Sometimes when you think you should probably say yes, you need to say no.
Weigh the pros and cons. Then add your gut and your heart.
Now weigh again.
I was just requested, asked nicely even if I could cover for someone this afternoon’s basketball practice. Let’s take a quick look at the elements.
- It’s only an hour.
- I could make it.
- 15 people are counting on me.
- I would make the 2 other coaches happy.
- It’s not really an hour. It’s an hour before and after, which is 1 + 1 + 1 = 3.
- I could also get my next short novel done, cover designed, and finish up with my mailing list sales funnel.
- Millions of readers are on the edge of their seats anxiously awaiting my next book.*
- I’ll cover for them another time.
I think it’s even a little odd that I’m debating this. But because I am, it makes me think that you might debate such “simple” decisions as well.
I tend to write out my thoughts (no, really?) to learn from them.
If I worked for a company, like in a, you know, office, then I could just say “I’m working.” People don’t even know I don’t work in an office. Frankly, right at this moment I’m in a workspace in Utrecht. There are people here working. We’re not punching time cards (do people even do that anymore?) and don’t have bosses (at least not in sight) but we’re working. This is work. This is what people respect when you say that you can’t because you’re doing this thing.
Other things don’t usually qualify:
- I’m too busy watching the latest episode of Homeland.
- I just can’t. No reason.
- I don’t want to.
- Too bad for you. I’m not involving myself.
- I’m writing a novel.
- I’m trying to finally get my book sales funnel working so I can build an audience of raving readers and keep writing more books to keep living my dream instead of dreaming my dream. (Where have I heard this?).
That’s it. I’m done here. I’m done debating. I said that I couldn’t because I wasn’t in town (true statement). But the truth is I’m working. I’m working on my books, on my marketing, on my future, on my income, on bread on the table for my kids.
So, no, I can’t do it.
* OK, mild numerical exaggeration.