The digital revolution has without a doubt changed the face of business and in an extraordinarily swift period of time. Never before have businesses and clients been able to connect so quickly, so effectively and as cheaply as now. This revolution has been responsible for the largest growth in entrepreneurship ever. In this post we talk about saying no to new work.
Cottage industries and corporations have sprung up in student digs, semi-detached homes and even in schools as people have grasped that businesses may be run with little capital and even less staff. This growth in entrepreneurship has also spawned a new problem for those who are sole traders or who are heading their own new companies, sometimes with little or no experience: refusing work.
The inability to say no can be a real dilemma for those struggling to establish their business in a competitive world. The very real fear of losing clients and falling behind your competitors is like a trap and once you’ve wandered into it, it can be hard to find a way out.
The Problem with Yes
When you are responsible for earning your crust via your own savvy and ingenuity, it’s easy to fall prey to the trap of all work and no play. After all, who wants to lose business simply to have a lunch break or go for a walk? Why call a friend to meet up for dinner when you could be wooing a client or planning your next advertising campaign?
The problem with saying yes to every single meeting or opportunity is not only that you risk becoming exhausted but also that you risk losing credibility too. In short, it’s good to play hard-to-get sometimes! Remember that things which seem to be exclusive are also very desirable. Everyone wants what they can’t have so keep yourself to yourself now and then and earn your rest at the same time.
If you have employees, it is however important to remember their wellbeing and to consider them as extensions of not only your business but of yourself. In other words treat them as you would wish to be treated. Happy staff make successful businesses and giving a little to your employees…and saying yes to their needs can make all the difference to your burgeoning company.
Saying No to new work
It’s far easier to refuse a request via email or letter but how about those times when you have to say no in person? Many people struggle with this; as children most of us are conditioned to be biddable, to say yes and to be acquiescent. However as adults we come across many situations when no is the only realistic reply but we find ourselves struggling with getting the word out.
Some tips to remember when saying “no” are as follows;
- Look the person in the eye.
- Don’t apologise…you can’t fulfil their wishes, say so and keep it simple.
- Offer a short explanation of why you’re saying no but save it for after your refusal
In order to succeed without destroying yourself it is often necessary to disappoint others and be single minded. There is of course support for entrepreneurs out there but it is vital you remember to balance your determination with a good sprinkle of humanity, keep your personal life separate from your business life; it’s ok to be a softie at home just not in the boardroom!