Successful people aren’t busy (episode 41)

Successful business owners are assumed to be busy. They hear ďI know you are very very busyĒ all the time.

Successful people arenít busy.

Itís great that people respect their time but successful people are not busy. They just say no a lot. They prioritize what they spend their time doing. They donít do things that donít bring them closer to their goals. They arenít reactionary. They are always on offense.

Successful people understand that time is the #1 asset in life. Itís way more valuable than money or property. Itís the only thing they will never get back.

The most successful business owners are good at deciding how to spend their money and they are even better at deciding how to spend their time.

Are you on offense or defense in this game of life?

The defensive minded person is reactionary. Someone else has the ball and they are making the decisions. Someone else determines if it is a pass play or a run play. Something outside of my control dictates my actions, my schedule and my life.

The defensive minded person simply waits for things to happen and then tries their best to make the most of the situation. They are exhausted. Always busy but never getting much of anything important done. Pulled in a thousand directions.

Defensive people get a pass because they were going non-stop all week. They were stressed out moving quickly from one fire to another fire. Spending time on the important and the urgent stuff. Never taking a break to have some personal time. Always exhausted.

No points for playing defense.

Points for working on the hard stuff. Points for saying no. Points for taking control of your time.

No points for playing defense.

Playing defense is a safe place. Being busy is easy. Most people find security in being told what to do. No hard decisions. No forward thinking. Just live in the moment and react to what is in front of you.

Play offense instead.

Work on the stuff that matters. The important stuff that isnít yet urgent. Solve problems way before they become raging forest fires. Make the one decisions that cuts out 100 future decisions. Say no to people or things who try to dictate your life and put you in a reactionary state. Spend some time each day forward thinking and planning.

Thats how you play offense.

Lets go a little deeper and give you something actionable. Next time you have a decision in front of you realize there are only two possible answers:

HELL YES or no.

There is no maybe. There is no yes. There is no okay. There is no I guess. You are either eager and excited to do it because itís important or the answer is no.

I get it. We all get ahead in life, especially early in our careers, by saying yes to everything. Yes Iíll take on that project. Yes Iíll spend some time on that possible opportunity. Yes Iíll join that club. Iíll do it. Yes yes yes.

But as we all know this spirals out of control. Before we know it we are playing defense. Events every night of the week. Activities all weekend every weekend. Obligations at work that arenít important to us and our advancement but somebody has to do them. Putting out fires because we ignore the small problems until they become big.

Step one is to lay out your 5 year plan.

When you have this plan in place you will begin to use it as a reference and framework for every decision you make in life.

When a decision presents itself ask the following question:

Will saying yes to this help me take a step closer to achieving my career or relationship goals?

If the answer is ďHELL YESĒ then you say yes and you do the thing.

If the answer is no you politely decline the invitation. If the answer is maybe you politely decline the invitation. If its a guilty or emotional yes you politely decline the invitation. If there is pressure to make a quick decision the answer is no.

NOTE: Iím not asking you to be selfish. Iím not asking you not to help others. Helping other people and developing meaningful relationships should be a part of achieving your goals. But donít let others take advantage of you. Donít let other people disrespect your time. Saying no more often will actually allow you to do WAY MORE important work helping others and making a difference. Be selective with your time here.

Make time every week to work on things that will free up time in the future. Spend an hour making a decision now that will save you an hour a week for the next year. Make time for training the new employee so that new employee can save you 2 hours a day every day indefinitely.

Its all about shifting from spending your time on things out of your control to spending time on things in your control. To calling the shots when it comes to your own actions. From playing defense to playing offense.

The most successful business owners are good at deciding how to spend their money and they are even better at deciding how to spend their time.

A personal note:

Many people think I am very busy. I manage a lot at work. I race my bicycle and spend hours each week training. I release two podcast episodes a week and write a few thousand words a day. I brew beer and fish. I play guitar along with countless other hobbies. I read a lot. I spend a lot time with my family and socializing with my close friends.

Iím not busy. If a close friend comes to town I can clear several days with absolutely no stress. I can make time for a new opportunity in a heart beat. I can get obsessed with a new hobby for a few days or weeks without falling behind in any way.

I say no a lot. I donít watch TV or movies (unless it coincides with quality time with family/close friends). I donít schedule meetings. I say no to my family and friends when it comes to activities that I donít believe are in the 80/20. I respectfully voice my frustrations when I feel someone isnít respecting my time.

