Sink Handle Podcast Ep 39

Episode # 39 - Saying No to What's Not Right For You

Someone recently told me that they were working on getting better at saying “no”.  It’s a hugely important thing for business owners to be able to do.

In the last week I had a conversation with a client that woulds have been perfect for me. Right size company, right sector, needed everything that we do here at ReynoldsOBM.  I walked away from the negotiation.  Why?  Because the way he wanted to work, the price he wanted to pay, and the problems he would have created didn’t line up with what I’m doing with my company.  You have to be able to say no and walk away.  

Bonus: a funny Thanksgiving story about how my husband told my grandmother that he didn’t mind if her cat got killed.  (no cats were harmed as part of this story)

Quotes from this week:

  • “If you talk to someone that wants to hire you but they seem like a jerk you should probably say no to the work.”
  • “When only a few people ask you to dance, you tend to try to be whatever they need.”
  • “I used to tell my clients, ‘Whatever you need.’  Not any more.”
  • “If you’re having dinner with a jerk, Mr. Right can’t sit down.  That’s true in business too.”

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Episode 39. So I was on a coaching call today, and someone mentioned that she was working on her no muscle. And for those as confused as I was when she said this, she did not mean her nose on her like the nose on your face, she meant the no muscle. And what she meant was she is working on being good at saying no. Some people are better at saying no than others. My husband is fantastic at saying no. He once told my grandmother that he wouldn't take in her cat. And when she said, I'm going to have to put it to sleep. He said, Well, that's tough luck. Now, that may sound mean, but I am the proud owner of a dog, not a cat right now. And she thought it was funny. In the end. The point being I would have ended up with the cat, I had a harder time saying no to things, he noticed no problem at all. And I don't think this is just a function of willpower. I think this is really a mindset shift. It's feeling that you're worth it, to say what is right for you? And to say no to what is it to believe that you're worth it. So I figured I'd tell you a little story about this because this is all kind of coming up in the same week when I heard that today about the new muscle, and then also my experience with a potential client in the last week or so. So from my website, you can book a free discovery call to see if working with us is the right fit for what you need to do. It's usually a 15 minute call, which doesn't really seem like a lot. But you can really find out a lot about a person in that short amount of time. And this whole idea of the call is to figure out if we should work together not to like break out a plan for your whole business. Right? So things like how does this person speak to me? If they are dismissive or pushy or arrogant, and, you know, just those kind of feeling where you're like, this guy sounds like a real jerk. You're not gonna want to work with them? Or is this business big enough to afford what they want to buy? A lot of people think that they need a service that they can't possibly afford. They don't make enough in a month to pay me a part of that, or even to buy a package or whatever. They need to be able to afford it. So asking those kind of qualifying questions is really important as well. And then do I offer what they need, I don't handle launches, I avoid them like the plague. And one day, I'll probably have to do my own for something and I'm gonna have like, you know, cold sweats the whole time. I don't like launches. It's a whole huge everyone on deck for like, this huge push. And there's always like a link that's broken at 3 am. And somebody got it like it's too much stress for me, and I don't like doing it. So they're looking for someone to handle the management, their business and launching like they sell courses four times a year, they open up their cart to sell or whatever. I don't do that. So that's easy to clear up right away. And then there's just like the gut thing, like, do I just get a bad vibe here. And those four things can really nail down whether you are going to work together very quickly. You get in there are red flags, you're like this is either I think this is either gonna be great. And let's see what we can do together. Or, wow, yeah, you're totally not my person. And for a long time, I was just so excited for people to get on calls with me. I don't have an enormous amount of marketing and traffic going to my website. It's much different now, especially with the podcast and all that.

But like back in the day, no one came to my website, there was no reason to everything was referral based. And I didn't really put a lot of time and effort into it. I didn't have a blog stream and have a podcast. So if you stumbled across me, you might find me there. So I was just happy that people were getting on Discovery calls with me, frankly, like, Whoa, this is exciting. And what happens when only so few people ask you to dance is that you try to be whatever they need. I told them I could do whatever they needed me to do. I didn't lie. I didn't tell them I you know, I could do marketing strategy or set up you know, crazy things like ontraport software's or things like that. I was just saying I could do all the things that I could do. For maybe I didn't like doing them. Maybe they weren't my choice, they choice, but just sucked as far as I'm concerned. There are there are clients. The only thing I've ever said no to them on was booking travel because I hate booking travel. I don't like booking travel for me, although right now I would book a plane anywhere to get to this house. But I just hate it. It's a whole old thing from corporate like it just I hate it. And it's the only thing I've ever said no to a couple of clients. And I was just like, whatever you need. And that sometimes is what happens when you're going a business. You're just so excited to have work coming in that you're like, Sure, I'll do that. Sure, I'll do that. I'll take this on. But that got me to a place where I was doing a lot of work at unlike a lot of work that was stressful. And a lot of work that didn't really fit in with the idea of what I wanted to do. Like I was working all these crazy hours, there were times where I was skipping events because I wanted to make sure every all the work was done. And it was working in enjoy. And then there's also been people that have come through that just didn't treat me well. They ramrodded right over me. They didn't listen to a thing I had to say. They treated me like, you know, like a 1960 Secretary like we're like, oh, sweetheart, you don't know anything. And that ended up sucking, as you can imagine, said all this work, which was great. Especially when you know, we've talked about how to like, you start out, you've got nothing and you're so excited, there's work. But then you realize you're miserable. And this, this was not the reason I left corporate I hate.

