When it comes to being a modern human, we’re given about 6,000,000 choices on any given day. We’re flooded with requests, notifications, text messages, e-mails, and phone calls from people who want something for us or from us at every turn.
That’s why mastering the art of saying “no” in a way that feels right for you is critical to your success as an entrepreneur. If you say “yes” to every offer that comes your way out of a sense of guilt, shame, or fear that someone will think you’re not a nice person, your calendar will be over-committed in no time flat. (Also, every light on your dashboard will be blinking.)
When you’re over-committed, you go around throwing the “I’m so busy” excuse at everyone and their brother. You get less done. Your business suffers from lack of attention. You’re stressed right the fuck out all the time. Your closest relationships take a turn for the worst.
The art of saying “no” is an essential one.
Here are 22 variations on a theme. Print ’em out, hang ’em up, keep ’em close. “No” is an essential tool for your entrepreneurial arsenal.
I can’t offer that to you, but _____________ can.
I’m all booked for that, but ____________ can help!
I think you’d be a better fit for _____________________.
_______________ will take care of you better than I would!
I’m flattered by your offer, but I can’t.
My calendar is completely full for that type of work, but I can offer __________ instead.
I don’t think we’d be a good fit. Here’s the number of a great ________I know: xxx.xxx.xxxx.
Currently, I don’t offer discounts on those products/services.
I don’t have any current promotions on those products/services.
I don’t accept zucchini/babysitting/foreign currency/I.O.U’s as payment for my goods.
While I treasure your friendship, I can’t work for you for free.
Much as I would like to, I can’t offer those products/services at cost.
I’m tempted by your offer, but after much consideration, I’ve decided against it.
We don’t seem to share the same goals/plans/ideas/ideals, so I don’t think our moving forward together in a working relationship is wise.
Your offer is generous/kind/lovely/wonderful/full of rainbows, but I can’t accept it at this time.
Honestly, I can’t deliver that product/service in the timeframe you’ve requested.
I’m busy until next year.
I’m not going to be able to make it to your party/soiree/dinner/mandatory fun event/bouncy castle/dinner party/hipster hoedown.
No freaking way.
No. (It’s a complete sentence, after all.)
Now go forth and say “no” abundantly and with enthusiasm!
P.S. Your brain is an asshole.