How hard is it to spell a simple ‘NO’ on the face? Or, how easy it is to say a straight ‘YES’?
Most of our life’s crucial decisions boil down to a simple Yes/No. But, unfortunately, it is the latter where we struggle the most. Yet, it is that same simple ‘NO’ that can spare us from useless drudgeries.
Then again, we live in a ‘YES’ culture where the accepted norm is to be the ‘go-getter’ who says ‘’YES’ to everything that falls on their plate. That’s how they go ahead in their lives. Right?
That’s absolutely WRONG!
Have you heard of the famous saying, ‘the man who chases two rabbits catches none?’
That’s what happens when you keep saying ‘YES’ to whatever comes along your way. But, did you forget you have 24 hours on the clock to work, sleep, eat, and spend time with family and friends?
So, exactly how many hours do you have in your hands to cater to every single ‘YES?’
Afterall, ‘YES is a responsibility,’ according to James Clear. He is an author, entrepreneur, and photographer. And, he says, while ‘yes’ signifies responsibility or commitment, ‘NO’ is a decision.
And, that’s the decision you should make to spare time for things that matter most – say ‘YES’ to them.
As an entrepreneur, you have to make that important call and narrow it down to those ideas that can make a greater difference in your life, as well as in the lives of others.
Like Steve Jobs quotes, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”
So, how can you make the call? Here’s a list of things to think about before saying a BIG YES to anything –
#1: Say ‘Yes’ to Something that Matters
In today’s fast-paced world, we are bombarded with zillion choices. Likewise, as an entrepreneur, you are likely to encounter many mind-blowing ideas.
But, it is humanly not possible to say yes to every single invitation, request, message, demand, or question. Why?
As stated earlier, we don’t have the time-bandwidth and do not possess superhuman powers. The best way to decide is to start prioritising your to-do list. Say ‘yes’ to only those requests or demands that are important to you or your business and generate positive long-term benefits.
You have to analyse every single option before you enter them into your to-do list. First, think about whether that request matters to you or not. If yes, then how important it is and whether or not it requires your undivided attention.
If you can segregate your options in the like manner, you will gradually develop the practice of when to say ‘yes’ and when to discard them with a polite ‘no’.
#2: Say ‘Yes’ to Something After a Pause
Nobody will put you at a gun’s point while making a decision.
So, there’s no point in giving a speedy and spontaneous ‘yes’ to a request or an idea.
You can always take your time to weigh your options by not committing yourself to a stringent deadline. That time will help you see things clearly and make decisions logically.
After all, taking a call at a time when your mind is overloaded with work or preoccupied with other matters is a poor habit. As an entrepreneur, if you make your choices or enter commitments without tallying all possibilities and outcomes, you are digging your company’s grave.
A wrong decision on the spot can put you and your company in a critical position in the future.
So, next time if you feel the pressure of taking on-spot decisions, it is advisable to shut your eyes for a bit or sleep over the matter. Then, come back with a fresh perspective and then say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to that same request.
It is not too hard!
#3: Say ‘Yes’ to Something that Makes You Happy
Even Albert Einstein needed rest or timeout for things that mattered to him or made him happy.
Just because you are the owner of your company does not mean that is all you can think about 24 hours a day. Your brain needs rest.
So, take time for yourself now and then by saying ‘no’ to a certain request or postpone it to a later date after checking your calendar. Then, unless that request questions the very existence of your business, you can easily take a breather and do things that make you happy.
After all, you are a human, and you need to catch up on your sleep, take time to feed your tummy and your brain, and spend time with your people.
On the other hand, you should always say ‘yes to things that make you happy. Saying ‘yes’ to a particular project, job, or any invitation on the whim can be devastating. It can make you unhappy, reduce your productivity, and shift focus from matters that deserve your immediate attention.
Instead, reply with a polite ‘no’. You are sorted!
#4: Say ‘Yes’ to Something You are Committed to
Like the previous point, you should always say ‘yes to something you can stay 100% committed to doing within the stipulated time.
Just because you add the task to your calendar does not mean that request will appeal to you enough to fulfil the commitment.
What if that idea doesn’t appeal to you at all? You said ‘yes’ because you are too polite to say ‘no’. So, you have to pull yourself up to cater to the task at hand even though you do not enjoy doing it or have other commitments.
But, saying ‘yes’ is a responsibility. You can’t simply forget about it.
If you do, that will not go down well and reflect poorly on you. So, take a pause again and think – can you commit yourself to get that ‘yes’ done on time?
If so, go ahead and say ‘yes’ loud and clear. Else, it’s okay to say ‘no’ now and then.
#5: Say ‘Yes’ to Something Your Brain Agrees
Being human, we are given to our whims and fancies and make decisions on instincts. However, you need to think logically and rely on your brain instead of on your instincts.
Instinctively, some idea might appeal to you, and you feel the urge to reply with a prompt ‘yes’. That’s the biggest mistake any entrepreneur can make in their career. Yes! You can argue that some of the greatest business ideas occurred instantaneously, and the greatest entrepreneurs became successful when they listened to their instincts.
We do not disagree with you.
But, you can decide and say ‘yes’ only when your heart and brain agree together. So, if you have even the slightest doubt at the back of your mind, even though the idea excites you, you need to pause and listen to that small voice.
Verify your doubt and then give a big ‘yes’. Or, maybe you can mention a later date for further discussion.
That buys you time to ponder over the idea without breaking your brain or pushing other tasks in the cold storage for a while.
The bottom line is…
That’s how you say ‘no’ to things that matter less and focus on topics that are important by giving a thoughtful ‘yes.’ Remember, you can never be a go-getter by simply agreeing to everything and not being able to deliver as expected.
So, make your choice wisely and carefully.
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So long. Happy reading!