Are You Being Selfish or Self-Considerate?

Do you have a hard time saying no to others?

The Definition of Selfish

Remember the movie A Christmas Carol? It was based on the story by Charles Dickens about Ebenezer Scrooge, who is a rich, selfish old miser who doesn’t share anything, including love. The spirit of Christmas Future shows Scrooge his future of having no one who cares about him, even at his death. Upon seeing this, he realizes the error of his ways and becomes a changed man. He goes on to make a large donation to a charity, gives his employee Bob Cratchit a raise, and spends the afternoon with his estranged family.

It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of being selfish, does it?

The definition of selfish is: lacking consideration for others; being concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

It’s probably safe to say that being selfish has a negative connotation to it. We call children selfish if they don’t want to share their toys or our partner if they won’t share a bite of their favorite dessert.

But is it being selfish if you don’t want to share your time? Is there a word that describes when someone chooses to say no to a commitment or an opportunity because they value their own time more? Or when someone has clear boundaries around themselves and sticks to it? Unfortunately, there isn’t a word for that. Therefore I’d like to suggest that we use the word “self-considerate” until someone comes up with one.

The Definition of Self-Considerate

Being self-considerate means to put yourself first before the needs of others. This makes many people feel uncomfortable. As a result, they end up putting themselves last, and doing things for everyone else instead. This leads to overcommitment, feeling overwhelmed, having no time for themselves and many other problems in their personal lives: their health, relationships with their partner or family, and a general unhappiness with life.

Being self-considerate means to put yourself first before the needs of others.

What happens when we’re not being self-considerate?

  • We say yes to things that we don’t really want to do
  • The most important things in our business get delayed
  • We overcommit when we’re already very busy
  • Our health, self-care personal relationships get neglected
  • We feel resentful towards others and regret our choices
  • We feel stressed and overwhelmed
  • Our health, relationships and happiness begin to decline

Now that we know all the possible consequences, how can we let go of this stigma that it’s not okay to be self-considerate and start putting ourselves first?

We can start by looking at all the benefits we’ll see when we are self-considerate.

The Benefits to Being Self-Considerate

Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” I agree with this statement when we’re referring to all the little tasks and non-essential commitments that distract us from the really important things we need to get done. We need to become experts in prioritizing the most important things we need to do daily and weekly in our personal lives and in our business that give us the most return.

What this does NOT refer to is saying no to things that scare you. Those are usually the things where the magic happens. I’ve learned that if it scares me, it probably means I really need to do it. Consequently it usually ends up being less scary than I thought, and leads to a huge return in the end.

Being self-considerate is like putting on your own oxygen mask first.

It’s creating boundaries around your most valuable asset- your time. As a result, you’ll learn how to prioritize the most important things in your life.

Here are some benefits to being self-considerate:

  • Increased traction in your work or business
  • More time to enjoy life
  • Time for taking care of your mental, physical and spiritual health
  • Improved relationships
  • Increased confidence
  • Feeling happier and greater life satisfaction
  • Overall increased success at work and in life

It seems like a no brainer that’s it’s good to be self-considerate, right?

The challenging part is training ourselves to put this into practice every day, and to learn the skills to say no politely and firmly. Once you learn how and start applying it, you’ll see the benefits in your life which will reinforce the positive results for being self-considerate.

How Is It Serving You?

A great strategy to start becoming more self-considerate is to look at your current commitments and ask yourself, “How is it serving you?”

When you ask yourself this question, you should take a few things into consideration. Look at the value you get in return from the following aspects:

Financial– Does this commitment lead to financial gain in the future, in the form of actual leads or creating worthwhile connections? How much are the monthly dues and how much time are you putting in monthly versus the income you’ve gained on average per month? If you’re not netting a positive number for the year, it’s time to rethink your commitment

Emotional/Mental– Does being in the group uplift or inspire you? Do you learn new things and get great information that helps your personal or business development?

Relational– Have you formed fulfilling or important relationships for yourself or your family? Have you made wonderful friends?

Spiritual– Does it fill a spiritual need for you?

