Losing Sight of the Little Things?

This post was guest blogged by Alan Johnson, who has just started to accept private ads over at The Rating Blog.

For online entrepreneurs, just like for anyone else, the little things play an extremely important role. You will, for example, end up remembering more than a few moments you’ve spent with your beloved ones down the road, even if, at that point, you didn’t necessarily see them as something special.

Far too many entrepreneurs end up letting their busy lifestyle get the best of them and, unfortunately, most end up realizing just how wrong they were when it’s far too late. Everyone knows that success has its price, but how much are you really willing to pay?

Take it from a person who has “been around the block” for a while: you should never make the huge mistake of underestimating the importance of little things, and helping you understand just that is what the article is all about.

Too Busy Is An Excuse, Nothing More

First of all, I’ll start with the little things most people end up neglecting in life, such as the quality time you spend with your children, wife or husband. In today’s world, it’s easy to use the fact that you are busy as an excuse but really, who are you trying to fool here?

If you think that the only thing you represent to your children is a walking paycheck, you couldn’t be more wrong. Do you know what your children actually need? They need you, as a father or as a mother, they need your personal involvement and they need you to listen.

Do You Really Listen?

So you’ve had a hard day at the office, it isn’t the first time and it will most likely won’t be the last either. A lot of people make the mistake of using their busy lifestyle as an excuse for not listening. They come home tired, too tired to get involved and too tired to listen. They think that, compared to their own issues, the problems their children are facing at school or in everyday life are not really that important.

But guess what: they may not seem important to you, but they are most definitely important to your children, and that’s the only thing that counts. “I’m tired, please don’t bother me”, “Daddy has had a hard day”, “I’m far too busy, maybe next week”, does this sound familiar?

I will tell you this much: you will, at a certain point, regret each and every time you had such an attitude. So you’re making a killing and are able to secure a certain lifestyle for your family? Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are far more important things than that. Your children need you, they don’t need expensive gifts.

Money Can’t Buy Everything

Down the road, you won’t remember tax season and you most definitely won’t remember the TV shows you’ve watched. Treasure each and every moment spent with your beloved ones because, in the end, that’s really the only thing that counts.

You see all sorts of seemingly successful people who would like to make you think that career is everything but, in fact, most of the times, they are empty inside and that’s not a pretty picture. It’s the little things we experience everyday and, a lot of times, don’t pay attention to which make everything worth it. Family, that’s what counts; everything else is scenery.

I’d like to end this article by telling you this much:

You can deplete my bank accounts, you can take away my home, you can take away my car, you can take away every single thing I’ve ever bought and I will not be afraid to start over. Money can be made, properties, cars and all sorts of other objects can be bought. But on the other hand, take away my family and I’m a nobody.


59 thoughts on “Losing Sight of the Little Things?”

  1. Reed says:

    Good article. I’ve found myself leaning more towards balance than overworking, and choosing experiences over possessions. Things are just better that way.

    1. Robert says:

      You’re absolutely right. You know what I can’t stand, though, and why becoming an investor or entrepreneur is so important? Because when you work in a job for a boss, you may want balance, but your boss won’t see eye to eye with you. They want you to slave away endlessly, family be darned. Getting away from these people is essential to being able to focus on the little things that make us happy.

    2. David Chew says:

      Those tips john post really help bloggers a lot.

    3. Alan Johnson – I love to Hate this man for No reason.

  2. Indeed “Too Busy” is a HUGE excuse! I hear it all the time , it makes me wonder about people always seems so busy.

    1. I always interpret “too busy” to mean that something isn’t important enough to warrant your time. If something matters to someone then they’ll make the time.

  3. Mayank Rocks says:

    Too busy. I hate that word. How can one be just too busy. Just an excuse and nothing else. πŸ˜•

    1. Robert says:

      That is so true. Unless you’re some big company exec, there is no way you’re ever “too busy.”

  4. Well, you can get to busy if you fill your life up with unimportant things.

    1. Syed Balkhi says:

      you took the words out of my mouth alan.

    2. Jorge says:

      That’s true.

  5. natespost says:

    I’m not too busy….I’m unemployed for crying out loud. I’m just easily distracted by small shiny objects. Seriously though….I need to make myself stay on target.

    1. Robert says:

      I wish I was unemployed.

  6. Jcyreus says:

    Amen to that Alan. Lots of good points in there.

