The Secret of Success: Knowing When to Say No

August 28, 2019

Yes Man is a great movie.

But if you’re applying the same philosophy to your business, you may soon realize you’re not exactly heading in the direction you were hoping for.

One of the secrets to building a sustainable business lies in knowing when it’s the right time to say no – to clients, business offers, and opportunities of all kinds that just don’t click with you and your vision.

Here’s some advice you may find helpful when it comes to saying no.

A huge mindset shift is in order.

First things first – check with yourself to see what core beliefs you have around saying no to business opportunities, requests, and income.

The most common beliefs and misconceptions behind why we say YES when we really want to say NO are:

  • If I don’t take this one, there won’t be any other opportunities.
  • I’m not exactly thrilled but the budget this month is really thin.
  • They’re a long-term client of mine and I just can’t turn them down.
  • I don’t really have the time for this but I’ll squeeze it over the weekend.

Any of that sound familiar?

Here’s an important truth you need to know: you have the right to say no to any and everything you want to say no to.

And if you want to see yourself running a thriving and successful business a few years down the line, then you should say NO to more things that aren’t a HELL YES.

How do you tell if saying NO is the right move?

If you’re ever unsure about something, here’s a little help to support you…

If you’re scared there won’t be other opportunities…

Most of the time, you’re a one-person show. And when you’re a one-person show – meaning you spend most of your time working on your own – it’s easy to let fear get the best of you.

What if there are no other projects this month?! What if I miss out on a great opportunity here?!

Yes, sometimes, in the world of business, you say no and you miss out on a really big opportunity.

But most of the time? That’s not the case.

Every no I’ve said so far resulted in at least a few GREAT yeses – projects and people that were really, truly on the same page as me!

If you’re doing it just for the money…

We all work for money, it’s an important part of the equation.

However, if that’s the only incentive and you’re only agreeing to a project you’d absolutely and positively hate doing for the money it will provide, then you’re not doing anyone involved a favor.

In the era of the Internet—the era of endless possibilities—it’d be a shame to waste your time and energy on something that doesn’t really excite you. Decline that offer and focus on projects that bring you joy instead.  

If you can feel your energy fizzling out…

As a solopreneuer, it’s easy to overwork yourself to the brink of exhaustion. But replacing a 9-5 job with exhausting and never-ending entrepreneurial work weeks isn’t exactly why you started this journey, is it?

If saying yes means compromising on sleep or sacrificing a large chunk of your free time, then it’s okay to turn it down. Yes, even if those are your long term clients!

You’re not being ungrateful or lazy for doing so. You’re just taking proper care of you and your wellbeing so you’re able to continue doing this for many, many years to come.

If you feel something’s… off…

Remember, your gut never lies – and if you learn how to listen to it, it’s easily going to become one of your most trusted allies.

It’s completely okay if you decide to say NO to something – or someone – based on what your intuition is saying. Even if you don’t have a solid list of reasons WHY you’re saying no… you just KNOW that it’s a no.

Sometimes, it may not be aligned to your true purpose; other times, it’s just not the right thing for you, and you don’t know exactly why.

Don’t forget: your intuition picks up on the red flags much sooner than you do. Don’t wait for it to play out in a really challenging way, just trust yourself up front.

Do you know when it’s the right time to say no?

Leave me a comment and let me know – I’d love to hear back from you!

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