Why is No so powerful? Because it gives you permission to stop doing what you shouldn’t be doing so you can focus on the few initiatives that will bring success to your business.
Businesses that try and do everything rarely succeed. A good example is Apple. When Steve Jobs returned to run the company it was in dire straits; it would probably have failed. The company was working on hundreds of projects developing a wide array of new products. He spent his first few months cancelling projects and saying no to new projects. He eventually whittled them all down to 4 key product developments. The rest is history.
The power of no is very evident in strategic planning models like the Rockefeller Habits; it limits company’s priorities to just five. Phil Libin, CEO of Evernotes, focuses the company on only one major strategy each year. This requires strong discipline from the leadership team. It is far easier to embark on exciting new initiatives than saying no to them.
As business owners we must learn to say NO! Otherwise our focus will become fragmented and that leads to mediocrity. We will have a company that swims with the tide but never quite makes it to shore. We will become tired and frustrated. Success will elude us. So make yourself a large sign that says “I am proud to say NO!”
I will leave the last words to Steve Jobs: “Deciding on what NOT to do is as important as deciding what to do.”