One of the biggest events here in my hometown of Vanleer, TN is the monthly Leatherwood Mud Bog. Starting in March and going through November, rednecks from near and far bring their souped up monster trucks complete with huge mud tires to drag race through the mud. Some of the guys who renovated our kitchen are avid racers. They spend thousands of dollars each year to modify and maintain their mud machines…all in the hopes of winning a $250.00 prize.
Now to someone like me, it seems like a big waste of money. Yes, it’s fun and I’m sure they do it for more than the prize money, but to invest thousands to win hundreds doesn’t add up. This is no different than plugging quarters into the Claw Machine at Buffalo Wild Wings. Spending 20.00 to win a 1.00 stuffed penguin.
You may not be into mud dragging but I’m sure you (just like me) often spend time and resources on the sorts of things that don’t really have a good value-add. We do these with the best of intentions, but in reality they are simply time-fillers that prevent us from doing the things we really NEED to be doing.
If you’re a small business owner or a solopreneur, the most important thing for you is to get clients, to prospect. It’s uncomfortable and most of us don’t do it very well, yet in order to succeed, you need people to buy your product or contract for your services. Here are some mud bog-worthy activities we get sucked up in:
- Writing a blog when you should be making a call.
- Building a spreadsheet to track prospects when you should be contacting them.
- Booking travel when you should be traveling to see prospects.
- Rearranging your desk when you should have a list of contacts on your desk that you’re calling.
The key is to NOT confuse activity with accomplishment.
In my case, it made more sense to hire an admin assistant to handle the minutiae of the business so I could make it out to visit clients. She works my CRM for me and helps me set up meetings. The greatest value I bring is the delivery of services and the prospecting for those clients. We’re not mud-bogging anymore; we’re making real progress.
All of us fall victim to the activity vs. accomplishment mindset. Even if you work for someone else, you probably put off uncomfortable value-added tasks in order to do small tasks that keep you busy but add little.
This week, think about what key tasks you need to perform to be successful. Save your mud bog tasks for the weekend. Your professional success may depend on this!