There’s a bit of an epidemic happening these days. It’s happening to good people doing good things with good intentions.
While we’re all familiar with this epidemic in the corporate world, it’s hitting a population that we don’t talk about as much because it often, from afar, looks like success and abundance and prosperity and “making it.”
The epidemic is busyness, and its most recent target includes entrepreneurs, freelancers, startup founders, coaches, trainers, public speakers, and people kind of like me.
At a recent networking event, I was greeted by a well intentioned woman with, “You good? You busy?” In her question was a clear implication: Being good means being busy. Being busy means being good.
I see a similar correlation among my peers almost daily. When we’re “good,” we’re busy - meaning we are booked a lot, traveling a lot, gone a lot, and busy doing the things we do to stay busy. Being good means being busy and being busy means being good.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love to be busy. I love having multiple projects happening at one time (I’m an ENFP, after all). I love being busy developing strong relationships and creating new clients. I love working in the early morning over coffee, and I love jotting down new ideas late at night.
I love the work that I do, so of course - I love doing more of it.
However, the epidemic of busyness that’s hitting hard in the entrepreneurial world is clouding the real question at hand: are we having a positive impact?
- Are we doing work that we believe in and can stand behind with all of our being?
- Is it original and fresh and different than the other stuff that’s out there?
- Are we working with clients we love, who push us to be even better at what we are doing?
- And are we completely connected to our purpose?
- Do we love not only what we are doing, but how we are doing it?
- Do we love the travel, the hustle, the schedule and the busyness?
- Do we love saying “yes” to the things we’re saying yes to?
- And do we have enough time and space to completely, whole-heartedly, and fiercely serve our clients?
If this is what busyness feels like, then YES, let’s create more of it.
But if we’re sacrificing impact, or relationships, or pieces of ourselves in order to be busy - then please, let’s stop.
If we’re doing a lot but with minimal impact - then please, let’s stop.
If we’re creating busyness in order to create the illusion of “being good,” then please, let’s stop.
Let’s step back and pause. Let’s reconnect to our purpose, and let’s reconnect to the reason we started doing this work in the first place.
Let’s redefine for ourselves what it really means to “be good” and let’s start doing that instead.