How to Start Saying NO to Achieve More
Hey guys, welcome to the eCommerce Paradise podcast.
Today's episode is all about how to say no to achieve more with your business.
I'm doing this podcast because I run into this a lot because of the different distractions in life.
Distractions can come from all over the place. It can be from friends, family, from events, and just the back of your mind. You can mess with yourself and create distractions inadvertently.
A lot of it has to do with procrastination.
Procrastination is taking the route that is least painful to take that you get more endorphins from. And I think as human beings, we always want to feel good about what we're doing. It's hard to take that route that's difficult, and it's easier to do something that makes you feel good in the short term.
Doing something difficult doesn't feel good in the short term. It's hard to learn. But you have to understand, getting out of your comfort zone will make you achieve a lot more in life. And by saying no to those distractions and focusing wholeheartedly and a hundred percent on the things that are going to get you somewhere in life, especially learning and working on important projects, will get you somewhere in life. That is the number one tip.
"I have to achieve more by saying no" just means valuing your time higher.
Think of yourself as a lawyer. How much would you bill somebody to spend time with you? A hundred dollars, two hundred dollars, or maybe three hundred? Some lawyers charge like a thousand dollars an hour. This is because they've spent so much time learning, and they value their time that they charge that much money.
Value can come from more than just money, and that is the basis of trade in our society today. You have to assign a dollar amount to your time. So when you're going to hang out with a friend, or you're going to allow a friend to take you away from your work, you have to understand that you have to set a time limit on that time. Because if you value your time at one hundred dollars an hour and take a half-hour of your time, that's fifty dollars right there. Fifty dollars you could've made instead of just hanging out with them.
Think about that.
Put an amount or a value in dollars for your time and start thinking of it that way in the future. That will help you say NO. "I value my time in, and I'm really smart, and I've studied a lot, and I know about all this stuff, and I'm working on these great projects." Not to be condescending or arrogant or anything like that, but it's more about knowing that you have something big that you have working. You have something going in your life, something big, that matters a lot more than just what this person wants to do or how this person wants you to spend your time. This kind of thinking leads to the second point, which is to have projects in your mind.
Think of a project that would get you working like your life depends on finishing it. It seems a little extreme, but this kind of stuff matters. Samples of this are building a website or a business.
You have to make these projects so important that finishing the project matters more than anything in life. Think extreme. If you don't do that, if you don't push yourself to that extreme, your mind will go back to procrastinating. You'll go back to the path of least resistance, just like electricity. We like to flow to the path of least resistance like chilling and watching a video. It's easier for us to do these things. To avoid procrastinating and flowing to the least resistant path, you have to train your mind.
You have to train your body emotionally to want to do something that will get you farther in life, like building a website, a project, or doing marketing. You have to train your mind and body to be emotionally ready to do that work and love the excitement of it more than watching a movie, listening to music, or going to a party.
Because we need to grow up, we are not forever young. And usually, we don't necessarily get used to doing work that matters. We're used to doing work that doesn't matter.
What I mean by that is when you go and get a day job. The work doesn't really matter to you that much. All you need is your paycheck. We're trained from a young age by our society not to get excited about our work that much. It sucks because when you get older, that should matter.
You should be excited about doing your work. You have to be doing what you love. You have to make your work more exciting than movies. You have to make your work more exciting than recreation or travel or anything else. That's tough. But you're an entrepreneur. That's who you are. That's in your DNA.
Understand that. And have those projects that matter so much to you that your life depends on finishing it. That leads us to the next point.
The next point is to set an actual deadline for your projects and stick to them. It a tough thing to do because you're an entrepreneur. You are your own boss. You are your own time manager. You are the ones to blame when you don't meet your deadlines. And that's scary not just as an entrepreneur but as a human being. It hurts more to let somebody else down than it does to let ourselves down.
Take the day off. That's the best thing about being your own boss. You don't have to feel so bad when you want to take the day off. But suppose you put it in the back of your mind that you're letting your family down. In that case, you're letting society down, letting your customers down, your future customers. If you can create that persona in the back of your mind emotionally, just like as if they were a real person standing next to you, that you're letting them down when you don't finish that project, you take action. You actually do it because that person's real to you. And you have to understand that concept of making something real that isn't real. It's very familiar to a lot of people.
