Ep #232: Business Owners Guide to Saying No

Saying “no” can be difficult. It can make you feel guilty or it can make you question yourself.  But regardless of if it’s hard, it is an important skill to have. So, in this episode, we’ll be discussing 30 ways to say no. 

I’m pretty good about saying no, but there are moments when I know I need a better strategy.  Enter my friend’s podcast, They Don’t Teach This in Business School, hosted by Julie Bee.  When I heard her episode on saying no, I knew I needed to share it with you. Today, Julie will be joining me to share her strategies for saying no and breaking them down into 4 categories so that you’ll never question yourself again.

Links Mentioned During the Episode:

Download Julie’s 30 Ways to Say No guide. 

Visit Julie Bee’s website!

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What’s Coming Up:

If you want to start 2023 referral strong, then you need to use the rest of this year getting ready for it. If you wait till January or February – you’ll miss out on a few critical months to make traction. So if you’ve considered joining one of my online programs like Growth By Referrals or joining my Group Coaching experience (Building a Referable Business) – then now is the time to join and get started. Go to Staceybrownrandall.com to sign up or apply. BUT if you’d rather work with me for one day and get everything built and in place for a referral strong 2023… then check out my re-tooled VIP option, Referrals in a Day. You can find all programs and experiences on the home page of the website.

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Next Episode:

Next episode is #233, and we’re covering the question: Are you being “referred” on social media? Here’s what you need to know about it.

Download The Full Episode Transcript

Read the Transcript Below:

Stacey Brown Randall:          Any time of the year is a good time to learn to say no. But saying no can be hard. It’s not only logic at play, but emotions too.

So, in this episode, let’s talk about 30 ways to say no, so you’re prepared for the start of 2023.

Hey there, and welcome to Episode 232 of the Roadmap to Grow Your Business Podcast, a show about helping you build a referable business. I’m your host, Stacey Brown Randall.

I think I’m pretty good about saying no. It’s definitely a skill that I have worked on developing over the years, and not just because I’m a mom to three kids that I say no to a lot. I think my daughter’s ultimate dream would to be have a Yes Day and there is every fiber of my being that screams, “Absolutely not. No way are we having a Yes Day.”

Now, if you haven’t seen that movie, you have no idea what I’m talking about, but there’s actually a movie out called Yes Day. You should go watch it. I personally found it hilarious.

So, I think I’m pretty good at saying no. It’s not something I think I developed a skill as when I was younger or that I was just born with. It’s something that I’ve worked at. It’s something that it comes down to understanding your priorities and where you need to be spending your time, which I think helps then you know when to say no.

But the act of saying no to someone else, like the words you choose to say to someone else, that’s actually kind of hard. That’s the emotional piece, right? That’s the piece where you’ve got to actually know you’re going to disappoint someone, even if it’s the right thing for you to do. And like how do you say the right words?

And so, I know there have been moments where I have been like, “Man, I wish I had different words.” Just different strategy, different word, the different script, something different to say in the situation that would make it a little bit easier for me, and maybe quite possibly a little bit easier for them, whoever them is, that I’m saying no to.

Well, enter my friend’s podcast, They Don’t Teach This in Business School, hosted by Julie Bee. When I heard her episode on saying no, I knew I wanted to share it with you guys.

So, let me tell you a little bit about Julie and then we’re going to dive in to our conversation.

Julie is an award-winning entrepreneur who has spoken for more than 14 years on topics including leadership, management, employee engagement and morale, workplace culture, small business ownership, and entrepreneurship.

Julie’s leadership insights have been featured on Fast Company, Forbes, Thrive Global and many more. And she has a book coming out, The Business Owner’s Guide to Burnout and it’s scheduled to hit bookshelves in early 2024.

So, when I heard on Julie’s podcast, her episode on saying no and the fact that she had developed a guide to help you say no, and it included 30 ways. 30 ways, my friends, to say no. I was like, “Okay, I’m having Julie on the podcast and she’s going to help us walk through these 30 ways of saying no.”

Now, in fairness to you listening, we did not go through all 30 ways. That would be a crazy long episode.

But I really loved how she breaks them down into like these four categories so that you can understand kind of the moments in which these grouping of strategies would be beneficial based on these four main categories or four main situations you find yourself in when you’re having to say no.

So, we’re going to talk about those four main categories and then just pick out one or two examples out of each one. It is awesome, but she also has a full guide that you can download all 30 ways.

