March 2, 2018

If there’s one trait that connects entrepreneurs and business owners, it’s wearing too many hats. There’s a lot to be said for about the power of saying no.

We’re not talking about shutting down opportunities, but rather, making room for them. The word yes is important for taking risks and following your gut. It takes an open-hearted, intuitive approach to say yes. This is important in business.

But then there’s all those times you say yes when you really want to shout no. The word no has almost become a no-go. Today’s society celebrates being ‘busy’, so naturally, you say yes to more because you can.

No doesn’t equal negativity. 

There’s a negative connotation associated to saying no. You might feel weak or a sense of responsibility to say yes. When really, it’s just the perfectionist side in you that’s talking. No requires a moment of clear choice. It shows others that you’re responsible for your own actions and thoughts, recognising (and respecting) the barriers of your own limits.

It’s the pinnacle of self-awareness, not giving in to impulsive decisions. When practiced, it can keep you true to your principles and values, and focused on your own goals.

No & business. 

Saying yes too much in the work environment just makes you stressed. It also makes people value to your time less. Once you say yes a few times, it’s expected that you will every time. You can put your foot down without feeling rude or like you’re letting someone down.

But what about FOMO (fear of missing out)? How do you know when do to say yes or no? It’s not easy but if you can think about the benefits of saying no, you can do it.

Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Do I truly want to do this?
  2. What do I gain out of doing this task or attending this function?
  3. What has this person done for me lately?
  4. What else will I do with my time if I don’t do this?

You’re the owner of your time. If you’re struggling actually saying no, be quick, honest, ask for a raincheck or suggest an alternative. Tell the person you can’t do it, politely, and explain you have other commitments. Name a person who might be able to take your place. And if the task is something you actually want to do but don’t have time, make future plans.

Don’t be afraid to say no. There’s great power in it.