When people think of me, “discipline” is probably NOT the first word that comes to mind.
Maybe: “playful,” “bubbly,” “creative,” “silly.”
Definitely: “gossip-obsessed” and “delightfully naughty.”
And yet, despite my playfulness and naughtiness (and glossy magazine addiction) I still get a LOT done.
And that’s because there is ONE thing I’m VERY disciplined about:
Whether you’re trying to “find the time” to write a super-helpful, page-turning e-book … pen a fiction novel starring a powerful female heroine … learn how to take people down in Krav Maga class … or master the perfect lemon meringue pie …
Most people have very little trouble saying NO to things that are blatantly awful. (“An unpaid speaking gig for an audience of people who aren’t even my ideal customers — AND want me to pay for my own travel + hotel? Gee, no thanks.”)
The tricky part is learning how to say NO to things that might be really good, or even great, but need to get filtered into the NO bucket, anyway.
Those kinds of NO’s are much harder, because they stir up all kinds of anxiety. (Like, “Holy shitballs! If I turn this down, I won’t get any money / publicity / people on my mailing list / influencers that accept me / etc, etc. I better do it, or else!”)
But you’ve got to learn how to quiet those fears and dish out a NO, anyway.
You can’t say YES to everything, or you’ll never accomplish anything.
Need a few real-life examples? Recently, I’ve said NO to …
:: Accepting any additional people into my private mentorship program for this year. (Essentially: turning away about $36,000 of “easy money.”)
:: Starring in an advertising campaign (with a luscious paycheck attached.)
:: Guest blogging for lots of high-visibility sites.
:: Speaking at a glamorous live event.
:: A feature in a national magazine.
At first glance, this must look like I’m completely nuts, or trying to sabotage my success.
But I had to say NO to these invitations in order to make room for …
:: Honoring my commitment to my “A-List” (6 private mentorship clients who are working with me ‘til December.)
:: Bringing my SWIRL Effect program to life.
:: Creating boatloads of valuable content + challenges for my community. For free. 🙂
:: Penning (and fantasy-casting) an original TV pilot.
:: Outlining a feature film script for a sexy romantic comedy with my girl Franzen.
:: Hiking with my doggies.
:: Reading tons of erotic fiction (ummm … Crossfire series? Hello.)
:: Traveling around the country in my retro Airstream … all year long.
Turns out … I’m not alone.
Here are some big, fascinating NO’s that rocked my world:
:: Matthew McConaughey shot down a number of rom-com roles that would’ve earned him a cool $20 million. Clearly, he knew what he was doing. ‘Cause now, he’s holding a shiny Oscar statue after saying YES to a string of gritty indie films and a career-making character in Dallas Buyers Club.
:: Kate Winslet has famously said NO to plastic surgery and injectables, despite all the pressures in her industry to look perfect + ageless. This Oscar winner states, “I’m an actress. I don’t want to freeze the expression of my face.”
:: Comedian Mindy Kaling turned down a dream opportunity to write for Saturday Night Live early on in her career, because it conflicted with another commitment — co-starring in the hit show, The Office. (Good thing she trusted her gut, because her career is on fire. TIME magazine just named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.)
:: When Her Majesty the Queen of England wanted to “knight” rocker David Bowie, he turned her down — because it wasn’t a title that resonated with him. “I seriously don’t know what it’s for,” he said. “It’s not what I spent my life working for.”
:: Last but not least: these people all turned down millions of dollars — in government pay-outs, lottery winnings, Playboy modeling contracts, and more — all because in each instance, the money conflicted with their personal morals + values. (OK, I totally woulda taken the lotto prize, but … to each his own!)
Feeling inspired to stick to your guns — creating time for what matters to YOU?
Me, too. (Even more than usual!)
Let’s all crank up the NO’s, starting NOW.
Start with this mini-statement in the comments below:
“I’m saying HELLZ NO to ________ so I can say YES-OH-YES to ________.”