Why Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Be Busy

When you ask a friend how they’re doing, you’ll hear that they’re busy. The all-nighter is a badge of honor. It’s as if they’re more important than you because it’s exhausting to look at their calendar.

Here’s an unpopular idea: being busy is bad for you, especially if you’re an entrepreneur.

The Industrial Age vs. Today

In the Industrial Age, the worker was measured by efficiency. It was about the quantity of what you do. There wasn’t much room for improvisation. The big supply chain was designed by the boss, so the worker had to follow precisely. The worker produces more and gets compensated out of doing more repetitions. Hence, a calendar packed with repetitions.

In the age of entrepreneurs, the rules are different. Effectiveness beats efficiency. The entrepreneur’s job is to produce massive outcomes, instead of many repetitions. One smart thing done in an hour is more valuable than busy work for a month.

The old technique of frequent repetitions doesn’t work anymore. Today’s worker keeps pedaling the stationary bike, in an attempt to move it forward. The busy calendar doesn’t anymore mean massive results.

Break Free From Busy Routines

What’s required is thoughtful action. The more you’re stuck in busy work, the less you’ve done your only job. To come up with better solutions, you should be breaking out of routines. Review your deepest values and identify new things that will provide greater leverage than ever.

Why is busy glorified then? There’s something so impressive about the drama of painful work. Getting tired is so sexy to the legacy mindset. It reminds us of what made our grand parents survive.

Reframe your mindset. Power through something deliberate instead of getting caught in repetition. Your work’s defining characteristic has to be about making progress, instead of mere movement.


The next time a friend asks how you are, you shouldn’t respond with “I’m busy.” Instead, tell them how you’re making real progress.