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When I go through my day, I actually have it planned out the day before, but oftentimes things come at me. I get asked to speak on different podcasts or radio shows. I get asked to guest blog. I get people that want me to coach them, whether they be business owners, coaches, or just everyday people.

Each time, I have to look at these and say does this matter? And what matters to me is moving forward in my why. I want to make a bigger impact on the world, but I want to keep my Five to Thrive balanced and that means making a bigger impact, but not letting things actually get in the way of doing the things that matter me. So, resting with my son or playing with him or going on a walk with my son and my wife.

Like you, I have so many things on my to-do list that it’s almost overwhelming at times. But, what I do is I’ll go through that to-do list and say, “Does this really matter?” Can I move the needle with this? Does this get me closer to my path on my journey personally, or am I just saying yes to keep busy?

Now, one of the hardest things to do in life is to say no, say no to people, say no to invitations, to parties, invitations to go out, saying no to tasks, saying no to customers and jobs. We often hear our companies turn down clients and customers, not because they’re bad people or because the business is bad or the money is bad. We do it because it doesn’t fit into our niche, into our why, of what exactly we’re doing. When we do that, it actually frees up space for the great things that happen.

Now, I often get people asking me, “How are you coaching such high-level individuals and high-level people?” Well, a couple of things to think about. First of all, if you’re a coach, you need to have a coach, right? So, you want the best of the best.

What I’ve done is I’ve freed myself up by not just coaching everybody that comes through. It’s an application process and a mentoring process to make sure that we’re getting the best of the best. That frees up my time to continue growing, to read, to study, to hone my craft, so when that best of the best shows up in my life, I’m able to serve them at such a high level that they get intense value, and they often just keep resigning because they see the value in what we’re doing together.

Now, if I were to say yes to everybody that came by, everybody that asked for my help, and I used to do this, I used to mentor so many young people and I love it and I still do it, but if I did that at the level that I used to do it, and I just said yes to every event, every speaking event every occasion, I’d be traveling around the world. I’d be missing my family and I wouldn’t have the bandwidth or the ability to take on high-level clients like I do, or run my other businesses.

See, it’s the ability to say no that has actually freed me up to take in those right things that come. And those can be hard to do, right? Those can be hard. We just had, in fact, my agency just got a contract for a very high-end client. So, a client that was willing to spend a lot of money with us to completely redo their marketing, but the client wasn’t the right fit. Great people, just not the right fit for our agency or what we wanted to do. So, we gave the client value. We said, “Thank you but no thank you. Here are the things that you need, to be put in order, and here is somebody that we recommend to help you.”

Now, this may sound unusual, right? Yes, we could use the revenue and I love to be able to pay my staff more and use that bonus, but what that’s going to do is free up time for not only myself but also for my team to focus on those clients that we have and keep in our line. Then, the next time the right fit comes, we have the bandwidth to take that person in and were able to serve them so much better when it’s the right fit.

Now, for you, in your Five to Thrive, I want you to look at that and make sure it’s the right fit for you. What are you doing? What are you doing in those areas? Look at your task list. What can you eliminate in that list that’s just not important? It’s not important to you. It’s not going to be important today or a year from now. You can go as far as the rocking chair test, which is really a simple test for big decisions.

The rocking chair test goes something like this. If I asked you a question and said, “Hey, look, you have a decision in front of you. If we’re sitting in a rocking chair on the porch together 40 years from now sipping on lemonade, rocking back and forth just having a good conversation, will it matter?” That decision you’re making.

Now, that decision could be big. It could be moving, ending, starting a relationship, starting or ending a business. Whatever it is, does that decision matter 40 years from now as we’re sitting on the rocking chair and which path would be the one that you’d be the proudest of?

So, I use the rocking chair test a lot with myself and also with my clients when I’m going through it, but in a smaller level, I’ll go through my task list, group them, and then eliminate as many as possible. I eliminate the ones that just don’t matter. That frees up so much time. This is exactly why people are asking me, “Why do you go snowboarding during the middle of the week and how are you doing all these things?” I’m doing it because I’m focusing on what matters and eliminating those things that don’t.

That’s just one trick, one of the thousands, but one that really will help you move forward down your path of the author of your own story lifestyle.

That’s it for me today. As always, go to authororyourownstory.com where you get the latest tips, tricks, and techniques delivered right to your inbox simply by subscribing. And share this with at least three people. You know what they say. You are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with and you and I are spending time together right now and maybe even daily, which I hope we are. Now you need four other people. Now, I’m asking you just to share this with three, so you’re continuing that conversation. That leaves one other person open and I hope it’s someone special in your own life. But, you don’t get there unless you’re sharing these daily growth hacks.

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