Client Story

I had a client who was extremely overwhelmed with her small business. She was working crazy hours at night and on weekends, then had to spend her waking hours working on her business. As a result, she was burning the candle at both ends and was desperate for help to get her life back.

On one of our calls, I asked her how many committees she was serving on. She was currently on six, and had been asked to be on the leadership team for one of them. She said even though she was good at leadership, it was very time consuming, and she always felt guilty for saying no.

I asked her how each of the committees was serving her. She thought about it and realized that most of them didn’t have a good return and took up a lot of her time. She ended up letting go of three of the committees immediately, and declining the leadership position as well. In doing so, she got back so much time in her schedule, she started doing a morning practice devoted just to herself. She started reading books for pleasure again. As a result, she reported that not only was she a lot happier, but her relationship with her husband improved as well because she had more time to spend with him.

Who Loses When You’re Not Self-Considerate?

Many people who are “people pleasers” think that by helping everyone else, that makes them a good person. They believe that the only person who suffers when they overcommit is themselves. But in reality, everyone in their life is affected. When you put others’ needs before your own, you’re not left with any time or energy for yourself or the people closest to you. Your patience is lowered and your stress level is higher. As a result, your business, your health and your relationships begin to suffer. All this trickles down to everyone you interact with, and usually results in you not acting as your best self. In the end, you feel guilty and try to make up for it, which leads to even less time for yourself.

Who Benefits When You’re Self-Considerate

The largest beneficiary of being self-considerate is you. Not only will you feel happier because you’re not committing to things you don’t want to do, but you have more time and energy to take care of yourself and your business. As a result, you feel better and become happier. This leads to you being more productive and efficient. Then, you start showing up as the BEST version of yourself to your loved ones, your coworkers, your employees and your potential clients. Everyone wins!

How To Say No Nicely

If you’ve taken the CVI personality assessment and you’re a Merchant, one of the hardest things for your personality type is saying no. I used to have a big problem with this, but I’ve learned some strategies that have made it easier. Make sure it’s clear that it’s a forever no. If not, you may be leaving the door open for them to ask you again.  So, if someone asks you to do something that you’d rather not do, here are some polite yet firm responses.

One of the biggest problems for Merchants is our desire to make people like us, so we often agree to things before thinking it over.

If you are asked in person to commit to something, respond with, “Let me think about it and get back to you.”

That buys you some time to think before your immediate impulse to say yes. If they follow up, you can answer them by email with the following strategy.

  • First, say something positive about what they are trying to enlist your help for.
  • Then, politely decline without leaving the door open for coming back and asking you again.

For example: “That’s so wonderful that you’re the chair for the welcome committee again this year! Thank you so much for asking me to join. Unfortunately, due to my other commitments, I’m going to have to decline.”

That’s it. Don’t add anything else like, “But maybe next time” or make up a story why you can’t do it. In doing this you’re making it easier for them to move on and not keep hope alive that you’ll change your mind. You’re giving both of you the greatest gift of a clear NO. You’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off you! And you won’t regret it when you hear how they had to stay until midnight doing the place cards and you were treating yourself to some much-needed downtime!


When you become self-considerate, all aspects of your life will start to improve.

Even though it’s a little uncomfortable to do at first, when you become disciplined about doing it, you’ll see how much more time you have to focus on the most important things in your business and your life. Consequently, your health and relationships will improve, your business will get more traction and your overall life happiness will rise.

Take the first step to being self-considerate and see how it improves your life!

Is Your Personality Type Helping or Hurting You?

Is your personality helping or hurting you?
Are you leveraging your strengths, or are you derailing your success?

How well do you know your personality type?

Are you the person who’s a dreamer? The one who always has a lot of great ideas, but has trouble putting them into action?

Do you talk about the big project you’re working on that’s always getting delayed because you want it to be perfect?

Maybe you’re a workaholic who works nonstop and never takes time for themselves?

Perhaps you’re the person who is so scared to take risks that they’ve been in the same role for years, even though you don’t enjoy your job anymore?

If any of these descriptions resonate with you, chances are you may not be aware of how your personality type could be holding you back.

