About    Work With Me    Resource Vault    Contact

Why I Stopped Working With Busy People

by Marissa Bracke in Focus & Get Stuff Done

I no longer work with busy people. I work with people who have a lot on their plates, a lot to do, are inundated with opportunities and projects, and who find it useful to have an extra brain and an extra set of hands to help them accomplish all of it.

I love working with those folks. But I don’t work with “busy” people anymore.

“Busy” is an emotional state.

Don’t we all have at least one person we know who always talks about being “busy,” but has the least to do of anyone else in our lives? That person feels busy. It’s an accurate statement about their emotional status. But it has little relevance to how much is actually happening or needing to be done. It’s not that “busy” never coincides with having a lot to do; the point is that the two are completely separate evaluations.

So when I used to market myself to “busy” people, that’s what I got: people who felt busy. It took me a while to realize that there’s a big difference between someone who feels busy and someone who has a lot going on in their business. I work splendidly with the latter, and only reluctantly with the former.

Here’s why:

I can’t solve “busy.”

There is no way to truly service the problem of “busy.” I can take certain tasks or projects off a busy person’s to-do list, streamline their remaining tasks or projects, and make sure they’ve got ample support for their work at the ready. But none of that actually addresses whether they feel busy. They just wind up feeling busy with different things. “Busy” is simply not an issue I can solve for someone.

A busy person–the kind who always includes “busy” as self-description early in their conversations with anyone–will always be a “busy” person. If you took away their entire to-do list, they would still be a busy person, because it’s how they process activity. So when that person hires me because they want to feel less busy, they’re setting both of us up for failure. Nothing I do will actually have any lasting effect on their perception of being “busy.”

For my clients, being busy isn’t a problem–they just want to be busy with the right stuff.

Do you really want to stop being busy?

If we think of being busy as the emotional state of overwhelmed, frazzled and stressed, then sure. You probably want to stop that or at least minimize it. But if we define being “busy” as having many tasks or projects needing your attention, then the solution isn’t to stop that, but to readjust what tasks and projects need and get your attention.

As one of my clients said, “I don’t want to be less busy. I just want to be busy with different things.”

And that’s something I can help with. If you’re a photographer, and preparing for a shoot, composing a shot, working with the images and interacting with the customers brings you joy, then I can work with you to streamline, delegate, and sand down all of the other tasks or projects that fall outside of those activities. That way, your day is still full, but it’s full with the right stuff. The stuff that makes you light up.

I don’t want to help you stop the busy. I want to help you get busy doing those light-up things.

“Busy” is a cop-out.

We use “busy” to describe such a wide swath of emotions and issues that it’s nigh impossible for me to know how to help someone who professes that being busy is his biggest issue.

If we’re having a rough patch with the family and our car breaks down and the dog gets sick and we didn’t finish the article we were writing, we sum it all up by saying, “I was just so busy today.” If we get a dinner invitation we’d really prefer to avoid, we decline by saying, “I’m busy that evening.” If we’re feeling overwhelmed with how much is on our plates, we declare we’re “really busy.”

Busy, my friends, is a cop-out. It’s a euphemism for everything from “I’m frantic with deadlines” to “I just don’t wanna” to “I feel bamboozled as to what to do next so I’m checking Twitter obsessively to tell people I’m busy.” It’s what we say when we can’t be bothered to unpack what we’re feeling or what we’re working on (or what we’re avoiding).

Skeptical? Try this for three days straight: don’t use the word busy. At all. Find other ways of describing what your day was like or what you’re doing or how your to-do list shaped up. You may be surprised to learn how often you resort to that word, and what a plethora of emotions and activities it’s covering! (And report back–I’d love to hear how the experiment goes and what insights it might provoke.)

Name: Email:



Very insightful, I’ll try your experiment. I don’t think I use the word busy much, because I also find that ‘being busy’ is a state of mind. If I say it, I usually use the words ‘feel busy’ and not ‘am busy’. Really, my to do list has grown to epic proportions, but if I want to do something else, I will make time to do it. Busy is a cop-out, indeed.

