We all have things we value and feel are really important in life, but the true test of that belief is reflected in how we spend our time, money, and resources.

I believe we get into habits that carry across all areas of our lives and really develop who we are as people regardless of where we’re doing it. For example, extremely disciplined people tend not to spend a lot of idle time lounging around at home or in the office. People who have a hard time following through and completing anything tend to spend a lot of time maybe thinking about a project at home or at work, but might never get around to actually getting it done.

So what does all this say about us? It’s the choices we make that really make us who we are, not just who we think we are or would like to be.

On the personal side, here a few areas to think about:

  • If you believe a healthy lifestyle is important, then healthy eating will be your everyday diet, and exercise will be a regular activity every week.
  • If saving money is important, then you’ll put the money into a designated account as soon as you get paid or on an automated schedule.
  • If you say your kids are your priority, then your time and attention will reflect it through conversations, activities you watch and in which you engage with them, the experiences you allow and encourage them to have, and the places you choose to spend your money.
  • If you believe personal growth is part of our responsibility to ourselves, then you will challenge yourself by listening to new ideas, trying new activities, and meeting new people.
  • If you believe that helping others is part of our responsibility to the world, then you will participate in activities that are for the benefit of others and where you don’t stand to gain anything personally from it other than the fulfillment of seeing others excel.

On the business side, a few ideas, as well:

  • If you’re committed to training your staff, you will have a dedicated budget that gets used each year on education and staff development.
  • If you believe in the importance of having a healthy, dynamic culture, then you will let people go who bring unhealthy, negative vibes into the office, and you will reward the behaviors that reinforce the culture you want.
  • If you want to have a company that is truly built on amazing customer service, then you will give your staff the training, responsibility, and authority to learn more than the scope of their jobs and to make decisions on behalf of the company.
  • If you think that creating a differentiated business model is critical for your business’s survival, then your entire staff will regularly have leader-led and personal time dedicated to creating, developing, practicing, and implementing new ideas.
  • If bringing in new business is critical to company growth, then the sales team will have a designated leader, the sales staff will be required to spend the majority of their time on new business development and they will be held accountable to goals, and the agency will provide an environment and the resources for the sales team to focus on new business rather than being distracted by other service-related issues.
  • If you want your clients to view you as a business partner, then you will have time dedicated for the team to research and study client businesses, their respective industries, and general business principles.
  • If you want to be an effective leader, you will read and challenge yourself with many and varied books, publications, articles, blogs, and have discussions with people who hold similar and different views.
  • If you believe that having employees who are excited about working for your company is key to productivity and longevity, then you will first engage with them through regular communication, you’ll provide a clear vision and purpose for the work everyone is doing, you’ll provide a safe and healthy environment for everyone to successfully complete their jobs, and you’ll regularly create ways for them contribute ideas and challenge themselves for personal and professional growth.

Always doing the right thing is hard. We are faced with so many pressures and requests everyday from both well-meaning and self-serving people who want our time, money, and resources.

Allowing others the control through pressuring recommendations, or ignoring things, waiting passively, and not making a choice are all decisions. They’re just usually not the best ones.

As hard as it may be, we each have a responsibility to ourselves and to those around us at home and at work to decide what are the most important things for success, growth, and happiness. And then we need to allow ourselves to make the decisions to use our precious time and resources in the best way possible.


Photo by marya.