Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Managment Lesson From the Alaskan Wilderness

"Hi, Tod, Katie and Wren are out collecting firewood for the winter so leave us a message."

Yep, that's my brother Tod's family voicemail. And it's true. They live in a log cabin, heated by firewood in the Alaskan wilderness. They really do go out into the forest and collect firewood, they dine on the salmon, moose and even bear that Tod hunts. (Did you know that a black bear that dines on berries is a tasty treat, but a bear that lives near a stream tastes louse?) But I digress.

I got to spend time this weekend with my incredible brother and his equally astonishing family this weekend. Tod built a kayak paddled from New York City to Nome, Alaska. His remarkable wife, Katie is a soulful, gracious woman who is a bush pilot and former US Ski Team member. Katie looks at challenge as an adventure and her stories of her ski adventures leave my mouth on my chest. Their 3 month old daughter, Wren...I all get gooey when I even mention the name of our dear 12 pound Wren.

So what does a guy that built a kayak and paddled from New York City to Nome, Alaska have to teach you and I?

The 2008 Revolution

As impossible as it seems the folks that find, haul,and chop firewood have more quality time together than any family I know. They work during the brief Alaskan summer and have a 2 and a half month vacation during the winter. How?

It seems impossible to those of us living at the blurry fast pace of our work life. They can teach us how to use time more wisely. How?

They focus all their time on their NEEDS. Do that in your business and watch it grow.

What does your career need to flourish?
In Alaska you NEED to chop firewood. What do you NEED to do more of in your business?
You know what you NEED to do. Constant interruptions can blur your business NEEDS.
Calls to referral sources? Better communication with your team? If you spend your time on what is most valable what you NEED you'll create incredible results

The revolutionary FAB TIP is to focus your TIME on your NEEDS.
Email is one of the biggest time thief's I know.


Don't look at email first thing in the morning.
Allot an hour to go through your email in the afternoon.
Add a line to let those you communicate with that "my responses may be brief"
If you have a virtual assistant, task them with screening your email
If you have a Blackberry make a commitment to turn it off when you are out of the office.
Studies show that all the conveniences (cell phone, email, PD A's) are extending our work

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