I don’t know about you, but I get about five emails a day, asking me for stuff. Do I need a speaker for my events? Do I want to contribute? Will I share my knowledge or resources (for free)? etc., etc. I tend to open most of these emails and occasionally I am truly happy to reply because I believe in collaboration, partnerships, and am by nature a curious person (you never know when opportunity might strike), and a people pleaser at heart, but more often than not, I feel obligated to reply.
Today, when I opened up one of my emails from someone I’ve never heard of, have no relationship with, don’t care to have a relationship with, I had a moment of clarity. This isn’t someone I am truly happy to reply to, this is someone I feel obligated to reply to and I don’t have to answer this!” WOW! This was huge, really. The person writing to me doesn’t know me, and they are just on a fishing expedition. I don’t blame them, they are doing their job, but I don’t have to waste my valuable time answering their email.
I’m assuming I’m not the only one out there trying to do it all for everybody, so if you are like me, trying to please everyone at your own expense, now is the time to step back and decide, “Do I want to answer this?” And I’m not just talking about an email, but deciding if you want to answer a phone call, work with a customer you really don’t want to do business with, or answer an email just fishing for information. It’s up to you. You don’t have to answer this.