From Default to Yes to Hell No


I have been living in the US for almost ten years, 6 of which I lived in San Francisco.

I remember when I came fresh out of Boulder, Colorado, and sought advice from mentors in the city. A particular coffee I had with my friend Shane Steele comes as a fond memory.

She said: in the early days, be default to yes. I blogged about it at the time. That strategy turned out to be valuable in the early days.

Thank you, Shane.

I ended up meeting a lot of people, and that generated a positive flow of opportunity.

Default to yes is no longer valid when you start being successful.

Then, you must focus on and be selective.

I like the "No or Hell Yes" framework, popularized by Tim Ferris.

Every day, I get at least 20 people wanting a favor, "15-minutes", a coffee to pick my brain.

If you let other people take your time away, you will die a busy, unhappy person.

Command respect for your time — Double-Opt in people.

Once you start being successful, it is either “Hell Yes or No.”

Start saying No more often and you will live in peace.

Essentialism is a beautiful book on this topic. 

That said, always take risks, leave room for the unexpected, and don't try to over-plan your life. Sometimes, randomness is good.

If you are busy, you are not in control of your life.

It is as simple as that.

Other blog posts

Personally, I’ve been learning a lot from reading them. There is a clear correlation between the quality of the update and how well the startup is performing.

Read more
Untrained Algorithms

Algorithms need to training. Repetition is king. I just don't have any desire to "train Facebook" on my preferences. Account deactivated.

Read more
My First Public Talk in Spanish

For a while, I was the only person at SendGrid responsible for growing the company internationally, especially in Latin America.

Read more

Receive new essays as soon as they're published

You won't receive spam and you can unsubscribe at any time