    While you’re on a roll, how about a recurring piece on theratingblog about time management as a blogging entrepreneur? Things like using Google Analytics (or other metrics tools) to measure traffic and where it comes from in order to allocate your time so as to not waste a lot of it on the things that bring in little traffic vs. focusing on those things that yield the greatest results with the least amt of time consumption.

    Or how about using time spent with the kids at special events as opportunities for creative content ideas…such as the article I posted to jcyreus.com on Sunday about the Bucks vs. Celtics game I went to on Sat. night. πŸ‘Ώ (I think that qualifies my ticket and parking expenses as tax deductible as well).

  7. wisdom says:

    Well said Alan. It’s refreshing to see an article like this. It’s easy to be busy. But being busy is totally different than being productive.

  8. Robert says:

    Nice post. Good change of pace. The little things are what truly make us happy anyway. If we don’t focus on them, we’ll lose ourselves in our tasks, jobs, etc.

    1. Definitely Robert, all the little things in life are much more important than money, cars, possessions, etc. Having fun in life is much more important than making money πŸ˜‰

      1. Robert says:

        Well, I would venture to say that making money is pretty important. I can’t do all the “little things” I want to do without having enough money on hand whereby I don’t have to work.

        1. I agree, making money is pretty important. Making money opens up opportunities to spend more time w/ people you love and more time for “having fun”

  9. Happy Monday,

    Nobody ever expired on their deathbed screaming to the heavens, oh, if only I had blogged just a bit more!!!!

    Family rules. Period, beginning, end of statement.

    Enjoy,

    Barbara

  10. Wade says:

    I couldn’t agree more. My little girl is 2, and my fiance and I are getting married in June. Family time is VERY important. That is why I hope to make enough money off my site in the first few months to buy a Laptop πŸ˜€ If I have a laptop, I could at least be in the living room with my family. I do take time and spend with them now, but I feel still taking that time, and being in the same room, would be a lot better. So anyone willing to help me out in getting a laptop, head on over to my site and look around. It isn’t finished yet, but at least bookmark it or link to it.

  11. Mike Huang says:

    Great guest post! πŸ™‚

    -Mike

  12. Patrice says:

    I realized last week that I just CANNOT be too busy… I used to think I was, but I actually work like 15 hours a week of real work. How can THAT be “too busy” ?

    So now I’m celebrating the lifestyle that my Internet Empire always allowed me to have (without me noticing).

    Great article.

    Patrice

    1. Robert says:

      It’s amazing, when you think of it, how little you DO work in a job. When you add up the bathroom breaks, the e-mails, the hallway chats, etc., we work probably 10-15 hours.

  13. 3magin8 says:

    yeah i do get busy also, since im still in school and im graduating this year. πŸ˜•

    1. Mayank Rocks says:

      I am in college. I still dont get busy lol :mrgreen:

  14. It’s definitely important not to mix up work and life! It can be tempting to confuse the two, but you gotta remember WHY and WHO you are working for.

  15. I really enjoyed reading your article Alan. This last paragraph really stuck out to me: “You can deplete my bank accounts, you can take away my home, you can take away my car, you can take away every single thing I’ve ever bought and I will not be afraid to start over. Money can be made, properties, cars and all sorts of other objects can be bought. But on the other hand, take away my family and I’m a nobody.” I couldn’t agree more!

  16. Jim says:

    That’s really insightful John. I like the input a lot, its true though… we all lose touch with “the little things” sometimes. Its good to get back on track πŸ˜‰

  17. Syed Balkhi says:

    This post is a true emotional post… Make me think about my family now. Very touching post.

    1. Robert says:

      Almost as if Alex Shalman had written it!

      1. This was a good article for Alan, but hardly up to Alex’s standards.

  18. Matt Propst says:

    The important balance is not overworking but also keeping focused on your goals. Spend time relaxing and taking time to be with your family and friends, but also maximize your productivity when it is “work time.”

    1. I couldn’t agree more Matt. Work time should be focused time that you “give your all” and maximize your productivity…but I always lean towards spending time w/ loved ones πŸ˜‰

  19. Hannah says:

    Very good post! No matter how “busy” I get, I always make sure that I spend the first hour of every day talking to my fiancee, and those conversations are what I’m going to cherish down the road.

    1. David Chew says:

      That is really good.