So, you’ll hear me reference this throughout the interview, but you can also go get your own copy of this guide. And that of course, is going to be on the show notes page for this episode.

So, just go to staceybrownrandall.com/232. That’s for episode 232. And Stacey has an E.

But just go download her 30 ways guide. It’s like the PDF you just need to download, print it out, put it on your wall, or put it in an actual folder that you actually check on a regular basis somewhere on your computer in computer land. And always just know that you can go back and reference that when you need it. It’s a great PDF to have on hand.

Okay, so here’s my interview with Julie.

Julie, I am so excited to welcome you to the podcast today to have you on this episode. I have known you for years and years and years. We won’t say how many years, because then that starts to date us. And I have a little too much vanity around my age.

So, we won’t talk about how long we’ve known each other. But I have had the privilege of having you as a client as well, going through the Growth By Referrals and Referring Machines strategies and being able to work with you. And we’ll talk about some of the success that you had with the work that we did together later.

But we have a much more important conversation topic that we need to dive into. And it is, I personally think, one of my favorite things, but hardest things to do. And that is the conversation or the topic around saying no.

Julie Bee:   Yes.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I think you did a podcast episode on saying no and then you had this amazing download, like 30 Ways To Say No. And so, I went and got it. I was like, “Oh my gosh, give me all the ways. This is great.”

So, I will have you give a link so everybody else listening can go and download this too. But why don’t you first start off … even though I shared a little bit about who you were, why don’t you first start off with just sharing a little bit about what you do.

And then we will dive into all the great advice you’re giving us on how to say no to people that we don’t want to. That’s hard to say no to, I guess, I should say. So, first tell us a little bit about you.

Julie Bee:   Yeah, absolutely. So, I’ve been in business since 2008, so a little over 14 years now. And honestly, what I do is I help business owners achieve success without having to make a ton of sacrifices.

So, that’s really when I’m coaching, when I’m speaking, when I’m writing a book, when I’m creating downloads. That is my focus, is helping business owners achieve success without the sacrifices that sometimes we tend to think have to come along with business ownership, but it isn’t necessarily always the case.

So, that’s really what I do through coaching, through speaking, writing books. And yeah, I mean, that’s the gist.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I think that is awesome. And I also love how you … I mean, on your business journey, you have definitely gone through some iterations and changes just like I have, right? I mean-

Julie Bee:   Oh yeah.

Stacey Brown Randall:          You know this. I started out as a productivity … most my listeners know this too, but started out as a productivity and business coach and here I am now talking about referrals.

So, sometimes it’s just about going where the passion lies, but also where the need is as well. And I definitely have watched you on that journey as you’ve done that. And I think that that is amazing.

The one thing I always think about you, it’s kind of like no matter what you are focused on helping other people do, you’re going to do so very well at it because you’ve really just kind of like just dive in and always pull from areas where you know that you’ve been there, and you can give that great advice, but also, strategies and frameworks to help people move forward.

Julie Bee:   Yeah, and one of the things that I’m really striving for, the vision for my brand going forward is to help 1 million business owners by 2032. And that’s a really — you want to talk about a big hairy, audacious goal, that is one.

But that is the goal. And I’m excited to do that because I have been in business for 14 years. I do still own a marketing agency as well. Have a team of seven there now that pretty much run that agency without me. I’m involved with leadership and strategy and that’s about it.

So, I got to where I am today (and this is going to tie back into what we’re talking about) by saying no quite a bit to work that I was doing that I didn’t want to do anymore, quite frankly. And I just want to share that resource with other business owners.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I think that’s fabulous. So, I love having you on the podcast to talk about this topic.

This is not the only episode that you have inspired on my podcast as of late. I actually did episode 225 (so, not that many episodes ago) — but episode 225, I did an episode on core values. Because I had heard the one that you did and I was like, “Whoa, I don’t even know how long it’s been since I’ve looked at my core values. Probably need an update refresh.”

So, it was fun to do that episode, episode 225. And I’ll link to that and your episode on core values in the show notes for this episode. And then of course, we’ll link to this what we’re going to talk about and this awesome download you have, 30 Ways To Say No.

But okay, let’s dive in. Let’s talk about 30 ways to say no. But I want to go high level first.

What I love about the way that you gave these different ways to say no, because I think people are always like, “You just say no.”

