Crafty Business

Crafty Business: “Maybe”

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I’m sure I’ve mentioned my tendency to say “yes” to everything. “Can you help me do ________?” and “no problem” is my default response.

This has lead to endless opportunities, good experiences, and an adventure of a lifetime. It’s also lead to being overburdened, tired, and “Miss Crabby Pants” as Jason puts it. I know I’ll never be balanced, but I would like to maintain my sanity and not pull all nighters each month.

As I get older, meet more people, and put myself out there as someone who is reliable and honest, I get contacted about helping out more and more. I’m not talking about only online blog-o-sphere topics here, but in person too. It’s easier for me to say “no” to an email, but, wow, face-to-face I’m the hugest sucker ever.

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I say “yes” even when I know I have a bazillion things to do. Usually it ends up either sucking for the person who asked me (because I might have to get out of it at the last minute) or sucking for me (pulling all nighters because I over committed my time). I’m not doing them a favor if I can’t do what I say I will. And I’m not helping myself if it ends up stressing me out.

I’ve been making an active effort to say “maybe” as my default or “I’ll think about it.” To me that seems a lot easier than just a straight up “no.” Keeping my calendar on me at all times has helped too. It gives me a very realistic picture of how much time I really have to spare and what I already have going on.

A year ago I felt like I couldn’t turn down any opportunity or project or task. I was desperate to build my business, to make friends in my new town, to learn, to share, and to do it all. Maybe I’m getting comfortable. Maybe I’m getting older. Maybe I like a little bit of calm and time off. Anyway you look at it, I’m not feeling so desperate any more. And that feels good.

Maybe it’s the beggars can’t be choosers things. I kind of feel like I’m not a beggar anymore. I’m meeting my bills each month, steadily paying down my debt, and I’m loving my work. Anything else is gravy at this point, so I make sure only say “yes” to things I really want to do.

What to do about the things I’ve already committed to?

Right now I’m in the midst of finishing up a rash of too many “yeses.” They were hard to say “no” to, and they were things I really did want to do, but going into this year, I’m saying “no” a lot more so this fall will be less crazy. Then I can focus on what I really want to be spending my time on, you guys! Craft Leftovers! I love this website and I have so many ideas for it. I can’t wait until I have some more free time to spend on the site. Maybe I’ll even do a few indie craft fairs come the holiday season.

Do you have a tendency to over commit? How do you say “no”? How do you make sure to keep enough time for yourself and your family?

Have a great day and happy crafting!

Kristin

4 thoughts on “Crafty Business: “Maybe”

  1. Tushay! (sp???) Perfect for us Moms–Career women–crafter–athletes. I ask for the day for the garden and crafting on the major holidays: Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc…
    I leave pancake batter for the fam and go thrifting.
    My family understands that when it’s homemade it is less expensive, leaves a smaller carbon footprint, and is much more valuable.
    I involve the kids whenever I can!!!

    Great post.

  2. A coworker at a previous job made a little sign for me that said ‘No’. It was just a little piece of paper folded in half like a table tent, but I kept it at my desk for two years, and it made me more resolute to at least think about commitments before making them. Come to think of it, I don’t know what happened to that sign. I should probably make another one.

  3. You mentioned having your calendar with you helps you know how much time you have, but NOT having it can also be a great saver since you can say to someone, “I need to check my calendar.” It gives you time to think without saying no and you can turn your calendar into a scapegoat… “sorry, my calendar won’t let me.”

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