Apparently, this article is currently trending in the coaching industry.
I’ll break the surprise for you and tell you the common trait that the “Man who spent 5 years studying self-made millionaires found in common with them all”:
They didn’t procrastinate.
Admit it — you were disappointed when you read that, weren’t you?
I was too, though possibly for different reasons.
What disappoints me with a discovery like this is that it’s so abstract and general that it misses the point entirely.
First, think of procrastination as a poor-man’s prioritization. We put off the things that are uncomfortable and familiar, and we take on the things that are comfortable and easy.
You might be frightened about the prospect of calling someone on the phone because they’re a bigger client than one you’ve ever connected with, and it’s pushing all your buttons about your value.
You may be avoiding having the difficult conversation with that direct report of yours because you know they have a tendency to get emotional, and you’re not comfortable with that dynamic.
You might be delaying sending that report to your board of directors because the results drive up your own fears about being an imposter.
Whatever it is, procrastination is simply a symptom of the underlying concern that’s playing out.
The real commonality with all of those self-made millionaires is that they’ve done the work to overcome their disempowering stories, and actually created the transformation required to keep moving.
A lack of procrastination is simply corollary to that work.
Sure, when you do the deep inner work to transform yourself as a leader, the tendency to procrastinate goes away — but that is a symptom of that deeper work, rather than the cause.
Consider that it doesn’t matter how many structures for accountability, how many firm deadlines you create, and clearly you delineate your TODO lists.
You are prioritizing (through procrastination) for a reason.
Until you address that reason, it’s only a matter of time before you discover a new and improved way to procrastinate.
Take on the deeper work.
Take on your being as opposed to mimicking others’ doing.