Do you ever remember as a kid being told by an adult or anyone, “Mind your business?” That was something I often heard growing up. The premise was, that what I was involving myself in I was not an invited participant in. It was often accompanied by the statement, “This is on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know.” There was a whole exclusivity about what was going on and I wasn’t included.
As adults, we juggle so many things in our lives. We deal with our careers, our family, our friends, our homes and the community in which we live. The list goes on depending on how active we are and what responsibilities we choose to take on. But much like many sports figures today, we too see an ever increasing trend of people who fail to mind their business.
Mortgages, health care, elder and childcare, student loans, taxes, reports and deadlines are those things that become our business as adults. With so much vying for our attentions daily, we become easily distracted and neglectful of things that are truly our business, forgetting that the responsibilities we take on come with a price. Increased technology has us so plugged in to the distractions of gossip, and extracurricular activities and such that our focus is not on our own business.
- Don’t Substitute:
- Expert Opinions and Advice for Your Own Due Diligence: Even the bible tells you to, “Study to show yourself approved, a workman that needs not be ashamed.” Too often people lose their shirts on investments and business dealings that so called experts advised them on. Yet, if you do the research, a majority of the advisors never took their own advice. How smart is that? You want to follow the advice of someone who actually does what they recommend. But more important, you want to do your own fact checking and research before you do anything.
- With Quick Fixes and Short Cuts: As the old saying goes, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Get rich quick schemes and things that are supposed to get you to your dream goals “yesterday” rather than in a reasonable amount of time probably and most likely aren’t what they appear to be. Those short cuts more often than not lead to dead ends and cliffs you’ll fall off of.
- Don’t Assume
- Others are as Invested in You as You Are: You are your greatest advocate. When it comes to things like your health, finances, education and relationships, no one knows you like you know you. No one is going to care more than you about you than you. If you neglect yourself, then you are doing yourself a great disservice.
- What Works Today Will Work Tomorrow: Rules and laws chance constantly. Things tend to go around in cycles, and often things change completely. With the advances in technology and the explosion of access to information rules and laws are changing to reflect it. Instability in the economy is changing things also. Don’t get stuck in what used to be. Open your mind to new possibilities and new realities.
- Ignorance is Bliss: There is no such thing as ignorance of the law. The law is the law. Despite your ignorance of it, you are still held accountable to it. Laws are there to protect the innocent and to keep things fair, but if you are ignorant of those laws, they can bite you in your rear just as easily as if you had painted a “bite me” sign on it.
There used to also be the saying, “I have six months to mind my business and six months to leave yours alone.” So often, I read about the importance of having a good team or support system around you to help to make good decisions. It’s true. But no good king or business mogul leaves the decision making up to their team. The team is there to help, not replace you. You may well delegate some duties that may require it, but a good leader always keeps his or her eyes open and watches the watchers. Mind your business. If you even intend to leave a legacy to be followed, don’t let others mind it for you. You might just wake up one day to find that you have no business or your business is no longer in your control.
QUESTION: How do you ensure that you are minding your own business?