As entrepreneurs, we tend to have a “yes man” attitude, meaning we’ll say yes to every opportunity that comes our way without even blinking.
This isn’t always the best approach though. We have businesses to run, families to care for, social lives to enjoy…we can’t be everywhere at once.
If this is the case, how do we decide what’s most important and which opportunities we’re okay with saying no to?
Get clear on your priorities
Understand what matters most. Do you have a clear set of values for your business? Do you have a set of words that define your brand and your target audience?
For example, if the words “creative, fresh, and inspired” define your business, it’s unlikely that you’d want to pursue an opportunity with a more “corporate” partner. However, if a brand with just the right amount of whimsy comes along, it might be the best partnership possible!
How much press do you really need?
Building up a baseline of “press,” whether that’s guest blog posts or wedding publications, can be a critical part of your marketing strategy. However, at some point, adding another guest blog post isn’t going to return the same ROI as it once might have.
From an SEO perspective, too many backlinks (links that lead back to your website – often built up by the bio section of your guest blog posts) can hurt you just as badly as no backlinks at all. If you’re interested in building backlinks without hurting your overall SEO, consider mixing in backlinks that lead to internal pages and not just your homepage. Building backlinks too quickly (doing a lot of guest posting all at once) also won’t do you much good.
There’s a case study done by Marcus Taylor wherein he built 10,000 backlinks within 24 hours and immediately shot up to the #1 spot on Google for multiple keywords. However, within three weeks, he was nearly back where he started because he built too many links too quickly. While it’s an extreme example, it’s pertinent to consider.
What’s the strategy?
When considering opportunities that cross your path, you should always look back at your strategy. Where do you want to take your brand or business in the next year or five? Does the opportunity link directly to your strategy?
If yes, consider your calendar, and then consider accepting the opportunity. If no, the opportunity may not have the ROI you hope it will.
There are always exceptions to every rule. If Target or Dove sends me a note saying that they want to work with me, I’d likely say yes even if the three guidelines above didn’t line up with the opportunity.
At the end of the day, having a plan in place will help you minimize your overall commitments and allow you the time you need to accomplish your day-to-day business responsibilities, as well as those tied to your family or friends. It’s okay to deviate from time to time, especially for bigger opportunities, so long as you return to balance afterwards.
How do you find balance?
What do you do to find balance in your schedule? How do you decide which opportunities you say yes to?