August 23, 2012

Up For Debate – Saying No To Opportunities

One of the traits inherent to many entrepreneurs is that we’re go-getters.  We like to load up our plates and we like to juggle things – that’s just how we’re wired (sound like anyone you know?).  Which means that for many of us it’s a struggle to say no when an opportunity presents itself because we feel like we should be taking advantage of everything that comes our way.

Opportunities take many forms – maybe it’s a new wholesale client who comes with a unique set of requirements or maybe you happen to stumble upon a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity from your prior ‘pre-entrepreneurial’ life and wonder whether you should make the jump back – every day your faced with opportunities that, on the surface, look like they can help you grow your business or yourself personally.

The question then becomes how do you juggle it all and at what point do you start saying no to things.  At what point does juggling so many things mean that all you’re doing is spending all your time trying to keep everything up in the air and not actually giving the attention necessary needed to all those balls.  At some point, even if you don’t want to admit it, you hit a point where you for every opportunity you say yes to you’ll have to say no to another.

I wish there were an easy answer because I’m just as guilty of this as everyone else.   When push comes to shove I do find that referring back to the vision statement I wrote about where I want to see myself personally and professionally in several years helps as it gives me a longer range goal by which to measure the immediate opportunities.  That doesn’t mean it makes it any easier to say no to an opportunity nor does it stop the second-guessing that occurs.

How do you determine which opportunities are the right ones for you and your business?

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3 comments on “Up For Debate – Saying No To Opportunities

  • Sarah Mackley Lamb on said:

    Once again, you hit the nail right on the head! I have gone through this recently and it feels like life is driving me instead of the other way around, as far as my food business is concerned. Everybody has an idea of what I should be doing, but I’M the one who has to sink or swim with my decisions. I have to SAY NO, unless it’s something that pushes me in the direction I want my WHOLE life to go.

    • smallfoodbiz on said:

      Sarah – you said it perfectly. Life driving you versus you driving life. Just not enough hours in the day and so many things both in the business and in the rest of your life needing your attention!