I tend to say “Yes” at about a ten to one clip of saying “No”. So far it’s worked out well for me. Most of the time I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen when I say “Yes”, but it usually works out just fine. Some of the coolest things I’ve ever been apart of were because I just said “Yes” and didn’t worry about the details.
What can go wrong when you say “Yes”?
- You can take on too much and get overwhelmed and stressed out
- You could be taking time away from more important things in your life: family, working on stuff that is more financially viable, you-time, etc.
- You hate the thing you said “Yes” to,
- Some moron will try and take advantage of you.
What can go right when you say “Yes”?
- You might actually find some really great stuff you love.
- You might meet and work with some awesome folks you never knew.
- You might find some business opportunities you didn’t expect.
- It just feels better in your soul to say “Yes” to others.
I’ll be honest, I probably say “yes” too much. I often have people try and take advantage of my propensity to say “Yes”. Will you do this thing? Sure! And then that “thing” takes up a lot of my time that is valuable, and the time I’m giving up is mostly benefiting the other person, and there is probably nothing they’ll do for me in return.
Pro-bono work feels great until it doesn’t. It’s when I start questioning my life strategy of saying “Yes”. Everyone wants some free work from you, believing that it’ll all work out for the best in the long run. Which in truth, it usually does for the person getting the free work!
How can you say “Yes” more, but stay sane?
That is really the question, right?
I think the biggest thing is to have personal boundaries you don’t compromise. Knowing when the “yes” becomes a “no more”. The reality is people aren’t trying to take advantage of you for the most part. They just are trying to do their thing, and if you don’t have boundaries they’ll keep doing their thing without much regard for your things.
Know your value. I say “yes”, but I also usually let the person know what I’m giving up to say “yes” to their thing. Even when I’m being paid. “Hey, thanks for the offer of “$X” and Yes I want to do this and help you, but normally I would be getting “$X+”. Why do I do this? It’s a boundary thing. This is my real worth, I like you or what you’re doing, I want to help, but let’s be clear, here is my real value. The value I’m giving you.
This is really hard because most people get uncomfortable with this. They don’t want to tell others what they are worth and they don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable that they aren’t paying you what you’re worth. But, if you want to say “Yes” more, you kind of have to come to grips with this!
At the end of the day, I still like saying “Yes”. I like trying new things and working with new people. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s worth a try!