Say Yes More

Like most people, I have a pretty packed schedule. Lot’s of meetings, projects, social events and of course a bit of networking. I keep my life pretty structured so I can try to pack as much as I can in. To be honest, this can be boring and predictable.

I had an epiphany last week when I was at a networking event and a bunch of friends I know invited me out for dinner with them after. I politely declined (as per my usual response) and said that I had an early morning squash game. As I grabbed my coat and walked out the door, I had this feeling of regret for not being spontaneous and just going out for dinner. Who know’s what could happen. Maybe I could have engaged in a great conversation which sparked a new business idea. Or maybe I listened to somebody talk about their life and got a boost of inspiration. Or maybe I could stumbled upon a new job opportunity. Who knows? The thing is, I missed out. Real networking happens when the cards get put away and you really get to know people over a drink, a coffee or a late night meal.

Some people might say that I simply have a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). And maybe I do. But I realized today that for me, this is a pattern. When you structure your life too much, you miss out on opportunities to engage with awesome people and do spontaneous things. Who know’s what waits for you just around the corner at the local coffee shop or restaurant. Could be an adventure!

So the next time somebody asks you out for a social event on a whim, do yourself a favour and say “yes!”.

39 comments

  1. I also often find myself saying no for no better reason than I like to get stuck in my own schedule. It’s very true that real networking doesn’t happen at networking mixers, but at casual dinners and meet-ups. I think I will say YES to dinner out tonight!

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  4. I liked the general idea here, as I confess to having the joint malady of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and a rather deep-seated case of SIMR (Staying in My Rut). The post reminded me of that Jim Carrey movie “Yes Man” , where he had to say “yes” no matter what ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1068680/ ). I think I’ll make a personal commitment to “yes” for the next month and see what happens. Wish me luck, Mike hensgen http://smebrandleverage.wordpress.com

  5. I liked the general idea here, as I confess to having the joint malady of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and a rather deep-seated case of SIMR (Staying in My Rut). The post reminded me of that Jim Carrey movie “Yes Man” , where he had to say “yes” no matter what ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1068680/ ). I think I’ll make a personal commitment to “yes” for the next month and see what happens. Wish me luck, Mike hensgen http://smebrandleverage.wordpress.com

  6. Reblogged this on The Goldsmith Project and commented:
    This is from a couple of weeks ago but as I thought about my goals for 2013 today, I thought this article by Matt Chong would be fitting. Let’s all be YES people in 2013! Merry Christmas Eve!

  7. Reblogged this on The Goldsmith Project and commented:
    This is from a couple of weeks ago but as I thought about my goals for 2013 today, I thought this article by Matt Chong would be fitting. Let’s all be YES people in 2013! Merry Christmas Eve!

  8. Everything in moderation, as they say. When I replaced my predecessor as the manager of a wide-reaching work unit, I knew I had a lot of relationships to fix. He said ‘no’ to a lot of people a lot of the time. Training, obviously, is service-oriented work there to meet the needs of others. I started saying ‘yes’ to everything – even bending over backwards and making the (previously) impossible happen. After about a year of this, my most trusted staff member came to me when I asked, as I often did, for feedback, and she told me to stop saying yes to everything. Not only was I starting to burn them out (we literally tripled our volume that first year), but I was creating unrealistic expectations. She was absolutely right. Once I discovered where and how to moderate myself, things flowed much better.

  9. Everything in moderation, as they say. When I replaced my predecessor as the manager of a wide-reaching work unit, I knew I had a lot of relationships to fix. He said ‘no’ to a lot of people a lot of the time. Training, obviously, is service-oriented work there to meet the needs of others. I started saying ‘yes’ to everything – even bending over backwards and making the (previously) impossible happen. After about a year of this, my most trusted staff member came to me when I asked, as I often did, for feedback, and she told me to stop saying yes to everything. Not only was I starting to burn them out (we literally tripled our volume that first year), but I was creating unrealistic expectations. She was absolutely right. Once I discovered where and how to moderate myself, things flowed much better.

  10. This is good and practical advice. Spontaneous social activities are always more fun and more engaging than set up “business” social activities (where everyone tends to either brag or shield themselves.) Good read.

  11. This is good and practical advice. Spontaneous social activities are always more fun and more engaging than set up “business” social activities (where everyone tends to either brag or shield themselves.) Good read.

  12. FOMO made me smile.. I was in Liverpool one month ago for a 1 week Conference and this is what my program leader told me. Igor i`m afraid you are suffering from the FOMO syndrome. Nice

    1. Thanks for reading the post! My friend was the person who introduced me to the concept of FOMO. I’ve thought about it daily since then.

  13. Thanks for reading the post! My friend was the person who introduced me to the concept of FOMO. I’ve thought about it daily since then.

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