Here is a question for you…whose time is more important, yours or mine? I ask because the answer is obvious. Most people who answer truthfully will, of course, say their time. We all think our time is a premium possession in which, often we don’t have a spare minute.
Some people, who have shortcomings in a particular area of entrepreneurial expertise, have no problem in asking for your help on their project. This is especially true for those who may not possess good business person skills. They often ask you to give your time and effort for free, without any type of compensation. They appeal to your sense of pride in your race, community or country. They want to reap the benefits of monetary reward or prestige for their pet project. But as far as your contribution to the same, they want something for nothing.
I have found the perfect solution to those types of situations. It is no secret, for I learned this lesson in my thirty’s. There is nothing like putting words in a contractual or agreement format to ensure that all involve understand what is required and expected from any type of collaboration. Presenting this type of document to others has a way of weeding out those who want something for nothing.
Don’t get me wrong, the document is not asking for some outrageous fee. You are just putting together stipulations of a working agreement between business persons. Both of you are going to agree on whatever is included in the document. Most Entrepreneurs will understand, except those who wanted something for nothing. They suddenly have second thoughts. For me, I just laugh to myself and thank God I saved a lot of time by weeding these type folks out of my life. Because…in the end, time is of the essence with me.
There is that word…time. Let’s go a little deeper into that thought. Young folks…say eighteen to thirty don’t have any time for anyone. At least that is the way it seems. We rush from thought process to the thought process, relationship to relationship, maybe even one career to a completely different type. How we make, our living is of the utmost importance at this stage of life. Indeed, how much we are paid for our services is the primary reason we choose a particular profession.
By the time we reach the thirty to the forty-year-old range, there is a gradual or sometimes sharp turn in one’s priorities. Here we began to seriously look at where we are in life. We look at our current social and intimate contacts as well as our financial status. If we have children, or maybe grandchildren, we begin thinking of their well-being for the future. Bottom line, at this age bracket, most have gotten real serious about life. Time is becoming a premium that is not to be wasted as we did at a younger age.
Fifty to sixty is another age range where people look at time differently. It’s like you began to hear Rod Sterling’s “Twilight Zone” theme music. You know that you are about to enter a time zone of no return. It’s not too late to prepare yourself for old age. Make no mistake about it, some may figure that fifty is the new forty. That really makes no difference to how young you feel, the fact is you are still dealing with irreplaceable time.
For those of us over sixty, time for all practical purpose, indeed for any purpose is what we are now trying to measure. The primary being how much more time do we have on this earth. By the time one reaches this age bracket, you began to look back and see what you have or have not accomplished. We believe it’s too late for some things and not too late for others, depending upon your perspective and previous ambitious. Some of us find other careers later on in life.
From a social perspective, you no longer have the patience you once had with trivial matters. You have no time for rude people. You have reached a heightened understanding of people’s motivation that causes them to act in a certain manner.
From that special relationship with a spouse you value the time you have spent together. If the person is still around, you laugh and reminisce at the crazy times you two had or marvel at the things you accomplished. You wonder what might have been had you went in this or that direction in your life. Overall, you are thankful you can sit back and think about how it was at that time. Most of all, you appreciate the now.
And finally from a business perspective you might have things you want to accomplish, or to be more exact, unfinished business. We are trying to make a difference by leaving something of ourselves behind for others to know that we were here on earth at a specific time. No matter what age group you fall in, think about that a minute.
That is the primary reason for me to refer to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Without going into Maslow’s entire theory, all one need to understand is to look at his pyramid of needs pictured in this article. For those who are not familiar study it a minute. And then think about the fact that any age bracket in your life you may had reached a certain level in this pyramid. Maybe it was just one of the sub-titles at a particular level. Then, for whatever reason, you fell back down to the “Basic Need” level. The point being and the primary idea of Maslow’s need is that it is rare for one to have reached the pinnacle level of “Self-fulfillment Needs.” Why? Because most of us spend a lifetime of running up and down this entire pyramid.
There is no doubt that each rung on the ladder of this design takes time to get, solidify, and maintain throughout a lifetime. Most believe the time is really controlled by God. For that atheist out there, let me put it another way. You do not control the length of time you will be on this earth. And that is why each and everybody’s time is most valuable to them.
So the next time you ask someone in the over sixty age bracket if they have a minute, an hour, or anytime, realize you are asking for their most precious commodity. If you are coming at them from a real place of need or help, they most likely will find the time to give you. If not, don’t be surprised if they look at you like you are crazy, shake their head and just walk away without a word. You feel me?
Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,
Codis Hampton II
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