When you own your own business, you often want to take on the world. You want to constantly do new projects, take on new assignments and launch new stuff. Over committing and over extending comes from good intentions. But, it can often leave a trail of frustration and disappointment for yourself and for others involved.
I adopted this mantra for my own business and even my personal life a few months ago. So far, I’ve stuck to it with steadfast dedication, and it’s unbelievable how helpful it’s been to me. So I wanted to share it with all of you, too. Here it is:
Do what you say you’re gonna do.
Simple, right? Actually it’s not, and here’s why. When you follow this mantra you are unable to commit to doing anything you’re not going to do. It puts an end to empty good intentions and starts every decision with a serious conversation on whether or not I’m going to commit. And if I can’t commit, saying no is hard. But, I remind myself that I’d rather say no than let someone down. And when I say yes, I mean it. When I commit, I do it.
This mantra has one other level to it. I have found that when you over commit to something (or to many things), you skim the surface of what’s expected. You might complete tasks late. You might not give them your all. In the end, even though you made an effort, more than likely you’re disappointing someone by not approaching it with the unbelievable passion you might be capable of if you had only hand selected the things you’re willing to 120% commit to doing… and doing amazingly well.
Make every day within the business much more satisfying and rewarding by following these simple guidelines.
Here they are:
- Say yes to only the things that help you and your business along its path toward success.
- If you’re into it, give yourself the room to say yes to a limited number of volunteer or philanthropic engagements. Hint: I find it easiest to set boundaries up in the beginning of the year. For example, if I tell myself I will allot time for 5 volunteer events in the year, I think long and hard before committing to each one because I only have 5 I’m “allowed” to do.
- Practice saying no, and help people understand why. For example, tell them you have to respect your prior commitments and make sure you have time to give them your all. They might be a bit disappointed, but if you give them an explanation they’re more likely to understand.
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Angela Pointon is the founder of Hand Select Your Clients. She’s here to prove that creative people can be good business people, too. She inspires photographers and other creative people to kick major butt through her coaching, blog, emails, workshops and her books.