Learning to Say "No"

I have the bad habit of being unable to say “no” when something comes along that I think will be a good opportunity. The truth is: I just don’t want a good opportunity to pass me by that I will regret later. The problem is that, in accepting these opportunities, I’ve caused myself to become needlessly overwhelmed, and I’ve even hurt my relationships with other people because I’ve let them down, being unable to pull through and finish certain things.

Early last year, I saw Guy Kawasaki’s “Art of Innovation” presentation at N-TEN’s Non-profit Technology Conference. In his presentation, he mentioned that he was offered the CEO position at Yahoo! in the mid-90s, but he turned it down thinking that the company would go nowhere. I guess something like this goes through my mind when I’m considering an exciting opportunity, whether it’s writing a book or looking at some potential side project.

However, now I’m going to have to start drawing the line and putting my foot down. I need to learn to say “no” to things I know I can’t handle right now, even if I think I’m passing up an awesome opportunity. This is what’s best for me and my family. For the first time in two years, I have no side projects (other than Atlanta PHP), and it feels good. I feel like I am actually in charge of my time management, and I’m not overwhelmed by the weight of various projects all around me. I do have a few things lingering around, but I’m going to get them set up and ready to turn loose on the community, so that others can be in charge of them. Look for these soon.