ASA 50 | Stuck Business Growth


Nobody wants to fail and be stuck in a stagnant place in business. However, we sometimes fail to realize that we can also be the cause of our own failures. When our business growth suddenly comes to a halt, that’s the only time we take a look and figure out what’s wrong. Alex Mandossian goes back in time to show that we haven’t changed that much throughout the years. This episode will help you realize the importance of time, which we always take for granted. He emphasizes the importance of knowing when to work hard and the significant effects it will have on your life.

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Silent Assassin of Biz Growth

In this episode, you’ll learn three key insights which I believe are critical to making you a highly skilled ethical influencer. Please read carefully because you’re about to discover how to know, when to work and when to play during any busy day. You’ll learn why wrong times are there for you to work and wrong times are there for you to play. When you confuse the two, it’s silently assassinating your business growth.

The Ant And The Grasshopper

Third, you’ll learn what key differences there are between the time for work and the time for play. There’s a time for work and there’s a time for play. There’s no better story about this than a fable written by Aesop. Aesop was a Greek who lived in circa 620 to 564 BC. The fable he allegedly wrote is called The Ant and the Grasshopper.

One bright day in late autumn, a family of ants was bustling about in the warm sunshine drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer. A starving grasshopper with a fiddle underneath his arm came up and then humbly begged for a bite to eat.

Do you have any grasshoppers in your life? They’re also known as freeloaders. You’ve done all the work and they want a free hand out whether its food or money. There are grasshoppers and there are ants and they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

“What?” Cried the ant in complete surprise. The ant asked the grasshopper, “Haven’t you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?” “I didn’t have time to store up any food.” It was the whining grasshopper. “I was so busy making music. Before I knew it, summer was gone.” In other words, the grasshopper was playing instead of working and planning for the winter.

As you know, winter is always coming at a certain time of the year. The ants shrug their shoulders in complete disgust. “Making music, were you?” They cried. “Very well, now you can dance.” They turned their backs on the grasshopper and went on with their work. Was that harsh? I don’t know. The ants didn’t think so. I know a lot of business people who don’t think so. I have relatives who don’t think so as well as friends and colleagues.

Aesop’s Fable

There’s a time for work and a time for play and there’s total and utter accountability to each. A little bit about Aesop before I give you the moral of the story and dig deep on the three types of ways to spend your time. Time, more than money is ultra-important. Aesop was a Greek fabulist. He was a storyteller and he’s credited with a number of fables.

They’re collectively known as Aesop’s Fables. You can look them up on Google. They’re there and they’re free. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survived, in other words, writings with his hands, there are numerous tales credited to him.

They were gathered across the centuries in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that speak, solve problems and generally have human characteristics.

It’s interesting because Aesop was telling stories through animals so it wouldn’t be directly offensive to human beings. He was criticizing the human condition. There are lazy people and there are workers. There are workaholics and there are people who know the difference between work and play. All work and no play is not good. All play and no work is not good. If you know when to work and when to play, that’s good.

The most successful business people on earth, billionaires, millionaires, and the wealthiest people on earth, whether they have money or not, know the difference. Along with the scattered references in the ancient sources regarding Aesop’s life and death, there is a highly fictional biography. They think it’s fiction and it’s commonly called the Aesop Romance.

[bctt tweet=”All play and no work is not good. The most successful business people on earth know the difference.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

It’s also known as the Life of Aesop and it was the work of an anonymous Greek writer. It was popularized in the 2nd century AD several hundred years later. Talking about Aesop in the Aesop Romance, Aesop was a slave of the Phrygian origin on the island of Samos. He was described as ugly, hunchback and short.

At first, Aesop lacked the power of speech. He couldn’t speak. He was a deaf-mute, but after showing kindness to a priestess of Isis, Isis granted Aesop the speech and the gift for clever storytelling. In other words, Aesop was given this through Isis. After a while, Aesop was given his freedom.