How well do you know yourself?

When I was asked this in the past, I didn’t have a good answer. I had a general idea that I was good at making connections and that I had a knack for reading people. I’d taken some personality tests in the past like Myers Briggs, but my results seemed to change every time so they didn’t seem accurate.

I’d never sat down to evaluate my greatest strengths until my coaching certification training.  We had to take several different personality tests and two tests in particular- the Core Values Index and Strengths Finder helped me see myself in an entirely different light. When you see your strengths clearly outlined on paper, it’s like a lightbulb goes off. You think, “Oh yeah! I AM really good at that!” When I learned about my personality type, the clearer it became to me how to focus on doing the things I’m best at to grow my business more effectively. The best part is that it led to greater work life balance because I learned to stop doing the things I wasn’t good at or didn’t like to do.

When you see your strengths clearly outlined on paper, it’s like a lightbulb goes off. You think, “Oh yeah! I AM really good at that!”

The Core Values Index Assessment (the CVI)

The CVI Assessment was originally designed for companies to give their employees to make sure they were in the right seats at work based on their personality type. It shows what people’s greatest strengths are, and what energizes and motivates them most at work. By understanding this, employers could make sure they were leveraging each employees’ talents to the greatest of their abilities. They would know what types of tasks each employee should focus on that they were best at and enjoyed doing. This led to higher productivity and efficiency, greater engagement and increased fulfillment at work. As a result, businesses could see increased bottom lines and fewer missed days of work.

How the CVI can help you feel understood

After taking the CVI assessment, it was the first time I felt understood. I finally realized why I’d never fit in the corporate world and why I’d never felt happy in the typical 9 to 5 workday. I’d always thought there was something wrong with me. Now I know my personality type and that I’m born to be an entrepreneur. Not only have I found a career in coaching that I absolutely love, but I’ve had greater success in this job than in any other I’ve had in the past.

Take the CVI here to uncover your greatest strengths.

When you truly understand your strengths, you can leverage them to become your biggest moneymaker.

The Four Core Value Types

There are four main core value personality types: Merchant, Innovator, Builder and Banker.

The CVI assessment will tell you your two top core value types. Every person is a blend of the four different types. The degree to which you exhibit each type is shown in your results as a series of four colored areas. If one area is very large, that means you are in alignment with that type the majority of the time and find it energizing. If an area is very small, then it takes a lot of effort and you will find it de-motivating to do those types of activities because they drain you. Let’s review the four different personality types and highlight what their greatest strengths are. You can also watch my Facebook live here where I go over the CVI.


Merchants are driven to make connections and build relationships. They can see opportunities for the future that others can’t, and they have the ability to see the truth. This combination makes them inspired to help and motivate people. They are driven to build communities and love to share their ideas with others. They naturally attract others to them and thrive on appreciation and recognition from others. They are generally extroverted and act on their intuition. Many Merchants become entrepreneurs. Their greatest contribution to the world is relationships and vision.

The greatest challenges of a Merchant

  • Being driven by their emotions
  • Having a hard time saying no
  • Getting easily distracted by new ideas (squirrel syndrome)
  • Not wanting to “get into the weeds” to finish projects they’ve started
  • Being self-motivated to consistently do the less enjoyable tasks (Banker or Builder type tasks)

Strategies for a Merchant

If you’re a merchant and you find that you don’t have any time for your business, take a look at your last week and evaluate the following:

  • What did you say yes to that you shouldn’t have?
  • What three things do you need to accomplish this week to move your business forward?
  • How can you commit to doing them no matter what?
  • Don’t take on any new projects unless you complete those three things.

Merchants need to remember: When you say no to something, you’re saying YES to a higher priority.


Innovators are strategic thinkers and problem solvers. They love making systems and processes better and helping people and things to function well together. They don’t give up easily and will stick with people or a problem until it’s solved. They’re more introverted and rely on their mental abilities instead of their intuition. Innovators do well in situations where they’re spending the majority of their time solving problems, or creating things like writing, art, photography etc.

Their highest contribution to the world is assessment and creating solutions.

