In the United States, we’re taught to say yes. We’re expected to be accommodating, to make others happy and respond to others’ expectations. We’re so accustomed to saying yes that we do it even when it’s not good for us.
Sometimes you have to say no.
To achieve great things you need to dedicate yourself completely to your goals. Every very successful person I’ve ever met, every millionaire or billionaire, has a singular focus. They never do anything that does not contribute to their mission.
They know how to say no.
They say no to play, distractions, vacations and most business opportunities. All the time they are presented with the next big thing, the next investment or the next movement.
They turn almost all of them down.
You can only truly do a few things well. Don’t let your attention be pulled away from your goal. If you tried to respond to every request, problem or inquiry, you’d never finish anything.
You can’t half-ass your way to being a billionaire. You can’t sort of revolutionize business, accomplish huge things a little and kind of amass generational wealth. You have to do it all the way.
You have to say no to anything that doesn’t help you get there.
Look at yourself daily. Analyze your habits and ask: “Is this leading me toward my goal?”
If the answer is no or even a weak yes, you have to stop doing that. Change. Streamline your behavior to include only elements that move you forward.
Study. Live healthy. Surround yourself with smart, positive influences. When people pull you in the wrong direction, don’t be afraid to say no to them.
People think business is all about money. But not your money, your customers’ money or your investors’ money is as important to your success as your focus. You must have a laser-lock on your work every day.
View the world through a microscope.
Only three things in business are truly important:
- Knowing what you’re good at.
- Knowing how you’ll capture money.
- Knowing your role.
The flipside of knowing what you’re good at is recognizing your weaknesses. It might be even more important.
So build your strengths and hire for your weaknesses. I’m outgoing, energetic and hungry to learn, but I’m not a good organizer. Therefore I hire people who are organized and detail-oriented. I seek help when it comes to scheduling, proper paperwork and keeping things in order.
I know my spot in my own business.
I’m lucky to have the chance to travel and see other cultures. Many people in the world don’t suffer from American brainwashing. They don’t feel forced to say yes to everyone. It makes them good entrepreneurs. They don’t feel obligated to your needs until you mean something to them.
But America is a very successful country, right? Is this “yes” culture not working for us?
America has definite strengths. We have collaboration, work ethic, teamwork and the capital to make anything possible. But we’re also a social hive that wants everyone to be responsible for everyone else, leading to near-universal mediocrity.
Take the work ethic and come together with like-minded colleagues. Use the strength of capital, then say no to all the non-productive elements.
We’re all pushed to be yes-men, but this only helps make others happy. Don’t feel obligated to please them if it makes you unhappy.
For your business, yourself and your future, learn when to say no.
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