A common characteristic shared by successful home business owners is the steadfast, almost fanatical way in which they guard their time.
Large corporations and businesses hire people and spread the responsibilities, and although I highly urge you to leverage your time by surrounding yourself with people who will take care of lower return activities, there is still no escaping the many interruptions and distractions that are a part of home business life.
People who play at the top of their game whether in business, sport or life, have learned how to either eliminate or reduce distractions by mastering the use of one simple word ... "No."
The inability and fear around using these two little letters has caused more home business failures, tears, stress, frustration and relationship troubles than any other.
And although many new home business owners insist their greatest weaknesses are lack of marketing and sales skills, the biggest obstacle that is blocking their ability to develop these skills is the fact they are not saying no to time-robbing activities so they can focus on building and growing.
Lack of time is the number one challenge every one of my clients brings to the table when we begin working together.
Learn to say "no" to doing everything yourself.
Oftentimes I'll hear, "But I'm in start-up, I have to guard my spending" and I respond with, "You can't save yourself into profitability. You have to focus on making money."
This mental block will never allow you to grow, especially at an accelerated rate.
Low pay-off activities can be delegated, bartered, given to volunteers, students and family members. Do some creative brainstorming with your coach, mastermind group or trusted colleague.
Learn to say "no" to the demands of daily living.
How many times have you said "yes" to the following even though you either didn't want to or knew it would take you away from your own priorities?
- taking care of your neighbor's kids after school because she had a hair appointment
- volunteering to cover the refreshments table at your child's high school dance
- loaning out equipment or items you know you won't get back unless you ask for them several times
- agreeing to listen to your friend rant for the third time this week about how his wife is trying to ruin him in a nasty divorce battle
- taking your mom to visit her friend across town every week because your brother and sister are too busy
- making Johnny and Sally's beds because they have to rush to school in the morning and don't have time
- going to every birthday and holiday dinner a family member hosts
- reading every single e-mail and taking every single call that comes in...
By not saying "no" to the hundreds of non-critical demands that are placed on you every month, you will not create the business success or freedom you want and deserve.
The two biggest obstacles in mastering the skill of saying "no" are fear and guilt. Fear that you will be loved less or rejected and feeling guilty that you may have hurt someone's feelings.
Saying "no" doesn't have to hurt anyone or cause you to be rejected and the way you deliver the message can make all the difference for you.
To refuse a request be honest and assertive in your reply by stating, "I'm sorry, however I have to turn down your offer/request at this time because I've been so busy with obligations, I've neglected my own priorities and have to give them my attention right now."
If others get angry with you or try to make you feel guilty for wanting to give yourself the attention you deserve, it's time to decide whether or not they're the kind of people you want in your life.
Start small. Build your "no" muscle slow and easy and work your way up to the larger demands. Like any skill, you can develop it and once you become a master, you'll enjoy quantum leaps in your happiness levels and business success.
Copyright 2007 Laurie Hayes - The HBB Source