For entrepreneurs, every day is different. One day you’re signing partnership agreements. The next day you’re interviewing job applicants. And the following day pitching investors.


Yet there is one thing you can always count on, despite the day … distractions!


“Hey, can you send me a copy of the agreement?”

“Will you shoot over this month’s revenue report?”

“Umm … the server just crashed. What should we do?”


Constantly distracted by external requests (let alone internal thoughts or ideas, which can be the most distracting), it’s easy to forget long-term goals.


However, there’s a systematic approach to stay focused.


It’s called the Dwight Eisenhower’s Time Management Matrix.

urgent punnett square


In a 1954 speech, former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said: “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”


He recognized that great time management means being effective as well as efficient. In other words, we must spend our time on things that are important and not just the ones that are urgent. To do this, and to minimize the stress of having too many tight deadlines, we need to understand this distinction:


  • Important activities have an outcome that leads to us achieving our goals, whether these are professional or personal.


  • Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are usually associated with achieving someone else’s goals. They are often the ones we concentrate on and they demand attention because the consequences of not dealing with them are immediate.


When we know which activities are important and which are urgent, we can overcome the natural tendency to focus on unimportant urgent activities, so that we can clear enough time to do what’s essential for our success. This is the way we move from “firefighting” into a position where we can grow our businesses and our careers.


Rather than randomly completing unprioritized tasks, put them into the template. This forces you to question a task’s importance.


Take a few seconds. Stop. Take a breath. Think…


“Do I specialize in this?”

“Does it contribute to my long-term goals?”

“Could someone else do this? Should I focus on something else?”


Simply write in your new task, label it by quadrant, then delete the task once you’re finished.


There is a free EISENHOWER online web app, click HERE.

There is also an iOS app, click HERE.


Drop me a line if this helps you be more productive.


Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!



He was our President. This is what he said…

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Bet you know some other business owner that spends less than you on marketing, right? Go on, admit some jealousy…

Ever wonder how much you should be paying for all that marketing fluff? After spending 15 years in the industry, I want to spill the beans – ready?

<drum roll>

The answer is, there is no answer. More specifically, it’s interdependent on goals. The real key to all things business is goals – S M A R T GOALS.

S – specific

M – measurable

A – achievable & action-oriented

R – results-oriented

T – tangible & if possible, trackable

Let’s take a quick example: The first client sells online with an average markup of 40%, average order $45 (AOV). He has a wide selection of items and hopes that he can win over the customers with his amazing exclusive selection. The first step is to define the goal of his marketing – he wants customers, customers that love his brand and keep coming back for more. Being as such, if we calculate 40% of the $45 AOV, he’s making about $18/sale gross. Putting expenses aside, his break-even point would be to spend the entire $18 per sale to gain a new customer, or in other words, 100% of his gross revenue could be directed at marketing initiatives. Should he want to be aggressive and loose on the first 2 sales, we increase the percent of marketing contribution to $36/sale or 200% on the first sale.

Now the food for thought is, should this client be stuck with a misnomer that marketing cannot exceed 20% of his revenue, then he’d have only invested $3.60/sale, grossly limiting his ability to attract new customers.

Now, if in the above scenario there was little or no repeat business, the entire direction would shift dramatically and it would become incumbent to limit marketing spend to a percentage that would ensure net profitability.

Broad-stroke goals to think about – new customer acquisition, one-off sales, build a longstanding brand, prepare a business for resale, build a house email list, engage a social media community, increase brand exposure, etc. There are no right or wrong goals and therefore, there is no right or wrong amount to spend on marketing. In fact, you may find that different advertising venues offer multiple goals and for each goal a different allowable contribution to maximize results.

The moral: the only way to overpay is to ride blind. To be goal-less and not have a clear grasp on where you’re heading and how you’d like to get there. Don’t be limited by self-imposed blinders.

Ami can be reached at

Are You Overpaying?

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