Say Something. I’m giving up on you!


Published: 31 Oct 2022


Just how busy can a person be?

If you’re that busy then you must be ineffective in some way?

What am I talking about? Answering an email or message?

The other option might be that you are a more passive communicator, and replying is a bit scary?

Either way, not replying is an interesting response.

Yes, I know that replying slows you down. It takes time out of your day. But what if replying gave you an opportunity that you would have missed? Reconnected you with an old client who had now moved jobs? Someone who had just moved back into your area and wants to collaborate? All of those have happened to me in the past three days, resulting in work, reconnects with people I admire, and future possibilities to take my business in a new direction.

The people I admire the most?

People who do reply instead of no reply – but it’s honest. And I’ve had several of those this week too.

“Not for me, but thanks for reaching out.”

“Not this time but let me know next time you’re in my area.”

“Not interested!”

How can you not admire that. These people get back to you in SECONDS. Because they are effective, assertive, pro-active. They don’t want you bothering them again for a while, or ever.

I have put 6 companies on the don’t contact again list today. And that is unfortunate in several cases as they are really great companies but the contact person for the business is an ineffective communicator. The extra unfortunate part of that is that, I’ll never get to know if the contact person changes. And both my business and their business could be missing out?

I don’t hold grudges. But – it does cloud how I think about that business for sure. It tells me a lot about them, and that might be down to one person, not the business.

Answering emails and messages is not an inconvenience to your life. There’s a certain argument that it is your life. Every single thing that happens to you. Every human interaction, is a result of communication of some sort.

If you’re not interested then say so, and add appreciation on the end if you can.

I do this thing on the last day of every month where I scan through the whole list of emails for that month. To see if I missed any opportunities. At least 2-3 emails spring out to me, that deserve a second look after my initial response.

There will never be one that’s not been clicked on and replied to. Why? Because I have followed Richard Branson’s advice from the 80s. And he did kinda ok for himself! Didn’t he?

His famous words that I believe could make any person on the planet a better business person?

“Touch a piece of paper only once.” Of course, that’s from back in the day’s everything was paper – nowadays it would be digital.

His advice in a legendary talk where someone asked him why he had been so successful at such a young age was – ‘touch a piece of paper only once.”

When he was asked the best way to do that he said “Use the 3 D’s.

“Do it, Dump it, Or Delegate it. That will help you to touch the paper only once.

In other words, once you click on open, be prepared to do SOMETHING! Even if it’s only.

Do it – “I’ll check now.” “Just sent it.” “I’ll send it at 2pm.” “Ring me at 6pm.”

Dump it – “Not interested, but thanks.”

Delegate it – Forward it to the right person and delegate it. “This is more your expertise Jamie.”

Most things nowadays literally take seconds to do because of technology. But I do acknowledge after a recent conversation about this with an accountant that this is not always true. He said:

“You can’t just reply straight away Stephanie. In some industries like accounting or law, you could make a big mistake doing that.”

I had to agree. I’d not thought about this in detail. But what about the poor person on the other end, I said. How much time does it take to say.

“I’m still working on it, Barry, I’ll update you tomorrow.”

“It’s not ready yet, Jane.”

“I appreciate you’re worried, I’ll be back to you as soon as possible, Sophia.”

“But that would take me out of the deep work zone,” he said. Yep. Had to agree with that one too. Sometimes stopping when you’re in the zone on a project takes time to re-engage (18 minutes according to the research).

So, what’s the answer? What do you do if you’re in a litigious/complex industry. Give yourself a timeslot in the day to reply? Reply before you go home? Say something. They’re giving up on you.

I do know that this is likely to be a polarising post. If you have a viewpoint, let’s hear it, either publicly or privately. It opened my viewpoint talking to the accountant about it. Who knows what you can bring to the table?

I’ve possibly left myself wide open to trolls too. Maybe a no thought out “That’s because no one cares about what you do grinchwad.” “You just have too much time on your hand’s lady. Ever thought about that, whilst the rest of us are running REAL businesses.”

I only have one thing on my side in this quandary – old age. Once you get to your sixty’s it’s like you get downloaded an extra DNA chip that was lying dormant. That chip reads something like – “Don’t chase – anything, or anybody, anymore.” It’s a fantastic upgrade, just when you were beginning to think it was all downhill.

“I’m ahead of you here Trolls. “That’s because you can’t run anymore old timer.”

Life is ONLY vaguely interesting because we are all different. We all got different upbringings, environments, cultures, communication styles, messaging. So, the chance of us agreeing on anything is actually tiny. Miniscule even. The real interest is in meeting new people with different viewpoints. Listening. And, REPLYING TO EMAILS. Who knows what you’ll find out!?

Say something. They’re giving up on you!