It’s difficult for a budding entrepreneur to say NO, when saying yes might lead to the opportunity of all opportunities to grow ones business. So, you develop the  habit of saying yes even to unproductive events that take valuable time away from your business.

Here are a few examples of unproductive and distracting yes’s

1. You should be working on your marketing material but you say yes to another  business coffee date (fourth one for the present month). The eternal optimist, you believe this one will lead to collaboration or a new client.

2.  Your phone rings, you decide to ignore it because the newsletter you send to your subscribers is due and you have one hour to write the content and send it out. You change your mind and rush to answer phone. You don’t want to risk missing a call that could take your business to the next level.

3.  You say yes to networking events (number three for the present month) where you expect to meet the most important person for your business.

4.  You say yes to the article that catches your eye as you updated your social media platforms.  Social media platforms forgotten, you immerse yourself in the article. The content  fans the flame of uncertainty you have for your business.

Such as …

Maybe you’re in the wrong business. Maybe you’re targeting the wrong customers. Maybe you don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Maybe!Maybe! Maybe! Fear and uncertainty takes over. To escape, you turn on the television.

5.  You say yes, to webinars and teleseminars that you never listen to. Your hard drive is filled with products ( free downloads and those you purchased) you never use.

6.  You say yes to clients ( when your intuition tells you to walk away) because you need the money. Deciding later ( after wasting time and money) to fire those clients.

7.  You say yes to projects and joint ventures even though they aren’t aligned with your personal or business goals.

Do you relate to any of  these unproductive yes’s ?

I’ve been there and done that and from the articles I’ve read, it’s a challenge for most entrepreneurs to say NO. We want to have a successful business so we overextend ourselves and say yes to more opportunities than we should.

But as Adelaide Lancaster stated in her article at The Daily Muse

if you don’t say no, you seriously risk becoming unfocused. Saying yes too much can turn into a bad habit that leads to unwise decisions and wreaks havoc on your business. You’ll find yourself always reacting to the latest offer, rather than pursuing the business goals you’d originally had in mind.

Saying no means you’re saying yes to you and your business.

Be strategic, decide how many networking events and coffee dates you’re going to attend in a month and stick to it. When surfing the internet book mark the content you want to read and set aside a specific day and time to read them. Don’t do anything that isn’t productive. Stay confident in yourself and entrepreneurial aspirations.

Successful entrepreneurs have mastered the art of saying no to people and things that interfere with their ability to stay focused on their businesses.

You, too, can master the art of saying no

Here are 7 creative ways for entrepreneurs to say NO and mean it. They’re  from one of my favorite books “Work Less Make More Money” by Jennifer White.

1. Just Say NO.

Say it firmly as if you mean it and don’t say another word for full effect.

2. The Gracious NO.

Thank the person for considering but decline graciously. “I appreciate you thinking of me but I have a previous commitment.”

3. The I’m Sorry No

I wish I could but it isn’t convenient for me now. In her book Jennifer noted that those who mastered this “no” somehow get the other person to apologize over and over for even asking.

4. It’s Someone Else’s Decision No

I promised my partner (or someone else)  I wouldn’t take on another project.

5. My Family Is the Reason No

Thank you very much but that’s the day of my son/daughter’s play. Always come from truth. Maybe it’s someone’s  anniversary, birthday, sport event,  or you simple choose to spend time with a family member or a friend (you have the right to do this).

6. I know Someone Else No

Personally, I don’t have the time but I know someone who can help you. You say no and help the person at the same time.

7. I’m Already Booked No

You can use this if you have another commitment or choose to spend time with yourself. You deserve me time.

Bonus – this one is my own 

How to say no to webinars, teleseminars, free e-books, the next best thing, and other distracting shiny objects.

Don’t sign up for them. Resist the temptation. Don’t walk away, run from them at lighting speed. Become the raving fan of  a few people with valuable content for your business and personal life. Read their information, buy their products and services to grow your business and yourself. Your time is valuable. You can’t control time but you can maximize your time by being more productive.

It’s  a wrap

Never say maybe when you want to say no. Saying maybe when you want to say no adds unwanted stress to your life. Plus you’re not being fair to the other person or yourself.

My daughter once had the habit of saying maybe when she really wanted to say no. Also, she would say yes to something without thinking it through. Then she would call me agonizing about her maybe, or panicking because she said yes to something, and later realized she should have said no.

After years of this turmoil, she  finally listened to her mom. She has learned the art of saying NO instead of maybe and has curbed her impulse to say yes without first thinking it through.

Your turn

Do you have the habit of saying yes because you lack the confidence to say no, or  do you put it off with a maybe?

Do you find it difficult to stay laser focused on your business goals? Are you ready for a change? You’ll benefit from my FREE strategy session. Contact me today. You’ll be glad you did.

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