Ari Meisel

Negativity is Better For You…Duh.

Trailblazers, game-changers, paradigm-shifters, or whatever trendy descriptor of the week you want to use, are inherently high-efficiency people. The kind of people who accomplish more in a day than most accomplish in a week. These are the type of people I not only work with but who also populate my team.

My business is innovation; a company where efficiency is more than our unique talent, it is what makes us all happily replaceable. We’re a team of insatiable learners and problem solvers who lean-in and learn fast so we can find the focus, flexibility, and freedom to do what we want when we want.

We also don’t thrive on positive reinforcement.

And hey, turns out that might not be a bad thing.

I learned this lesson well at my old company, a virtual assistant platform.

We did an exercise called Ritual Dissent where we broke up into groups of five. One person in each group had one minute to pitch an idea to improve the company. It was followed by two minutes of feedback from the other four people in that group. The tweaks were that the feedback could only be negative and the person giving the pitch had to wear a mask to depersonalize the feedback.

At the end of the two minutes, the person with the idea rotated to the next group. Once they had pitched and refined their idea through all six groups they pitched their idea to me. The results were astounding. Thirty people were given the chance to pitch ideas after going through five iterations of only negative feedback and the results were astounding.

We got eleven game-changing ideas from the team that we implemented with massive impact.

Once we finished the ritual dissent exercise I decided to “turn the camera on me.” I put on the mask and sat in front of all thirty members of the team and said “Take the next five minutes and only give me negative feedback, no hold barred, no consequences”

It was really scary, and that’s what made it so impactful.

The best piece of feedback I got was that I needed to spend more time teaching people instead of simply providing them with the answer.


I’m still working on that, but I also have enormous faith in the people I coach and the people on my team, so when I employ “tough love” on them, the results are usually better than I could have hoped.

I’m learning to teach in a different way. I’m learning that negative support and feedback can be the very best kind if used correctly.

Here’s an example:

Amy, our Creative Director, started with us as a self-professed “neo-Luddite”. She could write solid copy for me but was terrified of the technology we use in our business.

So I would send her tech platforms to use in her work and tell everyone else on the team, not to help her. AT ALL. Initially, this made her even more unsteady, but it worked. She dove in and mastered the subtleties of analytics and simple coding like a boss.

After one such successful exercise, I finally told her, “Amy, people much smarter than you, created these platforms, you couldn’t break anything, I just wanted you to get in there and see what you could do; to take ownership of the discovery instead of having someone hold your hand.”

I knew she was smart, I knew she was curious and I knew she wanted to learn. I just had to establish a constrictive, somewhat negative environment for her to flourish in.

If I had told her all those things before she began, she would not have had the drive to figure it out on her own.

It was kind of like when the good witch tells Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz, that she always had the power to get herself home, and if she had told her any earlier, she wouldn’t have believed her.

Tough conversations need to happen. It’s a good thing because being uncomfortable makes us grow.

Here is some excellent research into the massive benefit of negative reinforcement:

  1. It may actually lead to greater creativity
  2. Our brains are wired to respond to negativity faster
  3. The resistance to giving negative feedback may just be our problem
  4. Your team actually wants negative feedback

6 Teachable Customer Service Moments — The Good, The Bad(ass), and The Ugly

I’ve had profound customer service experiences with three different companies in the last several months; teachable moments all of them, so I want to pass them on to you.

Now, it is not my intent to bash anyone’s business specifically, or leave what would amount to a terrible Yelp review, but rather to look at the different ways founders handle a customer experience that could easily tank.

After all, we’re very good at the honeymoon part of the customer journey. It’s how we behave when the pink cloud dissipates that predicts the success or failure of a relationship.

Also… Remember it takes two to make an accident. Nothing is ever entirely the customer’s or the seller’s fault.


So the first one was a Facebook marketing company that came highly recommended. Everything was off to a good start. We had an account manager who was running things really well.

Since I had initially reached out to the founder of the company through a personal introduction, I got the impression that we were getting the VIP treatment.

