I'll let you all in on something I've learned over the years - and it took a lot of 'em. NOis a great word; NO is not a negative word. It is, in fact, one of the most empowering words in the English language.
While the literal definition of "no" is to reject, deny and turn down, I prefer to think of it as a means to opening yourself up to MORE. Too often we say YES to things we can't afford -- either with our finances or out time. When you stop saying no, you risk taking on more than you can handle. What happens then? You might get everything done but it won't be at a high standard of execution or effort. Or, you might not get everything done at all. You let people down. You let yourself down. And sometimes, frankly, it leads to more work upon work, when in your guilt you feel like you have to make up for what's happened.
At a base level, consider that when you over-commit yourself, you're also often depriving yourself of rest and sleep. Even meals. You end up sick more often.
You're never home. This makes you feel restless. And, in a way, isolated. Home is where you go to recharge. Home is sanctuary.
You become a terminable people-pleaser. Your personal projects and goals fall by the wayside. (And you should never feel like making time for your own stuff is selfish!)
Passion also falls by the wayside. How can you be passionate about a million things? We'd all spontaneously combust. You become the person just trying to stay afloat instead of the person kicking ass. I argue that it's better to find a just a few things you're excited and passionate about and do them really well. From a business perspective, you want to be an expert in a niche. No one can be an expert at everything. (And hey, no one likes that guy anyway, right?)
The word NO takes courage. It means owning who you are and what you want and need. It shields us from being taken advantage of. Sometimes, it's all there is to protect us from our own kindness. YES is good, too. Yes supports opening yourself up to new things and being helpful but there's a time and a place for it. I completely understand everyone out there having their years of yes but in 2017, I'll be over here having a Year of NO. Because I think saying NO sets us free.
If you'd like to join me in the Year of NO, I've set up a private Facebook group where we can all hold each other up as we learn to acknowledge that NO is power. Please leave a comment below and include your email address.
I was really fond of my 2016 mantra, "Alright, alright, alright," and plan to keep that in the back of my mind moving forward because that Matthew McConaughey was really onto something when he came up with that.
Also, in 2017, you'll find me living in "The Year of 'NO'." More on that later.
I set quite a precedent in 2016, completing every task on my "16 in 2016" list. So even though I'm saying "NO" more, I'm ambitiously after some new ideas and goals, and trying to be consistent with some oldies-but-goodies.
Last year, this post opened with: "This list will absolutely not include anything uttered by Donald Trump." I think back to that time, a time when some of us did not yet understand what was about to happen; when some believed wholeheartedly that he could never win a Presidential election... Those were the good times, America.
Yet still, in this year's look back at the best quips and sound bytes, I will keep to that deal. This list will absolutely not include anything uttered by Donald Trump. (I can't say some of the quotes won't be about him, though.)
In no particular order...
"Anthony Michael Hall is facing 7 years in prison for assaulting his neighbor. If you don't think 2016 is the weirdest, I don't what to say." -Jensen Karp
"America! WHAT THE HELL???" -UK Talk Show Host, Graham Norton
“We aren’t born woke. Something wakes us up.” -Activist DeRay Mckesson
"Jesus fucking Christ, Donald Trump. You are the president-elect. Pick your fucking battles, man. You're embarrassing yourself." -Activist Danielle Muscato
"Here's The Deal, I Am Chris Pratt." -Jaden Smith
"Mark Zuckerberg I know it’s your bday but can you please call me by 2mrw…" -Kanye West
"I am not the only athlete up here. As you all know, earlier this year, Ann Coulter won the Kentucky Derby." -Peyton Manning at the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe
"Oooooober." -Kurt in "Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life"
"It's always going to be about the weight for me, Toby. It's been my story ever since I was a little girl. And every moment that I'm not thinking about it, I'm thinking about it. Like will this chair hold me, will this dress fit me. And if I ever get pregnant, will anyone ever notice? It's just at the core of who I am, it's just deep inside, and eight tequila shots can only mask that for a couple hours." -Kate on NBC's "This is Us"
"So what if I like drawing little hearts around Hugh Jackman's name? I can't be gangsta every second of the day." -Ryan Reynolds
“If Michael Jackson did the moonwalk for the first time now, and it debuted on Twitter, the third comment would probably be: ‘He’s just walking backwards.’ That’s why there’s no real rock stars anymore. Everything’s immediately diminished.” -Matt Healy of The 1975
"Always keep something just for yourself." -Dolly Parton
"What if immaterial tabloid stories, judgments and misconceptions remained confined to the candy jar of low-brow entertainment and were replaced in mainstream media by far more important, necessary conversations?" -Renee Zellweger
“And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.” -Lin Manuel Miranda
“Have you even read the United States Constitution? … You have sacrificed nothing and no one.” -Khizr Khan
