Reality Check: Why You Should Say No More in Business and How to Get Started

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There is an inherent negativity associated with saying no to people. This dichotomy extends far into the average person’s everyday life, but there’s enough related to saying no just in business, that it could fill up a series of advice columns. Why are we so opposed to the word no and so eager to say yes to any request?

Saying no is a complicated proposition. There are many times we’d like to say no in the business world but feel like it could end up being costly to do so. There are also a number of situations when we should say no but don’t realize it.

What Saying Yes Can Take

Starting a business is tough work. Whether you’ve opened up your doors for the first time, or just got your website set up to start freelancing, now that you’ve done the setup work you’re eager to put your skills to work and get paid. That’s the point of this business isn’t it? You didn’t set out to do pro bono work. But if you’re not careful about what you say yes to your profit margin could make your work look more like you’re volunteering than anything else.

New business owners and freelancers have a tendency to undercut their talents in search of ever-elusive income and professional progress. There are times when there is no getting around taking less pay for your work in order to build a portfolio or reputation. But this practice can go only so far.

The proposition of money is great motivation, especially when that money is held up in a lump sum. Seeing that metaphorical stack of bills backing a professional request makes it hard to say no. So you say yes. You need the business after all. And they’re paying you a decent sum. And then that yes starts to add up into hours.

Do a simple calculation. Divide how much you were paid for a project by the hours it took you to complete it. Often you’ll be surprised by how little your hourly wage actually was. This is what that unilateral yes can take from you.

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