Time Management for Entrepreneurs – part 5 of 6 (Rewards)

You are your own boss – which means you don’t expect a raise or a promotion or even a Christmas bonus. But you still need an incentive. You are human.

In a “real job” there are many opportunities for kudos, recognitions and bonuses. You need to build these into your business.

A slight edge action, according to Jeff Olson, is a quick activity that is easy to do – but also very, very easy to put off today. It is an activity that if you did it daily makes a big difference over the year. One cold call a day equals 250 new contacts per year.

So why don’t we do it? It is easy to avoid the small activities today and push them off till tomorrow – and tomorrow never comes. If you don’t do it today it doesn’t destroy your business today, but over time a bad habit like that, repeated daily, sabotages your success.  Conversely that same activity that you make an everyday habit accumulates over time creating your success.


Checkmarks or Cross-offs: Okay I am a sucker for the sense of triumph that comes with crossing something off my to-do list.  First and foremost the endorphins from that are a great reward. But the small items like wake up and check email don’t give the same rush as Send Proposal or Make Cold Call to Scary Potential client. So the easier it is to do, the smaller the “rush”, the harder it is to do, the less I want to do it.

Formal Reward System:

Take out that list of RIGHT Choices from yesterday.

Each of these activities (including those for family – though you may want to tally those separately) can be assigned a point value based on two criteria – bottom line results, and how much you avoid the activity. These points accumulate each week and month. Give yourself a reward at 100, 500 and 1000 points.
For example: one point for a cold call or email to a prospect, 5 points for a follow up, 20 points for an appointment, 50 points for a sale or rejection, 100 for an up-sell, 20 for an outgoing referral, 10 for requesting a referral, 5 for a thank-you note.

Go beyond this to identify what perks you should enjoy. Education, Entertainment, Massage, Travel bonuses? Create a points system for the rewards too.

Create a quarterly review – self evaluation to recognize your contribution to the organization, what you have learned and how you have grown. Ask yourself what you see yourself doing more in the next year.

Accountability: Do this system with a friend. We humans thrive on games – Candy Crush to board games it is fun to compete and win. Bring a friend into your reward system and go for coffee once a week to check up on each other. Text each other during the day to stay motivate. Meet for lunch or dinner 4 times a year to bestow awards and bonuses. Everybody wins at this award dinner.

Tomorrow – how can technology and automation make this easier?



Cher Cunningham

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