Teachable Moment #1 — Don’t assume special treatment. Is there ever really such as thing as VIP treatment or do we just say that? Here I learned that the “some are more equal than others” strategy is a big shiny trap — my mistake.

Our account manager quit, and they put someone else on the account. A week later they put someone else on it. Then two weeks later, they put yet another person on the account.

Teachable Moment #2 — Again, my mistake. I should have cut bait then. I should have noticed that something negative was going on internally in the company. I should have extricated my self immediately. I didn’t.

Teachable Moment #3 — Don’t should all over yourself. Just learn the lesson and don’t repeat the same mistake.

We totally lost momentum, wasted a bunch of money, and most importantly, they weren’t delivering on their promise. Honestly, how could they? We began again from the beginning with four separate people. When our contract was due to be renewed, I emailed them and asked how to notify them that we’re canceling? The response was, “You just have to let us know by Monday.”

So that was it.

I reached out to the founder, who was very apologetic. They gave us a free month, and it did didn’t get any better. How could it as that point?

Teachable Moment #3 — There’s a massive difference between an apology and making amends. The former serves to end a productive conversation; the latter changes the nature of the relationship to benefit both people. I’ve found that many people say, “I’m sorry” just to get you to stop talking, and nothing changes.

Teachable Moment #4 — If a client is complaining, it’s may already too late.


Next up was a Linkedin organic outreach program. Unbeknownst to us, there was an issue with our account manager. The next thing we know, the founder shows up himself on our scheduled call. He said the manager did something unacceptable and was dismissed.

Then he said, “I’m personally handling your account for the duration of our contract.”

Teachable Moment #5 — To instill trust and protect the company’s reputation, sometimes a Replaceable Founder must get on the front lines. The cool part is, any one of us can do this if we’ve done the work, to systematize our operations. You must always make time to right a wrong.


Lastly, we started using a data metrics company. They overbilled us accidentally for one hour ‘s work. It was like $154. To apologize for that mistake, they gave us a free month of coaching support, of which our COO will take great advantage.

It was a terrific way of handling a slight mistake. It’s the kind of thing that wows people and makes them want to recommend you.

Teachable Moment #6 — Going a bit overboard on a reparation, will be the story told about your company and it will be the very best kind of referral.

Now, I’m not perfect. We certainly make mistakes at Less Doing, but I try to be proactive when these issues come up, and these experiences have armed me with some great tools.

It’s like I say, “I can’t promise that I’ll always get it right, but I promise that I will make it right.”

P.S. Whenever you are ready…here are 4 ways I can help you grow your business:

  1. Join our FREE Facebook Group — The Replaceable Founder
  2. Get our FREE Replaceable Founder Mini-Course
  3. Come to our next One-Day Intensive “Becoming Replaceable” Workshop. Reply with NYC. I’ll save you a spot.
  4. Want to work with us privately? Just answer a few questions and find out if you’re a good fit. Apply Now

How Would You Feel If You Were Insanely Productive?

By now, you’ve probably heard me go on and on about getting rid of your To-Do list and the harmful effects of the Zeigarnik Effect; that voice in our subconscious that nags at us to finish the unfinished.

Still, People wonder how they should prioritize.

“Every time I get something done, I have to add two more things to the list.”

“I just keep buying planners, but I still have the same problem. I can’t make headway.”

“Everything seems urgent all the time”

Well, real talk here.

The list is the problem.

Simply figuring out which tasks are more important than others doesn’t change the fact that there are still 30 things on your list and you won’t suddenly forget about all the other “low priority” items just because you rearranged the order.

It might be time to work on your timing.

Carpe Diem

This famous saying about seizing the day is actually part of a longer phrase Carpe Diem Quam Minimum Credula Postero which means “Seize The Day and Put Minimum Faith in the Future.”

There will always be more tasks and more things that need to get done. It would be foolish to think that simply arranging tasks in a pecking order will have any bearing on your productivity or your life tomorrow or even an hour from now.

Obviously, it’s important to think big picture when setting a long-term vision for a company or personal projects, but when it comes down to actually getting things done, we must live in the moment.

