When I started my first business I invented 1 years worth of things to do before I could face the important – talking to customers.
Do you know what you need to do but invent new tasks to avoid it? If so then this video is for you:
We as humans constantly have voices inside our heads that guide us through decisions in life however when we try to do something important or something challenging those voices tell us to do something else.
When we sit down at our desks in the morning and know our business needs new sales our inner procrastinator tells us to work on our LinkedIn profile or get a haircut and when we need to get a direct mail campaign out the door it tells us to answer email instead.
The secret isn't to ignore these inner voices but harness their power and use them to guide you towards what matters.
Don't listen to what your inner procrastinator is pulling you towards but what it's pulling you away from.
So many entrepreneurs think that successful people don't have procrastinating thoughts and that all their inner voices are telling them to do important things but that's not true.
All of us humans are wired the same and we all have voices inside our heads that try to distract us from doing important or challenging things, the only difference between successful people and normal people is that they listen to their inner procrastinator and see what its trying to pull them away from – then they focus on that.
All of lifes greatest rewards are behind barriers of temporary discomfort and pain and when you hear your inner procrastinator telling you to do something unimportant you know your on the right track – just power through and enjoy the reward on the other side.
Here's The Full Transcript:
Hi, It’s Sam Ovens, and I wanted to shoot this quick video for you to talk about something I think all of us as entrepreneurs are guilty of. And that’s inventing things to do to avoid the important.
So the easiest way I can describe this to you is with the example of a young man and him wanting to ask his crush out on a date. The simple way to ask his crush out on a date would be to simply smile, walk over to her, introduce himself and then ask is she wants to go out on a date. That’s the simple way and what’s important in that situation.
However, what the young man does is that he joins the school football team, he gets really good at football in hope of getting noticed by the girl. He joins the gym and starts working out his body, and he saves up for a new car and always polishing his car — all of this in hopes in her noticing and her coming over to him saying, “I am so and so and would you go out on a date with me?.”
Now I’m sure we both know what method’s the easiest. It would just be simply smile, walk over to the girl, introduce yourself and ask to go out on a date. This would take hardly any time, would take a lot quicker and without focusing on all these other things.
That’s a classic example of inventing things to do to avoid the important. The same is true in business.
I want to tell you a story about the first company I ever started, going back a while now. The first company I ever started was an online job board website which was called promote yourself. You won’t find it online anymore that was ages ago. When I started that company I invented so many things to do in order to avoid the important.
I got the logo perfect, spend 8 months with a developer getting the website looking just amazing. We had tons of features, our graphic design was spot on, our website was mobile responsive, a logo, we had a Facebook page, business cards printed, we even got brochures printed and I even got mugs and shirts printed.
And I did all of this stuff just because I was avoiding what was important. I knew what was important was simply going out to the market and talking to prospective customers and seeing if they were interested in using my website. I knew in my head that’s what was I should be doing but I invented so many things to do in order to avoid that thing. In fact I invented a whole year’s worth to avoid what I could have done on the first day. Finally when I got to that end day the customers told me they didn’t really want it and it wasn’t very useful. I wasted about a whole year of time.
I don’t regret it because it was a huge learning experience but all of that could have been completely avoided If I had just focused on what was really important, which was going out and talking to the customers.
The same is true in business. We constantly invent things to do to avoid the important. I’ve got another example for you as well. This one’s a bit more recent. This is about two years ago when I did my first ever direct mail campaign. I made the letter, got all the envelopes and everything ready, it came time to address them and send them out. I had to put the senders address on the envelope. This time I was working from home.
I was like “I’ve got to put my home address on the senders’ address; what happens when the guy I send it to searches the address and finds that it is a house?”. The important thing would have just been to get the direct mail campaign out the door and just sent it. What I did is that I invented so many things to do to avoid what was important. I decided to go and sign up for a P.O. Box which took me about half a day.Finally got the P.O. Box and I put the P.O. Box right there and I sent them out and I was like, “What happens if they search me at LinkedIn?”. I was like “I’ve got to update my linkedin profile..”. I created another two weeks worth of things to do to avoid the important, which was sending out the direct mail campaign in the first place.
This is what I mean, I gave you the date example, the guy wanting a date. I gave you my Promote Yourself example, on obsessing about logos, brochures, business cards and mugs. And my direct mail campaign where I obsessed about the sender’s address. This is what I’m talking about, we as entrepreneurs are constantly inventing things to do to avoid the important.
Now if this sounds like you, then you’re gonna love this video because there is a way around this and it’s really simple. We as humans, we have this inner voices inside our head that guides us through decisions and things we do in life. When it comes to doing anything actually important in your life, this inner voices pull you away and distract you.
So if you want to go on a run, all this inner voices distracting you from all these other things. Sometimes when I sit down and do something important the inner voices on my head tell me, I should get a haircut, or I should get a new shirt, or I should do things completely irrelevant to what’s important.
There’s a secret to this, there’s a secret to taking control of procrastination and actually getting things done. What you’ve got to do is you’ve got to learn to listen to your inner procrastinator. You’ve got to learn to listen to the voices inside your head and see what they’re distracting you from, instead of listening to the voices inside your head, and your inner procrastinator, and doing those things.
With the example with the boy wanting to invite his crush on a date. If he was to listen to his inner procrastinator, he would join the football team, join the gym, get a new car, and hope to be noticed. That’s listening to your inner procrastinator and actioning what it says. But the right thing to do is to go against it. Listen to the procrastinator, the inner voices, and see what activity or task it’s pulling you away from. Whatever those inner voices are pulling you away from, that’s the secret. That is the thing you should be working on.
When I wake up in the morning, when I had breakfast and everything and I sit down at my desk, I just kind of sit there and let my body and mind feel about what it’s pulling me to do. It might want me to do all these tasks that are irrelevant, and I let that happen, it happens in my mind. I’m still having thoughts of procrastination. But then I figure out what is it trying to pull me away from, and whatever it’s trying to pull me away from, those are the things that I do in the day.
Many entrepreneurs think that successful people don’t have procrastinating thoughts. They think that all of their thoughts just focus on the right thing. That’s not true at all. Successful people they still have those procrastinating thoughts, that’s human nature. That’s completely normal. I don’t think that completely ever changes. The only thing successful people do differently is that they listen to the voices inside their head, they listen to their procrastinator, and they let that guide them to what’s most important, and they work against their procrastinator to complete that task.
This week I want to challenge you, to listen to your inner procrastinator, and think about what's it pulling you away from. Start making a list. Think, what is my inner procrastinator telling me to do and what’s it distracting me from. Whatever that is, that is what you should be focusing on right now. I want to challenge you to do this this whole week and I’m sure you’re gonna have a breakthrough week.
If you’re watching this video anywhere else other than my blog, head over to samovens.com. That’s where lots of videos like this are, that’s where this free resource is, that’s where the comments section is and everyone’s giving feedback and what not. So head over there now, and if you liked this video, leave me some feedback, there’s a comments section below this post, give me a comment, leave me some feedback, tell me what you thought and tell me if this video was valuable.
So that’s it for this video, thanks for watching.