The holidays rock at dealing a heavy portion of joy with a side of stress for many. I love nothing better than seeing the surprise on my wife’s face when she gets that thing I told her sold out cause I procrastinated buying it. She thinks I’m a miracle maker, really I’m just not as bad as a procrastinator as she thinks.
Procrastination is actually a great thing.
I’m not just talking about benefit of grabbing that last minute discounted item because the store needs to meet their quota. Rather, procrastination is a skill you must develop it. You have to dig in study it, really practice it to become a master procrastinator. And until you are. You will never be a good entrepreneur.
You think I’m crazy telling you to procrastinate! Well, pay attention cause I’m going to share what most people won’t.
First, you must understand perfection is the enemy of business success. For years we are trained in the educational system that there is either a right or a wrong answer. We were either perfect or not. I recently wrote about this in my new book “Against the Grain” that I coauthored with Brian Tracy. Due to the years engrained in this process, we’ve all been shaped into the perfectionist path.
As a perfectionist, we hold in our minds, that we must accomplish everything on that never ending “To Do” List. And as life goes on we are constantly facing the challenge of facing the to do list until most just give up on making it anymore and simply refrain from making any lists accept those for the grocery store or household chores or honey do’s that need to get done this weekend.
We can’t bear to look at all those things we haven’t accomplished in life, because we feel we have just procrastinated.
My encouragement is you should be procrastinating things.
In reality procrastination is a tool for you, its a prioritization process. The trick to success in business is “how you procrastinate” There are two types of procrastination, Unintentional and Intentional.
Unintentional procrastination is when you allow life to determine what you do day to day and hour by hour. When we suffer from unintentional procrastination we live as victims to the whims of those around us. Our often compulsive need to please others chains us to pleasing everyone before doing what is really most important in our own lives. Additionally, our fear to do the difficult stalls productivity. We look back at the day and wonder why didn’t we simply make that phone call, or clean our office, or implement that marketing plan we designed 2 months ago. When we think about it we realize we were very “Busy” all day long. Unintentional procrastination however has caused the majority of that action to be reactive to emails, texts, phone calls, and all the other pulls we have in life.
Intentional procrastination is the key to success. The reality is we all have only 24 hours in a day. Billionaires have the same amount of time in a day as do Millionaire’s, so how do they have so much more money, are they really more skilled. From my research… Yes, skilled at procrastinating.
Commerce is very simply an exchange of value. For example, If I think the fun of going out on the boat will be worth more than the amount it costs me to go out on the boat, and I can afford it, then I get the boat. I do this because my perceived value of watching my kids learn to kneeboard for the first time, or getting closer to my goal of a flip on a wake board is worth more than the value of having that cash in the bank. Entrepreneurship is completely about identifying the value you bring to others so they will exchange their cash for that value.
A quick real estate example
Today, I’m making an offer on a house for $170,000 when the house across the street sold for $310,000. The contract will be accepted, because the cash the seller will retain from his existing equity because I buy the property it in the next 2 weeks is of greater value to him than doing nothing and letting the house go to foreclosure.
As an entrepreneur your goal is to identify the value you bring, and spend the maximum amount of your time doing those things that maximize the amount of times you can bring this value to the market. This means YOU MUST PROCRASTINATE many things that have lesser importance in the process of bringing your value to the market.
A business example
2 of my buddies are running software companies for small businesses. In both cases, their softwares, have many flaws, many gaps in what their software could do and what it currently does. However, they both have valuations well into the tens of millions. How can such imperfection be of such great value? Because they have appropriately procrastinated the lesser important features, and focused on the core services their clients most value. In turn their customers are loyal and look forward to future improvements. Imagine if these companies had not procrastinated some of their features and waited to release the product till it was perfect.
Learning to procrastinate those activities, actions and tasks that have the least amount of value to your ideal clients is the bridge to connecting you to your goals in 2014. Spend some time an rate the things you do on a daily basis according to their value. For help on doing the most important things first, another way of mastering intentional procrastination, pick up my co-author Brian Tracy’s book Eat that Frog. I can promise you that this is the key to bringing the maximum value you can to the market you serve.
To your Action and Your Success
– Matthew Golden