When I worked at my mother’s beauty shop, I observed an interesting life lesson that has remained branded in my head and nags at me if I ever dare to forget.
The lesson is the Danger of Waiting for the Busy Bus. Everyone has waited for the Busy Bus at one time or another in their lives. They might not have been aware of it, or perhaps have a different name for it. Or it’s just not something they think about very often, taking it for granted as part of their daily lives.
The Busy Bus is a phrase used in the beauty shop to stand for the imaginary bus that is going to someday drive right up to the front door filled to the brim with happy, smiling, loyal clients just waiting to spend their money.
Many of the young hairdressers fresh out of school – and some not so fresh – believed in the Busy Bus as a way to earn their living. They would stand by the front door, sighing, leaning on the broom, looking out on the horizon as if waiting for it to come by. They could stand there all day, just waiting and sighing, waiting and sighing, and at the end of the day go home, disappointed in how slow things were and wondering if tomorrow might be different.
Of course it never was, because the Busy Bus never came.
There are many Busy Buses in our lives that never come. Dreams, hopes, plans, which never live up to our expectations, that don’t show up the way we thought they would. Sometimes, like the hairdressers, we feel we’ve already done our part. They went to Beauty School, they took their test, they got their license. Now, where are those darn clients? Where the heck is that bus?
It doesn’t occur to them that there might be something more that they have to do. That it is an on-going process. That what they thought was the end of the hard work was really just the beginning.
Some dreams and plans die right there when we realize that the bus isn’t coming after all. The disappointment is too much. The rejection feels very personal. We head for a different bus stop and wait for a different bus.
But there is one way to increase the odds that the bus actually does show up. One way to stack the deck heavily in your favor that you will reach the goal that you desire.
You can be the Bus Driver.
You can go get that bus, get in the driver’s seat, find the right map and start following the directions for your dreams and goals. There are a few keys that will help you as you begin your drive down the road.
Break the large goal down into manageable chunks and look for the step-by-step processes that you will need to find to get you to the next level. Just take it one level at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking about driving cross-country when you need to get to the next state.
Don’t be afraid to ask directions. Even bus drivers can get lost. Find the experts who have the information that you need and follow their lead. No one gets where they need to go alone. Build a network of masters within your road-map and brainstorm your plans with them. Watch how your creativity will soar.
Pick up passengers along the way. Helping others to get where they need to go builds good will and expands your circle of influence. Napoleon Hill said, “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” His book Think and Grow Rich is an excellent guideline for “bus driving” lessons.
It’s never to late to learn. Take an honest look at your job skills. Are they up to date? Technology is changing faster than a speeding bullet. Are you keeping up? Even a year to six months out in some markets can put you in an obsolete position. Stay fresh. Make education part of your daily diet.
Take a look at the buses in your life. Are you waiting for the Busy Buses or are you driving the buses in your life?
Be the one that makes change happen. Be one that says, “This can be different starting now.” The one that’s going to make it happen is you. The one you are waiting for is you.
The Busy Bus isn’t coming unless you are driving it.
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