Elvis and time management – huh?  In the same sentence???  It’s true – one of the very best time management examples which we would not normally think of as involving time management.  It is.

You’re probably asking what I’ve been drinking!  Coffee.  Think about it.

This was a guy from a small southern town living a regular life as son of a mother and father.  He loved to sing.  Tons of kids love to sing.  He went on the road – lots of young people went on the road to find their star in those days.  People liked something about him.  He worked and worked until he got a record.  And he kept on working until a certain someone could see opportunity in promoting this guy and made him a super star.  We all know about show business – timing is everything – over or under exposure is deadly.  But that’s not the truly amazing part.  The truly amazing part is that he lives today!  Priscilla Presley has made sure of that!

Elvis died in 1977 – 33 years ago – January 8, 2010, would have been his 75th birthday!  Think about this fact alone especially if you are a business person – think about keeping something profitable for 33 years when the source of your product is dead and can’t produce any new material for over 33 years!!!

The way Priscilla Presley turned a negative into a positive is absolutely astonishing!  Imagine that 33 years after his death, his movies are still showing on tv, his records are played on radio, he appears in newspapers all over the world and he has a website – Elvis.com – a site on which products still sell well.  

No matter how talented someone is or how much material they produced, to keep the legacy alive and thriving is an accomplishment of massive proportion.  The most unlikely kid to succeed has been an empire for decades!

So how does all this relate to time management?  Time management is not just about managing the parts of your life day to day.  Time management also involves managing tangibles.  For instance, if you have purchased a house.  Real estate in your area has a spike.  You’ve always wanted to move but you don’t sell; you wait for the market to keep going higher and higher.   The market drops significantly.  You’ve lost out because you didn’t manage the timing of the sale of your property well.  Now you’ll have to wait a long time again before you’re likely to get top price.  If you had sold near the top of the market, you’d be happy now.  The same lessons apply with career products.  If, upon his death, no one would have taken ownership of the products and kept promoting them, the legacy of Elvis would have died  or at least diminished significantly. 

Priscilla Presley has managed an asset for 33 years:  Elvis products.  So many artists are soon forgotten after their death or retirement.  When Elvis was in his prime, there were hundreds of artists with hit records selling hundreds of thousands of records at a time when the population of the earth was much less than it is today. 

Yet, out of all those artists – many names you’d recognize, Elvis is the name that pops up year after year.  

How did she do it?  Wouldn’t that be a great case study in business?  For 33 years Priscilla Presley has managed this phenomenon and kept Elvis timely and modern.  No matter what age, people still know the words to the songs and they watch the movies.  They buy paraphernalia and visit Graceland.  It’s all in the timing – not over done – not under done – and picking the right times to “revive” the legacy.  Talk about time management!

Fascinating to think about, isn’t it? 

Lorraine Arams

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