The Power of Saying No

A few months ago a friend asked me if I would consider becoming a board member of a non-profit. I really wanted to say yes. I like the nonprofit, I enjoy volunteering, it would probably have been a good networking opportunity, and I love my friend. At the time I was working on a draft of my second book and I had committed completely to my goal of finishing by my deadline. If I had said yes to the non-profit I would not have had time to continue writing and finish on time. Therefore, I knew I had to say no.

When I said no to the volunteer opportunity I said yes to accomplishing my goal by the due date. I said yes to taking care of myself and not adding stress. I said yes to staying on track with the plan I had carefully laid out. So many times we get swept up by new “opportunities” and new ideas that we keep saying yes to those and thereby say no to achieving our goals.

Success as an entrepreneur relies on consistency. You have to keep showing up and keep doing the work. It's not always glamorous or exciting but it is effective. If you say yes to every new, exciting, glamorous, fancy, fun, interesting project that comes your way you'll be saying no to building your business and staying on track to accomplish your goals. By saying no to the random projects which come your way you’ll be saying yes to achieving your goals.

If this gives you the fear of missing out and you’re worried you have to say yes to everything otherwise you might miss the perfect opportunity when it comes along, that's totally normal. The key is to know how to separate the opportunities from the distractions. I’ll discuss this more in next week’s post, Overcoming FOMO.

Enjoy the journey.