I’m Back… And I’m Saying No

Hey everyone – I’m back from a wonderful holiday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (pictured above).  Even though I now have a LOT of work to catch up on, I’m so glad I had some time away.  It was lovely to relax, read books, sleep in, and recharge.  It’s so important to take breaks from work, even if you’re really busy (especially if you’re really busy).

While I was away, I read this great piece by Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney, called “Saying No”.  I highly highly recommend that you read it.  Like many entrepreneurs, I often take on too much.  I find it so difficult to turn down projects or opportunities, even if I know in my heart of hearts that it’s not a good choice for me, or for my business.  Reading Grace’s piece reminded me of how important – essential even – it is to say NO to projects that aren’t right for you.  She clearly outlines how she determines what’s a “yes” and what’s a “no”, and shares how she says “no” effectively.

Two points that Grace made that really really resonated with me:

1. “Opportunities are rarely luck – they are often the result of hard work and perseverance – trust that you can create them again.”

This is SO true.  I often think that opportunities just fall from the sky, and I should be thankful that something has landed on my desk, and take advantage of it.  But really, any opportunity that comes my way is because of some work I did a while ago.  I make my own opportunities, so I have to stop being afraid that there won’t be more in the future.  Of course there will be more, as long as I continue to do work with integrity.

2. “Are you willing to give something up to make room for this project?  Do you have to? If not, that’s ok. But if you do have to make time for this somewhere and you’re not willing to, you just can’t do it. It’s a No.

I often forget that when I say “yes” to an opportunity, it often means that I have to say “no” to something else.  Even if that something else is my own time.  And the reverse is true – when you say “no” to something, you are creating space so that you can say “yes” to something else.

And finally, Grace reminds us that “you can’t continue to innovate if you’re too tired to do your best work.  Leave time to rest, restore, and become inspired.”

On that note, I hope you have a wonderful, restful, restoring weekend.  Enjoy the sunshine!

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