The Filter Of No – What It Is & How I Use It

If you know me in real life then you know that I love all things “Real Housewives.” One of the reality television franchise’s biggest stars is Bethenny Frankel. The “Skinnygirl” brand CEO has a popular book called, “A Place of Yes.” Considering my fandom of Housewives and Frankel, I know it must seem really weird that one of my biggest tools in helping me maintain balance in my life is something I call “the filter of no.”

What is the filter of no? It goes something like this…

Q. Hey, can you help me plan my cousin’s baby shower?
A. No

Q. Hey, can you read this article and let me know your thoughts?
A. No

Q. Hey, can you edit this image for me? I know you’re good at this type of thing.
A. No

It’s really that easy! The filter of no is simply saying no to more things.

You may be thinking that mindset feels completely icky and selfish. I get it, I used to think that way too. And do you know where that mindset got me? That mindset got me living in a state of constant busy and feeling overwhelmed. I barely had energy to do any one thing right and instead ended up doing many things mediocre. In the end, you can only sustain that type of life for so long. Eventually I had to come to a screeching halt with all that business. We literally cleared everything from our calendar for months. When it came time to slowly add things back, I was super strict with what made the cut.

Here me out on this: I am not saying that to maintain balance in life that you can’t take on projects or serving opportunities. The other half of the filter of no looks like this…

Q. Hey, I know you previously said no, but we could really use you, there is no one else we want. We promise we would respect your time and/or compensate you appropriately.
A. YES!

Again, despite what it sounds like, this tool is not meant to sound selfish. What I find when I filter out requests with an initial “no” is that the projects that come back to ask a second time REALLY appreciate my help. Even if these projects are unpaid, they end up being a better experience all around. My time is valued, my voice is heard – and that is exactly what I want for you!

Another reason I don’t feel guilty saying no: saying no to projects oftentimes means saying yes to my family. I had to learn this the hard way, but I now know that there is no client more important than my family. At the end of the day, it’s my family that will be there for me and who will carry on my legacy. As it says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” And what better work is there for us than to cultivate our homes? In my humble opinion, there is NONE!

Bonus: The Plight Of A Multi-Passionate

Has this ever happened to you? You’re chatting with a friend and they mention an idea or concept that you know you’ve talked with them about as if it were brand new information? Or they casually mention getting advice from someone else on a topic that you consider yourself an expert in?

It happened to me just the other day and it is heartbreaking. It used to happen way more often too. I will never forget sitting with a client who I had been working with for a couple years as he asked, “I found a great new platform you’ve probably never heard of, it’s called Squarespace!” Not only did I already have this client’s current website in Squarespace, but I’ve been a member of their Developer’s Circle since its inception… *Facepalm*

I’d like to officially take some of the blame for this type of mishap. I have come to realize that it obviously occurs because I did a bad job of communicating my expertise and/or passions. With that being said, as someone who has many passions, can a girl get a break? I know that it’s easier to understand someone who has one main passion in life, but I find it impossible to narrow it down! I know I am not the only multi-passionate out there. In the words of Taylor Swift, “[I] don’t want to be condemned for being multifaceted!”

To my fellow multi-passionates, no matter how many times someone looks you over, do not feel like you have to conform to just ONE label. Embrace ALL your talents! As for me, I have extensive digital marketing experience, as well as experience working with nonprofits, event planning & photography. If you need assistance in any of those areas please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am also working on a brand new “services” page for my website that will hopefully help spell out how we can work together in the future – stay tuned!

XO – Olivia

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