In life, your most valuable resource is time. You’ll find me blogging quite often about productivity tools and strategies because any incremental gain in productivity is an investment that will pay huge dividends. It’s unfortunate that certain people out there, often unintentionally, do not treat your time with value. Or, they just may not know the true value of your time. I’m talking about the dreaded tire kicker.
Over the last few weeks, I personally experienced a tire kicker situation. After spending about three hours in conversations and demos, I realized that the person/organization I was speaking to had a low likelihood of reaching a mutually beneficial business relationship. They were not even willing to step up to the plate with a conservative test investment. I was just wasting my time.
Thankfully, my tire kicker detection (and handling) skills have matured over the years. Sensitivity is required. It’s a small world and I want to have the best reputation in the market. I want to do the right thing, because I care about others. And, of course, I always want to be open-minded and receptive of new opportunities that may be great.
At the same time, I just had to say "no" (in a graceful way) and move on. (As a side note: Saying "no" is often best for the other party too. A clear "no" can be very helpful and allow the other party to move on and connect with someone else.)
Today’s blog post is a chronicle my personal strategy around saying "no". It’s a blog post about saving time, getting increased business results, staying focused, and ultimately being more happy in business and life. Before we start with today’s blog post, you may want to watch my brand new video on this very topic:
How To Detect A Tire Kicker
I have a sixth sense of sorts in detecting a tire kicker. It was not always this way. In my early days, I would say "yes" to everything. My years and years in business and life have taught me the ability to read people, ask questions, and predict outcomes.
While the reading of people can take time, asking questions is something I want to emphasize to all readers. When a new opportunity comes your way, don’t just say "yes". Think about the opportunity, search within yourself to see if there is alignment with your own goals and dreams, and then ask a ton of questions. It’s through these questions that you can determine (1) if the opportunity is of any interest and (2) if there is a likelihood that a mutually beneficial outcome will happen (of if the other party is just kicking the tires and using your most valuable resource, time).
Bonus Tip: Ask for the money! In business, money is a valuable commodity. See if the person with whom you are speaking is willing to run a small test, one that costs money but not too much. If they cannot part with a small amount of money, they are likely just a tire kicker.
Another Bonus Tip: Always be cordial and assume the best. Even if someone is not willing to part with money, perhaps they can be an advocate of yours in the marketplace. Even if you say "no", always be nice and helpful. Your reputation is everything.
It’s Ok To Be Selfish
Have you seen my PPC Ian Business and Life Quotes? This page is one of my favorites on my entire blog. One of my favorite quotes is one that goes like this, "Invest in yourself. Carve out the time. Nobody else will." If you say "yes" to everything, you will never invest in yourself. You will never grow. You will never accomplish the goals that matter to you.
From an investing standpoint, I just posted a video on YouTube that you might like. It’s all about paying yourself first, and investing in yourself before any other bills are paid. This video is the application of this concept to personal finance.
I’m extremely picky in life. Time is more valuable than money, many times over. When it comes to business and work, I will say "no" to anything that does not further my business goals and objectives (the personal goals that I have on my plate that I like to set up in collaboration with other leaders at the beginning of each year). In my personal life, I will be even more picky and say "no" to anything that is not giving me a 100-1000x return on time (in money or happiness).
Bonus Tip: Put a dollar amount on your time. This dollar amount does not have to be your salary. In my personal life, I value my hourly rate as several times my work salary. If the request does not bring me that equivalent value (either in raw money or happiness), I will say "no".
Another Bonus Tip: Minimalism is really popular these days. Think about saying "no" as minimalism for your mind. Your home is clutter-free. It’s neat and organized. Do the same for your mind by saying no and staying hyper-focused on the things that matter most.
Reminder: Saying "no" does not have to be mean. Always say "no" in a cordial and graceful way. Be thankful. And, know that you are actually doing a good thing for the other party, since it’s always better to give a clear "no" than have unproductive discussions drag on.
Routines Are Key
I recently learned all about routines from The Power of Habit By Charles Duhigg, a book that was part of last month’s Mentorbox. (As a side note, you may want to check out my 15-Day Mentorbox Challenge to learn more.) Positive routines can truly transform ones life, and Duhigg discusses the cue, routine, reward cycle at length.
As a result of this book, I have been placing more and more routines in my life, ones that reinforce my personal goals and dreams. My day is filled! I even have routines for reading the Bible, exercising, and filming YouTube videos. (In fact, I’m producing more YouTube videos than ever before thanks to the power of my new YouTube habit!) Since my day is already filled with routines that are aligned around my life goals, I have very little free space left for net new items, making it easier for me to say "no". My Tip: Fill your own day with routines that align with your life goals. Then, it becomes super obvious when to say "no".
Coming Full Circle: Never Say "No" Again
I’m just getting started on YouTube, however my channel is already scaling. I have effectively multiplied myself since there are now 3.5 of me. You’ve got the real me, and then you have another 2.5 of me on YouTube speaking and educating around the clock. (My PPC Ian channel now experiences around 2.5 days worth of watch time on a good day.) And, you’ve got this blog and my social media too. I’m out there educating, empowering, and enriching online. Even if I’m not physically there (the real me), you’ve got the virtual me available at all times, around the globe.
I have to be guarded with my time because it is so scarce and valuable. I want to invest my time to achieve my lifelong goals. That being said, I like to think of my web presence as my way of never saying "no" again. It all comes full circle. While I may not have time to work on each and every opportunity, I do aspire to add value to everyone who crosses my path. This can be accomplished at scale thanks to the amazing leverage available online!
My closing tip: Be very selective with your time, and don’t be afraid to say "no". That being said, try to help everyone to the best of your ability, leveraging the scale and connectivity of the Internet.
Image in this post © PPCIan.com