It's extremely hard to say no, isn't it? Over the summer, I've turned down a few opportunities that could have made me money in the short term.
- I said no to doing an additional $9k of work for my client until Sept
- I said no to doing a $10k (or more?) React course for Pluralsight
- I said no to doing a $25k project for a family member
- I said no to multiple full-time opportunities for employment
So let's see... I said no to maybe earning $44k in the next 4 months? WHAT GIVES?
Well, I had a plan and by mid-July, I was not sticking to my plan.
After I quit on May 6 I had five weeks of 40-hour weeks ahead of me. Hot diggity dog.
The plan was to focus on growing Keep Track of My Games from $50/mo to $100+/mo and to set it up for future growth during mid-June to the end of Aug when I'd only have 2-3 hours a day to work.
Those 40-hour weeks also would have let me get much-needed time on my studio office build in the backyard.
That was the plan.
But instead of working the plan, I had to go and say Yes to shiny opportunities. I got distracted.
I spent all five weeks thinking and working on what I'd be doing after the summer. I drafted several proposals for my client (that went nowhere due to externalities on my client's end). I did this rebranding project for Kamranicus, I spent a lot of time publishing posts that took hours to write, I spent a lot of time planning what I'd do for consulting, and I spent very little time actually doing what I originally planned to do.
The problem with saying Yes to any opportunity that comes your way is that there's always an opportunity cost. In this case, it cost me 200 hours of time I could have used to focus on growing KTOMG or doing DIY work.
That's why I started saying no.
Our 10-day vacation would be in mid-July. I said before that I won a proposal from my client and I would be done with that work before I left. After our vacation, I wanted to get the train back on the tracks.
I apologized and backed out of the course opportunity I had already been approved for. I told my client my availability wouldn't open again up until September. I offered some advice that my family member could do instead of me implementing custom software for them.
All of this was really hard to do.
"I can't believe I'm saying no to earning $X."
But... saying yes would have meant saying no to what I wanted to do, which was to work less during the rest of the summer.
And you know what? I'm so glad I said no.
- That course would have eaten 60+ hours during my summer. Pluralsight said it still might be available and there are other courses I can do anyway.
- Turns out my family member needed a full migration and custom software solution that would have taken me months.
- My client always has work and has bigger projects coming down the pipeline anyway in September.
- Accepting or pursuing a full-time offer would go against my goal of self-employment. And part-time can wait until September.
Now I can re-focus on KTOMG for the rest of July and August, and finally finish the foundation for my office.
I'm sure that more shiny objects will show up between this email and the end of August.
I just have to remind myself that unless it's a Hell Yeah, it's a no.