But we also know there’s like a human emotion and a human dynamic and relationships and mindset issues that all come into play when we do get ready to say no to someone or something, or some opportunity. And I love how you kind of broke these down into like an overall four categories.

So, I’m going to talk about these four categories and then just dive into one way in each of those.

Again guys, as you’re listening to this, you’re like, “What are all the 30 ways?” Not going to read those out, not going to ask Julie to read all those out. You’re going to have to go get the download if you want to get all 30 ways.

But I want to talk about these four categories, and then dive into some of them that just … some of them I was like, “Oh, that’s so good.” And others I was like, “Oh my gosh, I need this.” And some just made me laugh.

Okay. So, the first … I’m going to give the four categories and then we’ll go back to the first one.

So, the first category is ways to say no to self-guilt that would normally cause you to say yes, but you are setting boundaries. So, that is category number one.

The second category is, is to say no to something you’d like to do, but it cannot be right now for whatever reason.

Category number three is to say no to something that feels off.

And then category number four is to say no to people (this is so good) who make you feel bad about saying no.

So, these are four awesome categories. Let me just start before I ask you about particular strategies and each of them. Like how did you come up with those four? Like because they clarify it so very well, of places we find ourselves saying no.

Julie Bee:   Yeah, and I mean, as a business owner … and I think a lot of business owners sometimes no is actually easy to say. And that is not where business owners … and really anybody, that’s not where somebody needs help like this guide.

It’s when you start to have some feelings around it, usually guilt or embarrassment, or whatever it is, that sometimes, it’s even like anger at yourself for needing to say no for whatever reason.

That’s when those emotions really get in there and when it doesn’t just black and white, cut and dry, “No, I can’t do that.” Or when the no isn’t just completely clear.

And I realized that honestly, it was through my own self-reflection and also talking to other business owners, there are some pretty distinct categories when no is a challenge to say. And that’s really how I broke it down into these four categories.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah, I think it’s fabulous.

Okay, so I would say my favorite thing to do is … okay, maybe I shouldn’t say it that way.

Julie Bee:   You should. Say it. I think you should say it.

Stacey Brown Randall:          So, I was going to say, but then as I was thinking it, as it was coming out my mouth, I was like, “Hmm. I don’t know if that’s exactly how I want to say it.” But probably actually, it is if I’m taking the filter off.

Like one of my favorite things to do is to say no when it comes to boundaries. I try to be … and there’s a lot of times where it’s easy for me to be very hard and fast like, “No, I will not take that call with you on Friday because I don’t do that on Fridays. We’re going to have to find another time.”

And I think that’s important for us to say that there’s always a reason to maybe say yes to something you would normally say no to because it’s like a great opportunity or something you’ve been waiting on or something you’ve been working towards or someone you’ve been really wanting to meet. There’s always reasons to-

Julie Bee:   Sure.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Say yes when you would normally say no. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

We’re talking about saying no when we know we need to. But for me, setting boundaries is really important.

And you know this about me, Julia. I’ve got three kids and none of them are driving yet. And at the rate they’re going, won’t be any time soon. Nobody wants me to put them in a car anytime soon.

And so, like there’s a lot that makes my life full and I want to be present for as much of all of it as possible, including my business and my clients, but also, my kids and my husband and our family.

So, the boundaries for me are set in advance of anything else getting on my calendar, and I think that helps. Like Fridays are always blocked. And typically, Mondays are blocked for things like this; recording podcast episodes and other things where I don’t have to have my camera on specifically.

But I think sometimes, it’s the how we tell somebody that we’re saying no. So, it’s not like, yeah, I’m setting this boundary and now, you’ve asked me to do something that goes against that boundary that I’ve set.

I think, and what you were kind of hitting on is, the issue is like now how do I tell you without feeling like the mean person saying, “No, absolutely not.”

Julie Bee:   Yeah. And this first one is really more about like that self-guilt. This isn’t … you’re telling somebody … you need to tell somebody no. It would be like me telling you no, Stacey, about something or you telling me no.

Like I know you’re not going to try to make me feel bad about something. It’s really more about that own self-guilt that you feel when you are trying to say no to something.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yep, and sometimes it feels like excuses. But the truth is, if it comes from like a place of truth, then it’s not an excuse. I don’t know what it is about … it’s not an excuse, but why do I feel like it is when I say it to somebody else?

