How To Boost Your Business Success By Saying NO
As Tony Blair put it, “The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It’s very easy to say yes.”
Nobody wants to lose future opportunities by saying no to someone. I know that. We all know that.
But in doing business, you’ll come across many things that you’ll have to say no to for the sake of doing successful business.
Trash work fills up your time slot with things that aren’t productive for you, which means it’s depriving you of the opportunities that could boost your success rate.
- Just like you decide what you want to do, it’s important to decide “what you don’t want to do”
- When you look at a successful profile, focus on the things they ‘didn’t do’ rather than what they did
The human problem
We want to do everything right now. We want to travel more. We want to learn a language. We want to succeed in business. We want to learn playing guitar. We want a healthy relationship with everyone.
Because, “the ever-fixed bug in your head says, what if this is your last chance to do this?”
Well. These aren’t smart goals.
How many hours can you manage in a day? Not even 25. Nope.
Drawbacks of the YES-SIR mentality
Saying yes to everything is anything but productive.
It’s important that you decide on some smart goals, which work is priority, urgent or unimportant. It’s your business, your goals, your path and your time. THINK.
• Compromising on goals?
The people approaching you with unproductive work offers are following their goals. You have yours to take care of. Erase such distractions from your schedule and focus on your goal.
Your business isn’t a “here-to-please-everyone” Christmas booth at a white elephant Christmas party. Nope. Unless YOU think that it is.
• Are you an aid or a vision?
Are you just the Kayak that’s taking people across the Island,or you’re a private boat moving towards a private destination?Helping people may be your goal entirely, but deciding what kind of help, that is your call, and yours only to decide.Say no to what doesn’t suit your business.
• Time management issues
Better take up work that you can manage in the specific time. Getting too many projects may feel like such a blessing and accomplishment for the time being. But eventually, you’ll be compromising on the end-product for each work, with an already exhausted mind and next to nothing in the book of goal achievement.
• No Room left for what you love to do
If you need to taste this new food, you’ve got to take something off your plate. There’s no room for new work. Your space is already exhausted.
• How do you evaluate success?
How on Earth are you going to get any time for evaluating your success if you keep stacking up work for yourself?
You’re in a race with no time to stop and check where the finishing line is. You’re running just because everybody else is running. Say no to mob mentality.
• Compromising on Value
Despite being a team player, despite being this happy kid, this very flexible grinning guy who greets everybody, it’s crucial that you learn to say no to unimportant things. You need value in return to your time. No value means no saying ‘yes’.
How to analyze what should be taken and what should be rejected
Ask yourself questions like:
Does the work suit your goal?
Does the client need what you’re providing? Or you’re being asked to provide what the client needs? There’s a difference. If the project benefits their goal, but not your goal, say no.
What benefit are you getting in return?
Are they focused on a symbiotic relationship or they consider you an oil well to exploit? Always focus on the outcome. This isn’t a charity. You need revenue.Clients who don’t have a real business and don’t want to pay a reasonable amount are worth zero.Say no to them.
Does the client value your time and effort?
Do they understand that you too have a normal life and other work? Do they pay you for the time they need from you? If no, say no. If they have wasted your time in the past, say no.
Is this your target audience?
If the work is not your specialty, say no. If the client’s need isn’t focused on the value you’re providing, say no. Don’t take up a designer’s work when you’re a developer. Instead, let some expert deal with that and focus on what you’re an expert of.
Is it worth it?
If you’re the CEO, make sure to communicate with the client about what’s already on your plate, how much time you need, how much priority they need, and whether they’re willing to pay for the urgency.
How to say ‘NO’
Coming to the most important part, how to say no.
Saying no is important because it gives you a sense of direction, and keeps you focused on one goal.
You can’t promise writing a book if your goal is to be the best fashion designer out there. You can’t give psychology treatment if your goal is providing website consultancy.
Even if the tasks are similar to your niche but not entirely yours, it’s okay to refuse them.
If you chase one ball in soccer, you score a goal. That’s how you get victory.
If you run after ten balls, you get nothing.
You may consider the following while saying no.
1. Be polite
Being polite means greeting, thanking them for considering you worthy of it, but saying no in the end. It means you know the difference between ‘rejecting’ and ‘informing that you aren’t available’.
2. Take your time
It’s okay to politely inquire about the nature of the task. It’s not Aladdin’s lamp. The genie won’t disappear. It’s okay to ask more questions, and take your time to decide if it suits your goals.
3. Get back to them
Okay now, you know if it’s worthy of your time or not. Make sure you don’t keep them hanging. Take up the work or politely inform them of your not-so-available bandwidth and they’ll understand.
4. Don’t give dishonest reasons
Clearly explain why you’re saying no. Come to the point. Don’t be dishonest.
– I can’t do this because my sister is getting married. NO.
– I can’t do this because uh, well, I wanted to learn swimming this month. NO.
– I can’t take this up because I’m not the right person for the job, I’ll recommend someone better. YES.
– I already dedicated myself to a huge project, sorry but this one’s not mine to take. YES.
5. Don’t over explain
Over explaining only means you’re guilty. Or you’re lying. Coming up with excuses is just frustrating for both of you. You don’t have time for over-explaining. Politely tell them why. Move on. Kill the guilt right there.
6. Recommend some help and move on
If you know of any experts that excel at the proposed work, or if you can outsource it, it’s okay to make introductions. It gives your intentions a reliability card and a credibility. You are trying to help. Now move on from the pain of having disappointed someone.
Oh! The Fear!!
The next time you feel like saying yes just because you’re afraid of disappointing people, remember that you can’t feed all the fish in the entire ocean. You’re here for achieving goals.
If you’re afraid that you won’t get another opportunity like this again, remind yourself of the cow. Don’t be like the cow that keeps over-grazing, thinking there will be no grass tomorrow.
You will always get work if you keep your slots free for it.There will always be an abundance of right opportunities if you say no to the wrong ones.
When you falter, think about why you started. Consider the huge market you have. Understand that there are numerous people needing your service, because that’s why you started off in the field.
“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best”. – John C. Maxwell
Welp, you might still be too good for this World, still thinking you’re doing people injustice by saying no. In that case, I’ll drop a bomb shell. “The robbing mentality”.
The robbing mentality
If this makes you feel better, think of it this way.
When there’s somebody else who is more efficient at a certain job and loves doing it, don’t rob them off the opportunity.
You’ve got your own expertise to fulfill and enjoy. Saying no to that work lets you do your work better, while others do their work in a better way.
If you’re not excited by an opportunity, it’s not an opportunity. It’s a responsibility. Let someone else get excited by it. You’re not the thief that robs people off their jobs. Right?
Goodbye, but keep your filter on!
It means filtering out what takes you closer to your goal and what distracts you away from it.
When I know that my goal is becoming the best food blogger out there, I won’t feature beauty products on my blog. That doesn’t strengthen my goals.
You can’t let people set your agenda in life. Everybody has their own. Create your own and dig up a well on it. Achieving goals is what makes you successful.