Have you ever said no to a big opportunity?
No I don’t want that new job and pay increase.
No I don’t want to go on that secondment to the other department.
No I don’t want to make a presentation to the Board.
I said no to a big opportunity last week, one that I’ve had on my vision
board since January, and it was a tough call to make.
As a workplace futurist and someone who helps organisations plan and
strategise their culture and brand for the future I am constantly scanning the
environment, travelling throughout Australia and around the world, visiting
companies that are on the forefront of modern work practices to bring those
ideas back to leaders and organisations we work with.
I spend a lot of my waking hours thinking about the future. So you can
imagine how excited I was to have been invited in March to speak at the World
Futures Conference in Washington this past weekend. My topic – How to make work
work in the future. Awesome and so right up my alley.
I had been planning the trip for some time, I’d already bought a
conference ticket, accommodation was sorted and I’d been making connections on
LinkedIn with peers that would be at the conference.
And then last week, life got a bit crazy, things weren’t lining up at
work or at home and I came up against some pretty deep stuff – like feeling
like a fraud and off course.
So I said no to speaking at the conference. I said no to a big break. To
the crème de la crème of the futurists gathering. I said no to showing up
Instead I said yes. Yes to staying home. Yes to me.
For once I was totally and utterly honest with myself. I checked in and
no it wasn’t fear making me back away, in speaking is one of my favourite
things to do. It was just that the pull to say yes to being true to me was
I felt bad for letting the conference organisers down, but the truth was
I was on day 2, not the headline, plenary speaker, a bit of reshuffling and the
conference agenda would work fine. It was more a blow to my ego than an
inconvenience to anyone else. Funny how the universe has a way of delivering
harsh lessons at the most inopportune times.
I’d been having some hints and intuition that a change was necessary but
a total transformation? Hadn’t seen that coming – some futurist I am ha ha!
I wrote a
blog last week as this all unfolded and I was sick in bed with a
stomach virus purging and transitioning. Some would warn against such a
potentially career limiting article, however the feedback about the raw and
real honesty has been a surprise to me.
How did I get here? When did I forget the things that I love doing the
I love my work, I love helping people and companies unleash their
uniqueness so they can show up authentically and love their work every day. It’s
bloody awesome work. But somewhere along the way I had lost my own way and
forgotten to heed my own advice.
I started asking some big questions about life, my business and how I
want to work and who with. Magically new clients turned up immediately,
precisely the kind I like to work with as if to say – here, do more of this!
Awesome nudges. Perfect clues. Thank you universe.
Luckily the conference organisers were very understanding and agreed
that I could donate my conference ticket I had already purchased to a
scholarship student who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend – awesome
#generosityeconomy in action.
I was so relieved once it was done and of course a little disappointed.
But as with any decision, once made, energy has began to flow in the new
direction and clarity has returned. I’ve begun making changes in my business, a
new website, a new podcast, a documentary, a charitable collaboration and a new
theatre style event are all now in the pipeline. Some of these will be launched
in the very near future, some a little further off, but already synchronicities
are beginning to happen.
So it’s possible to say no to a big opportunity and still find a silver
This week I’m focused on getting even clearer about how I want to live
and work, where and with whom so I can put it into action.
Making the decision to say no was the hardest part, once it was done it
was done and I could move on again and regain my flow.
Are you finding yourself at a crossroads unable to say yes or no and
feeling stuck and frustrated? Don’t worry pushing through the resistance is
just part of the process, it’s a sign that you’re on your way.
If you need help and you want to know how to get clear on the future
path for your career, business or brand visit www.uqpower.com.au and check out our services and offerings.
Our videos, articles and resources are a great way to start the forward
momentum yourself – whether it’s to grow your team, increase your income or
profits or create the most memorable brand in your market.
Start saying no and releasing more energy and space to say yes to you
and your dreams. You know you’re unique and you’re awesome and the world needs