In a world driven by “yes,” saying “no” comes with its own set of unique benefits.
7 min read
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Generally speaking, the word “no” carries a weighty, negative connotation. From an early age, we’re taught that “yes” — its affirming counterpart — is more favorable. This duality is further reinforced when we enter the workforce. Understandably, we want to prove ourselves to peers, management, clients and customers.
As an entrepreneur starting out, you’re ambitious — incessantly driven to prove yourself. We try to wear many hats and ultimately gain as much exposure and experience as quickly as possible. We tend to do this by saying “yes” to almost every request that comes our way.
However, as our career evolves and our business matures, the automatic “yes” can quickly place you on a dangerous path — one that hurts you more than it helps others. Being intentional with your time, energy and work is critical not only as an entrepreneur and leader, but also as a contributing member of society at large.
Below are three reasons why saying “no,” an act that is often discouraged and rarely embraced, can actually help you achieve positive results for your business.
Related: 5 Ways to Be a Strong Leader
1. It fosters a clear competitive advantage for your business
As a startup or business leader in early stages, it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying “yes” to most things. You want to pave your business’s way to success, and that often times comes from remaining openminded, considering your options and taking on new challenges. So, naturally, many young entrepreneurs are hesitant to say “no.”
However, being purposeful with your use of “no” doesn’t mean you need to keep yourself or your business closed off. Instead, use “no” to your advantage. Use it to establish a clear competitive offering for your company. Use “no” strategically to keep yourself and your team focused on the true mission of the business. Saying “no” essentially means saying “yes” to something else — something ultimately better for you and your business.
You can do this by being intentional with who you employ, partner with and, ultimately, serve. This strategy will allow you to remain more competitive and create a clear and unique customer value proposition within the marketplace. Alternatively, if you accept every offer, every applicant, every partnership, chances are your business will quickly get lost among the competition.
2. It reduces the risk of opportunity cost
In business, the more success you experienc
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Why Saying ‘No’ Can Actually Help Your Business or Startup