I don’t know about you, but time seems to be flying by way too fast! Tomorrow is officially the first day of summer. After a cold winter and incredibly rainy Spring, this is the moment so many of us have been waiting for. Needless to say, I’m confident that if you ask someone who lives in the Midwest if they have plans for the summer, I’m sure they will have at least one thing that they want to accomplish.

I know I’ve got quite a few items I would like to cross off my passion project list by the end of summer, but even if I can’t make that happen, I definitely want the majority of them completed by the end of the year. However, in order to make that happen, I have to protect my time.

I’ve become more determined than ever to cross off as many items off of my bucket/ passion project list. Not sure if that’s because I’m turning 40 next month or if it’s because as I get older I’m channeling Solomon and realizing more and more that the things so many of us stress and worry over can’t be controlled or in the long run aren’t as important as Satan makes them out to be. Without fail, I’ve noticed the more time I try to allocate time towards my passion projects the more distractions seem to pop up out of nowhere. 

When I was younger, this used to irritate me but now I go with the flow. If I know I’m actively putting God first and we’re in alignment, then I look at those obstacles as confirmation that I’m on the right track. All of my greatest achievements for the most part took a long time to accomplish. That’s one of the reasons why I’m fiercely protective of my time. I don’t want to waste time. I want to make sure it’s being spent wisely.  

Time is a scarce resource. Once it’s gone, we can’t get it back. Knowing this sobering statistic is why I have specific boundaries in place to protect my precious time. It’s amazing how quickly your calendar will fill up with events you don’t want to attend, obligations that do not align with your goals, or feeling pressured into hanging out with someone because they are insert whatever title someone may tell you in order to guilt you into spending time with them. 

If you don’t want to live a life full of regrets, you have to increase your ability to discern whether an event/activity/partnership is truly an opportunity that you should pursue.

Keep in mind in order to protect your time, that there are people who want to steal your time. In your endeavor to protect your time, you should not evaluate whether to participate. In an event activity or partnership based on, religion, status, or whatever.

For example, I literally just had this happen to me which prompted me to record this episode. 

I was contacted by a faith-based marketing PR company that wanted to partner with me because they wanted to connect with a multi-cultural audience. This company wanted me to work with them on future projects and was offering me the opportunity to see advanced screenings for review and possibly interviews with talent in exchange for your support. Now, this is usually a project that I would have no problem with but because I value my time, I turned down the offer to work with them.

Despite the fact that this company has major big-name clients they were not going to pay me to facilitate that introduction to you all (my audience).  This PR firm wanted me to share their products/services but didn’t want to compensate me for making that happen. By the way, you may have already noticed this but I don’t do a lot of advertising on this show. It’s because I care about my reputation and so I’m fiercely protective of what products/services I share with my community. I don’t want to share nor be associated with products/services that I don’t personally use or don’t believe it will benefit me or my audience.

Now I know some of you may be thinking, “Are you crazy?!” I would have done it.” To each its own but I know better because I was able to leverage knowledge I gained in the past while looking behind the scenes at what was NOT being openly shared with me.  This is why I was able to say, “No,” with confidence.

Again, I make sure that I’m putting God first and that whatever “opportunity” is being presented before me is not violating God’s Word. If we’re good on those points, then before I make my final decision as to whether attending an event/collaborating with a brand is worth my time, I ask myself the following questions:

  1. Will this activity bring me joy?
  2. Does this activity align with my goals?
  3. Will I be compensated? Not always money. Knowledge, helping others, How will I be compensated?
  4. How much time will I need to dedicate to this activity?
  5. Will this activity open up additional doors in the future?
  6. Can I participate in this particular activity without sacrificing my ability to exercise?

In the event that you are invited to attend/participate in an activity or asked to collaborate with a brand/business on a project like in the example I just shared with you and you can’t answer yes to the majority of the questions I just shared then it’s in your best interest to say no.  Speaking from experience, I’ve been burned one too many times which is why I’ve got this system in place.  Not everything that glitters is gold. 

The system that I just shared with you has saved me a TON of time, money, and energy. When you stay in faith and have the courage to say no to something that clearly isn’t God’s best for you, it’s only a matter of time before God brings an opportunity your way that will leave you feeling confident enough to say, “Yes!”