New entrepreneurs often confound two very different concepts: productivity and busy-ness, leading to much frustration and unnecessary heartache. The former, moves you in the direction of your business goals and increases your profit margin. Busy-ness does the opposite. Given this issue, the obvious question is how to distinguish between the two and do more of what is beneficial for our business.
Does the thought “I don’t have the time.” come to mind just as you contemplate doing a basic, but uncomfortable, task, such as going live in your FB group or in your IG account?
You know it would be incredibly beneficial, even necessary for your business, but you get a sudden urge to work on your website or take the rubbish out, etc.. You’re busy, great!
And so goes the day by.
It’s night and it’s time to switch from busy-ness to rest and recharge, you’re exhausted and welcome the respite. But, as soon as your head hits the pillow, your mind starts racing with ideas you should, could, should have, could have, would have… sleep seems to be such a waste of time, when you could be working, networking, creating another course — or indeed, going live in your community.
A sudden urge to do exactly what you postponed this morning hits you like a hammer. But of course! What you need is the next client, so you want to contact that person, and want to create a freebie you’ve had in mind for weeks. But it’s night now, better remember that awesome idea…
… It’s the wee hours and now you’re frustrated, you realise that your mind is crazy busy but nothing is happening, and worse: tomorrow you’ll get up later than you planned to and will be tired all day, as you have been for months now.
Such is the curse of choosing busy-ness. It often goes unnoticed during the day, but you’re conscious of the fact that you haven’t had a client for weeks, maybe months, and that knowledge is working itself to the surface as soon as you try to get to sleep.
Rest becomes the enemy.
So you blame and shame yourself for needing it. You don’t have the time to network, collaborate, tell people about your business because your body needs to sleep, eat, exercise, and relax. No wonder there’s no time for anything else!
But there’s this nagging feeling that others in the industry seem to manage. But how?!
Simple. They focus on the most important task of all: they make sure their ideal clients know about their business. They and their services are visible.
The psychology of busy-ness: 100+ ways to avoid visibility
Don’t worry, I won’t accumulate a list of 100+ ways you can avoid visibility. My goal with this misleading heading is to highlight that there’s a plethora of things you can do — many of which, I’m sure you’re aware of — that will make you feel good about yourself, because you’re busy, but it doesn’t contribute to what matters: getting that next client and creating profit in your business so that is becomes sustainable!
But how come we don’t notice that we’re merely busy during the day?
It all boils down to this immense positivity in us: the day is long, it will get done later. We postpone things with the intention of doing it even better somewhat later in the day. This becomes a hard-wired pattern that governs our daily life. After a while, not doing what we intended to do just becomes a part of the pattern.
We start the day hopeful and positive about the task: it will be done! But of course not immediately; right now, I’m busy with other things. I don’t have the time for “visibility”, because I want my visibility to matter, so I’ll work on the backend of my business, or do something around the house, but it’s okay, once I get around to being present online it’ll all work out.
Except we miss the point! You only get better at things that you practice every day. Consequently, you’re now a professional procrastinator and house keeper, or whatever other activities you engage in.
But to answer the question: we don’t notice that we’re merely busy rather than productive because we follow automatic patterns, and the pattern is such that it only becomes clear in the middle of the night that we still don’t have a client, and that the business is ailing.
This pattern gets repeated ad infinitum… that is, until you have to close your business down and take on a job, or decide to work with someone who provides accountability and support to get out of the convoluted maze of busy-ness.
Ditch busy-ness in favour of productivity. Stand for something!
As I’ve been working on myself and with my clients, it has become very clear to me that those who are afraid of visibility are usually focussed on themselves rather than something greater.
Breaking hard-wired patterns and habits is rather difficult, unless you have a very good motivation and incentive.
The best motivation I have found, one that dissolves all worries and fears is standing for something greater than yourself!
What matters to you?
What is something that you would risk everything for?
What would you put your career, your whole life on the line for?
And how are they intertwined with your business activities?
If you can’t answer these questions, don’t be surprised that you wake up and start faffing around your study, the kitchen, or wherever else around the house instead of doing the work required of you to make your business profitable.
The survival of your business is dependent on your personal and professional mission. The closer the two are, and the more clearly you can articulate them, the more likely you are to ditch busy-ness in favour of doing what matters: being present online and offline and talking about the change you can create through your business.
If you don’t know the answer to these fundamental questions, or you only have a vague sense of them, take half a day off — you can even take a week off — and look at your life, your relationships, your thoughts, your feelings, and answer these questions. Once you do that and integrate it into your business, visibility will no longer be about you, it will be about the cause you stand for, and you’ll be shouting your message from the rooftops.
That’s when you’re no longer interested in being busy, but want to achieve the goals, because they mean something to you. Every activity you do will mean something and will be contributing to the creation of something larger than you: that’s a life of mission.
4 visibility tips that will make your business shine
Business is all about creating profit, without it, it won’t survive. But — and this is a big “but”! — you want to focus on the impact you’re creating in the world rather than the money you’re making with your business. If you focus on the impact, you’ll stay motivated and committed when things aren’t going well, and will push forward regardless of how much money is flowing in.
Visibility will allow you to create the impact you’ve set your heart on. Here are 4 tips on how you can become more visible:
- Create written content and share it generously. This was such a turning point in my own entrepreneurial journey. It helped me understand myself better and articulate what matters to me more naturally. There are numerous places where you can share your content: on your personal blog, a free Medium article, a LinkedIn article, on your personal Facebook (FB), in your FB group or page, and if it doesn’t contain any explicit sales pitch, you can share value posts in other people’s FB groups as well so that you become known for a certain topic and recognised as the expert. You can reach out to the local press, etc. The choices are endless. Starting with your own blog will build confidence and a portfolio to show magazines who might want to feature your story.
- Create video content. Yet again, there are numerous social media platforms where you can share your message: Instagram (IG) lives, reels, FB lives in your group, on your page, on your personal account, YouTube (YT), TikTok, Linkedin, you name it. It’s important for you to consider where your ideal clients hang out first so that you talk to them and reach them. But once you know where they are, start creating content regularly to stay top of mind. In most cases, they need to see your content several times before they decide to solicit your services.
- Collaborate with others in your industry. Look for speaking opportunities: you could be interviewed on someone’s YT channel, in their private FB group, on their podcast. You could just organise it yourself, talk to your contacts and interview each other on your channels, such as your IG. Reach out, ask if anyone is looking to interview someone, be proactive! You stand for something, your message creates positive change in the world: do your part by creating the opportunities for your message to get out there.
- Go to networking events. There are plenty of free local and global networking events you can attend either in person or online. You can start by looking at free events on Eventbrite and Meetup, try a few out and see which ones you enjoy most, then make them your core networking events, and visit some more for diversity. Many of these events also allow you to speak or there are people who look for speakers, take that opportunity to share your knowledge and amplify your voice further. Building a network will allow you to refer to each other, collaborate, and just feel connected in the otherwise solo lifestyle of entrepreneurship.
Going out there might feel scary at first. It definitely felt scary to me, but I transformed it, and so have millions of others. Becoming an entrepreneur requires a lot of changes at the emotional and mindset levels so that you can put in place the strategies required to succeed.
You have it in you, so take one small step every day focussing on what you stand for and sharing your message bravely.
Struggling with visibility fears/anxiety in your business or your personal life? Get in touch. Let’s hop on a free discovery call where we can discuss your current experience and what you would like instead. My mission is to help you embrace your potential and transform it into personal power to benefit your life and that of your community through breakthrough therapy and coaching.