Charlie Gilkey

I loved, loved, loved this post, Marissa!

I wish you would’ve sent the “busy” idea to me for a PF post, but I’m glad you got it out here, too. I can just see the shift in you.

I’m not sure if I’m the client you mentioned, but it’s exactly how I feel. I don’t want to be less busy or do less of the stuff I do – I just want to do more of the stuff that’s uniquely my gift.

Thank you for sharing this – and yourself – with us.
.-= Charlie Gilkey´s last blog ..Do You Have the Weirdo Syndrome? =-.


Thanks for calling people out on this! IT’s all about priorities and decisions.

brooke thomas

I’m all over that experiment! I’ll report back…

Thanks for the great post- it’s EXACTLY what I needed to read as I head towards a launch next week.

Naomi Niles

Great post, Marissa. Totally get what you are saying. It makes a lot of sense.

Here’s another thing I’ve found about working with some people who are “busy”. And I use the word more than I should myself, I admit. But, I often end up waiting on people who are busy in order to do my work. Actually, it happens all the time. So, “busy” can be used as a way to say “my time is more important than yours”. Not that they mean that consciously. But that isn’t too fun when you’re on the receiving end either.
.-= Naomi Niles´s last blog ..Should Designers Specialize In One Industry? =-.


Excellent post! I once had a colleague who summed this up very nicely: if someone is truly “busy” they can still afford to take 30 seconds to call or write an email that says they have other things on their plate at the moment, but will get back to you at a specified time.

On the other hand, a person who blows you off for a week and then uses “busy” as the excuse isn’t worthwhile. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to do business with that person, date that person, or whatever else. It’s really not that difficult.
.-= Rob´s last blog ..Renegade Parking =-.


Busy in america is definitely synonimous with not wanting to do something. It is just a sort of culturally polite way of saying no. In other cultures it is more polite to say no, or give some other sort of excuse.

Another reason people say busy is a lot of americans are obsessed with filling every waking hour with some sort of activity, even if that activity isn’t all that important. Like there are people that will plan their schedule purposefully to drive themselves crazy: work from 9 to 6, dinner from 6 to 7, television from 7 to 8, ping pong from 8 to 9, reading from 9 to 10, and snack time from 10 to 10:30. These people are definitely not that busy but they act like they are because all of their extra curricular activities are in some sort of schedule for the insane. I don’t bother with these people, I have no patience for the neurotic.

And then there are people that just prioritize everything over relationships with others. I don’t bother with these people either. At the end of their life they will have no friends or family because they were too busy for everyone.

Thekla Richter

It does seem like many people use the word busy to mean stressed out and overwhelmed. I totally agree that changing or reducing your project/task list will not necessarily in and of itself change that emotional state. Some people actually have a lot invested in their stress and while they bemoan it and say they wish they didn’t have it, don’t let it go as easily as one might expect.
.-= Thekla Richter´s last blog ..Three Small Things: Savoring the Moment =-.


Hi Marissa,
I found you via @pamslim’s retweet of this post this a.m. — Great post! I totally agree!

The whole section on busy as a cop-out reminds me of something I read in The Writer magazine a few years back. Sharyn Crumb, a mystery writer, was quoted [and I'm paraphrasing here] as saying, “when people say ‘I don’t have the time’ or ‘I’m busy’ what I hear is ‘It’s not enough of a priority.’”

Can’t agree more! I think there’s a fair amount of “I just don’t wanna” or perhaps even “I don’t know where to begin, so maybe if I do nothing it will all go away” disguised as “I’m busy”. (Lord knows, I’ve made that excuse myself!)

Mark W. "Extra Crispy" Schumann

A lot of times a client or potential client will plead “busy” only to avoid communicating or making a decision. It’s often quite the power trip, because I’m supposed to guess what they want.

Nuh-uh. Not gonna play that game.
.-= Mark W. “Extra Crispy” Schumann´s last blog ..Why I’m grumpy today =-.


