Let’s talk about the power of saying, “no” in your business. Are you overwhelmed or stressed out? Are your teammates overwhelmed and stressed out?  To understand why this is, first we need to look at where you are saying, “yes” within your business so you can learn where you should be saying, “no.”

What are you saying yes to?

“Yes” can be a dirty word in business and we can easily fall into its trap. We say things to our clients like, “Sure, we can do that. We can figure that out. It’s not we usually do, but we can solve that problem for you.” Do this too many times and it will cost us. Beware! Eventually, we are going to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. In addition, we’re going to drop the ball occasionally, it’s just a matter of time.

Saying “yes” to things that we should say “no” to, creates a situation where we lack focus, and even though we may get stuff done, it’s not fun and it might not even be profitable. So how do we stop saying “yes” to everything and confidently say, “no”?

Creating Filters to Weed Out the Yeses

We need to create filters for our business so we can say “yes” to the right opportunities and “no” to the wrong ones.  Here are three “go to” filters that can help you create laser focus in your business.

Core Focus™

The first, and most important, filter is our Core Focus™.  Core Focus™ is made up of two parts: “Why do you do what you do” and “what do you do better than everyone else.” These two components combine to become a guiding or filtering mechanism within your organization. In order to say “yes” to an opportunity, it must be a “yes” for both components.

Target Market

The second filter is our target market. Who is our ideal client? What are the demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioural characteristics of this client? Basically, who are they, where are they, how do they think, and how do they act?

10-year Target™

The last filter is our 10-year Target™, our core target or our overall goal for the organization. We use this filter to determine if an opportunity is moving us closer to that goal (your 10-year Target™) or not. If it’s not moving you towards your overall goal, then you know you should say no to the opportunity.

To put these filters to the test, I will share a concrete example.

For my business, I help leadership teams implement EOS™ in their business to help them get what they want out of their business. I often get asked, “Will you coach me one-on-one?”  And I say, “no.”  Here’s why.

When I look at my Core Focus™ my why is “helping leaders get what they want out of their business” and my  “what we do better than everyone else” is “helping leadership teams gain traction.” Therefore, one-on-one coaching does not line up. While one-on-one coaching would help me with my “why” since it would help them get what they want, but it doesn’t help leadership teams gain traction. Leadership teams are who I want to work with. One-on-one coaching doesn’t  fit my Core Focus™ nor my target market.  Lastly, it’s not going to move me closer to my big goal of helping 800 leadership teams get everything they want out of their business by 2027. So I say, “no” to these opportunities.

Be careful with “yes.” By saying “yes” to one thing you are saying “no” to something else. You just can’t do it all; it’s not possible. Trust me, I’ve tried!

Embrace the power of no. It’s a freeing experience,  I promise. I’ve lived it. It’s amazing. It may take you a little longer to grow your business, but once it’s grown it’s going to be a business you’re going to love. If you can figure out your opportunity filters and then make decisions with those in mind, you’re going to be that much better off.

Next Steps:

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Now, what are you going to say “no” to today?