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The Art of Saying No

The truth – You cannot do it all.

We are all busy and the demands of life are growing each day. It is nearly impossible to keep up. Especially when it comes to running a successful business and keeping sanity on the home front.

So, what do we do?

One of the greatest secrets to success is learning how to say No.

As a coach and speaker, I work with people on this all day long. I learned the power of the word NO when I hit a wall; I was over-worked, tired and did not have time for the important things in my life. In fact, I didn’t have a life at all. I was burned out and unhealthy. I was so focused on being there for everyone, that I was not there for me. And it all started to crumble.

I had to learn to say No.

A key thought to remember – when you say YES to something, you have to say NO to something else.

Here are some strategies that helped me to learn the Power in saying NO:

Ask yourself 2 questions: In saying NO, we want to make sure we are not coming from a place of negativity, but rather one of focus and productivity. We need to start looking at our time as an investment and knowing that when we choose to do one thing, we are also choosing to not do another. One strategy that has helped me is to get clear on what I am saying YES to, so I can understand what I need to say No to. When an opportunity arises, I ask 2 questions:

– Does doing this make good business sense? And
– If I agree to do this, what will I have to say No to?

If the choice does not help me and support my business goals, or if what I need to give up doing doesn’t work for me – I say NO. End of story.

Have support
It can be hard to make decisions on our own. So many ideas sound GREAT. If I have an idea or an opportunity and have difficulty knowing if I should go forward or pass, I go to my Brain Trust. This group is my center and keep me focused. They ask me questions and help me look at the opportunity from all angles. Sometimes they just laugh and shake their heads at me because we all know the right answer.

Choose the people in this group carefully. They do not need to be your best friend or significant other. They are there to help you and protect you from yourself.

Look for people who:

– Are honest and not afraid to be honest with you
– Are clear on YOUR goals
– Push you
– Come from a place of Love.

Be honest
There is only so much time in the day. You need to start being honest, not only about what you want to do, but what you NEED to do. What is the highest and BEST use of your time? And only do those things.

Business owner and Speaker, Christie Wright has said – an honest NO is better than a dishonest YES. You must be honest with people.

We live in fear of saying NO. We worry we will hurt feelings, lose business or miss out on something. So, we agree to do things that really are not in our best interest and then we build resentment and resistance.

Lesson – be honest about what you can do. Others will appreciate your honesty, and it may even empower them to do the same in their world.

Plan your time and Create Flexibility
We talk about seeing your time as an investment. Create a game plan to make sure you are set up correctly and with the right intentions for your time. Life, however happens. Even the best laid plans can fall apart.

Have a Plan B – time blocked in your schedule to handle the unexpected. For me, my plan B is Fridays. I know most people do not want to have a training or coaching session on Friday so I hold a couple hours open that day. This way if a client needs to move a time or something comes up that needs to be addressed – I have the time carved out to handle it without disrupting the rest of the week.

For some of you, one day may work, for others it may be 30 min in the morning and again in the afternoon. It doesn’t need to be a long time – just a place holder. When you have that time available, it will reduce stress and keep you focused on where you need to be.

Tell them what you CAN do
In saying NO our focus goes to a place of negativity. We see it at as a dis-service to others. One strategy is to focus on what you CAN do. Most of us have a need to help and connect, and we want to honor that. You may not be able to do what they are asking… but you may be able to do something.

– Maybe you can meet with them at a different time.
– Can you refer them to someone else?
– Can you give them some tips to help them locate the information they need?

You can still be of service to them even if you do not do it yourself. Saying No is one of the BEST things you can do for yourself. It will put you in control of your time, your business and your life. People will always ask you for things they want – that doesn’t mean you have to stop what you are doing to focus on their needs. Remember, you can still serve them even when you say NO.

7photoClara Capano is the owner of Censpire Consulting with a focus on Unleashing the Power of the Mompreneur. With over 25 years in Sales and Leadership, Clara has worked with business owners across the United States and Canada and has helped them build a better business and life. She is a published author, speaker, trainer and business strategist. Clara is a Master trainer and coach with Ninja Selling and Coaching, Certified though Integrity Selling and Tony Robins coaching. In addition, she holds a BA in Communications and English and a MA in Organizational Communications and Leadership.

Clara resides in Denver, Colorado and San Diego, Ca. She enjoys time with her son and dog and travels the world whenever possible.

2 thoughts on “The Art of Saying No

  1. This is a great article full of positive ideas to help one help herself in life and in the everyday world of adventures she will encounter. Thanks for the info, Clara!

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