READ TIME: 5 minutes
Back in June 2018, I wrote an article laying out ten characteristics every successful project manager possesses. As the questions and comments rolled in, I began wondering if I should dive a little deeper into each trait to show how to become better in each.
The result is a ten-week article series. The third characteristic I listed was “create wealth.” Here is what I originally wrote:
“Margins can be tight causing project managers to look at savings constantly. What corners can be cut within the rules and specifications? Can you get away with three crew members instead of four? Does the project require five dump trucks or are three enough?
While saving money is just as good as earning, earning more money is also a possibility. Instead of trying to slice the pie thinner and thinner, try baking another pie..”
Now, let’s figure out how to become better at creating wealth.
- Automate your decision making
Think of your decisions as being filed in two categories: important and unimportant. Important decisions are classified as impacting the triple constraint or the critical path. You should always make these decisions. If you label them unimportant, delegate immediately. If you do not have any help, place these decisions on the back burner (maybe forever).
Once you start to see a pattern of important decisions, start to automate the process. Rather than approving everything, set a limit. Anything under $200 can be handled by the immediate person. Say there is a technician arriving to diagnose a kitchen sink. Instead of calling to see if he should repair or replace it then forwarding the information to the owner, set the pricing beforehand so he can decide on site.
Same can be said for a customer service application. If the refund is less than $100, go ahead with no questions asked. If the return is more, run it up the chain of command for further approval. These ‘important’ decision can be automated to save everybody time and lead to higher customer satisfaction.
- Invest your spare change
Hoarding money does not create wealth. Reinvest the profits to make the successes greater. Some people start making money and become selfish. It is all for them. They created and developed the idea. Therefore, all the cash is theirs.
Others reinvest that wealth into the winning idea to create positive, compelling action. Instead of a million dollar idea, these folks want it to be a tens of millions of dollar idea. Doubling down on their winning strategy to see massive growth rather than incremental growth.
- Spend time reading
Start to pick from people who have already done it. Do not necessarily follow their game plan word-for-word but start to implement some ideas that have worked for others. A favorite book in our office is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini. This book influences everything we do from emails to phone calls to offers we receive.
Instead of guessing on ways to influence, this book offers insights as to how to influence no doubt about it. Authority and scarcity are two significant influences we use hourly. We know what we are doing, and there is little time to decide to use us. This dynamic creates influence to decide now.
- Track your spending
If you do not know how much you spend, you do not know how much to charge. No business stays around long operating at a loss. If work takes you two hours and $100 in materials, and you only charge the client $125, you probably will not be around long.
Automate tracking as well. Do not rely on mental math. Far too often I see people calculating the numbers in their head for important decisions. Have these numbers neatly categorized and updated as you change them. There are too many programs to name that can assist you in doing so, but use one of them.
Perform 80/20 analysis on failing aspects of the business. Find out which elements are making money and which are not. Why are you keeping any failing aspects alive? Is it pride or not knowing? Once you eliminate the fails, start to double down on the wins. Which elements are thriving? Start to leverage those aspects.
Money pies are infinite. Because someone is successful does not mean that success take away your ability to succeed. People start up successful clothing brands all of the time. One would think we have enough clothing options but more continue to pop up, and some make it successful.
Make more pies rather than slicing the pie thinner. If you find a successful pie making operation, double down to create even more pies. Read about other pie makers and how they build their pies. Use that information to make better pies.
Know the ingredients of your pies and how much they cost. You cannot make more pies without more capital. I may be taking this pie analogy a little too far, but the message should be clear, create wealth.