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Learning to Say Yes and No

I’m in the business of asking people for things. I have 20-30 volunteers each month helping me with Sunday| Mag. We have 50-60 people involved with making Echo happen. I have guest posts on Echo Hub and loads of other little asks here and there. I send so many emails beginning with “Are you available for…” and “Can you help with…”.

The thing I find consistently is that very few people want to say “no”. Almost everyone I ask wants to help me. Unfortunately, they aren’t sure if they can or not. So instead of getting an email response “I’d love to…” or “I can’t right now…”, I get a lot of nothing. Perhaps about a week or two later I get a firm answer.

I don’t get upset about this. I realize they do want to help. They just aren’t sure if they can or not. But I really wish they could learn something I’m continually learning. And that is to say yes as much as possible.

I’ve seen my friend Stephen Brewster model this. He says “yes” to almost everything. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a “no” from him. I see his name already tacked on to almost every project I agree to. He’s a beast. And he says yes to everything. More than that, he actually gets all this stuff done. He’s learned the art of hussle.

The coolest thing about learning to say “yes” as much as possible is that it frees you up to say “no”. When you say “no” it’s because you truly know it’s impossible. Or you can say “no” because you don’t get behind the vision of it.

You no longer have to feel guilty about saying “no”. You say it so few times that it truly means something when you “can’t do something”. It’s no longer because you’re afraid to or because you are worried you won’t have enough time.

You say “no” because it’s just not right for you.

So I encourage you. Learn to say “yes” more often. It’ll make it much easier to say “no”.

[Photo Credit]

2 Comments

  • Rick Says

    I like this!
    But it is contrary to so much of what we hear today – “focus, don’t let others distract you”(translation: it is all about you, your projects, your goals. Forget the other guy unless you need him to get your stuff done,)
    I like this!

  • Rick Says

    I like this!
    But it is contrary to so much of what we hear today – “focus, don’t let others distract you”(translation: it is all about you, your projects, your goals. Forget the other guy unless you need him to get your stuff done,)
    I like this!

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