How to say NO without feeling like a jackass

No! It can be a scary word to say. You're worried that you'll offend someone. That you'll sound arrogant. That you'll lose the deal. That you're trigger an argument. That you'll spoilt the relationship. So instead, we say 'yes' when we mean 'no.' We take on more than we can handle. We overload ourselves out of fear of asserting our boundaries.

No!

It can be a scary word to say.

You're worried that you'll offend someone. That you'll sound arrogant. That you'll lose the deal. That you're trigger an argument. That you'll spoilt the relationship.

So instead, we say 'yes' when we mean 'no.' We take on more than we can handle. We overload ourselves out of fear of asserting our boundaries.

No is a complete sentence. But that doesn't make it any easier to say, amiright?

It's time to reframe 'no'

Let's all agree that you deserve to hire someone who is genuinely pumped about the idea of working with you.

Someone that's equally passionate about your mission.

Someone that's excited about working with you.

Someone who has agreed to work with you for a genuine & meaningful reason... not just because they felt obliged.

Imagine if you approached me about a project & I'm feeling kinda "meh" about it. But I say yes -- more because I'm afraid to say no, than because I actually want the project.

By saying yes (when I really want to say no), I'm depriving you of the opportunity to have an awesome, dedicated person on your team. Instead, you'd have someone that's only half heartedly invested. 

And that sucks.

So let's choose to think of saying no as a gracious act that gives the person an opportunity to find the perfect person for them. It's an act of generosity, not an act of selfishness.

But in case you need some help crafting a ‘no’ that doesn’t make you feel (or sound) like a jerk, here’s a script to make it easy for you.


The script

Hi [name] 

Thank you for thinking of me. While it’s not something I’m able to do right now, please know how honoured I am to be asked.

 [If you'd like to keep the option open for the future add:  I would definitely consider partnering with you / working with you / doing this in the future when ________________________, so please feel free to follow up in ________________________.]

[If you'd like to refer them to someone else add: These people might be able to help you out:

  • Referral 
  • Referral
  • Referral.]

Good luck with the ________________. I look forward to hearing a great success story.

[Your name & sign off]

An example

Hi Jamie

Thank you for thinking of me. While it’s not something I’m able to do right now, please know how honoured I am to be asked.

I would definitely consider interviewing with you in the future when my schedule is not so packed, so please feel free to follow up in 6 months.

Good luck with the podcast. I look forward to hearing a great success story.

Knock 'em dead,

Alyssa


Want more simple email scripts that take the awkwardness out of setting client boundaries?

I've got a pack of 15 email scripts that'll walk you step-by-step through exactly what to say & how to say it, so that you're never tongue-tied or afraid to hit send on that important email ever again. The script I gave you above is a real example of what you'll find inside.

Because you're a professional, so lets make sure everyone knows it.

Stop wasting time wondering what to say -- get to the point quickly & easily, so that you can get back to the fun (and important) work in your business.

Alyssa Martin

AlyssaMartin.com, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia