8 Indicators that You are “Old School”

10 Sep


People are continually wasting their time or at least not focusing it properly. Generation Y and now Z don’t necessarily do it “correctly”, but I’m finding more and more often that they represent some of the new strategies of business that we need to not only accept, but potentially adopt as well.

1 – Are you still working at your desk at 5:30? The Y and Z’s get to work on time and don’t stay late. But – with a cell phone constantly within their reach and their ability to log in from anywhere, they are capable of getting a lot of work done from afar. So why are you missing dinner at home with your kids? Or their baseball games?

2 – Are you driving in rush hour every day? We can get a lot of work done at work… We can also get a lot of work done at home, in the car and – don’t tell anyone; on the lake or golf course. I schedule a lot of my travel time between 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. I miss the rush hour and usually work at my home office between 7:00 – 10:00 am and 3:00 – 6:00 pm, accomplishing more in focused blocks of time. Are you tired of waiting to get your haircut or buy groceries at 6:00 pm? I get mine at 11:00 am when there isn’t a line.

I’ll probably get a lot of push-back on this one but it’s the same rule I apply to my employees. As long as you get your work done and do it well, I don’t care when you do it. If you HAVE to show up at work every day (a) You don’t have enough trust around the workplace and/or (b) They are measuring hours over OUTPUT. If those aren’t the case, then you just haven’t asked your boss enough times!

3  – You seriously don’t have a picture on LinkedIn? I’m blown away by how many people have a shoddy LinkedIn page. If I do business with someone and want to understand them quickly, I look in two places – their company web site and at my contact’s LinkedIn profile. Every recruiter leans on LinkedIn as much as any other tool but everyone in sales and business should also be using it on a daily basis. There is too much up-to-date information on there not to be utilizing it and people are looking at you – so put a little more work into your LinkedIn page.

4 – Are you grinding away for 8-10 hours straight? I get a lot more done in 60-90 minute hyper-focused blocks of time. I read my email usually 3 times during the day (beginning, middle and end) and then try to put it away (though I always check it after 7:30 pm in case anything comes up). I also keep my phone out of sight when I’m around my kids – I don’t want to teach them that work is the most important thing in our lives.

5 – Are you selling to companies that don’t know who you are? Are you selling to companies or applying for jobs where they don’t know who you are? How many people do you know? 100? Actually, it’s probably closer to 1,000. Call those people and get introductions into the businesses that you are trying to reach. No one responds to cold calls any more. Warm it up by asking your neighbor tonight if they know anyone at ABC Company or XYZ Inc and you may be pleasantly surprised to find that he or she can help.

6 – Do you understand how to communicate in writing? No, I’m not talking about LMFAO’s (although texting could be part of the downfall of the written language). I’m talking about two things (1) The importance of short and sweet while still moving things forward and (2) The continued import of a well written email. Please see an earlier blog of mine on how to communicate more effectively by being succinct: Effective Email Communication.

People in business who struggle with writing are constantly losing business deals. They aren’t getting promoted or aren’t getting the job altogether. If you are still struggling with the proper spelling of “malcontent” – or just stuck using the word “bad” and “very” in most of your sentences, then maybe it’s time to go through a writing refresher course. The University of Minnesota has a number of course options: U of M Writing Courses. If you live outside of Minnesota, there are a number of similar courses available in your area.

7 – Do you answer all of your calls? If you aren’t a contact already saved in my phone, you will always get my voicemail; I’ll quickly call you back if it’s urgent. My voicemail messages are transcribed into emails so I rarely have to listen to them. Phone calls can take 10 times as long as an email exchange and we are always trying to find more minutes in the day.

8 – Do you use that computer in your pocket? We’re carrying around a computer with more power than all of NASA back in 1969 which put astronauts on the moon! So what are you doing with it? Do you Google everything that you don’t know the answer to? Are you loaded on apps and shared cloud storage for any and all work needs? These things are worth $100’s and you are wasting it if you still see your iPhone or Android as just a telephone.

We have a lot to learn from the “next generations”. Are you attempting to learn the new business world from their eyes – or are you rolling your eyes as they beat you out on jobs and sales opportunities?

It’s time to grow faster.

~Drew Schmitz









Twitter: @drew_schmitz

One Response to “8 Indicators that You are “Old School””

  1. Adam Hauter September 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Well, we all have to learn from younger generations that are familiar with new technologies e.g. cloud storages, mobile devices, etc. We weren’t used to employ technology in each aspect of our lives. Younger generations are.

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