For the last few years I’ve been pretty vocal against people who say responding to email isn’t real work.
In fact, on any given day almost half of my working hours are spent on my inbox.
Why would I spend so much time doing something that so many other successful entrepreneurs try and avoid entirely?
For one simple reason:
To cultivate relationships.
When readers email me, more often than not, they’re lost. They’re looking for an answer, a path, guidance, or simply a place to vent about the frustrations in their life.
What I teach on this site and in Location Rebel isn’t right for everyone, and it probably isn’t right for most people. But by spending the time to email with people and build those relationships, I feel like I can make, and have made, a difference.
Whether it’s providing a cathartic outlet for them to process their emotions, helping them with a step by step plan for building the lifestyle they truly want, or simply pointing them in a direction that’s more helpful to them than what I can provide – I often feel like my greatest impact on others comes through responding thoughtfully to email.
Yet, this doesn’t come without a price.
Recently, I’ve found myself struggling to find the time to create. Whether it’s writing a blog post, implementing my 12 month business plan, working on paid products – all of this takes considerable time, creative energy, and brainpower.
And often after a few hours of email, I lack the motivation to create in the way I have in the past.
It’s this realization that has me putting conscious thought into the future of my business and where I’d like it to go.
It’s kind of a double edged sword. Without creation there’s no connection. And without connection, there’s no change for others – or myself.
The reason I’m in a position to help so many people is because of all the content and resources I’ve created over the years, and I’m starting to feel the call to get back to that.
This is also not an either/or question. The answer is always going to be some form of you have to have both. But when one significantly overwhelms the other, it can be tough to push your goals forward.
I’ll never my abandon by quest to help people by responding thoughtfully, but it could be time to shift the primary focus of what I do in order to achieve the greater good and get back to the roots of what got me here in the first place:
With this post I’m not looking for productivity or time management tips. I don’t need email hacks or any of that stuff. It’s a much more fundamental question of where should your primary focus be when you’re an online lifestyle entrepreneur?
Do you create? Or do you connect?
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