A lot of people believe in religious deities like God or Buddha. A lot of people believe so wholeheartedly in that that it's real to them. As a marketer, as an entrepreneur, you have to create that person that you have to answer to. It could be your customer, supplier, or society. Something bigger than yourself. That will be the person you will answer to. You have to get that work done because of that person.
It could be God. You don't want to let God down when you're doing work, because if you let him down, he'll let you down. Come through for God, and God will come through for you. I mean, if that's what it is in your life, then make it that. But you need to set deadlines, and you need to stick to them. You need to figure out how to make that something real enough to stick to it. And that leads to the next point.
You have to make your projects the number one thing in your life during the startup phase. A startup phase matters the most because that's the hardest phase to get through as you don't get as much. You don't get as many results during the startup phase as you do when it's launched. You don't see any results.
You're not going to see any results in any success. The only success you're going to see is when you finish a task. And finishing a task would feel just like a little small success.
You almost have to redo the physiology of your body growing up. We are trained to get these small little bits of results and success all day long. An example would be social media.
Every single like you get on social media results in success and a little surge of endorphins, a good emotional feeling in your body. And we're trained to like these little tiny things all day long. And that's why we always go back to social media because that kind of stuff drives us.
Being an entrepreneur, you're not going to get that drive in your business until you launch. And even when you launch, you might not get it unless you launch really well. You have to create that within yourself to make the project the number one thing in your life during the launch phase, during the startup phase, because you're not going to get that from somewhere else outside of you. You have to create it within you.
You can talk about it with other people whom you can say, "I'm building a startup right now and building a project. I'm building a website and building a tool." You can talk about that and get excited and get feedback from other people. "This is the niche I'm on targeting," or whatever you can talk to people about that kind of stuff.
You can also start your business with a business partner, whom you feed off with each other's energy, and help you grow your business. But you've got to figure that out. You've got to figure out how to make that project. The number one thing in your life that gives you the same instant feedback while you're building it so that you can keep building it.
The next point is that you need to get rid of all the distractions while you work. This may be the most difficult point. The number one most prominent thing that leads to procrastination are distractions. Distractions can be anything from checking social media or videos on YouTube to people interacting with you.
People will feel they don't care about what you're doing. All they know is they want something from you. So if you haven't set up those privacy filters, those stops on social media, or haven't turned off notifications on social media, Facebook, do it now. If not, it will continuously notify you every single time someone does something, and you keep being distracted. When someone likes or comments on your photo, it feels nice, right? I know I do. Who doesn't like to be interacting with people? Who doesn't like to be social? We're social beings. But they distract you from finishing your work, so you have to get rid of those distractions.
What I did was I turned off my email and my email notifications. Email is the number one place where junk mail happens, where marketing messages are happening. And it's been like that for a long time. So if you don't turn off your email, you're going to get tons of marketing messages all day long. And it can get ridiculous.
With your email notifications turned off, you have to be diligent in checking your messages. You've got to check it in the morning, afternoon, evening, or whenever is often enough for you, especially if you have a business, and it's your customer support email. But you really should be outsourcing it to somebody else. However, if it's your email, just check it once or twice a day at the most.
I can probably set aside five or ten minutes to handle my email once or twice a day. And that's perfectly fine. And that's probably enough. There's probably no emergencies that come through an email. So you don't need to be distracting yourself by looking at it all day long. Many distractions exist in our world, especially if you have to work in a cafe or a coworking space. There are distractions all over the place. If you work in one of those atmospheres, I suggest getting some noise, canceling headphones to turn off all the things that happen around you, and then sit or work in a place where you're looking out across a bunch of things happening.
If you are at a coffee shop and sit next to the window, and you're looking out, and people are moving around outside all the time, that's a huge distraction. You'll be looking up all the time, seeing people walk by and stuff. So sit facing a wall or something like that. If you have to sit next to a window, you're not going to get much worked out. Now, I understand that sometimes it helps your creativity to see things happening around you. It helps you stay more positive. It feeds your emotions, keeps you happy to see things happening around you. But still, they are distractions.
What I've been doing is I start working from home again. I know that if I were in a coffee shop or a coworking space, I'd be distracted all day long, and I'm not going to get much done. At home, I can think straight. I can create content, create videos, create these podcasts. I can do all sorts of work on my niche sites and not worry that people are looking over my shoulder to see what I'm doing. I can access my banking whenever I need to, and I'm not worried about somebody hacking into my computer.
