Perfecting the art of saying “no”


I am a reformed people pleaser, as an employee and at the start of my entrepreneurial journey I would say “yes” to any opportunity and any client.

I soon learnt that this would never build me the business that I wanted. The most successful and the least successful people are both givers, but the most successful are choosy about who and what they give their time to. 

I wasn't. I would get a request from someone on Facebook to meet up and shlop across town for a coffee only to realise it was a wasted trip. I remember once making a 4 hour round trip to meet someone and they didn't even get me a coffee! The thing is it was my fault, I was giving indiscriminately.

The same happened with clients, when I first started out I would work with any clients BUT I soon realised that I would be much happier and more successful if I worked with the right type of clients (my ideal clients). Coaching isn't right for everyone and you just don't click with some people, it is much better to be honest and refer people on rather than struggle through an uncomfortable relationship.

When you realise your value and step into your power it is much easier to say “no”. I ask myself if it is aligned with my goals and what I want to achieve and if it isn't I might say no or I might suggest an alternative for example a virtual coffee or a chat rather than a face to face meeting.

Part of my ethos is to help as many women as I can which is why I have a thriving Facebook group and I have started a group program. It is also why I now say “no” to things. I could spend my whole life speaking to people who want to pick my brains but it would have a huge negative impact on my business and my clients who deserve the best version of me.

How often have you agreed to do something and then dreaded it? what made you say “yes”? my advice to you is if you are unsure take some time before you give an answer. Think about what saying yes would mean to you – will it help you with your business? will it add to your life or make you happy? if it doesn't consider that two letter word. 

I can honestly say that the art of saying no is the thing that has made my business grow to the size and success that it is today.

For me, honesty is always the best policy – when someone suggests meeting up far from my house I explain why I can't do it “I have limited time to spend on my business and want to invest as much of this time as I can in my clients and my own self development, I would love to connect with you and hear about your idea so please let me know a good time for a phone chat”, or “that sounds like a great opportunity, unfortunately I don't have the time at the moment to commit to i, I wish you every success”.

Saying no is an art and I am a big believer in treating others how you want to be treated, if someone has made the effort to contact you or you have connected with them it is polite to respond. Sometimes I get my VA to help me with these and that really works. 

As I value my own time I also value others time, if I want to collaborate or work with someone who is more successful than me I carefully think about how I communicate with them. It is about building value and not asking a busy entrepreneur for their time without a benefit for them. I learnt this from Selena Soo and it has already seen me network and meet some amazing and successful people. 

Think about how you respond to others but own your own value and have honesty and integrity in all that you do. Then you will be success (and you will be happier) 


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