How many online business influencers do you encounter daily trying to sell you some new productivity hack to help you grow your business?
While these gurus have a gigantic online presence, their ideas are based on the false premise that working more productive hours = getting more results.
Every successful business owner knows you must devote sufficient hours to achieve business growth.
However, the truth is there comes a point in which working more sets you back.
Specifically, working more hours hurts business growth results!
To prove it, I’m sharing how working fewer hours helped me grow my business.
Additionally, I’m sharing growth strategies to help you work fewer hours while making more sales to increase cash flow AND grow your business more than ever.
Instead of pounding the pavement without making progress, start working fewer hours to achieve MORE.
The More-Is-More Game: How Most Entrepreneurs Try to Grow
Most medium and small business owners play this game: Work as many hours as possible, trying to squeeze as much work into those hours as possible to grow as much as possible.
They’re playing the more-is-more game!
However, if this game is so effective, fewer business owners would struggle with time management AND business growth.
Moreover, here is how most entrepreneurs play the more-is-more game to grow their existing or new business.
Taking Advice From Online Business Gurus As If it Is Gospel
To begin, most business owners take business growth advice from gurus as if they’re listening to their priest at church on Sunday.
Unfortunately, most gurus spew the more-is-more rhetoric.
AKA, the idea that packing as much work into as many hours of the day as possible helps a business grow more than ever.
After playing the more-is-more game, most business owners find themselves totally burnt out.
They find themselves sitting at their desk for several hours staring into space, too exhausted to do anything else.
The doing more for more hours of the day rhetoric is pervasive amongst new startup business owners and experienced CEOs alike.
Overcomplicating the Heck Out of Their Business Models
Once a business owner buys into the philosophy that they should do more for more hours, they inevitably overcomplicate their business models.
The more hours sitting at their desk, the more time they have to make their processes unnecessarily complicated.
Even though business growth is a simple matter of selling more products/services to new customers or developing new products/services, they overcomplicate it to the heavens!
Think of it like this: Imagine somebody challenges you to summit the top of a mountain and allows you 1 hour to plan your ascent.
Even though there is already a pathway that leads directly to the top, the fact that you have an hour to devise a plan starts messing with your head.
You start to think, ‘I’ve got all this extra time on my hands, so I might as well look for alternative pathways.'
Again, there is already a pathway to the top of the mountain, but because you have more time on your hands, you convince yourself to look for an alternative route.
Unfortunately, alternative pathways, while unique, tend to be unnecessarily complicated!
Similarly, the more working hours you spend planning , the more complicated your models become. The more complex the models, the more challenging business growth is to achieve.
Spinning Their Wheels but Getting Nowhere
Thanks to the complex business model, business owners spin their wheels but go nowhere.
Even though they work countless hours, they cannot seem to get their feet off the ground.
Sadly, it’s because they played the more-is-more game, overcomplicated their models, and now the models make it difficult for them to make any progress!
Returning to Square One
Burnt out and frustrated, business owners return to square one.
They worked tons of hours with their business growth model yet barely accomplished anything.
Thanks a lot, business guru!
The core issue is they tried to work for exceedingly long and productive hours, believing that was the key to business growth success.
Bottom line: You can spend tons of hours working and STILL achieve nothing.
Why NOT Working 24/7 Is Crucial for Business Growth
Here is why the more-is-more philosophy is dead for business growth.
Moreover, here's why trying to be as productive as possible for as many humanly hours as possible is bad for growing your business.
Do not get it twisted- I am not hating on productivity. Actually, I encourage productivity.
However, I am saying that trying to be productive all the time is a bad idea!
That said, here is why NOT working 24/7 is crucial for growing your business.
Working Less = More Downtime
If you are working 24/7, you do not have any downtime.
Contrary to popular belief, even business owners NEED downtime!
You are not some magical creature whose mind is efficient 24/7.
Instead, you are human, like everyone else.
That said, the less you work, the more downtime you have and vice versa.
