“What is the most important thing I can be doing right now?” is a powerful question. For me there’s a direct relationship between how often I ask myself that question and how good I feel about my work that day.
Checking in and realizing you need to change directions can be a great feeling. You can tackle the right project with glee, knowing that in some parallel universe you’re still plodding down the wrong path. (That’s another key to entrepreneurial success. Always do business in the right universe.)
Two recent experiences:
1. We’re moving from four servers to nine, so I called our host (ev1.net) to see if we can get a better deal than the posted price. The sales guy offered to reduce our price by 5%, and though their prices are already quite reasonable it didn’t seem like much of a deal.
We talked for awhile, and eventually he said there was nothing else he could do. I kept saying we had to find a way to reduce our costs, and so we kept talking.
Eventually he mentioned that on that older hardware they match any lower posted prices if you send the right people an email. Lo and behold, we knocked off $200/month off our server costs. It’s a great policy, but no-one had ever told us about it.
I spent about an hour on the phone and faxing contracts, and between the discount and the new hardware prices we’ll save $3,000/year.
2. The other night I spent two hours trying to install software that would save one measly click when trying to post something online. In the end I couldn’t get it to work, and now I’ll never get that time back.
Also, some guy in a parallel universe is laughing at me.