I was sad to hear Mike Wallace, a renowned reporter and CBS 60 Minutes correspondent for many years (1968-2008) died today on Easter Sunday.
When I first heard the news I was watching CNN which offered a great look back at his career with a few comments from his peers. As I headed off to Easter brunch I knew 60 Minutes would have a report on Mike during their evening broadcast. He was 60 minutes, after all.
I waited eagerly, watching the end of the Masters (congrats to Bubba Watson on his win) but when the show began all we got was a little blurb from Morely Safer with a promise of a more in depth retrospective next Sunday. Really Morely?
The way I figure, CBS had more than enough time to put together something on the life and times of Mike Wallace. When the infamous die, networks pay attention and if you consider how much network time was dedicated to Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, I’m sort of disappointed in CBS—especially the folks behind 60 Minutes.
What can a business owner learn from this? If you know you need to get something done and it’s essential—don’t sit on it. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t slide those papers back in your in box! If you do, that one important must-do-ASAP item could end up placing your company in a black hole while you try to recover from the failure to act.
Don’t Put Off Today….
Actually, the old saying, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today” came from the mouth of Thomas Jefferson and if you consider what he accomplished during his life (President/Author of the Declaration of Independence) it’s hard to argue with this famous quote—especially if you’re a small business owner! You need to complete the most important on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, many business owners do wait until tomorrow to finalize that account, schmooze a banker or client or sign up for an important networking event only to find come tomorrow, there’s no more space left!
We are busy people. We are tired people. We work practically 24/7 building, running and managing our business and it’s very easy to skip something important and then find out tomorrow was too late. Someone else landed the client or got the last space at that networking event.
Social Media Is Good But….
Okay, some will argue here that they did update their website on a key element, tweeted about it and posted it to Facebook. Heck they even spread the word tomorrow would be the big day by Google+ing that very important to do item with a promise of excitement!
You can’t, however, base your business management on promises.
To do lists are one thing but if something really big happens, you need to act within the same day. Tomorrow is too late for the big stuff.
As an example, let’s say you have a bid for a huge contract to turn in. Today is Thursday but you’re okay with that—the bid’s not due until Friday so you’ll work on it then and rush it to the bid initiator by 5:00 p.m. Friday.
What if you need more time because you waited until the last minute? What if you find while working on the bid “tomorrow” you need more information or data and can’t obtain it? What if you find, the bid office closed at noon? The “what-ifs” can go on and on and on.
Learn From This!
You can take this advice one of two ways. You might tell yourself tomorrow really isn’t all that far away and skip this advice. Or, you can act on what you need to act upon ASAP.
Those that do act will succeed and those who don’t simply won’t.
I think the same thing happened with folks behind 60 Minutes. Sure I know the show always falls in the top 10 ratings each week so maybe they weren’t worried about ratings. However, their “customers” the viewers, did indeed expect some story other than an under-one-minute announcement from Morely Safer!
The world will miss Mike Wallace and it would have been nice for CBS to give us something other than the posts they have on their website.
So, after you’re done reading this, what projects are you putting off that could harm your business?