As entrepreneurs, we somehow always seem to have a lot going in our lives, both in business and personal. Admittedly, it can sometimes be overwhelming and can tend to overload us at times. Appointments and meaningful dates such as anniversaries and birthdays may be overlooked. Promises and commitments might be broken. All of this can affect both our business and personal lives, and often in a negative manner
In our attempts to “Do it all” and to be “All things to everyone”, we run out of the one thing we can’t create more of – time. When you think about it, you can often go out and make more money but once the time is lost, it is lost forever. Keep that in mind the next time you over commit!
So, the BIG question is, “When is it OK to say “No”? Here are a few times that you should say “No”.
• When you are feeling stressed to the max.
• When you are totally overwhelmed.
• When you already have way too much on your plate.
• When you are in the middle of a time-sensitive deal that requires most or all of your attention and commitment.
• When you are feeling exhausted or ill.
• When the situation makes you uncomfortable.
• When someone else is better suited for the job/request.
And the list goes on…
Remember, you always have the right to say “No”, under the following circumstances:
• If it will take you away from your Core Values.
• If it will impact your personal or business life in a negative way.
• If it will take you away from key projects and commitments.
• When it is someone else’s issue.
• When you are repeatedly being taken advantage of.
• When it is something you just don’t want to do.
Most of us grew up believing that we should try to help those in need, especially those closest to us, who by the way, can be our biggest offenders. Just remember that even Bill and Melinda Gates, with their untold billions of dollars, can’t help everyone. Even the Gates’ don’t have enough money; and more importantly, enough time, to lend a hand to everyone they would like to help, although, with their various foundations, they do a pretty good job of trying!
So what does one do?
First of all, one needs to evaluate their goals and have a solid idea of the direction they are going, both personally and professionally. After this step, one needs to prioritize their goals and decide on the actions that will get them to where they want to go.
Once you have your goals and priorities solidly determined, then you have to understand that you have to take care of YOU first and foremost. This may sound selfish, but think about; what if something happened to you? Would you still be able to help out those other folks? It’s a basic principle of survival. Convincing yourself of this, however, normally takes time and determination. Having a good mentor in your corner is a great thing to have when times are challenging. Understand that you can’t make everyone happy all of the time. Don’t even try.
Finally, determine some techniques for saying “No” to those whose requests you can’t accommodate or their needs fall into the “When it’s ok to say “No” category.
Some final thoughts: Practice makes perfect but, remember, this mindset and process take time to adopt. Learn to manage not feeling guilty. Be diplomatic but firm. Tell the truth. Always keep your best interests in mind.
Finally, commit to taking control of your life! Ask trusted associates or a business coach to help you with the process!
Here is to your success!
President and founder of the Colorado Landlords Association, best-selling real estate author and attorney, landlord and real estate investor with 28 years' experience.