You assign yourself a task at the relevant moment, you complete the task, and you move on. You don’t worry about what you have to do next because your system will “assign” it to you when the time comes.

You are delegating the responsibility of worrying about these things to an external brain otherwise known as a system of productivity.

Ok But How?

Essentially, any kind of reminder system that is disruptive in nature, like email, a text message, or even a regular old calendar reminder that pops up and makes a noise will do.

You can set an appointment for yourself in your calendar or use to send yourself a reminder via email with all relevant information and at just the right time.

Some examples:

  • Grocery Shopping — Email yourself the list at 5:30 PM when you know you’ll be on your way home
  • Year-long book project — You do your best writing on Saturday mornings, set reminders for 6 AM on Saturdays and include notes relevant to each chapter so when you wake up on Saturday’s you are presented with the info needed to fuel your creativity
  • Getting paid by a client — Email them your invoice with a Follow Up Then set for 1 month from now
  • Waiting on an employee to produce a long-term project — Set a follow up email every week to check in and see how they are progressing
  • Meeting someone new in a public place — Have their number and description sent to you a few minutes before the meeting
  • Making lists of things to buy for an upcoming baby — Forward those links from Amazon to Follow Up Then for 4 months from now
  • Write in your journal — use Daily Minded to send you nightly prompts about your day that you simply reply to
  • Check in with your project team every Thursday afternoon — Geekbot for recurring reminders at regular intervals.

Where to start?

Take a good look at your list, whether it’s your to-do list, bucket list, leap list, whatever form it’s in, and really think about WHEN these things need to get done or take place.

You want to attack these items in such a way that things can get accomplished as soon as reasonably possible because there will always be more stuff. The good thing about this system is that once you use it, any new task that comes up simply needs to be “timed” and then put out of your mind.

If a task seems to large, then you need to break it up into what I call “micro goals” and then assign timing to each one of those bite-sized tasks.

Remember, the first rule of Less Doing is to optimize, so you want to get your tasks down to their leanest, most basic form, so you can power through them.

Timing tasks is a skill.

Fortunately, it’s an easy skill to pick up and you will quickly get to a place where you become an expert at optimizing your time and resource allocation. Things will get done efficiently but most importantly, you’ll start doing less and living more.

The Best Way To Help Your Team Be More Productive

Raise your hand if you want your team to be more productive.

I don’t even have to count all the hands that are up right now, because I know that’s everyone’s ultimate goal.

Our businesses depend on our teams being productive.

In our efforts to maximize our output, we try to find the best team size, and we frequently come up with ways to hire extra people so we’d get more things done.

And that’s a hilariously bad way to improve our productivity.


I’m glad you asked!

It all started in France, in the year of 1913…

What Do the Ringelmann Effect and Productivity Have in Common?

In 1913, a French agricultural engineer by the name of Maximilien Ringelmann decided to perform a group productivity experiment.

What he wanted to know was how productive would teams be when you increased or decreased the number of people working on the same task.

What happened was that Ringelmann had participants play tug of war for 5 seconds.

The participants pulled on a rope individually, then in groups of 7, and finally in groups of 14.

He used a dynamometer to record how much they were pulling.

The results showed that participants pulled with a force of 85.3kg per person when they were pulling on the rope individually.

When they pulled in 7-person groups, they pulled 65kg per person.

And when they played tug of war with the maximum number of members on their team (14), quite counterintuitively, they pulled the least:

Only 61.4kg per person.

Now, you’re probably wondering:

“What the heck, how is this even possible? There were more of them!”

But it turns out, as Ringelmann increased the group size, the individual force people on the team used decreased.

Ringelmann tried the experiment again by asking the participants to push a crossbar on a two-wheeled cart.

The same thing happened.

When people pulled individually, they used significantly more force than when someone else was helping them.

It turns out: people’s efforts diminish as the team size increases.

And the gap is even greater as we add more team members.

The total force one worker exerted was 1.00.

