Did you know, that learning how to say no can actually increase your revenue? I believe that work-life balance is old-school thinking, especially for small business owners who live to work and work to live. Entrepreneurs are high achievers and usually started their businesses because they were passionate about a certain subject or had an idea for a problem they could solve for others. They jump in with a lot of enthusiasm and oftentimes do not feel like their business is work.
The sad statistic is that one out of every two small businesses fails within the first five years. There are many factors that can contribute to a small business failing, one key element is the owner quits from mental exhaustion, or what is referred to as burnout.
What is burnout?
It is physical and/or mental exhaustion that can lead to burnout. Symptoms such as losing interest in activities you normally enjoy, feeling depressed, and lacking energy/ mental focus, are all associated with burnout. In addition, having a hard time getting motivated to work on or in your business can be another key indicator.
If you are interested in creating a thriving business that will be sustainable for years to come then it is important to transition from trying to create a work-life balance to developing healthy boundaries, and one key strategy to implementing this is learning the art of saying no.
I understand firsthand that when you are trying to grow a business the last thing you feel like you can give yourself permission to do is say no. We let fear dictate our decisions, the fear of missing out, of not being seen, of a client choosing a competitor, of not having enough sales, of our employees quitting, and so on and so on. The irony is, If we don’t learn to say no, we will start to take on way too much which will lead to costly and poor decisions, making mistakes, and in the worst scenario not taking good care of our clients or customers and ultimately our families too!
Effectively Saying No
In order to effectively learn to say no, you need to understand and have clarity on exactly what you are trying to build. Are you building a business that needs to support your entire family? Or perhaps a business that gives you a second part-time career? The good news is you get to decide and by doing so ahead of time allows you to have clear priorities and make decisions that will benefit and help you achieve your goals. If you do not have a clear roadmap, how are you going to know how to get where you are going?
Once you have your priorities in place then you can start adapting the practice of pivoting your No to Your best YES! Oh, and this will start impacting your revenue
Keys to start saying your BEST YES!
Start with your clients. You are not meant to work with anyone and everyone. Repeat after me, I am not meant to work with anyone and everyone.
How many times have you said yes to a client or customer and deep down your instincts told you not to? We have all done it, and I can guarantee that the client took more time than necessary, was extremely demanding, ended up costing you a lot of time and money and therefore left you mentally and physically exhausted and contemplating throwing in the towel and going to work at Starbucks. Okay, maybe that is just me, my dream job was being a barista until I learned I have to be at work by 4 am!
Creating boundaries starts by defining and understanding what you do, and who you do it for, and letting go of the clients that do not fit that description. It is okay to release those clients into the world as they are meant to work with someone else and that opens up space for you to do your best work and get paid what you deserve by working with your BEST client. When you work with your ideal client, you will find that you are able to deliver a better product and service which will ultimately set you up for success and naturally create boundaries. Do you have a clear concise description of your ideal client?
Next look at your networking efforts.
You are not meant to have coffee with every single person that comes into your atmosphere or attend every networking event. How many times have you had a coffee date with a person that only talked about themselves? Talk about exhausting and hard to stay awake, even while you are sipping that caffeinated drink.
Make sure before you say yes to meetings that the connection is mutually beneficial to both parties involved. Do your goals align with your industries? Can you add value? Can they add value to your business? I suggest limiting the number of times you network in a month and being choosy with who you spend your time. The best networking opportunities are usually with people that have been introduced to you by a respected colleague or business associate. Start with your trusted network and ask for an introduction when looking to network with others.
Value your time.
The next area to say your best yes to is very important and that is your time. Time is the most valuable resource you have as an entrepreneur, and if you don’t dictate your time, time will dictate you. I recommend first to schedule and make appointments with yourself. You need your time to work on your physical and mental health. It is also greatly important to do the things you love and spend time with those that are closest to you.
Work to schedule and block out time for activities that actually will grow your business, make these a priority. Trust me, somehow you will manage to find time for the admin tasks, social media scrolling, and busy work, but only do so after you create space for business-building activities.
Understanding Your Boundaries
Creating healthy boundaries requires you to have clarity about what you want to build, be intentional with who you surround yourself with, and create habits that protect your time. When you take the initiative to develop these you will find your revenue will grow, profits will improve and you will be able to create a thriving business for years to come because you will have the energy and focus to show up as your best self for your clients, your business and those that matter the most to you.
Stop saying yes to any and everyone that comes into your business. Instead, ask yourself, “Is this my best yes and use of my time?”
If you are interested in diving deeper into developing boundaries, send me an email. I have a FREE pre-recorded webinar I can share with you.