I love meeting up with creatives who have great ideas. In fact in many cases I can get just as excited about their ideas as they are; especially if we are aligned on the same thought pattern. I can sit and provide idea after idea, helping them take their concept to the next level (whatever that next level is for them).

I met up with one woman at a networking event, and we agreed to meet for coffee later in the week. As we spoke of her idea, I continued to get more excited and offer a variety of tips that could truly help her build her dream. We were like long lost friends chatting up a storm. I really enjoyed our conversation.

After an hour or so, she asked a question, and I applaud her for doing so.

“I love working with you, but as a start up I simply can’t afford you. Would you be willing to negotiate your fees?”

The next word was a difficult one. One I’m sure you’ve had trouble using over the years. In fact, so many people have trouble using it, more people are prone to avoiding it altogether rather than using and risk “offending” the other person. That word of course is:


I didn’t say no because I didn’t like her, or I didn’t believe in her dream. In fact, quite the contrary. I think she has a great idea that will be BIG if she gives it the attention it deserves.

I said no because lowering my fees and negotiating a “price” or “package” for her didn’t align with my goals and dreams.

The Only Word In Your Vocabulary That Will Build Long Term Success

I’m building my business to accomplish what I want out of my life. That means I have certain products in place and certain services I offer that help me put my experience and knowledge out there in the best way possible.

If I didn’t say “no” to the things that don’t align with my goals, I would be spinning my wheels, taking a lot of my time away from the things I truly need to do to keep my business on track.

It’s not that I don’t value what other people are doing.

It’s that I value HIGHLY the direction I’m heading with my own business.

If I didn’t stay on track, I couldn’t offer the best products and services possible for people that truly do want to be my clients. Those products and services would be compromised in some manner. And I’m not willing to do that.

No isn’t a slam against the person you have to say it to.

It’s a protection factor you put in place to help you stay on track with your own goals.

Which means “no” should be one of the most used words in your vocabulary, not one of the most feared.

When was the last time you used “no”?

When was the last time you should have used “no” and just couldn’t muster up the courage to do so?

What could you have done differently if you would have said “no”?

How will you change that as you move forward from this point on?