​How Learning to Say 'No' Can Grow Your Bottom Line

Taking on more obligations does not always lead to positive results

​How Learning to Say 'No' Can Grow Your Bottom Line

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Business owners typically take a lot of pride in their independence, their autonomy and their ability to get things done — and rightfully so. Running a company requires a lot of hard work, skill and determination, and you have every right to be proud of your achievement.

If there’s a downside to this, it’s that business owners sometimes feel like they need to be all things to all people. They agree to do more than they should and wind up being stretched too thin.

One of the most valuable skill sets a business owner can develop is learning when and how to say no.

Certainly, the temptation entrepreneurs face is to agree to everything. You don’t want to turn down a client or a new project, and you worry about declining any opportunity to network, make connections or meet new people.

But if you say yes to every opportunity that comes your way, you place your own mental and physical well-being in jeopardy. You risk burnout and fatigue. And worse, as you take on more and more obligations, you risk becoming unfocused or sloppy in your work.

If you end up burned out, stressed or unhappy, you’re more likely to let things slip through the cracks.

Changing your attitude

Many business leaders will acknowledge the need to guard their time and to not accept every proposition that comes their way. But actually learning how to say no, clearly and directly, can still pose a challenge.

Often what’s required is changing the way you think. It’s easy to think that when you’re saying no, you’re declining an opportunity. But look at it from another perspective: When you say no to one thing, you’re saying yes to greater focus and attention for the other projects that matter to you. You’re saying yes to devoting more of yourself to adding value to your business, developing your team or doing good work for existing customers. And you’re saying yes to your own mental health and well-being, which can make you more productive over the long run.

When you start looking at things from this point of view, the calculations become a little easier. Doing projects for clients who are difficult to work with, take up too much of your time or don’t pay you promptly and fully just takes time away from the jobs that do allow you to grow your bottom line or do work that you find meaningful and rewarding.

Try to hold on to this mindset going forward: You can’t do everything, so sometimes you have to say no to one thing in order to say yes to something better.

In order to be successful and productive, it’s imperative that you realize the importance of being judicious with your time and your attention.

About the Author

Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.


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