I added hours to my day, learn my secret!￼
As a mom of two young girls (one of whom attends virtual school from home), a wife, and a small business owner, having just a little extra time is a gift I wish I could unwrap just about every day. I am sure that most of you feel the same way. While there is nothing, we can do to add hours to the day, I have incorporated one small and very simple thing I want to share in case you are up well past your bedtime struggling to get things done!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a time management expert, and I don’t have a group of ‘handlers’ who are in charge of my scheduling, billing, follow-ups, and the like – that’s all left to me, but I have found this little miracle when approaching my clients that has made my work flow more efficient, has exceeded my deliverable timeline – making my clients very happy – and subsequently, has made my work much more pleasant and fun. So, what’s my big secret?
I have learned to say, “No.”
And not in the stomp my hand on the desk, shout from diaphragm kind of NO!!! Just a soft and polite, “No.”
I have said many times before that in my line of work as a communications/marketing/public relations consultant that I am bombarded by people who have an opinion, idea, tactic they want to use because so-and-so said it’s the best way to reach their audience or clientele. In my early days of starting my business, I did more than entertain those ideas. I included them in my clients’ marketing plans, budgeted both dollars and time to them, and in many cases, crossed my fingers and toes hoping they would work when deep down I knew that the strategy wasn’t right for them. It was exhausting to say the least, and often times yielded a not-so-great result.
I am not exactly sure when I finally mustered up the courage – and believe me it takes courage – to say, “No.” I just know that the first time I said it my hands were sweaty and the “No” came out like a whisper! But, once I got the hang of it, and was confident that saying, “No” was in the best interest of the client, it not only got easier for me to say, but more importantly it became easier for my clients to hear.
And that’s what this exercise in saying, “No” was all about: Making it better for my clients, even if they had to hear and experience that dreaded two letter word, so that they received results that exceeded their expectations.
You see, I wasn’t running away from something I didn’t want to do when I said, “No.” Instead, by determining that something wasn’t right for them, by listening to what they wanted to achieve, and by using my 24 plus years of experience, I was running towards a better solution for them simply by saying, ”No.” While their idea may have been a good one, perhaps the timing of it was off, or it required resources they just didn’t have, or it was a something that was going to take longer for them to see an outcome, which is time they just didn’t have.
If you are working with a client who values your work, who trusts you and believes in your abilities saying, “No” is an important resource for you to have, and an important method for them to understand. It takes some time to get through the first few, “No’s,” but once you do it’s not that big a deal.
Once I was able to get a few of those situations under my belt, I noticed that I had more time on my hands because I wasn’t trying to do things just to make my client happy. I was able to focus on real, hard result-driven tactics that made them really happy. It also let me read the girls a bedtime story most nights! Obviously, the ‘how’ you say it is critical the “No’s” success. Remain polite and kind. Be mindful of your tone and do your best to read and understand the situation from your clients’ point of view.
I wish you lost of luck as you incorporate this little tactic, but before you do you need to practice it saying it. Go ahead…say it…“No.”
Now, wasn’t that easy?
If you are looking to enhance your profile, manage your online reputation, and aren’t afraid of a little “no,” give me a call to schedule a free consultation!