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Taking your time doesn’t scale

28 Apr

writing_a_letterby SethGodin –

When you send a hand-written letter to your best friend on the occasion of her wedding, you don’t rush the note.

When a long-term patient needs to hear your plan on how she will beat the cancer you just found, you don’t rush the meeting.

When your best customer just discovered that his critical shipment is totally messed up, you don’t rush the phone call.

The problem is this: we’ve scaled the number of contacts, of patients, of Christmas card recipients, of Twitter followers, of email correspondents, of investors, of backers, of Kickstarter supporters, of readers, of correspondents, of co-workers, of… we’ve scaled it all.

And the one thing we can’t do is scale our ability to take time.

So, this year, when you sent out 500 cards, of course you didn’t take the time to handwrite each one with a personal note. How could you? And recently, when you sent a blast to 500 donors announcing a matching grant, you didn’t personalize each note and leave out the people you told personally, because, hey, it’s a huge list… how could you?

Treat different people differently. You decided to get bigger, but you won’t be able to treat everyone the way you used to. That was your decision, and it’s one of the costs of bigger.

Treating different people differently is the only way you’ve got to be able to take your time with the few, because, alas, you can no longer take your time with everyone. And if you can’t live with that, get smaller!

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