The Power of Knowing When to Say “No” to Opportunities

Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs both agreed that what you say “no” to is just as important as what you say “yes” to. What they meant by this is that you should choose carefully which opportunities you decide to take on and spend your time on.

When you think about it, this is just a good business practice to remember to increase your ROI. When you spend your time on the things that give you the biggest return, you are making a wise decision about your business. If you take in every opportunity that comes along, you will find that your time gets away from you before you have a chance to make the choices you want to make on how to spend your time.

The Importance of Time Management

Time management is at the heart of creating a good business. When you use time management effectively, you are taking charge of your priorities in a way that will guarantee that you maintain control over your day rather than letting other priorities take over your time.

Types of Opportunities

Opportunities sometimes involve daily decisions. Other times, they involve long-term goals and opportunities that may come along down the road. This can include business partnership opportunities, work opportunities, or taking on new clients.

The challenge in knowing which opportunities to refuse is in knowing and understanding your priorities for your business. If your primary goal is to expand your business, then a chance to take on new work and new clients may be a good decision. But as you get more into the details of the opportunity, you may find out that the work that you are doing takes too much time for the monetary return that you are getting back.

In this case, if your goal is expanding, you should think about how continuing with the opportunity may not being your best interest. Taking on new clients alone is not enough to grow your business. Taking on high-paying customers who pay more than some of your previous customers, however, may be a good choice.

Adding Services: How Much is too Much?

Another example of when to say “no” is when you have an opportunity to add services to your business to meet your expansion plans. Adding services to a service entrepreneur business may help to increase your revenue. But you should make sure that you will be able to maintain the same level of expertise and professionalism that you did with your previous service offerings.

Famous entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, stated recently on the popular “Shark Tank” show that he believes it is a mistake to take on too many areas of expertise at the same time, especially if you are trying to carve out a niche in a highly-specialized area.

This especially applies to startup businesses where you need to build up your main business first before expanding to other regions. If you are trying to make a name for yourself as a top expert in your field, it will be hard to balance several different skills and be the best at all of them.

Expand Gradually

Knowing how much to expand and when to use caution and say “no” to opportunities is a decision that only you can make. But you should weigh this decision carefully and consider the priorities of your business before deciding which opportunities to get involved with.

About Investment Opportunities

Opportunities can also take the form of investments or partnerships with others. When you take on a business partner, you have to remember the amount of equity you agree to and think about whether letting the new partner in will increase your chances of growing your business or not.

When you bring on an investment partner, you not only invest your time, but you also spend your money. Investing money is seen as more dangerous than investing your time by the general public. But for the working entrepreneur, you may see spending your time as a more dangerous proposition.

Time or Money

Peter Voogd, a well-known entrepreneur and author of 6 Months to 6 Figures, states that money and time are a trade-off but not an even trade-off. He says that “you can always get more money, but you can never get more time.” This statement brings to mind the idea that it is better to spend money on things that could lead to better opportunities but to save your time to work on the things that are the most productive.

Once you grasp this idea, you can start to understand how spending less time on new opportunities that required your time is a good idea since the time you devote to tasks will lead to more profit and money if you use your time wisely.

Focus is the Key

When it comes to spending time and money on your business, only you can decide where you should spend your time and money and which opportunities you should take on. Increasing your productivity should be your primary goal whether it involves spending more time or more money toward your business.

Brian Tracy, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur once said that people only spend around 25% of their day on productivity tasks. The goal should be to spend around 60% of your time on productivity. If you dedicate this much of your day to highly productive tasks, you should start to see a real return for the time you spend in the form of more revenue and stronger returns.

Find your balance.

Entrepreneur Magazine presents several tips to entrepreneurs on how to find a life-work balance in their April 2017 edition of Entrepreneur Magazine.

They point out that time management, refusing always to say “yes,” and deciding on priorities are the main things you should do to achieve the best life-work balance.

If you are a new business owner striving to find your balance, you should first set your own priorities for yourself and your business before deciding what to take on and what to avoid.

It’s all up to you

The joy of being an entrepreneur and a business owner is that you get to decide all of this. Every decision that you make is made by you and you alone. Even if you have a business partner, someone has to make the final decision on what to do when it comes to your business.

You can get advice from other entrepreneurs, read up on what other entrepreneurs have done, and look at their example. But in the end, you have to decide what you will choose.

An Example of Prioritizing

Steve Jobs once told his Apple business partner, Steve Wozniak, after rejecting a former IBM employee for his new Apple development team, “We are opening doors. We have to be very careful which ones we open and who we let in.” Jobs hated the way IBM did business, and in his opinion, they represented everything he was against regarding computers as a “tool for art.” So he chose to say no to IBM types.

This statement by Steve Jobs to his business partner helps bring this whole topic of what opportunities to let in is a good way to remember that you are in control of your destiny.

So set your priorities, plan your business goals, and analyze how you spend your time and which opportunities you say “yes” too.