In this Growth Engine episode, I want to ask you to think about the power of learning to say no.
What do I mean by that?
Well, people see opportunity all the time, and in most of the cases they see an opportunity of what the benefit is, but there are two sides to opportunity.
There's the opportunity and the benefit that would come out of that and there's also the cost to explore that opportunity.
And that's often, not necessarily missed, but overlooked initially, and then brought in at the back end when sometimes it's too late and you are overcommitted.
So I really want you just to back up a couple of steps here.
The next time you get offered an opportunity, and that could be an opportunity to
Recruit a new team member
Take on a different client
Move into a new market
Launch a new product or service
It doesn't really matter, opportunities are opportunities, and there's an article which we'll link here about opportunities are everywhere which is the positive side of this article.
However, I also want you to think about what does it cost to explore these opportunities.
Recently, I sat in a boardroom and we were discussing a new opportunity, I'll keep that confidential because any sort of information I give around that will probably give the clients away.
I sat there and this opportunity came around the table for debate and all I heard from the management team for the first few minutes was, we could do this, we could do that, we could do this, we could that.
You get the idea, It was positive, positive, positive, positive.
And not one to be the spoiler or sour grapes here, however, it's my job as non-exec to sit there and sort of challenge the board, and what I'm thinking is,
"Okay." I'm just looking up
What we've currently got on in the schedule
What commitments we'd already made to existing clients
What the resources both in time, energy and finances that we'd already committed to those projects
I'm thinking, "This glass looks pretty full at the moment.
Whilst this is an amazing opportunity, can we really deliver it?
Can we really get it squeezed in without either messing up or affecting the other projects that were already in play?"
So I let the debate sort of burn out, and usually, it comes around the table and they said,
"What do you think Mike?"
"Well, let's just park the opportunity for a moment, and let's just look at what we've got on, and let's put into context."
And I think that's all I'm asking you to do. I don't want you to think I'm saying, don't explore new opportunities, of course, we should do, that's how we change the world as high growth entrepreneurs.
However what I am saying is when these opportunities arise, yes, debate it for a few minutes, or get a basic understanding of it, what it would be, and then just park it.
Then before you then start to get into that giddy, excited mode, we're going to change the world, take over the world mode, and everything's going to be glory, I just want you to park it, and then I want you to follow these steps:
Now, if you've got so much capacity that taking this in is not necessarily an issue, then that's absolutely fine, there are other discussions around that.
Most businesses when a snap or an opportunistic opportunity comes around, and impulsive opportunity comes around, usually, that's not the case.
They are committed to delivering other areas,
They may have the time, but do they have the energy?
They may have the time, but do they have the money?
They may have the money, but they don't have the time.
There are all these sorts of calculations or formulas you've got to think about.
So here's what I want you to look at. Once you've parked it, just say,
"Right, if we take this project on at the time that we take the project on, can we deliver it to the best of its ability?
What's the cost?
And if we spend this additional time or this free time, would it be better invested in a different project?"
Could you deliver the existing projects faster, and then just delay this next project a while and follow it on, so then you're getting the best of both worlds?
Or, do you just say no?
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