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your second point is key. I've learned that the hard way: in the long run, my ability to keep better promises rests on keeping good promises to begin with, and that is extremely challenging to do when there is no good fit. I prefer to make introductions and refer people to trusted members of my network in those situations.

Something else happens when we have the courage to declare what we are a good fit for: we start attracting those kinds of opportunities. Mastery is real, and it frees you as well.

Plenty of room for you here. You know I'm listening.

Thank you, Valeria, for this post, and the coming ones. Ironic you should title it "Priorities"... I took today to spend with my kids. ;)

To clarify, my being overextended has two causes:

1) I consented, in my own mind, to "scope creep" because I had this intuitive sense of what I needed to do to get a job done right. At the stage I'm at in my business, I still look to gain experience. I have no qualms about asking for more money, or saying "no" if it really is something I can't handle.

2) Much more importantly, that desire to gain experience (and make money) has led to me taking on some clients that weren't a perfect "fit." I knew on one level that this could damage my own brand (as I specialize in a small industry), but thought the experience was worth the risk.

I'm starting to understand that isn't so, and I feel I've gained the experience I needed to see more clearly where my strengths lie and how to play to them. I think this is something every business owner goes through, at least to some extent.

That is why I like the point you raise about the need to "fit in". I try to follow bloggers and others who don't talk about "right or wrong" but rather, who allow the room to think about how something might apply to my clients and me. It's a first step toward cutting what isn't my focus.

one of the reasons why I still read many blogs is that I prefer to think about stuff to reacting in real time. In fact, the more time I spend with social networks, the most I learn the value of building a context for conversation that takes into account how we're wired when it comes to things that matter.

I'm making note of your definition and difference between request and demand - thank you for that. I don't like demands either. Which is why I will be ruthless in cutting out what doesn't belong to my focus.

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