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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 95 I needed to do something, but I didn't have a lot of extra time to read self-help books or extra money to invest in a coach or a psychologist. So I ran my own experiment. The results? Well, I'm still not a poster child for Dale Carnegie Training, but I'm able to get a better handle on my schedule by working toward establishing a few new habits that allow me to focus on my clients' needs and run my business better. A DOG NAMED PEARL— MY IMPETUS TO CHANGE My time-management problem reached critical mass when my brother-in-law's dog, Pearl, got sick. Pearl was my brother-in- law's pride and joy. When my brother-in- law died suddenly, Pearl became the family dog. She went to live with my wife's other brother while my wife and I provided health care and additional support (including lots of hugs and rubs). When Pearl was diagnosed with cancer, I started taking her for a walk during the day, because her medicine affected her bladder control. A walk a day was barely manageable for me, and as her illness progressed, she needed more than one walk a day. One busy day, 20 minutes before my next client, I remembered that I had forgotten to walk Pearl. The trip would take me 30 minutes. That meant I was going to start 10 minutes late with my client. As I raced to get Pearl, all the unfi nished business I needed to get done—like billing and $4,000-plus in collections— raced through my mind. My schedule was out of control and my practice was suffering from the effects. I needed to do something. When I was young, my mom used to tell me I'd be late to my own funeral. Unfortunately, my time-management skills didn't improve as I got older. In fact, my chronic time- management problem eventually caught up with me in my massage business. Specifi cally, I was on the verge of losing clients because of my habitual lateness. My massage work suff ered because it was diffi cult for me to provide a start-to-fi nish relaxing experience when I began the massage revved up from rushing around. I also fell behind on vital business tasks, like billing and collections.

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