How I Guard My Time Without Saying No

Last year, I reached out to an author of some note to ask to have a call to see what collaboration opportunities might exist.

The reply was not unexpected or unreasonable. The author replied that they didn’t have the capacity in their schedule for those kinds of speculative “let’s see what we can do for each other calls.”

I can completely understand it. Many of those calls are not terribly valuable. (My Networking Concierge clients hire me to filter the people they meet so that they only have the valuable calls.)

At that point, I was seeing that my schedule was rapidly heading in that direction as well. The thing is that for me I wanted another option besides saying no. While a majority of the random reachouts might not be valuable opportunities, a goodly portion of them might be quite valuable, and there is no way to know from that initial contact who will be a nice chat and who will be a connection into an entirely new community that could be worth millions.

I needed a way to say yes to everyone who wanted to meet with me without working 90 hours a week.

A similar problem was developing with my podcast. So many great people wanted to come on the show that I was backed up with interviews. And with the podcast, every interview then required more time for post production (and if you have been interviewed and not seen your episode yet, it’s somewhere in that post production queue.)

The solution to the podcast, you may have seen. It’s call the Power Lunch Live Show.
(You can apply to be on the show here)

I created a show where I would bring on four guests on a variety of topics. I get all kinds of compliments on how unique and engaging the show is.

You’d never know that the initial intentions on creating the show were to create something that would make great conversations with the least amount of work. I wanted a show where I’d almost never have to reject a guest, where almost no effort went into pre- or post-production, and where I could just show up, host, and go.

What would have been 6 hours of recording and post production is now 60 minutes of show (plus about 12 minutes of prep per week).

For one to ones, I created the Open Virtual Coffee every Friday at 10 AM Eastern. Anyone can drop in with this link.

Sometimes there’s no one there. Sometimes one person. Sometimes three or four.

With the Open Virtual Coffee, I never have to say “no, I don’t have time to meet” or even “why should we meet?” Anyone who approaches me or who is introduced, I can invite to the Open Virtual Coffee, get to know them and explore if we need to talk more without swamping the schedule.

The latest innovation, developed in early July when I looked at my calendar and saw that, once again, I didn’t have an opening until mid August, is the Connection Bonanza.

Many people who want to talk to me really just want to tap my network. I’m totally cool with that. My clients hire me to make connections, and I never know who might be a perfect fit for them.

A Connection Bonanza is a one hour call when I welcome up to 9 people. Each one will share a bit about themselves and what connections they are seeking. I’ll make between 0 and 3 introductions for them (plus they might make some connections with other people in the room). It’s like speed networking with The Guy Who Knows a Guy.

The next one, by the way, is today at 3 PM Eastern. You can access the Open Virtual Coffees and Connections Bonanza’s at this handy Meet the Guy Who Knows a Guy Page.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, first, it’s because I’d be happy for you to take advantage of any of these ways to connect with me.

But mainly, I’m sharing because I talk to a lot of people who are running into the time crunch, and when I share these ideas, people tell me that they are very interesting and creative.

I’d love to hear what some of the creative solutions that you have come up with for the bottlenecks in your business and life as you grow. Comment below and let me know.

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