Why “No” is the New “Yes”

Last week was a tough one for me. My husband asked me to cover a few of the things he normally does since it’s a particularly busy time at work for him. Don’t get me wrong, I am always happy to help. 

But as luck would have it… and as always seems to happen… one of my clients scored a last-minute meeting with a major donor that we had been trying to lock down for months.

Bring on the proposal writing and meeting prep.

On top of work and being a mom to two kids under 2.5 (who believe it or not cannot cook, bathe or feed themselves) I had an important meeting for an organization whose board I serve on.

And to add icing to the cake, one of my colleagues asked for my help in meeting her deadline to launch a new project. Here I am thinking, sure, I can probably fit it all in. I’ll work over my lunch break and add extra time at night.

I wanted so bad to be a great wife, consultant, mom, volunteer and colleague and to help everyone who asked. So I said “yes” to all of the things.

And, I know you can relate.

At the end of the day, we often say yes, when we should say “no” or “not right now”. The same happens in fundraising or any job for that matter.

And in doing so, we make compromises.

Maybe we’re compromising our time or the quality of the product we will deliver. 

Maybe we’re compromising a partnership with a staff member by forcing an unrealistic timeline on them without getting their input.

Maybe we’re compromising our relationship with a donor by telling them we will do something that we know we won’t do.

The list goes on and on.

So why is it so hard for us to say “no” or “not right now”? I’ll bet it might be one of these reasons:

  1. We feel like we are letting people down
  2. We feel like we “should” be able to do the thing
  3. We want to please people
  4. We haven’t clearly outlined our priorities or don’t have a plan 

When we don’t have clearly outlined priorities and plans, saying “no” or “not right now” becomes infinitely more difficult. Many ideas sound good when we don’t have another option in place. Yet, do we ever stop and think about the true expense to always saying yes?

On the other hand, when our priorities are clearly laid out and we have a plan to reach our goals, deciding what to do and what not to do is much easier. Planning your day, week or month becomes easier too. 

In today’s freebie, I’m sharing some questions you can ask yourself to determine if you want to say yes to the next request that comes your way. Check it out by clicking the link below.