Today I want to talk about saying “yes” to saying “no”.
In the last 12 months I did 160 (!) free (!) one-on-one meetings with speakers who wanted help to find their Inner Theme, wanted help with developing their speaking business or with becoming better as a speaker.
In the next 12 months I plan to do almost less than one per week.
My financial year starts 1 September and I have decided that beginning 1 September I will drastically reduce the number of one-on-one meetings I have with people who want to meet with me and discuss how to take their speaking career to the next level.
In this post I want to explain why.
It is not about suddenly not wanting to help.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about helping others become better speakers:
1) I wrote a book about how to become a global keynote speaker (called “Spread Your Message, See the World: How to become a global keynote speaker”) to share my insights (and you can get the book on Amazon for just 3:17 $ (https://www.amazon.com/Spread-Message-World-Keynote-Speaker/dp/1642491187/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=how+to+become+a+global+keynote+speaker&qid=1565933348&s=gateway&sr=8-1) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the book for free.
2) I blog on ProfessionalSpeaking.com where I have about 250 blog posts on all kinds of aspects on how to grow a successful speaking business. All the posts are free.
3) And I am very involved in the professional speaking community, right now serving as Immediate Past President of APSS (AsiaSpeakers.org).
4) I just today launched a free membership community connected to the ProfessionalSpeaking.com blog where I will answer question from the community. Join that group and you can ask as many questions as you like and as a bonus you also get to see all the questions and answers from everyone else!
But, last year, apart from spending a lot of time being President of APSS I also spent a lot of time meeting one-on-one with all kinds of people.
In fact I did 160 one-on-one meetings, for free, on top of all the Presidential work of running a speaker association. That is the equivalent of one month of full-time work.
But I realised that the more I gave away for free the more people wanted to meet up and get even more information for free. And in the last 12 months I went all in and said yes to every single request to meet up. I said yes, yes and yes.
But starting today I am saying no. Not for ever, but for one year.
I will now only do one free one-on-one per week (except the weeks I am on vacation). First come, first serve. If you are interested email me at email@example.com.
(So even if I drastically reduce the free sessions to 40 this next coming 12 months it still means that on average I will have done 100 (!) free one-on-ones over a two year period which puts me – most likely – in the top 1% or 0.1% of speakers dedicating time to help other speakers. 😉
So why am I suddenly saying “no”.
Because I need the time to write.
I have decided to write not one – but two – new books over the next 24 months, and writing books – or more specifically doing research for books – takes a lot of time.
By temporarily reducing my pro-bono mentoring time I am freeing up loads of time that I will use to make these books great.
By saying “no” to others I am saying “yes” to myself.
My freeing up time I am creating creativity-time.
What do you need to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to the things you want to say yes to?
ps. To clarify:
This is not about me stopping to help speakers.
Helping speakers become better give me so much joy.
But for the next 12 months I will do it through other channels than one-on-one “meet-up-for-coffee meetings”.
(But as mentioned below I have instead created a Facebook group where I will continue to answer your speaking questions: Join the free Facebook group here. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/393306341267169/?source_id=1677915579199975)
PPS. Picture of me last week on a beach in Mauritius writing one of my new books. Focus, focus, focus. 😉