Are you busy? 

By  Colleen Mallory

“Some identify happiness with virtue, some with practical wisdom, others with a kind of philosophical wisdom, others add or exclude pleasure and yet others include prosperity. We agree with those who identify happiness with virtue, for virtue belongs with virtuous behavior and virtue is only known by its acts.” - Aristotle

I haven't posted on the blog in a while...I have been busy or have I been engaged in a business?  Well, who knew that both of these words have the same etymology? Did you know that the word 'business' is actually from the archaic word, 'busyness'? 

 I am a bit surprised. The word 'busyness' clearly means to be active or in the words of Merriam-Webster, "purposeful activity". So, how did the word 'business' come to mean "a usually commercial or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood". I am quite familiar with this definition, I mean, this is how we speak about our business; it is an activity that we pursue daily in order to make a living, but it is so much more.  

At Erudite Ingenuity, our business means:

1. Coaching

 We coach our clients and we coach each other to improve, try new things and focus on the right activities each day, every day, all the days.

2. Family

 Our family is the primary reason that we want our business to succeed, so it is a vital and daily consideration in all of our activities. 

3. Meetings

Since we both hail from corporate America, we are extremely cautious about meetings. Is the topic important enough to require a conversation or will an email suffice? Is a phone meeting required or should we schedule a face to face call? How should we present the agenda to garner the most benefit to our clients?

4. Discussions

Discussions might be 'on the fly' in the car or at a coffee shop..we may pause a TV show to discuss a topic we forgot to bring up earlier in the day.  No matter the place or time, discussions are an important part of the everyday and we take the time to touch base every single morning.

5. Debates

Debates is the kind word for arguments...sometimes we disagree about an approach or a writing style or a new product design. Whatever the reason, we debate very well! 

6. Writing

We have our expert writers and then we have our ideas...sometimes those ideas are way ahead of our written expression and when that happens #7 comes into play.

7. 'Heads Down' Work

I often use this expression to help my children understand that putting one's head down and simply 'doing the work' is one of the most important skills to learn. We must know how to create a deliverable, whether it is finishing a manual, writing a blog post, producing a new coaching document, creating a business process improvement map or working on billing...'Heads Down' is important!

8. Collaborating

Sometimes, we need to get out of our own heads and sit down for a collaborative session. When we take the time to collaborate, we always produce something noteworthy. 

9. Thinking

Do you ever just sit and think?  We have read all the self-help books about meditating and thinking...but putting that into practice is very difficult and requires a great deal of discipline.  Our background is in philosophy and yet, we still have trouble with this one. The notion of simply thinking is not a revered quality in our country.  Just think if your boss stumbled upon you sitting at your desk 'thinking'!

10. Blogging

I love blogging and it is hailed as one of the most effective (and free) means of earning business, so I try to stay on top of my blog posts, but sometimes I push it to the back of the list of things to do and then, I find myself a little lost, because blogging makes me smile.

 11. Making

To me, 'Making' means that we are producing new things to sell and new documentation for clients...we 'make' a lot!

12. Word Talk

Sometimes, we debate (read argue) about what word is right on a document or how we should say something on a product. Words are important and conveying the right meaning with the right word is something we take very seriously. 

13. Travel

Our business requires 'Travel', so figuring out how to navigate our way is very important as we cross the globe for our clients. 

14. Coffee

Well, doesn't 'Coffee' always belong on every list!

15. Freedom

I know that entrepreneurship is exhausting and requires endless hours of time outside of the workday, but it is also incredibly freeing.

 16. Family Dinners

 'Family Dinners' are definitely part of our business...we talk about erudite ingenuity at the dinner table..we give kudos to anyone at the table with a new idea, we engage in debates (read argue) about the direction of products, but most of all, we rely on our family to keep us grounded.

 17. Money

I put money at the bottom of the list because even though it is vitally important for survival, we have discovered that placing too much importance on the pursuit of money leads us in the wrong direction.

 18. Flexibility

Flexibility is difficult to attain and even more difficult to remember to practice day in and day out...we are always looking for new ways to do things, faster, better, more reliably, you get the idea, but the single most important factor of flexibility is to not grip things too tightly, to understand that clients change, needs change and so we must change.  
At Erudite Ingenuity, our business might just mean busyness after all..I mean, we are certainly engaged in "purposeful activities". I can't help but wonder if Aristotle would like my list, perhaps he would adopt a few of these as virtues? Remember, virtue is only known by its acts. 🙂

Colleen Mallory

Colleen is a writer, teacher, and avid reader. Her love of philosophy transcends every one of her pursuits.

Colleen Mallory

Subscribe to our blog now!