no Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
opportunity cost

The Opportunity Cost of Saying Yes

Although we love to say yes as often as possible, sometimes the opportunity cost of saying yes is too great. In these cases, try to be at peace with your decision to say no and realize you are protecting entry into your room. Say no and then move on knowing that you made the right decision for you. To network well, you really need to learn how to help people, build relationships, and support your connections in some way. But sometimes, just sometimes, you need to also say “no” to requests that are made of you.

Don’t Seinfeld it.

One of the really funny tropes from the old TV series, Seinfeld, is how the characters go off on some crazy subterfuge or complicated ruse that ends up getting them in more trouble than if they had just been candid in the first place. Be polite but be honest and be direct.

Propose something else.

If you are unable to do something that you’re being asked to do, offer them something else instead. For example, I am always having people ask me to send some communication out to my entire mailing list. The answer is always “no.”  However, with people I know and trust, I propose something else. I propose that I post it on my social media instead. That generally works just as well to maintain the relationship.

When you say it, mean it!

Be a broken record. Sometimes, people don’t take “no” for an answer. I try to be polite and smile, and repeat what I said before (on some occasions, I’ve repeated myself three times before they realized I really meant it).

say no

Ways to Say “No” Without Sounding Like a Jerk

It’s important to recognize when someone’s opportunity is your distraction. These are generally situations where someone’s project is not on mission for your business or your life. In these situations, you need to learn how to say no.  The word “no” is a one-word sentence. It’s just not a full sentence that I like to use very often and I think there are a fair number of people like me out there.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally good with saying “no,” to people when it is necessary. The secret is: how do you say “no” without sounding like you don’t care?

If I said yes, I’d let you down.

A very effective way to tell someone “no” is to tell them that you believe that you’d let them down if you do what they are asking. It might be because you don’t have the bandwidth, the knowledge, or the expertise to do what they are asking. In any case, you’re not the person to help make this idea a success and you don’t want to disappoint them.

Recognize the difference between an opportunity and a distraction.

That begins by knowing your own personal or professional mission. If you know your purpose/expertise/mission then you can say “no” when someone comes to you with something that is a distraction to that mission. I do this all the time by telling people that my mission is to do X. As interesting as their idea is, it’s not something that fits with what I do.

Refer them to someone more qualified.

When I say “no” to someone, I almost always try to refer them to someone who is more qualified or more suited to help that person.  I also try to refer them to someone who’s mission is more in alignment with their project.

To network well, you really need to learn how to help people, build relationships, and support your connections in some way. But sometimes, just sometimes, you need to also say “no” to requests that are made of you.

 

say no

Improve Your Life by Learning How to Say No

Sometimes people come knocking at your door because they want something from you. However, you either don’t want to work with them or that project doesn’t resonate with you or your values. Other times, you may be dealing with people already in your room, and we feel this is an important aspect of our message. Here are seven ways you can say no and not come across like a jerk (or worse):

  • If I say yes, I’m afraid I’d let you down. A very effective way to tell someone no is to tell them you believe you’d let them down if you do what they are asking. It might be because you don’t have the bandwidth, the knowledge, or the expertise to do what they are asking; but, in any case, you’re not the person to help make this idea a success, and you don’t want to disappoint them. This type of response not only gets you off the hook but also affirms your work ethic and shows you want the person and their project to succeed.
  • Know the difference between an opportunity and a distraction. Recognizing this distinction begins by knowing your own personal or professional mission. If you know your purpose/expertise/mission, then you can say no when someone comes to you with something that is a distraction to that mission. This strategy can be particularly helpful for projects that perhaps interest you in theory but don’t align with your goals and mission in practice, right now. One of the best ways to apply this concept is to use the technique below.
  • Refer them to someone more qualified. When we say no to someone, we always try to refer them to someone who is more qualified or more suited to help that person. We also try to refer them to someone whose mission is more in alignment with their project. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should if it’s not truly your area of expertise.
  • I don’t do that. Sometimes the request and response can be very simple. For example, when someone tries to convince Ivan to have a piece of cake or pie, he simply says, “Thanks, but I don’t eat processed sugar.” When they say something like, “Oh, just a bite,” he has no problem telling them they should feel free to have his bite—because he doesn’t eat sugar.
  • Don’t “Seinfeld” it. One of the really funny things on the old TV series Seinfeld was how the characters would go off on some crazy, complicated subterfuge or ruse and end up getting in more trouble than if they had just been candid to start with. Be polite, but be honest and direct.
  • Propose something else. If you are unable to do something that you’re being asked to do, offer them something else instead. If you are a restaurant owner, maybe you can’t afford to cater that 5K charity race for free, but maybe you can afford to donate several gift certificates for the charity to raffle. By proposing something else, you can still build a relationship.
  • When you say it, mean it! Be a broken record. Sometimes people don’t take no for an answer. Try to be polite, smile, and repeat what you said before. Don’t be surprised if you have to repeat yourself multiple times before people understand you meant what you said.

Let Me Help You Create Your Best Life

This is the premise behind the newest book, “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life” by Ivan Misner, Stewart Emery, and Rick Sapio.

To order the book, please use this link: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

The Kindle edition of “Who’s in Your Room” is available for a limited time for only $1. Download it while the Cyber Monday special lasts.
https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoomKindle

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