Time or money?

Billie_Gaura_time_or_money_povertyTime or money? Which one can you not seem to get enough of?

One of the best things I ever learned from my ontological business coach is that most everyone has a poverty mentality (meaning that they feel like they can’t get enough of something) surrounding either time or money. Once you determine which one is true for you, you will likely be able to start to see other people’s perceived deficit as well. And once you’re clear on what is important to the person you’re dealing with, you can serve them on a level that meets their needs. Me? My perceived poverty is time. “Tick-tock” is often the cadence in my head. Especially during my three-day work week. If you want to walk slowly, chat about the weather or braid each other’s hair, don’t ask me to do it Tuesday through Thursday. Those days are dedicated to packing ten pounds of tasks into five pound bags (and I love it!).

Here are the things that move (or even pin) the needle on my time poverty meter:

Cold calls:
When a cold call comes in, or worse yet, a door to door salesman shows up, I am immediately aware that I will not get the next ten minutes of my life back and my grace goes out the window. My internal voice says, “He wants to talk to me about what? This thing that I have never heard of . . . so I couldn’t possibly need.”

Small talk:
I couldn’t give a rip about your sister’s cousin’s uncle’s neighbor’s kid’s best friend’s stubbed toe. Why the heck are you using your valuable brain space to store stuff like that? Don’t ask me about the weather. Use google if you actually want to know about Spokane’s climate. If you want to have a truly authentic conversation about what’s on your heart, I’m in! If you just can’t stomach open air space, and feel the need to fill it with babble, I am not the friend for you.

One of my favorite things to do with my bestie (yes, I know that’s so Jr. High but sometimes we behave like teenage girls, so it’s apropos) is to sit quietly together while we read a book or stare at the lake water. Other times we have really meaningful conversations. Sometimes we even just giggle about silly people and politics. But we NEVER torture each other with space-filling mumblings. We’re plenty comfy with just sitting happily next to each other while our brains exhale.

Reply-all failures:
If I’m asked a question via email, and I bring the person who can answer your question into the loop and ask them to lend a hand, don’t keep replying to me with your questions and leave them out of the loop! I don’t wish to be the designated coordinator of your thoughts.

I guess you could say that I am a gal who knows a little about a lot, so I often have a helpful tidbit to offer here or there. Contributing little solutionary nuggets does not mean that I have volunteered to take every possible particle in the situation into my own hands. I choose not to get sucked in.

Repetitive complaints without resolution:
When people complain about something, my noggin immediately goes into solution scanning. I have to remind myself that perhaps they just need to be heard and acknowledged and a solution may be premature. I can totally cool my jets on solving the issue and just be a good friend. Once. Maybe even twice. But if, at some point, I discover they actually prefer what they don’t prefer, I find myself in a bit of a visceral reaction.

Tech-resistant people:
For the love of me, PLEASE just embrace technology. Stop fighting it. Especially if you’re asking me for help with something that requires it. Especially x 2 if you’re asking me for complimentary help. And oh em geeee, if you’re asking for a monetary contribution to raise money to help pay for your friend’s illness, pretty please, I beg of you, send me an electronic link. If in order for me to help, I have to go find my checkbook (you know, a pad of those rectangular-shaped pieces of perforated paper), get the street address from you, find an envelope, a stamp and a mailman, I’m not likely to ask my friends to do the same. And increase the potential for more money by making it shareable on social media, please. With a fresh Rainier cherry on top, pretty please.

Energy vampires:
If you have people in your life who make you feel like a drained 12-volt, handle it!

Board (BORED) meetings leave me cold. They seem to be a waste of a LOT of talent, energy and time. Still, I do it within a few small boundaries because my commitment to a couple of really great organizations trumps my time poverty. Here’s the thing . . . I am a really good leader, and I am a really good follower. I can wear either hat like a champ, but getting caught in the grey area where the group has one foot on the gas and one on the brake is exhausting. The biggest value I find in those meetings is getting to sit with people that I love working with and getting to see their beautiful faces in person. Synergy (the synchronization of energy) is a very cool thing.

Other than getting to be in the same room with a bunch of really cool cats, committee meetings make me want to hit the next startup weekend (http://startupweekend.org/) with a better, faster, more fun way to approach group collaboration and decisions than a bunch of $200 an hour professionals spending an hour making ten minutes worth of decisions and the group’s administrative pro having to auditorially capture everyone’s words and thoughts and then translate them to something that makes sense and then type them out to a document called “minutes” that no one reads. There definitely has to be a better way.

Cleaning up figurative messes:
One of our leadership mantras around the office is “do it or give it back.” Nine times out of ten, the issue that we have to “clean up” could have been avoided. Typically the culprit is one of these things (yours or someone else’s):

– procrastination
– avoidance
– lack of give a rip
– lack of understanding
– poor communication

Tackle stuff head-on right out of the gate. Get after it, already!

So which is your poverty? The clock or coin? Share with us which one gets your goad and feel free to tell us what moves the needle too!

2 thoughts on “Time or money?

  1. I definitely prefer to save time, but I was raised by a major penny pincher, so I feel a lot of inner conflict when I spend money on things I could technically do myself. I don’t like play groups or other “let’s sit around and gossip because we have nothing better to do” social groups. I prefer to meet with people for a specific purpose and I like to get things done. Again, I feel a lot of inner conflict over doing mundane tasks I hate, like dishes and laundry, but would feel incredibly guilty paying someone to do those things, even though I would probably be a lot happier spending my time doing something more meaningful and profitable. Can we talk about resolving inner conflict? LOL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *