You: Entrepreneur, go-getter, wired for success. You are very excited by and willing to take risks, and you say, “Yes!” - a lot. And sometimes you say “Yes!” to things when you really want to decline, or worse, when you feel badly turning something or someone down. After you have said yes more times than you would really like, you might notice that you feel tired, upset, overwhelmed or resentful, and you quite possibly cannot put your finger on what it is that is getting you down.
It’s not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you! It might just be time for you to access your inner toddler to bring back your powerful “N.O.”
The world of the entrepreneur is filled with so many shiny, sparkly opportunities, and enthusiastic types have strongly admonished you to say, “YES!” when an opportunity sounds like a great idea and figure out how later. To a great extent, I agree with this concept and believe wholeheartedly that when a real opportunity presents, you must continue to say yes. The kicker is to know when an opportunity that sounds interesting is worth putting time and energy into, OR when it will simply detract from the money on the table right now. As an entrepreneur, especially in the start-up phase, every dollar counts. So, get very clear on your big vision, and bring yourself back to the task currently at hand - the money on the table. These are the things you can immediately monetize to meet your needs, and when your needs are met, you have more energy to do other things.
One of the biggest catches to being an entrepreneur is an innate sense of wide-eyed wonder and awe at all of the possibilities. I even write and teach about limitless potential and staying open to all possibilities. Here’s the deal, though:
If you are not clear on your vision, then every single opportunity will distract you and impede your progress.
You will fall prey to “S.O.S.” (Shiny Object Syndrome). Outside-the-box, creative, big-ideas, limitless potential…entrepreneurs embody all of these characteristics, AND are highly susceptible to S.O.S. because just about everything remotely interesting sounds like a great idea. Because of your magnificent creativity and ability to monetize just about anything, your brain starts to figure out how to capitalize on yet another cool idea. But, in order to avoid spreading yourself too thin, over-committing, or under achieving (gasp!), you need to get comfortable with relentlessly saying, “N.O.”
It is not only powerful to turn down opportunities or volunteering or whatever time-sucking distraction you may be tempted to say yes to, it is also liberating, and it will set you on the right path to success beyond your wildest imagination. You must be relentless in pursuing your goals and vision.
Once you are crystal clear on your vision, you will know immediately which opportunities will help or impede your progress toward your goals; that is a subject for another article. Knowing is not enough, however, so here are some simple ways for you to get comfortable with relentlessly saying, “N.O.”
Pause. Use my favorite word in any language, “Hmmmm.” This simple lips-closed, brain-pausing technique stops you just long enough to avoid a knee-jerk response that might lead you to a dishonest yes.
Express Gratitude. Follow the pause with, “Thank you for thinking of me for this opportunity. I would like to take a day or two to think about it. I will send you an email in the next X days.” (and then do it: follow-up is king, even if you decline).
Move on. You may feel guilty, or some part of your brain (ego) may be pining over the shiny object you have walked away from, but to the best of your ability, move forward. Get back to the money-making action items for your current project(s).
I cannot over-emphasize the power of saying “N.O.” (and only giving honest yes answers). Life is busy and hectic. Business can be busy and hectic, and sometimes stressful. The negative effects of stress are serious, and not to be taken lightly. When you “over-yes” yourself, you heap a whole load of heavy stuff on your own shoulders, and carrying that much extra weight will take a toll on your physical, emotional and financial wellbeing. Your success depends on your “N.O.”
If you would like to learn more about getting crystal clear on your goals and vision, and create the actions steps to achieve beyond your wildest imagination, schedule your complimentary 60 minute powerful strategy coaching call.