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Business Owner's Handbook: How to Say No

Updated: Feb 12

How many times have you overextended yourself by saying 'yes' to too many things? You have you own set of tasks and responsibilities, but also a mountain of other items that you've found yourself agreeing to do. You always say yes, but sometimes is is perfectly ok to say, no.

Business owner planning her busy day by reflecting by a calm lake at sunrise

As a business owner, you're probably used to over-achieving and getting things done. You might view yourself endlessly capable and therefore committing to everything. You're likely that go-to person for people in need of assistance. You always seem have an answer, a helping hand, and some time to invest in the things you find most important.

Man riding a bike past a mural that is a big red letter no
It's not always a negative

These are all wonderful characteristics to have, especially as an entrepreneur. However, there comes a point where you'll need to learn how to say the word, 'no.'

It can be hard to turn down friends, family, and even employees when they are asking for help, even if it's small. But the results of saying no can be freeing and allow you to dedicate yourself fully to when you do say 'yes!'


It takes both practice and patience (mostly with yourself) to become skilled at saying the word no.

For this section of the Business Owner's Handbook, we put together a simple guide for you to follow to practice saying no.

1. Plan Ahead Each Day

daily planner on a desk with some writing utensils