Have you ever said yes and then regretted it? Why is ‘no’ so hard to say? No – such a small word and such a huge impact…whenever we say it and whenever we don’t! We can say “no” to something that we SHOULD say “yes” to and it will impact us (and potentially other people), in a negative way. I live in the South and people here are so polite and proper. People are so worried about saying the wrong thing or offending someone that sometimes they say “yes” just to make that person feel good. Also, there seems to be a silent expectation that when someone asks me to do something, go someplace, or meet for coffee that I they WILL automatically say “yes” so if I do say “no” or “that isn’t something I am able to do right now”, it’s considered rude.
Setting boundaries is so important, for you, your health, your family and for your business. There have been many times when I have felt overwhelmed with my schedule and wondered how I was going to get everything done. Then I have had to sit back and realize I MADE my schedule! We own our own business and we are in control of our appointments, so what happened? How did it get so chaotic? I had to put priorities in order and figure out what really had to be accomplished that day, week or month and let the other things go. Here are some things to think about:
- Figure out what your goal is – your immediate goal and your long term goal. Does the task you are about to schedule or agree to, fit in accomplishing your goals? If so, say “yes”, if not, say “no”.
- Make sure you don’t say “yes” based on your feelings at that moment. So many times we can get caught up in the moment or in the excitement of being involved in something that we automatically say “yes” when we need to say, “let me think/pray (whatever you do to make sound decisions)on that and get back with you by …” and set (and stick to) a timeframe.
- If you have a family, AND own your own business, get out your planner or phone and schedule all of your family activities and appointments first so you don’t miss out on those. Then set your time to work out, or meditate or whatever you do for YOU, see what you have available for business appointments and schedule your appointments during that time.
- The YOU time is so important! Let me expand on this just a little. Spending time doing things that motivate you, encourage you, rejuvenate you, educate you, and heal you, is very important! If you are not filled up in all these areas, how will you be able to help others and succeed in your life let alone in your business? An appointment with you is just as important as an appointment with a client. If at all possible, do not let anything get in the way of this!
- You cannot focus on 10 things and do each of them well. Start delegating responsibilities to other people. If you are always the one to step up and take care of everything, this is going to be difficult. Also, if you have always done everything then it will be difficult for people to get used to your delegating! Just remember, you are most likely building a team or working with others, a good leader knows how to lift others up and step back a bit. Someone may be waiting for more opportunity to lead. If you say “no”, it allows someone else to step up and say “yes”.
My Father was an extremely successful Businessman. He worked for a Company for many years and was on the Executive Team. I remember He was struggling with some decisions the Company wanted to make and told them that he thought it was unethical and would be a poor decision in the long run for the employees. He told them that if they were going to go ahead with those decisions then He would have to take early retirement and continue on as a Consultant for them. They went ahead with the decisions, my Father retired, (stuck with his “no”), and it ended up being exactly as He predicted. The employees suffered in many ways and since then the Company has been bought out 4 times. I wonder what would have happened if they would have listened to him and had said “no” themselves?
Do not live with regrets – Let your yes be yes and your no be no…people will respect you for it. Best of success putting this into practice!
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