A few weeks ago I had the same thing happen to me by two different people. I had appointments scheduled with them that we'd made at least days in advance. In both instances, those people backed out and asked if we could reschedule the time. Also in both instances, it wasn't the first time that had happened. For one person it was the 4th time; the other, it was the 5th time.

Back in November 2009 I wrote a post titled But You Do The Same Thing where I talked about how people and the habits they have,and how their excuse if you call them on it is "I bet you do the same thing," or something to that effect. I actually had one of the two people say that to me after I mentioned it to her, saying that if it had to do with business that I'd probably cancel in an instant.

I've now been working for myself for 11 years, and in all that time I've canceled an appointment once, and that was when I was needed at my mother's house out of town. Family always comes first; there's no doubt about that. But one cancellation in 11 years; how many people can compete with a record like that?

That's because when I make appointments, I look ahead to see what else might be coming up. I never commit to anything that's dodgy, and thus when I commit, you can take it to the bank.

That's the thing about planning; you should know what you need to do and count on the expectation that the other person has made sure not to allow any other distractions in their day so that they can meet up with you at the scheduled time.

For instance, I have a friend who's part of a group that meets once a month at the same location, same time. His problem is that there are a couple of people who don't always show up, saying they have other appointments to deal with. One of those people happens to have the space that the meetings take place in, which is a weird conundrum because it means other people who don't work for his company are using his room and he's not there. So he knows when the meetings are and where they are, but decides that something else is more of a priority, usually at the last minute.

Even in business ventures, most people are understanding that you can't meet with them at every specific time they ask for because they don't want you changing times on them. When you continually do that, it's to be expected that they feel that they're not as high up on the list as everyone else is. Sorry folks, but money shouldn't always be the driving force, especially if it's not guaranteed money.

In other words, when you're deciding on priorities for yourself, keep it in mind that other people have priorities as well and plan accordingly. Always try to make the other person as much a priority as you should be making yourself. If you can't, then don't plan anything. It'll keep relationships solid and stress free.

Of course, if I'd just stick with my three strikes rule, which I mention in the other post, I'd be a much happier guy as well.