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Pursuing Failure - When to Say Yes & When to Say No

Alex Chaveriat
Alex Chaveriat
When to Say Yes & When to Say No
When I started my career and business, I pursued every opportunity. I said “yes” to everything. I was launching a business during a pandemic so kind of forced to. “Yes” to weird goofy projects, annoying tasks, and jobs outside what I wanted. Saying “yes” is how I grew and it led to new open doors and TONS of opportunities. So many opportunities that I could finally say “no.”
Saying “no,” helped me focus on the projects for more important clients that led to larger opportunities and the ones that challenged me to sharpen the skillset I was honing.
My father said having the ability to say “no” to work is the goal of every business owner.
It is weird, I have seen the idea of “never saying no” in a lot of business books. It works short term but not long term. Definitely not in business, and more importantly, it doesn’t work in most of life.
I moved to Pennsylvania for a bit and said yes to every event because I had nothing to do and didn’t know anyone. It was a great tactic. Quickly, I got overwhelmed with events and I could pick and choose what I wanted to do. It was great way to find out what events I enjoyed and wanted to go to. Same with work, saying “yes” to everything allowed me to try out and learn a ton, eventually I was overwhelmed with too much work and I cut out everything that didn’t matter.
In last week’s newsletter, I talked about stress being good (sometimes). Sometimes too much on your plate to the point you need to say “no” allows you to understand what matters most to you.
Are you good at “yes” or “no”?
Most people are good at saying “yes” or “no,” few are good at both.
Say “yes” too much and you are simply trying to please everyone. You will get stretched too thin and start failing with no ability to cut out what isn’t important. It is hard not to feel trapped.
Say “no” too much and you are left alone with no opportunities and no ability to grow or build something.
Without the ability to say “no” there will be tons of short-term opportunities but it is easy to get worn out. Without the ability to say “yes” there will be few opportunities.
The trick is knowing when to say each. “How” to say each is something I am still learning and a topic for another discussion.
Say “yes” or say “no” and hack on!
🧐 Quote of the Week
“The oldest, shortest words - ‘yes’ and ‘no’ - are those which require the most thought.” – Pythagoras
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Alex Chaveriat
Alex Chaveriat @alexchaveriat

Hey-o, I'm Alex, or Silk among the hacking community. I'm a hacker, information security geek, father, coffee snob, YouTuber, Chief Innovation Officer, DEF CON goon, and I pursue failure. Failing often and failing better each time. Every week I write about that pursuit, stories, and what I am learning on the journey. Hope you enjoy and hack on.

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