Julie Bee:   Well, if you’re setting a boundary — so, let’s say you don’t do certain things on Friday afternoon, maybe you no longer have any phone calls or any meetings on Friday afternoon. And somebody that you really want to meet with, they throw out Friday afternoon as an option.

And you can say something along the lines of, “No, I don’t have meetings anymore on Friday afternoon for a lot of reasons, but mainly, I’m not at my best and can we try for another day?”

When you’re saying no and you’re setting a boundary, it is okay to offer another option back to them that is within the boundaries that you have set.

So, this one is probably one of the, I think the easier ones, as long as you know how to approach it. Just saying no is hard, but if you say no, and then you give some other options, that is a fantastic way to go about it.

But then also, if it’s something that someone is going to continue asking you about and you’re feeling guilty for saying no, I think it’s okay to say, “I reserve that time for my creative time or I just don’t have time because I have a full plate already. So, for right now, I have to say no.”

I think it’s okay to tell people, within reason and within your own comfort level, actually why you’re saying no and what boundary you’re setting.

And if they’re going to judge you based on that, that’s their stuff. If they think you need to be working at a certain time or doing a certain amount of effort, they don’t know what you do the rest of your time. So, that’s really on them to deal with those feelings.

So, if that is the case when you’re really trying to set boundaries, if you need to even tell them what the boundary is that you’re setting or why you’re setting boundaries, if that helps you say no and keep that boundary, then I say go for it as long as you’re comfortable sharing that information.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah. I think sometimes you should never feel like you have to give the reason why. But to your point, if it helps you keep the boundary by stating the reason why, then by all means.

I mean, so, I think some of the things that you give in your list, like I really loved this one. There’s two that like really kind of like jumped out at me, but it’s this one, it’s number seven.

And it was like, “I recognize what you’re doing is important, or I recognize what you’re doing has value, but at this time I cannot do it. I cannot say yes, I cannot participate, I cannot attend,” whatever.

And it’s like respecting them, but at the same time saying no.

Or like another one you said like, “I’ve already overcommitted, or I already have a full plate, so I wouldn’t be able to give this the attention that it deserves. So, I’m going to have to say no.”

Those are opportunities where you’re not telling them why, you’re just saying no and there is some reasoning in there. And I think that’s the thing we struggle with. I mean, I think there’s some people who just wake up and they can just say no, and they don’t really care how it lands on the other person.

Julie Bee:   Yeah.

Stacey Brown Randall:          And there are definitely times where I’m like that. But most of the time, I am conscious of how it’s going to land with the other person. It doesn’t change my answer, but it does sometimes change how I give that answer.

Julie Bee:   Yes. And you and I haven’t had some fun discussions about that behind the scenes with some things in business.

But this first category, it really comes down to respect. It comes down to respecting yourself and honoring the respect that you have for the other person as well. But one isn’t more than the other here.

And it really is all about respect because like you said, you are aware of how sometimes saying no lands with the other person. And again, you’re saying no to somebody who isn’t going to judge you for it or point a finger at you and shame you in some way.

This is about just flat out respect all the way around. Just being upfront, honest, and respectful of your own time and respectful of the other person’s time as well.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah. And I do think this is also rooted and I’m pretty sure you would agree with me on this. I think this is also rooted in as understanding what we need to be saying yes to and no to, based on what we need.

When I don’t say yes to things on Friday (actually, you kind of hit the nail on the head), I am not on my best on a Friday.

But I also recognize like when you know what you need to be doing as the business owner that moves the needle forward, that creates the most success in your business, however you have defined that.

In my world, like one time I was having this conversation with my husband, and it was like two o’clock on a Thursday and I was like on the couch and he was like, “What are you doing?” And I was like, “My brain cannot process another piece of writing or content or deep thought.” Like too much deep work.

Like usually when I’m like creating something new or I’m trying to like batch a bunch of podcast episodes and I’m trying to be intentional about what that is, my business … it’s not everybody’s business, but my business, I spend a lot of time on content creation.

I spend a lot of time attempting to write the second book that is like the book that may never get finished. But regardless, like it’s writing, it’s content creation. It’s not like those social media posts just write themselves.

Julie Bee:   Oh no.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Right. It’s like all those things that I’m doing take a lot of brain capacity. Like okay, I’m writing this email for my audience, but like I usually think of an avatar type of person that I’m writing it for, and then I consider what they need.

