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Easier is Harder

Is your business as easy to operate as it could be? Is
everything as efficient as it can be? I can tell that
you're thinking, "What got you started on this one?"

Horse manure.

Horse manure?

Horse manure!

Since we live in the mountains, the turnout area for our
horses is not level by any stretch of the imagination: it
is roughly the shape of an amphitheater with the barn at the
lowest point. I was, uh, "picking up" after the horses,
which involves walking around with a "manure fork" (which
looks like a pitch fork), scooping up the piles, and dumping
them into a plastic barrel that I pull around in a little
two-wheeled caddy. As you can imagine, the barrel begins to
get pretty heavy after a while, and pulling it up the slopes
becomes a chore. But' it would be much easier if I cleared
the highest points first and then worked my way down. That
way, I haul an empty barrel up the hill and, as it gets
heavier, gravity will help me out as I work my way down.
It's a perfect solution that takes no extra time.

Pretty obvious, huh?

Whenever we feed the horses they get pretty riled up and
anxious to eat, and start pawing and banging while we
measure out the proper amounts. But' if we prepare the food
in advance we can feed them as soon as we get there. Then
we prepare the next meal while they are eating that one.
It's a perfect solution that takes no extra time.

Pretty obvious, huh?

The copies come out of our copier face up. That means that
if we copy a 10-page document, we have to manually rearrange
the copies because page 10 is on top instead of page 1. But'
if we copy the pages in the reverse order, they come out
just the way we want them to. It's a perfect solution that
takes no extra time.

Pretty obvious, huh?

The fact is that all of these solutions are pretty obvious;
a tricky business because it's just too darned easy to
accept things the way they are. For years, I just accepted
the fact that it was a pain in the neck to make a multi-page
copy on our copier. It never occurred to me that this was
an inconvenience that was "fixable". As I recall, I
literally slapped myself on the forehead and said "Duh!"
when I realized that there was a better way. The first step
in solving a problem, then, is realizing that you have one
to solve.

What little annoyances to you put up with every day? Little
annoyances are distracting and can actually lead to big
problems because they take your mind away from your goals.
Anything you can do to make your life easier is probably
worth doing. Are you sure that these things are just that:
annoyances? Maybe they are really little problems that can
be solved with a little thought and creativity. Wouldn't it
be nice to eliminate some of them so you can focus on what's
really important?

Making things easier is hard work. But it's worth it.

About the Author

"Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your small
business! Dave will show you how with his FREE newsletter,
"Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" sent by e-mail. Visit to sign-up, for information
on speaking services, or for copies of past articles and
newsletters. Comments and/or questions are always welcome
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