Are you often late in going to school? How about reporting for work? Are you also late in submitting your assignments or deadlines in the office?
Do you have the habit of being delayed or being late in most of the things you do? If you are, you’re not alone.
I had an opportunity to transact a major deal with a foreign brand. This will make a major breakthrough for my business if I close the business deal. The deal can literary change my financial life for the better. I can say this was the opportunity of a lifetime.
We set the time and date but due to the unpredictable traffic in Metro Manila I arrived 15 minutes late. The foreign partner was patient to wait but after shaking his hand, he stood up and told me that he was going to leave. Here was the conversation.
Chinkee: “Sir, may I ask why are you leaving? We have not yet discussed our terms.”
Foreign Partner: “You’re late!”
Chinkee: “Sir, I am sorry, I got caught at the traffic.”
Foreign Partner: “Is traffic a normal or a rare occurrence in your country?”
Foreign Partner: “Mr. Tan, please explain to me, how can I trust you with my business if I cannot trust you with my time.”
Wooohhhhh!!!! I had no words to speak. My jaw dropped on the table. As I watched my golden ticket of opportunity walked out the meeting room. I don’t have even the guts to ask for a second chance. I was really embarrassed and at the same time, feeling full of regret because I just blew one of the biggest opportunity in my life. It was a costly lesson for me pay.
Come to think of it, it is not only the issue of being late but it is breaking the trust. You may take time lightly but some people, especially the professionals treat time as a test of a person’s character. How trustworthy is this person? Will he fulfill whatever he promised or commit? Or will he break it?
It is so hard to rebuild trust once it is broken.
I can still remember my high school principal, she always closed her speech with this line, “If money is lost, nothing is lost. If health is lost, something is lost but when time is lost, everything is lost.”
From then on, I learned to be always early in all my meetings and speaking engagements. I have been practicing this habit for years and now I truly gained and earned dividends from it. The reason why HR heads, companies, and organizations love to invite me as their resource speaker is because of my professionalism and punctuality. These are the small things that I have valued well enough and it has given the opportunity to be known as one of the famous speakers in the Philippines.
We should know how to value our time and respect other people’s time as well. Time is one resource that we cannot renew or bring back.
Let us not allow time to pass by us. We got to manage our time well and make the most out of it.
THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.
What is your habit when it comes to time? Are you often early or late? How did it benefit or cost you? Do you think you should also improve your punctuality?
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