Earlier this week, a woman emailed me from the hospital and asked for my help.
“Please help me figure out how to take care of business without killing myself in the process. I can’t keep up this pace…”
My heart broke. I wanted to fly through my inbox directly to her bedside for a long talk.
I’m all about hustling to build a thriving business, but if you’re working yourself into a hospital bed… honey, no. God no. “IV drip” should never be part of your business plan.
If you’re a chronic over-worker, please let this be your wake-up call:
There is nothing more important than how you FEEL. Nothing.
If you make a pile of money but you are too busy, too stressed and/or too tired to enjoy your life—what is the point?
If you are too busy to walk barefoot in the grass, call your best friend, get a good night’s rest, eat real food, watch your kid’s recital/game/science project, or take a vacation, it’s time to evaluate what’s going on.
If you had a 9-to-5 boss who worked you so hard that you wound up requiring medical attention, you would sue that boss for being an inhumane monster. Don’t be an awful, inhumane boss to yourself.
Whether you run your own business or not, I urge you to evaluate your life closely. (Because I know plenty of stay-at-home moms and corporate ladies who are running themselves ragged, too. The burnout crisis isn’t unique to lady-entrepreneurs.)
Tomorrow morning, when the usual flood of invitations/requests/needs starts to flood into your life (like it probably does every Monday) resist the knee-jerk temptation to say “Yes, sure, no problem!” to every single damn thing. Don’t respond automatically. Consider each request discernfully. Is it right for you? Do you have time? Do you want to? Do you, really? Remember that “no” is always an option.
Let’s do some no-training together.
Repeat after me, people:
“That’s a flattering invitation, but no thank you. I’ll be hanging out with my family this weekend.”
“I wish I could participate, but I can’t. Thanks for asking, though.”
“Nope, I can’t reschedule our session for next Monday because that’s when my vacation starts.”
“Actually, no, I don’t offer refunds for last-minute cancellations. Please refer to the refund policy that you reviewed back at the beginning of our work together.”
“No thank you. That’s not something I’m interested in doing.”
“No, that’s not a service that I provide.”
“No, I don’t give free consultations.”
“No, I’m not available.”
“No, my plate is full.”
“No, I have other projects that need my full attention right now. But thanks.”
“No” is magic word that can clear away stress, resentment, and stomach-twisting obligations that drain your power and steal your life.
Keep saying “no” in a million different ways until your life starts to feel the way you want it to feel. Keep saying “no” until the nose-barely-above-water frenzy of busyness starts to subside. Keep saying “no” until you can breathe again. I am begging you.
Don’t miss your life.
Don’t sacrifice your health.
You are too important to the planet. You matter.
PS. Forward this email to anyone who might need it. Or copy the list of “ways to say no” into a draft email in your inbox so you can quickly grab those statements whenever you need them. Keep adding to your list as you think of new ways to say no. Brilliant no’s—on demand. That’s a list that every woman needs for SHO.
P.P.S. Two spots for my retreat in Italy this May just opened up and I’d love to see your pretty face there. Get all the deets here!