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LightAngel's Musings

  • Writer's pictureElisha LightAngel

Know When to Say 'NO' in Business

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

A closed laptop with open sunglasses laying on top.  The words "Know when to say "no" in business"
KNow When to Say "NO" in Business

We tend to think of a ‘no’ as a big red stop sign in the middle of the street. But has it ever occurred to you that sometimes saying ‘no’ is what’s going to push you forward?

While this particular blog is geared toward entrepreneurs like myself, it can be applicable to any kind of job that demands a lot from you. Even these same concepts can be applied to other areas of your life when needed. It's up to you how you utilize your time and tend to your self-care.

When you’re in business, you’re going to find a plethora of opportunities coming your way. That can become a problem because the temptation is to say ‘yes’ to everything – after all, who knows when another such opportunity is going to come your way? But more often than not, by saying ‘yes’ early, you might be tying up resources that you could put to better use elsewhere. Your ‘yes’ could be and probably IS hurting your business.

How can you tell where you should say no?

A red and black background with a question mark in a box

Use the following questions to evaluate yourself.

1) How will this use your time?

There are only so many hours in a day, so when you’re looking at an opportunity, you need to decide if this is something that will be worth your time. To figure that out, ask yourself what this opportunity will do for you. Will it grow your business somehow? Does it fill a current need? Will it enhance a skill set? Is it something enjoyable? All of these factors are important to take into consideration.

2) What is the required investment regarding other resources?

What will this cost you in human resources? Is there a physical cost in materials or training that will be required? Is this a fair return on that expense?

3) Are there any red flags?

For example, Is the client known for being difficult to work for and do they seem clear in what they want? Are you already over-committed and worrying about whether you have the time for more things?

A monkey sitting and looking as though it is pondering thoughts or thinking

4) How do you feel about it?

Is this opportunity even realistic? Is this something that doesn’t even interest you?

5) Will other clients suffer if you take on this work?

If you're already committed to other projects, and there's not much slack is this going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Will you be shortchanging loyal customers for the sake of new ones?

6) Have you already done as much as you can in this direction?

Be honest here. It might be this isn’t an opportunity at all, but just more of what you’ve been doing all along.

7) Will this impact YOU in a negative way?

If you’re already overworked, overtired, and stressed out, even something that’s a true opportunity might be bad for you. Remember, that if your health suffers, so will that of your business.

An areial shot over a table.  Two people are sitting across from one another with their arms resting on the table.  Each one is holding a cup of coffee.

8) Have you talked this out with your mentors?

It might be a different perspective is all you need to determine when saying ‘no’ might be the better option.

Opportunities come along all the time. In the long run, knowing when to say ‘no’ will benefit your business more than saying ‘yes’ to everything could ever do. Focus on what’s important, and don’t let yourself be distracted by the things that aren’t going to do you any good at all.

Having boundaries in business and out of business is pivotal to keeping your needs met in life. Keeping your needs met falls under self-care. Have you created your own go-to toolkit to help you on your bad days? If not, you're in luck. I created a self-care toolkit checklist to help you get yours started. GRAB YOUR FREE SELF-CARE TOOLKIT CHECKLIST HERE!


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