“Busy” Is Not a Badge of Honor, It’s What’s Killing Your Dreams
Want to know the #1 thing people that have no idea what they are doing say when people ask them how they are doing?
“Oh, you know, I’m just so busy right now.”
Besides making money, newbies to the game of entrepreneurship usually have one goal: Don’t get exposed. Do all that you can to make sure no one finds out you have no idea what you’re doing. That is why newbies spend a ton of time watching videos, reading, and trying to absorb as much about the game as they can. It’s why they spend a ton of time talking about what they’ll do and not actually doing. It’s the “fake it till you make it” mentality, and while it’s not the work that’s going to build their business, it can give you the confidence you need to then step it up.
But if you actually want to make it, at some point, you’ll need to update the scripts you’re reading off of. Some will go bold with their strategy to not get exposed. But some people keep it simple. They assume little things about succeeding entrepreneurs — like that being successful means you are always busy.
So when anyone asks them how they are doing, their default answer becomes, “I’m busy”.
Being “Busy” Is Not a Badge of Honor, It’s What’s Killing Your Dreams
We are so busy that the truth about our lives can’t catch up.
– Brené Brown
Stop wearing being ‘busy’ like a badge of honor
Working a 10-hour day is not the same as being “busy.” If you’re truly putting in 10-hour days, it should be because the work you’re currently doing requires you to be there for exactly ten hours.
“Busy” does not guarantee that you are making strides and growing your business.
“Busy” means you are probably doing a lot of work you shouldn’t be doing in the first place.
“Busy” means you secretly want recognition for your efforts, or for someone to commend you for your “hustle.”
“Busy” means there is a good chance you’ve let things get out of control.
The reality is this: succeeding entrepreneurs are rarely “busy.” Sure, there are seasons of their business where “busy” describes their current circumstances. But there’s a 0% chance they are sitting next to you telling you about it during those periods of time. Chances are they are some place off the grid getting things done.
Here are 4 examples of what being “busy” probably looks like in a day-to-day setting.
1. You’re spending too much time talking about what you’re doing
I’d bet the house that if you’re the person telling people that you’re “busy,” you’re also the one telling anyone that will listen about your business.
Talking wastes time you could spend working on a cornerstone of your business. Don’t be that guy seeking out opportunities to tell anyone within a mile radius how they’re creating “basically” the Uber of protein shakes for every gym in America. Let people come to you. When people ask what you do, have an appropriate answer.
If you spent four hours updating your LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram bios and cover photos last week, you aren’t “busy” — you’re irresponsible. Stop talking and start doing. Let your efforts speak for themselves.
2. You’re probably never engaged fully in one thing
Your phone is an arm’s length away at all times. When it goes off, you check it without thinking. You interrupt important business development sessions by checking Facebook and your daily blog stats on WordPress every 20 minutes.
What’s the harm? It only takes one minute to check, so it can’t be that big of a deal. Right?Wrong.
Succeeding entrepreneurs protect their most important work blocks with their life. They know that getting into a rhythm and crushing important tasks can be taken away by any number of stimuli at any given moment if they let it.
Your daily input to grow your business is one of the only things you have 100% control over. Pay homage to your most important work and don’t let distractions creep in.
3. You’re forgetting to take your time developing old and new relationships
You’re so focused on packing your schedule with menial tasks. You’re only thinking about your own image when you martyr yourself to ‘busyness.’
When you do this, chances are high that you’re neglecting the golden rule of entrepreneurship: It’s all about who you know.
Quality time with the right people nearly always gets placed on the back-burner when you’re “busy.” Why? Because interactions with other humans won’t always perfectly fit into your planner. It doesn’t immediately reflect you and your own desires. How in the world can you account for such an uncalculated, selfless block of time when you have 12 other things on your to-do list?
The ugly truth: eliminate the 9-10 things from that list that don’t matter. Remember that business doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Then go out and meet the right people, engage with old contacts, and become a person they can count on.
4. You don’t want to hear this, but eventually, you’re going to hit a breaking point
Think back to the first time you fell in love. You spent every moment you could with that person. When you weren’t together, you thought only of him or her. There’s probably only been a handful of times in your life where you’ve felt so strongly about one thing.
What did people tell you when you told them you were in love?
“Oh, it’s just puppy love. The effects will wear off.”
You probably didn’t listen when you heard it, but eventually their insights proved true. You hit a point where things changed. The once overbearing, almost gluttonous feelings you experienced turned into something a little less charged over time.
That’s what happens in a long-lasting relationship. How you express love on day one is not how you’ll express love in year five.
Your business is a long-lasting relationship. Treat it like one. Love it, but know when to shut off for the day. Yes, there is work to be done. You might get it done faster if you sleep three hours a night for the next eight months. But if it costs you your health, it won’t be worth it.
A time will come with your business where it’s no longer your first love — it simply becomes a part of who you are and what you do.
Be better than “busy”
‘Busyness’ is killing your dreams. Be intentional with your time, stop telling so many people what you’re doing, and find the right people to help you grow your business into something worth talking about.
When you stop trying to be “busy” all the time, you liberate yourself to become something much better — an effective human capable of succeeding in the game of entrepreneurship.