Chicago Business Leaders Conference; Day 3

Saturday was our last day – a few points worth noting from one of my talks:

We have three major resources at our disposal:

  1. Time
  2. Money
  3. People
  4. Opportunity


How do you plan your time and what threatens to rob you of it?  Time management is a funny concept; can you really manage time?  Time keeps ticking, it never stops.  What robs you or your time?  I shared a funny backpacking story – a time I was out with some friends, heading out into the woods for three days.  When we started out it was cold and raining – it was miserable.  It was so miserable that we just set out as quickly as possible, without checking the map.  I thought I knew where I was going, but with our heads down and hoods up, to keep from getting too wet, we just plodded down the  trail, assuming we’d get there.  Over an hour of hiking had gone by and we were miserable.  Suddenly we spotted cars!  The highway was right in front of us…in fact, our car was parked just up the road.  We had somehow made a circle on a trail I didn’t know existed.  We were right back where we started!

There are many things that set us back; heading down the wrong path due to a wrong reaction, misinformation, lack of research, lack of listening, and stubbornness.  When we lack discernment we make unwise choices in hiring, designing, or engaging in a sale.  Fear throws us off as we continue to sell to the influencer, afraid to move up.  A lack of planning, jumping into our day without a plan, or heading into the year without one (something many business owners do).  These and other unwise choices cause us to waste precious time.  I spent time explaining exactly how I plan my year, quarter, month, week, and day…something we all need to be doing.


Money is another resource.  Sometimes we see it also as a reward for making the sale, but then it becomes a resource to the business or to us personally.  There are many robbers of money – debt is a big one.  How much money are you personally spending on interest.  If you own the business and have small business loans, I bet it’s heavy.  If you have credit card debt is criminal – but it’s your fault.  Addictions – what is an addiction?  Something that causes you to purposely choose an unwise road to fill the need.  For instance, you don’t have a lot of extra money but you can’t help stopping at Starbucks each morning, so you don’t tell your spouse, but you need your fix.  This might seem like a silly example, but the addictions get bigger and more expensive.  The mind has a thing called the pleasure center – dopamine is released under certain circumstances, like when you eat some chocolate, giving you a sort of high.  It’s a good feeling and it’s normal.  But when people do things in excess, too much dopamine is released – giving you 3 or 4 days worth of that high, and it’s not replaced as quickly.  Over time you deplete your natural resources and you’ll spend all of your money trying to get back to that feeling by moving to harder substances.  This is what drug addiction is – it’s the far extreme, releasing all of your dopamine at one time.  This is why addicts need stronger drugs over time…the same is true of thrill seekers.


People are also resources in a sense.  I spoke about the things that cut off these relationships causing us to lose clients, employees, and even spouses.  I wish I had time to give lots of detail here, but the major cause of lost relationships is character deficiencies.  For instance, arrogance, greed, and selfishness will rip a relationship apart. Marriage problems are often a result of two people bringing their character problems into a relationship that is just too close to hide them (like they did while dating).  Now, cramped up together in a jail cell of sorts, there is no hiding the bad.  Unwilling to yield and work out these issues, the couple cries, “we’re incompatible.”  It’s really just a battle of the wills (Not to make it sound simple, it’s not.  But it is a will problem, not one of incompatibility according to my marriage counseling friends) .  Demonstrate your arrogance with a customer and you’ll be reading about it all over the Internet tomorrow.  It’s not worth it.


Finally, I spoke about opportunities.  What causes us to miss out on opportunities?  Lack of money, time, and relationships – all of the above, can kill an opportunity.

This was a great conference – what are you doing to take your business to the next level?

© 2012, David Stelzl


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