One of the foundations of a Success Making Machine is setting up systems that work and let them run automated. For example, I have my utilities (gas, electric, phone) set up with automatic recurring payments. As long as charges are within range I need to take no action. But I make it a point to review my utilities periodically to make sure I’m still paying market prices. Here’s my successful recent “system review”. I’ve had equivalent success with reducing auto insurance (50%), gas(5%) and other utilities.
Here’s my latest story. My internet/cable/phone (triple play) company sent me a notice that they were increasing their price by $15 a month. That was the last straw- their fees were inching up monthly and I was being bombarded with ads from their competition that their prices were lower.
Try to work it out
First I called my old company to see if they had a better (or at least equivilant) deal. This has been a helpful strategy in the past. It’s worth it for me to keep the old company even if they just match the deal because I’ll save the headache of switching. They couldn’t do better than the new deal- but still offered me something better than what I currently had. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be missing something- so I asked. They admitted that the new deal was superior. With a superior deal and without any loss of features I knew it was time to switch.
In with the New
I called the ad to make sure it was legit. It was. As I was deciding which package to get the company rep offered me better and better deals. I ended up with a free DVR, an extra install line and some more free channels- all for a lower price than I previously paid (before the increase).
Out with the old
After the new service was successfully installed I called to cancel the old one (I don’t cancel in advance in case something goes wrong). Interestingly, the “customer retention rep” who took my cancellation was prepared to offer me some good deals not offered elsewhere- I didn’t pursue the conversation because after installation it’s not worth it for me to switch again. An addition lesson here is talk to numerous people in the same company.
Next Action: Try this with your utilities. They should be reviewed annualy. Let me know how much you save.
photo credit: whiteafrican
Everyone has their own way of doing what it takes to be successful. Is your system better than mine? Or is mine better than yours? Maybe David’s way is better than both of ours? The answer to all three of these questions is undoubtedly “Yes”.
For you, your way is better. For me, my way is better etc. Lets face it, we all do things differently. We do things different because we are in different situations. You may have a home office and need to set up barriers not to let work into your home life and I may have be overwhelmed with email and dealing with that burden is my primary goal.
No matter how well we do things our system is not perfect. This is why you’re reading and trying to get tips to improve yourself- to be more productive. I’m here to find common ground to see where we agree (or should agree)- there are certain fundamentals for success.
My goal on this site is to identify the fundamentals (roadmap and tools) to achieving success. Then you can choose how you want to implement it. You already perform many of the fundamentals yourself but we need to organize it so that we dont need to think about what’s next. Identifying a roadmap will give you a way to tackle any project. The tools will help you get there faster.
The key to any project is to start with basic building blocks: Think, Do, Enjoy. In short:
- Think before you do something.
- Do- Do it the best way you can.
- Enjoy it- gives motivation and meaning to what needs to be done
There’s much more to each of those phases, but I’ve only introduced you to the basics, which you can already apply. The key is to start small- you can’t make a radical change overnight. Building your success machine will take time. You need to take on one task at a time execute it well and gradually take on more as you integrate this into your life. This process is called layering: you start with one success and build on it. Now you’ve just added a new tool to your success tool box (I’m sure you always had it but it never had a name). Next time you have a large project you’ll take the time to think first- how can I break this down into smaller parts. How can I get something done? Pretty soon you’ll be a pro at layering and your productivity will soar.
Should you use an outlook/palm combination or is it a gmail/remember the milk combination to track your to dos? That’s up to you. If i take you out of your comfort zone you wont listen to even the best system. The key to getting more productive and successful is taking it one step at a time.
The best system for you is the one that works for you. Look around here, read Getting Things Done, read other blogs take the best ideas and implement them in your life. Then you’re guaranteed to increase your chance for success.