When I stopped working my corporate job to start my marketing agency things were tight, very tight. In fact, when I first started out I needed to find a part-time job to help pay the mortgage and bills. It was not a big deal because I was out of Corporate America working on my dream.
So off to the job boards I went looking for something 10-15 hours per week with a wage above the state minimum. I came across a local business that was offering $16 per hour, not bad for part-time work.
We set up to meet to do an interview. Just at this time a blog post about the Chamber of Commerce was shared on social media over 1,000 times in two days and leads started coming in.
There was a dilemma. Do I go to the interview or do I cancel and work on these leads? All of the marketing and businesses gurus that I follow have always said, “Work on revenue generating tasks. Increase your custom base.” My initial thought was to cancel the $16 an hour interview and start working on the leads.
3 Reasons People Say No
While doing my research for this article I came across article after article about saying “no”. I found some common ground on these articles and the three biggest reasons people say “no” is they do not have the time, do not want to put forth extra effort, or they do not like the person asking.
Let’s explore this in more detail.
Not Enough Time
Money grows on trees and time flies. I get it, the more you say yes, the less time you have to do other things. We all have 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year. Time is a real struggle for most of us. I have met with people that would rather give money to an organization than volunteer because time is so valuable.
If you look at your day I bet you can find tasks or meetings to cut out. So, make sure to manage your time wisely so you can say yes to the right opportunities. If you focus on the right tasks, you will always be able to find a little more time.
Lack Of Effort
Okay, this is the one that I can not figure out. We can all make an effort. I know you love to catch up on Netflix, but that does not really accomplish your goal of building that business or getting that promotion. Unless your goal is to finally watch every episode of Mad Men. However, if you are reading this post your goals are probably more than just to be an expert in Netflix cinema.
Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential. – Winston Churchill
Do not ever say no because you do not want to put in the effort. Your effort is the only way you are going to unlock your potential and saying yes, just might get you there.
You Do Not Like The Person Asking
We all have these people in our lives. The people that when you see them you jump behind the big blue recycle bin or duck into an empty office and hide under the desk. If you are this person, I am sorry for you and your co-workers.
I will still not give you a pass on this one. That really annoying person just might have the best, most profitable idea ever. Just because the dude is a jerk does not give you a pass to say no.
As Mom always said, “Two wrongs do not make a right.”
3 Reasons To Say Yes
Okay, now that you know why people say no, let’s explore 3 reasons to say YES.
You Never Know
Have you ever told your friends, “I am going to stay in tonight,” later to see a picture show up on Facebook with your crew and Mark Cuban? I have never had that happen either (Mark if you reading this give me a call). The point is you never know what is going to happen.
By saying no, you really do not know what is going to happen. You might meet the business connection that you need to launch your business.
One of my agency friends met his first really large client while waiting for his his pickup at Chilis. I know right, what are the odds.
It Could Lead to a Long-Term Relationship
Okay, if there is one thing that I have come to realize in business is people do business with people they like. Networking is about the long-term relationship, not about the short term sale. That being said, if you say no to that cup of coffee you might miss out on making a great relationship, personal or business.
Side note: This is why I started CoCoffee.
One of the best networking events I have ever attended resulted in $0 in sales. However, I met a mentor that has helped me build my business. Building relationships is the name of the game.
You Might Learn Something New
In my experience, I have found that people have a wealth of information and if you ask, they are more than willing to share. So if you say no to that $2.50 cup of coffee you might miss on learning something valuable. Learn from others mistakes, learn from others successes, and find the right person to help you.
Knowledge is power so make it a point to learn from others, you never know what small bit of knowledge will lead to.
Just Say Yes To The Right Things
Okay, I am a yes guy. However, as my marketing agency grew I came to a point that there was too much going on. I had to start thinking in a way that made sense for my business. I am only one person, I only have so much time in the day, and would like to see my family more. I had to be more strategic with my opportunities.
Focus On The Big Picture
Like all of you, I had a vision for my agency. Your company vision is important because it will drive your business and guide your actions. If the project or task moves your company forward, then it is a must do. Think of revenue generating tasks.
These yeses do not have to be short term either. Always keep your eye on the prize. For example, through my local Chamber Of Commerce, I was asked to be part of a B2B committee. I knew that this was not going to be a revenue generating task right off the bat, but it had huge potential 6 months to 12 months down the road. How else are you going to rub shoulders with other companies in a collaborative environment?
The point is, stick to your company vision and say yes to the tasks that are going to drive your vision of the future. A great company vision will also drive your staff to say yes to the right opportunities. Let your vision drive your answers.
Help Others Succeed
I am a big fan of helping others succeed. That is one of the reasons I am involved in SCORE, a volunteer organization that helps small business get started. I think it is very important to help others for two reasons. First, it helps you develop your skills (more in a moment). Second, it builds lasting relationships.
Self-development is a must for anyone in business. I am not talking about formal schooling, but the kind of knowledge and development you get from reading a book, attending a conference, or mentoring. Some call this street smarts. You are selling your skill set every day, so you must continue to develop yourself.
My wife told me, “Go to the interview, you never know what is going to happen. It is only an hour out of the day.” I am glad I listened to her (she is a pretty smart lady). At the interview I was given the $16 per hour part-time job, it helped me get started. What I did not expect was to also land my first large marketing contract. Little did I know that the company I was interviewing with also needed marketing help.
Since then I have been saying yes a lot more and the outcome has been great. Business is growing and clients are coming in faster than ever.
The moral of the story is simple. Do not say no all of the time, you never know what opportunity is out there. Saying yes, makes you work harder, interrupts your schedule, and can lead to nothing, but your hard work is going to pay off. Just make sure that the things you say yes to are for the right reasons.
Everything starts with a yes. Nothing will ever come from saying no. Don’t be Nolan Bushnell, the dude that missed out on owning one-third of Apple for a $50,000 investment. Explore opportunities and build your empire.