How to say NO to Opportunities

Posted on September 02, 2013

Ryan Stewman



First know this; the more successful you become in sales, the more people will show up in your life trying to distract you from your goals, so they can meet theirs. Generally people associate a good salesman to a person with a lot of contacts. In most cases this is true, so you can bet there are plenty of people trying to get their hands on your network. These folks don’t show up as competitors though, they show up as ‘friends’ and ‘partners’. just-say-no  

It’s been my experience that most salespeople are quick to jump on an opportunity due to our ego and quick decision-making skills. Any good salesman knows a salesman is the easiest person to sell. We appreciate the effort and hate saying “no” because we hate hearing it. It’s like bad sales-karma or some shit. But if you don’t learn to say “no” now, you will suffer great pain later. You are not Jim Carey (unless you’re reading this Jim, if so hit me up on twitter) and this is not some movie, if you run around saying yes to every opportunity you will lose your credibility.  

I’m going to give you a couple reasons why you should say no to opportunities more often than yes, when it comes to new opportunities and partnerships. I’m also going to give you a couple of cool ways to blow someone off without seeming like a total douche. Are you ready for this shit?  

The first and most important reason you should say no to most opportunities is the more jars you stick your grubby little hands in, the more diluted your personal brand becomes. When people ask you what you do for a living and you have to spend 5 minutes explaining because you don’t want to leave anything out they might buy, your character is assassinated. It’s 2013 and good business people can spot an opp junkie a mile away and they are all too familiar with the distraction. People begin to perceive you as cheap and willing to do anything for a buck. Yet you wonder why these are the only type of people who keep cycling through your life…  

The second reason not to jump onto everything someone offers you that sounds half-way decent is “THE WHY“. They WHY is important. Why did they ask you? Why are they thinking you can do whatever it is they need? Why are they needing this done? Why are they involved? You have to understand that people reaching out to you with opportunities are not looking out for your best interests. Nobody just gives shit away, they are going to expect your name, brand, contacts, expertise and everything else you’ve worked to create, to come along into the new venture. Are you willing to risk everything you’ve worked for to try something with a stranger or worse yet, a friend.  

The best way to get out of being pigeon-holed into being a dick about saying no to someone’s “chance of a lifetime deal” is to carry yourself correctly on the front end. If you seem laser focused and 100% dedicated to your craft, people tend to respect that and not approach you. On the chance they do, simply tell them you are laser focused and unable to take any outside ventures on at this point. Again, most people will respect this and tell you they will hit you up at a later time.  

If you can’t get away that easy, here is what you do. You make extreme demands. Money always talks. If the person is persistent, and won’t stop asking you to at least talk, charge them for the talk. If they pay that amount, and it comes down to working with them, ask them for a shit ton of upfront cash. If you are going to distract your time and attention to help build someone else’s dream, get paid up front for it. Don’t fuck around. Usually this will run the fake-ass people away and at the same time , if you get a fat ass check you’re probably hooked up with the right opportunity.  

Look, I’m telling you this shit from personal experience. My life has not ever been as good as it now and it all started when I learned to say “no” in a respectable way that people appreciated. It’s even got me a few of those fat-ass checks I mentioned. Don’t let good be robber of best. Stay focused on your dreams not others and you don’t need validation from anyone but you homie. So when it comes to BS, just say no.  

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