No, we don’t take clients like that.
No, that’s not part of what we offer.
No, that market is too hard for us to service properly.
No, I won’t bend on this principle.
No, I’m sorry, I won’t be able to have lunch with you.
No, that’s not good enough. Will you please do it again?
No, I’m not willing to lose my focus, and no, I’m not willing to compromise.
Since we were toddlers, saying “No!” has held a fascinating form of power that cuts across the vast and murky sea of middling-maybes, or the waffling contortions of “kind-of” or “I don’t know … “ or “well … umm … gee, let’s see … “
“No” is generally regarded as a negative concept … “indicating a negative response, used to refuse, deny, or disagree with something.“ “No, I won’t go out on a date with you” … “No, I won’t give you $10,000” … “No, I won’t go fetch your scepter” ….
Synonyms for “No” are “rejection, refusal, rebuff (hate the rebuff), nix, thumbs down and veto.”
Having “No (fill-in-the-blank)” can mean there is nothing, non, notta, nope, …
When delivered in a sincere, respectful manner, however (not hollered at point blank range or accompanied by a wagging finger), “No” can be a really clean and direct way to communicate your agenda. What a concept!
In fact, I’ll venture to say that being able to say “No” is imperative to your own well-being. It is the only way, for example, that you can prevent that icky, pit-of-the-stomach feeling that you get when you reluctantly say “Ok … “ when you really want to say “No way!”
YES! I get it – there is power in setting boundaries, claiming space, and honoring standards around how you conduct yourself and/or your business – well, and simply how you will agree to spend your time.
The Take-Away: Saying “No” can be a way of putting yourself and your priorities as #1. The only trouble I see with a liberal use of the power of “No” is if it becomes an uncompromising, knee-jerk reaction that prevents you from deviating from your own possibly misguided/bull-headed path to explore something which has the potential to be quite wonderful. I guess the challenge is to be able to determine when to take that risk, and when to stick to your “No” guns.