Just one word can serve as your most powerful ally in a coming post-pandemic business world. It’s actually one of the shortest words in the English language, but wields an incredible amount of influence. It’s a single syllable that can save you from a lot of trouble, and even one that can help you realize a profit. This magical word? It’s “no,” and it will be very difficult to utter in the coming months.
Why “No” will Become Absolutely Necessary
Risk is inherent in entrepreneurship, and that’s why it’s so difficult to turn things down. Business owners realize when they do not seize upon a seeming opportunity, they ostensibly lose out in one way or another. Call it FOMO or fear of missing out. Call it pride or even stubbornness. Whatever it is, there’s an impulse to accept things as they come.
It’s easy to say yes and hard to say no. Anyone who has children knows how effortless it is for kids to learn the word ‘no.’ They love to say it—all the time! So, it’s curious that as we get older, the word ‘no’ becomes a distant memory and ‘yes’ is the order of the day. This is especially true if you are a people pleaser. Let’s face it, deep down we all want to be liked. For an entrepreneur, learning to say no is crucial because it can mean the difference between success and failure. —Forbes
This isn’t to say it’s necessary or even smarter to avoid risk, but rather, to measure it on a case-by-case basis. And in a time when you’re in a position to help others out in their time of need, it will be extra tempting to accept rather than pass. This can easily become detrimental to your business in a very short period of time. So, it’s critical that you learn or relearn how to say “no.”
How to Say “No”
The real problem with saying “no” is that you’re not saying “yes.” If you think about it for a moment, that becomes fairly profound. In other words, “yes” carries a positive connotation, while its antonym is, understandably negative. But, that doesn’t mean that saying “no” can’t have a positive income. Here’s how to say “no,” when you impulsively want to say the opposite:
- Suggest alternatives. Instead of just posing an objection and leaving it at that, suggest alternative scenarios. It will help you to feel a sense of usefulness and even a sense of accomplishment, perhaps pride. This way, you’re offering solutions rather than shutting the other person out.
- Explain your reasoning. Although we’ve all heard the phrase “No is a complete sentence,” in many instances, it’s just not enough. So, take a moment to explain why you’re saying “No thanks,” and don’t belabor the point(s). After all, if you do prolong the situation, you’re opening yourself up to self-doubt.
- Don’t rationalize your decision.This goes right along with the last point. If you begin to rationalize, you’ll send yourself out on a path to going the opposite way to “yes.” And, that defeats the entire purpose of saying “no” in the first place.
What other suggestions would you add? Please share your thoughts and experience by commenting!
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