The Power of Saying No

By Tiffany • Updated on 07/07/2021

Saying No.

This contributor post was written by Tiffany Han.

We talk about the power of saying yes a lot when it comes to creative businesses.

Say yes and figure it out later.
Raise your hand even if you’re not ready.
Take advantage of opportunities that come your way. Saying yes is how you get ahead.

All of this is true…and yet, there is also power that comes with saying no.

Saying no to the things that no longer serve you. Saying no to so-called opportunities that actually result in you doing a lot of extra work for not much corresponding reward.

Saying no to people who suck your energy. And your time. And your money.

Saying no to the things that are not good for you – relationships, habits, tasks – so that you can say yes to the things that ARE infinitely better for your business, your life, and your psyche.

It’s easy to become a yes-man when you’re starting out. Often we’re so excited about all! the! possibility! that we take on every project that becomes available and forget to keep the vision of our business in the forefront. We get so consumed with the day-to-day tasks of doing the job that we forget about our role as business owner and visionary.

And sometimes, the only way to regain power as the Person in Charge is to start saying no: Turning down the pain-in-the-butt client who (you know!) is going to drive you crazy and be 100% not worth it in the long run. Saying no, thank you to the “unpaid but good exposure” photography gig. Passing on the super discounted order for your aunt’s co-worker who you’ll never hear from again.

Today’s challenge: Take a look at what you’re working on these days, especially the things that are taking up the majority of your time and energy, and ask yourself: “How is this serving me?” If you don’t like your answer, it’s time to start saying no.

PS. Heads up y’all! Today is my birthday (whoo hoo!) and in celebration of my 34 years, I’m offering a 1-day birthday sale on my upcoming 11/4 How to Say No webinar and Social Media Rehab Workbook.

You may know Tiffany Han, CPCC as a life and business coach, but really she helps highly-creative women wake up happy and have more fun. Every single day. She’s been called the Mary Poppins of creative businesses and a professional Yoda by her clients. If you’re feeling the growing pains of running your creative business and are ready to STOP spinning your wheels and actually get stuff done, her Good Morning Glitterbomb daily inspiration emails are sure to light your fire.

8 comments | Click here to reply

[…] Loved this post on saying no, which I’m finally starting to […]

Back In the City (and the time my cat modeled for Mr. December)

Happy Birthday! Such a great post I can relate.


Congrats! I was in one business course and there the teacher tried to teach us why to say no. We said all together no 🙂 …I guess it’s hard but worth it. Still learning…


Yes please! No and yes can both be powerful words, it’s just about learning when it is better to say which one.


This is so good! I said “NO” to shooting wedding a few years ago. It was scary to become strictly a portrait photographer, but it is the best thing I’ve ever done for my business!!!!


I’m starting to learn to say “No” more often now – it took awhile – I think I’m too nice. I would say yes to everything and just figure it out, even if it meant putting more on my plate and staying up all night! Then I realized how crazy that was and said “No more of that”! So thank you for this post! I needed someone to tell me it was okay to say no 🙂 lol

Jessica (Coco & Mingo)

Happy birthday!! I totally agree…I tend to take on too much, and then end up not enjoying any of it. I would rather choose a couple of things that I’m passionate about and give them my full attention than do a lot half-way. Thanks for reminding me! 🙂

Sarah @ 702 Park Project

First of all, happy birthday! I hope your day is amazing!

This is seriously such great advice, though. I think learning to say no and learning to be comfortable with that is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

In fact, I just said no to something this morning that would have added a lot of stress to the rest of my week, and I feel great about it!

Ladyface Blog

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