Is our problem finding the time? Or, finally, take action?
I told you about my laptop trials and tribulations in the last post. Update: it took sixteen days to be reconnected to the Borg finally. Thank you to all of you who wrote in or called me with your thoughts and words of advice. I sent a ‘lovely’ letter to the president of the Dell operations.
I hope you all took a serious look at your processes to make sure you have super easy ways to deal with situations where ANYTHING errant shows up. Please remember. Business IS personal. Your customers DO notice. And your reputation depends on it.
Finding the Time
I had an epiphany during a conversation with an old friend last week. You see, we were talking about him tackling something I had suggested (ages ago) that he do to grow his business. It was not a challenging, onerous or even time-consuming task.
But what he said to me was pretty illuminating. “Char, I love the idea. But first, I have to find the time.”
I share this because we ALL, including me, use this refrain so many different times for so many other things, don’t we? First, we have to find the time.
Apparently, our lives have become so busy, so hectic and filled with so much DefCon 1 activity that finding the time is our new priority. Once upon a time, we were all quite good at finding free blocks of time. But alas, those days are gone.
Life is so complicated; it is nearly impossible to reshuffle activities and priorities to make room for solutions to the challenges that keep us up at night. (You know the ones I mean. Gnawing questions like Why can’t I grow my business any bigger? How can I move past this level? Why does everything I do seem to keep it plateaued?)
This, Of Course, Is Nothing More Than Self-Deception
Unless we’re working 16 hours a day, seven days a week, then there’s something else we’re filling our time with. “I can’t find the time for…” really means “It’s not as big a priority for me as…”. And if watching TV, playing on the computer, going out with friends, relaxing with a good book is more important than fixing that big business problem, then that’s OK. If improving the business skills you’re already good at is what you’d rather do, that’s OK.
But Let’s Be Honest About It. The Same Goes For Me Too
I lost my laptop for fifteen days. During that time, I re-wrote and mapped out the next two years’ plans at a granular level I had not done in about ten years. I am now so highly focused, nothing will get in my way.
Plus, I finally put the tops and tails on a suite of programs that solve the problem that keeps so many awake at night (why can’t I grow anymore? why is my business stuck?)
It did come with a cost. I shelved everything and unplugged from stuff I thought was important. What I discovered was living without it did not prove fatal, and I even found time for a whole host of other way more important things. I took a hit financially to get the stuff done at breakneck speed.
I knew this was the future of my business — so I prioritized it.
No More Lame Excuses
As I now sit on the upside of the finding time issue with about 90% of the stuff done, I have resolved never to use the excuse of finding the time again, personally. I can readily admit I was merely prioritizing other less essential things.
And I am now firmly on the road to exactly where I have always wanted to go.
Listen, far too many of my friends and colleagues have had much worse things happen to them than just a laptop give up the ghost on them. Life will always throw us major curve balls, and then we HAVE to find the time.
To single-handedly manage a terrible illness, address a death, deal with an addiction, or cut out the remains of a bad decision AND carry on with a business. Now, THAT takes a ton of courage, nerves of steel and a small army of help simply to power thru let alone rearrange priorities.
So not having a functioning laptop for a couple of weeks amounts to nothing significant. Getting rid of many time wasters, putting off a few quoting jobs for a while, and saying hold tight to a few projects on the go. Nothing that can’t be easily unwound later.
And the friend I was talking about earlier?
Well, I gave him a million-dollar idea –perfectly in line with his business. All he had to do was implement it. Funny thing, though. He is stuck on the ‘finding the time’ thing.
Between you and me, I fear he will NEVER find the time because he will NEVER make it a priority. So his business will be plateaued forever.
And What About You?
Are you still lying awake at night, fretting about why you’re stuck and can’t grow anymore? And in the morning, you still can’t seem to do what you need to do to find the time to try something different?
If you really, really want to change that mindset, I have a suggestion. Call me.
Because I DO understand. If I can’t help you, I promise I will tell you. And if I CAN help you, wouldn’t it be nice to know how easy it can be to actually find the time and move things along and not have the “Find The Time” albatross hanging around your neck?
May I help you find the time?