Make saying no your superpower for 2023

Entrepreneur and business mentor Rebecca Newenham talks about how to set boundaries and work more efficiently this year.

Make saying no your superpower for 2023

Whether you are already a franchisee or thinking about taking the leap to become one, time is precious. There are so many drains on your time, yet only so many hours in the day. Being really strict about what you say yes to can supercharge yourself and your business.

Are you a people pleaser?

It’s a common trait to want to make people happy. Especially in business, making clients happy can mean more revenue, so it’s a no-brainer. When starting a business or in quieter times, it’s tempting to say yes to everything. Being open to new opportunities is excellent, as you never know where they might lead. However, saying yes is the wrong choice when it starts to take its toll on your wellbeing. You need to put yourself first.

Setting boundaries for yourself, your business and your team (if you lead one) is critical to your success. To do that, you need to start with the superpower of saying no. You only have so much energy in one day, so focus on where to channel that energy. Saying no might feel alien, even scary, to begin with. It certainly did for me. As a franchisor and business owner, I definitely felt I needed to be always available for my franchisees, my team and our clients, always at the end of the phone whenever anyone needed anything. Of course, there are some benefits to that. But I realised I was putting everyone else’s needs above mine. It was impacting my wellbeing and, therefore, my performance at work. By being available to everyone less, I could deliver more by showing up as my best self when they needed me.

Shift your mindset to focus on you

Remember that people, be they customers or team members, ask for your time because it’s their agenda – not yours. If it’s also top of your agenda, then great! Your needs match, and you can crack on. However, you need to say no if it isn’t at the top of your objectives. Value your time as much as you value other people’s. You have a right to do what you need to do within the time you have available. You shouldn’t compromise that for others, as it will only have negative repercussions further down the line. It’s got to work for both of you to be successful. I no longer feel awkward politely saying that I can’t see someone for a couple of weeks due. I prioritise who I respond to. Just like prioritising tasks, it’s about what’s urgent and important for me, not what’s nice to do or meets someone else’s objective.

None of us is superhuman, and it simply isn’t possible to please all of the people all of the time. If you focus your energy on pleasing everyone else, you won’t have energy left for you and your business. Try using tools like Calendly to block out time for yourself each week and commit to saying no to at least one request each week that can wait. You might be surprised by the difference it makes. Go for a walk at lunchtime, or use the time to catch up with a friend. Small steps can make a big change. Take back control of your boundaries and boost your wellbeing and productivity this year.

Rebecca Newenham
Rebecca Newenham