As a young man visiting a friend in the Twin Cities, I had driven out to see the original house used in The Mary Tyler Moore Show television series. I stood admiring the classic, multimillion dollar home, a stunning Queen Anne Victorian built in 1892.
“Man, what do you do to live in a house like that?” I wondered aloud.
“I have no idea,” my friend replied. “But I read that the guy who bought it didn’t even know who Mary Tyler Moore was. He’d never even heard of the show.”
I was taken aback. “How do you live in America in the 1970s and never watch The Mary Tyler Moore Show?”
Even as the words left my mouth, I realized I’d found a piece of the answer to my original question — part of what you do is what you don’t do.
People able to buy a house like that don’t spend a lot of time watching television. Their values prompt them to spend their time differently.
The Enemy of the Best is Often the Good
Author Stephen Covey crystallizes the lesson this way: “The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’”
Not the bad, the wrong, the evil, the sinful. The good. Good things, which, because they consume our time or attention or energy or money, can rob us of the best.
Growing a coaching business for the glory of God will demand many things of you. The things you say no to will become just as important as those to which you say yes.
Those “good” things are different for everyone. For some, social events or committees they’ve served on for years will need to be handed over to someone else. For others, the choir or praise band or a ministry will have to be given up. Still others will need to downsize their homes or forgo new cars.
None of these things is inherently bad. They may, in fact, be things that qualified as “best” during a previous season of life. But that season has simply passed. They continue to be good, but they are no longer best.
When Less is More
I grew up near Cleveland, following the Browns and the Indians and the Cavaliers on television and in print, attending games, collecting ball cards, and swapping statistics with my friends.
Since starting my first business, I haven’t watched a Super Bowl, a World Series, or a championship game in more than twenty years. That’s not a prideful statement (and it’s truly not a sad statement) — it’s a values statement.
As much as I would enjoy those games, and would do nothing wrong by watching them, I find that the time and attention they require robs me of other things I now value more.
The very things I don’t do enable me to do all that I do.
As a man or woman working to establish a successful business, you are doing what few others will attempt. Fewer than nine percent of Americans are self-employed.
Ninety-one percent of adults have chosen a different path than the one you’re going down. You’ll have to do things differently to succeed in a career that’s so different from theirs.
If you’re shaken by that awareness, that’s good. If you’re not a little fearful about starting your own business, you’re not in touch with the reality of it. But that kind of fear is part of discernment — awareness of danger — and it’s key to exercising wisdom and prudence and sound judgment in your venture.
Be sure that your fear is more than offset by the excitement and assurance you feel about the rightness of your decision. If it’s not, turn back now and wait before the Lord until you’re confident of His path.
Coaching the Coach Tip
Entrepreneurism — if that’s what God has called you to — is a wild and wonderful adventure that will stretch you in ways you’ve never been tested before. You’ll need time, attention, energy, and money — the very things so easily spent on other good things — to succeed.
Determine the best of what God is calling you to, and then let go of all the good things you’ll no longer do.
Grow your coaching business by doing less.
This article was adapted from “Growing Your Business by Doing Less” by Christopher McCluskey, PCC. It appears in Coaching the Coach: Life Coaching Stories and Tips for Transforming Lives, compiled by Georgia Shaffer.
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