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Don’t be Busy. Be Productive.

Think you’re too busy, too fancy, or too knowledgeable to attend Triple Play or other realtor events? Think again. There’s always room to get over yourself, learn new things and grow your business or your mindset.

I’ll get right to the point. Busy is productive’s imposter. It is simply another way to say that you are putting out fires all day. If people ask how I am, and my stock answer is” busy”, the reply is usually something along the lines of “Busy is good”.

No. Busy is not good.

Busy is I am so friggin’ burned out that I want to cry. Busy does not mean productive. It is not propelling me forward in my goals. It is not producing anything that is meaningful to me. It is what I am hiding behind to pretend that I am doing something that matters.

So let’s all agree to stop being busy, okay? I’ll tell you why and how I came to this epiphany.

I just came back from the annual REALTOR Triple Play Convention in Atlantic City. It was four days of seminars, classes, motivational speakers and exhibits.  And, oh yeah, parties… I took four days away from the office, time away from my kids, plus the expense of the convention, hotel, food and transportation….

Despite the cost, I can’t think of a better way I could have spent my time and money.

But I almost didn’t go because I was too busy.

Although, deep down, I knew I should go, there was this voice in my head whispering reasons why I shouldn’t. You know that voice. If you’re reading this, you have it in your head too. It said, “I am a VERY BUSY broker and a VERY BUSYinstructor and a VERY BUSY blogger and a VERY BUSY Mom and I consider myself kind of fancy and REALLY BUSY so why should I go and waste my time when I could be BUSY working?”.

That voice is wrong and you have to ignore it.

Even though I was too busy to leave, I packed my suitcase and headed to Atlantic City. I arrived at The Triple Play Convention with a full schedule of seminars and CE classes and little time in between, save for an hour lunch. I made a conscious decision to not check my phone at all during the sessions, but to save it for the few minutes in-between. I was present and in the moment during each session. Over the 3 days I was there, I attended 11 sessions as well as the exhibit. Afterwards, instead of being exhausted, I was completely energized!

You see, I shut that Too Busy voice right up, got over my Too Busy ass, and managed to learn a shit ton from the presenters at triple play. Because, guess what? I don’t know everything, and neither do you!

Here are the main benefits I got from ignoring the Too Busy voice in my head and going to The Triple Play Convention:

• People taught me stuff: straight up things I didn’t know! Imagine that! I think I’ve been too busy, too knowledgeable, and too fancy to realize I needed new information. You would think I’d prioritize this over my never-ending to do list, but I sometimes use BUSY-ness as an excuse to avoid new stuff. Learning new stuff means admitting I don’t know everything already. It involves a learning curve I’m not comfortable with. It isn’t as easily implemented as concepts that I am familiar with. New ideas can take longer to propel into action. But they are worth the effort. I am starting a bullet journal with a list of projects that came about from triple Play. I’m planning to implement video and better content marketing into my business. I knew these things existed, but I had never considered their value nor had an idea of where to start.

• I felt supported: Sometimes being an entrepreneur is a lonely business and, if you’re a real estate agent, you’re an entrepreneur. Despite working with the public so often, you do find yourself spending a lot of time locked in your own head with your own ideas. At Triple- Play, I found, that when an instructor presented an idea that I either already had or have already started implementing, I felt validated. They gave me the language for what I was already doing and a community to feel I am truly a part of. This process is valuable. It validates and encourages you to keep moving forward with your ideas.

For instance, I have never been a hard – sell, cold – caller but I am often bombarded with companies trying to sell me leads. They include testimonials from top- producing agents who swear by the service. After a while, doubt sometimes creeps up. Maybe I am doing it wrong. Maybe I should be reading a script into a headset 5 hours a day. I hate that icky feeling of self-doubt! So I was lucky enough to sit in on a few classes whose ideas about relationship marketing align with my own. I was able to get the validation I needed to remind me that the way I do business is genuine and valuable.
I may not have learned new skills, but I was encouraged. The way we do things is also a valid way to build a business.

It was kind of like therapy, but without the ugly crying.

• I felt motivated. I needed to get away from being too busy and into being truly productive. It’s a good thing I pledged to not use my phone in sessions because there was hardly enough time to listen and take notes. There was so much information and motivation that I found myself having a hard time sitting still. I wanted to get out of there and start taking action. I came back to my hotel room and passed the lobby bar where colleagues were perched with a drink in one hand and a plate of wings in the other. As tempting as that looked, I swept by and up the elevator to the quiet of my room. I grabbed a notebook, spread out my handouts, and began to write, organize and try to digest some of what I had learned.

• I made new friends. Networking. That word is kind of gross. But it’s obviously important in this business. Let’s just say I made a bunch of new friends. I met so many people! I got cards. I gave cards. I have already followed up with a few of them and even partnered up with a guy from New York to have a weekly phone call to keep us both accountable in our business goals.

• I partied (a little bit). But if you are a wild child, you can party every night. What’s more rewarding than working your ass off during the day, and being able to let loose at night. Life is about balance, right?

I am sure I will be discussing some of the business and marketing topics I learned about in future blog posts, once they have had a chance to gel in my mind. The takeaway for you is to go.  Stay away from the Too Busy stuff: like the toxic pull that disguises itself as important, the group text that keeps dinging, posting on Facebook about how busy you are…

Focus on the important stuff, like building your business and your life, your learning, your motivation, your networking… All the things that have a future payoff.

Just go.