Not long ago I realized my default response has become “No” — both in my personal and professional lives. I was invited to friend’s party and immediately said “No,” thinking of how long the upcoming week would be, filled with client meetings, work, and family obligations. When I heard the recognizable sound of disappointment in my friend’s voice, I realized that I had made a mistake. Instead of putting in the effort to attend what would surely be a fun event, and more importantly, showing my friend the appreciation for the invite. I had said no—no to opportunity, no to strengthening our friendship, and no to opening myself up to a chance to see old friends and possibly make new ones. There and then I decided to make 2015 the “Year of Yes.”
So when the very next day another friend, who had won a company paid, all-inclusive cruise for two, asked me to join her, I immediately said “yes.” You could hear the surprised silence, then scream of joy on the other end of the phone for miles. Despite my lack of interest in cruises and it being during a busy time of year for me, I was saying yes to a chance to spend 6 days with a friend of 30+ years who lives far away.
I think we all can easily make “yes” the default in business as well, without overtaxing ourselves and overwhelming our calendar. So here are the four ways I intend to say “yes” this year:
I will say yes to considering new technology innovations and methodologies suggested by internal and external sources. (Even when I think nothing-is-broke-so-nothing-needs-to-be-fixed.) Otherwise I know that if people keep hearing no from me, eventually they will stop asking me for anything.
2. Business Opportunities
If approached with a business offer or opportunity, I will offer a 5-minute phone call to allow that person to pitch his/her business idea or opportunity.
I will be open to discussion when employees suggest new modes of operation or ideas that take me out of my comfort zone.
I will say yes to only the obligations to sit on boards, join organizations, or donate money that truly meet my goals for business expansion, community engagement, or doing social good.
So if you want to hear a resounding “Yes!” to opportunity, consideration, and collaboration, call me. Cruise offerings aren’t necessary.