Saying Yes to Less: The Art of Being Selective When It Comes to Your Time and Life

Saying Yes to Less: The Art of Being Selective When It Comes to Your Time and Life

There’s a popular belief that the more a person says yes to what life offers, in any of its aspects, the more adventurous, and eventually happy he becomes.

In the last 2 or so years, however, I’ve come to realize it’s exactly the opposite.

You should not only say yes to less, but the more successful you become, the more you should eliminate things from your life, stop doing some activities, and say no to tens of seemingly tempting opportunities daily. Why? Because you want to stay sane and actually have enough time and focus for the things that truly deserve your attention and efforts.

There Will Always Be A Lot to Choose From

At any moment of your day, and life, you’re making a choice.

Spending time with a friend now means you’re saying no to anyone else you know, including your family.

Reading this exact book means you’re not learning valuable lessons from other reads.

Going to this seminar means you won’t be attending many other inspiring events all over the world.

And so on.

That’s what life is – a series of choices. The more you choose what brings you closer to your goals and makes you happy, the better.

But in daily life, we often go for the instant gratification. Such is the case with eating junk food because it’s really tasty, and avoiding the thought that it’s a bad decision for our shape and health in the long-term (although we realize that pretty well).

Our attitude is what matters the most here.

You can’t change the fact that you’re making choices at any moment. But while some people feel bad about missing out on so many good things going on at the same time, others decide to pay their undivided attention to the activity they’re currently doing, the person in front of them, the place they’re at, etc.

That’s what it means to start living consciously.

It’s no coincidence that the truly successful and contented people live this way.

Start Saying No More Often

If you too want peace of mind but also to be action-oriented and constantly move forward in the right direction, you’ll have to let go of the ‘say yes to everything’ mindset. And start saying no instead.

Here’s what it takes:

– you’ll be removing people from your life instead of making new friends all the time, you just don’t have enough time for that;

– you’ll stop doing some of the things you’ve always been doing (although others will think you’re insane) just because they don’t give you the desired result and your time is better spent on other things;

– you’ll be selective when it comes to consuming information too. You don’t want to be overwhelmed, so you’ll be reading only so much daily/weekly and only by respected sources. You’ll stop watching meaningless videos, will unsubscribe from all newsletters, will stop checking out the news all the time, and focus on your most important tasks for the day instead;

– other people will hear you say no to them more often than usual and may even get offended. After all, it’s a form of rejection. But that’s what’s best for you and how you’ll keep your priorities straight. So it’s better to get clear about that and be direct with them;

– there’s no time for overthinking. You can’t afford to be a perfectionist anymore as thinking whether something is the best thing you could be doing for this exact moment will make you too anxious. So you just do what feels right, finish it, and move onto the next. No need to bring in more stress or to procrastinate;

– say no to good deals, so that you can say yes to better ones. That can apply to any area of life;

– constantly review your life goals and daily schedule and ask yourself the following questions:

What’s the 20% that gives me 80% of the results and what can I do to eliminate the rest?

Which of the things I do daily/weekly/monthly don’t give me enough pleasure, don’t get me closer to my goals or make my life or the life of those important to me better? (these must be removed too)

– plan your day the night before, put your 3 most important tasks on the top of your list and start working on them first thing in the morning. That’s what will get you ahead in life.

The Only Time When You Should Be Saying Yes

So when do we say yes, then?

Derek Sivers explains it best in this article:

“If I’m not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then say no.

Meaning: When deciding whether to commit to something, if I feel anything less than, “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” – then my answer is no.

When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”

We’re all busy. We’ve all taken on too much. Saying yes to less is the way out.”

Now that you know that, sit down and do some brainstorming. Take your time. List down your top priorities in every area of life, then see which area matters to you more than the rest. Do something about that.

Put that list in a visible place, go through it daily so that you never forget what’s truly important in your life. And so that you don’t get lost, confused, stuck or become a prisoner of an average life with no direction.

Saying yes to less means you’re living mindfully, one day at a time, constantly doing things that improve you and are the right choice, making time only for what’s necessary and gives you result.

That’s a fantastic way to live life, and something few have chosen to do.

Some pretty successful people out there are saying no every minute. Keep that in mind.

And if you’re looking for an example that will encourage you to be more selective, read about how Tim Ferriss decided to take a vacation from investing as it became more of a burden than a productive and meaningful business venture.

“To become “successful,” you have to say “yes” to a lot of experiments.  To learn what you’re best at, or what you’re most passionate about, you have to throw a lot against the wall.

Once your life shifts from pitching outbound to defending against inbound, however, you have to ruthlessly say “no” as your default. Instead of throwing spears, you’re holding the shield.

Once you reach a decent level of professional success, lack of opportunity won’t kill you. It’s drowning in 7-out-of-10 “cool” commitments that will sink the ship.

These days, I find myself saying “Hell, yes!” less and less with new startups. That’s my cue to exit stage left, especially when I can do work I love (e.g. writing) with 1/10th the energy expenditure.”

So what’s your take on that?

What’s on top of your list every day? What can you eliminate from your life so that you can have more time and energy for the things that truly matter?

How can you be even more selective when it comes to your life, goals, money and time?

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income