I have a really strange relationship with saying Yes. For quite a few years as a new photographer I said Yes to everything. I thought I was helping by making myself available and visible. But actually I ended up stretching myself very thin. I was working, which made me happy, but I was doing jobs that didn’t fulfil me and I was uncomfortable having to rush my customer experience and the editing process.
I was winning because I was super busy. Right?
Something had to change and I decided that it had to be (amongst other things!) being more selective and refining what I wanted to say Yes to.
I had to change the way I felt responsible for and tied to my potential clients. I committed to myself that I would stop rushing into bookings and saying Yes ‘for fear that I would lose the booking’. I developed my selection process for saying Yes and worked incredibly hard to stick to it.
Is my instinct telling me to book this client? (if it’s a no, trust yourself)
Can I serve this client? (if not, don’t put yourself in this position)
What is the clients reason to book me? (if the sole reason is price, beware)
Will this work fulfil me? (if no, reserve this time for something that will)
Am I making money from this? (beware of ‘working for free’)
What will happen if I say no?
How will I feel if I say yes?
I can hear some of you saying ‘I have bills to pay’……. which trust me, I understand! When I waved goodbye to my well paid corporate job I was nervous too.
The moment I started saying No, I:
and most importantly...
- felt much more in control of my business
- started making more money
- had a significantly better work/life balance
- had time to focus on developing my business
- stopped having that ‘I don’t really want to be at this wedding’ feeling
- stopped having the need to rush my client experience
- started working with my ideal clients!
As a consequence I now say YES to all of those things I never had time or money for. I have given myself permission to say YES when my instinct tells me to do something and I can confidently back myself in the knowledge that my instinct will not let me down. In fact I’ve got quite good at saying YES to:
- self development
- new experiences
- starting new projects
- my own high level coaching programme