Friday, May 06, 2011

The Power of No…

Opportunities are great because they are just that. Opportunities.

You never know what might happen if you do it and, particularly in building a business or in marketing, when you are working so hard to grow, our fear of a possible future loss sometimes can rule us.

But, there’s also a cost to them. Opportunity cost.

When you focus on one thing, by definition, you are not focusing on other things.

As Peter Drucker says, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

To be a great marketer, business owner, or just downright productive, you MUST ask yourself constantly: Is this the most valuable use of my time right now?

I heard a podcast from HBR featuring Bob Pozen, a lecturer at Harvard B-School, called Productivity Secrets of a Very Busy Man and while he’s off the charts in terms of focus, it’s instructional at the same time.

Things will come your way. Partnerships. Sponsorships. New jobs. New deals. New prospects.

It’s tempting to say Yes to them all and see what you can make happen, but there’s a HUGE power in saying No.

You must cultivate that.

Case in Point

I received an email from a good friend, Dave, who said he wanted to “pick my brain” (its own blog post) about the factors that have led to 3 years (hopefully) more of the Never Stop Marketing experience.

Here’s what I shared. 

You asked how I manage my time. Answer: relentless focus on the priorities at every turn.

So, here’s the deal…I’m more than happy to sit and chat, but I can’t do it for a while. I’m talking “2 months from now” kind of a while.

I realize you’re looking for sooner (most likely), but I am just slammed at the moment. I’m sorry, but this is perhaps the key lesson. I can do everything. I just can’t do it now.

Takeaway Thoughts 

  • What are your priorities?
  • How well do you stay focused on them?
  • Have you said “NO” today?
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