Over the last 20-odd years that I have had some involvement in business and entrepreneurship, I have noticed a common thread between a lot of people.
And that thread is that they are “too busy” to do something IMPORTANT that will make a real difference in their lives.
Back in my early days, they were “too busy” to start their own business as a way of improving their financial situation.
Then, moving forward, they were “too busy” to improve their skills to become highly successful in their line of business.
And now days, they seem to be “too busy” to do what’s important, rather than what’s urgent.
So, what’s the story here?
Why are people “too busy” to be successful?
For many, “too busy” is just an excuse to avoid doing something they don’t want to do.
I’m sure every single person reading this has had more than one experience where you needed a convenient excuse to get out of something, so you trotted out the “too busy” excuse.
Whether it was a social event you didn’t want to attend, or a work meeting which you KNEW was going to be boring & pointless, so you just decided to give it a miss all together.
We’ve ALL been there, done that!
Plus, in those sorts of occasions, you don’t want to offend the person asking something of you by telling them why you’re REALLY not interested, so telling them you’re “too busy” is a safe, let-them-down-gently way of avoiding conflict.
However, I’m much more interested in discussing why people use this excuse for putting off IMPORTANT decisions & actions, because at the end of the day, that’s usually the thing that holds them back from achieving the success they truly want.
For example, if you’re behind on your taxes and the tax office is getting antsy, but you’re “too busy” to take care of the matter, what’s REALLY going on in your head?
Or if your doctor tells you that you need to lose weight or you’re going to have a heart attack and die, but you put him off by telling him you are “too busy,” what’s REALLY going on in your head?
Or how about if your business is failing, due to lack of customers & sales, and you’re offered the opportunity to learn how to improve your sales skills or your marketing/advertising expertise, but you say you’re “too busy,” what’s REALLY going on in your head?
Or how about if you truly are too busy in your business doing everything, that your family time has dropped significantly and things are getting “sensitive” at home, and you’re “too busy” to do anything about it, what’s REALLY going on in your head?
So, the obvious first thing is that people avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable, nervous, tense, pressured – even hungry & tired – simply to avoid the pain they perceive it will give them.
We’ve ALL been there, I can guarantee that.
Actually, it’s a very common part of human psychology – to avoid pain.
In fact, in Freudian psychology, the pleasure principle is the instinctual seeking of pleasure and avoiding of pain in order to satisfy biological and psychological needs.
So, at least we have an idea why – psychologically – humans avoid pain.
However, when that which is causing us pain becomes too painful to avoid, only then do we start to see the value in doing what we have been avoiding, as a way of reducing or removing the pain.
So, that first heart attack (assuming you survive) can be the wake-up call you needed to get off your butt and start exercising and eating healthily.
Or, the imminent failure of your business finally kicks you in the butt enough that you decide to get some help with your limited sales & marketing skills, to take back control of your finances (and life).
Or, the prospect of your partner (as in, wife or husband) asking for a divorce because they (and the kids, if you have any) never get to spend any time with you, gives you the wake-up call you need to start delegating your excess workload to other capable employees or contractors, so you can spend some more quality time with your loved ones.
And, in fact, the last example brings up a very important point.
In business, everything can be done by someone else. You just need to find someone who can do it well enough to satisfy you.
If, like most business owners, you believe that no one can do it as well as you, you’ll find you are reluctant to share the workload with staff or external experts, and you are suddenly working 60 – 80 – even 100 hours a week, which is CRAZY!
That’s a short path to a heart attack or nervous breakdown.
Remember: all work and no play definitely makes Johnnie a very unhappy boy (or Jenny a very unhappy girl)!
Yet, LOTS of business owners fall into this trap, simply because they feel other people will never do the job to their high standards and/or because they feel they can’t afford it financially to get others to do the work for them.
I can GUARANTEE you that if you can earn enough extra money in your business, you can afford to hire people who will do the job to your standard or even better!
So, really it just requires a willingness to accept that the solution is actually in YOUR hands.
While money can’t fix everything that goes wrong in a business, it sure as hell can fix a LOT of things.
You – as the business owner/entrepreneur – need to take control of your circumstances and figure out how to significantly increase your income.
If you’re too busy to get healthy, or learn how to sell/market like a pro or spend more quality time with your family, then that’s a CHOICE you have made, simply to avoid what you see as the pain of fixing the situation.
Instead, if you push through the discomfort and do what really needs to be done, you’ll end up much happier, healthier and more content in life (and your family will love you even more for it).
The best news of all is that it IS possible to significantly increase your business’ income without requiring excessive amounts of time commitment.
Marketing can be put on semi-autopilot (Google AdWords is an excellent option here), sales people can be hired to deal with the new leads being generated, operations managers can be put in charge of things to ensure they run smoothly with minimal time input from you, and so on.
All it really requires is the willingness to get more efficient & effective at earning money in your business.
Trust me, no matter how good you are at something, you CAN hire someone who is better at it than you, who LOVES doing that thing and can do it all for you. You just need to be able to afford to pay their salary or fees.
Heck, even a part time Personal Assistant (for $20-$30 a hour) could make a HUGE difference in your life, freeing up your time to do more important, higher paying work that you are currently doing.
He or she isn’t going to break the bank *IF* you use them where they are most effective and productive.
Remember, the goal is to free up your time to focus on higher paying work (instead of focussing on $10/hr or $100/hr work, start focussing on $1000/hr work) AND/OR to give you back precious hours you might need to get healthy, spend time with your family or even just enjoy life again.
Remember people, you can’t take it to the grave with you (well, the Egyptian Pharaohs did, but that’s a different story), so learn to do what’s IMPORTANT way before you do what’s URGENT!
In order to be successful (whatever you define that to be), you WILL need to make some changes, to re-arrange some priorities, to do things that you are not comfortable with, but I promise you that if it’s TRULY worth having, it’s worth going through some discomfort until eventually it becomes easy to handle and you reach your goals.
The most important thing to do RIGHT NOW is…
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