  20. Terry Tay says:

    We have one life and we have choices we have to make. You shouldn’t have to make a choice between family and all the other stuff. There should be no debate about it. You should already know what you need to do. “Too Busy” is not an option.
    ~Terry

  21. Too busy actually is not an excuse, but it is a fact. I don’t know from which pocket you took that out, but now I believe you have been reading too much others…

  22. Well said, family rules all. This is the main reason I’ve decided to cut back on working extra hours at work. I work hard as I can while I’m there, and I cut it off at a certain time. That’s family time. It’s been a big boost for us, I love it.

    1. That’s a great strategy KTL: put as much effort into your job while you’re there, but never be afraid to cut back on working to be with those you love most πŸ˜‰

  23. keith says:

    you are very right about the too busy thing.
    i use that a lot some times, but i don’t have kids and a wife
    i’m only 18, but it doesn’t matter because what i do now, i’ll be doing my whole life so….its good to establish good habits. It’s funny because most people want a lot of money, or they want to be financially set and are constantly wondering what it would be like, or what it would feel like. And the people who are already there, they don’t seem happy at all. It’s kind of weird, thats why i believe that it is important to have a balance in your life, and a great understanding. And with the economy all bad in all, i hope it’s not to late for newcomers to make money 😐

  24. Joseph says:

    This is turning into an inspirational blog!

  25. it’s amazing how great the advise is, If more people followed it they would actually reach their goal of having money. Most of the time they are focused on what they don’t have, and not what they do and making a plan to get what they want. Great Advise.

  26. 02millions says:

    read a couple of the articles unlike John, Alan is not as informative as how he did what he did, I just need to know how to get on the John Chow train to success.

  27. It has taken me a while to learn this lesson and it seems that every once and a while I must get a refresher course. But things are easing up. I work less this year than I did last.

    1. I agree, things are changing, we are getting envolve ourself in too many faces, obligations and useless executions.

  28. Drunker.com says:

    very good post, declutter your life and you will see big changes!
    trust me on this one!

  29. David Chew says:

    Money cant buy anything but money does can buy what you want. πŸ˜€

  30. Richie says:

    John, have you considered changing the tagline to “miscellaneous ramblings of a dot-com mogul among numerous musings of dot-com wannabes?”

    JK! nice post Alan.

  31. Chip says:

    There are moments in life when money are everything.
    There are moments in life when money can buy every little tiny thing you want.
    There are moments in life when money worth zero. Those are the most precious, important moments of life.

  32. soares says:

    I think that money helps a lot…but itΒ΄s not all

    Soares : come and read my latest post…Onde anunciar produtos

    1. Making money does help create more time to spend with our kids, family, etc. Finding a way to make more money frees up more time for me to spend with people I love. But, like you said soares, it definitely isn’t all.

  33. Jeremy Neal says:

    Great post! People make time for what is important to them, and they make excuses for things far too often. Kids, especially, are not “little” things – they are little people who need their parents’ time (both mom and dad). As a father, it’s important to me that my kids know that they are more important to me than work, and I try to demonstrate that to them as much as possible by doing the things you mention in this post. It pisses me off when I see people make time to watch 2 hours of TV a day, but they don’t have time to do something with their kids or volunteer in the community. Thanks again for sharing this article – it seems like a lot of people made time to read it!

  34. Website Help says:

    I am definitely starting to realize the importance of family and the “other” things in life besides always working. I’m getting married in a month and my number one priority will be my wife…regardless of how much money we have or don’t have. I think all of us need to sit back every once in awhile and look at these little things that make our lives what they are.

  35. Robert says:

    You’re absolutely right. Although we can’t just focus on family 100% (because, you know, we need to sustain ourselves financially), the over-arching idea is balance. We need to balance our lives. Focusing 100% on work or a business isn’t healthy, even if it leads to financial success. Taking the time to focus on what defines us will sharpen our focus and determination in our other endeavors.

  36. Alan Johnson says:

    Hi there and thank you for your comments, glad you’ve enjoyed reading it and it’s also great to see that you have an excellent attitude towards family πŸ™‚

    Best wishes,

    Alan Johnson

  37. Instead of black and white approach I think it is best to take a ground midway.
    You cannot just not earn and spend your time with family. That way your financial and mental health goes down the drain.

    You also cannnot afford to overlook or ignore those who should matter most.
    Its the way we balance things which is important.

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