I spend a lot of intentional time using my brain on what I would call a deep work, thought work, content work, writing work, and it depletes me. I can get on calls all day long and not feel as depleted as I do after trying to spend a couple of mornings or a couple afternoons like writing.

And I think that helps when you know you have to create space for that. I can’t just take hours of content creation and like try to cram it in in like an hour on a Thursday morning. It’s not going to work like that.

When you know what you need to be saying yes to, it does make it easier to say no without that self-guilt.

Julie Bee:   Absolutely.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Hey, pardon the interruption, but if you want to start 2023 referral strong, then you need to use the rest of this year getting ready for it.

That’s right. If you want to start the year strong with referrals, don’t start in January or February. Don’t wait. Start building now so you’re ready to execute when the first few months of the year hit.

You want to make sure you are making the right traction by starting now, so you’re ready to go when January rolls around. Which means if you’ve been considering joining one of my online programs like Growth By Referrals or Referring Machines, then now is a great time to do that.

You can also join my group coaching experience, Building a Referable Business. We’d love to have you apply to see if you are the right fit because now, is the time to get started.

And if you’d rather work with me for one day and get it all done, yes, my friend, get everything built and in place for a strong referral start to 2023, then reach up to me directly via email or direct message me on LinkedIn or Instagram.

You can find me @staceybrownrandall and request information for My VIP Referrals in a Day option. Oh yeah, it’s pretty cool.

Okay, back to the interview.

Okay, so, let’s go to the second category. This is like the thing you want to do, but it’s not the right time or it’s not something that you can do, it can’t be right now.

And I love that like when you talked about this one, it’s like, “Hey, the answer is no for now, but the door is open for a later conversation” and then give some type of time frame.

I just think this one is so good when it is something you would want to do, but it’s not the right time. I find myself in this a lot. Like I’ll get asked to participate, like, “Hey, will you be a part of our virtual summit, and will you do a presentation for our folks?”

And sometimes, I get a lot of those requests, like, “We want to topic on referrals, we want you to do it.” And if I’m in the middle of something else like on my calendar and like figuring out how to schedule that and it isn’t going to work, I have to say that a lot.

Like, “Hey, yes, in the future I’d love to, or if you have a larger time zone or time length of when I can record something for you or do something for you. But I can’t right now because of X, Y, Z.”

But I think this one’s hard to say no to because you actually want to do it.

Julie Bee:   Yeah, it’s really hard. This comes up usually with time, money or just capacity in whatever way.

I unfortunately had to say no to a really great speaking opportunity because I had already booked a trip to see my best friend and meet her children, which is more important to me than the speaking opportunity, quite frankly. I had to plan it for a while.

And so, my note to that was, “No, I can’t do it this year, but please keep me in mind for next year’s conference.”

The thing that I love about this, this is especially helpful at screening people too. I found that if you say this to someone — and we all have salespeople pop up in our inbox or somebody that you know has a new program and they’re wanting to talk to you about it.

I like to use this also as a screening opportunity because if you say, “No, but please follow up with me on this in like three months or six months,” or whatever it is; if they respect that, they earn some street cred in my book. But if they push it, then they’re going to kind of fall quickly into another category of just like straight up no, and we’re not talking about this again.

So, this is one of those ones that yes, it can be hard to say because you do want to say yes to something, but for some reason, you can’t. But it’s also a great way to screen people and see if they are the type of person that can respect a boundary and honor your own boundaries, which is always a good thing to know about pretty much any relationship you might be in.

That’s always something that you want to know and it’s a great way to screen for that too.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I think the other side of that too is that when you’re like, “Hey, this is something I would consider but follow up with me in so many months.” And then they don’t, that’s another screening one too. It’s like-

Julie Bee:   Correct, yeah.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Did they push it, did they forget about you, or did they honor it? And then obviously, you know how to move forward from that perspective.

Okay, so, the one that had me, I would say probably chuckling the most was the one to say no when something feels off. And not laughing, but like the uncomfortable laugh, like, “Oh God.”

Julie Bee:   Yeah.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Like been there. And it was interesting when I was reading your responses, I’m like, “Wow, she actually has a lot of good responses.” I mean, I can’t do math in my head so everybody knows I can’t add this up. Let’s see, it’s one, two, three, four, six, seven. I can’t even look at the number and just subtract. I have to count it. Sorry guys.

