No is a very powerful word! In fact, most of us don’t say it frequently enough, and/or with enough conviction. What’s the evidence? Do any of these situations describe you?

Clients from hell? Do you have any? Were you really surprised that they turned out to be trouble? Or were there one or more clues you chose to overlook?

Ever make a bad hire? Just bad luck? Or were there signs during the interview?

Recently agree to price or contract terms that you regretted? Took on a new piece of business that is really outside or your expertise… and now instead of this client being a profit center, they are a drain on you and your business?

Traveling more and more and enjoying it less and less? Did you make a promise to yourself to stop taking clients that required airplane rides?

Bring a new partner into your business that you thought had the same vision, ethics, values…and actually had clients they were going to bring to the business? Were you just wishing? Were there advanced signals this was not going to pan out?

Here are 10 ideas on how to get back on track and stay there…

  1. Don’t ignore your hunches and intuition. They are part of your internal guidance system. You developed them over years of experience!
  2. Without clear boundaries… it is too easy to say YES or NO to the wrong things.
  3. Group decision making is great to a certain degree. It can be disastrous if you have no idea where you stand on an issue.
  4. All ideas can seem seductive… until you have a plan!
  5. Other people’s ideas will seem better than yours…until you stop, reflect and get in touch with yours.
  6. Tell me what you will say NO to… and I’ll know where your convictions are.
  7. Tell me who you want to be in service of, and how you can be of benefit…and I and others can introduce you to them.
  8. Tell me you will work with anyone… I’ll know you have worked with few.
  9. Willing to travel anywhere for a client? You may be improperly valuing your time or yourself.
  10. If you will discount your product for everyone…then nobody is special.

When is the last time you said NO? Are you overdue?