I’m going to take up your challenge and will try to avoid using the word busy. More often than not I use with prospective clients to let them know that I can’t take on their project, when in fact, it’s just that I don’t want to. Now if only I could fine an easy way to say, no I can’t do it….. Argh.


I’m so glad you wrote this post; you’ve articulated so many of my own thoughts for me. I love when a blog post makes me think! In my experience, busy isn’t just a cop-out, it’s a coping mechanism and an avoidance tool.

I have one of these “busy” friends – it doesn’t matter what is happening, she’s always busy (and FEELING busy above all else). But, no matter how much she says things like, “I wish I had time to read,” the truth of the matter is she doesn’t want to stop being busy. She’s afraid of what will happen – the things and thoughts she’ll have to face – if she stops being busy. Busy protects her from being real (and as much as I love her, she’s just not ready for Real at the moment).

So, I think if we do your busy assignment and discover we are addicted to busy we need to ask ourselves: what are we hiding from?

.-= Megan´s last blog ..I Missed a Day! =-.

chris zydel

Dear Marissa,

I just LOVE this post. I have a TON of things on my plate at all times. And people will always say to me ” You are sooooo busy.” And it would always annoy me because I don’t feel busy. It just felt like they were laying something on me. And now I know why.

Thanks for articulating this so clearly. Next time someone says that to me instead of getting all cranky and defensive I’ll just send them a link to this post!!



oooh… spot on!

Saying that you’re too busy is often just a form of resistance – an excuse for not doing the stuff that’s most important to you (the stuff that scares you most!), and if you haven’t figured out what’s important to you, then being busy is still a form of resistance – resistance to doing the hard and scary work of figuring out what’s important to you.

Having taken the time at Liftoff to get a bit clearer on what I want to create, I’m now realizing that I have the time to do it – telling myself I was too busy was partly a resistance strategy.

Awesome post! Thanks for the kick up the hiny!


I think I use the word “busy” 3x a week at most. Must be because the activities I engage in are 3/4 of the time things that I love or am passionate about. I want to eliminate the use of this word by engaging only in activities that fulfill me and make me feel alive.
.-= Denise´s last blog ..First Award! =-.


@Inge: A to-do list of epic proportions can be a sign that you’re doing epic things–which is fantastic! Having the right kinds of stuff on the to-do list makes all the difference.

@Charlie: You are indeed the client I mentioned. :) Your statement to me about not wanting to be less busy is what finally got all of these thoughts to start gelling into a post. Thank you for that!

@Miranda: Priorities & decisions–exactly. I agree.

@Brooke: Looking forward to hearing the report, especially on the heels of a launch week!

@Naomi: Great point. That also brings up the “war of the busies,” wherein folks can get into a bit of a verbal tug-of-war over who’s actually busier (whose schedule is more full, who’s got the more fatigue-inducing to-do list, etc.)… when really what they’re each trying to establish is whose time is more valuable. I hadn’t thought of that before, but it’s a great point. I’ll continue to ponder that.

@Rob: I’d go one further and say that folks who are truly busy are usually the ones most likely to stay on top of the really important stuff… I think it tends to be those who *feel* busy that let that stuff slide. (And, to be fair, I think we all fall into that latter category from time to time. It’s when it becomes chronic that it gets truly problematic!)

@Thekla: So true. For some folks, being a Busy Person is part of their identity, and I think they’d feel lost without the “busy” to keep them company.

@Cathy: Welcome! Glad to have you here! And a hearty “me too” on admitting to using “I’m busy” as an excuse when I didn’t want to admit “I don’t wanna.” The challenge of not using the word “busy” in my vocabulary is one I employ personally, not just one I thought up for the post! :)

@Mark: Ohhhh, the busy-in-lieu-of-decision-making! It makes my stomach ache just thinking of it. That is one of the most insidious games being played, and far too frequently. I’m with you: I’ll opt out of that, thankyouverymuch.

