Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Marketing from the Trenches #6 - Monetize Your Non-Billable Time

This one is simple to understand, measure and change.

If you have the courage, keep track of any non-billable activity you do while you're at work. Then, at the end of a day look at your list and put a "$" sign next to any activity that can result in new work. Your list will demonstrate one of three things:
  1. If you have no $'s you either don't make time for your future at all or you are a complete slacker. Not every day can be a banner day in marketing your future but any extreme points at real dysfunction. Seek help immediately!!
  2. If every non-billable activity has a $ next to it you either need to get a life or you're lying to yourself about the value of what you're doing. I have known professionals who make EVERY minute count and they are usually struggling at work and at home, and are not very popular. Then of course there are those professionals that will claim on a stack of Bibles that everything they do has purpose while not really doing anything at all. Again, if you are at an extreme; seek help immediately!!
  3. If your list has a fairly even balance of $'s and non-$'s you are doing O.K. You could tweak it I'm sure but a good professional life includes being balanced about what we pursue. Ten minutes doing the water-cooler thing is great if you balance it with a phone call to set up a lunch with a referral resource.
In regard to seeking professional help -- if your firm has a marketing department or business development professionals, call them! You could also invest in a professional coach, or seek out a mentor to guide you. There is something completely right about asking for help. In fact just about any hyper-successful person I have ever known had a guide to lead them and where never afraid to ask for help.

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