If you believe every day is Christmas, then this post is just right on time.
The “fella” in the red suit? Why it’s Santa, of course. Whether you believe in him or not, he does make for a convenient vehicle or jump-off point for learning about working smart in the 21st century.
So what can entrepreneurs and businessmen learn from Santa Claus about super-productivity?
Santa’s 3 Keys To Productivity
#1: It’s Never A One-man Operation
The myth of the lone engineer toiling in his parent’s basement has strong tones in the social narrative. But that’s all that is, a myth.
Nobody ever really launched anything of value by his own determination or willpower. If he’s going to make it...and make it big, he’s going to need some help.
It might seem like Santa does everything, but he most definitely does not. The fella gets a lot of help. He’s got his elves, his reindeer, and a whole team of singing workers to pull off a miracle. And then there’s Mrs Clause.
So while Santa is the central character, it takes a whole village to get the gifts to every nice child on earth.
Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates, might be the most recognizable faces of their respective enterprises. But they’re far from the lone ranger persona the media is trying to cultivate. There’s a vast network of people who toil behind the scenes and make everything work.
Do you want to be super-productive?
Let go of the archaic notion that you need to do everything yourself. Collaborate, cooperate and coordinate. In today’s business world where complex problems abound and speed is of the essence, you need many heads and hands rowing in a single direction.
In the question, “How many X does it take to change a lightbulb?” The answer is never 1.
#2: Save Yourself For The Most Important Things
Santa doesn’t make all the toys himself, but he does make all the deliveries.
You enlist the help of others so you can save yourself, your time and energy for the very things that only you can and should do.
Yes, all things are important. And sure, every bit of detail is vital. But things have very different impacts on your business. So in a sense, while all things matter, not all things are made equal.
Having the documents photocopied is important, but it’s not more important than having a face-to-face meeting with a prospect.
You’ve heard of the “Pareto Principle” or the “80/20 Rule” which, applied to our subject here, states that there’s a vital few actions you can do in your business that can draw up a whole lot of good. It says, 20% of your actions will garner 80% of the profits.
I’m sorry to say that the Pareto Principle is wrong. Not wrong, wrong—but that it might be a little off. It’s not 80/20. Things are a lot more disproportionate these days. We see ratios of 90/10, and even higher.
The bright entrepreneur will save his time and energy for the tasks he has the most leverage. He will delegate the rest to able lieutenants, trusting that they will do an outstanding job. Delegating tasks doesn’t mean you think less of the task. It only means that you’re looking at the bigger picture and aligning people and work in a way that’s beneficial for all.
#3: Have Time For “Milk And Cookies”
No matter how busy he is, Santa will always have time to stop for milk and cookies.
He’s no UPS driver who takes a signature and goes his merry way.
An entrepreneur going full speed at all times will soon find himself burnt out and empty. There is such a thing as the “Law of Diminishing Returns” where one’s efforts fetch less and fewer results. For example, a businessman might field an average of 10 phone calls in the first 4 hours of work. Once he gets to hour 5, he’s usually so tired and spent that his average drops to 6.
Not only that, the quality of the calls suffers. His speech becomes ineffective, his energy lags and it is getting felt by the other person on the line. It would then be a better use of his time if he takes a breather or resumes the next day when he’s refreshed and ready to obliterate price objections from potential clients.
I’m sure you’ve been part of a meeting that went on and on, and you start wondering, “Why are we still here?” It might have started on the upswing, but after some time, it becomes a slog fest that drains out the life force out of everyone caught in it
It might be counterintuitive, but resting and recharging just might be the most productive thing you can do. At some point, you just have to chill and watch some Netflix. Or spend quality time with your pet.
Resting, sleeping, relaxing and unplugging does a whole lot for the person by helping improve memory, concentration, and creativity. In the end, a well-rested entrepreneur is an effective entrepreneur.
Every Day Can Be Christmas
Now, you can be like Santa. Not in the sense of going around town and sliding through every last chimney you see, but in the sense that you can avail of ready and competent help as you do your own good in the world.
