My year of saying 'yes' – a first-person account

Careful what you wish for, I thought, while sitting at a restaurant and staring down a plate of raw beef on the table. 

2018 is my year of yes – which, to me, simply means saying “yes” to any and all new opportunities that come my way. When I announced this as my year of yes (note to self: don’t make this declaration out loud next time), I assumed it just applied to my new freelance communications business.

However, according to my gleeful husband sitting next to me at dinner, it turns out “yes” includes beef carpaccio, a favorite delicacy of his that I’ve always avoided. Because … well … raw beef!

Say_Yes_FeatureThe first thing I said yes to this year was quitting my full-time job to strike out on my own. I made a firm decision to stick with it for one year and then re-evaluate. Believe me, there have already been several times I’ve questioned myself and wanted to rush back into the comfort of a regular payday.

But I said yes, so I’ve made my peace with the decision.  

That “yes” has given me permission to continue along the path without spending time questioning it – even when business is slow. Since I’m not overthinking my decision, I can focus on gaining clients and turning in good work.

I also say yes to weekly coffee chats with a variety of people: some friends, some former co-workers, some new potential partners. While I get nervous to pitch my freelance services, most meetings have led to good advice, a new networking contact or even a new business opportunity. And if I’m lucky – all three!

When I get a call about a writing project about something I’m not very familiar with, it’s tempting to say no – but that closes the door of opportunity. So instead, I take a deep breath, ask for more details and agree to dive in headfirst.

Saying yes doesn’t mean everything has worked out perfectly. Recently a potential client vanished right before the big project was officially assigned – even after we had agreed on a quote and he liked a sample project I wrote. I was perplexed, but I still don’t regret my decision to try.

The lost project disappointment didn’t last long, either. I gained another client a month later who was able to offer me long-term work.

As for the beef carpaccio? I had two bites and crossed “eat raw beef” off my bucket list. It wasn’t too bad, but I was mostly just happy I didn’t die afterward.

As I was putting the finishing touches on this article, an email popped up on my screen. A friend is getting a group of girls together to visit a local salt cave for a meditative experience. Did I want to join, she asked?

Wait. What?

I can’t make this stuff up. But I can – and will – say yes.

Want to know more about the power of “yes”? Click here to read how gaining clarity around what matters most in your life can help you figure out when – and how often – you should be saying that little three-letter word.  

Foundational Growth Experience

TAGS: Personal, Relationships, Professional