The other day I had a catchup coffee with Scott Kilmartin ( known as @ScottKilmartin on twitter ) where we were having a discussion about his very cool business Haul, and the life of the entrepreneur. Haul has a couple of different levels but to the man on the street, they recycle and retail. Think Billboards turned into laptop pouches etc. Very unique, stylish & carbon neutral.
Amongst other things, Scott and I were talking about the effectiveness of the Entrepreneur who tends to operate in a cloud of uncertainty, knowing that they are regularly wasting their energy, but not knowing which activity is a waste. (Like the old adage about 50% of advertising isn’t working, just not sure which 50% it is).
Anyway I told Scott an anecdote about effectiveness and favours. We both thought it was very cool, and we both wanted to emulate the habit described. In fact I thought it was so cool that I would pass it on.
- I was interested in Nanotech at the time. Hugh rang one of his business partners to find out the name of someone he knew that was investing in Nanotech. Turned out they couldn’t find the name. Dead end in 30 seconds.
- Hugh mentioned a document he had read that he thought I would enjoy it. He rang his PA who emailed the document to me whilst we were having coffee. Job done.
When I left the coffee shop I had a number of things I was going to do. Best to term them favours as there was no immediate tangible benefit to me. Hugh however left with no tasks.
What I realised later was that’s Hugh’s favour to me was spending half an hour discussing Churchill Club issues over coffee. It did not include him going back to his office and finding things to send to me. If it couldn’t be done on the spot, it wasn’t part of the favour.
He was simply more effective than me, even doing favours.
Scott and I (because we were idiots) both then promised to do stuff for each other and left the coffee shop.