@Christine: I so relate! It’s so much easier for me to fall back on “being busy” than to admit to someone that I don’t think we’re a good fit. So if you come up with that Easy Way to say no without using “busy” as the excuse, will you please let me know? :)

@Megan: “Busy protects her from being real”–wow. Yes. I have no doubt that I’ve used “busy” as a protective shell from time to time too, and just hadn’t realized it. That’s a great way of putting it. You’re right–figuring out what we’re hiding from is just as important as noticing that we’re hiding!

@Chris: I love that you’ve had the experience of being *told* that you’re busy. It’s hard to know how to answer that, isn’t it? If you say, “No I’m not,” then people might think you don’t actually have a lot to do. But if you say, “Yes, I sure am!” then you stick yourself with whatever they’re laying on you. It’s always fascinating to me how much power a word or two can actually carry!

@Cath: Resistance–YUP. I’ve noticed that my own “I’m busy!” gremlins have shown up the most in the recent past at the exact times I was afraid of whatever next steps I had before me. I’m definitely still working on learning to notice that’s what’s happening, and to not let myself buy into my own stories about “being busy.” Always easier said than done, innit? :)


@Denise: A rockin’ manifesto: “I want to eliminate the use of this word by engaging only in activities that fulfill me and make me feel alive.” YES! That’s exactly how I want my clients to feel too. Not like they have nothing to do, but that what they do is what fills them up. Well put!

Jennifer Hofmann

I confess I have some big ol’ judgments about people who say they’re busy. Or worse, too busy. Something along the lines of “feeling too insecure about their self-worth to slow down enough to feel something besides stress.”

As you say, Marissa, busy is all about how I/you/we prioritize the stuff of life. Sometimes life asks us to do some hard thinking. And deep feeling. When a person is too busy, what are they running from?

At the moment, I’m learning this lesson – how to stay out of the overwhelm red zone. It’s *hard* to stop. It’s really challenging to look inward, but it the end, I think that’s where peace comes from. I think it’s worth it. Thanks for the reminder.
.-= Jennifer Hofmann´s last blog ..Who wins and loses in Mastodon vs. Your Inbox? =-.


You’re so right–it is really difficult. And it’s much easier for me to remind myself about all of this when I’m not approaching the “overwhelm” point… once I start to get there, the word “busy” rolls off my tongue all too easily. Which also means that, at least for me, getting “too busy” is at at least partly habitual.

And those pesky habits… if only *those* were a little simpler to change, right?

Your idea of using the grape-scented delegation list helps with that. The process of creating my “universe” list helps me remember that (a) I’m probably not truly as overwhelmed as I think and (b) even if I am, I’ve got more support than I usually realize.


i’ve been thinking about this post all day. it struck such a nerve with me. whenever someone tells me they are busy, i take it to mean “i’m too busy for you or for whatever concerns YOU. and it’s all about ME.”
about as soon as someone tells me they are busy is about when i decide i’m just too busy for them too.


It’s funny in a way, because I think some people (not everyone, by a long shot, but some) think that always being “busy” makes them seem really important. And somewhere along the way, I think they kind of start to buy into that–”I’m so important, that’s why I’m always busy.” Which then leads to that reluctance to let go of the “busy,” as it’s become part of their identity.

As always, I think noticing & keeping perspective about it is key!


Just changing the frame of “so busy” to “so many things on my plate right now” shifted my internal stress meter. Things on my plate can be managed whereas “busy” is who I “am”.

Another gem!
.-= Tami´s last blog ..Yoga+Music365 (day61) – R&B Transmogrification by Quasi – The Recipe Edition – Cough Care Parts 1+2! =-.


