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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Are you too busy to know other people’s businesses?

by Rick Baker
On Mar 14, 2017

Common sense tells us:

  • Most people look for a fair deal, where both parties exchange value,
  • Some people look to cheat others, heads I win - tails you lose, and
  • Some people look to help others, expecting little or nothing in return.

Those three things probably fit nicely in a bell curve, where the norm is business people exchanging fair value with one another.

That's the viewpoint here: most business people do business with one another in an effort to obtain some value and deliver some value in exchange.

People exchanging value - that's the essence of business.

If you agree with that then to grow business you must increase the exchange of value. And, as you work to increase the exchange of value you will do better if you know how both parties define the value they seek and the value they deliver.

Most business people just scratch the surface of value exchange. Sales people tend to know the value they think they're delivering. Purchasing people tend to know the value they think they're receiving. Sales people may make a serious effort to try to determine what the purchasing people want to receive. Purchasing people may make a serious effort to try to understand what the sales people want to receive. But it's highly unlikely their thoughts go beyond those things. For example, sales people do not understand what value the sales people who work at the purchasing person's company are looking to receive or deliver.  And, vice-versa, purchasing people do not understand what value the purchasing people who work at the sales person's company are looking to receive or deliver.

Even worse, sales people do not understand the value the purchasing people at their organization are trying to receive and deliver and purchasing people don't know the value their organization's sales people are trying to receive and deliver.

People tend to know what they want and what they're prepared to deliver in exchange for it. However, they have a much smaller understanding of what other people want and are trying to deliver in exchange for it.

This applies within companies. This applies between companies. This applies between people.

Some years ago we addressed this with our Clients' Clients Philosophy.

Here are the starting-point questions …

  • What value do you want to receive from people at other companies?
  • What value do you want to deliver to people at other companies?
  • What value do other people in your company want to receive from people at other companies?
  • What value do people in other companies want to receive from other people in your company?


People who possess an ongoing curiosity around questions about what other people value have the opportunity to excel in business, to excel in interpersonal relationships, and to deliver and receive tremendous value.

Some people are too busy. So, they don't get these things…and they don’t get most of the other things they want.

Some people are way too busy talking to learn...

by Rick Baker
On Mar 9, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

I bet you've noticed some people simply must express their views. If someone interrupts them, sooner or later, one way or another, these people will keep returning to what they were saying until they have finished saying it. And, if they don't think you are listening then they will repeat their message until they believe you have listened

And, these people are quick to interrupt others and squeeze others out of conversations so they can inject their views.

Listening isn't important to these people: they don't feel a need to listen because their minds are made up. 

These people are way too busy talking to learn.


Time is a most-precious thing. Shame on the people who repeatedly waste time then complain about not having enough of it.

by Rick Baker
On Mar 3, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

We all have the same amount of time...we know the past is gone...we know we have the present...we only hope we have the future.

We all have choices about how we use up our time.

For example, we can choose to make good use of the 'time scraps' that arrive regularly, during work days and during all other days.


I'm too busy! - I don't have time! | Thought Tweets

When you say "I don't have time", what are you really thinking? Why not communicate that real information instead?

by Rick Baker
On Feb 17, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Saying "I don't have time" and "I'm too busy" ... those are bad habits. They are bad habits that show how a person can self-brainwash to distract self or others. Or perhaps the person is guarding against something. But what? What is really going on behind those false claims?

Escaping a whirlpool of compounding errors

by Rick Baker
On Feb 6, 2017

Problems are what life throws at us to make sure we know we are truly alive.

Errors are what we do to make sure we don’t forget we are human.

While we are accustomed to experiencing and working through an ongoing string of problems and errors. From time to time our errors compound in surprising ways. When that happens, sometimes, small errors lead to strings of errors and that can lead to severe problems and major damage.

When we have made a little error we have choices. One of the choices is to ignore the error. Another choice is to remedy the error and do that as quickly as possible. When we make these reaction-to-errors choices we pave the path for habits. These habits can be good habits. These habits can be bad habits. Our changes are matters of our choice.

When we react to errors by making extreme choices [extreme changes], we tend to fail. For example, when we overdo discipline we tend to alienate and annoy people. On the other hand, when we fail to illustrate sufficient discipline people tend to wander and make poor decisions. In either case, at either extreme, errors tend to compound.

When we react to problems with too much discipline, the consequence can be avoidance due to fear or some other negative mindset. When we react to problems with a lack of discipline, the resulting actions tend to be lackadaisical. Either way, if the extreme practice is continued to the point of habit, we tend to breed compounding errors.

So, when we react to errors in inappropriate ways, sometimes we get caught in a whirlpool of compounding errors.

When we are in a whirlpool of compounding errors it is as if time gets away on us. We feel like we don’t have enough time. This shortage-of-time feeling becomes an excuse, a mindset that justifies more errors. As problems continue to whirl relentlessly around us, we feel we are losing the little control we have been clinging to. As the whirlpool rages on, our frustrations, worries, and fears expand. These negative mindsets consume our energy and our positive-spirit and this reduces our ability to deal with or learn from our problems.

We cannot let that happen.

We cannot take our errors lightly or allow our problems to get the better of us.

When we are caught in a whirlpool of compounding errors we must resist the current. We must fight the urge to tolerate small errors. We must give fresh thought to old problems. We must take new actions. We must seek out the lessons contained in our errors.

We must use every opportunity to learn from errors.

Only new approaches will help us escape the whirlpool of compounding errors.

There are 2 types of busy in business

by Rick Baker
On Jan 5, 2017

I think there are 2 types of busy in business:

1. There's good-busy

2. There's ?-busy

When business people tell me they are 'too-busy' I am uneasy because I have no place in my brain to file that type of busy. So, I either wonder if they are telling me they are experiencing #1 [good-busy] or I jump to the conclusion it's just another case of #2 [?-busy]. 

I admit I am prone to jump to the #2 [?-busy] conclusion because experiences tell me there's an awful lot of #2 out there.

On the other hand, I do not always jump to conclusions so I regularly find myself wondering, "Is this too-busy good-busy or ?-busy?" When I am wondering in the direction one thought always finds its way into my mind, "Is your too-busy coupled with increased gross margin?" Sometimes that internal thought finds its way to my external voice and I blurt out, "Is your too-busy coupled with increased gross margin?" That's always followed by my observation of a puzzled if not surprised or maybe annoyed face peering right at me. The conversation either goes uphill or downhill from there. While the downhill conversations are not particularly enjoyable the uphill ones more than offset their downhill counterparts...resulting in an overall net gain...call it 'productive and constructive conversation'.

Needless to say, when I slip up and almost start thinking I am too-busy the little voice in my head keeps asking me, "Is this almost-too-busy coupled with an increase in gross margin?" When the answer is "Yes", I know I am dealing with some good-busy work...so I don't even feel tempted to get stressed out about it let alone complain about it.


PS: There are competing thought-cycles at play with one another here. When almost-too-busy is tested and found to be good-busy the opportunity for too-busy disappears. When almost-too-busy is found to be ?-busy further thought is required: one good example of further thought is 80/20 Rule thinking. Further thought about ?-busy results in paring of some underlying work, which again reduces the possibility of too-busy thinking. Either way, there is little temptation to be thinking, "I'm too busy". And, that's a real good way not to be thinking. 

Successful people have more time...

...because they do not fall into the trap of thinking they are too busy.

And...we want to be successful...right!


PPS: good-busy --- Good Habits --- Acting in the direction of Goals


Original posted October 3, 2013

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