"Vine is dead." -Wired Magazine
"How VIP do we gotta get?" -Paul McCartney (after being turned away from a VIP Grammy After-Party)
“I’ve always called [David Bowie] the Picasso of rock’n’roll, because I know that if I showed him anything—like a grapefruit—he would see the grapefruit that I see and then he’d see the grapefruit that he sees, and they would be two different things. He would have to explain to me his vision of the grapefruit.” -Nile Rodgers
“It’s important to treat everybody the same, even when you're having a bad time. Don’t talk to anyone like they’re lower than you, because you never know when you need help. You don't have to be an asshole.” -Anderson Paak
"For the first time since 1908, the Cubs are World Series champions. Believe it." -MLB.com
"I'M DAVID PUMPKINS!" -Tom Hanks, SNL
"You voice does count and it can change the world." -Lee Daniels
"Emma Watson wrote a note urging Americans to vote. She didn't spend her childhood fighting a dark lord so we could elect one." -Stephen Colbert
"He said if you wallow in suffering it wins... if you use it, humanity wins... His first thought was never for himself, or to tell you how he was feeling, it was always: what is going on in your life? And he really meant it. It wasn’t perfunctory. His kindness was never for show, it was who he was." -Menachem Z. Rosensaft, Founding Chairman of the International Network of Children of Jewish Survivors on the late Elie Wiesel
"That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight — how we urge them to ignore those who question their father's citizenship or faith. How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level — no, our motto is, when they go low, we go high." -Michelle Obama
"I'm not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I'm the first Simone Biles." -Simone Biles
"To all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams." -Hillary Clinton
"How dare anyone question a woman’s ability? Every person on this planet was brought into this world by a woman." -Pharrell Williams
If you are interested in fundraising for just about any reason, you’ll need to find a way to reach as many potential donors as possible. Starting a fundraising campaign is usually a most difficult process -- it’s a daunting task that people often have a difficult time with. It's a huge challenge to get others on board to spread the message far and wide on the web.
In an effort to help you achieve your fundraising dreams viacrowdfunding and other means, here are 10 fundraising tips that could easily make or break your campaign:
10 Effective Fundraising Tips
Share your story – the easiest way to get people to open up their hearts and wallets for your cause is to share your story. Make it compelling, vulnerable, and something that everybody can relate to in one way or another. The more open, honest, and passionate you are while telling your story, the easier it will be to find financial supporters.
Keep your employer in the loop – people have a tendency to forget about their employer when they begin fundraising and this is a huge mistake. Many companies are actually willing to offer paid time off of work to help with the fundraising process, and some may even match charitable donations in many instances.
Walk your talk – or another way to say it is to put your money where your mouth is. When you start an online crowdfunding page, make sure the world can see that you are the first person to donate to your new campaign.
Get by with a little help from your friends – never attempt to take on a massive fundraising project by yourself. Your friends and family members will be happy to help. This will make it easy for you to delegate responsibility and keep motivation levels high amongst multiple people.
Let the cause know about your fundraising efforts – every good cause wants to know all about the people working hard to help raise funds on their behalf. Let them know about your philanthropic efforts because they want to hear from you and listen to your passionate story about their cause. Plus, you may gain access to better promotional materials that will help make it easier to spread the word.
Ask for a donation more than once – sometimes people need a swift kick in the butt in the form of a reminder when it comes time to making a donation. These people are generous and happy to donate to your favorite charity or cause. They are often just busy and forgetful, so it makes sense to give them a friendly reminder until they finally make a financial contribution.
Tell others how much to donate – people want to know how much they are expected to give upfront. So let them know in advance and you’ll find that people are more generous than you’ve ever expected.
Remember to say thank you to your donors – so important!!! We often get busy and have a tendency to forget to thank our donors. This is a huge mistake and one that needs to be rectified immediately. People want to feel appreciated for their financial contributions, so send your donors a quick thank you email or drop thank you notes in the mail to let them know how much you appreciate them and their generous contribution.
Share your fundraising page – the easiest way to do this is to share it via social media. Get friends, family members, and coworkers to share your page on their social media accounts as well.
Drop the one-size-fits-all attitude to fundraising – make your fundraising efforts personal when soliciting donations. Do not send a mass, pre-written letter or email to all of your contacts. This is a major turnoff to potential donors.
Hopefully these tips are helpful and your fundraising campaign can flourish! Come back and share in the comments how it's going!