Why was he given his freedom? Even if it’s mythological? It’s because he was a great storyteller and great storytellers win their freedom. Many spiritual traditions speak of this. Seeding through storytelling is the new selling. Every Aesop Fable seeds the issues, problems and predicaments of the human condition. Storytelling is selling the moral of the story to do the right thing. That’s the power of this.

Notice how brief the story was so that it could be passed on through oral tradition. Oral tradition is what was used by the American Indians here in North America. If the story is short enough, then it can be passed on generation after generation. This one lasted over 2,600 years and the moral is strong and clear, but the story is brief. It’s short. You don’t have to tell long stories, in this case, a fable.

One day, Aesop, after being granted his freedom, travels to Babylon and he went to other parts of Egypt. Aesop’s life tragically ends after his journey to Delphi. What happened there? He angered a bunch of citizens. They were insulted because they knew the hidden agenda behind his fables. He was speaking of human beings, not of animals and inanimate objects. Meaning, like trees and fruit and other stuff that are inanimate.

They knew and they could smell what he was stepping in and they got insulted and they sentenced him to death. As folklore has it, we don’t know if it’s true or not. Aesop cursed the people of Delphi and was forced to jump to his death. That’s tragic, but in this case, the fable ends in tragedy. Aesop’s life was a fable, but Aesop is much like other writers and storytellers.

Jonathan Swift comes to mind if you know Gulliver’s Travels. You know that it was a story that’s criticizing the human condition. Lewis Carroll, if you’re familiar with Alice in Wonderland, that was criticizing the human condition, but it was doing it through seeding. It was doing it through storytelling. It was flanking the human mind so that people wouldn’t take it personally until you get found out.

Aesop used fables and storytelling to criticize the human condition and he used it as political commentary. Many people today do the same thing but not as elegantly. What’s the moral? The moral of the ants and the grasshopper is, there’s a time for work and a time for play. The key point I want to make to you so you’re reading carefully is that when you think about when, where, what, why, how and who, you do business dealings with even in your personal life.

The single most important of the six is not where you do it, what you’re doing, why you’re doing it or even how you’re doing it, even with whom. In a previous episode, I talked about the Jim Collins point of making business about First Who, Then What. More importantly, when it comes to productivity, it’s when.

When it requires your most precious asset to be consumed, it’s the most precious asset you will ever own. That asset decays year after year, month after month, week after week, day after day, even hour by hour. What I’m talking about is the asset of time. You’ve lost money? You wouldn’t be human if you haven’t. Everyone loses money and money can be re-won. You can gain it back. I’ve done that many times. Even if you go broke, you can get it back.

ASA 50 | Stuck Business Growth

Stuck Business Growth: Even if you go broke, you can get money back. However, when you are broke with time, you are dead.


Three Ways To Spend Your Time

One thing you can’t do is lose time and win it back. When you are broke with time, you are dead. People underestimate the power of when, when they’re about to die. I want you to think about when, now. When are you deciding to work? When are you deciding to play? That’s going into your schedule or your calendar. I want to suggest three ways to spend your when or also known as time.

You have, number one, profiting time. We call that work time. We have planning time. You can call that organizing time. There’s playing time, that’s free time. Profiting time, planning time and playing time. Two out of the three will deal with business in most cases, but all three are important.

The key to all three is when you’re starting to plan for that time and when you pick the when to do that. Pick your playing time first. Pick your free time first, whether it’s one day a week, four hours a week or five days out of the month. Whatever it is, pick those first. It’s easy to write down all of your work time and organization time, which is profiting in planning and there’s no free time left.

One of my mentors, Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach, has a system I’ve been using ever since I coached with him for three years. It’s called focus days, buffer days and free days. One thing Dan taught me is always pick your free days first because you want to preserve the rejuvenation time.