That’s so true… the shift in how we perceive what it is we’re trying to do each day makes a huge difference in how we manage it (or don’t!). Since I really started paying attention to my use of the word “busy,” I find that most of the time when I start using it, I mean, “I have something on my plate that I’m really, really trying to avoid or that really, really scares me.” And once I realize that, I can start figuring out what that thing is, and working on chipping away at whatever it is that makes it scary or avoidance-y. And suddenly–things are manageable and un-busy again! Like magic… ;-)


I stopped using the word busy 6 months ago. I am not “busy” I am producing something. If I’m not being productive, I sit still, go for a walk and clear my busi-ness in my head. I don’t like to be busy. I have much to do, I want to do a lot of things, but I don’t want to be busy just so people think I’m important. I have too many important things to do, the last thing I want to do is busy. If it’s important, I’m not too busy to do it.

I was talking to a woman who wanted to set up an online community and in the middle of our conversation, she said, “It would be great if you can help, I’m too busy.” I burst out laughing and withdrew from her because of her response. I thought, wow she thinks she’s the only person in the world who have goals to pursue, and worse, she likes being busy.

You’re right, I also don’t like to work with busy people. It turns me off when all people can tell me is that they’re busy.


I found myself nodding vigorously as I read your comment–you and I are definitely on the same wavelength on this. That is terrific that you’re so clear about what you want, both for yourself and the people you work with. That’s definitely applause-worthy!


I love, love, love this! You just helped me to further clarify who my ideal client is and who she isn’t. I’ve known I don’t want to work with “busy” people anymore but you really described it perfectly. Thanks for your words of wisdom!
.-= Vicki´s last blog ..Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth? =-.


Thank you, Vicki! And here’s to finding and working with our Ideal Clients. :)



I don’t completely agree that being “busy” is a bad thing, or an excuse. You might add up all the reasons as to why “I was busy” is a bad excuse or a cope-out, but we only get 24 hours a day. Lets suppose we had five things to do, each taking 2 hours of our time, then there is no way we could do them in 8 hours. Perhaps, the only excuse for the one we chose to postpone is “I was busy (doing the other four things, which you may choose or not choose to reveal to the concerned person)”.

What do you think?
.-= Anurag´s last blog ..Pinch of salt =-.


I agree with you–there are absolutely going to be days when the number of items on our “Need to do” list is more than what can fit into the hours we have to do them. That happens to all of us from time to time!

But saying, “I truly don’t have time today” is different than just saying, “I’m busy.” And I think that if we pause to consider whether we really have more to do than we have time for, or if it only feels that way, is an important distinction to notice, and can help prevent us from falling into the trap of just giving every hectic day the blanket description of “busy.”

I’m certainly not out to prove that very full days are non-existent; only that how we think about that fullness can make an awfully huge difference, both for ourselves and for those with whom we work.

Julie Stuart

Oh I love this. I’m going to put so much awareness around that word “busy” now. I just used it an an email I sent to my aunt an hour ago to let her know how I was doing and what I was up to. And you’re right, it’s an inacurrate blanket statement that covers up so many things.

I don’t like to be busy. I don’t like to describe myself as busy but busy has this connotation of being “good.” So I will be searching for new, better descriptors.

Thanks so much for this Marissa! Truly enlightening.


You’re right; “I’m really busy” has a certain connotation to it, of approval or “good for you”-ness. Plus, it’s such a socially acceptable way of describing ourselves! Breaking the “busy” habit isn’t easy, and I’m definitely not perfect at it myself. But the awareness is what’s the most important, and that alone can bring a halt to a lot of the negative aspects of “too much busy.”

Three cheers for awareness! :)


Finally someone busts this word! Nice job.

A few years ago I started to sense how people held up the word “busy” as a way to keep people away. And ever since I’ve tried to avoid using it. Just listen to the sound of it: Bzzzzeee …. it sounds like a mosquito that’s buzzing annoyingly in your ear, telling you go scram. Saying “I’m busy” sometimes sounds like “I don’t have time for you.”

Not when I hear myself use the word “busy” I cringe at my laziness and closedness. I try to get all poetic and gush, “I have a lot of beautiful goings-on happening” with a big smile even if I feel like having a nervous breakdown on the spot and punching someone in the face. It makes me feel better, actually!

