Don’t be afraid to say “no”

Saying no is hard, especially if you’re like me—you’re generous and want people to feel happy working with you. You don’t want to disappoint anyone, so you offer to help any way you can, not really considering the strenuous load it’ll put on you.

No matter what you do, you’ll disappoint someone. Whether it be the client because you’re unable to deliver halfway through the project, your family because you’re working long hours, or yourself because you’re so stressed with the work you’ve chosen to take on. So you must get comfortable with turning down work if it’s ultimately not for you or your availability. To help determine if you should take on a project, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I specialize in the work that’s needed by this client?
  • Why am I taking this project on? Is it a commitment I should be making?
  • Why am I adding that project onto my plate?

The worst thing about taking on everything that comes your way is that your plate may end up full, but with all of the wrong commitments. You’re stressed, anxious, and the worst part, now you’re left with no room to take on that golden opportunity. You can’t say yes to your ideal client if you never say no to the wrong ones.

Next time you get a project, don’t just reply with a yes. Really consider the opportunity, ask yourself those questions above, and proceed with a conscious decision for your future and well being.

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