Most of us are taught to say “yes” to everything that comes our way and some of us have difficulty saying “no”. The irony of the matter is that saying “yes” is not always the best thing for us and saying “no” might just be the best thing.
A lot has been said and written about Steve Jobs and it was one of his quotes that I read yesterday which set me thinking and here I am sharing my thoughts on why saying “no” in business and in life is more important…
Ensure You Focus and Don’t Burn Out
All of us have several ideas and a million things grappling for our attention most times. We often tend to get bogged down by the sheer volume of work on hand and the number of things we have to do. The end result being lack of focus and burn out from trying to do too many things at one go.
The key to success in business and life is saying “yes” to opportunities when they come by but also knowing when to say “no”. If you say “yes” to too many things you end up channeling your energy in the wrong directions and are left with little or no energy to do what you really need to do.
“It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much.” – The Seed of Apple’s Innovation
Know What to Do and What Not To Do
There are those things that you do and other things that you don’t do and will never do. A social entrepreneur I know says “We don’t have a factory or workshop and will never have one. This is because we want to make products through underprivileged groups and that is the way we want to keep it.”
Small wonder that her venture has grown by leaps and bounds and has a number of groups partnering with it to create a range of green products! She takes pride in her commitment to generating livelihood by not having a manufacturing facility of her own. Yes, she takes pride in what she does and what she doesn’t do.
“I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.” – Businessweek
Sometimes You Know Better
Yes, sometimes you do know better and if you look elsewhere for answers chances are you will end up wasting precious time, energy and resources. This is probably why Steve Jobs never went in for market research. He believed he knew better than the customer and that was his key to delivering customer delight.
At times looking up to other people for answers is just not the right thing to do. Trust in your instinct and go for it.
“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Inc. Magazine
Hopefully the next time an opportunity comes along these 3 reasons should help you focus and carefully decide whether saying “yes” or saying “no” is more important.