Entrepreneur’s Trap: The Too Too Busy Error!
It’s about time I blogged on this – the fact that when you ask any entrepreneur, startup founder, C-level exec “how you doing?” the answer is usually the same! Busy! Crazy busy! Too too busy! Not enough hours in the day type of answer…and there’s the rub! Are you – are we – all too too busy?
Here’s what I’d like you to think about….being an entrepreneur is about the best/coolest/finest thing that could ever happen to a human being in my world. The creation of a new idea….the nurturing of same….the building of the basic framework of your company…the search for advisors and mentors and counsel from same…the first MVP (minimum viable product) for the marketplace…the customer validation and initial wedge into their consciousness…and then the pivots that come from all of these items. It takes time. It takes focus…and perhaps most importantly, it eats up your life.
Things to ponder on this startup life….are basic….and there’s a way I’d like you to consider same too…begin, with your own life right now. Are you busy or do you feel busy? Calls, appointments, meetings, strategy sessions, opportunities that knock daily, an INBOX that seems to fill up on it’s own, a list of channel whitepapers you need to review, a conference you need to produce a Powerpoint for…you know the drill. You suffering from any/some/all of these too? Then consider….you may be just too busy for the success of your startup…huh?
Here’s what I mean. Busy is good – at least it’s better than the alternative of being “un-busy” which means you’ve nothing to build to develop or nurture to success. Being busy is a state of mind, I’d say that is a particular “state of being” for entrepreneur’s who expect to be successful…right?
Sigh….survey says – yeah, you knew this was coming eh? – that this point of view may not be so correct…here’s a look at contrary opinions on this…
First, from a great VC blogger, Brad Feld….who admits that yup, he is busy, but as he says in this piece here “…by always being tired and overworked, we get to claim that we are “productive” even if the things we are doing are pointless. We get to prove our worth by being able to declare how busy we are. But, in a lot of cases we aren’t really doing much…” and a full read of his post points out just that thought too!
In Brad’s piece….he makes an early reference to a piece that I too got via my NYTimes feed on my Playbook (say, that sounds a bit ‘busy’ eh!) from a column by Tim Kreider, a NYTimes columnist entitled “The ‘Busy’ Trap” you can find here. It’s the piece of just yesterday that I read (well glossed over ’cause yup, I was ‘busy’) and thought that it presented some interesting premises on being busy…and what that can mean. Tim makes the point that just about everyone he knows is busy and this point resonated particularily well with me –
“More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter…”
If you’re not a parent, you may not be familar with the Scarry line of kids books…but they are SO on point when used as an item to drive home Tim’s rationale on being busy. Do click that link….this piece is well worth the time to do the contemplation of being busy….and his last phrase of “life is too short to be busy…” about says it all for Tim.
Being an entrepreneur means, least in my world, that you’re aware of much of the online resources for same – so the last piece I wante to point you at in considering if you suffer from the “too too busy” syndrome, is over at the Kauffman site here….and it quite clearly shows that in a recent survey of entrepreneurs blog piece entitled “the Anatomy of an Entrepreneur” that it makes some very pertinent points on what their survey revealed with respect to motivations on the “being” of an entrepreneur…and yup, busy was a part of same….and you need to look at that survey too, to see how more than 500 other entrepreneurs looked at same.
Me? Busy…the running of my own long term successful SEO firm, coupled with my startup work for our #HamOnt Innovation Factory, the fitting in of my own startups and investments in same and now our top ten finalist as Snappay in the Hamilton Lion’s Lair competition for up to $100,000 in cash and prizes….means yup, I’m busy. But I love it….to me, there is no “trap” in being busy….as long as you can focus on the needed tasks at hand and juggle all those balls-in-the-air at the same time.
Being busy…I love it…you?