Learning How to Say "NO" as a Business Owner

By: aharrison Tuesday October 2, 2018 comments



Imagine this: it's 10:45 pm, and you still have hours of work stretching in front of you. You're chugging coffee like it's another job so you can stay awake as you frantically try to finish your work for the day. Despite the massive amount of caffeine, you’re struggling to stay awake as your eyes start to flutter.

How in the world did you get to this place?

I’ll tell you how: as a business owner, you wear a dozen different hats. Entrepreneur, spouse, parent, friend, whatever.

It can be hard to say “no” to all of the people who are constantly demanding your time and attention. Between actual work, school functions, networking events, girl’s nights, and whatever else you agree to do…work-life balance goes right out the window. 

If this sounds like you, and your personal life is suffering because of your jam-packed schedule, ask yourself these questions before you say “yes” again:

Do I have time in my schedule for this?

If you’re not using some sort of scheduling software or even an old-fashioned planner, it’s time to start. Break your days down into slots with designated times for all your regular tasks, plus space for anything unexpected. When you do this, it’s much easier to determine whether or not you can fit in “just one more thing.”

Do I really want to do this?

Even if you can do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. As a business owner, you might feel like you have to say “yes” to every request that comes your way. Don’t fall into that trap! You didn’t go into business to do things you don’t enjoy. Remember that you don’t have to be all things to all people. Concentrate on what you love and leave the rest to someone else!

Will this project take time away from something else?

When a client calls you up with a last-minute request, it can be tempting to take it on (especially if you charge rush fees).

But before you agree to do just one more thing, consider what that might take away from. Will it cut into the time you had allotted for another client? Will it make you miss your deadline for a different project?

What else could I be doing with this time?

As business owners, it’s easy to let work get in the way of a personal life. Often, when you take on too much up front, or you agree to do that one last-minute job, it cuts into your personal life.

Is that what you want? Before you say “yes” next time, ask yourself: do I want to spend 3 hours tonight doing this client’s bookkeeping, or do I want to go to my son’s soccer game?

Saying no can be tough, but as a business owner, it's essential. When you take on too much, you can start to resent not only your business but your clients as well.

If you feel like you have too much on your plate and it’s starting to affect the quality of your work or your personal life, a marketing assistant might help. By handing off the “busy work” that keeps you tied up, you can free up countless hours each week.




About the Author: aharrison

Take Care,


Abbey Harrison
Marketing Implementation Strategist


Behind the Screen. On the Screen. Beyond the Screen.

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