You Don’t Have Time For That
Your time is precious.
I know. You’ve heard that before, but do you believe it?
Think about it this way:
After you’ve spent your time, you can never get it back. When you spend time on something, you’ve forfeited the opportunity to spend it on something else.
That’s why it’s smart to carefully consider importance and impact before you decide whether or not to spend time on something—or someone.
With limited hours and minutes every day, you need to choose what and who WON’T get your attention.
Here’s a short list of what I say “no” to in the course of running my solopreneur business:
- Face-to-face meetings with “tire kicker” prospects (those who have no idea what they’re looking for or are looking for a writer based on price alone).
- Producing complete, official proposals before I get email confirmation from a prospect that they want to go forward with the scope of work, pricing, and payment terms we’ve discussed.
- Answering every phone call and text immediately. It interrupts the work I’m doing for clients so I’ll often set my phone aside in another room so I don’t hear it while in my office. I always aim to respond as soon as possible, but rarely is there a “writing emergency” that can’t wait a few hours.
- Constant complainers. We all know them, don’t we? People who only talk about how they’ve been done wrong and how they can’t catch a break. People who spend too much time wallowing in despair and not enough taking action to change their situation.
- Taking on projects that aren’t the right fit. What I mean by that:
- They fall outside of my skillset, and I don’t believe I can do a stellar job for the client.
- They will demand too tight a turn-around.
- I don’t feel the right chemistry between the client and me.
- I think they’ll suck the life out of me.
- Requests to “pick my brain” by people who have “picked my brain” before and only connect with me when they have a need to “pick my brain.”
By saying “no” to the above, I’m free to say “yes” to things that will matter and make a difference.
What do you say “no” to?
Great article Dawn! I especially love the tip about saying no to repeat brain pickers. I don’t do it even once anymore, unless it is mutual. It’s not fair to my paying customers, and I paid in time and money to get that information so it’s not free or available for the price of a cup of coffee.
Thanks, Michele! You make really great points. We should all keep them in mind. Giving in to brain pickers really isn’t fair to clients who are willing to invest in our expertise, and professional service providers have certainly spent more than the cost of latte to develop what we know. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!