When one more was added, the two members exerted a total force of 1.86.

When three team members pulled, their force was 2.55. Similarly, four workers pulled a lot more; their force rose to 3.08.

Five workers pulled up to 3.50, and six reached 3.78.

And then the results started stagnating drastically.

When there were seven workers pulling on the rope, they only managed a total force of 3.92. And when eight pulled, they exerted the same force as seven.

It was only 3.92, meaning that one worker exerted half the force they would exert if they had been pulling on the rope alone.

Now, Ringelmann thought the reason behind this was lack of coordination.

It’s much harder to coordinate within groups of 7 and 14 people. Two people who pulled on a rope together were more likely to stay in sync as they pulled.

For Ringelmann, that was the most likely reason behind the phenomenon.

However, he also stated that it could be due to motivation loss.

After all, if you knew you weren’t the only one responsible for taking care of a task, you’d be more likely to sit back and relax — doing your bare minimum.

It turns out, Ringelmann was only partially right when he talked about lack of coordination.

Teams’ decreased productivity actually comes from motivation loss AKA social loafing.

How Does Social Loafing Affect Your Team Productivity?

Now, Ringelmann may not have been 100% right when it comes to the reasons behind decreased productivity, but he was onto something.

That’s why a group of researchers in 1974 decided to conduct the experiment again.

This time, they had an ace up their sleeve: pseudo-participants, with only one participant actually pulling on the rope.

Hey, who said business wasn’t just like tug of war?

Now, those researchers tried the experiment again.

One participant was told that they’d all pull on the rope, while the other members were instructed to only pretend they were pulling on the rope.

And these researchers got the same results as Ringelmann got back in 1913.

There was no reason to coordinate, so lack of coordination could not be blamed for the fact that one team member pulls harder alone than when in a team.

We call this social loafing. Team members reduce their effort because they feel less responsible for the output.

When the one active participant thought everyone was pulling, they didn’t pull as hard.

Other researchers also performed shouting and clapping experiments on blindfolded participants who also wore headphones.

And every time, it was proven that people just aren’t going to do their best if they know they’re not the only ones responsible for getting something done.

To put it simply: individual members think their efforts won’t matter for the outcome, so they don’t give all they’ve got.

But what does that mean for your business?

Social Loafing in the Workplace

Here’s the thing: when too many people at your company feel responsible for the same thing, each member won’t try hard enough and your total productivity will go down.

You can see social loafing everywhere:

If you walk by a construction site, there are always construction workers who are sweaty, tired, and still shoveling. Then you have those who look like they’d just come from a walk in the park.

Go to your local McDonalds. Some employees are doing their best to take all the orders while others are lounging around.

Heck, look at your office. Chances are, half of your team members are just aimlessly clicking on their keyboards or scrolling down their newsfeeds.

This doesn’t happen because they’re mean, lazy or want to ruin your business.

It happens because they don’t feel integral to the success of the company.

They don’t feel responsible for the output.

Your team members feel like cogs in the machine, and they won’t give their 100%.

Now, when this happens in your team, your revenue isn’t the only thing that’s suffering.

Your team members are suffering, as well.

When one part of the group is doing the majority of work, it’s easy for them to grow resentful of the team members that aren’t doing as much.

Additionally, if your team members are comparing themselves to other members’ levels of productivity, they won’t want to improve and reach their own standards of excellence.

Instead, they’ll put in only as much work as they see everyone else putting in.

And that’s a problem.

How to Eliminate Social Loafing and Increase Your Productivity

Now, we know that one of the main causes of social loafing is group size.

According to extensive scientific research, the ideal team would have 4.6 members.

I guess Tim from Accounting is just going to have to say goodbye to the limbs he likes the least.

Joking aside, the number majority of business owners (myself included) found to be the perfect ratio for productivity was 6 team members.

Anything less than 4 team members is too small to be effective.

Anything more than 5 is too complex, and the returns will start decreasing.

As you look at your organization, you don’t want to have teams that have more than five members.

