This week, have you talked yourself out of any opportunities? If you’re like us, over the years, you’ve been bombarded with business and personal messages about how to prioritize, to organize, to simply say “no”. This is a valuable skill. It can keep us from becoming over-committed or over-subscribed. On the other hand, it can also become a habit that leads to us forgetting to ask, when confronted with a possible new project, an opportunity to participate in a spontaneous activity, or a request to volunteer our time and talent, whether we should be saying “yes”. We’ve had a reminder of that, just this week. We, and a colleague and new friend we met last December, have collectively been watching for an opportunity to do business together. For nearly a year, the right prospect hasn’t presented itself. This week, she emailed us to ask if we were interested in cooperating on a project. We thought, “Oh, we’re awfully busy”. There’s time and travel involved, and like everyone as the holidays approach, we’re not ready (and we’re tired). But then we realized, “What if this is the opening we’ve all been waiting for? What if this is our chance to start collaborating with another group of fun and interesting partners?” So we said “Yes”, and as a consequence, have an exciting new project to round out our schedules, and a chance to visit three great cities. Who knows, we might even fit in some holiday shopping as we travel. So if you find yourself defaulting to “No” when the next request comes in, ask yourself:
- What’s the opportunity cost of not saying “yes”?
- Can I think of a possible positive consequence of asking myself, “why not do it?”
- Is there some element of this chance that I’ve been thinking of or hoping for, and I didn’t see the signs?
Eliminating the negative,
Megann & Steve