Why I keep saying "NO."
"Can you help me?"
I used to be the type of person who over commits and over schedules. It was a problem not just in my personal life, but in my professional life too. Anyone else? I find it hard missing out on things and used to love being busy all the time. Whether it was fun plans or helping friends with their business ideas, I always had to be involved.
A few months ago I decided to really focus on Dope Rope and pursue it as a profitable career path. I would constantly find myself in the position of being over tired, over worked, and over scheduled. Any entrepreneur will tell you the same, but part of my problem was the things taking up my time weren't actually tasks that would propel my business forward.
When you are start your own business your path isn't exactly charted for you. Every decision you make starts to move you in a certain direction. But for me, I kept finding myself in a stagnant place. I had so many ideas and not enough time to do them because I was being held back by a never ending to-do list. I was only getting the things done with a strict deadline or projects other people were waiting on. There was no time for organic creation and no time to work on things that for just for me.
I started to resent every commitment I made because I was using my free time to work on other peoples stuff. When you're working for yourself and turning your vision into an actual business, any "free time" is more like "potential work time." There's always something else you could be doing, another idea to explore, or another tedious task to tackle that you keep putting off. I realized every time I was working for someone else I was being drained in a way that left me less available for my own ideas.
"Im sorry, but no."
I recently turned down two huge projects that, at one point in my life, would have been a great opportunity. It was difficult saying no, and to be honest, felt unnatural and awkward. The thing is though, after I did it... I felt free and light. Just because I was capable of doing the project doesn't mean I should.
Learning to say, "No" to things that aren't aligned with your professional goals like I did leaves you open and available. Now, when an opportunity presents itself that will benefit your business, you have the capacity to work on it and really thrive in that environment.
Where do we go from here?
Think about all the things you want to accomplish in the next week, month or year. Make a list of these short term and long term goals for yourself. By prioritizing what is important to you can you can start to be more specific with where you spend your time. The path to accomplishing these things may not be totally clear. Maybe you need to stop and ask for directions from time to time or accidentally take a wrong turn. That's perfectly ok! But, are you taking unnecessary detours and not getting anywhere? Say, "Yes" to the things that will drive you in the right direction and say, "No" to opportunities don't serve your goals.