Busy is a Four Letter Word

Anyone who is anyone that has spent time in a repair shop knows four letter words.  I’m going to talk about the worst one.


“I can’t understand why there is no profit, we are so busy.” “I need to hire more staff; we are so busy.” “How are you doing?” “Man, it’s great we are so busy.” “Hey, you need to spend more time working on your business rather than in your business.” “I can’t, I am so busy!”

Busy. A small business four-letter word that causes a lot of pain. Who can argue with busy? Busy means making money, right?

Wrong. Busy is nothing more than activity. Whether that activity is profitable is whether to call it productive or a waste of time. I would like to suggest to everyone reading this to take a challenge for 30 days: Give up the word busy. Put a curse jar in the shop, charge anyone $5 if they utter the new profanity, and donate any money on the 31st day to a local charity or school. I want our industry to eliminate the word “busy” from our vocabulary.

In our 20 Group meetings, if someone says a bad word, they owe the treasurer $5. I’m thinking of adding the word busy to that list made famous by George Carlin. Busy doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t matter if someone is busy. What they need to do is prioritize the multiple tasks they must do each day and give the business the most bang for the buck.

I once had an employee call me two hours after closing the store to complain he couldn’t find a missing dollar while counting the drawer.

I’m sure he was busy the whole time counting and looking for that dollar. But as an hourly employee, he was not productive. He cost me $8 looking for the $1.

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The New Four-Letter Word in Your Shop: Busy | 2017-07-06 | Modern Tire Dealer