Why You Should Learn to Say “No”

Getty Images

One of the toughest words to utilize in an entrepreneur’s vocabulary is "no." Yet it is one of the most important words for an entrepreneur to use -- and use regularly. Often known for overextending and burning out, entrepreneurs must get hold of the fear of “missing out” that keeps them from saying no consistently.

Trust me, as a fellow entrepreneur, I struggle with this, too. When I do say "no" consistently, not only does my business benefit but my entire life runs more smoothly. Here are few ways to make saying no the next time you need to just a bit easier.

The Protect You “No”

People don’t like to hear "no" but there is one application of it that is less buzz killing than others, the “I’m protecting you” no. You articulate why your non-participation is actually a benefit to the asker. List out the things you can do for them while emphasizing why it’s good for them to ask someone else to do the other task. You can even employ the next technique in the same conversation.

The Referral to a Better Source “No”

Entrepreneurs love to be needed. It’s in our blood. However, there are times when we need to pass on an opportunity and what better way to give back to our community than to give another entrepreneur some business. The referral to a better source “no” is win-win-win “no” for all involved: you, the asker and the referred source. As you decline, make sure you thank the asker for wanting you but let them know they will be in great hands with the source you are referring.

The more you say no, the better you are at it. And the sooner you say no to things you don’t want to do, the sooner you make room for all the great stuff you do want to do.

Denise W. Barreto is the managing partner at Relationships Matter Now, LLC, a strategic business and marketing firm outside Chicago that connects relationships to maximize life and business. www.relationshipsmatternow.com

Contact Us