Find the No-Brainer Scenario: Saying No to Distractions

A lot of my clients and friends are in the process of trying to grow a new business.

And sometimes, when we’re in the early stages of growing a business, we get faced with the toughest challenge of all:

Saying no to what we don’t want before we have what we do want.

Patty K., who has an amazing blog with the tagline “personal growth for introverts on a mission,” shared this story with me of how the No-Brainer Scenario helped her to say no to the stuff that wasn’t part of her mission. She agreed to let me share it with all of you.

I first had the idea that I wanted to speak and write about 17 years ago (and I got serious about it about 5 years ago), but I was stuck on “what will I speak about/write about?” So many options. I couldn’t decide. Major stuckness.

Finally, after spending a weekend re-categorizing and tagging everything I’d written over the past few months, I spotted the theme of shyness/introversion/social anxiety and decided to focus on that.

So the “what should I write and speak about?” question has been answered (for the most part). And more than that. It really feels like my “Mission from God.” Solid. Purposeful. Other-oriented.

However, it didn’t quite settle the “what do I do in my business?” question. Because I see so many other things where it would be *easier* to make money. (Or at least that’s what I tell myself.) IT-related things I can do in my sleep – like registering domains, setting up web hosting and WordPress.

For it to be a No-Brainer for me to act on one of these “other” [technology-related business] ideas…what would need to happen?

My answer (as of Thursday night) was:

1. It would have to just fall into my lap. An opportunity to make some money from one of these things without me having to invest *any* effort into marketing it.
2. It would have to be a substantial amount of money vs. effort.

Here’s where it gets interesting…

Last night Joe and I were talking to someone who is just starting a business. One of his next steps was to find someone who could set up a website for him. He also mentioned they intended to spend significant money to get the business started. Joe said, “Sounds like all you need is WordPress.”

He replied, “Yeah, that sounds right.”

I stayed silent. I was neither tempted nor interested. Evidently, what I thought was a No-Brainer *wasn’t*.

Big insight: I’ve been letting the part of me that believes that I can’t make money from pursuing my mission distract me. I’m evaluating business opportunities that don’t really engage me purely for the sake of money. Which I am not desperate for.

I have some breathing space. And as woo woo as it might sound, I really feel like I’ve been tapped on the shoulder. Like I have a calling.

So, after that bit of information, I decided to fully commit to my current track until the end of the year. I’ll re-evaluate in January.

So my NEW No-Brainer Scenario (as of this morning):

Whatever “new thing” comes up has to feel like it’s *more* on purpose/on mission than what I’m working on right now. (Duh!)

At this moment in time, I have absolute faith that if I stay focused on my mission, I will find a way to make money at it.

I’m putting myself out there and staying open to opportunities. Now I feel like I have a measure to weigh those opportunities against.

And THAT feels solid and oh-so helpful.

This story makes me jump-up-and-down excited for Patty. Don’t forget to say hi to her over on her blog!

Let’s do a little analysis, shall we?

Patty was aware that any time she spent on IT-related opportunities would mean time away from developing her speaking business, so she found the No-Brainer Scenario for those “side-gig” opportunities.

In other words, she got clear on what she would need feel good about saying yes to something that wasn’t her main Thing.

By getting clear about what she would need, she was able to recognize the opportunity when it arose.

As it turned out, the opportunity did arise, she noticed it, and she also realized it wasn’t what she wanted.

Defining her No-Brainer Scenario for what she thought she wanted led her to a major epiphany about the ways she was avoiding committing to her main Thing – her speaking business. And allowed her to find a new No-Brainer Scenario to help keep her on track.

How about you?

Can you relate to the “grass is greener” feeling of side-gigs that appear “easier” but really just distract you from what you truly want to do? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. (I know I can relate. Confession: I still read the job boards for database work occasionally more often than I’d like to admit.)

And if you’d like to dig into using the No-Brainer Scenario to help you stay focused on the work you truly want to do, check out my No-Brainer Scenario Kit.

One thought on “Find the No-Brainer Scenario: Saying No to Distractions

  1. Mike Reeves-McMillan

    That seems like a good principle: For me to change direction from what I’m doing right now, I’d need an opportunity that serves my ultimate goal better. It certainly is a good way to deal with the Constant Shiny.

    For example, I’m doing a very good marketing course at the moment. I’m constantly seeing pitches for other courses. For me to spend money on one of them, it would need to not only give me something this course doesn’t – it would need to take me to my goals quicker, easier or in a more enjoyable way.

    Hmm. This is feeding into an idea I have for a different kind of goals/achievement thing. Hmmm.
    .-= Mike Reeves-McMillan´s last blog ..How To Get Unstuck =-.

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