“You can do anything, but not everything.” -David Allen
I read that quote this week and realized how very true it was, and it’s resonated with me which each decision I’ve made and action I’ve taken this week. Sure, we want to be able to make everyone happy, especially with our businesses – our babies, our own creations. We don’t want anyone to tell us we’re not capable of fulfilling or sometimes. We take on projects when we know they’re not always within our scope of work.
We do these things. We may think we can do anything that’s asked – to please the customer, but should we? Is that really the wisest choice?
In a word – nope.
We started our businesses because we (hopefully) knew what we were best at, and we wanted to make a living and a life on that “best at” thing. So, THAT is what we should do, and THAT is what this quote means. Actually, this can be thought of in a couple of ways – I’ll use a bakery, for example. We’re the best at making cookies and brownies. If someone comes in and also wants dinner to precede his or her dessert, does that mean we should start serving dinner, too? Not if our dinner would be supbar. Not if that isn’t where our focus lies. Not if that would take away from the things we are best at.
In the same sense, but a different element – as business owners, we wear a lot of hats, but we must do what drives the business forward. Yes, we have the ability to answer the phones, manage the books, oversee the benefits, post on social media, be the IT guy or gal, but should we? (Not to say, as the adage goes, that you shouldn’t roll up your sleeves and be willing to do what you ask the rest of your team to do. Sometimes, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, but…) Just because we have the ability to do something doesn’t mean we should. Time is our most precious resource. We need to be spending it wisely.
Think about saying, “yes,” before you say it, and don’t be afraid to say, “no.”
Yes, you are capable. Yes, you can do many things. But should you be doing all those things? Do what you are the best at. You have the power to do anyTHING. So do that thing, and do it well.
Note: This does not apply in all circumstances. Like singing, for example. If you love to sing, by all means sing. So, here’s a little add-on: Do what you’re best at, and do what you love. Do more of what makes you happy.