When to Say When
Goals are Dreams with Deadlines: How Goal Clarity Will Get You Where You Want http://tinyurl.com/lj6k8kg
Do you know when to say "When"? Not to stereotype our gender, but it does seem that women seem to have a problem with being able to say "no" to the requests for our time, services and money. When friends and colleagues come to us for our expertise in what we do, we gladly give away our knowledge and insight. Many times though, this can also lead into using your skills and services. If this goes on without keeping it in check, soon you find that what you typically get paid for from your clients, you are now doing free for those close to you, which in turn, uses up too much of your time.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that we never offer our help and services, but you need to know where to draw the line. All of us home based business owners are trying to create an income for ourselves and that is not going to be possible if you spend most of your time giving away your services.
|I mention services here because this is the area where it seems to be most common. (Those who sell products have also had many people approach them wanting a discount on the products which cuts into what their income could be.) When people give away their services for free – this cuts into their time where they could be either doing work for paying customers or actively pursuing some new customers.
This is something that I personally have struggled with most of my life. I tend to be the type that loves to give and has a hard time receiving, and I hope I never change in that aspect. But during the first several years after leaving my full-time job to run a home based business, I was required to change in the way I think and feel when I do need to say no to someone. I needed to do this because I no longer had the luxury of a steady guaranteed income that came from my job outside the home. After becoming a full time work at home mom, it was a necessity to create a new steady income. I still feel very guilty at times when saying no. But I found, for the first couple years of running my home based business, there were times where literally well over half the time I spent each week "working", I was giving my services away. Again – nothing wrong with helping others and contributing our time and talents to others IS something we all should do. Many times this is an excellent way to build alliances or barter for other products/services that you need. But you need to get to the point where you put a limit on the time you can spend doing this. If we all had the steady income that we desire, and most of the time truly needing to bring in, then we wouldn’t need to worry about any amount of time and energy spent on free services.
Does this mean you shouldn’t help others or offer your services without pay? Absolutely not. But it does mean learning to prioritize and coming to the realization that you cannot do everything for everybody and grant every request coming your way. So, know when to say "when" and try not to feel guilty about setting boundaries and limitations for yourself and your business.