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September 3, 2008 - Issue #27

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The Billionaire's Countdown

Welcome back, everyone! I hope the past few weeks have been both enjoyable and productive for you.

In this Working Solo Minute, I want to showcase a strategy that New York City's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has been using as he prepares to maximize his political impact during his last few hundred days in office.

As many of you likely know, "Mayor Mike" is the founder of Bloomberg Media, LLP. A results-driven entrepreneur who made his fortune from the ubiquitous electronic data terminals that sit on stock traders' desks, Bloomberg has run New York City like a mega-company, generating praise from both political allies and traditional opponents. (With his billions, he's recognized as probably the wealthiest man in the city, which makes his taking the subway to work at City Hall each morning all the more appealing to New Yorkers.)

As Bloomberg faces the end of his term, he wants to make the most of every day and has installed countdown clocks throughout city offices that brightly flash the number of days, hours, minutes, and seconds left in office, underneath the slogan: "Make Every Day Count."

That a billionaire entrepreneur would install numerous countdown clocks throughout government agencies shows the power of such a tool. More than a deadline, a countdown brings to life exactly how much time is left to accomplish the tasks ahead. Since time is a soloist's most valuable asset, I encourage you to take Mayor Mike's lead and create your own countdown.

1. Define Your Deadline
First, review those items that have been languishing on your To-Do list. Select the one that, if accomplished, would generate the largest positive impact on your business. Then, establish a deadline -- if not for total completion, at least for an important milestone.

2. Calculate the Intervening Days
Next, use the Duration Calculator at to determine how many days (or hours, if you want to be even more precise!) remain before your self-imposed deadline.

3. Monitor the Countdown
As you do your weekly business review (you do set aside time for this, right?), update your countdown to reinforce the value of those remaining days. Let your personal countdown inspire you to meet your deadline and maximize your days.

To read the full story of Bloomberg's countdown clocks, check out the article in the New York Times.

-- Terri Lonier

Next Issue:
Why Your Customers Are Like a Parade

Working Solo Minute is published each Wednesday by Working Solo, Inc. and is based on the work of author and small business expert Terri Lonier. Copyright 1994-2008. All rights reserved.
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