The great thing about having your own business is that you can choose what work you wanted to and the people you want to work with. And the way you do that is learning to say no, you have to say no to things that aren't right for you. And this comes with time because you start doing things you're like, whoo, I never want to do this again. Or Oh my God, I really love this. And there's gonna be things you get into you're like, I never would have thought I love this. Like podcasting. I was a big, big no on this until I kind of agreed to it. Semi drunk, and then I love it. I love talking to you guys every week. But there is lots of things out there that I've learned that I do not like doing at all, and I won't do anymore. So I mentioned earlier that there was an example of a discovery call that came in a couple weeks ago that I thought fit in with this very well. I had someone scheduled a discovery call, we had a great conversation about his business, I genuinely believed that I could help him. He was a classic example of doing one thing well, and making a business out of it. Totally my ideal client, right. Not being an operator, though. He was not running the business at all. So systems policies, tracking of people non-existent. Also, right in my wheelhouse. That's what I love to do. I love to get into a business and clean things up and make things run really well. Perfect, right. All the things would have had to be built all the things, which is a huge amount of work. And it takes time. So two things stuck out to me on this call. Remember, it's only about 15 minutes long. He was in a huge rush to get his act together. And there would be unrealistic expectations of what we could get done to when I quoted a basic range of what I think that would entail. And then I said I would send over more detail. He quoted me someone else he had already spoken to who would do it cheaper. These two things. Now, the experience I have are huge red flags to me. So in the past, I would have been tempted to lower my price, work more hours, include something else, make the price cheap or whatever, just to be able to fit in to get this client, right, I want to win this client. It's a very sales minded thing. We're gonna close, close, close. And if you're closing all the time, if you're closing 95% of the time, you're not unless you have the best marketing in the world that you only get your ideal clients coming in the door. You're not selling the thing you want to be selling. If you are closing all of your sales, you're probably adapting to whatever they want. And you're probably not happy. You want people telling you No, because you want to tell people No. So I would have made some adjustments, figured out how to make it work, gotten the client. And then I know that if I did that, I would have ended up miserable I would have hated the work. And that's not why I'm here. My team will probably hate me and I love them so much and I want to make them happy that now that has been a big driving factor for me. Even if I Don't treat myself always as well with the work coming in, like I will make myself do terrible things sometimes having to work hard or, or I will get myself into a jam. I don't put them in that. I take care of my girls, and you don't get to treat them badly. That's great with myself. But you don't do that. And that is also been a great way to learn how to say no is because I won't let them be treated badly. So back to the sky, I sent him a proposal with a pretty big number on it. And all the details of what we provide. month one would look like this month two would look like this. This is what is included a very strict scope of things I will make this I will create this will do this. Here's the price. And I sent that knowing there is a big chance who's gonna say no. Because one, I was going to run up against his crazy timelines of chaos that he wanted it all done now. And two, he already told me he could have someone do it cheaper. So when he came back and told me that he liked my offer, but he could get it cheaper, somewhere else, I wish him luck. Because he can't get this cheaper.

Now, we offer a specific combination of strategy systems that we've been working on and honing for years, I've been in business, almost five and a half years, I have so much experience in the operations of businesses, beyond the fact that I'm a certified OBM. I'm a certified director of operations, I worked on Wall Street, I don't say all of this to boast. I say this, because we have a list of accomplishments. We have done this before we have the experience. We have the plans, the templates, the knowledge, in our own unique way, from all of our experiences that you can't get anywhere else. What he can get is something else for cheaper. And that's fully his decision. And I genuinely hope it works out for him. I wish him nowhere. Well, we just we're not a match. And that's totally fine. And that's my whole point of today is explaining how I've learned to say no, when it's not right for me, this deal would not have worked out for me, it wouldn't have worked out for my team. And I said no to working more hours for less money. So I want to remind you today, you need to know your accomplishments. I didn't just rattle off all that stuff, right then about all the things I can do or know or, or certifications, I didn't do all that to brag. I want you to write them all down for yourself. I want you to know your accomplishments. And I want you to know what you can offer to someone and don't let them break you down. Most times people just ask for a discount as a habit. And then when you say no, they'll sign anyway. I've had that happened. Lots of people just want to deal. I think it's rude. But it is what it is. It's not a flea market, you know what I mean? And then you know, sometimes that can be a red flag as well. But that's not the point. The point is, know your accomplishments, know what you can do for someone? And then say no, if they don't match, don't think of it as you have to go after all this work, or you have to make the sale or you have to close everything. You need to think of it as Is this a match? Are we going to work well together? You're not selling t shirts on the street, you need to work with someone you need to get along with them. You need to have personalities, values, everything you need to have all that stuff. What do you think you need and stick to your guns, you're worth it. And there'll be other people. Someone once said this to me when I was younger, single. And they said if you're sitting down at a table for two and there's some jerk in the other seat, some great guy can't walk over and sit down. So don't sit there with some jerk at your table. Make room for the good people that will come in, find the good matches, do the good work, and you will be so much happier in your business. When you find clients that you love, like I have, oh my god, that's a world of difference. Stick to your guns, people. You can do it. I'll talk to you next week.

Thanks for joining me this week on the Sink Handle podcast. I can't wait to do all of this again next week. Make sure to visit us at for the show notes on anything we talked about today. If you love or you mostly like the show, please subscribe and rate us on iTunes so we can help more people avoid the Sink Handle.

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