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What Happened To Me When I Said NO To Meetings For A Month.

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Online success is not all it’s cracked up to be. With it comes the biggest burden of all: requests for your time.

“You can have my freaking money; you know what, you can have my art; you can have my advice for free (I don’t care) but what I realized is you can’t have my time”

When I had this epiphany, I made the decision to start saying no to meetings. Meetings come disguised like the Big Bad Wolf out of Red Riding Hood as the following:

· Podcast interviews

· Coffee Catch ups

· Phone calls

· Product demonstrations

· Joining Slack/Messenger/WhatsApp groups

· I’m in town and don’t know you, but we should catch up”

All of these demands of my time started to add up. Five minutes here. Ten minutes there. Before I knew it, my dream to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development looked dead as a dodo.


The 4-hour meeting request.

Okay, this is not the name of Tim Ferriss’s upcoming book — it’s a coincidence. The other day, this dude at work sent me a 4-hour meeting request with 24-hour’s notice.

When I saw the invitation, I instantly declined. Meetings that don’t respect my time or my colleagues’ time are declined — always.

This meeting request was the trigger for the title of this article. It made me take a forced “Meeting Vacation” for one month.

I said no to meetings for an entire month.

It wasn’t easy and I thought it was going to be almost impossible to deliver on this promise I made to myself. Meetings have become a part of everyday life. Many meetings happen without us realizing through realtime message apps.

None the less, I tried this meeting detox experiment.

Before I tell you the result, here’s some thoughts to begin with:


Thought 1: Just because everyone else is doing meetings, doesn’t mean you need to.

Meetings are hip and cool. People say yes to meetings all day long without thinking why.

When you challenge people to explain why they need a meeting, you figure out that often they don’t know.

This means they scratch their own itch and talk themselves out of their own meeting. The meeting gets cancelled, I celebrate and fist punch the air, and everyone wins.

Asking why messes up every unconscious thought.

It’s the one question that can kill any preconceived idea or habit. ‘Why’ requires the meeting requester to go deep down inside their own skull and answer the question “What’s the meeting for and is it important?”


Thought 2: When faced with the need to make a decision, many of us want to have a meeting instead.

This problem occurs because we’re not trained to make decisions. We spend all of our decision-making energy on dumb stuff like “What am I going to have for lunch?” or “What should I wear today?”

Meetings are a way to defer a decision to some point in the future when maybe we’ll all think differently, drive a Ferrari and have enough money that this problem won’t freaking matter anymore.

I challenge everyone to make more decisions instead of having more meetings that don’t lead to decisions (okay calm down Tim, breathe).


Thought 3: Meetings always take longer.

· You’ve got the commute to the meeting.

· The setup to the meeting.

· The niceties like “How was your weekend?” at the start of the meeting.

· Preparation for the meeting.

I could go on for ages, but you get my point. Meetings are like a giant build-up that often leads to disappointment. If you think about the real time it takes to have a meeting, you realize why they are a productivity killer.

The work that needs to be done to achieve a goal or set of goals requires time.

“The time you need is in the meetings you say no to”

Count the real cost of time that a meeting entails, and you too may decide to do a meeting detox for a month.

Here’s what happened when I said no to meetings for a month:


I expected people to be pissed.

I thought that the biggest challenge of no meetings for a month would be how pissed off I’d make people. I realized this was a nightmare that wasn’t true in reality.

When you explain in detail why you’re saying no to a meeting, and you do it with respect, people understand.

I even started saying things like:

“Hey thanks for the invite, I’m trialing a month of no meetings to achieve some pretty audacious goals. Appreciate the invite but I’ll have to respectfully decline at this stage. Hope the meeting goes well.”

So many meetings get declined for various reasons that the meeting organizer almost never takes it to heart. It’s standard practice that if you invite 30 people to a meeting, not all of them will show up.

I decided to become a no-show statistic for a month where I was permanently on the didn’t attend list which was one person longer because I wasn’t attending — no biggie.

The big moment for me was when I realized people don’t really care that much if you show up to a meeting. I thought they did care. I was wrong and so are you. Sorry.


Blank space feels so good.

Ever had a nice warm latte first thing in the morning? That’s what it feels like to start the day with no meetings in your calendar. All I saw for a month was my Outlook Calendar full of white space.

The feeling was so freeing and I didn’t realize how good it felt until I did it.

There’s nothing worse than waking up at 5 am (Australian time) to jump on a podcast at 6 am (USA time) when all you want to do is sit down and write or edit another blog post.

Have a meeting with blank space instead and you’ll feel a whole lot better.


You get to do things that really matter.

