Just yesterday I had to say ‘no’ to two small recording projects from two different people.

They were projects I actually wanted to do, only they both had to be done ASAP.

I stepped back, listed out all the projects I’ve already committed to for this month. Then I wrote a number next to each project. That number represented how many days that project would take me.

At the bottom of the list, I added up the numbers. The math was simple. I only had enough days in the month to do the projects on my list. There was no room for more.

I had to say ‘no.’

‘No’ feels like a dirty word sometimes.

Whether it’s turning down a new opportunity or telling the musician that his part isn’t working, being a good producer in the studio means knowing when to say ‘no’ to certain things so you can say ‘yes’ to something better.

Joe “No-no” Gilder
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