Have you noticed that everyone is telling us to say no?Books, podcasts, even one of my favorite bloggers wrote a piece last week about saying no. From where I’m standing, it looks as if there is a real fear of over commitment going around and the answer that everyone is giving us, is to say no.
I believe that if we’re going to build something of value, we can only do it by saying YES.
Before I go further, let me state upfront that there are certain things we should not be saying YES to; illegal narcotics, cigarettes, toxic people…you get the picture. We shouldn’t be imitating Jim Carey in the awful movie Yes Man, and say yes to EVERYTHING, but we should be saying yes a lot more than we are.
I believe in saying YES because I’m convinced that that’s where the opportunities that change our lives come from. After all, the number of salespeople that failed for taking too many meetings remained constant at zero last year. The same is true of speakers that spoke too many times, musicians that played too many events and bloggers that posted too many posts. If you’re staying busy developing your craft, no matter what it is, you cannot fail.
But we don’t say YES. We hymn and we haw and we worry about overcommitting. This is a new fear that we have to slay and slay quickly.
There will be times as we build our lives that we will take on too may things, we spread ourselves a little too thin and have too many irons in the fire, but this is how we grow. This is how we figure out how to get it all done. This is how we develop the creativity to be great.
As I write this, I can hear the cries of “work/life balance” echoing down the street, but we all know deep down that there’s no such thing as true balance. Even if it were, it wouldn’t make us happy. We were put here to grow, not to stay stagnant, in one place and we can’t grow saying no.
Speaking only for myself, I thrive on a busy schedule. If I don’t have a lot going on, I can feel complacency setting in and I know I’m in trouble. To avoid this, I take virtually every meeting offered to me. I get a lot of job offers and I’m never interested, but I usually take the meetings anyway. The reason is that I never know what other opportunities will come from it. If an opportunity to speak comes my way, I will always take it, even if it doesn’t pay as well as I would like. Why would I close the door on an opportunity to make new connections and grow my business? This only happens when I say YES.
There are a lot of people out there telling us to say no. Let our competitors listen to them and when they’re turning down opportunities, we can pick them up because we’ll say yes and use them to build something great. Every worthwhile experience I’ve ever had only came to me when I said YES. Try it out, it’s the best way to grow!