It’s YES. The most dangerous, damaging word in business is YES.
I know what you are thinking. “What the hell, Mike? Business is all about getting the customer to say yes, dummy. And an entrepreneur’s job is to always say yes to them. The customer is always right, after all. Yes?”
Wrong! Deadly wrong.
In fact your business’s life is dependent upon how often you say NO.
Don’t believe me? Let me share a little story, and perhaps you will agree with me on how dangerous yes is.
Let’s say you have a lawn mowing company and a client asks you to simply rake the leaves. Yes! It is a no brainer. Quick, easy money.
While you are out raking leaves, you can’t also be mowing the lawn for a different client. And you surely can’t be answering the phone when a new lawn mowing prospect calls.
So now that you are raking leaves AND mowing lawns, you are missing the next mowing job and all the growth opportunities that exist by being efficient at just one thing are lost.
Next time you are back at the office and waiting for the phone to ring, in comes a gutter cleaning project. You need the money, and it is kinda like raking leaves anyway. Kinda. So, YES, you take it. And while you’re away another mowing job is missed. But you’ll never know it.
And since you are cleaning leaves, siding houses makes sense. You have the ladders any way. Oh, and the customer asked… so YES, chimney repair is now your gig too. And YES, you will deliver wood for the chimney. YES you will make the fire. And the customer wants food, so YES you’ll cook it.
The mowing business? It was struggling any way. Thank God you said YES to all those other opportunities.
I have a question for you. Name the most successful lawn mowing, gutter cleaning, lawn raking, chimney repairing, fire making, cooking company that you know. Nothing bigger than the local Jack of all trades…. you know, the YES MAN.
I bet you can name hugely successful businesses that just do one thing. Just mow lawns or just cook meals. They said NO to all the other stuff.
Now it’s your turn. Learn to say no. It will serve you well. You grow by saying no.