The Freedom to Choose Sweeping Leaves

The other day I spent two hours sweeping up leaves.

Now, as anyone who knows anything about running a business would say: that’s a dumb thing for an entrepreneur to do.

After all, I could have paid a student $30 to do that and instead invest the time making more money for my business.

Indeed, I remember marketing expert Dan Kennedy once complaining how exasperated he got seeing his clients mowing the lawn on a Saturday morning

And he’s right.

The wise business owner invests his time where it can be spent most profitably. Creating fresh marketing, inventing products, or improving systems is probably worth orders of magnitude more than, for example, bookkeeping, administration…or sweeping leaves.

It’s a lesson many business owners forget. Instead of leveraging their time, they waste hours in “busy” work – fooling themselves they’re doing something worthwhile.

So why, considering I know this, did I spend two hours bent over a broom?

The answer, of course, is that I enjoyed it.

Not only do I get the benefit of some healthy aerobics indulging in the third most strenuous thing I do all year, but I also find it’s a useful exercise in mindfulness. There’s something about focusing on the crispy scrape of leaf against decking and the fruity odor of detritus on the turn that makes me happy. Perhaps it’s memories of Bonfire Night for this British lad in exile.

So, I know it’s time unprofitably spent.

But I also know the joy of being an entrepreneur is that I get to choose.

No one is telling me to stay at the office. And no one is making me sweep leaves.

Actually, the exercise just reinforces the importance of leverage, because the more $1,000 an-hour-work I do, the more time I get to spend goofing off with rotting vegetation.

Until tomorrow,

So if sweeping leaves is my third most strenuous activity, what is my first? That’s shoveling snow. Something we in the Great White North have plenty of experience at. And the second is stacking firewood. I did this just a couple of weeks ago, actually – lugging one by one a heap of logs the size of a Ford Focus to form a neat cube the size of a Ford Focus just 20 yards away.

I enjoyed doing that too.

My back begs to differ.

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