The power of no

I have always read about how saying ‘No’ is actually a very powerful way of protecting your business, and I’ve certainly used it on occasion, but a recent encounter has shown me how important it can sometimes be.

A couple of weeks ago we lost a minor non-video deal because I declined a request to sponsor an event coverage video, something that we strictly do not offer in our repertoire. We were careful to make it to clear in the original negotiations that videos were off the cards unless they were willing to pay for it.

Was it a loss though? In the short-term, maybe. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

In fact, after I said ‘No’ the first time, I gained a great degree of insight and perspective into how our business was viewed by this particular client:

“I am not asking for much, just a DSLR will suffice.”

And this is exactly how we do not want to be viewed. The simplicity implied in the statement alone felt rather disrespectful, maybe even borderline insulting. Not explicitly towards us perhaps, but to anyone who’s ever been serious about making a living as a craftsperson.

You NEVER want anyone else to think what you do is easy, and while the loss of potentially immediate income might sting for a bit, when it goes away you’ll find that it never left much of a mark at all.

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