The big news for business owners came during the Thanksgiving and holiday noise: a federal judge blocked implementation of the new overtime rules.

They had been scheduled to take effect on December 1 of this year, but right now they’re in limbo. It remains to be seen whether this will be a permanent stoppage to the rule, so whatever plans you might have put into place for your business, it’s wise to keep them in your back pocket, in case they do come back to us.

Here’s a good article from the WSJ (which, I believe, is still accessible on this side of the paywall) that goes into greater detail about your possible considerations: New Overtime Rules

We’re here for you if you need to talk over your plans: (410) 224-2600 (or, of course, you can also respond to my email here).

This might have been one of those few instances when procrastination might have paid off for business owners.

Because frankly, I’m a firm believer in fighting against the temptation toward procrastination to which so many of us can fall prey.

And there’s a special kind of procrastination that business owners and leaders particularly need to keep at bay…

Valerie McLaughlin’s
“Real World” Business Strategy
Business Owners Working Small
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” -Seneca

There’s a famous study, often referenced in productivity/success books and podcasts that you probably have heard about in some form or another:

[Edited excerpt from Marshmallow Experiment]
Mischel’s famous research study, “The Marshmallow Test,” showed the importance of impulse control and delayed gratification for academic, emotional and social success.

In the 1960s at the preschool on the Stanford University campus, Mischel put marshmallows in front of a room full of 4-year-olds. He told them they could have one marshmallow now, but if they could wait several minutes, they could have two. Some children eagerly grabbed a marshmallow and ate it. Others waited, some having to cover their eyes in order not to see the tempting treat and one child even licked the table around the marshmallow!

Mischel followed the group and found that, 14 years later, the “grabbers” suffered low self-esteem and were viewed by others as stubborn, prone to envy and easily frustrated. The “waiters” were better copers, more socially competent and self-assertive, trustworthy, dependable and more academically successful. This group even scored about 210 points higher on their SATs.

Fascinating study … so what does this have to do with you?

Business thought leader Jim Rohn could see it a mile away, when he wrote about the harvest.

Paraphrasing Mr. Rohn: it’s about planning, focus and execution (and later … harvesting) vs. chasing the fad of the week (CYBER MONDAY, anyone?), getting distracted and wasting time you can’t ever get back.

How many “get rich yesterday guru” emails did YOU get yesterday? How many “pressing” client/staff questions did you manage, rather than focusing on revenue-generating tasks for your business? How much time do they waste? How many rabbits can you chase at one time?

Now, more than ever: Plan, focus, execute and harvest.

Be ruthless about your time. Don’t let the guru of the week waste it by trying to convince you that there’s a golden goose and only they know where it is. The real experts are producing results for themselves AND help multitudes of others do the same.

The guru of the week produces results for the guru of the week and his insider buddies.

Don’t bite.

And, separately — chances are very good that you’re executing tasks which could be easily-handled by a $15/hr employee … and keeping you from pursuing what only you, the owner, can care most about: growing profit.

There really is a tyranny of the urgent and the small. Fight against it. Instead: Do at least one thing today to get, or keep, a customer. That’s your most important task.

Feel very free forward this article to a business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and small business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Valerie McLaughlin, EA
(410) 224-2600