Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When The Best Way To Stay Focused Is Saying "No"

It's hard to say "no," explains Tim Harford in "The power of saying no." Nevertheless, it's important to get better at saying it. Not just because you cannot possible accomplish everything you're asked to do - that much you know. But there's a significant opportunity cost that accompanies every "sure, I can help:" all the other things you'll have to give up to fulfill the new request.

What does this have to do with business development? Just this: every time you decide to chase down a new target, develop a new plan, pursue a new objective without exhausting your efforts on the clients, industries, and targets you've already determined to be valuable to your practice, you've just thrown away all the time and effort you've spent on those initiatives. Of course you need to be opportunistic. But not at the cost of your long-term goals. Here's how Harford recommends you keep on track:
Adopt a rule that no new task can be deferred: if accepted, it must be the new priority. Last come, first served. The immediate consequence is that no project may be taken on unless it’s worth dropping everything to work on it.
Read the post. Start saying "no" to random acts of business development.

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