Say no to good opportunities

As I've written in my previous blog, I had some struggles in saying no to many people and opportunities in the past.

One of the best things I've learned over the last couple of years that made my life stress-free is to "say no to good opportunities in order for me to say yes to great ones."

At some point I was doing all these things at the same time:

  1. Full-time job
  2. Freelance script writing for FM radio
  3. Freelance web design
  4. Monthly contributor for 2 magazines
  5. Blogging (Food, travel, gadget, family)
  6. Video editing
  7. Business research
  8. Weekly church group meetings
  9. Short course every Friday
  10. Online course about online marketing 
On top of that, believe it or not, I strive to be a good husband and father all the time.

It's not about the money. It's the fulfillment I find in doing them - passion.

I had a lot of frustrations and dreams, one of them to become a TV and radio host. So when the opportunity to write scripts for radio commercials came, I took it with a cheerful heart. When a lifestyle magazine asked me to write articles every month, I happily said yes. I thought these two 'gigs' were the stepping stones towards making the dream a reality.

Also, I wouldn't miss every restaurant launch back then.  I was so happy covering concerts and sporting events. I suddenly found myself rubbing elbows and having conversations with the stars and the sports personalities I look up to - that only in my wildest dreams I thought I could mingle with.

While I was cheerfully doing all these, it derails me from keeping track of my real purpose.

Yes, they are all good opportunities but somehow they diverted me from focusing on my goals. Some of them, no matter how close they are to my heart, became distractions to keep my priorities.

Rick Warren said, "You cannot keep adding things to your schedule without cutting things out. If you load so many things on your boat, the boat sinks. If you put so many irons in the fire, you'll put the fire out. When you burn both ends of the candle, you're not as bright as you think you are."

He also shared how his life was pretty much similar to my busy schedule until his mentor told him this:

Before you tell me that one thing that you wanna start doing, tell me what you stop doing.

So for me to be able to take advantage of great opportunities, I must identify what I should stop doing. I just don't have time for everything. Just because it's good doesn't mean I should always do it.

Not everything is worth doing. So before I started a new business, I cut out some of my activities that don't closely align with my purpose - even though I was really passionately doing them. It's sad to let go some of them - especially scriptwriting.

Today, my days only move around:

  1. Full-time job
  2. Blogging / Vlogging
  3. Business
  4. Weekly small group / church

True enough, I found more space to say yes to greater opportunities. And most importantly, I'm able to preserve my prime time for my family. Trimming down my activities also allows me to take the right amount of rest.

We can never be greatly productive if we allow ourselves to be distracted by unnecessary things. I chose to be productive, not busy.

Warren Buffett has another interesting perspective about saying no.

Post a Comment