Seven different ways to say no when something feels off. But it was number 16 that I was like, “Oh my God, that’s so good because this is where I find myself from time to time.” And that was, “I was initially excited about this idea, but upon review I realized that it isn’t a good fit.”

And I think as a business owner, you get on a call with somebody and they’re pitching you whatever it is that they’re pitching you to buy or participate in or whatever.

And in the moment, like sometimes you’re stroking your ego and sometimes it’s like, oh, this would be really cool, but you haven’t really looked at your calendar. You actually have no idea what’s coming up. And you’re like initially pretty excited about it and you leave the impression of, “Yes, I’m excited and this is probably a yes.” But how do you come back from that?

And I just think that response of like, “Hey, I was excited about this idea, but now that I have time to review it and sit with it and figure out the calendar, I’m actually not going to have the time for it.” I think that is such a powerful response that people don’t have on the back end.

Julie Bee:   Yeah, and that one is one that if somebody comes back to you and says, “Can you tell me more about that?” I mean, you almost can use any one of these other responses on this entire document because it might be that you didn’t have the time for it, or …

I have literally said to people, “This just doesn’t feel like the right fit for me.” And if they push that, then I know it’s not the right fit because I really trust my gut instinct.

And it’s really easy to get on a webinar or to talk to somebody who’s high energy, really gets business one to one, and get really excited about what they have to offer. But then, yeah, when you get a chance to sit back and think about it, no matter what the reason is, you’re just deciding that something just doesn’t feel right.

It’s either not the right timing, it’s not the right fit, it’s not the right person, whatever it is. And you need a way to say no to that when something just feels off and you can’t put your finger on it.

And so, that’s why this category is especially challenging, I think for a lot of business owners because a lot of our businesses build on word of mouth and referrals, and sometimes there’s some feelings around saying no to somebody that’s in your network that there might be a mutually beneficial relationship there about something.

But just for whatever reason, you’re like, “We are not going to be able to work together.” And I think that this list can help in those scenarios as well because it’s hard to say no when you can’t pinpoint why you’re saying no, but it’s still okay to say no even in those situations.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Oh, absolutely. And I also think it’s okay as business owners for us to have that short list. Hopefully, it’s a short list, not a long list. But a short list of people that you’re like, “I just don’t say no.” When they come asking about something or calling about something or needing something, these are people that …

And for me, a lot of times it’s like obviously, there’s a huge amount of trust. Obviously, I know they know intimately what I do. They typically have my best interests at heart as well as me having their best interests at heart, and they’re supporters of my business.

Whether that’s because they’re a top referral source and they refer business to me, or because they help me with my business growth in other ways. Maybe make connections or promotions and things like that.

Like I have a small group of folks that like whatever it is that they need, if I can do it, I’m going to, I’m not going to say no. But not everybody gets to be on that list.

Julie Bee:   Yes, correct.

Stacey Brown Randall:          And I think that’s really important to discern.

Julie Bee:   And something that I have recently done is I’ve actually written down that list and I have that list documented so that … I’ve got some big things going on, but I never want to forget the people who are on that list, no matter where I go in my career and what happens.

Like there are people that I would probably always say yes to regardless of what they’re asking me to do, if I can, whatever the thing is.

But yeah, sometimes something’s not right and you just know it’s not right. And I always advise business owners to trust their gut, and if you can’t name it then there’s a list of seven ways here to say no to something that just doesn’t feel right, that will help you kind of get out of that conversation.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Absolutely. So, not putting you on the spot at all, but I wonder if I’m on your short list, if I made that short list. Don’t tell me, because if I didn’t, I don’t want to know.

But yes, I mean, you’re right. Those lists are important.

Julie Bee:   Yes, and I will tell you that yes, you are on that list just FYI.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yay. I mean, you did say yes about recording the podcast episode after coming back from being out of the office for multiple weeks. So, I do have to consider myself pretty high up on that list. So, I appreciate you.

Okay, so the last category is … oh God, this is such a good one too. When people make you feel bad about saying no. And your responses are like classic and they’re like … oh my God, it’s exactly something I would say.

It’s as simple as like when somebody makes you feel bad and they’re like, “Oh.” Like you’ve said no, they’re making you feel bad. And then your number one response is to just say no again, no thanks.

Julie Bee:   Yep.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Like, “No, thanks,” or, “No, I’m not interested,” or, “No, I’m not able to take that on.” And then following up with a, “And thank you for your understanding.” Like drop it.

