I have had Suzy Welch’s new book, 10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea (Scribner, ISBN 978-1-4165-9182-5), for a few weeks now and have been reading it diligently but knew that the review was going to get written today, whether I had my personal example for you all or not. I wanted to truly try the 10-10-10 process before recommending the book to anyone. I could see it working in any life decision, especially with the personal examples that Welch gives in the book, but wanted to be sure.
I immediately sympathized with Suzy Welch at the beginning of her book as she was trying to balance way too much work, way too much motherhood. It is a position I think all mothers get in, with or without thinking. We want to be sure that our children see what we value in life so we spread ourselves so thin that the next decision may literally push us over the edge. Welch has a method for making decisions that should prevent us from that reaching that precipice. The same process can be used in making business decisions and can be taught to our children to prevent them from making the mistakes – or learning life experiences, as I once called some of the mistakes – we made in finding our way.
In the decision making process that is the heart of 10-10-10, one should look at decisions through a multi-tiered lens. How will life be ten minutes after the decision? How about ten months? How about ten years? Now, as Welch says, these are arbitrary times but represent now, the close future and the distant future. In some decisions, this may be 10 minutes, 10 days and 10 months which is the way I dealt with my decision.
I had been presented with a new client. My gut instinct was that I could not do what the woman was looking for in a virtual assistant. Then, I allowed myself to be talked away from my initial reaction. I suggested to the potential client – who was really not looking to pay me my worth for the projects she was proposing – that I try a small project for her so we could both see if we were a fit. Upon finishing the project with a few difficulties but nothing unsurmountable, I let the potential client know I was done. In the course of two days, I had suddenly received eight emails from her. I knew I needed to take a long look at what her product was and what her project was.
Should I take on this client? was the start of my 10-10-10 process. Because I knew that the client would not last ten years, I processed through the lens of 10 minutes, 10 days and 10 months. In ten minutes time, I would be fine. Not much would change but in ten days time, I anticipated the expectations of myself and my new client would exceed the monetary value of the project. In ten months time, I was sure I would be disgusted with myself for having taken on the client as I needed the monetary relief and I would not be working as well as I should due to my dislike of the project. My decision was made.
I started working for myself to have control over my time and my life. This project would not fit in my area of expertise nor in the time frame I am looking to work. I may not have come to this conclusion without looking at the project through this lens.
I strongly recommend that you all think about purchasing Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea. If you click the book above you will be taken to Amazon.com and how to purchase the book. If you want more info on Suzy or the idea, consider checking out Suzy’s YouTube channel or following her on Twitter. The links are below.