I hate saying No. I’ve always hated it. In an effort to be nice and cause as little friction as possible, I’m likely to say Yes way more than I should. Even just last month I spent an hour and a half helping a client set up their email without getting paid for it. We lost money because of that. There are a hundred other examples of death by 1,000 pecks of the sparrow. All from not saying No.
To have value as an individual or as a company, you need to say No.
What won’t you do?
If you’re not a firm that specializes in SEO, why take on SEO? If you don’t specialize in PPC, why take on a PPC client?
Saying No is the difference between knowing what you can do and what you should do.
It’s easy to lose focus. The surest way to lose focus is to say yes to everything. But if you do, you’ll be the woodpecker bouncing around from tree to tree with only a few taps, eventually starving. Pick a tree and stick with it.
Yes devalues you.
There has to be a line you won’t cross.
As a designer that might you won’t bend to every wish and demand of the client because in your expert opinion it would cheapen the design. Comic Sans is not a great font choice even if the client is kicking and screaming for it.
As a company it means you don’t take every opportunity that comes your way. A project that pays money can do much more harm than good. If it’s taking you off your core focus and stopping you from improving at what you do best, is it worth it? Most companies have a hard enough time doing one thing remarkably well, do you want to risk diluting yourself even more?
Don’t fear saying No.
To do what needs to be done, not what can be done, say No more often.
Connect with me on Twitter: @BenNesvig