In a recent conversation with a good friend about procrastination I found new insight. I am a freelance marketing consultant working as an independent, self-employed, home based entrepreneur.
My friend is a self-proclaimed procrastinator. As a self-employed entrepreneur, I cannot afford to procrastinate. Our conversation turned into a kind of interview, the substance of which I share with you here, with permission from my friend:
“Most procrastinators are pros, meaning they are experts at what they do…which is to put off doing something, intentionally and deliberately. I am a Pro, with a capital ‘P’. That means being a master, an expert, a guru, someone from whom to learn.
“At the risk of sounding boastful, I must admit to you that I have had a lifetime of practice. The only thing I can remember NOT procrastinating was being born. I was actually two weeks early for my date with birth, and have been trying to make up for that slip of character ever since.
“Early in life I put off my social development by restricting myself to talking to Moni Doni, my invisible sidekick. I about drove my poor mother crazy for over a year expecting her to make extra meals for me to feed Moni Doni.
“As you Boy Scouts all know, a scout must earn 21 merit badges to qualify for the Eagle Scout award. I spent years not getting the last three badges that I needed. Ironically, they were the three badges I should have most enjoyed earning. One of them was physical fitness. I was a three-sport athlete in high school. But, I also was already a dedicated pro-crastinator. So, I ended my scouting career with 18 merit badges…and no Eagle award.
“I have almost always filed an automatic extension with the IRS to avoid preparing my taxes on time. The filing has inevitably been postponed until October 15. The only reason it gets done then (aside from putting off going to jail) is that it is time to start preparing for the next tax filing…which of course I don’t start until April 14th anyway.
“I enjoy ‘pro’ status. It gives me the justification to be constantly practicing my trade…or not. The only way to get really good at anything is deliberate practice. The only problem with deliberate practice is that you have to commit to doing something. In my case, as a ‘pro’-crastinator, I practice by putting off practicing…thereby doing nothing.
“However, it does seem that that runs counter to my original definition of a “pro” procrastinator. So, maybe I need to change the definition to be consistent? Well, I’ll get around to that eventually…or not.
“By the way, I didn’t bother to finally figure out that I was born two weeks early until I was 62!”
Okay, I shared my friend’s story trying to have a little fun, but there is a huge lesson in his story. If his story sounds similar to yours please reconsider trying to be an independent entrepreneur. If you aspire to being self-employed you cannot afford the luxury of not taking action.
Entrepreneurs MUST take action every day to survive and flourish. Here’s to you flourishing!