As a business owner or leader, it is so easy to say yes to seeming opportunities or other people who demand your time. Business owners may tend to think that this could mean progress and success if many things are being completed, but it may mean the opposite.
Saying Yes Too Often Can Get in the Way
When you learn to say no to people more often you are apt to discover that it actually is your key to real success. The little projects that demand your time may be deterring you from reaching your goals. Distractions often come easily and few people know how to keep their business on the track of their goals.
Saying Yes Too Often Reveals a Lack of Focus
Real success comes from being focused on a single goal or just a few goals. If you are easily led astray by every shiny object or potential business opportunity, you will likely not complete any of your original goals.
You need to sit down and determine what your goals are – or at least get a fresh look at them. Then ask yourself what projects or decisions you have made recently that are really in line with those goals. Are you doing things now that are not bringing you closer to those goals?
Even though some things may be good to do – or even fun – they should be eliminated or refused just as quickly as projects that have nothing to do with your business or current goals. Learning to say no to friends, clients, and others could be just what your business needs to thrive in even greater ways.
Saying Yes May Also Lead to Loss of Profit
When clients ask you for things, it likely means that they want a better deal, which often means that you get less money (profit). Instead of saying yes too quickly, evaluate whether or not you want to start a trend that will likely continue and will likely lead to even less profit.
Saying no lets others know that you know your limits and are not willing to go beyond them for the sake of convenience. It will also help you to be able to say no easier next time. On some occasions, you will need to say yes, but again, you should set some limits if you must.
Focused People Must Say No Often
Steve Jobs is quoted as saying “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.” Learning to say no may take a little time to get comfortable saying it, but it will help your business.
When you say yes too often, you are apt to discover that you have a lot of little projects you need to accomplish every day. This can lead to burnout and a lack of satisfaction because it may not let you finish the more important things. It may also lead to business failure because you are not giving your attention to your original business goals.
Remember also that dividing your attention between seven projects and the three that are most important means that you are not giving your best attention and time to the things that matter most. This leads to taking longer to complete the more important tasks and it may also mean poorer quality, too.
Editor’s note: To be able to say “no” your business development team must be good enough to provide a continuous stream of opportunities. Work on that, and it becomes easier to say “no” to less than ideal business.