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Roy Harris >> Answering e-mails...


4/17/08 2:46 PM
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Roy Harris
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Edited: Apr 17 2008 12:00A
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 2164
 

Please understand that I am one man, and that I can only answer one e-mail at a time. While I make efforts to answer all e-mails, it is becoming increasingly difficult to respond quickly to everyone's e-mail. Here's why:

I receive 500+ e-mails each and every day. I have to sift through these e-mails to find the good ones (and that's with a spam filter cutting out hundreds of other e-mails.). At the beginning of every day, I usually end up with around 50 good e-mails each day. Because of my busy schedule, I can only answer 10 to 12 e-mails per day. That means, I get behind.

I know some might think the easy answer is to have a personal and business e-mail account. Well, I tried this in the past and things did not work as planned. When people observed I wasn't answering as many business e-mails as personal e-mails, many decided it would be best to reach me at my personal e-mail. So, my personal e-mail inbox filled up quicker.

Now, one of the things I have never talked about on the various forums is all of the counseling I do each week. People from all over the world write to me about all kinds of topics. Below are a few topics I have written about over the last few weeks:

  • Suicide.
  • Divorce.
  • Homosexuality.
  • Extra marital affairs.
  • Alcohol abuse.
  • A difficult bible question.
  • How to build a hedge around your marriage.
  • How to properly go to the knees from your back.
  • Financial matters.
  • Starting a new church.
  • A Crusade in Jamaica.
  • Problem students and how to deal with them.
  • Starting a new martial arts school.
  • Teaching a person how to read and study the bible for themselves.
  • Unlocking the hip flexors.
  • A senior pastor (from another church) called asked for advice on spiritual matters.

Each and every month, I receive some very "personal" e-mails from people who need help with various aspects of their lives (not just martial arts or fitness related questions). Where do all of these questions come from? Poland, Australia, Norway, Canada, Israel, Indonesia, Nigeria, India, Mexico, Philippines and the U.S.

Now, I am not complaining about being so busy with my life. (I enjoy helping others.) Rather, I want to take the time to sit down and explain why it is difficult for me to respond to e-mails at times. When I have more time on my hands, I will spend several hours answering 30 to 35 e-mails, as well as answer questions on this and other forums. When I don't have a lot of time, I won't get to this forum for a week or two, and I can only answer five or so e-mails per day.

The days of my spending seven or more hours each day answering e-mails are over. I did that for almost seven years. I looked at the numbers recently and I responded to a well over 30,000 e-mails in seven years!

Continued...

4/17/08 2:49 PM
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Roy Harris
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Edited: Apr 17 2008 12:00A
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 2165

These days, I prioritize and answer ten or so e-mails in the morning and then get on with the rest of my day. I teach martial art classes and mini-bible studies. I play and practice golf. I hang out with friends more often. I read more often each day. I surf the web more often. AND, I sleep more hours in a week. When I come home after a long day, if I am not too tired, I will answer another three to five e-mails. If I am really tired, I'll head to bed and call it a day.

Some might ask, "Why only ten or so e-mails per day? Well, if people wrote and asked "yes" or "no" questions, I could answer 50+ e-mails per day. But, here's what usually happens:

  1. Someone writes to me to tell me their martial life story. Some have written eight or nine pages to do so.
  2. They eventually get around to asking me a series of "simple" questions.
  3. I write back to them and answer their question.
  4. They think, "Wow, Mr. Harris actually wrote back to me! I'm gonna ask him some more questions."
  5. The next set of questions I receive are usually more complex than the first set - and require more time to write.
  6. I answer their follow up questions.
  7. They love this process. So they write even more questions cuz they're loving the fact that a BJJ black belt is taking time to answer their questions.

Do you see how the process can grow over time with some people?

How long does it take for me to write a response? A lot depends on the complexity of the question. Most e-mails take me four to seven minutes to respond to. Multiply these minutes by ten to twelve e-mails and you can see how just these few e-mails take up an hour or more of time. But consider this:

Some e-mails take an hour or two to compose and re-write. Others take even longer. For example, one recent e-mail was fourteen (14) pages long. I know because I took the text into Microsoft Word for spell check. It took me a little over four hours to compose and re-write this document. I had answered every question and had given a complete and thorough response. Now, is that needed for every e-mail? No - thanks heavens no! However, some e-mails take a very long time to answer. For example, last night I got home at 9pm. I stayed up until 1:15am answering a very long e-mail. That a little over four hours  spent answering one single e-mail. Was it an important e-mail? Yes!

