When and How to Say “NO” in Your Business

Saying 'no' is the hardest part.

If you are a people pleaser, saying ‘no’ can be especially difficult. Additionally, if you are in the beginning stages of your business, ‘no’ might not and probably should not be your answer. In that respect, saying ‘no’ is almost a luxury to look forward to, but it should be used sooner than later.

Down below I have included three different stages that you might be in, in your business, and the appropriate response at that time. i.e. how to say ‘no’. Find your statement (or read them all for reference) to see where on the ‘no’ scale you are.

As always, there are also some extra goodies in the accompanying video.  (The wind in particularly, is meant to be there 😉 )

Being self aware in your business will help you know when to say 'no'.

Knowing yourself and where you are at in your business is critical to be able to make educated decisions in your business. Check out these statements below. Whichever one is you, that is how and when you will say ‘no’.

Number 01. "Hey there, just starting out"

When you first start your business, you say ‘yes’ to everything left and right… and I think you should as long as it’s not obvious you shouldn’t. i.e. if saying ‘yes’ goes directly against your values or isn’t in the ballpark of the service that you provide.

By saying yes, you figure out who you want to work with, what you like to do and how you like to do it.  It’s the perfect time to hone-in on a process or system and build a foundation for the future.

 

The most important thing, during this time (and any time really), is to work with the intention of figuring out who you want to work with, how you want to work them and what you want to work on.

 

I know it can be hard when people like me say that you need to know why you are doing things, and proceed to ask you who you want to work with and how you are serving them… and frankly, in the beginning, you most likely don’t know and that’s OK.

It’s actually more than ok, it’s really where you should be.

Just like when you are learning anything, you just have to start, mess up a bit, adjust, and keep going.

Number 02. "oh yes, I have been around for a bit"

 

If you are passed the beginning stages of running your business, you might be asking yourself when it’s time to say ‘no’ or how you know when to say ‘no’ to new work or “opportunities” that might not be aligned with what you want, what you like to do, and/or where you are going.

When you have worked with clients who do not value time like you do, who are cheap, who micromanage you, who are late, who are on time, who don’t question your pricing, who laugh at your jokes … (AKA the good and the bad), then, you will start to be able to see who and how you serve your clients best, and at the same time, you will also know the opposite— who you don’t want to work with.

[Sometimes it’s easier to point out who or what you don’t want to work with/on]

 

So basically, the answer to the question “How do you know when to say ‘no’? is by doing the work.

 

When you do that, you will also start realizing what you enjoy more and start looking around to see what possibilities are out there that you can create and then, all of a sudden, your vision on how the future should look becomes clearer as well. When you know where you want to take your business and what kind of opportunities you are looking for, you also know which ones you should not take.

Number 03. "I am ready for the next of everything"

Then it’s time to say no more often! 

If a project doesn’t align with you, if it’s not going in the direction you see your company going, if you don’t have bandwidth, if something doesn’t feel right or if you really aren’t the service provider for that project— let it go. 

How do you say no? Simply be honest. You don’t have to over explain anything. Respect yourself, respect others and let them know. You most likely would want that courtesy yourself— so give it to others.

How I see it: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

Yes, of course business is about providing service and making money, but it’s so much more than that too. For us, it’s a lifestyle, so I believe working in a place of joy and from heart, is just as important.

The sooner you start to say no to work that doesn’t align with your values or direction, the sooner you give space for the work that does.

Round up:

  • Mess up and realign
  • Pay attention
  • Reflect on your intentions
  • It’ not what you say, it’s how you say it.
 
Let’s get to work!

How to Connect with Your People

be yourself + be really clear on who you serve and how you serve them.

As always, to every deep question there is a short answer and a long answer.

That being said, the short and simple answer to how to connect with your people, has three core parts.

– Be yourself
– What problem are you solving?
– For whom are you solving that problem?

But, I know what you are thinking— ‘that’s easier said than done…’

Well, that is precisely why I include the long answer as well. 😉

In this week’s video I broke down how to find your people and answered these core questions by using one of my lovely clients as a sample. Hopefully, that will make it easier for you to answer the questions for yourself.

