Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, is quoted as saying, “The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” He’s right. It’s much easier to say yes. Saying no means that you are letting people down. Heck you might even be letting yourself down when you say no. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. Particularly if you want to lead your business and live a rewarding and fulfilling life.

Why Saying “No” is Imperative to Your Success

Your priorities are more important – this may sound selfish, yet it’s true. Your priorities need to be your number one focus. If you make other people’s needs and priorities more important than your own, you’re sending the wrong message to yourself, your audience, and to those around you. If you want to succeed in business, you have to make your needs a priority. Truthfully, people do understand when you say no and they’re probably more than willing to tell you “no” themselves. It’s not personal.

You Need the Time

Saying yes to everything, including all of the tasks and responsibilities in your business, leaves you very little time for what’s important. Your personal life, health and well-being often take the back seat and suffer. As well, the grand vision that you have for your business suffers simply because you don’t have the time to focus on it. Start thinking about saying no to opportunities that come your way unless they support your business vision or they somehow improve your wellbeing. This even means saying no to yourself when you think, “Oh, I’ll just handle this myself, I don’t need to outsource it.” Unless it’s a task that directly contributes to your financial or personal wellbeing, chances are you need to say “no.”

You Regain Control

Saying no isn’t comfortable at first. However, as you practice the word and begin to use it judiciously, you’ll feel more confident. You’ll begin to feel like you’re in control not only over your day-to-day decisions, but also over your destination. If you struggle saying no to people and to yourself, start small. Say, “I’ll think about it,” or “I’m not sure that’s right for me.”

You’ll begin to see that the world doesn’t end when you say “no” and in fact you may feel tremendously liberated by it. Bottom line is that it takes courage to say no and to stay focused on your priorities. However, it also took courage to start your own business, so you already know you’re braver than most.

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