When it becomes easy to say ‘yes’ to others’ needs and ‘no’ to your own, you give away your power to those other people. Sometimes that’s difficult to acknowledge: you like to think of yourself as generous and helpful; it’s hard to say ‘no’. Yet, the bottom line is your own plans and priorities end up there – on the bottom line of a to-do list! So here are tools I advocate to small biz owners; they’ll re-enforce your own sense of value which will bring back your control over time with your own priority activities.
- Build family and personal time into your day. (you’ll notice this is my first suggestion; your personal life is more important and plays a bigger role in your success than your business will; honoring it is a huge asset to your success in business)
- Take time to focus on the most important needs of your business and do so away from your place of business; Michael Gerber of E-Myth fame recommends you have a dreaming room to do your higher level work. Otherwise you’re susceptible to the daily routines going on around you that can needlessly suck you in.
- Schedule time to think, dream and create; it’s the most important role a business leader has (and it’s what the dreaming room is for).
- Always tie a goal to an important, personal result; it will help give you momentum to your chosen activities and the reward may be even more exciting than the goal’s completion.
- Don’t take monkeys – don’t let someone else’s sense of urgency become yours. Teach others how to solve their own problems – don’t become the solution of first resort. It’s great when folks think highly of you but let it be because of your accomplishment and not because you take on every bit of grunt work they don’t want to figure out for themselves.
- Got a door? Learn how to close it; it’s got a handle and, if you’re lucky, a lock. Train others that when that door is closed, you’re not there. If you don’t have a door, master the withering delayed look when someone approaches and wants to interrupt you.
- I grant you permission to say ‘no’ – and, if you do it graciously, how can they get angry?
About the Author
Andrea Feinberg is a long time, credentialed business coach and this year was included among the Top 100 Women in E-Commerce and Top 5 Coaching Blogs. With a combination of directness and tenderness she’ll pull you away from the daily grind and into your big opportunities. That’s where you’ll find a better run business, more money, a happier life and the time to enjoy it all. Download and read The Small Business Manifesto, “The Buck STARTS Here”, for 9 ideas on how to achieve that: More Free Time Zone
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