Skip to main content

The Busyness Lie


We invited Strategic Coach participant Stephanie Holmes-Winton—a prodigious blogger on financial matters, including the imperative nature of cash flow—to write a guest post for us. Stephanie is a Halifax-based financial services educator and speaker who works with advisors to help them find the money their clients need to fund their financial plans. She is the author of Defusing The Debt Bomb and $pent, and also the founder and board chair of the Certified Cash Flow Specialist* designation program. You can reach Stephanie at  or

You’re really busy. Right?

You’re so busy, you couldn’t stop now to learn a new habit. Right?

You are simply too busy to take time to think about your business. Maybe when things slow down?

Now, think back to the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. When was it that you weren’t busy? And could it be possible that you increase your feelings of being overwhelmed by the way you explain the current state of your life and work to yourself and others?

Last year, I was busy too! I’d been thinking about joining Strategic Coach for a few years but it was never the right time. Then it occurred to me: The “right time” was only going to be when I decided to do it. There would be no magical act of fate that would somehow happen upon me one day. I wasn’t going to wake up from my overworked entrepreneurial stupor by accident. I had to choose to make time to work on my business or I was never going to do it.

But for many years, I told myself the busyness lie. If someone asked me how I was, I’d reply with, “I’m so busy.” You’ll notice I didn’t say, “I’m so successful” or “I’ve got so many people trying to hire me, there is a line up down and around the block!”

Why do we do that? When we keep repeating how busy we are, it’s not just the people we’re talking to who hear that; our brains hear it too! To some degree, I think we’re overwhelmed because we’re telling ourselves we are.

So, stop it. Try not referring to how hectic, busy, or overwhelmed you are.

For one week, you are forbidden to verbalize the intensity of your schedule.

I’ve spent nearly a year now implementing a lot of what I learned in Coach. I can officially say I’ve learned how to take a true Free Day for the first time in the nearly 13 years since I became self-employed. My six-year-old has become my Free Day warden—I don’t get away with a thing. I’ve gone from being a solo entrepreneur, intent on avoiding having employees, to having a team of four, soon to be five.

In June, I attended a special Self-Managing Company workshop with Dan Sullivan in Chicago. During that session, I decided that a goal I’d pushed off for another year would be moved up to this fall. And by November 12, we’d successfully launched a new program that only a year earlier seemed like a pipe dream and wasn’t on my business plan until 2014/2015.

Am I busy?

Nope, I wouldn’t use that word, because my brain will hear it too. I’m excited, exhilarated, enthusiastic, happy, free, on top of the world, proud … I could go on. I’m anything but busy, because busy isn’t good for my brain, or my brand.

Without Coach, I’d still be busy.

How busy are you? Tell us in the comments!

*Certified Cash Flow Specialist is a trademark of The Money Finder, Financial Services Training Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.