If you need a big team, if you’re doing work that’s that complex, what you can do is break down complex tasks and clearly assign responsibilities.

This way, every team, and every team member will feel personally accountable for the outcome of that task.

What I know from my experience is that when you shrink a team or shrink anything, establish a limit, you’re actually forcing innovation.

Your people have to think differently.

They have to be more effective.

The best thing we can do is have teams that are slightly smaller than what the task requires.

They’ll be more efficient together.

Look at your organizational chart and make sure that no individual teams are larger than five members, and you’ll see a massive increase in productivity.

Everyone will start pulling their weight, and they’ll do their best work.

Conversely, if you make your team members work in huge teams, you’ll see how fast their productivity levels spiral. Especially if you aren’t clearly delegating tasks and making sure they know who’s responsible for what.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

Team members who feel that their skills are inferior to that of other team members will sit back and let the seemingly more capable teammates handle their work.

Your team will suffer, and so will your business.

And reducing social loafing follows the same principles of working out.

If you really want to get fit, you can’t just do the minimum work required every day.

You have to push your muscles day in and day out, and keep increasing the intensity.

Only then will your system dance to the tune of increased productivity.

Using Classic Inventory Systems in Project Management

What do inventory systems and project management have in common?

It’s all about the order in which things are done.

Not sure what we’re getting at? Have no fear, it’ll become clear very soon. And when it is clear, it could make a huge impact on budding founders and entrepreneurs and how they approach project management.

A Brief Introduction to FIFO and LIFO

When a grocery store purchases milk — or any perishable item — the oldest products are pushed to the front. This way, the food will be sold before its expiration date while the next oldest item is put in its place.

After all, if the item perishes, it generates a direct loss in profit. When items have a best-by-date, such a technique makes perfect sense.

Above, is an example of “first in, first out” or FIFO inventory management, which shows that a company’s priority is the sale of items first purchased for resale. FIFO is believed to be the most profitable inventory method because the cost of producing goods will rise over time.

Not only does the FIFO model make sense for grocery stores, but also for businesses with products that go off-trend or become obsolete such as fashion retailers.

Conversely, the “last in, first out” or LIFO method of inventory management is best suited for commodities such as petroleum, metals, and chemicals. It counts the cost of goods sold instead of what was paid for the inventory that was already in stock. Provided the goods increase in price after the initial purchase, the “cost of goods sold” metric will be greater. Thus, profits will reduce, but so will tax burdens.

However, the direction we’re going is quite different from the traditional concepts of FIFO and LIFO.

We are taking these principles and applying them to project management and workflow. Look at the ‘goods’ or ‘products’ in the above example and replace them with work from clients and customers.

Throughout this post, we’ll be discussing where FIFO and LIFO can be used respectively for project management. In these examples, it will become apparent that FIFO is the ideal choice for assembly and service-based project management, while LIFO is conducive to sales conversions.

Let’s delve deeper below:

LIFO and Assembly-Based Tasks

There are plenty of reasons why FIFO is better for assembly-based businesses looking to efficiently manage projects.

We’ll start with scheduling:

First and foremost, any given project could come with a laundry list of hiccups. Therefore, placing every new bit of work to the back of the line offers enough time to problem solve in the case of unforeseen snafus.

FIFO makes it easier to predict and promise completion dates — no matter the difficulty level of the job. In fact, it’s better to give timeframes that are in line with the tougher work.

Think about it. Say a client brings forth something so rudimentary that it’d take just a couple of hours, but the set wait time is 2 weeks. Sure, it could technically be taken care of right away. But placing it to the back of the line means everyone can still focus on completing the insanely hard project they’d been working on for the past 10 days. Pushing the easier work to the front of the line could possibly lead to a missed deadline for another tougher project.

Of course, if business is slow, there’s nothing wrong with finishing a project early — but it’s better to under-promise and over-deliver. Saying that a project will take 2 weeks then finishing it in a week comes across a lot better than guaranteeing it’ll be completed in 2 days then finishing in 3. Furthermore, with a 2-week completion promise, a project can be completed in 1 day, 9 days, or the entire 2 weeks to the satisfaction of the customer. It offers the ultimate flexibility.

