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I’m an international marketing coach, top-ranking podcast host, speaker, interiors lover and black coffee drinker.
As you transition from starting a business to being established, you inevitably encounter a really challenging step in growth – learning how to say no to work!
In this episode, we explore the many reasons you may want to say no to work, and the ways of doing it that help both you and prospective clients.
We explore the different stages of business and how things inevitably need to change from saying yes to almost everything to saying no to almost everything! I explain the reasons why this transition can be so hard and why it’s so important in order to scale and grow your business.
Saying no allows you to stay focused on your goals and the evolving vision you have for your business, to hone and specialise your work in order to focus on the niches you’re passionate about and avoid the resentment that often comes when you accept work you don’t want.
I share with you the ways I’ve learned how to do this and how I navigate the various ways of saying no – from declining work you used to do but no longer want to pursue, to ending working relationships with clients that you no longer want to work with.
I promise you, saying no gets easier! I’m excited to share my learnings with you, so you can scale and grow in the direction of your dreams.
Topics we discussed:
[00:45] It’s been quite a busy time around here! We had our Modern Marketing Collective Day Out and moved house! Moving house while pregnant is totally different from what I’m used to.
[2:09] Today we’re talking about a topic I see come up a lot, particularly in the workshop session of TMMC Day Out this year. A lot of students were taking on work they didn’t want to do anymore but they didn’t know how to say no.
[3:07] We’re going to look at the stages of business and some different strategies you can take on, in order to say no.
[3:38] At the start of our business, we say yes to almost everything.
[4:17] Saying yes is such an important phase of our business – we get to work out what work we enjoy doing and it gives us clarity around the types of clients we want to work with.
[5:15] However, as we transition into a more established business, we can feel stuck with all this different work. We need to learn to transition from saying yes to almost everything to saying no to almost everything.
[6:28] We need to revisit what we’re doing our business for? What are the goals we want to achieve? This will help us understand the reasons we want to say yes or no.
[7:41] We look at ways we can say no when we don’t want to let others down and some ways to approach this. There is often a big sense of guilt and responsibility that hangs over us.
[8:04] We forget that our potential clients have other options available to them. We are not everyone’s solution and it’s not our responsibility to help or save everyone else.
[9:07] A side effect of saying yes to everything is losing time, which prevents you from doing things that are scalable, which ultimately means you can help more people overall.
[9:53] It’s important to remember it’s not your responsibility to help everyone
[10:27] When we say yes to things out of a sense of guilt, it can lead to a sense of resentment. [11:56] When we simplify our business and hone our work, there will be work that we used to do, that we can’t do anymore. I offer you some tips on how to say no to clients when they think you still do that work.
[13:31] I give you an example of when I first created TMMC and how important it was for me to decline work, in order to develop this product.
[14:34] Of course, if you need revenue, say yes to whatever you need to!
[14:58] Ending working relationships and contracts with existing clients can be really challenging when you want to change direction or change your specialty.
[15:32] I share an example of a way I ended a relationship with one of my early clients and some tips that will help you!
[17:15] I offer you some other ways of saying no to new or different opportunities that might come your way that you’re not keen for or that don’t fit into your business’ current vision.
[18:50] It is not your responsibility to put together resources or do the research for someone if you can’t help them.
[20:16] How to navigate a situation when the answer isn’t immediately clear to you.
[20:52] How to establish guidelines if you have team members helping you filter new clients and opportunities
[21:50] You can also ask more questions! You don’t need to say no immediately.
[22:11] I promise you – it gets easier! Go out there and practice and strengthen that muscle of saying no.