In school, we learn that one quality that guarantees entrepreneurial success is the ability to work long hours, multi-task and insure your future by putting your eggs in different baskets just in case one or some of them break.
This is a concept that has often been misapplied. During my first two years in business, I was ever busy.
I literally worked hard and, in addition to my business invested most of my time and money everywhere from stock market, my rural farm, my investment club as well as in my friends ‘deals’ as long as they promised me a cut if or when the deal went through.
My aim was to get quick money and as such diversifying revenue streams seemed like a good idea.
But later on through learning and experience, I realised how wrong I was. I was too busy, but the returns were minimal. I realised that activity does not always result to productivity.
You can be busy the whole day, but when you look at what you have done objectively, you wonder whether you could not have done it in just few hours.
With no one in change of planning, most entrepreneurs tend to fall into the trap of wasting time, becoming ever busy and failing to achieve the freedom most people yearn in life— being free to do as much as possible of what you want.
Being ever busy is not a prerequisite of entrepreneurial success. In most cases it is a result of poor time management or lack or prioritisation.
A long list of what-to-do list or so many projects in progress or a wide range of products ready to offer to your customers is not a sign of success.
Success in business like in any other venture in life does not depend on how many hours you work or how many tasks or projects you are engaged in at any one time.
It depends on how and where you spend your hours. It is how well you manage your time that determines how much you take home at the end of the day.
One question that we ought to ask is why some entrepreneurs earn three figures salary while others in the same industry spend years struggling to meet the basics?
The difference is not intelligence, ability, talent, not being well connected or simply taking short-cuts. The difference is how they spend their time.
In business, you cannot succeed by simply working more hours or doing many things. You cannot achieve more by having a long-to-do list on your table every day.
The secret to success in business is by doing less, but earning more. It is doing more of the things that have higher value and reducing or eliminating altogether things that have lower or no value at all that make one health and wealth.
It is important to sit down once in a while and examine how you have spent your time in the past. What is it that makes you busy every day? If you are honest with yourself you might realise that actually some things are not worth your time because they are of lower value.
As we move towards the end of the year, look back at where your bread is battered most. Look at activities that have given you highest returns, more pleasure and happiness and focus on them.
This will guarantee you better results and more time for yourself and your family.
This Article first appeared in Business Daily