I hope you read this, Tom and I hope what I say offers insight. It comes from a place of older person experience.

First, as you get older you’ll realize your family and close friends are really the only important relationships you’ll have and the rest are mere acquaintances. it’s similar to round and flat characters when writing fiction.

Drop your expectation of receiving anything in return for the things you do including gratitude because while you may be a good guy, not everyone is AND the focus should always be on what you can contribute to making the community a better place, the mark you leave on the world regardless of how big or small. It should never be about receiving in return.

Adjust how you do things. I agree, five minutes is a bit overboard. Here’s another lesson I didn’t learn until later on in life. You need to take care of yourself, give to yourself before anyone else. So set the boundary. You only respond to emails at this time Monday- Friday, period. Let your students know that, put it in the signature of your email, whatever you gotta do to make it be know because while you’re breaking your back to be front and center for others you need to look after you first and foremost.

Last, if it were me I would take all those questions random people email me and write a weekly blog post of questions and answers. Here’s why: Everyone will be learning from you, giving you attention to see what you’re all about and you’ll potentially generate more business. The positive of these “random questions for free answers” is that it’s generating ideas for you to write about.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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