Chapter 9: I Have The Time

The value of 100 rupees is 100 rupees. But the value of one hour depends on who uses that one hour. So, there comes a point in everyone’s life, when time becomes your most precious resource.

“It is because of you that your organisation has reached where it has reached. And it is again because of you that your organisation is not becoming what it can become. You were its strength and you have become its weakness. In the long journey of growth, like every other aspect, your strengths too should mature and adapt to changing situations; else, your very strength would become your weakness. Some outstanding graduates struggle to complete their Chartered Accountancy. Why? The methodology of preparation that worked for the graduate course does not work for passing CA. Your approach as a salesman and your approach as a sales manager cannot be the same. As a salesman, your success is your success; but as a sales manager, your team’s success is your success. The methodology behind the art of performing is so different from the methodology behind the science of teaching. What worked in building an organisation from 0 to 10 crores will not work if the organisation has to be taken from 10 to 50 crores; and from 500 to 1000 crores is a different story altogether. Your very strength in ‘Test’ cricket will be your weakness in ‘T20’. What you have been has led you up to this point. From here on, unless you change, your future will not change. Your tomorrow will be a mere repetition of your yesterday. If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results. If you want new results, you have to do new things. You have walked to this point. Now, you will have to trek to the top. The need of the hour is to change yourself as well as your approach,” Avyakta boomed.

Though the basis of associations and fraternities seems to be networking, socialising and mutual learning, the fact is that individual egos sometimes feel a little inadequate. Thus, we seek to be in the shadow of a collective ego. Also, collective fear is courage. Associations and fraternities provide that cover for an ego that feels inadequate and insecure. If collectiveness can aid progress, then why not take that path? This evening was part of the fifth anniversary celebrations of the ‘Small and Medium Enterprises Association’. Avyakta was invited to be the key speaker of the evening.

He continued his address, “In the beginning of your career and in the infant stages of building an organisation, your most important resource, after yourself, is money. Money influences your decision- making in a big way. You trade your time for money. Then comes a point when time becomes your most precious resource. The value of 100 rupees is 100 rupees. But the value of one hour depends on who uses that one hour. So, there comes a time in your life when you must trade your money for time; in fact, time should become the key factor that influences your decision-making. Will it save me time? Where can I economise time? Is it worth my time? How do I create time for this? Till this point, your criteria for recruitment were to contribute to productivity and profits; but, from now onwards there should also be recruitment to save your time. Keep asking yourself, ‘My future comes from where my time goes; so, where should my time go?’ Whether it is taking care of your health and fitness, building an organisation, diversifying your business, being there for the family, pursuing your talents and hobbies, reaching out to make a difference to society, or focusing on your spiritual growth – for everything that you want to do, you need to have the time. In essence, we reach a point in life when ‘time’ almost becomes our God.”

Most of these men, success stories in their own right, had come to the program with two dominant questions in their mind, “From here, where? From here, how?” Nothing is more gratifying for a teacher than finding a seeker who is ready. While it is true that ‘When you are ready, your teacher appears’, the converse is not necessarily true. Sometimes, even if the teacher is ready, the student never appears. That’s why this group meant a lot to Avyakta. The body language of the participants confirmed their receptivity. It seemed to say, “Show us the path and we will walk it.”

Avyakta elaborated, “First-of-all, stop viewing priorities vertically. It is not career first, then family, then health, and so on… Start viewing priorities horizontally. Your career is as important as your family; your health is as important as your spiritual growth, and so on… Several things are equally important in life. In an organisation, the efficiency of the accounts department is as significant as the maintenance; sales is as important as costing; purchase is as important as servicing; so on and so forth. The question is not ‘Out of everything, which is the best’ but ‘How to get the best out of everything?’ Nothing can happen at the cost of something else. Then the question is, ‘How can we achieve this with 24-hours being a constant’?”

Typical of any audience, there were people of all kinds. There were those who noted everything using technology, also those who relied on the good old method of paper and pen, and of course those who followed the most traditional and proven method of learning – listening intently and getting instantly transformed. It is so important that you commit what you learn to your intelligence, and act on it; and not let it remain as a piece of mere unapplied knowledge in memory, paper and technology.

“Apply the formula of ‘Top-5’ to anything and everything in your life,” said Avyakta. “Identify your Top-5 customers and interact with them at a personal level. Give them your time and attention. Not a week should go by without your interacting with the Top-5 in some way. That on which you invest time grows. Either you invest time on your Top-5 customers or your competition will. Haven’t you gone through this? Sometimes when your key employee resigns, he also walks away with some of your most important customers. When you lose some of your customers from the bottom of your clientele, it doesn’t affect the organisation that much. But when you lose even a couple from the top of your clientele, it can have a tremendous bearing on the business. So, find your Top-5 customers and systematise your investment of time with them.”

To an audience that was opening up with every passing moment, Avyakta continued, “Similarly, work with your Top-5 employees. It is unfortunate that in most organisations the trouble-making employees get more attention than the employees who are most productive. When you lose one of your top employees, you lose a trained resource. It not only weakens your organisation, but also strengthens the competition. The basis of loyalty is relationship, and relationships cannot be built without an investment of time. Not a week should go by without your interacting with the Top-5 in some way. The formula of Top-5 extends to everything – suppliers, stocks, inflows, outflows, friends, roles, etc… In every dimension of your life, identify the Top-5 and systematise your investment of time on them. The formula of Top-5 will ensure that things that matter the most in your life are not at the mercy of things that matter the least in life. What’s important to you will now get your time. And to get your time, it has to become important to you.”

Avyakta further added, “Build your whole organisation on this model. Ask your next in line to focus on the Next-5, and the third in line on the 5 after that… Also understand, because your Top-5 will keep changing as you keep growing, some of your current Top-5 in certain categories will become part of the Next-5 of your next in line, and some of his will move into the 5 of the third line – forming an efficient time- pyramid.”

Avyakta concluded, “With the formula of Top-5, your time will go where it should go, and nowhere else. Take care of your time and you have taken care of one of the Gods of your life. I wish that one of you grow to become one in my Top-5. I wish I could mentor one of you personally. Start from where you can start. So, first identify the Top-5 areas in which you want to implement the formula of Top-5.”

And with a genuine intent resonating in his voice that people should make it to the top, Avyakta said, “Thank you so much. I am glad I had the time to come here this evening. And for my Top-5, I will always have the time. All the best! Wishing you most and more…”

Avyakta walked. And the rest, were ready to trek to the top.

Keep asking yourself, ‘My future comes from where my time goes; so, where should my time go?’ For everything that you want to do, you need to have the time. In essence, we reach a point in life when ‘time’ almost becomes our God.

To live is to live fearlessly

To live is to live fearlessly. Nothing stops man as fear does. Fear stops man from the possibilities of greatness more than any other single factor. Fear must be overcome. Understand the mechanism of fear. It is not because you fear you avoid things, but it is because you avoid things it becomes fear. That which you do not face controls you; that which controls you causes fear in you. Do the very thing you fear. Expect to be afraid, but still do it. Face fear fearlessly. Repeatedly face what you fear and fear will be vanquished.