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Choose Creativity or Productivity Becasue You Can’t Have Both and More Tips for September

Procrastinating on a project? Shoot for the minimum.





HIRINGRadical Remoteness

Having trouble hiring good front-desk staff? Try the Philippines. You just need a good internet connection. Entrepreneur Marshall Haas tweeted recently that he was surprised to find his dentist’s reception desk manned by a woman in the Philippines on video. “When you walk in, an iMac is facing you with her on camera to check you in. The owner said he struggled with high turnover and bad employees. [She] has been flawless by comparison.”


This is likely a time of year when you need to tap your reservoirs of creativity for an end of season marketing campaign or just for planning for the new year. Keep in mind that creativity unavoidably involves changing gears especially if you’re the typical hard-charging business owner or manager. “One can optimize for productivity or one can optimize for creativity, but it’s hard to do both,” notes widely followed tech entrepreneur Naval Ravikant on Twitter.


MANAGEMENTBe Prepared to Walk

After helping almost 100 owners sell their businesses, consultant Stephen Semple of Business Growth Guys says that he has one core piece of advice: run your business like you are planning to own it for the next 20 years. Buyers will often try to low ball you at the very last minute knowing full well that owners have often already sold the company in their heart. “The champagne is on ice and the owner is not emotionally capable of walking away from the closing table. To fight this, the seller needs to remain ready to walk. Walking away is the only power the seller has,” Semple says.

MARKETINGDiscipline Your Message

With so many options in 2022, it’s easy for your marketing to become more scattershot than cohesive. If that’s you, it may be time to create a Brand Messaging Guide, says Andrea Hill of marketing boutique AHM. Where to begin? “Come up with three things you wish every prospect knew about your business and use them to inform all of your marketing. Consider how each of these items benefits the customer and create two or three benefit statements for each.”


With the leaves turning and the light mellowing, now’s also the perfect time to take new staff portraits, says Jen Heller, owner of Pend Oreille Vision Care, in Sandpoint, ID. “Take updated staff photos in the pretty fall colors, while everyone’s still tan and before the winter weight hits (they’ll thank you),” she says.


MOTIVATIONSearch for the Minimum

The busy season is not quite here but there are things you should be doing, yet it’s just so hard to get motivated sometimes. Jon Krop, who trains lawyers in mindfulness, has the following advice: Find the non-zero amount of the activity you are willing to do. If your aim was to work on your tax returns for 20 minutes, ask if you’d be willing to do 19 minutes, and wait for the answer. No? OK. What about 18? No? How about 17? And so on. Before long, he says, you will reach a strange, utterly recognizable moment when you find you’ve stumbled over the threshold of willingness. “Oh, the answer is 12 minutes! That’s how much I’m willing to do!” And you do it.


You’re in Vegas and have forgotten to bring a charger. To keep the line open with the store, shift your phone to your purse or belt (as opposed to your pocket or hand) as the cooler environment will keep the phone fired up for longer. When you get back to your room, put it in the mini-bar fridge overnight to slow the battery’s natural tendency to lose its charge, according to

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