Online business owners often times come to me in a tizzle about having too many ideas for projects. There is so much that they want to do – take on more clients, build a membership site, publish a book – and they feel like they have to do it all at the same time.
If this is you, stop.
It goes without saying that trying to juggle multiple big projects at once often times leads to lackluster results. Oh, and stress. Lots of stress.
That’s why it’s important that you create a process to help you determine whether or not you should turn down a project. Use these tips to help you get started.
What makes the most sense for your business right now?
With so much information online about what business owners should be doing, they often forget to weigh whether or not certain projects even make sense for their business.
For example, one thing I have happen very often is beginning business owners asking me how to build an online course. When I ask them whether or not they’ve worked with people one-on-one they usually say no. At this point my question is, how are you supposed to know what should go in the course if you haven’t spent time working with people individually to notice patterns?
Same thing happens with books. People come to me all the time asking questions about publishing. When I ask them whether or not they have a following established they also usually say no. Well then how are you supposed to sell any of those books?
Another example is when a new client prospect comes a long who has nothing to do with your brand and expertise. For example, while in theory a financial blogger could write about fashion, it doesn’t mean they should actually do it. In fact, not turning down a project in this case could be detrimental in the long run because it causes brand confusion and unnecessary stress.
It is imperative that business owners ask themselves whether or not a project presently makes sense for their business. This can save you a lot of time, money and stress. It will also help you be able to choose projects more strategically so you can ensure their success.
Do you even want to take on this project?
Here’s what people forget about running a business: You don’t have to do things you don’t want to do. We are not slaves to our businesses, we don’t have a boss telling us me must do something and we turn down a project if we don’t want it.
Don’t want to create an online course because it sounds like too much stress? Don’t do it.
Don’t want to write a book because you hate writing? Don’t do that either.
Is your gut telling you not to take on a new client because their project sounds terrible? Say no.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to do everything in order to run a successful business. In fact, you’ll have much a better chance of success if you focus on the projects you do actually want to participate in.
According to the best-selling book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, saying no is also an important part to running a successful business. We can’t move forward if we’re spread out too thin or wasting our energy on things we don’t actually want.
If anything, consider this article your permission slip to start saying no more often.
Is this project in line with your priorities?
Determing whether or not a specific project actually fits in with your priorities is another great litmus test when deciding whether or not to turn down a project.
Of course, this first requires you to define what your priorities actually are. Unfortunately, many people don’t take the time to do this and it leads to a lot of stress down the road.
The good news is there are many systems and processes out there to help you determine what those priorities are. Two very good ones include Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map and Whitney English’s Day Designer.
It can be very tempting to take on too much work out of fear of not being able to pay the bills, that’s why it’s important to ask yourself these questions before accepting a new project.