When you stop promising to do everything and anything other people want, your own goals become more attainable.
Right now, you're busy setting your New Year's resolutions and working hard to achieve your goals. You are determined to make this year the best yet, so you're going after all the things you may not have done before. These goals will help you become a better person and a better entrepreneur who grows a successful business. You don't have to call them "resolutions," but you should have a clear plan and strategy for growth.
Life is short. We know this conceptually but very few of us live that way. We have bills to pay, kids to take care of, business obligations, friends and family to spend time with, networking and a bunch of other life stuff. We go about our days busily striving without understanding that "busy" does not necessarily mean "productive." By mid-year, we look back and wonder why we aren't nearer to accomplishing our goals. All that time is eaten up and we can't figure out why.
To make this your breakthrough year you need to do something different than all of the previous years. You need a new plan, but also a different mindset. This stronger mindset involves you using every bit of the little time you have on this Earth wisely. This means you'll have to say "yes" to the things that fit your values, goals and plans. But, it also means saying no to the things that won't help your business grow. Here is why saying "no" more often should be one of your business goals.
There is a right way to be selfish.
The word and idea of being selfish has gotten a bad rap. Dictionary.com defines selfish as "devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others."
While there are circumstances when being selfish is negative, there are more times when it's the best decision for you. There is a reason why airlines tell you to put your own mask on first before trying to assist others. You can't help anyone else unless you're first in a stable position to do so.
This means you selfishly choose what is important to you and your business. You put your needs and goals first. Once you are in the stable position to help others with the extra time you have, then you will. Building a business requires a lot of you. It's going to take using your time and resources effectively. To do so, selfishly say no to the things that aren't in alignment with your values, goals, and schedule.
You'll need every bit of your time this year.
Time is your most valuable resource as an entrepreneur. To be productive you can't let the agendas of other people keep you from what's important. To make this year count, you'll have to dedicate every spare minute to what will help you reach your goals in life and business -- the two work hand-in-hand. You'll have to say no to the things that threaten to derail your agenda. Say no to people, situations and even opportunities that look and sound good but aren't the right fit for what you're working to accomplish.
It's time for people to understand your boundaries.
Boundaries is a concept and lifestyle we were never taught but should have been. Setting boundaries means saying no to the things you aren't comfortable with. It means setting firms walls so that people and situations don't enter your space. In business, this can be people reaching out to you on social media or email asking for your time for free. It can mean saying no to business partnerships that don't make sense for both parties. It can even mean only letting certain partnerships and interactions get to a certain level. The point is you do what makes you most comfortable and you say no to everything that doesn't.
You need focus to grow your business.
Saying No frees you up to focus on what will actually grow your business. You need tremendous focus to build a successful business. Your time this year needs to be focused on your business' foundation, lead generation, audience building, establishing expertise, picking the right opportunities, and scaling. You don't have time to run down rabbits holes, give into information overload, and chase shiny objects. Say no so that your focus is in the right place.
This is going to be an amazing year for you. You need to see it, believe it and do something about it. You should say no as much as needed to guard your time and your mental well-being. Don't let other people control your time and decisions. This is your life and business. Selfishly decide what's best for you.
A version of this article appeared on entrepreneur.com, posted on January 15, 2018
EXPERD, Human Resources Consultant, Jakarta – Indonesia