And I think sometimes, we all know that somebody — not all the people, but there will always be some folks throughout the course of any given year, right, where somebody’s going to make you feel bad for saying no. And that is the moment when you have to trust yourself to just say no again.

Julie Bee:   Yeah. This one is really … you usually have to say no twice to these individuals.

And I’ll kind of go back to something I said previously, them trying to make you feel bad … I love it when a business owner goes from, “If I say no to this, I’m going to feel bad,” to, “If I say no to this, that individual who is asking is going to try to make me feel guilty about saying no.”

There’s a big distinction there when you can make that mindset shift. “I’m going to feel bad,” to, “That person’s going to try to make me feel bad.” You’re not going to let them make you feel bad. That’s ultimately what I want a business owner to get to when they have these in the tank when they need to say no to those people who do show up.

And we all have them. I mean, if you’ve been in business and networked anywhere for, I would say, I don’t even know, probably not even more than two years, you know who this person is, and you have to be ready to say no to them.

In the past, you may have said yes because you just didn’t want to have that uncomfortable conversation with them about no. But I think it was Anne Lamott that said, “No is a complete sentence.” I think she was the one that came up with that.

And I mean, it really can be as simple as, “No, thanks.” And if they push, just say, “No, and thanks for understanding.” And if they keep pushing, I mean, there are some things in here that you can really add to kind of turn it around and let them know like how serious you are about saying no.

But you’ve got to stand up for yourself, respect yourself and realize like whatever their guilt is, whatever that is, that’s their issue to work on, not yours. And I think the one place I’ve seen doesn’t have this show up a lot are for moms who are business owners. They have to sometimes say no to … like it just depends on the situation.

Like, I mean, the classic is the PTA situation. You’ve got people asking for volunteerism at work or I mean, in your child’s school, and you have to figure out how to say no. And I think that there are some good examples on here of how to go about doing this.

The answer cannot just be always, just put more and more and more on your plate, and make everybody else feel better. Because that’s just going to make you feel horrible, which is the last thing we want.

So, unfortunately, there are people out there who will try to guilt you into saying yes. And the sooner you recognize those individuals and the sooner you come up with a plan for dealing with when they ask you for certain types of help, how to say no to that, the better you will feel, and you’ll be prepared. And again, that’s one of the goals here with this download that we created.

Stacey Brown Randall:          So, tell everybody where they can grab it because I think everyone needs to just review and tuck it away and use in the future.

Julie Bee:   Yeah. So, you can get it on my website. My website is thejuliebee.com. And I will give you, Stacey, the link to put into your podcast notes.

So, because it’s literally one of those URLs that I didn’t think all the way through when I created it. So, it’s a little bit of a long URL. It’s like 30-ways-to-say-no, basically.

Stacey Brown Randall:          We’ve all been there.

Julie Bee:   Yeah. So, I’ll shoot that over to you. Well, you have that, but I’ll send it to you again. So, definitely in your show notes.

And then, we’re promoting a lot on my social channels. And basically, my handle on pretty much every social channel is thejuliebee. So, you can find it out there as well, on Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter, where you can actually link to a URL. That’s where you can find it there as well.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Perfect. Yeah, we will definitely put the link to your website on the show notes page and also, the direct link to download The 30 Ways To Say No. All this information, we’ll put all that in the show notes page for this episode.

So, before we wrap up, I did just want to mention, because you are probably one of my most interesting testimonials of someone that I’ve worked with in terms of like the number. Everyone’s like, “Why is she staying interesting? Like that’s so awkward.” Like it’s in a good thing.

So, I had the opportunity to work with you and I remember when I was asking you for feedback, so like, “Hey, we worked together for this year. Like how did it go?”

And you gave me the ROI. So, for those of you who don’t know ROI is return on investment. So, it’s like the amount of money you spend versus the amount of money that you ultimately made, that’s your return on investment — for working the strategies, was 2188% return on investment from learning and deploying the referral strategies that I teach. And I love how exact that was.

I just wanted to ask you to kind of share your thoughts on what you learned and just kind of like how it felt implementing those strategies, and of course, having over 2000% ROI.

Julie Bee:   Yeah. So, it was kind of a comical. You say interesting, I say comical because of the time in my business when I decided to invest into your program. We were going through some massive changes and the referral sources that I had at the time, they were not going to be referral sources anymore.

