Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Four-Hour Work Week

from a book called The Four-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss:

"Facing certain burnout, I decided to see how Pareto's 19th-century concept applied to my company by pinpointing the sources of most of my sales - and my problems - so I could spend my time more efficiently. I quickly realized that of more than 120 wholesale customers, a mere five were bringing in 95 percent of the revenue.

In the next 24 hours, I made several simple but emotionally difficult decisions that changed my life forever. First, I decided to stop pursuing most of my customers so I could profile and duplicate the most profitable ones. I was spending most of my time working on small accounts, when the big five already ordered regularly, without any follow-up.

I put the customers in the unproductive majority on passive mode. All my complaints came from them. If they ordered, great -- let them fax in the order. If not, I would do absolutely no chasing: no phone calls, no e-mail, nothing.

Jenny's words:

When Mr. Ferriss writes that all his complaints came from the lesser 5% of his customers, I must completely agree with him. In my business I spend more time handling complaints from non-customers (people who don't buy anything but want to complain about it anyway), performance managing the 5% of non-performers, and removing the less than 5% smelly dirty people from my store. That takes time away from my being able to focus on my high performers...those who can be GMs one day in the near future. And it takes time away from my loyal customers.

Now on more personal terms...

Think of all the friends and relatives you have....that huge vast number. Now think of the one or two (or three or four) people who emotionally drain you, take up your time and energy, and leave you depleted when you go to spend time with your uplifting and enjoyable friends. Do you have people in your life like that? If you do, what are you doing about it? I have no friends like that, because I shed them long ago. I have a few relatives that try to pull that with me, but I tell them I'm having none of it, and they need to change their behavior because they are not going to act that way to me.

All my years of managing people has made those very direct conversations much easier. When casual talking about the 'issue' won't work, a directive now does. But I do recognize I have it 'easy'. I don't have a husband or in-laws or a kid to take into consideration. So at home the 5% of people who drain me is actually closer to 1% or 0%. I get to base all my decisions on what I want, and not worry about taking into account the wishes of others.

Anyway, I really like what Timothy Ferriss said in this article (it was somewhere online at AOL, I think), so I believe I'll be checking out the book very soon. He also had some ideas on efficiency and personal productivity that I liked.

And that is your first installment of "Arm Chair Psych Girl". Have a pleasant evening.


Anonymous said...

i wish i could tell my inlaws to fuck off for good, but i can't. they're not my parents and i do have a baby coming, who might benefit from them somehow. i had a lot of stress a few months back with ending an 8 year friendship, but now that it's over, i'm happy that it is over and glad it didn't last longer than it had to. i enjoy most of my family, or i make it a point to only see them 3 times a year, it's just easier.

i find, when i shop, the biggest bitchers are the cheapest people in the whole wide world and they want something for free along with ass kissing by the employees. they're also the people you see at restaurants who order one thing off the menu and ask for it to be made completely different and then send it back several times because it just isn't right.

i have no use for these people and would be awful in a business, because i'd invite them to leave and not come back.


emma said...

damn, Respighi . .that guy makes sense. The people at work who take up most of my time ARE the non-customers---the ones who threaten to take away their business but they don't even GIVE us business to begin with.

However, the person who gives me the most grief at home is my 16 year old son and I can't just kick him to the curb (well, yet, anyway) so I'll have to just grin and bear that one.

I'm getting that book

Jenny Robin said...

Jilly, I know you're in a tough spot. I'm sending positive thoughts your way.

And you're right:

biggest bitches=cheapest asses

Emma, haha on LP!

Jenny Robin said...

I'm such a silly person. I lost track of time and now have 8 minutes to shower, get ready, and be in the car to leave for Ft. Worth....toodles!

(oh, the sad part about this is that if I skip putting on makeup, I can probably get it done in 8 minutes)

CatBoy AKA Charles said...

I don't work in a retail environment, but I often shop in them, and it IS the people who buy nothing that make the most noise.

Same thing goes for restaurants, the person who orders a glass of water and two olives, spends more time bugging the wait staff than the people who eat three courses and tip 20% as a rule.

UrbanStarGazer said...

I don't tolerate those type of people in my life. If they're a loss, not a profit . . . out they go. I even dumped my own father years ago.

That said, with some people it takes me a while to admit that they really are as they are. So, I think I give quite a fair chance before dropping the ax.

Right now, I have to go rescue my straw from Scout who is trying to extricate it from my glass of iced tea.