These people are called VAs or virtual assistants. There’s a bunch of them around the world and they can lend you a hand with virtually any task, (routine or special), you can think of. You have VAs for practically anything:
--setting-up appointments and meetings
--contacting clients and customers
--intensifying your social media presence
--researching all kinds of information
--checking and double-checking numbers and data
Anything you need help on (data entry, bookkeeping, content writing, video editing etc.)...there’s a VA for that.
Virtual assistants have been proving themselves valuable in all aspects of business and every corner of the organization. Movers and leaders have been employing them in fields like:
--Education, Research & Academics
--Software and Technology
If you have something that you know you shouldn’t be doing or something you don’t have time to do, you can fire off an email to your VA with instructions and he/she will take care of it. You, of course, move on to higher-value activities and become super-productive.
Unfortunately, not everyone decides to go this route. They have their reasons and these three are the biggest ones:
The 3 Biggest Reasons People Don’t Hire VAs
Cost was once a major reason why entrepreneurs, businessmen and busy professionals didn’t hire VAs. The old thinking was that VAs were a drain on a struggling company’s resources. That myth has long been blown out of the water.
For professionals who once had personal assistants or secretaries, hiring VAs is, as it turns out, a big cut on expenses. When most of the tasks can be done virtually, there is no need to spend on extra office space (expensive!) for someone to assist you in many of the undertakings.
Hiring virtual assistants make geographic boundaries superfluous, freeing you from the limits of local talents. Opening your company and yourself to the world of VAs allows you to explore all the international talent on deck. It is a quick and painless way to bring in a new specialized set of skills to your organization.
VA rates don’t break the bank, making company dollars go a long way. So when you factor in all the benefits and conveniences that come with having a virtual assistant, you’re actually saving a lot.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing, one of the country’s leading remote staffing firms, understands how the numbers impact a business’ bottom line. Our clients enjoy 70% savings on labour costs by hiring virtual assistants from the Philippines. Those savings can then be invested back into the enterprise, making it more competitive.
“How will I know she’s doing her job when she’s on the other side of the world?”
The issue this time is personal and emotional. Turning over tasks to others and entrusting them to do a good job is a profound deal for many. As it should be.
Your business, your brand, and your clients are all very personal to you. And you want to be intimately involved with every detail of the enterprise. Giving your company’s data or entrusting the care of your customers to somebody who lives thousands of miles away and who hasn’t even stepped inside the office, is an unnerving feeling for someone very hands-on.
To delegate is to let go. Sometimes it’s not about the cost and the savings, but about the risk, one is taking when you have somebody working for you on the other side of the world who you can’t look over the shoulder of. (And then there’s the feeling of “I might just be the only one who can do this.”)
Kinetic understands all of this. Hiring a virtual assistant is not only an economic decision but a personal and emotional one. We work with remote workers from the Philippines because, time and again, the country has proven to be a rich source of highly loyal, honest, competent and intelligent digital workers.
Filipinos are known to be some of the most hardworking and creative fellows around. You can rest easy, knowing that you and your business are in the hands of consummate, English-speaking professionals. Expect nothing less.
In addition, just because you have staff working from the Philippines doesn’t mean you don’t get to “look over their shoulders.” Kinetic has special-purpose software tools that allow you to effectively manage remote staff. You can have an array of productivity information and find out things like how many hours your VAs worked. You can even get snapshots of their work screen every few minutes.
At Kinetic, we know that trust is the ultimate currency.
#3: (Don’t) KNOW-HOW
Lastly, many don’t hire VAs, although they suspect the business will ultimately benefit from it, because they just don’t know-how.
It seems like a lot of work, looking for somebody from the vastness of the internet. There are just too many questions to answer: How do you vet the candidates, for example? How do you conduct the interviews and ensure that you hire the best VAs? What tasks should you give him or her?
And, isn’t it “too millennial,” “too digital,” to have your appointments set by someone you’ve never met?
And, hearing about all the benefits, it also all sounds too good to be true. (Is there really such a set-up where the drawbacks are practically nonexistent?)
It’s too big of a step for a company that’s done things a certain way, anyway. So the company ultimately stops itself from hiring VAs.
Kinetic has been there. So we’ll take all the guesswork from the process. We’ll take you by the hand and help you each step of the way—from finding and vetting candidates, to drawing up contracts for your new VAs. Kinetic will help you smoothly onboard so you can focus on the most important aspects of your business.
We got you covered.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.