My work as a Business Broker forces me to permanently hold meetings with business owners and entrepreneurs eager to acquire good business opportunities. The success of my management, I would say, is measured when the "meeting of minds" between buyer and seller is obtained, and the deal is closed.

You can imagine, dear reader, what it means to arrive at the sublime moment of "closing" a deal: multiple meetings with the seller, his lawyer and his accountant; with the buyer and his advisers; with the landlord of the property where the business operates; with the financial institutions involved in the operation and stop counting.

To comply with a daily work program that involves promotion, recruitment, monitoring and completion of each case, it is necessary to use an activity control system. Every modern executive should use, at least, a calendar - electronic or paper - where he writes down all future commitments and includes the time and place of the meetings to be held.

This is how every morning we go out to “walk the streets” with optimism and with our agenda impeccably prepared to make that day one of the most fruitful of our lives.

But as often happens when we deal with people who are not "Swiss", there are times when the program falls apart because our counterpart forgot the commitment and arrives late or simply does not attend the appointment. Despite the fact that Dale Carnegie, the famous author, recommended never waiting for anyone for more than 15 minutes, it is likely that our Latin streak keeps us there until "the body takes" and, with hidden indignation, we tolerate the abuse.

It is evident that being late represents a lack of consideration and a lack of respect for those who wait for us. I would say that on many occasions the unpunctuality of the unpunctual favors the punctual because it places the one who fails to comply at a disadvantage, in debt, with whom he is punctual. In a negotiation, the one who arrives late already starts with points against him and will have the tendency to give up something to compensate for his delay.

The anecdote that I will tell you below humorously illustrates the extreme consequences of being late. Let's see.

There was a meeting in which Father Pascual was having a farewell dinner for his 25 years of uninterrupted pastoral work in a parish. An important local politician was chosen by the community to deliver the farewell speech and present the priest with a plaque commemorating the act.

Since the politician did not arrive, the priest began to say a few words to fill the time. Excited, the priest pointed out:

I had my first impression of the Parish with the first confession I had to hear. I thought that the Bishop had sent me to a terrible place, since the first person I confessed to told me that as a teenager he had stolen a television from a hotel; that he had surreptitiously stole money from his parents on more than one occasion, that he had defrauded the company where he worked and that, moreover, he sometimes sold drugs to neighborhood kids.

I was amazed, stupefied, very worried but as the days went by I got to know more people who were not at all similar to this person. What's more, I lived the reality of a parish full of responsible people, with values, committed to their faith, and that's how I've spent the most wonderful 25 years of my priesthood.

Precisely at this moment the politician arrived, so he was immediately given the floor. He began his speech by apologizing for his delay and continued by saying with a broad smile the following:

I will never forget the day Father Pascual came to our parish. He was a young priest full of Catholic fervor and with an immense desire to serve our community; in fact, I had the honor of being the first person to confess to him…”

Moral: always be punctual and remember with Napoleon Bonaparte that “the hour is the hour. A minute before is not the Time, a minute after is not the Time either.


*Business in Florida

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