Entrepreneurs take risks. Good entrepreneurs take the right risks and reap rewards. Some of these rewards include monetary success, freedom, satisfaction, meaning, purpose and a bunch of other highly individual aspects that come from reaching one’s goal. However, not all is rosy for any entrepreneur. Taking risks has costs. Families may not be as supportive. Friends can frustrate through cajoling and competitiveness. Even the entrepreneur can get deflated with their own internal voice that chides in the middle of the night, “When are you going to settle down and get a REAL job?”
If you’re an entrepreneur and can relate to any of this, you might be wondering if it’s possible to decrease the costs of risk-taking while increasing the benefits. It IS…and the secret lies in HOW you take the risk.
First, and something I see with A LOT of entrepreneurs, is the ENORMOUS amount of TIME that’s put into busy work. STOP. I understand that taking risks as an entrepreneur can be scary. It feels worse when people around you don’t understand and can’t offer support (which is critical and essential for anyone to succeed). Busy work makes it worse and increases the costs of risk-taking. To avoid this, you’ll have to understand why people engage in costly busy work.
Typically, when people feel any form of anxiety, they try to decrease the anxiety with some kind of action. Often, it’s just plain busy work that’s not really effectively productive. Rather, it’s an anxiety release that just feels productive. It’s actually not too far off from obsessive-compulsive disorder (as displayed in the show, Monk)…one feels anxiety about something like, say, germs on their hands, so they “obsess” about the germs and then “compulsively” wash their hands repeatedly to relieve the anxiety about the germs. Not that dissimilarly, an entrepreneur can fear lack of money or success from the risk-taking nature of their entrepreneurial pursuits…and then obsesses about it…and then compulsively engage in busy work to relieve the fear/anxiety.
Examples of these anxiety-relievers (busy work) include:
• Spending way too much time writing volumes and volumes of a business plan instead of getting in front of faces of investors
• Spending a lot of time making calls to unqualified leads
• Wasting more time than necessary on elaborate filing systems, detailed databases, and other minutiae (remember, the devil is in the details)
• Talking to the same people over and over again instead of meeting new people and making new leads
• Cleaning, filing, procrastinating, and other time-consuming activities that are not resulting in sales
Here’s the secret—and it’s a paradox—when you work EFFICIENTLY, you actually INCREASE your FREE TIME. Having more of that allows you to spend your time with loved ones and nurture relationships so that those relationships can then provide you with the necessary support to keep you going. It’s that simple—prioritize your time and use it efficiently and wisely. If you’re still having difficulty with fear and busy-work or you’re not getting the critical support you need, feel free to contact me for a little coaching and we’ll work on a plan of action that fits your specific needs and situation.