Saying “no” is critical to business success

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Say it. Go on. Say “no.”

Saying “no” can be difficult, but your business success is based on what you say no to, not what you say yes to and here’s why.

We think success is built on a saying “yes” to opportunities that come our way. We want to grow, take on new opportunities, say yes to deals, even if it seems daunting or uncertain.

Sometimes we even say “yes” out of a fear of turning down an opportunity even once sends a message that we’re not interested, we don’t want the work and we think it will stop getting additional chances or clients in the future.

You can’t serve everyone, nor would you want to either. Plus, your time is not infinite. There’s only so many clients you can see, content you can create, and life outside of work you have each week.

Saying yes can be an instant gratification hit, please others, feel good in the moment but does it lead you to where you’d love your life to be?

You may want to just go with the flow, keep others liking you, and be so accommodating that you lose sight of yourself.

In our business class this week, one of the members shared a story that I had to reshare with you (names excluded for privacy).

She’s been a practitioner for a long time so she’d had lots of practice saying yes to clients that she wanted to say no to. The day she knew she’d learnt this lesson was massive.

She’d said ‘no’ to ‘a seemingly ideal client’, because her intuition said so although she had no logical reason. And especially saying no meant less income which was a strain on a single income family and money being precious.

About 2 months later the client she’d said no to, had an incredibly traumatic experience that I would have been complicit in, that resulted in a death, court cases and the de-registration of practitioners.

She literally looked up at the stars and sent up a prayer of gratitude for listening to herself above all else. She thinks of this client literally every time she doubts her own intuition and says no to clients.

Gives you goosies hey {first_name}.

Saying no can be very powerful to grow your business because it’s what sets the standard of what you’d love your life to be. Saying no to others is saying yes to you.

Notice what you sacrifice when you say yes helps you be able to say “no.” Every yes, that is not a genuine ‘yes’ creates resentment within. You’ll find myself sacrificing you for them. And let’s face it, it generally comes to bite you in the bum eventually.

In an article on saying no in business by Forbes Magazine, they shared “Billionaire Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has a theory on this subject worth exploring: “The difference between successful people and really successful people,” he says, “is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” Bam!

Your business success is based on what you say no to, not what you say yes to but I can’t help but the thought deeper with you.

It’s tough to turn away a client, money, an offer or promotion, but it’s doing what is most aligned with you even if it means that people are mad or disappointed in you.

Then really it’s more than your ability or inability to say no or not.

The problem underneath the problem is this; how comfortable are you at handling other people’s negative emotions?

And how comfortable are you {first_name}?

Because if you can be with yourself, and handle the burning fire around you, you have mastered yourself.

Which means their emotions are their stuff, not yours. And their experience doesn’t influence your own.

I know a powerful question asking methodology called the Demartini Method that can help transform this dynamics,(click here if you’re curious in joining group coaching). No matter the emotion, nor how uncomfortable it is, there is a question to ask to dissolve your emotions or perceptions of theirs and have appreciation for them and yourself.

There is no need to feel guilty about saying no. (Check out this previous article, the hierarchy of charge (linguistic: annoyed vs F**KING HELL) on how to deal with emotions).

Don’t avoid saying no. Yep. Some people avoid the resistance they’ll get to keep the peace, not ruffle feathers, but you’re avoiding challenge. So how comfortable can you be with the uncomfortable?

No one likes to hear the words ‘no.’ But what if you saying no was freeing them to be served in a way that was more aligned with their outcomes and goals. Or made them more internally resourceful themselves. You might say no more often if you knew the blessings for them.

The thing is, you want to be investing your time (AKA, you only have 24 hour each day, so make them count kind of thinking) in what matters most to you.

Deeply consider what you say yes to, and question yourself. Often people say yes for the short term gain but forget what happens long term. For example, saying yes to clients but they don’t have the challenges you’d love to serve. Or saying yes to doing things with a new partner even though it’s not aligned with who you are long term.

And when there’s uncertainty in your decision, even if only for a moment, take more time to think about your answer or say no. You’ll be grateful that you did.

If it’s a no for now, or no forever, consider having a referral network of people who can send people to. I have a handful of facilitators, practitioners, coaches that I refer to when I know I’m not the best coach for them.

It happened just last week when another Demartini Method Facilitator called asking for me to work with her granddaughter. I instantly felt in my body and mind ‘no.’ I then asked myself, ‘Who do I know that could help her?” And in my little black book I scanned with my mind, I knew it was Silvana LaPegna, the coach who coaches me, and intuitive genius, and that in my body and mind it felt a solid ‘yes.’

A few days later, Silvana let me know the sessions went really well and she has a new perspective and framework to view life, which I know I wouldn’t have been able to give her with my expertise.

So my no, was the success for the client.

No, it’s two little letters, but sometimes extremely hard to say. Learn when and when not to say ‘no’ for the success of not only your business, but your clients.

Here’s my gold nugget of wisdom to take with you today, “I was a yes girl when I first started my business. Say yes, and figure it out later. It took me years to finally start saying no to things that would take me away from my purpose and path. Time is the most valuable thing you have so make sure you invest it wisely.”

With gratitude,


Counsellor Cross

Leadership Coach & Master Certified Demartini Method Facilitator
BAppSoSc (Counselling)
Maximum Growth
One on One and Group Coaching Available