Today’s episode is one that makes most people extremely uncomfortable and that is learning how to say no in business. Now if you are a people pleaser or recovering people-pleaser like I am, saying no is probably really difficult. And it is even more challenging when you are the boss of your own business.
I know it’s tempting to want to say yes to every inquiry, yes to every email, and yes to every opportunity that comes through the door. However, being the “yes woman” all the time can actually hurt your business. Why? Because it can lead to resentment of your clients, feeling completely stretched thin, and can lead to burnout. So this episode is all about helping you determine what should be a yes from a no, how to set boundaries both personally + professionally, and lastly how to confidently say no and stick with it.
When it comes to starting + scaling your business the number one thing you need to learn is how to say no. No to client inquiries that just aren’t the right fit, no to opportunities that don’t align with you, & no to people in your personal life when you just don’t have the capacity to say yes (or don’t want to).
You see, when you start a business you are going to have a lot of distractions thrown your way. People are going to want your time, company, and energy, and because you are in the driver’s seat you have to determine what’s the best use of your time and what is not.
Truthfully, if you always say yes in your personal life it’s going to affect your business, and on the opposite end, if you always say yes in business, it’s going to take a hit to your personal life. So, when it comes to business it’s about finding that balance, learning how to say no gracefully, and learning how to establish boundaries with clients + peers.
And so on that note, when it comes to determining what’s really a yes from a no whether in your personal life or in business, here are a few things that have helped me.
The first thing to help determine what is a yes from a no is to ask yourself “will this fill my bucket or will it completely drain it?”
Now, this may sound weird, but what I mean is you have 4 main buckets. These are your emotional bucket, your financial bucket, your physical bucket, and lastly your spiritual bucket. So when it comes to filling these buckets, everyone is going to look different because everyone has different values, opinions, personalities, & perspectives. For example, let’s say that you hop on a discovery call with a potential social media management client and financially it looks like a great opportunity, but on the call, something feels off. You get the feeling that this client would be emotionally draining, wouldn’t respect your time, and ultimately wouldn’t be the right fit
So what you can do after you hop off the call is you can ask yourself whether this potential client is going to fill your buckets or drain them. And in this example, while they may fill your bucket financially, they are probably going to drain you physically and emotionally. For me, that is not worth it.
The second way to determine a yes from a no is to ask yourself are you saying yes only out of guilt, out of not being liked, or because you are afraid someone might get upset at you for saying no?
Really ask yourself: are you saying yes because you are too afraid of saying no or are you saying yes because you truly want to. Even I’ve had to learn that I need to stop letting other people’s expectations of me or what they might think of me dictate my own actions. When my immediate gut reaction is a no, I have to just say no and be true to who I am. And so the reason why learning to say no NOW rather than later is so dang important, is that as you continue to grow and scale your social media management business, the more people are going to demand your own time, energy, & attention. So it’s going to be up to you to navigate that, set boundaries, and stand by your no’s.
And lastly when it comes to knowing if something is the right fit and whether your answer is going to be a heck yes or a heck no, is really to ask yourself
#1) Does this actually align with my core values, beliefs, and vision for my business?
#2) How am I going to feel about saying yes to this person, client, or opportunity 3, 6 or 12 months down the line?
Because if you already have a gut feeling that this person or this opportunity isn’t going to be aligned, then if you say yes now you will most likely regret that choice later on.
Now a lot of people view the word “NO” as a super negative word or that it’s really rude to say. However, it’s actually the opposite. Saying no is truly what’s going to give you the freedom to say yes to something else, something that’s more aligned with you and your business, and allows you to pursue a better opportunity. Saying no, especially when it’s not the right fit is also giving the other person value because you’re saying hey I’m not the perfect social media manager for you but someone else is.
And lastly saying no is what’s going to allow you to work with those dream clients, grow and scale your business, serve your family + lifestyle, and pursue things that are in alignment.
Here’s how to say no using a compliment sandwich.
If someone inquiries about your SMM services but you feel they just aren’t the right fit for whatever reason you could say “hey thank you so much for reaching out about X project, I am so honored that you want to work with me”
“While I’m so excited for your business & the vision you have for it, unfortunately, I don’t think that I’d be the best fit to come abroad your team”
From there if you have any recommendations of people that would be a better fit you can provide this here or wish them all the best and thank them for their time.
So something short and sweet, obviously each situation is going to be different so use your best judgment but that’s really the best way to go about saying no is to wrap it in this like yes sandwich. Now with that said there are definitely scenarios where you can just say no or no thank you and leave it at that – that is completely valid but in a lot of cases having this yes sandwich is what’s going to help you leave things on good terms, have you feel confident in your answer, & also have them feel heard.
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