When you’re a solopreneur, it’s easy to feel inundated with demands on your time and energy. The list of things to do never ends. Marketing and promoting your business, creating content, writing newsletters, enrolling clients, and, of course, serving your clients.
Living in the Urgency
Some industries are tend to be more urgency-driven than others. In real estate, for example, there’s a constant push to agents to respond more quickly to inquiries, coupled with a belief that a real estate transaction should be as easy as an Amazon 1-click purchase (it shouldn’t be, but more on that another time).
It’s easy to get caught up in clients’ perception of urgency. But it’s rare for a delay of even a few hours to impact an outcome. There’s a difference between a real deadline and manufactured urgency.
The common instruction to real estate agents is that we should respond to emails within 5 minutes or risk losing the prospective client.
Every few months a new company sprouts up with a fresh “innovation” to facilitate this immediate response.
And there’s the ubiquitous calls to “hustle,” which drive in the fear that if you’re not quick enough you’re going to miss out on clients and opportunities.
While these instructions and innovations may be rooted in an intention to provide good customer service, they actually produce the opposite result.
The Illusion of Productivity
You spend your day running around without getting anywhere. There’s a lot of motion without movement. You offer a pretense of professionalism without perspective on the bigger picture.
Despite what you’re been led to believe, scheduling showings or putting a listing on the market is not a life-or-death matter. Nobody will die if they can’t get access to see a home within the hour.
Busy as a Badge of Honor
I’m so busy has become a badge of honor among entrepreneurs. It’s a cultural sign of success among those who want to be successful.
The truth is that the people who are most successful are rarely busy. They know how to make time for what matters.
The Mindset and Belief that Keep You Stuck
Clinging to the belief that you need to do All. The. Things. in your business is what keeps many real estate agents — and other solopreneurs — stuck.
It’s especially easy to get caught up in reactionary mode when you’re driven by the desire to serve others. People need you. You want to be there for them. And that’s admirable.
But ask yourself:
How present are you to the people you desire to serve when you’re busy checking email all day or answering the phone the second it rings?
What level of attention are you giving to your clients? How well are you listening?
Are your clients getting the results they want? Do you even know what those results are? Or are you just trying to make it through the day without collapsing?
Spending all day responding to emails, running around, and doing other “busy” work will not take you to the next level.
In that state, you won’t be able to serve anyone. When your fire is out, so are you.
If you want to build a sustainable business you need to start by releasing the belief that busy is productive.
Busy is the enemy of productivity.