by: Yuri Elkaim

Today we’ve got a solo round on the Healthpreneur podcast where I’m going to talk to you about the two-letter word that will transform your business. This two-letter word will help you prioritize what is most important and ultimately make you more efficient and effective.

I don’t want to give anything away here and I don’t want to waste any of your time, so let’s just get right into it

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0:00 – 4:00 – The two letter word

4:00 – 12:00 – Priorities, and some of my personal stories

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What You Missed:

In our previous episode, we had the  one-and-only Pat Flynn.

Pat is a self-described fitness minimalist, expert generalist, and business coach. He has built a six-figure monthly income as a solo entrepreneur, he has one of the top 500 health and fitness wellness blogs, and he’s an international bestselling author of three “For Dummies” books!

The coolest thing about this episode is that Pat has some interesting—and controversial—ideas about specialization. While many of us focus on becoming the best we can be at one skill, and focus on doing it better than anyone else—Pat doesn’t necessarily agree.

You can listen to the episode here.

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Transcription

Welcome to the Healthpreneur podcast, Yuri here. This is episode 20 and today we’re talking about the two letter word that will transform your business.

This is a solo round, we’re going to go for a few minutes and I think this is a really, really important lesson. You can think of it as a sermon if you want.

I hope you’re doing great and without any further ado, let’s jump right into this. I don’t want to waste too much time, I value time and I want to respect that.

The two letter word

So, the two letter word that will transform your business is the word no. Now I know that might sound a little bit controversial because a lot of people say, “You should be saying yes to different opportunities!” And saying yes to possibilities and all this cool stuff—and that’s fine.

But you have to understand that as your business journey evolves, there’s going to be different phases for these types of opportunities. Initially when starting out—we typically say yes to a lot of things.

Sometimes it’s interviews, podcasts, “Hey, can you do this for me?” Sure. “Can I get on the phone with you?” Sure.

We want to get ourselves out there. We want to get our name out there, we want people to recognize who we are. And that’s fine, but you’re going to get to a point where you can’t do that. There’s only so many hours in the day.

And you’re going to reach a point in your business where you’re going to have to really sit back and reflect on what you’re doing and what’s really moving the needle in your business. Simply looking at your calendar and how much time you have left, and at some point you’re going to be like, “You know what? I can’t keep saying yes to all these different requests and opportunities.”

And that’s the thing—the more successful you become, the more inaccessible you must get.

And I’m not talking about standing up on your pedestal and saying, “I’m better than everyone else. No one can ever reach me.”

What I am saying is that you want to be accessible to those people you care about. If you want to spend time with your family then that’s a priority. If you want to connect with your customers at a deeper level, that’s a priority. But inaccessible in a sense where … You know where you need to focus your time and everything else is put on the back burner.

You become inaccessible to stuff that doesn’t matter to your business.

Think about a waiter in a restaurant. He’s carrying a tray of dishes and all of sudden the maitre d’ or the chef comes by and says, “Hey I need you put one or two more dishes on your tray. Can you handle that?”

And the waiter’s thinking—because he doesn’t want to get fired—”Okay, sure. I guess I’ll do that.” He puts these extra dishes on his tray and now he’s completely off balance, he’s stressed out, he’s sweating as he’s carrying this tray throughout the restaurant.

That’s the same thing that happens in life and in business when we take on too much stuff. It becomes overwhelming, we get stressed out and we’re not able to focus on what really matters.

Priorities, and some of my personal stories

I want to share a little story about something personal that happened to me a little while ago, earlier this year. So I’m good friends with a company called Lead Quizzes and they do some amazing quizzes. Basically it’s a software that allows you to create quizzes really easily for your website and we use them—I highly recommend, they’re awesome.

They had approached me and they said, “We’re looking to create some courses that will better support our audience and we would love for you to create something around content.” Normally when I receive an email—and here’s another indication, when somebody sends me an email and you don’t respond right away, there’s a reason for that. And this time I didn’t respond right away because I wasn’t sure how to respond to this specific request.

So I took about a day or two to really think through this and I got to the point where I said, “You know what? I actually have a content course called Content Mastery Blueprint and we teach a whole workshop called The Content Mastery Workshop. Why don’t I take something out of that and give it to you guys for your tribe?”

And they said, “Well, you know, we’re looking for something a little more custom and hitting on these specific areas.”

And so I thought to myself … “Okay, I could do this and get exposure to a lot more people who may not already know me. But then, what is involved? How much time do I have to put forth to bringing this to life?”

And after reflecting on this for about two days, I got back to them and I said, “Listen guys, I really appreciate the opportunity but I’m going to have to say no.” And told them why.

