This is something that I’m still working on so I can’t claim to have all the answers just yet, but it’s also something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.
I have always been a ‘YES’ woman. I’ve always strived to keep the doors open to opportunity and am of the opinion that you can never have too many options. I know the value of relationship building and know that often opportunity can come from chance encounters — the conversation with a woman you met in the coffee line, the new guy at yoga, or the polite email requesting coffee.
However I have started noticing that more often than not, when I take time out of my working day to have coffee, provide advice or review a document (free of charge) that this shifts focus away from my work and I don’t gain anything from it.
So I have discovered that at times it is important to say ‘NO’. Say it nicely, say it politely but say it also with conviction as you are putting a value and worth on your time. Say no when you feel it will distract you from critical work at hand. Say no when the request is something that you usually charge for. And say no when it feels like you are being taken advantage of.
Know your worth, know your value and be ok with saying no.