This word can change your business forever

Throughout the first part of my life, life taught me a crucial lesson, the power of the word NO. This word can change your business forever, it changes how you handle your customers, it changes the clients you partner with, and it changes the employees you hire. This article is going to discuss how NO can elevate your business and completely change your life.

Can you guess what my big mistake was?

I said yes to everything, I always wanted to please people, but in the end, I was the one that suffered. I’ve learned the power of NO and studied those in business who use it well.

Russel Branson, for instance, was invited to speak at a conference, this company offered him twice the standard cost of his speaking gig. What did he say? NO. They doubled their offer, said they would fly him out, have him back quickly, and he wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. He said, “NO.” The owner of the company finally asked him, “How much do you want to speak at this conference for us?” His staff promptly replied, “We are instructed to turn down anything that doesn’t align with his current project.”

No is called focus, and for the most successful people in the world, attention is a superpower.

The moment I stopped saying yes to everything was the moment I started to change, my personal growth almost tripled, and the joy I felt went through the roof. I was no longer spending time on things that weren’t necessary and focusing all of my time on my priorities.

Why is it so hard to say “NO?”

The reason it’s so hard to say is that we like to please people. But by becoming people pleaser we suffer, we try to help everyone, and in the end, we help no one. When we say NO, we also have to explain ourselves, and sometimes we can’t communicate precisely why we said NO.

It’s okay you’re not alone in feeling this way, Malcolm Gladwell calls this the locked door, behind the locked door, is our unconscious mind. It’s easy to make the decision, but explaining the conclusion is where we trip ourselves up.

Imagine you visited the local supermarket and had a friendly conversation with the cashier. Then, later on, you were brought to a police station and asked to identify the cashier. It would be pretty straightforward, wouldn’t it? But if you were asked to write a description of the person, you’re likely to hit some road bumps, but the reason is simpler than you think. Not only will you find it challenging to explain their features, but you’re going to overwrite your visual image of that person.

The thing is, we can make snap decisions that have validity but explaining those decisions is what interrupts the intuitive process. Often we’re unable to tap into this process because we feel like we need to define ourselves. What we’re doing is slowing down our minds as it does. It’s the best work.

Rather than stand firm in our decision, we decide that “Yes,” would give us a better outcome where we don’t have to explain ourselves. After all, how could we if we don’t understand it.

What makes us say yes?

The reason we say yes most often is we like to please people. But believe it or not, if you keep saying yes, it won’t make people happy, it will make them upset. If you hired everyone who came into your business regardless of qualifications and attitude, it would negatively impact your workplace culture.

When we say yes to customer discounts, we lower the value we give them and the potential future value. Saying yes to everything makes things worse. Saying yes when you know you shouldn’t make people happy in the short run, but in the long term it’s a losing battle, they’ll most likely be disappointed with you.

How can we replace no?

There are other ways to say the word “NO.” If you feel uncomfortable, you can replace no by explaining why. I learned tact in the military, and tact is nothing more than using the right words for your situation.

It’s effortless to say no, but rather than explain your decision, explain the impacts of saying yes.

If a customer asks for a discount, guess what you can tell them? 


We can’t lower the price; currently, we charge this much so that we can provide excellent service to you. If we reduce the cost, we will be unable to provide you with the excellent service you expect and the results that will help your business.

What if you’re asked to complete an unrealistic task?

I understand the importance of the task. Still, I am unable to complete it because of A, B, and C. If this task is going to take priority, I can drop my other responsibilities to focus on it right away.

You’re communicating that are being placed on you because limits don’t only affect us; they affect everyone around us.

The key to saying no is to be respectful, calm, and communicate clearly. If you’re saying no simply because you don’t want to put the effort in, then you’re the one being unreasonable.

Why it’s good to say no in business

It’s good to say no in business because it can make your services more desirable. Think about my earlier example of Russell Branson. The company didn’t offer him a few hundred dollars to speak, they provided him thousands, and when that didn’t work, they offered him hundreds of thousands.

You don’t want to do business with everyone, some people are plain rude and mean, it’s in their personality. You don’t want your team to deal with that, and you don’t want to deal with it.

Why it’s good to say no in business

It’s good to say no in business because it can make your services more desirable. Think about my earlier example of Russell Branson. The company didn’t offer him a few hundred dollars to speak, they provided him thousands, and when that didn’t work, they offered him hundreds of thousands.

Saying “NO” makes you desirable. From a psychological viewpoint, we call this “Playing hard to get.” 

We have a higher perceived value for things that we understand as out of reach. Do you remember the last time someone told you that you couldn’t do something? What was your response?

I know exactly what it was, the thought that entered your mind was, “Watch me.”

