How Starting With No Gets You to Yes

Start with No (blog)

I’ve got a confession to make. The past few months have been full of angst for me over a simple and tired question you’ve most likely faced yourself:

What do I want to do when I grow up?

Now, I realize this is ridiculous coming from a 40-something wife, mother and business owner who seems to have it all locked down. I mean, seriously, shouldn’t I be all grown up by now? Surely publishing books and working with amazing clients should be enough, right? Let’s just coast into retirement.

Except that’s not me. And if you’re reading this, I don’t think it’s you either. While I love it all, I am always looking to the next horizon, challenge, and creative endeavor. Right now, I’m retrenching to figure out what my next book, project and evolution of Red Slice is going to look like. Basically figuring out how I can find my new passion while still serving my audience.

Part of being a changemaker and rockstar is that you never settle. You’re always itching for the next big adventure and passionate about that crazy idea that the world needs.

Whether it’s on a global scale or in your own backyard, passionate people crave “newness.” And with that comes constant evaluation, analysis and action. A churning restlessness to peek around the next corner.

But how do you get to that elusive answer? Especially if you have many different interests, passions and “slices” to what you want to offer.

Here’s a trick:

Start With No.

Sometimes placing parameters around what we don’t want to do, say or be helps us whittle down to the core of what makes us tick. Instead of trying so hard to pick something in the vast whitespace of possibility, box yourself in a little bit and back into the answer.

What don’t you want your business to look like? Which brand do you least want to emulate? What type of clients drain your energy? Which customers are not a good fit for you? What topic do you not want to write about? What product or service do you hate the idea of selling?

When you’re not sure which road to take, pare down your choices by asking which way you don’t want to go. (Tweet this!)

I discovered the value of this many times when trying to decide what to have for dinner. My husband and I often get the bright idea to go out to eat or order in, which inevitably leads to…

“Where do you want to go?”

“I don’t know. Where do you want to go?”

We’ve discovered that if we start with what we’re not in the mood for, we’ll land more quickly on what we are in the mood for. We back into the answer.

Next time you’re floundering to make a decision or find your next step, try starting with no.

What decisions have you made by narrowing down what you didn’t want in order to get to what you did want? How could this technique help with your next moves for your business or project? Please share below in the Comments!

Image Credit: Tripp via Flickr

Learn More With Maria

Ready to join the revolution?

Find out how empathetic your brand is RIGHT NOW, and join our newsletter to start shifting your perspective and transforming your impact.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.