Are you too busy to grow?
I had just delivered a keynote address on the subject of business growth and expansion when a young woman approached me with an enthusiastic response to my remarks.
I asked her how her business was going and she said “it’s great.”
Then she added: “It is so good that I am busy, busy, busy all the time. I’d love to do some of the things you are suggesting, but I just don’t have time right now.”
I’d heard variations of that response over and over again in my work with entrepreneurs.
Being busy is equated with success. The longer the task list, apparently, the higher the profits.
But it doesn’t work that way.
If you allow yourself to become so busy that you have no time to take the steps essential to grow your business, you will never get it to the level of success that it could be.
Busyness is a cultural icon
It is normal and natural for most of us to link being busy with doing good, because we are trained to think that way from the time we are youngsters and our parents send us out to “find something to do.”
Like the animals of the forest, we believe that we must constantly be in motion to be good. It is an instinct we all share, honed from our earlier years on this planet and extolled as a virtue until our last breaths of old age.
Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard back in 1843 explained the cult of being busy in his amazing book Either/Or: A Fragment of Life (https://www.amazon.com/Either-Fragment-Life-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140445773).
“There are people who have an extraordinary talent for transforming everything into a business operation, whose whole life is a business operation, who fall in love and are married, hear a joke, and admire a work of art with the same
businesslike zeal with which they work at the office,” he explained.
He suggested that most people believe that it is man’s destiny to work and their primary motivation is to avoid
He defined our strategy of being busy as a kind of mental crop rotation in which we believe we must constantly change the soil if we are to grow more.
Growth from limitations
In actual fact, he suggested, the opposite is true.
“The more a person limits himself, the more resourceful he becomes.”
In other words, when we have the luxury of a few empty hours, it is then when our brains start to wonder if we could do this or that, and from those ideas can come the real growth potential for our businesses.
It is extremely challenging based on our culture and our lifestyle to force ourselves to occasionally abandon our task lists that create our climate of busyness, and stop to consider all our options.
We can only do it if we dare walk away for an hour and take a nearby nature trail or sit in a city park. We can schedule our own development days and go hear or see a new program that challenges us to think differently about how we can grow.
By limiting our agenda every so often, we make room for the contemplation that is needed to spur our growth.
How can you make this idea a reality?
Pick up or call up your agenda right now for next month. Try to find just one day that does not have a scheduled meeting or when you have to travel or produce a project on deadline.
Now block out that day. It is not a day off: it is a day on.
It is a time when you will allow yourself to consider what else will grow in the fields you have planted. What will fill your blank pages, or raise you up the growth ladder?
You can read, you can plan, you can create charts, you can muse or drink a salt-rimmed margarita in the sunshine. What you can’t do is do more regular tasks that day.
As ideas pop into your head by day’s end, capture them and consider them.
By breaking with your pattern of busyness, you will find you suddenly have the space and time to grow.
Paula Morand, CSP is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and bold impact. 23 years, 25,000 clients, 19 countries, 11 books, former radio personality, 10x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
To check out Paula’s newest book, “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
Speaking inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-888-502-6317.