Allow me, if you will, to tell you about that ~*~*~*~*~razzle dazzle~*~*~*~*~
You see, during World War 1, allied ships were being sunk constantly. So, in an effort to hide them, the US and Britain decided to use camouflage.
At first, they tried painting their ships the color of the sea so that they'd blend in to their backgrounds. Unfortunately, that didn't work at all.
So instead, they did the opposite: They made these ships incredibly visible. They stood out like crazy.
They called this style of camo "razzle dazzle."
And as soon as they started painting these ships in this way, it became hard for any enemy to actually tell what the heck they were looking at.
What way was the ship headed? Where was its front and back? Is it coming toward us or away? All this became nearly impossible to tell due to the strangeness of the pattern.
And, interestingly enough, this strange pattern led to a lot fewer ships getting sunk.
In this case, doing the opposite of what anyone thought would work is what led to success.
And the same is true when it comes to our clients. Most of the time, we're doing absolutely everything in our power to please them so that they hire us, or keep working with us. We say "yes" over and over, thinking it's the right way to go.
But often, the opposite is true, and saying "no" is actually what makes clients say "yes" to us more often.
Here's what we're going to cover today!
Part 1: Why we're scared to say no
Part 2: Why saying no works so well
Part 3: The different ways of saying "no"
Whether we're freelancing or working at a company
Saying "no" is simply not something we're trained to do. Whether it's saying no to an unfair rate, ludicrous work hours, or pointless meetings, it's not something that most people know is an option.
After all, we tend to think "if I say 'no' then I'm absolutely going to get fired/not get hired."
But who put that idea into our heads? Did our clients tell that to us? Who sent us a memo that says "no saying no?"
That's right. No one did. It's all in our own heads.
So if it turns out that we're the ones who gave ourselves this false limitation
That means we can shatter it entirely on our own, too.
Considering most of us have never even tried to stand our ground and say no to a boss or client, then we have no idea what the actual repercussions are (hint: there are almost zero).
But why would we even bother saying no?
Oftentimes, we're so caught up in saying “yes yes yes” that we don't really know why we'd turn a client down in the first place.
Why should we say no to a low-paid gig, unreasonable work hours, or constant meetings? Don't most employees/freelancers just do what they're told?
Yes, most do…
But the best ones don't.
The best people have clear boundaries and know exactly what they'll tolerate
The best DON'T say yes to absolutely everything. They know they need to adhere to their own values and boundaries to create their best work.
But unfortunately, most people don't ever think about saying no… ever.
That means they say yes to too many things, become exhausted, stay underpaid for decades, and become bitter toward what they do.
Those who say "no" intelligently go further, have more time for themselves, make more money, have stronger careers, have greater health, and are less stressed. Not only that, they're even viewed as much higher-status professionals.
The second a boundary comes up
Everyone's respect for the boundary-setter skyrockets.
Think about it this way… Imagine you had a choice between 2 restaurants: One that you can walk into at anytime, and another that has a 3 month waiting list. Which one has more respect and allure in your mind?
Even if a restaurant requires a 3 month waiting list and hoops to jump through, many people will move mountains to make sure they can fit it into their schedules.
The same is true for us
If we tell a client that we can't start right away, they'll actually be even more excited for when we do start working with them.
If we're clear about our price, they'll be more likely to try and pay us what we're worth.
If we're not the right fit for a project, we can let the client know that. Ironically that will make the client want to work with us more.
If a client asks for incessant, pointless meetings and we say "no" in a firm, but polite way, they'll start making sure you have what you need without needing to attend them.