The other day I pulled a 14-hour day — a solid, honest, “run through the day, not walk” 14 hours, starting at 6 a.m. at my desk and wrapping up at 8:10 p.m. — not 14 hours stretched out with long coffee breaks, an hour lunch, a workout, etc. Food was hastily eaten standing up, coffee was made while on conference calls, and piles of work were messily surrounding my desk as I quickly (urgently) moved from one thing to the next. By the end of the day, my ear hurt from wearing my headset. But MOST important was that I wasn’t just busy, but productive, getting an ENORMOUS amount of important work done. Multiple initiatives moved forward, and I made progress and accomplished my objectives.
It seems to me that far too many people run around “busy” all day but are rarely productive. They’re constantly snacking on social media, watching videos, texting, staring into their phones, wandering around the office at the water cooler, and incessantly checking email. All BUSY work, but definitely NOT industrious. There IS a major difference, and if you want to secure a higher-than-average income as a salesperson, executive, or owner and profitably run a high seven- to eight-figure IT services business, you’ll have to get this very, very right. Not just hustle, but hustle on the RIGHT things with intention and purpose. Too many days of distracted, unproductive work and you’re too behind to catch up.
In my experience working with MSPs and IT services business owners who are small and struggling, the common thread is their complete lack of ability to make smart time choices and organize themselves, their work, and their schedules to ensure they actually make progress every day. In most cases, they don’t even understand the time-money link, routinely wasting time at $10–$15 an hour while they ignore more strategic and important work, excused for not “having the time” to get to it, saved for “tomorrow” or sometime in the future when they “get around to it.” Pfui.
This unproductive behavior is almost entirely based in a total lack of HONEST AMBITION and genuine desire to accomplish the wishes they utter or secretly hold for more money, more security, and more success. They say they want it but remain too distracted (on purpose) to organize and discipline their own daily behaviors, constantly holding back, hesitating, and slow-walking it. Napoleon Hill wrote about “burning desire” as one of the characteristics of entrepreneurial giants. Very few of the small-business owners I see struggling with productivity are really “on fire” and relentless about achieving their stated goals.
They aren’t intensely studying and aggressively consuming useful information on how to accomplish them nor ardently working on implementing what they’ve learned every day, teeth bared and steamrolling anything and anyone standing in their way of obtaining those goals. They aren’t ruthlessly intolerant of missed deadlines and goals and poor performance from themselves, vendors, and people who work for them. They lack clear goals and daily, weekly, and monthly productivity measurements, constantly giving themselves “timeouts” and extensions. NO urgency.
At the end of my day, I know if it’s been a productive one based on goals I’ve set, productivity measurements, key performance indicators, and milestones completed and/or set in motion. How about YOU? How fiercely committed are you to your stated objective and goals? The newest edition of MSP Success is dedicated to ENTREPRENEURIAL PRODUCTIVITY because it IS a critical component to accomplishment and achievement that constantly needs monitoring, study, and improvement. Time is one of our most precious assets, and a minute wasted is one we cannot recapture or profit from.