“Quick Question” I get emails with this subject line or that have this in the first sentence of at least 30 to 40 emails per day…
It’s Friday morning and I have about three really important things that I want to accomplish today. Things that I feel are really important and that I feel “called to do.”
I’m talking about the types of things that if I were to ask myself at the end of the day, “Did I do, today, what matters most?” The answer would be yes if I got one, two or even all three of these things accomplished.
The cool thing is that my calendar is WIDE OPEN and free from any commitments today.
However, before I get started on the first of these three projects, I want to go through my email and get to Inbox Zero. My goal is to finish responding to all emails by 11:30 AM. That’s about an hour from now.
I’ve been working on my email for about 20 minutes now and I’ve spent most of this time time explaining to a friend why I’m not going to be able to hop on Skype within the next few days to “catch up” and sending pre-written messages that explain why I’m not able to devote much time answering these technical “quick questions” via email.
There are days where I am a true ninja in the art form of “saying no.” Other days, that people pleasing side of me creeps up and temps me to say yes.
Here’s what I know.
- I know that I have several big projects to work on between and the end of the year.
- I know that I just returned from a trip to Colorado where I spoke at a conference and held a one day business mastermind.
- I know that this coming Thursday is Thanksgiving, we have a guest staying with us for the next week and there are all sorts of family commitments.
- I know that immediately following Thanksgiving, our family is hopping on a plane to Orlando to spend eight days on a family vacation.
- I know that there is very little work week time between our return from Orlando and the Christmas holiday.
- I know that during the first week of January, I’m going to Nashville for a one day personal mastermind event.
- I know that on January 12th, I launch another four week session of Podcasting A to Z, which I have to market between now and then to fill up that class.
- I know that just one week after that A to Z session ends, Stephanie and I are going on a seven day cruise with Dan & JoAnne Miller, Mike & Gail Hyatt, Michael Stelzner and his entire family as well as a large group of other like-minded folks.
That’s just my calendar into the third week of February. I have a nice yearly calendar where I can see how many work days I have between each of these events listed above. I know that my time is extremely limited when it comes to working on the most important projects that I know that I should be focused on. Projects that are most in line with what I am called to do and that will allow my work to benefit the greatest number of people with the most powerful amount of impact for each person influenced.
Here’s what else I know.
- I know that I am committed to spending quality time with my wife.
- I am committed to spending quality time with each of my three children.
- I am committed to creating awesome memories with intentional family time moments.
- I am committed to eating healthy and to working out, being intentionally physically active, six days a week.
- I’m committed to going to bed early and waking up early each morning.
- I’m committed to reading on a daily basis to keep my mind fresh with new ideas and inspiration.
- I’m committed to journaling and creating content that inspires others.
If you put all that into the calendar over the next three months, it is very clear that I am not going to be able to commit to quick calls or Skype chats and to answering the myriad of “quick questions” that flood my email inbox each day.
Is there a temptation to keep them there and try to get a response to some of these folks when I have some free time? Yes. That temptation is there. However, I know, based upon my commitments listed above, if I say yes to all these emails, I going to have to start saying no to one, or more likely many, of the commitments I have above.
Knowing what you will say yes to helps make it easier to give a no response to things that you simply do not have the time to do.
I heard Andy Stanley once said… “When you get to a certain level of success, you’ll have to come to the place where you do, for some, what you wish you could do for everyone.”
Each day, I try to pick about five or so of these “quick questions” and give them a carefully crafted response that I hope will help them take what they are doing to the next level.
For everyone else, I send them the following message.
(BEGIN QUOTED PRE-WRITTEN QUICK QUESTION RESPONSE)
Thank you so much for reaching out to me!
I receive between 100+ emails each day and most of them contain quick questions just like this.
One of my most valuable resources is my Podcast Answer Man Podcast found athttp://PodcastAnswerMan.com. There are over 300 episodes of this show and I do take questions that are submitted in audio form, as long as the question, and its answer, would apply to multiple people. The voice mail feedback hotline number is 859-795-4067. Or you could record the question as an .mp3 file and attach it to an email sent to [email protected] I do ask folks to limit questions to one per call. I do get about 15 questions submitted for the show each week. And as you might imagine, not every question makes it into the show.
I have also created an amazing, free, tutorial on the basic foundation of podcasting at http://LearnHowToPodcast.com.
Unfortunately, my commitment to other projects keeps me from being able to spend much time with technical questions via email.
If you are looking for a more immediate response, may I suggest that you reach out to the larger collective of podcasters that gather online in an online community like the one found athttps://plus.google.com/communities/102333709604116814839
If you feel like you’d like to work with a podcast consultant, one-on-one, I have a referral network of hand selected consultants that I trust. Their rates start about $150/hr. If you would like me to refer you to someone you can work with, please just reply and ask for a referral.
I hope you don’t find this too off putting. I am just trying to make sure that I maintain my ability to keep up with the other clients, students and projects that I have already committed to and make sure that those who contact me, via email, get a timely response.
Ps. The best offer that I have to offer is my Podcasting A to Z course. I encourage you to check out http://PodcastingAtoZ.com to see the full details of what I offer during this four week course. The greatest benefit of the course is that it provides a place where you can ask as many questions as you want during a four week period of time, and I am committed to answering every single question.
(END QUOTED PRE-WRITTEN QUICK QUESTION RESPONSE)
If you’ve ever received this pre-written response from an email that you have sent to me, I hope this post will help give some insight as to the reason why it was sent.
Okay. So I’m now headed back to my email inbox. I need to paste that, and a few other, pre-written response to about 15 of the 38 other emails in my inbox. The rest are all business action items that I need to handle.
After that, I’ll close my email for the day and only focus on the three projects that I have planed to work on this afternoon.