Are you scared? Worried they'll yell or even worse, fire you?

Buck up, kiddo! We are here to help.

Aggregating wisdom and inspiration to improve your life by saying "NO".

"The customer is always right." That phrase may have been true in retail 100 years ago, and may still be applicable in some situations. Then again, we've also seen too many videos of self-entitled "Karen" demanding to see the manager. (And I'm totally sorry if your name is Karen. I'm sure you are a lovely person.)

In many cases, however, that sentence belies a fundamental truth: the customer needs something from the provider that the customer cannot provide for themselves. If the "customer" is always right, then they could demand the whole store for free, right? Wrong. There is no sense in that. The truth is, the customer is NOT always right.

All too often, as service providers, freelancers, or other workers-for-hire, we feel compelled to work longer than agreed, provide more than we originally promised, and ultimately sacrifice our earnings power in order to keep our client "happy."

In order to retain our earnings, our sanity, and ultimately our own "happiness" we must change that conversation.

Your job is to provide value for the money your client is spending with you. If your client's "happiness" is going to depend on you providing more value that you are being compensated for in terms of time, effort, or work product, then you need to find another client.

Sometimes your client won't listen to you. They want a thing done a certain way that happens to be the WRONG way to do it. And they insist.

So what do you do? Roll over and build their website or app the wrong way? Create a marketing campaign that is bound to fail?


Just Say "NO"

Remind your client that they hired you for a reason - for your expertise, not theirs.

Does it take courage to do this? YES. Does it get easier with practice? YES.

The sooner you get started, the better.


A random quote to provide inspiration:

"My goal is to deliver the product that satisfies the specs we agreed to at the price we agreed to. Changing the specs will change the price."

A few resources that we've found helpful:

(Yes - these are affiliate links. If you find this page helpful, we'd be grateful for the support.)

The Power of a Positive No (Kindle Edition)
The Power of a Positive No (Audible Edition - a new favorite life hack)

Beware the dangerous requests:

Let me give you a hint: the right response to ALL of these questions is "NO."

Your New Mantra


Repeat after me: "More is More." I really want you to internalize this. Understand it in a fundamental way. More is more. If you do more for a client, you must get paid more. If you deliver more value, you must receive more value. There is no other option that leads to success. If your clients do not understand and embrace this, then fire them and get new ones.

Scared? Good. You should be. But don't be scared about losing clients. You should be scared about keeping clients that don't appreciate your value and are not willing to compensate you for it.

Remember - you got this client. You can get another client.


Here's the best thing to read to conquer your fear

I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is not too dramatic to say that this book changed my life.

The Obstacle Is the Way (Kindle Edition)
The Obstacle Is the Way (Audible Edition - not kidding about the life hack)

How To Make Saying NO Easier

Be Precise

How detailed is your Statement of Work (SOW)? Do you have explicit and well understood deliverables? After reading a SOW, does your client have questions? If not, do you prompt them to ask?

The single best way to make saying "NO" easier is to make 100% sure you know what you are saying "YES" to - and to make sure your client understands that as well?

Are you relieved when your client signs the contract without asking clarifying questions? Unless you've had dozens of these contracts signed and delivered on without any issues, this should be a warning sign.

When it comes to a SOW, you should attempt to MURDER AMBIGUITY every chance you get. If something isn't clear, you are far better off knowing that at the start than at the end of a project.

Remember - it is easier to re-negotiate the deal BEFORE the contract is signed. Not after.


Be Accountable

So you've got your SOW all buttoned up. Both you and the client know what you are going to produce at the end of the contract.


Now you have to deliver. What you promised. And on time (if that was stipulated in the SOW). You don't get to say NO to what you promised.

Hold yourself to the standards you set for yourself. And make sure you keep a record. If you are late on a project, note the reasons why in a journal or spreadsheet.

Learn from those mistakes so you don't make them again. Promise yourself you won't make that mistake again, and then keep that promise.

Considerations and Recommendations

Title Date
Make More Time With NO 2020-11-27
Saying No Gets Easier 2020-11-01
Worst Case Scenario 2020-10-12
Use No To Get To Yes 2020-10-11
Start Here 2020-10-10

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