Peak Your Profits: Questions, queries and conundrums

Jeff Blackman

Readers ask:

Businessman spraying dollar sign shape cloud paint on the cliff with cloudscape background.

QUESTION: Jeff, I'm a terrible procrastinator. Help!

ANSWER: Next to the computer, procrastination is the greatest labor-saving device ever invented!

Here are eight strategies to overcome procrastination:

  • Write it Down: Jot down what you need to do or accomplish...pale ink is more powerful than a faded memory.
  • The Munchkin Method: Find the little acts or tasks in a large project. Do them now!
  • Test the Water: Attack the job a little at a time. See how things are going. If you're comfortable, keep going!
  • Play Detective: Find out more information about a project. Ask questions. Prioritize. Focus. Seek input. Solicit advice. Data gives direction.
  • Get the Mo on Your Side: Momentum breeds activity. Activity leads to results. Pick one task. Do it! Then do the next one! And the next one!
  • Go with what Brung Ya: Determine what in the project or activity you do best. Start there.
  • Commit and Confide: Assure or promise someone what you'll do and by when.
  • Pat Yourself on the Back: Throughout the process and progress of your work, congratulate yourself. Not only at the completion of the entire task, but also at the various parts of the task. Take a break. Get an ice cream cone! It's okay to reward yourself!

QUESTION: Jeff, my company always has a theme at our national conferences, so it got me wondering, "What if I, too, had a theme?"

ANSWER: You're right. Whenever I speak for clients at their national, regional, state or even local conventions and kickoff conferences, there's a theme, such as:

  • Living the Vision
  • Quest for the Best
  • Sale for Success
  • The Next Frontier

So your wondering got me thinking, too; if companies and associations can have a theme, so can you. You're right again!

Your theme should be short and simple, yet powerful enough to reinforce your key goals and objectives for the year.

A good friend, Naomi Rhode, creates annual themes. Several years ago, it was "Significant Service with Gladness." This reminded Naomi to always ask herself, "Is this significant and of service and do I experience gladness when I'm doing it or involved with it?" Another year, Naomi's theme was: "Ready / Renew / Rejoice."

So what's your theme?

QUESTION: Jeff, I'm starting a new service business and am confused about how I should be compensated. Lots of friends are suggesting, "Make it easy, charge by the hour." What do you think?

ANSWER: Do you know people who get paid by the hour? Lots. Me too!

How goofy! For time is a reflection of input. It merely represents time devoted or energy expended. And not results produced or outcomes achieved. Plus, if one is an "hourly biller," it's in their best interest to spend more time on a project, so they can earn more money.

Those of you who have heard me speak before know I'm an ardent advocate of value-billing. Plain and simple, if you deliver, you get paid. If you don't, you may get nothing. That's right. Nada. Bupkus. Zip. People should be compensated for their positive impact upon an individual's success or a company's growth.

Years ago, I read an article about a Chicago attorney, Fred Bartlit, who was known for his innovative legal billing methods. Typically, most lawyers and their firms bill by the hour. In the legal profession, the billable hour is the deity. However, Bartlit charged a flat-rate fee versus the usual hourly charge. And his firm would even negotiate a fee that was only 60 percent of the hourly rate, if it lost. Yet, if they won, they could earn as much as 150 percent of their hourly rate! Bartlit said, "If we get results, we're a bargain!"

He's right!

How do you bill for your services? And perhaps more important, how do you pay?

Invest in results!

Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or And visit to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the revised 4th edition of the best-selling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.