Great post thank you thank you!


It’s pretty fantastic how much power words have on our state of mind–especially our own words. Like you, I find that if I get more specific about what it is that’s making me feel busy, I tend to feel better, even though the amount of stuff on my plate hasn’t decreased.

And I love the “bzzzeeee” mosquito metaphor! What a great visual!

Drew @ Cook Like Your Grandmother

This is such a chronic part of corporate jobs. I can’t count the number of times I’d come home from work and my wife would ask, “How was your day?” Busy. “And what did you do?” Ummm … uhhh … stuff, like … I dunno, but I was really busy.

Running fast in a circle is what is was.


I got a good laugh from your comment, Drew! I’m definitely not immune to those kinds of days now–not by a longshot–but they did seem to be more prevalent when I was in a corporate environment. I noticed it especially during any kind of mixer/after-work get-together. “So, how’s work?” Oh, it’s busy. How about you? “Oh, totally busy. I’m swamped. How are things in your department?” So busy. We’re really buried. etc. etc. etc. I think 90% of the conversations I had in those settings were about how busy we were!


i love this post too – you are a master at debunking words marissa. in one of your posts your described yourself as a wordsmith. that’;s very true.

i have several relatives who call me on their cellphones, get other calls while they are on the phone and take them pledging to call me back later and rarely do. if i talk to them later they say, i’m sorry i was so busy.

busy means what i’m doing is more important than talking to you and it would be so much easier for me if they’d take their mosquito noising elsewhere.

busy means i’m running around doing stuff in my life that really doesn’t matter to me but then cramps my style for the things that may bring me more happiness.

i’m not judging them though i may sound as i am – i notice it because i have slipped into that spot too. but at the moment, i’m not talking on my cellphone while driving, i’m not answering call waiting and i’m looking at what really matters here.

i’ve substituted the word busy when someone invites me to something that i don’t want to attend with “it’s not an appropriate time right now” – a little right lie is progress for me. not the truth but progress.

there’s a grocery store owner i know and when i ask him how he is, he wipes his brow and says in an exhausted tone – busy – which i now translate as kiss off lady. i won’t be asking again.

in fact, for those people in my repertoire who routinely apply that word – i’m done asking the question of how are you? not really interested in the answer anyway.

the little right lie here would be “i apologize for ranting” – but the truth is, that’s where i stand on the subject of busy and i’m happy to have more clarification on the subject.

thanks marissa. tying the concept of busy and little right lies together is useful for me. you’re brilliant.
.-= char´s last blog ..Ask Char: Dealing with Depression =-.


Sometimes “ranting” is the quickest way to acknowledging what’s real for us–I totally get that. And more clarification = terrific! Kudos to you for working through a lot of this and for continuing to do so.


I found this via @pamslim’s retweet a few days ago – and it certainly made me sit up and take notice! People are always saying how “busy” I am and I know I use the word far too often. I’m taking you up on your challenge – the next three days straight I will not use the word busy. I promise.


Please feel free to stop back & tell about the results of your 3-day busy-purge. I hope it’s a useful experiment for you!


This post has opened my eyes up to a lot of things. I could never pinpoint why I am so bothered by people who are always “busy.” Heck, I’m a mother and a wife working two jobs but when I’m in the company of others I like to enjoy their company, not talk about how “busy” I am. It makes me feel like the person does not value the time we have together. Now after reading this, I have a different perspective, that maybe they’re running from their own emotions. I’m going to use this exercise in my life too, I’ll see how often I want to use the term “busy.” Thanks!
.-= Tonya´s last blog ..Spring Into Fashion At The Bravern =-.


Plus, it seems (to me, anyway) that when I get together with folks and we all talk about just how busy we are, I only wind up feeling busier… as if all the focus on it in the conversation just serves to amp up those feelings, not relieve them. On the other hand, if we all enjoy hanging out together without focusing on our relative “busy-ness,” I usually come away feeling far happier & more recharged.

The talk itself can be draining! Not something I realized until I started consciously purging “busy” from my vocabulary.

