How to Say No & Succeed as a Small Business Owner

Wow! I’ve already received so many responses from you, all of which point to a deep hunger we feel just to have more TIME! We have cars, planes, and trains to get us to any destination faster, cell phones to connect us at any given moment, and high-speed internet to help us get any info we need in seconds. This stuff is supposed to SAVE us time and yet most of us feel we have NO time. What’s going on here? Are we Forrest Gump when it comes to time management? Or is there something or someone else to blame?

Here’s this week’s question and part one of my answer:
Question: “Dear Barnsley, I am caring for my mother with dementia, the affairs of an uncle who is placed in a nursing home as well as helping my husband who is a pastor. I am trying to do the ground work to open a new business, but I need more time to do the planning. Give me some suggestions, please!”
P.M., Gaston, NC

Answer: Dear P.M., You’ve got the perfect initials my friend because you probably have to stay up ALL NIGHT to get all this stuff done! My goodness, just reading your question makes me want to get my thyroid checked! Contrary to public opinion, you are NOT Mrs. Fix-It or Mrs. Be-All-To-Everyone!
So many time management programs try to help you find ways to pack MORE into your day. Well, my dear, you are nuttier than a pecan sundae if you do that. I want you to go on a radical “no” diet in which you say NO to doing all this yourself!

You already know you’re doing too much–That’s a start! Pause and pat yourself on the back–Go ahead, do it.

You love your mother and your uncle and obviously want to help them out. However, there are nursing assistants, nursing students, and college students who would LOVE, especially in this economy, to have a little part-time job on the side. PLEASE, P.M., hire one of them to do just a FEW hours every week so YOU can focus on your business.

Then make sure you go to a room and close, and lock, the door or head to a coffee shop to work on your planning. Meet a friend there and let it be a “planning date” in which you work separately, and once an hour, take a break to share what you’ve strategized. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in just an hour or two!

As for your husband–He’s a pastor, that’s his job. YOUR job is to get your BUSINESS and your MISSION, up and running. Join the ranks of successful entrepreneurs. Find someone else to help your husband or better yet, let him put a call for volunteers in the church bulletin or newsletter to get his own helpers. It’s NOT your responsibility to do all you’re doing, even if he is your hubby, even if you love him through and through, even if you want him to be successful.

P.M., you’ve got a vicious (but treatable) case of “do-itus” in which you are doing for everyone else except yourself! And, my friend, that is the fast track to a heart attack. Stay tuned for our next post which will give you the CURE for do-itus—before it does you in!


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