10/21/2013 07:38 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Business Success by Saying "No!"

Have you ever wondered how some business owners find the time to do all the things they do and are able to accomplish so many things, for their own lives and their businesses? They have the same number of hours per day that we all do. How some of them, perhaps, a lot younger than you, have accomplished so much with the same amount of time on their hands? Perhaps it is because they only do those things that make a difference!

I often see new entrepreneurs, eager to build their business to success, say "Yes!" to anything that comes their way. That includes business and/or networking opportunities, prospects, partnership opportunities, volunteering and just about anything. I did the same thing! But, the most important lesson that I had to learn when I started my business was to say "NO!"

In my experience, being selective when you say "Yes!" is a strategic business advantage. There was a time when I took on every job that came my way; went to every business networking opportunity I came across, and read every business book I was advised to read. It was indeed a great learning experience that I would not change; however, I've learned that it is not sustainable.

Considering that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, saying "No!" becomes a crucial strategy that helps entrepreneurs to make the best out of their available time. It is best to say "No!" to projects that are not within your forte; to work on something that you are not good at (accounting in my case); to attend meetings that won't be productive; to travel when it is not really necessary and to join organizations that are not impactful enough. Being able to say "Yes!" only to the things that really matter will bring value to you and your business. This is a strategy that will free up gobs of time for you.

After all, what is the difference between you and the CEO of any multi-billion dollar fortune 500 company, who has the same 24 hours in a day that we all do? The answer is that they have learned the art of saying "No!" to nearly everything, except for the few things that really make a difference.

Now, how does one figure out which things to say "No!" to and which ones to say "Yes!" to? That's another story....

This blogger graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.

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