‘I’m too busy’ is just an excuse

It’s mystified me for years: Why do so many people in this profession ignore the obvious signals of disruptive change and choose instead to do … nothing?

First came social media. It transformed the ways in which we connect, communicate, and collaborate … and most CPAs did nothing. Ten years later, many of them are still struggling with the basics while the rest of the world runs laps around them in the social space.

Then came the mobile movement. The world drooled over the latest apps and smartphones … and most CPAs did nothing. Heck, a lot of them are still wondering whether they need websites. It’ll be years before many of them catch up to the mobile world.

Then came the cloud and Big Data … and most CPAs did nothing. Now, hot on their heels have come artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things, and augmented reality. What do you think most CPAs will do with those?

I think I finally know, though, why so many accounting and finance pros are late adopters. It comes down to four words:

“I don’t have time.”

We’ve convinced ourselves that we’re too busy for the new stuff. Forget about getting ahead; we’re struggling just to keep up. As Seth Godin says, we’re so busy doing our jobs that we can’t get any work done.

That’s a great place to hide from the new stuff, isn’t it? “I’m too busy” is a great excuse for not doing anything new.

It’s also a crock. The truth is, we make time for the stuff that’s really important to us. And given the rate of change and complexity in the world these days, if becoming future-ready isn’t important to you, you’re doing it wrong.

“When the job is in the way of the work,” Godin says, “consider changing your job enough that you can go back to creating value. Anything less is hiding.”

Quit hiding from the new stuff. Figure out how to use it, then help your clients figure it out, too. Imagine how relevant you’ll be to them if you do.

Imagine how endangered you’ll be if you don’t.


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