Kevin Ashton wrote a short piece called Creative People Say No.
Here’s a quick excerpt:
“We are not taught to say ‘no.’ We are taught not to say ‘no.’ ‘No’ is rude. ‘No’ is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. ‘No’ is for drugs and strangers with candy.
“‘No’ makes us aloof, boring, impolite, unfriendly, selfish, anti-social, uncaring, lonely and an arsenal of other insults. But ‘no’ is the button that keeps us on.”
Photo by iMorpheus
It takes a few minutes to read the rest.
Back in 2010 I talked about why it pays to say no. It’s the same today. I accept about 5 or 10 percent of the projects I’m asked about. It takes a fair chunk of time replying to everyone, but being more selective means I’m a much better fit for the projects I agree to, I’m happier at work, and my clients get a better service.
When I started out I’d accept almost any job that came my way. But over time I learned how to choose clients more wisely — a huge help with stress levels. There’s a chapter about that in my second book with useful stories from Russell Holmes, Darragh Neely, Tim Lapetino, and Fiona Burrage.
As the late motivational writer Stephen R. Covey once said, “Doing more things faster is no substitute for doing the right things.”
Here a few other reads on the value of that little two letter word: