Conditions of Satisfaction—How, When, and Why to Say No

We mompreneurs, as we’re working hard to grow and develop our businesses, can sometimes slip into a pattern of saying yes to things that really don’t serve or work for us. In fact, we may even find ourselves signing clients or accepting projects that flat-out stress, drain, or overwhelm us… which can’t be good for us or our businesses! We say yes to these things for many reasons, many based on fear: fear that we may miss out on an opportunity, fear that no one else may ever hire us again, fear that we won’t have enough money, or fear that if we don’t say yes to absolutely everything our businesses will fail to grow. Well, let me tell you, ladies—fear is no way to grow a business!

So today I want to talk about the benefits of learning how, when, and why to say no. My hope for you is that you won’t operate out of fear, but from a place of strength, power, and worth, and it’s my belief that saying no, when appropriate, is an amazing tool to help you do just that.

It’s really all about what I call “conditions of satisfaction.” These are the things that bring you fulfillment, that make or break this business for you, that work for you, and that ultimately bring you satisfaction in your business, home, and life in general. These are your non-negotiables when it comes to what makes you happy, and these are what should drive your decision to say yes or no when an opportunity comes knocking at your door.

Here are some examples of how your conditions of satisfaction can help you know when to say no:

  • If working from home so you can be with your children and not have to put them in daycare is one of your conditions of satisfaction, it will be easy to say no when a job will require you to travel or work from a remote location.
  • If working with other mom entrepreneurs is one of your conditions of satisfaction, it will be easy to say no when a job will require you to work primarily with businessmen in corporate America.
  • If doing work that is meaningful and stimulating is one of your conditions of satisfaction, it will be easy to say no when a job that bores you or conflicts with your conscience comes up.
  • If working only Monday through Friday during business hours is one of your conditions of satisfaction, it will be easy to say no when a project requires that you be available evenings or weekends.

Take time to nail down your conditions of satisfaction. They are different for everyone. There are no right or wrong answers here. But the point is: you get to choose what brings you satisfaction! You get to decide what is important to you, what you’re passionate about, and what makes you happy to be doing what you do. Those are the things by which to live your life, work your business, and help you decide when to say yes to the opportunities that move you in that direction and no to those that don’t.

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Sometimes,You Gotta Say No

I just got back from Boston after a month of near-constant vacation with the kids in one state or another. My kids are a little confused and wondering what to do with themselves after living a Disney life for so long. Let me just say: we have made some fantastic memories this summer! I am so grateful for all the wonderful places we’ve been and the friends and family that have made our travels so lovely.

So it’s time to get back to real life, right?

Yep! I hopped back on twitter tonight (that’s like saying I went back to my “office”…since twitter is my office 🙂 and wound up having an interesting discussion with some other mom entrepreneurs.

It all stemmed from a conversation I had with Jill Daniel, of (or @pastaqueenpr on twitter) today. We discussed how mompreneurs have to figure out how to balance their business goals with their family goals. I told her I have to say no to many of the opportunities that come my way since I have to consider the impact they have on my role as a mom and a wife. We’re driven to see our businesses succeed, but we can’t lose sight of our top priority: family.

It can be hard to remember that sometimes.

If you’re like me, you started your own company when you had your kids in order to have the freedom, flexibility and fulfillment you needed. It seemed like the key to work/family balance.

But then the business started to grow, we got excited about more customers or clients, which meant more work, and of course more money…and then one day we woke up to the fact that we’re working too hard to make the money we want, and we aren’t spending the quality time with our family that we wanted to because we’re just too busy.

That’s why we mompreneurs have to remember how important it is to say no sometimes. If you’re doing a good job with your business and it’s growing, good for you! Your hard work is paying off. The key is for you to be strategic with how you spend your precious time.

Having time off to spend with your family is not a luxury–it’s a requirement for a mom entrepreneur. And that means you’re going to have to turn down a number of the opportunities that come your way, even when they promise you’ll make more money.

At a loss trying to figure out what to say yes to and when to say no?

Start with your values. Does the opportunity support them or cause you to compromise them? (For example: I’m just starting to travel for speaking engagements and TV appearances, which is thrilling for me. But I have to keep that great growth opportunity for my business in check with my desire and commitment to be a full-time mom for my kids.)

Next, take a look at your business plan and goals. Will this opportunity move you towards your goal? Will it help you get there faster or more easily?

Finally, be really honest about whether you even want to do it. Is this ideal for you, or are you settling for something? The more time and energy you expend on projects and opportunities that don’t showcase your best strengths, talents and passion, the less time you have to take on projects that offer exactly that.

What are you gonna say no to? And by saying no to that thing, what are you saying yes to?

If you’re still stumped and can’t seem to say no to anything for fear of missing out (all the time), you might be ready to hire a coach. Your business will grow the way you want it to when you apply some planning and strategy to it. Have you checked out the Mom Biz Makeover Program yet?

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