Boss Lady

The importance of saying no


In this crazy 24/7 rush hour world, it can feel almost impossible to say the word, ‘no’. We are told to take every opportunity that comes our way. It can seem like saying ‘no’ to something will start a downward spiral into less opportunities, less growth and less business. But, this simply isn’t true. The art of saying ‘no’, confidently and regularly, can be of great benefit to our businesses and lives in general.

When ‘yes’ becomes too much

The first reason to embrace the word ‘no’ is to combat an addiction to the word ‘yes’. So many of us agree to things we shouldn’t. Here are the three most common scenarios where ‘yes’ becomes too much.

  1. People pleasing

    Sometimes, we agree to things simply to win affection or keep the peace. This means we often overcommit or end up doing things we feel uncomfortable or unequipped to do. People pleasing is dangerous – it weakens your self confidence and ties your success to the opinions of others.
  2. Poor time management

    ‘Yes! Of course I can do that for you’, you say. Then, you look down at your calendar only to find not one spare minute in the next month. How are you going to complete this new task too? If we don’t manage our time well, we can over burden ourselves.
  3. Under valuation

If an opportunity comes by, even if it’s actually a bit of a rip-off, we feel compelled to take it. This means we can end up losing money or entering a situation we would rather not be in. For example, say you take that extra piece of work even though you are short of time. The result? The quality of your work will not be at the standard it should be and your client will not be happy.

The problem with saying ‘yes’ too much is that it strips you of your control. If the first response out of your mouth, no matter the question, is ‘yes!’, we have a problem. But, there is a solution. Embrace ‘no’.

The power of ‘no’.

Saying ‘no’ doesn’t make you negative. It doesn’t make you ungrateful or lazy. It makes you wise. Learning to say ‘no’ means you understand your capacity, your goals and your values. That means when an opportunity comes along, you asses it alongside these elements to decide whether it is really worth agreeing to. Saying ‘yes’ to too many things simply burns you out. Instead, learn when to say ‘no’. Here are some easy tips to remember, next time you are tempted to say ‘yes’.

• Are you undervaluing yourself?

• Do you have the time required?

• Are you doing this because you want to do it? Or, because you are in people-pleasing mode?

• Think about what this opportunity is worth. Is it worth the stress? The rushed deadline?

• What will most benefit your business and your life long term? The extra pay check or some time to rest and rejuvenate?

• Remember to be grateful for what you have and invest your time into developing existing opportunities.

‘Yes’ is not a bad word. It’s just a sometimes word. Only say ‘yes’ when you have really weighed up your options. Get better at saying ‘no’ and watch your quality of work, your life balance and your business thrive. Empower yourself.

About Katie Kirsopp

Katie Kirsopp has an extensive business background in retail, event management, customer service, recruitment and business development. She has held customer service positions at both the National Bank of Australia and the Bank of Melbourne. She and her team work with a wide variety of different types of businesses, including photographers, life and career coaches, magazine publishers, marketers, property agents and event management companies.

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