Yesterday I received a Facebook message from an old friend.
The message was an invitation to get in on the most wonderful new opportunity (can you smell the network marketing opportunity about to drop on me?).
My buddy was pretty convincing. She didn’t take no for an answer. She assured me that it was the ground floor and she wasn’t inviting just anybody (appealing to the ‘early adopter’ in me while tossing in a dose of scarcity to pull at me a little bit).
As a matter of fact, she was meeting with a former/current insurance agent at a Starbucks around the corner from my office the next morning (which would be this morning). Couldn’t be a coincidence, could it?
I was tempted. Yes. I was tempted with the Seacret Revolution (click on the link at your own peril as you might get swept away with the business opportunity of a lifetime).
But then it hit me. I have two and a half blogs. I have a full-time sales and marketing position at a wonderful firm. I’m assisting a couple people with social media marketing efforts. More importantly, I have a family that I love and a few home projects that need to get done.
If I say ‘Yes’ to this opportunity, I’m saying ‘No’ to my effectiveness in one or more of these other areas.
Something would have to give.
I then remembered Michael Hyatt’s recent podcast on his 10 top books of all time (and another podcast of his dedicated to the book Essentialism). In both Podcasts, Hyatt discusses Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and this key idea:
When we say “no” to something, it gives us the opportunity to say “yes” to something else.
I love it when my epiphanies can be traced to content I’ve been consuming.
If I go to this 9am coffee to discuss this relationship marketing opportunity and get sucked in, I’m saying ‘No’ to being my best at my other responsibilities. Truth be told, I should exercise saying ‘No’ to a few of my current commitments. This fellow needs some margin.
We simply don’t have the mental, physical, and emotional bandwidth to say yes to everything.
The best way to say yes, is to say no.
I have no problem with people asking me for my time or energy or for my involvement. It’s on me to be protective and to filter new requests. That’s why we all need to be diligent around knowing and understanding our priorities. If someone presents us with a task or an ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ and it doesn’t fit within those priorities (or doesn’t truly pique our interest), then we must say no.
Audit Your “Yesses” Regularly
Something I’ve not been good at is auditing my commitments. Are there things I’m doing that I simply shouldn’t be doing?
What about you?
Are you over-burdened?
Does your schedule have margin?
Are you a “yes” person to the detriment of your personal health, your relationships, your family?
Audit your calendar and commitments to see.
Audit Your Clients
If you’re in sales, are you committing to prospects or clients for whom you can’t do your best work? If so, then make it a priority to start saying ‘No’ to those clients and prospects.
We don’t have to work with every person who can fog up a mirror. We can be selective. If we pile our books of business with clients that suck our energy, we can’t pour into those who appreciate what we do for them.
What Do You Need to Audit?
We could take this auditing and saying ‘no’ thing pretty far. Some of us might need to audit relationships, food choices, addictions, media, social media, or any number of things that battle against our ultimate goals and priorities.
What do you need to drop? What needs to take up less space in your world?
Learn to say ‘No’ so you can be all in with your ‘Yes’.