As an entrepreneur, you have TONS of creative ideas. Right?
Maybe they’re about what you could do in your business, “if only” … Or maybe they’re about the next “best” steps to take in order to reach your goals, or how to better support your clients.
And as an entrepreneur, you also have a multitude of biz-building opportunities presented to you, probably on a daily basis.
- Courses or trainings
- Speaking opportunities
- Networking events
- Various investments
- New tools to add to your business
- And more!
And sometimes, when you see one of these opportunities, it seems to be just what you’re missing. It taunts and teases you, promising to give you exactly what you need in order to achieve your goals.
Then there are all the decisions you’re faced with when it comes to the daily operation of running your business.
The bottom line: you have dozens (if not hundreds) of decisions to make, each and every day. And considering there are only 24 hours in a day, if you’re not careful, you’ll quickly find yourself overworked and overwhelmed, trying to do it ALL, and saying “yes” to everything.
So how do you know what to take on, and what to let go?
How do you decide what to go for, and what to pass on?
How do you make sure that you aren’t saying “No” to a great opportunity because your inner fears or blocks are trying to keep you playing small?
You use my Business Opportunity Filter, to determine which decisions get the “Yes!” and which get the “No”!
One of my mentors from when I first started my business (The Coaches Console) taught me how to create this filter, and it is my GO-TO TOOL for making smart choices in my business that keep me focused and propel me toward my goals.
I’m sharing it with you today because using it will help keep you focused on, connected with, and advancing toward YOUR goal of having a business (and life!) you love!
Creating Your Business Opportunity Filter
For each opportunity or offer you face in your business, answer the following questions to help determine whether it’s a “Yes” or a “No.” Keep in mind that you do NOT necessarily need to answer all 10 questions every time. Sometimes, you’ll have your answer after only considering a few questions. You can also pick and choose which questions to answer. All ten are available to help you through the decision-making process when it comes to those you have the most trouble with on your own.
Does this person/opportunity/investment advance me closer to living my Bigger Why?
Be honest: Have you created your WHY statement yet? (Hint: It’s the most important beacon in your business!)
If not, you may want to stop right here and work on that, because …
You must be crystal clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why you started your business in the first place.
Here’s how to clarify and hone your Bigger Why:
Ask these clarifying questions at least three times to get to the soul of your Bigger Why. It might not be a super-quick process, but I promise you, it’s worth it.
I even suggest framing and hanging your Bigger Why statement when it’s finished, so you can refer to it often, staying focused and inspired. That’s what I did, and mine still hangs above my desk, 13 years later!
Answering this first question will give you a pretty quick and easy “Yes” or “No” on a decision at hand!
If I say “Yes,” what will I be saying “No” to?
Let’s be frank:
Saying “yes” to a person/opportunity/investment requires time, energy, and resources. That means when you say “yes,” you’re saying “no” to other opportunities … overtly, or inadvertently. So consider what you’ll have to pass on, even if it’s for a short time, if you do say “yes.”
This way, you’re fully aware of what you’ll have, and what you won’t, as a result of the decision you make. When I consider this particular question around an opportunity, I really reduce the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) factor, because I can stay focused on what’s most important to ME and MY goals—instead of someone else’s.
Am I saying “yes” because it’s just easier than saying “no”?
Humans, especially “conscious entrepreneurs,” or “heart-based” entrepreneurs, and women!, often have a difficult time saying “no” to people. We want to make others happy. We don’t want to disappoint. AND, it can feel safer to just say “yes” because doing so appeases the other person: no uncomfortable conversations, no confrontations, no vulnerability, for you. I get it!
But this is a recipe for overwhelm. Saying “yes” to everything inevitably means saying “no” to yourself. And isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid in the first place?
Consider whether or not you’re taking what you perceive to be the “easy” way out, if you say “yes.” It may be harder to say “no,” at first, but it’s not as hard as dealing with the overwhelm—and fallout from the overwhelm—later.
Am I noticing synchronicity?
The Universe corresponds to your desires. So, when you’re clear on your desires and your Bigger Why, you basically become a magnet for perfect opportunities, programs, people, and/or resources that will advance you closer to your dreams!
Even better: it often feels effortless.
Pay attention to the synchronicities related to your Bigger Why. Here are a few examples for you:
- You were just wishing for something in your mind, and whalla! A link or article pops up on Facebook that totally answers your wish.
- You were thinking about a particular person, and he or she suddenly calls you “out of the blue.”
- You were struggling with something that continuously blocked you from reaching your goal/dream, and then (as if by magic!) you are introduced to someone who has the exact solution you need to get past the block.
- See where I’m going here? If you notice synchronicity around a decision, it may make it an easier “Yes.”
This is my “go to” question. If synchronicity is showing up, then I TRUST that magic in my life, and I tend to weigh out the opportunity even more. I do my best to not argue with or resist the Universe when he/she is trying to make my life and goals easier to experience!
If needed, can I collaborate with others?
Does saying “Yes” to this particular person/opportunity/investment put you in a spot that requires you to grow? To develop new skills? If so, collaborating with others who are a few steps further down a shared path creates a massive opportunity for growth. If you already know people who have already paved the way for you, and who are there for you to lean on for support, saying “Yes” to an opportunity may be an easier decision.
I always say yes to at least one opportunity each year that places me in constant collaboration with people further down the path than I am (a program, a Mastermind, etc), because I know it will help me grow.
What happens when I harness the “as if” power?
This is all about acting “as if.” (Bonus: this is a powerful coaching question to use with your clients as well!)