Getting rid of distractions is key to getting this kind of stuff done. You have to say no to people that want to consume your time. If you run into a friend at a coffee shop, just say that you are working and have to get it done because of the deadline. And they'll understand that, because growing up, we have deadlines set for us by people at school, our teachers, and our professors. They set deadlines for projects. Whatever you have to get that project done, you don't have a choice. Your friends will respect that because everybody went to school. Everybody went to the same grading program work.
You have to draw the line with people. Once you've gotten rid of all the distractions while you work, you get 100 percent of your focus. You're going to find yourself being much more productive and achieving much more with your startup and your eCommerce business. But to go along with that, you have figured out how to value your time. How to have the projects in your mind that matters so much, your life depends on it. How would you set deadlines for your projects and make them the most important thing in your life during a startup phase. And lastly, how to get rid of all your distractions.
Now it's time to make sure that you make time to hang out with friends, family, to chill and have fun, and to do social media and be socializing like taking part in recreation and travel. You have to make time for this stuff.
So for me, when I'm working on projects, I'll have a startup phase in my mind, which seems to be like constant nowadays. What I usually do is I work in the mornings for a few hours right after I wake up. I have some coffee first then I work. I get the most important things out of the way. Right around the morning, my wife and I go off for brunch, and we get some food.
I usually turn off all my work. I put my music in my ears, and I hang out with my wife. We ride by schools or go skate to place because it combines a little bit of exercise and movement with the whole thing. If you combine recreation with music, it will make you feel good. And the point here is you have to release endorphins.
You need to spend as much of your off time releasing and getting as many endorphins in your brain as possible. You got to feel as good as you can because that's when you're going to get the biggest release and feel great. Your mind is going to refresh. You're going to feel so much more inspired and motivated. There's nothing wrong with talking about ideas while you work, but you can't work while eating. That's the key. You have to leave the computer at home.
Do anything on your smartphone, check out social media, and post content. Enjoy your food. Have some fun conversations, laugh, and stuff like that and try not to make it all about work. What you're trying to do is to enjoy your life. You're trying to feel good and release those endorphins because you need to reset yourself. You need to reset your emotional self. When understanding that it's zero distractions, 100 percent work, you don't want to let yourself down, then taking that much needed break will be more fulfilling.
So you have to make the distinctions and then just say no. When you have distractions, when you are in your work phase, say no. When you're in the chill phase, and you have distractions or want to get back to work, you have to say, "No, I want to chill. This is chill time."
Don't be afraid to have chill time, because when you're doing a hundred percent work, when you're super productive at your work, you can take as much chill time as you want. It's not about how long you work. It's about how much work you get done and how good the quality of your work is.
I understand that that planning and research phase should be around 60 to 80 percent of how much work you do, and what work you do is got to be research and planning.
There's a quote by Abraham Lincoln,
"If I had four hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first two hours sharpening the axe.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 of those hours sharpening my axe."
What he means by that is that you need to have a proper preparation. When you get ready to launch a product, get ready to create a product that will make the difference between having a successful launch, or having it be a failure. That's the key.
If you're giving yourself one month to do a product thing, spend the first three weeks preparing, researching, planning, creating all the things that you need to create. Figure out all keywords. Find your competitors, find your suppliers, find the people that are going to create the stuff for you, and have a full, solid plan for your launch week. Then execute. Build it and execute it.
That's it guys.
Say no to distractions, value your time highly, have projects in mind. You work on that matter as if your life depends on finishing it. Set deadlines for your projects and stick to them. Make your projects a number one thing in your life during the startup phase. Get rid of all the distractions while you're working. Make time specifically for the family. Have fun. Socialize on social media, recreation, and travel. Don't focus on work when you're hanging out with family. And of course, focus, 80-20, research, planning, and execution.
I hope you enjoyed this podcast. Trevor, again with eCommerce paradise. Make sure you subscribe and check our YouTube channel. We have lots of great videos there. I'd love to see you guys out there.
Take care and see you in the next episode.
eCommerce Paradise was created by Trevor Fenner of Seattle, Washington in 2015 to help you, the entrepreneur, to start and scale your own eCommerce business. Trevor owns multiple 7-figure eCommerce stores and is a digital nomad, traveling the world while working remotely with the help of his team of virtual assistants from around the world. Trevor is currently located in Bali, Indonesia, and is a passionate skateboarder, surfer, scuba diver, photographer, environmentalist, outdoorsman, fitness and tattoo enthusiast.
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