Every entrepreneur I know can’t find enough hours in a day to do the good things they want, and yet they often find themselves saying yes to new requests. Perhaps because they are optimists by nature, or they just hate to disappoint others, they end up hurting their health, credibility and effectiveness by not being able to deliver on everything they promise.
In addition to saying yes too often, some entrepreneurs under pressure say no poorly, by attacking the requestor or by avoiding any definitive response. Either of these approaches always make a difficult situation worse, often leading to guilt or a later accommodation.
A successful entrepreneur must be accountable for all commitments, and manage expectations to make this possible. So here are some tips I have learned over the years from strong leaders that can help you say no without damaging current business relationships or future opportunities:
1. Establish boundaries and honor them for all to see.