Taking Care of Hard Business

The television series of the early 1980’s North & South, is a touching story from the terrible civil war era. Patrick Swayze plays a wealthy southern boy (Orry Main) who leaves his rich home to study at West Point. The Mains are powerful owners of a sprawling cotton plantation called Mount Royal in South Carolina and they are slave owners.

Amid the tumult of the civil war Orry’s father tries to maintain the life they have always known in the face of open revolution by men and women who would no longer be enslaved.  His efforts were carried out when he hired a cruel overseer named Salem Jones. Orry was horrified when he came home from West Point to find this cruel slave master brutally whipping and torturing their slaves. Not long after, Orry’s father passed away. Orry assumed his place at the head of Mount Royal. Immediately following his father’s funeral he rides directly to Salem Jones and says the following:

“It’s best to take care of hard business early and that’s what I’m here to do.”

He relieves him of his responsibilities at Mount Royal (effective immediately) and he goes on to tell him:

“I never liked you or the way you did your job.”

I never forgot that statement. As I grew in my professional responsibilities and found myself facing tough challenges and sometimes unpleasant situations I would always remember what Orry said to Salem.

Crule Overseer at Mount Royal Plantation

“It’s best to take care of hard business early and that’s what I’m here to do.”

Do you ever notice we tend to procrastinate things when:

1. We don’t feel like we’re good at the task.
2. We don’t enjoy doing the task.
3. We fear the task will be an unpleasant situation?

People who master the art of productivity understand that it’s best to take care of hard business early. Often the “hard business” is part of the top 20% that will produce the most profit for our business. When we put off the “unpleasant” it is still there. It weighs heavy in the back of our minds, often ruining our day and distracting us from the productivity we might have otherwise enjoyed.

I am going to make a list of the things I have been procrastinating and I’m going to take care of them tomorrow…EARLY!  I hope you will too.

Onward & Upward My Friends, Lisa



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