Sunday, June 01, 2008

Leveraging Your Resources

Have you heard of Archimedes? He's famous for lots of things, including running through the streets naked after having a great idea in the bathtub.

It was a simpler time.


Archimedes is also famous for saying:
"Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world."

Unless what he really said is
"Give me a lever and a place to stand, and I will move the world."

or some such.

Now Archimedes isn't the inventor of the fulcrum or the lever. That was a neanderthal named Ooog. The concept of a lever is so basic that we all understand it instinctively. Ooog put a stick between two rocks in order to move a rock. Today we use a 2x4 and a cinder block.

The funny thing, is that sometimes we forget to use a lever. For example, when you need to lift a trailer just one more inch, you might be tempted to "put your back into it" and lift that trailer. But it's much easier to stack some cinder blocks, grab a piece of lumber, and let the lever do the work.

Sometimes, when we're too close to the problem at hand, we forget to step back and use another method.

Many years ago, when I took my first vacation since starting my consulting business, I left a technician who was worried about what to do if something came up. I told him not to worry. After all, I said "You're smart, your talented, and you have Technet. You have all the resources of Microsoft behind you. If you need to, you can call Trend Micro, HP, or Microsoft. The answer is out there, and you can handle it."

Today we have even more resources. Newsgroups, Yahoo groups, and membership communities such as MSPSN's forums.

Sometimes the most under-used resources tend to be the one that we pay for. For example, I've asked people if they've used the free marketing campaign make-over that Robin Robins includes in her kit. Almost no one has.

Or I find people who are paying for Zenith but don't send hard jobs to Zenith. When we have a troublesome problem and need to analyze a memory dump, we just send it to Zenith.

We ourselves are guilty of not getting our full money's worth out of ASCII. We save enough on Ingram Micro orders to pay for the monthly fees, so we tend not to review the hundreds of other discounts. Although, Alan kicked me in the butt, so we're looking at their workers comp and E&O Insurance for technical consultants.

Sometimes, I know, it just takes too much time to actually use the resources you've already paid for. Erick, Matt, and I always run across people who have bought all of our books, but admit they haven't read anything yet. And sometimes they're so eager to get started on the road to re-vamping their business that they want to buy more. I think, if we had magic snake oil, we could sell it.

Maybe that's why audio books have become so hot. People have the book, but don't have the time to read. So they'll buy the same book on audio and listen to it in the car.

Please read the books!

We (the authors) don't make any more money whether you read the book or not. So, once you've bought it, you need to leverage the resource you have. You're the one who benefits at this point.

Don't be less resourceful than Ooog.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feedback Welcome

Please note, however, that spam will be deleted, as will abusive posts.

Disagreements welcome!