The Importance of Saying No

Saying Yes often seems like the right thing to do in business.

After all, it makes us seem nice, open, accommodating, optimistic and agreeable.

But saying Yes can also be a trap.

It can dilute our focus.

Stretch our resources too thin.

Put us at the mercy of other people’s agendas.

The fact is, one of the defining characteristics of top performers in business is the ability to say No.

In our world of dynamic complexity, there are literally hundreds of opportunities each month to say Yes to new projects, meet with new people, investigate new sectors and begin new strategies.

You are probably tempted right now to say Yes to all kinds of things that aren’t part of your core business.

But it’s really important you resist.

For two primary reasons:

Firstly, I believe, and many different research studies show, that the people who become successful persistently do one thing well over a long period of time.

They don’t chop and change.

They don’t stop when work gets boring.

They don’t look for the next shiny new sector, fad or industry.

They grind it out, getting a little more skilled at their area of focus every day.

It’s not a glamorous way to live, but it gets results.

And secondly, every time you say No to a distraction from your main mission, you remind yourself about what’s really important- what your key focus is.

You get stronger, both mentally and strategically.

This week, why not make it a rule to say No to the unimportant, the distracting, the trivia masquerading as the urgent.

Saying No to distractions is ultimately saying Yes to greatness.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

9 thoughts on “The Importance of Saying No

  1. Hey Siimon, great post…I have subscribed. I have to ask do you have any particular suggestions on how to position a "no", particularly when the opportunity is related to a client or someone you work closely with.

    Cheers Siimon, keep the great posts coming

  2. A perfect post Siimon, I couldn’t agree more.

    I recall a quote long ago by Madonna, she talked about using the ‘Power of No’ very early on in her career. That always stuck with me. She was offered a lucrative deal at the very start of her career, which she turned down, due to it not being the core vision she had for her career. The rest is history, via thousands of astute decisions she has made throughout her career.

  3. Hi Ben, i really think polite, direct honesty is the best approach.
    If you’re coming from the right place the client will appreciate it, and if they don’t then you have to ask yourself whether you have a long term future with them.
    I have usually found that saying No to a client, with good reason, often actually brings the relationship closer.

  4. Hello Simon,

    This is certainly something that I really need to do more often, I have found many occasions where I’m working on multiple projects at the sacrifice of my own, just because I have been unable to use the word No.

    Thanks for the reinforcement on this, will certainly need to make some changes.

    BTW great blog Simon 🙂

  5. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really
    enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you
    post again soon.?

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