Downtime = Boredom = Brain Restoration
Downtime is essential because it is where boredom lives, and boredom is CRUCIAL for business growth.
Unfortunately, people are less bored than ever these days.
For example, a business owner will set aside 3 hours on Sunday afternoon for downtime yet scroll through social media the entire time!
Being bored is about unfocusing so that your mind can wander inward. As your mind wanders inward, it enters a rest state where it repairs itself to work efficiently again in the future.
Unfortunately, if a phone, TV, or computer stimulates you during supposed downtime, the mind will not enter boredom.
Because it does not enter boredom, it will not get the necessary time to restore itself.
Instead of restoring itself, it fatigues more!
Furthermore, boredom is the brain’s opportunity to restore itself.
Unless it restores itself, mental fatigue will keep adding up and ruin future productivity.
Boredom Stimulates Creative Business Juices (AKA, Liquid Brain Gold!)
Boredom does more than repair and restore the brain.
Additionally, boredom stimulates creativity, a critical factor for the CEO of a growing business.
As the brain enters an introspective bored state, it tells you to get up and do something with the time you have.
It does this thanks to human evolution: Millions of years ago, human ancestors could not afford downtime because downtime opened the door to getting killed by wild animals or missing out on a chance to collect extra resources.
That said, when the brain tells you it is bored, what it's really doing is telling you that you have an opportunity to let your mind wander.
Allowing your mind to wander lets you into a state of endless creativity. While in a creative state, the mind gives you countless ideas to grow your business.
Studies at the College of William and Mary reveal kids who score higher on creativity tests become more accomplished adults.
However, the study also shows that creativity rates began plummeting after 1990 when TVs, phones, and computers began blocking boredom!
If you never enter a state of boredom, your mind does not have the chance to push you into a state of endless creative wandering. It’s within that state where business growth ideas and opportunities live!
Creativity Brings Businesses to Life
Creativity does not die with age.
Children do not necessarily have more creative capacities than adults.
Instead, adults cut themselves off from creativity because they stop allowing themselves to be bored!
As a business owner, you cannot afford NOT to be creative.
Creativity is where business growth opportunities live!
How often do you sit at your desk trying to be productive but find yourself in a supposed mental block?
Eventually, you decide to take a break.
Then, the MOMENT you let your mind wander, answers to problems start popping into your head.
That is not a coincidence!
That is your mind entering a state of boredom, which inspires you to get creative.
Creativity helps your mind wander into a land of new ideas and solutions!
CEOs get the breakthrough ideas they need to dominate the business growth game during those introspective periods of boredom.
Bottom line: Working less is crucial for business growth because it opens up the doors to boredom, and boredom leads to the kind of creativity necessary to run a growing business.
How I Work Less Than Before And Grow My Business More
Working less isn’t necessarily a matter of having a four hour work week or hiring more team members.
Instead, it’s about being smart with the time you have and getting others to do work for you!
That said, here are the growth strategies I use to cut down on time I spend working.
Because I spend less time working, I have more downtime, experience more boredom, reset my mind, and ultimately tap into the business growth creativity gold mine.
Minimizing Distractions to Maximize Time
To make the most out of my work time, I minimize distractions.
With fewer distractions, I accomplish more in less time.
To minimize distractions, I follow the pomodoro method.
Created by Francesco Cirillo, the pomodoro method is a way of time blocking tasks in 25 minute increments.
The idea is to pick a task to work on for twenty-five minutes and then break for five minutes. After the 5 minute break, you repeat the interval three more times.
Once you’ve completed the interval four times, you take a longer fifteen to twenty minute break.
Having short, 25 minute intervals to work on tasks increases your sense of urgency to complete them. With a higher sense of urgency, you’re less likely to let distractions get the best of you.
Remember, you need to be productive, but you don’t need to be productive 24/7. A few 25 minutes increments can be enough!
