I recently gave someone my business card, because he asked for it during an interesting…
There are many things I do badly, or not at all. Exercise is one of them. And cooking. And dealing with badly formulated criticism. But there’s one thing I’ve learned to do well in the last few years.
I know how to say No.
I am bombarded with requests every day. Which is awesome! I cherish all the attention people are willing to give me. But there’s only so much I can do, which means I have to make difficult choices. I’m sure you know the feeling!
I believe good decisions depend on two things:
I’ve always said my purpose is to write books. I want to earn my living with the books I’m able to sell. Workshops are cool, and public speaking is great, but they are the cherries on top of the writing. I’ve noticed a clear purpose helps tremendously with all kinds of decisions I need to make.
For example, even before I started making the Management 3.0 course I knew it had to be a course what was easy to delegate to others. After all, my goal was to be a full-time writer, not a full-time trainer. This has worked out remarkably well. More than 80 licensed facilitators have signed up by now, and they get great evaluations for performing, customizing, and translating my materials for local audiences. I just have to keep on writing to supply them with great new materials. Everyone happy!
I’ve spoken with several trainers of other self-made courses who envy the licensing model of Management 3.0. I think the reason they cannot license their courses is that they never considered what is their long-term goal.
I’ve always known my purpose, but I never knew exactly how to get there. Nobody does! Lots of roads are leading to Rome, and many things could help me become a dedicated writer. That’s why I develop decisions rules all the time that help me to keep all options open and increase my chances along multiple paths.
Every day someone invites me to do something, I compare the request with my many decision rules. Every rule is there to increase my options or increase my chances. If there’s no rule to give me an answer, I make a new one. And if a rule gives me the wrong answer, I change it. 🙂
That’s how I say “No”.
It’s not because I don’t like you. It’s because I know where I want to end up, and I only do things that may help me to get there.
(image: Dawn Huczek, Creative Commons 2.0)