Have You Said No Lately?

When I started Egg, I’d take any kind of work, as long as it related to marketing. Annual report creation? Um, sure, we can figure that out do that. Write resumes? Yea. It’s money, right?

no?

But the longer I was in business, the more I realized I/we weren’t good at some things, and other things I plain hated. Like pitching the media. No reporter loves a PR consultant. And so I decided to stop doing those things. It’s scary saying no, especially when it means less money in your bank account. But the funny thing is, the more dead weight you remove, the more buoyant your boat (we’re using a boat analogy here; keep up!).

What about you? Do you take on any and every project that comes your way? Do you fear saying no, as it might put you in the poor house?

Take a deep breath with me and practice saying it:

Nooooooooooo.

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How to Say No

I’ve been in business for five years, and I thought I knew how to say no. But I didn’t. Because if something brought in money, I’d do it. Now don’t get me wrong: when I first started out, I was much worse. I’d take on any and every project. If I didn’t know how to do it, I’d figure it out. I’d waste countless hours learning a new skill or industry, and didn’t get paid for the learning curve. I sharpened up and had a few areas of focus. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized I didn’t really like those areas. So I’m learning to say no now.

Why We’re Reluctant to Say No

I think we don’t like saying no as entrepreneurs because it limits us. If we say we won’t do A, we miss out on revenue. And we like revenue, yes we do. Who knows when the next sale will come along after this? Maybe we’ll just take this one job to make some money. Then that’s it. Promise. But it’s a cycle as hard to break as getting off drugs is for an addict. It’s hard to see the long-term picture.

Getting really specific in a niche can be hard. And it can take time. And while it might go faster if we leave this money on the table, it’s still money.

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