The first step in improving your business profitability is to decide on an exact amount for your net profit for the next 12 months. A statement like, “My goal is to improve my business profit in the next twelve months” is as shallow as a political campaign promise. It sounds good, but it really means nothing.

Napoleon Hill wrote long ago in “Think and Grow Rich”, “Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say “I want plenty of money.”

It’s like saying, “I want to lose weight.”  The part of the brain that gets things done needs specifics like how much weight, by when and a plan to make it happen. General statements are just background noise to the brain until you get specific with your expectations.


Your Attitude About Your Work Today Predicts Your Future Success

Perhaps it doesn’t always seem that way, but your work is very important and so is your attitude toward it. There is an old story about attitudes toward work held by three bricklayers. When asked by a child what they were doing, the three responded:

The first said,“Laying brick.”

The second said, “Making $27.00 an hour.”

The third said, “Me? I am building the world’s greatest cathedral!”

Fast forward ten years. The first two bricklayers are still laying brick as the employees of the third’s  international construction company.


Stir The Pot And Bring Business To The Top

Early in my career, one of my mentors would often ask me, “So how’s business this week?”

And I would regularly answer,  “Quiet.”

He would reply emphatically, “Then stir the pot!”

I wasn’t in the restaurant business, but I understood the intent of his message.

Think about stirring, an essential to the cooking process.  The benefits of stirring:


  • Accelerates heating
  • Blends for better taste
  • Eliminates separation
  • Prevents burning
  • Sends an aromatic message to diners

Stirring, aside from cooking, is also a necessity to:

  • Allow settled pigment to create color in the paint can
  • Keep concrete from setting on the mixer truck
  • Get sales from your prospects and existing and past customers

I managed to pass high school physics, but don’t remember much about the subject other than what Isaac Newton said,


“An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

You are a force (perhaps unbalanced) that stirs the pot of possibilities for your business. 

Are you stirring the pot by: 


·        Making telephone calls to prospects
·        Mailing post cards
·        Send a printed or electronic newsletter
·        Maintaining a website
·        Speaking publicly
·        Offering demonstrations
·        Press releases about your business
·        Writing articles for publication
·        Blogging
·        Sending hand written thank you notes
·        Asking for referrals

Think about your business relationships with people who provide services and products for you.  Aren’t you doing the most business with the folks who maintain regular contact with you? 

 They call you, send you flyers and sale notices, e-mail you and perhaps call on you.  You see them in the community at the soccer game, charity fund raiser or at church.  They are present and available and stirring their pots for increased sales.

I get results whenever I send out my electronic newsletter, make a quick phone call to follow up or check in or present a talk or workshop.  It works for me and it will work for you, too!

If you don’t stir your pot, “No soup for you!”

Tooting Your Horn-The Only 3 Measures You Need To Play

Here is challenge for the day: Do you know what are the three things you are really, really good at in your business?

Okay, I’ll go first.

  1. I offer a wide and deep knowledge of business
  2. I’m clear and uncomplicated. I express myself  with a short, strong message
  3. I’m accessible and approachable

Okay, your turn




To Get More Done Each Day, Pass on The Fried Chicken and Learn to Like Kale

From the Tuesday Morning Gallop Newsletter published earlier this week:

No doubt as the owner of a business, you’re busy. And as the owner, you are in control of your busyness. One way to get more done is to first decide what you’re not going to do today.

Stop doing tasks you’ve mastered that are now assignable to others. Like comfort food, they are “comfort work”-the fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy, of your work day.

Comfort work examples are: stall cleaning, grooming the arena, bookkeeping, sweeping aisles, Facebooking, cleaning tack, deleting emails, driving to the feed store, or completing the employees’ work schedule for the week. Like comfort food, comfort work is satiating for the short term and bloat inducing for the long term.

Uncomfort work examples are: making calls to place horses no longer productive in your lesson program, setting near and long term goals, collecting past due money, raising rates where applicable, saying No to requests for your time that don’t mesh with your goals and promoting follow through and expecting results from your team.

Pushing the Easy button at the start of your day for comfort work is like hitting the Snooze button on your alarm clock and staying in a warm bed. Nothing significant happens until you leave your comfort zone.

There’s Life Beyond the Farm Driveway!

I thoroughly enjoyed presenting three seminars for the American Morgan Horse Association’s Annual convention in Raleigh, NC this past weekend. I’m sure the attendees enjoyed their experiences, too. Here’s why. They know the value of learning, networking and relaxation. They also know it’s nearly impossible to experience any of the three in the busy workplace. There are just as many reasons to not go to a convention there are to go to one. And you can always rationalize your decision to attend or not attend as being the right choice.

I hope the next time you have a choice to attend a convention, you find a way to make it happen. If you haven’t noticed, amazing people go to conventions. They go because they are learners, networkers and understand the value of enjoying life. They know they will meet like minded people and predictably on their journeys home pat themselves on the back for making the investment of time and money in their own professional development.

A Practical Guide For Leveraging Social Media In Your Business

jab jab jab right hook

I tore through Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” today waiting for a delayed flight. Vaynerchuk’s dissection of social media and its workings is just what I needed to get clear on how to best take advantage of the benefits of marketing CORRECTLY with social media.

Much of the book is dedicated to Facebook and rightly so. The book is filled with mini case studies of good and bad social media posts. It reminded me of David Ogilvy’s classic, “Ogilvy On Advertising”. As marketers, we want to know the content that works and how to get better at creating it.

I’m ready to put what I learned into action and experiment. I made a lot of notes in my book, you’ll probably want to do the same with yours.

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How To Capture Great Ideas


I suspect in between the routine thoughts you have during a normal work day, a great thought or two comes to mind for you. I mean the creative or budding ideas that appear in your brain from seemingly nowhere. They are flashes from the universe that you’d like to spend more time thinking about.

These flashes, unless captured, will leave your short term memory within minutes or even seconds unless you capture them. Otherwise, the universe reclaims them and sends them on. Use it or lose it is the string attached to flashed- in thoughts.

I’ve made a habit of capturing these great thoughts by writing them in a moleskine book like the one in the photo. Moleskine notebooks are definitely old school , but well adapted for penning two sentences to come back to when you want to spend more time thinking and developing your great ideas.