Because I had less of other people’s meetings, it gave me time to tick off tasks that I had been putting off. I did the following:

  • Sold a bunch of junk on eBay
  • Wrote twice the number of blog posts
  • Spent more time with my girlfriend
  • Spent time sitting on the couch and thinking about the future

These types of activities add meaning to my life and make me happy. Without the giant boulder covering the road that led to my goals, I was able to do things that matter.

Executing on meaningful tasks is so much better than any meeting ever will be.


The blocker to all business became apparent.

When I divorced meetings for a month, I sat back and thought about business. I thought about all the meetings I attended in my career to date.

During this wild west thought exploration I discovered that the cliché of “Meetings cost business so much” started to sink in.

Most of the problems in business that need solving don’t ever seem to get resolved in meetings.

Meetings from this point on started to appear as a blocker to creativity. Creativity, I’ve learned, is one of the best ways to solve a problem and unblock the flow of business.


There was time to nap.

I know what you’re thinking: “Tim, you lazy son of a gun. As if you have time to nap.”

I normally wouldn’t have time to nap, but after taking a meeting detox, I was able to squeeze in a 15-minute nap.

Doesn’t sound like much but it gave me an energy increase in the afternoon, when most people’s energy levels fall off a cliff (rescuing yourself with sugar doesn’t work either, tried that).

The research on napping has been around for a while, so I’m not going to throw that dirt in your face again and expect you to swallow it.

My only advice would be to trial it and then write me a nasty comment saying “Tim you A-HOLE you’re wrong again.” P.S — I probably won’t reply 🙂


There was less gossip and office politics.

Meetings can easily turn into a whinge session or a “Let’s complain about someone because they’re not here and can’t hear us.”

By doing fewer meetings, there was less gossip. I didn’t have to fight the temptation to talk nice (we all face this) because I wasn’t there.

I was politely declining and aiming for goals and outcomes instead. And other times I was doing things that really matter (like I said before).

Meetings are a breeding ground for toxicity if you overdose on them. Somewhere along the way, that meeting you know you should have opted out of but didn’t, comes back to bite you on your well-toned gym ass and fill you with regret.


Less Caffeine.

Meetings often involve tea or coffee also known as caffeine. Many of us overdose on this addiction because it feels good (even me the Mr 4 am Habits Guy that’s supposed to be super disciplined).

By doing no meetings, the decision to ingest caffeine became my choice. It was far easier to be disciplined because I didn’t have to fall into society’s standard of rolling up to a meeting and drinking what everyone else is drinking because “that’s just how we do things in Australia, mate.”

I may be a descendant of Captain Cook and I may have worked next to Kangaroos (lots of them) for two years, but I’ll be damned, this no meeting thing certainly helped with the coffee/tea obsession that we have in this great country.


Stress levels reduced.

I’m very aware of my stress levels and no matter how hard I try, more meetings equal greater stress.

Stress gives me brain fog (according to my doctor) and only makes the already huge problem I have with stress even worse.

See, I have twice the amount of cortisol in my body than you’re supposed to have. I’m doing the best I can to reduce it and it’s working, but I found an overdose of meetings was definitely not helping the situation.

Removing meetings for a month made me feel good.


Published twice the number of blog posts.

I mentioned this one already, but it was such a big win that I want to mention it again in more detail.

By saying no to meetings for a month, I did more of the one thing that makes me endlessly happy: inspiring the world through personal development and entrepreneurship.

In its physical, non-mystical, touchable form (if consumed on a ‘not so smartphone’) this looks like blog posts.

I went on a freaking frenzy and wrote as much inspiration and life/career lessons as I could. Upping the number of blog posts allowed me to help more people and I got more messages of thanks and gratitude for doing it.

This small feat may seem like total BS, but to me, it matters. You too have that one thing that has the same meaning in your life. It may not be blogging, but you have it — trust me.

By quitting meetings, throwing them out the window, punching the air and charging forward without them, you too can do the work you were born to do.

I’m not saying you should never attend another meeting again; what I’m saying is a meeting detox will help you see what time is being wasted and you’ll get better at saying no to the unimportant ones in the future.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Entrepreneurs

10 Lucrative Buy and Sell Businesses to Start in 2024

The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches

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Businesses to start in 2024

In the dynamic landscape of 2024, starting a business that capitalizes on buy-and-sell models can be incredibly lucrative. This article explores ten different models that entrepreneurs can consider. These ventures range from real estate flipping to trading in domains and luxury items, providing a broad spectrum of opportunities regardless of your initial capital or interest area.

1. Car Flipping

Flipping cars can be a very lucrative business venture for an individual with business acumen, an eye for value, and mechanically adept at cars. It involves buying under-priced cars, restoring, and selling them for a profit. For deeper insights and opportunities in this market, refer to sca.auction.

