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The 2 letter word that will move your business to the next level

by Alison Bradford

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And I thought ‘sorry’ was supposed to be the hardest word.

Nope. At least not in my experience of working with Solo Entrepreneurs.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • You have customers that you make very little, or even no profit from (and they often take up lots of your time)
  • You’re always busy but never seem to make the progress you want
  • You often find yourself agreeing to last minute jobs with clients
  • You find yourself volunteering to help out with all sorts of things – from a local charity event, the church fete, the PTA etc. (even though you know you don’t have the time)
  • You have clients that you hate working with – they drain your energy and fill you with dread when you see their name pop up on your phone

And all because you just couldn’t say NO.

That would be just plain rude wouldn’t it?

Errr no actually. It’s not rude at all.

If you don’t have enough time then it’s quite simple – you need to stop doing some things.

If you want to become more productive and profitable then you need to start working smarter.

To be able to get more results out of less effort and time, you need to be thinking strategically and figure out what effort gives you the best return.

Once you’ve figured this out then you have your own clear set of guidelines on what you should be saying ‘yes’ to, and what you should be saying ‘no’ to.

A couple of things to help you do this.

Define what’s important to you in your life

Are you running your business to have more time with family? Do you want to have financial freedom?  Do you want to be able to do something you love and make a decent income from it? Do you want the freedom to work flexibly from anywhere in the world so you can travel at the same time as running your business?

Maybe it’s a combination of all these or maybe it’s something completely different. Just get clear on the reason you’re running your own business and what is important to you in your life.

Define where you want to be in 1 year and 5 years time

Set out your goals of where you’d like to be.

Get really clear on these and make sure they cover all the areas of your life that are important to you, not just your business.

Now you’ve done this, can you see how continuing to not say ‘No’ is holding you back from achieving your goals?

I understand that it’s not always easy to say ‘no’ even when you understand the benefits of doing so (and the consequences of not doing so), so here’s some suggestions to help:

  • I’d love to be involved in that but I’m unable to commit to the time that would need right now.
  • I no longer offer that service but I can recommend someone else who does.
  • I can do that but there will be an additional charge for the short deadline
  • I’m struggling to give your work the attention it deserves right now so I’m recommending that you use another company – I recommend ……
  • I can do that next week but not this week – is that okay?
  • Or plain old ‘no’!

Let me know if you have any difficulties in saying no and any other suggested alternatives in the comments box below.

If you want some extra help to figure it all out, you can of course book a 30 minute call in my diary here, on me!

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

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