Why You Need To Say No, Even If It Costs You Money

What if saying no to clients and no to new project requests could actually help you make more money? It sounds a little counter-intuitive, right?! But here’s the thing. Saying no could actually help you make more money in the long-run. That two letter word could be your key to that sustainable, robust and profitable business you’ve been dreaming of for so long.

Photo by Soulful Stock on Unsplash

When you say yes to everything

When you say yes to everything that comes your way, what you’re really doing is saying yes to putting others first and your business last.

When you say yes to every single offer that enters your inbox, you end up taking on work that doesn’t feel true to you. 

You know the kind of work I’m talking about? When you started this business you dreamed of working with clients who you felt excited to jump on a call with each day, who would react to your new ideas the way a flower reacts to those first days of summer sun, who’d bring you projects that had you doing a happy dance each time you opened up your emails.

There’s just one catch. It doesn’t seem to be going that way.

By always saying yes, you’re taking on low value work with clients who aren’t anything like those dream clients you envisioned not so long ago. You’re resenting the work you’re doing, resenting your clients for being the wrong people and resenting the projects for not being you enough.

You’re overworked, can feel your creativity escaping out the window and are delivering a service far below the quality you intended.

But it’s not your clients’ fault. After all, you said yes to them.

Except, by saying yes you ended up saying no to everything else.

What if you said no?

What would happen if you started to say no? Well, it might cost you some money in the short run as your business adjusts but, soon enough, this will even out.

Because when you say no to the wrong work, what you’re really doing is saying yes to you.

You’re saying yes to:

  • Charging what you’re worth and getting paid exactly what you ask for
  • Working on your dream projects, the ones that make you feel excited to get to power up your laptop everyday
  • Working with your dream clients, who treat you fairly and respect your time

Saying no to the wrong work gives you and your business the space you need to focus on the right work, the work that you envisioned when you first started out on your self-employed journey. By saying no to the work that isn’t going to fill you up with joy, you’re giving yourself the freedom you need to fully invest your time and energy into delivering the level of service that your clients and customers deserve.

What’s holding you back?

Saying no requires a mindset shift. This isn’t going to be an easy change and it certainly won’t happen overnight. You’ll need to understand what’s been holding you back from making this shift and be really honest with yourself about why you’re struggling to set those boundaries.

For most of us, it’s fear. Fear of asking for money and charging what we’re worth. Fear of saying no to the wrong people in case we don’t find the right ones. Fear of putting ourselves first.

How can you empower yourself to move past that fear?

Take a deep dive into the mindset shift you need to make. Rather than just telling yourself that you need to say no, consider why exactly you need to give that response. 

Instead of telling yourself “I need to charge more money”, ask yourself why you need to charge money and use that to form your empowering statement. “I need to charge more money to provide for my family so that is why I am asking for those higher rates” is a much more empowering message to tell yourself and will help you hold strong in those conversations with your clients.

Remember that saying no doesn’t mean that you’re rejecting the person making the request of you. You can still explain your reasoning and offer alternatives. It may well lead to a yes further down the line, you’re not saying no forever you’re just saying no to that specific project. 

By building a stronger mindset you’re going to be able to build a stronger, more robust and more sustainable business that will be able to survive any turmoil that comes its way. You’re building a stronger future.

Need some help to Get Up and Go? With clarity, focus and action, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Let’s get started with that very first step. Download your exclusive ebook right here!

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About the author

Lisa is a mother, a business owner, a founder, and an executive leader. She's been through it all and has come out the other side to thrive. Now she's helping you to do the same! Learn how you can find clarity and support through her services for individuals and organisations.