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Today’s Tip is simple once again:  Strike while the iron is hot and keep a HOT LIST!
As a matter of fact, I now keep my HOT LIST on my desk.  This is a list of the people I need to reach out to ASAP.  This takes a front seat to my data entry, my updating, and my documentation searches.  Each day I start with a look at my HOT LIST to do as many of those as I can first thing at a reasonable hour.  I am an early morning person and I have to keep reminding myself that NO ONE wants to talk to me at 2 am!
I keep this HOT LIST because sadly I have missed WAY too many opportunities to speak with folks by waiting a bit too long.  
A very unfortunate example of this is that recently I decided to write to a newly found relative explaining who I was, how we related, what I was seeking, etc.  I thought it would be better than a phone call.  I sent the letter, waited a week for it to arrive and be read.  Before I could call, I read this relative’s obituary in the paper.  I was SO sad.  
I followed up with his widow and was told, literally while she cried on the phone, what a difference it would have made to my relation had he known ‘family’ was out there and wanting to connect with him.  
While certainly my loss of family history is by no means equal to his widow’s loss, I nonetheless mourned the lost opportunity.  Now lost forever!  
Other examples include individuals who have fallen ill or moved from my last contact address/telephone/email.
I now call first!  If they don’t want to talk I offer the follow-up letter or email.  I no longer do it in reverse.  
So Go Out There Today and Get It While It’s Hot ….. 
Onward To Our Past,
Scott

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