“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity to do something and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later.” -Richard Branson
It’s easy to be afraid of failure. Amidst the world that contains catchy slogans telling us to “just do it”, there’s many of us who are not particularly motivated to just do that. We fear the worst. We don’t know what to expect. We create a list of everything that can go wrong and believe it will probably go wrong. Letting our fears, instead of the beauty of life, rule our decisions–that’s our first mistake.
At the beginning of the year, we sat down and discussed what direction we wanted Prairie Sister Productions to take. Since our whole business has developed naturally, we wanted to ensure we headed into the year with an intentional direction, while keeping the natural flow. With lots of discussions, some focus groups and ideas for the new year, one thing that was very clear was that this year, we would say “yes”. Yes, to new opportunities, yes to things that might be scary, yes to the exciting and unexpected!
Now, keep in mind, saying yes to things is a far cry different than being a “yes man”. We grew up on comic books. We carried Archie and Gang on our camping trips, begged for new comics and, occasionally, scored a few at garage sales. In one of the garage sale boxes, there was a practically vintage Richie Rich comic that contained a memorable gem of a comic—one that is clearly remembered by the reader twenty years later.
The premise is that Richie Rich’s dad, a very important millionaire-business man, is tired of sitting through meetings where people just agree with him. He tries to ask them questions, but they just sweat (in fear of saying the wrong things maybe? We just remember there was that classic, nervous forehead sweat) and they agree with everything he says. There’s a frame where the dad leaves a meeting very frustrated and says something. The janitor is there, politely disagreeing with him and suggests something more innovative—by the end of the comic, all the “yes men” are gone and the board room is filled with the janitor, the groundskeeper and the secretary– and the conversation is bumping!
Our year of yes reaches beyond being “yes men”. Determining to say yes doesn’t mean you must accept everything just because someone asks you to or the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes you still need to say no to things and draw your own boundaries. It’s not good to say yes to absolutely everything and be burnt out, dog tired and not completing any semblance of self-care. But it’s important to ask one-self why we’re saying no to things. It is because it’s outside of our comfort zone? Because we would be in the public eye? Because we are not an expert on whatever it is?
We didn’t want to regret anything this year. Which is why we have said yes to a couple of things we never would have dreamed of doing before—outdoor markets, random road trips, kayaking (poorly) on camera, being in a professional video shoot, modeling in a fashion show. And the year is barely half over! We are looking forward to heading into the last half of the year, confident in our yes’s and our no’s.