Learning To Say No

Learning To Say No

One of the entrepreneurs I truly admire is Derek Sivers. He started CD Baby in 1997, which was an online CD store for independent musicians. He ended up selling the company for $22 million while giving most of it away to charity. He once wrote a blog postwhere he said, “If I’m not saying ‘Hell Yeah!’ to something, then I say no.”  

Even though it might be a bit radical approach, it’s a great starting point for people who are over-committed or too scattered.

In college, I was asked to do a big keynote speech on entrepreneurship, and it was the first time I was ever in front of a big audience. I definitely wasn’t “Hell Yeah!” about it, I was more like “This is scaring the crap out of me”. I ended up doing the speech, facing my fears because I knew it would benefit my professional career in the long-run.

Today, many interesting opportunities come my way and saying no is exceedingly difficult. In order for me to say “yes,” I have to be either “Hell Yeah!” about the opportunity or it has to advance me personally or professionally.

It’s a simple approach, but it does the trick most of the time.

Once you start saying “no” to most things, you’ll see that it actually gets you ahead.

  • Saying no frees up the time to do stuff you actually enjoy
  • Saying no gives you more time to spend time with people that you love
  • Saying no keeps you focused

Life is too short to be on an autopilot and say “yes” to everything that gets thrown our way.

Siimon Sander

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