I am in the process of starting a new business. I am actually venturing into the tech market. As a result, I needed an attorney to “wrap” my concept in state and federal trademarks. I am happy with the attorney I selected however we have never worked together before (and perhaps he will choose to never work with me again!).
I emailed the attorney’s assistant and asked for the digital copies of all the paperwork submitted on my behalf. I received them however the attorney took the liberty to dictate a letter describing the process and what was expected to happen over the next few months. The letter was an attachment, on corporate stationary, in his assistant’s email.
I found myself annoyed because I neither asked for this update or needed it at xxx dollars per hour. In response I sent the attorney the following:
Hi (insert attorney name here), since this is our first time working together, I thought I would outline some things that are helpful in working with me.
I prefer all correspondence in digital form. If you are worried about confidentiality we can use Dropbox.
I will always specifically ask for what I need. I emailed your assistant directly because I only needed copies of the application for my files. I was looking neither for an update from you or a consultation.
Please automatically send me a digital copy of any paperwork you submit on my behalf.
Now for those of you following at home thinking, wow, she is such a bitch, I would like you to try something. Reread the email attaching no emotion to it. What I hope you see, is that I am initiating some efficiency and protocol that will cut significant time for both the attorney, the assistant and myself.
A working framework is important. What this poor guy doesn’t know is that once we have the framework down, I tend to be a client for life!
As a partner, Mom, sister, long course triathlete and owner of four businesses, every minute of my life has great value to me. I can easily spend time (and money) on extraneous relationships and details or I can put my time and money on the things that truly matter to me.
The risk of offending someone is greatly outweighed by the cost to me of wasting time. Aligning my words with my actions is far more important to me than making sure I have hurt no feelings in the process.
As I consultant to other business owners, I find that many people lack an alignment between their words and actions. My role as a consultant is to center both into one place.
When a business owner tells me they lack motivation, I like to point out what they really lack is commitment. When a business owner laments their lack of time, what they really lack is a system of efficiency to create the time needed.
In triathlon, I cannot tell you how many triathletes I meet that start their story with “my goal is to qualify for Kona too.” They then proceed to tell me about missed training, poor diet and lack of sleep.
At the end of the day, we each need to ask ourselves, do my words match my actions. Am I choosing alignment in my life, or do my actions sabotage my words? I don’t always succeed but fortunately my friends and family will call me out when I am misaligned.
There is magic waiting for you when you find alignment. Start small and build.
I am starting small and building this weekend with my first post camp race at the Gator Half in Florida. I am assuming there are Gators in the water. If so, the race motto should be “you just have to be faster than the slowest swimmer!” Looking forward to testing my post Endurance Corner Tucson Camp fitness bump. Time to get my race.