It’s okay to say no

Busy as usual, business as usual. I had spent a decent portion of my day in the Scranton office, and now had a 40 min drive through the countryside to the shop to fulfill some orders. Perfect time to handle some missed phone calls. Click, phone connects. It’s a contact I made years ago, he has an electronics issue. Driving through the open fields and rolling hills, I have time to give some advice. I know what’s coming though, I can feel it.

“So dan, Would you be interested in working more on this project? When can we meet?”

I know what I need to say, I’m not very good at it. But at this point, it’s an absolute need.



“I’m sorry, I don’t have the time to successfully do your project, and I would hate to over promise and under deliver”

I drove away from that conversation feeling like I was floating. After saying yes to every single project and problem that people asked me to solve, I’ve come to realize it isn’t prudent to try to do it all. I thought to be successful, I needed to say yes to every bit of work that fell on my desk. But now, it seems clearer that saying no to some allows me to say yes to the ones that align with my goals, hopes, and dreams.

Saying no means you can say yes to what matters to you. Our time is finite, and while I’m not old, I’m getting there anyway. Furthermore, I’ve had friends and family prove that the number of years on the clock doesn’t correlate to when it stops. And by saying yes to every request, I lost my time. I lost my freedom. Everything became a rush job and I started to lose my creativity.

Saying no gives the freedom to say yes.

I finished driving to get back to work, still with a buzz from finally starting to become slightly less of a workaholic. Baby steps in the right direction.

Danny Lykens

Entrepreneur, Engineer, Artist. You'll either find Danny in his startup's office, or running in the woods. He is a tinkerer who realised passions can become careers, and that happiness lies in doing what you love.

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