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4-Letter Words

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Caution: this post is explicit. Well, explicit at least to me.

No, it won’t be full of profanity–at least the traditional vulgar words. (And I won’t even go down the road that showed that those who do swear are more honest.)

Oh wait. I guess I just did.

Anyway, that’s not the point of my article. Instead, I wanted to share with you my own home grown list of 4-letter words. And all of us in business and life should be very, very cognizant of them – because in a lot of cases, they’re even worse than a string of expletives.

My 4-Letter Word List:

  1. Time: My one true enemy and precious resource all bundled into one. There’s never enough of it, and once it’s gone, it’s never coming back. I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating: if someone gives you their time, they are never getting it back. Honor and respect it by not wasting it. Don’t be late for meetings. Don’t be late and barge in and apologize – that’s even worse, as you’re basically flipping everyone else in the meeting who showed up on time the bird. Don’t blow off or cancel meetings if you called them in the first place–especially last minute, unless there is a REALLY good reason why. Always respect others’ time…and your own, because it is finite. (And if anyone out there can ever teach me how to make more time, I’m all ears–you’re my new BFF!)
  2. Debt: Avoid this 4-letter word like the plague. Debt is an albatross around your neck and shackles on your limbs. If you’re in debt, you have very few options. You’re restricted. “Interest” is another awful word, but it’s more than 4 letters. I still try and avoid it. Pay off your debt. If you don’t have debt, you have one of my favorite words: freedom. You have options, and you aren’t as shackled or confined to your present state. Choices, options, and freedom = awesomeness.
  3. Meet: Meetings play right in to #1 above. I try to avoid them at all costs, ESPECIALLY if there is no agenda or meaningful reason for meeting. I really don’t like meetings WITH agendas but can also be solved with a 5 minute email. One one hour meeting with nothing productive out of it is 1 hour, 60 minutes or 3,600 seconds of your life you’ll never get back. See #1 above.
  4. Talk: High ‘I’ aside on the Myers-Briggs, one of the companies I used to work for (who shall remain nameless) had a crazy number of meetings. They’d have meetings to discuss meetings. They’d just talk at these meetings to hear themselves–the talk would come out, but very little would come of it. (Probably another reason why I hate meetings–scarred for life.) Here’s a two-letter word I like a LOT more than the 4-letter word of talk: DO. Let’s DO more, and talk less! The talkers but non-doers have been branded “Big hat, no cattle” in my life. Less talk, more action!
  5. Tele: Two items here: 1. tele-phones and 2. tele-visions. Both are incredible vacuums of time. The thing about the telephone is that you never know if you’re interrupting the person on the other side of the call (unless you’ve of course scheduled in advance with an agenda, which 99% of telephone calls I receive do not).  There’s a joke over at pinterest for high introverts: if they pick up the phone when you call, they really like you. That’s true!  Send me an email – and I’ll go over it when I have a second to breathe, not to mention a record or trail of our interaction (I can’t remember everything – I don’t have that superpower). Second, the thing about televisions – well, you already can guess where I’m going there – huge time waster. Now don’t get me wrong, I love watching Pride & Prejudice for the 500th time as much as the next gal – but I just have to make sure I earned the flake time after doing some actual work.

There. These to me are far, far worse than typical profanity. They are my brand of profanity.

So, what are your 4-letter words?

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