Setting a Black Dot Every Morning
How often do you show up to work every morning ready to have a productive day, but shortly thereafter find yourself being pulled in several directions at once?
Then at the end of the day, you realize you’ve barely accomplished anything!
There was a time I used to get pulled in what felt like millions of directions at once.
As a result, I would work tons of hours without even touching my most important growth-related tasks.
To prevent getting pulled into the weeds, I set a black dot every morning.
The black dot is the most important object of focus for the entire day.
For example, I set my black dot as re-defining my target market or reaching out to current customers for feedback.
Thanks to the black dot, I walk into work every morning with my priorities straight.
With straight priorities, I’m less likely to get pulled in other directions and waste valuable time.
Focusing 90% of my Time on Sales.
Sales growth is central to business growth.
Regardless of how you look at it, the sales growth strategy IS the business growth strategy!
Rather than getting entangled in marketing campaigns or SEO, I’m focused on converting my potential customer base into paying customers!
Additionally, I’m focused on reaching out to existing customers to ensure their long-term loyalty.
At the end of the day, you can work long and hard, but it will not make a difference in business growth if you are working long and hard on the wrong factors!
My Sales Process Is Repeatable
My sales process is repeatable and therefore easily deployable.
I’m ready to go after new customers in my target audience whenever I want to!
Instead of making processes up on the fly, I have one in my arsenal at all times.
As a result, I save tons of time on prospecting, discovery, and pitches.
Need a new sales process that will win new customers every time?
Delegating Every Possible Task to Team Members
To further prevent getting caught in the business weeds and wasting time, I delegate as many tasks as possible to my team members.
Specifically, any task that doesn’t have to do with leadership or sales get’s delegated, including the digital marketing strategy, marketing research, search engine optimization, and so on.
While my team members are putting the smaller pieces of the business puzzle together, I’m focused on sales and the bigger business growth picture.
As a result, I waste less time being stuck in the weeds and the business grows more efficiently.
Prioritizing Customer Relationships
Long-term customer relationships or partnerships are the business growth equivalent of a gold mine.
Thanks to my strong customer relationships, I save significant time when it comes to:
- Lead generation
- Market research
- Marketing plans
Instead of generating cold leads myself, my existing customers give me referrals.
More often than not, the referrals come in hot and convert into new customers faster than cold leads.
Also, customers are willing to give me insider information on their customer experience, pain points, and needs.
I then take the information and use it to generate more leads while enhancing the new customer experience.
Furthermore, my customer base is willing to stick with me for the long haul because they see me as more than a service provider.
Instead, they see me as a trusted business advisor and expert who they cannot afford to lose.
Thanks to my solid customer relationships, I save significant time on some of the most time-consuming business growth-related tasks.
Scheduling Daily Downtime
Finally, prioritizing downtime saves me the most amount of time and ultimately helps grow my business the most.
Because I prioritize downtime, I have more time to be bored.
With more time being bored:
- My brain recharges itself
- Creative juices start flowing
First, boredom gives my brain the opportunity to recharge itself after several days of long work.
As my mind turns inward, boredom ensues and my brain restores itself so that I can be more productive once I return to work.
Second and most importantly, boredom gives my brain’s creative juices a chance to flow.
With more juices flowing, the greater capacity I have to come up with new growth ideas and solve business challenges.
From now on, start measuring time spent being bored among your other growth metrics!
Unless you’re getting regular downtime, you’re missing a huge opportunity to grow your business.
Final Thoughts on Growing My Business More Thanks to Working Less
When I first decided to take my business to the next level, I followed the advice of most gurus: Work more hours and be more productive during those hours.
While this worked in the short term, I eventually found myself burnt out and back at square one!
Eventually, I realized that working more productive hours DID NOT help my bottom line.
Business growth optimization is about putting in time without neglecting downtime!
Instead of sitting at your desk for hours and getting nowhere, try working fewer hours. You will eventually realize that you can work less instead of more and still grow your business more than ever.
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