skip to Main Content

Say “No”

Are you struggling to get to that tipping point that will get you and your small business to that next level? Shane Parrish has an answer for you, and it’s almost too simple.

The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.

Warren Buffett

Parrish sites Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Great by Choice, who suggests business owners imagine this scenario:

Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

What would you stop doing?

Collins’ thought experiment is an attempt to help us think about how we’re spending our time today, when we can still do something about it to change our ways. We don’t want to wake up when we’re 80, for instance, and realize that we unconsciously allocated all of our thought and effort.

But the value of this experiment applies not only to people but to organizations. The velocity and complexity of problems is increasing. . . Culturally we value decisions to add things more than we value decisions to remove things.

As a small business owner, every day you field a barrage of ideas, many of them great ideas – how to increase sales, expand your marketing in Sacramento, enhance your social media footprint, tighten your internal production, increase your productivity and cut costs. I suspect in your heart of hearts you know what you need to focus on to get better, and it’s probably only one or two things. But the great ideas get in the way. If you could push away, and say “no” to all the great ideas, it would clear the path to do the one or two things you need to do.

Curly knew:

Back To Top