Welcome to Navigating Your Course for Success

The Most Direct Course To Freedom

FreedomThe most valuable commodity we have as business owners is our time. We control our time. Everyone has the same amount of time. It is all in how we utilize our time that makes time our number one commodity.

If you are reading this article, you have a trait of service to others, as the majority of people who read my articles agree we should be of service to others. This does not mean we should always say ‘yes’ to everything, and especially when by saying ‘yes’ we are really saying, “Sure control me, I have no value, so this is for free, again.”

For example, when thinking of people who lead by example in terms of giving and service to others, the name “John Maxwell” comes to mind. John speaks about his daily goal, “how may I be of service to someone today?” Now understand, John Maxwell is one of the top professional speakers in the world, commanding well into six figures for a single keynote which may be ninety minutes long or less. Each year John accepts three or four individuals as mentees. He agrees to work with them as their mentor for the year. There is no charge or fee attached. In addition, John is generous and donates time and money to charities of his choice. John has also mastered how to say, ‘no’. There are companies, church groups, Governing groups of countries, and individuals who constantly request his time, a talk, a meeting, a training group and the answer has to be ‘no’.

Does this mean he is not being true to his mantra to be of service to others?

No, not at all, it means he has to choose between what his personal agenda will be and what their agenda might be. In order to be true to his agenda, he has to say ‘no’ more often than he is able to say ‘yes’.

The ability to learn to say ‘no’ is empowering. This one habit, handled correctly, will set you free. You will have more freedom in your business and have more time, to utilize the way you choose, by utilizing the word ‘no’ more often than the word ‘yes’.

You may hear phrases such as ‘setting your limits’ or ‘having boundaries’. These are created through the utilization of the word ‘no’ in response to requests. These requests may take the form of review a business plan, join a group, lead a committee, give me some advice for a few minutes, or just about anything. The person you are speaking with may come right back at you. They are thinking about the old sales technique, ‘never take ‘no’ for an answer’. They will push you and prod you and possibly ‘guilt’ you. This is where the fortitude and the healthy habit of easily saying ‘no’ must come into play.

Do you want to continue to be controlled by others? Or do you intend to steer yourself, your business and your life in the direction of your choosing?

Learn the habit of saying ‘no’.

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.


  1. I agree, especially learning to say no to the not-ideal client – it wastes your time AND theirs in the end.

  2. This was something I had to learn that took me well into my 30’s. I have gotten very good at it and once you practice it, it becomes the norm. You know instinctively what’s a yes and what’s a no and you stick to your initial response.

  3. Great example of saying “no” while still managing to meet the needs of your business and your life.

    The powerful thing about saying no is that it opens up time and resources to say yes to the things that matter.

  4. Mitch I am really amused by Sue Painter’s answer! It’s true that we have to learn to say no to some clients as well as others who are potential time zappers.

  5. I agree, it’s often better to say no – for you and for the person you are saying no to.

  6. So true! If we say no to those people and situations that are not ideal we make more time for those that are.