It’s true. I’ve just appointed you CEO of You, Inc. So from now on you will need to make your decisions accordingly. I have given so many clients this advice and it is a game changer for them! Why? Because as unglamorous and chilly as it sounds, life is kind of like a company. You have the bosses, the employees, the mission and the message, the bottom line, the strategic planning, the SWOT analysis (assessing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and even employee appreciation days. You have all of those things in your life.
As CEO of your company (aka your life) you have incredible freedom and perks. You get to decide who you trust and enjoy enough to hire (bring into your life). You get to decide who is no longer serving the company and must be let go. You get to make the one year plan, the company mission statement, the workshops, and you are responsible for employee morale.
I used to be a “yes man.” I said yes to everything, whether I wanted to do it or not. And what would invariably happen is that as the obligation drew near, I would get more and more irritated, maybe even start to resent the person I had agreed to help or meet and the energy of the day would plummet. I was just trying to please everyone so my intentions were coming from a place of purity and service. But it’s ok to consider YOUR best interests. Any competent CEO would. Let me tell you a very short story about the day I became the CEO of Gina, Inc.
I had been invited to dinner. I really didn’t want to go as it was a group of people I had grown apart from and I was no longer comfortable in their company. The night of the dinner came. It was dark, rainy, my youngest child was sick, I wasn’t feeling 100%, my husband ended up working late so I was scrambling to find child care and with every passing hour that the dinner approached I was more and more irritable. But then something clicked. I went into CEO mode. I thought to myself “This is absurd. This is MY life. MY time. Time is the only resource that I can never replenish and I should get to decide how I want to spend every delicious hour of it!” I called the person who had organized the dinner and respectfully said, “Unfortunately I am not going to be able to make it. My family needs me tonight.” Period. End of story. No fake excuses. No contrived apology. This particular dinner was not in the best interest of my company or my staff (my home and my family.) I can’t tell you the amazing feeling of freedom you will feel when you no longer have to dream up excuses.
This is YOUR time. Your life. And sure you want to be in service and there will be times you have to honor an obligation. But how many hours of your time have you given to the draining friend who keeps you on the phone for hours lamenting their dramatic love life? (When really the time clock was ticking and your company’s billable time would be better spent on a growth task?) How many hours have you spent at a monthly book club that you no longer enjoy at ALL? How many hours have you spent trying to preserve a friendship that had run its course, emailing back and forth, feeling misunderstood and unheard but hesitant to pull the plug? It’s perfectly ok, and I would argue imperative to your self-worth, to make decisions firmly and proclaim them confidently. And most people will respect you for it. The ones who don’t will never be invited to join your company and they will miss out on the stock options, the perks and the company Christmas party. =)