The greatest challenges of an Innovator

  • Perfectionism and not putting things out into the world before they’re ready.
  • Overanalyzing
  • Taking too long to make a decision
  • Doubting themselves and being their own worst critic

Innovators will keep working on things and keep trying to perfect them because they think it can always be better which leads to delays, even if it’s ready.

Strategies for an Innovator

If you’re an innovator and you’re not seeing any traction in your business, take a look at your last week and evaluate the following:

  • What is something I’ve been working on for too long that will move my business forward?
  • What am I overanalyzing that’s causing me to not take action?
  • What thoughts am I having that may be preventing me from believing in myself?
  • Don’t take on any new projects until the ones you’ve started are completed.

A really important strategy for innovators is to set deadlines and stick to them. The shorter, the better.

Innovators need to remember: Done is better than perfect.


Builders are people who take action and are natural leaders. They love getting things done now and seeing results from their action or leadership. They rely on their instincts, are high risk takers, and are highly self-motivated. Builders flourish in situations where they can take charge and not be micromanaged. Therefore they do well when they have a lot of room to make decisions and act. Their highest contribution to the world is action and results.

The greatest challenges of a Builder

  • Working too hard
  • Being impatient and getting frustrated easily if others around them aren’t competent or work hard
  • Making time for themselves and their own well-being

Builders tend to be workaholics. If they’re not careful, it can lead to burnout very quickly. For example, if they’re a Merchant Builder, they have a hard time saying no so they end up doing everything for everyone. Therefore, they need to have patience when working with others who aren’t builders and give people enough time to complete projects.

Strategies for a Builder

They need to set clear boundaries around their work and personal time and stick to it. They will do whatever it takes to get things done so they need to learn to put their health and mental and emotional well-being first.

Builders need to remember: It doesn’t all have to be done now.


Bankers are the least understood group. They are the people who protect us from risk. They love having all the facts and data and have the best knowledge. They are self-motivated and are good at doing detail-oriented work. They do not rely on their intuition- they rely solely on their mental abilities and on things that can be proven. They do well working in stable environments that have rules and procedures. Their highest contribution to the world is risk avoidance and information.

There aren’t too many entrepreneurs who are Bankers because they avoid risk, and what’s riskier than starting your own business?

The greatest challenges of a Banker

  • Being open to new ideas and opportunities
  • Reluctance to put themselves out there
  • Taking risks
  • Thinking outside the box

As a result, Bankers often times miss golden opportunities because they avoid risk at all costs, which can prevent them from having real success. They don’t believe anything unless it’s proven, and are reluctant to try anything new. This can cause them to not tap into their full potential.

Strategies for a Banker

Be open to opportunities and trying new things. Find an accountability partner like a Merchant or a Builder who can encourage you to take more risks. Challenge yourself to try one new thing per week to get out of your comfort zone.

Bankers need to remember: Take the risk or lose the chance.

Analyzing Your CVI Result

After you take the CVI, you’ll get a notification with a short video describing your personality type and an image of your results that will look something like this:

A typical CVI assessment result

In this example, this person is a Merchant Innovator. They are a very high Merchant, and will spend over 90% of their time exhibiting that type. In addition, their Innovator is also fairly high, so they will find acting as an Innovator energizing. On the other hand, they are very small in both the Builder and Banker areas, which means it takes a lot of effort to do those types of activities and they find them draining. It doesn’t mean they can’t do them, but it takes a lot more energy and it’s not something they enjoy doing.

Ideally you should be spending 80% of your time in the areas you’re highest in and limit the amount of time in the areas you’re lowest in for your personality type.

You should be spending 80% of your time using your greatest strengths.


Your personality type can be your greatest asset or your biggest liability. If you understand your greatest strengths, you’ll know what areas you should focus on and what things to be aware of that could derail your success.

As a result, you start to focus your energies in the areas you’re highest in, and you’ll become more productive, efficient and happier. After that, you’ll start to see more success in both your business and your personal life. And you’ll be contributing to the world as the best version of yourself, which is the ultimate path to happiness and fulfillment.