Don't overthink it.

When you’re trying to grow your brand you immediately believe that you must say “yes” to everything. The fact of the matter is that this is not true, not the slightest bit. Saying “yes” to every request is that you will over-commit and never be able to provide proven results. Warren Buffett said it best, "The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything."

"The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything."

How about that. You become unproductive. You will become overwhelmed, stressed, and who knows what will happen after that. By saying “no” you save your sanity and you also create value. You create value because you let people know that you pride your work and the results of that work.

So why is it so hard to say "no?" Feelings. Feelings can get in the way far too often and knowing when or how to control them is a topic all on its own. Which is why you must analyze your situation and relationships. There are relationships that a "no" answer would ruin everything. Adding to that, have to ask yourself is that a relationship worth having?

Knowing your value and availability

The first step on being able to say “no” is to know what your time is worth and also know what your schedule looks like. Saying “no” based on value, not meeting can be a missed opportunity as you never even tried to negotiate with a “yes.” Knowing your availability allows you to be more agile and organized. Thus allowing you to become more successful as you know your value.

Knowing your value allows you to manage your workload. This then impacts the value of your work. Meaning, your work as an employee will be more valued by management. And your services as a business owner are more valued by your customers. Both equate to more money. In other words, you can't charge $100 per hour if you cannot meet deadlines on time because you said "yes" too many times.

Your performance will show how effective you are and then relates to perceived value. Can you get shit done? Can you do the job right? Can your work increase value for your employer or client? These are all answers people can decide on their own based on your work alone. And again, your work correlates to your availability and value. Once you know this, you can then be firm in your answer.

Be firm and never be sorry

So many times people will start their no reply off with something like “I’m sorry but..” which is terrible. By doing this you can imply to others that with enough push you will fall. And if you have someone who is willing to do that to you, then you have someone you don't need in your life to start with. When you say "no" to something you need to emphasize why.  

For example, you're a graphic designer that wants to charge $50 per hour. Someone asks you to make a "quick logo" for $100. You know that it is going to take at least 10 hours to produce work that you are proud of. Work that will bring you more business. You don't say a short no. You definitely don't say "yes." You say something like "no, I cannot do that for you because to produce quality work I would need at least 10 hours to do so. I charge $50 per hour because that is what I need to make to grow my business."

Boom. The prospect now has nothing to come back with other than an "okay, let's do it" or "okay, never-mind." You stated your worth. You stated your needs. In a sense, you were selfish for your own personal gain, and as a business owner, you have got to be selfish. Remember that doing this is never easy, but it must be done. And with experience this experience you will gain confidence.

You create enemies when you say “yes” instead of an honest “no”

But what if one must keep a positive relationship with the person asking for something? Offer an alternative. You can lessen the blow to the relationship by offering an alternative that helps both of you. For example, your boss asks you to help out on a project that you don't have an interest in. Suggest that they collaborate with another coworker who would and that it would net stronger results for the company.

By offering an alternative in situations like this, you won't feel so guilty and you won't add stress to your life. Remind yourself daily that saying "no" is an essential part of life. If you think about it, it is a reply that can make you or break you in so many aspects of your life.

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