Why your lifestyle business sucks: You don’t know how to say ‘no’

How many times have you started your day with a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, only to find that you barely ticked the first two boxes on your to do list by the time you’re ready to go to sleep?

The little intrusions, the interruptions, the attention-diverting activities that pop their head up on a daily basis are probably to blame.

If your lifestyle business isn’t growing, it might be an indication that you need to evaluate your daily habits rather than the business model itself. I’ve compiled (though first-hand experience) what are among the most common causes for a plateau in online businesses.

I’m sharing these in a series called ‘Why your lifestyle business sucks’, and I hope it helps others out there to spot inefficiencies in their process. So without further ado…

Your lifestyle business will probably suck if you say ‘yes’ too much

learning to say no

Here’s a liberating secret: There is absolutely no reason for lifestyle entrepreneurs to wear themselves out by trying to keep a dozen plates spinning at a time.

The best thing you can do for your business is simply to focus on the most vital activities so that you can become world class at one thing.

That’s why you need to practice saying ‘No’ to things that don’t matter.

Olympic gold medalists have mastered the art of saying ‘no’ to everything that keeps them from their goal. They spend all their time training for one sport so they can be remarkable in their event, but that doesn’t mean that outside the arena they are good at everything else.

You don’t have to be a superstar in every aspect of your entrepreneurial venture, you just have to excel at the things that bring in revenue. You can’t do that if you try to do everything under the sun.

Imagine, however, what would happen to your lifestyle business if you trained for it like Olympians train for their sport or like the Spartan army trained for war? 

For instance, what comes to mind when you think about the following people: Picasso, Michael Jordan, Joan of Arc, Bill Gates, Einstein, Neil Armstrong, Gandhi, Mother Teresa? Each is known primarily for one thing because that thing was their sole focal point.

So now it is your turn to ask yourself, ‘What am I going to be known for?’ Once you figure out the answer to that question, you will find a way to start doing only the things that matter.

In order to reach this level of dedication, however, you must start examining the daily diversions that would detour you from your goal.

Why I don’t play golf or follow politics

golf course backyardI am blessed to live on a PGA golf course–the walls of the clubhouse are graced with autographed photos of great golfers like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer–but I don’t golf.

It isn’t that I don’t enjoy golf, (though I’m not very good), it is just that I am willing to give up things like improving my golf game because I’m focused upon delivering for my clients and building my business.

That might sound strange to some people, but I know my personality, and if I would start golfing on a regular basis, it would end up taking over my most productive hours of the day.

Sure, I might play a couple rounds a year, but that’s it. More than that, and I’d start thinking about golf all the time…I’d be watching the golf channel, practicing my chip shot, buying golf paraphernalia on Amazon or the pro shop, reading Golf magazine, etc.

I’ll chase a little white ball around when I retire, but I cannot justify spending my time that way right now…there are too many things I want to accomplish that are more important to me than my handicap.

The same goes for following politics/celebrities, knowing sports scores, watching TV series, or spending my life goofing around on social media. My instinct tells me that it would be wiser to focus on more important things.

Yes it is important to have fun, and downtime is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but saying ‘no’ to distractions allows me to have the necessary resources to say ‘yes’ to the things I care about.

How you can maximize your time without burning out

So if your lifestyle business sucks because you’re doing too much or spending time on the wrong things, how can you do less and stay competitive? Simple, use other people’s time and talent by outsourcing lower level things so that you can focus on the essentials.

Once I began outsourcing some of my workload, it allowed me to scale my business in new ways. I had to teach and train my virtual assistants to do 3-4 tasks in a specific way and then it allowed me the time I needed to focus upon doing SEO for my clients, plus it gave me the freedom to write blog articles and build new websites like this one.

Personally, I don’t feel comfortable with outsourcing my content creation. I think this is why there is so much groupthink in the lifestyle business community, people hire writers to produce a slightly different article from what they saw on someone else’s site.

I don’t care for that model because it seems a  bit phony…I mean, if people are coming to your website it is because they want to hear what you have to say, right?

My focus is on writing and producing for my SEO clients–those things are essential to my success and the success of my brands. So, because of that, I want to give my readers my take on things; I want to share my voice and impart my knowledge so that they can reach even higher.

If you’re a blogger whose model isn’t to rely on a lot of guest posters (it’s fine if you do!), then let me challenge you to not let someone else speak for you…you don’t have to write super-long articles, but they should be your own if that’s what you’re passing them off as…just my $.02. You’ll find an audience that resonates with your outlook–just be yourself and focus on one or two things you’re good at.

Anyway…if your lifestyle business sucks, then today is the day to ask yourself whether you’re spending too much time doing the wrong things.

Here are some questions for personal reflection. Say ‘yes’ to taking five minutes right now to do some soul-searching…

  1. Write out, to the best of your ability, what your schedule was yesterday. How much of that time was wasted?
  2. What do you tend to spend your unproductive time doing? (Watching sports, playing video games, bingeing on Netflix, reading/commenting on forums and social media sites, etc?)
  3. If you could only be known for one thing, what would it be?
  4. What are three things that you could outsource that would allow you to focus on becoming that person described in #3?
  5. What are three things that you absolutely could not outsource if you want to be that person described in #3?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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