Respect for Time

Doctors appointments are one of those things that you just can’t delegate to someone else. Today was my third visit to Dr. H and the first time I didn’t have to wait more than 25 minutes to see him. So not only does he get to inflict pain, as there’s some physical therapy involved, I have to wait around for it.

When I show up on time, I expect him to do the same. And while I get sometimes there are emergencies that can throw off the schedule, it would be nice to have notice if that is indeed the case. How about a text message to say they’re running 30 minutes behind, or at least a heads up when I arrive.

Everyone’s time is valuable and in my book, it’s a matter of respect to honor someone’s time by not wasting it. Updates are equally important when it comes to serving your customers. Companies such as Amazon and Zappos have set the bar for delivery expectations pretty high. Stories of deliveries made less than 24 hours after order placement create a belief that every company can, should and will be able to do the same.

Fair or not, it is what it is and it’s your job to set the proper expectations for what your business can and will deliver so you still look good. You will boost client retention by letting them know ahead of time what to expect from doing business with you. Can you pledge to return phone calls within two hours? Keep them waiting no longer than five minutes? Ship packages within 24 hours? Whatever it is that you do, give your clients the guidelines of how you do it so they know what to expect and aren’t disillusioned or disappointed. Now they have an increased level of comfort, which makes them more likely to come back again, and share their experience and recommendation with others.

PS: Today I didn’t have to wait because I learned if I make my appointment for 2:00, I’ll be the first one after lunch, so no one ahead of me to mess up the schedule!

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A Year of Thank Yous

I recently saw a review of the book “365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life.” Author John Kralik was just about at rock bottom in his life – his law firm was failing, he was in the midst of a divorce, was overweight, lived in a crappy apartment, was out of contact with his kids, and so on. And during a New Year’s Day walk, he decided that maybe he could find a way to be grateful for what he had.

Sure, we’ve all heard about keeping a Gratitude Journal, and that’s all fine and good. But John took it a step further and, inspired by a thank you note he had received, determined to hand write 365 thank-you notes in the coming year. He shared his gratitude for kindness shown by family, friends, colleagues, store clerks, neighbors, etc. Miraculously, he became the beneficiary of all kinds of fortune, which is really not all that surprising if you understand karma.

SO even though I haven’t yet read the book, I decided to take up the challenge of doing the same thing. The timing is of course perfect because we’re just at the start of a new year. I actually think I’m going to have MORE than 365 people to write to, although at the moment the list is only running in my head and I haven’t any idea how many are on it. I’m wondering how I might reach people I’d like to thank but for whom I have no address. Guess I’ll figure that out somehow.

I posted this goal on Facebook and got some logistics questions. Making up my own rules here, these thank yous will be handwritten and mailed or hand delivered, as appropriate. They will not be posted on any social media site, as I don’t intend for them to be public declarations. The thank you notes I write to first time Zen Rabbit clients don’t count as part of the 365.

I’m excited to get started. I’ve been thinking about who I will choose to kick it all off and I think I know, but I’ve got another day of contemplation before I have to actually write. So many possibilities! Which only serves to emphasize how blessed I am to have such a pool of people from which to pick.

A few friends indicated that they too are up for the task. How about you? Get your fine stationery, the writing implement of your favor and start thanking!

Help Improve Literacy on International Literacy Day

Can you IMAGINE not being able to read? How does someone function in this technologically advanced society without reading skills? Would you be able to do it? Today is Literacy Day…

12+ Things You Can Do to Share the Zen Rabbit Love

You’ve heard the recommendation before that you should always ask for what you need. “Ask and you shall receive.” This is not a new concept. But I was made aware of a big, cool way to do this the other day and I jumped right on the opportunity. Perhaps it will benefit you too, if you implement.

The idea comes from Jeff Hayzlett, via Bill & Steve Harrison’s Reporter Connection if I’m remembering correctly how I found it. Jeff is the Chief Marketing Officer for Kodak and he wrote a book called “The Mirror Test.” Of course he wanted to see it become a best seller. In order to help other people help him (oh, geez, that Jerry Maguire quote just popped into my head!), he posted a page on his web site with suggestions of how to make “The Mirror Test” a best seller. Click here to see his web page and list.

Genius that I am at swiping and deploying good ideas, I immediately wrote up my own list. Want to help Zen Rabbit share the gratitude with 100,00 people in the next 12 months? Step right up, or should I say, click right over, and read my own list.

Then take some action. First, rush to do as many things off the Zen Rabbit list as you can to help. Next, create your own list, post it on your web site and then blog about how you got the idea from me.

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From World Cup Soccer

Did you watch the World Cup match up between the USA and Algeria yesterday? Wow! What a game. In the past, I know a lot of Americans have complained about the “boringness” of a game that doesn’t have a lot of scoring. In this game, there were plenty of shots on goal, but it wasn’t until the 91st minute that the ball actually went in. (Click here to see the highlights.)

WooHoo! I was jumping out of my chair with excitement and it was even cooler to see the excitement Landon Donovan and his teammates felt.

The USA wasn’t favored to win. They hadn’t won any of their previous World Cup games this month; the best they’d done was tie. And for 91 minutes it looked like they were going to go home despite their heroic efforts. The score was 0-0, which on paper looks like nothing was going on. But as the announcer said, everything can change on a dime and all of a sudden, sweet victory!

Immediately, I thought holy cow, look at the lessons here for entrepreneurs and business people. So many times, we’re working, we’re working, we’re taking shots on goal, and nothing is coming up. We keep missing, coming so close. And then there are the unfair referee calls. (What was he thinking?!) The times when that account should have been ours. Or the vendor doesn’t deliver as promised and we’re the ones who pay the price for someone else’s incompetence or mistake.

Keep preparing. Keep going. Keep playing your heart out. It’s all about persistence. Well, that and then the use of the “secret weapon” that everyone with success I’ve admired has implemented.

Certainly Landon Donovan, the player who scored the goal, physically trains for this game. All the players are in top form. One of the announcers mentioned that he also mentally prepares using meditation and visualization. Aha! Not surprising to hear, just another reinforcement that quieting the mind and connecting to that unseen force, or spirit or whatever you want to call it, is at least as equally important as all the physical preparation.

The takeaway here is this. Make consistent mental preparation a part of your strategy. Then stay on the field, giving it your all, for as long as it takes to win. Because it’s not over till it’s over.

Need help with your meditation practice? Maybe you’ll find this ABC News video, “Going Inside the Meditating Mind” helpful.

For Entrepreneurs Who Can’t Do Everything

Resources for Work at Home Moms

My friend and colleague Sandy Fowler, of ReclaimU, knows what it’s like to be wife, mom and business owner who works from home. She says, it can be fun and it can be challenging. So to make it all a bit easier, she put together a collection of tools specifically for Work at Home Moms to help them:

  • Get some fabulous information
  • Discover some great experts to rely on
  • Save some time and some dough
  • Learn something amazing

She asked me to contribute, so among the incredible tools you’ll find there, is a special report called, “Building Rock-Solid Relationships With Your Clients That Yield More Business & Increase Your Income.”

It’s all completely FREE. To get your goodies, just go to http://www.thegreatwahmgiveaway.com/