Is saying “No” bad for business?

We often equate success with money. Yes money pays the bill but are we better off rejecting business that doesn’t fit our creative vision? While in Europe, I found that saying “No” is more powerful than always saying “Yes”. I encountered many business owners with such strong creative conviction in their craft they rejected potential opportunities that didn’t fit with their vision. At first, I was puzzled by the idea. How could they so blatantly say “No”? Couldn’t it possibly lead to future opportunities? Shouldn’t they be more open and listen to feedback? Intrigued, I asked the question and this is what I found out. To them, it was more rewarding to sale their products to individuals who appreciated its value than to non-believers. I kept on hearing, “I don’t have time to cater”.

Now, the US is known for it’s intricate game of persuasion. It’s common belief that anyone can be reconverted and convinced otherwise. I have been guilty to succumb to products I wasn’t 100% sure on. If you have found yourself in that situation, you probably ended up returning or having that garment seating in your closet unworn.

The lesson here is to stop emulating big corporate entities. Small businesses need to focus on their uniqueness. They need to have their customers in mind and stop obsessing about the sale. Being a socially conscious, passionate business owner will make your brand stronger.

Toms shoes is a great example of corporate responsibility. Their e-commerce business model “one for one” delivers for every purchase a donation to children in need. They sacrifice part of their profit to help those in needs. Their business is successful because customers are tired of soulless purchases. In an era where we can obtain anything we want, it’s no longer about the cheapest deals. It’s about unique, well-crafted, conscious design. So keep that in mind when building your business and don’t be afraid to just say “No”.

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