Sometimes “No” is the best answer

posted in: MLM, network marketing | 4

Even minor victories make a difference.

Today, I walked into the gym just as my daughter’s volleyball game was about to get started. There weren’t many people there so I was making my way up the bleachers when I noticed the referee pointing at me.

Now, I’ve had my share of run-ins with referees. Let’s just say I can get a little vocal when I don’t agree with the calls. But I didn’t recognize this ref and even if I did, I couldn’t see him throwing me out of a game before it started for previous bad behavior.

Turns out they needed someone to be a line judge, one of two people who stand near a corner of the court so they can tell if the balls land inbounds or not. The referee saw me come in and wanted the coach to ask me to do it.

Here’s my problem. I drove about 35 miles to watch my daughter play volleyball. I couldn’t pay attention to her if I was judging the lines.

So I said, “No.”

Now that might not seem like a big deal, and in the grand scheme of life it’s not earth shattering. But I often have a problem turning down requests for my help. It’s like I have a devil on my shoulder telling me I need to do anything and everything that’s asked of me.

I’m learning, however, that I can’t do it all. In fact, all I can do is all I can do. And I’m much better when I can focus on one thing at a time.

I’m also learning that lesson in business. When I take on too much, I usually spin my wheels and don’t get much accomplished. When I can do one thing, and do it well, I make more headway.

So, the next time you’re asked to do something, consider whether it’s the best thing to do or not before you answer. Sometimes you win when you take a pass.

By the way, we won the volleyball game, 3-0.

Steve DeVane

4 Responses

  1. Gary McElwain

    Steve I have to agree with you. When we’re trying to please too many people or situations we lose the focus.

    It’s like multi tasking, people think thier getting so much more done, But the fact is your just staring and stopping to start again
    each time. Studies have shown that people accomplish more when stoned, than by multitasking.

    So I agree do one job right and then move on.

    Gary McElwain

  2. SteveDeVane


    You’re right. It’s nearly impossible to get things done when I’m multi-tasking. I read something recently that noted how we often do something enough to get good at it, but seldom do we work on it enough to get great at it.

    Thanks for the comment.


  3. Wendy Krick

    Way to go Steve. And didn’t your daughter feel special having all of Dad’s attention. You are awesome!

  4. SteveDeVane


    Thanks. Yes, my daughter did appreciate my attention. As a matter of fact, once between games she told me I wasn’t cheering enough. The next game I almost embarrassed her with my shouts of encouragement in a nearly empty gym.

    I appreciate the comment.


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