The Power of 'No'

I started out writing a blog on networking and getting involved…but then I said screw it. I’m tired. I want a nap not another networking event or board meeting.

From year long programs…

When I was in my early 20s I spent every morning, lunch and evening at a networking event – American Marketing Association, GRYP, AimWest,  countless other organizations – galas, receptions, happy hours, fundraisers…I could go on. The amazing thing is I never burned out, I kept this pace into my 30s and just this past year I stopped, looked around and thought “does this help or hurt my business?” Along with “holy shit, I am going to be 36 in 2 months.”
I needed a gut check and to reevaluate…was all this time and effort adding value, aiding the development of my personal or company brand…or was it just spreading me thin, impacting work quality and taking time away from me?
to speaking engagements…

There were many great orgs, boards, associations that I was involved in that had worthy causes but were they core to my growth? Success? Development?
to galas…

I needed criteria that would help me analyze every opportunity and then make a decision on whether it was essential to my longterm goals. Here is my criteria:

  1. Would this take time away from our clients, ultimately impacting our work quality and delivery?
  2. Would this build brand awareness or lead to additional business opportunities?
  3. Does this client, organization, association or event reflect the 834 brand? Are we staying true to ourselves?

to golfing.

Those 3 little questions led me to resign from a board today, part way with 2 clients and give me time back for reading, creative thinking and strategic planning.
Take back control of your life.  ‘No’ is an incredibly powerful word, embrace it. Say yes to key opportunities that meet your criteria and take all the time you saved from turning down countless other unnecessary involvements and pour that into the few you say ‘yes’ to.
Need a push, read the book Essentialism.

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One Response

  1. Spot On Kim! I was in the EXACT same boat a few years ago – which you know because we would often run into each other at various meetings and events! I’ve long had difficulty saying no and a fear of being seen as “less” if I turned something/someone down. As a result, I was regularly over-committed. A combination of exhaustion and a growing disconnect with my family forced me to reevaluate and focus. Now my focus is on the two (instead of 10+) causes that I am most passionate about. As a result I have more time to dedicate to them, and more importantly – more time to give to my family and myself.

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