A solidified buffer time for all projects gives businesses more time to appease customers, whereas randomly prioritizing could lead to unnecessarily bungled time management.

Now we’ll look at FIFO through the workflow visualization lens:

It’s easier to visualize a straight line than one that swirls, zig-zags, and spirals.

With FIFO, the workflow will be linear, making tracking a piece of cake. If an engine needs 5 machining processes, machine workers can predict their required tools and will have time to order extra parts.

It’s possible because they’ll be doing the job sequentially from the beginning until the end. If they go from part 1 right to part 5 — skipping all the steps in between — it becomes vastly more difficult to be predictive and efficient.

In a nutshell, FIFO makes it so assembly-based project managers can see what lies directly in front of them rather than picturing tasks coming from all directions.

And finally, let’s examine how FIFO impacts delegation:

Having some form of implemented FIFO process makes delegation a cinch. Technicians only have to work on the next item in line. There’ll be no fussing over what’s the higher priority or who’s supposed to do what. Plus, managers won’t need to waste time needlessly doling out tasks to their team.

Instead, the rules will be set in stone. Technicians will place their finished work at the end of the line on the next rack, refer to whichever FIFO-based scheduling mechanism that’s being used, rinse and repeat.

Since workers won’t be bouncing around mid-task to jump onto another project, it makes it far easier to monitor time and efficiency. If projects are taking too long, managers can clearly assess whether the issues are due to a deficiency in skill or because of under-charging.

With all of this in mind, why would assembly-based project managers stray from the FIFO approach?

Now, despite project managers’ immense multi-tasking abilities, they aren’t demi-gods. They are human.

And the human element is what puts schedules into blenders, sends workflows into a whirlwind, and flips delegation onto its head.

Guess who else is human? Needy customers — one of the greatest hurdles placed in front of the FIFO method. Unfortunately, a trap many businesses and project managers fall into is forgetting the need for boundaries with customers/clients.

And in 2019, boundaries have never been more important. In days of old, customers couldn’t find an employee’s home number and hound them until the job was done. Meaning, lines didn’t need to be drawn. If a customer was difficult, they could only be so until 5 pm every work day. Now, these difficult customers can run amok 24/7. Cellphones, texts, and emails make it so these demanding clients can contact project managers any time they please.

Even when it’s been decided that a client is so unprofessional that they’re one-and-done, their project often gets pushed to the front of the line in an effort to speed up the departure.

While pesky clients are a reality of any business, there are ways to offset their obtrusiveness. Start by clearly illustrating the timeline for completion. Break it down in great detail — as to avoid any confusion. Also, project managers must be very clear about business hours as well as when and where they may be appropriately contacted.

From there, it’s a matter of quality customer service. Proactive status updates will prevent clients from pestering.

If a customer is abrasive to the point where the above measures won’t quell their quirks, there’s nothing wrong with ‘firing’ them. One project isn’t worth breaking the FIFO protocol.

Another prime contributor to breaking the FIFO-cycle is prioritizing preferred work.

Work projects are always going to be a mixed bag.

Some are going to be challenging in an engaging, fulfilling sort of way. While others are going to be challenging in a mind-numbing, slamming-head-into-a-wall sort of way. And others might not be challenging at all, and just plain boring.

Regardless, the way workers treat these projects can throw a wrench into what was once a well-oiled FIFO machine.

A job may not be glitz and glamor but it’s essential to complete it before the next (far more fun) project.

For FIFO to function at its fullest capacity, discipline is of the utmost essence. Breaking the FIFO chain because something isn’t desirable has greater consequences than just one job. More specifically, if it happens once, it’ll happen again. Suddenly, boring jobs start to pile up because all the fun ones were completed. Then, deadlines fall by the wayside — along with a business’s overall reputation.

No matter the mundanity of a job, it must be done well and punctually. Set aside the time to get it done. Provided the process was awful enough, use the experience as a lesson and reminder to avoid similar jobs in the future.

