Category Archives: Self

What If You Said "No" More Often?

Say No More Often

Friend: “Let’s watch that zombie movie later!”
You: “I want to finish writing chapter 4 of my new book tonight.”
Friend: “C’mon, you can write that anytime, today’s the movie’s last showing day.”
You: “I have set my priorities.”
Friend: “Please?”
You: “No.”

Wow, what kind of friend are you?!

But… if you said “no” more often, how much more could you achieve?


What If You Stopped Using Silly Cliches?

Please stop using silly clichés.

Some clichés are useful and efficient because they express profound points concisely. Emphasis on the word “some”.

But not the clichés listed below, because these are beyond annoying…

  • “I’m only human.” – Would you rather be a centipede?
  • “I’m not getting any younger.” – You’re not Benjamin Button, so ok, I believe you.
  • “[Product Name] is selling like hotcakes.” – What are the latest hotcake sales figures anyway?
  • “Need I say more?” – No, and you didn’t have to say that either.
  • “Nuff said!” – Shaddap!

Here’s a rule of thumb: If a cliché makes you go, “Well, duh!”, scrap it!

What other phrases would you like to add to the list?


What If You Worked Really, Really Hard But Still Produced A Mediocre Product?

I don’t get to watch TV that much, but I still occasionally chance upon some actor using such lousy excuse while begging people to watch his underwhelming movie.

Sure, working hard is admirable, but the client doesn’t care if you haven’t slept for 5 days working on his project. Neither does he care if it only took you 20 minutes to complete it.

All that matters is whether the output meets – or better yet, exceeds – his expectations.

A while back I was asked to do the voice-over of a video game character… in theatrical Mandarin! I almost lost my voice screaming and “acting out” the script inside a recording booth for 3 hours, and boy, it sure was hot in there! But my rendition was merely “okay”, as my Chinese diction was not smooth enough.

My client had to go back to the office to consult his team regarding the acceptability of the recordings. I wanted him to accept my work on-the-spot because I was exhausted from all that acting.

But I slapped myself in the face (not literally, of course) and accepted the fact that others could do the job far better and much quicker than I did.

So I stopped pleading with him… but secretly hoped that he couldn’t find anyone else willing to accept the role. I probably deserve a real slap in the face at this point.

As a business owner, have you ever used “hard work” as an excuse for the client to accept mediocre output? And did you slap yourself?