You most likely have heard of this book…and if you haven’t, I’m about to introduce something VERY incredible and helpful to those of you who feel over-booked, over-committed, overly-tired and even emotionally weighed down from the burden of your own self inflicted work load because you feel powerless to say no but dread saying yes. Wow, did that just resonate with you at all? I am feeling it as I type it– it just hit some of you like a ton of painful bricks– you’re over doing it and you’re NOT alone in this! Lysa TerKeurst nails it chapter after chapter.
At first, she presents the issue, then relates her own life & experience to it in a perfect and self deprecating keep-it-real tone she owns..and then she grabs our hands, no matter how unwilling we are at first, and like the mama bear she is she MAKES us walk through how we’re going to solve this in our own life! She teaches how to say no kindly even when uncomfortable, to accept the inevitable awkwardness of some people that don’t like your no answers and how to celebrate making your BEST yes decisions!!
Last year….I made my first BEST yes decision that was hard and I didn’t realize it until I picked up this book. My best yes was that I would no longer book sessions on the weekends. Not engagements, couples sessions, bridals, etc. The way I discovered the path to that was simply this: I was shooting weddings on weekends and to shoot sessions on weekends gave me…you guessed it…hardly an ounce of family time. Now every weekday evening by 6:30, my husband comes home from work. That only gives a couple hours to hang out each evening and that’s not leisure stress free time, it’s laundry, dinner, dishes, baths and getting girls to bed.
At first– it was VERY uncomfortable telling people that although it may inconvenience them, I had to stick with this. I’m the business owner, too, so I can’t say “my boss said so!” — it’s clearly my constructed idea and decision. Some people expressed their displeasure with this decision and made me feel pretty bad about it. I was making things really hard on them. Occasionally I made exceptions (and I still do in extreme circumstances) — however, for the most part I didn’t. I explained it early on in the booking process to make sure people knew. But then slowly something else happened..something unexpected. I earned respect from those who saw that a mother who is running a business with girls who seemingly grow and change from day to day was valuing her family — and they started working around it. Some of them made SURE to praise me for it and I will never forget that, it felt like yep– this is not only a great decision, but I’m booking THE BEST CLIENTS who are compassionate! One day, they will have families too but the amazing thing is, they already understood my need to enforce this as a rule.
Are you business owners forgetting something? You went into business for yourself to make your own rules…so when you did decide to live by others rules and expectations that are in the power of your hands now? I’m not at ALL say to short client service either! No no, read this sincerely and clearly! We are unfortunately an overworked glorifying-BUSY society so some people don’t know any better. They want you up late nights and early mornings and wearing your busy & multitasking badge at all times to serve them at the cost of your health & well being. THAT defines commitment to some people! And that is wrong!!!
We also stop giving each other the benefit of the doubt that we’re all loaded with life things to do — we assume someone is just “sitting there choosing not to do work” if they’re a business owner which COULD be true, but it may not be! For the longest time I used to feel guilty about posting pictures of me with the girls when there was an email to be answered, work to be done. I thought– this is gonna look like I’m NOT working! But if you have a little human (or two, or more!) to raise — you KNOW that you can’t start on emails half the time with them around! It’s not possible! Being interrupted doing work is one thing, it’s hard to continue picking back up where you started. Losing train of thought, oh mercy me it drives me crazy. It’s also not fair to the person on the receiving end, I’m not fully “there” and committed to being invested in my response or level of work. But to have your babies pulling at your leg, BEGGING for attention, it’s just not right and it’s not how I want to raise them. I don’t want them knowing me as an Apple logo via MacBook or iPhone. I need to be more present and that’s where boundaries come in…that’s where not shooting sessions on the weekends and giving those growing girls my love comes in. And you know what? My brides..they get it and they have since honored it. I just love you girls and can not thank you ENOUGH. SERIOUSLY.
You know what a BEST YES commitment is? Giving your best to a client within your life’s boundaries, taking care of you babies and remembering to love that husband who’s truly the heartbeat of your emotional well being and keeps you from burning out because he’ll stay up with you and help when needed. You can set boundaries and choose your BEST YES while still serving and loving others!!!! My first Best Yes baby step was taken last year without knowing. The stipulation of no-weekend bookings except weddings and occasional editorial shoots. Lysa– you are changing LIVES with this book big time! I can’t wait to continue highlighting my favorite and most applicable aspects of this book over the next couple of months! I could go on forever about it!
My family has memories from last summer that we will NEVER forget. QUALITY time, days, moments that wouldn’t have happened had I chose to work on the weekends outside of weddings. Pictures that will be printed and in their hands, in their child’s hands, etc. It’s so important we make these memories for these deserving little girls!!
What’s a decision today you could say a small, kind no to that would make for a grand and beautiful big HAPPY YES to something else in your life? When we are saying no to something, we’re saying yes to something else. It’s hard sometimes– but there can be a positive to every decision you’re making no matter what the circumstances…think about one that needs to be made and start working on it, make it your March goal! XOXOXO