Making A Big Yes Count

Back in January, I received an email from Marshall Goldsmith, a man I have long admired for his work in leadership and coaching. He had a special offer he was granting to the first 100 people who applied: a workshop where he’d be giving away his knowledge for free (invaluable from a man who is ranked as the #1 coach in the world year after year).

The catch? The training was in Salt Lake City. Two weeks later.

I applied immediately, knowing if I had the opportunity, I would figure out the logistics. One week later I received a phone call that I had been accepted.

This incredible news sent me into panic mode.

Nick (my husband) would be out of town for his work that same stretch of days. We would need to fill in several gaps to make sure our children were cared for. At one point, the child-care equation was so complicated that I almost declined my spot. It would have been so much easier and less disruptive to my family to pull the plug on this opportunity.

But nothing worthwhile ever comes easy, does it?

Instead, I lined up a team of six people to help us fill in the gaps. I explained to my girls exactly who was going to be waking them up each day, and who would be putting them to bed. I typed up pages full of notes for each of the caregivers. I rescheduled client meetings. I booked my flight, made hotel arrangements, and called a cab to take me to the airport.

What happened in Salt Lake City? I had the time of my life. I met coaches from India, Norway, Ireland, Spain, and from all over the United States. I expanded my knowledge. I met the man I have long admired. And I rekindled a spark in my own life.

While I’m committed to helping clients learn how to say no and set boundaries, there is an equally important lesson on learning when to say yes. (After all, if you’re using your no’s wisely, you’re storing time, space and energy to make big yesses possible. For example, I typically say no to happy hours and dinners so that I can relish my family. That makes leaving for a trip like this something I look forward to—not something I feel is taking away from my family or my soul.)

Going to Salt Lake City for me was a 100 percent yes. There were dozens of obstacles in my way tempting me to say no. What a shame falling victim to those obstacles would have been.

Is there something you want, but obstacles that seem impossible to overcome are holding you back? Write down a list of 10 steps you could take to remove those obstacles. Take a step—just one. And figure it out. You won’t regret it.

Want to hear more about what I learned while in Salt Lake? I shared the top five lessons on Forbes.

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