Every entrepreneur knows how exciting it is to say yes. Saying yes to new ideas, new partnerships, and new directions can help you grow, but saying yes to every project and every opportunity doesn’t necessarily mean more success. There can be so much power in saying no.
A key for any business is finding what you do well and what makes you unique, then capitalizing on that. To do that, you may have to turn down some opportunities in order to create space and give yourself the time to take on the ones that are truly aligned with your business.
While doing this can sometimes be nerve-wracking, there is an immense amount of power in saying no, and it can help transform your business and bring it to new levels.
Let’s take a look at what “the power of saying no” actually means and how it can help your business succeed.
What does “the power of saying no” actually mean?
The power of saying no is a fundamental aspect of your growth, both in business and in your personal life.
It is not a rejection but an understanding of your boundaries and your priorities.
Saying no helps you focus more on your priorities while establishing healthier relationships and being more purpose-driven in your business. At its core, it recognizes your limitations and respects them.
When you feel empowered to say no without any guilt or fear of judgment, it helps foster better honesty and transparency in your working relationships with your clients. It can also help you prioritize your values and only take on clients and projects that are more aligned with your goals.
How can saying no help your business succeed?
Protects your time and mental health
First and foremost, saying no protects your time and mental health. There are going to be times when requests come up that may excite you or align with your values, but the timing just doesn’t line up with everything else going on in your business.
As entrepreneurs, it is very easy to overcommit or take on everything that is asked of you. Whether it is from a fear of rejection or creating a bad relationship with our clients, we often feel like we always have to say yes.
However, it is important to step back and take a look at what you are able to actually take on while still having time to prioritize your mental health. Self-care is vital when you are running your own business.
You have to remember that you are the value of your business, so you have to protect yourself just as you would any other asset in your business. If you are overwhelmed and overworked, you are not going to be able to show up in your business in the ways that you want.
Entrepreneurial burnout is real and oftentimes can be caused by putting too many things on your plate or taking on projects that are not fully aligned with you and your business.
When you are filling your plate up so much that you don’t have free time throughout the day or that you are working over the weekends, even things that you love can start to seem like a burden or struggle.
Saying yes too much can also mean taking on projects or clients that aren’t totally aligned with your business or that don’t excite you just for the sake of not saying no. While you do want to be booked out and have clients or customers, you also want to make sure that you are proud and excited about what you are putting out into the world.
Saying no isn’t closing doors or turning away from opportunities; it is being selective about what you do in order to serve your clients better and prioritize your own well-being.
Helps create space for ideal situations to come along
We have all heard the saying, “When one door closes, another opens,” and that applies to saying no as well. When you say no to things that are going to be too overwhelming for your schedule or that aren’t aligned with your values, it creates space for the ideal situations you want to come along.
There is nothing worse than being overbooked and overworked and having to say no to your dream client or dream project because of it.
Not only does saying no create the space to take on those projects, but it also helps you pinpoint what types of projects and clients you want to take on. Each and every project will teach you something new and will teach you what to look for in the future.
For example, if you are a product-based business, saying no can look like turning down the opportunity to collaborate with someone who may have a good audience but doesn’t quite align with your values.
Turning that misaligned opportunity down can help create the space and time in your business to be able to say yes when a collaboration or project for your business comes along that really lights you up!
Once you know who you are and what you value, you can put that energy out into the world to attract those types of clients.
It’s also important to note that this may not be something that is set in stone. Your goals, your priorities, and what you want to do with your business may fluctuate, and that is okay.
The goals and offerings of my own business are very different today than they were when I first started. I took on projects back then that I wouldn’t take on today, but that doesn’t mean I made the wrong choice years ago.
Instead, I took the time to re-evaluate my goals and my expectations for my business as it started to grow and adjusted what I took on and what I said no to in order to reach those goals.
Creates clear boundaries between you and your clients or customers
Finally, saying no helps to create clear boundaries and effective communication. Saying no doesn’t just apply to saying no to complete projects or clients; it can also apply to individual aspects of the project.
Setting these boundaries can help do one of two things. First, it can help ensure that you are not taking on additional tasks that you don’t love doing or don’t offer in your business.
For example, if you’re a copywriter and are writing the copy for a client’s site, you may say yes to writing their copy but no to coming up with their brand messaging. Even if you have done it in the past or know how to do it, that doesn’t mean you have to say yes to adding it to the project.
Second, it can also help prevent clients from scope creeping. Scope creeping is when clients add additional aspects to the project in (sometimes) seemingly small ways but are not included in the original scope of the project.
Setting clear boundaries and saying no when clients try to add additional aspects to the project will not only help you keep the projects on track, but it will also help ensure that you’re not overwhelmed and overworked with unexpected tasks.
Now, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add any additional aspects to a project that clients ask for. If clients do ask for additional details and you have the flexibility to complete that extra work, you can absolutely add it to the project.
However, be sure to clearly communicate with your clients and make sure that they understand that it is out of the scope of the original project, and it can be added on, but for an additional investment.
Final Thoughts: Saying No in Business
There is an immense amount of power in saying no, and saying no is not always going to be a negative thing. At the end of the day, your well-being and your values should be at the forefront of every decision you make.
When you are making decisions for your business, my best advice is to follow your gut. If an opportunity comes up and you are hesitant about it, take the time to sit with that and really understand why it is not an immediate yes.
You know yourself, and you know your business better than anyone else, so it is important to trust yourself when it comes to what you want to take on and what you want to say no to.
Not only will this give you more flexibility and more control over your own business, but it will help you grow it in a more aligned and successful way than ever before!
If you are looking for someone to help you along the way through your entrepreneurial journey, I’d love to connect. Click here to learn more about my mentorship program!