The one things Starbucks never does is ask me to leave if I am there just to enjoy the free wifi. I can set up shop for twenty minutes or three hours and never order a coffee, Frappucino or Chicken Artichoke Panini on Ancient Grain Flatbread.
“You’re too busy.”
Sounds harmless, right? It could even be construed as positive reinforcement that I’m doing good work. Except, this was said by someone I thought was going to want me to mentor him.
“I’d love for you to be my mentor, but you’re too busy.” When I heard that, my heart sank. I thought, what am I too busy doing? What’s more important than pouring faith, knowledge, life, and love into someone else?
I’ve been called nearly every name in the book, and in most cases it was deserved. But this…this was worse than any name I’ve ever been called. Because it’s true, and it’s my own doing.
A friend of mine once said that life is about creating margins. Margin for the things that are important, margin for the things that are necessary, and the things that are required, and margin for the things that fill our cups.
It looks like my margins need to be redrawn.
Simply put, the two essential components to running a (small) business are:
Merriam-Webster: able to move quickly, easily, and lightly : able to learn and understand things quickly and easily.
Merriam-Webster: easily changed : able to change or to do different things : willing to change or to try different things.
Anyone can do anything. Seriously.
It takes guts to do something. In some cases, it takes guts (or stubbornness) to do nothing. But to do anything doesn’t take anything at all.
Starting my own business was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. And honestly, it was the biggest step in faith I’ve taken to date. But I had to do something, because no one wanted to hire me.
That’s the point though. I was trying to work for someone else, anyone else. At that point, I would have done anything, and that would’ve been wrong.
Instead, I took a step and a leap and ended up more satisfied, career wise, than I’ve ever been.
Each choice affords you the opportunity to do something, or to do nothing. You’ll get in the most trouble if you do anything.
I was taking a shower the other morning. Nothing uncommon about that, except that on this particular morning I was dreading getting out. It had been cold the night before and I was up early before the heat had come on. Sometimes, the hardest part of taking a shower is turning off the water. I knew that once I did, I’d be cold and uncomfortable.
Often, the hardest parts of life are the things that make us the most uncomfortable. But, that’s if you take the most cynical and narrow view of the situation. Because before the water was turned off, I was warm and cozy. And within a few moments, I was dry and fresh feeling. If I were to get caught up in the uncomfortableness of turning off the water, I’d forget about where I just was. More importantly, I’d forget about where I was going to be.
Out of all the advice I’ve ever given, or will ever give, this principle seems to be the most important. Why? Because I see the same mistake made over and over and over again.
Do not make important decisions regarding your business when you’re strapped for cash or when you’re emotional. You won’t be thinking clearly, therefore you’ll make poor decisions. Just like going shopping when you’re hungry.
My advice? Take a deep breath. Consult a third party, preferably one you trust. Or, at least wait until you’re no longer hungry.