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No: A Business Owner’s Vocabulary Lesson

One of the most essential terms for business owners to understand and master is the word “No.”  Learn its meaning. Get comfortable saying it aloud. Practice if you need to.

You’re going to need to be able to say and hear the word “No” often on the path to building the life and business you want.

  • Say “No” to new business that doesn’t fit your values, talents, or interests.
  • Say “No” to prospective employees who might be the best of the bunch you’ve interviewed, but don’t have the skills you need or fit for your culture.
  • Say “No” when someone wants you to speak for their organization in the middle of the week you’d planned to spend traveling with family.

Though we associate “No” with negativity, the word, in itself, is neither good nor bad. “No” creates boundaries that make decision-making easier.  Indeed, in every choice, there is gain and loss.  Perhaps it is your fear of the losses (some of which are only perceptions, by the way), that keep you from not using your “No” enough, or perhaps using it too much!

So embrace the “No.” And when you’ve mastered that, you’ll be ready for the next vocabulary lesson:  Yes.


2 Responses to No: A Business Owner’s Vocabulary Lesson

  1. Judith Gallagher January 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    On the example about saying no when you want to travel with your family: One of the things I have found that works for me is to think of an alternative and then say, “Could we look at another date? How about XXXX?” You aren’t actually saying “NO” but you are managing the situation to everyone’s advantage.

    • Dodie Jacobi January 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Great option Judy! Much more productive to say what you CAN do than what you can’t! Thanks for the addition!

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