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The Rule of Nein

Peter Kozodoy logo Posted Saturday June 20th, 2020 The Rule of Nein

Allow me to introduce you to the power of nein.

No, not "nine" (I'm a good speller, I'll have you know).


If you've spent any time suckin' back Oktoberfest's in Munich, you might be familiar with nein, which means "no" in German.

And it turns out that's one of the best words we can learn as entrepreneurs.

See, when we start a company, we must embrace the "yes."

Yes, we can do that!
Yes, we have that service!
Yes, we can beat that price!
Yes, we have that solution! (Don't we?)

Being yes-people allows us to grow something out of nothing, and gives us all those opportunities we need in the beginning.

But eventually, the yes can catch up with you...and it can also be what causes you to plateau.

That's because, at a certain point, saying yes can become a distraction.

And at that point, saying no will actually give you more opportunities than saying yes.

No...we don't specialize in that service.
No...we can't discount our prices.
No...I don't want to spend my Saturday with you because you're an energy vampire.

And so on, and so forth.

No is a powerful concept, and it can help you avoid many tasks (and even people) who don't serve your goals.

But here's the thing: Even though many entrepreneurs want to say no, they don't know when to say no and when to say yes.

How do we know when it's a real opportunity, or a distraction?

If you're in that camp, try these questions:

#1: Do you have a specific to-do list that helps guide your long-term vision? If not, read this article. If yes, go to #2.

#2: Does this opportunity directly help you complete your immediate to-do list? If yes, say yes. If no, go to #3.

#3: Does this opportunity help you with your long-term vision? If yes, say yes, AFTER completing your critical to-do list. If no, drop it.

Having a simple set of rules for yourself will greatly enhance your productivity. Even a 1% distraction every day adds up to a massive difference over time.

Even though you couldn't afford to say no in the beginning, you might not be able to afford saying yes when it comes to focusing on the actions that will make your business grow and be successful for you.

That, my friends, is the Rule of Nein.