What’s in three words?
The most welcomed three words in English are, “I love you.” The most useful, “No thank you.”
Why is “No” so useful?
It’s about scarcity.
Time, money, and energy are limited. Yes tends to spread things too thin. No tends to concentrate. You cannot do everything well.
The trick is to choose well. Success seldom comes from the second yes. Find something to be good at and work it. Rolex has never built garden tools or cars. Apple doesn’t farm.
Give yourself permission.
It is perfectly acceptable to say no to good things.
How many desserts can you say yes to. Would three glasses of wine taste better than two.
Not every investment should be acquired. Some opportunities can be usefully missed. Venture capital firms fund about one in two hundred of projects presented.
Listen to Steve Jobs.
People think focus means saying yes to the things you concentrate on. It doesn’t always mean that. It also means saying no to the hundred good ideas that come along.
Many things will work if given the right attention.
The right attention includes quitting some old good things.
Huge success comes from yes to a good idea followed by hard work. From there “no” works best and don’t forget no can apply to the original yes. Businesses evolve. No business is completely and always successful.
Challenge old yeses from time to time.
A hundred and twenty five years ago, one of the biggest businesses in New England cut, transported, and sold ice for refrigeration. As electrical refrigeration became common, saying no to that business would have been a good idea.
Learn to focus
Notice that focus is not one dimensional. It must grow and you with it.
Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario. In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.
Please be in touch if I can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org 866-285-7772