If I’d listened to my customers, I’d have given them a faster horse – Henry Ford
It’s so easy to say yes. Yes to another request, yes to being there, yes to doing it for them, yes to another idea, yes to an unrealistic deadline, yes to everyone. Soon the stack of things you’ve said yes to grows so tall that you can’t even see the things you should really be doing.
Start getting yourself into the habit of saying no – even to good ideas and legitimate requests. Use the power of no to get your own priorities straight. You rarely regret saying no. But you often wind up regretting saying yes.
People avoid saying no because confrontation makes them uncomfortable. But the alternative is even worse. You drag things out, make things complicated, and work on things you don’t really believe in.
Don’t believe that “customer is always right” stuff, either. They are not always right. Let’s say you are a trained chef. If enough of your customers say your food is too salty or too spicy, you change it. But if a few complainers tell you to add bananas to your lasagna, you’re going to turn them down, and that’s okay. You might even tell them to not come back to your restaurant if they don’t like your cooking. Bending over backwards to making a few vocal customers happy isn’t worth it if it ruins the product for everyone else.
Don’t be a jerk about saying no, though. Just be honest. If you’re not willing to yield to a persons request, be polite and simply say no. If necessary, take the time to give a brief explanation why. People often understand when you take the time to explain your point of view. If not, stand your ground any way.
Your goal is to do what’s best for yourself and your family.