Oh, and I also added a little something extra at the end, to help you understand how to take action and actually find your people.

Watch the video to find out how; you + solution + who = your sweet spot

and I’ll see you on the other side.

Part of being me, is being personal and real with my clients.

Of course, I am still professional and there are boundaries, but for me building professional relationships in a way that makes people feel like they can come to me with any questions, is very important.

In your situation, you have to define and understand YOUR personality, and what makes you different. The more you understand this, the easier it will be to connect with your audience. Whether that is in person, over a call, on social media, or wherever else you interact with your current and ideal customers or clients.

Number 01. Define your own personality & what makes you different

The first thing I would ask yourself here is: How would I describe myself to a complete stranger? (like an elevator pitch, but for your personality).  I have added a few more of my clients as samples here, so you can see different answers:

  1. Are you that clever and funny person, who, no matter what you say, somehow makes everyone laugh?
  2. Are you the fashion forward professional, who gets a kick out of knowing and studying rules or laws?
  3. Are you the person who loves bringing people together, doing good in the community and loves a culinary experience?

No matter what it is, I can’t think of a single time that it isn’t better to be yourself… [if you can, definitely let me know].
So, the first step is to be yourself. That will help you connect with the people who you are supposed to connect with.

Number 02. What problem are you solving?

Adding on to the samples mentioned above, this next step shows the problems they solve, which helps to further clarify each of their brands and takes us one step closer to their sweet spot of connecting with their people:

  1. How to plan clients financial future and build their wealth so they can live a worry-free sustainable life.
  2. Helping people understand the rules of golf, so they can be more efficient on the course and enjoy the game more too.

  3. Creating an unforgettable culinary experience in an exceptional ambiance and educating folks on Mezcal, Mexico and its culture.

Number 03. get specific on who you solve that problem for.

Now, if you are farther along in your business, this might seem like child’s play to you. But you would be surprised how many business owners I’ve worked with that weren’t NEARLY as clear on the people they serve as they thought. 

Most everyone says that they can help everyone, but although, truthfully they can… when they try to connect with everyone, what they are really doing is connecting with no one. Connecting with your people means saying things that makes your audience get that ‘holy moly she is in my head’ feeling. But the problem is, when you try to talk to everyone, nobody gets that feeling… so what you are left with is a message to a bunch of people that doesn’t resonate with anyone. yikes.

Therefore, when you are trying to narrow down who you solve the problem for (questions 2), you have to narrow it down to a defined group. I know it may feel like you’re cutting off a limb, but I promise that if you talk to a very defined group of people, they will start to get that ‘holy moly she’s in my head’ feeling, and they will be knocking on your door begging to work with you.

So, to keep going with the three samples:

  1. Ladies in the tech industry, who know they thrive by having a community of light hearted support surrounding them.
  2. Ladies who are between 40 and 70 years old, who love the game of golf, the golf lifestyle,  fashion and traveling to magnificent places.
  3. People who love a beautiful culinary experience, don’t just want to eat to cure their hunger, but really want to enjoy it. People who have an interest in spirits, Mexico, Mexican cuisine and like giving back.

Alright, so now it’s time to add it all together, and when you do you will have a big part of your brand or niche clarified (and with that, know how to to connect with your people)!

YOU + SOLUTION + WHO = YOUR SWEET SPOT

These questions, tend to look easy to answer from the outside, but when you sit down to really answer them it can be a bit daunting, so I hope these samples help you out.


Also, if you pay extra attention to who you like to work with while you are providing your services, that is also a super helpful way to get clear on who your people are.

The best part is, when you start working with more of your people— it all becomes worth it.

 
Now, write down your answers to these questions, and be brutally honest and succinct about who you are, what you offer and who you want to serve, and I promise you that if you do this and it shows up in your messaging everywhere… you will attract the people you want to work with, and they will be so excited to work with you too.
 
Do you have any questions?