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I Chose to Say No

I’m a time coach who aims to authentically live out my advice. That means I have to face the same challenges you do. Like this one …

This month, I traveled to California and North Carolina for speaking events and have some personal trips too. That means I need to carefully guard my time so I can prepare for and keep up when I’m on the road. I’ve been blocking out my weekly schedule, leaving room for big projects and setting limits on my work hours so I can take care of my personal responsibilities.

Well a couple of situations arose that gave me pause. One was with a fantastic young professional where we’ve been trying to meet face-to-face for months. She couldn’t meet during the time slot I had available and suggested some alternative times next week.

I waited a day to respond.

You see, I needed to face the internal struggle between wanting to spend time with this fantastic individual and wanting to complete my preparation for the coming month. (I average about two networking meetings or phone calls a week so I do make this important activity a priority.)

Finally I decided that I needed to stick with my original plans. I sent her an e-mail affirming that I wanted to meet with her but that it would need to be a phone call because my time was booked out for the month.

She kindly understood and we’re arranging for the appropriate follow up. I felt relieved because I had kept my schedule aligned with my values and wasn’t compromising the short term gain of making someone happy for the long term advantage of being balanced and feeling good about both what I accomplished personally and professionally.

How about you?

Are you aware of what’s on your schedule and making the tough choices with courage and confidence? Especially if you’re a small business owner, the success of your business and the maintenance of your sanity depends on consistently making tough choices aligned with your values.