Being Busy vs. Being Productive

It’s easy to find busy people. They’re everywhere. But busy people aren’t always productive people. Identifying the key differences between being busy vs. being productive was one of the turning points for me as a young entrepreneur.

ibm_pc_5150Back then,  I’d just wrapped up my first year with Herbalife, and made about $350K. So I thought I was a superstar. I rented an office in Tampa and another in West Hollywood. I spent a fortune on things like printing flyers, putting together presentation kits, setting up my shelves with product (inventory) and of course, computers. I had a big, clunky IBM 5150 in each office.

So that meant about 3-4 hours a day, learning how to create databases to store my prospects’ information and a couple years later, it also meant spending about 2-3 hours a day on the new Prodigy online service (the second largest Internet Service Provider back then), ostensibly “prospecting”.

I remember one afternoon, the late Mr. Jim Rohn walked into my office with Larry Thompson and my good friend John Peterson. I was all puffed up with pride… “Wait till they see this digs!”

That afternoon, as John and I had lunch with Jim Rohn, Jim looked me right in the eye and said, “So you seem to have a lot of busy work going on, but not a whole lot of doing business. Tell me what of the things you did today actually made you money.”

He was right. Sure, I had ads running, and never had less than five new guests each week at our Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday opportunity meetings. And yeah, I had a nice monthly income that rivaled my older friends’ who had been with companies for twenty years in the traditional marketplace. But my growth was really just a fraction over my attrition rate. And in that year, my income only grew by $75K, when it could have doubled.

Three months later, I closed the offices, and moved them home. I still had one of the IBM 5150s, until Apple’s SE II came out, but my prospects’ info went onto index cards, and I didn’t prospect online until 9 PM each night.  I made a commitment that the next 90-days were going to be spent being more productive.

And honestly, I failed at that task for almost six months. I kept fooling myself into thinking I was being busy, but it was all busywork. Until one day, I watched a young kid come into the hotel room for our Tuesday night opportunity meeting with 25 guests. Suddenly my record of 8, which only happened maybe twice, was pulled into sharp perspective. I was settling for mediocrity.

The following week, I had ten guests, and then the week after that, I had 18, and from there on, I was working my business every day from 10 AM until 6 PM, stopping for dinner and then either meeting with people at a coffee shop or opportunity meeting, depending on the day of the week… Six days a week.

I got the attention of Larry Thompson, and before I knew it, we were all on the road, working 90-day plans in city after city.

Today, we have so much more technology, and while that could be a good thing, it can also be the great barrier to success for so many people.

e614f64881af8a662c5b8527f91bfd69Every day, I see almost every one of the 27 people who are enrolled in the mentoring program online, a minimum of 6 hours a day. Four hours of that time is clearly and certainly spent idly chatting and commenting on meaningless posts. About another hour is spent on search engines, YouTube and other “expeditions”. Out of 27 people, an average of TWO take the time or demonstrate the discipline to comment daily on the posts. Nine bitch because I stopped doing live daily webinars, on which an average of three people ever showed up.

And only one person consistently demonstrates that they are actually putting these strategies to work every day, for at least two hours a day. That’s the one person who’s making money with this training.

Remember, over a 37 year period, I helped create five millionaires. Any one reading this could have been the next one to become a millionaire. And I am certain I will create five more millionaires in the next five years. But you’re the only one who can determine whether you’re going to be one of them.

Here’s what I do on a daily basis to grow my income:

  • Take time to comment on 50 new posts every morning.
  • Make a point of connecting with 25 new people daily.
  • Schedule no less than five people to watch a presentation.
  • Follow-up with everyone from the past two days.
  • Use a bullet journal system or planner to track the next day’s activities to stay on track.
  • Start and end my day with gratitude.

Everything else I do in the course of the day either falls under one of those bullet points, as a means of achieving those tasks, or falls outside of them, in which case it’s not business-building.  For me, than means five hours a day building my business, and two hours a day giving back (with programs like this). Then it means another five hours a day working on myself, when all of that is done.

What about your life? Is your daily method of operation focused on creating results? Does your bank account show signs of improvement?

Or are you vacillating? Still wasting more time than you spend productively. Still chasing businesses you know are dying or dead. Still pretending that somehow, someday, things are going to change, when nothing you’re doing has changed in months (or years).

The day you get busy is the day your business will follow. I promise!

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3 comments
wrappingbeautyireland
wrappingbeautyireland

I can definitely feel you, everyday i fully intend to get busy and get down to work , with 3 hours free in the mornings , Mon - Fri, and while money is being made, I do know, I get distracted with online scrolling , vids that catch my eye, which then leads to a maze of other vids, then after 3 hours of being busy online, I have only done 45 mins of income producing activity. Mediocrity no more !!!, bullitt points system from now on 😁😎😁😎😁😎 thanks Dr.G

JenniferBaldwin
JenniferBaldwin

The late, great mother of humor erma bombeck said, "worrying is like rocking in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but you won't get anywhere."

Does anyone remember being in school and being given busy work? I do. It sucked. It was like being told we weren't going to learn anything but we had to do our time so shut up and do it and deal. It was very pink Floyd. I hated it. I'd rather do something than pretend.

And there's a lot of pretending going on. As I've gotten more into writing I get sucked into my research and before I know it three hours have passed. Haven't written anything but damn I've been busy.

Mind mapping, brainstorming, outlining, researching. Not writing. But I'm busy.

Homeschooling, meal prep, clean the house, do the laundry. Not writing. But I'm busy.

We see it in these overscheduled kids and after school activities. Kids that are in five, seven, ten groups, teams, meetings every week. Mom has started charging for carpooling. She has a meter on her dash and a broken gps to give wrong, long directions so she can charge little jimmy's mom twice the fare.

I was ill prepared for my writing challenge this month. I need to reprioritize and delegate. I'm not the only functioning human in the house. Why else do parents have kids? To do the chores no one else wants to. And you thought it was because of love. I just don't want to do the dishes or cat pan anymore.

So, yeah, I've been busy. And I've been getting my 1700 words in. No, I don't count these. Or this one. But I think I need to restructure my day so I can do more than throw words at a page and hope one out of 1700 is good enough to stay after editing.

And speaking of, I need to check my topic for the day.