'No' is your passport to the next level.
—That guy… Who was in that thing (an actual movie title)
Resolve to make next year your best year yet. It’s time to cull your project list. Drop the least desirable to make room for your ideal work.
What to Let Go
This is a time to give your heart and brain equal sway in your decision-making. Let go of those projects that you dread working on, those clients you cringe working for, and those jobs that end up costing you money. Make a list of the projects you would love to drop, for whatever reason.
How to Let Go
Next time one of those dreaded projects pops up, say no. You might say “because of the direction I am taking my business in, I don’t have time on my roster for this project.” Or, you might just say no.
Even employees have some leeway in the projects they take on. You might be able to talk to your boss about your career path, the kinds of work you’d like to take on, and how you can make more room for those in your schedule.
What about the Lost Income?
When you turn down paying work, think of the time you gain as an investment in your ideal business. Use the time to solicit ideal clients and to build the skills and corollary knowledge that will help you when those projects.
Even if you’re in a KTLO* phase, consider the lost opportunities. If you don’t make a concerted effort to find better clients—who pay more, who treat you better and who provide more interesting work—how will you ever get out of this “keeping the lights on” situation?
*KTLO = keeping the lights on, that phase in which you must do any work to make ends meet