Saying no to good ideas (and it’s OK!)

Productivity is often about deciding what does – and does NOT – show up on your to-do list.

That’s what I said yesterday. Do you agree with it?

Now, there are about a million and one things we could all be doing with our blogs and our businesses to get more traffic and make more money. If you read my blog and others, then you are likely brain-stuffed with ideas.

Feels rather overwhelming, no? 🙂

What if you just go through and re-evaluate each idea? And, if it doesn’t match up with your own internal compass of what you want, you simply delete it. Or restructure it, perhaps.

Yesterday, I shared my internal compass. For me, it is about lifestyle design primarily. Money comes second. My goal is to go camping alot. I would much rather be hanging out at a campfire in a campground somewhere than be sitting at my computer. I know that about myself.

So, the first thing to do is know what you really want. It is easy to think about money and just stop. But, money is nothing more than a form of energy to enable you to do things. So, what are those things? What reality do you want to build?

Then, what does your business need to look like to enable that?

What amount of money do you need to enable the lifestyle you want? How will your time look? What’s your average day look like?

That’s your internal compass. It is like your “magnetic north” on the compass.

And then, with that in mind, check out your business, your to-do list, and the list of awesome ideas you have. Go through those items on the list and ask…

Do they align with your magnetic north?

A quick story…

There was a time when I was seriously considering opening up a service arm of the Blog Marketing Academy. It would have been a blogger support service. For a flat monthly rate, we would actually perform tech work for people.. not only doing various things on Wordpress, but also implementing some of the various tasks that often trip people up when it comes to building funnels, landing pages, opt-in forms, etc.

I KNOW I could do this. And with my target audience here at BMA, I have people constantly coming here who need stuff like this. Hell, even now, I find myself getting a little excited about it again. 😉

I remember going on a walk with my wife one time and we were brainstorming ways of doing this, how I could implement it, and potential pricing ideas. I was going to hire staff for it, and we’d need a way to manage user data and jobs. And… I mean, when you get down to it, it would have been a whole new sub-business.

Ultimately, though…

I didn’t do it.


Because, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that while it would bring in more revenue, it would violate my own magnetic north.

It would make my business more complicated. I would increase my staff. It would increase time demands. I know from past experience that client work is demanding. I LOVE that my business is simple. I love that my business is lean and mean. My business is very high ROI right now. It is easy to run.

My current business aligns with my magnetic north. This new idea… didn’t.

So, I scrapped it and put it on the back burner.

For a bit, I did a compromise of offering on-demand support service (not monthly). Even that I eventually stopped and removed for the same reason.

To this day, I am always re-evaluating my project list and that list of great ideas. Yeah, I get great ideas, too. 🙂 And I put them onto a list for later. But, I am always re-looking at it and deciding if it is in alignment with my own magnetic north.

Even sometimes on a day-to-basis, I’ll remove an item from my to-do list and just decide it doesn’t need to be done at the moment.

So, with that list of ideas and to-do’s you may have right now…

Go through and evaluate them again.

Is it necessary? Does it align with your own magnetic north?


Productivity is often about deciding what does – and does NOT – show up on your to-do list.

It isn’t even just about productivity. It is also about happiness.

– David