Small Business Productivity Tip: When To Say “No.”

“If your answer isn’t OMG YES!, then it should be no.”

You live and work in a 24/7 world of opportunities and obligations. Keeping focused and productive is a challenge. It is so easy to say “yes” because it makes someone else happy. But is it a good use of your time and energy?

Several months ago I was invited to a business networking meeting. I quickly realized this group was not a good match for me – when their eyes glazed over as I told them about my business.  It was a nice group of people and I was warmly invited back, but I have decided to say “no” because it is not a good match for my target market and business goals. It was not a productive use of my time and energy.

If your answer isn't OMG Yes! then

If your answer isn’t OMG Yes! then it should be no.

Prioritize your obligations. Review your opportunities.

Networking is important, but not every group or person is a good networking match. New business opportunities should meet your business growth goals. Is this project or client part of your target market or does it belong to a market that is shrinking or you have out-grown? This is not to say you should cut people, but if networking is not a good match for you, it probably is not a good match for them.

You may tell yourself that you have the time, that you are not doing something for your business ALL THE TIME. But if you are busy with your business, you will not have time to plan, strategize, or develop new products – which is when you grow your business. Busyness does not equal productivity.

When To Say “No” Litmus Test

Unclutter had an article about when to say ‘no”.

     “We only get twenty four hours in a day. So if the answer isn’t ‘OMG, YES!’ it has to be ‘I’m sorry, but no.’ ” Lisa Barone of Overit, a motion design firm.

A bold YES is the answer. If you have any hesitation about something, is could be your intuition saying “no”. Or your practical mind saying “NO”.  Every “yes” should be for your benefit as well as the benefit of the other person, group, or business. A true win-win.

If you need help saying “no”, print out this article or the quote box and place it by your phone or in your datebook.

“If your answer isn’t OMG YES!, then it should be no.”