After spending all of that time last night, answering one e-mail, I thought to myself, "If people only knew how much time I spend responding to people's e-mails!" Then I thought, "Why not tell them?" So, this is the reason for this post.

In closing, let me say this:

It is my intention to answer every e-mail in my inbox. It may take me some time to do that, but I will answer each and every one of them!

Thank you for your time and patience,

Roy Harris

www.royharris.com

4/18/08 11:37 AM
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Roy Harris
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Edited: Apr 18 2008 12:00A
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 2168

I hope this post gives you a BIGGER picture on how I spend my time.

While many believe I teach martial arts for a living, and that is true to some extent, I am also involved in many other aspects of people's lives. It is this "other" aspect that brings satisfaction to being involved in martial arts training:

  1. Teaching techniques, training methods and tactics is cool.
  2. Teaching others how to become successful in their own lives, and in their own ways, is very cool.
  3. Teaching others (i.e. students who ask) the truth about Christianity is way cool.
  4. Making a positive impact on the lives of those who train at my academy, as well as those who write to or call me, is the absolute coolest thing I could do with my life!

I am not concerned with having the largest organization in the world. Rather, I am concerned with leaving an impression on the lives that my life touches. Hopefully, you can FEEL the passion in my words as I write this! And hopefully, you can feel that as I take the time to answer every question on this forum.

It has been a privilege to answer questions on this forum since 1995. I plan to continue answering your questions for decades to come. Thank you for the opportunity to do so!

Sincerely,

Roy Harris

4/18/08 10:07 PM
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beauregard
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Edited: Apr 18 2008 12:00A
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1412
I, for one, appreciate all of the information I have read on this forum Thank you Mr. Harris.
4/19/08 4:47 PM
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bee rad
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Edited: Apr 19 2008 12:00A
Member Since: 1/17/05
Posts: 1692

 If anyone is vaugely familiar with this forum, or Roy personally, they KNOW that he NEVER just gives a quick flippid answer.  All of his responses are thought out, detailed and well articulated.  Therefore I can see why he answers the number of emails he does.  I just hope that he sorts them alphabetically.  :-)


4/21/08 10:30 PM
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lambam
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Edited: Apr 21 2008 12:00A
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1754
Hello fellow forum members,please stop emailing Roy so that he can finish his new set of instructionals. j/k!
5/14/08 4:25 PM
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icon115
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Member Since: 4/29/08
Posts: 3
Mr. Harris,
You were gracious enough to answer an email of mine. Please note that the thought, time and insight that you put in your responses definitely come across through email.

This statement: "They think, "Wow, Mr. Harris actually wrote back to me! I'm gonna ask him some more questions." really gave me deja vu. It's been a while so I can't remember if I actually asked another question - I don't recall that I did...at least I hope not.

Anyways, I'm sure the community appreciates you sharing your knowledge openly and freely.

Thanks!

No response necessary. :-)
5/25/08 10:50 PM
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Narba
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Member Since: 3/17/07
Posts: 30
Yeah Fair enough mate. I pass by here regularly to read your answers and posts and I'm always surprised you actually do write anything at all! :D
4/3/11 11:20 PM
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John Turner
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Member Since: 9/28/04
Posts: 2058
Mr. Harris,

Could you plz reply to my email (as a paying customer).

Thank you,

John
4/14/11 11:14 PM
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Mimi43
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Edited: 04/14/11 11:15 PM
Member Since: 1/1/06
Posts: 1968
Again Turner? I thought this was solved months ago! Jesus!
4/15/11 12:14 AM
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John Turner
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Member Since: 9/28/04
Posts: 2065
again???

this was eleven days ago....i WISH it was solved months ago, but he has NOT replied to my emails, but yet I have let it go on the forums (except to respond to your post).

plz dont make me look the bad guy; i'm not the person who took another man's money with the promise of providing a service, and then failing to reply about using the service (pre-paid private lessons).

and notice mr. harris has remained completely silent on this matter. why is that? b/c i am telling the truth, and he knows it. it is hard to argue with facts.

best wishe ug,

john
4/15/11 3:46 PM
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Mimi43
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Member Since: 1/1/06
Posts: 1969
again....yes. wasn't your differences resolved already? in another thread?? or am I on crazy pills?

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