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2 Reasons Why Striving to Be Bored is Solid Business Advice

Striving to be bored, while unconventional advice, is actually your path to getting the results you want.

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Does the idea of being bored make you twitch a bit? Believe it or not, striving to be bored may be some of the best advice you’ll ever receive.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of boredom.

Related: What Happened to Engagement? Here's Why Employees Are Bored at Work.

It creates space

Have you ever noticed that if you have the time, you might hang on a phone call or Zoom meeting longer than you intended? Maybe give a client a little extra time? Or without a pressing deadline, you might take a little longer to get a task done? Whatever space there is, we tend to fill it. That’s why such a thing as busy work exists. Like water flowing downstream seeking a reservoir, we entrepreneurs seem very anxious to fill whatever space is available to us. We could benefit from a little boredom.

Many entrepreneurs sit in this paradoxical space of wanting more business, even needing more business, but barely being able to handle the business they have because they’re already operating at full capacity. How do you grow then? 

You have to strive to be bored. If it is true (and it is) that something will always come along to fill an empty space, then you should strategically create the space for better opportunities to come along. It’s one of the reasons the fastest path to exponential growth for a business is to work only with ideal customers. It’s why the Pareto Principle doesn’t work in practicality. Sure, we can accept that 80% of our income comes from 20% of our customers, but what’s really happening is you’re wasting your time on eight out of ten customers. Imagine not having those non-ideal customers taking up space. Space on the calendar, production space and most certainly, head and energy space. Too many businesses waste a tremendous amount of energy trying to satisfy some customers that will never be satisfied. Just stop. Let them go and open up space for more profitable customer relationships.

When it’s busy, all your energy goes into dealing with what’s in front of you. There’s no time or plan for marketing. Next thing you know, you’ve hit a lull in business, and guess what? You have time to do some marketing. Had you carved out some time for marketing while you were overwhelmingly busy, you might have evened out the major swing between busy times and slower times.

Boredom is not usually a goal for an entrepreneur. But imagine what you might choose to do with your time. Invite in more business? Take some time off? Create a business that runs without you?

The second benefit of being bored will help you be intentional in what fills up the space again.

Related: Being Bored Is the Best Thing That Can Happen to You

Attract what you want

Call it what you want — manifestation, magic or smart business strategy — but the space you’ve created by striving to be bored attracts what you want to fill that space.

First, ask yourself what it is that you want. Is it more customers? More time off? Higher paying customers? The addition of a new income stream? Be clear and intentional about what you want. Otherwise, you run the risk of just refilling the space like a basket of dirty laundry and ending up where you started.

Second, to add fuel to the intention, create a visual that represents the filling up of the space. For example, let’s say you want 100 more customers before the year is over. Put 100 stroke marks on a whiteboard. As a new customer is added, remove one of the stroke marks. Why start with all the stroke marks and remove them? Two reasons:

  1. You are clear about what full looks like and are convinced of that goal. You are seeing your success, a full container of what you want, and feeling empowered with how it gets filled.

  2. It creates retention. Imagine someone offering you top ten tips for whatever. By the time they get to tip #3, the journey to ten seems like forever. Whereas, counting down from ten to one keeps you engaged and anticipating what the top tip will be. 

Growth and expansion then become a simple two-step process: Strive to be bored and make the space for what you want. Be clear on what is a better use of that space, create a visual representation of what full looks like and fill the space up again. When you’re ready for your next level of growth and expansion, you start all over again.

Related: Here's How to Get Excited Again When You're Bored With Your Business

Jeffrey Shaw

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Small business consultant, Jeffrey Shaw is the author of The Self-Employed Life and LINGO, as well as an in-demand keynote speaker. He's the host of the top-rated podcast, The Self-Employed Life and a LinkedIn Learning instructor. Shaw's TEDxLincolnSquare talk is featured on TED.com.