Say NO to mediocrity

If you want your business to hit the next level, you must say NO to mediocrity. We live in a society that rewards mediocrity, it will be a challenge for the leaders of tomorrow to build and grow those that have been infected by this disease.

It is one thing to earn comfort but to live in it is a trap, we cannot grow inside comfort.

I don’t believe that any of you started your business because you wanted it to be mediocre, but have you challenged the disease by saying, “NO.”

If you want to build a great business, it starts with discipline, if you’re interested in making a high-performance accounting firm, there are steps to follow.

An interesting thing happens when you start saying no to the things that aren’t for you, you start saying yes to things that are. You start saying yes to your dreams. This is how to start the business of your dreams.

The secret to productivity

The secret to productivity is learning to say no. Darren Hardy says, “What’s the master skill of productivity? Learning to say NO,” and it’s true. We get outstanding at something when we’re able to apply periods of concentrated focus.

Being productive isn’t about completing a million tasks but completing one task to mastery. Mastery requires a long fight with boredom, but on the other side is your reward.

When to say yes

Saying no can help you grow, but if you never say yes, where will you end up? Your business needs discernment towards your commitments, and your priorities are how you want your business to grow. You wouldn’t say NO to someone who could become an asset to your team. You might not even say NO to a new partnership that would expand your marketing strategy.

But how do you know when to say yes? The most successful have criteria for yes when you set up a system you remove the glitz, the glamour, and any preconceived judgments you may have made. Instead of thinking, “This is a good college kid, he’s going to fit in great.” You analyze his social skills, his attitude toward your industry of business, and his enthusiasm for work.

How someone fits into your team is much more important than their qualifications. Just as every relationship isn’t for us, neither is every employee.

Say yes to opportunity

Saying no can help you grow but if you never say yes, where will you end up? Your business needs discernment in the ventures you tackle and the strategies you use to employ your resources. Timing doesn’t happen often, so when it does, say yes to opportunity.

Opportunity sometimes shows up dressed like work, and that’s why most people miss it. If you’re not ready to do the job alone, find an accounting team to help you, accounting is a necessity, not a luxury.

Say yes to growth

Say yes to growth so that you can take yourself to new levels. Saying yes to growth comes with a price, the price you’re willing to pay will determine the amount of growth you receive. Your business will experience the same thing, what kind of growth are you expecting? Sometimes we see the price, and we back away, but we forget the cost of stagnation.

A runner that says no to stretching will pay the price of a pulled muscle. The bodybuilder that eats healthy food and trains consistently grows into a behemoth. 

If something is holding you back, saying yes might be precisely what your business needs. If you are having issues identifying your cash flow problems, please take a few minutes to fill out our client intake form.

Say yes to systems

Say yes to systems that help you optimize your personal life and business. When you think about automation, you should also consider systems you’re using to help your business, your own habits. Systems are best when directed towards specific goal-driven metrics. Accounting is a necessary system for your business, habits are necessary systems for you.

When you identify the system, which includes the trigger and the reward, you can change the system. Spending is a habit and a result of a lack of systems. We spend our time without knowing because we don’t have a schedule or structure to follow through our day. We spend our money on ‘good deals’ and items that grab our attention because we don’t have a budget that directs our cash.

Systems don’t eliminate the bad habit. They replace it by not allowing it to trigger in the first place. You won’t spend hours on Facebook if your schedule says, “Phone off, study time.” When you obliterate the trigger, it becomes easier to replace a bad habit. If your phone is on and vibrating, you’ll find yourself in a fight against your pattern. Depending on the size of the reward, you’re likely to lose.

We value immediate rewards, and why wouldn’t we? Food gives us energy, music, and television provide us with entertainment, and we no longer have to fight for our slice of comfort. Immediate rewards have grown more significant with credit cards, dating apps, rewards clubs, etc. We’re losing the battle for long term growth, and it’s because our environment has immediate rewards.

Habits and systems become more critical than ever to build with the constant bombardment of tailored advertisements and improved comfort. As society becomes more automatic, don’t let yourself do the same. If you find yourself with bad habits that affect your business, outsource the work. Hiring CFO services aren’t as costly as making an accounting error and paying fees that seem unethical. The right accounting system keeps you with cash flow. The corrupt system keeps you broke.

Saying No makes you more desirable, but if you never say yes, you can miss out on the opportunities around you. Decision making, especially with complex variables, is best done with a system that helps reduce any friction in your final decisions. More information doesn’t always help, and sometimes stretching ourselves too thin can cause things to fall apart.

The solution is to outsource the decisions we can and build systems where available. CFO services save you time and money when you can avoid errors and fees. The biggest problem we run into as business owners are shooting ourselves in the foot, we don’t need to nor do we want to. Paying fees is an unavoidable expense that can be extremely costly. The right CFO team can help you avoid this.


Talk to us today about what services you can say NO to and which ones you need.

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