Are you on the wrong bus?

Old bus in abandoned field

This week I’ve been pondering this quote by Seth Godin: “I know it wasn’t easy to get on the bus. I know you got a seat. I know it’s getting dark outside. But you’re on the wrong bus, and staying on the wrong bus won’t make it the right bus.”

I was literally guilty of boarding the wrong bus (or subway car) during my first few visits to New York City. My philosphy was that it felt good to be going somewhere — even if it’s in the wrong direction — and, if I got lucky, the bus might actually take me closer to my destination.

However I don’t think Seth Godin’s quote was referring to public transportation. The bus is a metaphor for our unwillingness to change direction when we’ve put so much effort into creating our current path. It’s easier to continue along a familiar route than to reevaluate our course, get off the bus, and change direction.

5 Areas Where You’re Not on the Right Bus

It takes courage to evaluate whether you’re on the “right bus.” We are all creatures of habit and the easiest path is to continue with the status quo. I recommend that you spend some time reflecting on where you are in your business and personal life — and whether your current direction is working. Here are five areas to consider:

  1. Technology. Take a couple of hours and look critically at the tech that you’re using to run your business. Are your programs and applications meeting your business’s needs? Are you paying for programs that you’re no longer using? Is it time to re-evaluate your Internet Service Provider or web host? Is there an area in your business that you could automate that would save you considerable time and effort? Technology is constantly changing and you might not have noticed an increase in price or a reduction in features.

2. Rest and Relaxation. Prior to covid, I spent part of my weekends going to antique shows and estate sales with my daughter. Once covid appeared on the scene, I found that I was barely leaving the house and it was easy to fill that time with work. I realized that I needed to consciously make time for relaxation and hobbies. If this is true for you, consider getting off the “work all the time bus” and figure out how to include rest and relaxation in your week.

3. Motivation. The business landscape has changed due to covid and many of us are still figuring this out. Zoom has replaced in-person meetings, many tradeshows are now virtual, and dresscodes have evolved to the point that pajama pants count as work attire. All of these changes can make it easy to board the “do nothing” bus instead of moving forward. In this blog post, Stay Focused with the Magic of Three, I discuss a strategy I use to stay motivated.

4. Physical health. I’m not thrilled to report that I packed on an additional 19 pounds during the covid shutdown. While many people turned to alcohol to feel better, my family developed a serious addiction to peanut butter cups. In addition, we skipped the gym because the environment was too risky. Now that covid is in the same category as the seasonal flu, it’s time to get off the “unhealthy habit” bus, resume healthy eating, and either return to the gym or find enjoyable activities that you can do from home. How to Create Healthy Habits provides great information on improving your physical health.

5. Mental Health. Anxiety and depression levels skyrocked during covid. If you are struggling, it may be time to get off the “I can handle it” bus and seek professional help — or at least make your mental health a priority. This blog posts provides information about How to Cope with Anxiety as an Entrepreneur.

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Are you on the wrong bus?
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