Skip to content

If I say yes to this, what am I saying no to?

This is a question I’ve been having to ask myself a lot lately.

You know when you feel like there’s just not enough time for everything, and you just can’t make things move along as you’d like?

But, unless you’re Superman, you can’t be everywhere and doing everything at once. If you’re choosing to focus on your business, then you’re probably not going to keep on top of the housework. If you have more than one business, then you might not be able to give them 50/50 attention. If you’re developing a side hustle on top of your day job, your social life might have to take a backseat. And so on.

Nothing you choose is wrong, if you’ve thought long and hard about it and know your reasons. But you have to accept that you’re choosing one thing over another.

I struggle with this sometimes. I want my business to grow, I want to help as many creative business owners as I can. But I chose to keep my daughter home for two days a week, so we can have that time together. And, not gonna lie, sometimes I get frustrated seeing how quickly other people seem to be able to grow their businesses. Half the time my work days don’t pan out because she gets sick, or I get sick, or I have to squeeze in ‘life admin’ tasks.

But I choose not to work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and I also choose not to work weekends and evenings, and so I have to accept a slower pace of growth. And when I think about it, I’m okay with that. Slower growth means more time to make decisions, to get a feel for where I’m going and where I want to go, and more time to soak in the moment, rather than barrelling ahead.

It’s a conscious decision, one that’s the very antithesis of toxic productivity. Sure, working less makes me less productive. But it’s also made me appreciate the small wins, and it’s taught me how to really use my limited time. I actually think I may have achieved more in the last six months’ of coaching than I did in my first couple of years of copwriting.

And, the thing is, just because you’re saying ‘no’ to something now, doesn’t mean that it’s forever.

Maybe you decide not to launch a new product, course, business idea, or whatever now because you’re saying yes to something else. But it’ll probably keep for a better season – one where you’ll be more experienced, more ready for it, and have had time to mull it over.

Sometimes things are better when you’ve had to say ‘no’ for a while.