The Power of NO

Women often feel that the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Boomer women especially are prone to saying "yes" to almost anything asked of them because they think they are super women! But you can´t say "yes" to everything and everyone, and be successful.

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Women often feel that the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Boomer women especially are prone to saying “yes” to almost anything asked of them because they think they are super women! But you can´t say “yes” to everything and everyone, and be successful. That´s why it´s SO important to embrace the power of NO.

The feeling that people depend on me is intimately woven into a woman’s motivation

…whether at home or the office, the woman knows that she’s relied on.

This fact reflects her importance in the environment. The end result is that she—like you—has way too much on her plate.

The feeling that you’re pulled in too many directions doesn’t support the ability to perform, either.

If your boss, daughter, mother, and book club ask for some kind of last-minute service, it’s important to prioritize, of course. But making decisions about what really helps you to progress, to achieve the goals so important to you, doesn’t happen when you say “Yes” every time someone in your network asks.

“Can I Say NO to the Boss?”

If you’re thinking about self-employment, it’s important to consider the employer-employee relationship. The employee plays a specific role and has duties that are written in his or her job description.

These duties probably don’t include semi-personal tasks, such as, “Donna, will you help my daughter write her master’s thesis?” or “I’m really at a loss about what to buy my wife for her birthday. You’re so good at that…will you help?”

You can, and should, say no to these kinds of requests.

As a business owner, you will have goals of all sizes. Most often, the large goals are achieved by achieving smaller steps along the way.

You focus on identifying, and achieving each step. You won’t allow distractions like those mentioned above.

“I’m Already Self-Employed. Can I Say NO to a Client?”

Yes, absolutely. You’re the boss. You agree to perform work for a client but, again, the deliverables of your assignment or project are detailed in the agreement both you and the client sign.

Let’s say you’re a self-employed consultant. You’re engaged to perform a project that’s estimated to conclude in about six months. You and the client agree to ten hours per week at $300 an hour. Good for you!

Within six months, the project isn’t near completion because the client continues to revise each completed task. What’s worse, the client asks you to work “consulting hours.” This request is the client’s way of asking you to work more hours than the one you’ve agreed to bill.

Will you continue?

You’re the boss. You can either prepare a new agreement that addresses the working relationship specifics or you can fire the client.

This scenario is certainly one to discuss during a coaching session.

How to Say NO to a Client

If you decide to fire the client, do so with love and respect. Explain your decision to the client in conversation and follow-up in writing. Understand that most clients don’t want to be fired—if you don’t want to continue the assignment, don’t agree to more money.


You can’t reach for the sun, moon and stars if you’re doing work that doesn’t suit. Self-employment is permission to perform work that interests you. The decision about with whom you work, including clients, is yours.

There are many reasons to disengage from a consulting client. If you rely upon the internal guidance and coaching support, you will benefit from tapping into the power of NO.

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