Ray is a great entrepreneur. As the founder of a budding business, he gets involved in everything from accounting to sales, admin to strategy development.
He’s also a leader – raising money at charity events, working with influential members of the community, and being the biggest champion of those he’s trying to help.
He tries to spend time with friends and family, but often works late into the night and can’t turn his mind off from thinking about his business.
But if you catch him in a moment of honesty, you’ll find out that it’s not as easy as it appears. He’s exhausted.
Ray can’t say no.
And because he can’t say no, he’s spending his very limited time and energy chasing after things that won’t help his business progress.
He thinks that he needs to say yes to every opportunity that comes his way – to prove himself and his level of commitment, to build up his network, or to earn some additional income to buy more time to get his business off the ground. He’s terrified of the consequences of saying no.
But something has to give.
Here are two ways to start saying no more often.
say no more often to meetings
You want to make this business work.
And you want to be out there spreading the word, getting people to buy into you and your idea.
You want to build strong relationships so that you are trusted and respected.
Plus want to build up your network in the hope that it will help your business grow.
And so you meet with as many people as you can. Often your calendar is jam-packed.
But how much of your week is taken up by meetings that either aren’t productive or don’t get you any further along your path?
Before saying yes to your next meeting, ask yourself how it will help you. Have a very clear understanding of what your desired outcome is, whether that be market research, specific information, additional contacts, etc.
If you’re unable to identify a specific goal with a positive outcome, then you are just wasting your time.
say no more often to business
It’s taking you longer than you anticipated to get your business off the ground.
You don’t like being a burden on your friends and family. You want to pay your way and pay the bills. An opportunity comes along to work with a less-than-ideal client or take on a piece of unrelated work, and you jump on it.
Although this may ease some of your financial concerns, remind yourself that it’s a tradeoff.
You’re taking time away from your business. You aren’t learning about your target market. And you aren’t refining your products and services based on their needs.
In the long run, it will take you longer to get to where you want to be.
So ask yourself, how can you earn some money while absorbing valuable insights for your business? Maybe you can work part-time in a related industry. Or there are other organisations who are willing to pay for your product or services and give you exposure to your target market.
Maybe you can tweak your offering slightly and open up a new customer base.
over to you
Some of us have a hard time saying no because it leads to a missed opportunity. But by saying no, you’re just choosing one opportunity over another. Can you recall a time that you wish you’d said no and taken advantage of the alternative opportunity instead? Leave a comment below and let us know.