Three years ago, I decided to quit my career in the skincare industry to focus full-time on building my coaching business. But cool opportunities were still coming my way.
A friend asked me if I were interested in connecting with the owner of a skincare laboratory. “Wouldn’t it be cool to have your own skincare brand, Giorgia?”
I was really tempted to say yes. Having my own skincare brand had been my dream for years. I already had the name for the brand. I knew what products I’be launching first. I had a clear vision for the packaging.
But, when it finally happened, I said no.
I peeked into my future and I saw endless sleeping nights trying to juggle creating a skincare brand with building my new coaching business. I’d have ended up overwhelmed with doing too many things, frustrated at myself for not seeing this coming, and feeling like I had invested too much into the project to quit midway. It’s a recipe for burnout.
This is the paradox of success. You work hard for years so you can get access to more opportunities, but any new opportunity has the potential to lead you to burnout – and off vision. If I had to be honest, the idea of having my own skincare brand wasn’t even that exciting by that point. It just hurt to let an old dream go.
Feeling the same? Let me guide you through the process I used to make this decision and how to know when to say yes to a new business opportunity:
1. What Does My Intuition Say?
Your intuition is your inner guidance system, shaped by past experiences and the knowledge you gained from them. Your brain may not record every detail of every experience, but it keeps score of how an event made you feel. It then stores that web of facts and feelings in your subconscious.
Your brain uses the past to predict your future. As you’re about to make a decision, your intuition digs into your subconscious mind for past proof that what you want to say yes to is safe. If it isn’t, if saying yes to a similar opportunity got you in some kind of trouble in the past, it triggers the alarm.
Let me show you how this process works. When I first moved to London, I got a job as the assistant of a fashion influencer. What started out as a cool gig ended up as a total nightmare. My client was so demanding, I barely had any time to work on my own projects – or to sleep (she even called me in the middle of the night to edit her blog posts!).
My brain had scanned its subconscious memory library for proof of what happens when I say yes to a job that is not aligned. If I said yes to starting my own skincare brand, the initial excitement would have given way to frustration for spending more time than I wanted to pursuing what should have been a fun side gig.
The problem with this? Your intuition often doesn’t make sense. When my friend asked me if I wanted to build my own skincare brand, I felt an icky feeling in my gut, but I didn’t make the connection to my previous work experience with that influencer until much later – and so I was confused. Why should I feel bad about this idea when it was something I had wanted for so long?
When your intuition triggers the alarm, it sounds like a soft, nagging feeling that something’s wrong – but your conscious mind can’t quite put the finger on what that is. If logic can’t come up with a perfectly good reason why you should say no to an opportunity that sounds amazing on paper, it talks you out of listening to your intuition – and that’s when you end up in trouble.
This process takes only milliseconds in your brain, you never realise what happens – until months later, when things go wrong and you wished you had listened to your intuition.
Before you say yes to your next business opportunity, check in with yourself. If something feels off – even if there’s no rational reason for it to be off – it’s a no. The opposite is true. If your intuition feels like a full body yes, don’t question it. Just say yes to the opportunity.
TAKE ACTION NOW
When making a decision, close your eyes and tune in. Does saying yes to this feels exciting (if, sometimes, scary, too?). Or is there something off? If you feel even the tiniest bit off, say no – no matter what your mind says.
2. Does This Align With My Values?
Your values are your north star. They guide you to make decisions based on what’s most important to you.
My number one value in life is freedom. I desire the freedom to work on projects that light me up, take time off when I want to, and be in charge of every aspect of my life.
When the opportunity to start my own skincare brand came up, I asked myself, “Would saying yes to this give me the time freedom I wanted?” The answer was no. This project would have taken time I preferred to dedicate to my family, friends, and other projects I cared about more.
If something goes against your values, it’s an automatic no. But what if you don’t know what your values are?