2. Real Estate Flipping

Flipping real estate—be it houses, condos, or even commercial properties—remains pretty solid business, especially in markets where real estate values are on the way up. Investors buy properties relatively low, do rehab or renovation, then sell at a profit.

The success of the area is endowed with a huge potential spotlight, the ability to juggle various elements such as local real estate market knowledge, and efficient management of renovations.

3. Vintage E-commerce

With the advent of technology, it became easy to sell vintage or retro items over the online selling platform. Be it clothes, furniture, or even collectibles, consumers these days prefer something unique that is eco-friendly and which may have a nostalgia quotient in it. Hence, it brings the opportunity to open an e-commerce shop effectively.

4. Domain Flipping

If you have the skill to predict catchy phrases or business names that would be popular in the future, then buying and selling domain names would be a very profitable business. Register prices are available to purchase domains, which later can be sold at high prices to interested parties or businesses that wish to get an early online identity.

5. Luxury Items

One of the most promising buy-and-sell businesses is the luxury market, and what makes it very attractive is its less sensitivity towards economic downturns. Some of the common items in the luxury market include high-end watches, jewelry, and art, rare cars, all with high yields. Most times, items do appreciate, especially when they are limited editions.

6. Sports Memorabilia

While the sports memorabilia trading business can at times seem lucrative, especially when one focuses on big personae or big events, authenticity and rarity can definitely help items fetch top dollar. Provenance and limited supply both go towards inflating their values.

7. Sneaker Reselling

In recent years, the sneaker resale market has exploded, fueled by a commodity of scarce releases and athletic brand collaborations with a list of celebrities. Today, with operations such as StockX and GOAT, it’s really that easy to break into the worldwide market. It’s pretty easy to find your buyers and make a very good profit if you’re targeting the right trend and releases.

8. Book Flipping

Flipping rare and first editions can become a really meaningful, and yes, one more profitable, business for a book lover. Sometimes the signed ones, rare manuscripts, or those early editions of famous novels could sell for thousands of dollars, usually done by collectors or academic institutions.

9. Furniture Upcycling

Upcycling furniture consists of restoring and using second-hand furniture to sell it at a higher price. For the environmentally aware consumer, this business model has great appeal. It could be pretty profitable if done with good taste and talent in design and restoration.

10. Electronics Flipping

Smartphones, tablets, and laptops resell at values significantly high; hence, business ensues. Buy, refurbish, and sell in better condition to appeal to budget-minded consumers looking for technology at more affordable price points. 

Overall, The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches. Be it real estate flipping or vintage item upcycling, you can succeed in both models with market understanding and trend application. That, with careful planning and strategic investment, will throw huge financial returns for these business models in 2024.

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Entrepreneurs

How Your Business Can Outmaneuver Your Competitors by 85%

Did you know that companies that master big data can outmaneuver competitors by 85% in sales

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big data strategy

Did you know that companies that master big data can outmaneuver competitors by 85% in sales and more than 25% in gross margins? Sounds inspiring, right? But the thing is that data alone isn’t enough. Rather, it’s the strategy behind it that unlocks these enviable boosts. So, this article explores how to make the most out of your big data and build a strategy that’s functional and competitive. (more…)

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Most Entrepreneurs Fail to Do This and It’s Killing Their Success

Celebrating progress also provides entrepreneurs with the psychological sustenance needed to endure the marathon of building a business

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celebrate your milestones

The journey from a mere concept to a tangible reality is one of the most exhilarating yet challenging paths an entrepreneur can navigate. This odyssey is punctuated by milestones that stand as testaments to perseverance, innovation, and relentless hard work.  (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

9 Ways Augmented Reality Gives Your Business a Competitive Edge

By embracing AR technology, companies can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success

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augmented reality in business

Leveraging Augmented Reality for Business Advancement: Exploring Applications

In the ever-evolving landscape of business innovation, Augmented Reality in business emerges as a transformative force, reshaping traditional paradigms and unlocking new opportunities for growth and advancement.

Through a comprehensive examination of AR’s capabilities, applications, and business benefits, this article serves as a roadmap for enterprises seeking to harness the full potential of augmented reality to propel their success in the digital age.

UNI.Agency as a forefront developmental agency tailors unmatched digital products and immersive experiences. They help companies outperform their competitors and customers’ expectations. And now, there is time to delve deep into the AR realm.

Gaining Insight into Augmented Reality

From revolutionizing customer experiences to optimizing operational efficiency, AR in retail is poised to drive significant advancements in how businesses operate and engage with their stakeholders.

Augmented Reality (AR) seamlessly integrates digital information and virtual objects into the real-world environment, offering users an immersive and interactive experience through devices like smartphones or AR glasses.

