Bad Excuses: I don’t have time

too-busy-to-network-Greg-Peters-The-Reluctant-NetworkerI’m in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week, working with the folks at the Michigan Recruiting and Retention Network’s annual convention, teaching them about the importance of developing great networks and giving them some tools to use while doing it. These are the recruiters and physician liaisons who work tirelessly to bring in and retain the best talent for Michigan’s many health care facilities. To be honest, I didn’t even know this was a career before I met them, nor how important they are to making sure we all have access to quality health care.

Anyway, in chatting with the members, it turned out that several of their colleagues hadn’t shown up to this annual gathering because, they “didn’t have time”. They were too busy with work to come and network.

They were too busy trying to reach out to possible candidates. They didn’t have time to chat with colleagues (who are more than willing to share) who might have those candidates already in hand.

They were too busy with personnel issues. They didn’t have time to learn from their peers about third-party services that might help clear up those difficulties.

They were too busy pushing paper through their systems. They didn’t have time to explore the opportunities the vendors in the exhibit hall might have to cut their costs and effort.

They were too busy trying to fight fires themselves. They didn’t have time to discover the best practices that other members of the group had already uncovered.

They were to busy trying to deal with people who didn’t understand them. They didn’t have time to recharge among their professional family who really understand everything they’re going through.

They were too busy to get the tools they need to become less busy — the tools their colleagues have in abundance.

The next time you are “too busy” to attend that networking group that you’ve gained so much from in the past, just remember, whatever problem is keeping you too busy is probably one you can take to that group to find the best way of making you “less busy”.

And you might have some fun in the bargain, too.

Photo by Pixabay user.


About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at or


  1. Too busy to have a personal life. I can’t tell you the number of business owners I’ve coached that are just that and then they sob (male and female) when they go to a graduation and say “where did the time go?”. The Cat Steven’s song “Cat’s in the Cradle” is still so true today as it was 40+ years ago. Thanks, Greg for reminding people that most sentences that start with “I’m too busy” are usually an excuse. These words should be saved for ignoring the phone when fishing with a grandchild, or changing a diaper, or having dinner with a spouse. Be too busy when it matters! Great reminder.

    • Hi, Linda. Thanks so much for your comment. It’s so true that can get so lost in building the business or the career that we forget about the most important things. Sometimes (every day?) we need to stop for a moment to remember that the connections we have with those around us — our families, our friends, our community — are the most important things in our lives.

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