30 August 2018
“Life is a helluva lot more interesting when you say yes rather than no.” That’s one of Sir Richard Branson’s most famous quotes.
And it’s true. Life is a lot more fun when you say yes to opportunities and new adventures. Often our instinct is to say no simply out of fear. Wondering what could go wrong, rather than what could go right. In these instances, of course you should say yes more!
However, inevitably the time comes when you have to say no. We can’t say yes to everything; it’s impossible. At the end of the day, you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to but you can’t do everything. So are you saying no enough? How do choose what to say yes to?
Overpromising and under-delivering
Particularly as a business leader, saying no can be a challenge. It’s all too easy to feel guilty; there’s a certain level of responsibility and commitment to your role and the team around you at this stage. However, the more that you take on, the less time and attention you have to give to each task. Very quickly you find that you’re spread too thinly. Do you want to be the person who overpromises and under-delivers?
Ultimately you have a finite amount of resources and have to choose where you invest these wisely.
The key lies in prioritising. Does saying yes get you closer to your goal? Will you grow and develop by saying yes? If either of these answers are no, your response should be no. Whilst the opportunity may be exciting and fun, if it doesn’t ultimately get you closer to achieving your dream, is it really worth it?
Of course, there’s a way to say no without damaging any future opportunities. No doesn’t have to be a negative word. Keep it simple and honest.
Saying no in the end makes you more productive and more efficient, freeing up more time for you to say yes to the things that count.