The Power in Saying No!

Saying no is one of the most difficult things to do when you are a small business owner. I learned very early on that saying yes to everything was not serving me well. I had business coming in, but was it bringing me joy or making my heart sing? Most of the time yes, but sometimes I had to ask myself whose business was Format Services, mine or theirs?  I get that you want to impress and deliver EVERYTHING, sometimes it is not always possible.

One of the most freeing and powerful things I ever did was to learn how to say no. Learning to say no led me down a path with so much more opportunities. Please understand that saying no does not make you harsh or rude. You can say no without coming across as rude. You could let clients know:

  • You don’t offer that level of support
  • You don’t have any capacity to support him/her at the time
  • You only work with X

This is not you placing yourself in a box at all, ultimately you are choosing your joy over stress.

The image of a business owner that we have in our heads is usually somebody who covers every role within the company. We always feel that we must deal with everything and every person who shows interest in the product or services that you provide. Saying yes to every opportunity can bring you overwhelm and so much worry, so when you find yourself in that position just ask yourself if this opportunity is for you.

Be unapologetic when you decide to not work with somebody, you might not be able to help or even have the capacity. It is quite nice if you can refer them on to somebody else, who you know can support their needs. The industry is huge as we know, and you may well have somebody in the community whose title may be the same as yours but offer very different services. My referrals usually come from word of mouth and it’s nice to recommend others within your community to clients who require a specific service or product.

You will be very surprised at how much smoother things run when you aren’t taking on unnecessary tasks and roles. Focusing on clients and projects that fall within your ethos and messaging, is so much more fulfilling for you.

If after this you still struggle with saying no, just think of it as you are closing one door and opening another. Saying no will open your schedule to more fulfilling opportunities. I am very big on energy and if during a discovery call the energy is not there, I listen to my gut and won’t move forward with any Terms & Conditions if I envision issues very early on.

Remember time is money, the power in saying no allows you to control the client relationships that you have. Not everything thing is for you and that’s OK. Learn to set boundaries from very early on, this will help you big time.