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By Mark Creedon

Why ‘no’ is an underrated word

Spare a thought for the word ‘no’.

It gets a bit of a bad rap.

It’s seen as a negative word to use, a slap-down, a refusal.

And many people are uncomfortable with using it.

They tend to stick to ‘maybes’ or they delay making decisions.

Sometimes they will simply ignore an issue, hoping it will go away, rather than issuing a direct no.

But it’s time we embraced the word no.

It’s a vital tool in the entrepreneur’s arsenal.

Not one successful person got ahead without using it.

Refusal is as important as agreeing to something.

Saying yes to opportunities is the easy part.

But in order for those opportunities to come about we have to say no to a whole lot of time-consuming jobs or pathways that won’t really lead us anywhere.

Here are some of the benefits of saying no:


1. You stop wasting time

We complain a lot about being short of time, but are we really?

Or is it just what we choose to devote our time to that’s the problem?

How many times have you said yes to things you didn’t want to do?

Sadly, people can spend their whole lives doing things other people want them to do and not really following their instincts.

Learning to say no is what will keep you on track.

Don’t get me wrong: there are times when all of us say yes to things we would rather not do.

That’s just part of being an adult.

But you should never be afraid of saying no to decisions that will have a big impact on your life or aren’t right for your career.

2. It allows the right opportunities to come about

Here’s what happens when you say yes to everything: you end up doing a lot of work that doesn’t interest you or doesn’t advance your long-term goals.

When you’re absorbed with things that you’re not connected to or inspired by, you’re less likely to meet the right people or get ahead.

You’re simply treading water.

But when you leave yourself open to that right opportunity, when you have your ear to the ground listening for it, great things can happen.

Yes No

3. It gives your YES value

This may sound a little strange, but if you say yes too often it loses value.

If you’re a boss who is a pushover and is always giving everyone what they want then your yes starts to mean very little.

Others assume that you’ll be OK with anything that’s decided and that’s definitely not the way you want to behave or be perceived.

But if you give proposals careful consideration and aren’t afraid to say no to bad ideas, then when you do give a yes, it will carry a lot of weight.

Because people will realize that you don’t just hand out yeses on a platter.

4. People respect you

Finally, you need to say no not just for yourself, but so others will respect you.

No one respects a yes-man.

There will be deals that you need to say no to, people you will have to stand up to.

Most people will be a bit annoyed at first if you say no to them, but then it mostly passes.

What they’ll be left with is a begrudging respect and that’s more important than being liked.

A carefully chosen no can make all the difference to your life, and it increases your chances of eventual success.

Remember: the right no leads to the right yes.

Try it.

You’ll see what I mean.

About Mark Creedon Mark Creedon is Director of Metropole's Business Accelerator Mastermind and business coach to some of Australia's leading entrepreneurs - each who call him their "unreasonable friend"
Visit Metropole's Business Accelerator Mastermind.
1 comment

It is true! People should learn how to say "no", it actually saves many lives most of the time.

0 replies


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