Want a Better Life?

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Oct 24

Then learn to use another magic little word.

Want a better life? Then learn to use one word more often, and that word is, “No.”

The two most important dates in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Once you’ve found your why, stick to it and say no to pretty much everything else.

It’ll simplify your life–you’ll make more money,

you’ll become more successful,

and you’ll find that your living costs are lower because your inclination to buy more (useless/expensive) stuff will simply melt away. You’ll also have less stress in your life plus you’ll find you have more time both for yourself and your family.

I was speaking with a former student of mine, Erik Rossmann, who runs a very successful architecture practice in Gatineau Quebec. He was wondering if he should respond to a government RFP (request for proposal)–a standing offer for architectural services. 

The RFP was an amazing 237-pages long. 

Here’s what I said:


237 pages! A 237-page RFP? Are they freaking kidding?

This is why I have done almost ZERO work for government.

It’s just too much complexity.

If it was me, I wouldn’t do it, but I can’t honestly say if RAAI should or not. For sure, if you do it, hire an outside consultant to complete the offer… someone who speaks bureaucratese.

Prof Bruce

Then Erik replied:

this point in the business(es) we run, we need to focus on creating
opportunities for ourselves and our clients, and not just take any opportunity that happens to come along. 

So far, saying yes and taking opportunities reactively has
always resulted in losses.  

In essence, by saying yes to new requests and
invitations I am de facto saying no to another client or myself on something that
I am currently doing and that’s working.  

Taking an opportunity to make a
loss and neglecting something I’m doing that’s working and that I like is not a
good business strategy. So, I think my answer to new requests, invitations, etc should be NO
unless I’ve studied it, and it works within my business plan. 


Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD, Ottawa Senators founder, Real Estate Investment and Business coach, ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker, 1-613-762-8884 bruce.firestone@century21.ca twitter.com/ProfBruce profbruce.tumblr.com/archive brucemfirestone.com


postscript: my wife, Dawn MacMillan Firestone, a life coach, told me, “Smart people find it much easier to pick up than to let go.” This is why, she said, that so many folks end up with far too much complexity in their lives. So best to say, “No” in the first place.

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.