You want to preserve the time where you’re going to gain back your will power and your strength. You can’t work out every single day and expect your muscles and your heart to grow. You’ll have adrenal fatigue. You have to have time off for your muscles to rejuvenate and for your heart to get stronger.

If you’re going to choose what type of time to schedule first in your calendar, whether it’s a month or three months or even a year, pick your free time first. Dan calls that Three Days and he uses an entire day. He recommends, and he taught me this to plan your free days first. Profiting planning and playing is my terminology. “Focus, buffer and free,” is Dan Sullivan’s terminology.

I’ll give you an example. When I’m traveling, I always choose to have a buffer day the day before I leave and a buffer day the day I get back. That’s called organizing. If I choose it to be a focus day before I leave, I’m usually too stressed thinking about the trip or what I’m about to do.

Let’s say I have a five-day event in Amsterdam called Guerrilla Business Intensive. I’m thinking about that training where I’m the lead trainer. I’d rather have a buffer day where I’m organizing and getting my stuff together. Packing and unpacking the day before not the morning of. I make sure that I have everything from my passport to working out and making last-minute calls.

I’m not focusing on work time or profiting. I’m focusing on planning for the trip or organizing. When I get back, I do the same thing now. I know some people like my good friend Joe Polish after he has a big event like his Genius Network, which he has in November. Then he has free days that follow. I believe he has a buffer day the day after because having a free day the day after usually isn’t going to feel free.

The Best Time To Work

I make a personal religious commitment to make it buffer day before I go for a trip and a buffer day after I come back. After, I can decide when my free days are. You can have a free week. Plan your free time. When to work? Unlike the ants in the fable, I believe it’s unwise to work all the time.

[bctt tweet=”There’s a time for work and a time for play and there’s total and utter accountability to each.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

If you’ve ever watched ants in a garden, they’re always working. I believe all work and no play makes you a dull person. I know a lot of workaholics where they get to the end of their life and they’ve lost all the nectar of life. It could be a father, mother, friend or colleague. I’m sure you know at least a few.

When it comes to working and making sure that it’s the profiting time or the planning time, those are two types of work, organizing and work. Why is organizing so important? It makes the profiting easier. If you know where to find something, you’re not wasting any time trying to find something that hasn’t been organized.

I bet you’ve experienced that as well. When you are thinking about working, in your profiting time, think about, are you a morning glory? Are you most productive in the morning? Are you a night owl? Are you most productive at night?

I’m a morning glory and for me, the morning starts at about 5:00 AM. I go through my routine and I work out. The most productive things I do are in the morning. Between 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM Pacific Time, there’s a sense of unlikelihood you’d ever get a hold of me. You probably could never get a hold of me.

Even my team because I’m focused on, depending on the day, on what I’m doing and I’m producing, I’m profiting. If you’re a night owl, you would make your most productive and most valuable profiting time whether you’re creating writing a book or recording a podcast like this one at night.

I know Dr. Ivan Misner, he’s a dear friend of mine. He is the founder of BNI, Business Network International. It’s a successful business networking group. It is the largest in the world. He’s a night owl and every bestselling book he’s ever written. The writing time for him was late at night and I’m talking 11:00 PM, 12:00 AM, 1:00 AM to 3:00 AM. He’s a night owl. I can’t do that. I am completely unproductive by 5:30 PM, my time.

When do you believe you’re most productive? That’s the ultimate when. Not only do you have the profiting work time day. You want to know when within that day your most productive and you’ll get the most done faster better and with less human effort.

The Alexism: Single Most Important Thing

The Alexism for this episode is, “The single most important thing to do each day is the single most important thing.” Dan Sullivan’s language, it’s a focus, a buffer day or a free day. Do you do the single most important thing or do you do things that are urgent? Remember, the principle of priority we talked about in an earlier episode.

The Principle of Priority for you to have a prioritized life is to know the difference between what’s important and what’s urgent and do what’s important first. In an earlier episode, we talked about Jim Collins’s concept of First Who then What. You can’t even begin to deal with who you want to bring onto your team or who you want to mentor or who you want to collaborate with?

