Did you know the power of no can help your business become more successful? There is a natural understanding that ‘Yes’ is a power word. “Be willing to say ‘Yes’ when everyone else says no will give you the edge.” “Take the chance and take the risk and just say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity, you never know where it will lead.”
What most people don’t recognise is that when you say YES to one thing, you are also saying NO to something else.
One thing I can’t stress enough is this: If you are not on your own agenda, you are on someone else’s. Saying yes to all things is often a symptom that you are on other people’s agenda. To be successful in business and life you need to have a destination in mind and steps to get there. That means knowing when saying YES is beneficial and when saying NO is powerful.
To get back in the driver’s seat of your business and go to your destination you need a map.
Focus On Your Business
Starting a business takes hard work and effort. One of the best tools to putting hard work and effort into practice is FOCUS.
Having a vision and goal for your future is your focus. With that vision in mind, you create a road map of how to get there.
The strategy is simple. If things come up that are not on your map say NO.
Otherwise, you will be driving off on little detours, using your energy, and spending your time everywhere else but on where you are going and what you want to achieve.
Know what you have to do, and how you’re going to get there. If someone asks you to do something or an opportunity arises really consider; is this going to get me to my goal?
Without this focus, you are really going to struggle to get the outcome you desire, and even if your wonky detour does take you there in a round about way, so much time has passed that your priorities may have completely changed and it’s not suitable anymore.
Creating Your Legacy
That’s why rapid success is important. We set our sights on what we want and get there while we still have drive and desire. This means that we continue our success as we grow and change through our lives. The overall result is when we look back in our twilight years, we are proud of what we have accomplished.
We can’t know the outcome of every encounter and opportunity. If we could have a crystal ball that would give us a clue or a hint, life would be a whole lot easier. Lacking a magic eight ball that really works, we will need to trust our drive and vision.
Remember too that there are other factors in your life. Saying yes to a business opportunity means saying no to time with your family. Saying yes to helping a friend launch their business means saying no to your own business growth. These are the types of little sacrifices that saying yes to everything is causing without you being aware of it.
The best thing you can do for your map is simply be aware of those sacrifices. Being aware of what you are really saying yes and no to and considering the costs.
Should you say Yes or No?
One really great tip I learned was the ‘5 Buckets’ analogy.
Imagine your time and energy is water, and you put the time and energy you have into a measured amount (hours in a day, days in a week, and weeks in a month).
The measured amount is a watering can.
Now imagine 10 or even 20 buckets hanging on a fence, these are your responsibilities, your projects, the things you say ‘yes’ to.
Pour water from your watering can into all of your yesses and see how much each bucket contains. Enough? Probably not. There is a second catch though…
Every day you take your focus off a bucket, it gets a hole. Now even if you return to that bucket the day after, it’s going to be leaking and you are still required to put water into it because you said yes.
Think about those buckets and how much focus you give to each, imagine how many holes you will have in them after a year and how much water you will have left in them.
When you say NO to something you are saying yes to your goal, your agenda, and your future vision.
Write down all the responsibilities you have right now. Include your family, work, business, hobbies, social groups, relaxation activities, financial obligations (i.e saving for a holiday), study, projects or creations.
How many buckets do you have on the go?
If you really want to be successful in making your goals a reality you will need to get the number of buckets you have down to three to five. This can be challenging and overwhelming for some people!
If you are struggling and you have a lot, just start by taking down some of them.
Think about what you can delegate out, what can be automated, what can wait for a future date, and focus on what you need to do right now to maintain balance and stability towards your future goal.
That way when your pour your water into the buckets you have left, you will see genuine results.
Really understand that your energy is an investment and time is a limited resource. True business success comes from doing one thing perfectly while having the lifestyle to enjoy that one thing.
Whatever your one thing is, do it well and invest in it with the power of NO.