One syllable, Two letters: For all intents and purposes the word “No” should not be that hard to say… so why is it? Are you afraid of letting someone down? Worried about sounding mean? When you are running your own business, you might be concerned with losing money, or getting a bad review. Learning how to politely say “no” has been the best thing for my business and my personal life. As my wife says, “people need boundaries!”
For example, my weekends are crazy. Weddings on Saturday often leave me feeling like a train ran over me on Sunday. I knew that it wasn’t healthy for me to keep agreeing to work on Sundays after a wedding. I wanted a day to recover, and a day to spend with Keli and the girls before they went back into a week of school.
I started by telling people that we didn’t work on Sundays, and they didn’t understand. I think many saw it as me just being stubborn, so they mirrored my stubbornness with lack of flexibility in their schedules. Quickly, I realized simply saying “no” wasn’t in my best interest, so I started explaining myself.
“Because I shoot weddings on Saturdays, I am too tired to give clients booked on a Sunday 100% of my creativity. I don’t feel right about taking on clients, knowing I won’t be able to give them the best images that I am capable of.”
By explaining that, I am still saying, “No, I don’t shoot on Sundays”, but in a polite way that lets clients know that I have their best interest at heart.
It’s all about explaining and educating. I could give a hundred stories similar to my I-don’t-shoot-on-Sundays story that turned out wonderfully, but I’ll spare you.
I think a lot of times we expect others to expect the worst in us, and we use that as an excuse to say yes to everything. Setting boundaries is okay! Having a day to yourself is okay! Making a decision that is in the best interest of the involved parties is okay… even if it means saying “no”.
Creative. Clean. Different. We are a team of creatives in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky with a passion for storytelling. Founded in 2006, our studio has been recognized as one of the best wedding photographers in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky by various publications, websites, and groups. We’d love to show you our studio and walk you through our albums, canvases and other print photography products. We can also provide more information on our Wedding Collections and introduce you to our team! We’d love to help, connect with us now.