So, I was kind of, I think I had been in business for 12 years in a marketing agency and kind of needed to start over with a referral strategy basically. And so, that’s why I’m laughing and think it’s comical that that’s when I decided to start with your program, which is, I guess, it makes sense.

I mean, I followed it to the T. I did everything you told me to do. I followed the scripts that you gave me over the course of a year and a half. We had quite a bit of revenue come in via referrals both for my marketing agency, which is what I initially started this with, to my now, speaking and consulting practice.

So, it was kind of hard to put it all together because I was like, “Okay, there’s revenue coming in here and there, but I’m using this for this and that, more effective.”

And the other thing was how you emphasize the personal touch of it without it feeling like a massive burden on me basically, or on somebody who was helping me implement the system.

So, I think that the system does a really good job of teaching you how to get really personal or how to have a personal touch with all of this without it feeling overwhelming to the actual business owner who’s implementing it.

Stacey Brown Randall:          That’s the point. Like these strategies, if you will learn them and implement them so that you can continue to implement them as your business changes, if that happens, like that’s the point.

And so, that ROI lasts years and years and years because you learned it and you’ve already used it two times as you’ve shifted different directions for your business.

Like you’re a master at this now. Like you decided to go do something different — I have no idea what that would be. But like if you made the decision to do something different down the road, you know exactly what it looks like to cultivate new referral sources in that moment. And that’s the point.

Julie Bee:   Yeah.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I’m so glad you shared that. I think that was definitely awesome. Okay, so I … oh, go ahead. Yes.

Julie Bee:   No, I was just going to say that just the transferability, the ability to take what you learn and move it into … if you’re anything like me who is, I believe, I would be referred to as a serial entrepreneur, you can invest with Stacey’s programs and know that no matter what you do, even if you’re like working in corporate America, probably, you can use these strategies to help build your business or help build your career.

The transferability is just … I haven’t seen it in any other program that I’ve taken or tried. It’s very, very transferable. So, that’s also very big value in your programs.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah. And it all comes down because we’re dealing with humans, and these are relationships. And there’s smart ways to deal with those humans and those relationships. And then there are not so smart ways to burn bridges and things like that. So, yeah, I think that’s one of the reasons why it is transferable.

I mean, I know somebody who took my strategies when running a doggy daycare, and then used them and transferred them into then running her own coaching practice. Like they’re transferrable no matter how nuanced your business is or how a huge shift it makes as well.

So, but, Julie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. We will definitely link to your 30 Ways To Say No downloads. Everybody can go get that and start committing those things to memory. And then of course, your website where people can learn more about you as well.

I know you have a book that’ll be coming out not in like anytime like in the short term, but I know it’s coming out. Do you want to mention your book or maybe the title of your book if you know it, or any information about that?

Julie Bee:   Yeah, yeah. So, the title right now is The Business Owner’s Guide to Burnout, and it will be available per presale starting in 2023 and be in bookstores in 2024.

So, still got a little bit of time to go on that one, but part of preventing burnout as a business owner is knowing how to say no. So, downloading this guide is a good way to kind of get a jumpstart on the book.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yeah. And there is nothing like a book publishing timeline. It’s like how many years can we stuff into this timeline?

Julie Bee:   Yeah, exactly.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I mean, it’s fascinating. Alright, well, Julie, thank you so much for coming on and spending this time with me.

Julie Bee:   Well, thanks for having me, Stacey. I had a great time talking with you.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did, learning the 30 ways to say no in a kind and considerate way while still being able to know that you are saying no, which is what you need to do, and not be guilted into doing something you really don’t need to be doing.

So, thank you Julie, for joining us.

Please make sure guys, you go to the show notes page for this episode, staceybrownrandall.com/232 for episode 232. Download her 30 Ways To Say No Guide. And there’s also a link on the show notes page to check out her website.

Maybe her podcast is another one you’ll add to your weekly rotation the same way you listen to mine on a weekly basis.

Alright, next week, it’s coming up, episode 233. And we’re doing something a little bit different. I’m not going to tell you what it is, you’re going to have to join me next week.

But here’s your teaser. Are you being “referred” on social media? Well, we’re going to talk about what you need to know, but we’re going to do it in a very different way.

Until then, my friend, you know what to do; take control and grow your business. Bye for now.


Thanks for listening to the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. To
access all resources and links mentioned in today’s show, and to
connect with Stacey, head over to www.staceybrownrandall.com.

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