Know what's a really big mistake? Letting people push you around.
Letting people decide how you'll spend your time. Guilting you into doing things you don't want to. And generally taking a big fucking twirly straw and sucking up your energy until you're a California raisin.
Look, people are assholes, alright? They don't mean to be assholes, but everyone's out to get theirs. Everyone's got an agenda, and yes, they will email you about it. They will put you on the spot. They will demand your time. And they won't take no for an answer.
But don't let them bully you into giving them your time unless you're in a position to give it, because for every minute you spend helping them build their dream, you take a big rusty pitchfork and shove your own under 1,000 metaphorical rugs.
Sound self-centered / uncharitable / stingy / ungenerous ?
Guard your time.
I had lunch with a new business owner yesterday who uttered the words, “free consultation,” and I reached right across the table and slapped her. (Okay, so I didn't really slap her, but it's what I would have done if I didn't think she'd slapped me back.)
Your business isn't going to make money itself.
If you need to charge money, charge it.
And if you need to take back your time, take it.
But whatever you do, don't let others take it out from under you, when it shouldn't be up for the taking.
Because they'll take your dreams – and all the stuff that really matters – right along with it.