If you’ve asked yourself a question 105 times, and the answer is still unclear, then act “as if” you’ve made one decision, and take away the other.
For a 12-hour period, move through your day ACTING AS IF you’ve given a resounding “YES” to the person/opportunity/investment. How do you feel? What thoughts are you having? What do you notice about your body?
Then switch! For the next 12-hour period, move through your day and ACT AS IF you’ve given a resounding “NO.” How do you feel? What thoughts are you having? What do you notice about your body?
Pay close attention to how you FEEL in both situations, and let that guide your decision making.
Am I willing—and able—to consistently give it my ALL?
If you’re in, be in. If you’re not, then don’t do it. Half-assing means you waste time, energy, and effort on all sides if you’re not “all in.”
So, do you have the time available to invest 100 percent? Do you have the energy for it? If you say “Yes,” will you be spreading yourself too thin? Is this a priority to me?
Does my soul give this a “Hell Yes!”?
Because let’s be honest: if it’s not a “Hell Yes!” then it’s a “Hell No!”
If you don’t feel a resounding, soulful “Hell Yes!” immediately, then consider whether that means it’s a “Hell No!”
If you’re only getting a whisper, or a “Maybe,” that could mean it’s really a “Hell No,” or that you just need a bit of time and awareness to expand into the “Hell Yes” that this really is for you. You’ll definitely want to walk through the other questions to decide.
Often when I use this filter (whether I’m buying a pair of shoes, enrolling in a program, or considering going out to dinner with girlfriends), I experience a “bonus” benefit, too: when I put myself in the place of a solid “No,” I can then release fears and get clear on what would need to be in place for it to be a “Hell Yes” (if that’s what I want).
Where am I on a scale from 1 to 10?
This is a simple and effective way to consider a decision. It involves using numbers to engage your mind and ego in the decision-making process, taking the emotion OUT of the equation for a moment, so you can be totally rational and fact-based.
“On a scale from 1 – 10 (1 being a ‘Hell no, forget it,’ and 10 being a ‘HELL YEAH, I’M IN!’), where am I on this decision?”
If you’re a 10 out of 10, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. Trust yourself and enjoy the adventure!
As a general guideline, if it’s a five or lower, you’re probably not ready. And that’s okay! At least you’ve got your answer, right? There’s freedom in and of having made a decision, either way! You can walk away and not give it another thought.
Anything under a five practically guarantees that you won’t be committed to your “Yes,” if you say it, and it will distract you from what will be most effective and fun for you. Plus, you’ll avoid beating yourself up later for making “another bad decision.” Politely decline, and walk away.
If, however, you’re somewhere between a six and a nine, ask yourself:
“What would it take for me to be a 10 on this particular person/opportunity/investment?”
And then listen to yourself! The answer will typically pop up in about one to two seconds. Don’t overthink it; you’ll just get in your own way. Take note of would make it a 10 for you, and then ask yourself if you could do whatever that is to move yourself toward a 10. (Then, do it!)
What will be my ROI if I say “Yes”?
Sometimes, your ROI (Return on Investment) will come in the form of money. Sometimes, it will come in other forms: indirect returns such as new leads (that will eventually lead to new clients and money), or a skill set that you needed in order to move you closer to your goals.
Other times, your ROI will be emotional currency, like when you’re able to be involved with a group of people who are aligned with your values, mission, and beliefs.
And still other times, your ROI may be in the area of self-development; you become the next greatest version of you so you can reach your goals, dreams, and desires.
As a business owner, whenever you encounter a new opportunity, always consider what your ROI will be, what form it will take, and when you can expect to see it.
Knowing this in advance will help you determine if the investment of your time, energy, and resources is worth it.
And there you have it! Your Business Opportunity Filter.
Answering these 10 questions will hopefully help you discover the decision that is already inside of you.
And if all else fails, TRUST YOURSELF.
Sometimes, even going through all 10 questions above might leave you undecided.
So here’s a quick exercise you can do “when all else fails.”
Think of a decision you need to make.
Then, (right now!), place one hand on your heart, and one on your solar plexus (your gut). Take a deep breath in. Slowly release it. Take a second. And a third. Calm your mind, and create space in your heart.
What do you hear?
Sometimes the “yeses” and “nos” are faint whispers from your soul. To hear them, you have to get quiet, at least long enough to hear them.
Some people call this prayer. Some call it meditation. However you frame it, create that still, quiet place within, so you can listen and trust yourself. You know more than you realize.
And above all else, once you make your decision, move forward unapologetically. Don’t go back and question, or beat yourself up. Be confident.
Everything we do in our business as entrepreneurs is research: every step we take, every project we create, every decision we make … all research. When you take a step—whether that step comes from a “Yes” or a “No”—it becomes research for your Biz-Building Quest.
It will inform you intellectually, physically, emotionally, energetically, and spiritually. Pay attention to that research, and adjust accordingly based on the experience of hindsight.
If you say “Yes” and realize it wasn’t the right decision, act on that new information. If you say “No” and realize you wished you’d said “Yes,” act on that new information, immediately. And adjust accordingly. Simple!
You can do this! Here’s to your next decision – with clarity!
Post in The Coaching Lifestyle Facebook community which Business Opportunity Filter Question resonated most, and why. I read everything, and I’ll personally respond! What opportunity are YOU considering right now that you could walk through each of these questions? If you haven’t joined this private group yet, do so now! Just follow this link, click “Request to Join,” and we’ll get you added ASAP.