“I’m Too Busy” – The Entrepreneurs’ Mantra Volume 2

Posted by The Icehouse on 25/04/2023 12:00:00 AM

We’ve all said it at some point. ‘I’m too busy’. What does it really mean? It’s a few things. As a business owner, when you’re too busy, it means you don’t have enough time; time to focus on the big picture – to take a break, to get to do the things you want to do in life, or to devote yourself properly to something. 

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Volume one discussed the problem of confusing being busy with being productive and compromising long-term gains and goals with quick wins. If you dash around, spread yourself too thinly, find it hard to focus on tasks or find it difficult to delegate and trust, then you’re spending your days being counterproductive. 

Being too busy can also mean being too busy to invest in yourself, and it’s something we hear a lot: ‘I’m too busy at work, so I’m too busy to invest in something which will help make me less busy!’ It’s a double-edged sword. 

“From our experience, many of the owners who get in contact with The Icehouse are those who have plateaued, who want to perform better, but they just don't know how. We reignite that spark,” says Maryse Dinan, Customer Growth Partner at The Icehouse. 

“Often these feelings are symptomatic of being too busy. Being too busy is even more of a reason to reach out and consider something like the Owner Manager Programme (OMP), for example. 

“What happens is transformative because you become less busy once you've done the programme. What you learn helps to create space. You have time to recharge, to connect with others and get time to think. It's an investment in the business and yourself, to become a better business and a better leader in the business and, ultimately, to become a better version of you.” 

Being less busy doesn't mean working less. It can also mean working on higher-value tasks which help develop the business. That can come from learning how to re-evaluate what you can prioritise, shifting your mindset of what can be done to what must be done, discovering what you can pass on to others, what you can outsource, and what you can say "no" to.  

We’ve all heard of the $30 equation. As an owner, if you find yourself doing a $30-an-hour job when there’s someone else in the business who could do it for you, then why are you doing it? Your value is better spent working on the business rather than in it. So, you need to delegate or create an opportunity for someone else to take that over. Being busy in the business is fine – so long as it’s in the areas that best match your skillset. 

Hamish White, Owner of NOW and an OMP alumni, solved ‘the busy problem’ when a friend recommended OMP. The programme experience also removed himself as a barrier to helping his team grow. 

“Probably the biggest one was my perception that I just didn't have the time [to do OMP]. I had every excuse under the sun in my own mind as to why I wouldn't do it and he said: ‘Hamish, you can’t afford not to do this’. It was an almighty push and I just got so much out of it. 

“I'm surrounding myself with really, really good people and making sure that I'm not getting in the way of constraining our potential and growth. Learning to let go and having the people around you that give you that confidence to let go, is a key to unconstrained growth.” 

Jed Keir, co-Director and Project Manager at Keir Landscaping and Structures, found that OMP helped him to create the headspace he needed to focus on the critical areas of the business. 

“It’s interesting how you [must] free up mental resource when you're running a business. It’s something that's really valuable and, going through the programme has allowed us to refine, get that plan in place, and then free-up a whole lot of mental resource for doing other stuff, whether that's personal or driving the business.” 

“[The Icehouse] was always on my radar – to look into it if I had time and to make the time for it,” says Matt Cropp, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cropps NZ, of his Icehouse journey. 

“You can find excuses to not develop yourself, but your business is who you are and what you do, and so that's why I decided that I had to bite the bullet.” 

No one has ever said they enjoy being “too busy”, and if you’re too busy to invest in yourself, will there ever be a right time to break the cycle? 

Thankfully, there are ways that you can gain time by taking the time, and if you’re too busy in your work and too busy to make a change, it might be time to ask for some help. 

For information on programmes, workshops and business coaching services from The Icehouse, click here.

For more business ownership and leadership advice, check out more of our resources.

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Topics: Owner Manager Programme