Thursday, October 15, 2009

More or less

It would seem counter intuitive, I know, but I would content that the road to success is about doing less rather than doing more. Truly successful people determine what they are best at and they do it. Other stuff they are not good at they either stop doing it or get someone else to do it for them. Another step in this process is that they also automate as much as they can to free their time for the stuff that is important.

So many people I know believe that they need to keep doing more when in fact they are actually only creating more distractions for themselves. We all have the same amount of time allotted to us yet they way we chose to utilize that says a lot about our attitude towards the value of our time. People who don’t value their time want to cram more and more into their program which has a limit beyond which actually reduces available time. An great analogy I heard once is that you ‘can only fit so much on your dance card’ so choose wisely because you’ll never get that time back again.

Take a look at what you are doing. Are you trying to do more and more? Are you taking of everything you can to leverage more time? Are there others you can work with who can assist you freeing up your time for what you are best at? To me it makes fare more sense to build a network of trusted partners who can work with you to cover your ‘non-core’ areas. This would allow you to focus more on the things you are good at while still maintaining ‘coverage’ of those other areas.

How do you find such partners? Good old networking. Not just the latest social networking but the good old fashion networking of meeting people face to face. In my opinion one of the most important assets that any individual has is their extended network. My question to you is – what are you doing to develop your network? The honest answer from most people is that they are doing nothing. Rather that working more intelligently by finding people whom they can work with and share their load they have this mistaken belief that they can do it all. Sooner or later these people get crushed under the load they subject themselves to.

Like any asset a network of contacts needs to be developed and maintained. Technology makes it much easier but it doesn’t overcome the necessity of work in this respect. Don’t also be fooled by the amount of false networking that happens with technology. Most of today’s social networking is about getting more followers or friends. It is not about this at all. Good networking is what it has always been about, developing lasting relationships that can support you and investing in them. My question again is – what are you doing to invest in these networks? Because if you aren’t investing in your networks then you are doomed to crush yourself under a never ending mountain of obligation.