I’ve had a long career in social services; services being the keyword here. I’m used to providing services for people with little or no money and receiving a barely adequate salary for doing so. I’ve been so conditioned to say yes; to make things happen for people, that when I decided to become an entrepreneur, I had a very difficult time saying no or asking for payment. In fact, I am still working on asking for money and I am a long way from feeling comfortable saying no, however, I now do both whether I like it or not.
What I came to realize was that if I wanted to be successful in my business, I had to transition from a “yes” mindset to a “no” mindset. That might seem counterintuitive to some, however, it’s the difference between success and failure for me. People are always asking me for free advice, or to do this thing or that for them with no expectation of having to pay for my time and services. If I didn’t take responsibility for transforming that expectation, I would not be able to support myself.
This was brought home to me recently by Adam Urbanski. I attended his recent Overnight Authority Webinar and he talked about the importance of making this transition to saying no. He had us figure out how much an hour of our time was worth (my rate used to be $200 an hour for training) then break it down to what that is worth per minute ($3.33). So you call me and ask me if I can give you 20 minutes of my time to help you with something in your business. If I do, I have now invested $66.66 in your business and you’ve invested nothing in mine. You have what you needed, and I have 20 less minutes to invest in my own business. How is this a formula for success?
That was a huge turning point in my approach to considering what to say yes to and when to say no. Just this week someone asked me to help co-host an ongoing series of teleseminars about how we can bring transformation to the world to create a more positive situation. It’s a topic close to my heart and I was tempted to say yes. However, she intends this to be a “giving” situation with no opportunity for promotion by any of the co-hosts. Rather than accept right away, which I wanted to do, I asked her for time to consider her request. I weighed the time commitment required for those calls against what I need to do to in my business right now. Using my old training rate of $200, I would be investing between $300 and $400 worth of time into her program each month. Additionally, this topic was not relevant with my business at this time which is empowering teens and young adults to develop economic self sufficiency by starting their own business. I could not see any justification for accepting her request, even though it would get my name out to some new people who may or may not take the time to visit my website. I had to tell her “no.”
I didn’t like telling her no, but I have to say, I was proud of myself for making the best decision for my business, at least at this time. It’s all part of the transition from the mindset of a salaried social services worker to an entrepreneurial mindset. I’m not about making money, however, money is an essential part of life and there are many things I can make happen in the world if I have money available. With that in mind, this year is my year to get my program out into the world and bring money into my business.
What things should you say “no” to?
Do you need help figuring out what you need to say no to? Do you have a clear picture of where you are in the different areas of your life and business? It might be time for a reality check so you can identify where you need to make changes. If are subscribed to my blog, then you already have Julia Neiman’s 2 Step Reality Check to Discover and Overcome the Hurdles That Stand Between You and Your Dreams. If you don’t have a copy of the Reality Check, simply enter your name and email in the box at the top right side of the page and it will be on it’s way to your inbox in seconds.