The lure of a quick buck can also throw FIFO project management for a loop.

We’ve all salivated at the idea of a few hundred dollars in our pocket at the blink of an eye.

Still, just because something seems profitable, doesn’t mean it is. A shop that’s backlogged with engines can’t afford to shift everything around for sake of an easy dollar. It could throw operations into complete chaos.

There is a compromise, however: some businesses will under-schedule daily workloads and leave a couple of hours open for walk-in appointments, as to not disrupt the FIFO flow.

Another business using the FIFO model for workload management was a maid service called Maids by Trade.

While cleaning homes and machine assembly are drastically different things, they are equally task-based. And completing first tasks, in both cases, removes the inefficiencies that stem from allowing new jobs to interfere with the old.

It’s a straight-forward concept. Multi-tasking means wasted time. Whereas, completing one job at a time — in the order that’s been promised — is far more productive.

Why LIFO Works in Sales

We’ll be honest, the LIFO model section isn’t as long as FIFO.

Part of the reason is that LIFO’s purposes are far more limited than those of its counterpart. Placing top priority on the newest task is counterintuitive. Why would a project manager neglect old tasks for something newer and shinier?

Comparatively, the FIFO model fulfills the needs of project managers in a multitude of industries — not just machine shops and maid services. From web designers to construction workers, the FIFO model has its place.

However, LIFO is a good fit for sales-based tasks — particularly for big-ticket items such as homes.

Why? Because the likelihood of converting a real estate lead decreases as time passes. Or, the lead ‘cools down,’ as they say in the industry.

So, it’s proven to be more fruitful for real estate agents to focus the bulk of their efforts on new leads because they’re ‘hot.’

Perhaps it’s the amount of money being spent on a real estate purchase that makes LIFO the model of choice for those in the industry. The more people can stew over such a large investment, the greater the chance for hesitation and second-guessing.

Therefore, we hypothesize that the LIFO model might be effective for other big-ticket items like automobiles. Much like real estate agents, car salesmen must strike when the proverbial iron is hot.

Can FIFO and LIFO Work in Harmony?

FIFO and LIFO by their very natures seem like they could never exist within the confines of the same company.

But there are businesses out there with both service/assembly-based facets and sales facets.

Consider an advertising agency, for instance, who must first sell its high-priced services to viable businesses. From there, it needs to manage projects for those businesses where they must produce (or assemble) campaigns on a deadline.

It can be surmised that in order to acquire new business and sell themselves to clients, this hypothetical agency should utilize LIFO methods to capitalize on leads when they’re hot.

Then, once the client has been onboarded and projects are underway, the FIFO model can be put in place to ensure streamlined workload management.

Balance is So Last Year

Work-Life Balance is something that comes up all the time and I’ve said many times before that I do not believe in work-life balance.

I particularly like Alain deBotton’s treatment of this where he says that there is no such thing as work-life balance because anything that is worth pursuing will take us out of balance.

We try so hard all the time to make it so everything’s good and everything’s right and it always seems so fleeting…because it is. I think we need to accept that sometimes in some way for some period of time, there will be things in our life that don’t work well.

When you think about the things in your life, it could be your business, your friends, your family, your children, your parents, your physical health, whatever it might be. To think that we can have all those things in line is crazy and sets us up for failure.

We live in a society where success is celebrated relentlessly and ordinary achievement is completely overlooked; even though ordinary achievements are all around us all the time.

I got all four kids in snowsuits and boots in less than twenty minutes, last winter. I brought a plant back to life. I made peace with my Dad. What is amazing for one person is not realistic for another person and also not necessarily what amazing looks like for them.

As entrepreneurs, we put ourselves in uncomfortable situations on a regular basis. Comfort for us is a very bad thing. It makes us complacent, it makes us bored. In some cases, it makes us self sabotage and we can actively seek experiences that make us uncomfortable.

Life assures us time and time again, that it will go out of balance. But we have the chance to fix it, amend it, change it. There’s always something with which to tinker. Always.