The Time Vampires
You will meet some of these. It’s a given. The longer you are in business and the more time you spend online and face to face networking the more doors you open to people who waste your time, energy and resources. They seem to permanently want help from you to do simple, everyday stuff. These are business fools/time vampires. They will often be pleasant and amiable and seem to be trying their best, but really the only thing they are committed to is clowning about and playing at being in business.
They often appear to be in constant preparation, always on the go, often short of money, often talking big but living small. Known by lots but respected by few. So how do you navigate neatly around the thorny issue of these people and their demands on your time? They love phoning you, because they value your opinion, just to run something past you and you now are saying yes when you mean no.
You can adopt a couple of tricks here:
1. Limit your time at the start of the call, tell them you have 5 minutes only and set a timer they and you can hear on your laptop, phone or desktop to 5 mins and end the call swiftly at the ping.
2. Refuse to meet up with them when they ask to meet up for a coffee for you to hear something they ‘want to run past you’. Tell them you are really short on time, but would love to work with them to help them; tell them your fees and ask them when they would like to book in with you.
As nice as they often are as friends, in a business context they are also quite capable, by their actions, of sucking the life out of you and your business by their demands on your time. It has to stop or you will end up as distracted and devoid of a path to tread as they are.
Chunk up your time each week; your diary should have from Monday to Friday ‘appointments’ in it with your business thinking time, your planning time, blogging and online Social Media time (we use PostCron and others) and marketing activities. Then comes client time and availability, then an hour or two (yes in the day time) for ‘You’ and your business. Undisturbed thinking and rest time, walking or fresh air time unpolluted by clamouring voices and the needs of others. When you do this, there is no time for fools in business unless they have finally decided to get serious and are working with you professionally on invoiced work.