We strive to be positive. See the silver lining. Say YES.
YES isn’t aways the right answer. Saying NO is a good thing. NO creates boundaries. All moms understand that. NO can open up spaces for more YES. NO can reduce stress and make improvements.
Women tend to err on the side of YES. NO feels rude, negative, like we are a disappointment. Some people are very comfortable saying NO. For others, it is more of an effort. It is effort worth making.
When was the last time you said NO to a client taking up more than their fair share of your time? (You do know the 80/20 rule, right??) When was the last time you said NO to volunteer work which prevented you from spending quality time with your family?
My most recent NO was to a franchise applicant. It wasn’t my first time saying NO to a potential franchisee. It was perhaps the hardest so far. She had all the right skills and personality, and lived in an ideal territory. But energy and enthusiasm alone isn’t enough for a new business, and her life circumstances meant that she just doesn’t have the time to dedicate to building her franchise. Saying NO was the best thing for my business.
Scan your week, your agenda, your inbox, your client list – are there opportunities for you to make space for YES by saying NO?
When I started my company 11 years ago I made mistakes. It is a right of passage for any new business starting off from scratch. Over the years I’ve seen many businesses flounder or fail because of these top 3 business mistakes. Here is what to avoid as a new entrepreneur:
1. Lack of Focus
You’ve developed your niche and know who your customer is. Stick with that. Don’t lack focus. People around you may offer advice and suggestions. The latest article or study will spark ideas. Changing direction in your business will have you running in circles. If you begin an online store marketing your unique jewelry designs, then don’t start selling skin care products.
2. Doing It All
There are only 24 hours a day. Spend your time on what will bring most value for your business. Learn to delegate and hire support. Bookkeeping, administration, and social media can be outsourced to virtual assistants and other professionals. True story: an entrepreneur got so busy with taking care of her customers that she didn’t have time for email and voicemail. She lost prospective clients and referrals. The lack of response damaged her reputation. She is no longer in business.
3. Stop Marketing
Business is booming? Great! Don’t ever think you can turn off the marketing tap. Stay networking, keep up with social media, and stick with your marketing plan. True story: a housepainter got so busy with big contracts that he stopped marketing. He even forgot to renew his website domain. When the jobs were completed 6 months later, there were no prospects or leads for the next job. He faced months of no income while he waited for results from his rebooted marketing efforts.
Avoid these top 3 business mistakes, stay focused on your plan for success, and watch your entrepreneurial dreams come true.