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Entrepreneurs Should Learn to Say "NO"

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Entrepreneurs are optimists by nature. Especially start-ups will say "yes" to almost anything and everything. To say "yes" very often is a bad habit since it will result in wasting time, becoming over-committed, losing focus and getting burnt out. At the end, they will probably make unwise decisions and get involved in businesses that they have not started in the first place.

Saying "NO" is one of the hardest things for budding entrepreneurs. It needs practice and a change of mindset. This change starts by understanding that "NO" is not a negative two-letter word. But, it is a way/method that helps you avoid confusion and stay on the course which enables you to do what you love to do the most.

Remind yourself that by saying "NO", you are saving your time and energy for the things that deserve your full attention. And, "NO" allows you to allocate your limited resources, most importantly your time, for the business opportunities that are in line with your original goal. Once you learn to say "NO" you will unburden yourself from the load that comes from rejecting ideas, requests and the loss of opportunities. You will start feeling that you now have more time and concentration to work on what really is important for you.

During the Apple Conference in 1997, Steve Jobs shared his views on saying "NO" as follows:

"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things."

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