Evernotes of Note: My "Saying No" Email

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Heading into the New Year, I'm cleaning up my Evernote -- aka my brain, outsourced. It is, um ... chaotic. But every so often, I stumble upon a gem that I either forgot was there or need to use more. I'm sharing those publicly here, because it's my blog and I can if I want to. (Also maybe they're valuable too. Okay, good talk.)

I suck at saying no.

Except when I use this handy email. The responses are largely positive, which is my goal and, perhaps, my curse: the need to always be liked and always smooth out any potential conflict. I can't ignore people, I can't say no, but I HAVE TO say no if I'm going to get my work done and have time for family, friends, health, and hobbies.

So I send this instead...

My "saying no" email

UPDATE: I got some very helpful feedback from friends. Below is my older version, and below that, the updated version incorporating that feedback, which mainly focused on being less cheerful. (It sounds more contrived to be cheerful, I suppose. Mostly, that comes from my hypersensitivity towards disappointing others. Hopefully the second version feels better though.)

OLDER VERSION:

Hey! I know it can be tricky and even stressful to reach out and request something of others, so I first want to say: totally respect that and thanks!

So…I hate saying no, but this is a moment in time when I have to say no. I’ve made a commitment to myself to build my business with ruthless focus because, well, I suck at that most days 😃  And so part of my own personal policy is to say no to things like this, however awesome they might be. Having tried the opposite approach before, only to derail everything, I’m focusing on only the following priorities right now:

- Making my keynote speeches as good as they can be

- Producing ridiculously entertaining and/or moving podcasts

- Writing my first book

One of the best but hardest lessons I’ve learned is that side commitments, however small or attractive, require not only the time from start to finish, but the ramp-up and ramp-down time for that commitment…plus the same ramps up and down to get back into the rest of my work. To avoid losing that time and to ensure I can build something I feel proud of, I’ve put this personal policy in place.

Wish you a ton of success and hope our paths cross in the future,

Jay

NEWER VERSION:

Hey! I know it can be tricky and even stressful to reach out and request something of others, so I first want to say: totally respect that and thanks.

So…I’m bad at saying no, but this is an instance where I need to decline. I’ve made a commitment to myself to build my business with ruthless focus because I’m usually not overly focused. For now, I’m focusing on only the following priorities:

- Making my keynote speeches as good as they can be

- Producing entertaining and/or moving podcast episodes for my show and client shows

- Writing my first book

One of the best but hardest lessons I’ve learned is that side commitments, however short they are, require both the time from start to finish and the time to ramp down other work, then ramp back up when I get back to it. To avoid losing that time and to ensure I can build something I feel proud of, I’m really putting my head down. Hoping you’ll understand, and wishing you lots of success.

- Jay

Posted on December 21, 2017 and filed under IDEAS.