Why It’s Okay for Business Owners to Say No
The first quarter of the year has come and gone, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably asking yourself where on earth the time went!
But, the question you should be asking yourself is whether or not you achieved the goals you set out to accomplish within the first three months of the year.
If not, don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. All you have to do is think about what you’ll need to change next quarter to reflect what’s happened this quarter.
Maybe you overestimated what you could achieve in a three-month timeframe and left yourself burnt-out and exhausted?
Or, maybe you’ve been letting other things (or people) distract you too much?
Regardless of whether you achieved your goals or not, it’s worth taking time to review the last few months. Identify what went wrong, what went right and come up with things that you can do to get better.
A big problem that we have as business owners is our apparent inability to say “no” to anyone or anything. We’re so used to saying yes to every opportunity that even the thought of saying no makes us feel uneasy and a little guilty.
However, I’ve recently learned that saying no could potentially save a business and in this blog post (and on episode 104 of Mi-TV), I explain why.
Why you should say no more often
A few weeks ago, I was in the middle of a mastermind with my business coach, Chris Ducker. We had a personal accountability call, where we talked about what I planned to commit to this year.
I talked about a few of the goals I have for my business. I want to finish my book, and I’m thinking about releasing a new podcast show very soon. All of this is very exciting. But, I’ve got so many things that I want to do that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. I shared these thoughts with Chris, and he said something to me that was so simple and yet so profound that I’ve been thinking about it ever since. He said:
“I’ve built most of my career understanding that with everything you say yes to, you’re ultimately saying no to something else.”
This one sentence really hit home with me. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I was always overcommitting to opportunities and projects. Especially last year when I attended too many networking events to count.
Although networking and meeting other people helped to build my business, I was doing it way too much. There were times when I attended a networking breakfast and lunch on the same day. I was stuck in a perpetual wheel of networking. What made it worse was that I didn’t even have the time to follow up with everyone. I lost track of contact information and a lot of the time, I wasn’t cultivating meaningful relationships.
Whenever an exciting or promising opportunity comes up, it’s hard to say no. And, maybe you shouldn’t. But, sometimes you have to be able to assess which opportunities are worth your time and which ones you should learn to say no to.
Missing out on lost opportunities
Chris’ one sentence about lost opportunities has the power to change so many businesses. Because it’s true! Every time you answer the phone or respond to an email straight away, you’re missing out on something else.
When you say yes to a client that wants to pick your brain or have a quick chat (that ends up lasting for over an hour), you’re saying no to something else. Maybe you miss a call from a potential lead. Or, you miss the opportunity to do a Ted Talk (hey, it could happen, right?).
The point is that every time you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to another. So, you’ve got to use your time efficiently and effectively. Where is your time best spent? Is it sitting at your computer typing out emails? Or, is it working on things that will actually move your business forward?
Give yourself permission to say no!
Remember, you’re not obligated to say yes to everyone and everything in your life.
There’s nothing wrong with having an empty diary. In fact, Warren Buffett, the American business magnate, investor and philanthropist with a net worth of 84.3 billion (according to Google), limits himself to just two meetings per month.
His reasoning for this is because he feels like he can’t make good decisions without having the time to think and develop meaningful relationships with people. He keeps his diary clean because he only makes time for the things that are important to him.
Here’s a famous quote from Warren that I love:
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
So, there you have it. If Warren Buffet thinks to say no is a good thing and possibly the key to success, it must be right.
I plan on saying no a lot more in both my business and my personal life, and I hope you learn to do the same. Saying yes to every single thing means that you’re saying no to something else and that something else could be worthier of your time. You have to pick carefully!
Want to delegate more tasks and start making the most out of your time at work? We can help. Call me on 0161 820 6080 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to find out more about our services and discover all the ways that we can help you to grow your business, click here. http://www.mi-pa.co.uk/services/