I focus on working on what Iím best at so I can be efficient and get a lot done in a short amount of time. I donít nitpick and reread and reread. Iím not a perfectionist. I work really hard on my communication skills so I can successfully delegate and lead others.

I try to spend my time playing offense.

Are you on offense or defense in this game of life?

The defensive minded person is reactionary. Someone else has the ball and they are making the decisions. Someone else determines if it is a pass play or a run play. Something outside of my control dictates my actions, my schedule and my life.

The defensive minded person simply waits for things to happen and then tries their best to make the most of the situation. They are exhausted. Always busy but never getting much of anything important done. Pulled in a thousand directions.

Defensive people get a pass because they were going non-stop all week. They were stressed out moving quickly from one fire to another fire. Spending time on the important and the urgent stuff. Never taking a break to have some personal time. Always exhausted.

No points for playing defense.

Points for working on the hard stuff. Points for saying no. Points for taking control of your time.

No points for playing defense.

Playing defense is a safe place. Being busy is easy. Most people find security in being told what to do. No hard decisions. No forward thinking. Just live in the moment and react to what is in front of you.

Play offense instead.

Work on the stuff that matters. The important stuff that isn’t yet urgent. Solve problems way before they become raging forest fires. Make the one decisions that cuts out 100 future decisions. Say no to people or things who try to dictate your life and put you in a reactionary state. Spend some time each day forward thinking and planning.

Thats how you play offense.

Lets go a little deeper and give you something actionable. Next time you have a decision in front of you realize there are only two possible answers:

HELL YES or no.

There is no maybe. There is no yes. There is no okay. There is no I guess. You are either eager and excited to do it because it’s important or the answer is no.

I get it. We all get ahead in life, especially early in our careers, by saying yes to everything. Yes I’ll take on that project. Yes I’ll spend some time on that possible opportunity. Yes I’ll join that club. I’ll do it. Yes yes yes.

But as we all know this spirals out of control. Before we know it we are playing defense. Events every night of the week. Activities all weekend every weekend. Obligations at work that aren’t important to us and our advancement but somebody has to do them. Putting out fires because we ignore the small problems until they become big.

Step one is to lay out your 5 year plan.

When you have this plan in place you will begin to use it as a reference and framework for every decision you make in life.

When a decision presents itself ask the following question:

Will saying yes to this help me take a step closer to achieving my career or relationship goals?

If the answer is “HELL YES” then you say yes and you do the thing.

If the answer is no you politely decline the invitation. If the answer is maybe you politely decline the invitation. If its a guilty or emotional yes you politely decline the invitation. If there is pressure to make a quick decision the answer is no.

NOTE: I’m not asking you to be selfish. I’m not asking you not to help others. Helping other people and developing meaningful relationships should be a part of achieving your goals. But don’t let others take advantage of you. Don’t let other people disrespect your time. Saying no more often will actually allow you to do WAY MORE important work helping others and making a difference. Be selective with your time here.

Make time every week to work on things that will free up time in the future. Spend an hour making a decision now that will save you an hour a week for the next year. Make time for training the new employee so that new employee can save you 2 hours a day every day indefinitely.

Its all about shifting from spending your time on things out of your control to spending time on things in your control. To calling the shots when it comes to your own actions. From playing defense to playing offense.

The most successful business owners are good at deciding how to spend their money and they are even better at deciding how to spend their time.

A personal note:

Many people think I am very busy. I manage a lot at work. I race my bicycle and spend hours each week training. I release two podcast episodes a week and write a few thousand words a day. I brew beer and fish. I play guitar along with countless other hobbies. I read a lot. I spend a lot time with my family and socializing with my close friends.

I’m not busy. If a close friend comes to town I can clear several days with absolutely no stress. I can make time for a new opportunity in a heart beat. I can get obsessed with a new hobby for a few days or weeks without falling behind in any way.

I say no a lot. I don’t watch TV or movies (unless it coincides with quality time with family/close friends). I don’t schedule meetings. I say no to my family and friends when it comes to activities that I don’t believe are in the 80/20. I respectfully voice my frustrations when I feel someone isn’t respecting my time.

I focus on working on what I’m best at so I can be efficient and get a lot done in a short amount of time. I don’t nitpick and reread and reread. I’m not a perfectionist. I work really hard on my communication skills so I can successfully delegate and lead others.

I try to spend my time playing offense.

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship. 

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