I officially started my own side business about a year and a half ago. Let me tell you… this is no joke. I’m absolutely convinced that there are far more things about starting a business that I don’t know, then the few things I do know. Far be it from me to let ignorance stop me from writing… it’s never stopped me before. With that resolve, I’ve decided to share a some of the lessons I am learning along the way here. I kicked it off a few weeks ago with my post here about why I believe, no matter what anyone else says, you can’t do it all on your own.
To continue on that optimistic streak, today I’ve decided to talk about one of my biggest challenges to date. Starting a business on the side (i.e. not quitting your day job) takes time and time takes saying “NO”.
As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and I will venture to say that your business will not be built over night either. If you are thinking about starting your own business, calculate the number of hours you think it will take, multiple that by 2, subtract 25 and multiply that by 537 and you might just have something close. Ok… maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but the simple truth remains, your time is valuable and if starting your own business is a priority for you, it will take something of value from you.
Where do you get this rare thing we call time? Well, unless you are one of the few people who can survive on no sleep, like ever, gaining extra hours is going to require discipline and saying one simple, little word…. NO!
Granted, you don’t have to shout it as the caps lock above would suggest, but if you are serious, you are going to have to take a long hard look at your schedule and start hacking. I used to hate it when people would use the phrase “make time”. I mean, seriously, if it was that easy, I would pop a batch of time in my easy bake oven and call it a day (or an extra day… insert cheesy joke cymbal crash here).
One of the biggest revelations I have had in starting my business was simply that it is ok to say no. Why?
Because in saying “no” to one thing, I was opening the door and freeing myself to say “YES” to something else.
I have never wanted to be identified as a negative or “NO” person and, as such, I found that my schedule was a bit too full for my own good. I have taken steps over the past year to improve my “no” skills and if I’m being honest, it has been hard. I have said no to things that would have been nice to be involved in, even things that I really, really, really wanted to do, but I found after further review they didn’t really stack up against the things I believed should be my current priorities. It’s a tough call, but I am also finding that saying “no” is actually enabling me to be more of a “yes” person to the things I believe really matter in this season of my life.
What about you? Do you find it hard to say “No”? Any tips on how to make it easier?