Yup, I said it. Who remembers their boring 9-5 job, where you slacked off and did as little as possible to get by? 2 hour lunches, coffee breaks that turned into 2 hour lunches, mornings on ESPN and Perez Hilton, shopping trips disguised as doctors appointments. I even have a friend who goes and sees movies on his lunch break.
Why The Hell Would I Do That?
Brent Beshore wrote an amazing article the other day called 8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22 and reminded us, “Being Busy Destroys our Value”. Take Brent’s advice, his company is #28 on the Inc 500 fastest growing companies…
I used to pride myself on the amount of “stuff” I’d do. I was constantly meeting with someone and working on something. I felt extremely productive. How could I not be successful when I did so much? Unfortunately when I looked back on what I’d accomplished, it amounted to very little. Although I continue to fall back into cycles of busyness, I know a key ingredient in the recipe for success: “make haste slowly.”
Ouch Brent…Last month I wrote a post with a brief humble brag that said, “People are intimidated when they hear about all the stuff I have going…” and outlined how I pull it off. I guess that’s not the point of life is it…
This Year I’m Not Doing ANYTHING
I’m so done with meetings, phone calls, emails, heading uptown, downtown, feeling like I need an assistant…. Get over yourself dude. It’s time to focus.
2012 has been a huge success. I have next to no stress, I’ve done the things I actually want to do, I’m almost done reading my 3rd book (my goal is to read 30 this year) and here’s the kicker… I’ve made 2-3x the money in the first 5 business days of this month than I did all of last month.
The More I Say No The More Successful I Become
I have drilled that quote from Eben Pagan into my head at least 200x this year. Every time a new opportunity comes up, I practice saying no. It sounds negative, it sounds pessimistic and it’s even harder when it’s someone who’s respect you want to earn or when it’s a close friend or family member. But trust me, saying no is a skill and the more you exercise it, the easier it becomes.
Wow, it feels good not to be a “yes man” anymore. And what does saying NO result in?
Saying No = Laser Focus
How did I come to this conclusion? I went to Key West for 10 days, I answered only two emails, both only to tell people where to send me money and I didn’t carry my cell phone for 90% of the trip. I thought. I read. I wrote. I relaxed, and I felt more creative and had more fun than I’ve had in years. And guess what again? I made the same amount of money as if I had worked 12-15 hour days.
WTF, Come On…
Yeah, that’s what I said. But, this isn’t magic. Our business has systems in place and it’s taken us (sadly) three years to figure this out. But these type of systems are giving us the time to experiment with other business models, launch experiments, tinker and have more fun.
No longer am I going to gauge my importance by how many emails I get. It’s not that I’m going to put in little effort, I’m just going to cut the New York power facade out of my routine and when someone says, “How have you been Matt?” I won’t ever respond with the word “busy”.
The Four Hour Work Week Is a Fraud
Okay, not a fraud, but a fallacy. We had to build these systems so we can just walk away and still make money, just like Tim Ferriss did working 100 hour weeks and burning himself out. But he learned that he could have done this way smarter, faster, cheaper, and wrote a book on it that sold millions. The point is: If you only focus on mission critical aspects of your business and do absolutely nothing else, you will never lose focus.
What’s the Bottom Line?
That’s up to you, but right now in my life my bottom line is the bottom line. I am only focusing on revenue generating activities. Is answering that email going to make you money? Is party hopping around the tech scene going to put food on your plate? Is doing “work for work sake” going to build your business any faster?
Start now. Get focused. Create your rah-rah mission statement, ultimate purpose or whatever… Mine is to master areas of my life, and teach them to others, with a very specific focus on building businesses right now. That means all I’m going to do for the next 3 months is read and learn about the subject, write, be creative, and share what I find with others while I experiment and build new businesses.
Put your mission critical tasks in your calendar, execute and spend the rest of your time thinking.
Get paid to think, not work.
Matt Wilson is the co-founder of Under30CEO and is looking to help every entrepreneur on the planet.