Glad you stopped by, Tonya!

Ellen Besso

Marissa: A great article. I think the idea that busy is an emotion is quite brilliant (wish I’d thought of that!).

May I reprint your article on my blog?

Ellen Besso
.-= Ellen Besso´s last blog ..We Are All Connected =-.


Hi Ellen! You are welcome to reprint the article on your blog–just throw in my name and a link back to this site.

Thanks so much for asking & for popping in to leave a comment!

Phil Simon

Great post, Marissa. I concur with@Rob’s comment:

I once had a colleague who summed this up very nicely: if someone is truly “busy” they can still afford to take 30 seconds to call or write an email that says they have other things on their plate at the moment, but will get back to you at a specified time.

We rely on being busy too much. It’s the ultimate cop out, as you suggest. In the words of Yoda, “There is no try. Do or do not.”

Bryan Sr

Very well said. When I first saw the title, I thought, I want to work with busy people. You are right on with how you describe the difference in busy and not getting anything done and those that are busy, yet accomplish much.
Very nice.

Krista Arias

I started telling people I’m busy in order to help them make sense of my weird lifestyle (to translate my vagabond existence into something they could grock instead of mock). In reading your post I am realizing that at some point it started back-firing and I started feeling that dizzy-ing overwhelm of the too busy person…. yikes. gotta stop.

Love how you tackle to too busy whirl without making it mean one should do less! yum. I love my projects and I don’t want to give them up…. I also love my valuable laying on the couch veg time! What will I tell people when they comment on how busy I am (which they often do)?

I have a saying: I’m not lazy, I’m efficient….. Wonder what the “busy” equivalent might be?

I’m not busy…. I’m…. um….. powerful.

oh yeah.

Thanks for the meditation!


Marissa, you described me to a T. I feel frazzled and plagued and overwhelmed much of the time, yet have so little on my plate by anyone else’s standards. I’ve been struggling to understand whether there is just something wrong with me.

Your post, and the comments, give me clear clues about where I’m going wrong and what to do about it.

I’ve veered off course – consciously – away from my true artistic gifts to related work that makes money. I’m avoiding the fact that the part that leaves me with no pension is the part where I have the skills, the knowledge, the experience and the fun.

Meanwhile, working on my business from home and desperate not to feel like a layabout, I’ve been going in circles not realising that I’ve actually reached my modest long-term business goal, and I now have to *stop* and re-evalute where to go next.

I’ve created a small, simple business that gives me a modest, reliable income. The idea was to keep it simple and use the time and energy that it frees up to go back to my art, but this little money-making thing I’ve created has turned out to be annoyingly awesome. :) People want it to grow and develop into a much bigger thing. That’s really scary. I ought to face the fears and serve my customers, but where does that leave my empty sewing room?

I clearly have more to say about this somewhere else. Thank you for the opportunity to vent!


Right on the money here, Marissa. Good post.


Very interesting! I think I’m one of those people using the word busy to cover up the fact that I’m not enjoying my job. Yes, I do have a lot to do, and I do have a lot of deadlines to meet, but the truth is I’m always at my best when I have a lot of things to do (things that fulfill me and make me happy). Beeing busy meens that I’m depleating myself of energy, doing things that I don’t like.

Customer is always right.

Although I understand your comment, you are providing  a service as a trainer. Most business owners would not have much business if they only catered to those customers who thought and felt the way I thought they “should.” If these “busy” people show up for thier appointments and pay you for your service, than why do you care?  What about the customer always being right, or does that not apply to you? Maybe Jillian Michael can get away with that type of thinking, but most of us can’t.

Maneesh Kumar

I completely agree with you Marissa,
Busy is nothing but a state of mind where people has given their control to situations. Doing a lot of things has nothing to do with being busy. Being busy is like you are not attentive to things around you.
Doing tonnes of things and still you can be free as you enjoy what you do and derives satisfaction and energy out of it.

Previous post:

Next post: