The Pursuit of Online Entrepreneurship
Podcast Episode 034 – Protect Your Yes: Why You Must Say No More Often
Protect Your Yes
Why You MUST Say No More Often
Be honest—are you a bit of a people-pleaser?
No harsh judgment here! If you’ve ready many of my past blogs, you already know that I’m a recovering perfectionist. Part of my innate perfectionism is a fear of missing something. I often feel like I have to say YES to EVERYTHING.
But nobody can do everything . . . And when we try to, we end up feeling over-exerted, stretched past our limits, and spread a little too thin. Am I right, or am I right?
If that resonates with you, I hope you’ll come along with me on this quick journey of self-discovery. Call me crazy, but I think it just might change your life.
Earlier this year, I attended a Master Mind of about 40 other full-time entrepreneurs. We were asked to introduce ourselves, talk a little about our businesses, and then tell the group the BIGGEST lesson we’d learned in the previous year.
As I reflected on all that the prior year had held, it hit me: I’d said yes to entirely too many things.
Now don’t get me wrong—some of those yeses brought me great opportunities and exciting new relationships. I learned a lot and grew a lot last year.
But honestly? Every time I said YES to something that wasn’t really aligned with my plan, I was saying NO to my own goals.
So that’s exactly what I told the group: My name is Veronica Sagastume, and the biggest lesson I learned last year was that I HAVE TO PROTECT MY YES.
That revelation has been on my mind for a few months now, and that’s exactly what inspired this episode. Today, we’re talking all about how you can PROTECT YOUR YES by learning to say NO far more often.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SAY YES TO EVERYTHING
How do you feel when you’ve got too many irons in the fire? How does it impact your business, your relationships, and your mental health?
You might have the best intentions. Most of us do! But the fact is that when you say yes to everything, NO ONE in your life is getting the best version of you. Nothing really gets your full attention. You end up half-doing entirely too many things, but not really giving your all to anything that you care about.
Think I’m being hyperbolic? Here’s an example.
Let’s say it’s Friday (yay!). It’s the end of one of those weeks—yeah, you know the ones I mean. You’re exhausted mentally and physically, but hey, at least it’s the weekend.
Then, your phone vibrates. You have a text from a business acquaintance: someone who might be good to network with. They want to know if you can meet for a Saturday morning coffee.
Great! Or is it? We already established that you’re exhausted. Getting up early on a weekend for a business coffee will mean that you don’t get the rest and recovery you’ve been craving all week. But out of some false sense of obligation, you say yes.
Now there are only two ways this can go.
- Best case scenario: Everything runs smoothly, and you and the person have a good conversation . . . But was it a great conversation? Did you leave them with an awesome impression of your charisma and expertise? If you’re feeling sleep-deprived and mentally worn out, probably not.
- Worst case scenario: Let’s say something goes off track. The person is running late. Your conversation is awkward or dragging. How are you going to react to this? Most likely, you’re going to be annoyed. You might even resent that person for dragging you out of the house when you could have been resting. But who’s the one who agreed to this again? That would be you.
Regardless of what happens, you’ve carried your mental fog, your begrudging attitude, and your negativity into this new relationship. Had you said no this time and saved it for later when you were more rested, this could have been a wonderful thing! But by forcing yourself to push a little too hard, you’ve started your new business relationship AND the week ahead of you on the wrong foot.
This is just one example, of course, but you get the idea. We’re ALWAYS better off when we reserve our YESES for the really important stuff. And all that other stuff? It can wait.
ADVICE FOR PEOPLE PLEASERS
If you’re prone to people pleasing, it’s probably for one of these reasons:
- You’re afraid of missing out on an opportunity.
- You don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or be rude.
That makes perfect sense! As entrepreneurs, our relationships are everything. But in moments when you’re faced with a decision to say yes or no to a meetup/party/conference/whatever, it’s important to ask yourself:
If you say yes, will you be able to show up happily, be fully present, and dedicate 100% of your energy and attention?
If the answer to that is anything less than, “Absolutely!” it might be worth reconsidering. Instead of forcing yourself through something you’d really rather not be involved in, try this instead:
- Say no graciously, but confidently. Make sure the person feels heard, respected, and appreciated, but don’t apologize. You don’t have to be sorry for prioritizing your time!
- Don’t make excuses. No need to invent a kid’s soccer game, funeral, or birthday party that you just can’t get out of. Simply thank them for the offer but explain that you can’t take them up on it this time. Case closed.
- Lose the guilt. If you start feeling that little pang of guilt for turning someone down, remind yourself: You didn’t say NO to THEM; you said YES to YOU. Reframing the way you think about the activities you choose to take part in is the first step to being intentional with your time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s podcast episode. If you read the blog but haven’t listened to the episode yet, I’d definitely encourage you to hit play and listen to Episode 34 in its entirety!
Is saying no tough for you? Do you have your own tips on protecting your yes? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below with your thoughts on the subject of saying no more often.
Until next week, thanks so much for showing up for yourself, for me, and for your business. I know how important your time is—THANK YOU for making this one of your yeses this week!
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