And this is the important thing—the way you get to that word ‘no,’ and how you know what to what to say no to is by clarifying your vision. Once you know the path you’re on, it becomes a whole lot easier to say no to the things that take you off course.

So I responded to them and I said, “Listen guys, I really appreciate the opportunity but here is what I’m working on over the coming year. This is what I really need to stay focused on and as being successful entrepreneurs yourselves, I hope you can appreciate the fact that I just need to stay on my path.”

In the past, when I started my business, I would have said yes to that kind of stuff. And I know that would have been one more thing on my agenda to do. One more thing in the back of my mind.

And if you want to ease the stress in your life, if you really only want to focus on the things you want to do, you have to be able to step up and say no to people.

And I know it’s tough because we want to please people, we don’t want to offend anyone. But here’s the thing—if you say, “Here’s why I have to say no, because I’m really focused on this one thing.” I’m telling you, people will respect that.

“No, I’m sorry, I can’t come on that podcast. As great as an opportunity it would be, the times don’t work for me and that’s the one day that I have to really focus on my writing.” Or, “that’s the time that I have to pick up my kids from school.”

If that stuff really, really matters, don’t compromise your core values, don’t compromise what’s important to you to satisfy somebody else.

So the key thing here is that you need to clarify your vision. What is it that you’re doing with your business? What’s the goal 12 months from now? Three, five years from now? And asking yourself, how do I get there?

And this is something you do without any external input. This is something you think about yourself and you think to yourself, well, if we were having this conversation a year from now, looking back over the previous year, what would have to have happened in my business for me to feel happy with my progress?

That’s a really good question that I have people do to clarify what they want to achieve in the coming 12 months.

And what that allows you to do is, you start at the end and you look back over the year. And you’re looking in a retroactive, almost a backwards facing mirror—and looking at all the different things that happened to make this a successful year.

What were the projects you worked on? What were the people you impacted? What were the things that came to fruition? Clarify that. Really identify what that vision is. What it is that’s most important for you to work on.

And once you’re clear on that—and again, things can change, we live in a world that’s very rapidly changing so if you have to pivot that’s fine. But as long as you know that for you, in your soul, this is the one thing or the few things you’re going to be working on in the coming months or years … That’s going to give you a lot more direction.

Last summer I was hiking with my kids in the woods. It was funny—three of them, they’re tiny. At the time they were two, four and five. We went hiking on this beautiful trail called The Bruce Trail, which is very close to Toronto where I live.

And we went out, it was a late summer day and it had just rained all evening and morning. So we’re driving out there, my kids have their Croc boots on. They’re wearing Crocs, which is not the best thing to be wearing when you’re about to be walking through wet terrain. I got there, I’m thinking, “This is going to be a simple path, no craziness. We’ll go for a couple kilometers and we’ll call it a day.”

We get there and the whole thing is boulders. The kids are loving it because they’re walking over these rocks and all this cool stuff and I’m thinking, “Oh my god, they’re wearing Crocs, which are just rubbery types of boots, on wet rocks. This is not going to end too well.”

Anyway, it was a good time, we had a lot of fun.

The reason I’m sharing this with you is because on this path there were a number of moments where we could have veered off to take the white trail or we could have veered off to take the red trail … But we were on the blue trail.

And we knew that if we did not stay on the blue trail—well, who knows, we may have been stuck in the forest.

It’s just a great analogy. In your life, focus on which trail you need to stay on. And then when those other trails come up, you just have to put the blinders on and stay on your trail. Okay?

So I’m going to leave you with one final question here to give you a bit more focus. What’s one thing you’re doing in your business now that you can say ‘no’ to, starting today?

And if you’re wearing a lot of different hats in your business—that’s fine, we all start off like that. But I want you to really think about, what’s one thing that you’re doing or that someone has requested of you that is really just sucking the life out of you?

Just thinking of it, like, “Oh my god, do I have to this? Do I want to do this?” What’s the one thing?

Just don’t even think about it. Just intuitively, the first thing that comes to your mind is the right answer.

I want you to learn how to trust your intuition, trust your gut ’cause a lot of times that is the best coach. I should say, not a lot of the times, all the time. It really is your best advisor and it’s about allowing yourself to trust that internal instinct.

What’s the one thing you’re doing in your business that you can say ‘no’ to starting today? And then, just say no to it.

Stop doing it. Turn it down and move onto something that’s more important.

There we go guys. That’s the two letter word that will transform your business. By saying no to more opportunities, you’ll have more time to focus on what really matters.

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