Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Wrapping Paper

Posted in Personal Development by elephanthunters on December 25, 2009

I’ll spend more time looking at this than anyone else

That was my thought yesterday as I meticulously wrapped a Christmas present for my wife.  I ran some quick estimates and figured out that while it took me about 8 minutes to wrap the gift, it would probably only take my wife about 10 seconds to unwrap it.  Then, the wrapping paper that I so carefully cut, taped and folded will be tossed on the floor, and all of her attention will rightfully shift toward the present inside.  If my estimates are accurate, the ‘prep to open ratio’ is about 48:1.

Why even wrap it then?

The answer is an obvious one to those who have ever dabbled in the art of gift-giving.  I could even make a reasonable case that wrapping the gift is what actually defines it as a gift (at least in the husband-giving-to-wife scenario).  The point?  Presentation is EVERYTHING.

What’s your gift?

You have something to offer.  You get up each day and go into the world with an opportunity to influence others, to leave your mark, to offer a gift.  Maybe some things you do are similar to the things I do:

  • Make presentations or give speeches
  • Answer phones
  • Blog, Tweet, Engage
  • Make sales calls
  • Create value by listening first
  • Ask for help
  • Impact the outcome of meetings

Whether or not these actions translate into a valuable gift depends on how much I prepare, read, practice and pray about them.  If I do these things without ample focus and preparation then I’m not giving a gift…I’m just doing my J-O-B. (not good)

It’s only a gift when it’s wrapped

And wrapping takes time.  It takes more time than anyone else will spend thinking about your little project or business idea.  A fantastic 10 minute presentation could take 5 hours of your time, and you’ll be lucky if your audience actually gives you 5 minutes of their attention.

So why bother?  Why bother putting in so much more effort than what people will notice and applaud?  Because your gift keeps on giving.  Your preparation sharpens your saw and causes you to become more valuable.  You read a book to learn a concept that helps you navigate through your situation, but the knowledge gained stays with you beyond your immediate needs. You spend hours preparing for a meeting, but your efforts pay dividends as the participants absorb your ideas and begin to act on them.  If you give a 10  minute speech to 100 people, are you not actually influencing 1,000 minutes?

A gift that is valuable will be amplified upon it’s delivery…BUT it’s only a gift when it’s wrapped.

…and any action that is not a gift is just noise.

I believe it’s worth it

It’s worth taking 48 times longer.  It matters that I read more, listen more and practice more.  Excellence does not occur naturally.  I believe that taking the time to wrap our gift is what allows the world to receive the value we offer.  I believe that when we take the time to prepare and focus on our contribution, the biggest gift is actually to ourselves, because the preparation changes who we are.

Next year we all have a chance to give more and thus become more.  You can start wrapping your gift over the next few days by thinking about your goals for 2010.  Then prepare, practice & pray…and when you’re done, put them in writing so you can look at your gift, and so you can remind yourself why it matters that we spend the painstakingly tedious time to wrap.

Merry Christmas.

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One Response

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  1. Ryan said, on December 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    AWESOME thoughts, Daniel!!!


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