Someone very wise once said, “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no!’”
The challenge for every person, in business as in life, is to know what you want and then what you do not want.
Many people become overwhelmed because they feel they need to say ‘Yes!’ to everyone.
In business having a clear focus involves becoming an expert in a particular area and usually that means excluding most other areas. All great businesses specialise in something and do it very well which is why they create demand and therefore as a consequence, success. When you try to be ‘Jack of all Trades you are usually Master of None’.
If you have not learned to be comfortable saying ‘No!” it could be a sign that:
- You do not know clearly enough who your target market is – time to cut off some of your unproductive options and focus more clearly.
- You are still trying to please everybody – a great recipe for a frustrating life.
- You are not clear enough about your direction or what kind of business you are in. This might be ok in the very early days when you are getting started and need cash flow but the longer you continue to try to include everyone the longer it will take you to build the business you really want.
- You are fearful that you cannot afford to lose someone’s business. Perhaps you should be more concerned that you are going to lose money by giving valuable time and energy to an ultimately unproductive customer.
- You are fearful of offending people and of what they may say to others about you and how that may affect your business. Nothing works well for very long if fear is the motivation.
- You have a need to be needed – a good business plan is ‘seeing a need and meeting it at a competitive price’. But if you try to respond to many needs without a plan you may be helpful to a few but you will also very broke.
- You have a need to be busy – don’t confuse busyness with productivity. Learn to work smart as well as hard.
- You probably do not have a clear business plan or not one you are convinced of enough to actually follow. Most Australian small businesses do not have a clear workable business plan.
As a Leadership/Business Coach one of the main things I find myself doing is helping my clients establish a workable business plan and then holding them accountable to have the courage to hold their course and actually stick to their plan.
Obviously there needs to be some flexibility to move with changing market conditions. However, one of the marks of very successful people is that they know what they want and work out how to get it or make it happen.
Who or what do you need to start saying ‘No!’ to right now?
And, what does your saying ‘Yes’ to this person say about you?