09: 3 things you must say NO to if you want more freedom in your life and business
Is saying, “No” difficult for you? For a while in my business (and life for that matter), this was one of the hardest things for me to do. But, when I got more comfortable graciously declining things that weren’t right for me, or things that I just frankly didn’t want to do – my business and life transformed. I truly believed that this right here, saying NO, is one of the main factors of the success I’ve built in my business. If I could give just one piece of advice to entrepreneurs who want to grow their business, it’s this.
You have to stay saying YES to less. For you, for your clients, for the growth of your business.
Today, I’m going to share the things you have to start saying no to, and HOW to graciously say no. Ready to get more of your time and energy back? Ready to just breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you schedule will not be so full? Let’s dive in…
#1 Say no when the job is not in line with what you want to offer
I’ll use an example from my business for reference: If you want to do wedding stationery, why are you taking on birthday party invitations, corporate logos, and holiday cards?
I bet I can guess why. You are worried that if you don’t take on these jobs, you won’t have enough work to support your business. I get it, I had this same fear.
Years ago, I remember it was September/October and my wedding season was winding down (stationers worked two months ahead of the normal wedding schedule, so I was wrapping up my winter weddings). I decided that I would spend that time developing a holiday card line.
Makes sense right? I sold wedding stationery during the wedding time, why would I not start selling holiday cards? My well meaning friends and family kept telling me “OHHH you should do holiday cards! You should do birth announcements! Do this, this and that.”
So, I spent about a month designing all these cards, putting them on my website, and posting about them. And guess how many I sold, “ZERO”. Literally zero. I couldn’t compete with Vistaprint giving 50% off holiday cards and selling them for $20. I needed to pay for my materials and make a profit.
I’m just going to give it to you straight because no one talks about this stuff, but this is what’s going to differentiate yourself from anyone else. Those slow times, you need to spend working ON YOUR BUSINESS. If I would have spent that month working on my marketing, social posts, emails, bridal show strategy, I would’ve come back swingin that next year in January when engagement season started again.
Instead, I wasted all that time on Holiday Cards that no one bought! Same thing with birthday parties! How much do people spend on their kids’ birthday party invitations? $50 bucks tops? And they are a lot of work for the designer! So why would I spend all of that time developing a kids line and marketing it to a whole new audience, to make $30 after I pay for my materials?
Figure out what you want to do and GO ALL IN on that. When you get crystal clear on what you are offering, and say NO to anything that isn’t that, amazing things start to happen. You add margin in your business and grow in the area you want to grow in, your communication gets spot on because you are only talking to ONE audience, the cost and time it takes to produce that item gets less and less because you get better and more refined.
#2 Say no when you feel it in your gut that the client is not the right fit
Another thing that no one talks about, but I’m going to talk about it. What happens when you meet with a client, you tell them you are available for their date, but red flags are being thrown ALL OVER THE TABLE. You know who I’m talking about and if you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve gotten good at being able to tell in the first 10 min that this is not going to be an enjoyable working relationship.
You need to politely decline these jobs. I want you to get through the appointment, don’t make it awkward right there. But after the appointment, you CAN send an email and say, “Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me. Unfortunately, I am no longer available for your date”. They do not need to know why you are no longer available. You could be booked, you could be choosing to not be available to save your sanity. WHY you are not available, is no one’s business. Period. I know, I know I’m going to get some push back and some DMs on this one but your sanity and mental health are more important than any job.
The time and energy that this job is going to suck out of you, is absolutely not worth it. It will not only drive you crazy, but it will take away precious time that you need to grow your business. You have to trust your gut here. Your gut is NEVER wrong.
#3 Say no to commitments you just don’t want to do
That lunch date on a Wednesday afternoon? Volunteering to help at your kid’s school? The dinner date after a long week when you really just want to curl up in PJs and watch reruns of House Hunters? If you’re looking for permission, here it is: It’s okay to say no when you need to rest, when you just don’t want to do something, or when you are prioritizing different things in this season of life.
OR if you’re like me, and love to work, that’s okay to If you would rather plan your email sequence on a Friday night rather than going out on the town, that’s okay. I used to hide this about me. Someone would ask me to do something and I felt like I had to lie instead of saying I had to catch up on work.
DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IN THIS MOMENT. If you’re tired, rest. If you’re fired up and want to work, work. Don’t hide it. But say no to anything that you don’t want to do. Period. No follow up explanation needed.
Alright my friends, I hope this episode was the little pep talk you needed to remind you that it’s okay to say no. It’s not only okay, it is absolutely necessary to create the space you need to grow your business while having more freedom in your life. That’s the key. You can grow your business by piling on and piling on – but that’s not going to give you the freedom you want and need.
Say no. It’s awkward at first, but if you want more freedom in your life and business, you have to get good at saying no. You have to say yes to less.
I constantly remind myself that I can’t serve your clients well if I’m overloaded and overwhelmed. And I sure as hell can’t grow my business with a clear mind when I’m overloaded and overwhelmed.
It’s okay to say no. You got this <3
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