Saying no when it comes to your business seems easy enough, right?
“No” is only two letters…but it can evoke so many loaded responses.
I’ve never had a problem saying no to anything outside of work. If I don’t have the time, if something makes me uncomfortable or if I just need some space, “no” comes very easily. But for some reason, it’s always felt harder when running my own business. There’s a reputation to uphold. It never feels good disappointing people. It’s nice to be helpful. So even when I should say no, I sometimes say yes.
The thing is, your business will have a hard time growing into what you envision if you’re afraid to say no. I know that sounds counter-intuitive so let me explain: If your calendar is full of calls, meetings, projects and events you’re not excited about but agreed to do anyway, you’re going to be completely drained of energy before you even scratch the surface of all the things you feel passionate about.
Saying no is uncomfortable but it’s the only way to keep your sanity intact and more times than not, you can actually turn it into a positive for yourself and the person on the other side.
If you’re tripping up about saying no, remind yourself of these 5 points:
1. It’s not personal. Business is business. If you don’t feel you can truly deliver what someone is asking of you, saying no is going to help both of you in the long run. Hurt feelings are better than missed deadlines and broken contracts.
2. You have to protect your time. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else. You have an infinite amount of energy, so use it wisely. It’s as simple as that.
3. You know what’s best for you. If something doesn’t feel like the perfect fit, recommend someone who you feel can do an amazing job — saying no can help others around you grow their businesses.
4. Your values are everything. When you say yes when you should say no, you’re compromising what your business stands for. Always choose quality over quantity so you have the space to produce the best possible outcome for your clients.
5. High pressure equals sub-par work. And honestly? Nobody wants that. If timelines and deliverables feel out of your reach, it’s important to be honest. Your clients will respect you for being a professional and setting guidelines.
Saying No Isn’t The End of The Road
Saying no doesn’t have to be abrupt or rude – it should always be done with care and consideration.
When you say no, always offer helpful solutions, referrals or recommendations. Being genuinely helpful will make you memorable for all the right reasons.
Your turn: Are you good at saying no when it comes to your business? Have you been in any tough situations? Do you have any tips to make it easier?