An Intervention: Are You Too Busy to Be Successful?

Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy… bankrupt.

That’s the depressing downward spiral I see way too often in the Internet marketing space.

Especially in 2012, when running an online business can include any (or some would argue ALL) of the following…

  • Blogging
  • Guest blogging
  • Filming videos
  • Writing sales copy
  • Writing to your list
  • Managing your traffic
  • Building your funnel
  • Forum posting
  • Maintaining your fanpage
  • Keeping up with Twitter

Sadly, that list doesn’t even include helpful money-generating activities like creating products, or setting up payment options.

If right now, you’re trying to do everything above yourself… If you’re chasing your tail, and not really getting anywhere…

Then you’ll want to hear what I have to say in today’s post…

Being Busy Is NOT a Business Strategy

Being busy every once in a while is fine. All of us go through certain times (like product launches) that can get a little hectic.

But when busyness becomes a way of life, when we’re permanently busy, when we are rushing from one thing to the next, with little to no downtime…

There’s a very real problem.

It’s a problem because when we are deep inside the vortex of our businesses, our busyness can look very impressive.

It’s easy to mistake our busyness with purpose, focus, and drive.

Suddenly, we confuse busyness with being productive. But permanent busyness is never as productive as it feels or looks. In fact, busyness has zero implicit value in itself…

You see, if you are always busy, you end up in cycle of doing, doing, doing, with little results at the end of the day.

Usually one of the first things to go is your ability to discriminate between things you really need to do, and things that don’t necessarily need to get done at all.

Next, you start confusing busyness with success, and effort with effectiveness.

Are You Busy with the WRONG Things?

So, let me ask you another question to really think about…

Are you confusing being busy with importance… are you busy on the truly important pieces of your life?

When everything that makes life worthwhile – friends, family, hobbies, enjoyment, fun, travel, learning, and making a difference has been swallowed up by the demands of growing our businesses…

The dream of owning your own business quickly becomes the nightmare of a life sacrificed on the wrong things for the wrong reasons.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying… “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Sadly the sentence could be changed for entrepreneurs, “Life is what passes you by when you are busy in your business”

So I want to challenge you today to think about what it is that really matters in your business… in your personal life.

Make a list of these tasks in your journal. Then go through your list and cut out what you can live without. Force yourself to focus on only the handful of tasks that really matter.

But before you do that, here are a couple questions to consider…

1. Does this post apply to where you are in your business right now?
2. Do you feel like you know what’s important in your business?
3. Do you feel like there’s never enough time to do everything?

Let me know in the comments and I’ll address this in my next post.

44 thoughts on “An Intervention: Are You Too Busy to Be Successful?”

  1. This is definitely one of my biggest frustrations and challenges in my business. Recently, I’ve realized that some of my most prevalent and frustrating time-sucks are those related to working with less-than-ideal (high-maintenance) clients. I’d love to get some advice on how to better manage this issue.

  2. Hi Rich. 

    Excellent post.  I recently read your Internet Business Manifesto and this is a good follow up.  I’ve took your advice totally and cut the pointless tasks from my internet marketing and most importantly my LIFE.

    I’m feeling much lighter these days, my head is very clear.  I could get bogged down with the most unimportant crap – BUT NOT ANYMORE 🙂 

    The ‘lightness’ has helped me in other parts of my like too and it feels amazing.

    I shared your manifesto with my growing subscriber base and hopefully it will rub off on them.

    A big thanks


  3. It’s all about time management 🙂 I often cluster things together like listening to an audio book whilst cycling or running or listening to a webinar whilst uploading stuff. Being hyperactive works in my favour because I have lots of things on the go at once and love it this way.

    Natasha J Gordon

    • I definitely  feel like not having enough time! But I know that I need to improve my productivity and plan my tasks better…
      I think that really is the number one problem when you get started online: you just get overwhelmed, don’t know what to do and when and feel frustrated because you don’t get results.

      There are so many things online to distract you that it’s not always easy to stay focused.

      But like most things in life you can learn to manage your priorities and improve! 

      So double yes: this post apply to where I am in my business right now and I feel like there’s never enough time to do everything !

      Thanx for the list exercice 😉

  4. MOST of the above stems from the hopelessly outdated axiom “NEVER mix business with pleasure” – which, in an era of free, live video, and spectacular commissions from referring someone elses product or system, is just DEAD WRONG – until and unless you ARE mixing business with EXTREME pleasure, you are just another hamster-wheeler, suffering behind the Blood-Brain-Barrier (un-leveraged grunt work)

  5.  If you allow me, I’m here for 2 years and awithout realizing the implications of the return, of course,you all righteousness in everything you say, explainbut in my situation and me ashamed to explainfor they do not know English, do not know these systemshow it works, I understand, it takes a numberpreceding program, which I can not handleDear Rich S. only here someone help meGod bless him, and as YourPlease excuse me, with all respectfulJohn pongrat – Romania

  6. Hi Rich, I’ve always follow your work. I know someday you’ll coach me too. Thanks for the above written advice, you are always timely.

  7. I’m busy as hell doing things that dont generate me results…Such as blogging and video marketing,I dont know what Im.doing wrong and I know there is a better way to promote my affiliate offer.Im looking forward to your webinar see how I can turn this around…

    • You might benefit from another post I wrote a while back: It’s about figuring out the least necessary to be successful. Hope it’s helpful.