It revolutionizes various industries, from entertainment to healthcare, by enhancing perception and creating innovative opportunities for engagement and exploration in the digital era. AR not only enriches our understanding of reality but also opens up new possibilities for creativity, communication, and problem-solving, making it a powerful tool for businesses seeking to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations in an increasingly digital world.

Differentiating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) overlays digital elements onto the real world, enhancing the user’s perception of their environment. Virtual Reality (VR), however, immerses users in entirely virtual environments, blocking out the real world. There are some core differences between these two technologies in gear and display approaches:

  • AR enriches reality with digital information, while VR creates entirely immersive virtual experiences.
  • AR typically requires less specialized hardware, like smartphones or AR glasses, while VR often involves dedicated headsets.
  • AR is commonly used for enhancing real-world experiences, such as in gaming, retail, and navigation, encouraging augmented reality shopping. Whereas VR is primarily employed for immersive simulations, training, and entertainment in fully virtual environments.

The Influence of AR on the Customer Experience Journey

As of 2024, Augmented Reality (AR) has evolved into an indispensable tool across various sectors, offering immersive and interactive experiences that seamlessly blend digital elements with the real world.

Stimulating Interest

Augmented Reality (AR) captivates customers by offering visually engaging experiences that spark curiosity and intrigue, enticing them to explore products or services further.

AR’s ability to overlay digital content onto the real world creates an immersive and attention-grabbing experience, drawing customers in and igniting their interest.

Educating and Empowering Users

AR in business empowers users by providing interactive and informative experiences that educate them about products, services, or concepts in a visually compelling manner.

Through AR, customers can interact with virtual models, animations, or informational overlays, gaining a deeper understanding of the features, benefits, or use cases of the offerings.

Exploring Further Depths

AR encourages customers to delve deeper into products or services by offering immersive and interactive experiences that go beyond traditional marketing materials.

By allowing users to explore virtual representations of products in real-world contexts, AR in retail provides a unique opportunity for customers to visualize how offerings fit into their lives, fostering deeper engagement and understanding.

Business Benefits of Augmented Reality

Businesses utilize AR for diverse applications, including product visualization, virtual try-ons, and enhanced customer engagement. In education, AR transforms learning experiences by providing interactive simulations and visualizations.

Additionally, AR has become integral to industries such as healthcare, where it facilitates surgical training and patient education. With advancements in AR technology and widespread adoption, it continues to shape how we perceive and interact with our environment, ushering in a new era of innovation and connectivity.

Let’s look at why AR has become so indispensable as a business tool nowadays.

Revolutionizing Training Methods

AR in business transforms training by offering immersive, interactive simulations that replicate real-world scenarios, enhancing employee learning and skill development.

It’s lucrative for hands-on training experiences. Since there’s no need for physical equipment or environments, reducing costs and logistical constraints while improving knowledge retention and performance.

Boosting Productivity Levels

Augmented Reality in business boosts productivity by providing real-time access to information and guidance, allowing employees to complete tasks more efficiently and accurately.

Through AR-powered tools and applications, workers can streamline workflows, troubleshoot issues, and collaborate effectively, resulting in increased output and operational efficiency.

Implementing Dynamic Marketing Approaches

AR enables businesses to implement dynamic marketing strategies that captivate and engage audiences in unique ways.

By integrating AR into marketing campaigns, companies can create interactive experiences that drive brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales conversions, setting themselves apart in a crowded marketplace.

Fostering Product Development

Augmented reality and marketing foster innovation in product development by facilitating virtual prototyping, design iterations, and collaborative decision-making.

With AR, teams can visualize and test product concepts in 3D, gather feedback from stakeholders, and make informed design decisions faster, leading to faster time-to-market and more successful product launches.

Creating Tailored Customer Experiences

AR creates personalized customer experiences by allowing users to interact with products and services in customized ways.

Through AR-enhanced applications and experiences, businesses can tailor content, recommendations, and promotions to individual preferences and behaviors, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Amplifying Brand Recognition

Augmented Reality shopping amplifies brand recognition by providing memorable and shareable experiences that leave a lasting impression on customers.

By incorporating AR into branding initiatives, companies can create immersive brand experiences that spark conversations, increase social media engagement, and strengthen brand loyalty, ultimately driving business growth and success.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Augmented Reality in business stands as a transformative force, offering a multitude of benefits across various aspects of operations. From revolutionizing training methods to boosting productivity levels, AR empowers businesses to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.

By embracing AR technology, companies can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success, while delivering immersive and engaging experiences that resonate with customers and stakeholders alike.

As AR continues to evolve and integrate into everyday business practices, Uni will incorporate the best practices to promote business advancement and drive meaningful change for the clients. We’re to shape the future of commerce to your benefit.

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