Imagine making a simple decision now, that can literally save you days or weeks of wasted time later. A decision so simple anyone can make it. It’s not overly technical, doesn’t require a degree in psychology, and can be made in just seconds.
This decision will
- Help you laser focus your results.
- Save time, effort, and mental anguish
- Save you money on books, audio, and other media
- Save you storage space
- Save you gas
- Save you heartache
It’s really as simple as saying one little word…
It simply comes down to making a decision to say NO to something.
Let me give you some examples…
- Let’s say you are just out of college and are trying to decide if you want to be an accountant or a lawyer. Making a decision early to say no to one of the fields of study can save you literally hundreds of hours of research, emails, phone calls, and unnecessary classes. As a bonus, it gives you a lot more time to focus exclusively on the field of your choice.
- Let’s say you are looking for a new place to live. Making a decision early on the type of housing you want, house or condo, will cut down your choices and focus your search. You’ll be able to find your new home much faster.
- Deciding early on the type of computer you want, Mac or PC, can save you wasted trips, hours of searching, duplicated software, and the grief of over analysing the situation.
In his insightful new book, Essentialism, author Greg McKeown makes the case that saying NO upfront on major decisions can save a huge amount of time later. He suggests that you find your Essential Intent when making decisions…
An essential intent, on the other hand, is both inspirational and concrete, both meaningful and measurable. Done right, an essential intent is one decision that settles one thousand later decisions. It’s like deciding you’re going to become a doctor instead of a lawyer. One strategic choice eliminates a universe of other options and maps a course for the next five, ten, or even twenty years of your life. Once the big decision is made, all subsequent decisions come into better focus.
As a creative, I often want to choose from a bevy of options, yet I’ve found that the more I have to choose from, the slower the decision process is and the harder it is to move forward. Currently, I’ve been looking at updating my web presence and branding. I’m in the process of writing a new book and want to tie everything around one theme. I want to unify my story and then be able to move in one direction.
I’ve really struggled with this over the years. I usually have two or three competing ideas going at once. After reading Greg’s book, I realize the faster I can make this branding decision, saying NO to many competing ideas and focusing my Essential Intent on ONE core concept, the faster I’ll be able to finish the book, the web presence and move forward.
To help with this, I asked platform expert, Michael Hyatt, for a recommendation on a branding expert.
He unequivocally suggested that I look at StoryBrand, put together by best selling author and world class storyteller, Donald Miller.
The StoryBrand Workshop revolutionized the way I think about my brand. My team and I are using the simple, seven-part framework in all of our marketing. This is the best marketing innovation I have seen in years.
I had the privilege of attending Don’s Storyline Conference a few years ago, which helped us craft a unique personal story. It made a huge difference on my outlook on my business and life. Now that Don and his team are focusing their efforts on branding, this looks like the direction I want to take.
As the old adage goes…
One arrow can’t hit multiple targets.
I need to focus my sights on one outcome at a time.
How about you? What are you willing to say NO to, so you can move forward?