Unless you know when you’re going to do it in your schedule. Forget a to-do list, it’s meaningless. Put your to-do list inside your calendar because a to-do list without time and a date has no when attached to it.

ASA 50 | Stuck Business Growth

Stuck Business Growth: The silent assassin of business growth is either all work and no play or all play and no work.


I hope in this 50th episode of All Selling Aside, I don’t think anything I taught you or I explained is new, but I hope that you’re looking at it through a new lens. That’s my goal. I want you to apply these insights. Number one, how to know when to work and when to play. Even during the busiest days that are stressful.

Number two, why there’s a wrong time to work and a wrong time to play and how that ends up silently assassinating your growth. The topic and the title of this episode is the Silent Assassin of Business Growth you get to the end of your life and you can think about, “I could have grown so much more personally emotionally in business through my family.”

Their silent assassin is either all work and no play or all play and no work. Most importantly, knowing when to work and knowing when to play. Finally, I hope I taught you what the key differences are between the time for work and time for play. Remember, these insights will only work for you if you work them.

Please make sure you execute what you’ve learned in this All Selling Aside podcast episode. If you do, I believe your future will be bigger. It’ll be brighter. It’ll be freer and you’ll create it on your terms.

Speaking of reviews, if you’ve already given me a review on iTunes, thank you. I’d like you to write your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment, your biggest distinction on an index card so they can come back, revisit it and relearn it. All learning is relearning. All rewriting is what writing is about. That’s what copywriters tell me and that’s what I know to be true. If you haven’t given me a review, then I want you to go to

I want you to give me your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment in the iTunes review section. It’s called the review for the entire podcast, but I don’t want that. I want it for this episode and you get one shot at it and when you do it. After you’ve done the review, iTunes will ask you to rate the episode and I hope I’ve earned five stars from you. Not one, two, three, four but five.

Will you do that for me? Only you can decide what to rate it but I’d like you to review this episode versus reviewing the entire podcast. I believe that that’s a lot more meaningful to you to me and to everyone else reading them. Go ahead and declare your one big takeaway in the iTunes review section by visiting

What you declare could provide you a lifetime of learning. As you write it, you are committing with your fingers, what you’re about to do and what you have declared. Now, I have one final gift for you. It’s in honor of this 50th episode of All Selling Aside and that is complimentary, which means free. It’s complimentary access to my video eCourse. It’s in four-parts.

I will teach you in that course how to identify your market, how to create an irresistible message and how to capitalize. That means making money on the most lucrative and lowest-cost media sources available to you right now.

To do that, go to and you can sidestep, which means avoid the $197 tuition everyone else has to pay. Why do you get to do that? Because you engaged, because you’re here and because you can make a difference. Hopefully, you will learn and learn and maybe one day I can personally mentor you, who knows.

[bctt tweet=”For you to have a prioritized life is to know the difference between what’s important and what’s urgent and do what’s important first.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

That does it for this episode. This is the show dedicated to making an ethical influence within your reach so that you can achieve and even exceed your sales potential. Selling is fun when you know what to say, when to say it and how to say it. Please do whatever it takes to join me because our topic is why Sloppy Success is Better. Better than what?

I believe sloppy success is better than perfect mediocrity. Are you a perfectionist? Are you a procrastinator? The next episode is perfect for you. I encourage you to invite a friend or bring a study buddy bring a who with. Bring one to this episode. Hopefully, they too will subscribe in iTunes so that they can get one episode every week, week after week at no cost.

Do that because it’s more fun to learn with others. You can bring your team or family members, colleagues. It can be a Facebook group that you’re a part of. It doesn’t matter to me. The more people who listen, the more people will enjoy selling who once hated it. I can’t wait to connect with you. It’s going to be super fun. I’m wishing you all good wishes.

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