#046: Avoiding the Trap of Busyness in Your Business & Life

Welcome to The Accelerated Investor Podcast with Josh Cantwell, if you love entrepreneurship and investing in real estate then you are in the right place. Josh is the CEO of Freeland Ventures Real Estate Private Equity and has personally invested in well over 500 properties all across the country. He’s also made hundreds of private lender loans and owns over 1,000 units of apartments. Josh is an expert at raising private money for deals and he prides himself on never having had a boss in his entire adult life. Josh and his team also mentor investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. He doesn’t dream about doing deals, he actually does them and so do his listeners and students. Now sit back, listen, learn, and accelerate your business, your life, and you’re investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast.

So hey, welcome back to Accelerated Investor. I am so excited to be with you here again. And again for all of you guys that are really sharing on social media about Accelerated Investor and asking questions and giving us reviews and comments I just really want to thank you and tell you how grateful I am. I actually wrote about you in my gratitude journal that you know, that I keep in the mornings to just thank you for all of our listeners and subscribers to Accelerated Investor, how grateful I am that you’re here and that hopefully this is impacting you on a big way.

Today I want to talk to you about being busy. Um, so many of us today feel obligated to be getting so much stuff done. And I see investors, I see a busy moms, I see busy dads, I see busy husbands and wives, entrepreneurs. Everyone has seems to have a side hustle these days and they’re all busy doing stuff. And when I think about that, I definitely think about how, you know, business being successful in business, being successful with investing is a journey. And so many of us think it’s a sprint.

Like I started new businesses it’s a sprint and sure it can be, you know, there’s definitely, when you start a new company, there’s the time to just put in massive amount of hours, like 10 hours, 12 hours, 14 hours, 16 hour days, and do them for days, weeks, months and years in a row in order to build an amazing company or to do really smart investments and do these kinds of things. But there’s a difference between putting the time in, being on your journey, being on your path and working long hours and being focused during that time, being focused on those hours and there’s a difference between being busy.

Now in my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve had times, I’ve woken up in the morning, I’ve gotten 42 things done and they were all laser focused on one larger initiative. Maybe it was raising capital for an apartment deal or maybe it was raising capital for our fund or it was, you know, speaking in front of a large audience all day. And I was laser focused on that so I could gain more eyeballs and more, more share, more market share for me and for my companies. And putting in a long time, putting in lots of hours, you know, 10, 12, 15, 17, 18 hour days that has nothing to do with quote unquote being busy, being busy is the frenetic. Start this project, get that done, start this project, do it a little bit, start that project, do 10% of it, and you feel like you’ve got 12 different boulders and you’re pushing them all uphill at the same time and you’re just busy moving from one boulder to the next boulder to the next boulder to the next boulder pushing one boulder uphill six feet, and then it rolls back two feet, pushing the next boulder uphill two feet then it rolls back a foot.

Then the next boulder uphill, 10 feet and you’re almost there and then you let go to go to a different boulder and then it rolls back three feet. So the concept of being busy is what most of us fall into. Oh man, I was so busy today. I was busy with my kids. I was busy with my business. I was, maybe you’re a realtor and you were talking to lots of different clients. Because there’s a big difference between that and laser focused work, right? The work you could put in for 12, 14, 16 hours, but to do work that you focus on one thing, Henry Ford, right? Basically founder of modern day automation, not just the Ford Motor Company, but truly the founder of modern day automation said the greatest asset is the ability to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. The greatest asset is the ability to focus on one thing for an extended period of time.

So you know, let’s say you are a, let’s say you’re a contractor, right? Your ability to stay focused on that one project, whether it’s building new, whether it’s building construction, whether it’s a rehab, the builder they stay focused on that one project beyond that job site and stay on it for a long period of time. See it through to the end is a great asset, right? If you’re a busy mom and you’re home and you’re with your kids, but your house is a mess and the kids have chores to do, your kitchen’s a train wreck. The ability to focus on that one thing and giving your kids chores and you doing what you needed to that get the house in order and do that for an extended period of time. Get that all done, let’s say within two to four hours. All the laundry, making lunch, dishwasher, vacuuming, we’ve all been there.

Okay, do that for two, three, four hours, get it all done and don’t let any other distractions get in your way. All of a sudden there’s a ton of joy and satisfaction four hours later in having a super clean house and things put in their place. And for me, having my kids learn and watch and be responsible and take part, okay. So it’s not about being busy, like going from the workout room to doing laundry, to working in your real estate business to do and working in your investing, to looking at your side hustle. That is a train wreck waiting to happen. So for me, right, like almost every Saturday it’s just chore day. I know it’s chore day, it’s chore day all day. I like to be present with my wife and my kids. I like to coach them and be available but also be around the house and just do stuff around the house.

