Several years ago there was a best-seller about ‘margins’ in which the author talked about leaving space on either side of the page for notes. The real meaning of his message, however, was that we need to give ourselves space in all aspects of our daily actions—leaving room for error!
In my own life I have found many ways to do this and recommend that you figure out a way to do the same. My specific examples, frankly, are irrelevant to you in that they fit my particular lifestyle and personality. The point in sharing them is solely to challenge you as an entrepreneur to consider how to build space in your own life to make your world less chaotic and more orderly.
Example 1: To me, being on time means being fifteen minutes early. The Green Bay Packers of the 1960s called it ‘Lombardi-Time’ in honor of their autocratic coach, Vince Lombardi. The Hall-of-Fame coach considered his players late if they were not there at 8:45 for a 9:00 o’clock meeting.
It does NOT necessarily mean that I’m always the first one in the door. However, the benefit to me by leaving early enough to reach my destination in a timely manner is that I don’t feel hurried or anxious upon arrival.
Example 2: My wife and I have purposely through the years driven autos and purchased homes slightly less expensive than we could have afforded. It took a lot of pressure off by not always hanging on the edge of a financial cliff. Being debt-free equaled freedom—another ‘margin.’
Example 3: I’ve invested a lot of time and effort into networking. It is impossible to fully articulate how valuable it has been to have friends and acquaintances of various ages, socio-economic class, professions, ethnicity, gender, and geographical locations. When my job was eliminated several years ago, I was amazed at how many people around the community, state and country were trying to help me find employment. In the final analysis it was my friendship with a manager from a competing company that resulted in me finding the perfect position within three weeks. Again, I had created a ‘margin’ in my life by taking the time and making the effort to continually network.
Example 4: I seldom procrastinate. It has been my experience that doing it early allows me plenty of time to modify and improve the final product long before it has to be delivered—be that a speech, a writing assignment or any other project. It’s always easier to buff up than begin from scratch.
So where are some places in which you could build margins in your business and personal life? Which ones have you already perfected? If you haven’t given the matter thought in the past, I urge you to do so today.
You will be amazed how doing so will improve the quality of your life.
Bill Sheridan—"Sheridan Writes" Bio under Guest Authors
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