I have a process, Values Treasures Hunt, in The Leadership Advantage system that is designed to help you identify your top values, so you can make the right decision every time and build a business that’s 100% aligned with your vision, goals, and lifestyle. Join us here: https://thetreasureswithin.net/the-leadership-advantage.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Before saying yes to a new opportunity, ask yourself: Is this aligned with my values? Only say yes if it does.
3. Does This Align With My Goals?
Sometimes, you’re tempted to say yes because an opportunity seems too good to pass up. I had been waiting years for the chance to develop my own skincare brand. Could I really let the opportunity pass me by now?
If I were to be honest with myself, my goal had changed. Two years prior, my goal has been to become the European Paula Begoun of skincare. Now, that didn’t matter to me anymore. AT. ALL.
But, so much had happened in these two years. I had embarked on my own coaching journey that led me to uncover my true purpose in life: empower 1000 women to break through their subconscious blocks to success, so they can build thriving businesses by doing the work they’re meant to do in the world.
Would building my own skincare brand help me reach this goal? No. Building my coaching business would. When I realised this, I could let the opportunity go without feeling guilty or resentful and focus all of my energy on getting coaching clients.
An opportunity is either a gift that takes you closer to your goal or a distraction that takes you further away from it. Choose wisely.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Grab pen and paper and answer these questions:
- What’s the impact you want to make in the world?
- What goals and milestones do you need to achieve along the way to make that happen?
- When making a decision, ask yourself: “Will this move me closer or further away from my goal?”
4. Am I Saying Yes Out Of Love Or Fear?
Every decision you make is based on either love or fear.
You make fear-based decisions when you’re afraid of losing something or want to avoid something. In my case, my brain was telling me that starting my own skincare line, especially considering the big following I had built with my skincare blog, was the safest way to make money.
My coaching business wasn’t generating any money at the time. Was it really wise to say no to other money making opportunities when there was no guarantee I’d make it as a coach?
You make love-based decisions when you are honouring your desires and needs. It’s true there was no guarantee I’d make it as a coach. But I knew I had this calling for a reason and I’d regret not going for it for the rest of my life.
Fear-based decisions are always wrong. They seem safe because they keep you stuck in your comfort zone – and there’s no danger there. But, you can’t achieve anything new from that place.
Reaching your next level requires you to push past your fears, make decisions based on your desires, and trust that you already have everything it takes to make them happen.
The right opportunities excite you and scare you at the same time. The fear isn’t a sign you’re going to fail. It’s a sign you’re moving outside of your comfort zone. Keep going.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Before you say yes to something, ask yourself, “Am I making this decision out of fear or love?” Only make decisions out of love. Fear will always lead you astray.
5. Would I Say Yes To This If I Knew No One Would Be Disappointed?
If you’re still undecided, ask yourself this question: “what would I do if I knew no one would be disappointed?” Would you still agree to take on a new project or accept an invitation to speak at a summit if you knew the other person would be 100% ok with you saying no? Most of the time, the answer is no.
I knew my friend would be surprised when I told her I wasn’t going to accept her offering to connect me with the person who could help me create my own skincare line. In the past, people pleasing Giorgia would have taken the number and then make up some sort of excuse why the deal had fallen through – just so I wouldn’t hurt her feelings.
This new version of Giorgia simply thanked her for thinking of me and explained that my vision had changed and I wanted to focus on building my coaching business. My friend was surprised, but accepted my decision and thanked me for being honest. We’re still friends to this day.
If appropriate, you could also give the person an alternative. For example, if you’re not interested in speaking at their summit right now, do you know someone else who is? Make that connection.
You’ll still be able to maintain your boundaries and focus on your vision and the person will appreciate your honesty and support. Win win.
TAKE ACTION NOW
What are you saying yes to that you really want to say no to? Make a list and then, start saying no to those things. Start with the easiest win and slowly move your way to the hardest one.
Wrapping It Up
Saying yes to anything that’s not in alignment with the work you’re meant to do in the world isn’t an opportunity. It’s a distraction. Keep your vision in mind, so you can say yes to the work you’re meant to do in the world – without burning out.