There’s a joke about a woodcutter who is working long hours and not making much money. He’s sharpening his axe and along comes a stranger carrying a weird contraption. They talk a little and the stranger says, “look friend, you can’t keep up using an axe. Try one of my chainsaws and you’ll increase production and be able to take time off.”
The woodcutter is skeptical, of course. He replies, “I don’t have time to play around with new things. I’m way behind in my cutting. Come back in a couple of weeks.” He then heads back to the woods, axe in hand.
A couple weeks later the stranger is back carrying the chainsaw. He asks the woodcutter, “have you thought about trying a chainsaw?” To which the woodcutter replies, “I’m even farther behind than I was 2 weeks ago. I’m too busy to talk today.”
The stranger, a chainsaw salesman (let’s be realistic about this story), replies, “I wish you would try this chainsaw. It will save you time.”
The woodcutter replies, “I just don’t have anything extra in the budget for new things like this. Maybe some other time.” And our friend the woodcutter heads back into the woods with his trusty axe.
Two weeks later the chainsaw salesman returns. “Are you ready to improve production, profits and get some time off?”
The woodcutter is getting tired of this guy showing up and replies, “I’ve tried to tell you nicely that I don’t have time to figure this thing out. I don’t have money in the budget to buy anything new even if it costs less than a day’s work as you promise. And, I might be making some other changes in the future such as getting into tree planting in addition to tree cutting. So I’m not interested.” The chainsaw salesman knows that getting a chainsaw will help the woodcutter. He decides to go out on a limb. [pun intended]
“Okay,” says the salesman, “here’s an offer you can’t refuse. Try my chainsaw. If it doesn’t do everything I said it would, pay me nothing. I don’t want a deposit. I don’t want any money upfront. Pay me only if what I have told you about increasing productivity and giving you more time off proves to be 100% true.”
How do you think the story ends?
What do you think is the right move for the woodcutter?
Now let’s say that I make you the same offer with the “Chainsaw of Presentation Training”. I will improve sales if presentations are used in your sales process. It will make people more productive because good business training will make them better thinkers and problem solvers. I include a lot of material about creative thinking and negotiation in my classes and workshops.
Will you say, “We don’t have time” or “We don’t have money in the budget”? What if I said, “just have me on site for a couple of days to identify ways of saving time on tasks?”
This isn’t about me.
It’s about you.
You work late almost every day. You work weekends. Your work-life balance is way out of whack but you have no time to change the way things are done.
Turning off your email isn’t the answer unless you prefer a call from your boss. “Tips” like that are silly.
But you can automate tasks using the tons of great tools available.
When I got my first computer in 1984, I immediately realized all the tasks the machine could do for me. Within a couple months my business was soaring. That’s when I decided to help other business people harness all that potential productivity of computers.
Sadly, I met resistance then and still meet it today. As recently as last week I explained to a CEO of a new company how Excel can act as a great personal assistant! That was immediately shot down by the new accounting manager who didn’t want any new “stuff to do”. [I had no intention of giving anyone new stuff to do]
If we want to get our lives back and have our incomes align with the hours we are working, we must turn to education. Learning new ways of doing things will save time, improve productivity, blah , blah, blah. You’ve heard that before.
Learning will make you a better employee and will give you more free time. I guarantee that.
So you can get out the axe or sharpen your saw. Or, you can learn something and cut through the work with a chainsaw.
Even a small improvement with each employee aggregates to a BIG return.