7 Ways to Say No

7 Ways to Say No

7 Ways to Say No

Don’t regret saying yes! George & Mary-Lynn share 7 ways to say no in this BIGG Success Show Podcast (Duration 5:24)

Have you ever said “yes” to something, than later wished you’d said “no?” People deal with this situation differently. Some will begrudgingly follow through with their promise. Others will try to avoid it altogether, and here’s the problem with that option…

We were talking with a friend who raises money for his organization. He told us, “It makes me so angry when a person looks me in the eye and says yes, then ignores me.”

Nothing like burning a bridge because you didn’t have the courage enough to say what you mean.

People do this all of the time. It’s easier to say yes. Who wants to sit across a person who looks disappointed by your rejection? But you do more harm than good by not being honest.

We’ve said in the past, when you commit to something new, you’re also saying no to something else in your life. Yes I’ll serve on this board, no I won’t get my exercise in regularly. Yes, I’ll donate to this cause, no I won’t have money to go out to eat. You get the point.

We’ve also stressed the importance of saying no to improve balance in your life. We naturally want to please people, but at what cost?
So let’s review how to say no.

The reasons for saying no boils down to these three things:
A. No…because it’s not appealing
B. No…because of money
C. No…because of time

Look, we know it’s hard, it’s something people struggle with, but go with your gut. The worst thing that could happen is that you change your mind and later say yes.

Our 7 ways to say no

Next time you find yourself tempted to say yes when you know you shouldn’t, try one of these:

1. No
2. No, not at this time
3. No, it’s not in the budget
4. No, I can’t commit to that right now
5. No, it’s just not a good fit
6. No, my schedule won’t allow for that
7. No, we have other priorities to get through before we can consider anything else
What have we missed? How do you say no?

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Set Expectations to Be a Success

setting expectations | BIGG SuccessSometimes, some customers expect too much.

So do bosses, spouses, kids, parents, family members, friends and anyone else you have a relationship with.

Why do they expect too much?

We hate to do this. It’s something we rarely do. But we feel it’s necessary in this case. Before we try to fix the problem, let’s fix the blame.

It’s your fault!

You’re the reason they expect so much.

Before you get defensive, take comfort in this. We’re in the same boat as you are; it’s our fault with the people in our world.

What have we all done wrong? In most cases, it’s a communications problem. And a timing issue.

Let’s think about an example. A customer hires you to do a project. You’re excited to have the work. It will be great to get paid.

So you jump in and get started. You get it done. But the customer is far from thrilled. In fact, they’re unhappy.

They said they expected Y. You only delivered X.

You knew upfront that you were only going to deliver X. You didn’t price the job to provide Y.

But you never told the customer.

There’s the communication problem. Of course, you could tell the customer now. But that’s where the timing issue comes in.

Now, anything you say will sound like an excuse. And relationships aren’t built on excuses.

So what can you do?

In this case, we would eat the extra costs and deliver Y. But we would take a lesson away so we get a return on this unfortunate investment.

What’s the lesson?

You must communicate upfront if you want to manage expectations. Before you start a task, a project or a relationship, everything is open for discussion.

But expectations are being set based on those discussions.

When you tell a customer what you can’t do upfront, it’s an explanation. After the fact, it’s an excuse.

Set expectations upfront so you don’t have to make excuses. It leads to BIGG success!

How do you manage expectations?

Image in this post from stroinski

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Keep on Schedule Like Radio and TV Stars

up against the clock | BIGG SuccessYou hear radio and TV hosts say it all the time, “I’m up against the clock.” It’s a simple technique they use to cut the conversation short.

Isn’t it amazing how focused their guests get when they hear that magical phrase?

You don’t have to be a media star to use this technique in your life. You can keep yourself on schedule by keeping yourself up against the clock.

Keep your conversations up against the clock

Don’t be rude. But why not set a time parameter at the beginning of a conversation?

When you both know you have five to ten minutes (or however long you decide), you will keep the conversation from wandering.

There are times when you shouldn’t do this. For example, when you’re looking for a solution to a difficult problem, you don’t want to impair the creativity with an artificial deadline.

However, most conversations will be more productive by establishing an end time upfront.

Keep your meetings up against the clock

We won’t elaborate much on this one since it’s so obvious. Well, at least it should be.

Let every one on your team know the designated end time. When the conversation starts to stray, remind them.

It’s a great way to keep every on track without seeming like a tyrant.

Keep your projects up against the clock

Before you pull out a project to start working on it, determine how long you can work on it.