Little stuff like we had a leak in our upstairs bathtub and you know, came down into the kids playroom and made a little streak on the ceiling. So you know, going to Home Depot, buying keels, you know, fixing that little brown stain that’s on the drywall, helping my wife with laundry, vacuuming, you know, having the handyman come over and look at, you know, power washing the house, power washing, the patio power washing the swing side, the hot tub and then restating and sealing all of that. Picking the weeds, you know, all these different things can all be packed into one day. Do them all in one day instead of doing a little bit on Tuesday night, a little bit on a Wednesday morning, a little bit on Friday night, a little bit on Sunday. And then all of a sudden it bleeds out and you’ve got all this stuff every single day, a little bit here, a little bit there, and you’re back to pushing boulders uphill a little bit at a time.

And we always know that if we push a boulder up hill, that boulder is going to roll back down, okay. So being busy is not the answer. As Henry Ford said, the greatest asset is the ability to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. And so it doesn’t matter. Like Kevin O’Leary when he was at my event, he said, look, when he wakes up, he writes down on a little yellow pad or in his journal, three things that he wants to get done today. And he doesn’t take any phone calls and take any emails, doesn’t take any meetings to those three things are done. 

So that’s Kevin O’Leary’s way of focusing on one thing for an extended period of time. Tim Ferris in his book, The Four Hour Work Week. And again in his book Traits of Titans, he talked about this, he said, and I quote, being busy is a form of laziness, lazy thinking and indiscriminant action. Being busy is most often used as a guise or a trick for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.

So if you’re a loan officer or mortgage broker, real estate investor, you’re in sales, you need to call clients, you need to talk to prospects. And the longer you can focus on that one thing, the more deals you’re going to close, the more money you’re going to make, okay? The more you get involved in putting notes in software and getting up and going to the bathroom and grabbing coffee and talking to your peers at work and your colleagues at work, the less you’re focused, the less money you’re going to make, okay? So my question for you today is how busy are you versus how organized are you? How busy are you versus how focused are you, right? So you can be focused and work for an 8, 10, 12, 15 hour day. And when you come home from that day, what do you say to yourself?

Oh my God, I got so much done. I was laser focused. I had the best day today versus the day when you’re busy and you say, oh my God, I was at work for 10 or 12 hours and I don’t know what I got done today. I have no clue what I got done today, right? Why is that? It’s the difference between focused action and being busy. It’s the difference between having three things to do and making a laundry list of 25 things on your to do list. Because if there’s 25 things on your to do list, you’re only going to ping pong back and forth between all those different things. You’re never going to get them all done, okay? Brian Tracy in his book, Eat That Frog. He says that high achievers know that their to do list is never going to go away. High achievers know that their to do list is never going to disappear.

So they just take the top 20% to 20% that gets them 80% of their results, Pareto’s Principle and says that we’re going to focus on the 20% that gets us 80% of our results. We’re not going to be busy doing the entire a hundred percent of which 80% is meaningless. The 80% doesn’t move the needle, okay? The 20% which is going to move the needle, the 20% they focus on that for an extended period of time and they just pass aside, cast aside the things that aren’t going to help them achieve their goals, okay.

So my question for you is, is how busy are you? Are you busy or are you focused? Are you busy or are you focusing on those few critical actions, the uncomfortable actions that are going to get you the results that you want? Are you busy or are you engaging with your clients, your customers, your audience? Are you busy or are you building relationships with your family, your friends, your loved ones, and your clients? Be more intentional, be more focused. Stop being so busy.

You’ve been listening to Josh Cantwell and the Accelerated Investor Podcast. Leave a comment on our iTunes channel and let us know what you want to learn next, or who you’d like Josh to interview. While you’re there, give us some five star rating and make sure to subscribe so you can be the first to hear new episodes. Follow Josh Cantwell and his companies, the Strategic Real Estate Coach and Freeland Ventures on all social media platforms now and stay up to date on new training and investment opportunities to start your journey toward the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. Apply for coaching at JoshCantwellCoaching.com.

Building a successful business is a marathon – not a sprint.

Sure, when you’re an entrepreneur who is starting a new venture, you’re going to have many days where you work long hours. Sometimes, that’s just what it takes. 

But there’s a distinct difference between a busy 16-hour day and a focused 16-hour day. If you’re frantically switching from task to task, without an overall vision for what you’d like to accomplish during the day, you’re probably busy. If you take the time to clearly define your goals and priorities for the day, and organize your time wisely, you’re being focused. 

Josh Cantwell shares his tips for avoiding busyness, which has become a badge of honor in today’s society, but leaves many of us burnt out, exhausted, and questioning whether our efforts are really worth it. 

So, if you feel like every day is a sprint, this podcast is for you. Whether you’re a business owner, real estate investor, entrepreneur, stay-at-home parent, or anyone who works hard for a living – you’ll find one-of-a-kind tips for managing your time, avoiding the rat race, and creating a focused work ethic. 

What’s Inside:

  • How to avoid being busy even when you’re working long days
  • How to break your day into small, manageable tasks to avoid overwhelm
  • Why being busy is actually a form of laziness
  • How to go from “busy” to “focused” 
  • How using Pareto’s Principle can help you become a high-achiever

Mentioned in this episode​

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