You Have Permission

I went to an all-day seminar on branding–and came home by noon. I could feel myself getting bored and while I was getting some good tips, I couldn’t see spending another four hours to get a few more tips. No offense against the presenters–these were all very experienced people who had won awards in their field. I realized that since I’ve become a small business owner, I’ve raised my standard. If I’m not engaged in what I’m doing, I ask myself, "What else could I be doing that would provide more value?" When the answer comes back, "Lots!" I ask the next question: "Why am I here?"

Now here comes the interesting part. When I was in the corporate world, I would stick it out, even if it caused my brain to drift off into never-never land for hours. I would dash off at the break to get to my voicemail and email and then grudgingly return to the classroom late, after the instructor had already gotten started, smug that I had eked out a few extra minutes of freedom. I never gave myself permission to make the call on how best to use my time. I didn’t trust what I knew–that the ROI was pretty low on this activity.

Today, I didn’t hesitate to bolt for the exit door. The answer to the question, "Why am I here?" came back quickly. "You thought you would learn alot more about branding that would be helpful to your business. But it turns out you are only learning a little more. Go spend your time elsewhere."

What if everyone asked those same questions, both inside and outside of companies?

"What else could I be doing that would provide more value?"

"Why am I here?"

Guess what? You have permission to spend your time elsewhere.

No Comments

  1. Stefani on August 12, 2005 at 7:22 pm

    I ask myself those questions several times a day. Am I getting anything out of
    this newspaper article? Why am I watching this TV show? In the friends I choose,
    even. It’s really about making every moment count – in whatever “count” means to
    you, isn’t it?

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