This works best for small projects. For example, we do this now when we write a blog post or prepare for a podcast. We find that we get them done much faster without sacrificing quality.

You’ll also do better carving up your bigger projects into sub-projects. Then you can treat them like a small project.

Keep your day up against the clock

Think of yourself as a show host. You have the whole day to do your show.

Now carve it up into segments. Work with different amounts to find one that works for you.

For example, we use 30 minutes. We pound it out for a half an hour. Then we take a five-minute break.

Get away from your desk. Stretch a little. Walk around. Breathe.

Three, two, one…you’re back at the desk. The show must go on!

We have to go now because we’re up against the clock.

How do you keep yourself up against the clock?

Image in this post from molpole

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Michael Port on Book Yourself Solid Part 1

Book Yourself SolidOn the BIGG Success Show today, we were thrilled to visit with Michael Port. Michael is a coach, a speaker and a New York Times best-selling author of four books. He recently updated his first book – Book Yourself Solid. Now one of the best marketing books ever written is even better.



Listen to the podcast, the first half of our conversation to learn:

*How Michael is living life on his own terms and how he’s gone from actor to author. (His acting credits include roles in: Sex in the City, Third WatchThe Guiding Light, The Pelican Brief and more.)

*Why he calls “Book Yourself Solid” a love story disguised as a business book.

*Why marketing doesn’t get you clients.

*What the four modules for marketing are in the Book Yourself Solid “Seven Course Self Promotion Strategy.”

Visit to download two free chapters of the new updated and expanded edition of the book. Michael says it contains ninety-eight new pages, system improvements, and major rewrites to reflect how the world of marketing has changed.

When you download the free chapters, you’ll learn about personal branding and how to expand your network to meet the right people who can open doors for you.

Next time, find out how Michael’s “Red Velvet Rope Policy” helps you book the clients you want.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

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WAIT to Avoid Communication Quirks

conversation_bubblesCommunication is an interesting creature. It seems simple. Yet it’s incredibly complex.




marylynnI’m not trying to be rude, George, but it’s just talking and listening. How complex is that?



georgeObviously it’s more than just speaking and listening, Mary-Lynn. Effective communication requires a meeting of two or more minds. A message has to be relayed and received. That’s more complex than many people think.



marylynnTrust me George, you’re making it too complicated. You decide on your message. You relay it. It is received. Voila, communication!



georgeThink about it Mary-Lynn. First you have to decide on the message you want to convey. Then you have to think about your audience. You must state your message so your audience understands it. Then you have to hope your audience is receptive to your message. You have to find a way to engage them.



marylynnAs I’ve said before, it’s just talking and listening. As long as both parties understand that, communication is simple.



georgeTo be honest, Mary-Lynn, I think communication is simple too, on the surface. It’s executing it effectively that is difficult.



marylynnTo make a long story short, George, I was just playing with you. I think you’re right. Communication can be very complex.


Sometimes our quirks get in the way of the message. We send signals that we may not intend to send as you can see from the above conversation.

We could go through each of these one by one but you might accuse us of having a communication quirk if we did!


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So let’s get right into a technique we picked up along the way that keeps us from saying things we don’t need to say.

In many cases, these goofy little sayings are just a bridge to what we really want to say. They’re fillers that are unnecessary.

So the next time you’re embroiled in a conversation, WAIT. WAIT is an acronym for: Why Am I Talking?


marylynnWhen I’m getting ready to say something, I just WAIT. I ask myself if I really need to say it. I think about how I will say it. It’s not fool-proof so I still say something foolish sometimes, but it’s really helped me communicate better.


It doesn’t need to apply to just oral discussions. You may WAIT when you’re writing an e-mail. Just ask yourself: Why Am I Typing?


georgeIn some cases, I discard the e-mail altogether. In other cases, it helps me really shorten it up. I still get carried away sometimes, but at least I get carried away consciously!


How about this one: Why Am I Texting?


marylynnThis keeps me from feeling like I always have to respond one more time. It helps me look for that natural end to the conversation.


Speaking of ends of conversations, we’ve reached it on this post. WAIT and you’ll avoid communication quirks that send the wrong signal. WAIT for bigg success!

What communication quirks drive you crazy?

Share that by leaving a comment, e-mailing us at or leaving a voice mail at 877.988.BIGG(2444).

Wait! We want to thank you so much for reading our post today.

Please join us next time as we discuss an important part of life balance we don’t often think about. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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