Lessons Learned #19 – The next level of resisting bright shiny objects

In last Wednesday’s post I mentioned there are a number of lessons I’m taking away from the recent weirdness. It was too much for one entry, but I think the leftovers are pretty tasty, so I’m sharing them in follow-up.

Here’s another morsel.

Just when you think you’ve figured out what to say no to… temptation strikes.

It used to be fear.

It was fear that would make me say yes to something I didn’t really want to do.

Fear of what the person asking might think of me if I said no.
Fear that I’d have no other way to earn the money.

Sometimes it’s still fear.

Occasionally, I still say yes to the easy, familiar thing instead of the scary unknown parts of biggification.

Sometimes it’s still about money.

But sometimes it’s boredom.

Sometimes I say yes to the sexy new thing to avoid the difficult (sometimes tedious) work of biggification.

And this is making it trickier than it used to be to tell the difference between a no and a yes.

Now, what is really a yes is masquerading as draining and unpleasant work, and what feels like an exciting yes is actually a total distraction.

** Good grief, it’s like being married. **

The choice between yes and no now comes down to short term gratification vs. overall awesomeness of the long haul.

Now it’s about truly committing to my business. For better or for worse.


2 Responses to “Lessons Learned #19 – The next level of resisting bright shiny objects”

  1. 1 JoVE May 5, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Hmmm. This is interesting. I’m getting better at saying no to the stuff that I really don’t want to do (did that recently and discovered that she was expecting me to say “no” and doesn’t think less of me for it, though she still needs someone to do that work).

    But the fear that the new clients won’t come… still hard. And the criteria for the “yes” within the people wanting the work I do want to do is hard. Discerning that “right people” thing…

    I’m glad you are thinking aloud about some of this.

  2. 2 Cairene May 5, 2009 at 8:53 am


    Level 1 – saying no to the stuff you don’t want to do

    Level 2 – saying no to the stuff you do want to do, just not as much as the stuff you *really* want to do.

    Both challenging.
    And both take practice. A lot of practice.

    The first is about not draining yourself or becoming resentful.
    The second is more about acknowledging your capacity and making peace with the fact that you can only work on a very few priorities/goals at once. And trusting that somehow the money part will work itself out as a result. Phew. It’s a lot to learn.

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Third Hand Works

from overwhelmed to ready for anything | organization and time management for people in their "right" minds | administrative guidance for independent creative professionals [more info]



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