The eagle-eyed among you may notice that this diary series has jumped from week seven to nine. I’m sorry, but last week was as mad as a box of hats. Have you ever seen a mad box of hats? Me neither.

Drowning in an ocean of wonder

Sounds like the title of a rubbish novel right? Well it’s not, it’s a sentence that sums up my life right now. Since returning to consultancy, the opportunities have come thick and fast. This is a wonderful thing. Hitting the magic tipping-point of survival was a superb landmark, and now I’ve reached another milestone; I’m too busy.

The best possible problem to have

I’m delighted. Super-delighted even. Over the moon! However, this situation does throw up some interesting factors.

Saying no

Yesterday I was asked to speak at an event. Normally, I would accept this as it’s something I love to do. I did however, say no. There was no fee on offer, which meant the day I would have to take out from consultancy in order to deliver said talk would in no-way be covered. Was there a business opportunity with attendees? Something I always have to consider, but in this case, that’s negatory. I turned it down and it felt good.

Declining a speaking opportunity is one thing, but what about a potential consultancy client? Surely I should be snapping everything up?

I’m having to be disciplined here. As it stands, I can’t start any new projects until mid-March. That doesn’t suit all potential clients, so they naturally fall by the wayside.

On the other hand, there are cases where my experience isn’t best suited to the businesses needs. You can always learn and adapt, however, I’m now comfortable politely declining on that basis. It’s the best thing for both parties.

Diary woes

I spent an hour yesterday co-ordinating my diary. Meetings are a natural part of what I do, so much of consultancy is a face-to-face activity, which by the way, is one of the factors as to why I love what I do. Fitting everything and everyone in (I’m still meeting prospects as some are willing to wait) without blowing all ‘doing’ time out of the water is proving to be hard. The thought of double-booking or missing a meeting makes me shudder.

Do I hire an assistant? I’d rather not. What about a VA? Not something that appeals. I think my only choice is to man-up and just tackle that diary with gusto.

Time to hire?

If I had another me, I wouldn’t need to delay any work for new clients. Sounds great. Then again, the person I hired would need to have the same level of experience as me. They of course exist, but would need compensation in-line with their background. That means I’d need to bring in enough work to cover two of us and even more to make a profit, or they need to go out and win the right level of business. Would we be compatible in business love?

No, that’s not going to happen. Unless you’re reading this and think you’re my perfect partner…

Czech mate

I’m working in Prague for the duration of next week, so the diary may need to have another wee break, but I’ll be sharing what I’m up to on social (Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat), follow mike_mcgrail on all of those if you like!


I’ve been snapping about my thoughts on saying no and more over the past couple of days. You can watch below!


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