Kicktastic Blog

The Power of Saying No

Austin Church

by Austin Church

Mar 29, 2013


You might be surprised how much more successful your business will be and how much freer and healthier you'll feel if you start saying no.

  • No, I don't just need more clients. I need happy clients.
  • No, I don't do spec work. But I am happy to book a two-hour strategy session with you to create a plan for working together to achieve your goal.
  • No, I'm not available to help you with [insert boring project here]. However, I'll be happy to help you to find someone who can help.
  • No, I can't work on this project. You deserve to work with people who will be excited about this, and I need to stay focused on my other commitments.
  • No, I don't do that kind of work in-house. But I do know a contractor who is really, really good, and if I manage the project, then I can help you achieve the outcome you want.
  • No, I can’t do this for free. I charge so that I can make your project a priority.
  • No, I can't give you a discount. But I can assure you that I'm worth every penny.
  • No, I can't accept late payments without charging a late fee. The mortgage company, utilities company, and my wireless carrier expect me to pay on time.
  • No, I can't do this last-minute project without charging an expedite fee. I need to be able to justify rearranging my workflow and all my other responsibilities.
  • No, I can't cancel this project without charging a cancellation fee. I've already invested a significant amount of time in it.
  • No, I can't wait until next month to get paid. The mortgage company, utilities company, and my wireless carrier expect me to pay on time.
  • No, I can't start working until I receive the deposit. I need to honor my other clients.
  • No, I can't in good conscience change the [design, layout, copy, deadline, etc] again. To accomplish what we set out to accomplish, I think we need to stick with this.
  • No, I cannot meet with you at that time. If you'll explain the project over email and send me all the necessary materials, I'll be happy to get started.
  • No, I can't meet again to discuss the project. If you're ready to get started, then I'll send over an invoice.   
  • No, I cannot meet with you without charging for my time. My ideas are even more valuable than my skills.
  • No, I can't do that by end of business tomorrow. I need more time to give you my best work.
  • No, I can't work on it over the weekend. My friends, family, and passion projects take precedence.
  • No, I can't do that for you right now. But I'll be happy to start a new invoice and look at my schedule to see when I can help you.

And two more for all-purpose use:

  • No, I don't want that super sized.
  • No, I don't want whipped cream on that.

Saying no creates opportunities to say yes with gusto.

Yes, I do respect myself enough to get paid what I’m worth, to fulfill my potential, and to spend my days on this earth doing work that matters deeply to me.

Categories: Business, Complete Elephant, Growing | Tags: saying no

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