  8. I find My biggest distraction Is building a list, driving traffic and having a funnel that doesn’t have the correct building blocks to making everything run on virtual autopilot the whole thing makes me work to hard!

  9. I’m just starting by trying getting a short story on to the Kindle sight. The thing that is bugging me is that there is so much information coming at me which I don’t think I’m ready for, yet I feel I should take advantage of, webinars etc.  Now I don’t even have time to write my second story because of technology. I actually think I’m worse off then ever.

    Greta Stueckle

    • When my own clients are finding it difficult to move forward because they have so much information at their disposal, I tell them to focus on the bare minimum necessary they need to succeed. You can read more about this in my post below:

  10. I had a task list that was 8 pages long. It scared me so much I stopped looking at it.

    Lately I’ve been making new lists every time I think I need one (so things don’t drop through the cracks). The lists are for the week and they have 3-5 really important things on them. However, I STILL need help identifying the money making tasks.

  11. I know one of my biggest problems has been that it’s hard to figure out where the money-making is in my line of work – so I spend so much time and money trying to figure it out, stay ahead of the curve, and provide income as possible – and find myself wondering where all the effort has gone. 

    •  Wow.  Exactly.  I have multiple talents; unfortunately, I don’t focus on going down one road and “selling” that talent because I’ve tried several (for a long time)  and actually committed to it (for a long time) and yet the results aren’t there.  So it’s a never-ending cycle of spending time looking for something that works.  Approaching 50, it’s harder to know what to “try.”   That in itself takes up most of my energy and time.

  12. Excellent insights. I actually found it necessary to change out my business model when my mother became extremely ill a few years ago. I became one of her primary caretakers. For two years she was my priority but I also needed to stay up on my business and personal commitments. Amazingly, by reorganizing and doing a lot more outsourcing I was able to take a lot of time off and my revenues grew.

    When the need is there, we do find a way.

  13. It is a great post. This post does not just relate to our business, it talks about the many issue of human being focusing on staff that is not important in life, therefore slowly down life important affair.  But maybe you might want to give us more insights as to what path to take will dramatically sharpen our online business path without the usual hassle.

  14. Thank you for this thinking. Getting busy is okay but busyness can you get you on an impressive mode and finally you end up is despair. it is advisable some time of the day to get quite and review your busy life. 

    • When I started my first online business, yes I did work long hours. And I did have to figure out how to balance my work and personal life. If you’ve never seen it, you can hear my full story in our webinar:

  15. Hi Rich,

    1. Yes.
    2. If I knew what my goal was and what I needed to do to get there then there is nothing stopping me from achieving it. If I know what my goal is then my problem lies with knowing what to do to get me there. This I believe is what leads to the busyness. Not knowing exactly what tasks you need to be doing to get you to where you want to go. So you end up doing a lot of things in an attempt to find something that will highlight the road ahead and give you some clue as to the general direction, rather than wildly slashing away at the branches all around you.
    3. Yes. Even though I am gradually getting more productive, I still feel that I could and need to get more done each day. My problem seems to be getting myself focused enough to get the work done in the first place and then the transition period when one task is completed and then moving on to the next one, I seem to struggle, lose focus and waste time getting started on the next task.

    Thanks for the post. I’m interested to see where you will go next.



  16. The cover of your Internet Business Manifesto is always in mymind since I am following your blog and videos. How can you choose the important steps if you have no knowledge about the other nice colored shapes? How do I know what I am best at if I never tried it? Have you a list about must learn-must know – must do topics? I am sure you cover these questions in your programs.

  17. I feel like my focus is split w/multiple areas of my business that need my attention.  I like when I can see the return on my time investment…things like twitter, etc. I have a hard time seeing how that improves my business rather than just giving me one more thing to make me busy.

    • I think all business owners feel that way. I would suggest keeping close track of where your customers are coming from. Look at your numbers. Are a significant number of them coming from Twitter? From somewhere else? Find out where that place is and focus on it. 

  18. This post describes me embarassingly well. I spend too much time trying to figure out why what I have done hasn’t worked the way it was supposed to. I have outsourced social media and some other tasks, but I still identify too much with a bumper sticker I picked up recently: “Too much to do . . . and not enough people to do it for me!”

  19. That which makes one tired and stressed at the end of the day is not what you did during the day,but what you left undone. Finish the day with an empty desk. To do this one must prioritize. Don’t clutter the desk with trivial work or delegate.

  20. Yes. But with so many options in internet marketing,and seemingly no one source to turn to to know what’s out there, it’s hard to know what to reliably invest time, effort, and resources into.

    Jay G., Clovis,

  21. I`ve gotten no help,,,You took my money,,,,& now all I get is more ways for you to take more money & I have to sit here for 20,30 minutes or more & listen to how much money YOU HAVE,,,,,I`am BORED,,,,WASTED MY $$$$$$$ ON YOUR PLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Hey  Rich!

    Thank You for letter. Now I am busy with changing my computer where there was found 33 scams have been deleted.. I have to learn a lot about securities and etiketts by the internet.
    Have a Merry Christmas around your Family and a Happy New Year!
    Thank You very much being contacted with You! I am going to see you by YouTube.
     Greetings: Irén


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