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  • 18 Sep 2017 8:11 PM | Anonymous

    From Entrepreneur Magazine
    Kimanzi Constable Kimanzi Constable - VIP CONTRIBUTOR

    I’m a people pleaser. It’s hard for me to say "no" to people who ask for something -- despite a reluctance inside of me. This has gotten me into trouble more than a few times in life and especially in business. Time is precious and slips by quickly but there is also no lack of things that have to get done in an entrepreneur's life.

    For 12 years, I took life a day at a time. I had a dream but no goals for making it real. I just woke up each day hoping for something more. In 2011, I had had enough and began chasing my dream of starting a lifestyle business. This meant more work on top of a service business that took 60-80 hours of my week. It didn’t take long for me to realize that something had to give. I had to learn how to say no to open up room for the things that were important. Seeing how much time and energy was freed by saying no, I started looking at all the other areas of my life. Here are six things I said no to. Saying no helped me live a much better life and create the kind of business that I love.

    1. Other people’s baggage.

    Life is hard for all of us. Sometimes it’s easier to push your baggage onto someone else, maybe even without you realizing it. If you are trying to make changes in your life and someone reacts a certain way because of their baggage, it’s up to you to say "no". You don’t need any more drama in your life. For me, this meant ignoring some people on social media and purging negative people from my life. It meant ending the business partnerships that were not in alignment with the direction I was taking my business.

    Related: 4 Ways to Avoid Letting Emotional Baggage Weigh You Down at Work

    2. Situations that I knew would make me angry.

    There are things in life that you know you don’t want to do. For years, I just rolled with it. I went to gatherings and hung out with people who I knew would make me angry. I got on "get-to-know-you" calls with entrepreneurs who were all talk and no action. I entered into collaborations with business owners that weren't serious. When I said enough and stopped, it felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. It freed my mind and business and helped me focus.

    3. A business that I absolutely hated.

    I had a service business in the vendor industry for 12 years and hated it. I felt stuck and believed that someone like me -- a high school dropout -- couldn’t do better. In 2011, I said "no" more and worked hard for four years to make my dream of being a global lifestyle entrepreneur a reality. I now wake up loving what I get to do for work and traveling the world. Saing no led to happier days.

    4. Unhealthy habits that felt good.

    I love food. I said yes to junk food and no to healthier choices. This, as you can imagine, led to major weight gain. At one point, I was 193 pounds overweight. I started saying no to unhealthy choices and started exercising, I've lost 121 pounds so far this year. Today, I have more energy, focus and confidence. Life is better. I wake up ready to work on my business. I feel great when I travel for consulting presentations at multinational corporations.

    5. Toxic relationships.

    Purging negative people from my life and saying no to what they tried to project into my life led to relief and happiness. These relationships included romantic relationships, friendships and business connections. It was hard, but I had to say no. Toxic people will keep you off track and make your life unenjoyable. Purge negativity from your life and business whenever it’s possible.

    6. Holding onto the past.

    I had a messed up childhood that involved physical and mental abuse. I chose to be homeless at 17 instead of continuing to be beaten with lamp cords. The demons from my past threatened to destroy me as I grew into an adult. I had to let go. I had to say no a lot more. I had to forgive to begin the healing process. I don’t know what you have or are facing. I do know that to heal, you have to let go.

    Just because you’re saying no right now doesn’t mean you’ll have to say no forever. Life has seasons, and some are busier than others. The point is to make sure you’re doing the things you want to do and that lead to the kind of life and business you want.

    Don’t let other people’s motives make decisions for you. This is your life. This is your business. You get to decide. Say no to things that don’t make sense for you. Say no to things that don’t feel right to you. Trust your intuition. You know whether or not you want to do something. Don’t be pressured into saying yes.

    Original article published at:

  • 7 Sep 2017 10:56 AM | Anonymous
    From NYTimes
    Published Sept. 6

    Early this year, The Times brought together a group of national correspondents to write in-depth stories about regions and people who might have received short shrift in the run-up to last November’s election.

    One thing we would not pursue was endless post-mortems on the election itself. President Trump might not even be mentioned in these articles, conceived under the in-house rubric “Fault Lines.”

    “What we desperately want is for our stories to shed light, to tell our readers things about America they do not already understand, with fairness, clear eyes and empathy in abundance,” David Halbfinger, who was the deputy national editor, wrote to us in an email.

    Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights from The New York Times. Visit us at Times Insider and follow us on Twitter. Questions or feedback? Email us.

    The articles, mostly deep dives after many weeks of reporting, have begun rolling out. Their subjects include a look at the religious left, the collision of two worlds in an act of vandalism at an Arkansas mosque, an immigrant’s choice to “self-deport” from Iowa and a dispatch of mine from an Illinois truck stop about long-haul drivers.

    My latest contribution, an account of an auto parts factory in Michigan, strays a bit from the mission. It probably won’t satisfy many people still looking to understand Trump Country.

    I pursued it because I was interested in why nonmetropolitan regions — counties that the president won comfortably — had ceased to be leading incubators of jobs as they had been just a generation ago. But the answers to that question (educational disparities and the opioid crisis, among others) quickly became less interesting to me than the individuality and daily gains and setbacks of the factory’s owner, Anita-Maria Quillen.

    Ms. Quillen, 35, is one of those people we perhaps don’t know as well as we ought to. A small-business owner in the manufacturing sector, she is integral to the American economy. Difficult choices she makes to contain costs and remain afloat in a cutthroat global industry exact a high personal cost. On her computer monitor she has posted a sticky note to remind her to show empathy: “It’s about feelings.”

    The mother of two small boys, Ms. Quillen — whose husband works for her overseeing the factory floor — voted for Mr. Trump (and admires his daughter Ivanka). But her daily personal and business obsessions have nothing to do with national politics. When a consultant visited her plant in May and asked what she hoped for in the future, she told him, “The goal for the company as a whole is to provide a better life for the employees that choose to be part of our family here.”

    During my repeated visits in May and June, Ms. Quillen allowed me open access to her meetings and phone calls, her staff of 78 and the production floor.

    A former pre-med student, she had fallen in love with manufacturing after working for a summer in the plant’s front office. (The company at the time was owned by her parents, and when it fell into bankruptcy Ms. Quillen cashed out her 401(k) and mortgaged her home to help rescue it.) As someone whose work product appears in pixels or evanescent newsprint, I could see how an infatuation with factories might be possible. There was something gloriously concrete about the injection-molding machines on the plant floor. One of them, Press 26, closes and opens like a slow-motion clap, producing 150,000 pucklike pieces a week. The pieces go into shock absorbers in Fords, Chevrolets and other vehicles.

    The press operator, a man named Dorman Crews, 49, had been at the company for two and a half years. “I spent half my life playing hard,” he told me. “The other half it’s time to get real.” He had moved to Jackson to be “a phone call away” from a brother with health problems.

    The time I spent at the factory was largely a period of setbacks for Ms. Quillen: She had lost $3 million in orders earlier in the year, and efforts to replace that work were fizzling. The bottom line was solid thanks to cost-cutting, but Ms. Quillen was not bringing new business in the door. The company was forced into a weeklong shutdown in July.

    Since then, things have looked brighter. A customer Ms. Quillen suspected was on the verge of yanking millions in work reversed course. A second company she thought was giving her the runaround on a new part she proposed to make decided to order up the work after all: a job worth $1.2 million annually. “It’s crazy how quickly the tides can change,” Ms. Quillen wrote to me recently, as the latest federal jobs report showed a bump in factory employment. She was looking forward to hiring again, potentially good news in Trump Country.

    Original story can be found at:

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