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Wyoming Business Tips for Sept. 13-19

September 4, 2015

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Leonard Holler, WSBDC regional director

“Where has the summer gone?” Fred, Douglas

Life has a way of keeping us incredibly busy all the time, not just in the summer. You may be multitasking everything just to keep up with your business, family, social commitments and, then, what about time for you?

Given the hustle and bustle of everyday life, have you ever considered simply slowing down and saying “no” once in a while? You do not have an infinite amount of time and energy to give others if you don’t have anything left to give. And, sometimes, you just really need to get recharged.

Being a giving person and making a difference in other people’s lives is very important. The world needs people like you to give of yourself. However, you can’t give what you don’t have. So, you may have to learn your limits and just say “no” sometimes.

Here are some tips to help you determine what you are going to say “no” to -- and to do it nicely when you have to turn someone down:

-- Make your time a priority: Place standards around the number of hours you will put in at the office and at social commitments, while still making time for family and friends.

-- Look for activities that could be delegated: For instance, hire someone to do your books instead of doing it on the weekend or having it done by a professional. Hire a neighbor or student to mow the lawn. If your spouse wants to paint every room of your house, you can hire a painter for that, too. You get the idea.

-- Take care of you in your list of priorities: Keep yourself charged up with things you like to do. This can be done efficiently and frequently enough to keep you from running low on energy. Exercise can help, too.

-- Write down your priorities and commitments in a plan: If you have a plan about what you will and will not do, it’s easier to say “no” when you need to. A plan also holds you accountable for doing (or not doing) what you said.

-- Don’t worry about maybe making others upset for saying “no”: Have enough respect for yourself to not be overrun by tasks and other demands for your time that seem unreasonable. If you have a schedule, and someone requests you work extra, or places an unreasonable demand on your time, show the person making the request your schedule, and then ask him or her what should take priority in order to accommodate the request.

Living a balanced life, which includes your business, family, community and you, starts with “you.” Saying “no” when appropriate becomes easier to do. You will find yourself more energized and enjoying saying “yes” to even more. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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